Michael S. Heiser’s Misinterpretation of Psalm 82: The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible


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EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 200+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

We have some introductory material on Elohim, singular Eloah (Hebrew: God), the God of Israel in the Old Testament. If you want to get right to it, skip over this introductory material and scroll down to the heading: MISINTERPRETATION OF PSALM 82:1-8

Anything that is revered can be considered a god because the individual who worships it perceives it as having power greater than their own and venerates it. A person may even idolize their own desires or appetites. (Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:18, 19; American Standard Version, 1901) The Bible refers to numerous gods (Psalms 86:8; 1 Corinthians 8:5, 6), but it demonstrates that the gods of other cultures are ultimately insignificant and without true value.—Psalms 96:5.

Hebrew Terms

Among the Hebrew words translated as “God” is ʼEl, which likely means “Mighty One” or “Strong One.” (Genesis 14:18, American Standard Version, 1901) This term is used to refer to Jehovah, other gods, and even humans. It is also frequently found in proper names, such as Elisha (meaning “God Is Salvation”) and Michael (“Who Is Like God?”). In certain instances, ʼEl appears with the definite article (ha·ʼElʹ, literally, “the God”) when referring to Jehovah, thus differentiating Him from other gods.—Genesis 46:3; 2 Samuel 22:31.

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus Christ is prophetically referred to as ʼEl Gib·bohrʹ, “Mighty God” (not ʼEl Shad·daiʹ [God Almighty], which is applied to Jehovah in Genesis 17:1, ASV).

The plural form, ʼe·limʹ, is used when referencing other gods, such as in Exodus 15:11 (“gods”). It is also employed as the plural of majesty and excellence, as seen in Psalm 89:6: “Who can resemble Jehovah among the sons of God [bi·venehʹ ʼE·limʹ]?” The use of the plural form to indicate a single individual here and in several other instances is supported by the translation of ʼE·limʹ as the singular form The·osʹ in the Greek Septuagint and Deus in the Latin Vulgate.

The Hebrew word ʼelo·himʹ (gods) seems to stem from a root meaning “be strong.” ʼElo·himʹ is the plural of ʼelohʹah (god). This plural is occasionally used to refer to multiple gods (Genesis 31:30, 32; 35:2, ASV), but it is more commonly utilized as a plural of majesty, dignity, or excellence. ʼElo·himʹ is employed in the Scriptures to refer to Jehovah Himself, angels, idol gods (both singular and plural), and humans.

When applied to Jehovah, ʼElo·himʹ is used as a plural of majesty, dignity, or excellence (Genesis 1:1, ASV). Concerning this, Aaron Ember wrote: “The fact that the language of the Old Testament has entirely given up the idea of plurality in… [ʼElo·himʹ] (as applied to the God of Israel) is especially shown by the fact that it is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate and takes a singular adjectival attribute… [ʼElo·himʹ] must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty, being equal to The Great God.”—The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. XXI, 1905, p. 208.

The title ʼElo·himʹ emphasizes Jehovah’s strength as the Creator. It appears 35 times by itself in the account of creation, and every time the verb describing what He said and did is in the singular number (Genesis 1:1–2:4, ASV). In Jehovah resides the sum and substance of infinite forces.

In Psalm 8:5, the term ʼelo·himʹ also refers to angels, as confirmed by Paul’s quotation of the passage in Hebrews 2:6-8 (ASV). They are called benehʹ ha·ʼElo·himʹ or “sons of God” (KJV); “sons of God” (ASV) at Genesis 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1. According to Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros by Koehler and Baumgartner (1958), the term means “(individual) divine beings, gods” (page 134) and “the (single) gods” (page 51), citing Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. Consequently, in Psalm 8:5, ʼelo·himʹ is translated as “angels” (LXX) and “godlike ones” (ASV).

The word ʼelo·himʹ also pertains to idol gods. Sometimes this plural form simply means “gods” (Exodus 12:12; 20:23, ASV). At other times, it is the plural of excellence, referring to just one god (or goddess). However, these gods were evidently not trinities—1 Samuel 5:7b (Dagon); 1 Kings 11:5 (“goddess” Ashtoreth); Daniel 1:2b (Marduk).

