Governor a term used by the A.V. to denote various degrees of authority and power absolute and limited, acquired by birth or by election, military and civil. The numerous and mostly vague original terms are found in other passages translated by "ruler," "chief," "prince, "captain," etc.
1. נָגִיד nagid' (Phcan. נָגִדָא נָגִד; Ar. najid; Syr. nagida; from נָגִד, a verb only used in Hiph. and Hoph. in the signification of to tell). The original meaning of this root is to rise, to become conspicuous, visible, to be in front (comp. נֶגֶד), pacesto, vorstehen, to lead, to be first (compare Germ. Fürst=prince). The noun נָגִיד therefore, denoten a prominent personage, whatever his capacity, and is used of a chief or praefect, "governor" of the royal palace, Azriksm (2Ch 28:7; compare 1Ki 4:6; Isa 22:15; οἰκόνομος, chamberlain, secretary of state), whose power (מֶמשֶׁלֶת) seems to have been very considerable (compare Isa 22:21 sq. "Shebnah... a nail to the throne"), and who, it would appear, was distinguished from the aother court officers by a particularly brilliant uniform (girdle and robe), and to whose insignia belonged a key worn over the shoulder. In a wider sense the word is applied to the chief of the Temple: Azariah, the high-priest, "a ruler of the house of God." (1Ch 9:11; comp. 2Ch 31:13); Pasur, "chief governor of the house of God" (Jer 20:1); further, to the "leader of the aronites," Jehoiadah (1Ch 12:27). Again,"it is used of the keeper of the sacred treasury, "Shebuel, ruler of the treasures" (1Ch 26:24); of the chieftains of a tribe, "Zebadiab, the ruler of the house of Judah" (2Ch 19:11) of the "captains" of the army (1Ch 13:1; 2Ch 32:21); of the oldest son of the kiteg, the heir apparent, "Abijab, the son of Maacbah [the chief], to be ruler among his brethren" (2Ch 11:22). It is finally applied to the king himself: to Saul (A. Vers. "anoint him to be captain, "1Sa 9:16, etc.), to "Messiah [the Anointed], the Prince" (Da 9:25, etc.). In the plural the word occurs in the more, general sense of aristocracy, "Nobles" (Pr 8:16). The Targum renders שופטיהם "their judges," by מנגיִדיהון and in the Talmud נגידא is used parabalically for "leader of a flock." "'When the shepherd is angry with his flock he gives it a blind leader"' (Baba K. 52) — a corrupt generation to which God appoints a bad king. How far the Talmudical use of נגד, in the sense of "flagellate" (Pes. 52) and of "extend'' (Baba Mez. 74), may be connected with the notion of supremacy, reign, we cannot decide here.
2. נָשַׁא, nasi' (from נָשִׂא, to carry, lift up; lit. raised, exalted, elected; Sept. ἡγούμενος, ἄρχων), a word applied to the chiefs of. the families of which a. tribe was composed (Nu 3:24,30,32,35; Nu 16:2, etc.; as many as 250 on one occasion, Nu 16:2);. And who, as deputies (commoners) at the National Assembly, are also called Nasis of the congregation, or Nasis of Israel (elected, called to the assembly). But it was also used, of the twelve supreme chiefs of the triales themselves (Nu 2:3 sq.; 7:2 sq.; 3:32, etc.). Both these dignities, the chiefdom of a family as well as that of a tribe, would appear to have been elective corresponding to the word נָשִׂיא not hereditary, as Michaelis and Winer hold. The Nasi of Judah, e.g. Nahshon ben-Aminadab, does not descend from the first line of the tribe (Numbers 2; compare 1Ch 2:9-10). The Nasi of Issachars again, is called Nathaniel ben- Shuar, a name not found among the eldest sons of this tribe (1Ch 7:1-3). Finally, in the table of the Nasis — no doubt the chiefs of the tribes — to whom the division of the Promised Land was intrusted by Moses at his death no son of the Nasts of the desert occurs (Munk, Palaest. page 194). נָישַׁא is further employed for generals, under a head (ראשׁ), 1Ch 7:40; of Abraham, a Nasi of God, a mighty sheik; for non-Israelitish "princes:" of the Midianites (Jos 13:21), and of the Hivites (Shechem) (Ge 34:2). On the Maccabaean coins Simeon is called "Nasi of Israel." Nasi was also the official name of the president of the Sanhedrim (under whom stood the "father of the tribunal, or vice-president"), whose seat was in the middle of the seventy-one manem bers (Maim. Jad. Chaz. 14, Syn. 1).
