1) In the OT God is said to ‘ordain’ (AV) or ‘establish’ (NRSV) the government of the Universe (Ps. 8:3) and its geographical divisions (1 Chron. 17:9). This means that God ‘orders’ or ‘appoints’ or ‘institutes’ or ‘invests’.
2) Similarly, he ‘ordains’ certain persons with authority, and they may delegate that authority to others, as Moses to Joshua (Num. 27:18–23), by means of the laying on of hands. In the NT God institutes governments (Rom. 13:1) and is said to ordain in advance events concerning salvation (Rom. 8:29–30).
3) God also ordained certain persons to perform functions: Jeremiah was to be a prophet (Jer. 1:5). But the idea of ordination to a function appears more strongly and frequently in the NT: the Twelve were ordained or charged to preach and to heal (Mark 3:14–15) and elders (presbyters) were ordained or appointed by Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:23), since Paul himself had been ordained an apostle (Gal. 1:15). As an apostle, he ordained others to lead local communities (2 Tim. 1:6).
The Pastoral Epistles represent an early stage in the institutionalizing of ordination and ministry. The intention is to continue the ministry of the apostles and to remain faithful to their teaching. In ordaining, the Church, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1 Tim. 4:14), provides for the continuing proclamation of the gospel and for service to the community in the name of Christ. The laying on of hands is the outward sign of the gift [[➝ gifts]] of the Spirit.
Paul writes that Titus was ‘appointed’(2 Cor. 8:19, NRSV, REB; ‘elected’, NJB; ‘chosen’, AV) by the Churches, and the Greek verb literally has the meaning of stretching out the hand: possibly therefore a description of the similar appointments—of the Seven (Acts 6:6), of Barnabas and Paul at Antioch (Acts 13:3).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Ordain — Or*dain , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ordained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ordaining}.] [OE. ordeinen, OF. ordener, F. ordonner, fr. L. ordinare, from ordo, ordinis, order. See {Order}, and cf. {Ordinance}.] 1. To set in order; to arrange according to rule; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ordain — [ôr dān′] vt. [ME ordeinen < OFr ordener < L ordinare, to arrange (in LL(Ec), to ordain as a priest) < L ordo, ORDER] 1. Obs. to put in order; arrange; prepare 2. a) to decree; order; establish; enact b) to predetermine; predestine 3 …   English World dictionary

  • ordain — index award, bestow, command, constitute (establish), decide, dictate, direct (order) …   Law dictionary

  • ordain — (v.) late 13c., to appoint or admit to the ministry of the Church, from stem of O.Fr. ordener (Mod.Fr. ordonner), from L. ordinare put in order, arrange, dispose, appoint, from ordo (gen. ordinis) order (see ORDER (Cf. order) (n.)). The notion is …   Etymology dictionary

  • ordain — *dictate, prescribe, decree, impose Analogous words: order, *command, enjoin, direct …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ordain — [v] establish, install anoint, appoint, bless, call, commission, consecrate, constitute, deal, deal with, decree, delegate, destine, dictate, elect, enact, enjoin, fix, frock, impose, institute, invest, lay down the law*, legislate, nominate,… …   New thesaurus

  • ordain — ► VERB 1) make (someone) a priest or minister. 2) order officially. 3) (of God or fate) decide in advance. ORIGIN Latin ordinare, from ordo order …   English terms dictionary

  • ordain — [[t]ɔː(r)de͟ɪn[/t]] ordains, ordaining, ordained 1) VERB When someone is ordained, they are made a member of the clergy in a religious ceremony. [be V ed n] He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1982... [be V ed] Women have been ordained for many… …   English dictionary

  • ordain — ordainable, adj. ordainer, n. ordainment, n. /awr dayn /, v.t. 1. to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon. 2. to enact or establish by law, edict, etc.: to ordain a new type of government. 3. to decree; give… …   Universalium

  • ordain — or|dain [o:ˈdeın US o:r ] v [T] [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: ordener, from Latin ordinare to put in order , from ordo; ORDER1] 1.) to officially make someone a priest or religious leader →↑ordination ▪ Desmond Tutu was ordained in 1960 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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