Psalms 82:1

A psalm of Asaph.

1 God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”:

Psalms 82:1 in Other Translations

1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
1 God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:
1 God calls the judges into his courtroom, he puts all the judges in the dock.
1 God has taken His place in the divine assembly; He judges among the gods:

Psalms 82:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 82:1

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty
The Syriac version renders it, "in the congregation of angels"; they are mighty, and excel in strength, and there is a large company of them, even an innumerable one, and who surround the throne of the Majesty on high. Christ, who is God over all, was among those on Mount Sinai, and when he ascended to heaven; and with these he will descend when he comes a second time, ( Psalms 68:17 Psalms 68:18 ) ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ) . The Targum interprets it of the righteous thus,

``God, whose majesty (or Shechinah) dwells in the congregation of the righteous that are strong in the law.''

It may be better understood of such as are strong in the Lord, in the grace that is in Christ, and in the exercise of grace upon him; who are gathered out of the world unto him, and unto distinct societies and congregations; in the midst of which God is, where he grants his presence, bestows the blessings of his grace, and affords his divine aid and protection; and where Christ the Son of God is, and will be to the end of the world. The words may be rendered, "God standeth in the congregation of God" F1: that is, in his own congregation, his church and people; but it seems best of all to understand the words of rulers and civil magistrates, of the cabinet councils of princes, of benches of judges, and courts of judicature; in all which God is present, and observes what is said and done; perhaps reference may be had to the Jewish sanhedrim, the chief court of judicature with the Jews, consisting of seventy one persons; in the midst of which Christ, God manifest in the flesh, God in our nature, stood, and was ill used, and most unjustly judged by them, of whose unjust judgment complaint is made in the next verse:

he judgeth among the gods:
which the Syriac version renders "angels" again; and so Aben Ezra interprets it of them, who are so called, ( Psalms 8:5 ) ( 97:7 ) , but rather civil magistrates are meant, the rulers and judges of the people, who go by this name of "elohim", or gods, in ( Exodus 21:6 ) ( 22:18 ) , and are so called because they are the powers ordained of God, are representatives of him, are his vicegerents and deputies under him; should act in his name, according to his law, and for his glory, and are clothed with great power and authority from and under him; and therefore are before styled the "mighty". Among these Christ, the Son of God, judges, to whom all judgment is committed; he qualifies these for the discharge of their office, he directs them how to judge, and all the right judgment they make and do is from him, "by" whom "kings"

reign, and princes decree justice; by whom princes rule, and nobles,
even all the judges of the earth;
and to whom they are all accountable, and will be themselves judged by him another day, ( Proverbs 8:15 Proverbs 8:16 ) so the Targum,

``in the midst of the judges of truth he judges.''


F1 (la tdeb) "in congregatione Dei", Pagninus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth.

Psalms 82:1 In-Context

1 God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”:
2 “How long will you 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.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 7:8; Psalms 58:11; Isaiah 3:13; Isaiah 66:16; Joel 3:12
  • 2. S Job 21:22
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