"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Restorative Justice through Hebrew Eyes

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Just finished a paper for a course in restorative justice. It’s pass-fail so I decided to take some risks and do an analysis of restorative justice in the context of the Hebrew concept of rightousness (tsedaka), particularly using the David-Bathsheba cycle of narrative as the interpretative foil. This is (c) 2017, your’s truly, as it hasn’t been marked yet.

It was interesting to see criminologists and sociologists attempting to use this Hebrew idea as an illustration of the different paradigm that restorative justice presents. The one author spoke of mistranslations in early bibles, but then chose to use ‘justice’ as the translation, which I think is incorrect or missing an important nuance. The word means ‘righteousness’, but understood in the context of the covenant between Israel and Yahweh – I am holy, therefore you shall be holy. Within that is based all of the need to care for those who are victims of the society, widows, the poor, orphans, those displaced or crushed by power.

But if you don’t understand all those deep linkages, you translate it as ‘justice’ and then attempt to demonstrate why it is so insightful.

What it tells me is that you need to be cautious when you appropriate terms from other fields of study, because someday someone with some formal training in what you’ve appropriated will come along and say, hey – that’s not entirely correct.

Second observation: academic writers have little problem digging into indigenous teachings. Not so much when it comes to Christian teachings. A bunch of what I’ve read are ideas out of the Christian tradition that are not credited that way. In one paper the author spoke about how we didn’t need to follow any faith tradition, and then used a quote from the Dalai Lama to support her position. Just like I often quote the Pope when I want to prove that organized religion should be abandoned. Bias is most painful when it’s not recognized! That’s the reason I’ve written soundly out of the Hebrew tradition of thought just to see what will happen.

Been a while since I wrote an arts paper – a bit more formal than I’m used to.


Elliott (2011, pp. 51-52) cites Herman Bianchi’s work Justice as Sanctuary and in particular his introduction of the Hebrew idea of (tsedaka) as a contrast to modern, inquisitorial justice. This idea of tsedaka contains a more fulsome incorporation of restorative justice principles than modern parallels, and forms an interpretive bridge to access concepts which otherwise might be obscured by modern values and biases. It also opens up to us a rich tradition of social justice contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, referred to as The Tanakh, a compilation of historical, metaphorical and prophetic literature. The presence of restorative principles in such ancient literature reflects one reality of the modern restorative justice movement: it is not so much about developing new ideas, as it is reclaiming ancient approaches. These ancient sources, like traditional indigenous teachings, offer us the opportunity to be modern practitioners of ancient ways. To explore the foundational ideas of restorative justice and the presence of those ideas in ancient sources this paper will use the narrative cycle of David and Bathsheba contained in The Tanakh, 2 Samuel 11-12, as an interpretive framework for the course materials. This will illustrate the value in considering diverse ancient sources in the modern exploration of restorative justice.

The Value of Ancient Narratives

Restorative justice theory contains philosophies and themes which resonate strongly with traditional teachings contained in ancient cultures, but also in the wisdom passed through long-standing faith traditions. There is value in pursuing study of other philosophies as it can, “…open space for us to question some of our own basic assumptions.” (Elliott, 2011, p. 58). While there are clear parallels between restorative pedagogy and, for example, Christian or Hebrew faith teachings, this is not often emphasized in the academic works reviewed. There may be an unspoken bias against overtly acknowledging such parallels. This is in spite of acknowledgement of the benefit of making such inquiries into the “great teachings”, as Harris, citing Bo Lozoff, asserts (Harris, 2004, p. 129). One reason for pursuing a Hebraic narrative for this integrative paper is to illustrate those parallels.  For example, an analysis of the story of Omar Khadr, a Canadian child-soldier who was held in Guantanamo Bay for his role in the death of an army medic, is illustrative of the power of biblical narratives. In her application of René Girard’s theories of human violence, Zinck (2013, p. 15) makes the following observation as to the power of the Biblical narrative, “…the biblical story calls its readers to account. It forces a self-interrogation of its readers. It unmasks the effective but ultimately immoral act of scapegoating that seeks, and often secures, relative peace at the expense of a human life.”  This unmasking reveals the underlying relational brokenness which requires redress if there is to be restoration, paralleling the relational nature of restorative justice (Elliott, 2011, p. 5). Relationality is at the foundation of restorative justice, as Zehr (2015, p. 51) identifies in setting the guiding questions: “Who has been harmed? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these?” Christian and Hebrew faith teachings are similarly foundationally relational, and speak to common dynamics to those which restorative justice seeks to engage. Attention to this “network of relations and circumstances” (Harris, 2004, p. 120) should encourage us to look to any source where similar values are shared.

