Psalm 137: Destruction of Jerusalem

Why did the Israelites in Babylon have fond memories of Jerusalem?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:1 We sat by the Babylon rivers and cried when we remembered Jerusalem.
King James
Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

In sadness, what is the benefit of “hanging our harps”? Why might that be the wrong thing to do?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:2 In sadness we hung our harps in the willow trees.
King James
Psalm 137:2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

What would the effect have been if the Israelites had sung their victory ballads?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:3 Our captors asked for a song. Mocking us, they said, “Sing one of the songs about Jerusalem.”
King James
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.

Of what value is singing a message of hope and joy when our thoughts and feelings don’t agree?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:4 In a foreign land, how could we sing a joyful song to the Lord?
King James
Psalm 137:4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

Why might people have thought there would be a problem if they forgot Jerusalem?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:5 If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my hand forget how to pluck the notes.
King James
Psalm 137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

What should be the Christian’s greatest joy?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:6 If Jerusalem is not my greatest joy, let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth when I try to sing.t
King James
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.

Why do unbelievers celebrate the weaknesses and failures of Christians?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:7 Lord, remember what the Edomites said when Jerusalem was destroyed. “Tear it down,” they said, “right down to its foundation.”
King James
Psalm 137:7 Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

What will happen to those who oppose God? Why are those results not always immediate?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:8 People of Babylon, you will be destroyed. Blessed is the one who will do to you what you have done to us.
King James
Psalm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

If vengeance belongs to God and we should leave that punishment to him, how can there be blessing in “smashing the children of the wicked”?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 137:9 Those who smash the children of the wicked against the rocks will be blessed.
Matthew 5:39 I say you should not try to get even. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek.
Romans 12:19 Fellow believers, don’t seek vengeance when people mistreat you. If needed, God will handle punishment better than you can, for he says in Scripture, Vengeance is mine, and I’ll see justice done.
King James
Psalm 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Matthew 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.