New American Standard Bible
For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."
King James Bible
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
Darby Bible Translation
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that made us wail required mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
World English Bible
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!"
Young's Literal Translation
For there our captors asked us the words of a song, And our spoilers -- joy: 'Sing ye to us of a song of Zion.'
Psalm 137:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For there they that carried us away captive - The Babylonians.
Required of us a song - Asked of us a song. The word does not express the idea of compulsion or force. Margin, as in Hebrew, words of a song. Perhaps the idea is that they did not merely ask music, but they wished to hear the words - the songs themselves - in which they were accustomed to praise God. This may have been a taunt, and the request may have been in derision; or it may have been seriously, and with no desire to reproach them, or to add to their sorrows. We are not to impute bad motives to others where there is no evidence that there are any, and where the supposition of good motives will answer just as well; and the expression here may have been a kind and natural wish to hear the songs of these foreigners - songs of which they might have heard much by report; perhaps songs which they had overheard them singing when they were in a less desponding state of mind, and when they sought to comfort themselves by these ancient national melodies. As the only reason assigned for not complying with this request was that they could not "sing the Lord's song in a strange land" Psalm 137:3, we are rather led to infer that there was no bad motive - no disposition to taunt and ridicule them by the request that was made.
And they that wasted us - Margin, laid us on heaps. The Hebrew word means a tormentor; properly, one who extorts lamentation from others, or who causes them to howl - to wit, under oppression or wrong. The Septuagint and Latin Vulgate render it, "They who led us away." The general idea is, those under whom they were then suffering; or, who had caused these trials to come upon them.
Required of us mirth - literally, "Our tormentors, joy." The Hebrew word means joy; and the sense is, that they asked them to give the usual indications of joy and happiness - to wit, a song. The language means, "Cheer up; be happy; give us one of the beautiful songs which you were accustomed to sing in your own land." It may, indeed, have been in derision; but there is no proof that it was.
Saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion - The songs - the sacred hymns - which you were accustomed to sing in worship in your own land.
LibraryThird Sunday after Easter
Text: First Peter 2, 11-20. 11 Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
Concerning the Sacrament of Penance
You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh among themselves.
"Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you.
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