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Psalm 137

Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem


By the rivers of Babylon—

there we sat down and there we wept

when we remembered Zion.


On the willows there

we hung up our harps.


For there our captors

asked us for songs,

and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”



How could we sing the L ord’s song

in a foreign land?


If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand wither!


Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy.



Remember, O L ord, against the Edomites

the day of Jerusalem’s fall,

how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!

Down to its foundations!”


O daughter Babylon, you devastator!

Happy shall they be who pay you back

what you have done to us!


Happy shall they be who take your little ones

and dash them against the rock!

7. Remember, O Jehovah! the children of Edom Vengeance was to be executed upon the other neighboring nations which had conspired to destroy Jerusalem, so that they are all doubtless included here under the children of Edom, who are specified, a parr, for the whole, either because they showed more hatred and cruelty than the rest, or that theirs were not so easily borne, considering that they were brethren, and of one blood, being the posterity of Esau, and that the Israelites had, by God’s commandment, spared the Edomites, when they devoted all beside them to destruction. (Deuteronomy 2:4.) It was, therefore, the height of cruelty in them to invite the Babylonians to destroy their own brethren, or fan the flames of their hostility. We are to notice, however, that the Psalmist does not break forth into these awful denunciations unadvisedly, but as God’s herald, to confirm former prophecies. God both by Ezekiel and Jeremiah had predicted that he would punish the Edomites, (Ezekiel 25:13; Jeremiah 49:7; and Lamentations 4:21,22) and Obadiah distinctly gives the reason, answerable to what is here stated — that they had conspired with the Babylonians. (Obadiah 1:11.) We know that God intended in this way to comfort and support the minds of the people under a calamity so very distressing, as that Jacob’s election might have seemed to be rendered frustrate, should his descendants be treated with impunity in such a barbarous manner, by the posterity of Esau. The Psalmist prays, under the inspiration of the Spirit, that God would practically demonstrate the truth of this prediction. Anti when he says, Remember, O Jehovah! he would remind God’s people of the promise to strengthen their belief in his avenging justice, and make them wait for the event with patience and submission. To pray for vengeance would have been unwarrantable, had not God pro-raised it, and had the party against whom it was sought not been reprobate and incurable; for as to others, even our greatest enemies, we should wish their amendment and reformation. The day of Jerusalem,, is a title given by him, and of frequent occurrence in Scripture, to the time of visitation, which had a divinely appointed and definite term.

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