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What is Right and Just and Fair

What is Right and Just and Fair

Solomon’s Wisdom Part 6

Proverbs 2:9

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

Who doesn’t want to understand? As a matter of fact, isn’t that where most problems start, by not understanding each other; your boss, your employee, your spouse, your partner? How about yourself?

Beyn, the Hebrew word for understanding is much deeper than the surface shows.  In the Bible, beyn is used a total of 168 times and these are the meanings associated with it:

NAS Word Usage - Total: 168

acted wisely 1, cared 1, clever 1, consider 8, consider carefully 1, considers 1, diligently consider 1, discern 9, discerned 2, discerning 9, discernment 1, explain 1, explained 1, feel 1, gain understanding 1, gave him understanding 1, gave me instruction 1, gaze 1, get understanding 1, give man an understanding 1, give me understanding 5, give you an understanding 1, give heed 1, give understanding 1, gives them understanding 1, gives understanding 1, has understanding 6, have understanding 1, have...understanding 1, intelligent 1, interpret 1, investigating 1, learned 1, look carefully 1, looked at him carefully 1, observe 1, observed 2, observing 1, paid close attention 1, pay heed 2, perceive 5, perceived 2, ponder 2, prudent 4, regard 1, show 1, show regard 2, show understanding 1, show...regard 1, skilled 1, skillful 4, taught 2, teacher 1, teachers 1, turn your attention 1, understand 35, understanding 14, understanding and he will gain 1, understanding and discerning 1, understands 6, understood 7

I get this to mean that in order to understand you need to look at everything and anything pertaining to the situation at hand. How much more peace or stress-free will we become if we pause and really try to understand the other person and their position?

I like what Chaim and Laura write in their blog; “

If a husband wishes to learn and understand his wife’s longings, desires, and intentions, he must learn to penetrate her heart.  Only then will he come to an understanding of what her true desires are and what it is that will hurt her or cause her distress or bring her pleasure and joy.  If he wishes to purchase a gift for her, he will not consult with other women as to what they would like, he will search out His wife’s heart, seek to ‘etsah penetrate her heart and learn what gift it is that will really please her heart.

I wish I had read this many years ago. I bought my wife several expensive, what I thought beautiful gifts over the years, and she didn’t like them at all! Talk about as downer. If you exchange the words husband and wife with any other title you can see the amazing transformation that can take place in our world today.


Let’s move on to what we need to understand deeply, that which is right, just and fair.

We know the Hebrew word tsadiyq means righteous or right. In a specific meaning, it means that one would not depart form the way of the Lord. In a general meaning we would see that a person stays on the straight and narrow or in other words, always does what is right towards other people. That you adhere to ethical and moral standards in everything you do.

It is interesting that tsadiyq is a masculine and feminine noun. With the masculine meaning being “accuracy, what is correct.” And the feminine means “honesty; justice; justness.”

Justice is often linked with righteous and in some cases, people believe they have the same meaning. But to truly understand I dug deeper. According to Rabbi Jullan Sinclair mishpat (the ancient word for justice) is the law and a mishpatan is a lawyer. Mishpat, a justly ordered society, is one of the foundational values of Judaism.

Another very important meaning for mishpat is that it refers to and upholds the “rights” of others.

I like the definition of 'justice' given by Paul Marshall:

Justice is right relationships among all things in the created order of things.

Evenness, uprightness, straightness, equity are the words describing meyshar, the Hebrew word for Fair. Other uses of the word correspond to the following 19 phrase use in the Bible;  equity 8, peaceful arrangement 1, right things 1, rightly 1, sincerity 1, smooth 1, smoothly 2, things that are upright 1, uprightly 1, uprightness 1, what is right 1. It all boils down to having integrity, showing equity, and being fair.

So how do you improve your right, just and fair quotient?

Let’s start with gaining a better grasp of cultivating your understanding. It comes back to asking better questions.

