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Psalm 82:6 You are elohim

By Chuck Henry
chuck.henry@sbcglobal.net
http://www.halleluyahfellowship.com
rev. 2/4/2014

 

Introduction

Psa 82:6 (a verbatim quote from the NKJV)

I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.”

 

The word “gods” is translated from the Hebrew term “elohim” (Strong’s #430). This term can be used to refer to The Supreme Being, Yahweh, but as Strong’s Dictionary also points out, it is, “Occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates.” It is this usage which is employed in Psalm 82:6, as verified by the context.

 

The Context

 

Notice…

·        Verse 1:
The Mighty One stands in the congregation [referring to an assembly of people] of the mighty…

 

·        Verse 2:
How long will you judge [referring to the judges of the land] unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?

 

·        Verses 3-4:
Instruction for righteous judgment is then given in vv 3-4…
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.

 

·        Verse 6:
I [that is, Yahweh] said, You are mighty ones [Heb. elohim; KJV: “gods”]; and all of you are children of the Most High.

 

·        Verse 7:
But you shall die like men; and fall like one of the princes.

 

Human beings (people, judges, children of the Most High, men, princes) are all referred to in the context. Notice that these “mighty ones” are “children of the Most High” (not The Most High). They were in positions of authority (“like one of the princes”, v 7), and so regarded as mighty, but that certainly does not make them deity.

 

The Amplified translation says:

 

Psa 82:6 (Amp)

I said, You are gods [since you judge on My behalf, as My representatives]; indeed, all of you are children of the Most High.

 

 

Translations of the Term “elohim

 

As previously mentioned, the word “gods” is translated from the Hebrew term “elohim” (Strong’s #430). It is interesting to see some of the other usages of elohim in Scripture. It is translated as…

 

“mighty”

Gen 23:6 (in reference to Abraham)
Exo 9:28 (in reference to thunder, yes, that’s right, thunder)

“great”

Gen 30:8 (in reference to Rachel’s struggle with her sister, Leah, and Rachel’s maid, Bilhah, conceived and bore Naphtali)
1 Sam 14:15 (in reference to the great trembling among the Philistine army)

“judges”

Exo 21:6; Exo 22:8-9

“judge”

1 Sam 2:25

“exceeding”

Jon 3:3 (in reference to Nineveh)

 

In addition, the term elohim was also applied to Moses, in describing how he would command Aaron what to say —

 

Exo 4:15-16

15 Now you [Moses] shall speak to him [Aaron] and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do.

16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as Elohim.

 

As the evidence shows, the term “elohim” is not limited in scope to deity. It can refer to other, lesser things.

 

 

More Supporting Scripture

 

In Deuteronomy 1:17, it is recorded that Moses told the judges not to have respect of persons, and he admonished them that the judgment is the Almighty’s. Moses recognized that the judges were to judge on behalf of Yahweh, as His representatives. Jehoshaphat also recognized this in 2 Chronicles 19:4-7.

 

2 Chr 19:4-7

4 So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh Elohim of their fathers.

5 Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,

6 and said to the judges, Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for Yahweh, who is with you in the judgment.

7 Now therefore, let the fear of Yahweh be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our Elohim, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.

 

These judges were in positions of mighty authority, similar to the passage in Psalm 82, but they themselves were not the Almighty.

 

In John 10:34, when Yeshua was accused of blasphemy, he quoted from Psalm 82:6. The context of this story is seen in John 10:22-39.

 

Yeshua reasoned: if Yahweh called them elohim in Psalm 82:6, why accuse Yeshua of blasphemy for stating that He is the Son of Yahweh, the Most High? Moreover, recall that the last part of Psalm 82:6 states, “All of you are children of the Most High.” Therefore, it is not against Scripture and not blasphemous that Yeshua, too, is the Son of the Most High.

 

Conclusion

 

The usage of elohim in Psalm 82:6 does not indicate whatsoever that human beings are deity. It refers to human beings in mighty positions of authority.

 

However, human beings in mighty positions of authority should take such a position in a proud spirit. As Matthew Henry stated in his Commentary:

 

It is a hard thing for men to have so much honour put upon them by the hand of God, and so much honour paid them, as ought to be by the children of men, and not to be proud of it and puffed up with it, and so to think of themselves above what is meet.

 

-- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.

 

Even if in a position of authority, humility is a requirement if one is to walk with Yahweh—

 

Mic 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does Yahweh require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Mighty One?

 

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