137 We sat by the rivers in Babylon
and cried as we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps nearby, there on the willow trees.[a]
3 There in Babylon, those who captured us told us to sing.
Our enemies told us to entertain them.
They said, “Sing us one of your songs about Zion.”
4 But we cannot sing the Lord’s songs
in a foreign country!
5 Jerusalem, if I ever forget you,
may I never play a song again.
6 If I fail to remember you,
may I never sing again.
I will always remember Jerusalem
as my greatest joy!
7 Lord, be sure to punish the Edomites for what they did
when Jerusalem was captured.
They shouted, “Destroy its buildings!
Pull them down to the ground!”
8 Babylon, you will be destroyed!
Bless the one who pays you back for what you did to us.
9 Bless the one who grabs your babies
and smashes them against a rock.
A song of David.
138 Lord, I praise you with all my heart.
I sing songs of praise to you before the gods.
2 I bow down toward your holy Temple,
and I praise your name for your love and loyalty.
You are famous,
and doing what you promised will make you even more famous!
3 When I called to you for help,
you answered me and gave me strength.
4 Lord, all the kings on earth will praise you
when they hear what you say.
5 They will sing about what the Lord has done,
because the glory of the Lord is very great.
6 The Lord has the highest place above all others,
but he still cares for the humble.
Even from there, so high above,
he knows what the proud do.
7 If I am in trouble, you keep me alive.
If my enemies are angry, you save me from them.
8 Lord, I know you will do what you have promised.
Lord, your faithful love will last forever.
You are the one who made us, so don’t leave us!
- Psalm 137:2 These instruments were used to praise God in the Temple in Jerusalem. Since it was destroyed, the people had no reason to play the songs.