Similarly, the parallels between restorative justice and indigenous teachings are equally apparent, and more overtly acknowledged.[1]  Lederach (2003, pp. 15 – 22) uses the image of a person on a journey to illustrate conflict transformation through the roles of head, heart, hands and legs. His analysis echoes indigenous teachings on the integrative nature of reality: that all aspects of reality are interrelated fundamentally, and any understanding of transformation must begin with an understanding of that interrelatedness. Pranis (2007, p. 65), with many other theorists, similarly asserts an underlying assumption of restorative justice, that we live in an interconnected and interdependent universe.  This is an ancient teaching in both indigenous traditions and several faith traditions.  Lederach references a seminal work in the study of religious community system dynamics, Friedman’s Generation to Generation, so there is acknowledgement of aspects of faith traditions. Lederach’s (2003, pp. 34 – 47) conceptual work on process models for transformation bears a striking similarity to indigenous teachings around the medicine wheel with the exception of counter-clockwise rotation on page 42. The teaching of the medicine wheel is of immense value in conceptualizing the interrelatedness which underlies all restorative justice theory. We find the same idea of interconnectedness reflected in faith-based writings in the ancient Western traditions such as that of John Donne, in a famous excerpt from his Meditation 17, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624):

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

In the analogy between land and humanity, the loss of any piece of land diminishes the land overall. So too the loss of any one person diminishes humanity as a whole. This contains, in an entirely different cultural context, a wisdom teaching that parallels that of the medicine wheel.

Elliott (2011, pp. 141-2) looks to Jane, P., Bopp, J., Bopp, M., Brown, L. & elders (2012) in an earlier edition to summarize the teaching of the medicine wheel. Harm to the individual requires attentiveness to all four aspects of the person, mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. The wheel also teaches us that there must be balance in relationship, as all things are interrelated and part of a single wholeness and imbalance in one area will impact all other areas (Jane et al., 2012, p. 26-27). This applies both individually and collectively and serves to illuminate the world view which makes restorative justice approaches very suitable for indigenous communities. The exclusion of an offender through incarceration or exile diminishes the community and so reintegration is always the first goal of indigenous-driven restoration attempts. Rupert Ross (2014, p. 232) deals with this in great depth when he identifies that all indigenous individual healing is in the context of social or group healing, with the goal of returning all people to “…useful role within Creation.”  The medicine wheel also teaches the idea of cycles of life, growth and healing and that all Creation is in a constant dance of interaction, change and development embedded in a sacred reality. This echoes Lederach’s (2003, p. 35, 42, 44, 46) models of transformation and particularly his emphasis on the progressive and cyclical nature of all interactions.[2]

The strong linkages between modern restorative justice theory and many streams of ancient teaching illustrates the value in pursuing other ancient narratives as a potential source of deeper modern understanding. That net can be cast wide geographically and temporally as both secular and faith-based ancient traditions may be sources of useful understanding. This approach is also supported by Pranis (2007, p. 67) in her statement that there is substantial agreement on fundamental values across race, culture, age, education, gender, income, geography, political beliefs and occupation. It is easy to extend Pranis’ listing to include time to see that consistency of foundational values even in ancient contexts. It also reflects the syncretic nature of criminology as a field of study, identified by Walgrave et al. (2013, p. 159) as looking critically to institutional responses to wrongdoing as a source of theoretical and methodological approaches. From the perspective of criminology this study is still in its infancy, and connection with pre-modern and pre-Enlightenment sources can only be of assistance (Walgrave et al, 2013, p. 160).  Such “institutional” responses are recorded in early historical writings such as the Hebrew scriptures.  Such benefit may be seen in the following analysis of the David and Bathsheba narrative cycle, beginning with some analysis of the Hebrew concept of righteousness.

