A frequent word in the Bible for men equipped with weapons some of which are described in 1 Sam. 17: 5–7 and Eph. 6: 11–17—the latter being a metaphorical use for a Christian's spiritual armour.
Professional soldiers were employed by David (1 Sam. 22: 2) and subsequent rulers. In NT times Roman soldiers were a familiar sight throughout the empire. The guard of soldiers offered by Pilate to the Sanhedrin (Matt. 27: 65) were presumably Roman soldiers, but it is unlikely that they would have reported to the chief priests (Matt. 28: 11). Indeed the whole account of the guard at the tomb is implausible; if the disciples were unaware of any prediction about Jesus rising on the third day, it is unlikely that the Pharisees knew about it and remembered it.
Subjects: Biblical Studies — Warfare and Defence.