1. Exposition

Why was Zion more important than all the dwelling places of Jacob?

Psalm 87:2 (ESV)

2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.

Jacob is used as a synonym for Israel, since it was the name by which Israel was earlier known (Genesis 32:28).1 Zion (Jerusalem) was more important than all Jewish dwellings because it was the place where the Lord determined to tabernacle (Psalm 74:2; Psalm 78:67–68).2 It is his very presence there that accounts for his preference for Zion over all other dwellings in Israel, not that he does not also love them.3 The special character of Jerusalem is not in the fact that she is surrounded by mountains but that the Lord has set his love upon her.4