Divine judgment

Divine judgment means the judgment of God or other supreme beings within a religion.

Michelangelo Buonarroti 004
Detail from Michelangelo's The Last Judgment

Ancient beliefs

The judgement of the dead in the presence of Osiris
Anubis conducts Hunefer to judgment, where his heart will be weighed against the feather of truth; the fourteen gods above sit in order of judgment, with the underworld ruler Osiris, flanked by Isis and Nephthys, to the right, and the monstrous Ammit waiting next to the scales to devour the souls of those whose hearts are heavier than the feather

In ancient Sumerian religion, the sun-god Utu and his twin sister Inanna were believed to be the enforcers of divine justice.[1]:36–37 Utu, as the god of the sun, was believed to see all things that happened during the day[2]:184 and Inanna was believed to hunt down and punish those who had committed acts of transgression.[1]:162–173 After she was raped in her sleep by the gardener Shukaletuda, she unleashed a series of plagues upon the whole world before tracking him down and killing him in the mountains.[1][3] In another story, she hunted down the old bandit woman Bilulu, who had murdered her husband Dumuzid, and turned her into a waterskin.[1]:166[2]:109[4] The Sumerians, as well as later Mesopotamian peoples, believed that all mortals went to the same afterlife: Kur, a cold, dark, cavern deep beneath the earth.[5] Kur was miserable for all people[5] and a person's actions during life had no impact whatsoever on how he or she would be treated in the afterlife.[5]

The idea of a final readjustment beyond the grave, which would rectify the sharp contrast so often observed between the conduct and the fortune of men, was prevalent among all nations in pre-Christian times. Such was the doctrine of metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls, as a justification of the ways of God to man, prevailing among the Hindus of all classes and sects, the Pythagoreans, the Orphic mystics and the Druids among the Celts. The doctrine of a forensic judgment in the unseen world, by which the eternal lot of departed souls is determined, was also widely prevalent in pre-Christian times.[6]

The Pharaonic Egyptian idea of the judgment is set forth with great precision of detail in the "Book of the Dead", a collection of formulas designed to aid the dead in their passage through the underworld.[6]

Greco-Roman beliefs

Hermes Psykhopompos Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2797 n2
Hermes as Guide of Souls prepares to lead a woman to the afterlife (5th century BC lekythos)

The "Book of the Dead" (Nekyia) in the Odyssey depicts judgment in the afterlife by Minos, the "radiant son of Zeus" who in his mortal life had been king of Crete.[7] Three egregious sinners are singled out for eternal punishment, but the theological implications of the scene are unclear. Plato elaborates on the concept in the myth of Er at the end of the Republic. Each misdeed receives a tenfold penalty, with rewards also proportional. Elsewhere,[8] Plato names the judges as Minos and Rhadamanthys, but he also draws on the tenets of Orphic religion. A third judge was Aeacus; all three were once mortal kings whose excellence as rulers among the living was transferred to the dead.[9] Vergil's depiction of the afterlife in the Aeneid[10] is consonant with the Homeric view as well as that of Plato, and he makes it clear that everyone faces judgment.

The mystery religions of the Hellenistic era offered initiates the hope of salvation through confession, judgment, and forgiveness, as well as ritual purity. The Isaic mysteries were influenced by the traditional religion of ancient Egypt, which had symbolized the judgment of the soul through its weight on the scale of truth.[11] Orphic initiates were buried with devotional texts that provided instructions for navigating the hazards of the underworld and addressing the judges; the soul who speaks correctly will be given a drink from the pool of Memory before joining the heroes who have gone before.[12]


Justice and righteousness are such essential attributes of God as to have led to the conviction upon every believer that every evil deed will meet with its due punishment. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do righteous judgment?" (Gen. 28:25). Great catastrophes as Noah's flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the earthquake that swallowed up Korah and his followers, the plagues of Egypt and the evil that came upon other oppressors of Israel are represented in the Bible as Divine judgments. The end of history, therefore, was conceived to be the execution of the divine judgment upon all the nations. This divine judgment is to take place, according to the Biblical view, on earth, and is intended to be particularly a vindication of Israel.[13]

