From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

A — 1: Δοῦλος (Strong'S #1401 — Noun — doulos — doo'-los )

an adjective, signifying "in bondage,"  Romans 6:19 (neuter plural, agreeing with mele, "members"), is used as a noun, and as the most common and general word for "servant," frequently indicating subjection without the idea of bondage; it is used (a) of natural conditions, e.g.,   Matthew 8:9;  1—Corinthians 7:21,22 (1st part);   Ephesians 6:5;  Colossians 4:1;  1—Timothy 6:1; frequently in the four Gospels; (b) metaphorically of spiritual, moral and ethical conditions: "servants" (1) of God, e.g.,  Acts 16:17;  Titus 1:1;  1—Peter 2:16;  Revelation 7:3;  15:3; the perfect example being Christ Himself,  Philippians 2:7; (2) of Christ, e.g.,  Romans 1:1;  1—Corinthians 7:22 (2nd part);   Galatians 1:10;  Ephesians 6:6;  Philippians 1:1;  Colossians 4:12;  James 1:1;  2—Peter 1:1;  Jude 1:1; (3) of sin,  John 8:34 (RV, "bondservants");   Romans 6:17,20; (4) of corruption,  2—Peter 2:19 (RV, "bondservants"); cp. the verb douloo (see B). See Bondman.

A — 2: Διάκονος (Strong'S #1249 — Noun — diakonos — dee-ak'-on-os )

for which see Deacon and Note there on synonymous words, is translated "servant" or "servants" in  Matthew 22:13 (RV marg., "ministers"); 23:11 (RV marg., ditto);   Mark 9:35 , AV (RV, "minister");  John 2:5,9;  12:26;  Romans 16:1 .

A — 3: Παῖς (Strong'S #3816 — Noun — pais — paheece )

for which see Child , No. 4, also denotes "an attendant;" it is translated "servant" (a) of natural conditions, in  Matthew 8:6,8,13;  14:2;  Luke 7:7 ("menservants" in   Luke 12:45 );  15:26; (b) of spiritual relation to God, (1) of Israel,  Luke 1:54; (2) of David,  Luke 1:69;  Acts 4:25; (3) of Christ, so declared by God the Father,  Matthew 12:18; spoken of in prayer,  Acts 4:27,30 , RV (AV, "child"); the argument advanced by Dalman for the rendering "Child" in these passages, is not sufficiently valid as against the RV, "Servant" in  Acts 4 , and the AV and RV in  Matthew 12 (cp., e.g., the use of pais in the Sept. of   Genesis 41:38;  Jeremiah 36:24 ). The  Matthew 12 passage by direct quotation, and the   Acts 4 passages by implication, refer to the ideal "Servant of Jehovah" (Sept., pais Kuriou), of   Isaiah 42:1 and following passages, thus identifying the Servant with the Lord Jesus; for the same identification, cp.   Acts 8:35 .

A — 4: Οἰκέτης (Strong'S #3610 — Noun Masculine — oiketes — oy-ket'-ace )

"a house servant" (oikeo, "to dwell," oikos, "a house"), is translated "servant" in  Luke 16:13 (RV marg., "household servant"); so   Romans 14:4;  1—Peter 2:18; in  Acts 10:7 , AV and RV, "household servants."

A — 5: Ὑπηρέτης (Strong'S #5257 — Noun Masculine — huperetes — hoop-ay-ret'-ace )

for which see Minister , No. 3, and Officer is translated "servants" in the AV of  Matthew 26:58;  Mark 14:65 (RV, "officers"); in   John 18:36 , AV and RV (RV, marg., "officers").

A — 6: Θεράπων (Strong'S #2324 — Noun Masculine — therapon — ther-ap'-ohn )

akin to therapeuo, "to serve, to heal, an attendant, servant," is a term of dignity and freedom, used of Moses in  Hebrews 3:5 .

