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Dispensation

Greek: oikonomia; Meaning: “management,” “economy.”

  1. The method or scheme according to which God carries out his purposes towards men is called a dispensation. It is usually supposed that there were three dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the Christian. (See COVENANT, Administration of.) These were stages in God's unfolding of his purpose of grace toward men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.

  2. A commission to preach the gospel ( 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25).

Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect men either in the way of mercy or of judgment.