"As to Psalm 137, I defer to the real scholars on this list,
but I'll go out a little here and say that I wouldn't be
surpassed if verse 9 could be taken on the one hand as a
description of the author's wish but may also have simply meant
"defeat". War has always been cruel, and that kind of cruelty
was common at that time. So if you wanted to describe the
image of "utter defeat", this might be something you would
come up with in circa 550 BC.
After all, we have expressions like so and so "is gonna
really kick your ass". So 2500 years from now, should I
expert people of the future to read these expressions and
think that the boss really does physically kick people in
the behind? Likewise, I don't really think anyone _actually_
wants to see a soccer team "totally destroyed" (I hope).
"Defeated" yes, but "killed", most certainly not."
A very good point, and I had not thought of it. Thanks.
There was a story in a magazine once that had an example like this. Christ
the King Lutheran had a team in Little League who were playing for the
championship with a team sponsored by a business. Their opponents were
called "the Demons," based on a local landmark nearby.
The Demons won.
The headline" DEMONS KILL CHRIST THE KING
It did not go over well in the community. But with the local High School
also called "Demons," as well as the landmark, it was undestandable.
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