Word Study on the Hebraic Concept of הצְדָקָ (tsedaka)

The Mosaic practice of justice seen through modern eyes reflects, “…disturbing practices that are gender-based and class-biased.” (Brueggemann, 1997, p. 644). Nevertheless, Brueggemann asserts a foundation of Mosaic wisdom is the focus on social justice and provision for support and good relationships in community. In this regard we receive these writings as contextualized by a particular place and time, without the intrinsic cultural biases lessening that value. A critical reading allows the extraction of timeless teachings, while leaving behind the dross. He goes on to note that the ultimate voice in this system was that of the prophet who conveys both conviction of those who fail to act justly, and the hope of a different future. In this tradition there are no, “escape hatches or exceptional treatments” for those who hold temporal power, for their destiny is tightly integrated with that of the entire community (Brueggemann, 1997, p. 645).  It is an exceptionally egalitarian world view. Diamond (2012, p. 103) highlights a similar contrast between Western and Navajo ideas of peace-making. The Western mind seeks to “make the plaintiff whole” through the provision of money as compensation. There is an implicit value judgement conveyed through making a being whole by payment of cash. The ancient concept, also present throughout Hebrew teachings, establishes that a person’s true being can only be conceived fully in relationship; while the Western mind conceives of being only in the calculated financial loss. The reflection of previously outlined concepts of restorative justice is plainly apparent in this emphasis of both ultimately classless consideration and the interconnectedness of individuals in community.

An understanding of the Hebrew idea of righteousness, one principle meaning of the word, הצְדָקָ (tsedaka), must be placed in the context of Israel’s understanding of the concept. Righteousness was tightly tied to the place of the king as a mediator of the holiness of their God. The idea is displayed in Psalm 72 (English Standard Version, vv. 1-2, 12-14):

Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!  [וְצִדְקָתְךָ֥]
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice! […]

For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.  [underlining added]

The king’s righteousness (tsedaka) is tied to the righteousness of the Creator. At the core of that righteousness is care for the weak, the needy, the poor and those oppressed or victimized by violence or power. This is distributive justice, tied into the idea of a covenant relationship between Israel and their God, which extended into a covenant with all citizens to share in the bounty of the nation, including goods, power and access to justice. This is coherent with the readings conducted in the course, as it reflects an aspect of the foundational philosophy of restorative justice, seen in the high degree of coherence with the values provided by Braithwaite (2002, p. 569). The idea of the covenant reflects a restorative justice perspective on the role of community and shared values as a path to restoration when there has been a fracturing of that covenant. “Restoration is the key objective of restorative justice.” states Doolin citing Walgrave (Doolin, 2007, p. 431). Indigenous communities operate with a similar implicit, traditional covenant that mediates relationships, knowledge and the sharing of goods and power in a fundamentally egalitarian way (cf. Diamond, 2012, p. 89).

With that context it is possible to look closely at the word in question, הצְדָקָ (tsedaka).

Use of the word is deliberate around the idea of righteousness, as the translation as justice easily leads to modern misunderstanding, for many of the same reasons that restorative justice is cautious using terminology associated with the modern legal system. This concern is reflected by Elliott (2011, p. 52) from Bianchi’s writings where he identifies that early English translations of the word confused understandings of justice, including using the word retribution. Modern translations attempt to render the word by context, using translations such as: honesty, vindication, justice, merits, rights, and righteous or righteousness. However, only in the Hebrew concept of righteousness as covenant is the full scope of meaning for the word illuminated. Looking at the lexical description (Appendix B) of this form of the word is helpful: righteousness in government; righteousness of a judge, ruler or king; righteousness of The Law (Torah); righteousness of God; truthfulness; righteousness in terms of salvation; righteousness in terms of vindication for behaviour previously thought to be unrighteous. In the specific context of the covenantal understanding of the requirements to treat the vulnerable with הצְדָקָ (tsedaka), this informs the fulsome use of the word in a restorative justice context.

