GOVERNOR: The title of an administrative political officer.

Biblical Use of the Term.

In the Old Testament the term "governor" is used almost exclusively for the Biblical Hebrew pehah, though the Hebrew word is not always translated by "governor." "Governor" is found in the books of Ezra (Ezra v. 3-14; vi. 6, 13; viii. 36), Nehemiah (Neh. ii. 7, 9; iii. 7) etc.), Esther (Esther iii. 12) etc.; but in other passages of the Old Testament pehah is rendered "captain" (Jer. li. 23, 28; Ezek. xxiii. 6, 23; Dan. iii. 27, etc.), or "deputy" (Esther viii. 9; ix. 3). The Hebrew term is to be traced back to the Assyrian bel pihâtu, "ruler of a district," and denotes the civil ruler of a district who is dependent upon the sovereign and is entrusted with the chief military command. The term is used in the Old Testament of Israelitic, Syriac, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Persian governors. Above the pehah stood, according to Ezra viii. 36; Esther iii. 12, the "king's lieutenants," but their mutual relation is not entirely clear; lower in rank stood the seganim, "rulers" (Dan. iii. 2, 27; Jer. li. 23, 28, 57; Ezek. xxiii. :6, 12, 23). The corresponding term hegemon, hegemoneuon, in the New Testament is rendered throughout by "governor," whether it refers to an imperial legate of Syria (Luke ii. 2), or a procurator of Judea (Matt. xxvii. 2, 11, 14;) etc.; Luke iii. 1; Acts xxiii. 24, 26), or a Roman governor in general (Matt. x. 18; I Peter ii. 14). The Greek anthypatos, which corresponds to the Roman title "proconsul," is translated in the Authorized Version by "deputy," in the Revised Version by "proconsul."

Appointment and Duties of Roman Governors.

The official position and authority which these three classes of Roman governors-proconsuls, legates, and procurators—exercised in New Testament times rested upon the regulations of Augustus for the administration of the Roman provinces. The Provinces of the Roman empire were divided into consular and pretorian, and were entrusted to men of proconsular rank with the chief command of an army onto propretors without such a command; but the office carried with it almost sovereign power. After Augustus, through the victory of Actium, 31 B.C., had become ruler, the senate conferred upon him the chief military command, and in this way he controlled all provinces that were endangered by external attacks or internal disturbances, while the peaceful provinces, i.e., mostly those nearest to Italy, remained under the direction of the senate; but even these were dependent upon the emperor in virtue of his dignity as general governor of all provinces. For the appointment of governors in the senatorial provinces, such as Baetica, Sicily, Africa, Crete, and Cyrene, the republican forms were preserved as far as possible, especially election by lot, duration of office one year, and the distinction between Proconsular and pretorian provinces; but the distinction of title was removed-the governors of all senatorial provinces, whether of consular or pretorian rank, were without exception called proconsuls. In accordance with this principle, the New Testament designates the governors of the provinces of Cyprus and Achaia, Sergius Paulus (Acts xiii. 7, 8, 12) and Gallio, the brother of Seneca (Acts xviii. 12), proconsuls (A.V. "deputies"). The governors in the organized and independent imperial provinces, Britain, Gaul, Spain, Upper and Lower Germany, Pannonia, Dacia, Mśsia, Cilicia, Syria, Numidia, Arabia, and Assyria were appointed by the emperor himself, not for one year, but for an indefinite time; he could therefore recall them at will. Like the proconsuls of the senatorial provinces, they were chosen from former consuls and pretors, but in their office they had only pretorian rank, and were called not proconsuls, but as mere mandatories of the emperor, legates, more completely legati Cćsaris. There was, however, a distinction between legati consulares and legati prćtorii; as compared with proconsuls of the senatorial provinces, they possessed considerably greater power because they were entrusted with full military command. From these two kinds of provincial governors in the proper sense are to be distinguished the Roman officers in dependencies which, for various reasons, had not yet been included within the legal and administrative organization of the Roman empire. The governors in such territories were not so much state officers as administrators of the imperial court, and therefore they were chosen by the emperor himself, not from the senators, but from the nobility, and received subordinate titles. In a few districts they were called prefects, but in most of the territories belonging in this category, such as Mauretania, Rhćtia, Vindilecia, Noricum, Thracia, Corsica, and Judea, the official title was procurator.

