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Psalm 137

Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem

By the rivers of Babylon—
    there we sat down, and there we wept
    when we remembered Zion.(A)
On the willows[a] there
    we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
    asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”(B)

How could we sing the Lord’s song
    in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy.(C)

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
    the day of Jerusalem’s fall,
how they said, “Tear it down! Tear it down!
    Down to its foundations!”(D)
O daughter Babylon, you devastator![b]
    Happy shall they be who pay you back
    what you have done to us!(E)
Happy shall they be who take your little ones
    and dash them against the rock!(F)

Psalm 138

Thanksgiving and Praise

Of David.

I give you thanks, O Lord,[c] with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;(G)
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted your name and your word
    above everything.[d](H)
On the day I called, you answered me;
    you increased my strength of soul.[e](I)

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth.(J)
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 perceives from far away.(K)

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

Psalm 139

The Inescapable God

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.(N)
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.(O)
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.(P)
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.(Q)
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.(R)
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.(S)

Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?(T)
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.(U)
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.(V)
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and night wraps itself around me,”[f](W)
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.(X)

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.(Y)
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.(Z)
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.(AA)
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.[g]
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!(AB)
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
    I come to the end[h]—I am still with you.

19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
    and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—(AC)
20 those who speak of you maliciously
    and lift themselves up against you for evil![i](AD)
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?(AE)
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.(AF)
24 See if there is any wicked[j] way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.[k](AG)


  1. 137.2 Or poplars
  2. 137.8 Or you who are devastated
  3. 138.1 Q mss Gk: MT lacks O Lord
  4. 138.2 Cn: Heb you have exalted your word above all your name
  5. 138.3 Syr Compare Gk Tg: Heb you made me arrogant in my soul with strength
  6. 139.11 Q ms: MT and the light around me become night
  7. 139.16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. 139.18 Or I awake
  9. 139.20 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 139.24 Heb hurtful
  11. 139.24 Or the ancient way

The Gift of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of humans and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.(A) If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing.(B)

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant(C) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable; it keeps no record of wrongs;(D) it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.(E) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.(F)

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.(G) 13 And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three, and the greatest of these is love.


  1. 13.3 Other ancient authorities read body to be burned