This meaning resonates with Elliott’s (2011, p. 52) presentation of Bianchi’s thought. She echoes his statement that righteousness requires three criteria be met: 1) there must be a way to achieve release from guilt; 2) there must be confirmation of the truth; 3) there must be “substantiation” meaning righteousness that is known by its results where all achieve justice and peace. Peace refers to the all-encompassing Hebrew peace of shalom. The movement is from discord, through tsedaka and into the intended normative state of shalom[3]. The parallel between the restorative justice goal of real justice, lived out, is therefore synonymous with the deep meaning of the word, tsedaka in the context of the covenantal relationship between the nation Israel, its king, and its God, with the deep understanding of infused righteousness that this context brings. With this understanding, it is now possible to examine the David and Bathsheba narrative cycle as a way of exploring modern restorative justice concepts.

Restoration and Justice in the David and Bathsheba Cycle

A copy of the narrative cycle is contained at Appendix A to this paper.

In the opening verses of the story, we hear repeated violations of the expected state of shalom in the action of the person of David. First we learn that he has remained in Jerusalem, even though it is the time, “when kings go out to battle.” (2 Samuel 11:1) Something is amiss in the usual order of kingship. David spies Bathsheba and sends messengers to bring her back to him, violating her privacy and then her marriage vows (2 Samuel 11:2-4).[4] This was punishable by death for both parties under Hebrew law. In the midst there is a deeper violation, as he had seen Bathsheba in the midst of a ritual purification bath in her family miqvah (2 Samuel 11:4). This is a particular moment of sacred encounter as the Hebrew person travels from impurity back to a state of ritual purification, a key requirement to return to right relationship with community. Finally, an additional violation occurs to the integrity of Bathsheba, the result of the huge power imbalance between her and the king. In the first four verses we hear of five violations, cemented by Bathsheba’s pregnancy. That declaration is made by the now nameless Bathsheba who in the final verses is now referred to only as “the woman” (2 Samuel 11:5) or “wife of Uriah” (2 Samuel 11:26). David has systematically removed from her every aspect of her individuality, and she will remain nameless in the narrative until David has successfully murdered her husband and she is named as his wife (2 Samuel 12:24).

In light of the expectation that the king to be a paradigm of righteousness in the full meaning of הצְדָקָ (tsedaka), it is hard to conceive of a more direct and systematic destruction of shalom. We are left with the sense that the violation is worse than if this had been an outright violent assault, as the grasping king has acquired what he sought through the abuse of an office founded in a covenant idea of tsedaka. The subsequent verses (2 Samuel 11:6-27) flow quickly as David deals with his problem by ordering that the battle proceed such that Bathsheba’s husband is killed. This is done with the assistance of David’s general Joab, who is the one afield executing the work that was properly David’s. Now Joab is drawn into the intrigue as it is his order that leads to Uriah’s death. Uriah’s name literally means ‘my light is God’, and that light is extinguished through brutal conspiracy.

The initial violation of Bathsheba through a kingly peeping tom quickly leads to offenses against a large number of people. This is the inverse of the integration that restorative justice seeks and confirms that the act of violation or offense is never victimless or limited to a particular victim. An offense against righteousness impacts an entire community. David co-opts his messengers, his servants and his soldiers in his pursuit of something which was never meant to be his, drawing them all into to the act of either violating, or being violated. David’s betrayal rings particularly harshly for a soldier because he not only assaults the wife of one of his soldiers, but actively participates in his betrayal and murder – two things which a commander is honour-bound to not do.[5] One of David’s attempts to cover up his crime is to get Uriah drunk, which also fails, marking that Uriah is more ethical drunk than David when sober (Gordon, 1986, 254). So the web of violation spreads wide and even acts to poison people distant from the physical events. The process of restoration, if it is to be effective, must undo that wide web of damage. We are left understanding that this disruption has lasting impact leading to the end of his kingship and ultimately the downfall of Israel as a nation.

