Order

(`arakh, "to arrange"; tassein ( diatassein, taxis, tagma)): "Order" in Biblical phrases may indicate

(1) arrangement in rows,

(2) sequence in time,

(3) classification and organization,

(4) likeness or manner,

(5) regulation, direction or command, or

(6) the declaring of a will.

In many passages it is difficult if not impossible to determine from the English text alone in which of these senses the word is used.

1. Arrangement in Rows:


2. Sequence in Time:

As the fundamental meaning of `arakh is arrangement in space, that of cadhar is order or sequence in time. In later Hebrew cedher was used in the sense of "program." In Job 10:22 lo’ cedharim, absence of regularity, in the description of the uncertain period that follows death probably means "confusion in time." (The Septuagint (pheggos) suggests, in the place of cedharim, a word for "light," possibly tsohorayim.) In the New Testament we find "order" used of time in connection with the resurrection of the dead (1Co 15:23 (tagma)) and of a succession of places visited (Ac 18:23 (kathexes)). The phrase "in order unto" (Ps 119:38) expresses causal sequence and hence, purpose.

3. Classification and Organization:


4. Likeness or Manner:


5. Regulation, Direction, Command:


6. Declaring of Last Will:

The phrase "to set one’s house in order" (Isa 38:1 parallel 2Ki 20:1; 2Sa 17:23), used of Hezekiah and Ahithophel, in contemplation of death, means to give final instructions to one’s household or to make one’s will. The Hebrew tsawah used in this phrase is the stem found in the later Hebrew tsawwa’ah, "a verbal will" (Babha’ Bathra’ 147a, 151b; BDB). Great moral weight was attached in Biblical times to the charges laid upon a household by a deceased father or remoter ancestor, not only as to the disposition of property but also as to personal conduct. (Compare the case of the Rechabites, where the same Hebrew expression is used, tsiwwah `alenu, Jer 35:6.)