‘You are gods.
You are children of the Most High.
All of you are gods.
You shall die like mortals.
You will fall like any prince.’
Judge the earth!
All the nations belong to you!”
The temple prophet uses the words of God. He told the various other gods and world leaders that they were gods since they were children of the Most High God. However, they would all die like mortals and other earthly princes. Finally the psalm ends with the cry for God to arise and judge the earth since all nations belonged to God anyway.
“They have neither knowledge nor understanding.
They walk about in darkness.
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
The people of earth and the rulers do not have knowledge or understanding. They are people walking around in darkness. Thus all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
“Give justice to the weak.
Give justice to the orphan.
Maintain the right of the lowly.
Maintain the right of the destitute.
Rescue the weak.
Rescue the needy.
From the hand of the wicked.”
The Temple prophet or priest spoke for God, saying that they should give justice to the weak and the orphans, a common theme in Israel. They had to maintain the lowly and the destitute. They had to rescue the weak and the needy from the hands of the wicked, which seemed to take advantage of them.
A psalm of Asaph
“God has taken his place in the divine council.
In the midst of the gods he holds judgment.
‘How long will you judge unjustly?
How long will you show partiality to the wicked?’”
Psalm 82 is simply one in the series of psalms of Asaph, the Temple singer. The ancient Near East believed that the world was ruled by a series of gods, which was also the Greek and Roman concepts of divinity. Here God sits with his council, sometimes referred to as the angels. Speaking in God’s name was the Temple priest or prophet. God’s judgment questions were clear. Why were they judging unjustly? Why were they partial to the wicked ones? This section ends once again with the musical meditative interlude pause of Selah.