In this psalm there is a thrice-repeated invocation for God to turn His face toward
"Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face [paniym] to shine; and we shall be saved."
"Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face [paniym] to shine; and we shall be saved."
"Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy
face [paniym] to shine; and we shall be saved." (Psalm 80:19).
What does it mean for God to turn His face toward us? He does not,
strictly speaking, have a front side and a back side, as do we
biological creatures; what is solicited, is His attention and care:
"and cause thy face to shine; grant thy gracious
presence, lift up the light of thy countenance; favor with the
manifestations of thyself, the enjoyment of thee, and communion with
thee through Christ; indulge us with the discoveries of thy love,
the joys of salvation, the comforts of the Spirit, and larger
measures of grace:. . ." (John Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible,
Why is it said three times? Because God is triune. When the Old Testament was translated into
Greek, this word 'face' was rendered as 'prosopon,' meaning face,
aspect, or person.