Psalm 137:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
How can we sing the songs of the LORD while 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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

How shall we sing the Lord's song - איך נשיר eich! nashir; O, we sing! Who does not hear the deep sigh in the strongly guttural sound of the original איך eich! wrung, as it were, from the bottom of the heart? Can We, in this state of slavery, - We, exiles, from our country, We, stripped of all our property, - We, reduced to contempt by our strong enemy, - We, deprived of our religious privileges, - We, insulted by our oppressors, - We, in the land of heathens, - We sing, or be mirthful in these circumstances? No: God does not expect it; man should not wish it; and it is base in our enemies to require it.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

how shall

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:

Lamentations 5:14,15 The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music...

Hosea 9:4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing to him...

Amos 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, said the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place...

strange land. Heb. land of a stranger

Isaiah 49:21 Then shall you say in your heart, Who has begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive...

Letter xxii (Circa A. D. 1129) to Simon, Abbot of S. Nicholas
To Simon, Abbot of S. Nicholas Bernard consoles him under the persecution of which he is the object. The most pious endeavours do not always have the desired success. What line of conduct ought to be followed towards his inferiors by a prelate who is desirous of stricter discipline. 1. I have learned with much pain by your letter the persecution that you are enduring for the sake of righteousness, and although the consolation given you by Christ in the promise of His kingdom may suffice amply for
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery.
In this Commandment too a good work is commanded, which includes much and drives away much vice; it is called purity, or chastity, of which much is written and preached, and it is well known to every one, only that it is not as carefully observed and practised as other works which are not commanded. So ready are we to do what is not commanded and to leave undone what is commanded. We see that the world is full of shameful works of unchastity, indecent words, tales and ditties, temptation to which
Dr. Martin Luther—A Treatise on Good Works

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
2 Chronicles 29:27
Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel.

Nehemiah 12:46
For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

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