2. Maré : Psalm 137 OTE 23/1 (2010), 116-128 119 The psalm not only relates the story of a specific period in Israel’s history, but it was probably utilised in the cult as an observance of lament by the exiles. Scoffers are not to be compiled with. The psalm is ascribed to David, but it is also designated for the … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 30" Those that are confederate with the persecutors of good people, and stir them up, and set them on, and are pleased with what they do, shall certainly be called to an account for it against another day, and God will remember it against them. 6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Book of Tehillim (Psalms): Psalms: Table of Contents. This was very barbarous; also profane, for no songs would serve but the songs of Zion. Psalm 137. Observe. They had carried them away captive from their own land and then wasted them in the land of their captivity, took what little they had from them. Her he calls unhappy, but him happy who pays her as she has served us. We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees. ), Jerusalem was not totally destroyed on that occasion, despite the plea of the Edomites that it be "rased.". Music makes some people melancholy. An imprecation of this type invoked against innocent and helpless little children is contrary to the word of Christ and the holy apostles; yet this is an accurate statement of the attitude that was common among the warring peoples of antiquity. 4. These short commentaries are based on Level A EasyEnglish (about 1200 word vocabulary) by Gordon Churchyard. These are curses upon themselves, applicable in case of their forgetting Jerusalem, or preferring not Jerusalem above their chief joy. Observe. 2, of my commentary on the major prophets (Jeremiah), pp. The mournful posture they were in as to their affairs and as to their spirits. Yet perhaps they were faulty in doing this for praising God is never out of season it is his will that we should in every thing give thanks, Isaiah 24:15,16. In 586 B.C., the soldiers from Babylon destroyed the capital city of Judah, Jerusalem. 3. "Remember ... against the children of Edom" (Psalms 137:7). Audio Commentary: Psalm 137 Psalm 137 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. As Amos said of Edom, "His anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever" (Psalms 1:11). Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, "They that led us captive required of us songs. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the phrase has somewhat of a liturgical sense to it, as if the assembled people of Israel said or sung this in response to the direction of the Levites leading singing and worship. But this was not enough to complete their woes they insulted over them: They required of us mirth and a song. 1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. The other is an heavy imprecation and a prophetical denunciation against the enemies of the church, unto the end of the psalm (Psa 137:7-9). They cannot forget Jerusalem, Psalm 137:5,6. Psalm 137:4. O daughter of Babylon — By which he understands the city and empire of Babylon, and the people thereof, who art to be destroyed — Who by God’s righteous and irrevocable sentence, art devoted to certain destruction, and whose destruction is particularly and circumstantially foretold by God’s holy prophets. As a just destruction. 137) invokes God to bring down judgment or punishment on his enemies. And all this was a fruit of the old enmity of Esau against Jacob, because he got the birthright and the blessing, and a branch of that more ancient enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent: Lord, remember them, says the psalmist, which is an appeal to his justice against them. The following lines became their muttered pledges to themselves, perhaps out of the hearing of their tormentors. Psalms 137. "Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock" (Psalms 137:9). This plaintive ode is one of the most charming compositions in the whole Book of Psalms for its poetic power. JOSEPH A ALEXANDER Psalms Commentary (1864) Spurgeon had high praise for Alexander's work writing that it "Occupies a first place among expositions. How stedfastly they resolved to keep up this affection, which they express by a solemn imprecation of mischief to themselves if they should let it fall: "Let me be for ever disabled either to sing or play on the harp if I so far forget the religion of my country as to make use of my songs and harps for the pleasing of Babylon's sons or the praising of Babylon's gods. Title: Psalm 137/Commentary, Author: Mark Dunagan, Name: Psalm 137/Commentary, Length: 5 pages, Page: 1, Published: 2020-09-24 . This psalm of thanksgiving — one of those songs that was composed after its author had come through a rather tight scrape — offers praise to the Lord in response to an experience of deliverance. For once, there is no need for guessing about the occasion of this Psalm. Her he calls unhappy, but him happy who pays her as she has served us. II. 7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. Rashi 's Commentary: Show Hide. The picture that emerges here is one of pity and sympathy for the oppressed. Since there are a number of imprecatory psalms, and since these passages have caused many doubts and questions in the hearts of sincere believers, I thought that we should grapple with the … The verse, אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי , “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither,” is sung at traditional Jewish weddings. It couldn’t be instruction for living in the same vein as “love thy neighbor”. It may also have been written many years into the exile. Psalms 137 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary is one of the most respected interdenominational commentaries ever written. NASB E-Prime R.S.V. The first three verses describe the situation. 