82:1 God stands in the assembly of El;
in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.
Cf. Psa 89:7; Jn 10:34.
NIV: ‘God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the “gods”:’
The Heb. word underlying both ‘God’ and ‘gods’ in this verse is the same – ‘elohim‘.
God stands is lit. ‘takes his place’.
82:2 He says, “How long will you make unjust legal decisions
and show favoritism to the wicked?
82:3 Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless!
Vindicate the oppressed and suffering!
82:4 Rescue the poor and needy!
Deliver them from the power of the wicked!
82:5 They neither know nor understand.
They stumble around in the dark,
while all the foundations of the earth crumble.
‘There are three possible ways in which the church can act toward the state: In the first place, it can ask the state whether its actions are legitimate and in accordance with its character as state, i.e., it can throw the state back on its responsibilities. Second, it can aid the victims of state action. The church has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian community, “Do good to all people.” The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself. Such action would be direct political action, and is only possible and desirable when the church sees the state fail in its function of creating law and order.’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
82:6 I thought, ‘You are gods;
all of you are sons of the Most High.’
82:7 Yet you will die like mortals;
you will fall like all the other rulers.”
82:8 Rise up, O God, and execute judgment on the earth!
For you own all the nations.