1 By the rivers of Babylon, there weThat is, we abode a long time, and even though the country was pleasant, yet it could not stay our tears, nor turn us from the true service of our God.sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midstThat is, of that country.thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captiveThe Babylonians speak thus in mocking us, as though by our silence we should signify that we hoped no more in God.required of us a song; and they that wasted us [required of us] mirth, [saying], Sing us [one] of the songs of Zion.
4 Howe shall we sing, said we, a song of the Lord in a strange land?
5 Even the faithful are touched by their particular griefs, yet the common sorrow of the Church is most grievous to them, and is such as they cannot but remember and lament.If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget [her cunning].
6 If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above myThe decay of God's religion in their country was so grievous that no joy could make them glad, unless it was restored.chief joy.
7 Remember, O LORD, the children ofAs was prophesied in (Eze_25:13, Jer_49:7, Oba_1:10), showing that the Edomites who came from Esau, conspired with the Babylonians against their brethren and kinsfolk.Edom in theWhen you visited Jerusalem.day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase [it], rase [it, even] to the foundation thereof.
8 O daughter of Babel, worthy to be destroyed, blessed shall he be that rewardeth thee, as thou hast serued vs.
9 He alludes to Isaiah's prophecy in (Isa_13:16) promising good success to Cyrus and Darius, whom ambition moved to fight against Babylon, but God used them as his rods to punish his enemies.Happy [shall he be], that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.