Righteous?

Righteous?[1]

We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. (Is 64:6)[2]

Today, that passage from Isaiah is one of the best known verses from Old Testament. So much so, that when you hear a sermon or read a tract about salvation, it will most likely be quoted. A few examples of such usage are given below:

Dennis L. Finnan, Christian radio commentator:

“Nowadays, many are trying to earn their own salvation by promoting and doing good deeds and works of righteousness in the church and without. However, God says all of this done by sinners under judgment, cannot be accepted because it is flawed and racked with sin. Isa 64:6 (NLT): ‘We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.'”

Martin Luther:

It should make any person afraid to hear Paul say that those who seek to be justified by the Law, not only deny Christ, but also crucify Him anew. If those who seek to be justified by the Law and its works are crucifiers of Christ, what are they, I like to know, who seek salvation by the filthy rags of their own work-righteousness?

Matthew Henry:

“We have all by sin become not only obnoxious to God’s justice, but odious to his holiness; for sin is that abominable thing which the Lord hates, and cannot endure to look upon. Even all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”

(1.) “The best of our persons are so; we are all so corrupt and polluted that even those among us who pass for righteous men… are but as filthy rags, fit to be case to the dung-hill. The best of them is as a brier.”

(2.) “The best of our performances are so. Those which pass for the sacrifices of righteousness, when they come to be enquired into, are the torn, and the lame, and the sick, and therefore are provoking to God, as nauseous as filthy rags.”

“Our performances, though they be ever so plausible, if we depend upon them as our righteousness and think to merit by them at God’s hand, are as filthy rags–rags, and will not cover us–filthy rags, and will but defile us.”

And those quotes are just a few examples. Ever since the Reformation, Isaiah 64:6 has become one of the best known passages of the Old Testament. This is rather strange, because Isaiah 64:6 is never quoted by Jesus, His apostles, or any of the New Testament writers.

The Importance of This Topic

Is the author of this paper trying to determine whether someone can save themselves by doing good? No. Jesus made it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. He also said that unless a person is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. So without faith in the shed blood of Christ, there is no salvation.

What the author of this paper is coming against is Gnosticism: it is one of the oldest enemies of Christianity. Many of the false teachings of Gnosticism disappeared centuries ago and are no longer around. But some of their major tenets are still with us.

The core essence of Christianity, and the only way to salvation is an obedient love-faith relationship with Jesus Christ. But the end result of the popular teaching that is being written against in this paper is that it causes professing Christians to think that they can safely ignore Jesus’ commandments.

This ancient corruption of Jesus’ Gospel causes professing Christians to believe that the most repugnant thing to Jesus is the Christian who thinks that his obedience to Christ plays a role in his salvation. And the misuse of Isaiah 64:6—that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags—is one of the key props that sustains this Gnostic corruption.

Some Proof Texts Used by Calvinists (they actually hold to some Gnostic teachings)

Evangelical Protestants often give proof texts from the Bible in an attempt to prove that mankind is totally depraved and that we can do nothing righteous or good. Here are some of such proof texts:

Gen 6:5—Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 8:21—And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

Psalm 51:5–Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.[3]

Psalm 143:2—Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

Proverbs 20:6—Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?

Proberbs 20:9—Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”?

Isaiah 53:6—All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Micah 7:2—The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.

Matt 7:11—If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Matt 1917–So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One[4], that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Luke 11:13—If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 17:10—So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.

Rom 3:10-12—As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Rom. 3:23—All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Rom. 5:12—Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Rom 7:14-20—For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.  But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Gal 5:17—For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

But do any of those verses say that we humans are incapable of doing anything good? Do they state that fallen humans are totally depraved? Do they state that we can’t perform righteous acts, or walk a righteous path in life? Do they state that we cannot be considered profitable or worthy in God’s eyes? Do they state that God views our attempts at righteous acts as an offense or as filthy rags?

These ideas (taken from such proof texts) are not being challenged in an effort to deny or minimize the fact that all humans have sinned. The only sinless human was Jesus Christ. This is not meant to deny that all of us have strayed at one time or another. We cannot be saved by our own merits. We need redemption through the shed blood of Christ. But it’s a huge leap to go from what those passages actually say to then make the claim that we are totally unable to do anything good or righteous or to make the claim that God views our deeds of righteousness as offensive, filthy rags.

Consider this other proof text from Genesis:

Gen 6:5: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

But compare it with the following verse from Genesis!

Gen 7:1–Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Now consider some proof texts from the book of Job:

Job 9:2–Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God?

Job 14:4–Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?[5]

Job 15:14-16–What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water!

Job 25:4-6–How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?

Job 40:4–Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.

Job 42:6–Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.

But the Book of Job is an unusual book of the Bible. Throughout most of the book, there are five different human speakers, and none of them are represented as speaking on behalf of God. Take some of the passages quoted directly above for example. First of all, in Job 15:4-6, the speaker is Eliphaz the Temanite; in Job 25:4-6, the speaker is Bildad the Shuhite. Now neither of these men are speaking on behalf of God, and both men are merely using the language of comparison, saying that, when compared to God, no one and nothing is totally pure or perfectly righteous as God Himself is—not even those whom God considers to be saints, including Job, as Job himself realizes and finally admits in 40:4 & 42:6 (cf. Is 6:5; Lk 5:8). Secondly, looking back at Job 9:2 and 14:4, we see that Job himself is the speaker. But Job does not claim to be a prophet. He does not claim to prophesy; he does not precede his words with “thus saith the Lord…” In fact, there are a number of statements that Job makes, that I do not think any Christians would accept as accurate. Besides all this, for most of the book, Job maintained that he was righteous. In Job 34:5, Elihu says:

“Job has said, ‘I am righteous, But God has taken away my justice;

We’ve seen what the human speakers in Job had to say. Now let’s remember what God had to say about Job:

Job 1:8–Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

So, it is not true that there was no one who was good, no one who was righteous in Old Testament times. We’ve just seen two men (Noah and Job) who God specifically declares as being righteous. But what does the totality of Scripture say? The Scriptures, from cover to cover, consistently exhort us to practice righteousness, moral excellence and holiness!

In order to hammer this point home, this paper lists over three hundred passages that refer to fallen humans as being righteous, just, blameless, worthy, good, holy, godly, devout, pious, faithful, saints, upright, pure, clean, perfect and pleasing to God. Some scripture passages that exhort us to be that way or live our lives that way (i.e. to walk a path of obeying God & avoiding sin) are also included. The article then concludes by listing some occurrences of similar verses from the Deuterocanonical (Apocryphal) books of the Old Testament, and by giving some clear verses from the New Testament that demonstrate the expectation that Christians are to cease from sin and obey God and His Son Jesus.