  1. Start with getting the whole picture of the scenario so that you get a sense of what surrounded the situation. This is a gentle start to a better understanding of the key details – who, what, where, and when.
  2. Next, we get a grasp of the cause or the how and why. This takes you deeper into understanding and gradually allows you to assess the challenge to not inflame or alienate those connected.
  3. It is important to allow space for solutions and you do that by asking what the best-case questions. What would your listener like to see happen? What would be the positive preferred future?
  4. Part of the best-case scenarios is the possibility phase, what do you really want to accomplish? This provides a basis for opportunities and risk assessment.
  5. Finally, ask what you can do for them to help them along their way? What do they need from you to be successful?

It all boils down to treating people the way you want to be treated – sound familiar? If you are on the receiving end of the scenario above, reverse it and share it with the person that is trying to understand what you need. A part of this is gauge how you are speaking.

  1. Always take a beat before talking and think about what and how you are going to say something.
  2. Speak in clear, easy to understand language, that is why advertisers gear their commercials to 12-year-old, they want to be understood. What this means is that you try to avoid jargon and technical terms if you can.
  3. Mean what you say and say what you mean – no more no less. Stick to the point.  I have a daughter who gets nervous when she speaks and when she does it comes out at Mach 10 and in copious amount, a veritable firehose. I get flooded with more information than I could possibly process.
  4. Be sincere and open. As author Suzanne Kane writes, “Tone, body language, emphasis on words or lack thereof, facial expressions, breathing, flushing, sweating and other physical signs also convey emotion, conviction, or a disconnect between what’s being said and what the speaker means or believes.” It may be a good idea to start monitoring yourself on the above key points, you may be doing something totally contrary to what you are saying without knowing it.
  5. Listen! Listen with intent. Listen to understand.

To wrap up, I would like to give my view on right, just, and fair.

“Right” is in the eyes of God and man. Doing the right thing, the morally correct thing, taking the path that sometimes might be harder, but the path that you can look back on and have no regrets.

“Just” is conformity to what is legally and ethically right or proper, being equal to all without any bias.

“Fair” is an action that treats people as they deserve to be treated, free from favoritism, self-interest, or preference in judgment.

Can these always exist at the same time – no, but we must strive to be the best we can in all circumstances.

Basdan, A. (2004, 4 29). Justice and Righteousness. Retrieved from

Benner, J. A. (2020, 2 16). Righteous. Retrieved from Ancient Hebrew:

Biyn. (2020, 02 16). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

Cook, D. S. (2017, 8 11). Biblical Righteousness: A Word Study. Retrieved from Thinking on Scripture:

Eugene E. Carpenter, P. W. (2000). Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew. Nashville: Broadman & Holman.

Hebrew Word for “Justice,” mishpat. (2020, 2 16). Retrieved from I-Dealmaking: A Bible Study based on the Book of Job: I-Dealmaking: A Bible Study based on the Book of Job

Kane, S. (2018, 8 8). 7 Ways to Better Understand and Be Understood. Retrieved from PyschCentral:

Laura, C. a. (2017, 1 7). WORD STUDY – LETTING DOWN A BUCKET. Retrieved from chaimbentorah:

Meyshar. (2020, 2 16). Retrieved from Blue Letter Bible:

Meyshar. (2020, 2 6). Retrieved from Bible Study Tools:

Sinclair, R. J. (2009, 3 6). Mishpat. Retrieved from The JC:

Ullmen, J. (2013, 12 18). Using five questions to increase understanding. Retrieved from Lynda:

various. (2020, 2 23). What's the difference between 'just' and 'fair'? Retrieved from English Stck Exchange:



Chuck Groot’s CPA, MPA, MBA credentials as an author, teacher, business coach and entrepreneur are noteworthy. His clients credit their success to his uncanny ability to get right to the root of any challenge that they put in front of him.  He credits his success to his clients and their willingness to being open to new ideas and desire in pursuit of excellence. 

As an entrepreneur, his enthusiasm and innovative approach have garnered him both professional success and the recognition of his peers. But his greatest delight is being able to share these skills with others and enabling them to be successful on their own.

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