This Day of Judgment ("Day of the Lord") is portrayed vividly in the Book of Jubilees and particularly in Enoch. The leading idea in Enoch is that the Deluge was the first world-judgment, and that the final judgment of the world is to take place at the beginning or at the close of the Messianic kingdom. The one at the beginning of the Messianic kingdom is more national in its character; the one at the close is to consign all souls either to Paradise or to Gehenna. The fire of the latter consumes the wicked, the heathen often being represented as types of wickedness, while the Israelites are supposed to be saved by their own merit or by that of their fathers. The divine judgment described in the Testament of Abraham is one concerning all souls in the life to come.[13]

There is also a divine judgment which takes place in this world and is continual. "Man is judged daily," says R. Jose (Tosef., R. H. 13). According to the Mishnah, "There are four seasons of the year when the world is judged: in spring [Pesaḥ], in regard to the yearly produce; in early summer [Shabu'ot], in regard to the fruitage of the trees; on Sukkot, in regard to the winter's rain; and on New-Year's Day, when man is judged." It is owing to these views that the 1st of Tishri became-the Day of Judgment in the Jewish liturgy. Not yet recognized as such in the time of Josephus and Philo, this season of repentance and penitential prayer removed from the Jew that gloom and dread of the Last Judgment Day so prevalent in Essene life and literature and gave to Jewish ethics its more practical, healthy character.[13]


Abtenau Kirche - Skapulieraltar 4
St. Michael weighing souls, Abtenau

Catholic doctrine

Objective and subjective judgment

In Catholic doctrine, divine judgment (Latin judicium divinum), as an imminent act of God, denotes the action of God's retributive justice by which the destiny of rational creatures is decided according to their merits and demerits. This includes:

  • God's knowledge of the moral worth of the acts of free creatures, and His decree determining the just consequences of such acts;
  • the Divine verdict upon a creature amenable to the moral law, and the execution of this sentence by way of reward and punishment.[6]

In the beginning, God pronounced judgment upon the whole race, as a consequence of the fall of its representatives, the first parents (Genesis Genesis). Death and the infirmities and miseries of this were the consequences of that original sentence. Besides this common judgment there have been special judgments on particular individuals and peoples. The fear of God is such a fundamental idea in the Old Testament that it insists mainly on the punitive aspect of the judgment (cf. Proverbs 11:31; Ezekiel 14:21).

There is also a judgment of God in the world that is subjective. By their acts a person adheres to or deviates from the law of God, and thereby places themselves within the sphere of approval or condemnation. In a sense then, each individual exercises judgment on themselves. Hence it is declared that Christ came not to judge but to save (John 3:17; 8:15; 12:47). The internal judgment proceeds according to a person's attitude: towards Christ (John 3:18).

The eternal destiny of creatures will be decided at the end of time. As there is a twofold end of time, so there is likewise a twofold eternal judgment: the particular judgment, at the hour of death, which is the end of time for the individual, and the general judgment, at the final epoch of the world's existence, which is the end of time for the human race.


The idea that God is now and will be at the end the judge of every human life is both biblical teaching or doctrine that is fundamental to understanding Christian faith. The Lord's present judgment of human life anticipates that perfect and final judgment that he will impose upon mankind at the end of the age. Christians will also have to face the judgment of the Lord and receive what is due them for the deeds done in the body, whether good or evil.


"But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ".[Quran 2:113]


St Gildas interpreted the Saxon invasions of England in 5th-6th centuries as just punishment for the sins of the Britons. The Viking attacks of the 8th-11th centuries were widely interpreted as being divine punishment upon Christians.[14] Plagues, earthquakes and other similar disasters were also often looked upon as punishment in much of Christian history. The Reformation was sometimes interpreted by Catholics as a divine punishment upon the Church.

In his Second Inaugural Address Abraham Lincoln cited the then on-going war as Divine Judgment visited upon the nation for the offense of slavery.