In Psalm 82:1, 6, ʼelo·himʹ refers to men, specifically human judges in Israel. Jesus cited this Psalm in John 10:34-35 (ASV). These individuals were considered gods in their roles as representatives and spokesmen for Jehovah. In a similar manner, Moses was told that he would serve as “God” to Aaron and Pharaoh (Exodus 4:16; 7:1, ASV).

In numerous instances throughout the Scriptures, ʼElo·himʹ is preceded by the definite article ha (Genesis 5:22, ASV). Regarding the use of ha·ʼElo·himʹ, F. Zorell explains: “In the Holy Scriptures especially the one true God, Jahve, is designated by this word; . . . ‘Jahve is the [one true] God’ De 4:35; 4:39; Jos 22:34; 2Sa 7:28; 1Ki 8:60 etc.” (Lexicon Hebraicum Veteris Testamenti, Rome, 1984, p. 54; brackets his).

The Greek Term

The standard Greek counterpart for the Hebrew words ʼEl and ʼElo·himʹ in the Septuagint translation, as well as the term for “God” or “god” in the Greek New Testament, is the·osʹ (ASV).

The Almighty God Jehovah

The Almighty God is not nameless. His name is Jehovah (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 83:18, ASV). He holds the title of God due to His role as the Creator (Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11, ASV). God is real (John 7:28, ASV), a distinct being (Acts 3:19; Hebrews 9:24, ASV), and not merely lifeless natural laws operating without a living lawgiver, nor a blind force working through random occurrences to develop various outcomes. The 1956 edition of The Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. XII, p. 743) states under the heading “God”: “In the Christian, Mohammedan, and Jewish sense, the Supreme Being, the First Cause, and in a general sense, as considered nowadays throughout the civilized world, a spiritual being, self-existent, eternal and absolutely free and all-powerful, distinct from the matter which he has created in many forms, and which he conserves and controls. There does not seem to have been a period of history where mankind was without belief in a supernatural author and governor of the universe.”

How to Interpret the Bible-1

Proofs of Existence

Evidence for the existence of “the living God” can be found in the intricacy, power, and order of creation, both macroscopic and microscopic, as well as through His interactions with His people throughout history. When examining what could be considered the Book of Divine Creation, scientists can uncover a wealth of information. A book can only impart knowledge if its author has imbued it with intelligent thought and preparation.

In contrast to the lifeless gods of other nations, Jehovah is “the living God” (Jeremiah 10:10; 2 Corinthians 6:16, ASV). His activity and greatness are evident throughout the world. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, ASV). People have no justification for denying God because “the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20, ASV).

The Bible portrays Jehovah God as living from eternity past to eternity future (Psalm 90:2, 4; Revelation 10:6, ASV) and as the King eternal, immortal, invisible, and the only God (1 Timothy 1:17, ASV). No god existed before Him (Isaiah 43:10, 11, ASV).

Infinite yet Accessible

Infinite yet accessible, God surpasses the comprehension of the human mind. A created being could never aspire to equal its Creator or fully grasp the workings of His thoughts (Romans 11:33-36, ASV). Nevertheless, He can be found and approached, providing His worshipers with everything necessary for their well-being and happiness (Acts 17:26-27, ASV; Psalm 145:16, ASV). He consistently operates at the pinnacle of His ability and willingness to bestow good gifts upon His creations, as stated in James 1:17, ASV: “Every good gift and every perfect boon is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.”

Jehovah always acts within the bounds of His own righteous arrangements, adhering to a legal basis in all His actions (Romans 3:4, 23-26, ASV). Consequently, all of His creations can have unwavering confidence in Him, knowing that He consistently abides by the principles He establishes. He remains unchanging (Malachi 3:6, ASV) and demonstrates no “variation” in the application of His principles. He exhibits no partiality (Deuteronomy 10:17-18, ASV; Romans 2:11, ASV), and it is impossible for Him to lie (Numbers 23:16, 19, ASV; Titus 1:1-2, ASV; Hebrews 6:17-18, ASV).