A — 7: Σύνδουλος (Strong'S #4889 — Noun Masculine — sundoulos — soon'-doo-los )

"a fellow servant," is used (a) of natural conditions,  Matthew 18:28,29,31,33;  24:49; (b) of "servants" of the same Divine Lord,  Colossians 1:7;  4:7;  Revelation 6:11; of angels,  Revelation 19:10;  22:9 .

Hired Servant.

B — 1: Δουλόω (Strong'S #1402 — Noun Masculine — douloo — doo-lo'-o )

"to enslave, to bring into bondage" (akin to A, No. 1), e.g.,  1—Corinthians 9:19 , RV, "I brought (myself) under bondage (to all)," AV, "I made myself servant," denotes in the Passive Voice, "to be brought into bondage, to become a slave or servant," rendered "ye became servants (of righteousness)" in  Romans 6:18; "being ... become servants (to God),"  Romans 6:22 . See Bondage , B, No. 2.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [2]

I should not have, stopped at this word, had the general sense of it been the object I had in view to have noticed. Every one is perfectly at home in his apprehension of the term servant, throughout the same time it may be remarked, that perhaps there are but few, even in the common acceptation of the word servant, who are aware how very general, in the extensive sense of the term, it is, as observed in the circumstances among men.

In relation to the character of servant, as it refers to the service the whole creation owe the Lord, we may take up the language of the Psalmist, and say, all things continue, according to JEHOVAH'S ordinance: for all things serve thee. ( Psalms 119:91) "The deceiver and the deceived are his." ( Job 12:16) Wicked men, and devils, as well as the faithful servants of Jehovah may be said to minister to the Lord's will and pleasure; and though not by their intentions, yet by the overruling and sovereign power of God, do carry on his administrations in his almighty government. This doctrine, if it were capable of being opened and explained if all the multiform instances of it, would unfold such a display of wisdom, and of glory, as would call up the everlasting and increasing admiration, love, and praise, of all the intelligent creatures of God to all eternity.

And in relation to the word servant, in the mutual services men owe, and are in fact exercising, of receipt towards one another; here also, the subject is almost boundless. No state, no condition of rank in life, is altogether exempt from it. The King and the beggar have both their respective provinces in life; and as Solomon saith, "the profit of the earth is for all the King himself is served by the field." ( Ecclesiastes 5:9)

But I should not have introduced the word servant in my Poor Man's Concordance, had it been merely to have noticed these things. I have another, and as I hope, a higher object for its introduction; I mean in relation to the person, work, and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ, as JEHOVAH'S servant, and the servant of his people, as set forth in these unequalled words of humility and tenderness, and which are Jesus own, when he said. "The son of man came not to be ministered, unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." ( Matthew 20:28)

This view of the Lord Jesus, as JEHOVAH'S Servant, in the great work of redemption, and the servant of his people, opens to our contemplation, one of the most endearing and most affectionate in all the office-characters of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence we find God the Father speaking of him as such, when calling him by this name. "Behold my Servant, whom I uphold: mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth!" Observe here the Father is speaking to the church of him, and bids the church to accept him, and receive him in this sweet character. And immediately after he speaks to him—"I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people?" ( Isaiah 42:1-8)

In a following chapter, ( Isaiah 49:1-6) we find the Lord Jesus calling to the church, in consequence of this covenant and commission, to accept and receive him in this character. "Listen O isles unto me; and harken ye people from far! the Lord hath called me, from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name; and said unto me, Thou art my Servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified?"

Such then being plainly and evidently the case, that the Lord Jesus Christ is JEHOVAH'S Servant, it will be highly proper and important that every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ should have a just and right conception of the sense in which this is meant in Scripture.

