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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 82

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-8


The condemnation of the unjust rulers of God's people - those who have been set in authority to represent God.

(v. 1) God is presented as standing in the midst of the congregation of His people. He judges among the judges. The Lord, in the New Testament days, tells us that these judges, or “gods,” are those “unto whom the word of God came” giving them authority to act in judgment as His representatives, and therefore referred to as “gods” ( Joh_10:35 ).

(vv. 2-4) Alas! these leaders of God's people are condemned for acting unjustly. They had failed in righteousness, the essential quality in a judge. Instead of truly representing God and judging according to truth, without respect of persons, they delivered false judgment in order to maintain the favour of man. Furthermore they showed no regard for the poor, the fatherless, the afflicted and the needy; they neither exercised righteousness nor mercy.

(v. 5) Thus these leaders of God's people prove themselves to be without heart or understanding. Solemn, indeed, is the condition of leaders who are so ignorant of God that it can be said of them, “they walk on in darkness.” By such the moral foundations of God's people - righteousness and mercy - are undermined.

(vv. 6-7) God is not indifferent to this unrighteousness. Those who pervert judgment will themselves come under judgment. The high position that God had given them, as His representatives, will not secure them against His just judgment. They will fall even as any earthly prince who rules without fear of God.

(v. 8) The failure of God's representatives only proves that the earth waits for God, Himself, to rule in righteousness. Thus the psalm closes with an appeal to God to “arise” and “judge the earth” as the One who inherits, not only Israel, but “all nations.”

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 82". "Smith's Writings". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-82.html. 1832.
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