Sing a song about Jerusalem
God’s people are born in Jerusalem
This is a song. A psalm of Korah’s family.1Jerusalem is the LORD’s city,
Built on holy hills.
2His favorite place in all Israel
Is inside the city gates of Zion.
3People brag about how glorious you are,
City of God.
Instruments4God says, “People of Egypt and Babylon
Will come to know me.
Philistia, Tyre, and Cush, as well.
They will come to say,
‘I was born in Jerusalem.’
5People everywhere will come to say,
‘I was born in Jerusalem.’”
6The LORD keeps a record of his people.
He knows who can say, “I was born there.”
Instruments7People will dance and play the flutes.
They’ll sing the song of Jerusalem:
“The greatest joy in all of my life
Is the joy I have in you.”
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. Korah was a musical family in the tribe of Levi, one of the 12 tribes that made up the original nation of Israel. Levite families worked as priests and worship leaders and assistants for the Jewish nation.
“Zion” is a term of endearment, and another name for Jerusalem. It’s a bit like “The Big Apple” for New York City.
The word in the original language of Hebrew is selah. Bible scholars haven’t figured out what it means yet, so all we can do is guess. It could mean “pause for effect,” “instrumental interlude,” or “choir singing ‘Amen.’” We’re offering a guess instead of selah. Though selah might be the better way to go because it’s always correct, it’s also always incomprehensible. “Instruments” has a good chance of being wrong, but at least we convey the idea that the Hebrew word behind it probably has something to do with enhancing the song.
Literally “Rahab,” a nickname for Egypt. Rahab was a dragon-like sea monster that threatened human existence in ancient creation myths.
Some scholars say it appears that people all over the world, in kingdoms large and small, will become citizens of God’s kingdom, represented by Jerusalem. Everyone says they were born there raises a thought about the fact that Christianity, as a spiritual movement among the masses, was born in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
When Christians read that all God’s people scattered around the world will say they were born in Jerusalem, that might remind them of Acts 2. After the Resurrection of Jesus, in Jerusalem, Peter preached a sermon that launched the Christian movement. Christianity was born in Jerusalem. It’s the spiritual birthplace of every Christian. In this regard, the psalm might sound to some Christians like a prophecy.
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