Now it is plain, that as God, and God alone, unconnected with the manhood, the sense of Servant cannot be meant. For he is "one with the Father over all, God blessed for ever." In this equality of nature and of essence, he is not JEHOVAH'S Servant, for he is JEHOVAH'S Fellow. ( Zechariah 13:7) But when in the council of peace, before all worlds, in that covenant transaction which took place for the redemption of our nature between the glorious persons of the Godhead the Son of God undertook to become man, that he might be the Surety and Sponsor of his church and people; here by this infinite condescension, we discover how Christ, as God and man united in one person, might, as he really and truly did, become the servant of JEHOVAH.

And so far was this act of humiliation from lessening the infinite dignity of the Lord Jesus Christ, or in a single circumstance departing from his own essential power and GODHEAD, that had he not been God as well as man, he could not have been a suited person of JEHOVAH'S Servant. And although he did veil the glories of the GODHEAD, during the time of his tabernacling in substance of our flesh here below, yet was it utterly impossible to be a moment void of it; and oftentimes he caused it to burst forth in wonderful display of sovereign glory and power. He, and he only, as God and man in the person, could be the competent Servant, of JEHOVAH to obey and fulfil all righteousness; to cancel and take away all sins by his blood; and as JEHOVAH'S righteous servant, to justify many, and to be "his salvation to the ends of the earth."

I hope the reader will be able from this short relation of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Christ of God, God and man united, to form full and just ideas of the sense in which it is, that our dear Redeemer is JEHOVAH'S Servant. Indeed this character is so peculiarly and personally his own, and his alone, that it is impossible any other should be. And he is so fully and so completely JEHOVAH'S Servant, out of zeal to his Father's glory, and out of pure free unpurchased love to his church, his Spouse, that the proper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in his character, among all his other offices and characters, is life eternal. (See  John 17:3)

And now reader, if the Lord, the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to take of the things of Jesus, and to shew to the people, hath graciously shewn Christ to you in this lovely and endearing character; what a sweetness must your soul find, as often as you hear God the Father calling upon you in that sweet Scripture, to behold his Servant, your Surety, whom JEHOVAH upholds, and in whom his soul delighteth! And how blessed must you be to behold your Lord Jesus as JEHOVAH'S Servant and your Surety, entering, as the Scriptures have set him forth, the service of his Father, magnifying his holy law, and fulfilling all righteousness; yea, more than repairing all the breaches our sins had made, and purchasing for his redeemed a greater abundance of glory and happiness by his righteousness and blood shedding, than a whole eternity will be able to recompence! Oh, what endless glories, even now by faith, break in upon the soul, while contemplating the Father's grace, and Jesus' love, in this great salvation! "Haste, haste my beloved, and until the day break, and the shadows flee away, be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether." ( Song of Song of Solomon 2:17)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

This word sometimes denotes a man who voluntarily dedicates himself to the service of another. Thus Joshua was the servant of Moses; Elisha of Elijah; and Peter, Andrew, Philip, and Paul were servants of Jesus Christ. The servants of Pharaoh, of Saul, and of David, were their subjects in general, and their court officers and counselors in particular. The Philistines, Syrians, and other nation were servants of David, that is, they obeyed and paid him tribute. The servants of God are those who are devoted to his service and obey his holy word.

In its primary sense, the word usually means in the Bible either a hired servant, or one whose service was the property of his master for a limited time and under various restrictions. Joseph is the first whom we read of as sold into bondage,  Genesis 37:27,28 . The households of some of the early patriarchs contained many servants, who were apparently treated with kindness and justice; the highest trusts were sometimes confided to them, and they might inherit their master's estate,  Genesis 14:11-16   15:2-4   24:1-10 . They shared the religious privileges of the household,  Genesis 17:9-13,27   18:19 , and were not transferred to other masters.

