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All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Righteous’ Mean In Hebrew?
tsadaq- to be in the right, be justified, be just, be righteous. This term can be used to describe someone who has received deliverance from condemnation. For example, tsadaq is used 17 times in the book of Job. Another version of this word is a legal term that involves the entire process of judgement. However, it brings a sense of judicial pronunciation of innocence.
“You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.“
tsedeq- There’s two forms of this word: feminine (tsedaqah) and tsedeq. Much research has been done regarding these two words and this is the conclusion: one’s relational and the other’s legal. If a man has a faithful relationship with God, it can be described using tsedeq. However, tsedaqah is also used in a relational way in Genesis 30:33.
“So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.”
These terms become legal when speaking about justice in conformity.
“You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
“Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.”
“I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.“
tsedaqah- rightness; rectitude; righteous acts; right; justice.
What Does The Word ‘Righteous’ Mean In Greek?
dikaiosune- the character trait or quality of being just or right. It’s an attribute of God and used in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Also, it’s the sum of all requirements of God:
- religious duties (Matthew 6:1-15)
- almsgiving – man’s duty to his neighbor (6:2-4)
- prayer – his duty to God (5:15)
- fasting – the duty of self-control (16:18)
Righteousness (rightness with God) is a gift and cannot be earned through any hard work or merit. It’s also the conformity to the will of God through faith in Christ.
“But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.“
“But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.”
dikaioma- there’s three meanings to this word. However, they can be summed up as, “an expression of righteousness.” It can signify a judgment or ordinance. This term can also be used in a sentence of acquittal. God acquits men of their guilt through faith in Christ. Dikaimoa does not represent a character trait, but an act.
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
dikaios- an adverb meaning “righteously; justly; in accordance to what is right.” Used to describe God’s judgment.
“who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;”
-1 Peter 2:23
“And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
“You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;”
-1 Thessalonians 2:10
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,“
euthutes- righteousness; rectitude.
Righteousness is used for many different purposes. It can mean acquittal under law, rightness with God, or what God calls a right way of living. In Ephesians chapter six, it mentions righteousness as a piece of spiritual armor (the breastplate of righteousness). By knowing who you are in Christ, the enemy’s attempts to distort your self-image will always fall short. God loves you and you are in good standing with Him. What else matters?