God’s Attributes

The attributes of God reveal that He is not omnipresent, as He is described as having a specific location (1 Kings 8:49, ASV; John 16:28, ASV; Hebrews 9:24, ASV). His throne resides in heaven (Isaiah 66:1, ASV). He is all-powerful and known as the Almighty God (Genesis 17:1, ASV; Revelation 16:14, ASV). “All things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him,” and He is “the one declaring the end from the beginning” (Hebrews 4:13, ASV; Isaiah 46:10-11, ASV; 1 Samuel 2:3, ASV). His power and knowledge reach every corner of the universe (2 Chronicles 16:9, ASV; Psalm 139:7-12, ASV; Amos 9:2-4, ASV). God does not need to be omnipresent when he is all-powerful and all-knowing, possessing foreknowledge and awareness of everything that has happened, is happening, and will ever happen.

God is a spirit, not flesh (John 4:24, ASV; 2 Corinthians 3:17, ASV). However, He occasionally likens His attributes to human faculties, such as sight and power. He figuratively refers to His “arm” (Exodus 6:6, ASV), “eyes,” and “ears” (Psalm 34:15, ASV), and emphasizes that as the Creator of human eyes and ears, He can undoubtedly see and hear (Psalm 94:9, ASV).

Some of God’s primary attributes include love (1 John 4:8, ASV), wisdom (Proverbs 2:6, ASV; Romans 11:33, ASV), justice (Deuteronomy 32:4, ASV; Luke 18:7-8, ASV), and power (Job 37:23, ASV; Luke 1:35, ASV). He is a God of order and peace (1 Corinthians 14:33, ASV). He is entirely holy, clean, and pure (Isaiah 6:3, ASV; Habakkuk 1:13, ASV; Revelation 4:8, ASV); happy (1 Timothy 1:11, ASV); and merciful (Exodus 34:6, ASV; Luke 6:36, ASV). The Scriptures describe numerous other qualities of His personality.

God’s Position

Jehovah holds the highest position as the Supreme Sovereign of the universe and the eternal King (Psalm 68:20, ASV; Daniel 4:25, 35; Acts 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17, ASV). His throne represents the pinnacle of superiority (Ezekiel 1:4-28, ASV; Daniel 7:9-14, ASV; Revelation 4:1-8, ASV). He is the Majesty (Hebrews 1:3; 8:1, ASV), the Majestic God, and the Majestic One (1 Samuel 4:8; Isaiah 33:21, ASV). He is the Source of all life (Job 33:4; Psalm 36:9; Acts 17:24-25, ASV).

God’s Righteousness and Glory

God’s righteousness and glory are emphasized throughout the Bible. The book of Psalms declares that God is a righteous God (Psalm 7:9) and a glorious God (Psalm 29:3). In the New Testament, Stephen refers to God’s glory in his speech to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:2).

God’s eminence is also highlighted in the Bible. The book of Deuteronomy describes how God is exalted above all (Deuteronomy 33:26). The Psalms describe God as being clothed with eminence and strength (Psalm 93:1; 68:34) and with dignity and splendor (Psalm 104:1; 1 Chronicles 16:27; Job 37:22; Psalm 8:1). Psalm 111:3 proclaims that God’s activity is dignity and splendor itself.

The Bible also speaks of the glory of God’s Kingship (Psalm 145:11-12). In summary, the Bible portrays God as a righteous and glorious God who is exalted above all and clothed with dignity and splendor.

God’s Purpose

The Bible teaches that God has a purpose that he will fulfill, and no one can thwart it. Isaiah 46:10 and 55:8-11 describe how God’s purpose will be accomplished. According to Ephesians 1:9-10, God’s purpose is to gather all things together in Christ, both in heaven and on earth. Through Christ, all of creation will be brought into harmony with God (Matthew 6:9-10).

God’s seniority over all is emphasized in Isaiah 44:6, as he existed before any other gods. He is the one and only Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13), and will forever be vindicated as the only Almighty God (Revelation 1:8; 21:5-6).