137) invokes God to bring down judgment or â¦ It was very profane and impious. 2. Christ prophesied that the same atrocities would be executed upon Israel herself in the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:44). The New Century Bible Commentary: Psalms 73-150 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972) Broyles, Craig C., New International Biblical Commentary: Psalms (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999. In these psalms, the author (usually David, although not in Ps. Commentary for Psalms 137 . (Psalms 137:4). For what has that Babylon done to us? The patience wherewith they bore these abuses, Psalm 137:4. It is sunk like a millstone into the sea, never to rise. The Religion team sees Psalm 137: 7-9 appear in virtually any conversation on an article that mentions the Bible or one of our many pieces of scriptural commentary. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, If I prefer not Jerusalem Above my chief joy.". Young's Compare all. In prayer, in discourse, in conversation. It argues a base and sordid spirit to upbraid those that are in distress either with their former joys or with their present griefs, or to challenge those to be merry who, we know, are out of tune for it. 2. Brueggemann, Walter, The Message of the Psalms A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1984) Clifford, Richard J., Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 73-150 … They laid by their instruments of music (Psalm 137:2): We hung our harps upon the willows. 140. For our captors demanded a song from us. 5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Psalms is divided into five books : Psalms 1-41, which witness to David's life and faith; Psalms 42-72, a group of historical writings; Psalms 73-99, ritual psalms; Psalms 90-106, reflecting pre-captivity sentiment and history; and Psalms 107-150, dealing with the captivity and return to Jerusalem. And perhaps it is with reference to this that the man of sin, the head of the New-Testament Babylon, is called a son of perdition, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. They remembered Zion's present desolations, and favoured the dust thereof, which was a good sign that the time for God to favour it was not far off, Psalm 102:13,14. "Happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us" (Psalms 137:8). The very little ones of Babylon, when it is taken by storm, and all in it are put to the sword, shall be dashed to pieces by the enraged and merciless conqueror. III. The Jews bewail their captivity. "Let my right hand forget her skill ... my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth" (Psalms 137:5-6). ", "How shall we sing Jehovah's song in a foreign land? In its whole form of nine verses, the psalm reflects the yearning for Jerusalem as well as hatred for the Holy City's enemies with sometimes violent imagery. 137:0 This is Psalm 137 in the whole book, the 37 th of the third fifty. Psalms 137 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, filling six volumes, provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Bible. 2 of my commentaries on the minor prophets, pp. Note, Those that are glad at calamities, especially the calamities of Jerusalem, shall not go unpunished. This is the same as before, to forget, repeated for the confirmation of it. Thy word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it. The Babylonian slave masters were a cruel, sadistic company of evil men who made sport of the helpless captives, forcing them into actions that appeared mirthful to the captors. Their heads were full of it. Woah. We have already sung in another Psalm, The words of the wicked have prevailed against us. Psalm 137:8-9. Psalms 137 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, filling six volumes, provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Bible. What we love we love to think of. N.A.S.B. Herewith the Psalm closes, Happy, that takes and dashes your little ones against the rock Psalm 136:9. It reflects the sorrows and thoughts of one of the captives, either during the captivity itself, or shortly afterward when the memories of the terrible experience were still fresh in the psalmist's mind. This is not a reference to their inability to sing such songs for their captors. Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. We call the time that the people of Judah were prisoners in Babylon ‘the exile.’ They were not happy there and they wanted to return to Jerusalem. Psalm 137 A sad song. we hung up our lyres. 1706. (See Vol. There was not even a hope of going back to what they remembered. Kidner stated that, "`Tormentors' here is as likely a meaning as most of the others that have been proposed or substituted for this expression, which is found only here in the Bible.". This Psalm records the mourning of the captive Israelites, and a prayer and prediction respecting the destruction of their enemies. In the words here, the Israelites, even in the circumstances of their captivity, still cherished their hatred of the Edomites, calling for God's judgment against them, even along with his judgment of the Babylonians. Each of us must walk in the light we have. How Shall We Sing the Lord âs Song? "Remember, O Jehovah, against the children of Edom. ... Psalm 137:5-6 â¦ 8:12; Isa. No songs would serve them but the songs of Zion, with which God had been honoured so that in this demand they reflected upon God himself as Belshazzar, when he drank wine in temple-bowls. This is adding affliction to the afflicted. It is a clear and judicious explanation of the text, and cannot be dispensed with. Every thing is beautiful in its season. It was not mere secular âmirthâ khat was requested in ver, 3; but, as the parallelism shows, the sacred gladness audible in the songs of Zion, which were at the same time the sowgs of Jehovah. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required [â¦] The psalmist penned this poem while â¦ Their hearts were full of it. 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also wept when we remembered Zion. proud and secure as thou art, we know well, by the scriptures of truth, thou art to be destroyed, or (as Dr. Hammond reads it) who art the destroyer. PSALM 137 OVERVIEW. Psalm 137. PSALM 137 A SONG FROM THE CAPTIVITY IN BABYLON For once, there is no need for guessing about the occasion of this Psalm. 1. rivers of Babylonâthe name of the city used for the whole country. 137. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. They had laid by their harps, and would not resume them, no, not to ingratiate themselves with those at whose mercy they lay they would not answer those fools according to their folly. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. Herewith the Psalm closes, Happy, that takes and dashes your little ones against the rock Psalm 136:9. Footnotes: Psalm 137 A singer refuses to sing the peopleâs sacred songs in an alien land despite demands from Babylonian captors (Ps 137:1â4).The singer swears an oath by what is most dear to a musicianâhands and tongueâto exalt Jerusalem always (Ps 137:5â6).The Psalm ends with a prayer that the old enemies of Jerusalem, Edom and Babylon, be destroyed (Ps 137:7â9). Psalm 137 is a hymn expressing the yearnings of the Jewish people during their Babylonian exile. Psalms 137:2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. It is a mournful psalm, a lamentation and the Septuagint makes it one of the lamentations of Jeremiah, naming him for the author of it. All other rights reserved. Bibliography InformationHenry, Matthew. Those that rejoice in God do, for his sake, make Jerusalem their joy, and prefer it before that, whatever it is, which is the head of their joy, which is dearest to them in this world. Category » Book of Tehillim (Psalms) Join our mailing list. As vinegar upon nitre, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart. (5-9) 1-4 Their enemies had carried the Jews captive from their own land. I. 3. It was always in their minds they remembered it they did not forget it, though they had been long absent from it many of them had never seen it, nor knew any thing of it but by report, and by what they had read in the scripture, yet it was graven upon the palms of their hands, and even its ruins were continually before them, which was ann evidence of their faith in the promise of its restoration in due time. Psalm 137 is the 137th psalm of the Book of Psalms, and as such it is included in the Hebrew Bible. The city of Babylon was situated on the Euphrates river, but the plural here probably refers to the great network of canals which had been built for purposes of irrigation. The destroyers shall be destroyed, Revelation 13:10. The historical occasion for that behavior of Edom was apparently the capture of Jerusalem by the Philistines and the Arabians a couple of centuries before the fall of the city to Babylon. It appears that the status of the captive Israelites in Babylon was not unbearable. The chosen people are suffering the captivity in Babylon, enduring the sporting taunts of their enemies, and weeping over their sorrows as they contrasted their status with what it once was in their beloved Jerusalem. They preferred it above their chief joy, and therefore they remembered it and could not forget it. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn: âSing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!â But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a pagan land? Psalms 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Study This × Bible Gateway Plus. In these psalms, the author (usually David, although not in Ps. If it were not inspired it would nevertheless occupy a high place in poesy, especially the former portion of it, which is tender and patriotic to the highest degree. As Rhodes noted, "The date therefore would be sometime between 587 B.C. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Let not those expect to find mercy who, when they had power, did not show mercy. Could it? Their enemies mocked at their sabbaths, Lamentations 1:7. This was very barbarous and inhuman even an enemy, in misery, is to be pitied and not trampled upon. In that sense, it is reminiscent of the opening of the songs of ascents in Psalm 120, where the desire is to be delivered from a hostile foreign environment to travel to Jerusalem, as expressed in other songs of ascents, to be in fellowship with God. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? IV. (See a full discussion of this in Vol. In singing this psalm we must be much affected with the concernments of the church, especially that part of it that is in affliction, laying the sorrows of God's people near our hearts, comforting ourselves in the prospect of the deliverance of the church and the ruin of its enemies, in due time, but carefully avoiding all personal animosities, and not mixing the leaven of malice with our sacrifices. 