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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Captive

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


one taken in war. Captives were often treated with great cruelty and indignity (1Ki 20:32; Jos 10:24; Jdg 1:7; 2Sa 4:12; Jdg 8:7; 2Sa 12:31; 1Ch 20:3). When a city was taken by assault, all the men were slain, and the women and children carried away captive and sold as slaves (2 Chr. 28:9-15; Ps. 44:12; Joel 3:3), and exposed to the most Isa 20; 47:3; 2Ch 28:9-15; Psa 44:12; Joe 3:3), and exposed to the most cruel treatment (Nah 3:10; Zec 14:2; Est 3:13; 2Ki 8:12; Isa 13:16,18). Captives were sometimes carried away into foreign countries, as was the case with the Jews (Jer 20:5; 39:9,10; 40:7).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


kap'-tiv (shebhi, galah; aichmalotos and its derivatives): The frequent references in the Old Testament to captives as men forcibly deported (from the Hebrew root shabhah) or inhabiting a land foreign to them (from Hebrew galah) reflect the universal practice of the ancient world. The treatment of captives was sometimes barbarous (2Sa 8:2) but not always so (2Ki 6:21,22).

Figurative: Except in Job 42:10 the figurative use of the idea is confined to the New Testament, where reference is made to the triumphal reign of the Lord Jesus (Lu 4:18; Eph 4:8), or, on the other hand, to the power of the devil (2Ti 2:26), or of false teachers (2Ti 3:6); compare also Ro 7:23; 2Co 10:5.

Written by F. K. Farr



Smith's Bible Dictionary


A prisoner of war. Such were usually treated with great cruelty by the heathen nations. They were kept for slaves, and often sold; but this was a modification of the ancient cruelty, and a substitute for putting them to death. Although the treatment of captives by the Jews seems sometimes to be cruel, it was very much milder than that of the heathen, and was mitigated, as far as possible in the circumstances, by their civil code.

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