Psalm 137:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem. The case is left in Jehovah's hands. He is a God of recompenses, and will deal out justice with impartiality. The Edomites ought to have been friendly with the Israelites, from kinship; but there was a deep hatred and cruel spite displayed by them. The elder loved not to serve the younger, and so when Jacob's day of tribulation came, Esau was ready to take advantage of it. The captive Israelites being moved by grief to lodge their complaints with God, also added a prayer for his visitation of the nation which meanly sided with their enemies, and even Urged the invaders to more than their usual cruelty. Who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. They wished to see the last of Jerusalem and the Jewish state; they would have no stone left standing, they desired to see a clean sweep of temple, palace, wall, and habitation. It is horrible for neighbours to be enemies, worse for them to show their enmity in times of great affliction, worst of all for neighbours to egg others on to malicious deeds. Those are responsible for other men's sins who would use them as the tools of their own enmity. It is a shame for men to incite the wicked to deeds which they are not able to perform themselves. The Chaldeans were ferocious enough without being excited to greater fury; but Edom's hate was insatiable. Those deserve to be remembered by vengeance who in evil times do not remember mercy; how much more those who take advantage of calamities to wreak revenge upon sufferers. When Jerusalem's day of restoration comes Edom will be remembered and wiped out of existence.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom, etc. The Jews were their brethren: Obadiah 1:10 Amos 1:11 . They were their neighbours, Idumea and Judea bordered upon one another: Mark 3:8 . They were confederates with the Jews ( Jeremiah 27:3 : an Edomitish ambassador was at Jerusalem), who, together with the ambassadors of the other kings there mentioned, were strengthening themselves with Zedekiah against Nebuchadnezzar; see Obadiah 1:7 . For them, therefore to revenge themselves for former wrongs done them upon the Jews, and that in the day of their calamity, this made their sin exceedingly sinful --William Greenhill, 1591-1677.

Verse 7. Remember, O LORD, the, children of Edom, etc. Or all kinds of evil speaking against our brother, this sin of Edom, to sharpen an enemy against our brother in the day of his sorrow and distress, this opening of the mouth wide against him, to exult over him in his calamity, is most barbarous and unchristian. ... Observe how the cruelty of the Edomites is aggravated by this time; the most woeful time that ever Jerusalem had, called therefore the day of Jerusalem. When all things conspired to make their sorrow full, then, in the anguish and fit of their mortal disease, then did Edom arm his eye, his tongue his heart, his hand, and join all those with the enemy against his brother. Learn, that God taketh notice not only what we do against another, but when; for he will set these things in order before us; for the God of mercy cannot abide cruelty. --Edward Marbury, 1649.

Verse 7. Remember, O Loud, the children of Edom. Edom shall be remembered for the mischievous counsel he gave; and the daughter of Babylon shall be for ever razed out of memory for razing Jerusalem to the ground. And let all the secret and open enemies of God's church take heed how they employ their tongues and hands against God's secret ones: they that presume to do either may here read their fatal doom written in the dust of Edom, and in the ashes of Babylon. --Daniel Featley (1582-1645), in "Clavis Mystica."

Verse 7. In Herod, the Idumean, Edom's hatred found its concentrated expression. His attempt was to destroy him whom God had laid in Zion as the "sure foundation." -- William Kay.

Verse 7. It may be observed that the Jews afterward acted the same part toward the Christian church which the Edomites had acted toward them, encouraging and stirring up the Gentiles to persecute and destroy it from off the face of the earth. And God "remembered" them for the Christians' sakes, as they prayed him to "remember Edom" for their sakes. Learn we hence, what a crime it is, for Christians to assist the common enemy, or call in the common enemy to assist them, against their brethren. -- George Horne.

Verse 7. We are not to regard the imprecations of this Psalm in any other light than as prophetical. They are grounded on the many prophecies which had already gone forth on the subject of the destruction of Babylon, if, as we may admit, the Psalm before us was written after the desolation of Jerusalem. But these prophecies have not yet been fulfilled in every particular, and remain to be accomplished in mystic Babylon, when the dominion of Antichrist shall be for ever swept away, and the true church introduced into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, at the appearing of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in his own kingdom. --William Wilson.

Verse 7. Edom's hatred was the hatred with which the carnal mind in its natural enmity against God always regards whatever is the elect object of his favour. Jerusalem was the city of God. "Rase it, rase it even to the ground", is the mischievous desire of every unregenerate mind against every building that rests on the elect Stone of Divine foundation. For God's election never pleases man until, through grace, his own heart has become an adoring receiver of that mercy which while in his natural state he angrily resented and refused to own in its effects on other men From Cain to Antichrist this solemn truth holds always, good. --Arthur Pridham.

Verse 7-9. I do not know if the same feeling has occurred to others, but I have often wished the latter verses of this Psalm had been disjoined from this sweet and touching beginning. It sounds as if one of the strings on their well tuned harps was out of melody, as if it struck a jarring note of discord. And yet I know the feeling is wrong, for it is no more than what the Lord himself had foretold and declared should be the final desolation of proud Babylon itself: yet one longs more intensely for the period when the nations of the earth shall learn war no more; and every harp and every voice, even those of the martyred ones beneath God's altar loudest and sweetest of all, shall sing the Lord's songs, the song of Moses, and the Lamb, in that pleasant land, where no sighing and no tears are seen. --Barton Bouchier.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 7. The hatred of the ungodly to true religion.

  1. Its cause.
  2. Its extent. "Rase it", etc.
  3. Its season for display: "in the day of Jerusalem" -- trouble, etc.
  4. Its reward: "Remember, O Lord."

 

WORKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SEVENTH PSALM. IN SPURGEON'S DAY

"An Exposition upon some select Psalms of David ... Written by that faithful servant of God M. Robert Rollok ... And translated out of Latine into English by Charles Lumisden ... Edinborgh ... 1600", 8vo. contains a short exposition on Psalm 137. Of little value.]