|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
82:1-5 Magistrates are the mighty in authority for the public good. Magistrates are the ministers of God's providence, for keeping up order and peace, and particularly in punishing evil-doers, and protecting those that do well. Good princes and good judges, who mean well, are under Divine direction; and bad ones, who mean ill, are under Divine restraint. The authority of God is to be submitted to, in those governors whom his providence places over us. But when justice is turned from what is right, no good can be expected. The evil actions of public persons are public mischiefs.
Verse 2. - How long will ye judge unjustly? "The cry of the impatient Jehovah" (Cheyne); comp. Exodus 10:3; Exodus 16:28; Numbers 14:11, 27. And accept the persons of the wicked? Accepting men's persons is favouring them unduly on account of their position or outward circumstances. It was strictly forbidden in the Mosaic Law (see Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:19; Leviticus 19:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How long will ye judge unjustly,.... These are the words not of the psalmist, but of the divine Person that stands in the congregation of the mighty, and judges among the gods; calling the unjust judges to an account, and reproving them for their unrighteous proceedings and perversion of justice, in which they had long continued, and which was an aggravation of their sin; this is very applicable to the rulers and judges of the Jewish nation in the times of Christ, who had long dealt very unjustly, and continued to do so; they judged wrong judgment, or judgment of iniquity, as Aben Ezra renders it, both in civil and ecclesiastical things; their judgment was depraved concerning the law, which they transgressed and made void by adhering to the traditions of the elders; they passed an unrighteous judgment on John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, rejecting his baptism, and calling him a devil; and upon Christ himself, adjudging him to death for crimes he was not guilty of; and upon his followers, whom they cast out of the synagogue; the character of an unjust judge see in Luke 18:2,
and accept the persons of the wicked? gave the cause in favour of them, and against the righteous, because they were rich, or related to them, or had bribes from them, contrary to the law in Deuteronomy 16:19, so the judges among the Jews, in Christ's time, judged according to appearance, the outward circumstances of men, and not righteous judgment, as our Lord suggests, John 7:24.
Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. accept the persons—literally, "lift up the faces," that is, from dejection, or admit to favor and communion, regardless of merit (Le 19:15; Pr 18:5).
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