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(King James Version)
(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.