Although this list of such verses is lengthy, it is by no means exhaustive–other such verses could still be added. But enough Scriptural evidence has been given here to make the point. So, in the list of verses given below, unless otherwise indicated, the NKJV is the translation being used. And if, in the course of examining some of the passages listed below, the reader would make an objection and insist that such verses must be “rightly interpreted,” then the very same thing must be said about Isaiah 64:6 and similar verses–interpreting such verses in context and in the light of what the Scriptures, as a whole, consistently teach us. The passages are set forth below:

Genesis 5:22–After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [Note: instead of saying that Enoch “walked with God,” the Septuagint Translation says that “Enoch was well-pleasing to God,” which is reflected in Heb 11:5]

Genesis 6:9–This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. [Note: instead of saying “Noah walked with God,” the Septuagint Translation says “Noah was well-pleasing to God”]

Genesis 7:1–Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Gen. 17:1–When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. [Note: instead of saying “walk before Me” the Septuagint Translation says “be well-pleasing before Me”]

Gen 18:23-26, 28a–And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” ….28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous;

Gen 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.”

Gen 48:15–And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, [Note: instead of saying “before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked” the Septuagint Translation says “before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac were well-pleasing“]

Exodus 23:7–Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.

Exodus 23:8–And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.

Num 23:10–Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous

Deut. 16:19–You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.

Deut. 18:13–You shall be blameless [LXX & KJV have ‘perfect’] before the LORD your God.

Deut. 25:1–If there is a dispute between men, and they come to court, that the judges may judge them, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,

1 Samuel 2:9–granting his petition to him that prays; and he blesses the years of the righteous, for by strength cannot man prevail. [LXX]

2 Samuel 4:11–How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed? Therefore, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and remove you from the earth?”

2 Samuel 22:24–I was also blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity.

2 Samuel 22:26–With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

2 Samuel 23:3–The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.

1 Kings 1:52–Then Solomon said, “If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.

1 Kings 3:6–And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

1 Kings 8:32–Then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

1 Kings 9:4–Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,

1 Kings 14:13–for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.

2 Kings 20:3a–Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal [KJV has “perfect”; others indicate “faithful”] heart, & have done what was good in Your sight.

1 Chron 29:17–I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.

2 Chron 6:23–Then hear from heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, bringing retribution on the wicked by bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

2 Chron 14:2–Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God

2 Chron 19:3–Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.

2 Chron 19:11–And take notice: Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters; also the Levites will be officials before you. Behave courageously, and the LORD will be with the good.

2 Chron 20:32–And he [Jehoshaphat] walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD.

2 Chron 29:2–And he [Hezekiah] did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.

2 Chron 31:20–Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the LORD his God.

2 Chron 34:2–And he [Josiah] did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

2 Chron 35:26–Now…the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what was written in the Law of the LORD,

Nehemiah 7:2–that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.

Nehemiah 9:8–You [God] found his [Abraham’s] heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites-to give it to his descendants.

Job 1:1–There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless [KJV has “perfect“] and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. [LXX says that he was “true, blameless, righteous, and godly, abstaining from everything evil.]

Job 1:8–Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” [LXX calls Job “a man blameless, true, godly, abstaining from everything evil?”]

Job 2:3–Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” [LXX calls Job “a harmless, true, blameless, godly man, abstaining from all evil”]

Job 4:7–Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?

Job 6:29–Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands!

Job 8:20–Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, Nor will He uphold the evildoers.

Job 9:15–For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him; I would beg mercy of my Judge.

Job 9:20–Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse.

Job 9:21–I am blameless, yet I do not know myself; I despise my life.

Job 9:22–It is all one thing; Therefore I say, ‘He destroys the blameless and the wicked.’

Job 12:4–I am one mocked by his friends, who called on God, and He answered him, the just and blameless who is ridiculed.

Job 17:8–Upright men are astonished at this, And the innocent [LXX has “the just”] stirs himself up against the hypocrite.

Job 17:9–Yet the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

Job 22:3–Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?

Job 22:19–The righteous see it and are glad, And the innocent laugh at them:

Job 23:7–There the upright could reason with Him, And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.

Job 27:6–My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.

Job 27:17–He may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver.

Job 32:1–[LXX] And his three friends also ceased any longer to answer Job: for Job was righteous before them.

Job 33:3–My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge.

Job 36:7–He [God] does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, and they are exalted.

Job 36:10–[LXX] But he will hearken to the righteous: and he has said that they shall turn from unrighteousness.

Psalm 1:5–Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Psalm 1:6–For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 4:3–But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

Psalm 5:12–For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 7:8–The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.

Psalm 7:9–Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.

Psalm 7:10–My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 11:2–For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.

Psalm 11:3–If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Psalm 11:5–The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Psalm 11:7–For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

Psalm 12:1b–Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.

Psalm 14:5–There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.

Psalm 15:1-2–Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart;

Psalm 16:3–As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

Psalm 17:2–Let my vindication come from Your presence; Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.

Psalm 18:20–The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

Psalm 18:23–I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.

Psalm 18:24–Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

Psalm 18:25–With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

Psalm 18:26–With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

Psalm 19:13–Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

Psalm 24:3-4a–Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Psalm 25:21–Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You. [LXX has: The harmless and upright joined themselves to me: for I waited for thee, O Lord.]

Psalm 30:4a–Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His,

Psalm 31:18–Let the lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Psalm 31:23–Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.

Psalm 32:6a–For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found;

Psalm 32:11–Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Psalm 33:1–Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.

Psalm 34:9–Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.

Psalm 34:15–The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

Psalm 34:17–The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 34:19–Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34:21–Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.

Psalm 36:10–Oh, continue Your loving kindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Psalm 37:3–Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness [NAS has “and cultivate faithfulness“].

Psalm 37:6–He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Psalm 37:12–The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.

Psalm 37:14–The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct.

Psalm 37:16 –A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.

Psalm 37:17–For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

Psalm 37:18–The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.

Psalm 37:21–The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

Psalm 37:25–I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

Psalm 37:27–Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.

Psalm 37:28–[LXX] For the Lord loves judgment, and will not forsake his saints; they shall be preserved for ever: the blameless shall be avenged, but the seed of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed.]

Psalm 37:29–The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.

Psalm 37:30–The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice.

Psalm 37:32–The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him.

Psalm 37:37–Mark the blameless [KJV has “perfect“] man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.

Psalm 37:39–But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.

Psalm 38:20–[LXX] They that reward evil for good slandered me; because I followed righteousness.

Psalm 40:9–[LXX] I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; lo! I will not refrain my lips; O Lord, thou knowest my righteousness.

Psalm 49:14–Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.

Psalm 50:5–Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.

Psalm 52:6–The righteous also shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, saying,

Psalm 52:9b–And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

Psalm 55:22–Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 58:10–The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,

Psalm 58:11–So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”

Psalm 64:4–That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.

Psalm 64:10–The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory.

Psalm 68:3–But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

Psalm 69:28–Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, And not be written with the righteous.

