Daily Bible Reading: Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137
Ezra 4:3-5 (NKJV) But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel said to them, “You may do nothing with us to build a house for our God; but we alone will build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.” Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus King of Persia, even until the reign of Darius King of Persia
Ezra 5:1-2 (GenevaBible) Then 1, Haggai a Prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo a Prophet prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah, and Jerusalem, in the Name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose, and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem, and with them were the Prophets of God, which helped them.
Psalm 137:1-3 NKJV By the rivers of Babylon, here we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. 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!”
In pathetic but beautiful language the exiled psalmist mourned the plight of those who wept in a strange land and could not sing their songs of Zion. Opposite to his intense love for Zion was his hatred for the destroyers of Zion; so he turned to voice imprecations against Edom and Babylon who had destroyed the city of God.
Reflecting the exilic period, this psalm may have been written toward the end of the Babylonian Captivity. Perhaps the psalmist felt that the Persians’ kind treatment of the Babylonians was an insufficient judgment of those who devastated Israel.
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