Psalm 137:3
New International Version
for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

New Living Translation
For our captors demanded a song from us. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”

English Standard Version
For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

Berean Study Bible
for there our captors requested a song; our tormentors demanded songs of joy: “Sing us a song of Zion.”

New American Standard Bible
For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

King James Bible
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Christian Standard Bible
for our captors there asked us for songs, and our tormentors, for rejoicing: "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

Contemporary English Version
Our enemies had brought us here as their prisoners; now they wanted us to sing and entertain them. They insulted us and shouted, "Sing about Zion!"

Good News Translation
Those who captured us told us to sing; they told us to entertain them: "Sing us a song about Zion."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
for our captors there asked us for songs, and our tormentors, for rejoicing:" Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

International Standard Version
for it was there that our captors asked us for songs and our torturers demanded joy from us, "Sing us one of the songs about Zion!"

NET Bible
for there our captors ask us to compose songs; those who mock us demand that we be happy, saying: "Sing for us a song about Zion!"

New Heart English Bible
For there, those who led us captive asked us for songs. Those who tormented us demanded songs of joy: "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because there they asked and they wanted the words of songs, and those leading us said to us, “Sing to us of the songs of Zion.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It was there that those who had captured us demanded that we sing. Those who guarded us wanted us to entertain them. [They said,] "Sing a song from Zion for us!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, And our tormentors asked of us mirth: 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'

New American Standard 1977
For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
when there, those that carried us away captive asked us for the words of the song; with our harps of joy hung upon the willows saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

King James 2000 Bible
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

American King James Version
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

American Standard Version
For there they that led us captive required of us songs, And they that wasted us required of us mirth,'saying , Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
For there they that had taken us captive asked of us the words of a song; and they that had carried us away asked a hymn, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Sion.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For there they that led us into captivity required of us the words of songs. And they that carried us away, said: Sing ye to us a hymn of the songs of Sion.

Darby Bible Translation
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that made us wail [required] mirth, [saying,] Sing us [one] of the songs of Zion.

English Revised Version
For there they that led us captive required of us songs, and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Webster's Bible Translation
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

World English Bible
For there, those who led us captive asked us for songs. Those who tormented us demanded songs of joy: "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

Young's Literal Translation
For there our captors asked us the words of a song, And our spoilers -- joy: 'Sing ye to us of a song of Zion.'
Study Bible
By the Rivers of Babylon
2There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3for there our captors requested a song, and our tormentors demanded songs of joy: “Sing us a song of Zion.” 4How can we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?…
Cross References
Psalm 80:6
You make us contend with our neighbors; our enemies mock us.

Isaiah 49:17
Your builders hasten back; those who laid you waste will depart.

Treasury of Scripture

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

for there

Psalm 123:3,4
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt…

Lamentations 2:15,16
All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? …

a song.

Psalm 79:1
A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

Nehemiah 4:2
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

Jeremiah 9:11
And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.

the song of Zion

Psalm 9:14
That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

Psalm 65:1
To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David. Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

1 Chronicles 15:27
And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.







Lexicon
for
כִּ֤י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

there
שָׁ֨ם (šām)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 8033: There, then, thither

our captors
שׁוֹבֵ֡ינוּ (šō·w·ḇê·nū)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 7617: To transport into captivity

requested
שְֽׁאֵל֪וּנוּ (šə·’ê·lū·nū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 7592: To inquire, to request, to demand

a song,
שִׁ֭יר (r)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7892: A song, singing

and our tormentors demanded
וְתוֹלָלֵ֣ינוּ (wə·ṯō·w·lā·lê·nū)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 8437: Causing to howl, an oppressor

songs of joy:
שִׂמְחָ֑ה (śim·ḥāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8057: Blithesomeness, glee

“Sing
שִׁ֥ירוּ (šî·rū)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7891: To sing

us
לָ֝֗נוּ (lā·nū)
Preposition | first person common plural
Strong's Hebrew

a song
מִשִּׁ֥יר (miš·šîr)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7892: A song, singing

of Zion.”
צִיּֽוֹן׃ (ṣî·yō·wn)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6726: Zion -- a mountain in Jerusalem, also a name for Jerusalem
(3) A song.--See margin. The expression is generally regarded as pleonastic, but may be explained as in Psalm 105:27, where see Note. Perhaps "some lyric thing" would express the original. No doubt it is a Levite who is requested to sing.

They that wasted us.--A peculiar Hebrew word which the LXX. and Vulg. take as synonymous with the verb in the first clause. The modern explanation, "they that make us howl," is far preferable. Those whose oppression had raised the wild Oriental scream of lamentation, now asked for mirth.

Songs of Zion--or, as in the next verse, songs of Jehovah, were of course the liturgical hymns. Nothing is more characteristic than this of the Hebrew feeling. The captors asked for a national song, as the Philistines asked for sport from Samson, to amuse them. The Hebrew can think only of one kind of song, that to which the genius of the race was dedicated.

Verse 3. - For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; literally, words of song. The oppressors break into the retired gathering of their captives, and "require of them a song" - demand roughly and rudely to be entertained with the foreign music, which is perhaps sweeter than their own, or at any rate more of a novelty. And they that wasted us required us mirth. Not only was "a song" wanted but a joyous song - one that would wake feelings of mirth and gladness in those who heard it. Saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion; literally, sing us frown a song of Zion. The captives had, no doubt, spoken of the joyous strains which they had been wont to pour forth in their own city upon festive occasions. Their conquerors demand a specimen, but are repulsed with the words of the next verse. 137:1-4 Their enemies had carried the Jews captive from their own land. To complete their woes, they insulted over them; they required of them mirth and a song. This was very barbarous; also profane, for no songs would serve but the songs of Zion. Scoffers are not to be compiled with. They do not say, How shall we sing, when we are so much in sorrow? but, It is the Lord's song, therefore we dare not sing it among idolaters.
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