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"THE most direct and striking reminiscence of the Babylonish exile in the whole Psalter" (Professor Alexander). The psalm divides into two parts. First, we are given a picture of the unhappy condition of the exiles, drawn so evidently from the life, that almost every commentator has felt it must have been painted by one of those who had experienced the reality (Psalms 137:1-4). Then the writer lays bare to us the predominant feelings of his own heart. These are two—intense love for Jerusalem (Psalms 137:5, Psalms 137:6); and intense hatred of Israel's and Jehovah's principal foes, Edom and Babylon (Psalms 137:7-9). The two parts are strongly contrasted. "The plaintive sweetness, which (in the first) melted us into tears, is overpowered (in the second)by a crash of discords" (Cheyne).
By the rivers of Babylon The Euphrates and the canals derived from it, which were many, and filled with running, not stagnant, water. These would present themselves to the exiles as "rivers." There we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. The exiles had their leisure hours—they were not kept by their masters at hard work continually. During these leisure hours they naturally "sat down" by the rivers of Babylon, as the most pleasant and attractive places. They brought their harps with them (Psalms 137:2), with some idea, perhaps, of indulging in mournful strains. Grief, however, overpowered them—Zion came to their recollection-and they could do nothing but weep.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. The superfluous "harps" were "hung" up upon the trees that grew by the watercourses. These are called "willows," or, according to some, "poplars," but were probably of a different species from any of the trees that grew in Palestine. The chief Babylonian tree was the palm, which grew in the greatest luxuriance along the courses of all the streams. Tamarisks, poplars, and acacias were also common, but true "willows" hardly appear to have ever been a product of the country. The 'arabah of our author was probably either a poplar or a tamarisk.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; literally, words of song. The oppressors break into the retired gathering of their captives, and "require of them a song"—demand roughly and rudely to be entertained with the foreign music, which is perhaps sweeter than their own, or at any rate more of a novelty. And they that wasted us required us mirth. Not only was "a song" wanted but a joyous song - one that would wake feelings of mirth and gladness in those who heard it. Saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion; literally, sing us frown a song of Zion. The captives had, no doubt, spoken of the joyous strains which they had been wont to pour forth in their own city upon festive occasions. Their conquerors demand a specimen, but are repulsed with the words of the next verse.
How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? The "songs of Zion" are Jehovah's songs, used in his worship, suited only for religious occasions. It would be desecration to sing them "in a strange land," among strange people, not to call forth devotional sentiment, but to gratify curiosity.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; literally, let my right hand forget; but the words supplied in the Authorized Version are necessary to bring out the sense, which is, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, so far as to desecrate thy sacred songs by making them an entertainment for the heathen, may I never have power to strike a note again!"
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Let me be deprived of the power of song. What was wished in the preceding verso with respect to the power of instrumental performance is here wished with respect to the vocal organs. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. This seems to be the true sense, and is equivalent to "If I prefer not Jerusalem above aught else."
Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; rather, remember, O Lord, to the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem. "The day of Jerusalem" is the day of her fall, when Edom took part with her enemies, and rejoiced at her destruction (see Lamentations 4:21, Lamentations 4:22; Ezekiel 25:12; Ezekiel 35:5; Obadiah 1:10-14). The psalmist prays God to "remember" this to Edom, and requite it upon her (comp. Psalms 132:1, where the same expression is used in a good sense). Who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof; i.e. "destroy the city utterly—leave not one stone upon another." The enmity between Edom and Israel was of the intensest character (see 1 Kings 11:15, 1Ki 11:16; 1 Chronicles 18:12; Jeremiah 49:7-22; Amos 1:11, Amos 1:12; Malachi 1:3-5).
O daughter of Babylon; i.e. O nation of the Babylonians (comp. Isaiah 47:1, Isaiah 47:5; Psalms 9:14, etc.). Who art to be destroyed; literally, thou desolated one. The desolation of Babylon began with its capture by Cyrus, but was not completed for many centuries. In the Archaemenian period it was one of the chief cities of the empire. Even under the Parthians it was still a flourishing town. But from the time of Isaiah's prophecy (Isaiah 13:1-22) it was a doomed city, and in the eyes of a devout Jew already "desolate." Happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us; i.e. happy shall he be that completes thy destruction, and the destruction of thy people. He will be the instrument for carrying out God's vengeance.
