|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
137:5-9 What we love, we love to think of. Those that rejoice in God, for his sake make Jerusalem their joy. They stedfastly resolved to keep up this affection. When suffering, we should recollect with godly sorrow our forfeited mercies, and our sins by which we lost them. If temporal advantages ever render a profession, the worst calamity has befallen him. Far be it from us to avenge ourselves; we will leave it to Him who has said, Vengeance is mine. Those that are glad at calamities, especially at the calamities of Jerusalem, shall not go unpunished. We cannot pray for promised success to the church of God without looking to, though we do not utter a prayer for, the ruin of her enemies. But let us call to mind to whose grace and finished salvation alone it is, that we have any hopes of being brought home to the heavenly Jerusalem.
Verse 6. - If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Let me be deprived of the power of song. What was wished in the preceding verso with respect to the power of instrumental performance is here wished with respect to the vocal organs. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. This seems to be the true sense, and is equivalent to "If I prefer not Jerusalem above aught else."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If I do not remember thee,.... In prayer, in discourse, in conversation; this is the same as before, to forget, repeated for the confirmation of it;
let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; as is the case of a person in a fever, or in a violent thirst, which is to be in great distress, Psalm 18:6; the sense is, let me have no use of my tongue; let me be dumb and speechless, and never sing a song or speak a word more, should I be so forgetful of the deplorable state of Jerusalem as to sing songs at such a season, and in an enemy's country;
if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy; meaning not God his exceeding joy, Psalm 43:4; as his Creator, preserver, and benefactor, and much less as his covenant God and Father; as having loved him with an everlasting love; as the God of all grace unto him, and as his portion and exceeding great reward: nor Christ, the object of joy unspeakable and full of glory; joy in the greatness, glory, and fulness of his person; in the blessings and promises of his grace; in what he has done and suffered; as risen, ascended, exalted, and who will come a second time: nor the joy of the Holy Ghost in a way of believing, and in hope of the glory of God; but all worldly joy, or matter of it; and this not in things sinful, nor merely such as worldlings have in the increase of their substance; but a lawful joy, such as in the health, happiness, and prosperity of a man's family, wife, and children, and his own; which is the greatest outward joy a man can have; and yet the church of God and interest of Christ are preferred by a good man to these; see 1 Samuel 4:19; which appears when all a man has that is matter of joy is sacrificed for the public good and interest of religion; when he can take no comfort in any outward enjoyment because of the sad case of Zion, Malachi 2:3; when joy for its good is uppermost, and is first in his thoughts and words; when this is the "head" or "beginning" (g) of his joy, as it may be rendered. So Pindar (h) calls the chief, principal, and greatest part of joy, , the beginning of joy, the top and perfection of it.
(g) "caput laetitiae meae", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus. (h) Pythia, Ode 1. v. 4.
Psalm 137:6 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 137:6 NIV
Psalm 137:6 NLT
Psalm 137:6 ESV
Psalm 137:6 NASB
Psalm 137:6 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible