Chapter 82

This psalm is calculated for the meridian of princes’ courts and courts of justice, not in Israel only, but in other nations; yet it was probably penned primarily for the use of the magistrates of Israel, the great Sanhedrim, and their other elders who were in places of power, and perhaps by David’s direction. This psalm is designed to make kings wise, and “to instruct the judges of the earth” (as Ps. 2:10), to tell them their duty as (2 Sam. 23:3), and to tell them of their faults as Ps. 58:1. We have here, I. The dignity of magistracy and its dependence upon God, Ps. 82:1. II. The duty of magistrates, Ps. 82:3, 4. III. The degeneracy of bad magistrates and the mischief they do, Ps. 82:2, 5. IV. Their doom read, Ps. 82:6, 7. V. The desire and prayer of all good people that the kingdom of God may be set up more and more, Ps. 82:8. Though magistrates may most closely apply this psalm to themselves, yet we may any of us sing it with understanding when we give glory to God, in singing it, as presiding in all public affairs, providing for the protection of injured innocency, and ready to punish the most powerful injustice, and when we comfort ourselves with a belief of his present government and with the hopes of his future judgment.