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Psalm 137-139

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Psalm Chapter 137

The Southern Kingdom of Judah (the people that became "Jews") found itself "By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion" because they became corrupt in the way of The Lord (see Why Babylon?). Unlike The Northern Kingdom of Israel ("the lost ten tribes" who were never "Jews" i.e. the descendants of Judah are only one of the twelve tribes of Israel - although all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews; see also Abraham Wasn't A Jew) who haven't yet returned from The Galilee Captivity (see also The Gathering of Israel and Judah), the people of Judah were allowed to return from less than a century in Babylon, in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.


"By the waters of Babylon [see Ancient Empires - Babylon], there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?]. On the Willows there we hung up our Lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

How shall we sing The Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! [see also The City To Come]

Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, "Rase it, rase it! Down to its foundations!" [see also The Lord's Plumb Line]

O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall He be who requites you with what you have done to us! Happy shall He be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!" (Psalm 137:1-9 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 138

The Temple in Jerusalem was not constructed while King David was alive; it was built in the time of David's son Solomon. David's "I bow down toward Thy Holy Temple" refers to what The Lord's Temple has always represented, until the time of the fulfillment (see Zionism and Physical and Spiritual Temples).


"A Psalm of David.

I give Thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart [see A Pure Heart]; before the gods I sing Thy praise; I bow down toward Thy Holy Temple and give thanks to Thy Name for Thy steadfast love and Thy faithfulness; for Thou hast exalted above everything Thy name and Thy word. On the day I called, Thou didst answer me, my strength of soul Thou didst increase.

All the kings of the earth shall praise Thee, O Lord [see The Coming World Dictator], for they have heard the words of Thy mouth; and they shall sing of the ways of The Lord, for great is the glory of The Lord.

For though The Lord is high, He regards the lowly; but the haughty He knows from afar [see The Two Kinds Of Pride]. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou dost preserve my life; Thou dost stretch out Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Thy right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfil His purpose for me; Thy steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of Thy hands." (Psalm 138:1-8 RSV)

Psalm Chapter 139

"O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou discernest my thoughts from afar" refers to how nothing is unknown to The Lord (see Glass Houses).


"To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou discernest my thoughts from afar. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue [see Speaking In Tongues], lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou dost beset me behind and before, and layest Thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.

Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? [see The Holy Ghost and The Holy Spirit] Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven [see Heavens Below, Heavens Above], Thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol [see Sheol and Hades], Thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Thy hand shall lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, "Let only Darkness cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to Thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with Thee [see also Awaken To The Light].

For Thou didst form my inward parts, Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb [see When Does Life Begin?]. I praise Thee, for Thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are Thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in Thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are Thy thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee.

O that Thou wouldst slay the wicked, O God, and that men of blood would depart from me, men who maliciously defy Thee, who lift themselves up against Thee for evil! [see They Shall Be Ashes] Do I not hate them that hate Thee, O Lord? And do I not loathe them that rise up against Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" (Psalm 139:1-24 RSV)

Fact Finder: In what way are some conceived, not born, again now?
See Spiritual Conception; also When Will You Be Judged?

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