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Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford 


Late Master of University College, Durham 


Professor of Theological Encyclopipdia and Symbolics 
Union Theological Seminary, New York 


The International 

Critical Commentary 

On the Holy Scriptures of the Old and 
New Testaments 


THERE are now before the public many Commentaries, 
written by British and American divines, of a popular 
or homiletical character. The Cambridge Bible for 
Schools, the Handbooks for Bible Classes and Private Students, 
The Speaker'' s Commentary, The Popular Commentary (Schaff), 
The Expositor's Bible, and other similar series, have their 
special place and importance. But they do not enter into the 
field of Critical Biblical scholarship occupied by such series of 
Commentaries as the Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zufn 
A. T ; De Wette's Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum 
N. T. ; Meyer's Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar ; Keil and 
Delitzsch's Biblischer Commentar i'lber das A. T. ; Lange's 
Theologisch-homiletisches Bibelwerk ; Nowack's Handkommentar 
zum A. T. ; Holtzmann's Handkommentar zum N. T. Several 
of these have been translated, edited, and in some cases enlarged 
and adapted, for the English-speaking public ; others are in 
process of translation. But no corresponding series by British 
or American divines has hitherto been produced. The way has 
been prepared by special Commentaries by Cheyne, EUicott, 
Kalisch, Lightfoot, Perowne, "Westcott, and others; and the 
time has come, in the judgment of the projectors of this enter- 
prise, when it is practicable to combine British and American 
scholars in the production of a critical, comprehensive 
Commentary that will be abreast of modern biblical scholarship, 
and in a measure lead its van. 

The International Critical Commentary 

Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons of New York, and Messrs. 
T. & T. Clark of Edinburgh, propose to publish such a series 
of Con:imentaries on the Old and New Testaments, under th 
editorship of Prof. C. A. Briggs, D.D., D.Litt., in America, and 
of Prof. S. R. Driver, D.D., D.Litt., for the Old Testament, and 
the Rev. Alfred Plummer, D.D., for the New Testament, in 
Great Britain. 

The Commentaries will be international and inter-confessional, 
and will be free from polemical and ecclesiastical bias. They 
will be based upon a thorough critical study of the original texts 
of the Bible, and upon critical methods of interpretation. They 
are designed chiefly for students and clergymen, and will be 
written in a compact style. Each book will be preceded by an 
Introduction, stating the results of criticism upon it, and discuss- 
ing impartially the questions still remaining open. The details 
of criticism will appear in their proper place in the body of the 
Commentary. Each section of the Text will be introduced 
with a paraphrase, or summary of contents. Technical details 
of textual and philological criticism will, as a rule, be kept 
distinct from matter of a more general character ; and in the 
Old Testament the exegetical notes will be arranged, as far as 
possible, so as to be serviceable to students not acquainted with 
Hebrew. The History of Interpretation of the Books will be 
dealt with, when necessary, in the Introductions, with critical 
notices of the most important literature of the subject. Historical 
and Archaeological questions, as well as questions of Biblical 
Theology, are included in the plan of the Commentaries, but 
not Practical or Homiletical Exegesis. The Volumes will con- 
stitute a uniform series. 

The International Critical Commentary 


GENESIS. The Rev. JoHX Skinner, D.D., Principal and Professor o^ 
Old Testament Language and Literature, College of Presbyterian Churoh 
of England, Cambridge, England. [Now Ready. 

EXODUS. The Rev. A. R. S. Kennedy, D.D., Professor of Hebrew, 
University of Edinburgh. 

LEVITICUS. J. F. Stenning, M.A., Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. 

NUMBERS. The Rev. G. Buchanan Gray, D.D., Professor of Hebrew, 
Mansfield College, Oxford. [A^itw/ Ready. 

DEUTERONOMY. The Rev. S. R. Driver, D.D., D.Litt., Regius Pro- 
fessor of Hebrew, Oxford. [Now Ready. 

JOSHUA. The Rev. George Adam Smith. D.D., LL.D., Professor of 
Hebrew, United Free Church College, Glasgow. 

JUDGES. The Rev. George xMoore, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Theol- 
ogy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [Now Ready. 

SAMUEL, The Rev. H. P. Smith, D.D., Professor of Old Testament 
Literature and History of Religion, Meadville, Pa. [Now Ready. 

KINGS. The Rev. Francis Brown, D.D., D.Litt, LL.D., President 
and Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Languages, Union Theological 
Seminary, New York City. 

CHRONICLES. The Rer. Edward L. Curtis, D.D., Professor of 
Hebrew, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. {Sow Ready. 

EZRA AND NEHEMIAH. The Rev. L.W. BATTEN. Ph.D., D.D., Rector 
of St. Mark's Church, New York City, sometime Professor of Hebrew, 
P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia. 

PSALMS. The Rev. Chas. A. Briggs, D.D., D.Litt., Graduafe Fro- 
fe«sor of Theological Encyclopaedia and Symbolics, Union Theological 
Seminary, New York. [2 vols. Now Read" 

PROVERBS. The Rev. C. H. Toy, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Hebrew, 
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [Now Ready, 

iOB. The Rev. S. R. Drivkr, D.D., D.Litt., Regius Professor of He- 
brew, Oxiord. 

The International Critical Commentary 

ISAIAH. Chaps. I-XXXIX. The Rev. G. Buchanan Gray, D.D., 
Professor of Hebrew, Mansfield College, Oxford. 

ISAIAH. Chaps. XL-LXVI. The Rev. A. S. Peake, M.A., D.D., Dean 
of the Theological Faculty of the Victoria University and Professor of 
Biblical Exegesis in the University of Manchester, England. 

JEREMIAH. The Rev. A. F. KiRKPATRiCK, D.D., Dean of Ely, sometime 
Regius Professor of Hebrew, Cambridge, England. 

EZEKIEL. The Rev. G. A. CoOKE, M.A., Oriel Professor of the Inter- 
pretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford, and the Rev. Charles F. 
BURNEY, D. Litt., Fellow and Lecturer in Hebrew, St. John's College, Oxford. 

DANIEL. The Rev. John P. Peters, Ph.D., D.D., sometime Professor 
of Hebrew, P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia, now Rector of St. 
Michael's Church, New York City. 

AMOS AND HOSEA. W. R. Harper, Ph.D., LL.D., sometime Presi- 
dent of the University of Chicago, Illinois. \Now Ready. 

MIC AH TO HAGGAI. Prof. JoHN P. SMITH, University of Chicago; 
Prof. Charles P. Fagnani, D.D., Union Theological Seminary, New 
York; W. Hayes Ward, D.D., LL.D., Editor of The Independent, New 
York; Prof. Julius A. Bewer, Union Theological Seminary, New York, 
and Prof. H. G. Mitchell, D.D., Boston University. 

2ECHARIAH TO JONAH. Prof. H. G. Mitchell, D.D., Prof. John 
P. Smith and Prof. J. A. Bewer. 

ESTHER. The Rev. L. B. Paton, Ph.D., Professor of Hebrew, Hart- 
ford Theological Seminary. [7Vo^y Ready. 

ECCLESIASTES. Prof. George A. Barton, Ph.D., Professor of Bibli- 
cal Literature, Bryn Mawr College, Pa. \^A^ow Heady 


Briggs, D.D., D.Litt., Graduate Professor of Theological Encyclopaedia 
and Symbohcs, Union Theological Seminary, New York. 


ST. MATTHEW. The Rev. WiLLOUOHEY C. Allen, M.A., Fellow and 
Lecturer in Theology and Hebrew, Exeter College, Oxford. [Now Ready. 

ST. MARK. Rev. E. P. GouLD, D.D., sometime Professor of New Testa- 
ment Literature, P. E. Divinity School, Philadelphia. \_Ngw Ready. 

ST. LUKE. The Rev. Alfred Plummer, D.D., sometime Master of 
University College, Durham. [Wlw Ready. 

The International Critical Commentary 

ST. JOHN. The Very Rev. John Henry Bernard, D.D., Dean of St. 
Patrick's and Lecturer in Divinity, University of Dublin. 

HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS. The Rev. William Sanday, D.D., 
LL.D., Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford, and the Rev. WlL- 
LOUGHBY C. Allen, M.A., Fellow and Lecturer in Divinity and Hebrew, 
Exeter College, Oxford. 

ACTS. The Rev. C. H. Turner, D.D., Fellow of Magdalen College, 
Oxford, and the Rev. H. N. Bate, M.A., Examining Chaplain to the 
Bishop of London. 

ROMANS. The Rev. William Sanday, D.D., LI,.D., Lady Margaret 
Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and the Rev. 
A. C. Headlam, M.A., D.D., Principal of King's College, London. 

[TVVw Ready. 

CORINTHIANS. The Right Rev. Arch. Robertson, D.D., LL.D., Lord 
Bishop of Exeter, the Rev. Alfred Plummer, D.D., and Dawson Walker, 
D.D., Theological Tutor in the University of Durham. 

GALATIANS. The Rev. ERNEST D. Burton, D.D., Professor of New 
Testament Literature, University of Chicago. 

D.Litt., sometime Professor of Biblical Greek, Trinity College, Dublin, now 
Librarian of the same. \Now Ready. 

PHILIPPIANS AND PHILEMON. The Rev. Marvin R. Vincent, 
D. D., Professor of Biblical Literature, Union Theological Seminary, New 
York City. \Now Ready. 

THESSALONIANS. The Rev. James E. Frame, M.A., Professor of 
Biblical Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York. 

THE PASTORAL EPISTLES. The Rev. Walter Lock, D.D., Warden 
of Keble College and Professor of Exegesis, Oxford. 

HEBREWS. The Rev. A. Nairne, M.A., Professor of Hebrew in King's 
College, London. 

ST. JAMES. The Rev. James H. Ropes, D.D., Bussey Professor of New 
Testament Criticism in Harvard University. 

PETER AND JUDE. The Rev. CHARLES BiGG, D.D., sometime Regius 
Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. 

\^Now Ready. 

THE EPISTLES OF ST. JOHN. The Rev. E. A. Brooke, B.D., Fellow 
and Divinity Lecturer in King's College, Cambridge. 

REVELATION. The Rev. Robert H. Charlks, M.A., D.D., sometime 
Professor of Biblical Greek in the University of Dublin. 




The Int 







JOHN SKINNER, D.D., Hon. M.A.(Cantab.) 










It is a little over six years since I was entrusted by the 
Editors of "The International Critical Commentary" with 
the preparation of the volume on Genesis. During- that 
time there has been no important addition to the number 
of commentaries either in English or in German. The 
English reader still finds his best guidance in Spurrell's 
valuable Notes on the text, Bennett's compressed but sug- 
gestive exposition in the Century Bible, and Driver's 
thorough and masterly work in the first volume of the 
Westminster Commentaries', all of which were in existence 
when I commenced my task. While no one of these books 
will be superseded by the present publication, there was 
still room for a commentary on the more elaborate scale of 
the "International" series; and it has been my aim, in 
accordance with the programme of that series, to supply 
the fuller treatment of critical, exegetical, literary, and 
archaeological questions, which the present state of scholar- 
ship demands. 

The most recent German commentaries, those of 
Holzinger and Gunkel, had both appeared before 1904; 
and I need not say that to both, but especially to the latter, 
I have been greatly indebted. Every student must have 
felt that Gunkel's work, with its aesthetic appreciation of 
the genius of the narratives, its wider historical horizons, 
and its illuminating use of mythological and folklore 
parallels, has breathed a new spirit into the investigation 
of Genesis, whose influence no writer on the subject can 
hope or wish to escape. The last-mentioned feature is 


considerably emphasised in the third edition, the first part 
of which (1909) was published just too late to be utilised 
for this volume. That I have not neglected the older 
standard commentaries of Tuch, Delitzsch, and Dillmann, 
or less comprehensive expositions like that of Strack, will 
be apparent from the frequent acknowledgments in the 
notes. The same remark applies to many books of a more 
general kind (mostly cited in the list of "Abbreviations"), 
which have helped to elucidate special points of exegesis. 

The problems which invest the interpretation of Genesis 
are, indeed, too varied and far-reaching to be satisfactorily 
treated within the compass of a single volume. The old 
controversies as to the compatibility of the earlier chapters 
with the conclusions of modern science are no longer, to 
my mind, a living issue ; and I have not thought it neces- 
sary to occupy much space with their discussion. Those 
who are of a different opinion may be referred to the pages 
of Dr. Driver, where they will find these matters handled 
with convincing force and clearness. Rather more atten- 
tion has been given to the recent reaction against the 
critical analysis of the Pentateuch, although I am very far 
from thinking that that movement, either in its conservative 
or its more radical manifestation, is likely to undo the 
scholarly work of the last hundred and fifty years. At all 
events, my own belief in the essential soundness of the 
prevalent hypothesis has been confirmed by the renewed 
examination of the text of Genesis which my present under- 
taking required. It will probably appear to some that the 
analysis is pushed further than is warranted, and that dupli- 
cates are discovered where common sense would have 
suggested an easy reconciliation. That is a perfectly fair 
line of criticism, provided the whole problem be kept in 
view. It has to be remembered that the analytic process 
is a chain which is a good deal stronger than its weakest 
link, that it starts from cases where diversity of authorship 
is almost incontrovertible, and moves on to others where 
it is less certain ; and it is surely evident that when the 
composition of sources is once established, the slightest 


differences of representation or language assume a signifi- 
cance which they might not have apart from that presumption. 
That the analysis is frequently tentative and precarious is 
fully acknowledged ; and the danger of basing conclusions 
on insufficient data of this kind is one that I have sought to 
avoid. On the more momentous question of the historical 
or legendary character of the book, or the relation of the 
one element to the other, opinion is likely to be divided 
for some time to come. Several competent Assyriologists 
appear to cherish the conviction that we are on the eve of 
fresh discoveries which will vindicate the accuracy of at 
least the patriarchal traditions in a way that will cause the 
utmost astonishment to some who pay too little heed to the 
findings of archaeological experts. It is naturally difficult to 
estimate the worth of such an anticipation ; and it is advis- 
able to keep an open mind. Yet even here it is possible to 
adopt a position which will not be readily undermined. 
Whatever triumphs may be in store for the archaeologist, — 
though he should prove that Noah and Abraham and Jacob 
and Joseph are all real historical personages, — he will hardly 
succeed in dispelling the atmosphere of mythical imagina- 
tion, of legend, of poetic idealisation, which are the life and 
soul of the narratives of Genesis. It will still be neces- 
sary, if we are to retain our faith in the inspiration of this 
part of Scripture, to recognise that the Divine Spirit has 
enshrined a part of His Revelation to men in such forms as 
these. It is only by a frank acceptance of this truth that 
the Book of Genesis can be made a means of religious 
edification to the educated mind of our age. 

As regards the form of the commentary, I have en- 
deavoured to include in the large print enough to enable the 
reader to pick up rapidly the general sense of a passage ; 
although the exigencies of space have compelled me to 
employ small type to a much larger extent than was 
ideally desirable. In the arrangement of footnotes I have 
reverted to the plan adopted in the earliest volume of the 
series (Driver's Deuteronomy), by putting all the textual, 
grammatical, and philological malerial bearing on a parti- 


cular verse in consecutive notes running- concurrently with 
the main text. It is possible that in some cases a slight 
embarrassment may result from the presence of a double set 
of footnotes ; but I think that this disadvantage will be 
more than compensated to the reader by the convenience of 
having the whole explanation of a verse under his eye at one 
place, instead of having to perform the difficult operation of 
keeping two or three pages open at once. 

In conclusion, I have to express my thanks, first of all, 
to two friends by whose generous assistance my labour has 
been considerably lightened : to Miss E. I. M. Boyd, M.A., 
who has rendered me the greatest service in collecting- 
material from books, and to the Rev. J. G. Morton, M.A., 
who has corrected the proofs, verified all the scriptural 
references, and compiled the Index. My last word of all 
must be an acknowledgment of profound and grateful 
obligation to Dr. Driver, the English Editor of the series, 
for his unfailing interest and encouragement during the 
progress of the work, and for numerous criticisms and 
suggestions, especially on points of philology and archae- 
ology, to which in nearly every instance I have been able to 
give effect. 


April 1910. 



List of Abbreviations ...... 

Introduction ....... 

§ I. Introductory : Canonical Position of the Book — its 
general Scope — a7id Title .... 

A. Nature of the Tradition. 

§ 2. History or Legend ? ..... 

§ 3. Myth and Legetid — Foreign Myths — Types of mythical 
Motive ...... 

§ 4. Historical Value of the Tradition 

§ 5. Preservatio7i and Collectioii of the Traditions . 

B. Structure and Composition of the Book. 





§ 6. Plan and Divisions . . . 

§ 7. The Sources of Genesis , 

§ 8. The collective Authorship of J and E . 

% 9. Characteristics of f and E — their Relation to 

Prophecy .... 

§ 10. Date atid Place of Origin — Redaction ofJE 
§ 1 1. The Priestly Code and the Final Redaction 

Commentary ..... 

Extended Notes : — 

The Divine Image in Man . . . 

The Hebrew and Babylonian Sabbath 
Babylonian and other Cosmogonies . 

The Site of Eden .... 
The * Protevangelium "... 
The Cherubim .... 

Origin and Significance of the Paradise Legend 
Origin of the Cain Legend . 
The Cainite Genealogy . . , 

The Chronology of Ch. 5, etc. . . 

The Deluge Tradition . . . 

Noah's Curse and Blessing . . . 

The Babel Legend .... 

















I 34- '39 



Chronolog'y of 1 1'"*'* . . « 

Historic Value of Ch. 14 . • • 

Circumcision . . . . • 

The Covenant-Idea in P . . . 

Destruction of the Cities of the Plain . 

The Sacrifice of Isaac 

The Treaty of Gilead and its historical Setting 

The Legend of Peniel 

The Sack of Shechem . . . 

The Edomite Genealogies . . . 

The Degradation of Reuben . . 

The Fate of Simeon and Levi . . 

The " Shiloh " Prophecy of 49^0 

The Zodiacal Theory of the Twelve Tribes 

Index — I. English .... 

II. Hebrew . • • • 








I. SOURCES (see pp. xxxivff.), TEXTS, AND VERSIONS. 

E . . . Elohist, or Elohistic Narrative. 

J . . , . Yahwist, or Yahwistic Narrative. 

JE . . . Jehovist, or the combined narrative of J and E, 

P or PC . . The Priestly Code. 

Pe . . . The historical kernel or framework of P (see p. Ivii). 

R^ "I 

„j I Redactors within the schools of E, J, and P, 

„p j ' * ' respectively. 

RJE . . . The Compiler of the composite work JE. 
RJEP . . . The Final Redactor of the Pentateuch. 

EV[V] . . . English Version[s] (Authorised or Revised). 
Jub. . . . The Book of Jubilees. 
MT . . . Massoretic Text. 
OT . . . Old Testament. 
Aq. . . . Greek Translation of Aquila. 
6. . . . ,, ,, ,, Theodotion. 

S. . . . ,, ,, ,, Symmachus. 

Gr.-Ven. . . Codex ' Graecus Venetus ' (14th or 15th cent.), 
ffi . . . The Greek (Septuagint) Version of the OT (ed. 

A. E. Brooke and N. M'Lean, Cambridge, 

(S^ • • . Lucianic recension of the LXX, edited by Lagarde, 

Librorum Veteris Testamenti cationicorum pars 

prior Greece, etc. ( 1 883). 
(jjA.B. E. M.etc. . Codices of <& (see Brooke and M'Lean, p. v). 
IL . . ■ Old Latin Version. 

5 . , . The Syriac Version (Peshitta). 

«i , . . The Samaritan Recension of the Pent. (Walton's 

' London Polyglott '). 
3^0,,. The Targum of Onkelos [2nd cent. A.D.] (ed. 

Berliner, 1884). 
8P . . . The Targum of Jonathan [8th cent. A.D.] (ed. 

Ginsburger, 1903). 
H . . . The Vulgate. 




Ayles . . , H. H. B. Ayles, A critical Coinmentary on Genesis 

a. 4-iii. 25 (1904). 
Ba[ll] . . . C. J. Ball, The Book of Genesis : CHtical Edition of 

the Hebrew Text printed in colours . . . with 

Notes {i8g6). See SBOT. 
Ben[nett] . . W. H. Bennett, Genesis (Century Bible). 
Calv[in] . . Mosis Lihri V cum Joh. Calvini Commentariis. 

Genesis seorsum, etc (1563). 
De[litzsch] . . F. Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar iiber die Genesis 

(5th ed. 1887). 
Di[llmann] . . Die Genesis. Von der dritten Auflage an erklart 

von A. DiUmann (6th ed. 1892). The work 

embodies frequent extracts from earlier edns. by 

Knobel : these are referred to below as " Kn.-Di." 
Dr[iver] . . The Book of Genesis with Introduction and Notes, 

by S. R. Driver (7th ed. 1909). 
Gu[nkel] . . Genesis iibersetzt und erklart, von H. Gunkel (2nd 

ed. 1902). 
Ho[lzinger]. . G*?//^^/^ ^r/^/aV/, von H. Holzinger (1898). 

lEz. . . . Abraham Ibn Ezra (t c. 1167). 

Jer[ome], Qu. . Jerome (t 420), Qucestio7ies sive Traditiones hebraicce 

in Genes im. 
Kn[obel] . . A. Knobel. 
Kn.-Di. . . See Di[llmann]. 
Ra[shi] . . Rabbi Shelomoh Yizhaki (t 1105). 

Spurrell . . G. J. Spurrell, Notes on the Text of the Book of 

Genesis (2nd ed. 1896), 
Str[ack] . . Die Getiesis iibersetzt mtd atisgelegt, von H. L, 

Strack (2nd ed. 1905). 
Tu[ch] . . Fr.Tuch, Conifnentar iiber die Genesis {2nd ed. i8-ji). 


„ NB . 
Barton, SO. 
B.-D. . 

BDB . 

Barth, ES . . J. Barth, Ety^nologische Studien zum sem. insbe- 
sondere zum hebr. Lexicon (1893). 
Die Noniinalbildung in den sem. Sprachen (1889-91), 
G. A. Barton, A Sketch of Semitic Origins (1902). 
S. Baer and F. Delitzsch, Liber Genesis (1869). 

The Massoretic Text, with Appendices. 

F. Brown, S. R. Driver, and C. A. Brigfgs, A 

Hebrew ayid English Lexicon of the OT {i?>^i- ). 

Benz[inger], ylrrA.- I. Benzing-er, Hebrdische Archdologie (2nd ed. 1907). 

Ber. R. . . The Mldrash Bereshith Rabba (tr. into German by 

A. Wunsche, 1881). 
'Bocha.rtjHieroz.. S. Bochartus, Hierozoicon, sive bipertitum opus de 
animalibus Sacra Scripturce (ed. Rosenmiiller, 



Bu[dde], Urg. . 
Buhl, GP . 


Che[yiie], TB[Ay 

CIS . 

Cook, Gl. . 

Cooke, A'SI 

Co[rnill], Einl. . 
I/isf. . 
Curtiss, PSI? 
Dav[idson] . 

DB . . . 

Del[itzsch], Hivb . 

„ Par. . 

Prol. . 


Doug-hty, AD . 
Dri[ver], LOT . 

,, Sam. 


EB . . , 

EEL . 

Erman, LAE 

„ Hdbk. . 
Ew[ald], Gr. 


„ Ant. . 

K. Budde, Die biblische Urgeschichte (1883). 

Fr. Buhl, Geographie des alten Palaestina (1896). 

Geschichte der Edo miter (1S93). 

Burckhardt, Notes on the Bedouins and Wahdbys. 

Travels in Syria afid the Holy Land. 

T. K. Cheyne, Traditions and Beliefs of Ancient 
Israel ( 1 907). 

Corpus Inscriptio7ium Semiticarum (18S1- ). 

S. A. Cook, A Glossary of the Aramaic Inscriptions 

G. A. Cooke, A Textbook of North-Semitic Inscrip- 
tions (1903). 

C. H. Cornill, Einleitungin das AT {see p. xl, note). 

History of the People of Israel (Tr. 1898). 

S. I. Curtiss, Primitive Semitic Peligion to-day (igoz). 

A. B. Davidson, Hebrew Syntax. 
The Theology of the C>7'(i904). 

A Dictionary of the Bible, ed. by J. Hastings 

Friedrich Delitzsch, Assyrisches Handworterbuch 

Wo lag das Parodies? Eine biblisch-assyriologische 

Prolegomena eines neuen hebrdisch - aramaischen 

Wiirterbuchs zum A Z (1886). 
See BA below. 

C. M. Doug-hty, Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888). 
S. R. Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of 

the OT (Revised ed. 1910). 
Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel 

A Treatise on the use of the Tenses in Hebrew (3rd 

ed. 1892). 
Encyclopaedia Biblica, ed. by T. K. Cheyne and 

J. Sutherland Black (1899-1903). 
See Hilprecht. 

B. D. Eerdmans, Alttestamentliche Studien : 

i. Die Composition der Genesis. 
ii. Die Vorgeschichte Israels. 
Ad. Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt (tr. by H. M. 

Tirard, 1894). 
A Handbook of Egyptian Religion (tr. by A. S. 

Griffith, 1907). 
H. Ewald, Ausfiihrliches Lehrbuch der hebrdischen 

Sprache des alteti Blendes (8th ed. 1870). 
History of Israel ['Er\g. tr. 1871]. 
Antiquities of Israel [En^. tr. 1876]. 
F. Field, Origenis Hexaplorinn quce supersunt ; 

sive Veterum Interpretum Grcecorum in totum 

V.T. Fragmenta (1875). 



Frazer, AAO 

V. Gall, est. 
G.-B. . 

Geigfer, Urschr, , 

Ges[enius], Th. . 
G.-K. . 

Glaser, Skizze 

Gordon, ETG . 
Gray, HPN 
Gu[nkel], Schdp/. 

Guthe, GI . 
Harrison, Prol. , 

Hilprecht, EBL . 

Ho[lzing'er], Etnl. 

or Hex. 
Hom[mel], AA . 

„ AHT. 

„ AOD. 

„ Gesch. 

,, SAChrest. 

HMpflcld], Qu. . 

Jastrow, J?BA . 

JE . . . 

Je[remias], A TLO"^ 

Jen[sen], Kosm. . 
KAT"^ . 


J. G. Frazer, Adonis Attis Osiris: Studies in the 

history of Oriental Religion (igo6). 
The Golden Bough ; a Study in Magic and Religion 

(2nd ed. 1900). 
Folklore in the OT {\<yii). 
A. Freiherr von Gall, Altisraelitische Kultstdtten 

Gesenius' Hebraisches und aramdisches Handwnrter- 

buch iiber das AT {ii\th ed. by Buhl, 1905). 
A. Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel 

in ihrer Abhdngigkeit von derinnem Entwickelung 

des Judenthums (1857). 
W. Gesenius, Thesaurus philologicus criticus Linguce 

Hebrcece et Chaldcece V.T. (1829-58). 
Gesenius' Hebrdische Grammatik, vollig' umgear- 

beitet von E. Kautzsch (26th ed. 1896) [Eng. 

tr. 1898]. 

E. Glaser, Skizze der Geschichte und Geographic 
Arabiens, ii. (1890). 

A. R. Gordon, The Early Traditions of Genesis {igo"]). 
G. B. Gray, Studies in Hebrew Proper Names (1896). 
H. Gunkel, Schopfung und Chaos in Urzeit und 

Endzeit (1895). 
H. Guthe, Geschichte des Volkes Israel {\Sg!)). 
Jane E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the study of Greek 

Religion (2nd ed. 1908). 
H. V. Hilprecht, Explorations in Bible Lands during 

the igth cent, [with the co-operation of Ben- 

zinger, Hommel, Jensen, and Steindorff] (1903). 
H. Holzinger, Einleitung in den Hexateuch (1893). 

F. Hommel, Aufsdtze und Abhayidlungen arabistisch- 
seniitologischen Inhalts (i-iii, 1892- ). 

The Ancietit Hebrew Tradition as illustrated by the 

Monuments (1897). 
Die altorientalischen Denkmdler und das AT {igo2). 
Geschichte Babyloniens und Assy riens (1885). 
Slid-arabische Chrestomathie (1893). 
H. Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Getiesis und die Art 

ihrer Zusamtnensetzung (1853). 
M. Jastrow, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria 

The Jewish Encyclopcedia. 
A. Jeremias, Das Alte Testament im Lichte des 

alien Orients (2nd ed. 1906). 
P. Jensen, Die Kosmologie der Babylonier {iSgo). 
Die Keilinschriften und das AT, by Schrader (2nd 

ed. 1883). 
Die Keilinschriften und das AT. Third ed., by 

Zinimern and Wiiickler (1902). 



Kent, SOT . . C. F. Kent, Narratives of the Be^nnings of Hebrew 

History [Students' Old Testament] (1904). 
KIB . . . KeiUnschriftliche Bibliothek, ed. by Eb. Schrader 

{18S9- ). 
Kit[tel], BH . R. Kittel, Biblia Hebraica (Genesis) (1905). 

GH . Geschichte der Hebrcier {\mS-<^2). 
K6n[ig], Lgb. . F. E. Konig, Historisch-kritisches Lehrgtbdude der 
hebrciischen Sprache (2 vols., 1881-95). 
„ S . . Historisch - comparative Syntax der hebr. Sprache 
KS . . . E. Kautzsch and A. Socin, Die Genesis mit aOsserer 

Unterscheidung der Quellenschriften. 
Kue[nen], Ges. Abh. A. Kuenen, Gesammelte Abhandlungen (see p. xl, 
„ Ond. . Historisch-critisch Onderzoek . . . (see p. xl, note). 
Lag-[arde], Ank. . P. A. de Lagarde, Ankiindigung einer neuen 
Ausgabe der griech. Uebersezung des A Z (1882). 
„ Ges. Abh. . Gesammelte Abhandlungen {iS66). 
„ Mitth. . Mittheilungen, i-iv (1884-91). 
,, . . Orient alia, i, 2 (1879-80). 

„ Sem. . . Semitica, I, 2 (iS'jS). 
,, Symm. . Symmicta, 2 pts. (1877-80). 
,, OS . . Onomastica Sacra (1870). 
Lane, Lex. . . E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon (1863-93). 
,, ME . . An Account of the Manners and Customs of the 
Modem Egyptians (5th ed. i860). 
Len[ormant], Or. F. Lenormant, Les Origines de Ihistoire, (i-iii, 

Levy, Ch. Wb. . J. Levy, Chalddisches Worterbuch ilber die Targumim 

. . . (3rd ed. 1881). 
Lidz[barski], Hb. M. Lidzbarski, Handbuch der nordsemitischen Epi- 

or NSEpigr. . graphik ( 1 898). 
Lu[ther], INS . See Meyer, INS. 
Marquart . . J. Marquart, Fundamente israel. undjiid. Geschichte 

Meyer, Entst. . K. Meyer, Die Entstehung des fudenfhums {\8g6), 
„ GA^ . Geschichte des Alterthums (Bd. i. 1884). 

,, GA^ . „ „ „ (2nd ed. 1909). 

,, INS . Die Israelifen und ihre Nachbarstdmme, von E. 

Meyer, mit Beitragen von B. Luther (1906). 
Miiller, AE . , W. Max Miiller, Asien und Europa nach altdgypt- 

ischen DenkmdUrn (1893). 
Nestle, MM . E. Nestle, Marginalien und Materialien (1893). 
N6[Ideke], Btitr. Th. Noldeke, Beitrdge zur semitischen Sprach- 
wissenschaft (1904). 
,, Unters. Untersuchungen zur Kritik des A T' (1869). 

Oil . . Oxford Hexateuch = Carpenter and Harford- 

Battersby, The Hexateuch (see p. xl, note). 
Oehler, ATTh . G. F. Oehler, Theologie des AT {jrd ed. 1891). 
Ols. . . .J. Olshausen. 



Orr, POT . . J. Orr, The Problem of the OT {i^(^). 

OS . . . See Lag-arde. 

P[ayne] Sm[ith], R. Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus (1879, 1901). 

Petrie . . . W. Flinders Petrie, A History of Egypt. 

Pro[cksch] . . O. Procksch, Das nordhebraische Sagenbuch : die 

Elohitnquelle (1906). 

Riehin, Hdwb. . E. C. A. Riehm, Handwilrterbuch des biblischen 
Altertiuns (2nd ed. 1893-94). 

Robinson, BR . E. Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine (2nd 
ed., 3 vols., 1856). 

Sayce, EHH . A. H. Sayce, The Early History of the Hebrews 
,, HCM . The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monu- 
ments (2nd ed. 1894). 

SBOT. . . The Sacred Books of the OT, a crit. ed. of the Heb. 
Text pritifed in Colours, under the editorial direc- 
tion of P. Haupt. 

Schenkel, BL . D. Schenkel, Bibel-Lexicon (1869-75). 

Sc\\r{a.der\ KGF . Eb. Schrader, Keilinschriften und Geschichts- 
See J^AT and KIB above. 

Schultz, OTTh . H. Schultz, Old Testament Theology (Eng. tr. 1892). 

Schiirer, GJV . E. Schiirer, Geschichte des jiidischen Volkes ijn 
Zeitalter Jesu Christi (3rd and 4th ed. 1898- 

Schw[ally] . . Fr. Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode (1892). 
,, Seynitische Kriegsaltertiimer, \. (1901). 

Smend, ^T'^G . K.Smend, Lehrbuch der alttestamentlichen Religions- 
geschichte (2nd ed. 1899). 

GASm[ith], HG . G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land 

Rob. Smith, KAI- W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in 
Early Arabia (2nd ed. 1903). 
„ OTJC^ The Old Testament in the Jewish Church (2nd ed. 

„ Pr."^ . The Prophets of Israel {2nd ed. i8gs). 
,, RS' . Lectures on the Religion of the Semites {2nd ed. i8g^). 
Spieg-elberg . W. Spieg-elberg, Aegyptologische Randglossen zum 

,, Der Aufenthalt Israels in Aegypten im Lichte der 

aeg. Monumente (3rd ed. 1904). 
Sta[de] . . B. Stade, Ausge-wdhlte akademische Reden und 

Abhandlungen (1899). 
„ BTh . Biblische Theologie des AT, i. {igos). 
„ GVI . Geschichte des Volkes Israel {i88-j-8g). 

Steuern[ag-el], C. Steuernagel, Die Einwanderung der israelitischen 

Einw. . . Stdtnme in Kanaan (1901). 
TA . . . Tel-Amarna Tablets {KIB, v ; Knudtzon, Die eU 
Amarna Tafeln (1908- )]. 



Thomson, LB . W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book (3 vols. 

Tiele, Gesch. . C. P. Tide, Geschichte der Religion im Altertum, 

i. (German ed. 1896). 
Tristram, NI{B . H. B. Tristram, The Natural History of the Bible 

(9th ed. 1898). 
We[llhausen], Comp.^ J. Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs una 
der historischen Bilcher des A T (2nd ed. 1889). 
„ De gent. De gentibus et familiis Judceis qua i Chr. 2. ^ 

efiumerantur (iSyo). 
„ Held. . Reste arabischen Heidentums (2nd ed. 1897). 
„ Prol.^ . Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels (6th ed. 1905). 
„ . . Skizzen und Vorarbeiten. 

TBS . Der Text der Bilcher Samuelis ( 1 87 1 ). 
Wi[nckler], ^O/'. H. Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen (1893- ). 
,, ATU . Alttestametifliche Untersuchungeri {\Sg2). 

,, GBA . Geschichte Babyloniens tind Assyriens {\%(^2). 

„ GI . Geschichte Israels in Einzeldarstellungen i^i. n,, 1895, 

1 900). 
„ See KA T^ above. 

Zunz, GdV . Zunz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrdge der Juden 

(2nd ed. 1892). 


AJTh . 
ARW . 
BA . 

BS . 

Exp. . 
ET . 
GGA . 
GGN . 

Hebr. . 


JPh . 
JQR . 


American Journal of Semitic Languages and Litera- 
tures (continuing- Hebraicd). 
A merican Journal of Theology ( 1 897- ). 
Archiv fiir Religionsivissenschaft. 
Beitrdge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprach- 

■wissenschaft, herausgegeben von F. Delitzsch und 

P. Haupt (1890- ). 
Bibliotheca Sacra and Theological Review (1844- ). 
Deutsche Litteraturzeitung {\%So- ). 
The Expositor. 
The Expository Times. 
GUttingische gelehrte Anzeigen (1753- ). 
Nachrichten der konigl. Gesellschaft der Wissen- 

schaften zu Giittingen. 
Hebrdica (1884-95). See AJSL. 
[Ewald's] Jahrbiicher der biblischen Wissenschaft 

Journal of [the Society of] Biblical Literature and 

Exegesis {1S81- ). 
The Journal of Philology {\8-j2- ). 
The Jeivish Quarterly Revieiv. 
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain 

and Ireland (1834- ). 


JTS , . . The Journal of Theological Studies {i^oo- ). 

Lit[erarisches] Zentralbl[att fur Deutschland] 
(1850- ). 

