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

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    Summary

This generation is from the years 730 BC to 710 BC

According to our count, this generation is the 11th generation associated with Psalm 11. It is in this Psalm 11 that we therefore find an illustration of the facts of this generation.

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. Neither the reign of Achaz nor that of Hosea were exemplary.

For the Kingdom of Israel 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. The Assyrians invaded Galilee in 732 BC at the start 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.

Regarding the kingdom of Judah, Hezekiah’s behavior stops the countdown initiated by his fathers and more particularly the bad behavior of King Ahaz.

Talk

The last king of the kingdom of Israel

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 reign of Ahaz was not exemplary:

  • Ahaz[1] was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was proper in the eyes of the Lord his God like David his father.
  • He went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and also he passed his son through fire in the abominable manner of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the children of Israel.

The reign of Hosea as well, following on from the reigns of the Kingdom of Israel:

  • And[2] he did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, though not like the kings of Israel who had preceded him.

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[3] 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.

Exile

The punishment will be exile.

  • And[4] the king of Assyria went up through the entire land, and he went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.
  • In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and exiled the Israelites to Assyria, and he repatriated them in Halah, and in Habor, the Gozan River, and the cities of Media.

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.

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:

  • And[5] it was, when the children of Israel sinned to the Lord their God (…) And the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all prophets of all visions, saying, « Repent of your evil ways, and keep My commandments, My statutes, according to the entire Law that I commanded your forefathers, and that I sent to you through My servants, the prophets. »
  • But they did not heed, and they hardened their nape like the nape of their forefathers who did not believe in the Lord their God.

The kingdom of Judah temporarily sheltered

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.

  • And[6] he (Hezekiah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, like all that his father David had done.

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?

The wrong choice of King Hosea

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[7] and failed until his people went into exile. Ahaz had also followed the example of the kings of Israel. He too was then subjected to his enemies:

  • And[8] the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Aram, and they smote him and captured from him a great captivity, and they brought them to Damascus, and he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, and he smote him a great blow.

As a result[9] of his misconduct, Ahaz suffered further defeats against the Idumeans (Edom) and the Philistines. Ahaz instead of returning to the Lord to defy these threats turned instead, unsuccessfully, to foreign gods:

  • And[10] at the time he oppressed him, he continued to act treacherously against the Lord; he was King Ahaz.
  • And he sacrificed to the gods of the kings of Aram, who had smitten him, and he said, « For the gods of the kings of Aram-they are helping them. To them I shall sacrifice, and they will help me, » but they caused him to stumble, as well as all Israel.

King Hezekiah’s Right Choice

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):

  • He[11] (Hezekiah), in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the House of the Lord and reinforced them.
  • And he brought the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the eastern square.
  • And he said to them, « Hear me, ye Levites; now sanctify yourselves and sanctify the House of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and remove the ‘menstruant’ from the Sanctuary.

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:

  • Woe[12] is to the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim and the young fruit of an inferior fig is the position of his glory, which is at the end of a valley of fatness, crushed by wine.
  • Behold God [has] a strong and powerful [wind], like a downpour of hail, a storm of destruction, like a stream of powerful, flooding water, He lays it on the land with [His] hand.
  • With the feet, they shall be trampled, the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim.

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].


[1] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 16, verses 2 and 3

[2] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 17, verse 2

[3] Tehillim – Psalms – Chapter 8, verse 7

[4] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 17, verses 5 and 6

[5] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 17, verses 7 then13 and 14

[6] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 18, verse 3

[7] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 17

[8] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 28, verse 5

[9] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 28

[10] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 28, verses 22 and 23

[11] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 29, verses 3 to 5

[12] Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 28, verses 1 to 3