Psalm 82 "you are gods"


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Psalm 82 A psalm of Asaph.
1 God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”:
2 “How long will you[a] defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
5 “The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.”
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.

a. Psalm 82:2 The Hebrew is plural.
b. Psalm 82:2 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

Hey... the easy English site mentions the Book of Job in the commentary.... fancy that this morning.

We do not know who wrote this psalm, or when. It is a picture of God leading a meeting in heaven, where he lives. He is telling the gods what he has decided to do. Who are these gods? Bible students suggest four answers:​
· the rulers of countries on the earth, like kings​
· the false gods of the countries on the earth​
· the people of Israel 2500 years ago
· angels that have authority over countries on earth​
Now the first three of these are either human, or gods made by human people. But verses 6 and 7 of the psalm may tell us that these gods are not human. They are "sons of the Most High (who will) die like Adam". We could translate "Adam" here as "men". In verse 6, "sons of the Most High" means "sons of God". This either means angels (who live with God in heaven) or his people Israel (Exodus 4:22). It is easiest to read the psalm with two meanings. At first, "the gods" meant "the people of Israel". Now it means "angels with authority over countries of the earth" (Ephesians 6:10).​
There is a picture in the first chapter of the Book of Job in the Bible. The picture shows the angels meeting God in heaven.

The same commentary goes on to say.... [talking about Job and this Psalm]...

This is the story of something that happened in heaven. The sons of God came to where God was. Satan was with them. They talked together. Then Satan went and did bad things to Job. The whole story is in the book of Job. The important thing for us to understand from this is: God has meetings in heaven with people that are not men but angels! Satan is the leader of the bad angels.​
Psalm 82 may be about another meeting like this. God is meeting some of the angels that have power in the world. They get the rulers of the world to do bad things. These angels are not good angels like Gabriel. They are bad angels like Satan. Bible students call them "fallen angels" or "bad spirits". In the psalm, God says that he wants the rulers of the world to be good to poor people. There are two more questions to answer:​
1. Why are these fallen angels called "gods"? Every Hebrew word that we translate "god" (or "God") means something. The word "adonai" means "ruler"; the word "yahweh" means "alive"; the word "elyon" means "most important"; and the word "elohim" means "powers". So these angels are "gods" because they have "powers". But they are not more powerful than God is. They must obey him! The Bible tells us that "the god of this world" is a bad god (2 Corinthians 4:4). He tries to stop people asking Jesus for help.​
2. Who are the "godless" in the psalm? In the meeting, verse 1, they may be Israel’s rulers. But also, they may be the bad angels that make other rulers and kings do bad things. It is important to understand that Israel in the psalm is the Israel of 2500 years ago, not of today.​
This is from

The OT often uses imagery from the ANE to communicate truth without affirming the reality of pagan mythology (i.e., [1] defeat of chaos, watery monsters, [2] tree of life; [3] actions and titles of Ba'al, etc.). Imagery communicates reality in ways so that fallen mankind can grasp the central truths! YHWH is much greater than humans can imagine and separation from Him is much worse!​
It is difficult to know for sure what is ANE imagery and what is biblical, doctrinal truth. Westerners tend to be literalists whereas the Bible has a literary quality. Literal does not always adequately or accurately convey the original author's intent.
So I still don't know who these "gods" are. Humans sometimes think of themselves as little gods..... they don't put that tag "god" on themselves.... that might bring the wrath of a bigger "god" than them. I don't scream obscenities at a police officer for the same reason...... they might not like it.

The biggest plus I get from this poem is..... everyone meets with the God of Abraham.... Isaac.... Jacob [who God renamed Israel]..... and Jesus. They all want His opinion. Funny.... all the little gods know who God is..... Satan knows who God is..... why don't all the humans know who God is?