Study Guide – Psalm 87

Psalm 87

1 On the holy mountain

    stands the city founded by the Lord.
2 He loves the city of Jerusalem
    more than any other city in Israel.[a]
3 O city of God,
    what glorious things are said of you! Interlude

4 I will count Egypt[band Babylon among those who know me—
    also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia.[c]
    They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!
5 Regarding Jerusalem[d] it will be said,
    “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.”
    And the Most High will personally bless this city.
6 When the Lord registers the nations, he will say,
    “They have all become citizens of Jerusalem.” Interlude

7 The people will play flutes[eand sing,
    “The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!” NLT


From what you read in this psalm, describe God's love for Jerusalem:


Look at verses 1-3: Think about all you know about the events of the Bible. Why is Jerusalem such an important city to God?


Look at verses 4-6: Describe the cultural richness of God's vision for Jerusalem:


What would it take for God to consider people from all over the world as "citizens" of Jerusalem? When in history (past, present, future) does this declaration take place?



Have you ever stopped to cherish Jerusalem the way the people in verse 7 do? What could you do today to begin appreciating and celebrating the dynamic role this city plays in God's plan for humanity?


::::: DIGGING DEEPER :::::

How do the following Scriptural notes from the NLT on this passage enhance your understanding of this psalm? Consider doing some further study on one or more of these notes:

  1. 87:2 Hebrew He loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. See note on 44:4.
  2. 87:4a Hebrew Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature. The name is used here as a poetic name for Egypt.
  3. 87:4b Hebrew Cush.
  4. 87:5 Hebrew Zion.
  5. 87:7 Or will dance.
Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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