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.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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