Seven Redemptive Names: 4. Yahweh Tsidkenu (יהוה צדקנו) The LORD Our Righteousness
You may recall that Jehovah derives from Yahweh, an anglicised version of YHWH, for the ancient Hebrew language did not have vowels, YHWH being Yodh Heh Waw Heh in Canaanite-Hebrew. In the same way, Tsidkenu was originally, “tsdq’ and has been extended into Tsidkenu. It means ‘straight’ or ‘a state of justice’ or ‘righteousness.’
Combining the two, Yahweh-Tsidkenu means The LORD Our Righteousness and points us to the righteousness that comes from God. It is generally used to describe Jesus – even in the Jewish Talmud (the body of Jewish ceremonial and civil law), it is viewed as a name of the Messiah (Christ). It is found in Jeremiah:
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will grow a righteous branch for David.
He will be a king who will rule wisely.
He will do what is fair and right in the land.
In his lifetime, Judah will be saved,
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name that he will be given:
Yahweh-Tsidkenu. (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
We are made ‘right’ with God through Jesus. This is done in the manner of righteousness and of justice. God forgives us through His justice, and invites us to walk in His righteousness so that we remain right; redeemed once and for all. Jesus paid the price for our sins but did not just leave us there, for:
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
If you think you are a failure, that you will never be good enough to earn the name Christian; if you think that you cannot be at peace until all the wrongs you have committed have been put right (and you just don’t have the power to put them right); if you think that YOU do not have the righteousness that is necessary for all this, then relax. It’s not you. None of us has this righteousness that we can earn our way in. But Jesus gave us the righteousness. His is the righteousness that allows for the justice that secures our forgiveness. A free gift for us and all we have to do is to accept it. As ever, Scripture sets it out best:
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:22-26)
In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live securely. Jerusalem will be called Yahweh-Tsidkenu. (Jeremiah 33:16)
[from Timothy Pitt]