Psalm 87:5
And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) And of Zion . . .—This verse must be taken as antithetical to the preceding. The poet claims a prouder boast for natives of Jerusalem, because it was established by the Most High. Render, But of Zion it is said, “This man and that (literally, man and man) was born in her, and her the Most High established.”

Psalm 87:5. Of Zion — Concerning the church of God, whether composed of Jews or Gentiles, it shall be said — It shall be mentioned by God, and acknowledged by men, as a great and wonderful work of Jehovah, that this and that man was born in her — That is, persons of this and that nation: not only a few of one nation, as formerly, but now multitudes of all sorts and conditions, without difference of nations, shall become members of the church, Galatians 4:28; Colossians 3:11. Hebrew, אישׁ ואישׁ, ish veish, man and man, that is, every man, or, all sorts of men, without respect of persons; any man whosover that shall turn to God; so this very phrase, man and man, is rendered Leviticus 17:10; Leviticus 17:13; as, by day and day, is meant every day, or, from day to day, Esther 3:4; Psalm 61:8. And the Highest himself shall establish her — Uphold her to perpetuity, Matthew 16:18. This shall not be a sudden and transient, but a lasting work: and the accession of proselytes, out of divers nations, shall be so far from occasioning discord and division, that it shall contribute greatly to Zion’s strength; for God himself having founded her upon a rock, whatever convulsions and revolutions there may be of states and kingdoms, and however heaven and earth may be shaken, she shall be found among the things which cannot be shaken, but must remain, Haggai 2:6-7; Hebrews 12:27. Zion shall continue in its strength and fertility, because the almighty God is its founder and protector, and will finish the work which he hath begun; the Highest himself who can do it effectually, shall undertake to establish her. 87:4-7 The church of Christ is more glorious and excellent than the nations of the earth. In the records of heaven, the meanest of those who are born again stand registered. When God renders to every man according to his works, he shall observe who enjoyed the privileges of his sanctuary. To them much was given, and of them much will be required. Let those that dwell in Zion, mark this, and live up to their profession. Zion's songs shall be sung with joy and triumph. The springs of the joy of a carnal worldling are in wealth and pleasure; but of a gracious soul, in the word of God and prayer. All grace and consolation are derived from Christ, through his ordinances, to the souls of believers.And of Zion it shall be said - In respect to Zion; or, in honor of Zion. People shall regard it as a privilege to have been born in Zion. They shall speak of such a birth as a marked and honored distinction. "This and that man," etc. Designating them, or pointing them out, as having been born there. Those in a crowd, those passing along, those brought in any way to notice, will be spoken of in reference to their birth in Zion, and will be treated with a degree of favor and esteem, arising from their birth there corresponding to what those receive who are born in Egypt, Babylon, or Tyre. They will not be shunned and avoided on account of their birth as if it were ignoble, but they will be honored for it.

And the Highest himself shall establish her - Will establish Zion, or will give it prosperity and perpetuity. This, too, is what would be "said" respecting Zion by such as should speak of those born there; and it indicates

(a) their conviction that it would be permanent; and

(b) their desire that it might be: that a place so honored and distinguished might be perpetuated.

The practical truths suggested by this verse, as applied to the church, are

(1) that it is a privilege to have been born in connection with the Christian church; to have had a Christian parentage, and to have been early dedicated to God;

(2) that the time will come when this will be a ground of commendation, or when it will be spoken of as an honor, or when it will be regarded as presumptive evidence of a claim to esteem in the eyes of the world, that one was born in the church, was early devoted to God, and was trained up under the influences of religion;

(3) that the character of those who are thus born, and who are thus trained up, will constitute, in the view of the world, evidence of the stability of the church, and proof that God regards it with favor. It has not always been deemed an honor, or a passport to favor, to have been born in the church, but the time will come when this will be universally so; and, even now, no child can fully appreciate the honor and the real advantage of having been born in a family where God is served, and of having been early consecrated to God by parental purpose, by prayer, and by Christian baptism.

5. The writer resumes—

This and that man—literally, "man and man," or many (Ge 14:10; Ex 8:10, 14), or all (Isa 44:5; Ga 3:28).

the highest … her—God is her protector.

Of Zion, i.e. of Jerusalem, or the church of God. It shall be said; it shall be mentioned by God, as was said, Psalm 87:4, and it shall be observed and acknowledged by men, as a great and wonderful work of God.