M\B'\BA , . Motiatsberichfe der konigl. preuss. Akadamie der 
Wissenschaflen zu Berlin. Continued in Sitzungs- 
berichle der k. p. Ak. , . . (1881- ). 

MVAG . . Mittheilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft 
(1896- ). 

NKZ . , . Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift (1890- ). 

OLz . . . Orient alische Litteraturzeitung{\So^- ). 

PAOS . . . Proceedings [Jot(rnal] of the American Oriental 
Society (1851- ). 

PEFS . . . Palestine Exploration Fund : Quarterly Statements. 

PSBA . . . Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archceology 
(1878- ). 

SBBA . . .See MBBA above. 

^A' . . . Theologische Stiidien und Kritiken {\%2%- ). 

ThLz . , . Theologische Litteraturzeitting {iSjS- ). 

ThT . . . Theologisch Tijdschrift {i86-j- ). 

TSBA , . . Transactions of the Society of Biblical Arch(Fology. 

ZA . . . Zeitschrift fiir Assyriologie {1886- ). 

ZATW . . Zeitschrift fiir die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 
(1881- ). 

ZDMG . . Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesell- 
schaft {\8i,^- ). 

ZDPV . . Zeitschrift des deutschen Paldstina-Vereins{i8-j8- ). 

ZA'F . . . Zeitschrift fiir Keilschriftsforschung{\88:i^-8^). 

ZVP , . . Zeitschrift fiir Volkerpsychologie und Sprachwissen- 
schaft{i86o- ). 


NH . . . ' New Hebrew ' : the languagfe of the Mishnah, 
iNlidrashim, and parts of the Talmud. 

v.i. , . . vide infra \ Used in references from commentary 

v.s. . . . vide supra J to footnotes, and vice versd. 

* . . . . Frequently used to indicate that a section is of 
composite authorship. 

t . • • . After OT references means that all occurrences of 
the word or usage in question are cited. 

^ , , . Root or stem. 

. . . Sign of abbreviation in Heb. words. 

'in . . . = 101^1 = ' and so on ' : used when a Heb. citation 
. is incomplete. 


§ r. Introductory: Canonical position of the hook — its general 
scope — and title. 

The Book of Genesis (on the title see at the end of this §) 
forms the opening- section of a comprehensive historical 
work which, in the Hebrew Bible, extends from the creation 
of the world to the middle of the Babylonian Exile (2 Ki. 25^"). 
The tripartite division of the Jewish Canon has severed the 
later portion of this work (Jos. -Kings), under the title of 
the "Former Prophets" (D''3irX"in D''X'3Jn), from the earlier 
portion (Gen.-Deut.), which constitutes the Law (minn), — a 
seemingly artificial bisection which results from the Torah 
having attained canonical authority soon after its com- 
pletion in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, while the canonicity 
of the Prophetical scriptures was not recognised till some 
centuries later.* How soon the division of the Torah into 
its five books (niinn ''K'Din nt'on : ' the five fifths of the 
Law ') was introduced we do not know for certain ; but it is 
undoubtedly ancient, and in all probability is due to the final 
redactors of the Pent.f In the case of Genesis, at all events, 

* See Ryle, Canon of the OT, chs. iv. v. ; Wildeboer, Origin of the 
Canon of the OT-, 27 ff., loi ff. ; Buhl, Kanon und Text des AT, 8 f . ; 
Budde, art. ' Canon,' in EB, and Woods, ' OT Canon,' in DB. 

t Kuenen, O^iderzoek, i. pp. 7, 331. The earliest external evidence 
of the fivefold division is Philo, De Abrah., init. (TiSc upOiv vb^iuiv iv irivre 
/3i/3Xots dvaypa<p^vTuv, i] Trpwrij KoKelrai. /cat iTriypdiperai Tiveffis, aTrb rijs tov 
KSfffiov yeviaedys, ftv iv apxy Trepiix^h Xaj3oOcra tt]v tt pba py]<nv Kalroi kt\.) ; 
Jos. c. Ap. i. 39. It is found, however, in ux and ffi, and seems to 
have served as a model for the similar division of the Psalter. That it 


the division is obviously appropriate. Four centuries of 
complete silence lie between its close and the beginning of 
Exodus, where we enter on the history of a nation as con- 
trasted with that of a family ; and its prevailing character 
of mdividual biography suggests that its traditions are of 
a different quality, and have a different origin, from the 
national traditions preserved in Exodus and the succeeding 
books. Be that as it may. Genesis is a unique and well- 
rounded whole; and there is no book of the Pent., except 
Deut., which so readily lends itself to monographic treatment. 
Genesis may thus be described as the Book of Hebrew 
Origins. It is a peculiarity of the Pent, that it is Law-book 
and history in one : while its main purpose is legislative, the 
laws are set in a framework of narrative, and so, as it were, 
are woven into the texture of the nation's life. Genesis 
contains a minimum of legislation ; but its narrative is the 
indispensable prelude to that account of Israel's formative 
period in which the fundamental institutions of the theocracy 
are embedded. It is a collection of traditions regarding the 
immediate ancestors of the Hebrew nation (chs. 12-50), 
showing how they were gradually isolated from other nations 
and became a separate people ; and at the same time how 
they were related to those tribes and races most nearly con- 
nected with them. But this is preceded (in chs. i-ii) by an 
account of the origin of the world, the beginnings of human 
history and civilisation, and the distribution of the various 
races of mankind. The whole thus converges steadily on 
the line of descent from which Israel sprang, and which 
determined its providential position among the nations of 
the world. It is significant, as already observed, that the 
narrative stops short just at the point where family history 
ceases with the death of Joseph, to give place after a long 
interval to the history of the nation. 

The Title. — The name ' Genesis' comes to us through the Vulg-. from 
the LXX, where the usual superscription is simply Viviai.% (ffi^^'' "'°=' ■=""•)> 
rarely 7; 7^J'ea-ts (ffi^^), a contraction of F^vetris Kbafxov (ffi-*^-"')* -^^ 

follows natural lines of cleavage is shown by Kuenen {ll.cc.) ; and there 
is no reason to doubt that it is as old as the canonisation of the T6rah. 


interesting variation in one curs. (129)— 17 /3(/3Xoj rwv yeviatwv (cf. 2* 5')* 
— might tempt one to fancy that the scribe had in view the series of 
TSl^dSih (see p. xxxiv), and regarded the book as tlie book of origins in 
the wide sense expressed above. But there is no doubt that the current 
Greek title is derived from the opening theme of the book, the creation 
of the world. t — So also in Syriac {sephra dabritha), Theod. Mopsu. 
{t) KTlais), and occasionally among the Rabb. (hts' nED). — The common 
Jewish designation is n'cxi^, after the first word of the book (Origen, in 
Euseb. HE, vi. 25 ; Jerome, Prol. gal., and Oucest. in Gen.) ; less usual is 
jiB-xT PDin, 'the first fifth.' — Only a curious interest attaches to the 
unofficial appellation icn iSD (based on 2 Sa. i**) or DnB"n '0 (the 
patriarchs) see Carpzov, Inirod. p. 55 ; Delitzsch, 10. 

A. Nature of the Tradition. 
§ 2. History or Legend ? 

The first question that arises with reg^ard to these 
• origins ' is whether they are in the main of the nature 
of history or of legend, — whether (to use the expressive 
German terms) they are Geschichte, things that happened, 
or Sage, things said. There are certain broad differences 
between these two kinds of narrative which may assist us to 
determine to which class the traditions of Genesis belong. 

History in the technical sense is an authentic record of 
actual events based on documents contemporary, or nearly 
contemporary, with the facts narrated. It concerns itself 
with affairs of state and of public interest, — with the actions 
of kings and statesmen, civil and foreign wars, national^ 
disasters and successes, and such like. If it deals with con- 
temporary incidents, it consciously aims at transmitting to 
posterity as accurate a reflexion as possible of the real course 
of events, in their causal sequence, and their relations to 
time and place. If written at a distance from the events, it 
seeks to recover from contemporary authorities an exact 
knowledge of these circumstances, and of the character and 
motives of the leading personages of the action. — That the 
Israelites, from a very early period, knew how to write 

* Cambridge Septuagint, p. i. 

t See the quotation from Philo on p. i above ; and cf. Pseudo' 
Athanasius De svnop. script, sac. 5. 



history in this sense, we see from the story of David's court 
in 2 Sa. and the begfinning of i Kings. There we have a 
graphic and circumstantial narrative of the struggles for the 
succession to the throne, free from bias or exaggeration, 
^ and told with a convincing realism which conveys the 
^jjO^ impression of first-hand information derived from the evidence 
' '^of eye-witnesses. As a specimen of pure historical literature 

(as distinguished from mere annals or chronicles) there is 
nothing equal to it in antiquity, till we come down to the 
.works of Herodotus and Thucydides in Greece. 

Quite different from historical writing of this kind is 
the Volkssa^e,— the mass of popular narrative ^alk about 
the past, which exists in more or less profusion amongst 
all races in the world. Every nation, as it emerges into 
historical consciousness, finds itself in possession of a store 
of traditional material of this kind, either circulating among 
the common people, or woven by poets and singers into a 
picture of a legendary heroic age. Such legends, though they 
survive the dawn of authentic history, belong essentially to a 
pre-literary and uncritical stage of society, when the popular 
imagination works freely on dim reminiscences of the great 
events and personalities of the past, producing an amalgam 
in which tradition and phantasy are inseparably mingled. 
Ultimately they are themselves reduced to writing, and give 
rise to a species of literature which is frequently mistaken 
for history, but whose true character will usually disclose 
itself to a patient and sympathetic examination. While 
legend is not history, it has in some respects a value greater 
than history. For it reveals the soul of a people, its in- 
stinctive selection of the types of character which represent 
its moral aspirations, its conception of its own place and 
mission in the world ; and also, to some indeterminate extent, 
the impact on its inner life of the momentous historic experi- 
ences in which it first woke up to the consciousness of a 
national existence and destiny.* 

* Comp. Gordon, Early Traditions, 84 : " As ureal expression of the 
living spirit of the nation, a people's myths are the mirror of its religious 
and moral ideals, aspirations, and imag-inations." 


In raising- the question to which department of literature 
the narratives of Genesis are to be referred, we approach a 
subject beset by difficulty, but one which cannot be avoided. 
We are not entitled to assume a priori that Israel is an 
exception to the general rule that a legendary age forms the 
ideal background of history : whether it be so or not must 
be determined on the evidence of its records. Should it 
prove to be no exception, we shall not assign to its legends 
a lower significance as an expression of the national spirit 
than to the heroic legends of the Greek or Teutonic races. It 
is no question of the truth or religious value of the book that 
we are called to discuss, but only of the kind of truth and the 
particular mode of revelation which we are to find in it. One 
of the strangest theological prepossessions is that which 
identifies revealed truth with matter-of-fact accuracy either in 
science or in history. Legend is after all a species of poetry, 
and it is hard to see why a revelation which has freely availed 
itself of so many other kinds of poetry — fable, allegory, 
parable — should disdain that form of it which is the most 
influential of all in the life of a primitive people. As a 
vehicle of religious ideas, poetic narrative possesses obvious 
advantages over literal history ; and the spirit of religion, 
deeply implanted in the heart of a people, will so permeate 
and fashion its legendary lore as to make it a plastic ex- 
pression of the imperishable truths which have come to it 
through its experience of God. 

The legendary aspect of the Genesis traditions appears in such 
characteristics as these : (i) The narratives are the literary deposit 
of an oral tradition which, if it rests on any substratum of historic 
fact, must have been carried down through many centuries. Few will 
seriously maintain that the patriarchs prepared written memoranda for 
the information of their descendants ; and the narrators nowhere profess 
their indebtedness to such records. Hebrew historians freely refer to 
written authorities where they used them (Kings, Chronicles) ; but no 
instance of this practice occurs in Genesis. Now oral tradition is the 
natural vehicle of popular legend, as writing is of history. And all 
experience shows that apart from written records there is no exact 
knowledge of a remote past. Making every allowance for the superior 
retentiveness of the Oriental memory, it is still impossible to suppose 
that an accurate recollection of bygone incidents should have survived 
twenty generations or more of oral transmission. Noldeke, indeed, has 


shown that the historical memory of the pre-Islamic Arabs was so 
defective that all knowledge of g-reat nations like the Nabataeans and 
Thamudites had been lost within two or three centuries.* (2) The 
literary quality of the narratives stamps them as products of the 
artistic imag'ination. The very picturesqueness and truth to life which 
are sometimes appealed to in proof of their historicity are, on the 
contrary, characteristic marks of legend (Di. 218). We may assume 
that the scene at the well of Harran (ch. 24) actually took place ; but 
that the description owes its graphic power to a reproduction of the 
exact words spoken and the precise actions performed on the occasion 
cannot be supposed ; it is due to the revivifying work of the imagination 
of successive narrators. But imagination, uncontrolled by the critical 
faculty, does not confine itself to restoring the original colours of a 
faded picture ; it introduces new colours, insensibly modifying the 
picture till it becomes impossible to tell how much belongs to the real 
situation and how much to later fancy. The clearest proof of this is 
the existence of parallel narratives of an event which can only have 
happened once, but which emerges in tradition in forms so diverse that 
they may even pass for separate incidents (i2^''^* ll 20^^- 1| 26*^- ; 16. || 21^^- ; 
15. II 17, etc.). — (3) The subject-matter of the tradition is of the kind con- 
genial to the folk-tale all the world over, and altogether different from 
transactions on the stage of history. The proper theme of history, as 
has been said, is great public and political events ; but legend delights in 
genre pictures, private and personal affairs, trivial anecdotes of domestic 
and everyday life, and so forth, — matters which interest the common 
people and come home to their daily experience. That most of the stories 
of Genesis are of this description needs no proof; and the fact is very 
instructive. t A real history of the patriarchal period would have to tell 
of migrations of peoples, of religious movements, probably of wars of 
invasion and conquest ; and accordingly most modern attempts to 
vindicate the historicity of Genesis proceed by way of translating the 
narratives into such terms as these. But this is to confess that the 
narratives themselves are not history. They have been simplified and 
idealised to suit the taste of an unsophisticated audience ; and in the 
process the strictly historic element, down to a bare residuum, has 
evaporated. The single passage which preserves the ostensible appear- 
ance of history in this respect is ch. 14 ; and that chapter, which in any 
case stands outside the circle of patriarchal tradition, has difficulties of 
its own which cannot be dealt with here (see p. 271 ff.). — (4) The final test 
— though to any one who has learned to appreciate the spirit of the 
narratives it must seem almost brutal to apply it — is the hard matter-of- 
fact test of self-consistency and credibility. It is not difficult to show 
that Genesis relates incredibilities which no reasonable appeal to miracle 
will suffice to remove. With respect to the origin of the world, the 
antiquity of man on the earth, the distribution and relations of peoples, 
the beginnings of civilisation, etc., its statements are at variance with 

• Amalekiter, p. 25 f. 

t Cf. Wi. Abraham als Babylonier, 7. 


the scientific knowledge of our time ; * and no person of educated 
intelligence accepts them in their plain natural sense. We know that 
angels do not cohabit with mortal women, that the Flood did not cover 
the highest mountains of the world, that the ark could not have accom- 
modated all the species of animals then existing, that the Euphrates 
and Tigris have not a common source, that the Dead Sea was not first 
formed in the time of Abraham, etc. There is admittedly a great 
difference in respect of credibility between the primeval (chs. i-ii)and 
the patriarchal (12-50) traditions. But even the latter, when taken as a 
whole, yields many impossible situations. Sarah was more than sixty- 
five years old when Abraham feared that her beauty might endanger 
his life in Egypt ; she was over ninety when the same fear seized him in 
Gerar. Abraham at the age of ninety-nine laughs at the idea of having 
a son ; yet forty years later he marries and begets children. Both 
Midian and Ishmael were grand-uncles of Joseph ; but their descendants 
appear as tribes trading with Egypt in his boyhood. Amalek was a 
grandson of Esau ; yet the Amalekites are settled in the Negeb in the 
time of Abraham. t — It is a thankless task to multiply such examples. 
The contradictions and violations of probability and scientific possibility 
are intelligible, and not at all disquieting, in a collection of legends ; 
but they preclude the supposition that Genesis is literal history. 

It is not implied in what has been said that the tradition 
is destitute of historical value. History, legendary history, 
legend, myth, form a descending scale, with decreasing 
emphasis on the historical element, and the lines between 
the first three are vague and fluctuating. In what pro- 
portions they are combined in Genesis it may be impossible 
to determine with certainty. But there are three ways in 
which a tradition mainly legendary may yield solid historical 
results. In the first place, a legend may embody a more or 
less exact recollection of the fact in which it originated. 
In the second place, a legend, though unhistorical in form, 
may furnish material from which history can be extracted. 
Thirdly, the collateral evidence of archaeology may bring to 
light a correspondence which gives a historical significance 
to the legend. How far any of these lines can be followed 
to a successful issue in the case of Genesis, we shall con- 
sider later (§ 4), after we have examined the obviously 
legendary motives which enter into the tradition. Mean- 
while the previous discussion will have served its purpose 

•See Dri. XXXI ff. 19 fF. 

t See Reuss, Gesch. d. heil. Schr. AT^, 167 f. 


if any readers have been led to perceive that the religious 
teaching- of Genesis lies precisely in that legendary element 
whose existence is here maintained. Our chief task is to 
discover the meaning of the legends as they stand, being 
assured that from the nature of the case these religious 
ideas were operative forces in the life of ancient Israel. It 
is a suicidal error in exegesis to suppose that the permanent 
value of the book lies in the residuum of historic fact that 
underlies the poetic and imaginative form of the narratives.* 

§ 3. Myth and legend — Foreign myths — Types of 
mythical tnotive. 

I. Are there myths in Genesis, as well as legends? On 
this question there has been all the variety of opinion that 
might be expected. Some writers, starting with the theory 
that mythology is a necessary phase of primitive thinking, 
have found in the OT abundant confirmation of their thesis.! 
The more prevalent view has been that the mythopoeic 
tendency was suppressed in Israel by the genius of its 
religion, and that mythology in the true sense is unknown 
in its literature. Others have taken up an intermediate 
position, denying that the Hebrew mind produced myths of 
its own, but admitting that it borrowed and adapted those 
of other peoples. For all practical purposes, the last view 
seems to be very near the truth. 

For attempts to discriminate between myth and legend, see Tuch, pp. 
I-XV; Gu. p. XVII ; Hoffding, Phil, of Rel. (Eng. tr.), 199 ff. ; Gordon, 
77 fF.; Procksch, Nordhehr. Sagenbuch, I. etc. — The practically im- 
portant distinction is that the legend does, and the myth does not, start 
from the plane of historic fact. The myth is properly a story of the 
gods, originating in an impression produced on the primitive mind by 
the more imposing phenomena of nature, while legend attaches itself to 
the personages and movements of real history. Thus the Flood-story 
is a legend if Noah be a historical figure, and the kernel of the narrative 
an actual event ; it is a myth if it be based on observation of a 

• On various points dealt with in this paragraph, see the admirable 
statement of A. R. Gordon, Early Traditions of Genesis, pp. 76-92. 
t Goldziher, Der Mythos hei den Hebrdern (1876). 


solar phenomenon, and Noah a representative of the sun-g-od (see 
p. i8of.). But the utility of this distinction is largely neutralised by a 
universal tendency to transfer mythical traits from gods to real men 
(Sargon of Agade, Moses, Alexander, Charlemagne, etc.) ; so that the 
most indubitable traces of mythology will not of themselves warrant 
the conclusion that the hero is not a historical personage. — Gordon 
differentiates between spontaneous (nature) myths and reflective 
(aetiological) myths ; and, while recognising the existence of the latter 
in Genesis, considers that the former type is hardly represented in the 
OT at all. The distinction is important, though it may be doubted if 
aetiology is ever a primary impulse to the formation of myths, and as a 
parasitic development it appears to attach itself indifferently to myth 
and legend. Hence there is a large class of narratives which it is 
difficult to label either as mythical or as legendary, but in which the 
aetiological or some similar motive is prominent (see p. xi fF.). 

2. The influence of foreign mythology is most apparent 
in the primitive traditions of chs. i-ii. The discovery of 
the Babylonian versions of the Creation- and Deluge- 
traditions has put it beyond reasonable doubt that these are 
the originals from which the biblical accounts have been 
derived (pp. 45 ff., 177 f.). A similar relation obtains between 
the antediluvian genealogy of ch. 5 and Berossus's list of 
the ten Babylonian kings who reigned before the Flood 
(p. 137 f.)' The story of Paradise has its nearest analogies 
in Iranian mythology ; but there are faint Babylonian echoes 
which suggest that it belonged to the common mythological 
heritage of the East (p. 90 ff.). Both here and in ch. 4 
a few isolated coincidences with Phoenician tradition may 
point to the Canaanite civilisation as the medium through 
which such myths came to the knowledge of the Israelites. 
— All these (as well as the story of the Tower of Babel) 
were originally genuine myths — stories of the gods ; and if 
they no longer deserve that appellation, it is because the 
spirit of Hebrew monotheism has exorcised the polytheistic 
notions of deity, apart from which true mythology cannot 
survive. The few passages where the old heathen concep- 
tion of godhead still appears (i^^ 3-2- 2* 6^*- 11^*), only serve 
to show how completely the religious beliefs of Israel have 
transformed and purified the crude speculations of pagan 
theology, and adapted them to the ideas of an ethical and 
monotheistic faith. 


The naturalisation of Babylonian myths in Israel is conceivable in a 
variety of ways ; and the question is perhaps more interesting- as an 
illustration of two rival tendencies in criticism than for its possibilities 
of actual solution. The tendency of the literary school of critics has 
been to explain the process by the direct use of Babylonian documents, 
and to bring it down to near the dates of our written Pent, sources.* 
Largel}' through the influence of Gunkel, a different view has come 
to prevail, viz., that we are to think rather of a gradual process of 
assimilation to the religious ideas of Israel in the course of oral trans- 
mission, the myths having first passed into Canaanite tradition as the 
result (immediate or remote) of the Babylonian supremacy prior to the 
Tell-Amarna period, and thence to the Israelites.! The strongest 
argument for this theory is that the biblical versions, both of the 
Creation and the Flood, give evidence of having passed through several 
stages in Hebrew tradition. Apart from that, the considerations urged 
in support of either theory do not seem to me conclusive. There are 
no recognisable traces of a specifically Canaanite medium having been 
interposed between the Bab. originals and the Hebrew accounts of the 
Creation and the Flood, such as we may surmise in the case of the 
Paradise myth. It is open to argue against Gu. that if the process had 
been as protracted as he says, the divergence would be much greater 
than it actually is. Again, we cannot well set limits to the deliberate 
manipulation of Bab. material by a Hebrew writer ; and the assump- 
tion that such a writer in the later period would have been repelled by 
the gross polytheism of the Bab. legends, and refused to have anything 
to do with them, is a little gratuitous. On the other hand, it is unsafe 
to assert with Stade that the myths could not have been assimilated by 
Israelite theology before the belief in Yahwe's sole deity had been 
firmly established by the teaching of the prophets. Monotheism had 
roots in Heb. antiquity extending much further back than the age of 
written prophecy, and the present form of the legends is more intel- 
ligible as the product of an earlier phase of religion than that of the 
literary prophets. But when we consider the innumerable channels 
through which myths may wander from one centre to another, we shall 
hardly expect to be able to determine the precise channel, or the ap- 
proximate date, of this infusion of Bab. elements into the religious 
tradition of Israel. 

It is remarkable that while the patriarchal legends exhibit no traces 
of Bab. mythology, they contain a few examples of mj'thical narrative 
to which analogies are found in other quarters. The visit of the angels 
to Abraham (see p. 302 f.), and the destruction of Sodom (p. 311 f.), are 
incidents of obviously mythical origin (stories of the gods) ; and to both, 
classical and other parallels exist. The account of the births of Esau 

•See Bu. Urg. (1883), 515 f.; Kuenen, ThT, xviii. (1884), 167 ff. ; 
Kosters, ih. xix. (1885), 325 ff., 344; Sta. ^^rfF (1895), isgf., (1903), 

175 ff- 

■\ Schopfung und Chaos (1895), 143 ff.; Gen.^ (1902), 64 f. Of. 
Dri. 31. 


and Jacob embodies a mytholog'ical motive (p. 359), which is repeated 
in the case of Zerah and Perez (ch. 38). The whole story of Jacob 
and Esau presents several points of contact with that of the brothers 
Hypsouranios (§amem-rum) and UsSos in the Phoenician mythology 
(Usoos = Esau : see pp. 360, 124). There appears also to be a Homeric 
variant of the incest of Reuben (p, 427). These phenomena are among 
the most perplexing- which we encounter in the study of Hebrew tradi- 
tion.* We can as yet scarcely conjecture the hidden source from which 
such widely ramified traditions have sprung, though we may not on 
that account ignore the existence of the problem. It would be at all 
events a groundless anticipation that the facts will lead us to resolve 
the patriarchs into mythological abstractions. They are rather to be 
explained by the tendency already referred to (p. ix), to mingle myth 
with legend by transferring mythical incidents to historic personages. 

3. It remains, before we go on to consider the historical 
elements of the tradition, to classify the leading- types of 
mythical, or semi-mythical (p. ix), motive which appear in 
the narratives of Genesis. It will be seen that while they 
undoubtedly detract from the literal historicity of the records, 
they represent points of view which are of the greatest 
historical interest, and are absolutely essential to the right 
interpretation of the legends.! 

(a) The most comprehensive category is that of cetiological or ex- 
planatory myths ; i.e., those which explain some familiar fact of experi- 
ence by a story of the olden time. Both the questions asked and the 
answers returned are frequently of the most naive and childlike descrip- 
tion : they have, as Gu. has said, all the charm which belongs to the 
artless but profound reasoning of an intelligent child. The classical 
example is the story of Paradise and the Fall in chs. 2. 3, which con- 
tains one explicit instance of setiology (2-* : why a man cleaves to his 
wife), and implicitly a great many more : why we wear clothes and 
detest snakes, why the serpent crawls on his belly, why the peasant has 
to drudge in the fields, and the woman to endure the pangs of travail, 
etc. (p. 95). Similarly, the account of creation explains why there are 
so many kinds of plants and animals, why man is lord of them all, why 
the sun shines by day and the moon by night, etc. ; why the Sabbath 
is kept. The Flood-story tells us the meaning of the rainbow, and of 
the regular recurrence of the seasons : the Babel-myth accounts for the 
existing diversities of language amongst men. Pure examples of 
aetiology are practically confined to the first eleven chapters ; but the 
same general idea pervades the patriarchal history, specialised under 
the headings which follow. 

• See Gu. p. lvi. 

t The enumeration, which is not quite exhaustive, is taken, with 
some simplification, from Gu. p. xvni ff. 


(b) The commonest class of all, especially in the patriarchal narra- 
tives, is what may be called ethnographic leg-ends. It is an obvious 
feature of the narratives that the heroes of them are frequently per- 
sonifications of tribes and peoples, v^'hose character and history and 
mutual relationships are exhibited under the guise of individual bio- 
graphy. Thus the pre-natal struggle of Jacob and Esau prefigures the 
rivalry of ' two nations ' (25-^) ; the monuments set up by Jacob and 
Laban mark the frontier between Israelites and Aramseans (3i''''^") ; 
Ishmael is the prototype of the wild Bedouin (16'^), and Cain of some 
ferocious nomad-tribe ; Jacob and his twelve sons represent the unity 
of Israel and its division into twelve tribes ; and so on. This mode of 
thinking- was not peculiar to Israel (cf. the Hellen, Dorus, Xuthus, 
Aeolus, Achffius, Ion, of the Greeks) ; * but it is one specially natural to 
the Semites from their habit of speaking of peoples as sons {i.e. members) 
of the collective entity denoted by the tribal or national name (sons of 
Israel, of Ammon, of Ishmael, etc.), whence arose the notion that these 
entities were the real progenitors of the peoples so designated. That 
in some cases the representation was correct need not be doubted ; for 
there are known examples, both among the Arabs and other races in a 
similar stage of social development, of tribes named after a famous 
ancestor or leader of real historic memory. But that this is the case 
with all eponymous persons — e.g. that there were really such men as 
Jerahmeel, Midian, Aram, Sheba, Amalek, and the rest — is quite in- 
credible ; and, moreover, it is never true that the fortunes of a tribe are 
an exact copy of the personal experiences of its reputed ancestor, 
even if he existed. We must therefore treat these leg-ends as symbolic 
representations of the ethnological affinities between different tribes 
or peoples, and (to a less extent) of the historic experiences of these 
peoples. There is a great danger of driving this interpretation too 
far, by assigning- an ethnological value to details of the legend which 
never had any such significance ; but to this matter we shall have occa- 
sion to return at a later point (see p. xix ff.). 

(c) Next in importance to these ethnographic legends are the culi- 
legends. A considerable proportion of the patriarchal narratives are 
designed to explain the sacredness of the principal national sanctuaries, 
while a few contain notices of the origin of particular ritual customs 
(circumcision, ch. 17 [but cf. Ex. ^^^"•] ; the abstinence from eating the 
sciatic nerve, 32^). To the former class belong such incidents as Hagar 
at Lahairoi (16), Abraham at the oak of Mamre (18), his planting of the 
tamarisk at Beersheba (21^), Jacob at Bethel — with the reason for 
anointing the sacred stone, and the institution of the tithe — (28'"""-), and 
at Peniel {:i2^^^-) ; and many more. The general idea is that the places 
were hallowed by an appearance of the deity in the patriarchal period, 
or at least by the performance of an act of worship (erection of an altar, 
etc.) by one of the ancestors of Israel. In reality the sanctity of these 
spots was in many cases of immemorial antiquity, being rooted in the 
most primitive forms of Semitic religion ; and at times the narrative 

* Sec Dri. 112 ; Gordon, £TG, 88. 


suffers it to appear that the place was holy before the visit of the patriarch 
(see on 12''), It is probable that inauguration-legends had grown up at the 
chief sanctuaries while they were still in the possession of the Canaanites. 
We cannot tell how far such legends were transferred to the Hebrew 
ancestors, and how far the traditions are of native Israelite growth. 

(d) Of much less interest to us is the etymological motive which so 
frequently appears as a side issue in legends of wider scope. Specula- 
lation on the meaning and origin of names is fascinating to all primitive 
peoples ; and in default of a scientific philology the most fantastic 
explanations are readily accepted. That it was so in ancient Israel 
could be easily shown from the etymologies of Genesis. Here, again, 
it is just conceivable that the explanation given may occasionally be 
correct (though there is hardly a case in which it is plausible) ; but in 
the majority of cases the real meaning of the name stands out in 
palpable contradiction to the alleged account of its origin. Moreover, 
it is not uncommon to find the same name explained in two different 
ways (many of Jacob's sons, ch. 30), or to have as many as three sug- 
gestions of its historic origin (Ishmael, 16I' ly^" 21" ; Isaac, 17" 18^2 2i»). 
To claim literal accuracy for incidents of this kind is manifestly futile. 

(f) There is yet another element which, though not mythical or 
legendary, belongs to the imaginative side of the legends, and has to 
be taken account of in interpreting them. This is the element of poetic 
idealisation. Whenever a character enters the world of legend, whether 
through the gate of history or through that of ethnographic personifica- 
tion, it is apt to be conceived as a type ; and as the story passes from 
mouth to mouth the typical features are emphasised, while those which 
have no such significance tend to be effaced or forgotten. Then the 
dramatic instinct comes into play— the artistic desire to perfect the story 
as a lifelike picture of human nature in interesting situations and action. 
To see how far this process may be carried, we have but to compare 
the conception of Jacob's sons in the Blessing of Jacob (ch. 49) with 
their appearance in the younger narratives of Joseph and his brethren. 
In the former case the sons are tribal personifications, and the char- 
acters attributed to them are those of the tribes they represent. In the 
latter, these characteristics have almost entirely disappeared, and the 
central interest is now the pathos and tragedy of Hebrew family life. 
Most of the brothers are without character or individuality ; but the 
accursed Reuben and Simeon are respected members of the family, and 
the 'wolf Benjamin has become a helpless child whom the father will 
hardly let go from his side. This, no doubt, is the supreme instance of 
romantic or ' novelistic ' treatment which the book contains ; but the 
same idealising tendency is at work elsewhere, and must constantly be 
allowed for in endeavouring to reach the historic or ethnographic basis 
from which the legends start. 

§ 4. Historical value of the tradition. 
It has already been remarked (p. vii) that there are three 
chief ways in which an oral, and therefore legendary, tradi- 


tion may yield solid historical results : first, through the 
retention in the popular memory of the impression caused 
by real events and personalities ; secoiidly, by the recovery 
of historic (mainly ethnographic) material from the biographic 
form of the tradition ; and thirdly, through the confirmation 
of contemporary * archseological ' evidence. It will be con- 
venient to start with the last of these, and consider what is 
known about — 

I . The historical background of the patriarchal traditions. 
— The period covered by the patriarchal narratives * may be 
defined very roughly as the first half of the second millennium 
(2000-1500) B.C. The upper limit depends on the generally 
accepted assumption, based (somewhat insecurely, as it 
seems to us) on ch. 14, that Abraham was contemporary 
with Hammurabi, the 6th king of the first Babylonian 
dynasty. The date of Hammurabi is probably c. 2100 e.g."!" 

* The discussion in this section is confined to the patriarchal tradi- 
tion, because it is only with regard to it that the question of essential 
historicity arises. Every one admits that the pre-historic chapters 
(i-ii) stand on a different footing, and there are few who would claim 
for them the authority of a continuous tradition. 

t The date here assigned to Hammurabi is based on the recent 
investigations of Thureau-Dangin {Journal des Savants \\<)o^\ 190 ff. ; 
ZA, xxi. [1908], 176 if.), and Ungnad {OLz. [1908], 13 ff.); with whom 
Poebel {ZA, xxi. 162 ff.) is in substantial agreement. The higher 
estimates which formerly prevailed depended on the natural assumption 
that the first three dynasties of the Royal Lists (first published in 1880 
and 1884) reigned consecutively in Babylon. But in 1907, L. W. King 
{Chronicles concerning early Bab. Kings) published new material, which 
showed conclusively that the Second dynasty, ruling over the ' Country 
of the Sea,' was at least partly, if not wholly, contemporaneous with 
the First and Third dynasties in Babylon. King himself and Meyer 
{GA'^, I. ii. 339 ff. [1909]) hold that the Third (Ka§5ite) dynasty followed 
immediately on the First ; and that consequently the previous estimates 
of the chronology of the First dynasty have to be reduced by the total 
duration of the Second dynasty (368 years according to List A). The 
scholars cited at the head of this note consider, on the other hand, that 
the contemporaneousness was only partial, and that there was an 
interval of 176 years between the close of the First dynasty and the 
accession of the Third. The chief data are these : King's new chronicle 
has proved beyond dispute (i) that Ilima-ilu, the founder of the Second 
dynasty, was contemporary with Samsu-iluna and Abi-e§u', the 7th and 
8th kings of the First dynasty ; and (2) that Ea-gimil, the last king of 


The lower limit is determined by the Exodus, which is 
usually assigned (as it must be if Ex. i'^ is genuine) to the 
reign of Merneptah of the Nineteenth Egyptian dynasty 
-t(c. 1 234-1 2 14 B.C.). Allowing a sufficient period for the 
sojourn of Israel in Egypt, we come back to about the 
middle of the millennium as the approximate time when the 
family left Palestine for that country. The Hebrew chron- 
ology assigns nearly the same date as above to Abraham, 
but a much earlier one for the Exodus (c. 1490), and reduces 
the residence of the patriarchs in Canaan to 215 years; 
since, however, the chronological system rests on artificial 
calculations (see pp. issf., 234), we cannot restrict our survey 
to the narrow limits which it assigns to the patriarchal period 
in Palestine. Indeed, the chronological uncertainties are so 
numerous that it is desirable to embrace an even wider field 
than the five centuries mentioned above.* 

In the opinion of a growing and influential school of 
writers, this period of history has been so illumined by 

the Second dynasty, was an older contemporary of a certain Ka§§ite 
(king-?), Ka§tilia§. Now, Ka§tilia5 is the name of the 3rd king of the 
Ka§§ite dynasty ; and the question is whether this KaStihaS is to be 
identified with the contemporary of Ea-g4mil. Th.-Dangin, etc., answer 
in the affirmative, with the result stated above. King opposes the 
identification, and thinks the close of the Second dynasty coincides 
with a gap in the list of KaSSite kings (8th to 15th), where the name of 
Ka§tilia§ may have stood. Meyer accepts the synchronism of Ea-g4mil 
with the third Ka§5ite king ; but gets rid of the interregnum by a 
somewhat arbitrary reduction of the duration of the Second dynasty to 
about 200 years. For fuller information, the reader is referred to the 
lucid note in Dri. Gen.'' XXVU. flf. (with lists). — King believes that his 
date for yammurabi {c. 1958-1916) facilitates the identification of that 
monarch with the Amraphel of Gn. 14 (see p. 257 f. below), by bringing 
the interval between Abraham and the Exodus into nearer accord with 
the biblical data ; but in view of the artificial character of the biblical 
chronology {v.s.), it is doubtful if any weight whatever can be allowed 
to this consideration. 

