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Psalm 137English Standard Version (ESV)

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

137 By the waters of Babylon,
    there we sat down and wept,
    when we remembered Zion.
On the willows[a] there
    we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
    required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How shall we sing the Lord's song
    in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand forget its skill!
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy!

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
    down to its foundations!”
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
    blessed shall he be who repays you
    with what you have done to us!
Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
    and dashes them against the rock!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 137:2 Or poplars
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Psalm 137The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 137

Psalm 137 is a lament written either during or shortly after the exile. It provides a vivid image of what life in exile must have been like.

By the rivers of Babylon,
    we sat and wept
    when we thought of Zion, our home, so far away.
On the branches of the willow trees,
    we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy.
And the men that surrounded us
    made demands that we clap our hands and sing—
Songs of joy from days gone by,
    songs from Zion, our home.
Such cruel men taunted us—haunted our memories.

How could we sing a song about the Eternal
    in a land so foreign, while still tormented, brokenhearted, homesick?
    Please don’t make us sing this song.
5-6 O Jerusalem, even still, don’t escape my memory.
    I treasure you and your songs, even as I hide my harp from the enemy.
And if I can’t remember,
    may I never sing a song again—
    may my hands never play well again—
For what use would it be if I don’t remember Jerusalem
    as my source of joy?

Remember, Eternal One, how the Edomites, our brothers, the descendants of Esau,
    stood by and watched as Jerusalem fell.
Gloating, they said, “Destroy it;
    tear it down to the ground,” when Jerusalem was being demolished.
O daughter of Babylon, you are destined for destruction!
    Happy are those who pay you back for how you treated us
    so you will no longer walk so proud.
Happy are those who dash your children against the rocks
    so you will know how it feels.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 138English Standard Version (ESV)

Give Thanks to the Lord

Of David.

138 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.[a]
On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.[b]

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 138:2 Or you have exalted your word above all your name
  2. Psalm 138:3 Hebrew you made me bold in my soul with strength
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Psalm 138The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 138

A song of David.

To You, Lord, I give my whole heart, a heart filled with praise, for I am grateful;
    before the gods, my heart sings praises to You and You alone.
I bow before You, looking to Your holy temple,
    and praise Your name, for Your unfailing love and Your truth;
    for You have placed Your name and Your word over all things and all times.
On the day I needed You, I called, and You responded
    and infused my soul with strength.

May all the kings of the earth praise You, O Eternal One,
    because they have heard the words You have spoken.
They will marvel at the Eternal’s ways, and they will sing,
    for great is the glory of the Eternal.
Although He is greatest of all, He is attentive to the needy
    and keeps His distance from the proud and pompous.

Whenever I walk into trouble,
    You are there to bring me out.
You hold out Your hand
    to protect me against the wrath of my enemies,
    and hold me safely in Your right hand.
The Eternal will finish what He started in me.
    Your faithful love, O Eternal One, lasts forever;
    do not give up on what Your hands have made.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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