The word "ministry" barely appears in the Old Testament - only four times:
- Numbers 4:12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put them on a bar:
The word is translated from shareth, which appears only twice in the Bible. Once as ministry and once as minister. It is from the word Sharath which has the same three letters in Hebrew - ShinReishTav [תרשׁ]. Sharath is translated as a verb and a noun in the forms of minister, serve, servant, and service.
The second time we see the word "ministry" it is translated from the word abodah translated service 96 times but servile 12 times, work 10, bondage 8, act 2, serve 2, servitude 2, tillage 2, effect and labour once each.
- Numbers 4:47 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation,
The third and fourth appearances are translated from yet another Hebrew word. The word is yad and is almost never translated ministry. It commonly refers to the hand (of man) or by someone or the power of some office, like a Levite or office of a priest.
- 2 Chronicles 7:6 And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.
- Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
The word ministry can be defined:
- the work or vocation of a minister of religion: "he is training for the ministry" synonyms: holy orders, the priesthood, the cloth, the church
- (in certain countries) a government department headed by a minister of state: "the Ministry of Agriculture"
From the point of view of Moses and Christ, both of these definitions apply to the ministers of the Church in the wilderness appointed by Moses and the Church appointed a kingdom by Christ. While both the Levites and the disciples were "called out" and taught to minister to the people, the Modern Christians do not require their ministers to be separate from what Jesus called the "world". In fact, they do not look to their Modern Church ministers for their daily bread, nor rightly divide that bread from house to house.
Jesus did not appoint a Church, but appointed a kingdom to the Church, who were the "called out" ministers of that kingdom or government. Many governments of the world provide free bread, welfare and health care to the people, but they exercise authority over the people in order to provide those benefits. The Church ministries are to provide those benefits by faith, hope and charity and the perfect law of liberty. A ministry by itself is not the Church legally defined.
Moses and the prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus, Peter and Paul the Apostle all advocated freewill offerings and charity, rather than force, to obtain the benefits of society. This is the meaning of Pure Religion and repentance.
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- 08335 ^תרשׁ^ shareth \@shaw-rayth’\@ infinitive of 08334; n m; AV-ministry 1, minister 1; 2 1) ministry, religious ministry, service in the tabernacle
- 08334 ^תרשׁ^ sharath \@shaw-rath’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-minister (v) 62, minister (n) 17, serve 8, servant 5, service 3, servitor 1, waited 1; 97 1) (Piel) to minister, serve, minister to
- ש SHIN Eternal Flame of Revelation bound to the coal Divine Essence." [sun... teeth... consume destroy] 300
- ר REISH Process of Clarification. The "head" or "beginning". Life's revelation. [Head... Person head highest] 200
- ת TAV is a Seal of a Higher kingdom or realm. The malchut to the keter (crown) through faith. It links the unseen worlds like a doorway of faith. [sign cross... seal] 400
- Two shin n mean a sixth part of something or something bleached white, like the linen Breeches of the Levites.
- Reish has to do with leading a process, and in this word, that would mean a process of our faith, because the last letter is a Tav.
- 05656 ^הדבע^ ‘abodah \@ab-o-daw’\@ or ^הדובע^ ‘abowdah \@ab-o-daw’\@
from 05647; n f; AV-service 96, servile 12, work 10, bondage 8, act 2, serve 2, servitude 2, tillage 2, effect 1, labour 1, misc 5; 141
- 1) labour, service
- 1a) labour, work
- 1b) labour (of servant or slave)
- 1c) labour, service (of captives or subjects)
- 1d) service (of God)
- 1) labour, service
- 03027 ^די^ yad \@yawd\@ a primitive word; n f; AV-hand 1359, by 44, consecrate + 04390 14, him 14, power 12, them 11, places 8, tenons 6, thee 6, coast 6, side 5, misc 130; 1615
- 1) hand
- 1a) hand (of man)
- 1b) strength, power (fig.)
- 1c) side (of land), part, portion (metaph.) (fig.)
- 1d) (various special, technical senses)
- 1d1) sign, monument
- 1d2) part, fractional part, share
- 1d3) time, repetition
- 1d4) axle-trees, axle
- 1d5) stays, support (for laver)
- 1d6) tenons (in tabernacle)
- 1d7) a phallus, a hand (meaning unsure)
- 1d8) wrists
- 1) hand
- 1248 ~διακονία~ diakonia \@dee-ak-on-ee’-ah\@ from 1249; n f AV-ministry 16, ministration 6, ministering 3, misc 9; 34
- 1) service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others
- 2a) of the office of Moses
- 2b) of the office of the apostles and its administration
- 2c) of the office of prophets, evangelists, elders etc.
- 3) the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection esp. those who help meet need by either collecting or distributing of charities
- 4) the office of the deacon in the church
- 5) the service of those who prepare and present food
- 3009 ~λειτουργία~ leitourgia \@li-toorg-ee’-ah\@ from 3008 [leitourgeo minister 1) to serve the state at one’s own cost 1a) to assume an office which must be administered at one’s own expense ]; n f AV-service 3, ministry 2, ministration 1; 6 [see also liturgy 3011, 3009, 3010.]
- 1) a public office which a citizen undertakes to administer at his own expense
- 2) any service 2a) of military service 2b) of the service of workmen
- 3) biblical usage 3a) a service or ministry of the priests relative to the prayers and sacrifices offered to God 3b) a gift or benefaction for the relief of the needy
- : Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
- Isaiah 58:7 [Is it] not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
- Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,