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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Psalms 82:1-5

We have here, I. God's supreme presidency and power in all councils and courts asserted and laid down, as a great truth necessary to be believed both by princes and subjects (Ps. 82:1): God stands, as chief director, in the congregation of the mighty, the mighty One, in coetu fortis?in the councils of the prince, the supreme magistrate, and he judges among the gods, the inferior magistrates; both the legislative and the executive power of princes is under his eye and his hand. Observe here, 1.... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Psalms 82:3

Defend the poor and fatherless ,.... Or, judge F4 שפטו "judicate", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Michaelis. them; such as have no money to enter and carry on a suit, and have no friends to assist and advise them, and abide by them; these should be taken under the care and wing of judges; their cause should be attended to, and justice done them; their persons should be protected, and their property defended and secured for, since they are called... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Psalms 82:3

Defend the poor - You are their natural protectors under God. They are oppressed: punish their oppressors, however rich or powerful: and deliver them. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Psalms 82:3

Verse 3 3Determine the cause of the poor and the orphan. We are here briefly taught that a just and well-regulated government will be distinguished for maintaining the rights of the poor and afflicted. By the figure synecdoche, one part of equitable administration is put for the whole; for it cannot be doubted that rulers are bound to observe justice towards all men without distinction. But the prophet, with much propriety, represents them as appointed to be the defenders of the miserable and... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 82:1-8

Corruptio optimi pessima est. We have here a vivid picture of the corruption of men, supposed to be, and who should have been, the best in Israel. It refers to the judges, and tells them how judges are judged ( Acts 23:3 ). And it may be applied to all misuse of power or abuse of trust, where, when, or howsoever any may be guilty thereof. This short psalm tells much concerning— I. THE DIVINE ESTIMATE OF NATIONS SUCH AS ISRAEL . They are "the congregation of God." This... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 82:1-8

A solemn rebuke addressed to those who, pledged by their office to uphold the Law, had trampled upon it for their own selfish ends. I. GOD 'S RELATION TO RULERS . ( Psalms 82:1 .) 1 . He has appointed them to a Divine work. They are to represent the justice and righteousness of God. 2 . He holds them responsible for their manner of doing it. Judges them. II. THE RIGHT USE AND THE ABUSE OF RESPONSIBLE POWER . (Verses 2-4.) 1 . The right... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 82:3

Defend the poor and fatherless ; literally, judge them . "Do not deny them justice; do not refuse to hear their cause" (comp. Isaiah 1:23 ; Jeremiah 5:28 ). Do justice to the afflicted and needy. After consenting to hear their cause, be sure thou doest them justice. These commands are covert reproaches. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 82:3

The claims of the poor. This verse suggests four classes. The "poor" are those who have little or no money. The "fatherless" are those who have no defenders and friends. The "afflicted" are those who have to bear actual suffering. And the "needy" are those who have reasonable wants which they cannot satisfy. And in these senses we have the poor always with us; and whensoever we will we may do them good. The immediate application of the passage is to persons in authority who may defend the... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Psalms 82:3

Defend the poor and fatherless - literally, judge; that is, Pronounce just judgment; see that right is done to them. This is required everywhere in the Scriptures. The meaning is not that judgment is to be pronounced in their favor because they are poor, or because they are orphans, for this would be to do what they had just been charged with as in itself wrong, accepting of persons; that is, showing favor on account of condition or rank, rather than on account of a just claim. The idea is,... read more

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