At the establishment of the Hebrew commonwealth, involuntary servitude was everywhere prevalent; and so far as it existed among the Jews, Moses sought to bring it under the restrictions demanded by religion and humanity. The mildest form of bond-service was that of a Hebrew in the house of another Hebrew. He might become bound to this service in various ways, chiefly through poverty,  Exodus 21:7   Leviticus 25:39-47; to acquit himself of a debt he could not otherwise pay,  2 Kings 4:1; to make restitution for a theft,  Exodus 22:3; or to earn the price of his ransom for captivity among heathen. This form of service could not continue more than six or seven years; unless, when the Sabbatical year came round, the servant chose to remain permanently or until the Jubilee with his master, in token of which he suffered his ear to be bored before witnesses,  Exodus 21:2,6   25:40 . The Hebrews servant was not to be made to serve with rigor, nor transferred to any harder bondage; he had an appeal to the tribunals, a right to all religious privileges, the power of demanding release on providing a pecuniary equivalent, and a donation from his master at his release,  Leviticus 25:47-55   Deuteronomy 15:12-18 . Compare also  2 Chronicles 28:10,11   Nehemiah 5:1-13   Jeremiah 34:8-22 . The law likewise provided for the deliverance of a Hebrew, who was in bondage to a resident foreigner,  Leviticus 25:47-54 .

From the heathen around and among them, especially from their captive enemies and the remains of the Canaanites, the Hebrew obtained many servants. These were protected by law,  Deuteronomy 1:16,17   27:19 , and might become proselytes, attend the festivals, enjoy religious instruction and privileges,  Exodus 12:44   Deuteronomy 12:18   29:10-13   31:10-13 . The servant who was mutilated by his master was to be set free,  Exodus 21:26,27; the refugee from foreign oppression was to be welcomed,  Deuteronomy 23:15,16; and kidnapping or man stealing was forbidden on pain of death,  Exodus 21:16   Deuteronomy 24:7   1 Timothy 1:10 .

Roman slavery, as it existed in the time of Christ, was comparatively unknown to the Jews. The Romans held in bondage captives taken in war, had purchased slaves. Their bondage was perpetual, and the master held unquestioned control of the person and life of his slaves. Yet large numbers were set free, and in many instances Roman freedmen rose to the highest honors.

The allusion of the Bible to involuntary servitude, imply that it is an evil and undesirable condition of life; yet the bondman who cannot obtain his freedom is divinely exhorted to contentment,  1 Corinthians 7:20-24 . Meanwhile the Bible give directions as to the mutual duties of masters and servants,  Ephesians 6:5-9   Colossians 3:22   4:1   Titus 2:9   Philippians 1:1-25   1 Peter 2:18; and proclaims the great truths of the common origin of all men, the immorality of every human soul, and its right to the Bible and to all necessary means of knowing and serving the Saviorthe application of which to all the relations of master and servant, superior and inferior, employer and employed, would prevent all oppression, which God abhors,  Deuteronomy 24:14   Psalm 103:6   Isaiah 10:1-3   Amos 4:1   Malachi 3:5   James 5:4 .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [4]

Old and New Testaments alike use the one word ‘servant’ to translate a variety of words from the original languages. In many cases the word ‘servant’ is really ‘slave’.

In English ‘slaves’ and ‘servants’ suggest different classes of people, but this distinction is not so clear in the original languages. Often the words are used interchangeably. If there is a difference, it is usually one of suitability to context. ‘Slaves’ may be used of people in relation to their masters, but ‘servants’ in relation to their work. The former may be in a context of submission to a superior (e.g.  Matthew 6:24;  Romans 6:16-18;  Ephesians 6:6-7; see Slave ), the latter in the context of service for others (e.g.  Matthew 20:28 :  Luke 10:40;  Romans 12:7; see Minister ).

A special kind of service

Christians are slaves of God and servants of God ( 1 Corinthians 4:1;  1 Corinthians 7:22-23). They are not to be ashamed of these titles, as if God has denied them ordinary human dignity or reduced them to some low and humiliating status. The Bible uses many pictures to describe the relationship between Christ and his people, and each picture illustrates only one aspect of a many-sided relationship.

