Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord,.... This prayer for the return of the captivity shows that it was not as yet: though some think that this is a petition of those that were returned from captivity, for those of their brethren that stayed behind; who, enjoying the sweets of their liberty, pray for their brethren to come and share with them, that so the mercy and blessing might be completed. This may very well be considered as a petition; either for the coming of the Redeemer, and redemption by him from the captivity of sin and Satan, and the law; or for the conversion of the Jews in the latter day. Either of which would be
as the streams in the south; as great and wonderful a work as causing rivers to be in dry places, and as grateful and acceptable as brooks and streams of water in southern countries: or like streams produced by the south wind, which brings rain, and melts the snow from the hills; which, running into the valleys, cause flows of water in great abundance: and so may denote the abundance of those that should share in the blessings of conversion, redemption, and salvation; as well as the wonderfulness and acceptableness of them; see Isaiah 41:18. The Targum seems to understand it of the change made upon them, like that made on the earth by those; paraphrasing the words,
"as the land is turned, when streams of water flow out in a time of drought.''
The allusion seems to be to Judea, lying south of Babylon; and to the southern parts of Judea, which were dry; see Joshua 15:19.