P.2c Mr. Heiser! Ps. 82 says what?
Psalm 82 is the main passage used to assert his revelation of a divine council (he then applies it back to Gn.1, which took place thousands of years prior).
One of the main reasons Heiser thinks Ps. 82 refers to created divine beings is because of Ps. 89:5-7 “And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints (holy ones- quodesh ). For whom in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints (holy ones), And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”
Heiser states: “Psalm 89 rules out the notion that Yahweh’s council of אלהים sons of God refers to an assembly of humans because it explicitly places that council “in the clouds.” There is no text in the entirety of the Hebrew Bible that says or suggests that there are a group of human judges in the heavens ruling with Yahweh over the nations. ” (“Should the Plural אלהים of Psalm 82 Be Understood as Men or Divine Beings? “Annual Meeting, Evangelical Theological Society, 2010 Dr. Michael S. Heiser, Logos Bible Software)
Does Ps. 89 clarify who Ps. 82 is speaking of? No, it does not, it is an assumption on Heiser’s part to have it referring to the same thing as Ps. 82.
Ps. 82 speaks of an assembly, and a congregation, so he’s forcing 2+2 together to equal 5. again, a point of similarity does not mean sameness in this matter. Ps.89, is speaking about the angelic host that surround God in the heavens (mentioned specifically numerous times Rv. 5:11; Ez. 1:22-25) they are the holy ones who cannot be compared to God. For anybody to use this to interpret the meaning of Ps. 82 is not being honest with the text. [s] even the phrase `the host of the heavens,' can have different meanings, depending upon the context. We use the clear to define the unclear, it is not the unclear that defines the clear.
Heiser states, “The end of the psalm makes it evident that the Elohim being chastised were given some sort of authority over the nations of the earth, a task at which they failed. This doesn’t fit the Trinity.”
This is the type of stretch he does in many of his interpretations. Where is this ever mentioned? To believe this, you have to first accept his premise, which is not found in the text.
He states that " no text in the Old Testament assigns to human Israelite judges [authority over the disinherited nations]. “ True, but that is simply just a strawman argument. Because there are numerous texts that show Israelite judge’s ruling over their own people with God’s authority (with the very same words) contained in Psalm 82. Other Scriptures state emphatically that God has given authority of nations to human beings, such as kings: 1 Kings 4:21; Ps. 115:16; 148:11; Is. 14:9; Ezek. 31:11; Dan. 2:36-38; 4:17; 5:19.)
We can clearly see this in Psalm 2:10-12 when the psalmist says, “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth . Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (‘perish like mere men’)
Isa. 3:13-15 “The LORD stands up to plead and stands to judge the people. The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and His princes : "For you have eaten up the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?" Says the Lord GOD of hosts .” (Again, a sentiment contained in Ps.82) Generally, elders are the older wise leaders and the princes are the young royalty.
Kings, Priests and Judges were Gods instruments in governing the people, not a heavenly council of gods. There being heavenly councils were the beliefs of the religious pagan nations that surrounded Israel at the time.
Kings - Ps. 72:1-2 G ive the king Your judgments O God, And Your righteousness to the king's Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness And Your poor with justice.
2 Sam. 8:15 “ David reigned over all Israel; and Da vid administered judgment and justice to all his people.” 1 Kings 3:28 “…all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice .” Do a study on God making men kings, in order to do justice for the people to understand his appointees over the nation.
Priests- had a lesser role in judging the people and was more about teaching and ministering to God on their behalf. 2 Chron. 4:9 “made the court of the priests” In an inquiry they would “stand before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry” (Deut. 19:17-18).
The Word came: Deut. 31:9 “Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests.”
2 Chron. 13:9 “ Have you not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests, like the peoples of other lands”
This sounds just like what Heiser is saying about Israel copying the pagan nations and the ideas that were contained in them.
Judges – Ps. 10:18 God hears “to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”
Ps. 72:2-4 (God) He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. v4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy and will break in pieces the oppressor.”
This is what Psalm 82 is all about, (It was their failure to do what was required by God), so that it would reflect His character and Law to the people.
Deut. 16:18-19 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality , nor take a bribe.”