* Thus the Exodus is sometimes (in defiance of Ex. i^^) put back to 
c. 1450 B.C. (Hommel, ET, x. [1899], 2ioff. ; Orr, POT, 422 ff.); while 
Eerdmans would bring it down to c. 11 25 B.C. {Vorgeschichte Israels, 
74; Exp. 1908, Sept. 204). Joseph is by some (Marquart, Wi. al.) 
identified with a minister of Amenophis IV. {c. 1380-1360), by Eerdmans 
with a Semitic ruler at the very end of the Nineteenth dynasty {c. 1205). 
See p. 501 f. 


recent discoveries that it is no longer possible to doubt the 
essential historicity of the patriarchal tradition.* It is 
admitted that no externa evidence has come to light of the 
existence of such persons as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and 
Joseph, or even (with the partial exception of Joseph) of 
men playing parts at all corresponding to theirs. But it is 
maintained that contemporary documents reveal a set of 
conditions into which the patriarchal narratives fit perfectly, 
and which are so different from those prevailing under the 
monarchy that the situation could not possibly have been 
imagined by an Israelite of that later age. Now, that recent 
archaeology has thrown a flood of light on the period in 
question, is beyond all doubt. It has proved that Palestinian 
culture and religion were saturated by Babylonian influences 
long before the supposed date of Abraham ; that from that 
date downwards intercourse with Egypt was frequent and 
easy ; and that the country was more than once subjected 
to Egyptian conquest and authority. It has given us a 
most interesting glimpse from about 2000 B.C. of the natural 
products of Canaan, and the manner of life of its inhabitants 
(Tale of Sinuhe). At a later time (Tell-Amarna letters) it 
shows the Egyptian dominion threatened by the advance of 
Hittites from the north, and by the incursion of a body of 
nomadic marauders called Habiri (see p. 218). It tells us that 
Jakob-el (and Joseph-el ?) was the name of a place in Canaan 
in the first half of the 15th cent. (pp. 360, 389 f.), and that 
Israel was a tribe living in Palestine about 1200 B.C.; also that 
Hebrews ('Apriw) were a foreign population in Egypt from 
the time of Ramses 11. to that of Ramses iv. (Heyes, Bib. 
ti. Aeg. 146 flf.; Eerdmans, I.e. 52 ff. ; Exp. I.e. 197). All 
this is of the utmost value ; and if the patriarchs lived in 
this age, then this is the background against which we 
have to set their biographies. But the real question is 
whether there is such a correspondence between the blo- 

* Jeremias, ATLO-, 365 : " Wir haben g-ezeigt, dass das Milieu der 
Vaterg-eschichten in alien Einzelheiten zu den altorientalischen Kultur- 
verhaltnissen stimmt, die uns die Denkmaler fiir die in Betracht kom- 
menden Zeit bezeugen." 


graphics and their backg-round that the former would be 
unintelligible if transplanted to other and later surroundings. 
We should gladly welcome any evidence that this is the 
case ; but it seems to us that the remarkable thing- about 
these narratives is just the absence of background and their 
general compatibility with the universal conditions of ancient 
Eastern life.* The case for the historicity of the tradition, 
based on correspondences with contemporary evidence from 
the period in question, appears to us to be greatly over- 

The line of arg-ument that claims most careful attention is to the 
following effect : Certain legal customs presupposed by the patriarchal 
stories are now known to have prevailed (in Babylon) in the age of 
^ammurabi ; these customs had entirely ceased in Israel under the 
monarchy ; consequently the narratives could not have been invented 
by legend-writers of that period (Je. ATLO"^, 355 ff.). The strongest 
case is the truly remarkable parallel supplied by Cod. Hamm. 146 to 
the position of Hagar as concubine-slave in ch. 16 (below, p. 285). Here 
everything turns on the probability that this usage was unknown in 
Israel in the regal period ; and it is surely pressing the argumentum 
ex silentio too far to assert confidently that if it had been known it 
would certainly have been mentioned in the later literature. We must 
remember that Genesis contains almost the only pictures of intimate 
family life in the OT, and that it refers to many things not mentioned 
later simply because there was no occasion to speak of them. Were 
twin-births peculiar to the patriarchial period because two are men- 
tioned in Gen. and none at all in the rest of the OT ? The fact that 
the custom of the concubine - slave has persisted in Mohammedan 
countries down to modern times, should warn us against such sweeping- 
negations. — Again, we learn {ib. 358) that the simultaneous marriage 
with two sisters was permitted by ancient Babylonian law, but was 
proscribed in Hebrew legislation as incestuous. Yes, but the law in 

• A striking illustration of this washing out of historical background 
is the contrast between the Genesis narratives and the Egyptian Tale 
of Sinuhe, from which Je. {ATLO-, 298 ff.) quotes at length in demonstra- 
tion of their verisimilitude. While the latter is full of detailed informa- 
tion about the people among- whom the writer lived, the former (except 
in chs. 14. 34. 38) have hardly any allusions (24^ 37'"-) to the aboriginal 
population of Palestine proper. Luther {INS, 156 f) even maintains 
that the original Yahwist conceived Canaan as at this time an unin- 
habited country ! Without going so far as that, we cannot but regard 
the fact as an indication of the process of abstraction which the narratives 
have undergone in the course of oral transmission. Would they appeal 
to the heart of the world as they do if they retained, to the extent 
sometimes alleged, the signature of an obsolete civilisation ? 



question (Lv. i8'^) is late ; and does not its enactment in the PC rather 
imply that the practice against which it is directed survived in Israel 
till the close of the monarchy ?— The distinction between the mohar, or 
purchase price of a wife, and the gift to the bride {ib.), should not be 
cited : the mohar \s an institution everywhere prevailing in early pastoral 
societies ; it is known to Hebrew jurisprudence (Ex. 22'*) ; its name is 
not old Babylonian ; and even its transmutation into personal service 
is in accordance with Arab practice (p. 383 below) ' — In short, it does 
not appear that the examples given differ from another class of usages, 
"die nicht spezifisch altbabylonisch sind, sondern auch spatern bez. 
intergentilen Rechtszustanden entsprechen, die aber . . . wenigstens 
teilweise eine interessante Beleuchtung durch den Cod. IJamm. erfahren." 
The " interessante Beleuchtung " will be freely admitted. 

Still less has the new knowledge of the political circumstances of 
Palestine contributed to the direct elucidation of the patriarchal tradi- 
tion, although it has brought to light certain facts which have to be 
taken into account in interpreting that tradition. The complete silence 
of the narratives as to the protracted Egyptian dominion over the 
country is very remarkable, and only to be explained by a fading of 
the actual situation from the popular memory during the course of oral 
transmission. The existence of Philistines in the time of Abraham is, 
so far as archaeology can inform us, a positive anachronism. On the 
whole it must be said that archaeology has in this region created more 
problems than it has solved. The occurrence of the name Yakob-el in 
the time of Thothmes in., of Asher under Seti I. and Ramses II., and 
of Israel under Merneptah ; the appearance of Hebrews (Habiri?) in 
Palestine in the 15th cent., and in Egypt ('Apriw ?) from Ramses II. to 
Ramses IV., present so many difficulties to the adjustment of the 
patriarchal figures to their original background. We do not seem as 
yet to be in sight of a historical construction which shall enable us to 
bring these conflicting data into line with an intelligible rendering of 
the Hebrew tradition. 

It is considerations such as these that give so keen an edge to the 
controversy about the genuineness of ch. 14. That is the only section 
of Genesis which seems to set the figure of Abraham in the framework 
of world history. If it be a historical document, then we have a fixed 
centre round which the Abrahamic traditions, and possibly those of the 
other patriarchs as well, will group themselves ; if it be but a late imita- 
tion of history, we are cast adrift, with nothing to guide us except an 
uncertain and artificial scheme of chronology. For an attempt to 
estimate the force of the arguments on either side we must refer to the 
commentary below (p.27ifF.). Here, however, it is in point to observe 
that even if the complete historicity of ch. 14 were established, it would 
take us but a little way towards the authentication of the patriarchal 
traditions as a whole. For that episode confessedly occupies a place 
entirely unique in the records of the patriarchs ; and all the marks of 
contemporary authorship which it is held to present are so many proofs 

* See S. A. Cook, Cambridge Biblical Essays, 79 f. 


that the remaining narratives are of a different character, and lack that 
particular kind of attestation. The coexistence of oral traditions and 
historic notices relating to the same individual proves that the former 
rest on a basis of fact ; but it does not warrant the inference that the 
oral tradition is accurate in detail, or even that it faithfully reflects the 
circumstances of the period with which it deals. And to us the Abraham 
of oral tradition is a far more important religious personality than 
Abram the Hebrew, the hero of the exploit recorded in ch. 14. 

2. Ethnological theories. — The negative conclusion ex- 
pressed above (p. xvii f.) as to the value of ancient Babylonian 
analogies to the patriarchal tradition, depends partly on the 
assumption of the school of writers whose views were 
under consideration: viz., that the narratives are a tran- 
script of actual family life in that remote age, and therefore 
susceptible of illustration from private law as we find it 
embodied in the Cod. Hamm. It makes, however, little 
difference if for family relations we substitute those of clans 
and peoples to one another, and treat the individuals as 
representatives of the tribes to which Israel traced its origin. 
We shall then find the real historic content of the legends 
in migratory movements, tribal divisions and fusions, and 
general ethnological phenomena, which popular tradition 
has disguised as personal biographies. This is the line of 
interpretation which has mostly prevailed in critical circles 
since Ewald ; * and it has given rise to an extraordinary 
variety of theories. In itself (as in the hands of Ewald) it 
is not necessarily inconsistent with belief in the individual 
existence of the patriarchs ; though its more extreme ex- 
ponents do not recognise this as credible. The theories in 
question fall into two groups: those which regard the 
narratives as ideal projections into the past of relations sub- 
sisting, or conceptions formed, after the final settlement in 
Canaan ; t and those which try to extract from them a real 
history of the period before the Exodus. Since the former 
class deny a solid tradition of any kind behind the patriarchal 
story, we may here pass them over, and confine our atten- 

♦ Hist, oflsr. i. 363, 382, etc. 

t So We. Prol.'^ 319 ff- [Eng. tr. 318 ff.], Isr. undjiid. Gesch. 11 ff. 
Sta. GVI, i. 145 ff., ZATW, i. 1 1 2 ff. ,' 347 ft'. 


tion to those which do allow a certain substratum of truth 
in the pictures of the pre-Exodus period. 

As a specimen of this class of theories, neither better nor worse than 
others that might be chosen, we may take that of Cornill. According 
to him, Abraham was a real person, who headed a migration from 
Mesopotamia to Canaan about 1500 B.C. Through the successive 
separations of Moab, Ammon, and Edom, the main body of immigrants 
was so reduced that it might have been submerged, but for the arrival 
of a fresh contingent from Mesopotamia under the name Jacob (the 
names, except Abraham's, are all tribal or national). This reinforce- 
ment consisted of four groups, of which the Leah-group was the oldest 
and strongest. The tribe of Joseph then aimed at the hegemony, but 
was overpowered by the other tribes, and forced to retire to Egypt. 
The Bilhah-group, thus deprived of its natural support, was assailed by 
the Leah-tribes led by Reuben ; but the attempt was foiled, and Reuben 
lost his birthright. Subsequently the whole of the tribes were driven to 
seek shelter in Egypt, when Joseph took a noble revenge by allowing 
them to settle by its side in the frontier province of Egypt {Hist, of 
Israel, 29 ft". ). 

It will be seen that the construction hangs mainly on 
two leading- ideas : tribal affifiiiies typified by various phases 
of the marriage relation ; and migratiofis. As regards the 
first, we have seen (p. xii) that there is a true principle at 
the root of the method. It springs from the personification 
of a tribe under the name of an individual, male or female ; 
and we have admitted that many names in Genesis have this 
significance, and probably no other. If, then, two eponymous 
ancestors (Jacob and Esau) are represented as twin brothers, 
we may be sure that the peoples in question were conscious 
of an extremely close affinity. If a male eponym is married 
to a female, we may presume (though with less confidence) 
that the two tribes were amalgamated. Or, if one clan is 
spoken of as a wife and another as a concubine, we may 
reasonably conclude that the latter was somehow inferior to 
the former. But beyond a few simple analogies of this kind 
(each of which, moreover, requires to be tested by the inherent 
probabilities of the case) the method ceases to be reliable ; 
and the attempt to apply it to all the complex family relation- 
ships of the patriarchs only lands us in confusion.* — The 

* Guthe (GVI, 1-6) has formulated a set of five rules which he thinks 
can be used (with tact !) in retranslating the genealogical phraseology 


idea of migration is still less trustworthy. Certainly not 
every journey recorded in Genesis {e.g. that of Joseph from 
Hebron to Shechem and Dothan, 37"*^- : pace Steuernagel) 
can be explained as a migratory movement. Even when 
the ethnological background is apparent, the movements of 
tribes may be necessary corollaries of the assumed relation- 
ships between them {e.g. Jacob's journey to Harran : p. 
357); and it will be difficult to draw the line between these 
and real migrations. The case of Abraham is no doubt a 
strong one ; for if his figure has any ethnological significance 
at all, his exodus from Harran (or Ur) can hardly be inter- 
preted otherwise than as a migration of Hebrew tribes from 
that region. We cannot feel the same certainty with regard 
to Joseph's being carried down to Egypt; it seems to us 
altogether doubtful if this be rightly understood as an en- 
forced movement of the tribe of Joseph to Egypt in advance 
of the rest (see p. 441). 

But it is when we pass from genealogies and marriages 
and journeys to pictorial narrative that the breakdown of the 
ethnological method becomes complete. The obvious truth 
is that no tribal relationship can supply an adequate motive 
for the wealth of detail that meets us in the richly coloured 
patriarchal legends ; and the theory stultifies itself by as- 
signing ethnological significance to incidents which origin- 
ally had no such meaning. It will have been noticed that 
Cornill utilises a few biographical touches to fill in his scheme 
(the youthful ambition of Joseph ; his sale into Egypt, etc.), 
and every other theorist does the same. Each writer selects 
those incidents which fit into his own system, and neglects 
those which would embarass it. Each system has some 
plausible and attractive features ; but each, to avoid ab- 
surdity, has to exercise ajudicious restraint on the consistent 
extension of its principles. The consequence is endless 

into historical terms. Tliere is probably not one of them which is 
capable of rigorous and universal application. Thus, the marriage of 
Jacob to Leah and Rachel does not necessarily imply that Jacob was a 
tribe which successively absorbed the two clans so named : it is just as 
likely that the union of Leah and Rachel with one another produced the 
entity called Jacob 


diversity in detail, and no agreement even in general out- 

It is evident that such constructions will never reach any satisfactory 
result unless they find some point of support in the history of the period 
as g-athered from contemporary sources. The second millennium B.C. 
is thought to have witnessed one gfreat movement of Semitic tribes to 
the north, viz., the Aramaean. About the middle of the millennium we 
find the first notices of the Aramaeans as nomads in what is now the 
Syro- Arabian desert. Shortly afterwards the Habiri make their appear- 
ance in Palestine. It is a natural conjecture that these were branches 
of the same migration, and it has been surmised that we have here the 
explanation of the tradition which afiirms the common descent of 
Hebrews and Aramjeans. The question then arises whether we can 
connect this fact with the patriarchal tradition, and if so with what 
stratum of that tradition. Isaac and Joseph are out of the reckoning-, be- 
cause neither is ever brought into contact with the Aramaeans ; Rebekah 
is too insig-nificant. Abraham is excluded by the chronolog-y, unless 
(with Corn.) we bring down his date to c. 1500, or (with Steuer.) regard 
his migration as a traditional duplicate of Jacob's return from Laban. 
But if Jacob is suggested, we encounter the difficulty that Jacob must 
have been settled in Canaan some generations before the age of the 
yabiri. In the case of Abraham there may be a conflation of two 
traditions, — one tracing his nativity to Harran and the other to Ur ; and 
it is conceivable that he is the symbol of two migrations, one of which 
might be identified with the arrival of the Habiri, and the other might 
have taken place as early as the age of Hammurabi. But these are 
speculations no whit more reliable than any of those dealt with above ; 
and it has to be confessed that as yet archaeology has furnished no 
sure basis for the reconstruction of the patriarchal history. It is permis- 
sible to hope that further discoveries may bring to light facts which 
shall enable us to decide more definitely than is possible at present 
how far that history can be explained on ethnological lines. f 

•Luther (ZATW, 1901, 36 ff.) gives a conspectus of four leading- 
theories (We. Sta. Gu. Corn.), with the purpose of showing that the 
consistent application of the method would speedily lead to absurd 
results (46). He would undoubtedly have passed no different verdict on 
later combinations, such as those of Steuernagel, Einivanderiin^ der. Isr. 
Stdmtne ; Peters, Early Hebrew Story, 45 ff. ; Procksch, Nordhebr. Sagen- 
bitch, 330 ff. etc. — What Grote has written about the allegorical inter- 
pretation of the Greek legends might be applied word for word to these 
theories : "The theorist who adopts this course of explanation finds 
that after one or two simple and obvious steps, the way is no long^er open, 
and he is forced to clear a way for himself by gratuitous refinements 
and conjectures" {Hist, of Greece, ed. 1888, p. 2). 

t To the whole class of theories considered above (those which try to 
go behind the Exodus), Luther (/.c. 44 f) objects that they demand a 
continuous occupation of Palestine from the time when the legends were 


3. The patriarchs as individuals. — We come, in the last 
place, to consider the probability that the oral tradition, 
through its own inherent tenacity of recollection, may have 
retained some true impression of the events to which it 
refers. After what has been said, it is vain to expect that 
a picture true in every detail will be recoverable from 
popular tales current in the earliest ages of the monarchy. 
The course of oral tradition has been too long, the disturbing 
influences to which it has been exposed have been too 
numerous and varied, and the subsidiary motives which 
have grafted themselves on to it too clearly discernible, to 
admit of the supposition that more than ^ substantial nucleus 
of historic fact can have been preserved in the national 
memory of Israel. It is not, however, unreasonable to 
believe that such a historical nucleus exists ; and that with 
care we may disentangle from the mass of legendary accre- 
tions some elements of actual reminiscence of the pre- 
historic movements which determined the subsequent 
development of the national life.* It is true that in this 
region we have as a rule only subjective impressions to 
guide us ; but in the absence of external criteria a subjective 

formed. He hints at a solution, which has been adopted in principle by 
Meyer {INS, 127 ff., 415, 433), and which if verified would relieve some 
difficulties, archseological and other. It is that two independent accounts 
of the origin of the nation are preserved : the Genesis-tradition, carrying 
the ancestry of the people back to the Aramaeans, and the Exodus- 
tradition, which traces the origin of the nation no further than Moses 
and the Exodus. There are indications that in an earlier phase of the 
patriarchal tradition the definitive conquest of Canaan was carried back 
to Jacob and his sons (chs. 34. 38. 48=^) ; on Meyer's view this does not 
necessarily imply that the narratives refer to a time subsequent to 
Joshua. A kernel of history may be recognised in both strands of 
tradition, on the assumption (not in itself a violent one) that only a 
section of Israel was in Egypt, and came out under Moses, while the 
rest remained in Palestine. The extension of the Exodus-tradition to 
the whole people was a natural effect of the consolidation of the nation ; 
and this again might give rise to the story of Jacob's migration to 
Egypt, with all his sons. 

* Cf. Winckler, KAT^, 204: " Es ist namlich immer wahrsclicin- 
licher, dass ein grosses fur die Entwicklung des Volkes massgebend 
gewordenes Ereigniss in seiner Geschlossenheit dem Gedachtniss besser 
crhalten bleibt als die Einzelheiten seines Herganges." 


judgfement has its value, and one in favour of the historic 
orig-in of the tradition is at least as vaHd as another to the 
contrary effect. — The two points on which attention now 
falls to be concentrated are : [a) the personalities of the 
patriarchs ; and {b) the religious significance of the tradi- 

[a) It is a tolerably safe general maxim that tradition 
does not invent names, or persons. We have on any view 
to account for the entrance of such figures as Abraham, 
Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph into the imagination of the 
Israelites ; and amongst possible avenues of entrance we 
must certainly count it as one, that they were real men, 
who lived and were remembered. What other explanations 
can be given ? The idea that they were native creations of 
Hebrew mythology (Goldziher) has, for the present at least, 
fallen into disrepute ; and there remain but two theories as 
alternatives to the historic reality of the patriarchs : viz., 
that they were originally personified tribes, or that they 
were originally Canaanite deities. 

The conception of the patriarchs as tribal eponyms, we have already 
seen to be admissible, though not proved. The idea that they were 
Canaanite deities is not perhaps one that can be dismissed as trans- 
parently absurd. If the Israelites, on entering- Canaan, found Abraham 
worshipped at Hebron, Isaac at Beersheba, Jacob at Bethel, and Joseph 
at Shechem, and if they adopted the cult of these deities, they might 
come to regard themselves as their children ; and in course of time the 
gods might be transformed into human ancestors around whom the 
national legend might crystallise. At the same time the theory is 
destitute of proof ; and the burden of proof lies on those who mamta'm 
it. Neither the fact (if it be a fact) that the patriarchs were objects of 
worship at the shrines where their graves were shown, nor the presence 
of mythical traits in their biographies, proves them to have been super- 
human beings. — The discussion turns largely on the evidence of the 
patriarchal names ; but this, too, is indecisive. The name Israel is 
national, and in so far as it is applied to an individual it is a case of 
eponymous personification. Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph (assuming these 
to be contractions of Yizhak-el, etc.) are also most naturally explained 
as tribal designations. Meyer, after long vacillation, has come to the 
conclusion that they are divine names {INS, 249 flf.) ; but the arguments 
which formerly convinced him that they are tribal seem to us more 
cogent than those to which he now gives the preference. That names 
of this type frequently denote tribes is a fact ; that they may denote 
deities is only a hypothesis. That they may also denote individuals 


{Yakub-ilu, YaSup-ilu) is true; but that only establishes a possibility, 
hardly a probability ; for it is more likely that the individual was named 
after his tribe than that the tribe got its name from an individual. The 
name Abram stands by itself. It represents no ethnological entity, and 
occurs historically only as the name of an individual ; and though it is 
capable of being interpreted in a sense appropriate to deity, all analogy 
is in favour of explaining it as a theophorous human name. The 
solitary allusion to the biblical Abram in the monuments — the mention 
of the ' Field of Abram' in Shishak's inscription (see p. 244) — is entirely 
consistent with this acceptation. — It is probably a mistake to insist on 
carrying through any exclusive theory of the patriarchal personalities. 
If we have proved that Abram was a historical individual, we have not 
thereby proved that Isaac and Jacob were so also ; and if we succeed in 
resolving the latter into tribal eponyms, it will not follow that Abraham 
falls under the same category. 

There is thus a justification for the tendency of many 
writers to put Abraham on a different plane from the other 
patriarchs, and to concentrate the discussion of the historicity 
of the tradition mainly on his person. An important element 
in the case is the clearly conceived type of character which 
he represents. No doubt the character has been idealised 
in accordance with the conceptions of a later age ; but the 
impression remains that there must have been something- in 
the actual Abraham which gave a direction to the idealisa- 
tion. It is this perception more than anything else which 
invests the figure of Abraham with the significance which it 
has possessed for devout minds in all ages, and which still 
resists the attempt to dissolve him into a creation of religious 
phantasy. If there be any truth in the description of legend 
as a form of narrative conserving the impression of a great 
personality on his age, we may venture, in spite of the lack 
of decisive evidence, to regard him as a historic personage, 
however dim the surroundings of his life may be.* 

* Cf. HofFding, Phil, of Rel. 199 ff. : " Its essence [that of legend] 
consists in the idea of a wonderful personality who has made a deep 
impression on human life — who excited admiration, furnished an 
example, and opened new paths. Under the influence of memory, a 
strong expansion of feeling takes place : this in turn gives rise to 
a need for intuition and explanation, to satisfy which a process of 
picture-making is set in motion. ... In legends . • . the central interest 
is in the subject-matter, in the centripetal power, which depends on an 
intensification of memory rather than on any naive personification and 
colouring. • . ." 


{b) It is of little consequence to know whether a man 
called Abraham lived about 2000 B.C., and led a caravan 
from Ur or Harran to Palestine, and defeated a great army 
from the east. One of the evil effects of the controversial 
treatment of such questions is to diffuse the impression that 
a g-reat religious value attaches to discussions of this kind. 
What it really concerns us to know is the spiritual signi- 
ficance of the events, and of the mission of Abraham in 
particular. And it is only when we take this point of view 
that we do justice to the spirit of the Hebrew tradition. 
It is obvious that the central idea of the patriarchal tradi- 
tion is the conviction in the mind of Israel that as a nation 
it originated in a great religious movement, that the divine 
call which summoned Abraham from his home and kindred, 
and made him a stranger and sojourner on the earth, 
imported a new era in God's dealings with mankind, and 
gave Israel its mission in the world (Is. 41^^). Is this 
conception historically credible ? 

Some attempts to find historic points of contact for this 
view of Abraham's significance for religion will be looked at 
presently ; but their contribution to the elucidation of the 
biblical narrative seems to us disappointing in the extreme. 
Nor can we unreservedly assent to the common argument 
that the mission of Moses would be unintelligible apart 
from that of Abraham. It is true, Moses is said to have 
appealed to the God of the fathers ; and if that be a literally 
exact statement, Moses built on the foundation laid by 
Abraham. But that the distinctive institutions and ideas of 
the Yahwe-religion could not have originated with Moses 
just as well as with Abraham, Is more than we have a right 
to affirm. In short, positive proof, such as would satisfy 
the canons of historical criticism, of the work of Abraham is 
not available. What we can say is, in the first place, that 
if he had the importance assigned to him, the fact is just 
of the kind that might be expected to impress itself indelibly 
on a tradition dating from the time of the event. We have 
in it the influence of a great personality, giving birth to the 
collective consciousness of a nation ; and this fact is of a 


nature to evoke that centripetal ' intensification of memory ' 
which Hoffding emphasises as the distinguishing- mark and 
the preserving salt of legend as contrasted with myth. In 
the second place, the appearance of a prophetic person- 
ality, such as Abraham is represented to have been, is a 
phenomenon with many analogies in the history of religion. 
The ethical and spiritual idea of God which is at the founda- 
tion of the religion of Israel could only enter the world 
through a personal organ of divine revelation ; and nothing 
forbids us to see in Abraham the first of that long series of 
prophets through whom God has communicated to mankind 
a saving knowledge of Himself. The keynote of Abraham's 
piety is faith in the unseen, — faith in the divine impulse 
which drove him forth to a land which he was never to 
possess ; and faith in the future of the religion which he 
thus founded. He moves before us on the page of Scripture 
as the man through whom faith, the living principle of true 
religion, first became a force in human affairs. It is difficult 
to think that so powerful a conception has grown out of 
nothing. As we read the story, we may well trust the 
instinct which tells us that here we are face to face with 
a decisive act of the living God in history, and an act whose 
essential significance was never lost in Israelite tradition. 

The sig-nificance of the Abrahamic migration in relation to the 
general movements of religious thought in the East is the theme of 
Winckler's interesting pamphlet, Abraham ah Babylonier, Joseph ah 
Aegypter {if)02). The elevation of Babylon, in the reign of yammurabi, 
to be the first city of the empire, and the centre of Babylonian culture, 
meant, we are told, a revolution in religion, inasmuch as it involved the 
deposition of Sin, the old moon-god, from the supreme place in the 
pantheon in favour of the ' DeUverer Marduk,' the tutelary deity of 
Babylon. Abraham, a contemporary, and an adherent of the older faith, 
opposed the reformation ; and, after vainly seeking support for his 
protest at Ur and Harran, the two great centres of the worship of Sin, 
migrated to Canaan, beyond the limits of Hammurabi's empire, to 
worship God after his fashion. How much truth is contained in these 
brilliant generalisations it is difficult for an ordinary man to say. In 
spite of the ingenuity and breadth of conception with which the theory 
is worked out, it is not unfair to suggest that it rests mostly on a 
combination of things that are not in the Bible with things that are not 
in the monuments. Indeed, the only positive point of contact between 
the two data of the problem is the certainly remarkable fact that tradi- 


tion does connect Abraham with two chief centres of the Babylonian 
moon-worship. But what we chiefly desiderate is some evidence that 
the worship of the moon-god had greater affinities with monotheism 
than the worship of Marduk, the god of the vernal sun. [The attempt 
to connect Joseph with the abortive monotheistic reform of Chuenaten 
(Amenophis IV.) is destitute of plausibility.]— To a similar effect Jeremias, 
ATLO"^, 327 ff. : "A reform movement of protest against the religious 
degeneration of the ruling classes " was the motive of the migration 
{22i3)f perhaps connected with the introduction of a new astronomical 
era, the Taurus-epoch (which, by the way, had commenced nearly 1000 
years before ! cf. 66). The movement assumed the form of a migration — 
a Hegira — under Abraham as Mahdi, who preached his doctrine as he 
went, made converts in Harran, Egypt, Gerar, Damascus, and else- 
where, finally establishing the worship of Yahwe at the sanctuaries of 
Palestine. This is to write a new Abrahamic legend, considerably 
different from the old. 

§ 5. Preservation and collection of the traditions. 

In all popular narration the natural unit is the short 
story, which does not too severely tax the attention of a 
simple audience, and which retains its outline and features 
unchang-ed as it passes from mouth to mouth.* A large 
part of the Book of Genesis consists of narratives of this 
description, — single tales, of varying- length but mostly 
very short, each complete in itself, with a clear beginning 
and a satisfying conclusion. As we read the book, unities 
of this kind detach themselves from their context, and 
round themselves into independent wholes ; and it is only 
by studying them in their isolation, and each in its own 
light, that we can fully appreciate their charm and under- 
stand, in some measure, the circumstances of their origin. 
The older stratum of the primeeval history, and of the 
history of Abraham, is almost entirely composed of single 
incidents of this kind : think of the story of the Fall, of 
Cain and Abel, of Noah's drunkenness, of the Tower of 
Babel ; and again of Abraham in Egypt, of the flight or 
expulsion of Hagar, of the sacrifice of Isaac, etc., etc. 
When we pass the middle of the book, the mode of narra- 

* Cf. Gu. p. XXXII, to whose fine appreciation of the " Kunstform 

der Sagen " this § is greatly indebted. 


tion beg-ins to change. The biography of Jacob is much 
more a consecutive narrative than that of Abraham ; but 
even here the separate scenes stand out in their original 
distinctness of outline {e.g. the transference of the birth- 
right, Jacob at Bethel, the meeting with Rachel at the well, 
the wrestling at Peniel, the outrage on Dinah, etc.). It is 
not till we come to the history of Joseph that the principle 
of biographical continuity gains the upper hand. Joseph's 
story is, indeed, made up of a number of incidents ; but 
they are made to merge into one another, so that each 
derives its interest from its relation to the whole, and ends 
(except the last) on a note of suspense and expectation 
rather than of rest. This no doubt is due to the greater 
popularity and more frequent repetition of the stories of 
Jacob and Joseph ; but at the same time it bears witness 
to a considerable development of the art of story-telling, 
and one in which we cannot but detect some degree of 
professional aptitude and activity. 

The short stories of Genesis, even those of the most 
elementary type, are exquisite works of art, almost as 
unique and perfect in their own kind as the parables of our 
Lord are in theirs. They are certainly not random pro- 
ductions of fireside gossip, but bear the unmistakable 
stamp of individual genius (Gu. p. xxx). Now, between 
the inception of the legends (which is already at some 
distance from the traditional facts) and the written form 
in which they lie before us, there stretches an interval 
which is perhaps in some instances to be measured by 
centuries. Hence two questions arise: (i) What was the 
fate of the stories during this interval ? Were they cast 
adrift on the stream of popular talk, — with nothing to 
secure their preservation save the perfection of their 
original form, — and afterwards collected from the lips of 
the people ? Or were they taken in hand from the first by 
a special class of men who made it their business to con- 
serve the integrity of the narratives, and under whose 
auspices the mass of traditional material was gradually 
welded into its present shape? And (2), how is this whole 


process of transmission and consolidation related to the 
use of writing? Was the work of collecting and syste- 
matising the traditions primarily a literary one, or had it 
already commenced at the stage of oral narration? 

To such questions, of course, no final answers can be 
given, (i) It is not possible to discriminate accurately 
between the modifications which a narrative would undergo 
through constant repetition, and changes deliberately made 
by responsible persons. On the whole, the balance of pre- 
sumption seems to us to incline .towards the hypothesis of 
professional oversight of some sort, exercised from a very 
early time. On this assumption, too, we can best under- 
stand the formation of legendary cycles ; for it is evident 
that no eflFective grouping of tradition could take place in 
the course of promiscuous popular recital. (2) As to the 
use of writing, it is natural to suppose that it came in first 
of all as an aid to the memory of the narrator, and that as 
a knowledge of literature extended the practice of oral 
recitation gradually died out, and left the written record in 
sole possession of the field. In this way we may imagine 
that books would be formed, which would be handed down 
from father to son, annotated, expanded, revised, and 
copied ; and so collections resembling our oldest pentateuchal 
documents might come into existence.* 

Here we come upon one important fact which affords 
some guidance in the midst of these speculations. The 
bulk of the Genesis-tradition lies before us in two closely 
parallel and practically contemporaneous recensions (see 
p. xliii ff. below). Since there is every reason to believe that 
these recensions were made independently of each other, it 
follows that the early traditions had been codified, and a 
sort of national epos had taken shape, prior to the com- 
pilation of these documents. When we find, further, that 
each of them contains evidence of earlier collections and 
older strata of tradition, we must assume a very consider- 
able period of time to have elapsed between the formation 

* See Gilbert Murray, Rise of the Greek Epic, p. 92 ff. 


of a fixed corpus of tradition and the composition of J and 
E. Beyond this, however, we are in the region of vaguest 
conjecture. We cannot tell for certain what kind of 
authority had presided over the combination of the legends, 
nor whether it was first done in the oral or the literary 
stage of translation. We may think of the priesthoods of 
the leading sanctuaries as the natural custodians of the 
tradition : * the sanctuaries were at least the obvious re- 
positories of the cult-legends pertaining to them. But we 
cannot indicate any sanctuary of such outstanding national 
importance as to be plausibly regarded as the centre of a 
national epic.f Or we may assign a conspicuous share in 
the work to the prophetic guilds which, in the time of 
Samuel, were foci of enthusiasm for the national cause, and 
might conceivably have devoted themselves to the propaga- 
tion of the national tradition. Or, finally, we may assume, 
with Gu., that there existed in Israel, as among the Arabs, 
guilds of professional story-tellers, exercising their vocation 
at public festivals and such like gatherings, for the enter- 
tainment and instruction of the people. The one certainty 
is that a considerable time must be allowed for the complex 
mental activities which lie behind our earliest literary 
sources. It is true that the rise of a national epos pre- 
supposes a strongly developed consciousness of national 
unity ; but in Israel the national ideal was much older than 
its realisation in the form of a state, and therefore we have 
no reason for placing the unification of the traditions later 
than the founding of the monarchy. From the age of 
Samuel at least all the essential conditions were present ; 
and a lower limit than that will hardly meet the require- 
ments of the case. 

We may here refer to a matter of great importance in its bearing' 
on the possibility of accurate oral transmission of the legends : viz. 
the recent effort of Sievers {Metrische Studien, ii., 1904-5) to resolve 
the whole of Genesis into verse. If his theory should be established, 

♦Cf. Sta. ZATW,\. 347 ff. 

+ Pro., however (392 f.), suggests Shiloh as the place where the 
national legend was developed. 


it would not merel}' furnish the most potent instrument of literary 
analysis conceivable, but it would render credible a very high degree 
of verbal exactitude during the period of unwritten tradition. The 
work of Sievers is viewed with qualified approval both by Gu. (p. 
xxixf.) and Pro. (2ioff.)> and it is certain to evoke interesting dis- 
cussion. The present writer, who is anything but a ' Metriker von 
Fach,' does not feel competent to pronounce an opinion on its merits. 
Neither reading aloud, nor counting of syllables, has convinced him 
that the scansion holds, or that Hebrew rhythm in general is so rigor- 
ously exact as the system demands. The prejudice against divorcing 
poetic form from poetic feeling and diction (of the latter there is no 
trace in what have been considered the prose parts of Genesis) is not 
lightly to be overcome ; and the frequent want of coincidence between 
breaks in sense and pauses in rhythm disturbs the mind, besides 
violating what used to be thought a fundamental feature of Hebrew 
poetry. Grave misgivings are also raised by the question whether the 
Massoretic theory of the syllable is (as Sievers assumes) a reliable 
guide to the pronunciation and rhythm of the early Hebrew language. 
It seems therefore hazardous to apply the method to the solution of 
literary problems, whether by emendation of the text, or by disentangle- 
ment of sources. 

