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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 137

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Psa 137:1-9. This Psalm records the mourning of the captive Israelites, and a prayer and prediction respecting the destruction of their enemies.

      1. rivers of Babylon--the name of the city used for the whole country.
      remembered Zion--or, Jerusalem, as in Psa 132:13.

      2. upon the willows--which may have grown there then, if not now; as the palm, which was once common, is now rare in Palestine.

      3, 4. Whether the request was in curiosity or derision, the answer intimates that a compliance was incongruous with their mournful feelings ( Pro 25:20 ).

      5, 6. For joyful songs would imply forgetfulness of their desolated homes and fallen Church. The solemn imprecations on the hand and tongue, if thus forgetful, relate to the cunning or skill in playing, and the power of singing.

      7-9. Remember. . . the children of Edom--(Compare Psa 132:1 ), that is, to punish.
      the day of Jerusalem--its downfall ( Lam 4:21, 22 Oba 1:11-13 ).

      8. daughter of Babylon--the people ( Psa 9:13 ). Their destruction had been abundantly foretold ( Isa 13:14 Jer 51:23 ). For the terribleness of that destruction, God's righteous judgment, and not the passions of the chafed Israelites, was responsible.

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