The Bible has a lot to say about those who are just or justified. That’s why I wanted to look up what the word just means in Hebrew and Greek.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Just’ Mean In Hebrew?
As an adjective, this word means “upright; right; righteousness; just.”
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.”
– 1 Samuel 12:23
God expected His people to please HIm in being obedient and He is the standard of uprightness.
“And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken.“
– Deuteronomy 6:18-19
The just are promised God’s blessing upon their lives (Proverbs 11:10-11).
mishpat- verdict, formal decree, justice.
This word has two different meanings:
- the rights belonging to a person
- the act of sitting as a judge, hearing a case, and giving a proper verdict
As an adjective, this word means righteous or just. It’s used to speak of God in Exodus 9:27 and of a nation in Genesis 20:4.
tsadaq- to be, make right.
As a legal term, it involves the entire process of justice.
This term can be translated into the word justified. It’s used to describe a person who has received deliverance from condemnation and is now entitled to a certain inheritance. This person is accounted for or dealt with as righteous.
God is righteous and in comparison with Him, man is not righteous.
“Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
Can a man be more pure than his Maker?“
– Job 13:18
When courts failed due to corruption, the wicked were falsely justified and the poor were robbed of justice. However, God assured Israel that justice would be done. That’s because when injustice prevails, God is the one who justifies.
shalem- complete; friendly; safe.
God demanded total obedience from His people. However, Solomon failed to meet this requirement because his heart was not perfect with the Lord.
“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.”
– 1 Kings 11:4
What Does The Word ‘Just’ Mean In Greek?
dikaios- equitable, holy.
This term means a state of being right. It’s used of:
- God (John 17:25; Romans 3:26)
- Christ (Acts 3:14; 1 John 1:9)
- men (Matthew 1:19; Luke 1:6; Romans 1:17)
- any circumstance, deed, or fact
- blood (Matthew 23:35)
- works (1 John 3:12)
- the commandment of the Law (Romans 7:12)
- the ways of God (Revelation 15:3)
endikos- equitable, deserved, just.
All in all, the word just can mean someone who is righteous in their ways or someone who was declared justified by legal measures. That’s what the word just means in Hebrew and Greek.
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