Psalm 87 - The Glory of Zion or the City of Jerusalem




[New International Version] Psalm 87 belongs to Book III of the Book of Psalms. In this prayer, the enthusiasm lived by all who regard Zion as the spiritual capital of the world is proclaimed.

The PS 87 belong to Book III of the Book of PS composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book III encompasses Psalms 73 to 89 . The PS 87 is divided into 7 verses.

The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received.

“There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel”; “The Psalms are a bit like the mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord.” - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

Psalm 87 - The Glory of Zion

1  Of the sons of Korah. Psalm. Song .

Founded by Him on sacred mountains,

2  the Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the abodes of Jacob.

3  Glorious things are proclaimed from you,
O city of God.

4  I will remember Rahab and Babylon among those who know me.
Here are Philistia, Tire and Ethiopia;
each one was born there.

5  But it will be said of Zion:
“Both were all born there;
and the Most High himself established her.”

6  The Lord will point out in the record of the peoples:
“He was born there”.

7  And dancing, they will sing:
“My fountains are all in you.”

Meaning and interpretation

The Psalm 87 is a prayer that fits in the Psalms or Songs of Zion (next Jebusite fortress of Jerusalem today, which was won by David).

The greatness of Jerusalem above all other cities is proclaimed. This is “the city of God ”. Origin of the most varied peoples in the world.

This Psalm seems to echo a certain spirit of the feast of Pentecost, on which occasion many pilgrims gathered from far away to Jerusalem. What the Psalm proclaims is the enthusiasm lived by all who regard Zion as the spiritual capital of the world .

The Prophetic Psalms or Royal Psalms are prayers of praise to the king, affirmations of God’s favor to the king, prayers for the king, royal oracles, and descriptions of the righteousness and piety due to the figure who has the responsibility to govern the people. These Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations of victory over an enemy, among other occasions involving the government. Often, the text refers to a messianic note where certain behaviors can lead to certain outcomes. The Prophetic Psalms reinforce the holiness of God , creator of all that exists between heaven and earth. They also remember his mercy and eternal justice and the importance of showing your face to the believer and to the peoples. Their action provides a guide to behavior not only for individuals but also for those responsible for governing and enforcing justice.

The Book of Psalms

The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.

Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.

The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy.