The psalm is about Jerusalem. The psalm calls Jerusalem by the name Zion. Really, Zion was the name of the hill on which Solomon built the temple. The Jews thought that God lived on this hill. It was his home on earth. Because they thought that God was holy (or very, very good) they thought that Zion was holy. So they called the hill of Zion a ‘mountain of holiness.’
But the psalm is really the story of two Jerusalems! Verses 1-3 are about Jerusalem on earth, the capital city of the Jews. Verses 4-6 are about another Jerusalem. We can see this very clearly in the translation from the Greek Bible below. (The translation above is from the Hebrew Bible.) 250 years before Jesus came to the earth, the Jews translated their Bible into Greek.
This meant that more people could understand it. In some places, the two Bibles are different. We do not know why. We do believe that both translations teach us what is true.
The Two Jerusalems
This is a song with music, for the sons of
He loves them more than all the places where
He built – it on the mountains of holiness
The Lord – loves the gates of Zion
He loves them – more than the places where Jacob lives
To the left it is about the Lord God; to the right it is about the Jerusalem on earth, the capital of Israel. The ‘mountains of holiness’ are the hills on which they built Jerusalem. They were holy because they thought that God lived there. ‘The gates of Zion’ means the whole city of Jerusalem. Jacob is another name for Israel, and the land where the Jews lived.
also from Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia.
I will remember that this man was born there.
So the Most High God will make the city strong.
the names of people from different
He will say about those people,
‘They were born there in Zion.’
We think that God is speaking in verses 4-6. He says that everyone that is born in Jerusalem is in his book. What does ‘born in Jerusalem’ mean? We believe that it means ‘born again.’ This is another way of saying ‘becoming a Christian.’ The name of every Christian is in God's book. He will not forget any of them. They are all included in those that say, ‘this man was born there.’ In verse 6, this means ‘I was born there.’
– The singers and musicians must use music that is called ‘All my springs are in you’
– The singers and musicians all say that their springs are in Jerusalem (this means that Jerusalem gives them new life)