|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
85:8-13 Sooner or later, God will speak peace to his people. If he do not command outward peace, yet he will suggest inward peace; speaking to their hearts by his Spirit. Peace is spoken only to those who turn from sin. All sin is folly, especially backsliding; it is the greatest folly to return to sin. Surely God's salvation is nigh, whatever our difficulties and distresses are. Also, his honour is secured, that glory may dwell in our land. And the truth of the promises is shown by the Divine mercy in sending the Redeemer. The Divine justice is now satisfied by the great atonement. Christ, the way, truth, and life, sprang out of the earth when he took our nature upon him, and Divine justice looked upon him well pleased and satisfied. For his sake all good things, especially his Holy Spirit, are given to those who ask him. Through Christ, the pardoned sinner becomes fruitful in good works, and by looking to and trusting in the Saviour's righteousness, finds his feet set in the way of his steps. Righteousness is a sure guide, both in meeting God, and in following him
Verse 13. - Righteousness shall go before him. Prepare the way, i.e., for the restoration of the people to God's favour (compare the first clause of ver. 11, and the second of ver. 12). And shall set us in the way of his steps; i.e. cause his people to walk in the way marked out by his footsteps - i.e. by the indications of his will either in nature or in the written Word.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Righteousness shall go before him,.... The incarnate Saviour, the increase of our land, and fruit of the virgin's womb; and righteousness may be put for a righteous person, as Aben Ezra interprets it; and may design John the Baptist, a holy and just man, Mark 6:20, who was the forerunner and harbinger of Christ, went before him, and prepared the way for him, Luke 1:76.
and shall set us in the way of his steps; the business of John the Baptist being not only to prepare the way of Christ by his doctrine and baptism, but to guide the feet of his people into the way of peace; or to direct them to believe in Christ, and to be followers of him, the Lamb of God, whithersoever he went; who has left an example of grace and duty, that we should tread in his steps, Luke 1:79, the Targum renders it, "in the good way"; and such a way John taught men to walk in.
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