This is exactly what it says in Ps. 82! Yet Heiser states, “Defending the human view of the אלהים in Yahweh's council would not only require ignoring the context of other psalms and Deuteronomy, but it requires turning a blind eye to psalm’s own historical and linguistic context.”
Heiser is so myopic that he misses the greater context.
It is also the same said in Deut. 14:1-2 “You are the children (sons) of the LORD your God.” He is speaking of Israel, not of a council in heaven. “ For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
“The children of the LORD your God,” not sons of Elohim but of YHWH Elohim. Heiser is the one ignoring the Scriptures in their context?
They are called ‘children of Israel’ (Ex 3:9; is used 600 times in Exodus to Joshua.) It was Jacobs name that was changed to Israel as a blessing in Gn.32. Yisrael; he will rule as God; the prince of God.
This is what we see, and it continues to be further clarified to us, it is exactly the opposite of what Heiser is saying, it is Israel who are called the children of the Most High God (Deut.32:8; Ps.78).
Heiser states that "no text in the Old Testament assigns to human Israelite judges [authority over the disinherited nations]."
True, but again, as mentioned above; that is a strawman argument. There are no ‘disinherited nations,’ that subsequently had a council of gods to rule over them. There is no passage of scripture that says this! Numerous texts show Israelite judges were appointed to rule over their own people, which Heiser purposely ignores in his interpretation. But again! as mentioned above, God [has] given authority over the nations to human beings, such as kings; even Israel’s king (1 Kings 4:21; Ps.148:11; garden of Eden Ezek. 31:11; God gives and allows kingdoms to whoever he appoints upon the earth, like Nebuchadnezzar Dan. 2:37-38; 4:17; 5:19). And in the ancient world these kings were often considered Elohim, gods (Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar)
When God chose Israel to give them his law to live by and bring His law to the other nations so that they would abandon their gods, God promised " and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. I n your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, (Gn. 22:17-18)
Despite this he repeats that: “In summary of the positive arguments, it is misguided to assume that the plural אלהים of Psalm 82 who are being judged for their corrupt governance of the nations are humans. This approach lacks coherence.” (‘Michael Heiser, Should the Pluralאלהים of Psalm 82 Be Understood as Men or Divine Beings?’)
To say in absolute terms that it is not applied to humans, especially with all the biblical evidence shown above; and the previous article is to have a disregard for God’s Word.
For Heiser to opt for the active corrupt sons of God in heaven theory, instead of men being appointed upon the earth, is to pick and choose what Heiser himself wants scripture to be and not to be, where in Ps. 82 does it say they are judging nations or people? (Plural)
Ps.82 begins by telling us that it is God, YHWH standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.”
The word for ‘congregation’ in Hebrew עֵדָה is adah,בַּעֲדַת and ba aḏaṯ is ‘in the congregation,’ which means, being among multitudes of people. It is not found being used for a divine council. But it is found being applied to the congregation of the Israelites in scriptures such as Exodus 12:3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel: this can also be found in Exodus 12:6, 19, and 47).
There are no instructions for angels to do this, mentioned throughout the entire Old or New Testaments). Nor do we read of any instructions being given to a divine council; but we do see many times, that instructions were given to humans to righteously rule over other humans.
Ps.82 ends, in context by saying: “Arise , O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” This is referring to the One True Elohim who is YHWH, it is not the many false gods, who are also addressed by the term Elohim.
I will give just two examples: Exod. 12:12 “against all the gods (אלהים Elohim) of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.” Josh. 23:8-9: “You shall not make mention of the name of their gods ( אלהים Elohim). These are the false Gods the true God points out.
It does not say, gods judge the earth, nor does it say God “judges gods” in heaven, which he has made into a special group called a council.
These men that were put in their various places of power will ultimately be judged by God because they had not been the fair representatives of God that they were appointed to be.
There are no Elohim gods in Heaven, Heiser cannot find them, he is seriously wrong. If so there is false worship and idolatry going on in heaven where God dwells.
Ps 67:4 “ For You shall judge the people righteously and govern the nations on earth.”
In the end, the same will happen to the judges of all nations, God does not just judge Israel, He will judge the entire world. Not just as nations but individuals. However, there has been no other nation other than Israel, that has been set apart and called the apple of Gods eye, being appointed and instructed throughout time to fulfill His will upon the earth.