3. פָּקִיד, paktd' (from פָּקִד, to appoint), an officer, official, magistrate, applied to the ecclesiastical delegate of the high-priest, who, together with the king's scribe, had to empty the chest cotaining the contribution to the Temple (2Ch 24:11); to the Levites (Ne 11:22);. to the "chief " of the Temple (Jer 1:2); to "officers in the house of the Lord" (Jer 29:26); to a military commander (2Ki 25:19; Jeremiah 53:25), and to his adjutant or principal manager (Jg 9:28). Further, to the officers whom Joseph suggested that Pharaoh should put over Egypt during the years of the famine (Ge 41:34); to those who were to gather all the virgins unto Shushan for Ahasuerus (Es 2:3); to praefects, "overseers," etc. (Ne 11:9; Ne 12:42); and, finally, to the nobles or "princes" of the king (Jer 20:1; 2Ch 35:8).
4. שִׁלִּיט, Shallit', Heb. and Aram. (from שָׁלִט to rule, have power, Arab. id. comp. Sultan); "one who hath power" (Ec 8:8); "Arioch, the king's captain" (Da 2:15); "Joseph, the governor over the land" (Ge 42:6); a "mighty man" or hero (Ec 7:19); a "king" or satrap (Ezr 4:20); Daniel, the third "ruler" (Da 5:29), etc. The verb שָׁלִט is also used in later Hebrew in the sense "to have power," of evil hours, evil spirits, etc
⇒See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
5. אִלּוּŠ, Allûph´ (from אָלִŠ; Arab. id. to join, etc.); originally, one who is put over a "thousand," or אֶלֶŠ viz. the round number of families which constitute a clan or subdivision of a tribe; (comp. old Saxon "Hundred"). It is first used of the chiefs, "dukes," of Edom (Ge 36; 1Ch 1:51); we find it at a later period also applied to Jewish chiefs (Zec 9:7; Zec 12:5-6). This word is not to be confounded either with the captain of a body of a thousand men, or with the "rulers of thousands," a kind of magistrates selected by Moses, on the advice of Jethro, for the purpose of judging the smaller matters during the sojourn of the Israelites in the desert; and who were, at a later period, superseded by the regular institution of the judges. The further use of the word in the sense of "friend" (parallel with רֵ , companion, Mic 7:5; Pr 16:28, or מיֻרָ , acquaintance, Ps 55:14) must be traced directly to the root (אָלִŠ, to accustom one's self). It may further be noticed here that Mt 2:6 seems to have read the passage in Mic 5:2, בּאִלפֵי,
יהוּדָה "among the thousands [clans] of Judah," as בּאִלּוּפֵי יהוּדה"among the princes of Judah." Derived from the partic. act. (Kal and Piel) are the following four: 6. מהֹקֵק חֹקֵק, Chokêk´, Mechokek' (from חָקִק), lit. an engraver, a writer — scil. of laws (חֵקֶק חֻקִּק חֹק, law, decree); a lawgiver (Ge 49:10; De 33:21); one who decides by the law: a judge (Isa 10:1, parallel with "they that write;" with "they that handle the pen of the writer," Jg 5:14); "the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king" (Isa 33:22); "princes decree justice" (Pr 8:15), etc. The Talmud has retained the original meaning of engraving, painting, writing, e.g. יונתן חקוקה (Gem. Pes. 1, a), is explained by "of the engravers, scribes" (Aruch, s.v.), and the imitation implied in the notion of "drawing" has become fixed in the word ür. (Talm. Chul. 41, b, "that he shall not imitate the Sadducees").
