1 By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept,
When we remembered Zion.
2 Upon the willows in the midst thereof
We hanged up our harps.
3 For there they that led us captive required of us songs,
And they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying,
Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
1 By the rivers of Babylon is signified the understanding of falsity, and reasoning from self-derived intelligence. E. 518.
1, 2. See Psalm xxxiii. 2, 3. R. 276.
See Psalm xliii. 4. E. 323.
1-6. Lamentation by the nations who are in falsities from ignorance, because they do not have the Word. P. P. 1, 8, 9. The destruction of Babel is described. E. 1029.
4 How shall we sing Jehovah’s song
In a foreign land?
5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget her skill.
6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
If I remember thee not;
If I prefer not Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
4-6. See Psalm cxxii. 1-7. L. 64.
See Psalm cxxii. 1-7. R. 880.
See Psalm cxxiii 1-7. B. 100.
See Psalm cxxii. 1-7. T. 782.
5 Jerusalem signifies the church as to the doctrine of Divine truth, and the right hand of Jehovah Divine truth in light, since they are at the right hand of the Lord in heaven who are in light and in wisdom from Divine truth. E. 298.
5, 6. Of these a church will be formed by the Lord, which He will love. P. P.
Verses quoted. D. P., Page 33.
7 Remember, O Jehovah, against the children of Edom
The day of Jerusalem;
Who said, Rase it, rase it,
Even to the foundation thereof.
7-9. Those who have devastated the church will perish. P.P.
8 O daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed,
Happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee
As thou hast served us.
8 By daughter affections are meant that disagree with the truth, and thus religions which arise in this way. What these religions are is plain from the signification of the people named, here Babel. A. 3024.
See Psalm xlv. 13. A. 6729.
It is according to the sense of the letter that those whom they have seduced and destroyed will recompense them, but according to the spiritual sense they will not recompense them, but these recompense themselves, as every evil brings its punishment with it. R. 762.
9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little
Against the rock.
9 By little ones are meant falsities, for the subject treated of is Babylon, whereby is signified the falsities of evil destroying the truths of good, pertaining to the church. The destruction of these is signified by dashing them against the rock, here standing for the ruling falsity of evil, and dash for to destroy. It would be an enormous crime thus to treat literally the children of enemies, since the simple meaning here is that he is blessed who destroys the falsities of evil which spring up in the church, and which are signified by the children of Babylon. E. 411.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)