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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Psalms 137

Introduction

1The constancy of the Jews in captivity.
7The prophet curses Edom and Babel.

Verse 1

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
A. M. cir. 3463. B.C. cir. 541. (Title.) The author of this beautiful and affecting elegy is unknown, but the occasion is evident; and it was most probably composed during, or near the close of, the captivity
the rivers
Genesis 2:10-14; Ezra 8:21,31; Ezekiel 1:1
there sat
Nehemiah 1:3,4; 2:3; Job 2:12,13; Jeremiah 13:17,18; 15:17; Lamentations 2:10; Ezekiel 3:15
we wept
42:4; 102:9-14; Isaiah 66:10; Jeremiah 51:50,51; Lamentations 1:16; 2:11,18; 3:48,51; Daniel 9:3; 10:2,3; Luke 19:41; Revelation 11:3
Reciprocal: Ezra 8:15 - the river that runneth; Job 30:31 - General; Psalm 52:1 - goodness; Psalm 87:4 - Babylon; Psalm 126:5 - that sow; Isaiah 15:7 - to the; Isaiah 21:2 - all the; Isaiah 44:4 - willows; Isaiah 52:5 - make; Jeremiah 13:4 - go; Ezekiel 6:9 - remember; Ezekiel 11:24 - into

Verse 2

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
we hanged
Willows were so plentiful at Babylon, on the banks of the Euphrates, that Isaiah calls it "the brook or river of willows."
33:2; 81:2; Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13; Amos 8:10; Revelation 18:22
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 23:30 - stand; Psalm 52:1 - goodness; Psalm 149:3 - with the timbrel; Isaiah 15:7 - to the; Isaiah 44:4 - willows; Isaiah 52:5 - make; Daniel 6:18 - and passed

Verse 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.
For there
123:3,4; Lamentations 2:15,16
a song
Heb. the words of a song. wasted us. Heb. laid us on heaps.
79:1; Nehemiah 4:2; Jeremiah 9:11; 26:18; Micah 3:12; Luke 21:6
the songs of Zion
9:14; 65:1; 1 Chronicles 15:27; 16:7; Isaiah 35:10; 51:11; Jeremiah 31:12,13; Revelation 14:1-3
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 29:27 - the song; Proverbs 25:20 - so; Isaiah 26:1 - in the land; Jeremiah 8:21 - the hurt; Lamentations 1:7 - the adversaries; Lamentations 3:14 - General; Zephaniah 3:18 - sorrowful

Verse 4

How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?
How shall
Ecclesiastes 3:4; Isaiah 22:12; Lamentations 5:14,15; Hosea 9:4; Amos 8:3
strange land
Heb. land of a stranger.
Isaiah 49:21
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 4:13 - his heart; 2 Chronicles 29:27 - the song; Proverbs 25:20 - so; Isaiah 26:1 - in the land; Lamentations 1:7 - the adversaries

Verse 5

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
I forget
84:1,2,10; 102:13,14; 122:5-9; Nehemiah 1:2-4; 2:2,3; Isaiah 62:1,6,7; Jeremiah 51:50; Daniel 6:10,11
let my right
Zechariah 11:17
Reciprocal: Exodus 26:31 - cunning work; Deuteronomy 26:15 - bless thy; 1 Samuel 4:22 - The glory; 2 Samuel 15:14 - and smite; Psalm 51:18 - Do; Psalm 122:9 - I will seek; Daniel 9:20 - for

Verse 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.
let my tongue
22:15; Isaiah 41:17; Lamentations 4:4; Ezekiel 3:26
if I prefer
84:10; Matthew 6:33; Acts 20:24; Philippians 1:20; 1 Thessalonians 3:7-9
my chief joy
Heb. the head of my joy.
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 26:15 - bless thy; 1 Samuel 4:22 - The glory; 2 Samuel 15:14 - and smite; 1 Kings 5:7 - Blessed; Nehemiah 1:2 - I asked; Nehemiah 2:3 - the city; Job 29:10 - nobles held their peace; Job 31:22 - let; Psalm 51:18 - Do; Psalm 102:14 - General; Psalm 122:6 - Pray; Psalm 122:9 - I will seek; Isaiah 62:1 - Zion's; Isaiah 66:10 - all ye that love; Isaiah 66:13 - ye shall; Jeremiah 51:50 - remember; Daniel 9:20 - for

