1 We sat by the rivers in Babylon
and cried as we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps nearby, there on the willow trees.* These instruments were used to praise God in the Temple in Jerusalem. Since it was destroyed, the people had no reason to play the songs.
3 There in Babylon, those who captured us told us to sing.
Our enemies told us to entertain them.
They said, “Sing us one of your songs about Zion.”
4 But we cannot sing the LORD’S songs
in a foreign country!
5 Jerusalem, if I ever forget you,
may I never play a song again.
6 If I fail to remember you,
may I never sing again.
I will always remember Jerusalem
as my greatest joy!
7 LORD, be sure to punish the Edomites for what they did
when Jerusalem was captured.
They shouted, “Destroy its buildings!
Pull them down to the ground!”
8 Babylon, you will be destroyed!
Bless the one who pays you back for what you did to us.
9 Bless the one who grabs your babies
and smashes them against a rock.
*137:2 These instruments were used to praise God in the Temple in Jerusalem. Since it was destroyed, the people had no reason to play the songs.