An exhortation to judges. (1-5) The doom of evil rulers. (6-8)
Verses 1-5 Magistrates are the mighty in authority for the public good. Magistrates are the ministers of God's providence, for keeping up order and peace, and particularly in punishing evil-doers, and protecting those that do well. Good princes and good judges, who mean well, are under Divine direction; and bad ones, who mean ill, are under Divine restraint. The authority of God is to be submitted to, in those governors whom his providence places over us. But when justice is turned from what is right, no good can be expected. The evil actions of public persons are public mischiefs.
Verses 6-8 It is hard for men to have honour put upon them, and not to be proud of it. But all the rulers of the earth shall die, and all their honour shall be laid in the dust. God governs the world. There is a righteous God to whom we may go, and on whom we may depend. This also has respect to the kingdom of the Messiah. Considering the state of affairs in the world, we have need to pray that the Lord Jesus would speedily rule over all nations, in truth, righteousness, and peace.
Psalms 82:1-8 . Before the great Judge, the judges of the earth are rebuked, exhorted, and threatened.
1. congregation--(Compare Exodus 12:3 , 16:1 ).
of the mighty--that is, of God, of His appointment.
the gods--or, "judges" ( Exodus 21:6 , 22:9 ), God's representatives.
2. accept the persons--literally, "lift up the faces," that is, from dejection, or admit to favor and communion, regardless of merit ( Leviticus 19:15 , Proverbs 18:5 ).
3, 4. So must good judges act ( Psalms 10:14 , Job 29:12 ).
4. poor and needy--(Compare Psalms 34:10 , 41:1 ).
5. By the wilful ignorance and negligence of judges, anarchy ensues ( Psalms 11:3 , 75:3 ).
out of course--(Compare Margin; Psalms 9:6 , 62:2 ).
6, 7. Though God admitted their official dignity ( John 10:34 ), He reminds them of their mortality.
7. fall like, &c.--be cut off suddenly ( Psalms 20:8 , 91:7 ).
8. As rightful sovereign of earth, God is invoked personally to correct the evils of His representatives.