Even the experts, those who write Bible commentaries, disagreed widely on who these people were.
Which raises the question, what standard can we depend on when we're sitting at home, plain ol' John and Jane Doe, trying to gain a personal understanding of the Scriptures?
If the Bible can mean anything to anybody, depending on their viewpoint... can I, the seeker, ever gain a true understanding of what God is saying to me?
Hermaneutics is simply identifying for yourself the standards you will adhere to when reading the Bible. Although most of us subconsciously develop some sort of standard when we study, it's good for you to deliberately determine yours, so as not to be discombobulated by the first wind of disagreement.
For example, my first and utterly non-negotiable standard is the fact that
1) The Bible is the Word of God in written form. It is not a book that Jews just came up with. Appropriately translated it, it is not tainted by the hand of man no matter how many reproductions have been made over the years. God is perfectly capable of safeguarding his Word.
I base this on II Tim. 3:16-17. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (ESV) And II Pet. 1:20-21. "...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
2) Always take Scripture in context. You can stir up a whole lot of confusion when drinking a verse or two without taking into account the well the water was drawn from. Bible verses are a part of a whole, whether that whole is a passage, a chapter, or a whole book.
Review the verses around the one or two that interest you. What's the subject at hand and what else does it say on that subject? Who is the author speaking to? Is this an historical book? Or one designed to teach?
3) Compare Scripture to Scripture. It is never sufficient to understand God's viewpoint on anything by looking at only one verse or passage. To truly begin to understand the Sabbath, or the Torah, or the atoning death of Christ, or any biblical subject that interests you, you must search for everything the Bible has to say on the subject. Which brings me to...
4) The Bible does not contradict itself. Sometimes you'll find two passages that seem to be at odds with each other. An example is Paul's evident approval of Philip the evangelist's four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9), vs his letter to the church at Corinth apparently saying women should be silent in the church (I Cor. 14:34). He obviously couldn't be cool with both ideas. In such cases, I determine that I must suspend my conclusions for a while longer and dig a little deeper on both God and Paul's view of women in the church.
5) Accept the meaning of Scripture in its most natural, normal, customary sense. The Bible is not meant to be a Word that only those with secret spiritual knowledge can decipher. That's called gnosticism. You truly don't want to go there.
You don't need a working knowledge of the backgrounds of Greek and Hebrew words to gain a basic understanding of what God has to say. And you shouldn't have to apply Biblical numerology to every digit that appears in the Scriptures.
Whether you are reading Deuteronomy (the Torah), Mark (the Gospels), or Revelation (the Prophets), understand that it is written in plain language and therefore should be understood along those lines. Unless there is clear reason not to, do not change your standard according to what you are reading. (See Hermaneutic #2)
If the context indicates that the passage in question is a parable or a vision or a Elijah using theatrical tools to make a point, then that fact should be taken into account.
There are other standards that you may raise for yourself when studying the Bible. I hope you will at least seriously consider the above five when you sit down to determine your own. But I find that these five, especially, keep me on track and less likely to read my own opinions into God's Word.