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Read Introduction to Hebrews

9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

This verse sets forth both Jesus’ motives and actions in the way He will rule.

9 You have loved righteousness

The quotation of Psalm 45 continues with this verse.

To love righteousness is more than to do righteousness. The fundamental motivation behind what Christ did was love.

The word “righteousness” in this verse is the normal word for righteousness. It is something that conforms to a norm or standard. It is in keeping with God’s absolute character. Jesus “loved” righteousness. This was His motive.

The king of verse 8 loved straightness and hated lawlessness. “Righteousness” here refers to the just rule of the Messiah. Jesus on earth was what a king should be, operating in absolute righteousness and justice.

and hated lawlessness;

The other side of loving righteousness is hating lawlessness or injustice. There is validity to exercising hatred in some circumstances.


Exercising hatred is valid in some cases.


If someone loves righteousness and hates injustice, he or she is true to who Jesus is. It is inconsistent to love righteousness and become permissive about sin. We need to conform to Christ’s attitudes about these things.

Do we “love righteousness”? This speaks to our motivation in life. The Psalmist loved and delighted to do God’s will (Ps 40:8; 119:97). Often our response to the Lord is reluctance about, much less loving to do, what He asks. When our will comes into conflict with God’s will, is our first response love for what is right?

Loving righteousness and hating lawlessness are inseparable. We cannot truly love something without hating its opposite (Amos 5:15). If we love God, then we will hate what violates Him (Re 2:15).