Verse 6. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Thus the singers imprecate eternal silence upon their mouths if they forget Jerusalem to gratify Babylon. The players on instruments and the sweet songsters are of one mind: the enemies of the Lord will get no mirthful tune or song from them. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. The sacred city must ever be first in their thoughts, the queen of their souls; they had sooner be dumb than dishonour her sacred hymns, and give occasion to the oppressor to ridicule her worship. If such the attachment of a banished Jew to his native land, how much more should we love the church of God of which we are children and citizens. How jealous should we be of her honour, how zealous for her prosperity. Never let us find jests in the words of Scripture, or make amusement out of holy things, lest we be guilty of forgetting the Lord and his cause. It is to be feared that many tongues have lost all power to charm the regations of the saints because they have forgotten the gospel, and God has forgotten them.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. If I do not remember thee. Either our beds are soft, or our hearts hard, that can rest when the church is at unrest, that feel not our brethren's hard cords through our soft beds. --John Trapp.
Verse 6. If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Literally, "if I advance not Jerusalem above the head of my joy." If I set not Jerusalem as a diadem on the head of my rejoicing, and crown all my happiness with it. --Christopher Wordsworth.