In the Authorized Version this one English word is the representative of no less than ten Hebrew and four Greek words.
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
- The chief of a tribe or family.
- A ruler in his capacity of lawgiver and dispenser of justice.
- A ruler consider especially as having power over the property and persons of his subjects. ( Genesis 24:2 ; Joshua 12:2 ; Psalms 100:20 ) The "governors of the people," in ( 2 Chronicles 23:20 ) appear to have been the kings body-guard; cf. ( 2 Kings 11:19 )
- A prominent personage, whatever his capacity. It is applied to a king as the military and civil chief of his people, ( 2 Samuel 5:2 ; 6:21 ; 1 Chronicles 29:22 ) to the general of an army, ( 2 Chronicles 32:21 ) and to the head of a tribe. ( 2 Chronicles 19:11 ) It denotes an officer of high rank in the palace, the lord high chamberlain. ( 2 Chronicles 28:7 ) It is applied in ( 1 Kings 10:15 ) to the petty chieftains who were tributary to Solomon, ( 2 Chronicles 9:14 ) to the military commander of the Syrians, ( 1 Kings 20:24 ) the Assyrians, ( 2 Kings 18:24 ; 23:8 ) the Chaldeans, ( Jeremiah 51:23 ) and the Medes. ( Jeremiah 51:38 ) Under the Persian viceroys, during the Babylonian captivity, the land of the Hebrews appears to have been portioned out among "governors" (pachoth ) inferior in rank to the satraps, ( Ezra 8:30 ) like the other provinces which were under the dominion of the Persian king. ( Nehemiah 2:7 Nehemiah 2:9 ) It is impossible to determine the precise limits of their authority or the functions which they had to perform. It appears from ( Ezra 6:8 ) that these governors were intrusted with the collection of the kings taxes; and from ( Nehemiah 5:18 ; 12:26 ) that they were supported by a contribution levied upon the people, which was technically termed "the bread of the governor" comp. ( Ezra 4:14 ) They were probably assisted in discharging their official duties by A council. ( Ezra 4:7 ; 6:6 ) The "governor" beyond the river had a judgment-seat beyond Jerusalem, from which probably he administered justice when making a progress through his province. ( Nehemiah 3:7 ) At the time of Christ Judea was a Roman province, governed by a procurator (governor) appointed by Rome.
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Governor'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.