When the king fails, it falls to a prophet to pronounce judgement on the offender (Brueggemann, 1997, p. 645). Nathan arrives and proceeds to tell a judgement narrative to David about a rich man who steals a poor man’s only lamb, a lamb that the poor man loved as a daughter (2 Samuel 12:3). When a guest arrives the rich man is unwilling to slaughter from within his flock, and so steals the poor man’s lamb and serves it as a meal for his guest. The violation here is strikingly similar to that of David’s, in that one with plenty has stolen the only wife of one with little, and done so callously and capriciously. The rich man’s offense draws in others, as his unwitting guest has participated in the destruction of tsedaka. As David reacts with fury at the injustice of the story, he pronounces judgement: the rich man deserves to die, and must restore the lamb four times over because he had no pity. What follows is a classic prophetic reversal as Nathan reveals that the judgement David has just passed actually falls on his head as he is the breaker of shalom.[6]

David’s response is to confess his actions, and because of this he is saved from death. It appears that the only voice which could shame the king, that of a prophet, has been successful. There is a hint of reintegrative shaming (Elliott, 2011, p. 161), but it stops with David and does not extend to the greater web of those impacted. That web encompasses the entire nation and reflects a fundamental failure by David to make full amends to the community which Nathan represented (Sherman, 1993, p. 448). David has an apparent lack of empathy and is unable to move to the space where he recognizes that his grasping narcissism has caused harm to his people, empathy identified as a key skill needed to transcend violence (Pepinsky, 2007, p. 197).  Nevertheless, his repeated violation results in considerable impact to his legacy: the rape of his daughter by one of his sons (2 Samuel 13); the rising of his son Absalom in an attempt to overthrow his father (2 Samuel 15-19); and finally Bathsheba’s son will die. While it would be comfortable to dismiss this death of an innocent as a literary device to raise emotion, there is a harsh reality reflected in the impact of any violation: it is usual that the innocent suffer even when separated from the initial event. The intergenerational impact of the Canadian residential school system on indigenous families is a stark reminder that violation and injustice impact widely without restoration and reconciliation both externally and internally (Ross, 2014, p. 143).

While David displays remorse, and there is an aspect of reintegrative shaming, this is not extended to the community, leaving us to question the sincerity of his remorse as he continues to fail to show mercy broadly as required (Braithwaite, 2002, p. 570). There is no indication that the community, who would be aware of David’s transgressions, are engaged in the process, which curtails the community ability to achieve restoration (Ross, 2012, 147). Zehr’s (2015, p. 34) three pillars of restorative justice, harms and needs, obligations and engagements are not completely engaged (Elliott, 2011, p. 89). While the central actor has shame and remorse, the full restorative ability of restorative justice is not allowed to act.

In this narrative restoration is only seen between David and Nathan with no outwards extension. Elliott cites Braithwaite (Elliott, 2011, p. 74) that one of the powerful aspects of restorative justice is that it offers meaningful space for individual democratic participation, which brings healing broadly. Equality of voice is at the heart of restorative processes. She offers Braithwaite’s comment that the popularity of restorative justice comes partly in that it hands a, “little piece of power back to the ordinary people.” This is particularly crucial if the offender occupies a place of great authority, as restorative justice also requires addressing root causes (power imbalance and abuse) and leveling of status to create safety for all impacted (Harris, 2004, p. 124). Dekker (2017, p. xxxi) also emphasizes this “view from below” to include those who have little ability to voice their injury and a lack of misuse of power to deflect responsibility as key to restoration. If David had turned his incipient restoration outwards this empowering restoration could have spread to all those injured in the web.

A final point relates to the concept of the “second victim” present in restorative justice applications in organizations where a failure has caused harm to others, identified as the “first victims”. The second victim is the person who committed the error, an acknowledgement that those who are responsible suffer deeply and differently than those directly impacted. This is discussed partly in the work of Dekker (2017, p. xxiii-xxiv) who notes that treating error as crime ensures there will always be losers. Dekker highlights that restorative approaches refrain from pleonexia (greed or avarice) where personal gain is achieved by blaming another. David’s failure to continue the process of admission of guilt and restoration with the balance of his kingdom is perhaps due to his limited vision conditioned by power, by dwelling within pleonexia as the reality of a monarch. By failing to act David causes further harm to himself as the “second victim” as he is unable to undertake restorative actions with the greater community. He allows himself to remain insulated from that greater community of first victims, and so guarantees his continued suffering (Doolin, 2007, p. 433). Failing to act on the general duty to forgive through not engaging the other first victims perpetuates the chaos and discord that will follow David’s remaining time as king (Radzik, 2003, p. 336).