Governors of Judea.

The relation of the procurators of Judea to the legates of Syria can not be accurately defined. After Pompey, in 64 B.C., had made Syria proper a Roman province, he subjected Palestine to Roman supremacy, incorporating a part in the province of Syria and subjecting the remainder to the supervision of the legate of Syria. But it is not clear whether this subjection to Syria, was still in force when the territory of Arehelaus, in the year 6 A.D., was subjected to immediate Roman rule under the administration of procurators. In the interior the power of the procurator of Judea was not much restricted by the Jewish administration which the Romans left in force in accordance with their usual practise. The Sanhedrin (q.v.) or college of elders at Jerusalem was allowed to continue the exercise of its administrative and legal functions in the southern part of the country or Judea proper, but in all its activity it remained dependent upon the consent of the procurator, as may be seen from the trial and condemnation of Jesus. But Roman citizens living in Judea were under the jurisdiction of the procurator (Acts xxiii. 24); they might even contest the judgment of the procurator and appeal their cause to the imperial court in Rome (Acts 25:10). The Procurator of Judea, it is true, had command over the troops in the province, but this was of little importance since only a few cohorts were at his disposal. The seat of government and the residence of the procurator were at Caesama (Acts


xxiii. 23-24, xxv. 1
). At least once a year it was his duty to travel through the whole province to execute the law, and he was usually accompanied by several councilors and assessors. The taxes and other duties from the province were strictly regulated, and the procurators were forbidden to increase them, nor were they allowed to accept presents, though there were not wanting instances both of cruelty and corruption. Incapable of understanding the peculiarities of the Jewish people, the procurator often excited Jewish hatred of Roman rule, and this finally contributed to the outbreak of the Judeo-Roman war. Of the procurators who, in the time from 6 to 41 A.D., administered the territory of Archelaus, only Pilate (q.v.) is mentioned in the New Testament. During 41-52 A.D. all parts of Palestine were once more brought under the dominion of Herod Agrippa. After his death the kingdom was again subjected to the administration of procurators, who governed from 44-66 A.D., among them Felix, (Acts 23:24 sqq., Acts 24:1, 10) and Festus (Acts 26:30). See CENSUS; FELIX AND FESTUS; PUBLICAN; TAXATION.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: For the governors during the pre-Roman period consult the works on the history of Israel given under ARAB and ISRAEL, HISTORY OF. For the Roman period consult: H. Gerlach, Die römischen Statthalter in Syrien and Judäa pp. 44 sqq., Berlin, 1886; E. Kuhn, Die städtische und bĂĽrgerliche Verfassung des römischen Reichs, ii. 161 sqq., 363 sqq., Leipsic, 1865; W. T. Arnold, The Roman System of Provincial Administration, London 1879; E. Marx, Essai sur les pouvoirs du gouverneur de province, Paris, 1880; J. Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, vol. i., Leipsic, 1881; T. Mommsen, Römische Staatsrecht, II., i.-ii., Berlin, 1887; idem, in ZNTW, ii. 2 (1901), 81 sqq.; A. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus, i. 182, London, 1884; Kellner, in ZKT, 1888, 630 sqq.; J. B. Bury, Hist. of the Roman Empire, chap. vi., London, 1893; H. F. Pelham, Outlines of Roman Hist., book v., "p. iii., ib. 1893; W. M. Ramsey, Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 41 sqq., 358-3W, 362, ib. 1893; W. Liebenam, Städteverwaltung des römischen Kaiserreichs, Leipsic, 1900; A. J. H. Greenidge, Roman Public Life, chap. xi., London, 1901; Schí˛Šíµ˛, Geschichte, i. 454-507, 584-886, Eng. transl., I., ii. 43 sqq.; DB. ii. 253; EB, ii. 1910-16; JE, vi. 59, x. 208-209 (list of the procurators is given); DCG, i. 685-686.


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