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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
"a rod bearer" (rhabdos, "a rod," echo, "to hold"), one who carries a staff of office, was, firstly, an umpire or judge, later, a Roman lictor, Acts 16:35,38 . The duty of these officials was to attend Roman magistrates to execute their orders, especially administering punishment by scourging or beheading; they carried as their sign of office the fasces (whence "Fascist"), a bundle of rods with an axe inserted. At Philippi they acted under the strategoi or pretors (see MAGISTRATE , No. 1.)
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Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Sergeant'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/s/sergeant.html. 1940.