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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 85

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 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.

Lord, thou hast been favourable, … — 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

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

Thou hast forgiven the iniquity, … — 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

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

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, … — 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

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

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, …Labefacta iram tuam erga nos.

Verse 5

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

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

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

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

Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

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

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.

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 follyi.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

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

Surely his salvation is nigh them, … — 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

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

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 Isaiah 32:17 Psalms 119:105 .

Verse 11

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Truth shall spring out of the earthi.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

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

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

Verse 13

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

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. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/psalms-85.html. 1865-1868.
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