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Guard

(1.) Heb. tabbah (properly a “cook,” and in a secondary sense “executioner,” because this office fell to the lot of the cook in Eastern countries), the bodyguard of the kings of Egypt (Gen. 37:36) and Babylon (2 Kings 25:8; Jer. 40:1; Dan. 2:14).

(2.) Heb. rats, properly a “courier,” one whose office was to run before the king’s chariot (2 Sam. 15:1; 1 Kings 1:5). The couriers were also military guards (1 Sam. 22:17; 2 Kings 10:25). They were probably the same who under David were called Pelethites (1 Kings 14:27; 2 Sam. 15:1).

(3.) Heb. mishmereth, one who watches (Neh. 4:22), or a watch-station (7:3; 12:9; Job 7:12).

In the New Testament (Mark 6:27) the Authorized Version renders the Greek spekulator by “executioner,” earlier English versions by “hangman,” the Revised Version by “soldier of his guard.” The word properly means a “pikeman” or “halberdier,” of whom the bodyguard of kings and princes was composed. In Matt. 27:65, 66; 28:11, the Authorized Version renders the Greek kustodia by “watch,” and the Revised Version by “guard,” the Roman guard, which consisted of four soldiers, who were relieved every three hours (Acts 12:4). The “captain of the guard” mentioned Acts 28:16 was the commander of the Praetorian troops, whose duty it was to receive and take charge of all prisoners from the provinces.

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