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Psalm 136 (or 137)

Donna Rose

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Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem

1  By the rivers of Babylon--
        there we sat down and there we wept
        when we remembered Zion.
2  On the willows there
        we hung up our harps.
3  For there our captors
        asked us for songs,
    and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
        "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

4  How could we sing the LORD's song
        in a foreign land?
5  If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
        let my right hand wither!
6  Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
        if I do not remember you,
    if I do not set Jerusalem
        above my highest joy.

7  Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
        the day of Jerusalem's fall,
    how they said, "Tear it down! Tear it down!
        Down to its foundations!"
8  O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
        Happy shall they be who pay you back
        what you have done to us!
9  Happy shall they be who take your little ones
        and dash them against the rock!


How does the Church interpret the violence of this psalm (which we sang just this week in liturgy, and I know will turn up at least one more time)? I have heard that the "little ones" in the last lines are the offspring of our sin...any thoughts/links on this? Thanx :)
 

nstanosheck

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There was an article on the Psalms in Diakonia, a scholarly journal of Uniate Ecumenism that you may be interested in reading as it expounds on this Psalm somewhat:

http://academic.uofs.edu/organization/ecsc/DIAKONIA.HTML
 

MsGuided

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The way the wordings of the psalms are so extravagant, I would not be surprised if it is interpreted literally.  That doesn't mean that it should be put into use that way of course, to legitamise violence like it mentioned in that article Dn. Nikolai linked.  I'm also seeing that here it is being explained as, "The Fathers tell us that the children of the daughter of Babylon are the evil thoughts that assail us."  Don't know which Father's the Hegumen is referring to, though.
 

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1. Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem that is over our soul on account of its fall into sin and losing its peaceful state. Jerusalem means vision of peace. Rivers of Babylon are the passionate thoughts, because they are the cause of confusion (=Babylon). So remembering our former dispassionate state of soul (Zion), what else can we do but weep.

(skipping the other verses for lack of time - I’m sure you can figure it out)

7. Edomites are the fleshly thoughts that entice the soul to purse sinful pleasures and which are the cause of its destruction. Daughter of Babylon is the soul, which has been defeated in her thoughts by sin, whereas her little ones are the first actions of sin. However, you Donna Rose being a wise lady, you will not let them grow and become men (serious sins), but you will crush them with the prayer of Jesus, which is the Rock.

icxn :)
 

Mor Ephrem

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Dn. Nik,

I trust you are quite familiar with the rules here, and ask you to refrain in the future from using the term Uniate.  You can do better than that.  :p 
 

nstanosheck

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I apologize Philip, I did know that terms like Papist, Monophysite and Nestorian were frowned on here but was not aware that Uniate was among the banned words. Please forgive my ignorance and any offense I may have caused.
 

Mor Ephrem

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No problem, Dn. Nik.  Forgive me for presuming you knew (and for getting back to this so late). 
 
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