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PSALM 85

God having afflicted his people with new troubles and calamities, after their return from their captivity in Babylon, they, in the first place, make mention of their deliverance as an argument why he should not leave unfinished the work of his grace. Then they complain of the long continuance of their afflictions. And, in the third place, inspired with hope and confidence, they triumph in the blessedness promised them; for their restoration to their own country was connected with the kingdom of Christ, from which they anticipated an abundance of all good things. 472472     “נשאת עון, nasata avon, ‘Thou hast borne, or carried away, the iniquity. An allusion to the ceremony of the scape-goat.” — Dr Adam Clarke “It is a maxim among the Jewish doctors,” says Hammond, “that captivity is one way of expiation, and so to return from thence was a sure indication that the sin for which it was inflicted was remitted or done away. This, saith Abarbanel, on Leviticus 16, was adumbrated in the Azazel, or scape-goat, which, as the other that was slain, was a sin-offering, as appears, Leviticus 16:5. ‘He shall take two kids for a sin-offering.’ And then the ‘confessing the sins over him,’ mentioned 16:21, (‘Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, etc., putting them on the head of the goat: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities into a land of separation,’ 16:22,) shows that they were to carry their sins with them into the land of their captivity, meant by the land of separation, that land whatsoever it was, whither the Divine Providence had designed their deportation. From whence therefore being now returned, their sins, for which they were thus punished, are supposed to be left behind them, no more to be laid to their charge, if their return to their former sins do not cause them to be called to remembrance.”

To the chief musician, a Psalm of the sons of Korah.


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