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones; i.e. that brings on thee the worst calamities of war (see 2 Kings 8:12; Isa 12:1-6 :16-18; Hosea 10:14; Hosea 13:16; Nahum 3:10).
Incongruity in religion.
The psalm brings before us in very vivid color—
I. THE DARK SHADOW CAST BY A GREAT GOOD. Patriotism is an excellent thing, and we are all of us glad and thankful to belong to a land of light and liberty. We would not, on any account, forego so great an advantage, so valuable a privilege. But how much suffering that blessing may entail! Who can measure the intensity of the humiliation and distress which the children of Israel endured when they were torn from their native land, or when they were made to feel their subjection in the streets or the fields of Babylon? They "wept when they remembered Zion." The very beauties of its situation (Psalms 48:2), as contrasted with the dreary levels before their eyes; the very fullness of its privileges, as contrasted with the privations to which they were then submitting, filled their souls with grief. The richer our treasure, the severer our loss; the deeper and stronger our love, the keener and the more sustained our sorrow. "Our affections bring great afflictions, but they are well worth the cost." If we are wise we shall be more than content to pay that price for so great a good. For these sorrows are sacred; they are softening, and they are purifying; they provide the best opportunity for filial resignation; they draw us to God in hallowing communion, and in the prayer which brings down a large blessing from his Holy Spirit.
II. THE LIMITS OF THE MOSAIC CIVILIZATION. No doubt the Law given by Moses was a civilizing institution, and made Israel much wiser and worthier in every way than that people would otherwise have been. But it left much to be desired. Among ether things it left its disciples unredeemed from the cruelties (or many of them) practiced in war. No Christian writer could, with any sort of propriety or consistency, have written the last verse of this psalm. It pains and shocks us as we read it. We conclude that the world wanted another Teacher, whose spirit should inspire, and whose principles should guide and control, his disciples in their treatment of friend and foe. It is not, indeed, that passages could not be found in the Law enjoining mercy; it is that there was needed One who by his own life, and by his gracious Spirit, and by his sovereign power, should be able to influence and inspire his followers with his own thought, and be able to lead them along a higher and nobler way.
III. SOME MARKED INCONGRUITIES IN OUR EXPERIENCE. "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" How shall we sing the happy songs of Zion when we are in the power of the enemy, away from the city that we love, the sanctuary which is our spiritual home? There are "strange lands" to the Christian man, in which the sounds that are native to the soil cannot be expected to be heard. There are spiritual conditions in which the graces of Christian character will not flourish, but will die away. Of such are pride, selfishness, covetousness, self-indulgence, uncharitableness. It would be quite an incongruous thing for thankfulness, helpfulness, piety, forbearance, anticipation of the heavenly kingdom, consecration to the cause of Christ and man, to abound in such "strange lands" as these. When we are called upon to practice the graces of Christian character, and when we find ourselves quite indisposed to do so, when any one of these is uncongenial to us, we should seriously inquire of ourselves where we stand. Are we on Immanuel's ground? Are we on the King's highway? Or are we in some strange land which belongs to the enemy? Is there good reason why we should return, promptly and penitently, to the kingdom from which we have been carried away captive? This is the first thing to do; and the way home is open to all earnest souls.
HOMILIES BY S. CONWAY
Fruits of exile from God.
It was Israel's, or rather Judah's, exile from Zion and Jerusalem that this psalm commemorated; but the fruits that exile bore, and which are here told of, set forth the fruits of the yet sadder exile from God which many a soul has known.
I. THE MEMORY OF WHAT HAS BEEN LOST IS FULL OF SORROW. (Psalms 137:1.) "Yea, we sat down and wept." And if, as with God's ancient people, we through sin are banished from God, then, when we remember, we too shall weep.