Psalm 72:7–In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more.

Psalm 73:1–Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure [LXX has “upright“] in heart.

Psalm 75:10–All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off, But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”

Psalm 79:2–The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.

Psalm 84:11–For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

Psalm 85:8a–I will hear what God the Lord will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints;

Psalm 86:2a–Preserve my life, for I am holy;

Psalm 89:19–Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one [NAS has “godly ones“], And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.

Psalm 92:12–The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Psalm 94:15–But judgment will return to righteousness, And all the upright in heart will follow it.

Psalm 94:21–They gather together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood.

Psalm 97:10–You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 97:11–Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.

Psalm 97:12–Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Psalm 101:2–I will behave wisely in a perfect way [NAS has “blameless way”]. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Psalm 101:6–My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, That they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me.

Psalm 106:3–Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!

Psalm 107:42–The righteous see it and rejoice, And all iniquity stops its mouth.

Psalm 111:1–Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

Psalm 112:2–His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Psalm 112:4–Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

Psalm 112:5–A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Psalm 112:6–Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.

Psalm 112:9–He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor.

Psalm 116:9–[LXX] I shall be well-pleasing before the Lord in the land of the living. Alleluia:

Psalm 116:15–Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.

Psalm 118:15–The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Psalm 118:20–This is the gate of the Lord, Through which the righteous shall enter.

Psalm 119:1–Blessed are the undefiled [LXX has “blameless”] in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!

Psalm 119:7–I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:121–I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors.

Psalm 119:80–Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed.

Psalm 125:3–For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest On the land allotted to the righteous, Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.

Psalm 125:4–Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, And to those who are upright in their hearts.

Psalm 132:9–Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, And let Your saints shout for joy.

Psalm 132:16–I will also clothe her priests with salvation, And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

Psalm 140:13–Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence.

Psalm 141:5–Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.

Psalm 142:7–Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

Psalm 143:10–Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

Psalm 145:10–All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You.

Psalm 146:8–The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous.

Psalm 148:14a–And He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints

Psalm 149:1–Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints.

Psalm 149:5–Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.

Psalm 149:9b–This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!

Proverbs 1:11–[LXX] If they should exhort thee, saying, Come with us, partake in blood, and let us unjustly hide the just man in the earth:

Proverbs 2:7–He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;

Proverbs 2:8–He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.

Proverbs 2:13–From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;

Proverbs 2:20–So you may walk in the way of goodness [KJV—“good men”], And keep to the paths of righteousness.

Proverbs 2:21–For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless [LXX—“holy”] will remain in it;

Proverbs 3:32–For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, But His secret counsel is with the upright.

Proverbs 3:33–The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just.

Proverbs 4:18–But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Proverbs 9:9–Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Proverbs 10:3–The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:6–Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:7–The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

Proverbs 10:9–He who walks with integrity [KJV—“uprightly”; World English Bible—“blamelessly”] walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.

Proverbs 10:11–The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:16–The labor of the righteous leads to life, The wages of the wicked to sin.

Proverbs 10:18–[LXX] Righteous lips cover enmity; but they that utter railings are most foolish.

Proverbs 10:20–The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little.

Proverbs 10:21–The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.

Proverbs 10:22–[LXX] The blessing of the Lord is upon the head of the righteous; it enriches [him], and grief of heart shall not be added to [it].

Proverbs 10:24–The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Proverbs 10:25–When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

Proverbs 10:28–The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Proverbs 10:29–The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

Proverbs 10:30–The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.

Proverbs 10:31–The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out.

Proverbs 10:32–The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

Proverbs 11:3–The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

Proverbs 11:4–Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 11:5–The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

Proverbs 11:6–The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.

Proverbs 11:7–[LXX] At the death of a just man his hope does not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perishes.

Proverbs 11:8–The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.

Proverbs 11:9–The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

Proverbs 11:10–When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.

Proverbs 11:11–By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 11:13–A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

Proverbs 11:15–[LXX] A bad man does harm wherever he meets a just man: and he hates the sound of safety.

Proverbs 11:18–The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. [LXX has “An ungodly man performs unrighteous works: but the seed of the righteous is a reward of truth.”]

Proverbs 11:19–[NAS] He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, and he who pursues evil will bring about his own death [LXX has “A righteous son is born for life: but the persecution of the ungodly ends in death.”]

Proverbs 11:20–Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, But the blameless in their ways are His delight.

Proverbs 11:21–Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.

Proverbs 11:23–The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

Proverbs 11:27–He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

Proverbs 11:28–He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

Proverbs 11:30–The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

Proverbs 11:31–If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.

Proverbs 12:2–A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

Proverbs 12:3–A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

Proverbs 12:5–The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

Proverbs 12:6–The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

Proverbs 12:7–The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.

Proverbs 12:10–A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:12–The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit.

Proverbs 12:13–The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble.

Proverbs 12:17–[LXX] A righteous man declares the open truth; but an unjust witness is deceitful.

Proverbs 12:21–No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil.

Proverbs 12:25–[LXX] A terrible word troubles the heart of a righteous man; but a good message rejoices him.

Proverbs 12:26–The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 12:27–[LXX] A deceitful man shall catch no game; but a blameless man is a precious possession.

Proverbs 12:28–In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

Proverbs 13:2–[LXX] A good man shall eat of the fruits of righteousness: but the lives of transgressors shall perish before their time.

Proverbs 13:5–A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.

Proverbs 13:6–Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner.

Proverbs 13:9–The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out. [LXX adds “Crafty souls go astray in sins: but just men pity, and are merciful.”]

Proverbs 13:11–[LXX] Wealth gotten hastily with iniquity is diminished: but he that gathers for himself with godliness shall be increased. The righteous is merciful, and lends.

Proverbs 13:17–A wicked messenger falls into trouble, But a faithful ambassador brings health.

Proverbs 13:19–[LXX] The desires of the godly gladden the soul, but the works of the ungodly are far from knowledge.

Proverbs 13:21–Evil pursues sinners, But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.

Proverbs 13:22–A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 13:23–[LXX] The righteous shall spend many years in wealth: but the unrighteous shall perish suddenly.

Proverbs 13:25–The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.

Proverbs 14:2–He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

Proverbs 14:5–A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.

Proverbs 14:9–Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.

Proverbs 14:11–The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish.

Proverbs 14:14–The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.

Proverbs 14:19–The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Proverbs 14:22–Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. [LXX has “They that go astray devise evils: but the good devise mercy and truth. The framers of evil do not understand mercy and truth: but compassion and faithfulness are with the framers of good.”]

Proverbs 14:32–The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death.

Proverbs 15:3–The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Proverbs 15:5–[LXX] A fool scorns his father’s instruction; but he that keeps his commandments is more prudent. In abounding righteousness is great strength: but the ungodly shall utterly perish from the earth.

