Psalm Eighty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of Asaph.

Psalm 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

mighty. In this verse “mighty” is the Hebrew El; both “God” and “the gods” are Elohim. This is an instance where the commonly used name of God is also associated with those who are supposed to act on His behalf and are called by the same name. Elohim can be either singular, in the one case, or plural, in the other. In this case the “gods” were the human judges in Israel, responsible for exercising true justice among God's people, but failing miserably in these duties. The psalmist evidently is given a vision in which he sees God standing in the midst of an assemblage of these judges gathered by Him to receive His rebuke.

Psalm 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah

Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Psalm 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Ye are gods. This verse was quoted by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:34) in response to the charge by the Jewish leaders that He was guilty of blasphemy when He claimed to be the Son of God. Their own forebears had been called “children of the most High (i.e., Elyon),” as God's representatives in judging the people, so it was surely in order for the One whom the Father had specifically “sent into the world” thus to identify Himself.

Psalm 82:7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

inherit all nations. Human judges are fallible and sometimes even corrupt, though they stand in the place of the divine Judge as they in principle represent Him in administering justice. One day, however, He who is to inherit the nations (Psalm 2:8) will come to judge the whole world in perfect justice (John 5:22, 30).