7. משֵׁל, Moshel' (מָשֵׁל, to be strong), one who reigns, holds dominion, "rules;" used for nearly all degrees of power: of the taskmaster of the ant (Pr 6:7), the husband who rules his wife (Ge 3:16), Eliezer, who had the management of Abraham's house (Ge 24:2), Joseph, the second in command over a country (Ge 45:8), an absolute king (Ps 105:20; Isa 16:1); also in the bad sense of despot (Isa 14:5); of the Messiah (Mic 5:1); of God (1Ch 29:12; Ps 103:19), etc. No less is the word applied.to the sway which the sun and moon hold over day and night (Ge 1:18 ["eomnium moderator et dux sol," Cic. Tusc. 1:68; sol coeli rector," Pliny, 2:4]). In the Talmudical tract Jad. 76, מושל is used for Pharaoh.
8. שִׂר, Sar (from שָׂרִר,.to rule, reign; comp. Phcen. סדאסיד סרגד; Assyr. סד, king, e.g. "Nabukudurrusur Sar Babilu," Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Inscr. Borsippa, etc.), a word used of nearly all degrees of chiefdom or wardenship. It is applied to the chief baker of Pharaoh (Ge 40:16), to the chief butler (Ge 40:2), to the "ruler over the cattle" (Ge 47:6), to the keeper of the prison (Ge 39:21), to the taskmaster of the Israelites (Ex 1:11), to the "prince of the eunuchs" (Da 1:7), to the "master of the song," Chenaniah (1Ch 15:27); further, to prsefects, civil or military, of very limited or very extensive authority: Zebul, the "ruler of Shechem" (Jg 10:18); "Amon, the governor of the city" (1Ki 22:26);
prefects of the provinces (1Ki 20:15); "decurion" (Ex 18:21); "a captain of fifty," πεντηκόνταρχος (2Ki 1:18); captains (judges) over hundreds (De 1:15); over a thousand (1Sa 18:3); over many thousands (1Ch 15:25); "captain over half of the chariots of war" (1Ki 16:9); "captain of the host" (2Sa 24:2); general-in-chief (Ge 21:22; 1Sa 12:9): hence used after God of hosts of God himself (Da 8:11). It occurs by itself in the absolute state as a parallel to "judge:" "who has made the a prince and a judge over us?" (Ex 2:14); to "elder" (Ezr 10:8), to "counselor" (Ezr 8:25), to "king" (Ho 3:4). The merchants of Tyre are called שָׂרִים, merchant princes (Isa 23:9); the same term is applied to noblemen and courtiers, "the princes of Pharaoh"' (Ge 12:15); "princes of Zoan" (Isa 19:11,13) The priests are called chiefs or princes of the sanctuary (Isa 43:28; 1Ch 25:5), and the chiefpriests again are called princes of the priests. Gradually the word came to be used of angels, as patrons and representatives of special nations (guardian angels): of Persia (Da 10:13,20); of Greece (Da 10:20); of Israel (Da 10:21); Michael, "the great prince" (Da 12:1); the chief princes (10:13); "the Prince of princes" God (8:25; comp. Sept. in De 32:8). The use of שִׂד as guardian angel is retained in, the Midrash, but the word is also applied in the Talmud to "a hero at the table, a mighty drinker" (Nidd. 16, etc.). SEE CAPTAIN.
