G3 N1 1-. Babylon. Weeping. O1 -1. Zion. Remembrance. N2 2-4. Babylon. Weeping. O2 5,6. Jerusalem. Remebrance. "I". N3 7-. Edom. Remembrance. O3 -7. Jerusalem. Destruction. N4 8. Babylon. Destruction.
1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down,
Yes, we wept,
When we remembered Zion. (The Psalm is anonymous, and probably by Hezekiah. The Psalm reads as though it were a reminiscence of past experience in Babylon, and a contrast with previous joys in Zion; not, as during or after the 70 years, or an experience of a then present exile in Babylon. The writer is in Jerusalem after an absence not of long duration; and is full of joy. The post-exilic captives were full of sorrow on their return [Ezra 3:12. Hag. 2:3]. These exiles had obeyed Isaiah's call [Isa. 48:20. Cp. 43:14-21].)
2 We hanged our harps
Upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captive (i.e. the captives of Judah, as those of Israel had been by Shalmaneser and Sargon. The later took away only 27,280 from Samaria. See 1 Chron. 5:6) required of us a song;
And they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying,
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion."
4 How shall we sing the LORD's song
In a foreigner's land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand be forgotten.
6 If I do not remember you,
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;
If I prefer not Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
7 Remember, O LORD, the sons of Edom (Gen. 27:39,40 was not fulfilled until the reign of Joram [2 Kings 8:20-23. 2 Cron. 21:8-10, cp. 1 Kings 22:47]. From that time they were implacable enemies.)
In the day of Jerusalem; (Put for what happened at that time. Cp. Job 18:20. Hos. 1:11. Joel 1:15. Luke 17:22,26; 19:42. 1 Cor. 4:3.)
Who said (the reference is to what they said, not to what they dis; to the encouragement given to Sennacherib, not the help given to Nebuchadnezzar. That is what Obadiah, a later prophet, refers to. Isaiah [Hezekiah's contemporary] refers to the earlier words. See Isaiah 34:6. Here Edom does not go beyond words), "Raise it, raise it,
Even to the foundation thereof." (was said, not done, at that time.)
8 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed; (Hezekiah must have been familiar with Isaiah's prophecies, who employs the very words of vv.8,9. [Isa. 13:6,16-18; 21:9; 47:14,15. Cp. Nahum 3:10])
Happy shall he be, that rewards you
As you have served us.
9 Happy shall he be, that takes and dashes your little ones (the reference is to Isa. 13;16-18, which belonged to a Dispensation of Law and Judgment, and is not to be interpreted of the present Dispensation of Grace.)
Against the stones.