A managerial procedure or an arrangement for supervision in the fulfilling of a responsibility or the attaining of a goal.
The Hebrew word translated “administration” in 1 Chronicles 26:30 (pequd·dahʹ) comes from the root pa·qadhʹ, meaning “visit; turn attention to.” (Ru 1:6, ftn) It is also rendered “care; oversight.”—2Ch 24:11; Nu 3:32; compare 2Ki 11:18, ftn; see OVERSEER.
From the start of human history God authorized perfect man to care for the earth and have in subjection its creatures. (Ge 1:26-28) After man’s rebellion, particularly from the Flood forward, a patriarchal system of administration developed and became prominent. It managed family affairs and property and enforced standards of conduct.
The handling of Israel’s national affairs by Moses according to the divine will during the 40-year wilderness trek provides a brilliant example of administration, including the delegation of authority to reliable subordinates. (Ex 18:19-26) Within the priesthood the prime responsibility for administration rested on the high priest (Nu 3:5-10); however, others were given the responsibility of the oversight and supervision of certain departments of service. (Nu 3:25, 26, 30-32, 36, 37; 4:16) Following Israel’s entry into the Promised Land, judges acted as administrators of the nation, with divine backing.—Jg 2:16, 18; Ru 1:1.
Upon the establishment of the kingdom in Israel, a more complete system of administration developed. Under King David the administrative structure was quite detailed, with officials directly under the king and with divisional administrators serving throughout the country. (1Ch 26:29-32; 27:1, 16-22, 25-34) The priesthood was also thoroughly organized during David’s reign, with supervisors for the tabernacle work, officers and judges, gatekeepers, singers and musicians, and the setting up of 24 priestly divisions for handling the service at the tabernacle. (1Ch 23:1-5; 24:1-19) Solomon’s administration was even more extensive and provides an outstanding example of capable administration in the construction of the temple.—1Ki 4:1-7, 26, 27; 5:13-18.
Other nations also developed complex systems of administration, as indicated by the classes of officials assembled by King Nebuchadnezzar at the time of inaugurating his golden image. (Da 3:2, 3) Daniel himself was ‘made ruler’ (from Aramaic, sheletʹ) over the jurisdictional district of Babylon and under him civil “administration” (Aramaic, ʽavi·dhahʹ) was given to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.—Da 2:48, 49.
In the Christian Greek Scriptures, proper use of the delegated authority and responsibility resting upon those charged with overseeing the application and execution of God’s expressed will among his people is often discussed; and this is done by references to stewardship and oversight. (Lu 16:2-4; 1Co 9:17; Eph 3:2; Col 1:25; Tit 1:7) While responsibility to God is shown to be of paramount importance (Ps 109:8; Ac 1:20), the interests of those who serve under such administration are also stressed.—1Pe 4:10; see STEWARD.
What is the “administration” that God has put into operation since 33 C.E.?
In his undeserved kindness God has purposed to have “an administration [Gr., oi·ko·no·miʹan, literally, “household management”] at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth.” (Eph 1:10; compare Lu 12:42, ftn.) This “administration,” or managerial procedure, which God has been carrying on since the day of Pentecost of 33 C.E., has as its objective the unification of all his intelligent creatures. The first stage of God’s “administration” is the gathering together again of “the things in the heavens,” preparing the congregation of Kingdom heirs who are to live in the heavens under Jesus Christ as the spiritual Head. (Ro 8:16, 17; Eph 1:11; 1Pe 1:4) The second stage of this “administration” is the gathering together again of “the things on the earth,” preparing those who are to live in an earthly paradise.—Joh 10:16; Re 7:9, 10; 21:3, 4.