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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 87

Verses 1-7

PSALM 87

The glory of Zion established as the city of God.

(vv. 1-3) The psalm opens with celebrating the glory of Zion. Men may found other cities; but Zion is the city of Jehovah's foundation. Not only is it thus firmly established, but its foundations are secure because built on “the mountains of holiness.” It is established on a righteous foundation. Being holy Jehovah “loveth” its gates - the place of concourse and government, and therefore the symbol of the active life of the city. Glorious things are spoken of this city. It is not simply a place where great events have happened, but a city of which a glorious future is foretold. In contrast to all other cities it is the “city of God.”

God is its builder; God has given it a firm foundation; God has established it in holiness; God delights in Zion; God has spoken glorious things of Zion; it is the city of God.

(vv. 4-5) Jehovah appears to be the speaker in verses 4 and 5. Amongst them that know Him, He calls attention to the great cities of earth, and the nations that had surrounded Israel. Rahab (or “Egypt” Psa_89:10 ; Isa_51:9 ), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia, had their great men in whom they boasted. But the fame of Jehovah's people would be that they belong to Zion, the city established by the Most High.

(v. 6) The godly, responding to Jehovah, say, “Jehovah will count, when he inscribeth the peoples, This man was born there” (JND). The godly realize that, in the day to come, those connected by grace with Zion will have a place of pre-eminence above all the peoples.

(v. 7) The closing verse indicates that all earthly joy will have its centre and spring in Zion.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 87". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-87.html. 1832.