Psalm 137:4
New International Version
How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?

New Living Translation
But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a pagan land?

English Standard Version
How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?

Berean Study Bible
How can we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?

King James Bible
How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

New King James Version
How shall we sing the LORD’s song In a foreign land?

New American Standard Bible
How can we sing the LORD’S song In a foreign land?

NASB 1995
How can we sing the LORD’S song In a foreign land?

NASB 1977
How can we sing the LORD’s song In a foreign land?

Amplified Bible
How can we sing the LORD’S song In a strange and foreign land?

Christian Standard Bible
How can we sing the LORD’s song on foreign soil?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
How can we sing the LORD’s song on foreign soil?

American Standard Version
How shall we sing Jehovah's song In a foreign land?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
How will we sing to you the praises of LORD JEHOVAH in a foreign land?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
How should we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Contemporary English Version
Here in a foreign land, how can we sing about the LORD?

Douay-Rheims Bible
How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land?

English Revised Version
How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?

Good News Translation
How can we sing a song to the LORD in a foreign land?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
How could we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land?

International Standard Version
How are we to sing the song of the LORD on foreign soil?

JPS Tanakh 1917
How shall we sing the LORD'S song In a foreign land?

Literal Standard Version
How do we sing the song of YHWH, On the land of a stranger?

NET Bible
How can we sing a song to the LORD in a foreign land?

New Heart English Bible
How can we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land?

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?

Additional Translations ...
Context
By the Rivers of Babylon
3for there our captors requested a song; 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? 5If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand cease to function.…

Cross References
2 Chronicles 29:27
And Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be sacrificed on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD and the trumpets began as well, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.

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


Treasury of Scripture

How shall we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

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 musick…

strange land.

Isaiah 49:21
Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?









(4) Strange land.--The feeling expressed in this question is too natural to need any such explanation as that it was contrary to the Law to sing a sacred song in a strange land. Nehemiah's answer (Nehemiah 2:2-3) offers a direct illustration.

Of Jerusalem's choir in Babylon it might truly be said:

"Like strangers' voices here they sound,

In lands where not a memory strays.

Nor landmark breathes of other days,

But all is new unhallowed ground."

TENNYSON: In Mcmoriam.

Verse 4. - How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? The "songs of Zion" are Jehovah's songs, used in his worship, suited only for religious occasions. It would be desecration to sing them "in a strange land," among strange people, not to call forth devotional sentiment, but to gratify curiosity.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
How
אֵ֗יךְ (’êḵ)
Interjection
Strong's 349: How?, how!, where

can we sing
נָשִׁ֥יר (nā·šîr)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common plural
Strong's 7891: To sing

a song
שִׁיר־ (šîr-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7892: A song, singing

of the LORD
יְהוָ֑ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

in
עַ֝֗ל (‘al)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

a foreign
נֵכָֽר׃ (nê·ḵār)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 5236: That which is foreign, foreignness

land?
אַדְמַ֥ת (’aḏ·maṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 127: Ground, land


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OT Poetry: Psalm 137:4 How can we sing Yahweh's song (Psalm Ps Psa.)
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