A person trained to fight, usually on active military duty. In early Israelite history every male was called on to fight when the tribes were threatened. David was the first to put together a national army made up of professional soldiers. Kings often had a personal group of soldiers to guard them. The New Testament soldier was usually the Roman soldier. John the Baptist indicated that the average Roman soldier extorted money from civilians by threatening them (Luke 3:14). On the other hand, the centurion (leader of 100 men) is held in esteem in the New Testament (see
Acts 10:1). See Army; Centurion.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'SOLDIER'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".