Psalm 82 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 82)

Verse 1

[1] God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Standeth — To observe all that is said or done there.

Mighty — Kings or chief rulers. By their congregation he understands all persons whatsoever of this high and sacred order.

Judgeth — Passes sentence upon them.

The gods — Judges and magistrates are called gods, because they have their commission from God, and act as his deputies.

Verse 2

[2] How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? /*Selah*/.

How long — The psalmist speaks to them in God's name.

Accept — By giving sentence according to your respect or affection to the person.

Verse 5

[5] They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

They — The magistrates of whom this psalm treats.

Know not — The duty of their place.

Nor will — Their ignorance is wilful.

Walk on — They persist: it is their constant course.

In darkness — In their sinful courses.

The foundations — This corruption of the supreme rulers, flows from them to their inferior officers and members.

Verse 6

[6] I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Have said — I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead.

All — Not only the rulers of Israel, but of all other nations.

Children — Representing my person, and bearing both my name and authority.

Verse 7

[7] But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Like men — Or, like ordinary men.

Verse 8

[8] Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Arise — Take the sword of justice into thine own hand.