Proverbs 15:6–In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.

Proverbs 15:8–The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

Proverbs 15:9–The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness.

Proverbs 15:14–[LXX] An upright heart seeks discretion; but the mouth of the uninstructed will experience evils.

Proverbs 15:15–[LXX] The eyes of the wicked are always looking for evil things; but the good are always quiet.

Proverbs 15:19–The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.

Proverbs 15:21–Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.

Proverbs 15:26–The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.

Proverbs 15:28–The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. [LXX adds “The ways of righteous men are acceptable with the Lord; and through them even enemies become friends.”]

Proverbs 15:29–The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. [LXX adds “Better are small receipts with righteousness, than abundant fruits with unrighteousness.”]

Proverbs 16:1–[LXX] Let the heart of a man think justly, that his steps may be rightly ordered of God.

Proverbs 16:5–[LXX] Every one that is proud in heart is unclean before God, and he that unjustly strikes hands with hand shall not be held guiltless. The beginning of a good way is to do justly; and it is more acceptable with God than to offer sacrifices. He that seeks the Lord shall find knowledge with righteousness; and they that rightly seek him shall find peace. All the works of the Lord are done with righteousness; and they ungodly man is kept for the evil day.

Proverbs 16:7–When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Proverbs 16:8–Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.

Proverbs 16:12–It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness.

Proverbs 16:13–Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right.

Proverbs 16:17–The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

Proverbs 16:31–The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 17:4–[LXX] A bad man hearkens to the tongue of transgressors: but a righteous man attends not to false lips.

Proverbs 17:6–[LXX] Children’s children are the crown of old men; and their fathers are the glory of children. The faithful has the whole world full of wealth; but the faithless not even a farthing.

Proverbs 17:7–[LXX] Faithful lips will not suit a fool; nor lying lips a just man.

Proverbs 17:15–He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

Proverbs 17:26–Also, to punish the righteous is not good, Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

Proverbs 18:5–It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

Proverbs 18:10–The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

Proverbs 18:17–[LXX] A righteous man accuses himself at the beginning of his speech, but when he has entered upon the attack, the adversary is reproved.

Proverbs 20:6–[LXX] A man is valuable, and a merciful man precious: but it is hard to find a faithful man.

Proverbs 20:7–The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

Proverbs 20:8–[LXX] Whenever a righteous king sits on the throne, no evil thing can stand before his presence.

Proverbs 20:11–Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right. [LXX has “A youth when in company with a godly man, will be restrained in his devices, and then his way will be straight.”]

Proverbs 21:3–To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Proverbs 21:7–The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice. [LXX has “Destruction shall lodge with the ungodly; for they refuse to do justly.”]

Proverbs 21:8–The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right. [NAS has “his conduct is upright“]

Proverbs 21:12–[KJV] The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness. [LXX has “A righteous man understands the hearts of the ungodly: and despises the ungodly for their wickedness.”]

Proverbs 21:15–It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. [LXX has “It is the joy of the righteous to do judgement: but a holy man is abominable with evil-doers.”]

Proverbs 21:18–The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, And the unfaithful for the upright.

Proverbs 21:21–He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness and honor.

Proverbs 21:26–He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare.

Proverbs 21:29–A wicked man hardens his face, But as for the upright, he establishes his way.

Proverbs 22:11–[LXX] The Lord loves holy hearts, and all blameless persons are acceptable with him: a king rules with his lips.

Proverbs 23:24–The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.

Proverbs 23:30c–Be not drunk with wine; but converse with just men, and converse with them openly.

Proverbs 24:15–Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; Do not plunder his resting place;

Proverbs 24:16–For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

Proverbs 25:13–Like the cold of snow in time of harvest Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

Proverbs 25:26–A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

Proverbs 27:21b–[LXX] The heart of the transgressor seeks after mischiefs; but an upright heart seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 28:1–The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:6–[KJV] Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Proverbs 28:10–Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, He himself will fall into his own pit; But the blameless will inherit good.

Proverbs 28:12–When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.

Proverbs 28:18–Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved [LXX has “assisted”], But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall [LXX has “shall be entangled therein”].

Proverbs 28:20–A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 28:21a–[LXX] He that reverences not the persons of the just is not good:

Proverbs 28:28–When the wicked arise, men hide themselves [LXX has “the righteous mourn”]; But when they perish, the righteous increase.

Proverbs 29:2–When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

Proverbs 29:4–[LXX] A righteous king establishes a country: but a transgressor destroys it.

Proverbs 29:6–By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.

Proverbs 29:7–The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.

Proverbs 29:10–The bloodthirsty hate the blameless [LXX has “holy”], But the upright seek his well-being.

Proverbs 29:16–When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall.

Proverbs 29:27–An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. [LXX has “A righteous man is an abomination to an unrighteous man, and the direct way is an abomination to the sinner.”]

Proverbs 30:23–[LXX] or if a maid-servant should cast out her own mistress; and if a hateful woman should marry a good man.

Eccles. 2:26–For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Eccles. 3:12–I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives…

Eccles. 3:16–[LXX] And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgement, there was the ungodly one; and the place of righteousness, there was the godly one.

Eccles. 3:17–I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

Eccles. 7:15–I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.

Eccles. 7:16–Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?

Eccles. 7:20–For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.

Eccles. 7:26–And I find more bitter than death The woman whose heart is snares and nets, Whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, But the sinner shall be trapped by her. [LXX has “And I find her to be, and I will pronounce to be more bitter than death the woman which is a snare, and her heart nets, who has a band in her hands: he that is good in the sight of God shall be delivered from her; but the sinner shall be caught by her.”]

Eccles. 7:29–Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.

Eccles. 8:14–There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Eccles. 9:1–For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.

Eccles. 9:2–All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean [“pure”-LXX], and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.

Eccles. 11:9–[LXX] Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart blameless, but not in the sight of thine eyes: yet know that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement.

Isaiah 3:10–Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

Isaiah 5:23–Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!

Isaiah 24:16–From the ends of the earth we have heard songs: “Glory to the righteous!” But I said, “I am ruined, ruined! Woe to me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.”

Isaiah 26:2–Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.

Isaiah 26:7–The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just.

Isaiah 26:9-10–With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

Isaiah 29:21–Who make a man an offender by a word, And lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, And turn aside the just by empty words.

Isaiah 33:15-16–He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.

Isaiah 49:24–Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, Or the captives of the righteous be delivered?

Isaiah 56:1–Keep justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.

Isaiah 57:1–The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.

Isaiah 57:2–He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.

Isaiah 58:8–Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Isaiah 60:21–Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3–…that they [the people] may be called ‘trees of righteousness‘…

Isaiah 64:5–You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness

Jeremiah 20:12–But, O Lord of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the mind and heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them; For I have pleaded my cause before You.

