Psalm 82:3 #VOTD [+ Memorization Tutorial Video]

Verse of the Day 1.10.18: Psalm 82:3

  1. Text
  2. C4C Translation
  3. Memorization


3 שִׁפְטוּ־דַ֥ל וְיָת֑וֹם עָנִ֖י וָרָ֣שׁ הַצְדִּֽיקוּ׃1

3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.2

C4C Translation

Vindicate the powerless and the fatherless;

to the afflicted and the poor, do justice

The verb translated “vindicate” (שָׁפַט | šāpaṭ; cf. NASB) more literally means “judge, govern.”3 However, judge (cf. JPS)4 “describes a range of actions that restore or preserve order in society, so that justice, especially social justice, is guaranteed.”5 Hence “defend” (NIV, KJV), “give justice” (NRSV, ESV, NLT), or “provide justice” (HCSB).

When appropriate — as it often is in Hebrew poetry — I usually strive to reflect the word order in the Hebrew text. This line seems to be structured chiastically.

Vindicate the powerless and the fatherless;

to the afflicted and the poor, do justice


A chiasm is “a sequence of components repeated in inverted order…(named for the crossover pattern of the Greek letter chi: X)…Any number of terms may comprise a chiasm, forming either a fully doubled scheme (e.g., A, B, C :: C′, B′, A′) or a scheme with an isolated center (e.g., A, B, C: D: C′, B′, A′).”6 In Hebrew poetry, the element(s) in the center of the chiasm are often the focal point — literally the central point.7

In this verse (ABB’A’), A (vindicate) and A’ (do justice) appear to be on the outside of the ‘X’ of the chiasm, while B (powerless and the fatherless) and B’ (the afflicted and the poor) appear to be on the inside of the chiasm.

Today, C4C is studying Psalm 82, a psalm of Asaph.

Read more about the context of the Psalms here.


Memorize Psalm 82:3 after watching a brief video tutorial demonstrating the How to Memorize Any Bible Verse in Less Than Five Minutes method below:


  1. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit Morphology; Bible. O.T. Hebrew. Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit. (Logos Bible Software, 2006), Ps 82:3.
  2. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 82:3.
  3. Robert D. Culver, “2443 שָׁפַט,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 947.
  4. Jewish Publication Society of America, Torah Nevi’im U-Khetuvim. The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text. (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1917), Ps 82:3
  5. Willem VanGemeren, ed., New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 214.
  6. P. Overland, “Chiasm,” ed. Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; Inter-Varsity Press, 2008), 54.
  7. Ibid
About @DannyScottonJr 454 Articles
Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist