Psalm 86:5
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
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(5) For thou.—Up to this time the psalmist has only put forward his needs in various aspects as a plea for God’s compassion. Now, not without art, he clenches his petition by an appeal to the nature itself of the Divine Being. The originals of the expressions in this verse will be found in Exodus 20:6; Exodus 34:6-9; Numbers 14:18-19.

Ready to forgive.—The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in the form found here. Etymologically it means remitting. The LXX. have ἐπιεικὴς, a word for which perhaps our considerate is the nearest equivalent, implying that legal right is overlooked and suspended in consideration of human weakness. Wisdom Of Solomon 12:18 gives a good description of this Divine attribute.

86:1-7 Our poverty and wretchedness, when felt, powerfully plead in our behalf at the throne of grace. The best self-preservation is to commit ourselves to God's keeping. I am one whom thou favourest, hast set apart for thyself, and made partaker of sanctifying grace. It is a great encouragement to prayer, to feel that we have received the converting grace of God, have learned to trust in him, and to be his servants. We may expect comfort from God, when we keep up our communion with God. God's goodness appears in two things, in giving and forgiving. Whatever others do, let us call upon God, and commit our case to him; we shall not seek in vain.For thou, Lord, art good ... - This is another reason why God should hear his prayer; and it is a reason which may be properly urged at all times, and by all classes of persons. It is founded on the benevolence of God; on the fullness of his mercy to all that invoke his name. We should call in vain on a God who was not merciful and ready to forgive; but in the divine character there is the most ample foundation for such an appeal. In his benevolence; in his readiness to forgive; in the plenitude of his mercy, God is all that a penitent sinner could wish him to be. For if such a sinner should endeavor to describe what he would desire to find in God as a ground of appeal in his prayers, he could not express his feelings in language more full and free than God has himself employed about his own readiness to pardon and save. The language of the Bible on this subject would express, better than any language which he could himself employ, what in those circumstances he would wish to find God to be. 5-7. unto all … that call upon thee—or, "worship Thee" (Ps 50:15; 91:15) however undeserving (Ex 34:6; Le 11:9-13). Herewith he relieveth himself under the sense of his guilt, whereby he had brought his present calamities upon himself.

Them that call upon thee, to wit, in truth, as it is explained Psalm 145:18, or with an upright heart; for if a man regard iniquity in his heart, God will not hear him, Psalm 66:18.

For thou, Lord, art good,.... Essentially and independently good, from whom every good and perfect gift comes; good in himself, and good to others; good to all, in a providential way; and good to his own special people in a way of grace: this is asserted by Christ, Matthew 19:17.

and ready to forgive; there is forgiveness with him, and it is to be had without difficulty; he has largely provided for it; he is forward unto it, he freely giving it; it is according to the riches of his grace; he does abundantly pardon; no sooner is it asked but it is had; this David knew by experience, Psalm 32:5,

and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee; in truth, in sincerity, in a right way, through Christ, and faith in him; to such not only the Lord shows himself merciful, but is rich and abundant in mercy; he has a multitude of tender mercies, and abounds in his grace and goodness, and in the donation of it to his people; all which encourage their faith and hope in their petitions to him.

For thou, Lord, art good, and {d} ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

(d) He confesses that God is good to all but only merciful to poor sinners.

5. ready to forgive] The exact word is found only here, but for the thought see Psalm 130:4; and for the whole verse cp. Exodus 34:6 f.

Verse 5. - For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive. The word translated "ready to forgive," סַלָח, occurs here only; but the context sufficiently fixes its meaning, which is well expressed by the ἐπιεικὴς of the LXX. As God was "good" and "forgiving," he would be likely to grant the petitions just addressed to him. And plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee (comp. Exodus 34:6; Joel 2:13). Psalm 86:5The prayer to be heard runs like Psalm 55:3; and the statement of the ground on which it is based, Psalm 86:1, word for word like Psalm 40:18. It is then particularly expressed as a prayer for preservation (שׁמרה, as in Psalm 119:167, although imperative, to be read shāmerah; cf. Psalm 30:4 מיּרדי, Psalm 38:21 רדפי or רדפי, and what we have already observed on Psalm 16:1 שׁמרני); for he is not only in need of God's help, but also because חסיד (Psalm 4:4; Psalm 16:10), i.e., united to Him in the bond of affection (חסד, Hosea 6:4; Jeremiah 2:2), not unworthy of it. In Psalm 86:2 we hear the strains of Psalm 25:20; Psalm 31:7; in Psalm 86:3, of Psalm 57:2.: the confirmation in Psalm 86:4 is taken verbally from Psalm 25:1, cf. also Psalm 130:6. Here, what is said in Psalm 86:4 of this shorter Adonajic Psalm, Psalm 130:1-8, is abbreviated in the ἅπαξ γεγραμ. סלּח (root סל, של, to allow to hang loose, χαλᾶν, to give up, remittere). The Lord is good (טּוב), i.e., altogether love, and for this very reason also ready to forgive, and great and rich in mercy for all who call upon Him as such. The beginning of the following group also accords with Psalm 130:1-8 in Psalm 86:2.
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