Monday, May 23, 2011

Tsedeq Righteousness in Ezekiel

In a previous post (see “Tsedeq Righteousness in the Pentateuch”) we observed that the Hebrew noun צדק can denote what is right in a judicial context and also in business dealings. The noun צדק occurs four times in the book of Ezekiel, and it confirms the situation regarding צדק observed in the Pentateuch while adding a new sense to the word that is important in the Prophets and the Writings.

The first instance of צדק in Ezekiel occurs in Ezek 3:20 in the context of Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman over the house of Israel: “When a righteous man turns from his righteousness (מצדקו), and does iniquity, and I set a stumbling block before him, he shall die.” Turning from one’s צדק is linked here with doing עול (iniquity). Furthermore, as a result of such apostasy, “his righteous deeds (צדקתיו) which he has done shall not be remembered.” In this verse, therefore, צדק seems to denote right behavior.

In Ezek 45:10 צדק occurs three times in the one verse. In the context of the eschatological vision of Ezek 40–48 God says: “You shall have just balances, a just ephah, and a just bath.” The content of this verse is very similar to Lev 19:36: “You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin.” The effect of this is to portray the eschatological age as being one characterized by צדק. Weights and measures, and business transactions in general, will (in the age to come) reflect צדק, the quality of that which is right or correct.


sujomo said...

Hi Steve

thanks for these observations

but do you think the book of Amos might have something to say about SDQ?

cheers, sujomo

Steven Coxhead said...

Hello Sujomo,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, it looks like there are three instances of צדקה in Amos, and two instances of the adjective צדיק, but no instances of צדק as a noun or verb.

I’ll do a post on צדקה in Amos in the next couple of days.

All the best!