Book of Order – Chapter 2: Origins of “Order”
Etymological Origins “Order”
The Funk and Wagnall’s American College Dictionary defines “Order” as “row, series; a condition in which there is methodical, proper and harmonious arrangement or disposition of things; established or existing state, a proper or working (functioning) state or condition; a command, direction or regulation.” Also, “a commission or instruction to supply, a class or body of persons united by common bond or purpose; rank or position; ordained sequence, degree or position.”
The word “order” comes from the Latin word “ordo”.
The Berry Lexicon refers us to the Greek work “taxis,” a noun meaning “regular arrangement, fixed succession (of rank or character), official dignity.”
This noun is from the verb root “tasso” meaning “to arrange in an orderly manner, assign, dispose, appoint, ordain, set.”
This word “Taxis” is used extensively in the New Testament. We find it in Hebrews (5:6, 5:10, 6:20, 7:11, 7:17, 7:21), where the reference is to the “order of Melchisedec” and the “order of Aaron”. We also find it in Colossians 2:5, “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the Spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ”, writes Paul. Paul also uses the word in I Corinthians 15:40, “Let all things be done decently and I order.”
There are other Greek words used to express “order” in the New Testament. One of these is “diatasso”, also related to the root verb, “tasso”. It means “to arrange thoroughly, institute, prescribe, appoint, command, give, set in order, ordain.”
“Diatasso” is used by Paul in I Corinthians 11:34, “And the rest I will set in order when I come”. Also in I Corinthians 16:1, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.”
Still another Greek word, “tagma”, also from the verb “tasso” means “something orderly in arrangement, (a troop), a series or succession, order”. (Strong) This was used by Paul in I Corinthians 15:23, “But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
Also used is “epidiortho”, which means “to straighten further, arrange additionally”. (Strong) As used by Paul in Titus 1:5, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee”.
In the Old Testament we find many references to “order”. One word for order is “mishpat”, which means, “Divine law, verdict or decree”. It comes from the root verb, “shaphat”, which means, “to judge, govern, pronounce a sentence or decision”. From the old Hebrew.
It is used in I Corinthians 23:31 (speaking of the Levitical order), “and to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the Sabbaths, . . . according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Lord”. Also in I Chronicles 6:32, (concerning those whom David set over the service of song in the tabernacle)” . . . and then they waited on their office, according to their order”. Also in I Chronicles 15:13, “For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after due order”.
Another Hebrew word for order is “tsâvâh”, meaning, “to constitute, enjoin, appoint, give a charge or give a command, give or send a message, put or set in order”. This is use in II Kings 23:4, “…Hilkiah the high priest and the priest of the second order”.
Another Hebrew works is, “ârak”, meaning, “to set in a row arrange, join ordain, prepare, furnish, to array (as in battle)”. This usage is found in Isaiah 44:7. Verse 6 reads, “Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, I am the first and I am the last, and beside me there is not God”. Verse 7 reads, “And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them”.
The most revealing sense of the word, “order”, is found in Psalms 110:4, “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec”.
The word for “order” used here is “dibrâh”, meaning “a reason cause, and estate, order”. The feminine form of this word is “dâbar”, which means, “word, commandment, communicate, power, promise, provision, purpose, a matter spoken of, answer, decree, deed, act, judgement, message, oracle, ought, sign, spoken, talk, task, there done, tidings, work”. It is related to the Chaldean “debrah”, meaning “intent, sake, on account of, in order that, to that end”.
The root word here is the Hebrew verb “dâbar”, meaning, “to arrange, speak, answer, appoint, bid command, declar, give name, promise, pronounce, say, to be a spokesman, teach, tell, utter, work”.
Of related interest is the word, “Melchisedec”. In the Greek this means “patriarch”. In Hebrew it stems from “Malkey-Tsedeq”, or “the King of Right”. The root “Melek” means “a king, royal”. In the Chaldean this was “Melak”, “consultation or advise”, and the root verb is “Mâlak”, meaning “to reign, to ascend the throne, to induct into royalty, rule, surely, consult, take counsel”. Closely related is the word “”Mâl’ak”, the Hebrew word for “angel”. It means, “to dispatch, deputy, messenger, prophet, teacher, priest, ambassador, King”.
The other root is the Hebrew “tsedeq”, which means “The Right (national, moral or legal), equity, prosperity, that which is altogether, just righteous, cause”. It stems from the root verb, “tsâdaq” – “to be or make right, cleanse, clear self, be or do justly, justice, to be or do or turn to righteousness, rectitude, moderately, act”.
The word, “after” (in the expression “after the order of Melchisedec”) is from the Hebrew word, ” ‘al”. It means “above, over, upon, according to, after, because of, beside, beyond the time of, by reason of, had the charge of, forth, out, from, upon, over, through, touching, with”. It is the same as “’al” which is used to mean, “the top, the Highest, aloft to Jehovah, above, high, the Most High”.
The root is “alâh”, meaning, “to ascend, be high, mount, arise, cause to ascend, break (the day), bring up, cause to burn, shew, dawn, exalt, grow, increase, lift self up, light, offer, perfect, prefer, recover, restore, shoot forth up, stir up, work”.
“Priest” is from the Hebrew prime root, “kâhan”, meaning, “to mediate, officiate, execute the office”. The word used in Psalms ad throughout the Old Testament for “priest” is “kôhen”, meaning, “one officiating, chief ruler, prince, principal officer”.
From Paul Foster Case, B.O.T.A. Tarot lesson #11, The Emperor, “Words related to ‘order’ are system, regulation, management, supervision. Order is related to the number 4 and is the response of the subconscious to impressions originating at the self-conscious level”.
From “The Priesthood Manual” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Heald House, Independence, Missouri, 1957. “Priesthood is but another name for authority, and should mean an intervening power, The priesthood rightly considered a signifies a body of men rightfully holding power to administer in the name of Jesus Christ for the conferring of spiritual blessings upon men”. Joseph Smith
“It (priesthood) is the right to represent God. It is divine authority placed at the disposal of man”.
“Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?” –Numbers 16:9
“The priesthood did not have its origin with any man or set of man. It is said to have neither descent, beginning of days, or end of life. It is an office always extant. It was not prepared for any particular man, but the man for it”.
The Melchisedec priesthood existed from Adam to Moses. . . This priesthood seems to have been withdrawn from Israel with the death of Moses because the people failed to respond to its ministry. It was restored to earth through Jesus Christ. . .” “The Levitical priesthood was added to the Aaronic order, as assistants to the priests of Aaron. This priesthood came greater prominence with the withdrawal of the Melchisedec order at the death of Moses, for it carried the entire responsibility of leading and ministering to Israel.” “With the restoration of the Melchisedec priesthood at the time of Christ, the Aaronic order, as the “lesser” priesthood, performed its ministry under the direction of the greater priesthood.” “Perpetuation today (of the Melchisedec priesthood) is by divine call, followed by approval of administrative officers and members concerned, and by ordination through laying on of hands of those possessing authority.”
“The Order of Melchisedec – This Priesthood was originally called “The holy priesthood, after the order of the Son of God; but out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name” it was called Melchisedec, who was a member of that order. “All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood.” “It holds the right of presidency in spiritual things. It administers the gospel ordinance and holds the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom.”
“The Melchisedec priesthood, on the other hand, to which the elder belongs, immediately concerns itself chiefly with: Administering the ordinances, which help to make up the spiritual life and welfare of the church. Presiding, that is, overseeing and directing the efficient function of both ministry possible to the membership.”