470 BC to 450 BC, Psalm 24: The walls of Jerusalem.

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Building_the_Wall_of_JerusalemThis generation is that of the years between 470 BC to 450 BC.

This generation corresponds to the first part of the reign of King Persia Artaxerxes I, successor of King Ahasuerus. The restoration of Jerusalem was initially limited to the altar and then to the Temple itself.
This generation and the next will be the occasion for a new impetus that will ultimately restore Jewish authority in the land of Israel.
These generations are illustrated by the texts of the contemporary Nehemiah prophet of Artaxerxes.
When Nehemiah learns the situation of the Jews who live in the land of Israel, he feels a great distress and relies on God:
  • The words [1] of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. And it came to pass in the month of Kislev [in] the twentieth year that I was in Shushan the capital.
  • There came Hanani, one of my brethren, he and men from Judea, and I asked them about the Jews who had escaped, who remained of the captivity, and about Jerusalem.
  • And they said to me, “The remnant who remained of the captivity in the province are in great trouble and reproach; and the wall of Jerusalem is breached, and its gates were burned with fire.”
  • And it came to pass when I heard these words that I sat and wept, and I mourned for days, and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
  • And I said, “I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, Who keeps the Covenant and loving-kindness to those who love Him and to those who keep His commandments.
  • Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You today, day and night, concerning the Children of Israel, Your servants, and I confess the sins of the Children of Israel, which we sinned against You; and I and my father’s house have sinned.
The eulogy of divine greatness in Nehemiah’s prayer is to be compared to that made by David in the beginning of the psalm of this generation:

(extract of the psalm 24 associated to this generation, verses 1 and 2  )

  • Of David, a song. The land and the fullness thereof are the Lord’s; the world and those who dwell therein.
  • For He founded it upon seas and established it upon rivers.
The intervention of Nehemiah intervenes on the border of this generation and the next. The purpose of Nehemiah will be to finally restore Jerusalem’s past greatness and restore the divine service there. This is reflected in David’s interrogations in the following verses of the psalm.
The future that is used as well as in the following verses of the psalm is due to the fact that the action undertaken during this generation will only begin to materialize in the next generation and then be consolidated by the action of Ezra.
So the continuation of the psalm:

(extract of the psalm 24 associated to this generation, verses 3 to 6  )

  • Who will ascend upon the Lord’s mount and who will stand in His Holy place?
  • He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not taken My name in vain and has not sworn deceitfully.
  • He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and charity from the God of his salvation.
  • This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your presence-Jacob, forever.
After his prayer to God, Nehemiah meets King Artaxerxes to help him in his plans to restore Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes accedes to Nehemiah’s petition.


This one can arrive at Jerusalem and initialize his project not without discontenting the opposing peoples of Israel which occupied then the ground. This is obviously associated with the shared hostility of other peoples. In spite of the attacks and the plans imagined by the other peoples, Nehemiah will manage to close the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem thanks to the help of all the Judeans present in Jerusalem:
  • Now [2] it came to pass, when the wall had been built and I had erected the doors, that the gatekeepers, the choristers, and the Levites were appointed.
  • And I put Hanani my brother and Hananiah the ruler of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he is indeed a truthful man, and he has feared God for a long time.
The city of Jerusalem was finally ready to receive the Lord again in the Temple of Zion, as expressed in the following psalm:

(extract of the psalm 24 associated to this generation, verses 7 to 10  )

  • [You] gates, lift your heads and be uplifted, [you] everlasting portals, so that the King of Glory may enter.
  • Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, Who is strong and mighty, the Lord Who is a mighty warrior.
  • [You] gates, lift your heads and lift up, [you] everlasting portals, so that the King of Glory may enter.
  • Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts-He is the King of Glory forever.



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[1] Nechemiah – Nehemiah – Chapter 1, verses 1 to 6, see also the continuation of the prayer on verses 7 to 11.

[2] Nechemiah – Nehemiah – Chapter 7, verses 1 and 2