SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.21 número2The meaning of 'great mountain' in Zechariah 4:7David and Shimei: Innocent victim and perpetrator? índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google


Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.2 Pretoria  2008


YHWH Loves Zion - Zion loves YHWH: An exploration of the workings of ancient near eastern social values in Psalm 87



Nicolene Rautenbach

University of Pretoria1





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.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Barton, J. & Bowden, J. 2004. The Original Story. God, Israel and the World. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.         [ Links ]

Block, D. I. 2000. The Gods of the Nations. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern National Theology. Leicester: Baker Academic.         [ Links ]

Booij, T. H. 1994. Psalmen Deel III. Nijkerk: G. F. Callenbach. (POT.         [ Links ])

Bos, J. W. H. 1993. Born in Zion. A Journal of Bible and Theology 47 (3), 281-285.         [ Links ]

Botha, P. J. 2001. Social values and the interpretation of Psalm 123. OTE 14 (2), 189-198.         [ Links ]

Cole, R. L. 2000. The Shape and Message of Book III (Psalms 73-89). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.         [ Links ]

Dahood, M. 1986. Psalms II 51-100. New York: Doubleday. (The Anchor Bible.         [ Links ])

Elliott, J. H. 1993. What is Social-Scientific Criticism? Minneapolis: Fortress.         [ Links ]

Emerton, J. A. 2000. The Problem of Psalm LXXXVII. VT 50, 183-199.         [ Links ]

Gottwald, K. G. Sociological Criticism of the Old Testament, Accessed 2008/02/21.         [ Links ]

Goulder, M. D. 1982. The Psalms of the Sons of Korah. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.         [ Links ]

Grosby, S. A. Gôy by Any Other Name - The Problem of Nationality in Antiquity. Accessed: 2008/02/21.         [ Links ]

Gutmann, E. R. 1982. The Mountain Concept in Israelite Religion. Michigan: University Microfilms International.         [ Links ]

Kidner, D. 1975. Psalms 73-150. A Commentary on Books III-V of the Psalms. London: Inter-Varsity Press.         [ Links ]

Helberg, J. L. 1990. Die Verbondsvolk se Verhouding tot Sy Land (Veral in die tyd rondom die wegvoering in Babiloniese ballingskap: Die Groot Profete en Klaagliedere). Potchefstroom: Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys.         [ Links ]

Hossfeld, F. L. & Zenger E. 2000. Psalmen 51-100. Wien: Herder. (Herders Theolo-gischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament.         [ Links ])

Kamm, A. 1999. The Israelites. An introduction. London: Routledge.         [ Links ]

Kidner, D. 1975. Psalms 73-150. A Commentary on Books III-V of the Psalms. London: Inter-Varsity Press.         [ Links ]

Kraus, H. J. 1989. Psalms 60-150. A Commentary. Augsburg: Minneapolis.         [ Links ]

Lohfink, N. & Zenger, E. 2000. The God of Israel and the Nations. Studies in Isaiah and the Psalms. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.         [ Links ]

Maier, C. M. 2007. Psalm 87 as a Reappraisal of the Zion Tradition and Its Reception in Galatians 4:26. CBQ 69 (3), 473-486.         [ Links ]

Malina, B. J. 1993a. 'Authoritarianism' in: Pilch & Malina (eds), 12-19. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Malina, B. J. 1993b. 'Gratitude (Debt of)' in: Pilch & Malina (eds), 92-94. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Malina,B. J. 1993c. 'Patronage' in: Pilch & Malina (eds), 151-155. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Mays, J. L. 1994. Interpretation. A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: John Knox Press.         [ Links ]

McNutt, P. Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel. Accessed: 2008/02/21.         [ Links ]

Nel, P. 2006. Deuteronomistic ideology of land: from experience to abstract metaphor. OTE 19 (1), 171-182.         [ Links ]

Neyrey, J. H. 1993. 'Dyadism' in: Pilch & Malina (eds), 53-56. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Pilch, J. J. 1993. 'Domination Orientation' in: Pilch & Malina (eds), 48-53. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Pilch, J. J. Interpreting the Bible with the Value Orientations Model: history and prospects. Accessed: 2008/02/20.         [ Links ]

Pilch, J. J. & Malina B. J. 1993. Handbook of Biblical Social Values. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Plevnik, J. 1993. 'Honor/Shame' in: Pilch & Malina (eds.), 106-115. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.         [ Links ]

Prinsloo, W. S. 1991. Psalm 87: Jahwe het Sion uitverkies, maar die vreemde volkere behoort ook aan Hom. NGTT 32, 522-530.         [ Links ]

Schaefer, K. 2001. 'Psalms' in: Cotter, D. W. (ed.), Berit Olam Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry, 213-214. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press.         [ Links ]

Strayer, J. R. 1956. 'Feudalism in Western Europe' in: Coulbourn, R. (ed.), Feudalism in History, 15-25. Princeton: Princeton University Press.         [ Links ]

Strayer, J. R. & Coulborn, R. 1956. 'The Idea of Feudalism' in: Coulbourn, R. (ed.), Feudalism in History, 3-11. Princeton: Princeton University Press.         [ Links ]

Tate, M. E. 1998. Psalms 51-100. Dallas: Word Books. (Word Biblical Commentary 20.         [ Links ])

Terrien, S. 2003. The Psalms. Strophic Structure and Theological Commentary. Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans.         [ Links ]

Tromp, N. 2001. Psalmen 51-100. Leuven: Vlaamse Bijbelstichting.         [ Links ]

Van der Ploeg, J. P. M. 1974. Psalmen Deel II. Roermond: J. J. Romen & Zonen.         [ Links ]

Weiser, A. 1962. The Psalms. A Commentary. London: SCM Press.         [ Links ]

Wright, C. J. H. 1983. Living as the People of God. The relevance of Old Testament Ethics. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press.         [ Links ]



Nicolene Rautenbach
Department of Ancient Languages
University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002
Contact e-mail:



1 This paper was delivered at a seminar at the University of Pretoria as part of the requirements for the degree of MA in Ancient Languages and Cultural Studies.

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons