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40 Bible Quotes Promoting Social Justice

Updated on March 26, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor, is an avid Bible student and loves to compile user-friendly Bible quotes by topic.

Who would think that the Bible includes so many pertinent principles on social justice? The Book records some common sense quotes promoting integrity in the way society deals with individuals living in less than ideal circumstances. Here, we focus on the accused, the immigrant and the poor.

These 40 quotes are from the New Living Translation, and readers can learn more by finding and reading the entire verses in their contexts.

I. The Accused

Photo Credit: North Charleston
Photo Credit: North Charleston | Source
  1. You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Deuteronomy 19:15)
  2. Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly. (Leviticus 19:15)
  3. It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent. (Proverbs 18:5)
  4. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. (Proverbs 31:8)
  5. For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. (Isaiah 61:8)
  6. This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. . . Stop murdering the innocent! (Jeremiah 22:3)
  7. Can horses gallop over boulders? Can oxen be used to plow them? But that’s how foolish you are when you turn justice into poison and the sweet fruit of righteousness into bitterness. (Amos 6:12)
  8. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:4)
  9. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. (Galatians 6:7)
  10. Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. (Hebrews 13:3)

II. The Immigrant

Photo Credit: Edward Moran
Photo Credit: Edward Moran | Source
  1. The seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes . . . any foreigners living among you. (Exodus 20:10)
  2. You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. (Exodus 22:21)
  3. Do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:10)
  4. Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born . . . and love them as you love yourself. (Leviticus 19:33, 34)
  5. For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He . . . shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10: 17, 18)
  6. Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include . . . the foreigners living among you in the celebration. (Deuteronomy 26:11)
  7. Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows. (Deuteronomy 27:19)
  8. Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. (Proverbs 27:13)
  9. I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows. (Jeremiah 7: 5, 6)
  10. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! (Hebrews 13:2)

III. The Poor

Photo Credit: درفش کاویانی
Photo Credit: درفش کاویانی | Source
  1. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. (Exodus 22: 26, 27)
  2. In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor. (Exodus 23:6)
  3. If one of your [neighbors] falls into poverty and cannot support himself . . . allow him to live with you. Do not charge interest or make a profit at his expense. Instead, show your fear of God by letting him live with you as your relative. (Leviticus 25: 35, 36)
  4. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. (Deuteronomy 1:17)
  5. Never take advantage of poor and destitute laborers . . . You must pay them their wages . . . because they are poor and are counting on it. If you don’t, they might cry out to the Lord against you, and it would be counted against you as sin. (Deuteronomy 24:14)
  6. Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. (Psalm 82:3)
  7. Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful . . . For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. (Ecclesiastes 5:8)
  8. You will always have the poor among you. (Matthew 26:11)
  9. If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry. (Luke 3:11)
  10. And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. (Luke 6:34)

Promises for Social Justice Practitioners

  1. Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? . . .Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. (Psalm 15:1, 5)
  2. There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right. (Psalm 106:3)
  3. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. (Psalm 112:5)
  4. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices. (Proverbs 21:3)
  5. Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. (Proverbs 28:27)

Giving to the Poor

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon | Source

6. Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. . . Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. (Isaiah 58: 6-8)

7. Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10)

8. Let [the priests] pray, “Spare your people, Lord! Don’t let your special possession . . . become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’” Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. (Joel 2: 17, 18)

9. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. (Amos 5:15)

10.Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come . . . For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me." (Matthew 25: 34-36)

© 2018 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Chris. So many voices drowning out the important things we need to focus on; that makes it necessary to remind ourselves.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      5 months ago from Flagstaff, AZ

      These are excellent examples of how all men and women should live. I believe these ideals are part of who we are, but sadly they are overrun by greed and pride. Thanks for reminding us of the ideal we should all aim for in our individual lives.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Dolores. It is so easy to violate these principles if they are not constantly in our thoughts.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      6 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Dora - I enjoyed reading the Bible quotes on social justice. I think we should all keep these lessons in mind and think about what they mean. The are as relevant today as they were when written.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Dianna. Possibly, we just need to be reminded that they are Biblical.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 months ago

      You hit the mark on this one, Dora. If our government (and people) kept these as guidelines we would be a much better country. Blessings.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Chitrangada. We all need to learn and remember these principles. Your affirmation is encouraging.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Bill. Your conclusion is the same conclusion that I hope all my readers would reach.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful and enlightening list of quotes on social justice! They must be observed by everyone. This is the need of the society and the World at large.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Another one of those topics I normally wouldn't consider grouping. You amaze me, Dora. But it's all right there. The Bible truly has the answers to everything.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      My pleasure, Jo. I need the reminder myself. Thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Manatita. I have been doing only quotes sometimes. Other readers like them; glad you do too.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      6 months ago from Tennessee

      Great list, Dora. Thanks for reminding us.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 months ago from london

      Pertinent quotes for the world today and indeed every day. Many worth reflecting on.

