New American Standard Bible
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill.
King James Bible
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
Darby Bible Translation
If I forget thee, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill;
World English Bible
If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.
Young's Literal Translation
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, my right hand forgetteth!
Psalm 137:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem - The meaning here is, that to sing in such circumstances would seem to imply that they had forgotten Jerusalem; that they were unmindful of its sorrows, and cared not that it was desolate. The remembrance of its calamities pressed hard upon them, and they could not do anything which would seem to imply that they had become unmindful of the sufferings that had come upon their nation. One will not make merry when a wife or child lies dying - or on the day of the funeral - or over the grave of a mother. A joyous and brilliant party, accompanied with music, feasting, dancing, when a friend has been just laid in the grave, when the calamities of war are abroad, when the pestilence is raging in a city, we feel to be untimely, unseemly, and incongruous. So these captives said it would be if they should make merry while their temple was in ruins; while their city was desolate; while their people were captives in a foreign land.
Let my right hand forget her cunning - Let my right hand forget its skill in music - all its skill. If I should now play on the harp - as indicative of joy - let the hand which would be employed in sweeping over its strings become paralyzed and powerless. Let the punishment come where it would seem to be deserved - on the hand which could play at such a time. So Cranmer held the hand which had been employed in signing a recantation of his faith in the fire, until it was burned off, and dropped in the flames.
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
"But you who forsake the LORD, Who forget My holy mountain, Who set a table for Fortune, And who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny,
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
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