II. MUSIC, MIRTH, AND SONG ARE IMPOSSIBLE. (Psalms 137:2-4.) How could Israel sing? How can we under like conditions? He who has once known, yet more if he has lived for a long time in, the joy of God's love, when he loses that, loses all joy along with it. How can he sing the Lord's song, etc. (Psalms 137:4)?
III. PASSIONATE DEVOTION AND DESIRE TOWARDS WHAT HAS BEEN LOST FILL THE SOUL. (Psalms 137:5, Psalms 137:6.) His one desire is to return back; his most fervent vows that never, never will he again forget.
IV. BURNING HATRED OF THOSE WHO HAVE WROUGHT THIS WRONG TAKES POSSESSION OF HIM. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Corinthians 7:11.) In this sense we may use language which towards earthly enemies would be contrary to the spirit of Christ.—S.C.
The Lord's song in a strange land.
What a wonderful mixture this psalm contains of tears and tragedy, of pathetic sorrow and fiery patriotism! We can almost certainly fix the time when it was written. The first party of exiles had just returned from Babylon, and had come to Jerusalem, where everything on which their gaze rested—the universal desolation and ruin—reminded them of what the spoiler had done, and brought back to their memory the horrors of those dreadful days when Jerusalem was besieged, and at length captured and destroyed. The psalm tells also of the land of their exile—their widespread plains watered by the artificial canals and rivers, in the construction and maintenance of which it is probable that many of the exiles were employed. These were the rivers of Babylon, by which they sat down and wept. And he speaks of the exiles themselves; how their captors bade them sing one of those songs for which their land was famous; but they would not. Their captors wanted to be amused, and thought that these Jews should help them by their song. But the sorrow and shame of their exile had smitten their hearts too terribly, and stifled all their power of song. All that there they were capable of was the fierce and almost frantic prayer for revenge with which the psalm concludes. But the text has wider application than merely to those sad circumstances which first called it forth. Hence—
I. INQUIRE WHAT IS MEANT BY "THE LORD'S SONG." Not only one inspired utterance, however beautiful or sacred, but all such psalms and hymns as they had been wont to sing in their happy homeland. And the Lord's song includes those many sweet songs which may have no words, but are sung in the heart of God's people, to their great joy and help. And in every case, whether with or without words, it is a song of the heart; the lips alone can never sing the Lord's song, for such song is not alone to the Lord, but from the Lord, inspired by his Spirit and taught by his grace.
II. WHEREFORE CANNOT THIS SONG BE SUNG IN A STRANGE LAND? It was not from mere sullenness that the exiled Jews refused to sing; nor from that pride in which the unhappy often entrench themselves; nor because they had lost all hope in God: they had not. But it was because of what Babylon itself was to them.
1. Babylon was "a strange land." In its merely physical aspects it was utterly different from all they had been accustomed to; but how much more in all its moral, social, and spiritual character! Hence there settled down upon them the deep depression and sadness which the sense of complete isolation and loneliness ever produces. Tears, but not songs, abound in such circumstances. It is ill to be separate, to stand apart, especially by our own will.
2. There was no sympathy, but a chill, designed contempt and dislike of all they held most precious. Let any one choose such surroundings, the Lord's song will be quickly silenced.
3. Babylon was the embodiment of the world-spirit. Splendid, proud, magnificent; but hard, cruel, godless. That spirit and the Lord's song cannot coexist.
4. Was full of idols. See the prophet's scorn of them (Psalms 135:15, etc.). And human hearts are yet haunted by idols not a few; but if so, then the Lord's song cannot be sung.
5. Was full of sin, corrupt to the core. But the heart that holds to sin, any sin, silences the Lord's song.—S.C.
A horrible kind of happiness.
Can the sentiments of our text, and of these verses, and the many like them in these psalms, be justified? Are they not wicked, cruel, unchristian, and so to be utterly condemned by all good men? Such questions are continually asked. But let it be remembered—
I. OPPRESSION DRIVES EVEN WISE MEN MAD. These terrible utterances are the product of a cruelly oppressed and suffering people. Let us put ourselves in their place.
