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Psalm One Hundred and Thirty Seven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

By the rivers of Babylon. The psalm was evidently written during Judah's exile in Babylon.

Psalm 137:2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

Psalm 137:3 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.

Psalm 137:4 How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

Psalm 137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

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.

Psalm 137:7 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof.

children of Edom. Evidently the Edomites, inveterate enemies of Israel and Judah, were either confederate with the invading Babylonians, or at least passive and gloating bystanders.

Psalm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Psalm 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Happy. This is the word usually translated “Blessed.” That is, God's blessing would actually be upon those who would eventually overthrow Babylon and its inhabitants.

dasheth thy little ones. See notes on other imprecatory psalms (e.g., note on Psalm 5 and note on Psalm 109). The Babylonians were unspeakably cruel to God's chosen people, desecrating the temple of God as the people carried them away as captives. In a real sense, the death of their small children, who would be safe in Christ, would be more merciful than for them to grow into adult pagans, and thereby be lost in hell forever.