The Message

Psalm 137

11-3 Alongside Babylon’s rivers
    we sat on the banks; we cried and cried,
    remembering the good old days in Zion.
Alongside the quaking aspens
    we stacked our unplayed harps;
That’s where our captors demanded songs,
    sarcastic and mocking:
    “Sing us a happy Zion song!”

4-6 Oh, how could we ever sing God’s song
    in this wasteland?
If I ever forget you, Jerusalem,
    let my fingers wither and fall off like leaves.
Let my tongue swell and turn black
    if I fail to remember you,
If I fail, O dear Jerusalem,
    to honor you as my greatest.

7-9 God, remember those Edomites,
    and remember the ruin of Jerusalem,
That day they yelled out,
    “Wreck it, smash it to bits!”
And you, Babylonians—ravagers!
    A reward to whoever gets back at you
    for all you’ve done to us;
Yes, a reward to the one who grabs your babies
    and smashes their heads on the rocks!

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.