Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
To praise for God's favor to His people is added a prayer for its
1-3. When the Lord, &c.--The joy of those returned from Babylon was
ecstatic, and elicited the admiration even of the heathen, as
illustrating God's great power and goodness.
turned again the captivity--that is, restored from it
HENGSTENBERG translates: "When the Lord turned
Himself to the turning of Zion" (see Margin), God returns to His
people when they return to Him
(De 30:2, 3).
4. All did not return at once; hence the prayer for repeated favors.
as the streams in the south--or, the torrents in the desert south of
Judea, dependent on rain
reappearing after dry seasons (compare
The point of comparison is joy at the reappearing of what has been so
5, 6. As in husbandry the sower may cast his seed in a dry and
parched soil with desponding fears, so those shall reap abundant fruit
who toil in tears with the prayer of faith. (Compare the history,
Ezr 6:16, 22).
6. He that goeth forth--literally, better, "He goes--he comes, he
comes," &c. The repetition implies there is no end of weeping here, as
there shall be no end of joy hereafter
precious seed--rather, seed to be drawn from the seed box for sowing;
literally, "seed-draught." Compare on this Psalm,