Psalm 82 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Psalm 82 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

(82:1, 6) "He judgeth among the gods."
So he's not alone up there?
How many gods are there?
The gods in this verse are judges. The judges are asked to judge justly (verse 2), because it is God who sits in their midst. John Gill comments:

civil magistrates are meant, the rulers and judges of the people, who go by this name of ‘elohim’, or gods, in Ex. 21:6, and are so called because they are the powers ordained of God, are representatives of him, are his vicegerents and deputies under him; should act in his name, according to his law, and for his glory, and are clothed with great power and authority from and under him; and therefore are before styled the "mighty". Among these Christ, the Son of God, judges, to whom all judgment is committed; he qualifies these for the discharge of their office, he directs them how to judge, and all the right judgment they make and do is from him

2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

(82:3-4) "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy." Though this seems to be directed at other gods, it's good advice for humans as well.
It is directed at humans, verse 1.

4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Another reference to "the foundations of the earth", implying that the earth is fixed and does not move.
But if the foundations of the earth here means what the author of the SAB says it means, what does it mean when the psalmist says they're out of course? It seems the earth is not so fixed then after all.
But this reference to the foundations of the earth has nothing to do with pillars upon which the earth supposedly rests. The word earth often means the people on this earth, the kingdoms and countries. That the foundations of these countries are out of course is through the perversion of the judges. These countries have no firm and fixed principles. As Calvin says:

After having reminded princes of their duty, the Psalmist complains that his admonition from their infatuation is ineffectual, and that they refuse to receive wholesome instruction; yea, that although the whole world is shaken to its foundations, they, notwithstanding, continue thoughtless and secure in the neglect of their duty. He chiefly reprobates and condemns their madness as manifested in this, that although they see heaven and earth involved in confusion, they are no more affected at the sight than if the care of the interests of mankind did not belong to them, of which they are, notwithstanding, in an especial manner the chosen and appointed conservators.

6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

"I have said, Ye are gods." Jesus quotes this verse in John 10:34 to get out of a tough spot. (He was claiming to be God for which the Jews accused him of blasphemy.)
The I in “I have said” is God. The ye in “Ye are Gods” are again the judges, magistrates and rules of this world. See John 10:34.

7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.