Elohim -- human or divine in Psalm 82?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Aug 31 20:33:33 EDT 2000


Dear George,

You write:

>The only humans to be called 'gods' in the Hebrew Bible are Moses (and
>even that is just a
>simile) and the king to whom Psalm 45 is addressed. Psalm 82 makes much
>more sense as a
>sitting of the divine court. Note that "Elohim" takes his stand in the
>counsel of "El" --
>a very direct word meaning "deity". The Psalm ends asking "Elohim" to
>judge or govern the
>earth in place of the other gods (who are barely worthy of that title) and
>so to take
>possession of all the nations. That is, the Psalmist asks for the
>overthrow of all
>national deities who each govern their own national domain because they
>are inept, and
>instead asks for "Elohim" to take the reigns as a single autocratic ruler
>who is able to
>restore order. This certainly has repercussions for human judges, but it
>is the divine
>court which is in view in Psalm 82 -- not the average city gate court.

What do you do with Exodus 22:8-9; 28? These verses use the term "gods" to
speak of human judges.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard





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