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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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In the O.T. there are eleven words so translated, with a variety of meanings and applications. God ordained the moon and the stars. Psalm 8:3 . Jeroboam ordained priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. 2 Chronicles 11:15 . None of God's priests or prophets were ordained, in the sense now understood by that word, as inducting into some spiritual place, with power and authority imparted by man. In Jeremiah 1:5 , where God said to the prophet, "I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations," the word translated 'ordained' is nathan, which means simply 'to give,' as in the margin. See also 2 Kings 23:5 .

In the N.T. there are ten words translated 'ordain.' The passages that might seem to have some reference to the impartation of a sacerdotal supremacy are:

1. Christ ordained his twelve apostles. Mark 3:14 . Here the word is ποιέω, 'to do, make.'

2. Matthias was ordained to take the place of Judas, Acts 1:22 : γίγνομαι, 'to become.'

3. Paul ordained elders in every city, Acts 14:23 : χειροτονέω, 'to appoint by stretching out the hand:' this is translated 'chosen' in 2 Corinthians 8:19 .

4. Paul said, "I am ordained a preacher and an apostle," 1 Timothy 2:7 : τίθημι, 'to put, place:' cf. John 15:16 .

5. Elders ordained, and high priests ordained, Titus 1:5 ; Hebrews 5:1 ; Hebrews 8:3 : καθίστημι, 'toplace, appoint.' The meanings of the Greek words show that, though elders were appointed by the apostles and were called 'bishops,' there was no sacerdotal power conveyed thereby, nor was any authority to continue such appointments handeddown.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Ordain '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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