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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Footman

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FOOTMAN . This word is used in two different senses: 1. A foot-soldier , always in plur. ‘footmen,’ foot-soldiers, infantry. Footmen probably composed the whole of the Isr. forces ( 1 Samuel 4:10; 1 Samuel 15:4 ) before the time of David. 2. A runner on foot: 1 Samuel 22:17 (AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ‘or guard , Heb. runners ’; RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘guard,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘Heb. runners ’). ‘ Runners ’ would be the literal, and at the same time the most appropriate, rendering. The king had a body of runners about him, not so much to guard his person as to run his errands and do his bidding. They formed a recognized part of the royal state ( 1 Samuel 8:11 , 2 Samuel 15:1 ); they served as executioners ( 1 Samuel 22:17 , 2 Kings 10:25 ); and, accompanying the king or his general into battle, they brought back official tidings of its progress or event ( 2 Samuel 18:18 ). In Jeremiah 12:5 both the Heb. and the Eng. (footmen) seem to be used in the more general sense of racers on foot .

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Footman'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/f/footman.html. 1909.

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