Family and community as substitutes for the temple after its destruction: New readings in Psalms 127 and 133

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Abstract

Psalms 127 and 133 offer temporary substitutes for living in Judah and in the vicinity of Jerusalem. In Ps 127 the psalmist suggests that instead of constructing the Temple the people should invest their energies in the developing and building the family unit, and raising children while they are young, for the future of the nation. Ps 127 views family values as an adequate, if temporary, substitute for the Temple in its absence. The nation in exile was not organised as an autonomous national entity, but was dispersed, living without tranquillity, and wandering from place to place. As a substitute for living in Judah in the vicinity of Jerusalem and the Temple, the psalmist, in Ps 133, suggests that those living in exile band together as a group and enjoy living together as a community. Thus, values of family and community were suggested by these psalms as a temporary alternative for the devastated Temple.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalEphemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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