B. Structure and Composition of the Book. 
§ 6. Plan and Divisions. 

That the Book of Genesis forms a literary unity has 
been a commonplace of criticism since the maiden work of 
Ewald * put an end to the Fragmentary Hypothesis of 

* Die Komposition der Genesis, kritisch untersucht (1823). — In that 
essay Ewald fell into the natural error of confusing unity of plan with 
unity of authorship,— an error, however, which he retracted eight 
years later {SK, 183I, 595 fF.), in favour of a theory (virtually identical 
with the so-called Supplementary Hypothesis) which did full justice to 
the unity and skilful disposition of the book, while recognising it to be 
the result of an amalgamation of several documents. The distinction 
has never since been lost sight of; and all subsequent theories of the 
composition of Genesis have endeavoured to reconcile the assumption 
of a diversity of sources with the indisputable fact of a clearly designed 
arrangement of the material. The view which is generally held does 
so in this way : three main documents, followmg substantially the 
same historical order, are held to have been combined by one or more 
redactors ; one of these documents, being little more than an epitome 
of the history, was specially fitted to supply a framework into which 
the rest of the narrative could be fitted, and was selected by the 
redactor for this purpose ; hence the plan which we discover in the 


Geddes and Vater. The ruling idea of the book, as has 
already been briefly indicated (p. ii), is to show how 
Israel, the people of God, attained its historical position 
among the nations of the world ; in particular, how its 
peculiar relation to God was rooted in the moral greatness 
and piety of its three common ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob ; and how through God's promise to them it had 
secured an exclusive right to the soil of Canaan.* This 
purpose, however, appears less in the details of the history 
(which are obviously governed by a variety of interests) 
than in the scope and arrangement of the work as a whole, 
especially in the ' framework ' which knits it together, and 
reveals the plan to which the entire narrative is accommo- 
dated. The method consistently followed is the progressive 
isolation of the main line of Israel's descent by brief genea- 
logical summaries of the collateral branches of the human 
family which diverge from it at successive points. 

A clue to ihe main divisions of the book is thus furnished by the 
editor's practice of inserting the collateral genealogies {TolMotli) at the 
close of the principal sections (i iio-'o ; 25'2-i8 . 36).! This yields a natural 
and convenient division into four approximately equal parts, namely : 

I. The Primaeval History of mankind : i.-xi.:): 
II. The History of Abraham : xii. i-xxv. 18. 

III. The History of Jacob: xxv. 19-xxxvi. 43. 

IV. The Story of Joseph and his brethren : xxxvii.-L 

book is really the design of one particular writer. It is obvious that 
such a conception quite adequately explains all the literary unity which 
the Book of Genesis exhibits. 

* See Tuch, XVI ff. 

t The genealogies of 4"-2^- 2"- and 22-""2^ do not count : these are 
not TdlMoth, and do not belong to the document used as a framework. 
Ch. 10 (the Table of peoples) would naturally stand at the close of a 
section ; but it had to be displaced from its proper position before ii"* 
to find room for the story of the Dispersion (ii'"^). It may be said, 
however, that the TolMoth of Adam (ch. 5) should mark a main 
division ; and that is probably correct, though for practical purposes 
it is better to ignore the subdivision and treat the primaeval history as 
one section. 

% Strictly speaking, the first part ends perhaps at 11" or ^ ; but the 
actual division of chapters has its recommendation, and it is not worth 
while to depart from it. 



A detailed analysis of the contents is given at the commencement of 
the various sections. 

It is commonly held by writers on Genesis that the editor has 
marked the headings of the various sections by the formula mi^Sn .ij>x[i], 
which occurs eleven times in the book: 2** 5^* 6* 10' 11^*^ 11^ 25'^ 35^* 
36' 36® 37^. Transposing 2** to the beginning, and disregarding 36' 
(both arbitrary proceedings), we obtain ten parts ; and these are 
actually adopted by De. as the divisions of his commentary. But the 
scheme is of no practical utility, — for ii is idle to speak of ii^o-ae q,. 
25'^" 1" as sections of Genesis on the same footing as 25^^-35^^ or 37^-50^; 
and theoretically it is open to serious objection. Here it will suffice to 
point out the incongruity that, while the histories of Noah and Isaac 
fall under their own Toledoth, those of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph fall 
under the TolMdih of their respective fathers. See, further, p. 40 f. 

§ 7. The Sources of Genesis. 

The Book of Genesis has always been the strategic 
position of Pentateuchal literary criticism. It was the 
examination of this book that led Astruc, in 1753,! to the 
important discovery which was the first positive achievement 
in this department of research. Having noticed the signifi- 
cant alternation of the divine names in different sections of 
the book, and having convinced himself that the phenomenon 
could not be explained otherwise than as due to the literary 
habit of two writers, Astruc proceeded to divide the bulk 
of Genesis into two documents, one distinguished by the 
use of the name Q'''7-'^> and the other by the use of nin'' ; 
while a series of fragmentary passages where this criterion 
failed him brought the total number of his mdmoires up to 
twelve. Subsequent investigations served to emphasise 
the magnitude of this discovery, which Eichhorn \ speedily 
put on a broader basis by a characterisation of the style, 
contents, and spirit of the two documents. Neither Astruc 
nor Eichhorn carried the analysis further than Ex. 2, — 
partly because they were influenced by the traditional opinion 
(afterwards abandoned by Eichhorn) of Mosaic authorship, 

* rinbin 150 nt. 

t Conjectures sur les nidmoires originaux, dont il paroit que Moyse 
£ est seroi pour composer le livre de la Gcnhse. 
X Einleitung in das AT, t 780-3 (ist ed.). 


and did not expect to find traces of composition in the 
history contemporaneous with Moses. We shall see 
presently that there is a deeper reason why this particular 
clue to the analysis could not at first be traced beyond the 
early chapters of Exodus. 

While the earlier attempts to discredit Astruc's discovery took the 
direction of showing- that the use of the two divine names is determined 
by a difference of meaning which made the one or the other more 
suitable in a particular connexion, the more recent opposition entrenches 
itself mostly behind the uncertainties of the text, and maintains that the 
Vns. (especially ffi) show the MT to be so unreliable that no analysis of 
documents can be based on its data : see Klostermann, Der Pe?itateuch 
(1893), p. 20 ff. ; Dahse, ARW, vi. (1903), 305 ff. ; Redpath, AJTh, viii. 
(1904), 286 ff. ; Eerdmans, Comp. d. Gen. (1908), 34 ff. ; Wiener, BS 
(1909), ii9ff. — It cannot be denied that the facts adduced by these 
writers import an element of uncertainty into the analysis, so far as it 
depeyids 071 the criterion of the divine names ; but the significance of the 
facts is greatly overrated, and the alternative theories propounded to 
account for the textual phenomena are improbable in the extreme, (i) 
So far as I have observed, no attention is paid to what is surely a very 
important factor of the problem, the proportion of divergences to 
agreements as between ffi and MT. In Genesis the divine name 
occurs in one or other form about 340 times (in MT, m.T 143 1. + C'Th\< 
177 t. + 'n '' 20 1.). The total deviations registered by Redpath 
(296 ff.) number 50; according to Eerdmans (34 f.) they are 49; i.e. 
little more than one-seventh of the whole. Is it so certain that that 
degree of divergence invalidates a documentary analysis founded on 
so much larger a field of undisputed readings ? (2) In spite of the 
confident assertions of Dahse (309) and Wiener (131 f.) there is not a 
single instance in which ffi is ' demonstrably ' right against MT. It is 
readily conceded that it is probably right in a few cases ; but there are 
two general presumptions in favour of the superior fidelity of the 
Massoretic tradition. Not only (a) is the chance of purely clerical 
confusion between « and Ss greater than between mn' and dm'?n, or even 
between '' and 'x, and {b) a change of divine names more apt to occur in 
translation than in transcription, but (c) the distinction between a 
proper name nin< and a generic D'hSn is much less likely to have been 
overlooked in copying than that between two appellatives Kvpio^ and 
6€6s. An instructive example is 4^^, where ffi Kvpios 6 Oeos is 'demon- 
strably' wrong. (3) In the present state of textual criticism it is 
impossible to determine in particular cases what is the original reading. 
We can only proceed by the imperfect method of averages. Now it is 
significant that while in Gen. (& substitutes dedi for m.T 21 times, and 
KOpLos 6 9(6i 19 times (40 in all), there are only 4 cases of Kvpios and 6 of 
Kvpios 6 0e6s (or cnhn (10 in all: the proportions being very much the 
same for the whole Pent.), ffi thus reveals a decided (and very natural) 
preference for the ordinary Greek ^eos over the less familiar Kvpio^. 


Dahse urges (p. 308) that MT betrays an equally marked preference 
for ni.T, and has frequently substituted it for Q'nSx ; but that is much less 
intelligible. For although the pronunciation of n^r^- as 'jin might have 
removed the fear of the Tetragrammaton, — and that would be a very 
good reason for leaving ni.T where it was, — it suggests no motive at all 
for inserting it where it was not. There is force, however, in Gray's 
remark on a particular case {Num. p. 311), that "wherever [6] ics 
appears in G it deserves attention as a possible indication of the 
original text." (4) The documentary theory furnishes a better explana- 
tion of the alternation of the names than any other that has been 
propounded. Redpath's hypothesis of a double recension of the Pent., 
one mainly Yahwistic and the other wholly (?) Elohistic, of which one 
was used only where the other was illegible, would explain anything, 
and therefore explains nothing ; least of all does it explain the frequent 
coincidence of hypothetical illegibility with actual changes of style, 
phraseology, and standpoint. Dahse (following out a hint of 
Klostermann) accounts for the phenomena of MT (and x>x) by the desire 
to preserve uniformity within the limits of each several pericope of the 
Synagogue lectionary ; but why some pericopes should be Yahwistic 
and others Elohistic, it is not easy to conceive. He admits that his 
view cannot be carried through in detail ; yet it is just of the kind 
which, if true, ought to be verifiable in detail. One has but to read 
consecutively the first three chapters of Genesis, and observe how the 
sudden change in the divine name coincides with a new vocabulary, 
representation, and spiritual atmosphere, in order to feel how paltry all 
such artificial explanations are in comparison with the hypothesis that 
the names are distinctive of different documents. The experience 
repeats itself, not perhaps quite so convincingly, again and again 
throughout the book ; and though there are cases where the change of 
manner is not obvious, still the theory is vindicated in a sufficient 
number of instances to be worth carrying through, even at the expense 
of a somewhat complicated analysis, and a very few demands (see 
p. xlviii f.) on the services of a redactor to resolve isolated problems. 
(5) It was frankly admitted by Kuenen long ago (see Ond. i. pp. 59, 62) 
that the test of the divine names is not bj/ itself a sufficient criterion of 
source or authorship, and that critics might sometimes err through 
a too exclusive reliance on this one phenomenon.* Nevertheless the 
opinion can be maintained that the MT is far superior to the Vns., and 
that its use of the names is a valuable clue to the separation of documents. 
Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction ; and, however surprising it 
may appear to some, we can reconcile our minds to the belief that the 

* It should be clearly understood that as regards P and J the dis- 
tinction of divine names is but one of many marks of diverse authorship 
(see Dri. LOT^, 131 ff., where more than Ji/ty such distinguishing 
criteria are given), and that after Ex. 6, where this particular criterion 
disappears, the difference is quite as obvious as before. As regards J 
and E, the analysis, though sometimes dependent on the divine names 
alone, is generally based on other differences as well. 


MT does reproduce with substantial accuracy the characteristics of the 
original autographs. At present that assumption can only be tested by 
the success or failure of the analysis based on it. It is idle to speculate 
on what would have happened if Astruc and his successors had been 
compelled to operate with ffi instead of MT ; but it is a rational surmise 
that in that case criticism would still have arrived, by a more laborious 
route, at very much the positions it occupies to-day. 

The next great step towards the modern documentary 
theory of the Pent, was Hupfeld's* demonstration that d^'H^jn 
is not peculiar to one decument, but to two ; so that under 
the name Elohist two different writers had previously been 
confused. It is obvious, of course, that in this inquiry the 
divine names afford no guidance; yet by observing finer 
marks of style, and the connexion of the narrative, Hupfeld 
succeeded in proving to the ultimate satisfaction of all 
critics that there was a second Elohistic source (now called 
E), closely parallel and akin to the Yahwistic (J), and that 
both J and E had once been independent consecutive 
narratives. An important part of the work was a more 
accurate delimitation of the first Elohist (now called the 
Priestly Code : P), whose outlines were then first drawn 
with a clearness to which later investigation has had little 
to add.t 

Thoug-h Hupfeld's work was confined to Genesis, it had results of the 
utmost consequence for the criticism of the Pent, as a whole. In par- 

• Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art ihrer Zusaynmensetzung (1853). 
Hupfeld's discovery had partly been anticipated by llgen [Urhmden 
des ersten Bucks von Moses [1798]). Between Eichhorn and Hupfeld, 
criticism had passed through two well-defined phases : the Fragmentary 
Hypothesis (see p. xxxii f. above) and the Supplementary Hypothesis, 
of which the classical exposition is Tuch's fine commentary on Genesis 
(1858 ; reissued by Arnold in 1871). The latter theory rested partly on 
a prejudice— that the framework of the Pent, was necessarily supplied 
by its oldest source ; partly on the misapprehension which Hupfeld 
dispelled ; and partly on the truth that Yahwistic sections are so inter- 
laced with Elohistic that the former could plausibly be regarded as on 
the whole supplementary to the latter. Though Tuch's commentary 
did not appear till 1858, the theory had really received its death-blow 
from Hupfeld five years before. 

t See Noldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des AT, 1869, pp. 1-144. 
It is worthy of mention here that this great scholar, after long resisting 
the theory of the late origin of P, has at last declared his acceptance of 
the position of We. (see ZA, 1908, 203). 


ticular, it brought to lig-ht a fact which at once explains why Genesis 
presents a simpler problem to analysis than the rest of the Pent., and 
furnishes a final proof that the avoidance of nin' by two of the sources 
was not accidental, but arose from a theory of religious developmen*. 
held and expressed by both writers. For both P (Ex. 6^"'-) and E (Ex. 
3''^") connect the revelation of the Tetragrammaton with the mission of 
Moses ; while the former states emphatically that God was not known 
by that name to the patriarchs.* Consistency demanded that these 
writers should use the generic name for Deity up to this point ; while J, 
who was bound by no such theory, could use ni.T from the first. t From 
Ex. 6 onwards P regularly uses nin' ; E's usage fluctuates between 'n 
and '' (perhaps a sign of different strata within the document), so that 
the criterion no longer yields a sure clue to the analysis. 

It does not lie within the scope of this Introduction to 
trace the extension of these lines of cleavage through the 
other books of the Hexateuch ; and of the reflex results of 
the criticism of the later books on that of Genesis only two 
can here be mentioned. One is the recognition of the 
unique position and character of Deuteronomy in the Pent., 
and the dating of its promulgation in the eighteenth year of 
Josiah.J Although this has hardly any direct influence on 
the criticism of Genesis, it is an important landmark in the 
Pentateuch problem, as furnishing a fixed date by reference 
to which the age of the other documents can partly be deter- 
mined. The other point is the question of the date of P. 
The preconception in favour of the antiquity of this docu- 
ment (based for the most part on the fact that it really forms 
the framework of the Pent.) was nearly universal among 
scholars down to the publication of We.'s Gcschichte IsraelSy 
i., in 1878; but it had already been shown to be groundless 
by Graf § and Kuenen in i866-6g. 

* A curious attempt to turn the edge of this argument will be found 
in the art. of H. M. Wiener referred to above {BS, 1909, 158 ff.). 

+ For a partial exception, see on 4-''. 

X De Wette, Beitrdge zur Eiiileitiing in das ..4 7" (1806-7) ; Riehm, 
Gesetzgebung Moses im Lande Moab (1854) ; al. 

§ Die geschichtliche Biicher des A Ts (1866). Graf did not at first see 
it necessary to abandon the earlier date of the narratives of P ; for an 
account of his subsequent change of opinion in correspondence with 
Kuenen, as well as the anticipations of his final theory by V'atke, Reuss, 
and others, we must refer to Kue. Hex. xixff., or Ho.'s Einleitung, 
especially p. 64 ff. 


This revolutionary change was brought about by a comparison 
of the layers of legislation in the later Pent, books with one another, 
and with the stages of Israels religious history as revealed in the 
earlier historical books ; from which it appeared that the laws be- 
longing to P were later than Deut., and that their codification took 
place during and after, and their promulgation after, the Exile. 
There was hesitation at first in extending this conclusion to the 
narratives of P, especially those of them in Genesis and Ex. i-ii. 
But when the problem was fairly faced, it was perceived, not only 
that P in Genesis presented no obstacle to the theory, but that in 
many respects its narrative was more intelligible as the latest than 
as the oldest stratum of the book. 

The chief positions at which literary criticism has arrived 
with regard to Genesis are, therefore, briefly these : (i) The 
oldest sources are J and E, closely parallel documents, both 
dating from the best period of Hebrew literature, but dis- 
tinguished from each other by their use of the divine name, 
by slight idiosyncrasies of style, and by quite perceptible 
differences of representation. (2) These sources were com- 
bined into a composite narrative (JE) by a redactor (R^^), 
whose hand can be detected in several patches of a literary 
complexion differing from either of his authorities. He has 
done his work so deftly that it is frequently difficult, and 
sometimes impossible, to sunder the documents. It is 
generally held that this redaction took place before the com- 
position of Deut., so that a third stage in the history of the 
Pent, would be represented by the symbols J E + D. (3) The 
remaining source P is a product of the Exilic or post-Exilic 
age, though it embodies older material. Originally an 
independent work, its formal and schematic character fitted 
it to be the framework of the Penlateuchal narrative ; and 
this has determined the procedure of the final redactor 
(R^^^), by whom excerpts from JE have been used to fill up 
the skeleton outline which P gave of the primitive and 
patriarchal history. 

The above statement will, it is hoped, suffice to put the 
reader in possession of the main points of the critical position 
occupied in the Commentary. The evidence by which they 
are supported will partly be given in the next four §§ ; but, 
for a full discussion of the numerous questions involved. 


we must here refer to works specially devoted to the 


Some idea of the extent to which conservative opinion has been 
modified by criticism, may be gathered from the concessions made by 
Professor Orr, whose book, The Problem of the Old Testament, de- 
servedly ranks as the ablest assault on the critical theory of the Pent, 
that has recently appeared in English. Dr. Orr admits («) that Astruc 
was right in dividing a considerable part of Genesis into Elohistic and 
Yahwistic sections ; (h) that Eichhorn's characterisation of the style of 
the two documents has, in the main, ' stood the test of time ' ; (r) that 
Hupfeld's observation of a difference in the Elohistic sections of Genesis 
' in substance corresponds with facts ' ; and {d) that even Graf and We. 
• mark an advance,' in making P a relatively later stratum of Genesis 
than JE (pp. 196-201). When we see so many defences evacuated one 
after another, we begin to wonder w'hat is left to fight about, and how 
a theory which was cradled in infidelity, and has the vice of its origin 
clinging to all its subsequent developments (Orr, 195 f.), is going to be 
prevented from doing its deadly work of spreading havoc over the 
' believing view ' of the OT. Dr. Orr thinks to stem the torrent by 
adopting two relatively conservative positions from Klostermaim. 
(i) The first is the denial of the distinction between J and E (216 ff.). 
As soon as Hupf. had effected the separation of E from P, it ought to 
have been perceived, he seems to suggest, that the sections thus disen- 
tangled are really parts of J (217). And yet, even to Dr. Orr, the matter 
is not quite so simple as this, and he makes another concession. The 
distinction in the divine names remains ; and so he is driven to admit that 
J and E were, not indeed independent works, but different literary re- 
censions of one and the same old work (229). What is meant by two 
versions in circulation alongside of each other, which never had cur- 
rency as separate documents, is a point on which Dr. Orr owes his 
readers some explanation ; if there were two recensions the)' certainly 
existed separately ; and he cannot possibly know how far their agree- 
ment extended. The issue between him and his critical opponents is, 
nevertheless, perfectly clear : they hold that J and E are independent 
recensions of a common body of tradition, while he maintains that they 

* The following may be mentioned : Kuenen, Historisch-critisck onder- 
sioek naar het ontstaan en de verzameling van de boeken des Otiden Ver- 
bonds-, i. (1885) [Eng. tr.. The Hexateuch (1886)]; and Gesammelte 
Abhandbingen (transl. into German by Budde) ; Wellhausen, Com- 
position des Hexateuchs, etc. (-1889) ; and Prolegomena zur Geschichte 
Israels (^1905) [Eng. tr. 1885]; Westphal, Les Sources du Pent. (1888, 
1892) ; Reuss, Geschichte der heiligen Schriften. des A Ts (^1890) ; Robert- 
son Smith, The Old Testametit in the Jeivish Church (^1892) ; Driver, 
Introduction to the Literature of the 02"(®i9O9) ; Holzinger, Einleitung 
in den Hex. (1893) ; Cornill, Einleitung (^1908) ; Konig, Einl. (1893) ; 
Carpenter and Harford-Battersby, Cotnp. of the Hex. (1902) [ = vol. i. of 
The Hexateuch (1900)]. 


were recensions of a single document, differing' in nothing but the use of 
.Tin' or dtiSk. What reasons, then, hinder us from deserting the critical 
view, and coming over to the side of Dr. Orr? In the Jirst p\a.ce, the 
difference between J and E is not confined to the divine names. The 
linguistic evidence is very much clearer than Dr. Orr represents ; and 
differences of conception, though slight, are real. It is all very well to 
quote from candid and truth-loving opponents admissions of the close 
resemblance of the narratives, and the difficulty and uncertainty of the 
analysis, in particular instances, and to suggest that these admissions 
amount to a throwing up of the case ; but no man with an independent 
grasp of the subject will be imposed on by so cheap a device. In the 
second place, J and E consist largely of duplicate narratives of the same 
event. It is true, this argument is lost on Dr. Orr, who has no diffi- 
culty in conceiving that Abraham twice told the same lie about his wife, 
and that his son Isaac followed his example, with very similar results 
in the three cases. But he will hardly affect to be surprised that other 
men take a more natural view,* and regard the stories as traditional 
variations of the same theme. — (2) The second position is that P was 
never a distmct or self-subsisting document, but only a "framework" 
enclosing the contents of JE (341-377). Again we have to ask what 
Dr. Orr means by a * framework,' which, in his own words, " has also, 
at certain points, its original, and, in parts, considerable contributions 
to bring to the history" (272) ; and how he can possibly tell that these 
original and considerable contributions did not come from an inde- 
pendent work. The facts that it is now closely interwoven with JE, 
and that there are gaps in its narrative (even if these gaps were 
more considerable than there is any reason to suppose), prove nothing 
except that it has passed through the hands of a redactor. That its 
history presupposes a knowledge of JE, and is too meagre to be in- 
telligible apart from it, is amply explained by the critical view that 
the author wished to concentrate attention on the great religious 
turning-points in the history (the Creation, the Flood, the Covenant 
with Abraham, the Blessing of Jacob by Isaac, the origin of the name 
Israel, the Settlement in Egypt, etc.), and dismissed the rest with a bare 
chronological epitome. When we add that on all these points, as well 
as others, the 'original and considerable contributions' are (Dr. Orr's 
protestations notwithstanding) radically divergent from the older tradi- 
tion, we have every proof that could be desired that P was an independent 
document, and not a mere supplementary expansion of an earlier com- 
pilation (see, further, p. Ivii ff. below). But now, supposing Dr. Orr to 
have made good his contentions, what advantage has he gained ? 
So far as we can see, none whatever ! He does indeed go on to assert 
a preference for the term ' collaboration ' as expressing the ' kind and 
manner of the activity which brought the Pentateuchal books into their 
present shape ' (375). t But that preference might just as easily have 

» So even Sayce, Early History of the Hebre-ws (1897), 62 f , 64 f. 
t It is a grave injustice to Di. to associate his name, however re- 
motely, with this theory of ' collaboration ' (527). What Di. is spealiing 



■been exercised on the full literary results of the critical theory. And Dr. 
Orr deceives himself if he imagines that that flimsy hypothesis will 
either neutralise the force of the arguments that have earned criticism 
past the barren eccentricities of Klostermann, or save what he chooses 
to consider the ' essential Mosaicity ' of the Pent 

Professor Eerdmans of Leiden, in a series of recent publications, has 
announced his secession from the Graf-Wellhausen school, and com- 
menced to lay down the programme of a new era in OT criticism {Hibb. 
Journ. vii. [1909], 813 fif.). His Komposition der G^w^^w (1908) gives a 
foretaste of his literary method ; and certainly the procedure is drastic 
enough. The divine names are absolutely misleading as a criterion of 
authorship ; and the distinction between P and JE goes overboard 
along with that between J and E. Criticism is thus thrown back into 
its original chaos, out of which Ee. proceeds to evoke a new kosmos. 
His one positive principle is the recognition of a polytheistic background 
behind the traditions, which has been obscured in various degrees by 
the later monotheistic interpretation. By the help of this principle, he 
distinguishes four stages in the development of the tradition, (i) The 
first is represented by remnants of the original undiluted polytheism, 
where Yahwe does not appear at all ; e.g. 35^'^ ; the Israel-recension of 
the Joseph-stories ; the groundwork of chs. i. 20. 28''* 6^-9^''. (2) 
Legends which recognise Yahwe as one among many gods ; 4. 9'^"^ 22. 
27. 28"'-- 29. 30. 31. 39. (3) In the third stage, polytheistic legends are 
transferred to Yahwe as the only God : 2. 3. 6'-8 f'^ 820-22 jji-g jg^ ,8. 19 
24. 25'""^* 26. (4) Late additions of purely monotheistic complexion : 
■5^"* 17. 35^"'^ 48^". Now, we are quite prepared to find traces of all 
these stages of religion in the Genesis-narratives, if they can be proved ; 
and, indeed, all of them except the second are recognised by recent 
critics. But while any serious attempt to determine the age of the 
legends from their contents rather than from their literary features is to 
be welcomed, it is difiicult to perceive the distinctions on which Ee.'s 
classification is based, or to admit that, for example, ch. 17 is one whit 
more monotheistic than 20 or 27, or 24. In any case, on Ee.'s own 
showing, the classification affords no clue to the composition and 
history of the book. In order to get a start, he has to fall back on 
the acknowledged literary distinction between a Jacob-recension and 
an Israel-recension of the Joseph-narratives (on this see p. 439 be- 
low). Since the former begins apy nnSn nSx, it is considered to have 
formed part of a comprehensive history of the patriarchs, commencing 
with Adam (5'), set in a framework of Tuleduth. This is the ground- 
work of Genesis. It is destitute of monotheistic colouring (it contains, 

of in the words cited is simply the question whether the three documents, 
P, E, and J, were combined by a single redaction, or whether two of 
them were first put together and afterwards united with the third. 
Dr. Orr, on the other hand, is thinking of "the labours of original 
composers, working with a common aim and towards a common end " 
(375). If everything beyond this is conjectural (376), there is nothing 
but conjecture in the whole construction. 


however, leg-ends of all the first three classes !), Yahwe being to the 
compiler simply one of the gods ; and must therefore have originated 
before the Exile : a lower limit is 700 B.C. This collection was soon 
enlarged by the addition of legends not less ancient than its own ; and 
by the insertion of the Israel-recension, which is as polytheistic in 
character as the To/^ir/o/A-collcction ! The monotheistic manipulation 
of the work set in after Deuteronomy ; but how many editions it went 
through we cannot tell for certain. The last thorough-going reviser 
was the author of ch. 17 ; but additions were made even later than that, 
etc. etc. A more bewildering hypothesis it has never been our lot to 
examine ; and we cannot pretend to believe that it contains the rudi- 
ments of a successful analysis. There is much to be learned from Ee.'s 
work, which is full of acute observations and sound reasoning in detail ; 
but as a theory of the composition of Genesis it seems to us utterly at 
fault. What with Wi. and Jer., and Che., and now Ee., OT scholars 
have a good many new eras dawning on them just now. Whether any 
of them will shine unto the perfect day, time will show. 

§ 8. The collective authorship of J and E. 

In J and E we have, according" to what has been said 
above, the two oldest written recensions of a tradition which 
had at one time existed in the oral form. When we com- 
pare the two documents, the first thing- that strikes us is 
their close correspondence in outline and contents. The 
only important difference is that E's narrative does not seem 
to have embraced the primitive period, but to have com- 
menced with Abraham. But from the point where E strikes 
into the current of the history (at ch. 20, with a few earlier 
traces in ch. 15), there are few incidents in the one document 
to which the other does not contain a parallel.* What is 

* The precise extent to which this is true depends, of course, on the 
validity of the finer processes of analysis, with regard to which there is 
room for difference of opinion. On the analysis followed in the com- 
mentary, the only episodes in E to which there is no trace of a parallel 
in J, after ch. 15, are : the sacrifice of Isaac, 22; Esau's selling of his 
birthright, 25-^-^-' (?) ; the theophany of Mahanaim, 32-- ^ ; the purchase of 
land at Shechem, 33^^"-" ; and the various incidents in ss''"* ""-*'. Those 
peculiar to J are : the theophany at Mamre, 18 ; the destruction of 
Sodom, 19^-^; Lot and his daughters, ig^o-^s . the birth of Jacob and 
Esau, 25^""^^ ; the Isaac-narratives, 26 ; Jacob's meeting with Rachel, 
29^"" ; Reuben and the love-apples, 3o'^'''- ; the incest of Reuben, 25?^' '^ ; 
Judahand Tamar, 38 ; Joseph's temptation, 39'"-" ; the cup in Benjamin's 
sack, 44 ; Joseph's agrarian policy, 47 '^-^^ m ; and the genealogies of 

2220-24 25I-6. 


much more remarkable, and indeed surprising, is that the 
wrt-?/;/*^/' of narration changes in the two documents pari passu . 
Thus the transition from the loose connexion of the Abraham 
leg-ends to the more consecutive biography of Jacob, and 
then to the artistic unity of the Joseph-stories (see p. xxviii f.), 
is equally noticeable in J and in E. It is this extraordinarily 
close parallelism, both in matter and form, which proves 
that both documents drew from a common body of tradition, 
and even suggests that that tradition had already been partly 
reduced to writing.* 

Here we come back, from the side of analysis, to a 
question which was left unsettled in § 5 ; the question, 
namely, of the process by which the oral tradition was con- 
solidated and reduced to writing. It has been shown with 
great probability that both J and E are cornposite documents^ 
in which minor legendary cycles have been incorporated, and 
different strata of tradition are embedded. This presupposes 
a development of the tradition within the circle represented 
by each document, and leads eventually to the theory ad- 
vocated by most recent critics, that the symbols J and E 
must be taken to express, not two individual writers but two 
schools, i.e., two series of narrators, animated by common 
conceptions, following a common literary method, and trans- 
mitting a common form of the tradition from one generation 
to another. 

The phenomena which suggest this hypothesis are fully described in 
the body of the commentary, and need only be recapitulated here. In 
J, composite structure has been most clearly made out in the Primaeval 
History (chs. i-ii), where at least two, and probably more, strands of 
narrative can be distinguished (pp. 1-4). Gu. seems to have shown that 
in 12-25 two cycles of Abraham-legends have been interwoven (p. 240) ; 
also that in 25 ff. the Jacob-Esau and the Jacob- Laban legends were 
originally independent of each other : this last, however, applies to J 
and E alike, so that the fusion had probably taken place in the 
common tradition which lies behind both. Further, chs. 34 and 38 

* One is almost tempted to go further, and say that the facts can be 
best explained by the hypothesis of literary dependence of one document 
on the other (so Lu. lA^S, 169 : " E steht vollig in seinem [J's] Banne "). 
But the present writer is convinced from repeated examination, that 
the differences are not of a kind that can be accounted for in this way 
(see Procksch, 305 f). 


(pp. 418, 450) belong to an older stratum of tradition than the main 
narrative; and the same might be said of ch. 49 (p. 512), which may 
very plausibly be regarded as a traditional poem of the ' school ' of J, and 
the oldest extant specimen of its repertoire. — With regard to E, the 
proof of composite authorship lies chiefly in the Books of Exodus, 
Numbers, and Joshua ; in Genesis, however, we have imperfectly as- 
similated fragments of a more ancient tradition in 34 (? if E be a 
component there), 35'"^ 48^^^ and perhaps some other passages. — The 
important fact is that these passages exhibit all the literary peculiarities 
of the main source to which they are assigned ; at least, no linguistic 
differentice of any consequence have yet been discovered.* The problem 
is to frame a theory which shall do justice at once to their material 
incongruities and their literary homogeneity. 

While the fact of collective authorship of some kind is 
now generally recognised, there is no agreement as to the 
interpretation which best explains all the phenomena. Some 
scholars are impressed (and the impression is certainly very 
intelligible) by the unity of conception and standpoint and 
mode of treatment which characterise the two collections, 
and maintain that (in the case of J especially) the stamp of 
a powerful and original personality is too obvious to leave 
much play for the activity of a ' school.' f It is very difficult 

* The only exception would be Sievers' metrical analysis, which leads 
to results far more complicated than can be justified by other indications 
(see p. xxxif.). 

t See the lengthy excursus of Luther in INS, 107-170, where the 
thesis is upheld that the Yahwist {i.e. J^) is not a stage in the natural 
process of remodelling the tradition ; that he does not mean merely to 
retail the old stories as he found them, but writes his book with the 
conscious purpose of enforcing certain ideas and convictions w^hich often 
run contrary to the prevailing tendencies of his age (108). Lu. seems 
to simplify the problem too much by excluding the primaeval tradition 
from consideration (108), and ignoring the distribution of the Yahwistic 
material over the various stages of the redaction (155). It makes a 
considerable difference to the theory if (as seems to be the case) the 
sections which Lu. assigns to J- {e.g. chs. 34, 38, 19) really represent 
older phases of tradition than the main document ; for if they existed in 
their Yahwistic colouring prior to the compilation of J', there must have 
been a Yahwistic circle of some kind to preserve them ; and even it 
they received their literary stamp at a later time, there must still have 
been something of the nature of a school to impress the Yahwistic 
character so strongly upon them. His conception of the Yahwist as an 
Ephraimite, a detached and sympathetic adherent of the prophetic and 
Rechabite movement of the 9th cent., an opponent of the cultus, and 
an upholder of the nomadic ideal against the drift of the old tradition, 


to hold the balance even between the claims of unity and 
complexity in the documents ; but the theory of single 
authorship may easily be pressed too far. If we could get 
through with only a J^ and J^, E^, E^ etc., — i.e., with the 
theory of one main document supplemented by a few later 
additions, — it would be absurd to speak of ' schools.' And 
even if the case were considerably more complicated, it 
might still be possible to rest satisfied (as a majority of critics 
do) with the idea of literary schools, manipulating written 
documents under the influence of tendencies and principles 
which had become traditional within special circles. Gu. 
goes, however, much further with his conception of J and E 
as first of all guilds of oral narrators, whose stories gradually 
took written shape within their respective circles, and were 
ultimately put together in the collections as we now have 
them. The theory, while not necessarily excluding the 
action of an outstanding personality in shaping either the 
oral or the literary phase of the tradition, has the advantage 
of suggesting a medium in which the traditional material 
might have assumed its specifically Yahwistic or Elohistic 
form before being incorporated in the main document of the 
school. It is at all events a satisfactory working hypothesis ; 
and that is all that can be looked for in so obscure a region 
of investigation. Whether it is altogether so artificial and 
unnatural as Professor Orr would have us believe, the reader 
must judge for himself. 

seems to g"o far beyond the evidence adduced, and, indeed, to be hardly 
reconcilable with the religious tone and spirit of the narratives. — To a 
similar effect writes Procksch, Sagenbuch, 284-308 ; although he does 
justice to the composite structure of the document J, and describes it in 
terms which throw a shade of uncertainty on the alleged unity of author- 
ship. When we read of an " einheitlichen Grundstock, auf den wie in 
einen Stamm Geschicten ganz anderer Herkunft gewissermassen auf- 
gepropft sind, jetzt eng damit verwachsen durch die massgebenden 
Ideen" (294 f.), we cannot help asking where these branches grew 
before they were engrafted on their present stem. If we are right in 
distinguishing a strand of narrative in which Yahwe was used from the 
beginning, and another in which it was introduced in the time of Enosh, 
it is not easy to account for their fusion on any theory which does not 
allow a relative independence to the two conceptions. 


§ 9. Characteristics of J and E — their relation to Literary 

It is not the purpose of this section to give an exhaustive 
characterisation of the Hterary or general features of the 
two older documents of Genesis. If J and E are to be re- 
garded as, in the main, recensions of a common body of oral 
tradition, and if they are the work of schools rather than 
of individuals, it is obvious that the search for characteristic 
differences loses much of its interest ; and in point of fact 
the attempt to delineate two well-defined literary types is 
apt to be defeated by the widely contrasted features which 
have to find a place in one and the same picture. Our object 
here is simply to specify some outstanding differences which 
justify the separation of sources, and which may assist us 
later to determine the relative ages of the two documents. 

