Psalm 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yes, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows in that land, we hung up our harps. 3 For there, those who led us captive asked us for songs. Those who tormented us demanded songs of joy: “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How can we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill. 6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I don’t remember you; if I don’t prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy. 7 Remember, LORD, against the children of Edom, the day of Jerusalem; who said, “Raze it! Raze it even to its foundation!” 8 Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, he will be happy who rewards you, as you have served us. 9 Happy shall he be, who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–4

Their enemies had carried the Jews captive from their own land. To complete their woes, they insulted over them; they required of them mirth and a song. This was very barbarous; also profane, for no songs would serve but the songs of Zion. Scoffers are not to be compiled with. They do not say, How shall we sing, when we are so much in sorrow? but, It is the Lord’s song, therefore we dare not sing it among idolaters.

Verses 5–9

What we love, we love to think of. Those that rejoice in God, for his sake make Jerusalem their joy. They stedfastly resolved to keep up this affection. When suffering, we should recollect with godly sorrow our forfeited mercies, and our sins by which we lost them. If temporal advantages ever render a profession, the worst calamity has befallen him. Far be it from us to avenge ourselves; we will leave it to Him who has said, Vengeance is mine. Those that are glad at calamities, especially at the calamities of Jerusalem, shall not go unpunished. We cannot pray for promised success to the church of God without looking to, though we do not utter a prayer for, the ruin of her enemies. But let us call to mind to whose grace and finished salvation alone it is, that we have any hopes of being brought home to the heavenly Jerusalem.

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