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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 82

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-8

Psalms 82:0

Psalms 82:1-5 A Cry for Justice - Psalms 82:1-5 is a cry for justice. We see so much injustice and oppression around us. This was the duty of earthly judges (Deuteronomy 1:16-17, Jeremiah 22:1-5).

Deuteronomy 1:16-17, “And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”

Jeremiah 22:1-5, “Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.”

For example, lawyers and judges in America today grant divorces and vote for abortions. They vote prayer out of school. Doing these things against God’s Word will cause Him to disown them. He will judge them Himself.

Psalms 82:1 (A Psalm of Asaph.) God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Psalms 82:1 Word Study on “gods” Strong says the Hebrew word ( אֳלהִׁים ) (H430) can be translated, “angels, God, gods, judges.”

NIV, RSV - gods

NASB the rulers

Note other uses of the same Hebrew word ( אֳלהִׁים ):

Exodus 21:6, “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges ; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.”

Exodus 22:8-9, “If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges , to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges ; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.”

Exodus 22:28, “Thou shalt not revile the gods , nor curse the ruler of thy people.”

1 Samuel 2:25, “If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.”

The NASB, NIV, and RSV translate the word “judge” in 1 Samuel 2:25 as “God.”

Psalms 82:1 “he judgeth among the gods” - Comments - Deuteronomy 6:4 says that YHWH, God, is one YHWH, and James 2:19 says, “there is one God.” So, the phrase “the gods” is a reference to something other than more gods who are omnipresent like YHWH. We are those gods (Psalms 82:6, John 10:34).

Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”

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

John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”

James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Psalms 82:1 Comments - Psalms 82:0 deals with injustice among the judges of Israel. Being a judge was a divine position established by God (Deuteronomy 1:17, Romans 13:4).

Deuteronomy 1:17, “Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”

Romans 13:4, “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

Psalms 82:1 Scripture References - Note similar verses:

2 Chronicles 19:6, “And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment .”

Ecclesiastes 5:8, “If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent

perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they .”

Isaiah 3:13-15, “ The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people . The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.”

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

Psalms 82:2 Comments - Psalms 82:2 says that wicked men find favor in judgment.

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

Psalms 82:4-5 Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 24:11-12, “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

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

Psalms 82:4 Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

Job 29:12, “Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.”

Psalms 82:3-4 Comments - Psalms 82:3-4 is a cry for justice among the most vulnerable in society, the weak, and the poor. Note 1 Timothy 2:1-4 regarding praying to God for leaders and justice.

1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

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

Psalms 82:5 “They know not, neither will they understand” - Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

Micah 3:1, “And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?”

Psalms 82:5 “all the foundations of the earth are out of course” Comments - “all the foundations” Scripture Reference - Note:

Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

“are out of course” - Or, the foundations are “shaken” ( ASV), “moved” ( YLT).

Illustration - See the story of Noah and the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis.

Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”

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

Psalms 82:6 Comments - Jesus quotes Psalms 82:6 in John 10:34-35.

John 10:34-35, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

According to John 10:35, those who are called “gods” are the children who hear and receive the Word of God.

John 10:35, “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came , and the scripture cannot be broken;”

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

Psalms 82:7 “But ye shall die like men” Scripture Reference Note:

Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Psalms 82:7 “and fall like one of the princes” - Comments - When a man’s life is ended, he dies, but when a ruler’s life ends, he falls, in a sense, from his rule as a king.

Psalms 82:7 Comments - Psalms 82:7 reflects upon man’s mortality. Note similar verses:

Job 21:32, “Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.”

Psalms 49:12, “Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.”

Ezekiel 31:14, “To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.”

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

Psalms 82:8 “Arise, O God” Scripture Reference - Note:

Psalms 12:5, “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD ; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.”

Psalms 82:8 “judge the earth” Scripture Reference - Note:

Psalms 58:11, “So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth .”

Psalms 82:8 “for thou shalt inherit all nations” - Comments - This inheritance is forever. Jesus will rule and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is a prophetic verse of the future Judgment Day.

Psalms 2:8, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance , and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”

Revelation 11:15, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord , and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Daniel 7:14, “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 82". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/psalms-82.html. 2013.
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