|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:31-38 Christ's works of power and mercy proclaim him to be over all, God blessed for evermore, that all may know and believe He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. Whom the Father sends, he sanctifies. The holy God will reward, and therefore will employ, none but such as he makes holy. The Father was in the Son, so that by Divine power he wrought his miracles; the Son was so in the Father, that he knew the whole of His mind. This we cannot by searching find out to perfection, but we may know and believe these declarations of Christ.
Verse 34. - The justification of Jesus which follows is often supposed to be a retraction of the claim - a repudiation of the inference which the Jews drew from the words recorded in ver. 30. On the contrary, our Lord took up one illustration from among many in Holy Scripture, that the union between man and God lay at the heart of their (νόμος) Law. True, he quoted from Psalm 82:6 with reference to the high official title given by the Holy Spirit to the false and tyrannical judges of the old covenant. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law? The Psalms are here spoken of as "the Law," showing that they did form part of the revelation and law of the Divine kingdom (John 7:49; John 12:34; John 15:25). Jesus does not imply that the Law was theirs and not his. There is not a shadow of disrespect cast on the Law by the pronoun, but such an identification of it with his hearers that they ought, by its aid, to have been saved from utterly misconceiving his words I said, Ye are gods (elohim, θεοί). To stand in close relation with the theocracy was to be covered with its glory. He seems to force upon them thus a host of similar blendings of the Divine and human in the age-long preparation for himself, and to free all these from the suspicion of blasphemy. The Hebrew thought was really calculated to prepare the world for this high intercommunion, not to abolish it. Judaism, rabbinism, had widened the chasm between God and man. Christ came to fill up the chasm; nay more, to show the Divine and human in living, indissoluble union.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law,.... In the law which was given unto them, of which they boasted, and pretended to understand, and interpret, even in Psalm 82:6; for the law includes not only the Pentateuch, but all the books of the Old Testament: it is an observation of one of the Jewish doctors (t), that
"with the wise men of blessed memory, it is found in many places that the word law comprehends the Prophets and the Hagiographa.''
Among which last stands the book of Psalms; and this may be confirmed by a passage out of the Talmud (u); it is asked,
"from whence does the resurrection of the dead appear, , "out of the law?"''
It is answered,
"as it is said in Psalm 84:4, "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will still praise thee, Selah; they do praise thee", it is not said, but "they will praise thee"; from hence is a proof of the resurrection of the dead, "out of the law".''
The same question is again put, and then Isaiah 52:8 is cited, and the like observation made upon it. Moreover, this is a way of speaking used by the Jews, when they introduce another citing a passage of Scripture thus (w), , "is it not written in your law", Deuteronomy 4:9, "only take heed to thyself", &c. so here the Scripture follows,
I said, ye are gods? which is spoken to civil magistrates, so called, because of their authority and power; and because they do, in some sort, represent the divine majesty, in the government of nations and kingdoms. Many of the Jewish writers, by "gods", understand "the angels". The Targum paraphrases the words thus:
"I said ye are accounted as angels, as the angels on high, all of you;''
and to this sense some of their commentators interpret it. Jarchi's gloss is, ye are gods; that is, angels; for when I gave the law to you, it was on this account, that the angel of death might not any more rule over you: the note of Aben Ezra is, "and the children of the Most High": as angels; and the sense is, your soul is as the soul of angels: hence the (x) Jew charges Christ with seeking refuge in words, that will not profit, or be any help to him, when he cites these words, showing that magistrates are called gods, when the sense is only, that they are like to the angels in respect of their souls: but let it be observed, that it is not said, "ye are as gods", as in Genesis 3:5, but "ye are gods"; not like unto them only, but are in some sense gods; and besides, to say that they are like to angels, with respect to their souls, which come from above, is to say no more of the judges of the earth, than what may be said of every man: to which may be added, that this objector himself owns, that judges are called "gods", as in Exodus 22:9; the cause of both parties shall come before "the judges"; and that even the word is used in this sense in this very psalm, from whence these words are cited, Psalm 82:1, "he judgeth among" "the gods"; and both Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret this text itself in the same way, and observe, that judges are called gods, when they judge truly and aright: all which is sufficient to justify our Lord in the citation of this passage, and the use he makes of it.
(t) R. Azarias in Meor Enayim, c. 7. fol. 47. 1.((u) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 91. 2.((w) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2.((x) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 51. p. 440, 441.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34-36. Is it not written in your law—in Ps 82:6, respecting judges or magistrates.
Ye are gods—being the official representatives and commissioned agents of God.
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