Lam 4:13–Because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in her midst the blood of the just.

Ezekiel 3:20–Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Ezekiel 3:21–Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

Ezekiel 13:22–Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.

Ezekiel 14:14–Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 14:20–…even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Ezekiel 18:5–But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right;

Ezekiel 18:9–If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully– He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 18:19-20–Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Ezekiel 18:21-22–But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.

Ezekiel 18:24–But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

Ezekiel 18:26-27–When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.

Ezekiel 21:3–And say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off both righteous and wicked from you.

Ezekiel 21:4–Because I will cut off both righteous and wicked from you, therefore My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north,

Ezekiel 23:45–But righteous men will judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.

Ezekiel 33:12–Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’

Ezekiel 33:13–When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.

Ezekiel 33:18–When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it.

Daniel 4:27–Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

Hosea 14:9–Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.

Amos 2:6–Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals.

Amos 5:12–For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate.

Jonah 1:14–And they cried to the Lord, and said, Forbid it, Lord: let us not perish for the sake of this man’s life, and bring not righteous [innocent—KJV] blood upon us: for thou, Lord, hast done as thou wouldest. [LXX]

Micah 2:7b–Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?

Micah 7:2–The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.

Habakkuk 1:4–Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.

Habakkuk 1:13b–Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?

Habakkuk 2:4–Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.

Malachi 2:15b–He seeks godly offspring.

Malachi 3:18–Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.

Matthew 1:19–Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

Matthew 5:8–Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

Matthew 5:20–For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:45–that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:48–Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 10:10-13–nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.

Matthew 10:37-38–He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

Matthew 10:41–He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

Matthew 13:17–for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:43–Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Matthew 13:49–So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Matthew 19:21–Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Matthew 23:29–Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

Matthew 23:35–that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Matthew 25:37–Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?

Matthew 25:46–And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Mark 6:20–for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

Luke 1:6–And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luke 1:17–He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Luke 1:74-75–To grant us that we…might serve Him…in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

Luke 2:25–And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Luke 5:32–I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

Luke 6:40–A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher [i.e. like Jesus].

Luke 14:14–And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Luke 15:7–I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Luke 20:35–But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

Luke 21:36–Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Luke 23:50–Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.

John 5:29–and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

John 17:23–I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Acts 5:41–So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Acts 10:22–And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.”

Acts 10:35–But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Acts 11:24–For he [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

Acts 24:15–I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

Romans 1:17–For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Romans 2:7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

Romans 2:10–but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Romans 5:7–For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

Romans 6:13–And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Romans 6:18–And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:22–But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Romans 12:1–I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

1 Cor 2:6–However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature [KJV has “perfect“], yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

2 Cor 5:9-10–Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

2 Cor 6:14–Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

2 Cor 7:1–Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Cor 9:10–Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

2 Cor 13:9–For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete [NRSV has “perfect“].

Galatians 3:11But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.

Galatians 6:9-10And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Ephesians 1:4–just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Ephesians 4:1–I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

Ephesians 4:12–for the equipping [KJV has “perfecting] of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:13–till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ephesians 4:24–and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 6:14–Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

Philippians 2:15–That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Philippians 3:15–Therefore let us, as many as are mature [KJV has “perfect”], have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

Colossians 1:10–that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Colossians 1:22–In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

Colossians 1:26–the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

Colossians 1:28–Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 4:12–Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

1 Thess. 2:10–You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe. [WEB—World English Bible]

1 Thess. 2:12–that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

1 Thess. 3:13–So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1 Thess. 5:23–Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thess. 1:5–which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;

2 Thes 1:11–Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,

1 Timothy 1:9–knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 2:2b–that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

1 Timothy 3:2–A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

1 Timothy 3:10–But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

1 Timothy 4:7–But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

1 Timothy 5:7–And these things command, that they may be blameless.

1 Timothy 5:17-18–Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.

1 Timothy  6:11–But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:14–That you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

2 Timothy 3:12–Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:16-17–All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete [KJV has “perfect“], thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Titus 1:6-8–If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

Titus 2:4-5–that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Titus 2:12–teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

Hebrews 3:5–And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,

Hebrews 10:38–Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

Hebrews 11:4–By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Hebrews 11:5–By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Hebrews 12:23–to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Hebrews 13:21–make you complete [KJV has “perfect“] in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

James 1:4–But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 3:2b–If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

James 5:6–You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.

James 5:16–Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

1 Peter 1:15-16–but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 

1 Peter 2:24–who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 3:6–as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

1 Peter 3:11–Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:12–For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

1 Peter 3:17–For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 Peter 4:18–Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

1 Peter 4:19–Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

1 Peter 5:10–But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

2 Peter 1:3–as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

2 Peter 1:5-7–But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2 Peter 2:5-9–and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

2 Peter 3:11–Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

2 Peter 3:14–Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

1 John 2:29–If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:3–And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:7–Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

1 John 3:10–In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:12–Not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

1 John 3:22–And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

1 John 4:17–Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

Revelation 3:2–Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

Revelation 3:4–You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

Revelation 14:5–And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault [or “blameless” as the NAS has it] before the throne of God.

Revelation 17:6–I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Revelation 17:14–These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 18:20–Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles [NAS has “saints and apostles”] and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!

Revelation 18:24–And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.

Revelation 19:8–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.

Revelation 20:6a–Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.

Revelation 20:9a–They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.

Revelation 22:11–He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.

So, What Is the Meaning of Isaiah 64:6?

Let’s examine the context of Isa. 64:6. When we go to Isaiah, chapter 65, we find that verse 6 is actually part of a prayer of penitence and a request for mercy that begins way back in chapter 63 of Isaiah, verse 7. There Isaiah recounts what God had done for Israel in times past. He then says in verse 10:

But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy. And He fought against them.

Moving forward to Chap. 64:1, Isaiah prays:

Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence—

Picking up with verse 4, we read:

Since the beginning of the world, men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers you in your way.

Isaiah says that God meets him who does righteousness, who remembers God’s ways. Nothing about God being offended at someone’s attempts to do righteousness. Picking back up with the middle of verse 5, it continues:

You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—in these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for you have hidden your face from us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities. …Do not be furious, O Lord, nor remember iniquity forever; Indeed, please look—we all are your people! Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness.

So what is the context? God is not the speaker! And this isn’t a prophetic utterance from the Lord. Rather, this is a prayer of national penitence that Isaiah is making on behalf of the apostate nation of Israel. It follows the typical pattern of the prayers of penitence of the Israelite people—where when petitioning for mercy, they amplify their wrongs and magnify their smallness in comparison to the greatness of the Lord. Isaiah is acknowledging that they have sinned; that they have strayed; that they have become unclean; that their righteousness has been sullied; that they have fallen because of their iniquities. The LXX renders Is 64:5-7 like this:

For these blessings shall happen to them that work righteousness, and they shall remember thy ways: behold, thou wast angry and we have sinned; therefore we have erred, and we are all become as unclean, and all our righteousness as a filthy rag: and we have fallen as leaves because of our iniquities; thus the wind shall carry us away. And there is none that calls upon thy name, or that remembers to take hold on thee: for thou hast turned thy face away from us, and hast delivered us up because of our sins.

