Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 85:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Lord, thou hast been favorable - Literally, Thou hast been well pleased with thy land.

Thou hast brought back the captivity - This seems to fix the time of the Psalm to be after the return of the Jews from Babylon.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lord, thou hast been favorable unto thy land - Margin, “well pleased with.” The idea is that he had been kind or propitious to the nation; to wit, on some former occasion. So Luther, (vormals) “formerly.” The reference is to some previous period in their history, when he had exercised his power in their behalf.

Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob - That is, at the time referred to. It is not necessary to suppose that the allusion is to the period immediately preceding the time when the psalm was composed, but it may have been any period in their history. Nor is it necessary to suppose that the people had been removed from their land at the time, for all that would be necessary to suppose in interpreting the language would be that the land had been invaded, even though the inhabitants still remained in it.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.