Singers and dancers (Ps 87:7-87:7)

“Singers and dancers alike say.

‘All my springs are in you.’”

This seems to be a confusing end to this psalm. It is not the fact of singers and dancers, but what they say. It seems that all people or good people spring from Mount Zion. Everything springs from Yahweh and especially from Zion.

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Yahweh the record keeper of Zion (Ps 87:5-87:6)

“Of Zion,

It shall be said.

‘This one

And that one

Were born in it.’

Thus the Most High himself

Will establish it.

Yahweh records

As he registers the peoples.

‘This one was born there.’”

Selah

Apparently there is a long list of those born in Mount Zion, Jerusalem. Yahweh seems to have some kind of record of all that were born there. Yahweh has established this city on a hill, Mount Zion, the city of David. He seems to be like a massive accountant, keeping track of everyone born there. Finally, this section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.

Mount Zion is holy for everywhere (Ps 87:4-87:4)

“Among those who know me,

I mention Rahab and Babylon.

There also is Philistia,

Tyre,

With Ethiopia

‘This one was born there.’

They say.”

Many people from all over the world were born at Mount Zion, so that the citizens of Mount Zion can be found all over the world. Although Rahab was the prostitute who helped in the Book of Judges, this apparently is another name for Egypt here. Thus the places where Israelites from Jerusalem and Mount Zion might be Babylon, Egypt, the Philistine territory, Tyre, and Ethiopia, especially after the captivity. They could then maintain that they were all born in Jerusalem but live elsewhere.

Praise for Mount Zion (Ps 87:1-87:3)

A psalm of the Sons of Korah, a song

“On the holy mount

Stands the city he founded.

Yahweh loves the gates of Zion

More than all the dwelling places of Jacob.

Glorious things are spoken of you!

O city of God!”

Selah

Psalm 87 is in the Korahite tradition, the Temple singers. This is a short song of praise about Mount Zion in Jerusalem, as the mother of all people. This psalm seems to indicate that Yahweh founded this city. It is no longer the city of David, but the city of God, that became the inspiration of the Christan Augustine in the fourth century CE for his work of the same name. Yahweh loved this city more than any other dwelling place of Jacob. Thus it became the center of Israel. Glorious things have been spoken about this place which is now the city of God. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.