(Ac 21:38 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "assassins"): Represents a word only once mentioned in the New Testament, the Greek word sikarios, Latin sicarius from sica, "a small sword," or "dagger." The word describes the hired assassin, of whom there were bands in the pay of agitators in Rome in the last days of the Republic, who employed them to remove surreptitiously their political opponents. In the later days of the Jewish commonwealth, Judea became infested with the same type of ruffian, and it is natural that the Roman commandant at Jerusalem should describe them by the name so well known in the imperial city.

See Assassins.

T. Nicol.