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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 137

Verses 1-9

A lifelike memorial of the bitter experiences of exile concluding with (a) a strong expression of patriotism, and (b) an outburst of hatred against the enemies of Jerusalem. Probably written soon after the exile.

1. Rivers of Babylon] The river was the Euphrates, from which branched off a network of canals, on whose banks grew the willows here referred to. These were a species of poplar.

2. Harps] the Kinnor was the most ancient kind of harp, properly a lyre.

3. A song] lit. ’the words of a song.’ Sing us, etc.] probably in mockery. Hebrew music would not be so good as Babylonian.

5. Forget her cunning] i.e. her skill in playing on the harp.

7. The children of Edom in the day] RV ’against the children of Edom the day,’ i.e. the day of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (2 Kings 25:8), when Edom rejoiced at its fall: see Obadiah 1:10-12.

8. Who art to be destroyed] i.e. doomed to destruction.

9. Stones] RV ’rocks.’ We cannot defend this terrible curse, but the cruelties of these Eastern oppressors were a provocation which fortunately we cannot now realise.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 137". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.