Isaiah 64:6 is not a statement about the condition of humans in general, and it is certainly not a pronouncement that God detests the righteous acts of those who love Him. Let’s see how God expresses Himself in the Book of Isaiah—what He says about righteous deeds. Let’s begin back in the 1st chapter of Isaiah:

Isa. 1:15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. 16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 21 How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers.

Isa. 3:10, 11: [God is still the speaker:] “Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him.”

Isa. 5:7 [God is still speaking:] For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.”

Isa. 5:20, 23: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; … who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man!”

Isa. 48:17, 18: “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go. Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Isa. 51:1: [The Lord is still speaking:] “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord … Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you. …Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law. Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults.”

Isa. 56:1, 2: “Keep justice and do righteousness, for my salvation is about to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who dies this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling Sabbath and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

Can you now see how erroneous it is to quote Is. 64:6 and say that God views all of our righteous acts as filthy rags? He obviously doesn’t feel that way at all! Rather than being an offense to God, the righteous acts of those who are not yet born again ascend to God as a memorial. Notice what the Scriptures say about Cornelius:

Acts 10:1-4: There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day, he saw clearly in a vision an angel of Cod coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, Lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”

So God didn’t view Cornelius’ almsgiving as “filthy rags.” Rather, his righteous deeds went up to God as a memorial. At the same time, almsgiving wasn’t going to save Cornelius. He still needed Jesus Christ. But God sent a special ambassador to Cornelius and his household because of the righteous life he had lived, apart from knowing Christ. In light of all this, we would all do well to remember what Jesus will say on Judgment Day:

Matt 25:34-40: ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Evidence from the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament[6]

1 Esdras 1:23—“And the deeds of Josiah were upright in the sight of the Lord, for his heart was full of godliness.”

The Prayer of Manasseh 1:1—“O Lord Almighty, God of our ancestors, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and of their righteous offspring;”

The Prayer of Manasseh 1:8a—“Therefore you, O Lord, God of the righteous,”

2 Esdras 3:11—“But you left one of them, Noah with his household, and all the righteous who have descended from him.”

2 Esdras 4:27—“It will not be able to bring the things that have been promised to the righteous in their appointed times, because this age is full of sadness and infirmities.”

2 Esdras 4:35—“Did not the souls of the righteous in their chambers ask about these matters, saying, ‘How long are we to remain here? And when will the harvest of our reward come?’”

2 Esdras 4:39—“It is perhaps on account of us that the time of threshing is delayed for the righteous—on account of the sins of those who inhabit the earth.”

2 Esdras 6:32—“because your voice has surely been heard by the Most High; for the Mighty One has seen your uprightness and has also observed the purity that you have maintained from your youth.”

2 Esdras 7:17-18a—“Then I answered and said, ‘O sovereign Lord, you have ordained in your law that the righteous shall inherit these things, but that the ungodly shall perish. 18 The righteous, therefore, can endure difficult circumstances while hoping for easier ones;’”

2 Esdras 7:51—“Inasmuch as you have said that the righteous are not many but few, while the ungodly abound, hear the explanation for this.”

2 Esdras 7:99a—“This is the order of the souls of the righteous, as henceforth is announced;”

2 Esdras 7:102—“I answered and said, ‘If I have found favor in your sight, show further to me, your servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them—’”

2 Esdras 7:105b—“for then all shall bear their own righteousness and unrighteousness.”

2 Esdras 7:111/41—“So if now, when corruption has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, why will it not be so then as well?”

2 Esdras 7:114/44—“sinful indulgence has come to an end, unbelief has been cut off, and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared.”

2 Esdras 8:33—“For the righteous, who have many works laid up with you, shall receive their reward in consequence of their own deeds.”

2 Esdras 8:39—“but I will rejoice over the creation of the righteous, over their pilgrimage also, and their salvation, and their receiving their reward.”

2 Esdras 8:47b-49—“But you have often compared yourself to the unrighteous. Never do so! 48 But even in this respect you will be praiseworthy before the Most High, 49 because you have humbled yourself, as is becoming for you, and have not considered yourself to be among the righteous. You will receive the greatest glory,”

2 Esdras 8:57—“Moreover, they have even trampled on his righteous ones,”

2 Esdras 9:13—“Therefore, do not continue to be curious about how the ungodly will be punished; but inquire how the righteous will be saved, those to whom the age belongs and for whose sake the age was made.”

2 Esdras 10:22—“…our righteous men have been carried off…”

2 Esdras 10:38—“He [the Most High] seen your [Ezra’s] righteous conduct and that you have sorrowed continually for your people and mourned greatly over Zion.”

2 Esdras 12:7, 9—“Then I said, ‘O sovereign Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, and if I have been accounted righteous before you beyond many others, and if my prayer has indeed come up before your face, ….9 For you have judged me worthy to be shown the end of times and the last events of the times.’”

2 Esdras 12:36—“And you [Ezra] alone were worthy to learn this secret of the Most High.”

2 Esdras 13:14—“From the beginning you have shown your servant these wonders, and have deemed me worthy to have my prayer heard by you;”

2 Esdras 14:35—“For after death the judgment will come, when we shall live again; and then the names of the righteous shall become manifest, and the deeds of the ungodly shall be disclosed.”

2 Esdras 14:45—“And when the forty days were ended, the Most High spoke to me, saying, ‘Make public the twenty-four books that you wrote first, and let the worthy and the unworthy read them;”

2 Esdras 15:8—“I will be silent no longer concerning their ungodly acts that they impiously commit, neither will I tolerate their wicked practices. Innocent and righteous blood cries out to me, and the souls of the righteous cry out continually.”

Tobit 1:3a—“I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and righteousness all the days of my life.”

Tobit 4:5b—“Live uprightly all the days of your life, and do not walk in the ways of wrongdoing;”

Tobit 4:6b-7a—“To all those who practice righteousness give alms from your possessions, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it.”

Tobit 4:17—“Place your bread on the grave of the righteous, but give none to sinners.”

Tobit 4:21b—“You have great wealth if your fear God and flee from every sin and do what is good in the sight of the Lord your God.”

Tobit 6:12c—“Moreover, the girl is sensible, brave, and very beautiful, and her father is a good man.”

Tobit 7:7a—“He also spoke to him as follows, ‘Blessings on you, my child, so of a good and noble father! O most miserable of calamities that such an upright and beneficent man has become blind!’”

Tobit 9:6c—“He sprang up and greeted Gabael, who wept and blessed him with the words, ‘Good and noble son of a father good and noble, upright and generous!’”

