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I mention Rahab[a] and Babylon to my followers.[b]
Here are[c] Philistia and Tyre, along with Ethiopia.[d]
It is said of them, “This one was born there.”[e]

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  1. Psalm 87:4 snRahab,” which means “proud one,” is used here as a title for Egypt (see Isa 30:7).
  2. Psalm 87:4 tn Heb “to those who know me” (see Ps 36:10). Apparently the Lord speaks here. The verbal construction (the Hiphil of זָכַר, zakhar, “remember” followed by the preposition ל [lamed] with a substantive) is rare, but the prepositional phrase is best understood as indicating the recipient of the announcement (see Jer 4:16). Some take the preposition in the sense of “among” and translate, “among those who know me” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). In this case these foreigners are viewed as the Lord’s people and the psalm is interpreted as anticipating a time when all nations will worship the Lord (see Ps 86:9) and be considered citizens of Zion.
  3. Psalm 87:4 tn Heb “Look.”
  4. Psalm 87:4 tn Heb “Cush.”
  5. Psalm 87:4 tn Heb “and this one was born there.” The words “It is said of them” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarification and stylistic purposes (see v. 5). Those advocating the universalistic interpretation understand “there” as referring to Zion, but it seems more likely that the adverb refers to the nations just mentioned. The foreigners are identified by their native lands.