[Luke 19:44 NLT] (44) They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation."

[Luke 19:44 MGNT] (44) καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου

Psalm 137: 8 Wretched daughter of Babylon! blessed shall he be who shall reward thee as thou hast rewarded us. 9 Blessed shall he be who shall seize and dash thine infants against the rock. Compiled from the Translation by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton 1851

[Psa 137:8-9 LXX] (8) θυγάτηρ Βαβυλῶνος ἡ ταλαίπωρος μακάριος ὃς ἀνταποδώσει σοι τὸ ἀνταπόδομά σου ὃ ἀνταπέδωκας ἡμῗν (9) μακάριος ὃς κρατήσει καὶ ἐδαφιεῗ τὰ νήπιά σου πρὸς τὴν πέτραν

  • There is a difference between an allusion and the use of similar wording. Events may be described with similar words because they are similar events. But an allusion is a deliberate association with a specific situation. I cannot see, here, that there is evidence of allusion, only similar wording in s similar context. What makes you think that it is an allusion ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 6, 2019 at 12:51
  • The crushed babies. That doesn't seem like too common of an event and the Psalm seems messianic: "He (the messiah) will be blessed for crushing your babies...". Perhaps the idea is that Jesus is going to crush the babies of the new Babylon (apostate Israel)?
    – Ruminator
    Apr 6, 2019 at 12:55
  • 1
    ἐδαφίζω Strong 1474 is to throw to the ground or dash to the ground [Thayer]. I think you might be correct, having considered it. +1.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 6, 2019 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


There is probably a general allusion here but let us not be too specific. The only words Luke 19:44 and Ps 137:9 have in common are "dashing babies".

However, the same pair of words also appear in 2 Kings 8:12; Isaiah 13:16-18; Hosea 10:14, 13:16, Nah 3:10, etc, and also in the Homer's Iliad, xxii. 63: "My bleeding infants dashed against the floor." (Thanks to Ellicott for this reference.)

This ancient barbarous behaviour was a sad but common practice of ancient warfare that has been replaced with more modern barbarism that is just as hideous.

There is an important difference between Luke 19:44 and Ps 137:9,

  • Luke 19:44 is discussing the Roman army despoiling Jerusalem and its inhabitants
  • Ps 137:9 is discussing and un-named army that would destroy Edom, the "daughter of Babylon" (v7 & 8) and kill its inhabitants.

Thus, dashing infants against the ground or rocks is general figure of speech denoting merciless warfare (Isa 13:18) by the marauding army against its unfortunate victims.

  • Do you read it as a reference to the Messiah ("blessed is he who dashes...") or just any dasher?
    – Ruminator
    Apr 6, 2019 at 22:33
  • I do not see a direct reference to Messiah in Ps 137, only to the general providence of God as the Jews left revenge/repayment (v8) up to divine justice, "happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. "
    – user25930
    Apr 6, 2019 at 22:36

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