J presents, on the whole, a more uniform literary texture 
than E. It is generally allowed to contain the best examples 
of pure narrative style in the OT ; and in Genesis it rarely, 
if ever, falls below the highest level. But while E hardly 
attains the same perfection of form, there are whole passages, 
especially in the more ample narratives, in which it is difficult 
to assign to the one a superiority over the other. J excels 
in picturesque 'objectivity' of description, — in the power to 
paint a scene with few strokes, and in the delineation of life 
and character : his dialogues, in particular, are inimitable 
"for the delicacy and truthfulness with which character and 
emotions find expression in them" (cf. Gn. 44^^^).* E, on 
the other hand, frequently strikes a deeper vein of subjective 
feeling, especially of pathos ; as in the account of Isaac's 
sacrifice (22), of the expulsion of Hagar {2\^^-), the dismay of 
Isaac and the tears of Esau on the discovery of Jacob's fraud 
(27^*-), Jacob's lifelong grief for Rachel (48^), or his tender- 
ness towards Joseph's children (48^^).! But here again no 
absolute distinction can be drawn ; in the history of Joseph, 
e.g.y the vein of pathos is perhaps more marked in J than 

* Driver, LOT, p. 119. f Cf. Gunkel, p LXXVII. 


in E. Where parallels are sufficiently distinct to show a 
tendency, it is found in several instances that J's objectivity 
of treatment has succeeded in preserving the archaic spirit 
of a legend which in E is transformed by the more refined 
sentiment of a later age. The best example is J's picture of 
Hagar, the intractable, indomitable Bedawi woman (ch. i6), 
as contrasted with E's modernised version of the incident 
(21^*^), with its affecting picture of the mother and child all 
but perishing in the desert. So again, E (ch. 20) introduces 
an extenuation of Abraham's falsehood about his wife which 
is absent from the older narrative of J (i2^"''^). 

It is not surprising, considering the immense variety of 
material comprised in both documents, that the palpable 
literary differences reduce themselves for the most part to a 
preference for particular phrases and turns of expression in 
the one recension or the other. The most important case is, 
of course, the distinctive use (in the pre-Mosaic period) of 
Yahwe in J and Elohim in E.* But round this are grouped 
a number of smaller linguistic differences which, when they 
occur in any degree of profusion in a consecutive passage, 
enable us to assign it with confidence to one or other of the 

The divine names. — While the possibility of error in the Massoretic 
textual tradition is fully recognised, cases of inadvertence in the use of 

* This, it is true, is more than a mere matter of phraseology ; in the 
case of E, it is the application of a theory of religious development 
which connected the revelation of the name Yahwe with the mission of 
Moses (Ex. 3'''""'). It is now generally held that the original E con- 
tinued to use Elohim after the revelation to Moses, and that the 
occurrences of Yahwe in the later history belong to secondary strata of 
the document. On either view the choice of the general name of deity 
is difficult to account for. Procksch regards it as due to the influence 
of the great monotheistic movement headed by Elijah ; but that is not 
probable. The inspiring motive of Elijah's crusade was precisely 
jealousy for Yahive, the national God of Israel. Gu., on the other hand, 
thinks it arose from the fact that the legends were largely of Canaanite 
and polytheistic origin ; and it is certainly the case that in the patriarchal 
history E contains several strong traces of a polytheistic basis of the 
narratives {28^""'- 32'-- ^ 35^ etc.)- But that Elohim had a monotheistic 
sense to the mind of the Elohistic writers is not to be doubted (against 


m.T and Cti^n arc in Genesis singularly few. In E contexts, m.T occurs 
22'i. Mf-ts ,g-M -^jiH^ where its presence seems due to the intentional action 
of a redactor. J has D'nhn (a) in 3^"' 4-^ (a special case : see pp. 2, 53) ; 
(b) where the contrast between the divine and the human is to be 
emphasised, 32^ ; (c) in conversations with, or references to, heathen 
(real or supposed), g" 39' 4i*-''- ^ 43^- ^ 44'* ; there are also {d) some 
doubtful examples which are very probably to be assigned to E, 
33'^''- """• " 42^. It is only in the last group (if even there), with 
the possible addition (see p. 155) of 8', that redactional alteration or 
scribal error need be suspected. 

For the inhabitants of Canaan, J uses '31':=, lo's*-- '» I2« (? R), 242- " 
50"+ (with '1-12, 137 (R?) 34S") ; E not*, 151" 48=2 + .* 

For the name Jacob, J substitutes Israel after 35-- (exc. 46"') ; E con- 
sistently usef> Jacob (exc. 46^ 48*- "• -' [50"'?]). 

The following are selected lists of expressions (in Genesis) highly 
characteristic of J and E respectively : 

J : '3X and vnx cm in genealogies : the former, ^"^^ ^^ lo'^* 11"^ 22-' ; 
the latter, 4^' io2*(cf. 22^1 25-^ 38-'"-)-— 0'^i?'(i" connexion with a late-born 
child), 2i2»-'' 2436 373 44=".— in nsd, 6^ iS^' ig^^ 30^" 32^ 338- i"- i« 34" 39^ 
4725-29 50* + .— one (without 3), 2^ 19^ 24"-^' + .— j;t (in sexual sense), 
4I. 17.25 igs. 8 24I6 38=6 (also in P).— n^' ( = ' beget'), 4I8 io8-i3-i5.26 22=3 

25». — B", 2423- ^•••g 281« 39*-«-8 422 43^-7 44I9. 20.26 476b + (^2^ E ?). — 

Derivatives of V 3sy, s^s- 1«- " 529 6« 455^— oysn, 22^ 1822 2<)^- ^ 302'"' 463" + . 
— -i>Vs, m"j?s (for the younger of two brothers or sisters), i<f^- ^*- '■^- ^^ 2^"^ 
292" 4333 48'*.— '' cca N^p, 4-« 128 i3*2i33 262* + .— nxipS pi, i82 [19^] 24" 
29I3 334,_,^n£:B-, 12I6 i6i- ^- «■« 24^5 30^- '«• '2. « ^2^. 23 ^^i. 2. 6 (20'^ 3o'8 R : 
also common in P) ; see on hdk below.— Tpcn, 18^® ig^ 26* + .— Bvo with 
following gen., 18* 24"- ^ 432- " ^^■'\— Particles : ni3V3, 3" 821 i2'3- is ,8=6 
39.31.32 2,30 262-« 27^ "°- !»• 31 463*.— p-Vvs, 18^ 198 3310 382« + .— 'nSnV, 3" 4I5 
192' 38'+ (in E and P once each). — x:, in J about 40 times, in E about 6 
times (in Gen.). 

E : ncK, 2o"2i'"-'2. 13^03 3iS»4. (see nnse' above).— "jnj and |t3p(' elder ' 
and ' younger '), 29i«- 1* 42'3- ib. 20. 32. 34 (cf. 4i6»).— ^d'jd, 45" 4/2 502'.— 
rnDtyD, 29'^ 3 1''-*'. — A very characteristic idiom of E is the vocative (some- 
times doubled: 22" 462, Ex. 3'', [i Sa. 3'* ©] + ) with the answer '::n : 
22i- 7. 11 27"'. 18 ^jU 3^13 452 + . — E is further distinguished by a number of 
rare or archaic words or phrases : nJCN, 20^2+ Jqs. 720 ; n:i, 48^*-!- ; 12\, 
3o2«; ncn, 2i'<-i'-i9+ ; nno, 2ii«+ ; p ('honest'), 42ii- w- »i- 33. m . ^.^^^ 
3i7-«+ ; i3:i p, 2i23 (cf. Is. 1422, Jb. i8'9 + ); npy, 229+ . 1,^3^ ^8''; nna, 
4o8ff- 4i8ff-4- ; pnc, 40*^- 41"+ ; di:s, 4123,. rM:,^vp, 33'9+ Jos. 2432 [jb, 
42'^]+ ; by a partiality for rare infinitive forms (31"* 463 502048" + ), and 
the occasional use of long forms of the nominal sufF. (2i29 [31^] 4121 423^), 

The religious and theological conceptions of the two 
documents are in the main identical, though a certain ditFer- 
ence of standpoint appears in one or two features. Both 

* The cross ( + ) means that the usage is continued in the other books 
of the Hex. 


evince towards the popular cultus an attitude of friendly 
toleration, with a disposition to ignore its cruder aspects ; 
and this tendency is carried somewhat further in J than in E. 
Thus, while neither countenances the Asherah, or sacred 
pole, E alludes, without offence, to the Mazzebah, or sacred 
pillar (28^^- 22 3113. 45fl. 2520^ ; whereas J nowhere allows to the 
mazzebah a legitimate function in the worship of Yahwe. 
A very singular circumstance is that while both frequently 
record the erection of altars by the patriarchs, they are 
remarkably reticent as to the actual offering of sacrifice : E 
refers to it only twice {22. 46^), and J never at all in the 
patriarchal history (ct. 4^^- S^*"^-). It is difficult to imagine 
that the omission is other than accidental : the idea that it 
indicates an indifference (Gu.), or a conscious opposition 
(Lu.), to the cultus, can hardly be entertained ; for after all 
the altar had no use or significance except as a means of 
sacrifice. — The most striking diversity appears in the repre- 
sentation of the Deity, and especially of the manner of His 
revelation to men. The antique form of the theophany, in 
which Yahwe (or the Angel of Yahwe) appears visibly in 
human form, and in broad daylight, is peculiar to J (chs. 
16. 18. ig), and corresponds to the highly anthropomorphic 
language which is observed in other parts of the document 
(chs. 2. 3. 7. 8. 1 1^- ''). E, on the contrary, records no daylight 
theophanies, but prefers the least sensible forms of revelation, 
— the dream or night-vision (15^ 20^- ^ 21^^ [^^f. 1*] 22^^- 28^'"'f- 
3jii. 24 452)^* or the voice of the angel from heaven (21^'^). 
In this respect E undoubtedly represents a more advanced 
stage of theological reflexion than J. — The national feeling 
in both sources is buoyant and hopeful : the ' scheue 
heidnische Stimmung,' the sombre and melancholy view of 
life which marks the primaeval history of J disappears abso- 
lutely when the history of the immediate ancestors of Israel 
is reached. The strongly pessimistic strain which some 

* We do not include the dreams of the Joseph-stories, which seem to 
stand on a somewhat different footing (p. 345). Nocturnal revelations 
occur, however, in J (26^^ 28'^), but whether in the oldest parts of the 
document is not quite certain. 


writers note as characteristic of E finds no expression what 
ever in Genesis ; and so far as it exists at all (Jos. 24), it 
belongs to secondary strata of the document, with which we 
are not here concerned. 

Here we touch on a question of great importance, and 
one fortunately capable of being brought to a definite issue : 
viz., the relation of J and E to the literary prophecy of the 
8th and following centuries. It is usual to speak of the 
combined JE as the Prophetical narrative of the Pent., in 
distinction from P, the Priestly narrative ; and in so far as 
the name is employed (as, e.g., by Dri. LOT^, 117) to 
emphasise that contrast, it is sufficiently appropriate. As 
used, however, by many writers, it carries the implication 
that the documents — or that one to which the epithet is 
applied — show unmistakable traces of the influence of the 
later prophets from Amos downwards. That view seems to 
us entirely erroneous. It is undoubtedly the case that both 
J and E are pervaded by ideas and convictions which they 
share in common with the writing prophets : such as, the 
monotheistic conception of God, the ethical view of His 
providential government, and perhaps a conscious opposition 
to certain emblems of popular cultus (asheras, mazzebas, 
teraphim, etc.). But that these and similar principles were 
first enunciated by the prophets of the 8th cent., we have no 
reason to suppose. Nor does the fact that Abraham, as a 
man of God, is called NabV (20'^, cf. Dt. 341") necessarily 
imply that the figure of an Amos or an Isaiah was before 
the mind of the writers. We must bear in mind that the 
9th century witnessed a powerful prophetic movement which, 
commencing in N Israel, extended into Judah ; and that any 
prophetic influences discoverable in Genesis are as likely to 
have come from the impulse of that movement as from the 
later development which is so much better known to us. 
But in truth it is questionable if any prophetic impulse at all, 
other than those inherent in the religion from its foundation 
by Moses, is necessary to account for the religious tone of 
the narratives of Genesis. The decisive fact is that the 
really distinctive ideas of written prophecy find no echo in 


those parts of J and E with which we have to do. These 
are : the presentiment of the impending: overthrow of the 
Israelitish nationaHty, together with the perception of its 
moral necessity, the polemic against foreign deities, the 
denunciation of prevalent oppression and social wrong", and 
the absolute repudiation of cultus as a means of recovering 
Yahwe's favour. Not only are these conceptions absent 
from our documents, but it is difficult to conceive that they 
should have been in the air in the age when the documents 
were composed. For, though it is true that very different 
religious ideas may exist side by side in the same community, 
it is scarcely credible that J and E could have maintained 
their confident hope for the future of the nation intact 
against the tremendous arraignment of prophecy. This 
consideration gains in force from the fact that the secondary 
strata of E, and the redactional additions to JE, which do 
come within the sweep of the later prophetic movement, 
clearly show that the circles from which these writings 
emanated were sensitively responsive to the sterner message 
of the prophets. 

§ lo. Date and place of origin — Redaction ofJE. 

On the relative age of J and E, there exists at present 
no consensus of critical opinion. Down to the appearance 
of Wellhausen's Geschichte Israels in 1878, scholars were 
practically unanimous in assigning the priority to E.* 
Since then, the opposite view has been strongly maintained 
by the leading exponents of the Grafian theory,! although 
a number of critics still adhere to the older position. J The 
reason for this divergence of opinion lies not in the paucity 
of points of comparison, but partly in the subjective nature 
of the evidence, and partly in the fact that such indications 
as exist point in opposite directions. 

To take a few examples from Genesis : Ch. iS'"'"* (J) produces an 
impression of greater antiquity than the parallel 21*''^ (E) ; J's explana- 

* Hupf. Schr. No. Reuss, al. 

t We. Kuen. Sta. Meyer ; so Luther, Procksch, al. 

% Di. Kittel, Konig", \Vi. al. 


tion of the name Issachar, with its story of the love-apples (30'*"'^), is 
more primitive than that of E (30") ; J (30-*'**) attributes the increase 
of Jacob's flocks to his own cunning, whereas E (3i''"'^) attributes it to 
the divine blessing. On the other hand, E's recension of the Bethel- 
theophany (28"^- ^^''''•) is obviously more antique than J's C^''®) ; and in 
the Joseph narratives the leadership of Reuben (E) is an element of 
the original tradition which J has altered in favour of Judah. A 
peculiarly instructive case is i2'"''- (J) || 20 (E) || 26'"''- (J), where it seems 
to us (though Kuenen and others take a different view) that Gunkel is 
clearly right in holding that J has preserved both the oldest and the 
youngest form of the legend, and that E represents an intermediate 

This result is not surprising^ when we understand that 
J and E are not individual writers, but guilds or schools, 
whose literary activity may have extended over several 
generations, and who drew on a store of unwritten tradition 
which had been in process of codification for generations 
before that. This consideration forbids us also to argue too 
confidently from observed differences of theological stand- 
point between the two documents. It is beyond doubt that 
E, with its comparative freedom from anthropomorphisms 
and sensible theophanies, with its more spiritual conception 
of revelation, and its greater sensitiveness to ethical 
blemishes on the character of the patriarchs (p. xlviii), 
occupies, on the whole, a higher level of reflexion than J ; 
but we cannot tell how far such differences are due to the 
general social milieu in which the writers lived, and how far 
to esoteric tendencies of the circles to which they belonged. 
All that can safely be affirmed is that, while E has occa- 
sionally preserved the more accient form of the tradition, 
there is a strong presumption that J as a whole is the earlier 

In attempting to determine the absolute dates of J and 
E, we have a fixed point of departure in the fact that both 
are earlier than the age of written prophecy (p. li f.) ; in other 
words, 750 B.C. is the terminus ad quern for the composition 
of either. If it be the case that 37^ in E presupposes the 
monarchy of the house of Joseph, the terminus a quo for that 
document would be the disruption of the kingdom, c. 930 
(cf. Dt. 33") ; and indeed no one proposes to fix it higher. 


Between these limits, there is little to g-uide us to a more 
precise determination. General considerations, such as the 
tone of political feeling-, the advanced conception of God, 
and traces of the influence of gth-century prophecy, seem 
to us to point to the later part of the period, and in particular 
to the brilliant reig-n of Jeroboam ii. (785-745), as the most 
likely time of composition.* In J there is no unequivocal 
allusion to the divided kingdom ; and nothing absolutely 
prevents us from putting its date as early as the reign of 
Solomon. The sense of national solidarity and of confidence 
in Israel's destiny is even more marked than in E ; and it 
has been questioned, not without reason, whether such 
feelings could have animated the breast of a Judaean in the 
dark days that followed the dissolution of Solomon's empire, f 
That argument is not greatly to be trusted : although the 
loss of the northern provinces was keenly felt in Judah 
(Is. 7^^), yet the writings of Isaiah show that there was 
plenty of flamboyant patriotism there in the 8th cent., and 
we cannot tell how far in the intervening period religious 
idealism was able to overcome the depression natural to a 
feeble and dependent state, and keep alive the sense of unity 
and the hope of reunion with the larger Israel of the north. 
In any case, it is improbable that J and E are separated by 
an interval of two centuries ; if E belongs to the first half 
of the 8th cent., J will hardly be earlier than the 9th. ;J; 

Specific historical allusions which have been thought to indicate a 
more definite date for J (or E) prove on examination to be unreliable, 
jf 2j44ff. ^^g-3ff. contained references to the wars between Israel and Aram 
under Omri and his successors, it would be necessary to bring- the date 
of both documents down to that time ; but Gunkel has shown that inter- 
pretation to be improbable. — 27'""' presupposes the revolt of Edom from 
Judah (r. 840) ; but that prosaic half-verse is probably an addition to 
the poetic passage in which it occurs, and therefore goes to show that 
the blessing itself is earlier, instead of later, than the middle of the 
9th cent. — ■ The curse on Canaan (g-^*''-) does not necessarily assume 
the definite subjugation of the Canaanites by Israel ; and if it did, would 

* So Procksch (lySff.), who points out a number of indications that 
appear to converge on that period of history. We. Kue. Sta. Ho. 
agree ; Rcuss. Di. Ki. place it in the 9th cent. 

t Procksch, 286 ff. X So We. Kue. Sta. Kit. Gu. al. 


only prove a date not earlier than Solomon. — Other arguments, such 
as the omission of Asshur and the inclusion of Kclah and Nineveh in 
the list of Assyrian cities in lo" etc., are still less conclusive. 

While it is thus impossible to assig-n a definite date to 
J and E, there are fairly solid grounds for the now gfenerally 
accepted view that the former is of Judasan and the latter of 
Ephraimite origin. Only, it must be premised that the body 
of patriarchal tradition which lies behind both documents 
is native to northern, or rather central, Israel, and must 
have taken shape there.* The favourite wife of Jacob is 
not Leah but Rachel, the mother of Joseph (Ephraim- 
Manasseh) and Benjamin; and Joseph himself is the 
brightest figure in all the patriarchal g^allery. The sacred 
places common to both recensions — Shechem, Bethel, 
Mahanaim, Peniel, Beersheba — are, except the last, all in 
Israelite territory ; and Beersheba, though belonging- geo- 
g-raphically to Judah, was for some unknown reason a 
favourite resort of pilgrims from the northern kingdom 
(Am. 5^ 8^*, I Ki. 19^). — It is when we look at the diver- 
gftnce between the two sources that the evidence of the 
Ephraimite origin of E and the Judaean of J becomes con- 
sistent and clear. Whereas E never evinces the slightest 
interest in any sanctuary except those mentioned above, J 
makes Hebron the scene of his most remarkable theophany, 
and thus indelibly associates its sanctity with the name of 
Abraham. It is true that he also ascribes to Abraham the 
founding of the northern sanctuaries, Shechem and Bethel 
{i2''^-^); but we can hardly fail to detect something- per- 
functory in his description, as compared with E's impressive 
narrative of Jacob's dream at Bethel (28^*'~^^- 1^-22^^ qj. j^jg 
own twofold account of the founding of Beersheba (chs. 21. 
26). It is E alone who records the place of Rachel's grave 
(35^^), of those of Rebekah's nurse Deborah P), of Joseph 
(Jos. 2^^^), and Joshua {^^), — all in the northern territory. 
The sections peculiar to J (p. xliii) are nearly all of local 

* We. Prol.^ 317. It is the neglect of this fact that has mainly led 
to the belief that J, like E, is of Ephraimite origin (Kue. Reuss, Schr. 
Fripp, Luther, al.). 


Jud?ean interest: in i8 the scene is Hebron; 19^-28 jg g 
legend of the Dead Sea basin; ig^off. deals with the origin 
of the neighbouring peoples of Moab and Ammon ; 38 is 
based on the internal tribal history of Judah (and is not, as 
has been supposed, charged with animosity towards that 
tribe : see p. 455). Finally, while Joseph's place of honour 
was too firmly established to be challenged, it is J who, in 
defiance of the older tradition, transfers the birthright and 
the hegemony from Reuben to Judah (49^^- 35^-*-, the Joseph 
narratives). — These indications make it at least relatively 
probable that in J we have a Judasan recension of the patri- 
archal tradition, while E took its shape in the northern 

The composite work JE is the result of a redactional 
operation, which was completed before the other components 
(D and P) were incorporated in the Pent.* The redactors 
(R-*^) have done their work (in Genesis) with consummate skill 
and care, and have produced a consecutive narrative whose 
strands it is often difficult to unravel. They have left traces 
of their hand in a few harmonising touches, designed to 
remove a discrepancy between J and E (i6*''-282^''' 3 j *9ff- (/''"•) 
39! 4i50? 46^ 5oiof-) : some of these, however, may be later 
glosses. Of greater interest are a number of short addi- 
tions, of similar import and complexion but occurring both 
in J and E, which may, not with certainty but with great 
probability, be assigned to these editors (13^*"^'^ 18^^"^^ 22^5-^8 
26^^-^ 28^* 32^0-13 463^^) : to this redaction we are disposed 
also to attribute a thorough revision of ch. 15. In these 
passages we seem to detect a note of tremulous anxiety 
regarding the national future of Israel and its tenure of the 
land of Canaan, which is at variance with the optimistic 
outlook of the original sources, and suggests that the writers 
are living under the shadow of impending exile. A slight 
trace of Deuteronomic phraseology in i8^'^*- and 26^^^- con- 
firms the impression that the redaction took place at some 
time between the publication of Deuteronomy and the Exile. 

• So No. We. and most ; against Hupf. Di. al. 


§ ri. The Priestly Code and the Final Redaction. 

It is fortunately not necessary to discuss in this place 
all the intricate questions connected with the history and 
structure of the Priests' Code. The Code as a whole is, 
even more obv'iously than J or E, the production of a school, 
— in this case a school of juristic writers, whose main task 
was to systematise the mass of ritual reg'ulations which had 
accumulated in the hands of the Jerusalem priesthood, and 
to develop a theory of religion which grew out of them. 
Evidence of stratification appears chiefly in the legislative 
portions of the middle Pent., where several minor codes 
are amalgamated, and overlaid with considerable accretions 
of later material. Here, however, we have to do only with 
the great historical work which forms at once the kernel of 
the Code and the framework of the Pent., the document 
distinguished by We. as Q {Qiiatuor foederinn liber), by 
Kue. as P^, by others as P°.* Although this groundwork 
shows traces of compilation from pre-existing material (see 
PP- 8, 35, ^o, 130, 169, 428 f., etc.), it nevertheless bears the 
impress of a single mind, and must be treated as a unity. 

No critical operation is easier or more certain than the separation 
of this work, down even to very small fragments, from the context in 
which it is embedded. When this is done, and the fragments pieced 
together, we have before us, almost in its original integrity, an inde- 
pendent document, which is a source, as well as the framework, ,of 
Genesis. We have seen (p. xli) that the opposite opinion is maintained 
by Klostermann and Orr, who hold that P is merely a supplementing 
redactor of, or 'collaborator' with, JE. But two facts combine to 
render this hypothesis absolutely untenable, (i) The fragments form 
a consecutive history, in which the lacunce are very few and unim- 
portant, and those which occur are easily explicable as the result of 
the redactional process. The precise state of the case is as follows : 
In the primseval history no hiatus whatever can be detected. Dr. 
Orr's assertion {POT, 348 f.) that P's account of the Flood ?nust have 
contained the episodes of the birds and the sacrifice, because both are 
in the Babylonian version, will be worth considering when he has made 
it probable either that P had ever read the Babylonian story, or that, 
if he had, he would have wished to reproduce it intact. As matter of 

* Kue.'s P^ is the so-called Law of Holiness (P''), which is older 
than the date usually assigned to P^. 


fact, neither is in the least degree probable ; and, as we shall see 
presently, Noah's sacrifice is an incident which P would certainly 
have suppressed if he had known of it. — In the history of Abraham 
there is again no reason to suspect any omission. Here is a literal 
translation of the disjecta membra of P's epitome of the biography of 
Abraham, with no connexions supplied, and only one verse transposed 
(19"^): 12^'' "Now Abram was 75 years old when he went out from 
Harran. ^ And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, 
and all their possessions which they had acquired, and all the souls whom 
they had procured ; and they went out to go to the land of Canaan, 
and they came to the land of Canaan. 13^ And the land could not bear 
them so that they mig-ht dwell tog-ether, for their possessions were 
great, and they were not able to dwell together. "'' So they separated 
from one another : '^'^'^ Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot 
dwelt in the cities of the Oval. \(f^ And when God destroyed the 
cities of the Oval, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot away from 
the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot 
dwelt. — 16' Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. ^ So 
Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hag-ar the Egyptian, her maid, after Abram 
had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram 
her husband for a wife to him. 1* And Hagar bore to Abram a son, and 
Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bore to him Ishmael. 
'^ And Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram. 
— 17' And when Abram was 99 years old, Frt/;7«e appeared to Abram, 
and said to him," etc. Here follows the account of the covenant with 
Abraham, the change of his name and that of Sarai, the institution of 
circumcision, and the announcement of the birth of Isaac to Sarah 
(ch. 17). — The narrative is resumed in 21^*^ "And F«/(w^ did to Sarah 
as he had spoken, '"" at the appointed time which God had mentioned. 
' And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom 
Sarah bore to him, Isaac. ^ And Abraham circumcised Isaac his son 
when he was 8 days old, as God had commanded him. * And 
Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac his son was born to him. — 
23' And the life of Sarah was 127 years ; - and Sarah died in Kiryath 
Arba, that is Hebron, in the land of Canaan." This introduces the 
story of the purchase of Machpelah as a burying-place (ch. 23), and 
this brings us to — 25'' "And these are the days of the years of the life 
of Abraham which he lived: 175 years; * and he expired. And 
Abraham died in a good old age, an old man and full [of years], and 
was gathered to his father's kin. ** And his sons Isaac and Ishmael 
buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of 
Zohar, the Hittite, which is opposite Mamre : '^ the field which Abraham 
bought from the sons of Heth : there was Abraham buried, and Sarah 
his wife. — ^' And after the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his 
son." The reader can judge for himself whether a narrative so con- 
tinuous as this, every isolated sentence of which has been detached 
from its context by unmistakable criteria of the style of P, is likely to 
have been produced by the casual additions of a mere supplementer of 
an older work. And if he objects to the transposition of 19"**, let him 


note at the same time how utterly meaning^lcss in its present position 
that verse is, considered as a supplement to ig'"^". — In the sections on 
Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, there are undoubtedly omissions which we 
can only supply from JE ; and if we were to judge from these parts 
alone, the supplementary theory would be more plausible than it is. 
We miss, e.g., accounts of the birth of Jacob and Esau, of Jacob's 
arrival in Paddan Aram, of his marriage to Leah and Rachel, of the 
birth of Joseph, of his slavery and elevation in Egypt, his reconciliation 
with his brethren, and perhaps some other particulars. Even here, 
however, the theory is absolutely negatived by the contradictions to 
JE which will be specified immediately. Dr. Orr's argument on this 
point {POT, 343 ff.) really assumes that the account of JE is the on/j' 
way in which the gaps of P could be filled up ; but the examination of 
the story of Abraham has shown that that is not the case. The facts are 
fully explained by the supposition that a short epitome of the history, 
similar to that of the history of Abraham, has been abridged in the 
redaction, by the excision of a very few sentences, in favour of the 
fuUer narrative of JE. — (2) The second fact which makes Dr. Orr's 
hypothesis untenable is this, that in almost every instance where P 
expands into circumstantial narration it gives a representation of the 
events which is distinctly at variance with the older documents. The 
difference between P's cosmogony and J's account of the Creation is 
such that it is ludicrous to speak of the one as a supplement or a 
' framework ' to the other ; and the two Flood stories are hardly less 
irreconcilable (see p. 148). In the life of Abraham, we have two 
parallel accounts of the covenant with Abraham in ch. 15 (JE) and 17 
(P) ; and it is evident that the one supersedes and excludes the other. 
Again, P's reason for Jacob's journey to Mesopotamia (28^^) is quite in- 
consistent with that given by JE in ch. 27 (p. 374 f.) ; and his conception 
of Isaac's blessing as a transmission of the blessing originally bestowed 
on Abraham (28^) is far removed from the idea which forms the motive 
of ch. 27. In JE, Esau takes up his abode in Seir before Jacob's return 
from Mesopotamia (32') ; in P he does not leave Canaan till after the 
burial of Isaac (35^). P's account of the enmity between Joseph and 
his brethren is unfortunately truncated, but enough is preserved to 
show that it differed essentially from that of JE (see p. 444). It is 
difficult to make out where Jacob was buried according to J and E, but 
it certainly was not at Machpelah, as in P (see p. 538 f.). And so on. 
Everywhere we see a tendency in P to suppress or minimise discords 
in the patriarchal households. It is inconceivable that a supplementer 
should thus contradict his original at every turn, and at the same time 
leave it to tell its own story. When we find that the passages of an 
opposite tenor to JE form parts of a practically complete narrative, we 
cannot avoid the conclusion that P^ is an independent document, which 
has been preserved almost entire in our present Book of Genesis. The 
question then arises whether these discrepancies spring from a divergent 
tradition followed by P^ or from a deliberate re-writing of the history 
as told by JE, under the influence of certain theological ideals and 
principles, which we now proceed to consider. 


The central theme and objective of P^ is the institution 
of the Israelitish theocracy, whose symbol is the Tabernacle, 
erected, after its heavenly antitype, by Moses at Mount 
Sinai. For this event the whole previous history of man- 
kind is a preparation. The Mosaic dispensation is the last 
of four world-ages : from the Creation to the Flood, from 
Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from 
Moses onwards. Each period is inaugurated by a divine 
revelation, and the last two by the disclosure of a new name 
of God : El Shaddai to Abraham (17^), and Yahwe to Moses 
(Ex. 6^). Each period, also, is marked by the institution 
of some permanent element of the theocratic constitution, 
the Levitical system being conceived as a pyramid rising in 
four stages : the Sabbath (a^f) ; permission of the slaughter 
of animals, coupled with a restriction on the use of the 
blood (g^^); circumcision (17) ; and, lastly, the fully developed 
Mosaic ritual. Not till the last stage is reached is sacrificial 
worship of the Deity authorised. Accordingly neither altars 
nor sacrifices are ever mentioned in the pre-Mosaic history ; 
and even the distinction between clean and unclean animals 
is supposed to be unknown at the time of the Flood. It is 
particularly noteworthy that the profane, as distinct from 
the sacrificial, slaughter of animals, which even the 
Deuteronomic law treats as an innovation, is here carried 
back to the covenant with Noah. 

Beneath this imposing historical scheme, with its ruling 
idea of a progressive unfolding of God's will to men, we 
discover a theory of religion which, more than anything else, 
expresses the spirit of the Priestly school to which the author 
of P^ belonged. The exclusive emphasis on the formal or 
insiiiu tiotial a.spe.ci of religion, which is the natural proclivity 
of a sacerdotal caste, appears in P^ in a very pronounced 
fashion. Religion is resolved into a series of positive enact- 
ments on the part of God, and observance of these on the 
part of man. The old cult-legends (p. xiif.), which traced 
the origin of existing ritual usages to historic incidents in the 
lives of the fathers, are swept away ; and every practice to 
which a religious value is attached is referred to a direct 


command of God. In the deeper problems of religion, on 
the other hand, such as the origin of evil, the writer evinces 
no interest ; and of personal piety — the disposition of the 
heart towards God — his narrative hardly furnishes an 
illustration. In both respects he represents a theology at 
once more abstract and shallower than that of J or E, 
whose more imaginative treatment of religious questions 
shows a true apprehension of the deeper aspects of the 
spiritual Hfe (chs. 3. 6^ 8-^ iS^^*^- 45^ etc.), and succeeds in 
depicting the personal religion of the patriarchs as a genuine 
experience of inward fellowship with God (cf. 22. 2^^'^"- ^z^^- 
48^^'- etc.). It would be unfair to charge the author of P^ 
with indifference to the need for vital godliness, for he lacks 
the power of delineating character and emotion in any 
relation of life ; but his defects are none the less character- 
istic of the type of mind that produced the colourless digest 
of history, which suffices to set forth the dominant ideas of 
the Priestly theology. 

Another characteristic distinction between JE and P is 
seen in the enhanced transcendentalism of the latter's con- 
ception of Deity. Anthropomorphic, and still more anthro- 
popathic, expressions are studiously avoided (an exception 
is Gn. 22'-: cf. Ex. 31^''^); revelation takes the form of 
simple speech ; angels, dreams, and visions are never alluded 
to. Theophanies are mentioned, but not described ; God is 
said to ' appear ' to men, and to * go up from them ' (Gn. 
j^i. 22f. 259- 13 ^^gs^ Ex. 6^), but the manner of His appearance 
is nowhere indicated save in the supreme manifestation at 
Sinai (Ex. 24^*^- 34^^^ ^o^^^-). It is true that a similar incon- 
creteness often characterises the theophanies of J and E, 
and the later strata of these documents exhibit a decided 
approximation to the abstract conceptions of P. But a 
comparison of the parallels ch. 17 with 15, or 35**^- with 
28^^*-, makes it clear that P's departure from the older tradi- 
tion springs from a deliberate intention to exclude sensuous 
imagery from the representation of Godhead. 

It remains to consider, in the light of these facts, P's attitude to the 
traditional history of the patriarchs. In the first place, it is clear that 


he accepts the main outline of the history as fixed in tradition. But 
whether he knew that tradition from other sources than J and E, is a 
question not so easily answered. For the primitive period, direct 
dependence on J is improbable, because of the marked diversity in the 
accounts of the Creation and the Flood : here P seems to have followed 
a tradition closely akin to, but not identical with, that of J. In the 
history of the patriarchs there seems no reason to suppose that he had 
any other authorities than J and E. The general course of events is 
the same, and differences of detail are all explicable from the known 
tendencies of the Code. But the important facts are that nearly the 
whole of the history, both primitive and patriarchal, is reduced to a 
meagre summary, with little save a chronological significance, and that 
the points where the narrative becomes diffuse and circumstantial are 
(with one exception) precisely those which introduce a new religious 
dispensation : viz. the Creation, the Flood, the Abrahamic covenant, 
and the Exodus. The single exception is the purchase of Machpelah 
(ch. 23), an event which doubtless owes its prominence to its connexion 
with the promise of the land to Abraham and his seed. For the rest, 
a certain emphasis naturally lies on outstanding events, like the origin 
of the name Israel (35^'-), or the settlement of Jacob's family in Egypt 
(47^''^) ; and the author lingers with interest on the transmission of the 
patriarchal blessing and promise from Isaac to Jacob (28^*- 35'^), and from 
Jacob to his sons (48^^). But these are practically all the incidents to 
which Ps attaches any sort of significance of their own ; and even these 
derive much of their importance from their relation to the chronological 
scheme into which they are fitted. — Hence to say that P's epitome would 
be 'unintelligible' apart from JE, is to confuse his point of view with 
our own. It is perfectly true that from P alone we should know very 
little of the characters of the patriarchs, of the motives which governed 
their actions, or of the connexion between one event and another. But 
these are matters which P had no interest in making ' intelligible.' He 
is concerned solely with events, not with causes or motives. The indi- 
vidual is sufficiently described when we are told whose son he was, how 
long he lived, what children he begot, and such like. He is but a link 
in the generations that fill up the history ; and even where he is the 
recipient of a divine revelation, his ielection for that privilege depends 
on his place in the divine scheme of chronology, rather than on any 
personal endowment or providential training. 

The style of P^ can be characterised without the reserves 
and qualifications which were necessary in speaking of the 
difference between J and E (p. xlviif.); there is no better 
illustration of the dictum le style c" est Vhomme than in this 
remarkable document. Speaking- broadly, the style reflects 
the qualities of the legal mind, in its stereotyped termin- 
ology, its aim at precise and exhaustive statement, its 
monotonous repetitions, and its general determination to 


leave no loophole for misinterpretation or misunderstanding-. 
The jurist's love of order and method appears in a great 
facility in the construction of schemes and schedules — 
genealogical tables, systematic enumerations, etc. — as well 
as in the carefully planned disposition of the narrative as a 
whole. It is necessary to read the whole work consecutively 
in order to realise the full effect of the laboured difTuseness, 
the dry lucidity and prosaic monotony of this characteristic 
product of the Priestly school of writers. On the other 
hand, the style is markedly deficient in the higher elements 
of literature. Though capable at times of rising to an 
impressive dignity (as in Gn. i. 47^"^^), it is apt to de- 
generate into a tedious and meaningless iteration of set 
phrases and rigid formulae (see Nu. 7). The power of 
picturesque description, or dramatic delineation of life and 
character, is absent : the writer's imagination is of the 
mechanical type, which cannot realise an object without the 
help of exact quantitative specification or measurement. 
Even in ch. 23, which is perhaps the most lifelike narrative 
in the Code, the characteristic formalism asserts itself in the 
measured periodic movement of the action, and the recurrent 
use of standing expressions from the opening to the close. 
That such a style might become the property of a school we 
see from the case of Ezekiel, whose writings show strong 
affinities with P ; but of all the Priestly documents, P^ is the 
one in which the literary bent of the school is best ex- 
emplified, and (it may be added) is seen to most advantage. 

The following selection (from Driver, LOT^, 131 ff.) of distinctive 
expressions of P, occurring- in Genesis, will give a sufficient idea of the 
stylistic peculiarity of the book, and also of its linguistic affinities with 
the later literature, but especially with the Book of Ezekiel. 

D'hVk as the name of God, uniformly in Gen., except 17^ 21'''. — pD, 
'kind': j'l. 12. 21. 24.25 520 ^u (Ly_ „^ ^t. 14; only again Ezk. 47^").— 
p«*, ' to swarm ' : i"- " 721 gn ^7 + • (outside of P only Ps. 105^", Ezk. 47"). 

* As on p. xlix, the cross ( + ) indicates that further examples are 
found in the rest of the Pent. It should be expressly said, however, that 
the + frequently covers a considerable number of cases ; and that a 
selection of phrases, such as is here given, does not fully represent the 
strength of the linguistic argument, as sot forth in the more exhaustive 
lists of Dri. {I.e.) or the Oxf. Hex. (vol. i. pp. 208-221). 


-yiv, ' swarming- thing-s ' : 120^21+ (only in P and Dt. 14").— na-n .TiB ; 
,22. 28 81V 9I.7 ,720 283 3^11 ^^27 484 (Ex. i^, Lv. 26» ; elsewhere only Jer. 3I* 
[inverted], 23^, Ezk. 36"). — n'^Dx'? : i^s-S" 6^^ 9'+ (elsewhere only in 
Ezk. (10 times), and (as inf.) Jer. 12'). — nnVin : lo'^ 25''+ (elsewhere 
I Ch. 5' f- "• 9 8^8 99- ^* 263'). The phrase nnijin nSx[i] occurs in P 10 
times in Gen. (see p. xxxiv), and in Nu. 3I ; elsewhere only Ru. 4'^, i Ch. i''^. 
— yu : 6" 721 258- "3529 4933+ (elsewhere poetical ; Zee. 138, Ps. SS'^ 1042", 
La. 1^9, and 8 times in Jb.).— ?i!?3;, ^inx, etc. (appended to enumerations) : 
618 yi. 13 816. 18 g8 284 466. v + ._Q^,^^^«, etc. (after ' seed ') : 9* if- «• »■ i"- 19 351a 
48* + .— mn Dvn disj; : yis 1723. 26+ . Q^iy ;„ p ^nd Ezk. 2» 24^ 40' (Jos. 10" 
redactional).— DiT — DmnsB-n'?: 8'9 lo^- 2"- s' 36-*o + (very often in P : elsewhere 
only Nu. ii'" [JE], i Sa. io2i, 1 Ch. 5^ 6«- ^8).— D^jiv nna : 9I6 i77-i3.i9+, 
only in P.— nxD -ind3 : 172. «• 2»+ g^. i^ ; elsewhere only Ezk. 99 i6'l — 
ci^n : 12^ 136 31I8 36'' 46*+ ; elsewhere Gn. 14^'- ^2- 16- 21 ,^14 . a.nd 15 times 
in Ch. Ezr. Dn.— 1^3-3 : 12^ 3i'8 36* 46^ + .— rsi (= ' person") : 12' 36* 461*-^. "niuch morc frequent in P than elsewhere." — DD' — DrmS : 
1^7.9. 12^ ^5 times (only in P).— onim : 178 28-* 36^ 37' 47*+ Ex. 6* ; else- 
where Ezk. 2o38, Ps. ss^"* I195^ Jb. i8'9 + .— ninx: 178 23''-9-2o ^^a ^^u 
48" 493" 5o'3 + . Often in Ezk. (44^8 456. 6- 7. 8 46I8. is 482«- 21. 22^ . elsewhere 
Ps. 28, I Ch. 72892 [= Neh. u3], 2 Ch. ii"3ii + .— mpD: 1712. 13. 28.27 23I84. 
(confined to P except Jer. 32"- 12- w- i6)._D.aj, (= 'father's kin'): 17" 
25^- "35^^ 49^^+ (also Ezk. 18I8; elsewhere Ju. 5"?, Ho. 10" + ).— aB-m : 
23'*+ 10 times (also i Ki. 17I?, i Ch. 29^^ Ps. 39i3)._i':p ; 31I8 [2423J 26* + 
(outside of P, only Ezk. 38'2'- ; Pr. 4^, Ps. 1042^ 10521). 

In the choice of synonymous expressions, P exhibits an exclusive 
preference for •\'b^^ in the sense of ' beget ' over n"?' (in the g-enealogies 
of J), and for the form 'Jn of the ist pers. pron. ('3:k only in Gn. 23'*). 

Geographical designations peculiar to Pe are: Kiryath- Arbd (for 
Hebron) 232 352^+; Machpelah, 239- ". is 259 4930 50I3+ ; Paddan-Aram, 
2520 282- 5- 6. 7 3ii8 33I8 3,^9. 26 ^gis^ ,_Xo these may be added ]Vi3 px, i i3i 
12" 13I2 16^ 178 232-19 31I8 33I8 356371+; the expression is found in JE 
only in the Joseph-section (chs. 42, 44, 45, 47). Pe has ij?:d without pK 
only in IV" ni" (28' 362). 

In view of all these and similar peculiarities (for the list is by no 
means exhaustive), the attempt to obliterate the linguistic and stylistic 
distinction between P and JE (Eerdmans) is surely a retrog-rade step in 

The date of the composition of P^ lies between the 
promulgation of the Deuteronomic law (621 B.C.), and the 
post-Exilic reformation under Ezra and Nehemiah (444). 
It is later than Deut., because it assumes without question 
the centralisation of worship at one sanctuary, which in 
Dt. is only held up as an ideal to be realised by a radical 
reform of established usage. A nearer determination of 
date depends on questions of the internal analysis of P 
which are too complex to be entered on here. That the 


Code as a whole is later than Ezekiel is proved by the fact 
that the division between priests and Levites, which is 
unknown to the writer of Deut., and of which we find the 
origin and justification in Ezk. 44^"^^, is presupposed as 
already established (Nu. 3. 4. 8, etc.). It is possible, how- 
ever, that that distinction belongs to a stratum of the 
legislation not included in P^ ; in which case P^ might very 
well be earlier than Ezk., or even than the Exile. The 
question does not greatly concern us here. For the under- 
standing of Genesis, it is enough to know that P^, both in 
its theological conceptions and its attitude towards the 
national tradition, represents a phase of thought much later 
than J and E. 

The view that P^ was written before the Exile (in the end of the 
7th cent.) is advocated by Procksch (I.e. 319 ff.), who reduces this 
part of P to narrower limits than most critics have done. He regards 
it as an essentially historical work, of considerable literary merit, em- 
bracing hardly any direct legislation except perhaps the Law of Holiness 
(P**), and recognising the priestly status of the entire tribe of Levi, just 
as in Dt. (Nu. 17I6-24 ^j^^j ph jp jtg original form). If that fact could be 
established, it would go far to show that the document is older than 
Ezk. It is admitted both by Kuenen and Wellhausen {Prol.^ 116) that 
the disparity of priests and Levites is accentuated in the later strata of 
P as compared with P^, but that it is not recognised in Ps is not clear. 
As to pre-Exilic origin, the positive arguments advanced by Pro. are 
not very cogent ; and it is doubtful whether, even on his own ground, 
he has demonstrated more than the possibility of so early a date. In 
Genesis, the only fact which points in that direction is one not mentioned 
by Pro. : viz. that the priestly Table of Nations in ch. 10 bears internal 
evidence of having been drawn up some considerable time before the 
5th century B.C. (p. 191 below) ; but that may be sufficiently explained 
by the assumption that the author of P^ made use of pre-existing docu- 
ments in the preparation of his work. 

The last distinguishable stage in the formation of the 
Pent, is the amalgamation of P with the older documents, 
— in Genesis the amalgamation of P^ with JE. That this 
process has left traces in the present text is quite certain 
a priori \ though it is naturally difficult to distinguish 
redactional changes of this kind from later explanatory 
glosses and modifications (cf. G 77.22.23 iq24 27^6 etc.). The 
aim of the redactor was, in general, to preserve the ipsissima 



verba of his sources as {ax as was consistent with the pro- 
duction of a complete and harmonious narrative ; but he 
appears to have made it a rule to find a place for every 
fragment of P that could possibly be retained. It is not 
improbable that this rule was uniformly observed by him, 
and that the slight lacu?ice which occur in P after ch. 25 
are due to the activity of later scribes in smoothing away 
redundancies and unevennesses from the narrative. That 
such changes might take place after the completion of the 
Pent, we see from 47^*", where ffi has preserved a text in 
which the dovetailing of sources is much more obvious than 
in MT. — If the lawbook read by Ezra before the congrega- 
tion as the basis of the covenant (Neh. 8^*'^) was the entire 
Pent, (excepting late additions),* the redaction must have 
been effected before 444 B.C., and in all probability the 
redactor was Ezra himself. On the other hand, if (as seems 
to the present writer more probable) Ezra's lawbook was 
only the Priestly Code, or part of it (P^ -|- P^),t then the 
final redaction is brought down to a later period, the ter- 
niimis ad quern being the borrowing of the Jewish Pent, by 
the Samaritan community. That event is usually assigned, 
though on somewhat precarious grounds, to Nehemiah's 
second term of office in Judaea (c. 432 B.C.). 

Of far greater interest and significance than the date 
or manner of this final redaction, is the fact that it was 
called for by the religious feeling of post-Exilic Judaism. 
Nothing else would have brought about the combination 
of elements so discordant as the naive legendary narratives 
of JE and the systematised history of the Priestly Code. 
We can hardly doubt that the spirit of the Priestly theology 
is antipathetic to the older recension of the tradition, or 
that, if the tendencies represented by the Code had pre- 
vailed, the stories which are to us the most precious and 
edifying parts of the Book of Genesis would have found no 
place in an authoritative record of God's revelation of 
Himself to the fathers. But this is not the only instance 

* So We. Di. Kit. al. t So Corn. Ho. al. 


in which the spiritual insight of the Church has judged 
more wisely than the learning of the schools. We know 
that deeper influences than the legalism and institutionalism 
of P's manifesto — necessary as these were in their place — 
were at work in the post-Exilic community : the individualism 
of Jeremiah, the universalism of the second Isaiah, the 
devotion and lyric fervour of the psalmists, and the daring 
reflexion of the writer of Job. And to these we may surely 
add the vein of childlike piety which turned aside from the 
abstractions and formulas of the Priestly document, to find 
its nutriment in the immortal stories through which God 
spoke to the heart then, as He speaks to ours to-day. 



Chs. I-XI. 

It has been shown in the Introduction (p. xxxiii) that the most obvious 
division of the booli of Genesis is into four nearly equal parts, of which 
the first (chs. i-ii) deals with the Creation of the world, and the history 
of primitive mankind prior to the call of Abraham. These chapters are 
composed of excerpts from two of the main sources of the Pent., the 
Priestly Code, and the Yahwistic document. Attempts have been made 
from time to time {e.g. by Schrader, Dillmann, and more recently 
Winckler) to trace the hand of the Elohist in chs. i-ii ; but the closest 
examination has failed to produce any substantial evidence that E is 
represented in the Primitive History at all. By the great majority of 
critics the non-Priestly traditions in this part of Genesis are assigned 
to the Yahwistic cycle : that is to say, they are held to have been 
collected and arranged by the school of rhapsodists to whose literary 
activity we owe the document known as J. 

To the Priests' Code, whose constituents can here be isolated with 
great certainty and precision, belong: i. The Cosmogony (1^-2**); 
2. The List of Patriarchs from Adam to Noah (5) ; 3. An account of 
the Flood (68-929 *) ; 4. A Table of Peoples (10 *) ; 5. The Genealogies 
of Shem (ii"'-''^''), and Terah (ii^^-s-'*), ending with Abraham. There 
is no reason to suppose either that the original P contained more than 
this, or, on the other hand, that P was written to supplement the older 
tradition, and to be read along with it. It is in accordance with the 
purpose and tendency of the document that the only events recorded in 
detail — the Creation and the Flood — are those which inaugurate two 
successive World-ages or Dispensations, and are associated with the 
origin of two fundamental observances of Judaism— the Sabbath (2'), 
and the sanctity of the blood (g^^-)- 

In marked contrast to the formalism of this meagre epitome is the 

* The asterisk denotes that the passages so marked are interspersed 
with extracts from another source. The detailed analysis will be found 
in the commentary on the various sections. 


rich variety of life and incident which characterises the Yahwistic 
sections, viz. : i. The Creation and Fall of Man [2*^-2"^) ; 2. Cain and 
Abel (41-1") ; 3. The Genealogy of Cain (41^-2^) ; 4. A fragmentary Sethite 
Genealogy (4^^- . . . 5^^ . . . ) ; 5. The marriages with divine beings (6^"^); 
6. An account of the Flood (6'-8--*); 7. Noah's Curse and Blessing 
(g*'-^^); 8. A Table of Peoples (10*); 9. The Tower of Babel (iii'^); 
10. A fragment of the Genealogy of Terah (u-^"^**). Here we have a 
whole gallery of varied and graphic pictures, each complete in itself and 
essentially independent of the rest, arranged in a loosely chronological 
order, and with perhaps a certain unity of conception, in so far as they 
illustrate the increasing wickedness that accompanied the progress of 
mankind in civilisation. Even the genealogies are not (like those of P) 
bare lists of names and figures, but preserve incidental notices of new 
social or religious developments associated with particular personages 
(4"' '-o-^-- 26 ^2u^^ besides other allusions to a more ancient mythology 
from which the names have been drawn (4^^- ^^^ ^^•). 

Composition of J. — That a narrative composed of so many separate 
and originally independent legends should present discrepancies and 
discontinuities is not surprising, and is certainly by itself no proof of 
literary diversity. At the same time there are many indications that 
J is a composite work, based on older collections of Hebrew traditions, 
whose outlines can still be dimly traced. (1) The existence of two 
parallel genealogies (Cainite and Sethite) at once suggests a conflate 
tradition. The impression is raised almost to certainty when we find 
that both are derived from a common original (p. 138 f. ). (2) The Cainite 
genealogy is incompatible with the Deluge tradition. The shepherds, 
musicians, and smiths, whose origin is traced to the last three members 
of the genealogy, are obviously not those of a bygone race which perished 
in the Flood, but those known to the author and his contemporaries 
(p. ii5f.). 13) Similarly, the Table of Nations and the story of the 
Confusion of Tongues imply mutually exclusive explanations of the 
diversities of language and nationality : in one case the division proceeds 
slowly and naturally on genealogical lines, in the other it takes place 
by a sudden interposition of almighty power. (4) There is evidence 
that the story of the Fall was transmitted in two recensions (p. 52 f). 
If Gunkel be right, the same is true of J's Table of Peoples, and of the 
account of the Dispersion ; but there the analysis is less convincing. 
(5) In 4^ we read that Enosh introduced the worship of Yahwe. The 
analogy of Ex. 6-^* (P) affords a certain presumption that the author of 
such a statement will have avoided the name ni.T up to this point ; and 
as a matter of fact ^"^^ occurs immediately before in v.^. It is true 
that the usage is observed in no earlier Yahwistic passage except 3'"', 
where other explanations might be thought of. But througliout chs. 2 
and 3 we find the very unusual compound name D'nSx m,T, and it is a 
plausible conjecture that one recension of the Paradise story was dis- 
tinguished by the use of Elohim, and that Yahwe was inserted by a 
harmonising Yahwistic editor (so Bu, Gu. al. : see p. 53). 

To what precise extent these phenomena are due to documentary 
differences is a question that requires to be handled with the utmost 
caution and discrimination. It is conciivable that a single author 


should have compiled a narrative from a number of detached legends 
which he reported just as he found them, regardless of their internal 
consistency. Nevertheless, there seems sufficient evidence to warrant 
the conclusion that (as Wellhausen has said) we have to do not merely 
with aggregates but with sequences ; although to unravel perfectly the 
various strands of narrative may be a task for ever beyond the re- 
sources of literary criticism. Here it will suffice to indicate the principal 
theories. — (a) We. {Comp." 9-14) seems to have been the first to per- 
ceive that 4^-1^ is a late expansion based (as he supposed) on 4"'-^ 
and on chs. 2, 3 ; that originally chs. 2-4 existed not only without 4'"^'''', 
but also without 4^'- and s^^; and that chs. 2. 3. 4i«-** w^-^ form a 
connexion to which the story of the Flood is entirely foreign and 
irrelevant. — {b) The analysis was pushed many steps further by Budde 
{Biblische Urgeschichte, pass.), who, after a most exhaustive and 
elaborate examination, arrived at the following theory : the primary 
document (J') consisted of 2«'-^ ^^-^ z^'^^- 21 6' 3^3 41- 2b^. i«b. n-ai 11I-9 g2o-27 This was recast by J- (substituting d-hSn for 
ni.T down to 4^), whose narrative contained a Cosmogony (but no 
Paradise story), the Sethite genealogy, the Flood-legend, the Table of 
Nations, and a seven-membered Shemite genealogy. These two re- 
censions were then amalgamated by J', who inserted dislocated 
passages of J' in the connexion of J^, and added 41-'^ 5^ etc. J^ 
attained the dignity of a standard official document, and is the authority 
followed by P at a later time. The astonishing acumen and thorough- 
ness which characterise Budde's work have had a great influence on 
critical opinion, yet his ingenious transpositions and reconstructions of 
the text seem too subtle and arbitrary to satisfy any but a slavish 
disciple. One feels that he has worked on too narrow a basis by con- 
fining his attention to successive overworkings of the same literary 
tradition, and not making sufficient allowance for the simultaneous 
existence of relatively independent forms. — (c) Stade {ZATW, xiv. 
274ff. [= Ak. Reden u. Abh. 244-251]) distinguishes three main strata: 
(i) chs. 2. 3. ii'-9; (2) 426'- "-22920-27 io9? 61-2?; (3) the Flood-legend, 
added later to the other two, by a redactor who also compiled a Sethite 
genealogy (4^'^'- . . . 5-^ . . . ) and inserted the story of Cain and Abel, and 
the Song of Lamech (4'^'')- — ('^ Gunkel {Gen."^ i ff.) proceeds on some- 
what different lines from his predecessors. He refuses in principle 
to admit incongruity as a criterion of source, and relies on certain 
verses which bear the character of connecting links betw^een different 
sections. The most important is 5^^ (belonging to the Sethite genealogy), 
where we read : " This (Noah) shall comfort us from our labour and 
from the toil of our hands on account of the ground which Yahwe has 
cursed." Here there is an unmistakable reference backward to 3", 
and forward to 92"^-. Thus we obtain a faultless sequence, forming 
the core of a document where ni.r was not used till 4-®, and hence called 
J*, consisting of: one recension of the Paradise story; the (complete) 
Sethite genealogy ; and Noah's discovery of wine. From this sequence 
are excluded obviously : the second recension of the Paradise story ; the 
Cainite genealogy ; and (as Gu. thinks) the Flood-legend, where Noah 
appears in quite a different character : these belong to a second docu- 


ment (JJ). Again, g^^^* form a connectingf link between the Flood and the 
Table of Nations ; but Gu. disting-uishes two Yahwistic strata in the 
Table of Nations and assigns one to each of his documents : similarly 
with the section on the Tower of Babel. The legend of Cain and 
Abel is regarded (with We. Bu. Sta. al.) as an editorial expansion. 

In this commentary the analysis of Gu. is adopted in the main ; 
but with the following reservations: (i) The account of the Flood 
cannot be naturally assigned to J-*, because of its admitted incompati- 
bility with the assumption of the Cainite genealogy (see above). Gu., 
indeed, refuses to take such inconsistencies into account ; but in that 
case there is no reason for giving the Flood to JJ rather than to J«. 
There is no presumption whatever that only two documents are in 
evidence ; and the chapters in question show peculiarities of language 
which justify the assumption of a separate source (Sta.), say J'^. 
(2) With the Flood passage goes the Yahwistic Table of Peoples 
(9^*'-). The arguments for two Yahwists in ch. 10 are hardly decisive ; 
and J^ at all events had no apparent motive for attaching an ethno- 
graphic survey to the name of Noah. (3) Gunkel's analysis of 11^"* 
appears on the whole to be sound ; but even so there is no ground for 
identifying the two components with J^ and JJ respectively. On the 
contrary, the tone of both recensions has a striking affinity with that 
of P : note especially (with We.) the close resemblance in form and 
substance between 1 1^ and 3^^. Thus : 

Jj = ^20-22. 24^17-24 61-4 jjl-»; 

Je := 2*^_~19*.23 .25f. . . . c29 . . . g20-27 . 

Jd = 65-822* 9I8J. 10 •; 

jr ^ 4I-I6*. 

Such constructions, it need hardl}' be added, are in the highest 
degree precarious and uncertain ; and can only be regarded as tentative 
explanations of problems for which it is probable that no final solution 
will be found. 

I. i-II. 3. — Creation of the World in Six Days: Institution 
of the Sabbath. 
A short Introduction describing- the primeeval chaos 
(i^- 2) is followed by an account of the creation of the 
world in six days, by a series of eight divine fiats, viz. : 
(i) the creation of light, and the separation of light from 
darkness, ^~^ ; (2) the division of the chaotic waters into 
two masses, one above and the other below the 'firmament,' 
^~^; (3) the separation of land and sea through the collect- 
ing of the lower waters into "one place," ^- ^"^ ; (4) the 
clothing of the earth with its mantle of vegetation, ^^"^^ ; 
(5) the formation of the heavenly bodies, ^'^"^^ ; (6) the 
peopling of sea and air with fishes and birds, '^^''^'^ ; (7) 

I. i-II. 3 5 

the production of land animals, ^*- ^ ; and (8) the creation 
of man, ^e-si. Finally, the Creator is represented as 
resting from His works on the seventh day; and this 
becomes the sanction of the Jewish ordinance of the weekly 
Sabbath rest {2^-^). 

Character of the Record. — It is evident even from this 
bare outline of its contents that the opening section of 
Genesis is not a scientific account of the actual process 
through which the universe originated. It is a world 
unknown to science whose origin is here described, — the 
world of antique imagination, composed of a solid expanse 
of earth, surrounded by and resting on a world-ocean, and 
surmounted by a vault called the ' firmament,' above which 
again are the waters of a heavenly ocean from which the 
rain descends on the earth (see on vv.®~^).* That the 
writer believed this to be the true view of the universe, and 
that the narrative expresses his conception of how it actu- 
ally came into being, we have, indeed, no reason to doubt 
(Wellhausen, Prol.^ 296). But the fundamental differ- 
ence of standpoint just indicated shows that whatever the 
significance of the record may be, it is not a revelation of 

* The fact referred to above seems to me to impose an absolute veto 
on the attempt to harmonise the teaching of the chapter with scientific 
theory. It may be useful, however, to specify one or two outstanding- 
difficulties of detail, (i) It is recognised by all recent harmonists that 
the definition of 'day' as 'geological period' is essential to their 
theory : it is exegetically indefensible. (2) The creation of sun and 
moon after the earth, after the alternation of day and night, and even 
after the appearance of plant-life, are so many scientific impossibilities. 
(3) Palaeontology shows that the origin of vegetable life, if it did not 
actually follow that of animal life, certainly did not precede it by an 
interval corresponding to two 'days.' (4) The order in which the 
various living forms are created, the manner in which they are grouped, 
and their whole development compressed into special periods, are all 
opposed to geological evidence. For a thorough and impartial 
discussion of these questions see Driver, Genesis, 19-26. It is there 
shown conclusively, not only that the modern attempts at reconciliation 
fail, but (what is more important) that the point at issue is not one of 
science, but simply of c-cegesis. The facts of science are not in dispute ; 
the only question is whether the language of Genesis will bear the 
construction which the harmonising scientists find it necessary to put 
upon it. 


physical fact which can be brought into line with the results 
of modern science. The key to its interpretation must be 
found elsewhere. 

In order to understand the true character of the narra- 
tive, we must compare it with the cosinogonies which form 
an integral part of all the higher religions of antiquity. The 
demand for some rational theory of the origin of the world 
as known or conceived is one that emerges at a very early 
stage of culture ; and the efforts of the human mind in this 
direction are observed to follow certain common lines of 
thought, which point to the existence of a cosmological 
tradition exerting a widespread influence over ancient specu- 
lation on the structure of the universe. There is ample 
evidence, as will be shown later (below, p. 45 ff.), that the 
Hebrew thinkers were influenced by such a tradition ; and 
in this fact we find a clue to the inner meaning of the 
narrative before us. The tradition was plastic, and there- 
fore capable of being moulded in accordance with the genius 
of a particular religion ; at the same time, being a tradi- 
tion, it retained a residuum of unassimilated material 
derived from the common stock of cosmological speculation 
current in the East. What happened in the case of the 
biblical cosmogony is this : that during a long development 
within the sphere of Hebrew religion it was gradually 
stripped of its cruder mythological elements, and trans- 
formed into a vehicle for the spiritual ideas which were 
the peculiar heritage of Israel. It is to the depth and 
purity of these ideas that the narrative mainly owes that 
character of sobriety and sublimity which has led many to 
regard it as the primitive revealed cosmogony, of which all 
others are grotesque and fantastic variations (Dillmann, 
p. 10). 

The religious significance of this cosmogony lies, there- 
fore, in the fact that in it the monotheistic principle of the 
Old Testament has obtained classical expression. The great 
idea of God, first proclaimed in all its breadth and fulness by 
the second Isaiah during the Exile, is here embodied in a 
detailed account of the genesis of the universe, which lays 

I. i-II. 3 7 

hold of the imagination as no abstract statement of the 
principle could ever do. The central doctrine is that the 
world is created, — that it originates in the will of God, a 
personal Being transcending the universe and existing 
independently of it. The pagan notion of a Theogony — 
a generation of the gods from the elementary world-matter 
— is entirely banished. It is, indeed, doubtful if the repre- 
sentation goes so far as a creatio ex nihtlo, or whether 
a pre-existent chaotic material is postulated (see on v.^); 
it is certain at least that the kosfttos, the ordered world with 
which alone man has to do, is wholly the product of divine 
intelligence and volition. The spirituality of the First 
Cause of all things, and His absolute sovereignty over the 
material He employs, are further emphasised in the idea of 
the word of God — the effortless expression of His thought 
and purpose — as the agency through which each successive 
effect is produced ; and also in the recurrent refrain which 
affirms that the original creation in each of its parts was 
'good,' and as a whole 'very good' (v.^^), i.e. that it 
perfectly reflected the divine thought which called it into 
existence. The traces of mythology and anthropomorphism 
which occur in the body of the narrative belong to the 
traditional material on which the author operated, and do 
not affect his own theological standpoint, which is defined 
by the doctrines just enumerated. When to these we add 
the doctrine of man, as made in the likeness of God, and 
marked out as the crown and goal of creation, we have a 
body of religious truth which distinguishes the cosmogony 
of Genesis from all similar compositions, and entitles it to 
rank among the most important documents of revealed 

The Fratnework. — The most noteworthy literary feature of the record 
is the use of a set of stereotyped formulae, by which the separate acts 
of creation are reduced as far as possible to a common expression. The 
structure of this * framework ' (as it may be called) is less uniform than 
might be expected, and is much more reg-ular in ffi than in MT. It 
is impossible to decide how far the irregularities are due to the original 
writer, and how far to errors of transmission. Besides the possibility 
of accident, we have to allow on the one hand for the natural tendency 


of copyists to rectify apparent anomalies, and on the other hand for 
deliberate omissions, intended to bring- out sacred numbers in the occur- 
rences of the several formulas.* 

The facts are of some importance, and may be summarised here : 
(a) The fiat {And God said, Let . . . ) introduces (both in MT and 
<&) each of the eight works of creation (vv.^- «• »• "• i*- 20. 24. 28) (5) 
And it -was so occurs literally 6 times in MT, but virtually 7 times : 
i.e. in connection with all the works except the sixth (vv.t*^- ''• 8- "• '^• 
2^-30); in ffi also in v.2». (r) The execution of the fiat {And God 
made . , . — with variations) is likewise recorded 6 times in MT and 
7 times in <& (w.^- ["J- 12. 16. 21. 2b. 27)_ (^ The sentence of divine 
approval {And God saw that it was good) is pronounced over each 
work except the second (in ffi there also), though in the last instance 
with a significant variation: see vv.'«-t8J- 10.12., (^) The 
naming of the objects created {And God called . , . ) is peculiar to 
the three acts of separation (vv.^- "■ ^''). {/) And God blessed . . . 
(3 times) is said of the sixth and eighth works and of the Sabbath 
day (vv.2-. 28 2^). {g) The division into days is marked by the clos- 
ing formula, And it was evetiing, etc., which, of course, occurs 6 times 
{yy5. 8. 13. 19. 23. 31^^ being omitted after the third and seventh works. 

The occurrence of the p '.Ti before the execution of the fiat produces a 
redundancy which may be concealed but is not removed by substituting 
so for a7id in the translation {So God made, etc.). When we observe 
further that in 5 cases out of the 6 (in C5 5 out of 7) the execution is 
described as a work, that the correspondence between fiat and fulfilment 
is often far from complete, and finally that z^ seems a duplicate of 2^, 
the question arises whether all these circumstances do not point to a 
literary manipulation, in which the conception of creation as a series of 
Jiafs has been superimposed on another conception of it as a series of 
works. The observation does not carry us very far, since no analysis 
of sources can be founded on it ; but it is perhaps a slight indication of 
what is otherwise probable, viz. that the cosmogony was not the free 
composition of a single mind, but reached its final form through the 
successive efforts of many writers (see below), f 

The Seven Days' Scheme. — The distribution of the eight works over 
six days has appeared to many critics (Hgen, Ewald, Schrader, We. 
Di. Bu. Gu. al. ) a modification introduced in the interest of the 
Sabbath law, and at variance with the original intention of the cos- 
mogony. Before entering on that question, it must be pointed out that 

*A familiar instance is the 'ten sayings' of PirkS 'AbSth, 5, i: 
□Viyn Hi2i ni-iDKD msyjjn, where the number 10 is arrived at by adding to 
the 8 fiats the two other occurrences of icn-i in MT (vv.28- 2a). 

t See, now, Sta. BTh. i. 349 and Schwally in ARW, ix. 159-175, 
which have appeared since the above paragraph was written. Both 
writers point out the twofold conception of the creation which runs 
through the chapter ; and Schwally makes out a strong case for the 
composition of the passage from two distinct recensions of the 

I. i-II. 3 9 

the adjustment ot days to works proceeds upon a clear principle, and 
results in a symmetrical arrangement. Its efTect is to divide the creative 
process into two stages, each embracing four works and occupying 
three days, the last day of each series having two works assigned to 
it. There is, moreover, a remarkable, though not perfect, parallelism 
between the two great divisions. Thus the Jirsf day is marked by the 
creation of light, and ihe fourth by the creation of the heavenly bodies, 
which are expressly designated ' light-bearers ' ; on the second day the 
waters which afterwards formed the seas are isolated and the space 
between heaven and earth is formed, and so \.\\& fifth day witnesses the 
peopling of these regions with their living denizens (fishes and fowls) ; on 
the third day the dry land emerges, and on the sixth terrestrial animals 
and man are created. And it is hardly accidental that the second work 
of the third AaLy (trees and grasses) corresponds to the last appointment 
of the sixth day, by which these products are assigned as the food of 
men and animals. Broadly speaking, therefore, we may say that "the 
first three daj-s are days of preparation, the next three are days of 
accomplishment" (Dri. Gen. 2). Now whether this arrangement belongs 
to the original conception of the cosmogony, or at what stage it was 
introduced, are questions very difficult to answer. Nothing at all re- 
sembling it has as yet been found in Babylonian documents ; for the 
division into seven tablets of the Enuma eliS series has no relation to 
the seven da)'s of the biblical account.* If therefore a Babylonian 
origin is assumed, it seems reasonable to hold that the scheme of days 
is a Hebrew addition ; and in that case it is hard to believe that it 
can have been introduced without a primary reference to the dis- 
tinctively Israelilish institution of the weekly Sabbath. It then only 
remains to inquire whether we can go behind the present seven days' 
scheme, and discover in the narrative evidence of an earlier arrange- 
ment which either ignored the seven days altogether, or had them in a 
form different from what we now find. 

The latter position is maintained by We. {Comp^ 187 ff.), who holds 
that the scheme of days is a secondary addition to the framework 
as it came from the hand of its Priestly author (Q). In the original 
cosmogony of Q a division into seven days was recognised, but in a 
different form from what now obtains ; it was moreover not carried 
through in detail, but merely indicated by the statement of 2^ that 
God finished His work on the seventh day. The ke)' to the primary 
arrangement he finds in the formula of approval, the absence of 
which after the second work he explains by the consideration that the 
separation of the upper waters from the lower and of the lower from 
the dry land form really but one work, and were so regarded by Q. 
Thus the seven works of creation were (i) separation of light from 
darkness ; (2) separation of waters (vv.^"'") ; (3) creation of plants ; 
(4) luminaries ; (5) fish and fowl ; (6) land animals ; (7) man. The state- 
ment that God finished His work on the seventh day We. considers 

• See below, p. 43 ff. On the other hand there are Persian and 
Etruscan analogies ; see p. 50. 


to be inconsistent with a six days' creation, and also with the view that 
the seventh was a day of rest ; hence in ch. 2, he deletes '^ and ^^, 
and reads simply: "and God finished His work which He made on the 
seventh day, and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it." — 
This theory has been subjected to a searching^ criticism by Bu. 
{Urgesch. 487 ff. ; cf. also Di. 15), who rightly protests against the 
subsuming of the creation of heaven and that of land and sea under 
one rubric as a ' separation of waters,' and gets rid of the difficulty 
presented by 2^ by reading sixth instead of seventh (see on the verse). 
Bu. urges further that the idea of the Sabbath as a day on which 
work might be done is one not likely to have been entertained in the 
circles from which the Priestly Code emanated,* and also (on the 
ground of Ex. 20^') that the conception of a creation in six days followed 
by a divine Sabbath rest must have existed in Israel long before the 
age of that document. — It is to be observed that part of Bu.'s argument 
(which as a whole seems to me valid against the specific form of the 
theory advanced by We.) only pushes the real question a step further 
back ; and Bu. himself, while denying that the seven days' scheme 
is secondary to P, agrees with Ew. Di. and many others in thinking 
that there was an earlier Hebrew version of the cosmogony in which that 
scheme did not exist. 

The improbability that a disposition of the cosmogony in eight 
works should have obtained currency in Hebrew circles without an 
attempt to bring it into some relation with a sacred number has been 
urged in favour of the originality of the present setting (Holzinger, 23 f.). 
That argument might be turned the other way ; for the very fact that 
the number 8 has been retained in spite of its apparent arbitrariness 
suggests that it had some traditional authority behind it. Other 
objections to the originality of the present scheme are : (a) the juxta- 
position of two entirely dissimilar works under the third day ; (b) the 
separation of two closely related works on the second and third days; 
(c) the alternation of day and night introduced before the existence of 
the planets by which their sequence is regulated (thus far Di. 15), and 
{d) the unnatural order of the fourth and fifth works (plants before 
heavenly bodies). These objections are not all of equal weight ; and 
explanations more or less plausible have been given of all of them. 
But on the whole the evidence seems to warrant the conclusions : that 
the series of works and the series of da3'S are fundamentally incon- 
gruous, that the latter has been superimposed on the former during the 
Heb. development of the cosmogony, that this change is responsible for 
some of the irregularities of the disposition, and that it was introduced 
certainly not later than P, and in all probability long before his time. 

Source and Style. — -As has been already hinted, the section belongs 
to the Priestly Code (P). This is the unanimous opinion of all critics 
who accept the documentary analysis of the Hexateuch, and it is 
abundantly proved both by characteristic words and phrases, and 
general features of style. Expressions characteristic of P are (be- 
sides the divine name D^^Sx) : vra (see on v.^), napji na? ^, pn wn 

* See Jerome's polemical note, in Qticesf., ad loc. 

