This article is written to help the reader possibly gain a scriptural understanding of virtue. This article will primarily focus on the words that refer to those who are virtuous in the Eternals sight.
A definition for virtue is: Moral excellence and righteousness; goodness.
Lets look at these attributes and see if they help us arrive at a clearer understanding of what it is to be virtuous.
Righteous, Perfect, Upright, and Clean
8But Noah found favor in the eyes of YHWH. 9This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with Elohim.
Here we see Noah was a righteous man, a man who walked with the Eternal. What does it mean to walk with? Is it refering to living his life according to the will of the Almighty?
And it came to be when Abram was ninety-nine years old, that YHWH appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai – walk before Me and be perfect.
Now we see Abram being called to walk before the Eternal and be perfect. Once again we see the reference to walking. Let’s look further.
13“Be perfect before YHWH your Elohim, 14for these nations whom you are possessing do listen to those using magic and to diviners. But as for you, YHWH your Elohim has not appointed such for you. 15“YHWH your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him,
Here the people of Y’srael are told to be perfect by not following the wicked ways of the people they were displacing. This scripture also refers to the coming of the prophet whom the Almighty would create and who would proclaim the truth. The people are admonished to listen to this prophet.
The earth belongs to YHWH, And all that fills it – The world and those who dwell in it. 2For He has founded it upon the seas, And upon the waters He does establish it. 3Who does go up into the mountain of YHWH? And who does stand in His set-apart place? 4He who has innocent hands and a clean heart, Who did not bring his life to naught, And did not swear deceivingly. 5He receives a blessing from YHWH, And righteousness from the Elohim of his deliverance. 6This is the generation of those who seek Him;
This scripture shows that those who do not commit evil either physically or mentally and do not use their tongue to cause mischeif will be blessed by the Eternal.
16Better is the little of the righteous one, Than the riches of many wrongdoers. 17For the arms of the wrongdoers are broken, But YHWH sustains the righteous. 18YHWH knows the days of the perfect, And their inheritance is forever.
Here we see that those who are righteous and perfect will have a place in the coming kingdom.
20So walk in the way of goodness, And guard the paths of righteousness. 21For the straight shall dwell in the earth, And the perfect be left in it; 22But the wrong shall be cut off from the earth, And the treacherous ones plucked out of it.
Once again we see that the righteous will inherit the Earth and the unrighteous will have their place.
Proverbs 11:4-11, 18-23, 27-31
4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. 5The righteousness of the perfect Makes his way straight, But by his own wrongness the wrong one falls. 6The righteousness of the straight ones delivers them, But the treacherous are caught by greed. 7When a wrong man dies, expectancy perishes, And the ambition of the wicked shall be lost. 8The righteous is delivered from distress, And the wrong one takes his place. 9The defiled one destroys his neighbour with his mouth, But the righteous is delivered by knowledge. 10When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices. And when the wrong perish, there is shouting. 11By the blessing of the straight the city is exalted,
18The wrong one earns false wages, But the one sowing righteousness, a true reward. 19Thus righteousness leads to life, And one pursuing evil, to his own death. 20The perverse of heart are an abomination to YHWH, But the perfect in the Way are His delight. 21Hand to hand, the evil one does not go unpunished, But the seed of the righteous shall escape. 22Like a ring of gold in a pig’s snout, Is a lovely woman who lacks good sense. 23The desire of the righteous is only good, The expectancy of the wrong is wrath.
27He who earnestly seeks good, Seeks what is pleasing; But to him who seeks evil, It comes to him. 28He who trusts in his riches falls, But the righteous flourish like a leaf. 29He who troubles his own house inherits wind, And the fool is servant to the wise of heart. 30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is winning lives is wise. 31See, the righteous in the earth shall be rewarded, How much more the wrong and the sinner!
An excellent Psalm, we see that the righteous will be rewarded for their ways, as the unrighteous will be rewarded for their ways.
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the reign of the heavens. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, because they shall be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, because they shall inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they shall be filled. 7“Blessed are the compassionate, because they shall obtain compassion. 8“Blessed are the clean in heart, because they shall see Elohim. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, because they shall be called sons of Elohim. 10“Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens.
Once again we see the righteous will be blessed, and those who are persecuted for righteousness sake will be given much esteem.
Yah’shua answered and said to him, “You do not know what I am doing now, but you shall know after this.” 8Kepha said to Him, “By no means shall You wash my feet, ever!” Yah’shua answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9Shim'on Kepha said to Him, “Master, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Yah’shua said to him, “He who has had a bath does not need to wash, except his feet, but is clean altogether. And you are clean, but not all of you.” 11For He knew who would deliver Him up, so He said, “You are not all clean.” 12So when He had washed their feet and taken His garments, and sat down again,
Here we see Yah’shua teaching the followers of truth that they are clean with the exception of the betrayer. These men were told they were clean before they were given the full measure of the set apart spirit.
Now lets look at some more scripture verses to help us determine what what is required of us to be considered righteous and clean.
To be Righteous and Upright what is it?
3“For I proclaim the Name of YHWH, Ascribe greatness to our Elohim. 4“The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are right-ruling; An El of truth and without unrighteousness, Righteous and straight is He.
The Almighty is righteous and His work is perfect, He has no unrighteousness. We must ask ourselves, how can we be righteous in His sight?
22“For I have guarded the ways of YHWH, And have not acted wrongly against my Elohim. 23“For all His right-rulings are before me; As for His laws, I do not turn from them. 24“And I am perfect before Him, And I guard myself from my crookedness. 25“And YHWH repays me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness before His eyes.