Tobit 12:8—“Prayer with fasting is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold.”

Tobit 13:6—“Turn back, you sinners, and do what is right before him; perhaps he may look with favor upon you and show you mercy.”

Tobit 13:9—“O Jerusalem, the holy city, he afflicted you for the deeds of your hands, but will again have mercy on the children of the righteous.”

Tobit 13:13—“Go, then, and rejoice over the children of the righteous, for they will be gathered together and will praise the Lord of the ages.”

Tobit 14:9—“So now, my children, I command you, serve God faithfully and do what is pleasing in his sight. Your children are also to be commanded to do what is right and to give alms, and to be mindful of God and to bless his name at all times with sincerity and with all their strength.”

Esther 8:13 [LXX includes the text of the decree that was sent out, and it, speaking of Haman, says that he,]—“having by various and subtle artifices demanded for destruction both Mardochaeus our deliverer and perpetual benefactor, and Esther the blameless consort of our kingdom, with their whole nation.”

1 Maccabees 4:42—“He [Judas Maccabeus] chose blameless priests devoted to the law,”

2 Maccabees 1:2—“May God do good to you, and may he remember his covenant with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, his faithful servants.”

2 Maccabees 15:12—“What he saw was this: Onias, who had been high priest, a noble and good man, of modest bearing and gentle manner, one who spoke fittingly and had been trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence…”

3 Maccabees 3:5—“but since they adorned their style of life with the good deeds of upright people, they were established in good repute with everyone.”

Wis. of Sol. 2:10—“Let us oppress the righteous poor man; let us not spare the widow or regard the gray hairs of the aged.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 2:12—“Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 2:16—“We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 2:18—“for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 2:22—“and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 3:1—“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 3:9—“Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 3:10—“But the ungodly will be punished as their reasoning deserves, those who disregarded the righteous and rebelled against the Lord;” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 3:14—“Blessed also is the eunuch whose hands have done no lawless deed, and who has not devised wicked things against the Lord; for special favor will be shown him for his faithfulness, and a place of great delight in the temple of the Lord.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:1—“Better than this is childlessness with virtue, for in the memory of virtue is immortality, because it is known both by God and by mortals.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:7—“But the righteous, though they die early, will be at rest.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:9—“but understanding is gray hair for anyone, and a blameless life is ripe old age.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:10—“There were some who pleased God and were loved by him, and while living among sinners were taken up.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:12—“For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:14—“for their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:15—“ Yet the peoples saw and did not understand, or take such a thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with his elect, and that he watches over his holy ones.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 4:16—“The righteous who have died will condemn the ungodly who are living, and youth that is quickly perfected will condemn the prolonged old age of the unrighteous.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 5:1—“Then the righteous will stand with great confidence in the presence of those who have oppressed them and those who make light of their labors.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 5:2—“When the unrighteous see them, they will be shaken with dreadful fear, and they will be amazed at the unexpected salvation of the righteous.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 5:5—“Why have they been numbered among the children of God? And why is their lot among the saints?” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 5:15—“But the righteous live forever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 6:10—“For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defense.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 7:27—“Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets;” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 8:19-20—“As a child I was naturally gifted, and a good soul fell to my lot; 20 or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol 9:18—“And thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and people were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:4—“When the earth was flooded because of him, wisdom again saved it, steering the righteous man by a paltry piece of wood.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:5—“Wisdom also, when the nations in wicked agreement had been put to confusion, recognized the righteous man and preserved him blameless before God, and kept him strong in the face of his compassion for his child.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:6—“Wisdom rescued a righteous man when the ungodly were perishing; he escaped the fire that descended on the Five Cities.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:10—“When a righteous man fled from his brother’s wrath, she guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of holy things; she prospered him in his labors, and increased the fruit of his toil.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:12—“She protected him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those who lay in wait for him; in his arduous contest she gave him the victory, so that he might learn that godliness is more powerful than anything else.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:13—“When a righteous man was sold, wisdom did not desert him, but delivered him from sin.” [NRSV]

[Note: While the following section of The Wisdom of Solomon does indeed speak of people—in this case, the Israelites as a whole—as being righteous, the section seems to underscore the Egyptians culpability while omitting reference to any of Israel’s failures. This is also the general impression that this writer gets when considering the Scripture passages that commend individuals who have very obvious faults and moral failings, such as Lot (2 Peter 2:7) and Jephthah (Heb 11:32).]

Wis. of Sol. 10:15—“A holy people and blameless race wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:17—“She gave to holy people the reward of their labors; she guided them along a marvelous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and a starry flame through the night.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 10:20—“Therefore the righteous plundered the ungodly; they sang hymns, O Lord, to your holy name, and praised with one accord your defending hand;” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 11:1—“Wisdom prospered their works by the hand of a holy prophet.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 11:13—“For when they heard that through their own punishments the righteous had received benefit, they perceived it was the Lord’s doing.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 11:14—“For though they had mockingly rejected him who long before had been cast out and exposed, at the end of the events they marveled at him, when they felt thirst in a different way from the righteous.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 12:9—“though you were not unable to give the ungodly into the hands of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them at one blow by dread wild animals or your stern word.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 12:19—“Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 16:17—“For—most incredible of all—in water, which quenches all things, the fire had still greater effect, for the universe defends the righteous.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 16:23—“whereas the fire, in order that the righteous might be fed, even forgot its native power.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 18:1—“But for your holy ones there was very great light. Their enemies heard their voices but did not see their forms, and counted them happy for not having suffered,” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol 18:2—“and were thankful that your holy ones, though previously wronged, were doing them no injury; and they begged their pardon for having been at variance with them.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 18:5—“When they had resolved to kill the infants of your holy ones, and one child had been abandoned and rescued, you in punishment took away a multitude of their children; and you destroyed them all together by a mighty flood.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 18:7—“The deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of their enemies were expected by your people” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol 18:9—“For in secret the holy children of good people offered sacrifices, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, so that the saints would share alike the same things, both blessings and dangers; and already they were singing the praises of the ancestors.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 18:20—“The experience of death touched also the righteous, and a plague came upon the multitude in the desert, but the wrath did not long continue.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 18:21—“For a blameless man was quick to act as their champion; he brought forward the shield of his ministry, prayer and propitiation by incense; he withstood the anger and put an end to the disaster, showing that he was your servant.” [NRSV]

Wis. of Sol. 19:17—“They were stricken also with loss of sight—just as were those at the door of the righteous man—when, surrounded by yawning darkness, all of them tried to find the way through their own doors.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 3:14—“For kindness [literally, ‘righteousness’] to a father will not be forgotten, and will be credited to you against your sins;” [NRSV]. [Another version—the UPDV Updated Bible Version—renders this same verse as, “A father’s righteousness will not be wiped away, And sin will be the recompense for breaking it down.”]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 9:16—“Let the righteous be your dinner companions, and let your glory be in the fear of the Lord.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 11:17—“The Lord’s gift remains with the devout [LXX has ‘godly’; UPDV Updated Bible Version has ‘righteous’], and his favor brings lasting success.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 11:22—“The blessing of the Lord is the reward of the pious [LXX has ‘godly’; UPDV Updated Bible Version has ‘righteous’], and quickly God causes his blessing to flourish.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 12:2—“Do good to the devout [LXX has ‘godly’; UPDV Updated Bible Version has ‘righteous’], and you will be repaid—if not by them, certainly by the Most High.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 12:4—“Give to the devout [LXX has ‘godly’], but do not help the sinner.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 12:7—“Give to the one who is good, but do not help the sinner.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 13:17—“What does a wolf have in common with a lamb? No more has a sinner with the devout.” [NRSV; LXX has ‘godly’; UPDV Updated Bible Version has ‘righteous’].

