An Experience of the Captivity.

137 By the (A)rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and (B)wept,
When we remembered Zion.
Upon the [a](C)willows in the midst of it
We (D)hung our [b]harps.
For there our captors [c](E)demanded of us [d]songs,
And (F)our tormentors, jubilation, saying,
“Sing for us one of the songs of Zion!”

How can we sing (G)the Lords song
In a foreign land?
If I (H)forget you, Jerusalem,
May my right hand [e]forget its skill.
May my (I)tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not [f](J)exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

Remember, Lord, against the sons of (K)Edom
The day of Jerusalem,
Those who said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare
(L)To its foundation!”
Daughter of Babylon, you [g](M)devastated one,
Blessed will be one who (N)repays you
With [h]the retribution with which you have repaid us.
Blessed will be one who seizes and (O)dashes your children
Against the rock.

Thanksgiving for the Lords Favor.

A Psalm of David.

138 (P)I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing Your praises before the (Q)gods.
I will bow down (R)toward Your holy temple
And (S)give thanks to Your name for Your mercy and Your [i]truth;
For You have (T)made Your [j]word great [k]according to all Your name.
On the day I (U)called, You answered me;
You made me bold with (V)strength in my soul.

(W)All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, Lord,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.
And they will (X)sing of the ways of the Lord,
For (Y)great is the glory of the Lord.
For (Z)the Lord is exalted,
Yet He (AA)looks after the lowly,
But He knows the (AB)haughty from afar.

Though I (AC)walk in the midst of trouble, You will [l](AD)revive me;
You will (AE)reach out with Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will (AF)save me.
The Lord will (AG)accomplish what concerns me;
Your (AH)faithfulness, Lord, is everlasting;
(AI)Do not abandon the (AJ)works of Your hands.

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

For the music director. A Psalm of David.

139 Lord, You have (AK)searched me and known me.
You (AL)know [m]when I sit down and [n]when I get up;
You (AM)understand my thought from far away.
You [o](AN)scrutinize my [p]path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
[q]Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, Lord, You (AO)know it all.
You have (AP)encircled me behind and in front,
And (AQ)placed Your hand upon me.
Such (AR)knowledge is (AS)too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot comprehend it.

(AT)Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
(AU)If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in [r]Sheol, behold, (AV)You are there.
If I take up the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will (AW)lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the (AX)darkness will [s]overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even (AY)darkness is not dark [t]to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
(AZ)Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You (BA)created my innermost parts;
You (BB)wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, because [u]I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
(BC)Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My [v](BD)frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully formed in the (BE)depths of the earth;
16 Your (BF)eyes have seen my formless substance;
And in (BG)Your book were written
All the (BH)days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your (BI)thoughts for me, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would (BJ)outnumber the sand.
When (BK)I awake, I am still with You.

19 If only You would (BL)put the wicked to death, God;
(BM)Leave me, (BN)you men of bloodshed.
20 For they (BO)speak [w]against You wickedly,
And Your enemies [x](BP)take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not (BQ)hate those who hate You, Lord?
And do I not (BR)loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

23 (BS)Search me, God, and know my heart;
(BT)Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there is any [y](BU)hurtful way in me,
And (BV)lead me in the (BW)everlasting way.


  1. Psalm 137:2 Or poplars
  2. Psalm 137:2 Lit lyres
  3. Psalm 137:3 Lit asked
  4. Psalm 137:3 Lit words of song
  5. Psalm 137:5 I.e., become useless
  6. Psalm 137:6 Lit cause to ascend
  7. Psalm 137:8 Or devastator
  8. Psalm 137:8 Lit your requital
  9. Psalm 138:2 Or faithfulness
  10. Psalm 138:2 Or promise
  11. Psalm 138:2 Or together with
  12. Psalm 138:7 Or keep me alive
  13. Psalm 139:2 Lit my sitting
  14. Psalm 139:2 Lit my rising
  15. Psalm 139:3 Lit winnow
  16. Psalm 139:3 Or journeying
  17. Psalm 139:4 Lit For there is not
  18. Psalm 139:8 I.e., the netherworld
  19. Psalm 139:11 Lit bruise; some commentators cover
  20. Psalm 139:12 Lit from
  21. Psalm 139:14 Some ancient versions You are fearfully wonderful
  22. Psalm 139:15 Lit bones were
  23. Psalm 139:20 Or of
  24. Psalm 139:20 Some mss lift themselves up against You
  25. Psalm 139:24 Lit way of pain

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