Arise, Sons of the Most High, and Judge the Earth

God cries to His sons to restore justice and stabilize the foundations of the earth.

Psalm 82   A Psalm of Asaph

God [Elohim] stands in the congregation of the mighty [el];
He judges among the gods [elohim].
2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, “You are gods [elohim], And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.”
8 Arise, O God [Elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.
[New King James] 

Jesus Christ took this call seriously in John 10:34-35.

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law [Psalm 82], I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

By his reference to this psalm, Jesus also proved the sense of the psalm.

Elohim is a name or title for Yahweh.  As a title it seems to be pluralized as if to say “God of all gods” or “Judge above every other judge.”  But, elohim sometimes refers to human judges or magistrates.

Strong’s Concordance #430: elohim
Meaning:  1) (plural) 1a) rulers, judges 1b) divine ones 1c) angels 1d) gods 2) (plural intensive – singular meaning) 2a) god, goddess 2b) godlike one 2c) works or special possessions of God 2d) the (true) God 2e) God

Psalm 82 is a message to men to take authority as judges in the earth and defend the poor and needy.  Until men take their place as sons of God, and therefore judges in the earth, as the psalm says, “the foundations of the earth are unstable.”

Arise, O God [Elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations. 

Is this last verse a cry from the psalmist to God to come and judge the earth, or is it God’s cry to His sons to judge and to defend?  The entire psalm is a plea from God to earthly judges.  Why would the plea be reversed at the end?  The answer lies in “inherit.”  Doesn’t God own all creation?  Does He need to be promised an inheritance? May we read thus…

I said, “You are judges [elohim], And all of you are children of the Most High.  …

8 Arise, O judges [elohim], judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” 

Asaph the psalmist seems to be calling men to arise as the sons of the Most High and judge the earth in God’s justice, to free the poor and needy from the hand of the wicked!

Elohim stands in the congregation of the judges; He judges among the judges.
2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked?
3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, “You are judges, And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O judges, judge the earth; For you shall inherit all nations.” 

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