What does David mean by "gods" in some of the psalms, such as Psalms 138?


Psalms 138:1

ESV - 1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 30 2024 Open uri20160825 6966 rhyaou John Matthews

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The Hebrew word translated “gods” is "elohim", which is a plural term most frequently used to refer to the one true, multi-personal God, but it does have other uses. God is referred to as the Elohim above all elohim (Psalm 95:3). Other uses of the term elohim include spiritual beings such as angels (Job 2:1; 38:7); demons, idols, and gods of foreign nations (Genesis 35:4; Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Kings 11:33); and the disembodied dead (1 Samuel 28:13).

The term “gods” is also used to refer to human magistrates, judges, and rulers who have been granted authority on earth. According to this usage, God has appointed men to positions of authority in which they are considered as gods among the people (Exodus 7:1). (Jesus referenced this usage in John 10:34-36.)

Calling a human magistrate a “god” indicates three things: 1) he has authority over other human beings, 2) the power he wields as a civil authority is to be feared, and 3) he derives his power and authority from God Himself, who is pictured as judging the whole earth, including how those authority figures wield the authority that God has given them.

May 31 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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