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One doesn't see the connection in the English translations. These three Hebrew words חֶ֛סֶד מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה are the same in these two verse, except צְדָקָ֖ה is in its plural form in Micah 6:5, attributing righteousness to God, while where we would expect צְדָקָ֖ה in Micah 6:8 is וְהַצְנֵ֥עַ לֶ֖כֶת עִם־אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ (and to walk humbly with your God, ESV). Thus, did Micah imply that only God is righteous?

The third verse, Micah 6:5, is because צְדָקָ֖ה is out of place, not in 6:8.

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  • For starters, it's three verses, rather than two. Secondly, how on earth is walking humbly a parallel to righteousness ?
    – Lucian
    Oct 20 '20 at 10:07
  • @Lucian Because where one expects צְדָקָ֖ה to show up, that is what is there. One has to go up to v5 to find that word, and unlike v8, God is the subject.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 20 '20 at 18:35
  • @Lucian Does that edit make it easier to understand?
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 20 '20 at 19:17
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The pattern the OP notices is more widespread than just the two texts quoted. here is a greater sample:

  • Matt 23:23 - Justice ; Mercy ; Faithfulness
  • Micah 6:8 - Act justly ; Love mercy ; Walk humbly before God
  • Jer 7:3-6 - Deal justly ; Do not oppress the alien, widow, etc ; Don’t follow other gods
  • Jer 9:24 - Justice ; kindness ; Righteousness
  • James 1:26, 27 - -- ; Care for orphans ; Unpolluted by world
  • Isa 58:3-14 - Loose chains of injustice ; Share food & clothes ; Keep Sabbath
  • Zech 7:4-14 - Administer true justice ; Show mercy and compassion, do not oppress widows, orphans, alien, and poor ; Listen to the Word of the Lord
  • Psalm 112 - V5: Good will come to him…who conducts his affairs with justice ; V9: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor ; V1: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord

Note the same three trio of virtues is consistently repeated as summarizing the whole duty of mankind.

The answer to the question, "Is only God righteous" is obviously yes simply because, no one else is righteous according to Rom 3:10-18 - no one righteous, no not one! We must seek the righteousness of God, Rom 1:17, 3:5, 10:3, 2 Cor 5:21, 2 Peter 1:1, etc.

This pattern of a righteous God is taken directly from the OT: Ps 4:1, 7:9, Zech 8:8, Isa 45:21, Prov 21:12, etc. The whole passage of Rom 3:10-18 is a series of quotes from the OT such as Ps 14:1-7, 53:1-6, Isa 59:1-17, Ps 5:9, 140:3, 10:7, 36:1 which together mean that man is unrighteous and only God is righteous.

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  • We can make this conclusion based on the New Testament, but can the Old Testament make this conclusion without the support of the New Testament.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 20 '20 at 18:40
  • @PerryWebb - Extra paragraph added - see especially Ps 14;1-3 which has the quoted phrase - "There is no one who does good." as per Rom 3.
    – Dottard
    Oct 20 '20 at 19:56
  • @Perry Webb How could Micah refer to Jeremiah if he came before him? that was the question wasn't it(Jer. 1:2/Micah 1:1)?
    – user21676
    Oct 20 '20 at 20:56
  • I'm now looking for when Psalm 33 (v5) was written.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 20 '20 at 23:26

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