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A Prayer for Revenge

137 Beside the rivers of Babylon
we thought about Jerusalem,
    and we sat down and cried.
We hung our small harps
    on the willow[a] trees.
Our enemies had brought us here
    as their prisoners,
    and now they wanted us to sing
    and entertain them.
They insulted us and shouted,
    “Sing about Zion!”

Here in a foreign land,
    how can we sing
    about the Lord?
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
    let my right hand go limp.
Let my tongue stick
    to the roof of my mouth,
    if I don’t think about you
    above all else.

Our Lord, punish the Edomites!
Because the day Jerusalem fell,
    they shouted,
    “Completely destroy the city!
    Tear down every building!”

Babylon, you are doomed!
    I pray the Lord’s blessings
    on anyone who punishes you
    for what you did to us.
May the Lord bless everyone
    who beats your children
    against the rocks!

Footnotes

  1. 137.2 willow: Or “poplar.”

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