Ps 85:1-13. On the ground of former mercies, the Psalmist prays for renewed blessings, and, confidently expecting them, rejoices.
1. captivity--not necessarily the Babylonian, but any great evil (Ps 14:7).
2, 3. (Compare Ps 32:1-5). 3. To turn from the "fierceness," implies that He was reconcilable, though 4-7. having still occasion for the anger which is deprecated. 5. draw out--or, "prolong" (Ps 36:10).
8. He is confident God will favor His penitent people (Ps 51:17 80:18). saints--as in Ps 4:3, the "godly."
9. They are here termed "them that fear him"; and grace produces glory (Ps 84:11). 10. God's promises of "mercy" will be verified by His "truth" (compare Ps 25:10 40:10); and the "work of righteousness" in His holy government shall be "peace" (Isa 32:17). There is an implied contrast with a dispensation under which God's truth sustains His threatened wrath, and His righteousness inflicts misery on the wicked. 11. Earth and heaven shall abound with the blessings of this government; 12, 13. and, under this, the deserted land shall be productive, and men be "set," or guided in God's holy ways. Doubtless, in this description of God's returning favor, the writer had in view that more glorious period, when Christ shall establish His government on God's reconciled justice and abounding mercy.