1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it.
3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill!
6 If I do not remember you, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth–if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7 Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, “Raze it, raze it, To its very foundation!”
8 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, happy the one who repays you as you have served us!
9 Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock!
This is a very angry psalm. The writer seems angry that their captors are mocking them and asking for one of their sacred songs about the beauty of Jerusalem when Jerusalem has been burned to the ground. They are enraged that something so precious to them is being treated as common and trivial. The way that they are feeling is probably the way God felt when they had treated His laws and commandments, His temple, and His alter, the very things that made Jerusalem sacred as common and trivial. When someone betrays you, think about how it makes God feel every time you betray Him.