      This is perhaps one of the few of yours where you are simply listing though. You were having an easy day? Still, they are very meaningful and enlightening.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Audrey. I do believe that we will make life better for us and others if we practice these principles.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Linda. Perhaps, some have never even learned these principles. I pray that this article will help.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is an amazing article! These principles are something we should be reading instead of wasting time with television. I especially relate to #6.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There is a lot of excellent and kind advice in your quotes, Dora. I wish more people both in and outside churches would follow it.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, I appreciate your affirmation. Just wish that we all would start applying these principles in our dealings with everyone.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I agree. While we talk and walk like we love each other, God sees our hearts.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Devika. Everyone. Everyone needs to start treating other people kindly.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, John. The principles are there. Yes, we need to read (and also apply) them.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      MsDora, I like the passion you stand behind when you publish hubs like this.. the quotes most are unforgettable.. and when we read between the lines the plain old truth hurts.. thanks for sharing these quotes

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic quotes the end snuck up on me, I was so engrossed. Happy labor with a missionary church really brought a lot of this home for me. Thanks for the reminder. And I think this notion is appropriate for the concept of sinning in our hearts.

    • profile image

      DDE 

      6 months ago

      You shared a powerful title! So true about social justice and affects everyone in this world.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful list of Bible quotes you have supplied here Ms Dora.Social justice is so lacking in the world today.....more and more people need to read these and take note. The treatment of foreigners is particularly notable.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Tim. I appreciate your affirmation. True, these quotes are powerful and yet so easy to follow.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, thanks for your input. Your story bears out the need for us to revisit these Biblical principles. The system is flawed.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      6 months ago from U.S.A.

      Wonderful Ms. Dora,

      Unfortunately, many churches only focus on limited portions of the Holy Text and prefer not to touch these powerful verses.

      Essentially, Our Lord expects us to act with kindness and wisdom in executing man-made justice, but often, justice on the human level is dependent on who has a bigger bank account (at least, in the U.S.)

      Yet, there are still some churches who uphold these principles, even if it may cost them their very lives across the globe.

      We who claim to know Christ can't and should not forget the poor, orphans, women, etc. because Our Lord will ask us when we go home: "Why didn't you practice love but you say you know me?"

      All of the verses you wrote about point to one issue: as a species, we need to remember love in carrying out justice; or loving justice of Our Lord will await us.

      Thank you again. Superb read. I hope those who really need to see this encounter it.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 months ago from The Beautiful South

      You show to everyone clearly Dora what a fair and just God we have. His word in every way reflects it and though it can sound very serious to some, it all makes sense to make this a good world to live in.

      I was reading an article this morning about a young man spending six years in prison being falsely accused of rape and the girl got caught up telling the truth on Twitter or somewhere like that. First there should be more than one witness and as much as I know rape victims are given a hard time, there are rape kits and other ways to bring these men to justice or a simple skin scraping under fingernails not even wounding these monsters to know what you are doing.

      Just saying it is as horrible to be falsely accused and in these cases women should not be able to simply point a finger and get men thrown in prison. I believe they need only sperm or skin scrapings, hair...a second witness in other words.

      Didn't mean to change your subject, that just hit me how horrible that was for that young man. She deserves 12 years and I am pretty sure little will happen to her.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ron. Makes us wonder how we forget so easily what we really need to remember.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      6 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      This is great, Dora. To our shame, these principles are seldom taught and emphasized in many churches today. If they were, I think some attitudes toward the poor and immigrants would change.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. I agree that we really need to take some time and study these principles.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Mary. Being a better position to do something is hopeful. Hoping that we find way.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Social justice....such a complicated subject...such an important subject for all of us. This article should be read by every single citizen in the United States...not just read but absorbed.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      This reminds of the early Christians who were faced with the same social injustice we face today. Sometimes, I think that all the fight in me I put out during my student days but there's always something each day that challenges us and we are now in a better position to do something. I'll keep these in memory.

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