This site was first built in French (see www.147thgeneration.net). The English translation was mainly done using « google translation ». We have tried to correct the result of this translation to avoid interpretation errors. However, it is likely that there are unsatisfactory translations, do not hesitate to communicate them to us for correction.
(for that click on this paragraph)
(The image that illustrates this generation is a map of the « known world » in 1025, to find out which entities the numbered areas correspond to, see the end of the page)
This generation is from the years 1010 AD to 1030 AD.
According to our count, this generation is the 98th generation associated with Psalm 98. It is in this Psalm 98 that we therefore find an illustration of the facts of this generation.
In this generation, the reign of Basil II allowed Byzantium to regain a power comparable to that associated with the reign of Justinian. He died in 1025 without leaving an heir, which would trigger the decline of the Byzantine Empire.
As the decline of the Byzantine Empire takes shape, that of the Umayyad caliphate of the West is initiated. The death of Abd al Malik in 1007 marks the beginning of the latter’s decline.
The disappearance of the Caliphate of Cordoba will push many Jewish intellectuals to emigrate to new horizons. Some in the new Muslim mini-kingdoms (taifas) resulting from the bursting of the caliphate. Others in Christian lands, especially in the Christian principalities of northern Spain. These will practice, for a few more generations, a religious tolerance having nothing to envy to that lavished on the side of the lands dominated by Islam.
This generation is the ninety-eight generation, the last of the second night watch. It marks the end of a world centered on the Mediterranean. After the forty-nine generations of exile in the nations of the second watch, the Jewish people could build a new identity. The synagogues took over from the Temple, the prayer as a holocaust.
This generation is marked by the end of the long reign of Basil II Bulgaroctone (976-1025) on the Byzantine Empire. During his reign, he established a certain inner stability through greater social equity towards the poor. It temporarily eliminates the Russian threat thanks to the conversion to Catholicism of Vladimir in 989, contains the Arab threat and preserves its interests in Italy.
In 1014, he finally put an end to the last threat, that of the Bulgarian expansion which had suffered many setbacks already a few years earlier.
He also during the previous generation allowed Venice to assert itself as a maritime power by delegating part of the defense of the Adriatic against Bulgarian, Slav and Arab threats.
If the reign of Basil II allowed Byzantium to regain power comparable to that associated with the reign of Justinian, he died in 1025 without leaving an heir, which will trigger the decline of the Byzantine empire.
Until then, only two powers had marked Europe since the fall of Rome. Byzantium on the eastern side and the Umayyad empire on the western side. As the decline of the Byzantine Empire takes shape, that of the Umayyad caliphate of the West is initiated. The death of Abd al Malik in 1007 marks the beginning of the latter’s decline.
The gradual disappearance of these bipolar powers allows the emergence of new forces that will reshape Europe. A watch of the night represents forty-nine generations, this generation is the ninety-eight generation is the last of the second watch of the night. It marks the end of a world centered on the Mediterranean. The peoples of northern Europe, formerly Arians, will slowly emerge from the next generation that will mark the beginning of the third night watch.
The revival of Judaism initiated during the Golden Age of the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba will not be lost.
The disappearance of the Caliphate of Cordoba will push many Jewish intellectuals to emigrate to new horizons. Some in the new Muslim mini-kingdoms (taifas) resulting from the bursting of the caliphate, others in Christian lands, especially in the Christian principalities of northern Spain. These during the first generations of the third watch will still practice a religious tolerance that has nothing to envy to that provided on land dominated by Islam.
The second watch of the night
The second watch, which has forty-nine generations, began at the fiftieth generation and ends with this generation. The fifty (50-70) generation was marked by the destruction of the second temple and the beginning of exile. Thus, the end of sacrificial worship replaced by a direct relationship of the people with their God through prayer. It is for this reason that Psalm fifty has broken with the previous psalms, with Asaf as author. Assaf has a privileged place with David in the execution of the sacred liturgy.
To begin the second watch of the night, where sacrificial worship is replaced by prayer, the Jewish people could only resort to their cultural heritage in the time of the splendor of the Kingdom of David. Therefore, Assaf initialized this guard by uttering the first psalm associated with it.
After the forty-nine generations of exile in the nations of the second watch, the Jewish people could build a new identity. The synagogues took over from the Temple, the prayer as a holocaust.
Maturity of the Jewish people
This is the case in the Ashkenazi world, under the impulse of Rabbenu Gershom (950-1028) who ends his life and his work during this generation. This is also the case in Spain, where despite the dramatic end of Caliphate Omeyyad of Cordoba, new spirits, like Samuel ibn Nagrela, continue to sow the Sephardic world (essentially Spain at this time).
Assaf has been relayed by the generations of exile from the second watch of the night. It is this maturity of the Jewish people that results, expressed by renewed liturgies from exile (« to the eyes of the nations« ) in a new world far beyond the borders of the ancient world (« all the ends of the earth » ) that the Psalm of this generation commemorates:
(extract of the psalm 98 associated to this generation, verses 1 to 4 )
- A song. Sing to the Lord a new song, for He performed wonders; His right hand and His holy arm have saved Him.
- The Lord has made known His salvation; to the eyes of the nations He has revealed His righteousness.
- He remembered His kindness and His faith to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
- Shout to the Lord, all the earth, open [your mouths] and sing praises and play music.
This psalm is obviously reminiscent of the Psalm associated with the ninety-six generation. This is not fortuitous. It is indeed during this generation 96, marked by Hasdai Ha-Nassi, that the Jewish revival is triggered. The present generation only consolidates this renewal which allows the Jewish people to assert themselves within the nations in order to better face the third and last watch of the night.
The psalm of this generation concludes on the balance sheet of this second watch of the night. For he not only celebrates the new liturgy (« voice of song« ) that both enriches the older liturgy (« with a harp« , allusion to the psalms) and allows to associate with the opening of a new world.
The ancient world was Mediterranean and Middle Eastern.
Since the destruction of the second temple he has slowly ascended to the north.
Now the two pillars of Muslim Spain and the Byzantine Empire are beginning to lose their influence and power to give way to the northern countries, the future Europe beyond the seas and mountains.
It is this new world which opens to the Jewish people which is evoked in the following of the psalm:
(extract of the psalm 98 associated to this generation, verses 5 to 9 )
- Play to the Lord with a harp, with a harp and a voice of song.
- With trumpets and the sound of a shofar, raise your voices before the King, the Lord.
- The sea and the fullness thereof will roar, the inhabited world and the inhabitants thereof.
- Rivers will clap hands; together mountains will sing praises.
- Before the Lord, for He has come to judge the earth; He will judge the inhabited world justly and the peoples with equity.
Correspondence of the numbered entities referenced in the map at the beginning of this page: