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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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A psalm of Asaph. 1 God
rises in the divine council, gives judgment in the midst of the gods.
"How long will you judge unjustly and
favor the cause of the wicked? Selah
Defend the lowly and fatherless; render justice
to the afflicted and needy.
Rescue the lowly and poor; deliver them from
the hand of the wicked."
2 The gods neither know nor understand,
wandering about in darkness, and all the world's foundations shake.
3 I declare: "Gods though you be, offspring
of the Most High all of you,
Yet like any mortal you shall die; like any
prince you shall fall."
4 Arise, O God, judge the earth, for yours are
all the nations.
1 [Psalm 82] As in Psalm 58, the
pagan gods are seen as subordinate divine beings to whom Israel's God had
delegated oversight of the foreign countries in the beginning
(⇒ Deut 32:8-9). Now God arises in the heavenly
assembly (⇒ Psalm 82:1) to rebuke the unjust
"gods" (⇒ Psalm 82:2-4), who are stripped
of divine status and reduced in rank to mortals (⇒ Psalm
82:5-7). They are accused of misruling the earth by not upholding the
poor. A short prayer for universal justice concludes the psalm
(⇒ Psalm 82:8).
2  The gods are blind and unable
to declare what is right. Their misrule shakes earth's foundations (cf
⇒ Psalm 11:3; ⇒ 75:4),
which God made firm in creation (⇒ Psalm 96:10).
3  I declare: "Gods though
you be": in ⇒ John 10:34 Jesus uses the verse
to prove that those to whom the word of God is addressed can fittingly be
4  Judge the earth: according to
⇒ Deut 32:8-9, Israel's God had originally assigned
jurisdiction over the foreign nations to the subordinate deities, keeping
Israel as a personal possession. Now God will directly take over the rulership
of the whole world.
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