A royal order. Decrees were proclaimed publically by criers (Jonah 3:5-7) designated “heralds” (Daniel 3:4) often throughout the territory of the monarch (1 Samuel 11:7;
Ezra 1:1). Decrees were written and stored in archives for later reference (Ezra 6:1-2). Scripture attributes just decrees to divine wisdom (Proverbs 8:15). Scripture also recognizes unjust decrees (Isaiah 10:1). Some important decrees include: Cyrus' decree on rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 6:3-5); Esther's decree on the celebration of Purim (Esther 9:32); and the decree of Caesar Augustus which set the scene for the birth of Christ (Luke 2:1).
As King of the earth, God issues decrees regulating the world of nature (the sea,
Proverbs 8:29; rain,
Job 28:26) and of humanity (Daniel 4:24). God also decrees the reign of the Messianic King (Psalms 2:7).
The KJV uses “decree” to describe the decision of the Apostolic Council (Acts 16:4) and of a human inward decision not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:37). NIV refers to God's righteous decree of death for sinners (Romans 1:32). NAS uses “decree” for God's law which led to disobedience and death (Colossians 2:14,Colossians 2:20). NRSV uses “decree” to speak of God's eternal wisdom and plan for creation. Any translator using “decree” is interpreting the meaning of a more general Hebrew or Greek term, resulting in each translation using “decree” for several different words of the original language.