Psalms 82
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1  A psalm of Asaf. Hashem stands in the divine assembly; among the divine beings He pronounces judgment.

א  מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֱ‍לֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת־אֵל בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט׃

2  How long will you judge perversely, showing favor to the wicked? Selah.

ad ma-TAI tish-p’-tu A-vel uf-NAY r’-sha-EEM tis-u SE-lah

ב  עַד־מָתַי תִּשְׁפְּטוּ־עָוֶל וּפְנֵי רְשָׁעִים תִּשְׂאוּ־סֶלָה׃

82:2   How long will you judge perversely

A nation without a proper justice system will crumble. The prophet Yeshayahu criticizes the people, pointing out that while they love to offer sacrifices, they do not judge the orphan, widow and stranger with compassion. In a most biting simile, he compares the people to Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:10-17). This psalm is directed at the corrupt judges who pander to the wealthy and influential. Asaf ridicules these judges, who take themselves to be of great importance, and reminds them that their demise will surely come. In the end, he calls out to Hashem to return to Israel and take His rightful place as the true Judge of the land.2 comments

3  Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor,

ג  שִׁפְטוּ־דַל וְיָתוֹם עָנִי וָרָשׁ הַצְדִּיקוּ׃

4  rescue the wretched and the needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.

ד  פַּלְּטוּ־דַל וְאֶבְיוֹן מִיַּד רְשָׁעִים הַצִּילוּ׃

5  They neither know nor understand, they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth totter.

ה  לֹא יָדְעוּ וְלֹא יָבִינוּ בַּחֲשֵׁכָה יִתְהַלָּכוּ יִמּוֹטוּ כָּל־מוֹסְדֵי אָרֶץ׃

6  I had taken you for divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you;

ו  אֲ‍נִי־אָמַרְתִּי אֱלֹהִים אַתֶּם וּבְנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כֻּלְּכֶם׃

7  but you shall die as men do, fall like any prince.

ז  אָכֵן כְּאָדָם תְּמוּתוּן וּכְאַחַד הַשָּׂרִים תִּפֹּלוּ׃

8  Arise, O Hashem, judge the earth, for all the nations are Your possession.

ח  קוּמָה אֱלֹהִים שָׁפְטָה הָאָרֶץ כִּי־אַתָּה תִנְחַל בְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִם׃

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Psalms 81
Psalms 83

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Psalms 82

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