Here we see that those who guard the laws and commands given to mankind by the Almighty are repaid for their respect and reverance and are considered righteous before Him.
7The Torah of YHWH is perfect, bringing back the being; The witness of YHWH is trustworthy, making wise the simple; 8The orders of YHWH are straight, rejoicing the heart; The command of YHWH is clear, enlightening the eyes; 9The fear of YHWH is clean, standing forever; The right-rulings of YHWH are true, They are righteous altogether, 10More desirable than gold, Than much fine gold; And sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.
This scripture shows us that the Torah, orders, and commands of YHWH are righteous and clean and are to be longed for above all material things.
Blessed are the perfect in the way, Who walk in the teaching of YHWH! 2Blessed are those who observe His witnesses, Who seek Him with all the heart! 3Yea, they shall do no unrighteousness; They shall walk in His ways. 4You have commanded us To guard Your orders diligently. 5Oh, that my ways were established To guard Your laws! 6Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commands. 7I thank You with uprightness of heart, When I learn the right-rulings of Your righteousness.
It appears that those who hold fast to the commands and teachings of the Eternal are considered perfect. We see yet again that the right-rulings of YHWH are righteousness.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. 2“Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, so that it bears more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. 4“Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.
Here Yahshua is informing his followers once again that they are clean, clean because of the word (teachings) which he had taught them.
4Rejoice in YHWH always, again I say, rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Master is near. 6Do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim. 7And the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Messiah Yah’shua. 8For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these.
Here we are told to keep all good and right thoughts, feelings, and works as our model. Using our role model (Yah’shua) as our example. Yah’shua taught from the Torah and Prophets. Yah’shua kept his (our) Fathers commands all is life.
3As I appealed to you when I went into Makedonia, to remain in Ephesos, in order to command some not to teach differently, 4nor to pay attention to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than an administration of Elohim which is in belief. 5Now the goal of this command is love from a clean heart, from a good conscience and a sincere belief, 6which some, having missed the goal, turned aside to senseless talk, 7wishing to be teachers of Torah, understanding neither what they say nor concerning what they strongly affirm. 8And we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, 9knowing this: that Torah is not laid down for a righteous being, but for the lawless and unruly, for the wicked and for sinners, for the wrong-doers and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
This is a warning to those who might stray from the way of YHWH. Those who teach contrary to the Eternals commands of love, who pervert the Torah to further their own selfish goals and designs.
15Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth. 16But keep away from profane, empty babblings, for they go on to more wickedness, 17and their word shall eat its way like gangrene. Humenaios and Philetos are of this sort, 18who have missed the goal concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and overthrow the belief of some. 19However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “YHWH knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteousness.” 20But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 21If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work. 22And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.
This scripture asks the readers to keep the word of truth (Scripture) and pursue righteousness, belief, and love
7For an overseer has to be unreprovable, as a managing one of Elohim, not self- pleasing, not wroth, not given to wine, no brawler, not greedy for filthy gain, 8but kind to strangers, a lover of what is good, sensible, righteous, set-apart, self-controlled, 9clinging to the trustworthy word, according to the teaching, in order to be able both to encourage by sound teaching, and to reprove those who oppose it. 10For there are many unruly men, senseless talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11whose mouths have to be stopped, who upset entire households, teaching what they should not teach, for the sake of filthy gain. 12One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This witness is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, in order for them to be sound in the belief, 14not paying attention to Yehudite fables, and commands of men who turn from the truth. 15Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.
This scripture shows us how the keeper of truth is to remain, righteous, keeping the word (teachings/commands). It also warns against those who teach contrary to scripture (truth).
22Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.
We are to live our lives with a clean heart, we are to be righteous obeying the truth (Torah) and love YHWH and all mankind through the spirit we are endowed with. Our bodies will pass, but the Word of the Eternal is forever.
White and Clean
6And I heard as the voice of a great crowd, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunders, saying, “Halleluyah, for YHWH El Shaddai reigns! 7“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him praise, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife prepared herself.” 8And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. 9And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true words of Elohim.”
11And I saw the heaven opened, and there was a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Trustworthy and True, and in righteousness He judges and fights. 12And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, having a Name that had been written, which no one had perceived except Himself – 13and having been dressed in a robe dipped in blood – and His Name is called: The Word of YHWH. 14And the armies in the heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of El Shaddai.
In righteousness he judges (Yah’shua Messiah uses the commands of YHWH to judge), He is the word of YHWH for he judges, smites, and rules according to the Torah which is the right-rulings of the Father.
It appears that the upright, the clean, the righteous, the perfect are those who do the will of the Father, which is keeping His commands and right-rulings, following the example of Yah’shua Messiah. Who lived his life not by the letter of the law, but by the intent. Those who do not keep the commands of the Almighty, are not righteous, upright, or perfect. They are the lawless ones.
The righteous will be judged by their obedience. The unrighteous will be judged by their disobedience.
2Favour and peace be increased to you in the knowledge of Elohim and of Yah’shua our Master, 3as His Mighty-like power has given to us all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who called us to esteem and uprightness. 4Through these there have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that through these you might be partakers of the Mighty-like nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world, caused by lust. 5And for this reason do your utmost to add to your belief uprightness, to uprightness knowledge,
May we all choose to follow in the footsteps of those who have walked before YHWH and traveled the narrow path to Him. May we choose to honor, love, and obey the Eternal as Noah, Abraham, Yah’shua and the multitude of others before us have. Being righteous and upright in His sight.
Shalom & Agape in YHWH’s precious name