word: "Ward" and "guard" are two different spellings of the same word, and in consequence no clear line can be drawn between them. English Versions of the Bible, however, has used "guard" only in the sense of "a special body of soldiers" (Ge 37:36, etc.), while "ward" is used, not only in this sense (Jer 37:13; contrast Jer 39:9), but also in a variety of others. So a "ward" may mean "any body of men on special duty," as 1Ch 9:23; the King James Version 1 Ch 26:16; Ne 12:24-25 (the Revised Version (British and American) "watch"), or the duty itself, as Isa 21:8; 1Ch 12:29 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "allegiance"); 1Ch 25:8; 26:12 (the Revised Version (British and American) "office," margin "ward"); Ne 12:45; 13:30 (the Revised Version (British and American) "charge"). Or "ward" may mean "guarded place," always in the phrase "put in ward." the Revised Version (British and American) has kept this phrase throughout (Ge 40:3, etc.), changing it only in Eze 19:9, where "cage" better carries out the figure of the context.

See the definition of ward in the KJV Dictionary

The distinction of the older English between "watch" and "ward," as applying respectively to the night and to the day seems unknown in English Versions of the Bible. Compare Isa 21:8.

The affix "-ward," denoting direction and still used in such forms as "toward," "northward," etc., had a much wider range in Biblical English. So, "to God-ward" (Ex 18:19; 2Co 3:4; 1Th 1:8); "to thee-ward" (1Sa 19:4); "to us-ward" (Ps 40:5; Eph 1:19; 2Pe 3:9 the King James Version); "to you-ward" (2Co 1:12; 13:3; Eph 3:2; 2Pe 3:9 the Revised Version (British and American)); and in Ex 37:9, the King James Version "even to the mercy seatward" (the Revised Version (British and American) "toward the mercy-seat").

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

Burton Scott Easton

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