I. i-II. 3 II 

['n n'n] ^ ^s. so^ ^i,^^^^^ m. so^ po n. 12. 21. 24. 25^ ,^,po 10^ ^^i ms ^- ^, fc-c-;, bc-j 
31. 24. 25. 26. 28. M p.^i^ pc* 20.21^ aiitl iin'^in in 2''-\— Comp. the lists in 
Di. p. I ; Gu. p. 107, and OH, i. 208-220 ; and for details see 
the Commentary below. — Of even greater value as a criterion of 
authorship is the unmistakable literary manner of the Priestly his- 
torian. The orderly disposition of material, the strict adherence to 
a carefully thought out plan, the monotonous repetition of set phrase- 
ology, the aim at exact classification and definition, and generally 
the subordination of the concrete to the formal elements of composi- 
tion : these are all features of the 'juristic ' style cultivated by this 
school of writers, — "it is the same spirit that has shaped Gn. i and 
Gn. 5" (Gu.). — On the artistic merits of the passage very diverse 
judgments have been pronounced. Gu., whose estimate is on the 
whole disparaging, complains of a lack of poetic enthusiasm and 
picturesqueness of conception, poorly compensated for by a marked 
predilection for method and order. It is hardly fair to judge a prose 
writer by the requirements of poetry ; and even a critic so little partial 
to P as We. is impressed by "the majestic repose and sustained 
grandeur" of the narrative, especially of its incomparable exordium 
(Prol.^ 297). To deny to a writer capable of producing this impression 
all sense of literary effect is unreasonable ; and it is perhaps near the 
truth to say that though the style of P may, in technical descriptions or 
enumerations, degenerate into a pedantic mannerism (see an extreme 
case in Nu. 7), he has found here a subject suited to his genius, and one 
which he handles with consummate skill. It is a bold thing to 
desiderate a treatment more worthy of the theme, or more impressive 
in effect, than we find in the severely chiselled outlines and stately 
cadences of the first chapter of Genesis. 

In speaking of the style of P it has to be borne in mind that we are 
dealing with the literary tradition of a school rather than with the 
idiosyncrasy of an individual. It has, indeed, often been asserted that 
this particular passage is obviously the composition ' at one heat ' of a 
single writer; but that is improbable. If the cosmogony rests 
ultimately on a Babylonian model, it "must have passed through a 
long period of naturalisation in Israel, and of gradual assimilation to 
the spirit of Israel's religion before it could have reached its present 
form" (Dri. Gen. 31). All, therefore, that is necessarily implied in 
what has just been said is that the lafer stages of that process must 
have taken place under the auspices of the school of P, and that its 
work has entered very deeply into the substance of the composition. — 
Of the earlier stages we can say little except that traces of them remain 
in those elements which do not agree with the ruling ideas of the last 
editors. Bu. has sought to prove that the story had passed through 
the school of J before being adopted by that of P ; that it was in fact 
the form into which the cosmogony had been thrown by the writer 
called J*. Of direct evidence for that hypothesis (such as would be 
supplied by allusions to Gn. i in other parts of J^) there is none : it is 
an inference deduced mainly from these premises : (i) that the creation 
story shows traces of overworking which presuppose the existence of an 
older Heb. recension ; (2) that in all other sections of the prehistoric 

12 CREATION (p) 

tradition P betrays his dependence on J^ ; and (3) that J^ in turn is 
markedly dependent on Babylonian sources (see Urgesch, 463-496, and 
the summary on p. 491 f.). Even if all these observations be well 
founded, it is obvious that they fall far short of a demonstration of 
Bu.'s thesis. It is a plausible conjecture so long as we assume that 
little was written beyond what we have direct or indirect evidence of 
{ib. 463^) ; but when we realise how little is known of the diffusion of 
literary activity in ancient Israel, the presumption that J* was the par- 
ticular writer who threw the Hebrew cosmogony into shape becomes 
very slender indeed. 

I. We are confronted at the outset by a troublesome 
question of syntax which affects the sense of every member 
of v.^. While all ancient Vns. and many moderns take the 
verse as a complete sentence, others (following- Rashi and 
Ibn Ezra) treat it as a temporal clause, subordinate either 
to v.^ (Rashi, and so most) or v.^ (Ibn Ezra, apparently). 
On the latter view the verse will read : In the beginning of 
God's creating the heavens and the earth : IT'^S'^B being- in 
the const, state, followed by a clause as gen. (cf. Is. 29^, 
Hos. i^ etc. ; and see G-K. § 130 fi?; Dav. § 25). In a note 
below reasons are given for preferring this construction to 
the other ; but a decision is difficult, and in dealing with 

I. — n'B'.x^] The form is probably contracted from nTN") (cf. nnxf), 
and therefore not derived directly from E'Xn. It signifies primarily the 
first (or best) part of a thing : Gn. iqI" (' nucleus '), 49^ (' first product '), 
Dt. 33-^, Am. 6^ etc. (On its ritual sense as the first part of crops, etc., 
see Gray's note, Num. 226 ff.). From this it easily glides into a 
temporal sense, as the first stage of a process or series of events : Ho. 
9I" (' in its first stage '), Dt. ii^^ (of the year), Jb. 8' 40^^ (a man's life). 
Is. 46^** (starting point of a series), etc. We. [Prol.'^ 386) has said 
that Dt. 11^^ is the earliest instance of the temporal sense; but the 
distinction between ' first part ' and ' temporal beginning ' is so im- 
palpable that not much importance can be attached to the remark. It is 
of more consequence to observe that at no period of the language does 
the temporal sense go beyond the definition already given, viz. the 
first stage of a process, either explicitly indicated or clearly implied. 
That being so, the prevalent determinate construction becomes 
intelligible. That in its ceremonial sense the word should be used 
absolutely was to be expected (so Lv. 2^^ [Nu. 18'^] Neh. 12**: with 
these may be taken also Dt. 33-^). In its temporal applications it is 
always defined by gen. or suff. except in Is. 46^", where the antithesis 
to nnnx inevitably suggests the intervening series of which 't is the 
initial phase. It is therefore doubtful if 'n? could be used of an absolute 
beginning detached from its sequel, or of an indefinite past, like rutrNna 
or nVnn? (see Is. i^*, Gn. 13'). — This brings us to the question of 

I.I 13 

v.^ it is necessary to leave the alternative open. — In the 
beginning^ If the clause be subordinate the reference of 
n'B'N'i is defined by what immediately follows, and no further 
question arises. But if it be an independent statement 
beginning is used absolutely (as in Jn. i^), and two inter- 
pretations become possible : [a) that the verse asserts the 
creation {ex nihilo) of the primaeval chaos described in v.^ ; 
or {b) that it summarises the whole creative process 
narrated in the chapter. The former view has prevailed 
in Jewish and Christian theolog-y, and is still supported 
by the weighty authority of We. But (i) it is not in 
accordance with the usage of n''t;'5<"i (see below) ; (2) it is not 
required by the word ' create,' — a created chaos is perhaps 
a contradiction (Is. 45^^ HN'-jl !inh-N^), and We. himself 

syntax. Three constructions have been proposed : (a) v.^ an inde- 
pendent sentence {all Vns. and the great majority of comm., including 
Calv. De. Tu. We. Dri.). In sense this construction (taking the 
verse as superscription) is entirely free from objection : it yields an 
easy sj'ntax, and a simple and majestic opening. The absence of the 
art. tells against it, but is by no means decisive. At most it is a 
matter of pointing, and the sporadic Greek transliterations BaprjarjO 
(Field, He.vap.), and Baprjaed (Lagarde, Atikund. 5), alongside of 
Bprfo-Ldy may show that in ancient times the first word was sometimes 
read 'n|. Even the Mass. pointing does not necessarily imply that the 
word was meant as const. ; 'n is never found with art., and De. has 
well pointed out that the stereotyped use or omission of art. with 
certain words is governed by a subtle linguistic sense which eludes our 
analysis {e.g. c^i??, e'.'<'i?, ny^N-ia: cf. Kon. .S. § 294 g). The construction 
seems to me, however, opposed to the essentially relative idea of 'n, — 
its express reference to that of "which it is the beginning (see above). 
(V) v.^ protasis: v.- parenthesis: v.' apodosis ; — When God began 
to create . . . — now the earth was . . . — God said, Let there be light. 
So Ra. Ew. Di.* Ho. Gu. al. — practically all who reject (a). 
Although first appearing explicitly in Ra. (f 1105), it has been argued 
that this represents the old Jewish tradition, and that {a) came in under 

* Who, however, considers the present text to be the result of a 
redactional operation. Originally the place of v.^ was occupied by 
2'^^ in its correct form : □'n'^N cxnn? pxni □■nc'n nn'?in rh>A. When this was 
transposed it was necessary to frame a new introduction, and in the 
hands of the editor it assumed the form of v.^ (similarly, Sta. BTh. 
\. 349). I am unable to adopt this widely accepted view of the original 
position of 2** (see on the verse), and Di.'s intricate hypothesis would 
seem to me an additional argument against it. 

14 CREATION (p) 

admits that it is a remarkable conception ; and (3) it is 
excluded by the object of that verb : the heavens and the 
earth. For though that phrase is a Hebrew designation of the 
universe as a whole, it is only the organised universe, not 
the chaotic material out of which it was formed, that can 
naturally be so designated. The appropriate name for 
chaos is * the earth ' (v.^) ; the representation being a 
chaotic earth from which the heavens were afterwards made 
(*5f). The verse therefore (if an independent sentence at all) 
must be taken as an introductory heading to the rest of the 
chapter.* — God created. ^ The verb N"i3 contains the central 
idea of the passage. It is partly synonymous with nb'y (cf. 
VV.21- 27 with 25)j but 2^ shows that it had a specific shade of 
meaning. The idea cannot be defined with precision, but 

the influence of ffi from a desire to exclude the idea of an eternal chaos 
preceding- the creation, f But the fact that W^ agrees with ffi militates 
against that opinion. The one objection to {b) is the ' verzweifelt 
geschmacklose Construction' (We.) which it involves. It is replied 
(Gu. al) that such openings may have been a traditional feature of 
creation stories, being found in several Bab. accounts, as well as in 
Gn. 2^'''®. In any case a lengthy parenthesis is quite admissible in 
good prose style (see i Sa. 3-*/3"', with Dri. Notes, ad loc), and may 
be safely assumed here if there be otherwise sufficient grounds for 
adopting it. The clause as gen. is perfectly regular, though it would 
be easy to substitute inf. Xi3 (mentioned but not recommended by Ra.). 
(c) A third view, which perhaps deserves more consideration than it 
has received, is to take v.^ as protasis and v.^ as apodosis, ' When 
God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was, etc' (lEz. ? 
but see Cheyne, in Hebr. ii. 50). So far as sense goes the sequence 
is eminently satisfactory ; the nDN'l of v.^ is more natural as a con- 
tinuation of v.^ than of v.\ The question is whether the form of 
v.^ permits its being construed as apod. The order of words (subj. 
before pred. ) is undoubtedly that proper to the circumst. cl. (Dri. T. 
§ 157 ; Dav. § 138 (c)) ; but there is no absolute rule against an apod, 
assuming this form after a time-determination (see Dri. T. § 78). 

* The view that v.^ describes an earlier creation of heaven and earth, 
which were reduced to chaos and then re-fashioned, needs no refutation. 

t See Geiger, Urschr. 344, 439, 444. The Mechilta (on Ex. 12**: 
Winter and Wiinsche's Germ, transl. p. 48) gives v.^ as one of thirteen 
instances of things ' written for King Ptolemy ' ; and Gei. infers that 
the change was deliberately made for the reason mentioned. The 
reading alleged by Mech. is n'^Nia Nia DM^n, which gives the sense but 
not the order of ffi. The other variations given are only partly verified 
by our texts of ffi ; see on i^'- 2^ 1 1'' 18'^ 49*. 

I.I 15 

the following- points are to be noted : (a) The most im- 
portant fact is that it is used exclusively of divine acti\ it}- — 
a restriction to which perhaps no parallel can be found in 
other languages (see We. Prol.^ 304). (d) The idea of 
novelty (Is. 48^'- 41^^ 65^''^-, Jer. 31-^) or extraorditia n'ness 
(Ex. 34^^ Nu. i6^° [J]) of result is frequently implied, and it 
is noteworthy that this is the case in the only two passages 
of certainly early date where the word occurs, [c) It is 
probable also that it contains the idea of effortless production 
(such as befits the Almighty) by word or volition* (Ps. 33^). 
{d) It is obvious (from this chapter and many passages) 
that the sense stops short of creatio ex nihilo, — an idea first 
explicitly occurring in 2 Mac. 7^^. At the same time the 
facts just stated, and the further circumstance that the word 
is always used with ace. of product and never of material, 
constitute a long advance towards the full theological doc- 
trine, and make the word ' create ' a suitable vehicle for it. 

Close parallels (for it is hard to see that the M'l makes any essential 
difference) are Gn. v'" (J), 22I (E), or (with inipf.), Lv. f^'^ (P). The 
construction is not appreciably harsher than in the analogous case of 
2*, where it has been freely adopted. — xna] enters fully into OT usage 
only on the eve of the Exile. Apart from three critically dubious 
passages (Am. 4^^ Is. 4^ Jer. 31-'), its first emergence in prophecy 
is in Ezk. {3 times); it is specially characteristic of II Is. (20 times), in 
P 10 times, and in other late passages 8 times. The proof of pre-exilic 
use rests on Ex. 34^", Nu. 16^'* (J), Dt. 4^^. There is no reason to doubt 
that it belongs to the early language ; what can be fairly said is ihat 
at the Exile the thought of the divine creation of the world became 
prominent in the prophetic theology, and that for this reason the term 
which expressed it technically obtained a currency it had not previously 
enjoyed. The primary idea is uncertain. It is commonly regarded as 
the root of a Piel meaning 'cut,' hence 'form by cutting,' 'carve,' 
'fashion,' (Ar. baraP', Phoen. J<n3 [CIS, i. 347''] : see BDB, s.v.; Lane, Lex. 
197 b; Lidzbarski, A'S Epigr. 244 [with ?]) ; but the evidence of the 
connexion is very slight. The only place where Nl? could mean 
'carve' is Ezk. 21--**'^; and there the text is almost certainly corrupt 
(see Corn., Toy, Kraetschmar, ad loc). Elsewhere it means 'cut 

* The same thought was associated by the Babylonians with their 
word ian/i (see phil. note) ; but the association seems accidental ; and 
its significance is exaggerated by Gu. when he says "the idea of 
creation is that man may form with his hands, the god brings to pass 
through his word" {Schlipf. 23). Bani^ is quite synonymous with ipis^l 
(make), and is not restricted to the divine activity. 

1 6 CREATION (p) 

2. Description of Chaos. — It is perhaps impossible to 
unite the features of the description in a single picture, 
but the constitutive elements of the notion of chaos appear 
to be Confusion (inai inn), Darkness, and Water (ainn, CD). 
The weird effect of the language is very impressive. On 
the syntax, see above. — waste and void] The exact meaning 
of this alliterative phrase — Td/ii2 wd-Bohii — is difficult to 
make out. The words are nouns ; the connotation of inn 
ranges from the concrete ' desert ' to the abstract * non- 
entity ' ; while ina possibly means 'emptiness' (^.i.). The 
exegetical tendency has been to emphasise the latter aspect, 
and approximate to the Greek notion of chaos as empty 

down' (Ezk. 23^^) or 'clear ground by hewing down trees' (Jos. 17''" ^' 
[J])— a sense as remote as possible from fashion or make (Di., G-B. 
s.v. ; We. Prol}' 387). The Ar. hara a (used chiefly of creation of animate 
beings) is possibly borrowed from Heb. Native philologists connect 
it, very unnaturally, with bari'a, 'be free'; so that ' create ' means to 
liberate (from the clay, etc.) (Lane, 178b, c): Di.'s view is similar. 
Barth [ZA, iii. 58) has proposed to identify xna (through mutation of 
liquids) with the Ass. vb. for 'create,' banil ; but rejects the opinion 
that the latter is the common Semitic nja 'build' {^KAT^, 498^), with 
which N"3 alternates in Sabsean (Miiller in ZDiMG, xxxvii. 413, 415). 

2. in^l l.in] Ct doparos /cat d/caracr/cei'aoTos ; Aq. Kivw/xa, k. ovOiv ; S. dpybv k. 
adidKpiTov ; 0. Kev&v (or oidkv) Kal ovdkv ; "E inanis et vacua ; 21° N'Jp'ii Nns 
('desolate and empty'); S 010.00 OloZ. The fragmentary Jer. Tg. 
has a double trans. : "And the earth was N'nai NMn, and (cf W^) desolate 
from the sons of men, and empty of work." mn occurs along with in3 
in Jer. 4^^, Is. 34^^ ; inn alone in 17 pass, besides. The meaning varies 
between two extremes : (a) a (trackless) desert (Jb. 12^'' [ = Ps. 107*] 6'^, 
Dt. 32'"), and (3) unsubstantiality (b'OD -h pNir, lEz.) or ' nonentity,' a 
sense all but peculiar to II Is. (also i Sa. i2-\ and perhaps Is. 29-^), but 
very frequent there. The primary idea is uncertain. It is perhaps 
easier on the whole to suppose that the abstract sense of ' formlessness,' 
or the like, gave rise to a poetic name for desert, than that the concrete 
' desert ' passed over into the abstract ' formlessness ' ; but we have no 
assurance that either represents the actual development of the idea. It 
seems not improbable that the OT usage is entirely based on the 
traditional description of the primaeval chaos, and that the word had no 
definite connotation in Heb., but was used to express any conception 
naturally associated with the idea of chaos — ' formlessness,' ' confusion,' 
' unreality,' etc. — ina] (never found apart from inn) may be connected 
with bahiya — ' be empty ' ; though Ar. is hardly a safe guide in the 
case of a word with a long history behind it. The identification with 
Baau, the mother of the first man in Phcen. mythology (see p. 49 f.), is 

I. a 17 

space (Gu.). But our safest guide is perhaps Jeremiah's 
vision of Chaos-come-again (4-^"^^), which is simply that 
of a darkened and devastated earth, from which life and 
order have fled. The idea here is probably similar, with 
this difference, that the distinction of land and sea is 
effaced, and the earth, which is the subj. of the sentence, 
must be understood as the amorphous watery mass in 
which the elements of the future land and sea were com- 
mingled. — Darkness {an almost invariable feature of ancient 
conceptions of chaos) was upon the face of the Deep] The 
Deep (CiViPi) is the subterranean ocean on which the earth 
rests (Gn. 7^^ 8^ 49^5, Am. 7* etc.); which, therefore, 
before the earth was formed, lay bare and open to the 
superincumbent darkness. In the Babylonian Creation-myth 
the primal chaos is personified under the name Ti'amat. 
The Heb. narrative is free from mythological associations, 
and it is doubtful if even a trace of personification lingers in 
the name Dinn. In Babylonian, tVdjnatu or tamtu is a generic 
term for * ocean ' ; and it is conceivable that this literal 
sense may be the origin of the Heb. conception of the Deep 
(see p. 47). — The Spirit of God was brooding] not, as has 
sometimes been supposed, a wind sent from God to dry 

probable. — mnn] is undoubtedly the philological equivalent of Bab. 
Tiamat : a connexion with Ar. Tihamat, the Red Sea littoral province 
(Hoffmann in ZATW, iii. 118), is more dubious (see Lane, 320b, c; 
Jensen, KIB, vi. i, 560). In early Heb. the word is rare, and always 
(with poss. exception of Ex. 15^- *) denotes the subterranean ocean, 
which is the source from which earthly springs and fountains are fed 
(Gn. 49-5, Dt. 3313, Am. 7^ and so Dt. 8^ Gn. 7" 82(P); cf Horn. //. 
xxi. 195), and is a remnant of the primal chaos (Gn. i^, Ps. 104^, 
Pr. 8"). In later writings it is used of the sea (pi. seas), and even 
of torrents of water (Ps. 42^) ; but, the passages being poetic, there is 
probably always to be detected a reference to the world-ocean, either 
as source of springs, or as specialised in earthly oceans (see Ezk. 26^"). 
Though the word is almost confined to poetry (except Gn. \- 7" 8", 
Dt. 8^ Am. 7*), the only clear cases of personification are Gn. 492s, 
Dt. 33'^ (T^hom that coucheth beneath). The invariable absence of the 
art. (except with pi. in Ps. io69. Is. 63'3) proves that it is a proper 
name, but not that it is a personification (cf. the case of Vin?*). On the 
other hand, it is noteworthy that cinn, unlike most Heb. names of fluids, 
is fern., becoming occasionally masc. only in later times when its primary 
sense had been forgotten (cf. Albrecht, ZATW, xvi. 62) : this miglit be 

1 8 CREATION (p) 

up the waters (^o, lEz., and a few moderns), but the divine 
Spirit, figured as a bird brooding over its nest, and perhaps 
symboHsing an immanent principle of life and order in the 
as yet undeveloped chaos. Comp. Milton, Paradise Lost, 
i. 19 ff., vii. 233 ff. It is remarkable, however, if this be 
the idea, that no further effect is given to it in the sequel, 
(i) The idea of the Spirit as formative principle of the 
kosmos, while in the line of the OT doctrine that he is 
the source of life (Ps. 33^ 104^^'), yet goes much beyond 
the ordinary representation, and occurs only here (possibly 
Is. 40^^). (2) The image conveyed by the word brooding 
(nDnnp) is generally considered to rest on the widespread 
cosmogonic speculation of the world-egg (so even De. and 
Di.), in which the organised world was as it were hatched 
from the fluid chaos. If so, we have here a fragment of 
mythology not vitally connected with the main idea of the 
narrative, but introduced for the sake of its religious 
suggestiveness. In the source from which this myth was 
borrowed the brooding power might be a bird-like deity * 
(Gu.), or an abstract principle like the Greek "Epojs, the 
Phoen. no6'os, etc. : for this the Heb. writer, true to his 
monotheistic faith, substitutes the Spirit of God, and 
thereby transforms a "crude material representation . . . 
into a beautiful and suggestive figure" (Dri. Gen. 5). 

due to an original female personification.— nrmo] Gk. Vns. and U 
express merely the idea of motion (i-rrecpipiTO, iin.4>fp(>ij.evov, ferebatur) ; 
21° N^c^W (' blow' or 'breathe'); S \^ »-t;^n. Jerome {Qucest): "in- 
cubabat sive confovebat in similitudinem volucris ova calore animantis." 
It is impossible to say whether ' brood ' or ' hover ' is the exact image 
here, or in Dt. 32", — the only other place where the Pi. occurs (the 
Qal in Jer. 23" may be a separate root). The Syriac vb. has great 
latitude of meaning; it describes, e.^., the action of Elisha in laying 
himself on the body of the dead child (2 Ki. 4-'^) ; and is used of angels 
hovering over the dying Virgin. It is also applied to a waving of the 
hands (or of fans) in certain ecclesiastical functions, etc. (see Payne 
Smith, Thes. 3886). 

• In Polynesian mythology the supreme god Tangaloa is often 
represented as a bird hovering over the waters (Waitz - Gerland, 
Anthrop. vi. 241). 

I. 3, 4 19 

The conceptions of chaos in antiquity fluctuate between that of 
empty space (Hesiod, Arist. Lucr., etc.) and the ' rudis indigestaque 
moles ' of Ovid {Met. i. 7). The Babylonian representation embraces 
the elements of darkness and water, and there is no doubt that this is 
the central idea of the Genesis narrative. It is singular, however, 
that of the three clauses of v." only the second (which includes the two 
elements mentioned) exercises any influence on the subsequent descrip- 
tion (for on any view the 'waters' of the third must be identical with 
the T^hom of the second). It is possible, therefore, that the verse 
combines ideas drawn from diverse sources which are not capable of 
complete synthesis. Only on this supposition would it be possible to 
accept Gu.'s interpretation of the first clause as a description of 
empty space. In that case the earth is probably not inclusive of, but 
contrasted with, T^hom : it denotes the space no-w occupied by the 
earth, which being empty leaves nothing but the deep and the 

3-5. First work : Creation of light. — {And] God 
said\ On the connexion, see above, pp. 13 ff. ; and on the 
significance of the fiat^ p. 7. — Let there he light] The 
thought of light as the first creation, naturally suggested 
by the phenomenon of the dawn, appears in several cos- 
mogonies ; but is not expressed in any known form of the 
Babylonian legend. There the creator, being the sun-god, 
is in a manner identified with the primal element of the 
kosmos; and the antithesis of light and darkness is dramat- 
ised as a conflict between the god and the Chaos monster. 
In Persian cosmogony also, light, as the sphere in which 
Mazda dwells, is uncreated and eternal (Tiele, Gesch. d. Rel. 
ii. 295 f.). In Is. 45" both light and darkness are creations 
of Yahwe, but that is certainly not the idea here. Comp. 
Milton's Parad. Lost, iii. i ff". : 

" Hail, holy Light ! offspring of heaven first-born ; 
Or, of the Eternal co-eternal beam," etc. 

4. saw that the light was good] The formula of approval 
does not extend to the darkness, nor even to the coexistence 
of light and darkness, but is restricted to the light. ' ' Good " 
expresses the contrast of God's work to the chaos of which 
darkness is an element. Gu. goes too far in suggesting 
that the expression covers a * strong anthropomorphism ' 

3. niK '.Ti corresponds to the p '.ri of subsequent acts.— 4. 3ib '3 mxn] 

20 CREATION (p) 

(the possibility of failure, happily overcome). But he rig-htly 
calls attention to the bright view of the world implied in the 
series of approving verdicts, as opposed to the pessimistic 
estimate which became common in later Judaism. — -And God 
divided, e/c.]. To us these words merely suggest alternation 
in time ; but Heb. conceives of a spatial distinction of light 
and darkness, each in its own ' place ' or abode (Jb. 38^^^-). 
Even the separate days and nights of the year seem thought 
of as having independent and continuous existence (Jb. 3^). 

The Heb. mind had thus no difficulty in thinking of the existence of 
lig-ht before the heavenly bodies. The sun and moon rt/Ie the day and 
nig-ht, but light and darkness exist independently of them. It is a mis- 
take, however, to compare this with the scientific hypothesis of a 
cosmical light diffused through the nebula from which the solar system 
was evolved. It is not merely light and darkness, but day and night, 
and even the alternation of evening and morning (v.^), that are re- 
presented as existing before the creation of the sun. 

5. And God called, elc] The name — that by which the 
thing is summoned into the field of thought — belongs to 
the full existence of the thing itself. So in the first line of 
the Babylonian account, "the heaven was not yet named" 
means that it did not yet exist. — And it became evening, 
etc.] Simple as the words are, the sentence presents some 
difficulty, which is not removed by the supposition that the 
writer follows the Jewish custom of reckoning the day from 

with attracted obj. : see G-K. § 117 A; Dav. § 146. — 5. DV in popular 
parlance denotes the period between dawn and dark, and is so used 
in ^*. When it became necessary to deal with the 24-hours' day, it 
was most natural to connect the night with the preceding period of 
light, reckoning, i.e., from sunrise to sunrise; and this is the prevail- 
ing usage of OT (^:h'h^ dv). In post-exilic times we find traces of the 
reckoning from sunset to sunset in the phrase DVi nh^h (vvx^vfJ-epov), Is. 27^ 
34^", Est. 4^®. P regularly employs the form ' day and night ' ; and if 
Lv. 23'*^ can be cited as a case of the later reckoning, Ex. 12^* is as 
clearly in favour of the older (see Marti, IiB, 1036 ; Konig, ZDMG, Ix. 
605 ff.). There is therefore no presumption in favour of the less natural 
method in this passage. — N"i|7] Mil' el, to avoid concurrence of two accented 
syll. — n^:V] (also Mil' el) a reduplicated form ('^;V ; of. Aram, i^-^-h) : see 
Noldeke, Mand. Gr. § 109; Pratorius, ZATW, iii. 218; Kon. ii, §520. 
— nnx cv] 'a first da)',' or perhaps better 'one day.' On inx as ord. see 
G-K. §§98 a, i34/> ; Dav. § 38, R. i ; but cf. Wellh. Prol.^ 387. 

I. 5, 6 21 

sunset to sunset (Tu. Gu. Ben. etc.). The Jewish day may 
have begun at sunset, but it did not end at sunrise ; and it 
is impossible to take the words as meaning that the evening 
and morningybr?;/r^ the first (second, etc.) day. Moreover, 
there could be no evening before the day on which light 
was created. The sentence must refer to the close of the 
first day with the first evening and the night that followed, 
leading the mind forward to the advent of a new day, and 
a new display of creative power (De. Di. Ho. al.). One 
must not overlook the majestic simplicity of the statement. 

The interpretation of or as ceon, a favourite resource of harmonists 
of science and revelation, is opposed to the plain sense of the passagfe, 
and has no warrant in Heb. usage (not even Ps. 90^). It is true that 
the conception of successive creative periods, extending- over vast spaces 
of time, is found in other cosmogonies (De. 55) ; but it springs in part 
from views of the world which are foreign to the OT. To introduce 
that idea here not only destroys the analogy on which the sanction of 
the sabbath rests, but misconceives the character of the Priestly Code. 
If the writer had had aeons in his mind, he would hardly have missed 
the opportunity of stating how many millenniums each embraced. 

6-8. Second work : The firmament. — The second 
fiat calls into existence a firmament, whose function is to 
divide the primaeval waters into an upper and lower ocean, 
leaving a space between as the theatre of further creative 
developments. The "firmament" is the dome of heaven, 
which to the ancients was no optical illusion, but a material 
structure, sometimes compared to an "upper chamber" 
(Ps. 104^^ Am. 9^) supported by " pillars " (Jb. 26^^), and 
resembling in its surface a "molten mirror" (Jb. 37^^). 
Above this are the heavenly waters, from which the rain 
descends through " windows" or "doors" (Gn. 7^^ 8^, 2 Ki. 
72-19) opened and shut by God at His pleasure (Ps. 78^3). 
The general idea of a forcible separation of heaven and earth 

6. t"Pl] ((& (Trep^ajyua, TB Jirmametitum) a word found only in Ezk., P, 
Ps. 19^ 150', Dn. 12^. The absence of art. shows that it is a descriptive 
term, though the only parallels to such a use would be Ezk. i^-'-asf. jqI 
(cf. Phoen. j;pnD='dish' [Blechschale] : CIS, i. 90^ ; see Lidzb. 370, 421). 
The idea is solidify, not thinness or extension : the sense ' beat thin ' 
belongs to the Pi. (Ex. 39^ etc.) ; and this noun is formed from the Qal, 
which means either (intrans.) to 'stamp with the foot' (Ezk. 6"), or 

22 CREATION (p) 

is widely diffused ; it is perhaps embodied in our word 
'heaven ' (from heave?) and O.E. ' lift.' A graphic illustra- 
tion of it is found in Egyptian pictures, where the god 
Shu is seen holding aloft, with outstretched arms, the dark 
star-spangled figure of the heaven-goddess, while the earth- 
god lies prostrate beneath (see Je. ATLO", 7).* But the 
special form in which it appears here is perhaps not fully 
intelligible apart from the Bab. creation-myth, and the 
climatic phenomena on which it is based (see below, p. 46). 

Another interpretation of the firmament has recently been propounded 
(Winckler, Hinimels- u. Weltenbild, 25 ff. ; ATLG^, 164, 174) which 
identifies it with the Bab. supuk lame, and explains both of the Zodiac. 
The view seems based on the highly artificial Bab. theory of a point- 
for-point correspondence between heaven and earth, according to which 
the Zodiac represents a heavenly earth, the northern heavens a heavenly 
heaven (atmospheric), and the southern a heavenly ocean. But what- 
ever be the truth about supuk same, such a restriction of the meaning 
of ypT is inadmissible in Heb. In Ps. 19^ Dn. 12^ it might be possible; 
but even there it is unnecessary, and in almost every other case it is 
absolutely excluded. It is so emphatically in this chapter, where the 
firmament is wrtw^c? heaven, and birds (whose flight is not restricted to 10° 
on either side of the ecliptic) are said to fly ' in front of the firmament.' 

9, 10. Third work : Dry land and sea. — The shore- 
less lower ocean, which remained at the close of the second 

(trans.), 'stamp firm,' 'consolidate' (Is. 42^ etc.). It is curious that 
the vb. is used of the creation of the earth, never of heaven, except 
Jb. 37^*. — '7n30 '.Ti] on ptcp. expressing permanence, see Dri. T. § 135, 
5. — ^"i'3 : Kon. S. § 3i9n.— S-iinn] ffi supplies as subj. 6 tfeos. — 7. p '.Ti] 
transposed in ffi to end of v.", its normal position, — if indeed it be not 
a gloss in both places (We.).— 8. ffi also inserts here the formula of 
approval : on its omission in Heb., see above, pp. 8, 9. 

9. i1|T] in this sense, only Jer. 3". For Dip? read with fflr nij5p = 
'gathering-place,' as in v.^". Nestle {MM, 3) needlessly suggests 
for the latter n-ipa, and for iip% ni's^ — nnnp] not 'from under' but simply 
'under' (see v.^") ; G-K. § iigc^. — nx-ini] juss. unapocopated, as often 
near the principal pause ; G-K. § 109 a. — At the end of the v. ffi adds : 
KoX (rvvfix^'t Th vSojp rb inroKaru tov ovpavov eis ra? (jwayw-yas avjQv Ka.1 uicpdTj 
7] ^vpa ■• i-e. n^'sin N-jni cn'ipp-Sx D^c-f n nnnp n;:'.s; c^cn iii^n.. The addition is 
adopted by Ball, and the pi. a.\jTi2v proves at least that it rests on a 
Heb. original, uSwp being sing, in Greek (We.). — 10. D'P:] the pi. (cf. 

*Comp. also the Maori myth reported in Waitz, Anthrop. vi. 245 ff. ; 
Lang, Custom and Myth, 45 ff. 

I. 7-II 23 

day, is now replaced by land and sea in their present con- 
figuration. The expressions used: gathered together . . . 
appear— seem to imply that the earth already existed as a 
solid mass covered with water, as in Ps. 104^-^; but Di. 
thinks the language not inconsistent with the idea of a 
muddy mixture of earth and water, as is most naturally 
suggested by v.^. Henceforth the only remains of the 
original chaos are the subterranean waters (commonly called 
Tehoni, but in Ps. 24^ *sea' and 'streams'), and the 
circumfluent ocean on which the heaven rests (Jb. 26^", Ps. 
\29^, Pr. 8-^), of which, however, earthly seas are parts. 

We.'s argument, that vv.®"!" are the account of a single work 
(above, p. 9 f.), is partly anticipated by lEz., who points out that what 
is here described is no true creation, but only a manifestation of what 
was before hidden and a gathering of what was dispersed. On the 
ground that earth and heaven were made on one day (2^), he is driven 
to take "lON'i as plup., and assign w.®- ^" to the second day. Some 
such idea may have dictated the omission of the formula of approval at 
the close of the second day's work. 

11-13. Fourth work: Creation of plants. —The 

appearing of the earth is followed on the same day, not 
inappropriately, by the origination of vegetable life. The 
earth itself is conceived as endowed with productive powers 
— a recognition of the principle of development not to be 
explained as a mere imparting of the power of annual 
renewal (Di.); see to the contrary v. ^2 compared with v. 2*. 
— II. Let the earth produce verdure^ Kt^"^ means ' fresh 
young herbage,' and appears here to include all plants in 

Gn. 49", Dt. 33'^ Ps. 46^'- [where it is construed as sing.] 24^^ etc.) is 
mostly poetic and late prose ; it is probably not numerical, but pi, of 
extension like □:•?, u'.'^i, and therefore to be rendered as sg. 

