In the ancient world, declarations by rulers or other persons in authority directing the conduct of especially significant matters for communities or individuals. The decree of Cyrus calling for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:13; Ezra 5:17) and the decree of Caesar Augustus for a census (Luke 2:1) are but two examples of such decrees in the OT and NT (see also, e.g., Isa 10:1). Apparently, God’s will and purposes were also considered “decrees,” although these did not have to be written to be in force. God exercises these decrees in areas of human conduct and destiny (Dan 4:17; Dan 4:24), in the development of human history (Ps 2:7), and in the founding and ordering of the created universe (Job 28:26).

Ezra 5:13

13However, King Cyrus of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt.

Ezra 5:17

17And now, if it seems good to the king, have a search made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by King Cyrus for the reb ... View more

Luke 2:1

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Isa 10:1

1Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
who write oppressive statutes,

Dan 4:17

17The sentence is rendered by decree of the watchers,
the decision is given by order of the holy ones,
in order that all who live may know
that the Most High is ... View more

Dan 4:24

24this is the interpretation, O king, and it is a decree of the Most High that has come upon my lord the king:

Ps 2:7

7I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.

Job 28:26

26when he made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the thunderbolt;

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.