Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
RAUTENBACH, Nicolene. YHWH Loves Zion - Zion loves YHWH: An exploration of the workings of ancient near eastern social values in Psalm 87. Old testam. essays [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.2, pp.422-434. ISSN 2312-3621.
Psalm 87 is widely regarded as being notoriously problematic, posing difficulties on all levels. Despite all of the uncertainties that exegetes have regarding this psalm, almost all agree that the psalm deals with Zion acting as mother city. This article attempts to shed new light on the problem of Psalm 87 by examining it in its immediate context as a Korahite psalm, and ultimately from an Ancient Near Eastern social values perspective. It is argued that this approach aids in determining the meaning of the psalm, as these values were an integral part of Ancient Near Eastern society. They thus not only influenced this psalm, but also reveal a lot about the thought processes behind the psalm. In light of the examination of the psalm, a new theory is proposed about Psalm 87's dealing with the exclusivity of Zion rather than its universality.