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Sedeq and Sedaqah in the Hebrew Bible


Ahuva Ho

Up till now Sedeq was generally interpreted as «justice» and Sedaqah as «righteousness» without using comparative research to go beyond the dogmatic interpretation. This first-time in-depth research has shown not only that the three genres (Narrative, Wisdom and the Prophets) use both terms as two separate distinct meanings, but also a clear development and branching-out of meanings (especially of Sedaqah) throughout the Biblical era, a period of about 1000 years. It has also found a definite inter-dependency and influence between Wisdom and the Prophets literatures. Sedeq and Sedaqah are concepts in terms of relationships: between man and man according to social customs and norms, and between man and God according to a special covenant. Contrary to prior interpretation and to the contemporary meaning, there is no evidence that the Biblical Sedaqah took the meaning of «Charity.»