550 BC to 530 BC, Psalm 20: Fall of Babylon.

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Olympic_Park_Cyrus-3Cyrus_II_le_Grand_et_les_HébreuxThis generation is that of the years between 550 BC and 530 BC.

Nabonidus succeeds Nebuchadnezzar. He can not resist Cyrus, the Persian king who takes control of Babylon in 539 BC. Following his accession to power, Cyrus a year later allows the people of Israel exiled to Babylon to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.
The account of this encouragement of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple is in the book of Ezra. It is also included in « II CHRONICLES », and moreover concludes this book which is the last of the Hebrew Bible. Cyrus thus makes the join between the kingdom of Judah before the exile of Babylon and after. The joining of a people of Israel tempted by idolatry and a people of Israel who are regenerated and faithful to their God.
The beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple (it will take several generations to really restore the Temple of Jerusalem) is a good illustration of the beginning of the psalm of this generation:

(extract of the psalm 20 associated to this generation, verses 1 to 5 )

  • For the conductor, a song of David.
  • May the Lord answer you on a day of distress; may the name of the God of Jacob fortify you.
  • May He send your aid from His sanctuary, and may He support you from Zion.
  • May He remember all your meal offerings and may He accept your fat burnt offerings forever.
  • May He give you as your heart [desires], and may He fulfill all your counsel.
Before, the Lord gives all the plans of the Temple to Ezekiel in a vision so that it is rebuilt according to the divine plans.
The actions of Cyrus in favor of the people of Israel correspond to a divine will as Isaiah recalls. Isaiah who also denounces the ineffectiveness of the gods of Babylon against the Lord God of Israel. From the distress of exile, the decree of Cyrus revives hope among the people of Israel. The rebuilding of the Temple authorized and encouraged by Cyrus makes Zion and its sanctuary the cement of the people of Israel. He can regain hope in his future especially as these events reinforce the predictions of Jeremiah and Ezekiel who had predicted both the dramatic events related to the destruction of Jerusalem but also its reconstruction.
In this perspective the announced fall of Babel (Babylon) reinforces the announcements of the prophets, especially those of Jeremiah, and thus strengthen the faith in the Lord as celebrated in the following of the psalm:

(extract of the psalm 20 associated to this generation, verses 6 and 7 )

  • Let us sing praises for your salvation, and let us assemble in the name of our God; may the Lord fulfill all your requests.
  • Now I know that the Lord saved His anointed; He answered him from His holy heavens; with the mighty acts of salvation from His right hand.
Thus faith in the Lord brings permanent and unbroken salvation to his people, while strength and arms only bring illusory and temporary success to his enemies.
Thus, as Jeremiah proclaimed, God had used the military power of Babylon to punish his people, but this earthly army is only an instrument of divine vengeance, the power of which has no effect when God holds his hand. to his people.
This illustrates the end of the psalm of this generation:

(extract of the psalm 20 associated to this generation, verses 8 to 10 )

  • These trust in chariots and these in horses, but we-we mention the name of the Lord our God.
  • They kneel and fall, but we rise and gain strength.
  • O Lord, save [us]; may the King answer us on the day we call.

 

 

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