9263. The expressions the righteous, righteousness, and justifying 1
occur many times in the Word; but what they mean specifically is not yet known. Their specific meaning is not yet known because up to now no one has known that all the different expressions in the Word are used to mean such things as belong to the internal Church and such as belong to heaven, thus such things as belong to the internal man since the internal aspect of the Church, also heaven, has a place in the internal man. Nor has anyone known that these interior things in the Word are different from its exterior ones, that is, from those in the letter. They are as different as spiritual things are from natural ones or heavenly things from earthly ones, the difference between which is so great that to the natural man there seems to be scarcely any similarity at all, when yet they are in perfect accord with one another. Since none of this has been known no one has been able to know what 'the righteous', 'righteousness', and 'justifying' denote in the Word on its spiritual and heavenly level of meaning. Leaders of the Church suppose that the righteous and the justified are those who have learned the truths of faith from the teachings of the Church and from the Word, and from this knowledge are given the trust or assurance that they are saved through the Lord's righteousness, and that the Lord acquired righteousness by fulfilling all things of the Law, also merit because He endured the Cross, thereby making atonement for and redeeming mankind. By this faith alone, they suppose, is a person justified; and they also suppose that people such as this are the ones whom the Word calls 'the righteous'.
 These however are not the ones whom the Word calls 'the righteous' but those who are governed by the good of charity towards the neighbour, received from the Lord. For the Lord alone is righteous, since He alone is Righteousness; and therefore in the measure that a person receives good from the Lord, that is, in the measure that what composes the Lord's essential nature resides with him, he is righteous and has been justified. The Lord became Righteousness through making His Human, by His own power, Divine. This Divine virtue residing with a person who receives it is the Lord's Righteousness with him. And it is the true good of charity towards the neighbour; for the Lord is within the good of love and through this within the truth of faith, the Lord being Divine Love itself.
 The good of charity towards the neighbour is exterior good, which is meant by 'the righteous', whereas the good of love to the Lord is interior good, which is meant by 'the innocent', dealt with immediately above in 9262. The fact that the good of love towards the neighbour, received from the Lord, is meant by 'righteous' in the proper sense may be recognized from places in the Word in which the expressions 'the righteous', 'righteousness', and 'being justified' occur, such as in Matthew,
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, When did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? But the King answering will say to them, Truly I say to you, Insofar as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers you did it to Me. And the righteous will go into eternal life. Matthew 25:37-40, 46.
 Here those people are called 'the righteous' who have performed the good deeds of charity towards the neighbour that are recounted in this passage. The fact that those good deeds of charity constitute the Lord's presence with them is explicitly stated in the words, 'Insofar as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers you did it to Me', see 4807-4810, 4954-4959, 5063-5071. Those people are also called 'the sheep', for those governed by the good of charity from the Lord are meant by 'sheep', 4169, whereas 'the goats', who are on the left and are damned, means those who adhere to faith separated from charity, 4169 (end), 4769. The same people are meant by 'the righteous' elsewhere in Matthew,
The angels will come out and separate the evil from the midst of the righteous. Matthew 13:49.
And in Luke,
You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Luke 14:14.
Arcana Coelestia 4954, 5063)
 This shows what the meaning is of the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father, 2
Matthew 13:43, namely people governed by the good of love, received from the Lord. For the Lord is the Sun in the next life; and the good of love flows from the Lord as the Sun there, see 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321 (end), 4696, 5097, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 7270, 8487, 8812. This is why the Lord is called the Sun of Righteousness in Malachi 4:2. In Daniel,
Those who have intelligence will shine like the brightness of the expanse, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3.
'Those who have intelligence' are people with whom the truth and good of faith are present, 'those who turn [many] to righteousness' are people who lead others by means of the truth and good of faith to the good of charity. 'Shining like the stars' means having an intelligent understanding of truth and a wise discernment of good, as a result of which they possess eternal happiness; for 'the stars' are cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, which lead on to intelligence and wisdom, 2495, 2849, 4697.
 'A righteous person' is described in David as follows,
Jehovah upholds the righteous. The righteous shows mercy and gives. The righteous shows mercy all the day and lends. The righteous will possess the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters 3
wisdom and his tongue speaks judgement. The law of his God is in his heart. Psalms 37:16-34.