The use of ancient narrative cycles as a means of exploring restorative justice theory has been explored through the David and Bathsheba account from the Hebrew book of 2 Samuel 11-12. This powerful account reflects numerous serious violations against Bathsheba, and against an expanding web of people who are drawn into the impact of David’s lack of righteousness. While David experiences a partial restoration through reintegrative shame at the hands of the prophet Nathan, he does not continue that process outwards in order to bring restoration to the greater community. We are told in later portions of the historical book that David’s rule began to fail the day he gazed unrighteously on Bathsheba as she underwent ritual purification.  The impact of incomplete application of restorative justice at the community level can result in lasting impact through a failure to heal. This review has helped to confirm the benefits of exploring ancient narratives from diverse traditions as a way of better understanding the developing modern philosophies and values that guide application of restorative justice. While we are modern practitioners, we are necessarily inheritors of many ancient traditions.


[1] I will reference some sources in referring to indigenous teachings, but will also rely on traditional teachings which I hold personally as Métis.

[2] When reading Lederach I found it helpful to visualize his process model as a medicine wheel repeatedly circled.

[3] A personal experience of shalom was related by the sister of a murder victim reflecting on how unspoken forgiveness had been a burden, “…unspoken forgiveness does not actually weigh you down like guilt or shame.  It is almost like a sack of balloons. Because it does not often affect in a negative way, it is easy to dismiss the importance of it.” (Whistance-Smith, 2017, p. 1) That light yet ever-present weight was removed when they voiced their forgiveness of the offender, achieving the start of shalom for family and offender while restoring community.

[4] Other commentators note that Bathsheba may have been a willing participant in this sequence. I have preferred to focus on David’s actions rather than Bathsheba’s as it will ultimately be David who is convicted. There is also the potential of misogynist biases in those assertions, as Bathsheba is demonstrably without power (and name) throughout the narrative, contrasted with the king who holds literal life and death authority over her.

[5] Modern officers are still taught that they always eat last, so important is the honouring of people you command.

[6] The work of Victor Turner on liminal space associated with rituals of transition may have some direct application in restorative justice work. The entry into an effective restorative “ritual” is an entry into liminality, a place where real transformation may occur. Turner, V. W. (1970). The forest of symbols: Aspects of Ndembu ritual. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press.

Reference List

Alter, R. (1999). The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel. New York: W.W. Norton Company Inc.

Braithwaite, J. (2002). Setting Standards for Restorative Justice. British Journal of Criminology42, 563-577.

Brueggemann, W. (1997). Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Brown, F., Driver, S. & Briggs, C. (2003). The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers Inc.

Diamond, J. (2012). The World Until Yesterday. New York: Penguin.

Dekker, S. (2017). Just Culture: Restoring Trust and Accountability in Your Organization (3rd ed.). New York: CRC Press.

Doolin, K. (2007). But What Does it Mean? Seeking Definitional Clarity in Restorative Justice. The Journal of Criminal Law. 71(5), 427-440.

Donne, John. (1839). The Works of John Donne. vol III. London: John W. Parker. Pp. 574-5. Retrieved from http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php.

Elliott, E.M. (2011). Security with Care: Restorative Justice & Healthy Societies. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.

Gordon, R.P. (1986). I & II Samuel: A Commentary. United Kingdom: Zondervan Publishing.

Harris, M.K. (2004). An Expansive, Transformative View of Restorative Justice. Contemporary Justice Review 7(1), 117-141.

Jane, P., Bopp, J., Bopp, M., Brown, L. & elders (2012). The Sacred Tree (4th ed.). Wisconsin:Lotus Press.

