730 BC to 710 BC, Psalm 11: End of the Kingdom of Israel

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Assyrie annote shutterstock_86576212This generation is that of the years between 730 BC and 710 BC.

This generation sees the end of the reign of King Ahaz and the beginning of King Hezekiah for the kingdom of Judah and the reign of Hosea for the kingdom of Israel. Hosea is the last king of Israel, since this kingdom disappears during this eleventh generation.
The Assyrians invade Galilee in 732 BC, at the beginning of this generation. The armies of the kingdom of Israel fight that of Salmanazar V and are defeated in 722 BC initiating the deportation of its population.
Neither the reign of Achaz nor that of Hosea were exemplary. The fact that King Hosea had less faulty behavior than his predecessors is not enough to save the kingdom of Israel.
The faulty behavior of previous generations had already been enough to anger the Lord. However, during the previous two generations the prophecies had been numerous to prevent the imminence of the sanction. We can consider that these prophecies continued during this eleventh generation. Despite this there was no return to the path of justice from the Kingdom of Israel. Psalm 8, relating to the eighth generation, recalls both the divine omnipotence but also the free will of man:
  • You [1] give him dominion over the work of Your hands; You have placed everything beneath his feet.
Free to man to act in good or in evil, to be part of the righteous or the wicked. But God pursues the faults of man until the fourth generation. God allowed the faults of the kingdom of Israel to accumulate until generation eight. Then the countdown has begun. The eleventh generation is the fourth from the « countdown » continued the mistakes of his fathers. As a result, God exercises his punishment not to directly punish the fault of the fathers but to punish children who have not been able to return from the faulty attitude of their fathers. The punishment will be exile.
As stated before, this punishment inflicted on the kingdom of Israel is due to the stubbornness of Israel not to follow the way of the Lord.
Regarding the kingdom of Judah, the behavior of Hezekiah stops the countdown initiated by his fathers and more particularly the bad behavior of King Ahaz.
Thus the beginning of the psalm of this generation can be illustrated by his attitude:

(extract of the psalm 11 associated to this generation, verses 1 to 3  )

  • To the conductor, of David; I took refuge in the Lord. How do you say to my soul, « Wander from your mountain, [you] bird »?
  • For behold the wicked tread the bow, they set their arrow on the bowstring to shoot in the dark at the upright of heart.
  • For the foundations were destroyed; what did the righteous man do?
Hosea, like his predecessors, had sought his salvation only in his power, neglecting the covenant with the Lord. He plotted against the king of Assyria and failed until his people took the road to exile. Ahaz had also followed the example of the kings of Israel. He, too, was then subject to his enemies. Ahaz instead of returning to the Lord to defy these threats turned, on the contrary, without success, to the foreign gods.
Hezekiah who succeeded him and before the same threat (« For behold the wicked tread the bow, they set their arrow on the bowstring to shoot in the dark at the upright of heart« ) instead of fleeing towards foreign gods like its predecessor ( « How do you say to my soul, « Wander from your mountain, [you] bird »?« ), return instead to the Lord who alone can protect him (« I took refuge in the Lord« ).
That is why, from the time of his advent, Hezekiah will try to restore the worship of the Lord (« For the foundations were destroyed; what did the righteous man do?« :  Hezekiah brings the answer). This salutary attitude avoided the worst in the kingdom of Judah. The kingdom of Israel, which did not follow the same path, took the direction of exile, in accordance with Isaiah’s predictions.
Thus the Lord distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked. He spares the kingdom of Judah and punishes the kingdom of Israel, which for its disrespect of the divine commandments (its impiety) and its disrespect for justice (« the one who loves violence« ) suffered the wrath of the Lord. However, these are not definitive, for the night for the people of Israel (Judah and Israel) will come to an end and those who will have crossed it by remaining faithful to the Lord and his precepts will be able when the dawn to contemplate the divine majesty .
This is what the rest of the psalm of this generation expresses:

(extract of the psalm 11 associated to this generation, verses 4 to 7  )

  • The Lord is in His Holy Temple. The Lord-His throne is in Heaven; His eyes see, His pupils try the sons of men.
  • The Lord tries the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
  • He shall rain upon the wicked charcoal, fire, and brimstone, and a burning wind is the portion of their cup.
  • For the Lord is righteous; He loves [workers of] righteousness, whose faces approve of the straight [way].

 

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[1] Psalm 8, verse 7