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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 82

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-8

Psalms 82:1-8 is a psalm that is directed to judges. And it is a very solemn psalm that God directs to judges, and basically God declares that He is not happy or satisfied with men's judgment.

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; and he judges among the gods ( Psalms 82:1 ).

Now the word gods there is the same word Eloihim translated gods, but it is also translated judges. In Exodus, chapter 22, verses Exodus 22:8 , and Exodus 22:9 , as God is giving instructions in the law for how the judges are to determine certain cases, and God calls the judges gods because a judge has such authority over a person's destiny. And because he holds the power of a person's life and destiny, God called judges gods. So, "God stands in the congregation of the mighty. He judges among the judges." Or, God will be judging the judges.

I'm glad for that. I'll be glad to see a few of the judges judged. Not that I have ever gotten a bad deal from a judge. Fortunately, I haven't had to face them. But I do not believe that justice has prevailed always in our courts. I think that our judicial system is at times a disgrace.

Now God, judging among the judges, said,

How long will you judge unjustly, and you accept the persons of the wicked? ( Psalms 82:2 )

In other words, he's a famous person, he's a wealthy person, or he's a powerful person, he's a Mafioso, so they judge unjustly because they accept the persons of the wicked. To be true in judgment, you'd have to look at every man alike, rich and poor. You couldn't have any respect to a person's past or anything else. You'd have to be judging simply on the basis of the charges that are brought against him as he stands there just like he was anybody. But yet, judges were judging unjustly because they were accepting the persons. God said to the judges,

[Hey,] defend the poor and the fatherless ( Psalms 82:3 ):

One of the problems with our judicial system today is is the fact that money really is the thing that counts, it seems. If you're poor, then you can't afford a good attorney and you can't afford to put up a good defense. But if you're rich, then you can afford to put all kinds of delays and appeals and on and on and on, and justice doesn't prevail on an equal basis throughout our whole society. And that isn't true justice. And God is saying to the judges, "Now look, don't accept a person just because he's wealthy. You take care of the poor; you take care of the fatherless."

do justice to the afflicted and to the needy. Deliver the poor and the needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: and all of the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said that, [Ye are judges or] ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the Most High ( Psalms 82:3-6 ).

So this is, of course, "I have said, 'Ye are gods.'" This is a direct reference to Exodus, chapter 22, where God does refer to them as Eloihim, which is translated, as I said, judges, but it is the Hebrew Eloihim, gods. Now Jesus quoted this in the gospel of John when the Pharisees were getting ready to stone Him. He said, "I've done a lot of good things among you, for which of these things are you going to stone Me?" And they said, "Not for the good things, but we're stoning You because You being a man are continually making Yourself the Son of God." And He said, "Well, I said that ye are gods. Why should you stone Me because I say I'm a Son of God?"

Now He said, "Ye are gods," here in Exodus 22:1-31 , as He is speaking to the judges. He's speaking to men that He appoints, or that were to be appointed, who have the power over a person's life. And that's what your god is. Whatever it is that's holding power over your life is your God. So if this man sitting on the bench has your life in his power, the control of your life in his hand, then he is a god; he's controlling your destiny.

And so the Mormons, of course, have taken this up and they've made a whole fanciful doctrine out of it, the idea that ye are gods. And they say, "Well, if you are a good Mormon, and if your marriage is sealed in the temple, and if you'll wear the proper underwear to ward off the evil and all, and if you are faithful to Mormonism, and if you remain faithful to Mormonism, then you and your wife when you die ascend into the god level. And you and your wife can go off to some planet in the universe and you can bear children there, and you will be god over that planet. And you can watch your children grow and develop. And you can you can have, you'll be god over the whole scene and watching over them and caring for them." And people like you and I who haven't followed the teachings of Joseph Smith or the angel Moroni, we become your angels if we're good people and all. We don't get cast out completely, but we'll become the angels, and we'll be there to serve the good Mormons and to run the errands for them and all when they are operating their planets.

Now I guess if you are gods you can create whatever kind of people you want to exist in any kind of an environment, and from the recent fly-by of Saturn, that wouldn't be such a bad planet. It'd be very beautiful sitting there looking at rings. But they base this doctrine of ascending into a god status to this one scripture where God is referring to judges.

Now Brigham Young carried that idea back one step. The Mormons all carry it forward one step and they look forward to their chance in their celestial kingdoms, take their wives and have their children and spiritual children or whatever on this planet and be their gods. Brigham Young took it back one step, and he said Adam came to the earth with one of his celestial wives, Eve. And they began populating the earth. And therefore, Adam is our god and the only god with whom we have to do, because he was the one that started procreation here on the planet. That makes him a good Mormon in some other planet somewhere back. And so he came with one of his celestial wives, Eve, and it's all a progression into godhood. Brigham Young carried it back one step and, of course, that upsets the Mormons completely that he would carry it back one step. But it's only a logical perception that he had. If logically you have the capacity to be god and you're going to go have your planet, then why do we think that this is the only step? You see, no doubt back on other planets and all, and so Adam was just a good Mormon somewhere and came to the earth with one of his celestial wives, Eve, and they started the whole thing, and they're overseeing it now and watching it. And he is our god, the only god with whom we have to do, and one day the whole world will realize that your salvation depends upon your believing this fact, according to Brigham Young. Not according to the Word of God.

Except that they are bound to accept the statements of Brigham Young as the Word of God because he was speaking as a prophet of God, and when their prophets speak what they say is on equal par with the written word. So they really dug themselves a hole, and it's really... they dug a pit and fallen into it.

But anyhow, God is addressing Himself here even in this chapter to judges where He makes reference, "Ye are gods." You are judges.

But ye shall die like men ( Psalms 82:7 ),

Now they just didn't go on far enough in the verse. God said, "I said ye are gods, but you're going to die like men."

and you're going to fall like the princes ( Psalms 82:7 ).

You may have a lot of authority and power. You may have the control of people's lives, but you're going to die just like any man. And so the cry of the psalmist,

Arise, O God, judge the eaRuth ( Psalms 82:8 ):

The only true justice that shall ever arise is when God judges the earth, for God will judge the earth in righteousness.

for thou shalt inherit all nations ( Psalms 82:8 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 82". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-82.html. 2014.
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