650 BC to 630 BC, Psalm 15: Who will dwell on your holy mountain?

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    Summary

This generation is from the years 650 BC to 630 BC

According to our count, this generation is the 15th generation associated with Psalm 15. It is in this Psalm 15 that we therefore find an illustration of the facts of this generation.

The Fifteen generation is a relatively tumultuous generation at the level of spirituality in Jerusalem. Indeed, this generation sees the end of the reign of King Manasseh, then the short reign (two years) of King Amon and the beginning of the reign of King Josiah. If King Manasseh behaved badly during most of his reign, he returned to the Lord at the end of it. However, this return to the Lord is short-lived, for Amon the successor of Manasseh restores idolatrous worship. Amon is murdered by his officers. Josiah, his son who reigns in turn. Josiah will again turn to the Lord.

Thus, in this generation, two periods of idolatrous worship in the Temple and two periods of worship faithful to the Lord take turns. Hence the astonishment of the psalmist in the psalm of this generation: « Who will dwell on your holy mountain? »

Talk

Worship

The Fifteen generation is a relatively tumultuous generation at the level of spirituality in Jerusalem. Indeed, this generation sees the end of the reign of King Manasseh, then the short reign (two years) of King Amon and the beginning of the reign of King Josiah.

If King Manasseh behaved badly during most of his reign, he returned to the Lord at the end of it:

  • And the Lord[1] spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they did not listen.
  • And the Lord brought upon them the generals of the king of Assyria, and they seized Manasseh with hooks and bound him with copper chains and brought him to Babylon.
  • And when he was distressed, he entreated the Lord his God, and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
  • And he prayed to Him, and He accepted his prayer, and He heard his supplication and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, and Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
  • And afterwards, he built an outer wall to the City of David on the west of Gihon in the valley, even to the Fish Gate, and he surrounded the Ophel and raised it exceedingly, and he placed military officers in all the fortified cities in Judah.
  • And he removed the foreign gods and the idol from the House of the Lord and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the House of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he cast them outside the city.
  • And he built the altar of the Lord, and he sacrificed on it peace-offerings and thanksgiving offerings, and he told Judah to worship the Lord God of Israel.
  • But the people were still sacrificing on the high places, but only to the Lord their God

However, this return to the Lord is short-lived, for Amon the successor of Manasseh restores idolatrous worship:

  • Amon[2] was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem.
  • And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord as Manasseh his father had done, and to all the graven images that Manasseh his father had made, Amon sacrificed, and he worshipped them.
  • And he did not humble himself before the Lord as Manasseh his father had done, for he-Amon-became more and more guilty.

Amon is murdered by his officers. Josiah, his son who reigns in turn. Josiah will again turn to the Lord:

  • And[3] in the eighth year when he became king, when he was still a youth, he started to seek after the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he started to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the asherim, the graven images, and the molten images.

This generation has seen:

  • Two periods of idol worship at the Temple: one during the reign of Manasseh and one during the reign of Amon,
  • Two periods of worship faithful to the LORD: one under the reign of Manasseh and one under the reign of Josiah.

So many changes of « tenants » of the Temple and Jerusalem. So many changes in the divine tent and on the holy mountain.

What justifies the beginning of the psalm of this generation:

(extract of the psalm 15 associated to this generation, verse 1  )

  • A song of David; O Lord, who will sojourn in Your tent, who will dwell upon Your holy mount?

King Josiah

What David, the author of the psalm, can do by announcing, in a way, the ideal behavior that Josiah will have during his reign and which will be the subject of the next generation:

(extract of the psalm 15 associated to this generation, verses 2 to 5  )

  • He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.
  • He did not slander with his tongue; he did his neighbor no harm, neither did he take up reproach upon his kinsman.
  • A base person is despised in his eyes, and he honors the God-fearing; he swears to [his own] hurt and does not retract.
  • He did not give his money with interest, nor did he accept a bribe against the innocent; he who does these shall not falter forever.


[1] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 33, verses 10 to 17

[2] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 33, verses 21 to 23

[3] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 34, verse 3