Captain (In the Bible)
FREE Catholic Classes
In the Douay version captain represents several different Hebrew and Latin words, and designates both civil and military officers. It is used without rule, other words being frequently substituted where the same expression with the same sense is translated, and this is true with regard to the Latin Vulgate as well as the Hebrew or Greek text. It is rarely used to designate civil officials, and then only the highest. Thus we find "captain of my people" ( 2 Kings 20:5 ); "let us appoint a captain" (instead of Moses ; Numbers 14:4 ; cf. Proverbs 6:7 ). When applied to military officers it corresponds in most cases to the Hebrew sár, and like it designates officers of all grades, namely:
- (1) Generals, "captains of the host"( sár háççãbã , strategos, hegoumenos princeps exercitus, dux ); but in many cases "general of the army" or "prince of the army" is used.
- (2) The various grades of officers of infantry: "captains of thousands" ( sár hãalãphim , chiliarchos , tribunus ); "captains of hundreds" ( sár hámmeôth, ekatontarchos, centurio ); "captains of fifty" ( sár hamíshshîm , pentekontarchos, quinquagenarius ); and "captains over tens" ( dekarches , decurio ).
- (3) "Captains of the chariots" ( sár hãrékéb . The "captains of cavalry", Vulgate duces equitatus in 2 Chronicles 18:30, 31, 32 , 21:9 , should be "captains of the chariots").
- (4) Commanders of the body-guard ( sár háttábbãhîm , sár hãrãçîm , translated respectively "captain of soldiers", Genesis 26:26 , 37:36 , etc., and "captain of the shieldbearers", 1 Kings 14:27 ).
- (5) Lastly, captain is used to designate two special classes of officers, the shôterîm , probably officers charged with the organization of newly levied troops and the order of the camp ( Deuteronomy 20:5, 9 ), and the shálîshîm , whose status is not clear; under the later kings they were royal equerries or aides-de-camp ( 2 Kings 9:25 , 15:25 , cf. 7:2, 17 ). It is also applied to the chiefs of marauding bands ( 1 Kings 2:24 ).
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Download Now >
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.