Lederach, J.P. (2003). The Little Book of Conflict Transformation. Pennsylvania: Good Books.

Pepinsky, H. (2007). Empathy and Restoration. In Tifft, L and Sullivan, D (eds.), Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective (pp. 188-197). Kentucky: Routledge.

Pranis, K (2007). Restorative Values. In Gerry Johnstone & Daniel W. van Ness (eds.), Handbook of Restorative Justice (pp. 59-74). London: Willan.

Radzik, L. (2003). Do Wrongdoers Have a Right to Make Amends? Social Theory and Practice, 29(2), 325-341.

Ross, R (2012). Telling Truths and Seeking Reconciliation: Exploring the Challenges. Contained in Volume 2 of Aboriginal Healing Foundation (Canada), Rogers, S., DeGagné, M., & Dewar, J. (2012). Speaking my truth: Reflections on reconciliation & residential school. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Ross, R. (2014). Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths. Toronto: Penguin.

Sherman, L (1993). Defiance, Deterrence, and Irrelevance: A Theory of the Criminal Sanction. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 30(4), 445-473.

Walgrave, L., Aertsen, I., Parmentier, S., Vanfraechem, I. and Zinsstag, E. (2013). Why restorative justice matters for criminology. Restorative Justice: An International Journal, 1:2, 159-167, DOI: 10.5235/20504721.1.2.159.

Whistance-Smith, N. 2017. Forgiveness in Christ’s name – a family’s journey. The Messenger, March 2017. Retrieved from http://edmonton.anglican.org/wpsite/wpcontent/uploads/2017/02/17_March_MessengerWeb.pdf

Zehr, H. (2015). The Little Book of Restorative Justice (revised). Contained in the collection: The Big Book of Restorative Justice.  Pennsylvania: Good Books.

Zinck, A. (2013). Love Knows No Bounds: A Christian Response to the Omar Khadr Story. Chester Ronning Centre Current Briefings – 1. Camrose, Alberta.

Appendix A

2 Samuel 11-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

David and Bathsheba

11 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going.Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died.18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Nathan Rebukes David

12 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms,[a] and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned theLord,[b] the child who is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house.

David’s Child Dies

And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon’s Birth

24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah,[c] because of the Lord.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles

Appendix B

Brown, F., Driver, S. & Briggs, C. (2003). The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers Inc. p. 842.

הצְדָקָ noun feminine righteousness; — absolute ׳צ Genesis 15:6+81 t.; construct צִדְקַת Deuteronomy 33:21+5 t.; suffixצִדְקָתִי Genesis 30:33 +, etc.; plural צְדָקוֺת Isaiah 33:15+3t.; constructצִדְקוֺת Judges 5:11+; suffix צִדְקֹתֶיךָ Daniel 9:16, etc.; —

1 righteousness, in government:

  1. of judge, ruler, king:“” משׁפט Isaiah 5:7Isaiah 9:6Amos 5:7Amos 6:12; ׳משׁפט וצ 2 Samuel 8:15, עשׂה David executed justice and righteousness = 1 Chronicles 18:14, compare 1 Kings 10:92Chronicles 9:8; Jeremiah 22:3,15Jeremiah 33:15Ezekiel 45:9; יִכּוֺן כִּסֵּא ׳בּצ Proverbs 16:12, compare Isaiah 54:14; ׳עֲבֹדַת השׂ, ׳מַעֲשֵׂה הצ Isaiah 32:17, compare V:16; ׳נֹגְשַׂיִךְ צ Isaiah 60:17.
  2. of law, “” משׁפטים, ׳צִדְקַת י Deuteronomy 33:21.
  3. of Davidic king, Messiah, “” משׁפט, Psalm 72:1Psalm 72:3;Isaiah 9:6Jeremiah 23:5Jeremiah 33:15.

2 God’s attribute as sovereign Psalm 36:7Psalm 71:19; in government, עשׂה ׳משׁפט וצ Psalm 99:4Jeremiah 9:23; administering justice Job 37:28; punishment Isaiah 1:27Isaiah 5:16Isaiah 10:22Isaiah 28:17Daniel 9:7; vindication of his people Micah 7:9.

