"with the best bread of wheat;''
with the best of wheat, and the best bread that can be made of it: Aben Ezra interprets it of the manna, which was better than the fat, or finest, of the wheat, being the corn of heaven, and angels' food, Psalm 78:24, but it rather respects what the Israelites would have been continued to be fed with in the land of Canaan, which was a land of wheat, Deuteronomy 8:8, and such who hearken to the Lord, and walk in his ways, are fed by him with the Gospel, which is comparable to wheat, and the finest of it, for its choiceness and excellency, for its solidity and substantiality, for its purity and cleanness, and for its being of a nourishing and strengthening nature, see Jeremiah 38:28, and especially Christ, the sum and substance of the Gospel, may be figuratively meant, with whom the saints are fed, and who is compared to a corn of wheat, John 12:24 for his preciousness and excellency, for his purity and fruitfulness, and for being the food of his people, the bread of life, for which he was prepared by his sufferings and death; which may be fitly expressed by the threshing, winnowing, and grinding of wheat, and then of kneading the flour, and baking the bread:
and with honey out of the rock would I have satisfied thee; the land of Canaan abounded with hills and rocks, in which bees had their hives, and from whence honey dropped to lower places; and hence the land is said to flow with milk and honey, Exodus 3:8, nor is it unusual in other places to find honey in rocks; at Guadaloupe, in the West Indies, we are told (z), honey was found in trees and caves of rocks. Aben Ezra interprets this of the water which flowed out of the rock at Horeb, which was sweeter than honey; but the former sense is best: the rock spiritually and mystically designs Christ, the Rock of salvation, 1 Corinthians 10:4, the honey out of the rock, the fulness of grace in him, and the blessings of it, the sure mercies of David, and the precious promises of the everlasting covenant; and the Gospel, which is sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb; and with these such are filled and satisfied, who hearken to Christ, and walk in his ways; for, as the whole of what is here said shows what Israel lost by disobedience, it clearly suggests what such enjoy who hear and obey.
(y) "ex adipe frumenti", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "adipe tritici", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (z) P. Martyr. Decad. 3. lib. 9.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 82
A Psalm of Asaph. This psalm was written for the use of persons in power, for the instruction of kings and princes, judges and civil magistrates; according to Kimchi, it was written about the times of Jehoshaphat, who appointed new judges throughout the land; those that were before having been very corrupt, to whom he gave a charge agreeably to the purport of this psalm, 2 Chronicles 19:5, but it seems rather to be written by Asaph, in the times of David, under a spirit of prophecy, and has respect to the times of Christ, when there was a great corruption among the judges and rulers of the Jews, both civil and ecclesiastic. The Syriac version calls it, "a reproof of the ungodly Jews"; our Lord cites a passage out of it in vindication of himself from their charge of blasphemy, John 10:34.
"God, whose majesty (or Shechinah) dwells in the congregation of the righteous that are strong in the law.''
It may be better understood of such as are strong in the Lord, in the grace that is in Christ, and in the exercise of grace upon him; who are gathered out of the world unto him, and unto distinct societies and congregations; in the midst of which God is, where he grants his presence, bestows the blessings of his grace, and affords his divine aid and protection; and where Christ the Son of God is, and will be to the end of the world. The words may be rendered, "God standeth in the congregation of God" (a): that is, in his own congregation, his church and people; but it seems best of all to understand the words of rulers and civil magistrates, of the cabinet councils of princes, of benches of judges, and courts of judicature; in all which God is present, and observes what is said and done; perhaps reference may be had to the Jewish sanhedrim, the chief court of judicature with the Jews, consisting of seventy one persons; in the midst of which Christ, God manifest in the flesh, God in our nature, stood, and was ill used, and most unjustly judged by them, of whose unjust judgment complaint is made in the next verse:
he judgeth among the gods: which the Syriac version renders "angels" again; and so Aben Ezra interprets it of them, who are so called, Psalm 8:5, but rather civil magistrates are meant, the rulers and judges of the people, who go by this name of "elohim", or gods, in Exodus 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, "by" whom "kings"
reign, and princes decree justice; by whom princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth; and to whom they are all accountable, and will be themselves judged by him another day, Proverbs 8:15 so the Targum,
"in the midst of the judges of truth he judges.''
(a) "in congregatione Dei", Pagninus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth.
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.
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.
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.
neither will they understand: the Targum adds, by way of explanation, "the law", the rule of judgment, which judges ought to understand; so the Jewish rulers, Pharisees and Sadducees, were upbraided by Christ with ignorance of the Scriptures, and the law of God, their false glosses of which he refutes, Matthew 5:1 and their ignorance was wilful and affected, they shut their eyes against light and evidence, especially with respect to Christ; they could discern the face of the sky, but not the signs of the times, Matthew 16:3, who so blind as they that will not see? and such were the Jewish rulers; see Isaiah 42:19,
they walk on in darkness; they chose darkness rather than light, and so were blind leaders of the blind, and were wilfully so, having their eyes blinded with gifts, Deuteronomy 16:19,
all the foundations of the earth are out of course; or "shaken" or "moved" (f): by the perversion of justice, towns, cities, commonwealths, kingdoms, and states, are thrown into the utmost disorder and confusion: as the king by judgment establisheth the land; Proverbs 29:4, so when judgment is not executed, it is unsettled, and thrown into confusion; or though (g) "the foundation", &c. though this is the case, yet unjust judges will go on, perverting judgment, even though, as at the deluge, the foundations of the earth were shaken and moved, for the violence, rapine, and oppression, the earth was then filled with, which Kimchi thinks is here referred to; and though a dissolution of the Jewish polity, civil and ecclesiastical, was threatened, because of such injustice; that God would once more shake the heavens and the earth, remove their church and civil state, when they should cease to be a nation, their city be destroyed, and their temple, not one stone left upon another; and yet such was the obstinacy of their wicked judges, that they would persist their wicked ways.
(f) "moventur", Vatablus; "dimoventur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "commoventur", Gejerus; "nutant", Tigurine version. (g) So Ainsworth.
and all of you are children of the most High; the Targum here again renders it,
"the angels of the most High:''
and so Aben Ezra explains it of them who are called the sons of God, Job 38:7 but men in power are meant, who, because of their eminency and dignity, their high office, post, and place, are so called; see Genesis 6:2.
and fall like one of the princes; or the chief of them, Satan, who fell like lightning from heaven, Luke 10:18 or rather as one of the giants that lived in the old world, famous for their injustice and oppression, that fell in the deluge, Genesis 6:4 or any of the Heathen princes, tyrants and oppressors, such as are mentioned in the following psalm, Psalm 83:9. This may have respect to the destruction of the Jewish nation, which is called the falling of them, Romans 11:11 and the words may be rendered, "and ye shall fall together, equally and alike, O ye princes" (a); when the Jewish state, civil and ecclesiastical, fell, they fell with it, and together; the princes of this world then came to nought, or were abolished, they and their authority, as the Apostle Paul says they should, 1 Corinthians 2:6 the sceptre then departed from Judah, and the lawgiver from between his feet; all rule and authority ceased among them, as Jacob foretold it would, Genesis 49:10.
(a) "pariter; sive ex aequo", Maius apud Gataker. Cin. c. 10. p. 292.