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Justice in the Old Testament PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 14 March 2011 09:02

Justice is (1) protecting all people who fulfill their God-given Responsibilities and Justice is (2) restraining or punishing all people or Powers who deny or violate these basic Human Rights  [Those Responsibilities and Rights are explained on this website]

Justice is a legal concept.  It is from the Court.  The primary word for “Justice” in the Old Testament is “mishpat”.  This word primarily means a Judgment, i.e.- a negative Verdict, a Sentence of Condemnation, passed by a Judge or Court, usually against some one found guilty of violating the Ordinances and Statutes of God.

Upholding God’s Law is the primary idea of Justice.  In doing this, the Judge is doing the “right” thing.  This is ”righteousness” (tsedeqah).  “Righteousness” is doing the right thing, obeying the Law.  Justice and Righteousness are inseparable concepts and they are inseparable from God. [Consult the Lexicons and Theological Dictionaries]

Justice is the purpose of all Civil Governments.  God holds all of them responsible to uphold all the above Rights.  No Government may deny these Rights to any of its own people or the people of other Countries.  God will judge any Government that tolerates or condones the violations of these Rights.  Likewise, the purpose of all Judges (Legal Systems) is Justice: they are to defend all who have their Rights abused and to restrain or condemn those who cause the abuse. [See my study on God and the Nations]

There are ancillary civil rights, legal rights, employees’ rights, consumer rights, etc.; but these Basic Biblical Rights and Responsibilities take precedence over all of them.  Indeed, all other “rights” are to be evaluated, accepted or rejected, in light of these God given and truly unalienable rights.  There is no other valid basis for specific human rights, especially not the will of People themselves, remembering that human beings are “fallen” sinners and live in a state of rebellion against God.  Christians must reject the contemporary concept that rights are defined by “Society” through consensus, legislation or the Courts. 

Pursuing and maintaining Justice must be a priority for all God-fearing People

Amos 5:13...it is an evil time. 14 Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,... 15 Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice …

Amos 5:21 [God says] "I hate, I despise your feasts [Holiday Programs & Festivals], and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies [Worship Services & Conferences]. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings [a lot of money], I will not accept them; … 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; [and] the melody of your harps [Music & Praise Songs] I will not listen.  24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Micah 68…what does the LORD require of you but to do justice…

Isaiah 1:16-17  cease to do evil, 17learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression;

bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.

Isaiah 56:1- This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right”

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