|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 3. - Defend the poor and fatherless; literally, judge them. "Do not deny them justice; do not refuse to hear their cause" (comp. Isaiah 1:23; Jeremiah 5:28). Do justice to the afflicted and needy. After consenting to hear their cause, be sure thou doest them justice. These commands are covert reproaches.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Defend the poor and fatherless,.... Or, judge (d) them; such as have no money to enter and carry on a suit, and have no friends to assist and advise them, and abide by them; these should be taken under the care and wing of judges; their cause should be attended to, and justice done them; their persons should be protected, and their property defended and secured for, since they are called gods, they ought to imitate him whose name they bear, who is the Father of the fatherless, the Judge of the widows, and the helper of the poor that commit themselves to him, Psalm 10:14, such a righteous judge and good magistrate was Job; see Job 29:12,
do justice to the afflicted and needy; or "justify" (e) them, pronounce them righteous, give the cause for them, not right or wrong, nor because they are poor and needy, but because they are in the right; for, if wicked, they are not to be justified, this is an abomination to the Lord; see Leviticus 19:15.
(d) "judicate", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (e) "justificate", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Cocceius, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3, 4. So must good judges act (Ps 10:14; Job 29:12).
Psalm 82:3 Parallel Commentaries
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