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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 85

 

 

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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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

Psalms 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 Isaiah 32:17, Psalms 119:105.


Verse 11

Psalms 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

Psalms 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 Matthew 7:11), with a largess of outward comforts.


Verse 13

Psalms 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.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 85:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-85.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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