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Psalm 137 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Lament During the Babylonian Exile

137 By the rivers of Babylon,
there we sat, yes, we wept,
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows[a] in her midst,
we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors asked of us
words of a song,
and our tormentors[b] asked of us jubilation,
“Sing for us from a song of Zion.”
How could we sing the song of Yahweh
in a foreign land?[c]
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget.[d]
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if do not I exalt Jerusalem
above my highest joy.
Remember, O Yahweh, against the sons of Edom
the day of Jerusalem,
the ones who said, “Lay it bare! Lay it bare
to its foundation!”
O daughter of Babylon, about to be devastated,
happy shall be he who pays back to you
what you paid out to us.[e]
Happy shall be he who seizes
and smashes your children
against the rock.


  1. Psalm 137:2 Species of tree uncertain
  2. Psalm 137:3 Only occurring once in the MT, this interpretation is uncertain. The LXX’s “carried us captive” is a guess. If related to the Hebrew root yll it might have the idea of “mockers/yammerers”
  3. Psalm 137:4 Literally “a land of a foreigner”
  4. Psalm 137:5 That is, how to play a musical instrument
  5. Psalm 137:8 Literally “with what you treated us”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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Psalm 137 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 137

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
    my highest joy.

Remember, Lord, what the Edomites did
    on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
    “tear it down to its foundations!”
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
    happy is the one who repays you
    according to what you have done to us.
Happy is the one who seizes your infants
    and dashes them against the rocks.

New International Version (NIV)

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