For there they that carried us away captive required of us a
Or, "words of a song" F26. To repeat the words of one of the songs of Zion, as it is afterwards expressed: this the Babylonians did, as the Targum; who were they that carried the Jews into captivity; and this is given as a reason why they hung their harps on willows, and were so sorrowful, because such a request as this was made;
and they that wasted us [required of us] mirth:
the Chaldeans, who plundered them of their substance, and reduced their city and temple to heaps of rubbish, as the word F1 used signifies; or who heaped reproaches upon them, as Jarchi: these insisted not only on having the words of a song repeated to them, but that they should be set to some tune and sung in a manner expressing mirth, or would provoke unto it: or "our lamentations", according to Kimchi; that is, the authors of them F2, so barbarous were they;
[saying], sing us [one] of the songs of Zion;
which used to be sung in Zion in the temple, called the songs of the temple, ( Amos 8:3 ) ; this demand they made either out of curiosity, that they might know something of the temple songs and music they had heard of; or rather as jeering at and insulting the poor Jews in their miserable and melancholy circumstances; as if they had said, now sing your songs if you can: or in order to make themselves sport and diversion with them, as the Philistines with Samson. The spiritual songs of Zion are the songs of electing, redeeming, calling, pardoning, and justifying grace; which natural men neither understand, nor can learn, but scoff at and despise.