Psalm 82:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

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

Darby Bible Translation
They know not, neither do they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are moved.

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.

Young's Literal Translation
They knew not, nor do they understand, In darkness they walk habitually, Moved are all the foundations of earth.

Psalm 82:5 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

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.

Psalm 82:5 Parallel Commentaries

Christ's Interpretation of Psalm cx. , 1 (Mark, xii. , 35-37. )
We return now to the order of the narrative. We are informed by the Evangelist that in the course of these controversies with his opponents Christ put to them the question, how it could be that Messiah was to be the Son of David, and yet David called him "Lord" (Ps. cx., 1). We are not precisely told with what view he proposed the question; though it might, perhaps, be inferred from Matthew's statement, that after he had so answered their captious queries as to put them to shame, he sought in turn
Augustus Neander—The Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion

Notes on the First Century:
Page 1. Line 1. An empty book is like an infant's soul.' Here Traherne may possibly have had in his mind a passage in Bishop Earle's "Microcosmography." In delineating the character of a child, Earle says: "His soul is yet a white paper unscribbled with observations of the world, wherewith at length it becomes a blurred note-book," Page 14. Line 25. The entrance of his words. This sentence is from Psalm cxix. 130. Page 15. Last line of Med. 21. "Insatiableness." This word in Traherne's time was often
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

Epistle v. To Theoctista, Sister of the Emperor.
To Theoctista, Sister of the Emperor. Gregory to Theoctista, &c. With how great devotion my mind prostrates itself before your Venerableness I cannot fully express in words; nor yet do I labour to give utterance to it, since, even though I were silent, you read in your heart your own sense of my devotion. I wonder, however, that you withdrew your countenance, till of late bestowed on me, from this my recent engagement in the pastoral office; wherein, under colour of episcopacy, I have been brought
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Psalm 11:3
If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"

Psalm 14:4
Do all the workers of wickedness not know, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call upon the Lord?

Psalm 46:2
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Proverbs 2:13
From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;

Isaiah 59:9
Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom.

Jeremiah 4:22
"For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know."

Jeremiah 23:12
"Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment," declares the LORD.

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