Psalms 85

Listen to Psalms 85
1 LORD, you were 1favorable to your land; you 2restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You 3forgave the iniquity of your people; you 4covered all their sin. Selah
3 You withdrew all your wrath; you 5turned from your hot anger.
4 6Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
5 7Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not 8revive us again, that your people may 9rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8 10Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will 11speak peace to his people, to his 12saints; but let them not 13turn back to 14folly.
9 Surely his 15salvation is near to those who fear him, that 16glory may dwell in our land.
10 17Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; 18righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, 19the LORD will give what is good, and our land 20will yield its increase.
13 21Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.

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Psalms 85 Commentary

Chapter 85

Prayers for the continuance of former mercies. (1-7) Trust in God's goodness. (8-13)

Verses 1-7 The sense of present afflictions should not do away the remembrance of former mercies. The favour of God is the fountain of happiness to nations, as well as to particular persons. When God forgives sin, he covers it; and when he covers the sin of his people, he covers it all. See what the pardon of sin is. In compassion to us, when Christ our Intercessor has stood before thee, thou hast turned away thine anger. When we are reconciled to God, then, and not till then, we may expect the comfort of his being reconciled to us. He shows mercy to those to whom he grants salvation; for salvation is of mere mercy. The Lord's people may expect sharp and tedious afflictions when they commit sin; but when they return to him with humble prayer, he will make them again to rejoice in him.

Verses 8-13 Sooner or later, God will speak peace to his people. If he do not command outward peace, yet he will suggest inward peace; speaking to their hearts by his Spirit. Peace is spoken only to those who turn from sin. All sin is folly, especially backsliding; it is the greatest folly to return to sin. Surely God's salvation is nigh, whatever our difficulties and distresses are. Also, his honour is secured, that glory may dwell in our land. And the truth of the promises is shown by the Divine mercy in sending the Redeemer. The Divine justice is now satisfied by the great atonement. Christ, the way, truth, and life, sprang out of the earth when he took our nature upon him, and Divine justice looked upon him well pleased and satisfied. For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him

Cross References 21

  • 1. Psalms 77:7
  • 2. Psalms 14:7
  • 3. Psalms 32:1
  • 4. Psalms 32:1
  • 5. Psalms 78:38; Psalms 106:23; Exodus 32:12; Deuteronomy 13:17; Jonah 3:9
  • 6. See Psalms 80:3
  • 7. [Psalms 79:5]
  • 8. Psalms 71:20
  • 9. Psalms 90:14; Psalms 149:2
  • 10. [Habakkuk 2:1]
  • 11. Zechariah 9:10; [Haggai 2:9]
  • 12. See Psalms 50:5
  • 13. [2 Peter 2:21]
  • 14. [Psalms 49:13]
  • 15. Isaiah 46:13
  • 16. Zechariah 2:5; [John 1:14]
  • 17. Psalms 89:14; See Psalms 40:11
  • 18. [Isaiah 45:8]; See Psalms 72:3
  • 19. Psalms 84:11; [James 1:17]
  • 20. See Psalms 67:6
  • 21. Psalms 89:14; Isaiah 58:8

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. This psalm is generally thought to have been composed after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; and yet when they were in some distress from their neighbours, either in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, or in the times of Antiochus; but then this deliverance from captivity must be considered as typical of redemption by Christ; for as the title of the Syriac version is, "it is a prophecy concerning Christ;" it speaks of his dwelling in the land, of his salvation being near, and of the glory of the divine perfections as displayed in it; and perhaps some parts of it may respect the conversion of the Jews in the latter day; and Aben Ezra and Kimchi say, it is concerning the captivity of Babylon, yet also of their present captivity.

Psalms 85 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.