790 BC to 770 BC, Psalm 8: The temptation of Edom

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    Summary

This generation is from the years 790 BC to 770 BC

According to our count, this generation is the 8th generation associated with Psalm 8. It is in this Psalm 8 that we therefore find an illustration of the facts of this generation.

This generation is the one that corresponds to the beginning of King Amaziah’s reign for the kingdom of Judah. His total reign will last twenty-nine years. For the kingdom of Israel, this generation was initiated by the continuation of the reign of King Joas who had begun in the seventh generation; it is completed by the long reign of King Jeroboam. This one indeed lasts forty-one years. It is initialized in the eighth generation (about seven years) and continues until the tenth generation (about thirteen years).

It’s a generation immune from enemy attacks, a break in a way. However, this harmony is therefore troubled by the will of King Amaziah to fight with King Joas. Joash tried unsuccessfully to avoid the confrontation: Amaziah met defeat against Joash. In fact this defeat was desired by the Lord, for Amaziah in his victory over Edom appropriated the enemy idols.

Talk

Amaziah

The eighth generation is the one that corresponds to the beginning of King Amaziah’s reign for the kingdom of Judah. His total reign will last twenty-nine years. For the kingdom of Israel, this generation was initiated by the continuation of the reign of King Joas who had begun in the seventh generation; it is completed by the long reign of King Jeroboam. This one indeed lasts forty-one years. It is initialized in the eighth generation (about seven years) and continues until the tenth generation (about thirteen years).

For King Amaziah, we will rectify the duration of his reign at sixteen to be consistent with the beginning of the reign of Azariah with respect to the reign of Zechariah king of Israel. Hence the eighth generation also incorporates the beginning of the long reign of Amacia King of Judah.

Against the Lord, Amaziah was an exemplary king without reaching the level of King David. Joash and Jeroboam, kings of the kingdom of Israel, continued in the evil way of their predecessors, especially that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Joash and Jeroboam are the second and third generation after Jehu. They benefit from the clemency promised by the Lord to the latter over the four generations of kings that he would produce.

It’s a generation immune from enemy attacks, a break in a way. This justifies David’s special praise in this psalm relating to the harmony of the world. He also recalls that the kingship of Judah worthily represented by Amaziah to this generation is due to the miraculous survival of Joas from the hands of Athalie when he was only infant/suckling (Josabeth who saved him had to preserve also his nurse ).

Infant/suckling on which rests the survival of the kingdom of Judah, of the Jewish people, and by which the divine power is thus expressed, as the beginning of the Psalm of this generation indicates:

(extract of the psalm 8 associated to this generation, verses 1, 2 and first part of verse 3  )

  • To the conductor, on the gittith, a song of David.
  • O Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your name in all the earth, for which You should bestow Your majesty upon the heavens.
  • Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have established strength …

Enemy idols

However, we remain in the night, this harmony is therefore troubled by the will of King Amaziah to fight with King Joas. Joas, wanting to avoid confrontation, reminded his adversary of maintaining a certain harmony in an attempt to avoid this confrontation:

  • Then[1] Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu the king of Israel, saying, « Come, let us confront each other. »
  • And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah the king of Judah, saying, « The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife,’ and the wild beast that was in Lebanon came and trampled the thistle.
  • You have defeated the Edomites and your heart has made you arrogant. Retain your honor by staying home. Now why should you provoke evil and fall, you and Judah with you? « 

This advice was not listened to and Amaziah went to meet the defeat. In fact, this defeat was desired by the Lord, for Amaziah in his victory against Edom appropriated the idols of the vanquished:

  • And[2] it was, after Amaziah had come from smiting the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the sons of Seir and set them up for himself for gods, and he prostrated himself before them and burned incense to them.
  • And the Lord became wroth with Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet, and he said to him, « Why have you sought the gods of the people who did not save their people from your hand? »

Recall that the psalm of this generation praises the Lord as the only ruler of the universe and thus echoes from Amaziah:

(extract of the psalm 8 associated to this generation, end of verse 3 and verses 4 to 5 to 10  )

  •  … because of Your adversaries, in order to put an end to enemy and avenger. 
  • The defeat of Amacia is the illustration, but this sentence will be verified throughout the history of the Jewish people. Its enemies and detractors will always be defeated and despite the blows to the Jewish people, it will survive and not its enemies.
  • When I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and stars that You have established,
  • what is man that You should remember him, and the son of man that You should be mindful of him? 
  • The stars recall the divine promise made by God to Abraham, which Jacob and the Jewish people inherited. The stars are eternal and their memory can not be destroyed, God will know how to avenge the children of Israel victims of « his enemies and rancorous opponents ». This is why these stars will be mentioned again in Psalm 147 when it is time for nations to be accountable for the crimes of the Holocaust.
  • Yet You have made him slightly less than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and majesty.
  • You give him dominion over the work of Your hands; You have placed everything beneath his feet.
  • Flocks and cattle, all of them, and also the beasts of the field;
  • the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, he traverses the ways of the seas.
  • O Lord, our Master, how mighty is Your name in all the earth! 
  • The evocation of the works of God and in particular of « what travels the ocean routes » has a significant interest that we will evoke in Psalm 147.

[1] Melachim II – II Kings – Chapter 14, verses 8 to 10

[2] Divrei Hayamim II – II Chronicles – Chapter 25