The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Pryke, Louise M. (2017). Ishtar. New York and London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138--86073-5.
  2. ^ a b Black, Jeremy; Green, Anthony (1992). Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. London, England: The British Museum Press. ISBN 0-7141-1705-6.
  3. ^ Cooley, Jeffrey L. (2008). "Inana and Šukaletuda: A Sumerian Astral Myth". KASKAL. 5: 161–163. ISSN 1971-8608.
  4. ^ Leick, Gwendolyn (1998) [1991]. A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. New York City, New York: Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 0-415-19811-9.
  5. ^ a b c Choksi, M. (2014), "Ancient Mesopotamian Beliefs in the Afterlife", Ancient History Encyclopedia, ancient.eu
  6. ^ a b c McHugh, John. "Divine Judgment." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 3 September 2016
  7. ^ Odyssey 11.568–71.
  8. ^ Plato, Apologia 41 A.
  9. ^ Radcliffe Guest Edmonds, Myths of the Underworld Journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the 'Orphic' Gold Tablets (Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 148.
  10. ^ Vergil, Aeneid Book 6.
  11. ^ J. Gwyn Griffiths, The Divine Verdict: A Study of Divine Judgement in the Ancient Religions (Brill, 1991), passim, especially pp. 294–295 on Homeric, Platonic, and Vergilian views; pp. 313–322 online on confession, judgment, and forgiveness. Citations of ancient sources are those of Griffiths.
  12. ^ Richard Janko, “Forgetfulness in the Golden Tablets of Memory,” Classical Quarterly 34 (1984) 89–100; W.K.C. Guthrie, "The Future Life as Seen by Orpheus," in Orpheus and Greek Religion: A Study of the Orphic Movement (New York: Norton, 1966, revised edition), pp. 148–191 online.
  13. ^ a b c Kohler, Kauffmann. "Judgement, Divine", Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906
  14. ^ Studies in the Early History of Shaftesbury Abbey. Dorset County Council, 1999
  15. ^ Lincoln, Abraham. "Second Inaugural Address", March 4, 1865

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Divine Judgment". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.


The afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

In some views, this continued existence often takes place in a spiritual realm, and in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again, likely with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion, esotericism and metaphysics.

Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life. In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of a different being.

Amos (prophet)

Amos (Hebrew: עָמוֹס, ʻAmos) was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. An older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, Amos was active c. 760–755 BCE during the rule of kings Jeroboam II and Uzziah. He was from the southern Kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel. Amos wrote at a time of relative peace and prosperity but also of neglect of Yahweh's laws. He spoke against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of social justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy. The Book of Amos is attributed to him.

Baptism by fire

The phrase baptism by fire or baptism of fire is a phrase originating from the words of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11.

Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire" King James Version 1611

The phrase also occurs in Luke 3:16 and it might be taken as a reference to the fiery trial of faith which endures suffering and purifies the faithful who look upon God's glory and are transformed, not consumed (Mark 10:38, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 4:12). See also Dante's Purgatory 27:10-15.

Book of Amos

The Book of Amos is the third of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Tanakh/Old Testament and the second in the Greek Septuagint tradition. Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, was active c. 750 BC during the reign of Jeroboam II (788–747 BC), making Amos the first book of the Bible to be written. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah but preached in the northern kingdom of Israel. His major themes of social justice, God's omnipotence, and divine judgment became staples of prophecy.

Book of Obadiah

The Book of Obadiah is an oracle concerning the divine judgment of Edom and the restoration of Israel. The text consists of a single chapter, divided into 21 verses, making it the shortest book in the Hebrew Bible.In Judaism and Christianity, its authorship is attributed to a prophet who lived in the Assyrian Period and named himself in the first verse, Obadiah. His name means "servant of Yahweh".

In Judaism, Obadiah is considered a "later prophet", placed in the last section (Nevi'im) of the Tanakh, where it is one of the "Twelve Prophets."

In Christianity, the Book of Obadiah is classified as a minor prophet of the Old Testament, due to its short length.

Branch Davidians

The Branch Davidians (also known as The Branch) are a religious group that originated in 1955 from a schism among the Shepherd's Rod/Davidians. The Branch group was initially led by Benjamin Roden. Branch Davidians are most associated with the Waco siege of 1993, which involved David Koresh.

There is documented evidence (FBI negotiation transcripts between Kathryn Shroeder and Steve Schneider with interjections from Koresh himself) that David Koresh and his followers did not call themselves Branch Davidians. In addition, David Koresh, through forgery, stole the identity of the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists for the purpose of obtaining the Mount Carmel Center property.The doctrinal beliefs of the Branch Davidians differ on teachings such as the Holy Spirit and his nature, and the feast days and their requirements. Both groups have disputed the relevance of the other's spiritual authority based on the proceedings following Victor Houteff's death. From its inception in 1930, the Davidians/Shepherd's Rod group believed themselves to be living in a time when Biblical prophecies of a final divine judgment were coming to pass as a prelude to Christ's Second Coming.

In the late 1980s, Koresh and his followers abandoned many Branch Davidian teachings. Koresh became the group's self-proclaimed final prophet. "Koreshians" were the majority resulting from the schism among the Branch Davidians, but some of the Branch Davidians did not join Koresh's group and instead gathered around George Roden or became independent. Following a series of violent shootouts between Roden's and Koresh's group, the Mount Carmel compound was eventually taken over by the "Koreshians". In 1993, the ATF and Texas Army National Guard raided one of the properties belonging to a new religious movement centered around David Koresh that evolved from the Branch Davidians for suspected weapons violations. It is unknown who shot first, but the ATF surrounded and tried to invade the home of the Branch Davidians. This raid resulted in a two-hour firefight in which four ATF agents were killed; this was followed by a standoff with government agents that lasted for 51 days. The siege ended in a fire that engulfed the Mount Carmel compound which led to the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians inside.

Disability and religion

The intersection of disability and religion concentrates on the manner in which disabled people are treated within religious communities, the religious texts of those religions, or the general input from religious discourse on matters relating to disability. Studies on the relationship between religion and disability vary widely, with some postulating the existence of ableism and others viewing religion as a primary medium through which to assist disabled people. Religious exhortation often prompts adherents to treat people with disabilities with deference, however when the disability constitutes a mental illness such an approach may be slanted with an acknowledgement of the latter's naivete. In religions with an eschatological belief in divine judgment, there are often traditions promulgating an exemption from judgement in the afterlife for the mentally disabled, as well as for children who die before reaching maturity due to both lacking an understanding of their actions in a manner analogous to the mental disorder defense. Regarding the rationale behind God's creation of disabled people, some religions maintain that their contrast with the able-bodied permits the able-bodied to reflect and God to subsequently assess the level of gratitude shown by each individual for their health.

Divine justice (disambiguation)

Divine Justice may refer to:

Divine law

Divine judgment

Attributes of God

A theological concept such as the philosophical divine command theory

Divine Justice (novel), a novel by David Baldacci

Advent of Divine Justice, a Bahá'í text.

Divine presence

Divine presence, presence of God, Inner God, or simply presence is a concept in religion, spirituality, and theology that deals with the ability of a god or gods to be "present" with human beings.

According to some types of monotheism God is omnipresent.

Fear of God

Fear of God refers to fear or a specific sense of respect, awe, and submission to a deity. People subscribing to popular monotheistic religions might fear divine judgment, hell or God's omnipotence.

Gerard of Toul

Saint Gerard (French: Geraud; c. 935 – 23 April 994) was a German prelate who served as the Bishop of Toul from 963 until his death. His entrance into the priesthood came about due to his mother being struck dead in a lightning strike which he believed was divine judgment for his sins and a call to service. But he had been known for his piousness and he accepted the position to the Toul diocese despite his reluctance. His concern as a bishop was to the restoration of all properties the Church managed and to ensure secular involvement in Church affairs ceased.His reputation for holiness was evident in his life and miracles at his tomb were recorded after his death; Pope Leo IX - a successor in Toul - later canonized him on 21 October 1050 in Rome.

Holy Sonnets

The Holy Sonnets—also known as the Divine Meditations or Divine Sonnets—are a series of nineteen poems by the English poet John Donne (1572–1631). The sonnets were first published in 1633—two years after Donne's death. The poems are sonnets and are predominantly in the style and form prescribed by Renaissance Italian poet Petrarch (or Francesco Petrarca) (1304–1374) in which the sonnet consisted of two quatrains (four-line stanzas) and a sestet (a six-line stanza). However, several rhythmic and structural patterns as well as the inclusion of couplets are elements influenced by the sonnet form developed by English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616).

Donne's work, both in love poetry and religious poetry, places him as a central figure in among the Metaphysical poets. The nineteen poems that constitute the collection were never published during Donne's lifetime although they did circulate in manuscript. Many of the poems are believed to have been written in 1609 and 1610, during a period of great personal distress and strife for Donne who suffered a combination of physical, emotional, and financial hardships during this time. This was also a time of personal religious turmoil as Donne was in the process of conversion from Roman Catholicism to Anglicanism, and would take holy orders in 1615 despite profound reluctance and significant self-doubt about becoming a priest. Sonnet XVII ("Since she whom I loved hath paid her last debt") is thought to have been written in 1617 following the death of his wife Anne More. In Holy Sonnets, Donne addresses religious themes of mortality, divine judgment, divine love, and humble penance while reflecting deeply personal anxieties.

