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Psalm 87

(A psalm and a song by the people of Korah.)

The Glory of Mount Zion

87 Zion was built by the Lord
    on the holy mountain,
and he loves that city
    more than any other place
    in all of Israel.
Zion, you are the city of God,
    and wonderful things
    are told about you.

Egypt,[a] Babylonia, Philistia,
    Phoenicia,[b] and Ethiopia[c]
are some of those nations
    that know you,
    and their people all say,
    “I was born in Zion.”

God Most High will strengthen
    the city of Zion.
    Then everyone will say,
    “We were born here too.”
The Lord will make a list
    of his people,
    and all who were born here
    will be included.

All who sing or dance will say,
    “I too am from Zion.”

Footnotes:

  1. 87.4 Egypt: The Hebrew text has “Rahab,” the name of a monster that stands for Egypt (see Isaiah 30.7).
  2. 87.4 Phoenicia: See the note at 83.7.
  3. 87.4 Ethiopia: See the note at 68.31.
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Isaiah 43:8-13

The Lord Alone Is God

The Lord said:

Bring my people together.
They have eyes and ears,
    but they can’t see or hear.
Tell everyone of every nation
    to gather around.
None of them can honestly say,
    “We told you so!”
If someone heard them say this,
    then tell us about it now.

10 My people, you are my witnesses
    and my chosen servant.
I want you to know me,
to trust me,
and understand
    that I alone am God.
I have always been God;
    there can be no others.

11 I alone am the Lord;
    only I can rescue you.
12 I promised to save you,
    and I kept my promise.
You are my witnesses
that no other god did this.
    I, the Lord, have spoken.
13 I am God now and forever.
No one can snatch you from me
    or stand in my way.

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Romans 11:13-29

13 I am now speaking to you Gentiles, and as long as I am an apostle to you, I will take pride in my work. 14 I hope in this way to make some of my own people jealous enough to be saved. 15 When Israel rejected God,[a] the rest of the people in the world were able to turn to him. So when God makes friends with Israel, it will be like bringing the dead back to life. 16 If part of a batch of dough is made holy by being offered to God, then all of the dough is holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, the rest of the tree is holy too.

17 You Gentiles are like branches of a wild olive tree that were made to be part of a cultivated olive tree. You have taken the place of some branches that were cut away from it. And because of this, you enjoy the blessings that come from being part of that cultivated tree. 18 But don’t think you are better than the branches that were cut away. Just remember that you are not supporting the roots of that tree. Its roots are supporting you.

19 Maybe you think those branches were cut away, so that you could be put in their place. 20 That’s true enough. But they were cut away because they did not have faith, and you are where you are because you do have faith. So don’t be proud, but be afraid. 21 If God cut away those natural branches, couldn’t he do the same to you?

22 Now you see both how kind and how hard God can be. He was hard on those who fell, but he was kind to you. And he will keep on being kind to you, if you keep on trusting in his kindness. Otherwise, you will be cut away too.

23 If those other branches will start having faith, they will be made a part of that tree again. God has the power to put them back. 24 After all, it wasn’t natural for branches to be cut from a wild olive tree and to be made part of a cultivated olive tree. So it is much more likely that God will join the natural branches back to the cultivated olive tree.

The People of Israel Will Be Brought Back

25 My friends, I don’t want you Gentiles to be too proud of yourselves. So I will explain the mystery of what has happened to the people of Israel. Some of them have become stubborn, and they will stay like that until the complete number of you Gentiles has come in. 26 In this way all of Israel will be saved, as the Scriptures say,

“From Zion someone will come
    to rescue us.
Then Jacob’s descendants
    will stop being evil.
27 This is what the Lord
    has promised to do
when he forgives their sins.”

28 The people of Israel are treated as God’s enemies, so that the good news can come to you Gentiles. But they are still the chosen ones, and God loves them because of their famous ancestors. 29 God doesn’t take back the gifts he has given or forget about the people he has chosen.

Footnotes:

  1. 11.15 When Israel rejected God: Or “When Israel was rejected.”
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