soldier

soldier

A person involved in military activity, one who is trained for war. During the biblical period, soldiers were equipped with a variety of offensive and defensive weapons; fully armed soldiers from two distinct eras are described in (1Sam 17:5-7 and (Eph 6:11-17, with the latter reference comparing the panoply of a Roman soldier to the Christian’s spiritual armor. Distinctions were also made between infantrymen, horsemen, and charioteers (Ezek 26:7; Acts 23:23). The Hebrews had no professional soldiers until the establishment of the monarchy (eleventh century BCE). Abraham’s “trained men” were recruited from his household (Gen 14:14), and the Hebrew conquest of Canaan was accomplished by tribal militias (Num 1:1-46). The beginning of a standing army in Israel may be seen in the special force that Saul gathered together (1Sam 13:1-2; 1Sam 14:52). David continued this process by developing his famous bodyguard of warriors (1Sam 22:2; 2Sam 10:7) and by making a census of the Israelites, a necessary step in the establishment of a national army (2Sam 24). Thereafter, the professional soldier was the norm, but mercenaries were also a part of this early Israelite army (2Sam 20:23; 2Chr 25:6). Soldiers usually shared in the loot captured in battle (Num 31:27; Deut 21:11; Josh 22:8), and their return from war was a cause for celebration (Judg 11:34; 1Sam 18:6-7). Because the Roman Empire was maintained by military power, the Roman soldier was a common sight in NT times. Soldiers were involved in the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus (John 18:3, John 18:12; John 19:2, John 19:23-25, John 19:32, John 19:34). After Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, he was frequently in the company of soldiers; the apostle used the word “soldier” to describe his co-workers (Phil 2:25; Phlm 1:2; see the figurative use of “soldier” in 1Cor 9:7; 2Tim 2:3-4).

1Sam 17:5-7

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Eph 6:11-17

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Ezek 26:7

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Acts 23:23

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Gen 14:14

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Num 1:1-46

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1Sam 13:1-2

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1Sam 14:52

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1Sam 22:2

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2Sam 10:7

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2Sam 24

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2Sam 20:23

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2Chr 25:6

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Num 31:27

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Deut 21:11

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Josh 22:8

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Judg 11:34

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1Sam 18:6-7

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John 18:3

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John 18:12

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John 19:2

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John 19:23-25

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John 19:32

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John 19:34

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Phil 2:25

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Phlm 1:2

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1Cor 9:7

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2Tim 2:3-4

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