Naraka (Buddhism)

Naraka (Sanskrit: नरक; Pali: निरय Niraya) is a term in Buddhist cosmology usually referred to in English as "hell" (or "hell realm") or "purgatory". The Narakas of Buddhism are closely related to diyu, the hell in Chinese mythology. A Naraka differs from the hell of Christianity in two respects: firstly, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment or punishment; and secondly, the length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually incomprehensibly long, from hundreds of millions to sextillions (1021) of years.

A being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her accumulated actions (karma) and resides there for a finite period of time until that karma has achieved its full result. After his or her karma is used up, he or she will be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of karma that had not yet ripened.

In the Devaduta Sutta, the 130th discourse of Majjhima Nikaya, the Buddha teaches about hell in vivid detail.

Physically, Narakas are thought of as a series of cavernous layers which extend below Jambudvīpa (the ordinary human world) into the earth. There are several schemes for enumerating these Narakas and describing their torments. The Abhidharma-kosa (Treasure House of Higher Knowledge) is the root text that describes the most common scheme, as the Eight Cold Narakas and Eight Hot Narakas.

Naraka (Jainism)

Naraka (Sanskrit: नरक) is the realm of existence in Jain cosmology characterized by great suffering. Naraka is usually translated into English as "hell" or "purgatory". However, Naraka differs from the hells of Abrahamic religions as souls are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment. Furthermore, the length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long—measured in billions of years. A soul is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her previous karma (actions of body, speech and mind), and resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has achieved its full result. After his karma is used up, he may be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of an earlier karma that had not yet ripened.

Particular judgment

Particular judgment, according to Christian eschatology, is the divine judgment that a departed person undergoes immediately after death, in contradistinction to the general judgment (or Last Judgment) of all people at the end of the world.


Revenge is a form of justice enacted in the absence or defiance of the norms of formal law and jurisprudence. Often, revenge is defined as being a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived (as opposed to turning the other cheek). It is used to punish a wrong by going outside the law. Francis Bacon described revenge as a kind of "wild justice" that "does... offend the law [and] putteth the law out of office." Primitive justice or retributive justice is often differentiated from more formal and refined forms of justice such as distributive justice and divine judgment.

Sodom and Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah () were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and in the deuterocanonical books, as well as in the Quran and the hadith.According to the Torah, the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah were allied with the cities of Admah, Zeboim, and Bela. These five cities, also known as the "cities of the plain" (from Genesis in the Authorized Version), were situated on the Jordan River plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan. The plain was compared to the garden of Eden[Gen.13:10] as being well-watered and green, suitable for grazing livestock. Divine judgment was passed upon Sodom and Gomorrah and two neighboring cities, which were consumed by fire and brimstone. Neighboring Zoar (Bela) was the only city to be spared. In Abrahamic religions, Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of divine retribution.[Jude 1:7]Sodom and Gomorrah have been used historically and in modern discourse as metaphors for homosexuality, and are the origin of the English words, sodomite, a pejorative term for male homosexuals, and sodomy, which is used in a legal context to describe sexual "crimes against nature", namely anal or oral sex (particularly homosexual) and bestiality. This is based upon exegesis of the biblical text interpreting divine judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah as punishment for the sin of homosexuality, though some contemporary scholars dispute this interpretation. Some Islamic societies incorporate punishments associated with Sodom and Gomorrah into sharia.

Sword of Attila

The Sword of Attila, also called the Sword of Mars or Sword of God (Hungarian: Isten kardja), was the legendary weapon carried by Attila the Hun. The Roman historian Jordanes, quoting the work of the historian Priscus, gave the story of its origin:

When a certain shepherd beheld one heifer of his flock limping and could find no cause for this wound, he anxiously followed the trail of blood and at length came to a sword it had unwittingly trampled while nibbling the grass. He dug it up and took it straight to Attila. He rejoiced at this gift and, being ambitious, thought he had been appointed ruler of the whole world, and that through the sword of Mars supremacy in all wars was assured to him.