Therefore, although Christians are sometimes called Christ’s servants, other times they are called his friends and ambassadors. Service for him is a privilege ( John 15:15;  John 15:20;  2 Corinthians 5:20). Christ himself is an example of the sort of servant a Christian should be ( Luke 22:27;  John 13:12-15; see Servant Of The Lord ).

Service for God can take many forms. It may consist of giving practical aid to those who are poor, hungry, or otherwise in need ( Romans 15:25;  1 Timothy 5:10;  2 Timothy 1:18;  Hebrews 6:10). Some people serve God through ministries of spreading the gospel and caring for churches ( Acts 6:4;  Acts 20:24;  1 Corinthians 16:15;  2 Corinthians 3:6;  Ephesians 3:7;  Ephesians 4:11-12;  Colossians 4:17); others serve him by praying for those engaged in such works ( Romans 15:30-31;  2 Corinthians 1:11;  Philippians 1:19). The title ‘deacon’, given to certain people who have various responsibilities in the church, means ‘servant’ ( Philippians 1:1;  1 Timothy 3:8; see Deacon ).

Motives and performance

Regardless of the special ministries entrusted to certain people, all Christians are in some sense God’s servants. They have unlimited possibilities of service, and should consider that everything they do is a way of serving their Lord ( Ephesians 6:5-8;  Colossians 3:23). The service does not have to be in a religious setting. Christ sees everyday acts of kindness as service for him, even though the doers of those acts may not be aware of it ( Matthew 25:35-40). On the other hand, people may give an appearance of serving God, but if their chief concern is self-interest, they are not serving God at all ( Matthew 6:24).

To serve Christ means to serve others ( Matthew 25:35-40), and those who serve others receive God’s rewards ( Matthew 20:25-28;  Matthew 23:11-12). This does not mean that Christians serve God solely for what they can get in return. On the contrary they realize that whatever service they do is merely their duty ( Luke 17:10). Yet God graciously promises to reward those who serve him faithfully ( Matthew 25:21;  Luke 19:17;  Hebrews 6:10;  Revelation 2:19;  Revelation 2:26; see Reward ).

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Servant. This word is frequently used in our version of both Testaments, when "slave" would have been much more fitting. Joshua was Moses' attendant,  Exodus 24:13;  Exodus 33:11—clerk or secretary we might in modern language say—it being understood that the designation in the last-named passage does not define Joshua's age. But the words ʾEbed, implying "laborer" in Hebrew, and Doulos in Greek, are spoken of slaves. It does not at all follow, because the Mosaic law and the Christian dispensation found slavery existing in the world, and made regulations for it, that God approved the system of one man's holding another as his property. Laws have to deal with persons as they are, in order to make them what they ought to be. The kidnapping or unlawful stealing of men for slavery was branded as a capital crime.  Exodus 21:16;  Deuteronomy 24:7;  1 Timothy 1:10. Slaves among the Hebrews were of two general classes: I. Hebrews; II. Non-Hebrews. I. Hebrews. There were three ways by which a Hebrew might become a slave: 1. Poverty. He might sell himself in default of payment of debt.  Leviticus 25:39. 2. Theft. When he could not pay the amount required.  Exodus 22:1;  Exodus 22:3. According to Josephus, he could only be sold to a Hebrew. 3. Parents could sell their daughters as maid-servants, but they were ultimately to be their masters' concubines.  Exodus 21:7. There were three ways by which the servitude might end: 1. When the debt or other obligation was met. 2. When the year of Jubilee had come.  Leviticus 25:40. 3. At the conclusion of six years of service.  Exodus 21:2;  Deuteronomy 15:12. Indeed no servitude could last longer than six years. The owner was expressly forbidden to "rule over him with rigor."  Leviticus 25:43. Nor was he suffered to go away empty, but must be furnished liberally out of the flock, out of the floor, and out of the wine-press.  Deuteronomy 15:14. A slave might even marry a daughter of his master.  1 Chronicles 2:35. In the case of a female Hebrew slave, there was not the release at the end of six years: but if marriage with the owner or his son did not take place, she was not to be sold to a foreigner, but "he shall cause her to be redeemed," I.E. , he should return her to her father or find her another Hebrew master, or else free her absolutely.  Exodus 21:7-11. When Hebrews became the slaves of non-Hebrews, they might be redeemed or redeem themselves, or else go free at the year of Jubilee. Jewish Hebrew slavery terminated at the captivity. II. Non-Hebrews. They were mostly captives made in war from the neighboring tribes, but besides were purchased of dealers.  Leviticus 25:45;  Genesis 14:14;  Ecclesiastes 2:7. This sort of slavery survived the captivity, but was opposed by the Pharisees. Thirty shekels seems to have been the average price of a slave.  Exodus 21:32. Slaves were protected against violence; for if they lost an eye or a tooth from rough handling they got their liberty.  Exodus 21:26-27. To kill one was murder.  Leviticus 24:17;  Leviticus 24:22. They had full religious privileges, since they were circumcised.  Genesis 17:12.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