God is a God of dependability and loyalty, as he never forgets or forsakes his purposes or covenants (Psalm 105:8). In summary, the Bible teaches that God has a purpose that he will fulfill, and no one can stop it. He is the one and only Almighty God, and he is dependable and loyal to his purposes and covenants.


A Communicative God

God’s love for his creatures is emphasized in the Bible, as he desires them to know him and his purposes. God has communicated with people in various ways throughout history. On three occasions, God’s own voice was heard by men on earth (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; John 12:28).

God has also communicated through angels (Luke 2:9-12; Acts 7:52-53) and through men who received directions and revelations from him, such as Moses and especially through his Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 1:1).

The Bible is God’s written communication to his people, providing them with the tools they need to serve him and minister to others, and directing them on the path to eternal life (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 17:3). In summary, God has provided ample opportunities for his creatures to know him and his purposes through various means of communication throughout history, culminating in his written Word, the Bible.


Contrasted with the gods of the Nations

The Bible contrasts God, the Creator of the heavenly bodies, with the gods of the nations. God’s glory and brilliance are beyond the ability of fleshly sight to endure (Exodus 33:20), and only angels, spirit creatures, can behold his face in a literal sense (Matthew 18:10; Luke 1:19). However, God reveals his fine qualities through his Word, including the revelation of himself through his Son, Christ Jesus (Matthew 11:27; John 1:18; 14:9).

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John had a vision that revealed the effect of beholding God on his throne. God was shown to be like highly polished gems, precious, glowing, and beautiful, attracting the eye and winning delighted admiration (Revelation 4:3). About his throne, there was an atmosphere of calmness and serenity, indicated by the appearance of a perfect rainbow of emerald (Genesis 9:12-16).

In contrast, the gods of the nations are often depicted as grotesque, angry, fierce, merciless, whimsical in their favoritism, and ready to torture earthly creatures in some kind of inferno. God is completely different, lovely in appearance, and pleasant to look at, causing one to lose oneself in wonderment. In summary, God is contrasted with the gods of the nations, who are often depicted as terrifying and cruel, while God is beautiful and serene, inspiring admiration and wonderment.


Godly Devotion

The Bible teaches that Jehovah is the Almighty God, the only God, and he rightfully exacts exclusive devotion (Exodus 20:5). God requires his worshipers to worship him with spirit and truth and to stand in reverent awe of him alone (Isaiah 8:13; John 4:24; Hebrews 12:28-29).

While there are other mighty ones called “gods” in the Bible, including Jesus Christ, who is the only-begotten god, he himself plainly said that worship should be directed to Jehovah alone (John 1:18; Luke 4:8; Deuteronomy 10:20). The angels are godlike ones, but one of them stopped John from worshiping him, reminding him to worship God (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7; Revelation 19:10).

Mighty men among the Hebrews were called “gods,” but God purposed no man to receive worship. In fact, the Mosaic Law strongly warns against turning from Jehovah to false gods invented by men (Psalm 82:1-7; Exodus 20:3-5).

After Christ’s Millennial Reign, during which he brings to nothing all authority and power that is in opposition to God, he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, who will then become “all things to everyone.” Eventually, all living creatures will continually acknowledge God’s sovereignty and praise his name (Romans 8:33; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Psalm 150; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 21:22-27). In summary, Jehovah is the only God and rightfully demands exclusive devotion, while other mighty ones are not to be worshiped, including the angels and humans. Eventually, all living creatures will continually acknowledge God’s sovereignty and praise his name.


The interpretation of Psalm 82 as involving a divine council is a position put forth by Michael S. Heiser in his book “The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible” and other publications. He argues that the plural elohim mentioned in verse 1 of Psalm 82 refers to a council of divine beings, and not just to human judges as some scholars have suggested. This divine council of gods is believed to have been a common theological concept in the ancient Near East and also plays a role in understanding other ancient texts.

There are several arguments against the interpretation of Psalm 82 as involving a divine council:

  1. The immediate context of Psalm 82 supports the view that the “gods” referred to in verse 1 are human judges. The psalmist is rebuking these judges for failing to uphold justice and for showing partiality to the wicked. The psalmist is not addressing a divine council of beings, but rather human judges who are responsible for administering justice in society.