II. THAT IT IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, NOT OF THE NEW. Now, the Old Testament taught:
1. That God's retributions, both to the good and evil, were given here and now, in temporal blessing or the reverse. They had no clear knowledge of a future life, still less of any judgment to come.
2. That the Divine character was to be known by these retributions, and God's honor maintained, and the true religion upheld by them.
3. Hence they were told to invoke curses on the wicked, and they would feel it wrong not to do so. How else could God be glorified?
4. The prosperity of the wicked was a great trial to them. It seemed so to dishonor God and to imperil his truth in the world. Hence:
5. We are net justified in attributing these utterances to mere personal spite and revenge. Their motive was far other and higher.
III. THAT ALL WAR IS THE PRACTICAL CARRYING OUT OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. Even with all the alleviations and mitigations of modern and more Christian days, war does the very things which in these psalms many think so wrong.
IV. THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO DREADFUL THINGS WITHOUT BEING POSSESSED OF A DREADFUL SPIRIT. Many men deem war to be at times necessary and just; and surely it can be so, and often has been; and they have urged such war as in the sight and under the fear of God. The magistrate is not to bear the sword in vain, but to remember that he is the minister of God.
V. RECOGNIZE OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. And rejoice in it and spread it far and wide. For this gospel not only takes away all excuse for the vindictive spirit, but ever tends to lessen the occasions which provoke it. Let it but spread, and there shall be no more such horrible happiness as that which our text seems to contemplate and approve.—S.C.
HOMILIES BY R. TUCK
The tears of memory.
"Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion." The rivers of Babylon and the district were the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the branch streams of those rivers. The writer of the psalm is not in Babylon, but is recalling to mind what happened when he was there. It is not easy to recognize the mood of the psalmist when he composed this psalm. Usually it is assumed that there was first a gentle and plaintive mood, and then a fierce and revengeful mood; but perhaps it is true to the weaknesses of human nature to regard it throughout as a bitter retrospect. The mood is one of intensity, excitement, and anger in the remembrance of sufferings and humiliations that had been endured. There is a weeping of anger and of remembered sufferings and humblings; as there is a weeping when enduring humiliations in the thought of bygone joys, relations, and privileges.
I. MEMORY MAY AFFECTINGLY RECALL LOST PRIVILEGES. The psalmist seems to himself to be again in Babylon, again oppressed with the burden of the lost national liberty and the present national bondage. He no longer belonged to a nation. He no longer had any capital city. He no longer had any center for the religious life. The kingdom was broken up, the city was desolated, the temple lay in ruins, the nation was scattered, and the people were virtual slaves to severe and even cruel taskmasters. Some sullenly endured their fate; but to some every remembrance of the old days was a cutting pain—it either made them angry and forced bitter tears, or in softer moods it broke them down and caused tears of regret. How often the memory of the past still brings pain and tears! There is so much in it that might have been otherwise. Often our memory-tears are bitter. Only in good moods are they gentle and tender. They may be, they should be, tears of thankful, trustful love.
II. MEMORY MAY AFFECTINGLY RECALL THE CAUSE OF LOST PRIVILEGES. It was only an imperfect memory that recalled a desolated Zion. There was something more than loss and woe to remember—there was the sin of the nation that caused the loss, and was punished in the woe. And it is only when memory of past sorrows includes the sin that brought the sorrows, that memory brings worthy and healing tears.—R.T.
It is remarked that there are now no willows in Babylon. The name ereb is also applied to the tamarisk and poplar. But the drooping form of the willow branches and leaves is specially suggestive of tears. It is clear that a tree growing on the river-banks, and hanging over the stream, is meant. The weeping-willow is known as the Salix Babylonica. Of this tree Evelyn says, "Its branches being long, slender, and pendulous, makes it proper to be planted upon the banks of rivers and ponds and over springs; the leaves, also, are long and narrow; and when any mist or dew falls, a drop of water is seen hanging at their extremities, which, together with their hanging branches, cause a most lugubrious appearance."
