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Psalms 82:5

    Psalms 82:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They know not, neither do they understand; They walk to and fro in darkness: All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They have no knowledge or sense; they go about in the dark: all the bases of the earth are moved.

    Webster's Revision

    They know not, neither do they understand; They walk to and fro in darkness: All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    World English Bible

    They don't know, neither do they understand. They walk back and forth in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They know not, neither do they understand; they walk to and fro in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are moved.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 82:5

    They know not - The judges are not acquainted with the law of God, on which all their decisions should be founded.

    Neither will they understand - They are ignorant and do not wish to be instructed. They will not learn; they cannot teach. Happy England! How different from Judea, even in the days of Jehoshaphat! All thy judges are learned, righteous, and impartial. Never did greater men in their profession dignify any land or country - (1822).

    All the foundations of the earth - "All the civil institutions of the land totter." Justice is at the head of all the institutions in a well regulated state: when that gets poisoned or perverted, every evil, political and domestic, must prevail; even religion itself ceases to have any influence.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 82:5

    They know not, neither will they understand - This is designed still further to characterize the magistrates at the time referred to in the psalm. They not merely judged unjustly, and were not merely partial in the administration of justice Psalm 82:2, but they did not desire to understand their duty, and the true principles on which justice should be administered. They were at no pains to inform themselves, either in regard to those principles, or in regard to the facts in particular cases. All just judgment must be based

    (a) on a true knowledge of what the law is, or what is right; and

    (b) on a knowledge of the facts in a particular case. Where there is no such knowledge, of course there must be a mal-administration of justice.

    One of the first requisites, therefore, in a magistrate is, that he shall have a proper knowledge of the law; his duty is to ascertain the exact facts in each individual case that comes before him, and then impartially to apply the law to that case.

    They walk on in darkness - In ignorance of the law and of the facts in the case.

    All the foundations of the earth - See Psalm 11:3, note; Psalm 75:3, note. All settled principles; all the things on which the welfare of society rests; all on which the prosperity of the world depends. The manner in which justice is administered is as if the very foundations of the earth should be disturbed, and the world should move without order.

    Are out of course - Margin, as in Hebrew, moved. That is, they are moved from their proper place; the earth no longer rests firmly and safely on its foundation. This language is taken from the idea so often occurring in the Scriptures, and in the language of people generally, that the earth rests on solid foundations - as a building does. The idea is derived from the stability and fixedness of the earth, and from the fact that when a building is fixed and stable we infer that it has a solid foundation. The thought here is, that a proper administration of justice is essential to the stability and prosperity of a state - as essential as a solid foundation is to the stability of the edifice which is reared on it. The effect of a real-administration of justice in any community may be well compared with what the result would be if the foundations of the earth should be removed, or if the laws which now keep it in its place should cease to operate.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 82:5

    82:5 They - The magistrates of whom this psalm treats. Know not - The duty of their place. Nor will - Their ignorance is wilful. Walk on - They persist: it is their constant course. In darkness - In their sinful courses. The foundations - This corruption of the supreme rulers, flows from them to their inferior officers and members.