Of foreign origin is,
9. פֶּחָה, Pechah", פִּחָה, פִּח; Josephus, ἔπαρχος, of Tatnai (Ant. 11:4, 4). This word has been variously derived from the Persian for "magnates" (Bohlen); Persic "to cook"' (Ewald); Persic for "Satelles," "Pedisequus" (Gesenius); from; the Turkish for "general" (Frahn); from the Assyrian Pa/kha (Sanscr. Pakhshca); whence pasha — friend [of the king], adjutant, governor of a province (Benfey, Stern); from the Arab. Pe, "the lower," and gh, "royal office" = Pegah, sub-king (Furst); from the Arab. verb פחו, wallen" (Jahn); and, finally, from the Hebrew פחה = חקק ταγέω. It is applied to a subpraefect of a province, who is subject to the authority of the praefect or real governor, in contradistinction. from אחשדרפון, a satrap (Es 8:9); from שִׁן (ib.); from סָגָן, "sagan," municipal officer (Jer 51:28); and from מֶלֶך, "king" or sub-king (2Ch 9:14). It is used of the "chiefs" of provinces in the Assyrian (2Ki 18:24; Isa 36:9), Babylonian [Chaldee]
(Jer 51:57; Eze 23:6,23; Da 3:2), Median, and Persian empires (Jer 51:28; Es 3:12; Es 8:9). Palestine stood, while under Persian dominion, under such officers, called "praefects over the river" (Euphrates), whose official residence [כסא] was in Jerusalem (Ne 3:7; Ezr 5:3; Ezr 6:6; Ne 2:7,9). They were also called praefects of Judah (Hag 1:1); e.g. Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:63; Hag 2:21, etc.); Nehemiah, who succeeded Sheshbazzar (Ne 5:5,14;: 18:12). The word seems to have been adopted intothe Hebrew idiom at an early period, since we find it used in 1Ki 10:15 (2Ch 9:14) of the tributary chieftains "of the country" — together with the "kings of Arabia;" further, of Syrian captains to be put in the room of the (vice) kings at the.time of Ben-hadad (1Ki 20:24); and, finally, it passed current for any person in high authority who was to be propitiated by gifts (Mal 1:8). With respect to the פ8 of Judaea, introduced by Persian rule, it would appear that their remuneration ("bread of the governor," Ezr 4:14) consisted partly in kind, partly in money ("bread, wine, and forty shekels of silver," Ne 5:15), chargeable upon the people (Ne 5:18: "One ox and six choice sheep, also fowls, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine"). Their office seems chiefly to have consisted in collecting the taxes of the province (Ezr 6:8); an office at a later period in the hands of the high-priest, and still later let out on lease. SEE PAHATH-MOAB.
10. The Chaldee term סגִן, Segan' (in,the plur סִגנִין) is applied (Da 3:2,27; Da 6:8) to the governors of the Babylonian satrapies, in a general way, in connection with other official terms, from which it is not clearly distinguishable, except that it appears to designate the provincial prsefects or viceroys; and elsewhere (Da 2:48) it is applied to the praefects over the Magi, of whom one is especially entitled as chief or supreme (דִב) over his colleagues. The corresponding Heb. term סָגָן, sagan', is spoken of the provincial rulers under the Chaldee supremacy (Jer 2:23,28,37, where it distinguished from פֶּחָה, above; Eze 23:6,12,23; comp. Isa 41:25); also to the chiefs and rulers of the people of Jerusalem under the Persian supremacy (Ezr 9:2; Ne 2:16; Ne 4:8,13; Ne 5:7,17; Ne 7:5; Ne 12:40; Ne 13:11; in many of which passages it is associated with other titles of office or honor); and in the Targums it is used of the vicar of the high-priest, or the presiding officer of the Temple.
Corresponding to this term are the modern Persian, Arabic, and Syriac words for satrap. It is apparently of Sanscrit origin.
The Greek terms rendered in the N.T. "governor" are the following, of which the first two relate to public or military officers, and the last two to domestic usages:
11. Ε᾿θνάρχης, Ethnarch (2Co 11:32), an officer of rank under Aretas, the Arabian king of Damascus. It is not easy to determine the capacity in which he acted. The term is applied in 1 Macc. 14:47; 15:1, to Simon the high-priest, who was made general and ethnarch of the Jews as a vassal of Demetrius. From this the office would appear to be distinct from a military command. The jurisdiction of Archelaus, called .by Josephus (War, 2:6, 3) an ethnarchy, extended over Idumaea and all Judaea, the half of his father's kingdom, which he held as the emperor's vassal.: But, on' the other hand, Strabo (17:13), in enumerating the officers who formed part of the machinery of the Roman government in Egypt, mentions ethnarchs apparently as inferior both to the military commanders, .and to the monarchs, or governors of districts. Again, the praefect of the colony of Jews in Alexandria (called by Philo
12. ῾Ηγεμών, the Procurator of Judaea under the Romans (Mt 27:2, etc.). The verb is employed (Lu 2:2, etc.) to denote the nature of the jurisdiction of Quirinus over the imperial province of Syria (see Gerlach, Die romischen Statthalterin Syrien und Judaea, Berl. 1865). SEE PROCURATOR.
