Psalm 82:4
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
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(4) The poor and needy.—Better, The miserable (as in Psalm 82:8) and poor, a different word from “needy” in Psalm 82:3.

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.Deliver the poor and needy - That is, Deliver them from the power and the arts of those who would oppress and wrong them. This would not be showing them partiality; it would be simply doing them justice.

Rid them out of the hand of the wicked - Deliver, or Rescue them from their hands; that is, from their attempts to oppress and wrong them.

4. poor and needy—(Compare Ps 34:10; 41:1). These he recommends to the special care and protection of magistrates, because such are commonly neglected and crushed by men in higher place and power, and they are unable to right themselves.

Deliver the poor and needy,.... From his adversary and oppressor, who is mightier than he, and draws him to the judgment seat; when it is not in his power to defend himself against him, and get out of his hands, unless a righteous judge will show a regard to him and his cause; and sometimes even an unjust judge, through importunity, will do this, as everyone ought, and every righteous one will:

rid them out of the hand of the wicked; this was what the poor widow importuned the unjust judge for, and obtained, Luke 18:3.

Deliver the poor and {c} needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

(c) Not only when they cry for help, but when their cause requires aid and support.

4. Rescue the weak and needy:

Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

Cp. Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 10:1-2. Human authorities are God’s representatives to see that the weak and friendless have justice done them. See Exodus 22:22 ff.; Deuteronomy 10:17-18; Psalm 10:14; Psalm 10:18; Malachi 3:5 : and comp. the portrait of the ideal ruler in Psalm 72:12 ff.; Isaiah 11:3-4.

Verse 4. - Deliver the poor and needy. The poor were terribly oppressed, and needed "deliverance" (see Job 29:12; Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 3:14, 15; Isaiah 58:6; Micah 3:2, 3). Rid them out of the hand of the wicked; or, rescue them. Psalm 82:4God comes forward and makes Himself heard first of all as censuring and admonishing. The "congregation of God" is, as in Numbers 27:17; Numbers 31:16; Joshua 22:16., "the congregation of (the sons of) Israel," which God has purchased from among the nations (Psalm 74:2), and upon which as its Lawgiver He has set His divine impress. The psalmist and seer sees Elohim standing in this congregation of God. The part. Niph. (as in Isaiah 3:13) denotes not so much the suddenness and unpreparedness, as, rather, the statue-like immobility and terrifying designfulness of His appearance. Within the range of the congregation of God this holds good of the elohim. The right over life and death, with which the administration of justice cannot dispense, is a prerogative of God. From the time of Genesis 9:6, however, He has transferred the execution of this prerogative to mankind, and instituted in mankind an office wielding the sword of justice, which also exists in His theocratic congregation, but here has His positive law as the basis of its continuance and as the rule of its action. Everywhere among men, but here pre-eminently, those in authority are God's delegates and the bearers of His image, and therefore as His representatives are also themselves called elohim, "gods" (which the lxx in Exodus 21:6 renders τὸ κριτήριον τοῦ Θεοῦ, and the Targums here, as in Exodus 22:7-8, Exodus 22:27 uniformly, דּיּניּא). The God who has conferred this exercise of power upon these subordinate elohim, without their resigning it of themselves, now sits in judgment in their midst. ישׁפּט of that which takes place before the mind's eye of the psalmist. How long, He asks, will ye judge unjustly? שׁפט עול is equivalent to עשׂה עול בּמּשׁפּט, Leviticus 19:15, Leviticus 19:35 (the opposite is שׁפט מישׁרים, Psalm 58:2). How long will ye accept the countenance of the wicked, i.e., incline to accept, regard, favour the person of the wicked? The music, which here becomes forte, gives intensity to the terrible sternness (das Niederdonnernde) of the divine question, which seeks to bring the "gods" of the earth to their right mind. Then follow admonitions to do that which they have hitherto left undone. They are to cause the benefit of the administration of justice to tend to the advantage of the defenceless, of the destitute, and of the helpless, upon whom God the Lawgiver especially keeps His eye. The word רשׁ (ראשׁ), of which there is no evidence until within the time of David and Solomon, is synonymous with אביון. דל with ויתום is pointed דל, and with ואביון, on account of the closer notional union, דל (as in Psalm 72:13). They are words which are frequently repeated in the prophets, foremost in Isaiah (Isaiah 1:17), with which is enjoined upon those invested with the dignity of the law, and with jurisdiction, justice towards those who cannot and will not themselves obtain their rights by violence.
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