1We sat by the rivers in Babylon
and cried as we remembered Zion.
2We hung our harps nearby, there on the willow trees.#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.
3There 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.”
4But we cannot sing the Lord’s songs
in a foreign country!
5Jerusalem, if I ever forget you,
may I never play a song again.
6If I fail to remember you,
may I never sing again.
I will always remember Jerusalem
as my greatest joy!
7Lord, 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!”
8Babylon, you will be destroyed!
Bless the one who pays you back for what you did to us.
9Bless the one who grabs your babies
and smashes them against a rock.