1. The words ebed and δοῦλος (those most commonly used for 'servant') convey the idea of bondmen or slaves. Some were bought with money and some were taken in war: cf. also  Exodus 22:3 . Such a servant, if circumcised, might among the Israelites eat of the Passover — as bought he belonged to the family; but a hired servant might not.  Exodus 12:44,45 : cf.  Leviticus 22:11 . (So Gentiles, though aliens, bought with the blood of Christ, have all the privilege of grace.) Children born of these would also be the property of the master.  Exodus 21:4 . This form of servitude, though a result of sin, was recognised by the Mosaic law, and rules were given respecting it, and for the protection of the slaves.

In the N.T. Paul sent back Onesimus, a runaway slave, to his master, who was a Christian, and did not demand his liberation: but he beautifully puts before Philemon that he should possess Onesimus no longer as a slave, but as a brother beloved. The effects of sin were in the world, and God did not introduce Christianity in order to set the world right; but, while shedding light upon everything, and proclaiming grace to all, God's purpose was "to take out of the nations a people for his name." Christianity inculcated equal treatment of slaves, as we see in several of the epistles in which masters are addressed: 'men-stealers' are condemned.  1 Timothy 1:10 .

Christian bondservants are declared to be the Lord's 'freemen,'  1 Corinthians 7:22 , and words of encouragement are addressed to them.

Paul, James, Peter, and Jude all call themselves 'bondmen of the Lord,' and Christians generally are thus designated. The Lord Himself said, "I am among you as he that serveth,"  Luke 22:27; and now in heaven He serves His own as Intercessor and Advocate. He speaks also of a future day when He will gird Himself, make His servants sit down, and will come forth and serve them, thus being a minister to servants!  Luke 12:37 .

2. παῖς, 'a child,' irrespective of age, and hence used for servant.  Matthew 8:6,8,13;  Matthew 14:2;  Luke 7:7;  Luke 12:45;  Luke 15:26;  Acts 4:25 . The word is applied to Christ in  Matthew 12:18;  Acts 3:13,26 (translated 'Son');   Acts 4:27,30 (translated 'child'); and to Israel and to David in   Luke 1:54,69 .

3. οἰκέτης, 'household servant.'   Luke 16:13;  Acts 10:7;  Romans 14:4;  1 Peter 2:18 .

4. ὑπηρέτης, 'one under authority,' an official servant.   Matthew 26:58;  Mark 14:54,65;  John 18:36 . Also translated 'minister' and officer.'

5. θεράπων, 'retainer, servant.'   Hebrews 3:5 .

6. μισθωτός, μίσθιος, 'hired servant.'   Mark 1:20;  Luke 15:17,19; cf.  Matthew 20 . The word is translated 'hireling' in  John 10:12,13 . See DEACON,and SLAVE.

King James Dictionary [7]

Serv'Ant, L servans, from servo, to keep or hold properly one that waits, that is, stops, holds, attends, or one that is bound.

