The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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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."



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.

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