Psalm 85

Psalm 85

A Psalm of the sons of Korah

This page has...

A Quick Overview

A short video introduction

And then a

commentary from Beth. 

A Quick Overview 

Verses 1-3

The first three verses have to do with

God liberating the Jews in the past

after they had turned away from God

but later regretted it....

God forgave them, released them from captivity,

took away his wrath toward them,

and covered their sins.

The mercies of God given in verses 1-3

are the foundation

of the prayers of verses 4-7. 

Verses 4-7 

These are prayers for new mercies. 

Verses 8-13

These are verses of hope for future blessings.

A Short Video Introduction

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A Simple Commentary

Verses 1-3


Lord, You have been favorable to Your land;
You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.

You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin. Selah

You have taken away all Your wrath;
You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.

These verses review God's previous blessings to the Jews. 


Selah means pause and think about that.

Verses 4-7

Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your anger toward us to cease.

Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?

Show us Your mercy, Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.

The writers of the Psalm are personalizing the heart cry of themselves and a large part of the Jewish people. They are calling out to God in prayer to have mercy and compassion on them.

Verses 1-3 are reminders of what God has done in the past.

Verses 4-7 call out to God asking him to give that mercy again.

These verses show that

many of the Jewish people

wanted to be saved from their sins

and saved from their difficult situations.


Verses 8

I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.

Again, the writers of the Psalm are

personalizing the heart cry of

themselves and a large part of the Jewish people.

They see

the value of listening to God and following God.

They are preparing themselves to receive his words.

God's words are words of righteousness and peace.

His words - when heeded - create peace inside his followers. 

And the writers of the Psalm

call out in prayer to God

to help them

so they will not turn again to sin, foolishness and stupidity.... 

"Let them not turn again to their folly."

(Strong's Hebrew word # 3690 translated Folly = foolishness and stupidity)

Israel again and again turned their back on God

and did great sins before him.

Then they would repent and come back to him. 

That was their pattern.

This verse is a prayer for an end to that pattern.


Verse 9

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,

that glory may dwell in our land.


(from hell and all types of salvation needs)

is near to those who

Fear the Lord. 

Psalm 128:1


Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord;

that walketh in his ways.

Blessings of every kind.

When you walk in the Fear of the Lord, it protects you from:

and all kinds of
Traps of the enemy... and... The Favor of God is on you!

And... Proverbs 3:7b-8 tells us that it brings greater health to our body!

To understand more about

what "Fear of the Lord" means,

click The Fear of the Lord.

* * *  

The Glory of God

is seen

in a land where

the people properly fear the Lord.


Verse 10

10 Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Mercy and Truth have met together at the Cross.


Mercy and Truth

of God

have produced salvation for us.


Righteousness and Peace have kissed


they work closely together to bless us.

This happens in many ways.

For example,

as we follow God's righteous commands,

we are filled with more and more peace.

It is good to remember that

Psalm 89:14-15 TLB


"Your [God's] throne is founded on two strong pillars -

the one is Justice

and the other Righteousness.

Mercy and Truth walk before you as your attendants."

So to elaborate, verse 10 reminds us of

Mercy - Compassion, Grace


Truth - Law, Justice, Righteousness

Again - 

The Truth of Sin


 - The Law and Justice concerning the sinfulness of man -

had to be atoned.

Our sin had to be atoned.

It had to be cleansed. 

The wrath of God had to have atonement.

God's response to sin is -

the punishment of hell

u n l e s s

we repent and receive

Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Mercy - The Compassion and Grace of God is our desperate need.

Without the mercy of God, we are doomed to eternal death and hell. 

With repentance of sins and accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord,

we receive eternal life and heaven.


- who is the Lamb of God - 

laid down his life in order to save us.

Yet God will not respond

with Mercy and Grace

unless we repent and give our life to Jesus. 

Only through Jesus' merciful atonement

can we be spared the eternal punishment of sin.

Verse 11

11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,

And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

God not only "Can" but he "Shall" do it.

"Truth sprouts forth out of the earth."

Growth -

Man is a vessel made out of earth. We are made of dirt.

And as we follow God and study his Word,

truth sprouts forth from us in our actions and words

and then we display to the world the will of God.

The reading of the Words of God

are like seeds

that are planted in the human heart and grow in

the good soil of teachable men and women.

The second part of verse 11 says...

"And righteousness shall look down from heaven."

Righteousness shall descend from heaven.


will rain down on us

to bring nourishment

to those

who are teachable.

This verse seems to be

bringing heaven and earth into harmony. 

Verse 12-13

12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.

God always gives to his people

what is good and best for them.

And for those who choose righteousness,

they receive increase at the proper time.

13 Righteousness will go before him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

I like Young's Literal Translation.

It says...

" Righteousness before Him goeth,

And maketh His footsteps for a way! "

Jesus, Father God, and the Holy Spirit


lead us into paths of righteousness.

(Psalm 23:3)

(See our page on the Trinity of God.)



we follow God,

we will walk paths of righteousness,

and thereby look like Jesus.

The longer we follow him,

the more we should look like him.


When we choose to live

a life of practicing righteousness...

then righteousness lights our way

and makes our footsteps more sure

and our pathway wider.

I have kept in mind

the following verses

as I have commented on this verse...

Psalm 23:3 NKJV


"He [God] restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

for His name sake."

Let's Rejoice


as we follow God,

God restores our soul!


There is a surefootedness

in following

God's Righteous Words.

Psalm 18:33 TLB says,

"He [God] gives me the


of a mountain goat upon the crags.

He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs."

Righteous living

is symbolized as

producing wide steps for our feet.

And wickedness is seen as narrow steps that cause stumbling.

Psalm 18:36 TLB says

"You [God] have made

wide steps

beneath my feet

so that I need never slip."


NAS translation says

"You [God] enlarge my steps under me."


 - Righteousness and Peace - 

The work that Righteousness does in our life,

produces peace in our heart.

Isaiah 32:17-18 NAS


"And the work of righteousness will be peace,
and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places."

Righteousness brings peace.

It brings quietness and confidence.

We see here it makes a firm foundation for our pathway. 


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