  2. The use of the term elohim in the Hebrew Bible is not limited to divine beings. It can also refer to angels, human beings, and even inanimate objects. Context is key in determining the specific meaning of the term.

  3. While the concept of a divine council may have been a common theological idea in the ancient Near East, there is no evidence that such a council existed in Israelite religion. In fact, the monotheistic nature of Israelite religion suggests that there would not have been a council of gods with equal authority to the one true God.

  4. The use of parallelism in Hebrew poetry, which is evident in Psalm 82, suggests that the “gods” referred to in verse 1 are the same as the “judges” mentioned in verse 2. This reinforces the interpretation that the term “gods” in this context refers to human judges.

  5. The New Testament use of Psalm 82 in John 10:34-35 supports the interpretation that the “gods” referred to in Psalm 82 are human judges. Jesus uses this passage to argue that if the term “gods” can be used to refer to human judges, then how much more appropriate is it for him, who has been set apart and sent by the Father, to be called the Son of God.

In conclusion, while the concept of a divine council of beings may have been a common idea in the ancient Near East, there is no evidence to support the interpretation that Psalm 82 is referring to such a council. The immediate context of the psalm, as well as the use of the term elohim in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, support the view that the “gods” referred to in Psalm 82 are human judges.

Correct Commentary on Psalm 82:1-8

Psalm 82 is a unique and thought-provoking passage in the Book of Psalms. It begins with a depiction of God presiding over a divine council of gods, who are also referred to as “sons of the Most High” (verse 6). The psalmist then goes on to rebuke these divine beings, accusing them of failing to uphold justice and defend the weak and needy.

The term “gods” or “elohim” in this passage is not referring to the one true God but to human judges who held positions of authority and responsibility in ancient Israel. These judges were seen as God’s representatives on earth and were expected to act with justice and compassion in their roles. However, the psalmist is pointing out that many of these judges have failed to live up to their calling and have instead become corrupt and self-serving.

The psalm ends with a call to God to take action and judge these unjust judges and to bring about a time of justice and righteousness in the land.

In the New Testament, Jesus references this psalm in John 10:34-35, using it to argue that he himself is the Son of God. He points out that if the term “gods” can be used to refer to human judges, then how much more appropriate is it for him, who has been set apart and sent by the Father, to be called the Son of God.

Overall, Psalm 82 is a powerful reminder of the importance of justice and righteousness in society, and the responsibility that those in positions of authority have to uphold these values. It also highlights the ultimate authority and judgment of God, who will one day bring about true justice and righteousness in the world.

Exegetical Commentary on Psalm 82:1-8

Verse 1: “God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the ‘gods'”

The psalm opens with a picture of God presiding over a divine council or assembly of other divine beings. These beings are referred to as “gods,” but it is important to note that this term is used in a more general sense here, and refers to beings who are lower in status than the one true God. The psalmist is using this language to emphasize the idea that God is the ultimate authority and judge over all other beings.

Verse 2: “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?”

The psalmist now turns his attention to the divine beings who are present in the assembly. He is rebuking them for their failure to uphold justice and defend the weak and vulnerable in society. The psalmist is challenging them to repent of their unjust actions and to start acting in accordance with God’s standards of righteousness.

Verse 3: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”

This verse provides a specific example of the kind of actions that the psalmist is calling for. He is urging the divine beings to take up the cause of those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in society, and to use their power and influence to protect and defend them.

Verse 4: “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Again, the psalmist is emphasizing the importance of protecting and defending the most vulnerable members of society. He is calling on the divine beings to use their power and authority to rescue and deliver those who are in danger and to hold accountable those who are doing harm.

Verse 5: “They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.”

This verse is a powerful condemnation of the divine beings who have failed to uphold justice and defend the weak. The psalmist is saying that their ignorance and lack of understanding has led to chaos and instability in society. He is implying that their failure to act justly has far-reaching consequences that affect the entire world.

Verse 6: “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.'”

In this verse, the psalmist is reminding the divine beings of their true identity and calling. He is affirming that they are indeed “gods” in the sense that they have been set apart and given a special role by the one true God. He is reminding them that their actions should reflect this high calling and should be in line with God’s character and values.

