The untimely death of that monarch upon the battlefield of Megiddo (608 B.C.), followed by the inglorious reigns of the kings who succeeded him, who became puppets in turn of Egypt or of Babylonia, silenced for a while the Messianic hopes for a future king or line of kings of Davidic lineage who would rule a renovated kingdom in righteousness and peace.
Babylonia was politically unsettled, the representative of the Davidic dynasty had descendants; if Babylon was assured of the allegiance of Judah further acts of clemency may well have followed.
An immense body of exiles is said to have returned at this time to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel, who was of Davidic descent, and the priest Jeshua or Joshua, the grandson of the murdered Seraiah (Ezra i.
In Zerubbabel the people beheld once more a ruler of the Davidic race.
A work which inculcates the dependence of the state upon the purity of its ruler is the unfinished book of Kings with its history of the Davidic dynasty and the Temple.
In obscure circumstances the enthusiastic hopes have melted away, the Davidic scion has disappeared, and Jerusalem has been the victim of another disaster.
Xxxviii.; its connexion with the Davidic dynasty, Ruth iv.; its position as head of all the Judaean sub-divisions, I Chron.
Some traditions regarded the last king of Davidic descent (Jehoiachin) as the first exilarch, and all the later holders of the dignity claimed to be scions of the royal house of Judah.
Which carries no more intrinsic weight than the Davidic titles of the Psalms. The poem begins with a prayer that God will renew the historic manifestation of the exodus, which inaugurated the national history and faith; a thunderstorm moving up from the south is then described, in which God is revealed (3-7); it is asked whether this manifestation, whose course is further described, is against nature only (8-ii); the answer is given that it is for the salvation of Israel against its wicked foes (12-15); the poet describes the effect in terror upon himself (16) and declares his confidence in God, even in utter agricultural adversity (17-19).
But when we look at the Elohim psalms more nearly, we see that they contain two distinct elements, Davidic psalms and psalms ascribed to the Levitical choirs (sons of Korah, Asaph).
The Davidic collection as we have it splits the Levitical psalms into two groups and actually divides the Asaphic Ps.
This order can hardly be original, especially as the Davidic Elohim psalms have a separate subscription (Ps.
K.) Jehovistic. We can thus distinguish the following steps in the redaction: (a) the formation of a Davidic collection (book I.) with a closing doxology; (b) a second Davidic collection (li.
If the compiler of the first book aimed simply at making a collection of Davidic psalms from a major Psalter compiled by the " Director," why should he have deliberately rejected a number of Davidic psalm* (Ps.
It is surely as difficult to suppose that the Davidic psalms of the first book are a selection made from a greater collection of such psalms contained in the " Director's Psalter " as it is to imagine that St Mark's Gospel is an abridgment of St, Matthew's.
On the other hand, in a collection intended for synagogue use - and the second collection of psalms is as a whole far more suitable to a synagogue than to the Temple - where there would not be a large choir and orchestra of skilled musicians, it would obviously be desirable to state whether the psalm was to be sung to a Davidic, Asaphic or Korahite tone, or to give the name of a melody appropriate to it.
Lxxii., which may well be a later note, there is no necessity to suppose an original collection of Davidic psalms from which excerpts were made.
It is certainly not impossible that the two groups of " Davidic " psalms once formed separate collections independently compiled, and that the subscription to Ps.
- lxxii., though it contains a few anonymous pieces and one psalm which is either " of," or rather, according to the oldest tradition, " for Solomon," is composed of " Davidic " psalms. It would seem also that the collectors of books I.
Know of no Davidic psalms outside of these two collections, for Ps.
In the appendix to the Elohistic collection is merely a cento of quotations from Davidic pieces with a verse or two from Exodus and Jeremiah.
Even in the older Davidic psalm-book there is a whole series of hymns in which the writer identifies himself with the poor and needy, the righteous people of God suffering in silence at the hands of the wicked, without other hope than patiently to wait for the interposition of Jehovah (Ps.
Nothing can be further removed than this from any possible situation in the life of the David of the books of Samuel, and the case is still worse in the second Davidic collection, especially where we have in the titles definite notes as to the historical occasion on which the poems are supposed to have been written.
The second collection of " Davidic " psalms, as well as the Korahite and Asaphic psalms, have been subjected to an Elohistic redaction, for which we must find a reason if the history of the Psalter is to be written.
On the other hand, the first collection of " Davidic " psalms taken as a whole would be perfectly appropriate in the worship of a Judaean community of Hasidim in the Maccabaean period.
Perhaps those which were to be sung according to the old Davidic mode formed the nucleus of the collection, and to these were added other poems to be sung according to the more intricate Korahite and Asaphic modes.
A future king is hoped for; but in the present there is no Davidic king, only a Davidic family standing on the same level with other noble families in Jerusalem (xii.
Opposition to present tyranny expresses itself in recurrence to the old popular ideal of the first simple Davidic kingdom (iv.
4 sqq.), and thus is the reputed ancestor of the Davidic dynasty (Ruth iv.
3 The same obscure period witnessed the advent of southern families, 4 the revival of the Davidic dynasty and its mysterious disappearance, the outbreak of fierce hatred of Edom, the return of exiles from Babylonia, the separation of Judah from Samaria and the rise of bitter anti-Samaritan feeling.
The history of Judah is, broadly speaking, that of the Davidic dynasty and the Temple, and it begins at the time of the first king of the rival north.
II) foretold' the redintegration of the Davidic kingdom, and Hosea (iii.
So the great Judaean prophets of the 8th century connect the salvation of Israel with the rise of a Davidic king, full of Yahweh's Spirit, in whom all the energies of Yahweh's transcendental kingship are as it were incarnate (Isa.ix.
9) and Ezekiel uses similar language (xxxiv., xxxvii.); but that such passages do not necessarily mean more than that the Davidic dynasty shall be continued in the time of restoration under worthy princes seems clear from the way in which Ezekiel speaks of the prince in chs.
The endless duration of the Davidic dynasty is set forth as part of Yahweh's plan.
And while the polemical motive is obvious, and the argument from prophecy against the legitimacy of a non-Davidic dynasty is quite in the manner of the scribes, the spirit of theocratic fervour which inspires the picture of the Messiah is broader and deeper than their narrow legalism.