New American Standard Bible
How can we sing the LORD'S song In a foreign land?
King James Bible
How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?
Darby Bible Translation
How should we sing a song of Jehovah's upon a foreign soil?
World English Bible
How can we sing Yahweh's song in a foreign land?
Young's Literal Translation
How do we sing the song of Jehovah, On the land of a stranger?
Psalm 137:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
How shall we sing the Lord's song - The song designed to celebrate his praise; that is, appropriate to the worship of Yahweh.
In a strange land - Far from our home; far from the temple; exiles; captives: how can we find spirit in such circumstances to sing? How can we do that which would be indicative of what we do not feel, and cannot feel - joy and happiness! The idea is not that those psalms or songs would be profaned by being sung there, or that there would be anything improper in itself in singing them, but that it would be misplaced and incongruous to sing them in their circumstances. It would be doing violence to their own feelings; their feelings would not allow them to do it. There are states of mind when the language of joy is appropriate and natural; there are states where the heart is so sad that it cannot sing.
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
2 Chronicles 29:27
Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel.
For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.
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