From the perspective of Bible History, the English word governor was used to translate a wide variety of original Hebrew and Greek words of the Bible. It applied to officials in a royal palace, heads of tribes or families, magistrates, prime ministers, territorial rulers, military commanders, labor supervisors and others in offices of religious or political authority. Although their positions were very often a matter of "politics," they were usually appointed by higher rulers, not elected.
Examples of "governors" from The Bible:
"Now Joseph was governor over the land; he it was who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground." (Genesis 42:6 RSV) (see Coat Of Many Colors)
"Thus says The Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will give it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am The Lord. And Ahab said, "By whom?" He said, "Thus says The Lord, By the servants of the governors of the districts." (1 Kings 20:13-14 RSV) (see Kings of Israel and Judah)
"Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, neither I nor my brethren ate the food allowance of the governor. The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens upon the people, and took from them food and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God." (Nehemiah 5:14-15 RSV) (see Nehemiah)
"in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa the capital, in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his princes and servants, the army chiefs of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces being before him" (Esther 1:2-3 RSV) (see Esther)
"Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to assemble the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up." (Daniel 3:2 RSV)
"and you will be dragged before governors and kings for My sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:18-20 RSV) (see The Elect)
"When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound Him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor." (Matthew 27:1-2 RSV) (see Pontius Pilate)
"When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him." (Acts 23:33 RSV) (see Felix)
Fact Finder: Are God's people to be subject (i.e. obey all man-made laws that do not violate God's Laws) to the human governors of the societies in which they live?
1 Peter 2:13-17
This Week's Bible Quiz
1. What did God do on the first day of creation?
2. What did God do on the second day of creation?
3. What did God do on the third day of creation?
4. What did God do on the fourth day of creation?
5. What did God do on the fifth day of creation?
6. What did God do on the sixth day of creation?
7. What did God do on the seventh day of creation?
8. What was Cain's occupation?
9. What was Abel's occupation?
10. Who is the first recorded liar?
For the answers to this December 11 2001 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page