There is considerable dispute over both the translation and meaning of verse one: “Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?” Some translations have the last word replaced with “mighty lords.” Others insist that it is “silent ones,” implying those accustomed to running things from afar. In any case, David (for we have no reason to doubt the superscription’s claim that it is another of David’s “Psalms of the Golden Secret” – a Miktam) would certainly not speak of false gods as entities that actually did anything.
As one of the so-called imprecatory psalms, it speaks with sarcastic irony of the rulers and judges that are corrupt and wicked as being like deaf adders who cannot be charmed. The psalm declares that the righteous will rejoice when God has his vengeance upon such evil men (verse 10). It is a mistake to believe that righteous people will not do so when evil is defeated. even the souls of those in heaven who have been slain by such men will rejoice when evil is crushed by the Lord (Revelation 6:9-10). It is God who judges the earth!
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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