Chapter 87
1 A psalm of the Korahites. A song. The LORD loves the city founded on holy mountains,
2 Loves the gates of Zion more than any dwelling in Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! Selah
From Babylon and Egypt I count those who acknowledge the LORD. Philistia, Ethiopia, Tyre, of them it can be said: "This one was born there."
3 But of Zion it must be said: "They all were born here." The Most High confirms this;
the Lord notes in the register of the peoples: "This one was born here." Selah
So all sing in their festive dance: "Within you is my true home."
Table of Contents Previous Chapter Next Chapter


1 [Psalm 87] A song of Zion, like Psalms 46; 48; 76; 132. After the Exile of the sixth century B.C., diaspora Jews from all over the world (Psalm 87:4) made the long pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the city of God (Psalm 87:1-3). Such Jews may have hailed from distant lands, but the psalm sees them as children of Zion (Psalm 87:5-7). The original occasion may have been Pentecost, which always attracted a large number of diaspora Jews.

2 [2] The gates: the city itself, a common Hebrew idiom.

3 [5-6] The bond between the exile and the holy city was so strong as to override the exile's citizenship of lesser cities.

New American Bible Copyright © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

USCCB Home Page New American Bible Home Page


New American Bible
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194 (202) 541-3000
December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops