Righteous Judge

In the book of Judges the shophetim (judges) were clearly rulers and deliverers, not just dispensers of legal decisions as they are today. When the Bible uses the name, “Righteous Judge”, it includes all those meanings.

God is also called simply, the Judge. The adjective “righteous” describes His most important attribute as a judge. In the Bible, the words for righteousness and justice are closely related. The name “Righteous Judge” includes the idea that God judges justly. The Message Bible calls Him the honest Judge and elsewhere He is also the God of justice. God’s justice will never be swayed by bribes or altered by irrational grudges. God’s righteousness includes punishment of the guilty but it leaves room for His mercy and forgiveness toward repentant sinners.

Jesus (Yeshua‘) put judgment in perspective. Jesus did not come to earth to judge people; He came to bring salvation. However, there will be a final judgment by the Righteous Judge and He will base that judgment on how we responded to Jesus’ words.

If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. (John 12:47-48)

God is involved in other aspects of the cosmic justice system. Other names for God mention those different roles: the Lawgiver and judge, or simply our Lawgiver. He also punishes the wicked as the God of recompense.

Shofet tsaddiq, translated Righteous Judge, pictured in the Hebrew text of Psalm 7 v 11

Righteous judge (Shofet tsaddiq) in the Hebrew text of Psalm 7 v 11

Righteous Judge in Hebrew:

Shofet tsaddiq

Strong’s Concordance numbers: 8199, 6662

Bible reference: Ps. 7:11

God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.
(Psalm 7:11)

Righteous Judge in Greek:

Picture of a name of God, Righteous Judge, in the Greek text of 2 Timothy 4:8

Righteous Judge in the Greek text of 2 Timothy 4:8

Ho dikaios kritēs

Strong’s Concordance numbers: 1342, 2923

Bible reference: 2 Tim. 4:8

Paul made the following observation:

In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

There are many biblical names of God that describe His righteousness, for instance, Righteous God, Righteous One, and Righteous Branch.