These are good deeds of charity, which are those of 'the righteous'. The fact that these good deeds of charity are inspired by the Lord, so much so that they are the Lord's with a person, is well known to the Church. 'A righteous person' is also described in Ezekiel 18:5-9, 21; 33:15ff.
Ezekiel 33:15-20; Psalms 37:17, 37:21, 37:29-31)
 All this shows what it is that 'the righteous' and 'righteousness' mean in the following places: In Matthew,
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6.
In the same gospel,
He who welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in a righteous person's name will receive a righteous person's reward. Matthew 10:41.
In the same gospel,
Many prophets and righteous people desired to see what you see, but did not see it. Matthew 13:17.
In the same gospel,
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous. On you will come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel ... Matthew 23:29, 35.
'The prophets' stands for those who teach the truths and forms of the good of faith, and in the abstract sense for doctrinal teachings that compose faith, 2534, 7269; and 'the righteous' stands for those who lead a charitable life, and in the abstract sense for the good of charity. Abel, who is called 'righteous', represented the good of charity, see 342, 374.
 In Isaiah,
The righteous has perished, and no man takes it to heart; and holy men are taken away, 4
and no one understands. For because of evil the righteous is taken away. 5
In the same prophet,
Your people will all be righteous; they will possess the land forever. Isaiah 60:21.
In the same prophet,
Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain with righteousness; let the earth open, in order that [its inhabitants] may bring forth the fruit of salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I Jehovah am speaking righteousness, declaring ways that are right. 6
Isaiah 45:8, 19.
'Righteousness' stands for what comes out of the good of love, 'ways that are right' for what comes out of the truths of faith. In the same prophet,
Thus said Jehovah, Keep judgement and do righteousness, for My salvation is near [to come], and My righteousness to be revealed. Isaiah 56:1.
'Judgement' means the truth that belongs to faith, and 'righteousness' the good that belongs to charity, which is why it says 'do righteousness'. The fact that 'righteousness' is the good of charity received from the Lord is what the words 'My righteousness is near to be revealed' are used to mean.
 Many times also, in other places, the words 'judgement and righteousness' are used, 'judgement' meaning truth and 'righteousness' meaning good, as in Jeremiah,
Thus said Jehovah, Do judgement and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Woe to him who builds his house in unrighteousness, and his upper rooms not in judgement! Did not your father eat and drink, and do judgement and righteousness? Then it was well with him. Jeremiah 22:3, 13, 15.
'Judgement' stands for those things that are matters of truth, and 'righteousness' for those that are aspects of good. In Ezekiel,
If the wicked person turns away from his sin and does judgement and righteousness, all his sins which he has committed will not be remembered; he has done judgement and righteousness, he will surely live. When the wicked turns away from his wickedness and does judgement and righteousness he will live because of these. Ezekiel 33:14, 16, 19.
Other places similar to these include Isaiah 9:7; 16:5; 26:7, 9; 33:5, 15; 56:1; 58:2; Jeremiah 9:24; 23:5; 33:15; Hosea 2:19-20; Amos 5:24; 6:12; Psalms 36:5-6; 119:164, 172. The words 'judgement and righteousness' are used because wherever truth is dealt with in the Word, so too is good, on account of the heavenly marriage in every detail of the Word, which is the marriage of goodness and truth, spoken of in 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 4138 (end), 5138, 5502, 6343, 7945, 8339. Since righteousness is associated with good and judgement is associated with truth, other places again use the words righteousness and truth, such as Zechariah 8:8; Psalms 15:2; 36:5-6; 85:11-12.
1. Three closely related Latin words are used here - justus, justitia, and justificare. The first is sometimes rendered just, at other times righteous; the second is sometimes rendered justice, at other times righteousness; and the third is sometimes rendered justify, at other times make righteous.
2. The Latin means like the sun in heaven but the Greek means like the sun in the kingdom of their father, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.
3. literally, meditates
4. literally, and men of holiness are collected up
5. literally, collected up
6. literally, telling of or pointing out rectitudes
Arcana Coelestia 4137; Exodus 23:7; Psalms 85:10-11, 85:11, 85:13)