Psalm 82:1

Hebrew Bible

1 A psalm of Asaph. God stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the gods he renders judgment. 2 He says, “How long will you make unjust legal decisions and show favoritism to the wicked? (Selah) 3 Defend the cause of the poor and the fatherless. Vindicate the oppressed and suffering. 4 Rescue the poor and needy. Deliver them from the power of the wicked. 5 They neither know nor understand. They stumble around in the dark, while all the foundations of the earth crumble.

Targum Psalm 82:1


1 A hymn composed by Asaph. God, his presence abides in the assembly of the righteous who are strong in Torah; he will give judgment in the midst of the righteous judges. 2 How long, O wicked, will you judge falsely, and lift up the faces of the wicked forever? 3 Judge the poor and the orphan; acquit the needy and the poor. 4 Save the poor and needy, from the hands of the wicked deliver them. 5 They do not know how to do good, and they do not understand the Torah, they walk in darkness; because of this, the pillars of the earth’s foundations shake.

 Notes and References

"... It should be noted that despite the disapproval by R. Simeon bar Yohai in the early second century C.E. to the interpretation of 'bene Elohim' as angels, some ambiguity exists in such expressions as 'sons of the judges' and 'sons of the great' used by the authors of the Targums. Pseudo-Jonathan translates bene elohim in Genesis 6:2 and 4 with 'sons of the great.' In Deuteronomy 32:8, which discusses the division of the nations according to the 'angels of the nations,' Pseudo-Jonathan uses the same expression, 'sons of the great,' to describe the same angels as the 'princes of the nations.' ... Targum Psalm 82 makes a shift from a divine interpretation of אלהים ('gods') to one of perhaps human judges or at least judges. Psalm 82:1 contains the phrase בעדת אל, usually translated as 'the assembly of God,' but the Targum of Psalm 82 has interpreted the text to read ('in the congregation of the righteous who are mighty in Torah') ..."

Wright, Archie T. The Origin of Evil Spirits: The Reception of Genesis 6:1-4 in Early Jewish Literature (pp. 65-66) Mohr Siebeck, 2005

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