Psalm 87 – “Praise for Zion”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist praises Zion.

II. Photo
Zion is the city for all people: “Indeed, it shall be said of Zion, ‘Every man was born there!’” (v. 5)

III. Select Verses    
(the entire psalm)
1b-2: The LORD loves the gates of Zion, His foundation on the holy mountains, more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3: Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah.
4-7: I mention Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge Me; Philistia, and Tyre, and Cush — each was born there.  Indeed, it shall be said of Zion, “Every man was born there.” He, the Most High, will preserve it. The LORD will inscribe in the register of peoples that each was born there. Selah. Singers and dancers alike [will say]: “All my roots are in You.”

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b-7. Praise/wish for Zion

V. Comment
Tate provides a fitting introduction to this short psalm: “Generally, Psalm 87 is a poem which praises Zion as the city of God and the center of life, eventually at least, for all peoples. This short psalm is, however, full of difficulties, and its exact reading and meaning are uncertain.” (387)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Tate, Marvin. “Psalms 51-100” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 20 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1990).
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