670 BC to 650 BC, Psalm 14: God is gaining height.

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1024px-Burney_Relief_Babylon annote _-1800-1750This generation is that of the years between 670 BC and 650 BC.

This psalm as short as the preceding is actually in the continuity of the latter. The fourteenth generation is under the sign of the reign of Manasseh as was the thirteenth even if it began on the end of the reign of King Hezekiah.
This generation is therefore illustrated by the acts of King Manasseh:
  • And [1] he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars to the Baal, and he made an asherah as Ahab the king of Israel had made, and he prostrated himself to the entire host of the heaven, and he worshipped them.
  • And he built altars in the house of the Lord, concerning which the Lord had said, « In Jerusalem I will establish My Name. »
  • And he built altars for the entire host of Heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
  • And he passed his son through fire; he practiced soothsaying and divination, and he consulted necromancers and those divine by the Jidoa bone; he did much that was evil in the eyes of the Lord, to provoke [Him].
  • He placed the graven image of the asherah that he made, in the house concerning which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, « In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, will I establish My Name forever.
  • And I will not continue to cause Israel’s feet to wander from the land that I have given their forefathers; if they will but observe to act in accordance with all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that Moses My servant commanded them. »
This summary of the actions of Manasseh makes it possible to decipher the psalm of this generation, as regards the first verses which are in a way the statement of facts:

(extract of the psalm 14 associated to this generation, verse 1 )

  • For the conductor, of David; The fool… 
    • Manasseh can claim this qualifier.
  • (The fool) said in his heart, « There is no God »; they have dealt corruptly; they have committed abominable deeds; no one does good.
    •  In addition to worshiping idols, Manasseh defiles the Temple and sacrifices its own son by fire, which is the strongest crime that God has opposed to the peoples who inhabited the land of Israel before their arrival,
For the consequences of the acts, we can quote the continuation of the account relating to Manasseh:
  • But [2] they did not obey, and Manasseh led them astray to do what was evil, more than the nations that the Lord had destroyed from before the children of Israel.
  • And the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying,
  • « Since Manasseh has committed these abominations, he has done more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him did, and he caused Judah to sin with his idols.
  • Therefore, has the Lord God of Israel said, ‘Behold I bring calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, concerning which the two ears of all those who hear it will tingle.
  • And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, he wipes and turns it upside down.
  • And I will forsake the remnant of My heritage, and I will deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and they will become plunder and prey for all their enemies.
  • Since they did what was evil in My eyes, and they constantly provoked Me since the day that their forefathers left Egypt until this day.’ « 
  • Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem from one end to the other, besides his sin that he caused Judah to commit, to do what was evil in the eyes of the Lord.
This illustrates the continuation of the Psalm of this generation:

(extract of the psalm 14 associated to this generation, verse 2 to 3 to 5  to 7 )

  • The Lord in Heaven …  
    • In view of the defilement of the Temple by Manasseh, the Lord is obliged to « distance himself ».
  • ( The Lord in Heaven) looked down upon the sons of men to see whether there is a man of understanding, who seeks the Lord.
  • All have turned away; … 
    • Manasseh did wrong, but he also induced the entire people of Judah to behave badly, so « All have turned away« .
  • (All have turned away); together they have spoiled; no one does good, not even one.
  • Did not all the workers of iniquity know? Those who devoured My people partook of a feast; they did not call upon the Lord.
  • There they were in great fear, …. 
    • See the fate that the Lord promises to the people of Israel in the preceding quote
  • (There they were in great fear), for God is in the generation of a righteous man.
  • You put to shame the counsel of the poor, for the Lord is his refuge.
  • O that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion; when the Lord returns the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice, Israel shall be glad.
    • Manasseh also attacks innocent blood. The defilement of the Temple makes that the Lord can not reside there without abandoning however the poor remained faithful to God and also victims of Manasseh.

 

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[1] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 21, verses 3 to 8

[2] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 21, verses 9 to 16 (following the previous quote)