137:1 By the rivers of Babylon
we sit down and weep 2
when we remember Zion.
137:2 On the poplars in her midst
we hang our harps,
those who mock us demand that we be happy, saying: 4
“Sing for us a song about Zion!” 5
2 tn Heb “there we sit down, also we weep.”
3 tn Heb “ask us [for] the words of a song.”
4 tn Heb “our [?] joy.” The derivation and meaning of the Hebrew phrase תוֹלָלֵינוּ (tolalenu, “our [?]”) are uncertain. A derivation from תָּלַל (talal, “to mock”) fits contextually, but this root occurs only in the Hiphil stem. For a discussion of various proposals, see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 236.
5 tn Heb “from a song of Zion.” Most modern translations read, “one of the songs of Zion,” taking the preposition מִן (min, “from”) as partitive and “song” as collective. The present translation assumes the mem (ם) is enclitic, being misunderstood later as the prefixed preposition.