This psalm was probably composed in Chaldea, during the captivity, and contains, (1.) The Jews’ grievous bewailing of their distress, contempt, and reproach, ver. 1, 4. (2.) Their tender and affectionate remembrance of, and concern for Jerusalem ­ the church and ordinances of God, ver. 5-6. (3.) Denunciations of destruction to the Edomites, who had promoted, and the Chaldeans, who had affected their distress and captivity, ver. 7-9.

While I sing, let me bless the Lord for what mercy is my lot, above that of many others. Let the welfare of God’s church lie near my heart. Let me earnestly desire, and firmly expect the ruin of all her and my spiritual foes.

1 By Babel’s streams we sat and wept,
when Zion we thought on.
2 In midst thereof we hanged our harps
the willow-trees upon.

3 For there a song required they,
who did us captive bring:
Our spoilers called for mirth, and said,
A song of Zion sing.

4 O how the Lord’s song shall we sing
within a foreign land?
5 If thee, Jerus’lem, I forget,
skill part from my right hand.

6 My tongue to my mouth’s roof let cleave,
if I do thee forget,
Jerusalem, and thee above
my chief joy do not set.

7 Remember Edom’s children, Lord,
who in Jerus’lems day,
Ev’n unto its foundation,
Raze, raze it quite, did say.

8 O daughter thou of Babylon,
near to destruction;
Blessed shall he be that thee rewards,
as thou to us hast done.

9 Yea, happy surely shall he be
thy tender little ones
Who shall lay hold upon, and them
shall dash against the stones.