3 righteousness, in a case or cause, בצדקתי החזקתי Job 27:6 on my righteousness I hold fast; ׳מה ישׁ לי עוד צ 2 Samuel 19:29 what right have I yet ? of God’s judgments, ׳הגיד צ Isaiah 57:12 (iron.);׳השׁיב צ 1 Samuel 26:23Job 33:26; ׳כּצ, השׁיב 2 Samuel 22:25, גמל2 Samuel 22:21, נתן 1 Kings 8:52 2Chronicles 6:23.

4 righteousness = truthfulness, ׳באמת ובצ Isaiah 48:1Zechariah 8:8; in word Isaiah 45:28Isaiah 63:1, oath Jeremiah 4:2.

5 righteousness, as ethically right: Genesis 30:33 (J) Deuteronomy 6:25;Isaiah 33:5Isaiah 41:18Ezekiel 14:14,20Proverbs 10:2Proverbs 11:4,5,18,19+17 t., +צִדְקַת (ה)צַדִּיק(יםׅ Isaiah 5:23Ezekiel 18:20;Ezekiel 33:12; ישׁרים ׳צ Proverbs 11:6; ׳אֹרַח צ Proverbs 8:20;Proverbs 12:28; ׳דֶּרֶךְ צ Proverbs 16:31; ׳עשׂה צ do righteousnessPsalm 106:3Isaiah 56:1Isaiah 58:2Ezekiel 18:22; ׳עשׂה משׁפט וצEzekiel 18:5 6t. Ezekiel; ומשׁפט ׳עשׂה צ Genesis 18:10 (J) Proverbs 21:8; ׳רדף צ Proverbs 15:9Proverbs 21:21; ׳הלך באמת ובצ1kProverbs 3:6; ׳חשׁב לוֺ (ל)צ Genesis 15:6 (JE) imputed to him (for)righteousnessPsalm 106:31; וָחֶסֶד ׳צ Proverbs 21:21 (twice in verse) (strike out ᵐ5A B Toy).

6 righteousness as vindicated, justification, salvation, etc. (compare צֶדֶק6):

  1. of God“” יָשַׁע, תְּשׁוּעָה, יְשׁוּעָה Isaiah 45:8Isaiah 46:13Isaiah 51:6 7t. Isa2; “” בְּרָכָה Psalm 24:6; “” נַחֲלָה Isaiah 54:17; “” חֶסֶד Psalm 36:11Psalm 103:17; ׳שֶׁמֶשׁ צ Malachi 3:20 sun of righteousness (with healing); ׳בִּצ, ׳י delivers, guides, exalts his people Psalm 5:9Psalm 31:2Psalm 71:2Psalm 89:17Psalm 119:40Psalm 143:1Psalm 143:11; אַליָֿבאֹוּ בְּצִדְקָתֶ֑ךָ Psalm 69:28 (of wicked); as accusative after verbs of declaring, etc., his saving (deliveringrighteousness Psalm 22:32;Psalm 40:11Psalm 51:16Psalm 71:15Psalm 71:16Psalm 71:24Psalm 98:2Psalm 145:7; also ׳יִוָּדַע צ Psalm 88:13; עֹמֶדֶת ׳צ לָעַד his righteousness endureth for ever Psalm 111:3; compare Psalm 119:142.
  2. of people, = prosperity, “” הון, עשׁר Proverbs 8:18; ׳מוֺרֶה לצearly rain for prosperityJoel 2:23.

7 plural righteous acts:

  1. of GodJudges 5:11 (twice in verse); 1 Samuel 12:7Micah 6:5; vindication of right Psalm 103:6; redemptive Isaiah 45:24Daniel 9:16.
  2. of man’s moral conductIsaiah 64:5Jeremiah 51:10, also probably Ezekiel 3:20Ezekiel 18:24Ezekiel 33:13 (Kt singular) Psalm 11:7 (? gloss), Daniel 9:18; as adverb accusative, הֹלֵךְ צְדָקוֺת Isaiah 33:15.


Written by sameo416

March 20, 2017 at 1:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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