13. Οἰκονομός (Ga 4:2), a steward, apparently intrusted with the management of a minor's property. SEE STEWARD.
14. Α᾿ρχιτρίκλινος (Joh 2:9), "the governor of the feast." It has been conjectured, but without much show of probability, that this officer corresponded to the συμποσίαρχος of the Greeks, whose duties are described by Plutarch (Sympos. Quaest. 4), and to the arbiter ibendi of the Romans. Lightfoot supposes him to have been a kind of chaplain, who pronounced the blessings upon the wine that was drunk during the seven days of the marriage feast. Again, some have taken him to be equivalent to the τραπεζοποιός, who is defined by Pollux (Onom. 6:1) as one who had the charge of all the servants at a feast, the carvers, cup-bearers, cooks, etc. But there is nothing in the narrative of the marriage feast at Cana which would lead to the supposition that the ἀρχιτρίκλινος held the rank of a servant. He appears rather to have been on intimate terms with the bridegroom, and to have presided at the banquet in his stead. The duties of the master of a feast are given at full length in Ecclus. 35 (32). SEE ARCHITRICLINUS.
In the apocryphal books, in addition to the common words ἄρχων, δεσπότης, στρατηγός, which are rendered "governor," we find ἐπιστάτης (1 Esdr. 1:8; Judith 2:14), which closely corresponds to פָּקִיד; ἔπαρχος used of Zerubbabel and Tatnai (1 Esdr. 6:3, 29; 7:1), and προστάτης, applied to Sheshbazzar (1 Esdr. 2:12), both of which represent פֶּהָה; ἱεροστάτης (1 Esdr. 7:2) and προστάτης τοῦ ἱεροῦ (2 Macc. 3:4), "the governor of the temple"=נָגִיד (comp. 2Ch 35:8); and σατράπης (1 Esdr. 3:2, 21), "a satrap," not always used in its strict sense, but as the equivalent of στρατηγός (Judith 5:2; 7:8). — Smith, s.v. SEE PRINCE.
15. In Jas 3:4, the Greek term rendered "governor" is εὐθύνων, a guide or director, i.e., helmsman (prop. κυβερνήτης, whence Lat. gubernator, Eng. governor, the last in a different sense). SEE SHIP.
The following list (modified from the Biblical Repository, 1832, page 381, 382) of the presiding officers of Judaea (q.v.) will be found useful in comparing the history of those times. See each name in its place. For those of Syria, SEE SYRIA.
PROCURATORS OF JUDEA. A.D. (1.) Coponius — 6- 9
(2.) Marcus Ambivius — 9-12
(3.) Annius Rufus. These three were appointed by Augustus; the two following by Tiberius—12-15
(4.) Valerius Gratus — 15-26
(5.) Pontius Pilatus—26-36
(6.) Marcellus, sent by Vitellius, the governor of Syria, in place of Pilate — 36-37
(7.) Marullus, sent by Cligula — 37-40
(8.) Publius Petronius, who was at the same time governor of Syria, managed the affairs of the Jews himself. Under his successor Marsus also, there seems to have been no distinct procurator of Judaea for two or three years — 40-42
(9.) Cuspius Fadus, sent by Claudius — 45-46
(10.) Tiberius Alexander — 47-49 (11.) Ventidius Cumanus — 49-53 (12.) A. Claudius Felix — 53-55 (13.) Portius Festus, under Nero — 55-62
(14.) Albinus — 62-64
(15.) Gessius Florus, the last procurator of Judaea — 65
(16.) Josephus, however, speaks (War, 6:4, 3) of a Marcus Antonius Julianus as being (or having been) procurator (