Questions From Readers
● Since the word “organization” does not occur in the Bible, even in its original languages, what right do we have to say that God has an organization or to speak of God’s organization?
A modern Hebrew word for “organization” is the noun ir·gunʹ. It is drawn from the Hebrew verb e·ragʹ, which means “to arrange in line,” as well as “to follow.” Correspondingly, an organization is an arrangement of things. (For an example of this, one can refer to “Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie,” chapter 17, paragraph 28, in the Hebrew edition.)
The Hebrew language has another word equivalent for “organization,” namely, histadruthʹ. This word is based upon a word that is found in the original Hebrew Scriptures. The basic or key letters in the word histadruthʹ are s and d and r. With these three consonants is built up the Hebrew verb sadarʹ, which means, basically, “to arrange in order,” thus producing an arrangement. The reflexive form of the verb sadarʹ serves as the basis for the noun histadruthʹ, which means “organization.”
Although we do not find this word in the inspired Hebrew Scriptures, we do find the related Hebrew noun seder in Job 10:22. There this noun is used in the plural number, being spelled sʽdarimʹ. The English Revised Version renders Job 10:22 as follows: “A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself; A land of the shadow of death, without any order [sʽdarimʹ], And where the light is as darkness.” (Also, Authorized Version; Young’s Literal Translation.) The New World Translation here reads: “To the land of obscurity like gloom, of deep shadow and disorder [lo sʽdarimʹ], where it beams no more than gloom does.” (Also, Rotherham’s The Emphasised Bible.) Disorder, without any order, here would mean a lack of arrangement, a disorganized state.
To this day the Jews use the word seder. A seder is part of the Jewish Mishnah. Under the word “Mishna,” M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia says: “The Mishnah is divided into six parts (. . . , Sedarim, arrangements), which contain 62 treatises . . . and 514 chapters . . . The latter, again, are divided into numbered sections.”
So in the original Hebrew Bible the word for “order” or “arrangement” is to be found. Emphasizing the needs for order and arrangement in the Christian congregation, the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth: “For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace; as in all the churches of the saints. But let all things be done decently and in order [Hebrew translations: sʽdarimʹ nʽkhonimʹ].” (1 Cor. 14:33, 40, English Revised Version; Authorized Version) This apostolic counsel of the first century applies with equal force today to all congregations of the Christian witnesses of Jehovah. The apostle Paul wrote in the common Greek of the day, and the Greek word for “organization” is or·ganʹo·sis. The root for this word is erʹgon, a word meaning “work” that is found repeatedly in the Christian Greek Scriptures.
All things considered in the light of the Scriptures, it is straining the point to argue that God has no organization in view of the fact that the original words meaning “organization” in ancient languages do not occur in the inspired Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. In everything God demonstrates that he has the ability to organize. What would happen if he did not organize his obedient creatures? As a structure an organization is a body of intelligent persons who are brought together and arranged so as to work peacefully and harmoniously together in carrying out a common purpose, the purpose of the organizer.
In line with this fact, God is repeatedly called “Jehovah of armies.” An army is an organized body of troops. So, in support of the truth that God has an organization, we read the following exhortation addressed to his organization: “Bless Jehovah, O you angels of his, mighty in power, carrying out his word, by listening to the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all you armies of his, you ministers of his, doing his will. Bless Jehovah, all you his works, in all places of his domination.” (Ps. 103:20-22) Jehovah had an organization of heavenly spirit creatures before ever he created our earth and put man upon it.
Against various backgrounds God uses figures of speech to refer to his organization. The first case of this is in Genesis 3:15, where God speaks of his celestial spiritual organization as “the woman,” in opposition to “the serpent,” a figure of speech denoting Satan the Devil. (Compare Genesis 3:14; Revelation 12:9.) This rebel against God has imitated him and built up an organization against God’s organization, God’s figurative “woman.”