The use of "Mars" here is due to the interpretatio romana of Priscus, however, as the Huns would not have adopted the names of Roman deities; the more likely name used by the Huns would have been the more generic "sword of the war god". Hungarian legends refer to it simply as "az Isten kardja," the sword of God. Priscus's description is also notable for describing how Attila used it as both a military weapon and a symbol of divine favor, which may have contributed to his reputation as "the Scourge of God," a divinely-appointed punisher. As historian Edward Gibbon elaborated, "the vigour with which Attila wielded the sword of Mars convinced the world that it had been reserved alone for his invincible arm." In this way it became somewhat of a scepter as well, representing Attila's right to rulership. The Scythians worshipped a god equated with Ares by Herodotus, which has led some authorities to speculate that it was adopted by the Huns.In the 11th century, some 500 years after the death of Attila, a sword allegedly belonging to him surfaced according to Lambert of Hersfeld, who attributed its provenance to the recently established Árpád kings of Hungary, who in turn appropriated the cult of Attila and linked their claimed descent from him with the right to rule. Johann Pistorius detailed the history of the sword as having been given by the queen-mother of King Salomon of Hungary to Otho, Duke of Bavaria, who had urged the emperor to reinstate Salomon's possessions. Otho had given it to Dedus, younger son of the Margrave Dedus. The king received it after his death, giving it to the royal counselor Leopold de Mersburg, whose death—it was asserted by partisans of his rival, Otho—had been a divine judgment. The occasion of Leopold's unfortunate death was impalement upon his own sword after falling from his horse.

There is no evidence to substantiate these medieval claims of its origin with Attila. The sword, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna as part of the Habsburg Schatzkammer, in fact, appears to be from the early 10th century and possibly Hungarian.The real historical events of the discovery of this sword will probably remain unknown. More information about the possible origin of the sword comes from the Miholjanec locality finding. Before this legend had been regarded, this sword was believed to be Joyeuse, the sword of Charlemagne.

Tziduk Hadin

Tziduk Hadin (Hebrew: צידוק הדין, "Justification of [Divine] Judgement") is a prayer recited at a Jewish funeral, immediately after the grave has been filled. The prayer affirms that the Divine Judgment is righteous and perfect. It is followed by Psalm 49. It is not recited on various holidays.

The text of the prayer is as follows:

The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice; a G-d of faithfulness and without iniquity, righteous and just is He.

The Rock, perfect in all His works. Who can say to Him 'What have You done?' He rules below and above, He brings death and restores life, brings down to the grave and raises up from there.

The Rock, perfect in all His deeds. Who can say to Him, 'What do You do?' You Who says and fulfills, do undeserved kindness with us, and in the merit of him [Isaac] who was bound [on the altar] like a lamb, hearken and grant our request.

Righteous One in all His ways, O Rock Who is perfect, slow to anger and abundant in mercy, take pity and spare both parents and children, for to You, O Lord, pertain forgiveness and mercy.

Righteous are You, Lord, to bring death and to restore life, for in Your hands are entrusted all spirits. Far be it from You to erase our memory. Look towards us with mercy, for Yours, O Lord, are mercy and forgiveness.

A man, whether he be a year old, or whether he lives a thousand years, what does it profit him? For is it not as if he has never been? Blessed be the True Judge, Who brings death and restores life.

Blessed be He, for His judgment is true, as He scans everything with His eye, and He rewards man according to his account and his judgment. Let all give praise to His Name.

We know, Lord, that Your judgment is right. You are righteous when You speak and pure when You judge, and none shall question Your judgments. Righteous are You, Lord, and Your judgments are just.

You are the True Judge, Who judges with righteousness and truth. Blessed is the True Judge, for all of His judgments are righteous and true.

The soul of every living creature is in Your hand, righteousness fills Your right and left hand. Have mercy on the remnant of the flock under Your hand, and say to the angel of death, ‘Hold back your hand!'

You are great in counsel and mighty in action, Your eyes are watching all the ways of man, to give man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.

That is to say that the Lord is Just; He is my Strength, and there is no injustice in Him.

The Lord has given and the Lord has taken. May the Name of the Lord be blessed.

He, being compassionate, pardons iniquity, and does not destroy; time and again He turns away His anger, and does not arouse all His wrath.

Types of justice
In philosophy
Substantive areas

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