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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
woch´man ( צופה , cōpheh , שׁמר , shōmēr , מצפּה , mecappeh , נצר , nōcēr ): Used to designate a sentinel on the city walls ( 2 Samuel 18:25; 2 Kings 9:18; Psalm 127:1; Isaiah 62:6 ) or on the hilltops (Jeremiah 31:6 ). Song of Solomon 3:3; Song of Solomon 5:7 introduces another class, "the watchmen that go about the city," and thus, it would seem, points to some system of municipal police. The distinction in meaning between the various words is clear, cōpheh having the idea of "outlooker" and nōcēr that of "careful watcher" (being applied even to besiegers from outside: Jeremiah 4:16 , "watchers"), while shōmēr also embraces the idea of "defending" or "guarding." In Isaiah 21:6 mecappeh is to be taken generally in the sense of "watch." In Sirach 37:14 σκοπός , skopós , means simply "looker."
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Watchman'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/w/watchman.html. 1915.