1983-1999. For our captors demanded a song from us. A lament for fallen Jerusalem - either prophetic or written in captivity. The refreshing altitude of Jerusalem with its mountains pressed upon the memories of the captives sitting and weeping by the canals of Babylon. The land of Babylon was now a house of bondage to that people, as Egypt had been in their beginning. Let my right hand forget her art" (which the hand of an expert musician never can, unless it be withered), "nay, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I have not a good word to say for Jerusalem wherever I am." Their conquerors quartered them by the rivers, with design to employ them there, and keep them to work in their galleys or perhaps they chose it as the most melancholy place, and therefore most suitable to their sorrowful spirits. “The hymnic nature of the first eighteen verses seems to support the claims of Hermann Gunkel and Claus Westermann” (915). New American Standard Version. By the Rivers of Babylon — Al Naharot Bavel (Psalm 137) contains some of the Bible’s most beautiful passages. If they must build houses there (Jeremiah 29:5), it shall not be in the cities, the places of concourse, but by the rivers, the places of solitude, where they might mingle their tears with the streams. Browse Sermons on Psalm 137:1-4. The songs of the captives would have been considered as sport or entertainment by their masters; and the very fact of their hanging their harps on the willows indicates that they unwillingly complied with such demands, muttering to themselves, perhaps, the curses upon themselves and their terrible imprecations upon the enemy. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. Ancient armies had no medical corps, or battalion of nurses, to take care of the infant children of their slaughtered enemies! Psalm 137:9 shocks: “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!”. This is the repayment. As an utter destruction. "By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept. In English it is generally known as "By the rivers of Babylon", which is how its first words are translated in the King James Version.It is Psalm 136 in the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate versions of the Bible. PSALMS RESOURCES Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals. There was indeed a remnant of true Israelites, the faithful believers in God, among the multitudes of the Babylonian captives. Audio Commentary: Psalm 137 Psalm 137 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. That such shameful cruelty and brutality against tiny children was actually executed upon the victims of conquest is a matter of Biblical record (Nahum 3:10). Psalm 137 is one of several psalms called imprecatory psalms. 3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. It was the "words" of the Jewish songs which the captors wished to hear, because the poor status of the captives was a stark and embarrassing contrast to the triumphant words of the hymns of the Chosen People. Book of Tehillim (Psalms): Chapter 137. If this situation was common when this song was written, it would explain this line. Commentary on Psalm 137:5-9 (Read Psalm 137:5-9) What we love, we love to think of. My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Psalm 137:1 The Jews just bawled their eyes out. We must not serve common mirth, much less profane mirth, with any thing that is appropriated to God, who is sometimes to be honoured by a religious silence as well as by religious speaking. Psalm 30 frames the struggles of the life of faith within a glorious edifice: the Jerusalem Temple, a powerful cultural icon that “narrates” the faith of the believing community, the enduring presence of God, and the inviolability of God’s promises to Israel. Join. Far be it from us to avenge ourselves, if ever it should be in our power, but we will leave it to him who has said, Vengeance is mine. Psalm 137:6 "If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." 1 When we sat down beside the rivers in Babylon, we were very upset. It is an exclamation of their extreme displeasure in being compelled to do so. Exposition of Psalm 119:137-144. by Charles Spurgeon. They remembered Zion's former glory and the satisfaction they had had in Zion's courts, Lamentations 1:7. They are making way for the enlargement of God's Israel, and happy are those who are in any way serviceable to that. PSALM 137 Ps 137:1-9. View More Titles. The Psalms: 137: The Mourning of the Exiles in Babylon: 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. The implication here is that many did indeed learn to prefer Babylon. They cannot forgive Edom and Babylon, Psalm 137:7-9. The harps they used for their own diversion and entertainment. "Babylon ... thou art to be destroyed" (Psalms 137:8). Their affection to God's house swallowed up their concern for their own houses. 137:9 "dashes our little ones" This was a common practice in the ANE (cf. 2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". The harps they used in God's worship, the Levites' harps. These they did not throw away, hoping they might yet again have occasion to use them, but they laid them aside because they had no present use for them God had cut them out other work by turning their feasting into mourning and their songs into lamentations, Amos 8:10. They did not hide their harps in the bushes, or the hollows of the rocks but hung them up in view, that the sight of them might affect them with this deplorable change. Chapter 137. None escape if these little ones perish. Psalm 137 is one of several psalms called imprecatory psalms. Our Price: $29.99 Save: $15.00 (33%) Buy Now. We find some of them by the river Chebar (Ezekiel 1:3), others by the river Ulai, Daniel 8:2. HINT: Since there are such a large number of resources on this page (>10,000 links) you might consider beginning with the more recent commentaries that briefly discuss all 150 Psalms - Paul Apple (750 pages), Thomas Constable, David Guzik, Bob Utley.For more devotional thoughts consider Spurgeon's The … Psalm 137 Series Contributed by Sam Mccormick on Mar 11, 2020 | 2,390 views. O daughter of Babylon, thou art to be destroyed, Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones. It was indeed a long and terrible trail of blood and suffering that was initiated by our ancestors in Eden who failed to honor God's Word regarding the "forbidden fruit". The psalmist here had evidently read and believed the prophecy of Jeremiah in that tremendous fiftieth chapter describing the utter destruction of Babylon. 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also wept when we remembered Zion. 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