10. What Does Psalm 82:6 Mean By You Are Gods?
In Psalm 82:1 it reads as follows; “God (H430) standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods (H430).” The Hebrew word Elohim is most often translated as “god,” but as you can see it can also be translated as “gods“, as is shown here in Psalm 82:1. The Hebrew word Elohim usually refers to the one true God (Deut 4:39, 6:4; Jer 10:10), but it does have other uses.
The word “gods”, as used here in Psalm 82:6, actually refers to magistrates, judges, and other people who hold positions of authority and rule, not supernatural beings (gods) in the literal sense.
The use of the word “gods” referring to humans is rare, but it is found elsewhere in the Old Testament. For example, when God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said, “See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7:1). This simply means that Moses, as the messenger of God, was speaking God’s words and would therefore be God’s representative to the king, not that he would be turned into a god literally. The Hebrew word Elohim is translated “judges” in Exodus (Exodus 22:8,9).
The whole point of Psalm 82 is that earthly judges must act with impartiality and true justice, because even judges must stand someday before the Judge. Psalms 82:6-7 NLT warns human magistrates that they, too, must be judged: “I say, You are gods; you are all children of the Most High. But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.” This passage is saying that God has appointed men to positions of authority in which they are considered as gods among the people. They are to remember that, even though they are representing God in this world, they are mortal and must eventually give an account to God for how they used that authority.