The Bible in Its Traditions

Psalms 137:1–9

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By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

For David, a Psalm of Jeremias. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat; and wept when we remembered Sion.

A Psalm of David: to Jeremiah. Above the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept, while we remembered Zion.

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Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.

We hung our harps on the willows in the midst of it.

By the willow trees, in their midst, we hung up our instruments.

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For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'

For there they that had taken us captive asked of us the words of a song; and they that had carried us away asked a hymn, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Sion.

For, in that place, those who led us into captivity questioned us about the words of the songs. And those who carried us away said: “Sing us a hymn from the songs of Zion.”

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How shall we sing YHWH'S song in a foreign land?

How can we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?

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If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

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Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.

May my tongue adhere to my jaws, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem first, as the beginning of my joy.

If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to my palate, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

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Remember, O YHWH, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said: 'Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.'

O Lord, call to mind the sons of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem, who say: “Despoil it, despoil it, even to its foundation.”

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O daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that repayeth thee as thou hast served us.

Wretched daughter of Babylon! blessed shall he be who shall reward thee as thou hast rewarded us.

O daughter of Babylon, have pity. Blessed is he who will repay you with your payment, which you have paid to us.

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Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the rock.

Blessed shall he be who shall seize and dash thine infants against the rock.

Blessed is he who will take hold of your little ones and dash them against the rock.