Amplified Bible

Psalm 137

An Experience of the Captivity.

1By the rivers of Babylon,
There we [captives] sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion [the city God imprinted on our hearts].

On the willow trees in the midst of Babylon
We hung our harps.

For there they who took us captive demanded of us a song with words,
And our tormentors [who made a mockery of us demanded] amusement, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

How can we sing the Lord’s song
In a strange and foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget [her skill with the harp].

Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not prefer Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom,
The day of [the fall of] Jerusalem,
Who said “Down, down [with her]
To her very foundation.”

O daughter of Babylon, you devastator,
How blessed will be the one
Who repays you [with destruction] as you have repaid us.

How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
Against the rock.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 137

Psalm 137

We were sitting by the rivers of Babylon.
    We wept when we remembered what had happened to Zion.
On the nearby poplar trees
    we hung up our harps.
Those who held us as prisoners asked us to sing.
    Those who enjoyed hurting us ordered us to sing joyful songs.
    They said, “Sing one of the songs of Zion to us!”

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while we are in another land?
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
    may my right hand never be able to play the harp again.
If I don’t remember you,
    may my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth so I can’t sing.
May it happen if I don’t consider Jerusalem
    to be my greatest joy.

Lord, remember what the people of Edom did
    on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down!” they cried.
    “Tear it down to the ground!”

People of Babylon, you are sentenced to be destroyed.
    Happy is the person who pays you back
    according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the person who grabs your babies
    and smashes them against the rocks.