A sad song #137:1 In 586 BC, the Babylon's army destroyed the capital city of Judah, Jerusalem. They took the people who lived there to Babylon as prisoners. We call the time that the people of Judah were prisoners in Babylon ‘the exile.’ They were not happy there and they wanted to return to Jerusalem.
1When we sat down beside the rivers in Babylon,
we were very upset.
We thought about Zion city that we had left behind,
and we wept. #137:1 Zion was the special place in Jerusalem where God's Temple was.
2We hung up our harps there
on the branches of the willow trees.
3Our enemies asked us to sing songs for them there.
They laughed at us as their prisoners.
They asked for a song to make them happy.
‘Sing us a song about Zion!’, they shouted.
4But we are in a foreign land,
so we cannot sing a song to the Lord.
5Jerusalem, I never want to forget you.
I would rather lose my right hand!
6I would rather my tongue could no longer move! #137:6 The right hand played the harp, and the tongue sang the words.
Yes, I will always remember you, Jerusalem.
You are the most important thing that I think about,
more than anything else that makes me happy.
7 Lord, remember to punish the people of Edom.
They were happy when Babylon's army won against Jerusalem.
On that day the Edomites said,
‘Knock down the city so that nothing still stands!’
8People of Babylon, an army will soon destroy you!
They will punish you in the same way that you punished us.
May God bless whoever does that to you!
9Just like you did to us,
they will hit your babies against a rock.
May God bless whoever does that to you! #137:9 Edom was an enemy of Judah. When the Babylon army destroyed Jerusalem, the Edomites were very happy.