Verse 7: “But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.”

This verse is a sobering reminder of the ultimate fate of all beings, divine or human. The psalmist is saying that even the most powerful and influential individuals will one day die and face judgment. He is warning the divine beings that they will be held accountable for their actions, and that their failure to act justly will lead to their downfall.

Verse 8: “Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.”

The psalm ends with a plea to God to take action and bring about justice and righteousness in the world. The psalmist is affirming that God is the ultimate authority and judge and that he has the power and authority to bring about true justice and peace. He is calling on God to intervene in the world and to establish his kingdom of righteousness and justice, where all beings are treated with dignity and respect.

Historical and Cultural Background Context

To understand the historical and cultural background context of Psalm 82, it is helpful to look at the broader context of the Old Testament and the ancient Near Eastern world. In particular, the concept of divine beings or gods was a common feature of many ancient Near Eastern cultures, including Israel.

Michael S. Heiser would likely argue that in ancient Israel, there was a belief that God had a divine council of beings who were lower in rank than he was but still had some authority and power. These beings were referred to as “elohim” or “gods,” but it is important to note that this term was used in a more general sense and did not refer to other deities or gods that were worshiped by other cultures. How would they get there?

Here are a few scriptural sources that they might use to support the belief in a divine council or assembly in ancient Israel:

  1. Psalm 82:1 – “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.” This verse suggests that there is a group of divine beings who are present in God’s council, and who are referred to as “gods.”

  2. 1 Kings 22:19-23 – This passage describes a vision that the prophet Micaiah has of God’s throne room, where he sees a group of beings referred to as “the host of heaven” who are standing before God. They are described as “spirits” who are willing to deceive the wicked king Ahab.

  3. Job 1:6-12 – This passage describes a scene in which Satan appears before God’s throne and asks permission to test Job. The fact that Satan is able to appear before God’s throne suggests that there is a group of beings who have access to God’s presence.

  4. Daniel 7:9-10 – This passage describes a vision that the prophet Daniel has of God’s throne room, where he sees a group of beings referred to as “thrones” and “myriads of angels” who are standing before God. They are described as participating in a heavenly court, where God is the judge.

They would argue that while these passages do not use the term “divine council” explicitly, they suggest that a group of beings are present in God’s presence and have some measure of authority and power. The term “elohim” is also used in a broader sense in the Hebrew Bible to refer to beings who are not necessarily divine but who have some authority or power.

Why Would that Be Heresy?

The idea of a divine council is a theological concept that some scholars have put forth based on their interpretation of certain passages in the Hebrew Bible. However, as you pointed out, this concept can be seen as problematic from a theological perspective.

God is presented in Scripture as all-knowing and all-powerful and as such, does not require the advice or counsel of any created being. Angels, as creatures of God, are portrayed in Scripture as obedient servants who carry out God’s will and do not participate in any kind of decision-making or advisory role.

While there are passages in the Bible that describe angels around God’s throne, these passages should not be interpreted as suggesting that angels are somehow advising God or serving as a divine council. Rather, they should be understood as emphasizing the majesty and holiness of God and the role of angels as obedient servants who carry out his commands.

In short, the concept of a divine council is not supported by a clear and consistent biblical theology and could potentially lead to theological confusion or heresy. Instead, it is more appropriate to focus on the clear teachings of Scripture regarding God’s sovereignty and the role of angels as obedient servants who carry out his will.

Moving On

In Israelite society, there were also human judges who were responsible for upholding justice and maintaining social order. These judges were seen as God’s representatives on earth and were expected to act with fairness and impartiality in their roles.

This psalm was likely written during a time when there was corruption and injustice among the human judges in Israel. The psalmist is using the language of the divine council to emphasize the importance of justice and to call for a return to God’s standards of righteousness.

The message of Psalm 82 has continued to resonate throughout Jewish and Christian history. It serves as a reminder that those in positions of power and authority are responsible for acting justly and defending the weak and vulnerable and that God is the ultimate judge who will hold us accountable for our actions.


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