Bible Commentaries
Psalms 85

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 85:1 « To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. » LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

Ver. 1. Lord, thou hast been favourable, &c. ] God’s free grace and favour is fitly premised, as the fountain and mother of all the following mercies. This is that other book, Revelation 20:12 , that hath our names in it, and our pardon.

Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob ] Of old from Egypt, and alate from the Philistines; who, after Saul’s death, miserably tyrannized over Israel, till David delivered them. Some hold that this psalm was composed at the end of the Babylonish captivity; others conceive it may be a prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles, who are brought in speaking, the whole psalm throughout.

Verse 2

Psa 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

Ver. 2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity, &c. ] This is worthily mentioned as a main mercy, as a chief fruit of free grace.

Thou hast covered all their sins ] That that filthy thing may be no longer an eyesore unto thee. In the original there are six homoioteleuta, which is an elegancy not to be translated into English.

Verse 3

Psa 85:3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned [thyself] from the fierceness of thine anger.

Ver. 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath ] Heb. thou hast gathered it, thou hast recollected it, that we might not bear it; when sin is once remitted, wrath is soon removed.

Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness, &c. ] Here are six hasts drawing in the next turn, Psalms 85:4 . God hath, and therefore God will, is a strong medium of hope, if not a demonstration of Scripture logics. See 2 Corinthians 1:10 .

Verse 4

Psa 85:4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

Ver. 4. Turn us, O God of our salvation ] Turn us, and we shall be turned; do as thou ever hast done, for thou art Jehovah, thou changest not, but art yesterday, today, and the same for ever.

And cause thine anger, &c. ] Labefacta iram tuam erga nos.

Verse 5

Psa 85:5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

Ver. 5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? ] Dilato Christo tuo vel tuo adventu? Such expostulations mixed with faith are Vis Deo grata, as saith Tertullian, such as God is well pleased with.

Verse 6

Psa 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Ver. 6. Wilt thou not revive us again? ] Who for present are all amort, as it were, free among the dead? free of that company?

That thy people may rejoice in thee ] A joyless life is a lifeless life, Mortis habet vices quae trahitur vita gemitibus.

Verse 7

Psa 85:7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

Ver. 7. Show us thy mercy, O Lord ] Thy fatherly mercy, στοργην .

And grant us thy salvation ] Thy Christ, and our Jesus, Luke 2:30 .

Verse 8

Psa 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

Ver. 8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak ] I will not repine, but listen what answer God giveth to my prayer, and patiently wait a good issue of my troubles.

For he will speak peace unto his people ] viz. By his promises, and by his providences.

And, to his saints ] For all God’s people are righteous ones, Isaiah 60:21 , justified and sanctified, 1 Corinthians 6:11 .

But let them not turn again to folly ] i.e. To the ways of the world and of carnal reason, lest they smart for their rashness, and God never take their words again.

Verse 9

Psa 85:9 Surely his salvation [is] nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

Ver. 9. Surely his salvation is nigh them, &c. ] Though they be so bleared oft with tears that they cannot see it, and so discouraged that they have even done looking for it, Luke 18:7-8 .

That glory may dwell in our land ] The Fathers both by salvation and glory dwelling with men understand Christ, John 1:16 .

Verse 10

Psa 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed [each other].

Ver. 10. Mercy and truth are met together ] As in God (his mercy is ever bounded by his truth), so in all his people, there is a sweet conjunction and concatenation of graces, 2 Peter 1:5 ; and this is an effect of Christ’s kingdom in men’s hearts, Romans 14:17 , Iam fides et pax, et honor pudorque Priscus, et neglecta redire virtus Audet; apparetque beata pleno Copia cornu (Horat.).

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other ] Have friendly saluted, in allusion to the manner of the Eastern nations. See Isa 32:17 Psalms 119:105 .

Verse 11

Psa 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Ver. 11. Truth shall spring out of the earth ] i.e. Heaven and earth shall be full both of truth and righteousness. Many understand all concerning Christ. See John 3:13 . Others, concerning extraordinary plenty of all good things.

Verse 12

Psa 85:12 Yea, the LORD shall give [that which is] good; and our land shall yield her increase.

Ver. 12. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good ] Yea, best of all, viz. his Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13 , with Mat 7:11 ), with a largess of outward comforts.

Verse 13

Psa 85:13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set [us] in the way of his steps.

Ver. 13. Righteousness shall go before him ] Men shall walk before God in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives, Luke 1:75 ; they shall not rest in outward blessings, Psalms 85:12 , or be satisfied with such low things, but be led up thereby to the care of higher.

And shall set us in the way of his steps ] So that we shall go an upper (and therefore a better) way, Proverbs 15:24 , having our feet where other men’s heads are; and so departing from hell beneath, which even gapeth for the unrighteous.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 85". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.