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Reference: Judgment


Is put, in Mt 5:21-22, for a court of judgment, a tribunal, namely, the tribunal of seven judges, which Josephus mentions as existing in every city, and which decided causes of minor importance. See under SYNAGOGUE.

For the expression, "judgment-hall," see PRETORIUM.

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, for which the word "judgment" alone is sometimes used, is that great day, at the end of the world and of time, when Christ shall sit as judge over all the universe, and when every individual of the human race will be judged and recompensed according to his works, whether they be good or evil. The time of its coming and its duration are known only to God. It will break upon the world suddenly, and with a glorious but awful majesty. It will witness the perfect vindication of all the ways of God. The revelation of his justice, appalling but unstained, will fill the universe with approving wonder; but the revelation of his yet more amazing goodness will crown him with unutterable glory. The Redeemer especially will then receive his reward, and be glorified in his saints, who shall be raised from the dead in his likeness. He will divide all mankind into tow classes: all the righteous will be in one, and all the wicked in the other; all that love God in the one, and all that hate him in the other; all that penitently believed in Christ while they lived in the one, and all that died impenitent and unbelieving in the other. And this judgement and separation will be eternal: the former will rise in holiness and joy, and the latter sink in sin and woe forever, Ec 11:9; Da 12:2; Mt 10:15; 12:36; 25:31-46; 26:64; Joh 5:22; Ac 17:31; Ro 14:10-12; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Pe 2:9; 3:7; 1Jo 4:17; Re 20:12-15.

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Biblical eschatology centres about the Judgment to which all humanity is to be subjected at the end of this 'age.' As the introduction to the Messianic Age, it was expected to occur at a definite time in the future, and would take place in the heavens, to which all humanity, whether living or dead, would be raised from Sheol. The judge was sometimes said to be God (Heb 12:23), sometimes His representative, the Christ, assisted by the angels (Ro 2:16; Mt 13:24-30,37-43,47-50; 24:31-45; Cf. Eth. Enoch 48). In Lu 22:30; 1Co 6:2, Christians are also said to be judges. At the Judgment, sentences would be pronounced determining the eternal states of individuals, both men and angels. Those who had done wrong would be doomed to punishment, and those who had accepted Jesus as Christ, either explicitly, as in the case of the Christians, or implicitly, as in the case of Abraham, would be acquitted and admitted to heaven. The question as to the basis of this acquittal gave rise to the great discussion between St. Paul and the Jewish Christians, and was developed in the doctrine of justification by faith.

By its very nature the thought of judgment is eschatological, and can be traced from the conception of the Day of Jehovah of the ancient Hebrews. While the Scripture writers sometimes conceived of disease and misery as the result of sin, such suffering was not identified by them with the penalties inflicted at the Judgment. These were strictly eschatological, and included non-participation in the resurrection of the body, and suffering in hell. (See Abyss, Day of the Lord, Book of Life, Gehenna.)

For 'judgment' in the sense of justice see art. Justice.

Shailer Mathews.

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JUDGMENT, DAY OF, is that important period which shall terminate the present dispensation of grace toward the fallen race of Adam, put an end to time, and introduce the eternal destinies of men and angels, Ac 16:31; 1Co 15:24-26; 1Th 4:14-17; Mt 25:31-46. It is in reference to this solemn period that the Apostle Peter says, "The heavens and the earth which now exist are by the word of God reserved in store unto fire, against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men," 2Pe 3:7. Several eminent commentators understand this prophecy as a prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem. In support of their interpretation, they appeal to the ancient Jewish prophecies, where, as they contend, the revolutions in the political state of empires and nations are foretold in the same forms of expression with those introduced in Peter's prediction. The following are the prophecies to which they appeal:

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