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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 82

Verses 1-8

Psalms 82

Rebuke of Unjust Judges

Scripture v. 1-8:

This psalm describes Jehovah God of the covenant as watching over the acts of adjudication of His vice-gerent-rulers in Israel, holding them accountable for just judgment in adjudicating His law in His government. Only among God’s appointed, official religious and civil administrators were judges or rulers referred to as Elohim gods, "to whom the law came," to be administered justly, John 10:34-35. They too were referred to as "children of the most High," Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 3:13-15; Jeremiah 22:3; Deuteronomy 1:16-17; Exodus 4:16; Exodus 7:1.

Verse 1 declares that God continually stands in the congre­gation of the mighty, judging among the "gods," meaning the rulers of the people, 2 Chronicles 19:6; Ecclesiastes 5:8; John 10:34-35. Asaph, writer of this psalm, wrote this as a reprimand toward the unjust rulers of Israel who were guilty of injustices in judging, by accepting bribes.

Verse 2 chides "how long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?" showing partiality, respect of persons, by reason of bribes and positions of honor, Leviticus 19:5; Exodus 23:3; Deuteronomy 1:17; Psalms 53:1. "Selah," meaning, reflect on this charge, Psalms 4:4.

Verse 3, 4 admonish these unjust judges to defend and do justice to the poor, fatherless, afflicted, and needy instead of continually turning them away. He asked that the judges deliver, or set them from the wicked, who oppressed and took advantage of them, because they were poor, Leviticus 18:3; Job 29:12; Isaiah 1:17.

Verse 5 charges that these unjust judges in Israel, "know not (recognize not), neither will they understand; they walk on (obstinately) in darkness: all the foundations (moral supports) of the earth are out of course." They willfully lost sight of moral values in judgment, John 7:17; James 4:17; Matthew 13:12; Proverbs 2:13; Micah 3:1; Psalms 11:3; Ecclesiastes 3:16.

Verse 6 reminds these wicked judges, "I have said, ye are gods, and all of you are children of the most High," whom you should honor and extol, as set forth Exodus 22:9; John 10:34-35. God’s princes and judges were called "gods", Elohim, meaning representatives of God, in their appointed offices in Israel to administer His laws equitably, with dignity; They shall be, when the King-Judge comes, Psalms 2:6-7; Psalms 2:10-12.

Verse 7 reminds "But ye shall die like men (other mortal men), and fall like one of the princes," or rulers of regal order. The "gods", or great rulers, seem to have forgotten they would soon die, as ordinary men, and go to face their Great Judge, Psalms 9:20; Psalms 49:11-12; Exodus 19:21; Jeremiah 39:18; 1 Kings 22:17-34; Ezekiel 31:14.

Verse 8 appeals "arise (stand up) O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations," and rid them of oppressors and unjust judgment, Psalms 7:7-9; Psalms 19:10-12; Matthew 24:12. See too Psalms 2:8; Psalms 22:28; Micah 7:2; Micah 7:7; Revelation 11:15.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 82". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-82.html. 1985.