Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment(A) among the “gods”:(B)

“How long will you[a] defend the unjust
    and show partiality(C) to the wicked?[b](D)
Defend the weak and the fatherless;(E)
    uphold the cause of the poor(F) and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.(G)
    They walk about in darkness;(H)
    all the foundations(I) of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;(J)
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die(K) like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up,(L) O God, judge(M) the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.(N)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 82:2 The Hebrew is plural.
  2. Psalm 82:2 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

The Ark Returned to Israel

When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners(A) and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.”

They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift;(B) by all means send a guilt offering(C) to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand(D) has not been lifted from you.”

The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?”

They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number(E) of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague(F) has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors(G) and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory(H) to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. Why do you harden(I) your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them,(J) did they(K) not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?

“Now then, get a new cart(L) ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked.(M) Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh,(N) then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance.”

10 So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. 11 They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors. 12 Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.

13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat(O) in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight. 14 The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering(P) to the Lord. 15 The Levites(Q) took down the ark of the Lord, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.(R) On that day the people of Beth Shemesh(S) offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord. 16 The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron.

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15 “So when you see standing in the holy place(A) ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a](B) spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop(C) go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!(D) 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.(E)

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect(F) those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.(G) 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders(H) to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning(I) that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming(J) of the Son of Man.(K)

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 24:15 Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11