This and that man, i.e. men of this and that nation, i.e. of every nation, indifferently, Jews or Gentiles, according to that prediction, that Egypt, and Assyria, and Israel should be all joined together, and blessed and owned by God for his people, Isaiah 19:24,25. Heb. Man and man, i.e. every man, or all sorts of men, without difference of nations; as this very phrase man and man, Leviticus 17:10,13, is rendered every or whatsoever man; and as by day and day is meant every day, or from day to day, Esther 1:1,4 Psa 61:8. And the Highest himself shall establish her: and this shall not be a sudden and transient, but a lasting work; Zion shall continue in its strength and fertility because the Almighty God is her Founder and Protector, and will finish the work which he hath begun. And of Zion it shall be said,.... The same with the city of God, the church before commended:

this and that man was born in her; this and that great man, in opposition to a mean person, in the preceding verse: "or a man and man" (d); men of all sorts, and of different nations, Jews and Gentiles, and great numbers of them:

and the Highest himself shall establish her; the church of God, though founded by him, and laid on a sure foundation, on the Rock of ages, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, yet is sometimes fluctuating and unsettled;

it is tossed with tempests, the persecutions of men, the errors and heresies of false teachers, and the contentions and divisions of its own members; and is not always in one place, but is removed from one place to another, and is obliged to flee into the wilderness; but in the latter day it will be established and settled; it will be a tabernacle that shall not be taken down nor removed; but shall be established for ever, Psalm 89:37, and this is the work of God, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, whatever instruments he may make use of, as ministers of the word, and kings of the earth; as it is his work, and his only, to establish particular believers, 2 Corinthians 1:21, so it is his to establish the church in general: or it may be rendered, "he shall establish her on high" (e), which will be the case when she is established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, Isaiah 2:2.

(d) "vir et vir", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis. (e) So the Targum, and Ainsworth.

And of Zion it shall be said, {e} This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

(e) Out of all quarters they will come to the Church, and be counted as citizens.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. The Psalmist speaks, echoing the divine decree from Zion’s point of view, dwelling upon the honour which will accrue to Zion by this accession of citizens.

Yea, of Zion it shall be said,

Each and every one was born in her;

And the Most High himself shall establish her.

Not merely certain specified nations but all the nations shall call Zion their mother-city. One after another comes to be reckoned among her children[49]. Grammatically it is possible to understand each and every one of individuals, but the context is decisive in favour of taking this verse to refer to nations, as Psalm 87:4; Psalm 87:6 do. Each nation, reckoned as a whole, receives the right of citizenship. Individuals receive it as members of their nation.

[49] The reading of the LXX, though due apparently simply to a textual error in the Greek (μήτηρ for μήτι, Vulg. numquid), catches the spirit of the Psalm too strikingly to be passed over: O Mother Sion, shall a man say.

The LXX and some other Ancient Versions render hath founded her; but shall establish her, as Psalm 48:8, is certainly right. Under the protection and blessing of the Sovereign Ruler of the world she grows ever stronger and nobler as each fresh nation joins the universal kingdom of God.Verse 5. - And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her. A repetition, but emphatic, and perhaps intended to assert of individuals what in the preceding verse was said of nations. And the highest himself shall establish her; literally, and he, the highest, shall establish her (comp. Matthew 16:18). The Church is "established" on a Rock, forever. The situation is like that in the Psalms of the time of Saul. The writer is a persecuted one, and in constant peril of his life. He has taken Psalm 86:14 out of the Elohimic Psalm 54:5, and retained the Elohim as a proper name of God (cf. on the other hand Psalm 86:8, Psalm 86:10); he has, however, altered זרים to זרים, which here, as in Isaiah 13:11 (cf. however, ibid. Psalm 25:5), is the alternating word to עריצים. In Psalm 86:15 he supports his petition that follows by Jahve's testimony concerning Himself in Exodus 34:6. The appellation given to himself by the poet in Psalm 86:16 recurs in Psalm 116:16 (cf. Wisd. 9:5). The poet calls himself "the son of Thy handmaid" as having been born into the relation to Him of servant; it is a relationship that has come to him by birth. How beautifully does the Adonaj come in here for the seventh time! He is even from his mother's womb the servant of the sovereign Lord, from whose omnipotence he can therefore also look for a miraculous interposition on his behalf. A "token for good" is a special dispensation, from which it becomes evident to him that God is kindly disposed towards him. לטובה as in the mouth of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 13:31; of Ezra 8:22; and also even in Jeremiah and earlier. ויבשׁוּ is just as parenthetical as in Isaiah 26:11.
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