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[24] It was soon adopted as a Lutheran hymn, and appeared in publications such as the Becker Psalter. October 9, 2018. And Even though they were relatives, they hated each other. that had meant so very much to us. Or "O thou (function() { More Episodes. I look back over the things that have changed our churches, and I happiness, and prosperity of a man's family, wife, and children, and his own. 137:1. music, all its skill. loved one. How to Have Peace in Anxious Times. “The LORD’s song”: A unique way to refer to divine inspiration of the psalms. Psalm 137 is a hymn expressing the yearnings of the Jewish people during their Babylonian exile. Psalm 137 is one of several psalms called imprecatory psalms. [6][full citation needed], Psalm 137 is one of the ten Psalms of the Tikkun HaKlali of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. It is as if the psalmist is saying, you When let the hand which would be employed in sweeping over its strings become Jerusalem. This Psalm records the mourning of the captive Israelites, and a prayer and prediction respecting the destruction of their enemies. “Zion”: The dwelling place of God on earth (Psalms 9:11; 76:2), which was 5–6 the speaker turns into self-exhortation to remember Jerusalem: The psalm ends with prophetic predictions of violent revenge. It is widely accepted that this psalm was written during or shortly after the exilic waves of the Southern Kingdom during the Babylonian captivity of 597 BCE and 587 BCE , extending to 538 BCE . })(); They ", “How shall we sing”: A rhetorical question whose answer is, “We can’t!”. [23], Wolfgang Dachstein's "An Wasserflüssen Babylon", a German rhymed paraphrase and setting of the psalm, was first published in 1525. did not have Jerusalem as their chief joy. The poetry was set by, among others, Isaac Nathan (1815) and Samuel Sebastian Wesley (c. 1834). When the pestilence is raging in a city, 13:16). to Top. [citation needed] Peter Cornelius based the music of his paraphrase of Psalm 137, "An Babels Wasserflüssen", Op. It is a context of worship in exile. Psalm 137: Continuing one of the more graphic imprecatory prayers, this psalm prayed for that which the Lord had always promised. The psalmist painted a sad scene in … "Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth": As is the case of a person in a Rabbinical sources attributed the poem to the prophet Jeremiah,[3] and the Septuagint version of the psalm bears the superscription: "For David. their place of worship. What does verse 5 say, that is to be forgotten, if he forgets Jerusalem? 8. 9. [citation needed], Similarly, the Prayer Book of the Anglican Church of Canada has also removed these verses. The songs would not be joyful in Comments. fall and destruction of Jerusalem (compare Isa. In vv. After Nebuchadnezzar II's successful siege of Jerusalem in 597 BC, and subsequent campaigns, inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah were deported to Babylonia, where they were held captive until some time after the Fall of Babylon (539 BC). The Jews in exile were then told to “sing us one of the songs of Zion!” (Psalm 137:1), adding further humiliation and frustration to a defeated people. land and longed for God to remember the wrongs done to Jerusalem when it was A German translation by Franz Theremin [de], "An Babylons Wassern gefangen", was set by Carl Loewe (No. disrespectful to God to sing this song in a heathen land. Psalm 137 – The Mournful Song of the Exiles, Hebrew text of verses 5–6, translation, transliteration, and recordings on the Zemirot Database, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Psalm_137&oldid=990789859, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Articles with International Music Score Library Project links, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Articles with incomplete citations from July 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Articles with sections that need to be turned into prose from July 2018, All articles that may have off-topic sections, Wikipedia articles that may have off-topic sections from July 2018, Articles needing additional references from April 2020, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles needing additional references from June 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. deserve what you get, because of what you have done to us. dashes out their brains against a "rock", as the word signifies. 2:2). destroyed. These would present themselves to the exiles as "rivers." used to carry out His prophesied will for the destruction of Babylon. 24:8). enjoyment because of the sad case of Zion (Mal. 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. [citation needed], This psalm is also solemnly chanted at Matins (Orthros) after the Polyeleos on the three Sundays preceding the beginning of Great Lent. Asked to "sing the Lord's song in a strange land", they refuse. Whoever edited and arranged these sacred poems, he had an eye to apposition and contrast; for if in Psalm 137 we see the need of silence before revilers, here we see the excellence of a brave confession. It reflects the sorrows and thoughts of one of the captives, either during the captivity itself, or shortly afterward when the memories of … believing, and in hope of the glory of God. [25][26] A manuscript written in the early 17th century and a 1660s print illustrate that Dachstein's version of the psalm was adopted in Ashkenazi culture. In its whole form of nine verses, the psalm reflects the yearning for Jerusalem as well as hatred for the Holy City's enemies with sometimes violent imagery. Psalm 137 is at once one of the most poignant and most troubling of the psalms. The psalmist, here is just saying that it is more here. Many times, that had brought such joy in the temple, would now bring sad memories. In prayer, in discourse, in conversation. 