530 BC to 510 BC, Psalm 21: Daniel

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Fiery_furnace_02This generation is that of the years between 530 BC to 510 BC.

This generation sees the end of the reign of Cyrus and the beginning of the reign of Darius, Cyrus had allowed the Israelites to restore the altar of the Temple of Jerusalem and lay the foundations. The rebuilding of the Temple proper is only done during the reign of Darius between 520 BC and 515 BC, during the generation of interest.
It is thus during this generation that the period of seventy years of unemployment of the land announced by Jérémie ends. This period began with the assault of Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. This period ends logically on the reconstruction of the Temple, the land has been purified by its unemployment.
Louvre-Lens_-_L'Europe_de_Rubens_-_104_-_Le_Prophète_ZacharieGod can unite again to this earth because his period of impurity has passed, as the husband can once again unite with his wife when his period of impurity is over.

This is what Zechariah expresses in particular (Zechariah’s prophecy is contemporary with the reign of Darius).

Since the exile in Babylon, the neighboring populations, those mentioned by Zechariah (through the angel of the Lord) had become accustomed to the absence of the people of Israel on their land. They saw with dismay the return of the latter and also feared that the people of Israel would be able to rebuild the destroyed Temple. Thus following the laying of the foundations, as the book of Ezra indicates, these populations are hostile to the reconstruction of the Temple.

Darius

1024px-105.The_Rebuilding_of_the_Temple_Is_BegunFaced with this hostility, the Jews back on their Earth receive the support of the new king Darius who fights the written accusation of the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, leaving from the archives a decree of Cyrus confirming the authorization of the Jewish people to rebuild the Temple.

It is therefore under Darius that the Temple will be rebuilt and inaugurated.

The complicity of Cyrus with the Eternal completed by that of Darius his successor serve to serve the divine purposes of resettling the Jewish people on his land. In return for their protective action toward the people of Israel, God brings them power and power to strengthen their dominion over the world of the time.
This is what the beginning of the psalm of this generation expresses, for which, at first, the king in question can as well assimilate to Cyrus as to Darius who both exercised the power during the duration of the twenty-first generation:

(extract of the psalm 21 associated to this generation, verses 1 to 6  )

  • For the conductor, a song about David.
  • O Lord, may the king rejoice with Your strength, and how greatly does he exult with Your salvation!
  • You gave him his heart’s desire, and the speech of his lips You have never withheld.
  • For You have preceded him with the blessings of the good man; You have placed a gold crown on his head.
  • He asked You for life; You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.
  • His glory is great in Your salvation; majesty and beauty You place upon him.
Indeed Darius did not follow the enemies of the people of Israel in their indictment and allowed him to continue the construction of the Temple in memory of the protection provided by Cyrus. The inauguration of the Temple during the reign of Darius thus brings to the latter all the prestige due to the restoration of the divine abode.
This opposition of the neighboring peoples against the people of Israel with regard to the construction of the Temple, and therefore the essence of their faith and their practice towards God is also symbolized by the book of Daniel. Thus Daniel’s enemies manage to have Darius sign an ordinance forbidding any religious practice outside the worship of King Darius and ordering any offender to be thrown into the lions’ den.

Briton_Riviere_-_Daniel's_Answer_to_the_King_(Manchester_Art_Gallery)

And of course, Daniel, continuing his worship to the Lord is denounced to the king so that he is put to death. Darius reluctantly confirms the sentence while hoping that the Lord will intervene to spare Daniel. Hope answered: God makes Daniel spared by lions.
This event, which illustrates Darius’ renewed confidence in the people of Israel in rebuilding their relationship with the Lord, despite opposition from other peoples of the empire, is illustrated by the following verses of Psalm 21:

(extract of the psalm 21 associated to this generation, verses 7 and 8  )

  • For You make him (the king, so Darius) blessings forever; You shall make him happy with joy before You.
  • For the king trusts in the Lord and in the loving- kindness of the Most High, that he should not falter.
Following this miracle, King Darius inflicts the just punishment on those who initiated the conspiracy against Daniel by throwing them into the lions’ pits. Unlike Daniel, lions do not spare them.
The plans of Daniel’s enemies had turned against them. This had already been the case in another plot that the book of Daniel placed during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, where enemies of Daniel had denounced it because not having prostrated before the statue erected by Nebuchadnezzar.

Nubian_paintingThis time it is Hananiah, Misael and Azariah, the companions of Daniel, who are thrown into the pit which instead of containing lions is a fiery furnace.

Like Daniel, they come out unscathed without the slightest attack by the flames. The lion’s pit can be compared to a fiery furnace.
Thus, the miracle granted to Daniel in the lions’ pit and the fate reserved for those who had wished to harm him is illustrated by the rest of Psalm 21. Passage which also illustrates the miracle reserved by the Lord to his people to rebuild the Temple via Darius, despite opposition from other nations:

(extract of the psalm 21 associated to this generation, verses 9 to 13 )

  • Your hand shall suffice for all Your enemies; Your right hand shall suffice for those who hate You.
  • You shall place them as a fiery furnace at the time of Your anger; may the Lord destroy them with His wrath and may fire consume them.
  • You shall destroy their fruit from the earth and their seed from the sons of man.
  • For they have directed evil against You; they have devised a plot that they cannot [execute].
  • For You shall place them as a portion; with Your bowstrings You shall set [Your arrows] toward their faces.
Thus the Temple is ready to receive the divine service again, which illustrates the conclusion of the psalm:

(extract of the psalm 21 associated to this generation, verse 14 )

  • Exalt Yourself, O Lord, with Your strength; let us sing and chant of Your might.

 

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