Social Justice Project #13

What does the Bible say about justice?

Part 9: The Minor Prophets: Zephaniah

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. Zephaniah acted during the final years of the nation. He was the great grandson of King Hezekiah, and had a unique vantage point from which to announce not only God’s judgement of the nations from an unnamed foe, but a restoration of God’s people and Jerusalem. It is concerning Jerusalem where Zephaniah makes his only mention of justice. In chapter three, the prophet rails against the city, pronouncing woes to the princes, prophets, and priests because of their disobedience. It is as though those people do not believe that Yahweh has notice their sin. However, transitioning to the coming wrath of God, Zephaniah notes that God is present seeing their defiance. He calls Yahweh “the righteous Lord” who applies justice every day. Justice, in this context, must surely mean judgement which will come from, we find out, Bablyon.

This usage is consistent with our established definition.

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