What does Jehovah Tsidkenu mean?
Jehovah Tsidkenu is one of the names of God in the Bible. It combines God’s personal name (Jehovah or Yahweh) with the Hebrew word for “righteousness” (tsidkenu). Together this name for God means “The Lord Is Our Righteousness.”
Jehovah Tsidkenu in the Book of Jeremiah
The name, Jehovah Tsidkenu, occurs only twice in the Bible—both times in the book of Jeremiah:
- “ ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a king shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS [Jehovah Tsidkenu]’ ” (Jeremiah 23:5, 6).
- “ ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS [Jehovah Tsidkenu]’ ” (Jeremiah 33:15, 16).
When Jeremiah wrote his book, God’s people were in exile in Babylon. Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed. God raised up prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others—who called God’s people to repent of their sins and turn back to Him.
If they did so, God promised to forgive them. Jerusalem and the temple would be rebuilt, and they would once more live in their land in peace and safety. These two passages—Jeremiah 23:5, 6 and 33:15, 16—are part of those promises. The kingdom would be restored, and a righteous King of the lineage of David would rule once more. He would be called Jehovah Tsidkenu—The Lord Our Righteousness.
The Jews did return to their land. Jerusalem and the temple were rebuilt. But no king ever ruled over the land after the exile. Instead, a priestly elite governed under the general oversight of the Persian empire. God’s plans for His people were never fully realized because they never returned to Him completely. Most Bible scholars see these two passages in Jeremiah as referring to Jesus Christ—the Messiah who would come to bring righteousness to all who accept Him as Lord and Savior.
Some have wondered about the different pronouns used in Jeremiah 23 and 33—he vs. she. Except for this difference, the two passages are almost identical and are clearly talking about the same thing. The explanation is that “she” in Jeremiah 33:16 refers to Jerusalem. “Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” As the holy city of the righteous King to come, Jerusalem is called by His name.
Jesus is Jehovah Tsidkenu—The Lord Our Righteousness
The prophet Micah wrote that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah (Micah 5:3; Matthew 2:4-6). The human genealogies of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 2:1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38, make a point of the fact that He was a descendant of both Judah and King David.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David (Luke 2:4). When Jesus came to our world as a human being, He came as the fulfillment of Jeremiah 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16. He is the promised Branch of righteousness, growing out of the Davidic line of Jewish kings. Jesus is the Lord Our Righteousness—Jehovah Tsidkenu.
What Does Jesus’ Righteousness Mean For You?
Why is it important that Jesus is Jehovah Tsidkenu? What does His righteousness mean for you?
- The Bible is clear that we have no righteousness of our own. “There is none righteous, no, not one . . . . All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23). Even those things we think are righteous about ourselves are like soiled rags (Isaiah 64:6).
- Not only do we have no righteousness of our own, it is impossible for us to achieve righteousness by our own efforts. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23).
- This means that Jesus Christ is our only source of righteousness. “He [God] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
- Jesus (Jehovah Tsidkenu)—the Lord Our Righteousness—offers to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He offers us His righteousness as a free gift when we accept Him as our Savior. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). His righteousness covers our sins. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).
If you have never accepted the righteousness Jesus offers, you can do so right now. He says, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). If you ask Him to, He will forgive your sins and cover you with His robe of righteousness. He truly is Jehovah Tsidkenu—The Lord Our Righteousness.