California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The psalmist writes from exile in what today is southern Iraq. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. Happy shall he be, that takes and dashes your little ones against the stones. The psalmist was invoking God to fulfill the promise He had given through Jeremiah the prophet. In order to understand the כּי in Psalm 137:3, Psalm 137:3 and Psalm 137:4 must be taken together. Psalm 137:8-9: “ O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, happy the one who repays you as you have served us! The poet, translated into the situation of the exiles, and arming himself against the temptation to apostasy and the danger of denying God, therefore says: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, ימיני תּשׁכּח. The lxx, Targum, and Syriac take תּוללינוּ as a synonym of שׁובינוּ, synonymous with שׁוללינוּ, and so, in fact, that it signifies not, like שׁולל, the spoiled and captive one, but the spoiler and he who takes other prisoners. For this feature of barbarous cruelty with which ancient war was cursed see 2Kings 8:12; Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 10:14, &c; and comp. Additionally, what are psalms used for? Psalm 137 – The Mournful Song of the Exiles. ראשׁ is apparently used as in Psalm 119:160 : supra summam (the totality) laetitiae meae, as Coccejus explains, h.e. Transliteration: sela‛ Phonetic: seh'-lah. (1-3) Mourning by Babylon’s rivers. Salem Media Group. Nor is this desired from a spirit of revenge, but for the glory of divine justice, and that such a generation of cruel creatures might be rooted out of the earth; see ( Revelation 2:2 Revelation 2:3 ) . Original: סלע. It is claimed that the verse is a command of God and that it is proof that god is in fact exactly how Richard Dawkins described him. The meaning of the interrogatory exclamation is not that the singing of sacred songs in a foreign land (חוצה לארץ) is contrary to the law, for the Psalms continued to be sung even during the Exile, and were also enriched by new ones. Others again assign a passive sense to תשׁכח: oblivioni detur (lxx, Italic, Vulgate, and Luther), or a half-passive sense, in oblivione sit (Jerome); but the thought: let my right hand be forgotten, is awkward and tame. Many settings omit the last verse. הוליל, like תּועלת, תּוכחה, with הועיל and הוכיח, in a mainly abstract signification (Dietrich, Abhandlungen, S. It must be admitted that the feelings of the author of the psalm appear to accord with this; that he considers it proper that the city should be destroyed; and that he regards its overthrow as a righteous judgment, and as a thing to be desired in the divine administration. 1 Chronicles 25:7, denotes sacred or liturgical songs, that is to say, songs belonging to Psalm poesy (including the Cantica). Happy [shall he be] that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.] Some allegorically understand this of crushing and mortifying the first motions of sin in the heart; but such a sense seems to have no place here. To “imprecate” means to “pray evil against,” and the imprecatory prayers in the Bible strike people today as strange or wrong. La Harpe correctly renders: O Jerusalem! With the expression "song of Zion" alternates in Psalm 137:4 "song of Jahve," which, as in 2 Chronicles 29:27, cf. It may also have been written many years into the exile. They are enraged because of their treatment at the hands of the Babylonians. Verse 9. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Homer, Iliad, xxii. Psalm 137 is the 137th psalm of the Book of Psalms, and as such it is included in the Hebrew Bible. This makes following Jesus different from following other people. Obliviscatur me (Syriac, Saadia, and the Psalterium Romanum) comes nearer to the true meaning. He said that his people must not do this. Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine In English it is generally known as "By the rivers of Babylon", which is how its first words are translated in the King James Version.It is Psalm 136 in the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate versions of the Bible. If we read the Scripture in context and then go to other Scriptures and history we find its true meaning. The meaning of the interrogatory exclamation is not that the singing of sacred songs in a foreign land (חוצה לארץ) is contrary to the law, for the Psalms continued to be sung even during the Exile, and were also enriched by new ones. He looked forward to the fulfillment of a prediction; he saw that a just and terrible judgment would certainly come upon Babylon; he expressed that in the common language of the times, and states the manner in which it would occur; he described the feelings - the gratification - of those who would execute the divine purpose in the overthrow of Babylon; he referred to the estimate in which the conqueror would be held by people, and the glory of the achievement as giving him fame among people. If someone hits you, you must not hit them back! Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. If we read the Scripture in context and then go to other Scriptures and history we find its true meaning. (k) "ad petram", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c. "ad repem", Cocceius. In Psalm 137:9, the Jews are singing a song about how they want revenge exacted upon their enemies who treated them cruelty. ראשׁ here signifies not κεφάλαιον, but κεφαλή: if I do not place Jerusalem upon the summit of my joy, i.e., my highest joy; therefore, if I do not cause Jerusalem to be my very highest joy. EvilBible.com states “Psalms 137:9 Here god commands that infants should be “dashed upon the rocks”.” אזכּרכי has the affixed Chirek, with which these later Psalms are so fond of adorning themselves. The hymnwriter John L. Bell comments alongside his own setting of this Psalm: "The final verse is omitted in this metricization, because its seemingly outrageous curse is better dealt with in preaching or group conversation. That takes the infants from their mothers' breasts, or out of their arms, and dashes out their brains against a "rock", as the word F11 signifies; which, though it may seem a piece of cruelty, was but a just retaliation; the Babylonians having done the same to the Jewish children, and is foretold elsewhere should be done to theirs, ( Isaiah 13:16 ) . Psalm 137:9 employs several. For example the Muslims especially make use of Psalm 137:9 Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock! It is true that he might approve of such an overthrow, and see it to be right - he might describe the feelings of those by whom it would be done, their joy, their exultation, and even their barbarity, without himself approving of their barbarity, or sympathizing with their feelings, or partaking of their spirit; but still it cannot in fairness be denied that there is an apparent approval of the act here referred to, which savors more of imprecation than forgiveness, and which is apparently prompted more by the spirit of revenge than by a desire of just punishment. BDB Definition: crag, cliff, rockcrag, cliffas stronghold of Jehovah, of security (figuratively) Origin: from an unused root meaning to be lofty. Most individual psalms involve the praise of God—for his power and beneficence, for his creation … They are enraged because of their treatment at the hands of the Babylonians. According to the sense the word ranks itself with an Hiph. 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