You're here: » Articles Home » Henry Law » Commentary on Psalms » Psalm 137

Psalm 137

By Henry Law

      A plaintive ode bewails the misery of the captive Jews. Their devotion to their country is avowed. Woe on their enemies is called down in language of prediction.

      1. "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yes, we wept, when we remembered Zion."

      A pensive group is pictured. We see the mourning captives seated by the banks of the waters of Babylon. Fast flowing tears betoken the anguish of their wounded hearts. Where does this pitiful grief come from? They are removed from their beloved Zion. Their thoughts uncaptured wander through their early haunts. Can reflection fail to weep? Hard are the hearts which mourn not when parted from their native land and the loved ordinances of God's house.

      2. "We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof."

      The harps once used in public service, and as the solace of their homes, now bring no joy. Their sight awakens pangs of regret. Therefore they hang untouched upon the neighboring trees.

      3. "For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song; and those who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

      Their insulting captors mocked their misery. In derision they bade them tune again their harps, and for amusement to sing as in the happy days of Zion. Tender feeling is a stranger to the hearts of the enemies of God.

      4. "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"

      A sad response checks the taunting wish. The pensive captives reply that no melody could proceed from them. They are far distant from their much-loved Zion; and sounds of woe can be their only utterance.

      5-6. "If I forget You, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember You, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."

      The claims of Jerusalem on the warmest affections are forcibly expressed. It is desired that all intelligence may decline, if Jerusalem ever ceased to be the much-loved object of the heart. Forgetfulness of skill and silent lips should be the lot of those who could prefer any happiness to that of thought of Jerusalem. We should, indeed, rank as unworthy of any blessing, if ever we failed to exalt You, O blessed Jesus, as chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely.

      7-9. "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to its foundations. O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed; happy shall he be, who rewards you as you have served us. Happy shall he be, who takes and dashes your little ones against the stones."

      If the final issue be brought into view, it will be seen how happy are the captives as contrasted with their subjugators. The former suffer anguish for a brief period, the latter are doomed to everlasting destruction. Let us bless God that shelter is provided in Christ Jesus from the indignation and wrath ready to fall on mystic Babylon.

Back to Henry Law index.

See Also:
   Psalm 1
   Psalm 2
   Psalm 3
   Psalm 4
   Psalm 5
   Psalm 6
   Psalm 7
   Psalm 8
   Psalm 9
   Psalm 10
   Psalm 11
   Psalm 12
   Psalm 13
   Psalm 14
   Psalm 15
   Psalm 16
   Psalm 17
   Psalm 18
   Psalm 19
   Psalm 20
   Psalm 21
   Psalm 22
   Psalm 23
   Psalm 24
   Psalm 25
   Psalm 26
   Psalm 27
   Psalm 28
   Psalm 29
   Psalm 30
   Psalm 31
   Psalm 32
   Psalm 33
   Psalm 34
   Psalm 35
   Psalm 36
   Psalm 37
   Psalm 38
   Psalm 39
   Psalm 40
   Psalm 41
   Psalm 42
   Psalm 43
   Psalm 44
   Psalm 45
   Psalm 46
   Psalm 47
   Psalm 48
   Psalm 49
   Psalm 50
   Psalm 51
   Psalm 52
   Psalm 53
   Psalm 54
   Psalm 55
   Psalm 56
   Psalm 57
   Psalm 58
   Psalm 59
   Psalm 60
   Psalm 61
   Psalm 62
   Psalm 63
   Psalm 64
   Psalm 65
   Psalm 66
   Psalm 67
   Psalm 68
   Psalm 69
   Psalm 70
   Psalm 71
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 72
   Psalm 74
   Psalm 75
   Psalm 76
   Psalm 77
   Psalm 78
   Psalm 79
   Psalm 80
   Psalm 81
   Psalm 82
   Psalm 83
   Psalm 84
   Psalm 85
   Psalm 86
   Psalm 87
   Psalm 88
   Psalm 89
   Psalm 90
   Psalm 91
   Psalm 92
   Psalm 93
   Psalm 94
   Psalm 95
   Psalm 96
   Psalm 97
   Psalm 98
   Psalm 99
   Psalm 100
   Psalm 101
   Psalm 102
   Psalm 103
   Psalm 104
   Psalm 105
   Psalm 106
   Psalm 107
   Psalm 108
   Psalm 109
   Psalm 110
   Psalm 111
   Psalm 112
   Psalm 113
   Psalm 114
   Psalm 115
   Psalm 116
   Psalm 117
   Psalm 118
   Psalm 119
   Psalm 120
   Psalm 121
   Psalm 122
   Psalm 123
   Psalm 124
   Psalm 125
   Psalm 126
   Psalm 127
   Psalm 128
   Psalm 129
   Psalm 130
   Psalm 131
   Psalm 132
   Psalm 133
   Psalm 134
   Psalm 135
   Psalm 136
   Psalm 137
   Psalm 138
   Psalm 139
   Psalm 140
   Psalm 141
   Psalm 142
   Psalm 143
   Psalm 144
   Psalm 145
   Psalm 146
   Psalm 147
   Psalm 148
   Psalm 149
   Psalm 150


Like This Page?

© 1999-2019, All rights reserved.