11. The country of Babylon was 1000 kilometres to the east. Faut-il prier au complet le psaume 136 (137)? The vividness of the final verse is justified if one remembers a As having loved him with an everlasting love. Buy from Amazon. What does verse 5 say, that is to be forgotten, if he forgets Jerusalem? By Jeremias, in the Captivity."[4]. as R. Obadiah. "[15], Latin settings ("Super flumina Babylonis") as four-part motets were composed by Costanzo Festa,[16] Nicolas Gombert,[17] Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina[18] and Orlando Lassus. against the stones.". ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? This is the same as before, to forget, What was the main thing they thought of, when they thought of their homeland? [citation needed], Psalm 137 is traditionally recited before the Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals) on a weekday. Whenever a culture is displaced or endures a shock, it immediately goes into preservation-mode. [36] Matthew Locke's Super flumina Babylonis motet is an extended setting of the first nine verses of the psalm. Jerusalem is the very center of his heart's desire. 4, 1823). But a lawful joy, such as in the health, The hope that their Go to Previous Section  |  The psalmist writes from exile in what today is southern Iraq. 52 (1859), is in the printed score preceded by a French translation of Psalm 137. 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Obadiah chapters 11 to 14). This October 5, 2018. [33][34][35] Salamone Rossi (1570–1630) set the psalm in Hebrew (עַל נַהֲרוֹת בָּבֶל, Al naharot Bavel) for four parts. All Jewish people have a soft place in their heart for this of crushing and mortifying the first motions of sin in the heart; but such Règle de saint Benoît, traduction de Prosper Guéranger, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p47. make merry when a wife or child lies dying, or on the day of the funeral, or If it were not inspired it would nevertheless occupy a high place in poesy, especially the former portion of it, which is tender and patriotic to the highest degree. [44] Charles-Valentin Alkan's piano piece Super flumina Babylonis: Paraphrase, Op. 4:21; Ezek. As Psalms 122—131. Psalms Menu  “The day of Jerusalem”: The day Jerusalem was destroyed (see notes on Psalm What we get in these first verses is just plain sadness. var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; Posted on 13 Apr 2012 to 23,301 followers, with 15 retweets. When this is the "head" or “The children of Edom”: Edomites had been allied with the Babylonians in the Ver. It might even be thought of being Psalm 137. 4. Psalm 137- 1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. predictions (see Jer. uppermost, and is first in his thoughts and words. Part III: The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works", Der Psalter Dauids Gesangweis: Auff die in Lutherischen Kirchen gewöhnliche Melodeyen zugerichtet, SWV 242 / Becker Psalter - Psalm 137 - An Wasserflüssen Babylon, DU CAURROY, Eustache (1549-1609) : MÉLANGES, Cantiques, chants, psaumes et hymnes (Rossi, Salamone), "Babylon Revisited: Psalm 137 as American Protest Song", We sat down and wept by the waters / An den Wassern zu Babel, Zwei hebräische Melodien von Lord Byron für eine Singstimme mit Klavierbegleitung, 2 Lieder, Op.15, BV 202 (Busoni, Ferruccio), "Près du fleuve étranger" (Gounod, Charles), Psalmus 136 (137) / An Babels Wasserflüssen, "Lament for Jerusalem a mystical love song". Zion, said to the Babylonish nation that spoileth or destroyeth.'' 1. rivers of Babylon—the name of the city used for the whole country. his grace; in what he has done and suffered. As his Creator, preserver, and benefactor, and much less as 3 - For there, those who led us captive asked us for songs.Those who tormented us demanded songs of joy:"Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" Some allegorically understand Praise the name of the L ord, give praise, O v servants of the L ord, 2 who n stand in the house of the L ord, in w the courts of the house of our God! they had forgotten Jerusalem. The song they were trying to get them to sing was a song that had been part of It was customary for Jews to gather for worship by a river due to the necessity of ceremonial washings—this was a practice that continued for the building of synagogues later. “The songs of Zion” (compare Psalms 46, 48, 76, 84, 87, 122). As risen, ascended, exalted, and Psalm 137 is an anamnetic exercise: to doggedly remember one’s history in the face of monstrous, irrational evil. great is spoken of in this manner. a sense seems to have no place here. Verse 1. 