Verse 7

Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
Remember
74:18; 79:8-12; Exodus 17:14; 1 Samuel 15:2; Hosea 7:2
the children
Isaiah 63:1-6; Jeremiah 49:7-22; Lamentations 4:21,22; Ezekiel 25:12-14; Obadiah 1:10-14,18-21
Rase it
Heb. make bare.
Reciprocal: Genesis 8:1 - God remembered; Deuteronomy 30:7 - General; Job 18:20 - his day; Psalm 5:10 - let; Psalm 74:8 - said; Psalm 122:6 - Pray; Isaiah 21:11 - me out; Isaiah 34:5 - upon Idumea; Jeremiah 25:21 - Edom; Lamentations 1:21 - they are; Lamentations 1:22 - all their; Ezekiel 35:5 - thou hast had; Ezekiel 35:11 - I will even; Ezekiel 35:15 - didst; Ezekiel 36:5 - against all; Joel 3:19 - for; Amos 1:11 - because; Obadiah 1:11 - even; Zechariah 1:15 - and; Malachi 1:4 - The people; Matthew 7:2 - General

Verse 8

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
daughter
Isaiah 47:1-5; Jeremiah 50:42; 51:33; Zechariah 2:7
who art
Isaiah 13:1-22; 14:4-24; 21:1; 47:1; Jeremiah 25:12-14; 50:1-51; Revelation 14:8-11; 17:1-18; 18:6
destroyed
Heb. wasted. happy.
149:6-9; Isaiah 13:3-5; 44:28; Revelation 17:5,6,14; 18:6,20
rewardeth
etc. Heb. recompenseth unto thee thy deed which thou didst unto us.
Jeremiah 50:15-29; Revelation 18:6
Reciprocal: Numbers 31:15 - General; Joshua 6:21 - utterly; 2 Kings 8:12 - dash; 2 Kings 19:21 - the daughter; Ezra 6:12 - destroy; Esther 8:11 - to destroy; Psalm 48:11 - because; Psalm 54:5 - reward; Psalm 87:4 - Babylon; Psalm 109:12 - favour; Psalm 149:7 - General; Psalm 149:9 - to execute; Isaiah 13:16 - children; Isaiah 14:20 - the seed; Isaiah 47:3 - I will take; Jeremiah 25:14 - I; Jeremiah 27:7 - until; Jeremiah 30:16 - General; Jeremiah 46:24 - daughter; Jeremiah 50:29 - recompense; Jeremiah 51:24 - General; Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence; Jeremiah 51:49 - As Babylon; Jeremiah 51:56 - the Lord; Lamentations 1:21 - they shall; Hosea 13:16 - their infants; Obadiah 1:15 - as; Micah 7:10 - she that; Nahum 3:10 - her young; Habakkuk 2:8 - the violence; Habakkuk 2:17 - because; Matthew 7:2 - General

Verse 9

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
and dasheth
Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 10:14; 13:16
the stones
Heb. the rock. Reciprocal: Numbers 31:15 - General; Joshua 6:21 - utterly; 2 Kings 8:12 - dash; Ezra 6:12 - destroy; Psalm 48:11 - because; Psalm 87:4 - Babylon; Psalm 109:12 - favour; Psalm 149:7 - General; Isaiah 13:12 - General; Isaiah 14:20 - the seed; Isaiah 47:3 - I will take; Jeremiah 27:7 - until; Jeremiah 30:16 - General; Jeremiah 48:4 - her; Jeremiah 50:1 - against Babylon; Jeremiah 50:15 - as she; Jeremiah 50:29 - recompense; Jeremiah 50:42 - they are cruel; Jeremiah 51:3 - spare; Jeremiah 51:24 - General; Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence; Jeremiah 51:49 - As Babylon; Lamentations 1:21 - they shall; Micah 7:10 - she that

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 137". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/psalms-137.html.