Social Justice Project #7

What does the Bible say about justice?

Part 5: The Prophets: Jeremiah

In the Hebrew Scriptures, prophets spoke for God, delivering His message to the two nations of Judah and Israel. They called the people to return to God and described the future penalty for failure to do so.

Sixty-two times in the seventeen prophetic books justice is mentioned. Let us briefly survey the prophet Jeremiah, of whom two books are attributed. He stood as a prophet before Judah over five hundred years before Christ.

In many cases, “justice,” to Jeremiah will come in the context of judgement. Judgement, or justice, could have been avoided if the people had turned to God from their sinful ways (Jer. 4:2).

Jeremiah does exhort kings to administer “justice” in the form of right judgement (Jer. 21:12, 22:3). He realizes his mission to remind the people of the justice of God (Jer. 5:4-5). However, the people as a whole would not return to God and received His just punishment (Jer. 46:28).

Jeremiah does speak to a coming King who will administer justice in the land (Jer. 23:5, 33:15). This King will be a “righteous branch” of David’s lineage who bring healing to the land.

Each of these usages is consistent with our definition of justice.

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