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In chapter 31 Job gives us more details about a righteous or just life. He “fulfills” the desires of the poor” (verse 16). The word “desire” does not mean just meeting basic needs for food and shelter. It means that he turns the poor man’s life into a delight. Then he said that if he had not shared his bread or “the fleece from my sheep” with the poor, it would have been a terrible sin and offense to God (verses 23 and 28). This certainly goes beyond what today we would call “charity.” Job is not just giving handouts, but rather has become deeply involved in the life of the poor, the orphaned, and the handicapped. His goal for the poor is a life of delight, and his goal for the widow is that her eyes would “no longer be weary.” He is not at all satisfied with hallway measures for the needy people in his community. He is not content to give them small, perfunctory gifts in the assumptions that their misery and weakness are a permanent condition. When these two words, tzadeqah and mishpat, are tied together, as they are over three dozen times, the English expression that best conveys the meaning is “social justice.”

-Tim Keller (from his book Generous Justice)

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