Are of as early a date as cities, robbers, and wars, Exodus 14:24 Judges 7:19. Jerusalem and other cities had regular guards night and day, Song of Solomon 3:1-3 5:7, to whose hourly cries Isaiah refers in illustration of the vigilance required by God in his ministers, Isaiah 21:8,11,12 62:6.
At this day the watchmen of Jerusalem "keep not silence," nor do they "hold their peace day nor night;" especially at night and when danger is apprehended, they are required to call to each other every few minutes, and the cry passes from one to another entirely around the city walls. Those of Sidon also do the same. Watchmen always had a station at the gate of a city and in the adjacent tower, 2 Samuel 18:24-27 2 Kings 9:27; also on hill-tops overlooking a large circuit of terraced vineyards, whence they could "see eye to eye," and "lift up the voice" of warning or of cheer, Isaiah 52:7,8; and their responsible office, requiring so much vigilance and fidelity, illustrates that of prophets and ministers, Jeremiah 6:17 Ezekiel 33:1-9 Hebrews 13:17.