Devotional Readings

Isaiah 56 – Do Justice…..

Hey it actually says that in the King James Version.

We don’t need our modern versions to tell us about this concept.
But we might pause and observe what it actually means, since today the word has been taken over by the Social Justice movement.
  And yes even the strangers in our land are mentioned in this chapter.
But this too has a lesson for us.
Gill introduces the chapter with these words:

Isaiah 56


This chapter contains a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, and their accession to the church, and of the corrupt state of the church afterwards, especially of its rulers, which brought in men comparable to wild beasts to devour. It begins with an exhortation to the duties of judgment and justice, enforced by the nearness of Christ’s salvation, and the clear relation of his righteousness in the Gospel, and by the blessedness of the man that does those duties, and lays hold on those blessings, and observes the whole of religion, instituted and moral, Isa 56:1, when encouragement is given to eunuchs, and strangers or Gentiles, sensible and religious persons, to hope for acceptance with God, and that they shall be welcome to his house, with an answer to their objections, and promises of special favours, Isa 56:3 to which is subjoined a promise or prophecy of future additions, both of Jews and Gentiles, to the church of God in the latter day, Isa 56:8 and then follows a call upon some savage people, comparable to wild beasts, to come and devour, which will be previous to the above prophecy, Isa 56:9, the reason of which is the sad corruption of the rulers of the church, their ignorance, negligence, avarice, and drunkenness, Isa 56:10.

Salvation for Foreigners

Isa 56:1  Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

Gill writes: Thus saith the Lord, keep ye judgment, and do justice,…. Observe the word of the Lord, which comes from the God of judgment, is the best informer of the judgment, and the only rule of faith and practice; and which should be kept in the heart, mind, and memory, be held fast, and abode by; and so likewise all the ordinances of the Lord, which are his statutes and judgments; these should be all of them kept as they were delivered, in faith, from love, and with a view to the glory of God and Christ; all matters of judgment and justice between man and man, whether public or private, should be observed and done; all that you would have men to do to you, do to them; all works of righteousness required by the Lord, though not to be depended upon for justification in his sight, but regarded as fruits and evidences of faith and repentance; for works of righteousness cannot be done but by regenerated persons. The reasons enforcing a regard to these things follow:

Isa 56:2  Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

Note too the emphasis towards the stranger and son(s) of the stranger is towards integrating and not being separated, and in particular in joining together in fellowship in the LORD. this is the inclusive aspect of God’s true election and effectual call of all his chosen people, his sheep which are called in his name.

Isa 56:3  Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

Isa 56:4  For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Isa 56:5  Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Isa 56:6  Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

Isa 56:7  Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Isa 56:8  The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders

Isa 56:9  All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.

Isa 56:10  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

Isa 56:11  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Isa 56:12  Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

BTW this word translated Justice is actual used in this way only about 10% of the time it appears in the Hebrew….by far the majority of the texts translate it as a form of righteousness…

I’ve posted about that….mostly from the NT several times. My observation is that it is much more challenging to pursue righteousness than it is to try to spread “Justice” in whatever contemporary sense you take that to mean.




Total KJV Occurrences: 157

righteousness, 124

Gen 15:6Gen 30:33Deu 6:25Deu 9:4-6 (3), Deu 24:131Sa 26:232Sa 22:212Sa 22:251Ki 3:61Ki 8:322Ch 6:23Job 27:6Job 33:26Psa 5:8 (2), Psa 11:7Psa 22:31Psa 24:5Psa 31:1Psa 36:5-6 (2), Psa 40:10 (2), Psa 51:14Psa 69:27Psa 71:2Psa 71:15-16 (2), Psa 71:19Psa 71:24Psa 72:1Psa 72:3Psa 88:12Psa 89:16Psa 98:2Psa 99:4Psa 103:6Psa 103:17Psa 106:3Psa 106:31Psa 112:3 (2), Psa 112:9Psa 119:40Psa 119:142Psa 143:1Psa 145:7Pro 8:18Pro 8:20Pro 10:2Pro 11:4-6 (3), Pro 11:18-19 (2), Pro 12:28Pro 13:6Pro 14:34Pro 15:9Pro 16:8Pro 16:12Pro 16:31Pro 21:21 (2), Isa 1:27Isa 5:7Isa 5:16Isa 5:23Isa 10:22Isa 28:17Isa 32:16-17 (3), Isa 33:5Isa 45:8Isa 45:23-24 (2), Isa 46:12-13 (2), Isa 48:1Isa 48:18Isa 51:6Isa 51:8Isa 54:14Isa 54:17Isa 56:1Isa 57:12Isa 58:2Isa 60:16-17 (3), Isa 61:10-11 (2), Jer 4:1-2 (2), Jer 9:24Jer 22:3Jer 33:15 (2), Jer 51:10Eze 3:20Eze 14:14Eze 18:20 (2), Eze 18:22Eze 18:24 (2), Eze 18:26Eze 33:12-13 (2), Eze 33:18Dan 9:7Dan 9:16Hos 10:12Amo 5:7Amo 5:24Amo 6:12Mic 6:5Mic 7:9Zec 8:8Mal 3:3Mal 4:2

justice, 15

Gen 18:19Deu 33:212Sa 8:151Ki 10:91Ch 18:142Ch 9:8Job 37:23Pro 21:3Isa 9:7Isa 56:1Isa 59:9Jer 22:14-15 (2), Jer 23:5Eze 45:9

right, 9

2Sa 19:28Neh 2:20Eze 18:5Eze 18:19Eze 18:21Eze 18:27Eze 33:14Eze 33:16Eze 33:19

righteous, 3

Jdg 5:11 (2), 1Sa 12:7

righteousnesses, 3

Isa 64:6Eze 33:13Dan 9:18

moderately, 1

Joe 2:23

righteously, 1

Isa 33:15

righteousness’, 1

Psa 143:11

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