Just a biblical question

Glory to the lamb who was slain! He has saved me from my time of doubt and suffering! God bless y’all and glory to he who has risen.

Here’s my question:
What did Jesus mean by “you are gods” in Psalms 82:6? What was the meaning behind this? Does this verse mean we are gods ourselves? I’m very confused on his verse because I heard people saying that the word “gods” in this context, can describe as “children of Christ”, or “judges who have authority”, but I still can’t wrap my head around it because I don’t have a definitive answer. Does this verse mean that we made ourselves our own Gods or what? Your thoughts?

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Hello Lj Han,

Firstly, it is important to read the context. In the CSB, it says in Psalm 82:6-8
“I said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High. However, you will die like humans and fall like any other ruler.’ Rise up, God, judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.”

Thus, it makes it very clear that these “gods” are inferior to the Most High, which is Yahweh: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Israel.
The word translated as “gods” (and God, too, ironically) is the Hebrew elohiym. This word can mean gods, the supreme God (Yahweh,) angels, rulers, or judges. In any case, it is persons with power.

So then, if you read the entire psalm, which of those would make the most sense? Who would be judging unjustly and showing partiality to the wicked (verse 2?) Who does not know or understand; but wanders in darkness (verse 5?) Who would die like humans and fall like any other ruler (verse 7?) It would make sense that the answer would be rulers or judges, such as kings (who did both.)

It is good to keep in mind that in the ancient world, kings sometimes did claim godhood. The Egyptian Pharaoh did and the Roman Ceasar did. However, this Psalm proclaims that they will die like mere humans (because they are mere humans) and like other rulers (perhaps bringing to mind the kings and rulers they conquered.)

Jesus refers to Psalm 82:6 in John 10:34 when he is accused of blasphemy: of saying he is God. And in any other context, one would be blaspheming. But Jesus is not because he IS God Most High! My Bible’s study notes say that Jesus is telling the Jews that if elohyim is used for earthy rulers or judges, then it can be used even more so for him who is God Most High: Jesus the Messiah.

I hope that is helpful. God bless you!

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Hello, @ljhan40 great question. When it comes to this verse the word for “gods” used in verse 6 is (אֱלֹהִ֣ים) which is e·lo·him. This word is used to give classification to spiritual beings. While God is a spiritual being he is unique in his nature and the only one of his kind as God, there is no spiritual being like him. Because of this, I take this passage to mean spiritual beings.

I personally hold the view of Dr. Michael S. Heiser when it comes to this passage. He explains it here in this video below.

This second video is a longer explanation of Jesus and Psalm 82. He goes through all the most popular views of this passage and explains why they are not correct.

Jesus in the passage John 10 where he quotes Psalm 82:6 is using the passage to justify why he is claiming to be God. Jesus was saying that to the religious leaders that there are “sons of God” who are e·lo·him. They knew the scriptures very well and knew it would cross reference with other sciptures about spiritual beings. We see this in Genesis 6 when they sleep with the women on earth. In the video above Dr. Heiser goes through the Hebrew of the passages to show why they are truly spiritual beings. Verse 1 is the first reason. In verse 1 of Psalm 82, you see the Divine Council mentioned. He’s holding judgment. When the word e·lo·him is used twice in the first verse it is singular first in reference to God and then plural when referencing others.

There are many other reasons people take the position to believe the gods where actual spiritual beings. Here are some of Dr. Heiser’s books if you want to look deeper into this position. One thing to point out though is that this doesn’t mean we who take this position believe in polytheism. We believe that Yahweh is an e·lo·him but none of the e·lo·him is Yahweh. Even if you decide to disagree with this position please do understand the position. A lot of people get it wrong here when it comes to this one point and assume we are saying there is more than one God, which is not what is being said at all.

The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible

Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World - and Why It Matters

God Bless and I hope this information helps some :slight_smile:

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WOW! Beautifully explained! Thanks so much for for helping me with this question, but I have one more question. Do you think the word Elohim lost itself in translation? When we think of God or gods we think of ultimate being, but it seems like that isn’t the case in the Bible. Also, can we apply the word Elohim to our earthly judges today? Would they be considered to be in the “holy council” because they serve to push out justice?

Making sure: Just to make sure I got this down, the Hebrew word Elohim has two meanings when it approaches things in the Bible. First one is our beautiful God, the God of the most high, ruler and powerful over all, and our salvation. Second definition, “gods”; this word pertains to people with authority and power meaning they aren’t truly gods, but just more along the lines of powerful leaders. (Please fact check me because I’d rather be correct and stand well with God then be totally wrong xD).

I’ll be happy to verify: elohyim can mean our God, who is Yahweh or “I Am” in English (Jesus is Yahweh,) but also the “gods” as in all the other gods: Baal, Zeus, Athena, any god. Of course, these are not true gods, but false. Yet in a world where every culture had its own god, and indeed its own gods and goddesses, this word could mean (and often did mean) those gods. And in addition, the word could mean earthly rulers too.

Is “gods” a good translation of elohyim in this context? I’d have to know Hebrew to answer that, but given that nearly every English version seems to translate it “gods,” I would assume so.

Could we call earthly rulers today gods? Well, I suppose we could. In America, some people do treat politicians as gods. Celebrities (singers, actors, musicians, ect) may be more likely to get treated as gods than politicians. But both would have significant power and sway over “regular people.” Let’s just remember, though, that the whole point of this psalm is that Elohyim Most High (Yahweh) is supreme and has the ability to judge these elohyim who will die like mere humans because of their sins. The Bible makes it very clear that there is only one true God, and that is Yahweh. All other powers are vastly inferior to him.

No, earthly judges or rulers are not a part of the holy or divine council, though they are in power where they are because God has allowed them to be or put them there. The divine council is a special group that is heavenly, not earthly at all. The Bible Project has an excellent video about what the divine council is. I’ll post it below.

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Hi, @ljhan40 :wave:

Exodus 4:16
And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

The above verse is another reference with the same idea. I think the simple answer to this seeming blasphemy of claiming the “god” title would be to consider the verse as a figure of speech, a metaphor.

The “gods” used in Psa.82:6 and Exo.4:16 both refer to leadership, the king over his people, Moses over Aaron. Jesus’s reference to this OT verse is not in any way a downgrading of His Godhead but an attempt to reach the people in their level of understanding. Since they cannot readily accept His Godhead at this point, Christ attempts to make them see that even in their political understanding they can see the god-like role of a leader. And He was being such a leader.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

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Oh I finally understand it!!! I was searching and looking at multiple answers and resources for two days to seek the truth and all the sources said something along the lines “having authority”. This is why I can conclude that the context of the word “gods” means “having authority”, and as a result, we as humans cannot be considered God. Thus, I think that the sons and daughters of God- like us- have the “authority” to do good things in his name. This is how I look at it when it applies to humans: “gods” = to have authority", so, by this logic alone, I cannot say people with power are “gods”, but in fact, they are just simply people with “authority” rather than having divine power like the one true king. There is no one greater than the lord our God.

PS- studying and meditating on the Bible is hard ;-;

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Thus,

Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

God has His mysteries. And we His children will spend eternity unraveling them. Exploring His works and Word while waiting for His Return is always a worthy endeavor :slight_smile:

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Amen brother amen!!!

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