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 23:12—“There is a manner of speaking comparable to death; may it never be found in the inheritance of Jacob! Such conduct will be far from the godly, and they will not wallow in sins.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 26:28—“At two things my heart is grieved, and because of a third anger comes over me: a warrior in want through poverty, intelligent men who are treated contemptuously, and a man who turns back from righteousness to sin—the Lord will prepare him for the sword!” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 27:8—“If you pursue justice [LXX has “righteousness”], you will attain it and wear it like a glorious robe.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 27:11—“The conversation of the godly is always wise, but the fool changes like the moon.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 27:29—“Those who rejoice in the fall of the godly will be caught in a snare, and pain will consume them before their death.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 28:15—“Slander has driven virtuous [New Jerusalem Bible has “upright”] women from their homes, and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 29:14—“A good person will be surety for his neighbor, but the one who has lost all sense of shame will fail him.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 31:8—“Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless, and who does not go after gold.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 32:16—“Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments, and they will kindle righteous deeds like a light. [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 33:14—“Good is the opposite of evil, and life is the opposite of death; so the sinner is the opposite of the godly.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35:5—“To keep from wickedness is pleasing to the Lord, and to forsake unrighteousness is an atonement.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35:8—“The offering of the righteous enriches the altar, and its pleasing odor rises before the Most High.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35:9—“The sacrifice of the righteous is acceptable, and it will never be forgotten.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35:20—“The one whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and his prayer will reach to the clouds.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35:21-22a—“The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and it will not rest until it reaches its goal; it will not desist until the Most High responds 22 and does justice for the righteous, and executes judgment.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 39:13—“Listen to me, my faithful children, and blossom like a rose growing by a stream of water.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 39:24—“To the faithful his ways are straight, but full of pitfalls for the wicked.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 39:24—“From the beginning good things were created for the good, but for sinners good things and bad.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 39:27—“All these are good for the godly, but for sinners they turn into evils.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 40:12—“All bribery and injustice will be blotted out, but good faith [Orthodox LXX has “faithfulness”] will last forever

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 40:19—“Children and the building of a city establish one’s name, but better than either is the one who finds wisdom. Cattle and orchards make one prosperous; but a blameless wife is accounted better than either.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 43:33—“For the Lord has made all things, and to the godly he has given wisdom.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 44:10—“But these also were godly men, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 44:16—“Enoch pleased the Lord and was taken up, an example of repentance to all generations.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 44:17—“Noah was found perfect and righteous; in the time of wrath he kept the race alive; therefore a remnant was left on the earth when the flood came.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 44:23—“he made to rest on the head of Jacob; he acknowledged him with his blessings, and gave him his inheritance; he divided his portions, and distributed them among twelve tribes. From his descendants the Lord brought forth a godly man, who found favor in the sight of all” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 45:6—“He exalted Aaron, a holy man like Moses who was his brother, of the tribe of Levi.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 48:16—“Some of them did what was right [“virtuous”—Orthodox LXX; “pleasing to God”—Brenton LXX], but others sinned more and more.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 48:22—“For Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord, and he kept firmly to the ways of his ancestor David, as he was commanded by the prophet Isaiah, who was great and trustworthy in his visions.” [NRSV]

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 49:2-3—“He [Josiah] did what was right by reforming the people, and removing the wicked abominations. He kept his heart fixed on the Lord; in lawless times he made godliness prevail.” [NRSV]

Some “Stop Sinning” or “Cease from Sin” verses from the New Testament

John 5:14b: “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

John 8:11b: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Romans 6:6-7, 11, 18: “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sinFor he who has died has been freed from sin….11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord….18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

1 Corinthians 15:34: “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”

1 Peter 4:1: “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,”

1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if [not “when”] anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

1 John 2:3-4: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

1 John 3:6-7: “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

1 John 3:8-9:  “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”

1 John 5:18: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”

Notes:

[1] Used by permission and selected from the message Does God View Our Righteousness as Filthy Rags? by David Bercot. Copyright 2003 © David Bercot. Original Message available from Scroll Publishing Company, PO Box 122, Amberson, PA  17210. (717) 349-7033.  www.scrollpublishing.com. This article is a revised & expanded version of a CD-ROM article by David Bercot which accompanies the CD message entitled “Filthy Rags,” which is published by Scroll Publishing. The original article can be purchased (along with the audio message) at: https://scrollpublishing.com/products/audio-set-does-god-view-our-righteousness-as-filthy-rags/ and the audio message “Filthy Rags,” that accompanies the article can be listened to free of charge at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Ky-HKTBM8&t=1s.

[2] This verse is often taken out of context. But according to the Bible as a whole, are the good works performed by repentant/obedient believers filthy to God? Consider Deut 6:25—“Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” Also, Isaiah 64:5-6 must be considered in context: “You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry for we have sinned—In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are all [become—ASV] like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” In other words, when we sin, all the good we have done becomes for naught, a principle which can be seen in Ezekiel 18:24: “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.”

[3] In The Foundation of Augustinian-Calvinism (2nd page of chap 5), Ken Wilson says: “Psalm 51:5 had never been cited by a Christian author as proof of separation from God at physical birth (a Manichaean doctrine) until Augustine used it to turn traditional original sin (sin propensity, moral weakness, and physical death) into Augustinian original sin (inherited sin and guilt from Adam producing damnation at birth and total spiritual inability).” He says that Psalm 51:5 is hyperbole as seen by comparing it to Psalm 58:3.

[4] Although it is uncommon these days for Protestants to quote from the Apocrypha, there are also verses from those books that could be used in a similar manner. Such as: Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 18:1—“He who lives forever created the whole universe; the Lord alone is just.

[5] Augustine (in Pecc. merit. 1.34 & 3.13) used this verse to support the practices of infant baptism & infant communion.

[6] All of the following quotations are taken from the NRSV version of the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books.

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