Isaiah 1:17

Hebrew Bible

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way; when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen because your hands are covered with blood. 16 Wash! Cleanse yourselves! Remove your sinful deeds from my sight. Stop sinning. 17 Learn to do what is right. Promote justice. Give the oppressed reason to celebrate. Take up the cause of the orphan. Defend the rights of the widow. 18 “Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord. “Though your sins have stained you like the color red, you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool. 19 If you have a willing attitude and obey, then you will again eat the good crops of the land.

Amos 5:24

Hebrew Bible

22 Even if you offer me burnt and grain offerings, I will not be satisfied; I will not look with favor on your peace offerings of fattened calves. 23 Take away from me your noisy songs; I don’t want to hear the music of your stringed instruments. 24 Justice must flow like torrents of water, righteous actions like a stream that never dries up. 25 You did not bring me sacrifices and grain offerings during the 40 years you spent in the wilderness, family of Israel. 26 You will pick up your images of Sikkuth, your king, and Kiyyun, your star god, which you made for yourselves,

 Notes and References

"... The English word “justice” is a translation of the Hebrew noun mišpat, built from the root word špt, meaning “to procure justice for” or “to decide” or “to settle” something. The English word “righteousness” is a translation of the Hebrew noun meaning “what is right” or “what is just.” In the Old Testament justice and righteousness are often found in tandem (e.g., Genesis 18:19; 1 Kings 10:9; Psalm 33:5; 72:2; 89:14; 97:2; Proverbs 8:20; Jeremiah 9:24; Ezekiel 45:5; Amos 5:24). In these pairings justice and righteousness are understood both as something that God does and as something that God expects of his people. In Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets, justice is something that one does. It is important to have the right attitude about justice, but unless one does justice, the right attitude means little. In the courtroom, for example, the poor are not to be defrauded by laws written and enacted for the benefit of the rich (Isaiah 3:13-15). On the contrary, the elders and princes are to see to it that the poor are protected. Doing justice, however, extends beyond the courtroom and into everyday life (Isaiah 56:1). Political leadership must give evidence of doing justice, but in the end justice is the responsibility of everyone. Justice and the love of justice are defining characteristics of God (Isaiah 5:16; 28:17; 30:18; 33:5; 61:8). But the Bible testifies that God’s justice must be reflected in humankind, who is created in the image of God. In the words of Isaiah’s vision, humankind is called upon to love justice and to do it (Isaiah 1:17) ..."

Friesen, Ivan Isaiah (p. 445) Herald Press, 2009

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