Social Justice Project #5

What does the Bible say about justice?

Part 3: Poetry and Wisdom

There are five books under the classification poetry and wisdom in the Hebrew Scriptures. Together there are fifty references to justice in those books.

Of the friends of Job, young Elihu speaks most about justice. His concern is lifting up God and His righteousness where justice is concerned. Job questions the justice of God during his time of trouble. He questions whether he has received right treatment from God. Finally, God Himself asks Job if he would challenge God’s judgement or justice (Job 40:8).

The main writer of Proverbs, Solomon, begins his book by saying that the sayings he has written will help his hearers receive wisdom and instruction in procedural justice (Proverbs 1:3). The personification of wisdom leads to justice. Without wisdom, there is no justice and people can be oppressed. The sayings of King Lemuel admonish rulers to be responsible in their actions and to give equal treatment for those who are “dispossessed” (Proverbs 31:8).

Finally, Solomon sees the application of favoritism and the perversion of justice through insider dealing and corruption in Ecclesiastes. His hearer should not be surprised by that development (Ecclesiastes 5:8). This situation has occurred throughout history.

Each of the definitions and applications of justice is consistent with our definition of that word.

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