|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
85:1-7 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.
Verse 2. - Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. God's remission of punishment, and restoration of his people to favour, was a full indication that he had "forgiven their iniquity" and "covered their sins." This was so vast a boon, that a pause for devout acknowledgment and silent adoration seemed fitting. Hence the "selah," which is at the end of the second verse, not of the first, as Hengstenberg states.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people,.... Took it from them, and laid it on Christ, who has bore it, and took it away, so as it shall never return more to their destruction; and by the application of his blood it is taken away from their own consciences; for this denotes the manifestation and discovery of forgiveness to themselves; it is a branch of redemption, and is in consequence of it; and is a fruit of the free favour and good will of God through Christ; and it only belongs to the Lord's special people, the people he has taken into covenant with him, and for whose iniquity Christ was stricken:
thou hast covered all their sin; this is but another phrase for forgiveness, see Psalm 32:1, and this is done by the blood and righteousness, and propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, the antitypical mercy seat, the covering of the law and its transgressions, and the people of God from its curse and condemnation; whose sins are so covered by Christ, as not to be seen by the eye of avenging justice, even all of them, not one remains uncovered.
Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2, 3. (Compare Ps 32:1-5).
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