Vs. 1 gives the order of Judges and God is over all;
Vs. 2-5 list abuses of Judges who have left God;
Vs. 6-7 appeal for human Judges to change;
Vs. 8 reminds all of the Supreme Judge.
Asaph was “the seer” (prophet), and with David’s words (2 Chronicles 29:30), wrote 12 Psalms (50, 73-83). When Israel was restored to their land, they were reminded of these Psalms (Nehemiah 12:46).
Verse1: Defines the order of Judges: God amidst the “gods” (or those designated to “judge” among men, but should be guided by God’s Will). This follows other references to this under Moses’ Law. “”You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people” (Exodus 22:28). King Jehoshaphat “set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, ‘Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment’” (2 Chronicles 19:5-6). “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). Calling “judges” “gods” simply meant they were ordained to pass judgments on citizen behavior based upon God’s Holy Bible. Would that Judges today followed God’s Law, rather than man’s rules.
Verses 2-5: Lists direct violations of God’s Law these Judges had made in their judgments: (verse 2) “unjustly,” “show partiality to the wicked”(Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; Proverbs 18:5); (verse 3) uneven judgments involving “poor and needy,” or “afflicted and needy” (Exodus 22:21-22; 23:6); (verse 4) “poor and needy” delivered from the “hands of the wicked” (Psalm 37:14); (verse 5) Judges lacked knowledge of God’s Law, lacked judgment standards, and were reckless as if in the dark, which shakes the very foundation of a just society! This pathetic description of minds making decisions without God’s Word is used by Paul to show how pathetic people are in the world who refuse to follow the Bible (Ephesians 4:17-32) in obeying Jesus Christ. Every civil Judge today, regardless of rank or court, should be humbled and tremble before God with the seriousness of God’s expectations, and His final disposition of their opinions!
Verses 6-7: They are reminded in verse 6 that, though they represented God’s judgments, they were still but “children of the Most High,” therefore subject to Him. Their elevated position would not keep them from dying “like men,” probably as despised dictators (verse 7).
Jesus Christ quoted Psalm 82:6 to show that the term “gods” (Hebrew, Elohim) simply referred to “Judges,” and they were “children of the Most High.” If therefore, God called them “gods” how could anyone question Jesus referring to Himself as “The Son of God?” “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-36)
Verse 8: The appeal is for the Highest Judge of all to exercise His righteous, just, and holy judgment upon all, including the unjust Judges. This is the promise of the New Testament (Acts 17:30-31).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.