1. A person, male or female, that attends another for the pupose of performing menial offices for him, ot who is employed by another for such offices or for other labor, and is subject to his command. The word is correlative to master. Servant differs from slave, as the servant's subjection to a master is voluntary, the slave's is not. Every slave is a servant, but every servant is not a slave.

Servants are of various kinds as household or domestic servants, menial servants laborers, who are hired by the day, week or other term, and do not reside with their employers, ot if they board in the same house, are employed abroad and not in the domestic services apprentices, who are bound for a term of years to serve a master, for the purpose of learning his trade or occupation.

In a legal sense, stewards, factors, bailifs and other agents, are servants for the time they are employed in such character, as they act in subordination to others.

2. One in a state of subjection. 3.In Scripture, a slave a bondman one purchased for money, and who was compelled to serve till the year of jubilee also, one purchased for a term of years. 4. The subject of a king as the servents of David or of Saul.

The Syrians became servants to David.  2 Samuel 8 .

5. A person who voluntarily serves another or acts as his minister as joshua was the servant of Moses, and the apostles the apostles the servants of Christ. So Christ himself is called a servant,  Isaiah 42 . Moses is called the servant of the Lord, Duet. 34. 6. A person employed or used as an unstrument in accomplishing God's purposes of mercy or wrath. So Nebuchadnezzar is called the servant of God.  Jeremiah 25 . 7. One who yields obedience to another. The saints are called servants of God, or of righteousness and the wicked are called the servants of sin. 8. That which yields obedience, or acts on subordination as an instrument. 9. One that makes painful sacrifices in compliance with the weakness or wants of others. 10. A person of base condition or ignoble spirit. 11. A word of civilith. I am, sir, your humble or obedient servant.

Our betters tell us they are our humble servants, but understand us to be their slaves. Swift.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

The word generally signifies a slave. For formerly among the Hebrews, and the neighbouring nations, the greater part of servants were slaves, that is to say, they belonged absolutely to their masters, who had a right to dispose of their persons, their bodies, goods, and even of their lives, in some cases. The Hebrews had two sorts of servants or slaves,  Leviticus 25:44-45 , &c. Some were strangers, either bought, or taken in the wars. The others were Hebrew slaves, who, being poor, sold themselves, or were sold to pay their debts; or were delivered up for slaves by their parents, in cases of necessity. This sort of Hebrew slaves continued in slavery but to the year of jubilee; then they might return to liberty again, and their masters could not retain them against their wills. If they would continue voluntarily with their masters, they were brought before the judges; there they made a declaration, that for this time they disclaimed the privilege of the law, had their ears bored with an awl, by applying them to the doorposts of their master,  Exodus 21:2;  Exodus 21:5-7 , &c; and after that they had no longer any power of recovering their liberty, except at the next year of jubilee. Servant is also taken for a man that dedicates himself to the service of another, by the choice of his own will and inclination. Thus Joshua was the servant of Moses, Elisha of Elijah, Gehazi of Elisha; St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. Philip, and the rest, were servants of Jesus Christ.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [9]

Na'Ar , Meshareth . In our sense, "a free, voluntary attendant", as Joshua of Moses ( Exodus 33:11; so  2 Kings 4:12;  2 Kings 4:43;  2 Kings 5:20;  2 Kings 6:15 margin "minister";  2 Samuel 13:17-18;  1 Kings 20:14-15). 'Εbed on the other hand is "a bondservant or slave".

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) One in a state of subjection or bondage.

(2): ( n.) A professed lover or suitor; a gallant.

(3): ( v. t.) To subject.