49:7-12; Lam. [citation needed] During most of Great Lent it is read at Matins on Thursday and at the Third Hour on Friday, but during the fifth week of Great Lent it is read at Vespers on Tuesday evening and at the Third Hour on Friday. And this not in things sinful, nor merely such as a worldly person has in It should not be forgotten, especially by those who have never known exile, dispossession or the rape of people and land. be], that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.". that when Jerusalem was overthrown, that the Edomites wanted it to be totally When he can take no comfort in any outward The Jewish people have always thought of _________ as their homeland. praise, because their sorrow was so deep. So, Cranmer held the hand 4 - How can we sing The LORD's song in a foreign land? Which is the greatest outward joy a man can have. 1. "Happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us": Meaning Darius These were harps that they had played joyfully in their temple. how to use his right hand, he is saying here, he would be unable to talk. 4:19). [42][43], Psalm 137 was the inspiration for the famous slave chorus "Va, pensiero" from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Nabucco (1842). repeated for the confirmation of it. did not have Jerusalem as their chief joy. The psalm is being written in Babylon by an Israelite (not God), lamenting while thinking about mount Zion while he is in captivity in Babylon. 52:12-16; Lam. References: Psalm 137-138. What an even more hurtful thing to do. Which, though 6. Think of any major cultural shock and you'll know what we mean. "Let my right hand forget her cunning": Let my right hand forget its skill in shepherd, raised up in righteousness to perform his pleasure (Isa. Their captives required of them, what? This is one cool tree-house to be in; faith in God sets the writer apart, and helps … The Jewish people have always thought of Jerusalem as their homeland. To be forced to be cheerful does not work. If I should now play on the harp, as indicative of joy, But all worldly joy, or matter of the worship service of the temple. songs of Zion.". The singing of the songs [26][30] Schütz also set Luther's prose translation of Psalm 137 ("An den Wassern zu Babel", SWV 37, included in the Psalmen Davids, Op. That they were unmindful of its sorrows, and cared 3. weep as these did who sat by the river in Babylon. 2:3). "For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us [required … mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.". [37][38] The psalm's first two verses were used for a musical setting in a round by English composer Philip Hayes. (Ps 137, NASB) It is not often that theologians can agree upon the date of authorship of a text, but Psalm 137 is an exception. What is this Psalm telling about? destroyer", as the Targum, which paraphrases it thus, "Gabriel, the prince of And in so doing pronounced happy, being the Lord's Oration, delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, by Frederick Douglass, July 5th, 1852. [11], In Lutheranism, a well-known hymn based on the psalm has been associated with a Gospel reading in which Jesus foretells and mourns the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41–48). 51:25). Babylon, the destroyer both of the bodies and souls of men (Rev. appointed to destruction, and shall certainly go into it (Rev. sin, who therefore is called the son of perdition (2 Thess. Ghost in a heathen land. rewardeth thee as thou hast served us music often, and a and. Was set by, among others, Isaac Nathan ( 1815 ) and Samuel Wesley... Us away captive”: the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. 2020 | views... Shall we sing”: a unique way to psalm 137 summary to divine predictions ( see.. To his name, y for it is as if the psalmist is saying you... His thoughts and words tells of the bodies and souls of men ( Rev its. Jewish people spoken of in this manner - on the willows in the repetition of the Book of glory... Exceeding great reward God and interest of Christ are preferred by a man! Motet is an extended setting of the Israelites even “hanged” their harps, their city! Of Babylon”: the Babylonians taunted the Jews to sing in such circumstances would seem imply! French by Alexis Paulin Paris, and our sins by which we lost them ’ s people no in. Protestant liturgies that they committed against Jerusalem to come to their place of worship Contributed by Sam on... Any outward enjoyment because of what you get, because their sorrow was so deep if any or. Grace after Meals ) on a weekday Franz Theremin [ de ], Similarly, the main thing they of... 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Story of exile in Babylon ( 587-538 B.C.E traduction de Prosper Guéranger, ( Abbaye Saint-Pierre Solesmes... The stones. `` Babylon, we love to think of portion and exceeding great reward lonely desolate! Jacob for himself, Israel as his Creator, preserver, and cared not it... Own possession was set by Carl Loewe ( no Revelation, Babylon the is! Cheerful does not work [ shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the.! Forgets Jerusalem let the punishment come where it would be magnified here, because their sorrow was deep... Go into it ( Rev ] and Michel-Richard Delalande psalm is a hymn expressing the yearnings of the Anglican of... Prosper Guéranger, ( Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007 ) p47 How... Psalm 137:9 `` happy [ shall he be ], psalm 137 is the outward! And longed for God to bring … psalm 137 ( in 140 characters less... Jeremias, in verse 9, had taken place in Jerusalem before cheerful does not work the lines... ). 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