I. THE WILLOW IS A TYPE OF THE WEEPING OF HUMILIATION, There is a weeping of love, and a weeping of joy; but these imply an uplifted face. Love looks through its tears into the face of its loved one. Joy lifts up its head, and mingles smiles with tears. Neither of these looks down, so neither can be fairly represented by the down-drooping willow. There is a weeping of simple grief and sorrow, that has in it no sense of sin, and this does not look down, because there is always trust and hope in the heart, and behind the tears; and the soul is not afraid to let the merciful Father see the tears. The weeping-willow is no fitting type of that holy or sympathetic weeping. But there is a weeping of conviction, of humiliation under God's judgment on sin, and of penitence, whose essential feature is down-looking; the whole man is bent down, flagging in shame and hopelessness and fear. He dare not look up. That kind of weeping is well represented by the willow, which is wholly bent down, branch and leaf ever hanging down.
II. THE WILLOW IS A TYPE OF THE WEEPING OF INSINCERITY, A poet-souled man has pointed out that the willow, which looks so meek, as if always in tears, is really beholding itself and admiring itself in the mirror of the water. And much religious weeping is no better than sentimentality and self-seeking. It is attitude to attract attention, and win praise of piety. Our Lord warned us of such insincerity when he said, "Thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast." Sincere weeping looks out and looks up; it tries not to look down.—R.T.
A reasonable call for songs.
We fix attention on the fact that the people of Babylon expected the religion of Jehovah to be a joyous religion. They may have asked for a song partly as a taunt, but below the taunt must have been the association of the Jehovah-religion with harp and song. And men were right in this. The religion of Jehovah, and of Jehovah-Jesus, ought to make hearts glad: we should "sing on our heavenward way." Dr. Barry thinks the call for a song may have meant "an exhortation to forget a lost home, and make the best of a new country;" but the psalmist was in no mood to respond to such an exhortation.
I. THE CAPTIVES MIGHT HAVE SUNG EVEN IN CAPTIVITY. They would if their faith in God had mastered their circumstances. It is not much to say for them that they were so overwhelmed by their sorrows, and so crushed by their humiliations, that they could not even sing a song. True, their Zion was a desolation; but God, their God, still lived. True, they were under his chastening hand; but then he only chastens for our profit. True, a long waiting-time was before them; but then God's promises never fail. It was not praiseworthy that they should hang up their harps on the willows for the wind to make melancholy music through them. They had better have kept them in their hands, and cheered each other with enlivening strains of trust and hope. And as to the people of Babylon, they would have honored God much more if they had responded to the request brightly and cheerfully, put their own feelings aside, and sung them songs of high confidence and joy and hope. These captives who refused a reasonable request did nothing praiseworthy. A Christian's harp has no business on the willows.
II. THE CAPTIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SING IF THEY HAD THOUGHT LESS OF THEIR OWN AFFAIRS. Their patriotism was self-centeredness; and that always makes people feel weak and miserable. It led these captives to neglect their duty. They were put in Babylon to witness for God to the Babylonians; and instead, they made themselves miserable and helpless by brooding over their miseries, so that when a song was asked for in honor of Jehovah, they could not sing. If they had thought about God, and less about themselves and about their country, they would have found the joy of serving even by "singing the Lord's song in a strange land."—R.T.
Psalms 137:5, Psalms 137:6
"Let my right hand forget," i.e. be numbed into deadness. The psalm expresses the feelings of an exile who has but just returned from the land of his captivity. He is oppressed with the desolation around him. His heart is heavy and bitter with the memory of wrong and insult from which he has but lately escaped. "He takes his harp, which he could not sound at the bidding of his conqueror by the waters of Babylon; and now with faltering hand he sweeps the strings, first in low, plaintive, melancholy cadence pouring out his griefs, and then with a loud crash of wild and stormy music, answering to the wild and stormy numbers of his verse, he raises the paean of vengeance over his foes" (Perowne). "Jerusalem is still the center round which the exiled sons of Judah build, in imagination, the mansions of their future greatness, in whatever part of the world he may live, the heart's desire of a Jew is to be buried in Jerusalem."