(4): ( n.) One who serves, or does services, voluntarily or on compulsion; a person who is employed by another for menial offices, or for other labor, and is subject to his command; a person who labors or exerts himself for the benefit of another, his master or employer; a subordinate helper.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [11]

Servant. See Slave .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

SERVANT . See next art. and Slave.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [13]

See Ministry, Slave.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

(usually עֶבֶד , Ebed, Δοῦλος , which are invariably rendered thus in the A.V. or else "bondman;" but "servant" is occasionally the rendering of נִעִר ,Na ' Ar, properly a Lad or "young man;" or מְשָׁרֵת , Meshareth [ Exodus 33:11;  Numbers 11:28;  2 Samuel 13:17-18;  Proverbs 29:12], a Minister, as elsewhere rendered; Gr. in like manner sometimes Παῖς , Διάκονος , etc.). (See Ebed). The Hebrew terms Na 'Ar and Meshareth, which alone answer to our "servant," in so far as this implies the notions of liberty and voluntariness, are of comparatively rare occurrence. On the other hand, Ebed, which is common in the A.V., properly means a Slave. In many passages the correct reading would add considerable force to the meaning e.g. in  Genesis 9:25, "Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be unto his brethren;" in  Deuteronomy 5:15, "Remember that thou wast a slave in the land of Egypt;" in  Job 3:19, "The slave is free from his master;" and particularly in passages where the speaker uses the term of himself, as in  Genesis 18:3, "Pass not away, I pray thee, from thy slave." Slavery was, in point of fact, the normal condition of the underling in the Hebrew commonwealth, while the terms above given refer to the exceptional cases of young or confidential attendants. Joshua, for instance, is described as at once the Na 'Ar and Meshareth of Moses ( Exodus 33:11); Elisha's servant sometimes as the former ( 2 Kings 4:12; 2 Kings 5, 20), sometimes as the latter (4:43; 6:15). Amnon's servant was a Meshareth ( 2 Samuel 13:17-18), while young Joseph was a Na 'Ar to the sons of Bilhah ( Genesis 37:2, where instead of "the lad was with," we should read "he was the servant boy to" the sons of Bilhah). The confidential designation mesharath is applied to the priests and Levites in their relation to Jehovah ( Ezra 8:17;  Isaiah 61:6;  Ezekiel 44:11), and the cognate verb to Joseph after he found favor with Potiphar ( Genesis 39:4), and to the nephews of Ahaziah ( 2 Chronicles 22:8). In  1 Kings 20:14-15, we should substitute "servants" ( Na 'Ar ) for "young men." (See Hireling); (See Slave).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

sûr´vant ( עבד , ‛ebhedh  ; δοῦλος , doúlos ): A very common word with a variety of meanings, all implying a greater or less degree of inferiority and want of freedom: (1) The most frequent usage is as the equivalent of "slave" (which see), with its various shades in position (  Genesis 9:25;  Genesis 24:9;  Exodus 21:5;  Matthew 10:24;  Luke 17:7 , and often); but also a hired workman where "hired servant" translates Hebrew and Greek expressions which differ from the above. (2) An attendant in the service of someone, as Joshua was the "servant" the Revised Version (British and American) "minister" of Moses ( Numbers 11:28 ). (3) As a 'term of respectful self-depreciation referring to one's self, "thy servant." or "your servant" is used in place of the personal pronoun of the first person: ( a ) in the presence of superiors ( Genesis 19:2;  Genesis 32:18 , and often); ( b ) in addressing the Supreme Being ( 1 Samuel 3:9;  Psalm 19:11;  Psalm 27:9;  Luke 2:29 , and often). (4) Officials of every grade are called the "servants" of kings, princes, etc. ( 1 Samuel 29:3;  2 Samuel 16:1;  1 Kings 11:26;  Proverbs 14:35 , and often). (5) The position of a king in relation to his people ( 1 Kings 12:7 ). (6) One who is distinguished as obedient and faithful to God or Christ ( Joshua 1:2;  2 Kings 8:19;  Daniel 6:20;  Colossians 4:12;  2 Timothy 2:24 ). (7) One who is enslaved by sin ( John 8:34 ).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

Servant [SLAVE]