I. THE LOVE OF COUNTRY MAY TAKE THE PLACE OF LOVE OF GOD. Not all patriots are personal servants of God. Indeed, it is curious to observe that, as a matter of fact, active patriots have seldom been actively religious men; and interest in God has tended to shunt men aside from interest in country, some pious sections even going so far as to withdraw altogether from political and even social life. It is, however, the other side of the matter to which attention is now drawn. Supreme interest in the material things of patriotism tends to loosen the hold on a man of spiritual things. The patriotism of the returned exiles seems very beautiful; but it was a most serious peril to them, and proved so engrossing that patriotism, not Divine service, became the great national characteristic during the age of the Maccabees. Men fought for Jerusalem, not for God.
II. THE LOVE OF COUNTRY MAY EXPRESS THE LOVE OF GOD. Of this it is possible to take David as an example. There could not be a worthier instance of patriotism, but back of the patriotism, and its inspiration, was the love of God. His country was God's country; and service to his country was service to God. And this relation he kept up right through his life, and so he stands, in the historic page, the supreme example of "sanctified patriotism."—R.T.
The bad moods of good people.
The psalm closes with what must be regarded as the unrestrained utterance of over-excitement. The psalmist was in a bad mood; perhaps it did him good, and relieved undue strain, for him thus to utter his bad feelings. But no devices of explanation should be allowed to relieve our conviction that they were very bad and unworthy feelings; and for us the record can but be a warning against cherishing sentiments of vengeance. "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." If we have the spirit that Christ taught us to cherish, we shall not even pray against our enemies, we shall only pray for them. The last verse of the psalm is wholly repulsive to one who can take the Christian standpoint. With this denunciation of Edom should be compared the Book of Obadiah, and especially Obadiah 1:10-15. "It is a fierce outburst of natural resentment, which borrows almost a grandeur from the religious fervor, the devoted patriotism, from which it springs. The psalm is a wonderful mixture of soft melancholy and fiery patriotism."
I. GOOD PEOPLE MAY HAVE BAD MOODS. It is a fact that they do have such moods, and we must make the best that we can of the fact. We should read the Psalms much more sympathetically, and be much less distressed by some of their intense expressions, if we simply accepted the fact. We never judge our friends fairly unless we take into account their bad moods, and slip kindly over what they say at such times.
II. GOOD PEOPLE MAY BE RELIEVED BY SPEAKING OUT WHEN IN THEM BAD MOODS. It is better to speak out, even dreadful things, than to keep brooding over them in our hearts. Not only is feeling thus relieved, but pitifulness and considerate gentleness is called forth from others. We kindly say, "Poor fellow, he is not quite himself; bear with him awhile." And oftentimes speaking out reveals a man to himself, and becomes the very best cure of his bad mood. One fully expects that the psalmist must have been ashamed of himself when he had said out these dreadful things. How pitiful towards him God must have been!
III. GOOD PEOPLE MUST NEVER KEEP LONG IN THEIR BAD MOODS. It is precisely there that men so often go wrong. Storm-times ought to pass. Passionate moments leave but a light impress. But keep bitter feeling; brood over wrongs; cherish revenge, and the soul must inevitably be deteriorated, and the vision of God must be darkened. We must never forget that he loves our enemies.—R.T.
HOMILIES BY C. SHORT
By the rivers of Babylon, etc.
"The psalm expresses the feelings of an exile who has but just returned from the land of his captivity."
I. THE LOSS OF LIBERTY TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL.
1. Brings after it the most despondent sorrow. They hung their harps on the willows, and sat down and wept.
2. Blights the exercise of the highest gifts. They could not sing the joyful songs of Zion—the songs of the Lord. An enslaved people lose the power, as a rule, which they had when they were free.
3. Converts the world into a place of exile. Home is lost, and the world becomes a "strange," mysterious place.
II. FIDELITY TO THE HOLIEST MEMORIES AND HOPES. "If I forget thee." We cannot blot out from the heart the holiest things, however much they may be mutilated and injured by ourselves or by others. The most eloquent writings in all languages have been pleas for liberty and religion, when nations have been struggling to recover or attain their liberty.—S.
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Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Psalms 137". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19