II. KK*^ N-5'in] lit. 'vegetate vegetation,' the noun being ace. cognate 
with the vb. — 'p is a.-ir.\ey. ; on the pointing with Meiheg [Baer-De. p. 74) 

see Kon. i. § 42, 7. S (« » O^Z.) must have read Ksin as v.". — xz'^ 
nz-H] ffi {poTdvriu x(>P'^ov) and "B treat the words as in annexion, contrary 
to the accents and the usage of the terms. It is impossible to define 
them with scientific precision ; and the twofold classification given 
above — herb and tree— is more or less precarious. It recurs, however, 
in Ex. 9-^ 10^-" '■' (all J), and the reasons for rejecting the other are, first, 

24 CREATION (p) 

the earliest stages of their growth ; hence the classification 
of flora is not ihreeioXd — grass, herbs, trees (Di. Dri. al.) — 
but twofold, the generic NK'T including the two kinds 3b'y 
and XV (De. Gu. Ho. etc.). The distinction is based on the 
methods of reproduction ; the one kind producing seed 
merely, the other fruit which contains the seed. — The v. 
continues (amending with the help of ©) : grass producing 
seed after its kind, and fruit-tree producing fruit in which 
[i.e. the fruit) is its (the tree's) seed after its (the tree's) 
kind. — after its kind] v.i. — upon the earth] comes in very 
awkwardly ; it is difficult to find any suitable point of attach- 
ment except with the principal verb, which, however, is too 

14-19. Fifth work : The heavenly luminaries. — 
On the parallelism with the first day's work see above, 
p. 8f. The vv. describe only the creation of sun and 
moon ; the clause and the stars in v.^^ appears to be an 

the absence of] before ncj? ; and, second, the syntactic consideration that 
.s-a'i as cognate ace. may be presumed to define completely the action 
of the vb. — Nuh denotes especially fresh juicy herbage* (Pr. 27^) and 
those grasses which never to appearance get beyond that stage, ncy, 
on the other hand (unlike ''n), is used of human food, and therefore 
includes cultivated plants (the cereals, etc.) (Ps. 104"). — fv] read f'yi 
with wiGFS, and 3 Heb. MSS (Ball).— irc"?, inroS] On form of suff. 
see G-K. § 91 c?. <& in v.'* inserts the word after J;^t (rendering 
strangely Kark yivos Kal Kad' o/iotdrijra, — and so v.^^), and later in the v. 
(^-ara yiv. els ofi.) transposes as indicated in the translation above. — po] 
a characteristic word of P, found elsewhere only in Dt. 14'^- ^'*- ^^- ^^ (from 
Lv. 11), and (dubiously) Ezk. 47^", — everywhere with suff. The et^^mology 
is uncertain. If connected with njiDii (form, likeness), the meaning 
would be ' form ' (Lat. species) ; but in usage it seems to mean simply 
'kind,' the sg. suff. here being distributive: "according to its several 
kinds." In Syr. the corresponding word denotes a family or tribe. 
For another view, see Frd. Delitzsch, Prot. 143 f. — 12. Niini] One is 
tempted to substitute the rare Nsyini as in v." (so Ball). — After yv (St 
adds ns : Ball deletes the n£3 in v.". 

14. mxD M'] (II niN 'H' in v,^). On the breach of concord, see G-K. 
§1450; Dav. §1136. — niND] a late word, is used of heavenly bodies in 
Ezk. 32*, Ps. 74'® ; it never means 'lamp' exactly, but is often applied 
collectively to the seven-armed lampstand of the tabernacle ; once it is 

* In Ar. this sense is said to belong to "«id, but Heb. atyy has no such 

I. 12-14 25 

addition {v. 7'.), The whole conception is as unscientific 
(in the modern sense) as it could be — (a) in its geocentric 
standpoint, (b) in making the distinction of day and night 
prior to the sun, (c) in putting the creation of the vegetable 
world before that of the heavenly bodies. Its religious 
significance, however, is very great, inasmuch as it marks 
the advance of Hebrew thought from the heathen notion of 
the stars to a pure monotheism. To the ancient world, and 
the Babylonians in particular, the heavenly bodies were 
animated beings, and the more conspicuous of them were 
associated or identified with the gods. The idea of them 
as an animated host occurs in Hebrew poetry (Ju. 5^0, 
Is. 40^^, Jb. 38''^ etc.); but here it is entirely eliminated, 
the heavenly bodies being reduced to mere luminaries, i.e. 
either embodiments of light or perhaps simply ' lamps ' 
{v.t.). It is possible, as Gu. thinks, that a remnant of the 
old astrology lurks in the word dominion ; but whereas in 
Babylonia the stars ruled over human affairs in general, 
their influence here is restricted to that which obviously 
depends on them, viz. the alternation of day and night, the 
festivals, etc. Comp. Jb. 38^3, Ps. i^e"^-^ (Jer. 31S5). It is 
noteworthy that this is the only work of creation of which 
the purpose is elaborately specified. — luminaries (nh[i]srp)] 
i.e. bearers or embodiments of light. The word is used 
most frequently of the sevenfold light of the tabernacle 

used of the eyes (Pr. 15*"), and once of the divine countenance (Ps. 90*). 
— 'irn J;'p^3] the gen. is not partitive but explicative : Dav. § 24 (a). — ffi 
inserts at this point : eh (pavaii' rris 7^9, /cat dpxeiv r^s ij/jiepas k. t. vvKrbs, 
Kal. — nnnS] In Jer. 10" D'crn mnx are astrolog-ical portents such as the 
heathen fear, and that is commonly taken as the meaning here, though 
it is not quite easy to believe the writer would have said the sun and 
moon were made for this purpose.* If we take nx in its ordinary sense 
of 'token' or 'indication,' we might suppose it defined by the words 
which follow. Tuch obtains a connexion by making the double ^=-hoth 
. . . and ("as signs, both for [sacred] seasons and for days and 
years ") : others by a hendiadys (" signs <?/' seasons "). It would be less 

* The prophetic passages cited by Dri. {Gen. 10^) all contemplate 
a reversal of the order of nature, and cannot safely be appealed to as 
illustrations of its normal functions. 

26 CREATION (p) 

(Ex. 25^ etc.)*, and to speak of it as expressing a markedly 
prosaic view of the subject (Gu.) is misleading. — in the 
firmame7it, etc.] moving in prescribed paths on its lower 
surface. This, however, does not justify the interpretation 
of ypl as the Zodiac (above, p. 22). — to separate between 
the day, etc.]. Day and night are independent entities ; but 
they are now put under the rule of the heavenly bodies, 
as their respective spheres of influence (Ps. 121^).— for signs 
and for seasons, etc.] C^yi^ (seasons) appears never (certainly 
not in P) to be used of the natural seasons of the year 
(Ho. 2^1, Jer. 8'^ are figurative), but always of a time con- 
ventionally agreed upon (see Ex. 9^), or fixed by some 
circumstance. The commonest application is to the sacrea 
seasons of the ecclesiastical year, which are fixed by the 
moon (cf. Ps. 104^^). If the natural seasons are excluded, 
this seems the only possible sense here ; and P's predilection 
for matters of cultus makes the explanation plausible. — 
nhx (signs) is more difficult, and none of the explanations 
given is entirely satisfactory (v.i.). — 16. for dominiojt over the 
day . . . night] in the sense explained above; and so v.^^. 
— and the stars] Since the writer seems to avoid on prin- 
ciple the everyday names of the objects, and to describe 
them by their nature and the functions they serve, the 
clause is probably a gloss (but v.i."). On the other hand, it 
would be too bold an expedient to supply an express naming 
of the planets after the analogy of the first three works 

The laboured explanation of the purposes of the heavenly bodies is 
confused, and suggfests overworking (Ho.). The clauses which most 
excite suspicion are the two beginning with vm (the difficult ^^'' and 
isaotj . — note in particular the awkward repetition of 'ui nnnoS. The 

violent to render the first 1 und zisuar {videlicet): "as signs, and that 
for seasons," etc. ; see BDB, s. ] i. b, where some of the examples come, 
at any rate, very near the sense proposed. Olshausen arrives at the 
same sense by reading 'io^ simply {MBA, 1870, 380). — 16. 'on nxi] Dri. 
{Hebr. ii. 33) renders "and the lesser light, as also the stars, to rule," 
etc. The construction is not abnormal ; but would the writer have 
said that the stars rule the night? — 18. ^'i^nSj] On the comp. sheva see 
Kon. i. § 10, 6e. 

I. 16-20 27 

functions are stated with perfect clearness in ""'*: {a) to give light 
upon the earth, (*) to rule day and night, and {c) to separate light from 
darkness. I am disposed to think that '*'' was introduced as an ex- 
position of the idea of the vb. hdo, and that '*»• was then added to 
restore the connexion. Not much importance can be attached to the 
insertions of G (v.i.), which may be borrowed from v."'-. 

20-23. Sixth work : Aquatic and aerial animals.— 

Lei the waters swarm with swarming things — liviiig creatures^ 
and let fowl fiy, etc.] The conjunction of two distinct forms 
of life under one creative act has led Gu. to surmise that 
two originally separate works have been combined in order 
to bring- the whole within the scheme of six days. Ben. 
(rendering- a7id fowl that may fly) thinks the author was 
probably influenced by some ancient tradition that birds as 
well as fishes were produced by the water (so Ra. and lEz. 
on 2^^). The conjecture is attractive, and the construction 
has the support of all Gk. Vns. and }J ; but it is not certain 
that the verb can mean ^^ produce a. swarm." More prob- 
ably (in connexions like the present: see Ex. 7^8 [J] 
[EV 8^], Ps. 105^*^) the sense is simply teem with, indicating- 
the place or element in which the swarming creatures 
abound, in which case it cannot possibly govern tliV as obj. — 
Yyi^ has a sense something like 'vermin': i.e. it never 
denotes * a swarm,' but is always used of the creatures that 

20. pp . . . isn^'] On synt. see Dav. § 73, R. 2. The root has in Aram, 
the sense of ' creep,' and there are many passages in OT where that 
idea would be appropriate (Lv. ii^s- ""^ etc.) ; hence Rob. Smith (^.S"'', 
293), 'creeping vermin generally.' But here and Gn. 8" 9', Ex. i^ 7'^, 
Ps. 105*" it can only mean 'teem' or 'swarm'; and Dri. [Gen. 12) is 
probably right in extending that meaning to all the pass, in Heb. 
Gn. i^'-, Ex. 7^^, Ps. 105^ are the only places where the constr. with 
cog. ace. appears ; elsewhere the animals themselves are subj. of the 
vb. The words, except in three passages, are peculiar to the vocabulary 
of P. — But for the fact that ps* never means 'swarm,' but always 
• swarming thing,' it would be tempting to take it as st. constr. before 
n'n fflJ (ffi, Aq. U). As it is, 'n '3 has all the awkwardnes's of a gloss 
(see 2^*). The phrase is applied once to man, 2^ (J) ; elsewhere 
to animals,— mostly in P (Gn. i^i- 24. so gio. 12. is. le^ L^. iji"- « etc.).— 
»]Siy' 11V1] The order of words as in v."* (nr fiiym), due to emphasis on 
the new subj. The use of descriptive impf. ((5, Aq. SGIT) is mostly 
poetic, and for reasons given above must here be refused. — 'JS '?y]='in 

28 CREATION (p) 

appear in swarms (v.t.). — H^n L"Q3] lit. 'living soul'; used 
here collectively, and with the sense of {J'S: weakened, 
as often, to ' individual ' or ' being ' (ct. v.^^ and see on 
2^). The creation of the aquatic animals marks, according 
to OT ideas, the first appearance of life on the earth, for 
life is nowhere predicated of the vegetable kingdom. — over 
the earth in front of the firmameni\ i.e. in the atmosphere, 
for which Heb. has no special name. — 21. created] indis- 
tinguishable from fnade in v.^s. — the great sea monsters] The 
introduction of this new detail in the execution of the fiat 
is remarkable. D3'':rin here denotes actual marine animals ; 
but this is almost the only passage where it certainly bears 
that sense (Ps. 148'^). There are strong traces of mythology 
in the usage of the word: Is. 27^ 51^ (Gu. Schopf. 30-33), 
Ps. 74^^ (?) ; and it may have been originally the name of 
a class of legendary monsters like Ti'amat. The mytho- 
logical interpretation lingered in Jewish exegetical tradition 
(see below). — 22. And God blessed them, etc.] In contrast 
with the plants, whose reproductive powers are included 
in their creation (v.^^-), these living beings are endowed 
with the right of self-propagation by a separate act — a 
benediction (see v.^^). The distinction is natural. — be 
fruitful, etc.] "There is nothing to indicate that only a 

front of : see BDB, 5. ms, II. 7, a,— ffi inserts p '.ti at the end of the 
V. — 21. Dr:nn] It is naturally difficult to determine exactly how far the 
Heb. usage of the word is coloured by mytholog'y. The important 
point is that it represents a power hostile to God, not only in the pass, 
cited above, but also in Job 7^^. There are resemblances in the Ar. 
tinnin, a fabulous amphibious monster, appearing- now on land and now 
in the sea (personification of the waterspout? RS^, 176), concerning 
which the Arabian cosmographers have many wonderful tales to relate 
(Mas'udi, i. 263, 266 ff. ; Kazwini, Ethe's tr. i. 270 ff.). Ra., after 
explaining literally, adds by way of Haggada that these are ' Leviathan 
and his consort,' who were created male and female, but the female 
was killed and salted for the righteous in the coming age, because if 
they had multiplied the world would not have stood before them 
(comp. En. 60^-9, 4 Esd. 6*'^-'^'\ Ber. R. c. 7).*— 'nn vis^yh^ nxi] Cf. g^", 

* In Bab. tanninu is said to be a mythological designation of the 
earth (Jen. Kosni. 161 ; Jen ATLO^, 136^ ; King, Cr. Tab. I09*») ; but that 
throws no light on Heb. 

I. 21-25 29 

single pair of each kind was originally produced " (Ben.); 
the language rather suggests that whole species, in some- 
thing like their present multitude, were created. 

24, 25. Seventh work : Terrestrial animals. — 
24. Let the earth bring forth living creatures] rrri ^Zl (again 
coll.) is here a generic name for land animals, being re- 
stricted by what precedes — ' living animals that spring 
from the earth.' Like the plants (v.^^^^ ^^gy ^j-e boldly said 
to be produced by the earth, their bodies being part of the 
earth's substance {2^' ^^) ; this could not be said of fishes in 
relation to the water, and hence a different form of ex- 
pression had to be employed in v. 2°. — The classification of 
animals (best arranged in v.^^) is threefold: (i) wild 
animals, K"]^'7 ^\^ (roughly, camivora) ; (2) domesticated 
animals, n?on3 [herbivora] ; (3) reptiles, '^f'^^C '^'?"'> including 
perhaps creeping insects and very small quadrupeds (see 
Dri. DB, i. 518). A somewhat similar threefold division 
appears in a Babylonian tablet — ' cattle of the field, beasts 
of the field and creatures of the city' (Jen. KIB, vi. i, 
42 f. ; King, Cr. Tab. 112 f.). — 25. God saw that it was 
good] The formula distinctly marks the separation of this 
work from the creation of man, which follows on the same 
day. The absence of a benediction corresponding to 

Lv. 11^" ; '3 though without art. is really determined by hD (but see Dri. 
T. § 2og (i)). — 1s^t^' taK] 'x, ace. of definition, as p^' in v.^". — 22. «-)i n^] 
highly characteristic of P (only 3 times elsewhere). 

24. The distinctions noted above are not strictly observed throughout 
the OT. nnna (from a root signifying ' be dumb ' — Ar. and Eth.) denotes 
collectively, ^r5/, animals as distinguished from man (Ex. 9^^ etc.), but 
chiefly the larger mammals ; then, domestic animals (the dumb creatures 
with which man has most to do), (Gn. 34^^36" etc.). Of wild animals 
specially it is seldom used alone (Dt. 32--', Hab. 2"), but sometimes with 
an addition (pN, nn^, -ly:) which marks the unusual reference. As a 
noun of unity, Neh. 2'^- ". See BDB, s.v. — px in;ri] an archaic phrase 
in which i represents the old case ending of the nom., u or um (G-K. 
§ 90 n). So Ps. 79^; in'n in other combinations Is. 56', Zeph. 2^*, 
Ps. 104'^; Ps. 50^* 10420. In sense it is exactly the same as the 
commoner pxri n:n (i^*- 30 ^2. lu g^^. )^ a^^d usually denotes 7£i?7a' animals, 
though sometimes animals in general (^wov). — e'Dt and pB' naturally 
overlap ; but the first name is derived from the manner of movement, 
and the second from the tendency to swarm (Dri. I.e.). 


yy 22. 28 Js surprising-, but it is idle to speculate on the 

26-28. Eighth work : Creation of man. — As the 
narrative approaches its climax, the style loses something 
of its terse rigidity, and reveals a strain of poetic feeling 
which suggests that the passage is moulded on an 
ancient creation hymn (Gu.). The distinctive features of 
this last work are : {a) instead of the simple jussive we 
have the cohortative of either self-deliberation or consulta- 
tion with other divine beings ; (b) in contrast to the lower 
animals, which are made each after its kind or type, man is 
made in the image of God ; (c) man is designated as the 
head of creation by being charged with the rule of the earth 
and all the living creatures hitherto made. — 26. Le^ us 
make man] The difficulty of the ist pers. pi. has always 
been felt. 

Amongst the Jews an attempt was made to get rid of it by reading 
n'^ll^ as ptcp. Niph. — a view the absurd grammatical consequences of 
which are trenchantly exposed by lEz. The older Christian comm. 
generally find in the expression an allusion to the Trinity (so even 
Calvin) ; but that doctrine is entirely unknown to the OT, and cannot 
be implied here. In modern times it has sometimes been explained as 
pi. of self-deliberation (Tu.), or after the analogy of the 'we' of royal 
edicts ; but Di. has shown that neither is consistent with native Heb. 
idiom. Di. himself regards it as based on the idea of God expressed by 
the pi. D'hSn, as ' the living personal synthesis of a fulness of powers 
and forces ' (so Dri.) ; but that philosophic rendering of the concept of 
deity appears to be foreign to the theology of the OT. 

26. i:niDi3 unSisn] ffi xar' elK6va rjfi^npav /cat Kad' 6/x.oico(nv. Mechtlta 
(see above, p. 14), gives as (&'s reading moim cSsn. — On the :;i 'of a 
model," cf. Ex. 25*; BDB, s.v. III. 8.— d'^s] Ass. sabnu, the technical 
expression for the statue of a god (KAT^, 476^) > Aram, and Syr. >>'D^s, 
= ' image ' ; the root is not zalima, ' be dark,' but possibly ^alama, ' cut 
off' (Noldeke, ZATIV, xvii. 185 f.). The idea of 'pattern' or 'model' 
is confined to the P pass, cited above ; it stands intermediate between 
the concrete sense just noted (an artificial material reproduction : 
I Sa. 6' etc.) and another still more abstract, viz. 'an unreal sem- 
blance ' (Ps. 39'' 73^"). — niD'i is the abstr. noun resemblance ; but also 
used concretely (2 Ch. 4', like Syr. jZoIsDJ) ; Ar. dumyat = 'effigy.' 
The 1 is radical (form m.OT, cf. Ar. ) ; hence the ending m is no proof of 
Aramaic influence (We. Prol.^ 388) ; see Dri. JPh. xi. 216.— pN,T'733i] 
Ins. n:n with S (y.s.). Other Vns. agree with MT. 

1. 26 31 

The most natural and most widely accepted explanation 
is that God is here represented as taking counsel with divine 
beings other than Himself, viz. the angels or host of 
heaven: cf. 3^2 ii^, Is. 68, i Ki. 2219-22 (so Philo, Ra. lEz. 
De. Ho. Gu. Ben. al.). Di. objects to this interpretation, 
firsts that it ascribes to angels some share in the creation of 
man, which is contrary to scriptural doctrine; * and, second^ 
that the very existence of angels is nowhere alluded to by 
P at all. There is force in these considerations ; and 
probably the ultimate explanation has to be sought in a 
pre-Israelite stage of the tradition (such as is represented 
by the Babylonian account : see below, p. 46), where a 
polytheistic view of man's origin found expression. This 
would naturally be replaced in a Heb. recension by the idea 
of a heavenly council of angels, as in i Ki. 22, Jb. i, 38'^, 
Dn. 4^* 7^° etc. That P retained the idea in spite of his 
silence as to the existence of angels is due to the fact that 
it was decidedly less anthropomorphic than the statement 
that man was made in the image of the one incomparable 
Deity. — in our image., according to our likeness] The general 
idea of likeness between God and man frequently occurs in 
classical literature, and sometimes the very term of this v. 
(€tKwv, ad imaginem) is employed. To speak of it, there- 
fore, as " the distinctive feature of the Bible doctrine con- 
cerning man " is an exaggeration ; although it is true that 
such expressions on the plane of heathenism import much 
less than in the religion of Israel (Di.). The idea in this 
precise form is in the OT peculiar to P (5^- ^ 9^) ; the con- 
ception, but not the expression, appears in Ps. 8^: later 
biblical examples are Sir. 17^*^-, WS. 22^ (where the ' image ' 
is equivalent to immortality), i Co. ii"^, Col. 3^°, Eph. 4-*, 
Ja. 3^- 

The origin of the conception is probably to be found in the Baby- 
lonian m3'thology. Before proceeding to the creation of Ea-bani, 
Aruru forms a mental image {zikni : see Jen. KIB, vi. i, 401 f.) of 
the God Anu (ib. 120, 1. 33); and similarly, in the Descent of Istar, 

* Comp. Calvin : " Minimam vero tam praeclari operis partem 
Angelis adscribere abominandum sacrilegium est." 

32 CREATION (p) 

Ea forms a zihru in his wise heart before creating Asusunamir {ib. 86. 
1. ii). In both cases the reference is obviously to the bodily form of 
the created being. See, further, KAT^, 506; ATLO\ 167. 

The patristic and other theological developments of the doctrine 
lie beyond the scope of this commentary ; * and it is sufficient to observe 
with regard to them — (i) that the 'image' is not something peculiar to 
man's original state, and lost by the Fall ; because P, who alone uses 
the expression, knows nothing of a Fall, and in 9^ employs the term, 
without any restriction, of post-diluvian mankind. (2) The distinction 
between eUixiv [imago) and opLoLucris [similiiudo) — the former referring to 
the essence of human nature and the latter to its accidents or its en- 
dowments by grace^has an apparent justification in (!5, which inserts 
Kal between the two phrases (see below), and tiever mentions the 
^likeness' after i^s ; so that it was possible to regard the latter as 
something belonging to the divine idea of man, but not actually con- 
ferred at his creation. The Heb. affords no basis for such speculations: 
cf 5^-^ 9®. — (3) The view that the divine image consists in dominion 
over the creatures (Greg. Nyss., Chrysostom, Socinians, etc.) is still 
defended by Ho. ; but it cannot be held without an almost inconceiv- 
able weakening of the figure, and is inconsistent with the sequel, where 
the rule over the creatures is, by a separate benediction, conferred 
on man, already made in the image of God. The truth is that the 
image marks the distinction between man and the animals, and so 
qualifies him for dominion : the latter is the consequence, not the 
essence, of the divine image (cf. Ps. 8"^-, Sir. 17-"*). — (4) Does the 
image refer primarily to the spiritual nature or to the bodily form 
(upright attitude, etc.) of man? The idea of a corporeal resemblance 
seems free from objection on the level of OT theology ; and it is 
certainly strongly suggested by a comparison of 5^ with 5". God is 
expressly said to have a 'form' which can be seen (njiD^, Nu. 12^ 
Ps. 17'^) ; the OT writers constantly attribute to Him bodily parts ; and 
that they ever advanced to the conception of God as formless spirit 
would be difficult to prove. On the other hand, it may well be ques- 
tioned if the idea of a spiritual image was within the compass of Heb. 
thought. Di., while holding that the central idea is man's spiritual 
nature, admits a reference to the bodily form in so far as it is the ex- 
pression and organ of mind, and inseparable from spiritual qualities. f 
It might be truer to say that it denotes primarily the bodily form, but 
includes those spiritual attributes of which the former is the natural 
and self-evident symbol.:;: — Note the striking parallel in Ovid, Met. i. 
76 ff. 

Man (27?) ^s ^^"[^ g-eneric (the human race), not the 

* A good summary is given by Zapletal, Alttestamentliches, 1-15. 

t So Augustine, De Gen. cont. Man. 1. 17: " Ita intelligitur per 
animum maxime, attestante etiam erecta corporis forma, homo factus 
ad imaginem et similitudinem Dei." 

X Cf. Engert, Die Weltschop/ung, 33. 

I. 27-29 33 

proper name of an individual, as 5'. Although the great 
majority of comm. take it for granted that a single pair is 
contemplated, there is nothing in the narrative to bear out 
that view ; and the analogy of the marine and land animals 
is against it on the whole (Tu. and BQn.).—Jish of the sea, 
etc.] The enumeration coincides with the classification of 
animals already given, except that the earth occurs where 
we should expect wild beast of the earth. ri'n should 
undoubtedly be restored to the text on the authority of ^. — 
27. in his image, in the image of God, etc.] The repetition 
imparts a rhythmic movement to the language, which may 
be a faint echo of an old hymn on the glory of man, like 
Ps. 8 (Gu.). — male and female] The persistent idea that 
man as first created was bi-sexual and the sexes separated 
afterwards (mentioned by Ra. as a piece of Haggada, 
and recently revived by Schwally, ARW, ix. 172 ff.), is 
far from the thought of the passage. — 28. A benedic- 
tion is here again the source of fertility, but this time also 
of dominion : Gu. regards this as another fragment of a 

29-31. The record of creation closes with another (tenth) 

27. loSsn] ffi om. The curious paraphrase of S appears to reflect 
the Ebionite tendency of that translator : iv elKdui 8ia(p6pt{j tnOiov 6 deb% 
(KTiffev avrdy (Geiger, Jiid. Ztschr. f. Wiss. u. Leben, i. 40 f.). See, 
however, Nestle, AIM, ^i., who calls attention to the &p6i.ov in ffi of 
1 Sa. 28^*, and considers this word the source of the idea that the upright 
form of man is part of the divine image. But ffi in i Sa. probably 
misread [pi as Ipt. — ink] constructio ad formam: Dnx cotistr. ad sensum, 
DIN being collective : see G-K. § 132^. — n^pji n^i] The phrase confined to 
P except Dt. 4'^ ; '3 alone in Jer. 31" (a gloss?). Although the applica- 
tion to a single pair of individuals predominates in the Law, the coll. 
sense is established by Gn. 7'^, and is to be assumed in some other cases 
(Nu. 5* etc.). On its etymology see Ges. Th., s.v., and (for a different 
view) Schwally, ZATW, xi. i8if. — 28. nrh ncN'i] G \iyu)v ; perhaps 
original. — n-JaDi] The only instance of a verbal suff. in this chapter: a 
strong preference for expression of ace. by riN with suff. is characteristic 
of the style of P (We. Prol.^ 389).— riB-Din] ptcp. with art. = relative cl. : see 
Dav. § 99, R. I. The previous noun is defined by V^, as inv.-^ (.ujl inserts 
the art.).— After D'DB' S> read nonnai (so Ball), ffi has for the end of the 
V. : *cai iravTuiv tCov KTrjvQv Kal irda-qs t^s 7^j Kal irdvrwv \t(2v epveTwv^ rdv 
ipwdvTwy eirl rrjs 77)5. 

29. 'iiru] = 'I give'; Dav. §406; Dri. T. § 13.-^1 (over Athnach)] 


34 CREATION (p) 

divine utterance, which regulates in broad and general terms 
the relation of men and animals to the vegetable world. 
The plants are destined for food to man and beast. The 
passage is not wholly intelligible apart from g^*^-, from 
which we see that its point is the restriction on the use of 
animal food, particularly on the part of man. In other 
words, the first stage of the world's history — that state of 
things which the Creator pronounced very good — is a state 
of peace and harmony in the animal world. This is P's 
substitute for the garden of Eden. 

A distinction is made between the food of man and that 
of animals : to the former (a) seeding plants (probably 
because the seed is important in cultivation, and in cereals 
is the part eaten), and {b) fruit-bearing trees ; to the latter 
all the greenness of herbage , i.e. the succulent leafy parts. 
The statement is not exhaustive : no provision is made for 
fishes, nor is there any mention of the use of such victuals 
as milk, honey, etc. Observe the difference from chs. 2. 
3, where man is made to live on fruit alone, and only as 
part of the curse has herbs (nti^J?) assigned to him. — 31. The 
account closes with the divine verdict of approval, which 

wrongly omitted by (&.. — n'^ax] found only in P and Ezk., and always 
preceded by \. It is strictly fern, inf., and perhaps always retains 
verbal force (see T>r\. JPh. xi. 217). The ordinary cognate words for 
food are "?:(< and "^pxp. — 30. 'ui h^2h^ The construction is obscure. The 
natural interpretation is that ^ expresses a contrast to '^^the one 
specifying the food of man, the other that of animals. To bring out 
this sense clearly it is necessary (with Ew. al.) to insert 'nnj before 
p-i'-'jrnx. The text requires us to treat h'jdn'? .t.t dd'? in ^ as a paren- 
thesis (Di.) and pT-'?mN as still under the regimen of the distant 'nm. — 
i^'Oii] <& epirerff) tQ «?/)7rovri— assimilating. — wsz] here used in its primary 
sense of the soul or animating principle (see later on 2'), with a marked 
difference from vv.^"^-^-*.— ncy pr] so 9^, = N^i! '' Ps. 37^ p-v (verdure) 
alone may include the foliage of trees (Ex. 10^^) ; nib'n '' = 'grass' (Nu. 
22''). The word is rare (6 t.) ; a still rarer form p"v may sometimes be 
confounded with it (Is. 3727 = 2 Ki. 17'-*?). —31. 'BTn Dv] The art. with 
the num. appears here for the first time in the chap. On the construc- 
tion, see Dri. T. % 209 (i), where it is treated as the beginning of a usage 
prevalent in post-biblical Heb., which often in a definite expression uses 
the art. with the adj. alone (.iSnjn nojD, etc.). Cf. G-K. § i267f (with 
footnote) ; Ho. Hex. 465 ; Dri. JP/i. xi. 229 f. 

I- .?o-n- ^ 35 

here covers a survey of all that has been made, and rises to 
the superlative 'very good.' 

Vv.2S'- dififer significantly in their phraseology from the preceding 
sections : thus yii instead of yntn ("•"); j,ii Vt yi) "is i3 iitk pn instead 
of the far more elegant 13 U'l' I'S'k "ib '""^'i' t'i' ! the classification into beasts, 
birds, and reptiles (ct. ^*- ") ; n'n cs: of the inner principle of life instead 
of the living being as in ^'-^ ; 3cy pT instead of nb'i. These linguistic 
differences are sufficient to prove literary discontinuity of some kind. 
They have been pointed out by Kraetschmar (^j^wo^^i'or^/^. 103 f.), who 
adds the doubtful material argument that the prohibition of animal food 
to man nullifies the dominion promised to him in vv.^^- '^^. But his infer- 
ence (partly endorsed by Ho.) that the vv. are a later addition to P 
does not commend itself; they are vitally connected with g-^-, and must 
have formed part of the theory of the Priestly writer. The facts point 
rather to a distinction in the sources with which P worked, — perhaps 
(as Gu. thinks) the enrichment of the creation-story by the independent 
and widespread myth of the Golden Age when animals lived peaceably 
with one another and with men. The motives of this belief lie deep 
in the human heart — horror of bloodshed, sympathy with the lower 
animals, the longing for harmony in the world, and the conviction that 
on the whole the course of things has been from good to worse — all 
have contributed their share, and no scientific teaching can rob the idea 
of its poetic and ethical value. 

II. 1-3. The rest of God. — The section contains but 
one idea, expressed with unusual solemnity and copiousness 
of language, — the institution of the Sabbath. It supplies 
an answer to the question, Why is no work done on the 
last day of the week? (Gu.). The answer lies in the 
fact that God Himself rested on that day from the work 
of creation, and bestowed on it a special blessing and 
sanctity. — The writer's idea of the Sabbath and its sanctity 
is almost too realistic for the modern mind to grasp : it is 
not an institution which exists or ceases with its observance 
by man ; the divine rest is a fact as much as the divine 
working, and so the sanctity of the day is a fact whether 
man secures the benefit or not. There is little trace of the 
idea that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for 
the Sabbath ; it is an ordinance of the kosmos like any 
other part of the creative operations, and is for the good 
of man in precisely the same sense as the whole creation is 
subservient to his welfare. 


I. And all their host] The 'host of heaven' (07^^''"^ N3^) 
is frequently mentioned in the OT, and denotes sometimes 
the heavenly bodies, especially as objects of worship 
(Dt. 4^^ etc.), sometimes the angels considered as an 
org-anised army (i Ki. 22^^ etc.). The expression 'host of 
the earth ' nowhere occurs ; and it is a question whether 
the pi. sufF. here is not to be explained as a dcnominatio a 
potiori (Ho.), or as a species of attraction (Dri.). If it has 
any special meaning as applied to the earth, it would be 
equivalent to what is elsewhere called pxn n?o (Is. 6^ 34^, 
Dt. 33^^ etc.) — the contents of the earth, and is most 
naturally limited to those thing's whose creation has just 
been described.* In any case the verse yields little support 
to the view of Smend and We., that in the name ' Yahwe 
of Hosts ' the word denotes the complex of cosmical forces 
(Smend, AT Rel.-gesch. 201 ff.), or the demons in which 
these forces were personified (We. Kl. Proph. 77). — 2. And 
God finished, etc.] The duplication of v.^ is harsh, and 

I. K3S] Lit. 'host' or 'army'; then 'period of service' (chiefly 
military). Cj K6a,uos and U ornatus look like a confusion with '3V. Used 
of the host of heaven, Dt. 4^^ 17^ Is. 24-1 40^", where H has in the first 
case astra, in the others militia ; fflr Koa/nos in all. — 2. hy^] For the 
alleged neg^ative sense of Piel (see above), examine Nu. 17-*, or (with 
p) I Sa. lo^^ Ex 34=*^ etc. — nDxVo] the word "used regularly of the 
work or business forbidden on the Sabbath (Ex. 2o''' ^^ 35^, Jer. 172^-^* 
al.)"(Dri.); or on holy convocations (Ex. 12'^, Lv. 16"^ 2 3-^'''-, Nu. 29''). 
It has the prevailing sense of regular occupation or business, as Gen. 
39I1, Jon. I*.— ^y^ncii] jjj^(!^% Jub., Ber. N. 'c-cn, given as ffi's read- 
ing in Mechilta (cf. p. 14 above). — nnts^i] The omission of continued 
subj. (d'h'^'n) might strengthen We.'s contention that the clause is a 
gloss (see p. 10 above): it occurs nowhere else in the passage except 
possibly i^. The verb nac' (possibly connected with Ar. sabata = ' cut 
off,' or Ass. sabdlu=' cease,' 'be completed': but see KAT^, 593 f.) 
appears in OT in three quite distinct senses: («) 'cease to be,' 'come 
to an end ' ; (6) ' desist' (from work, etc.) ; (c) ' keep Sabbath ' (denom. ). 
Of the last there are four undoubted cases, all very late : Lv. 25^* 23^^* 
26^"-, 2 Ch. 36^'. But there are five others where this meaning is at 
least possible: Gn. 2--^, Ex. le^** 23'^ 34"^ 31^^; and of these Ex. 23^^ 
34^^ are pre-exilic. Apart from these doubtful passages, the sense 

* Cf. Neh. 9^ "the heavens, the heavens of the heavens, and all 
their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in 

11. 1-3 37 

strongly suggests a composition of sources. — on the seventh 
day] JutCSS read sixth day (so aXso Jubilees, ii. i6, and Jerome, 
QucBst.), which is accepted as the original text by many 
comm. (Ilg. Ols, Bu. al.).* But sixth is so much the easier 
reading that one must hesitate to give it the preference. 
To take the vb. as plup. (Calv. al.) is grammatically impos- 
sible. On We.'s explanation, see above, p. gf. The only 
remaining course is to give a purely negative sense to the 
\h. finish', i.e. 'desisted from,' 'did not continue' (lEz. 
De. Di. Dri. al.). The last view may be accepted, in spite 
of the absence of convincing parallels. — and he rested] The 
idea of nDK* is essentially negative : cessation of work, not 
relaxation (Dri.): see below. Even so, the expression is 
strongly anthropomorphic, and warns us against exaggerat- 
ing P's aversion to such representations.! — 3. blessed . . . 

'desist' {b) is found only in Ho. 7S Jb. 32^ (Qal) ; Ex. 5"*, Jos. 22'">, 
Ezk. \6>*^ 34" (Hiph.) ; of which Ho. 7* (a corrupt context) and Ex. 5', 
alone are possibly pre-exilic. In all other occurrences (about 46 in all ; 
9 Qal, 4 Niph., 33 Hiph.) the sense (a) ' come to an end ' obtains ; and 
this usag-e prevails in all stages of the literature from Am. to Dn. ; the 
pre-exilic examples being Gn. 8^'^, Jos. 5'- (?) (Qal); Is. 17* (Niph.); 
Am. 8S Ho. I* 2^3^ Is. i6'»(?) 30", Dt. "32-8, 2 Ki. 23'>- ", Jer. f* iS* 
36'^ (Hiph.). These statistics seem decisive against Hehn's view (I.e. 
93 ff.) that ns^f" is originally a denom. from n^B". If all the uses are to 
be traced to a single root-idea, there can be no doubt that (i) is primary. 
But while a dependence of (a) on {b) is intelligible (cf. the analogous 
case of ^in), ' desist ' from work, and ' come to an end ' are after all very 
different ideas ; and, looking to the immense preponderance of the latter 
sense (a), especially in the early literature, it is worth considering 
whether the old Heb. vb. did not mean simply 'come to an end,' and 
whether the sense ' desist ' was not imported into it under the influence 
of the denominative use (c) of which Ex. 23^- 34-' might be early 
examples. [A somewhat similar view is now expressed by Meinhold 
{^ZATW, 1909, 100 f.), except that he ignores the distinction between 
'desist' and 'come to an end,' which seems to me important.] — 3. una 
niB'j?'? . . .] The awkward construction is perhaps adopted because una 
could not directly govern the subst. hdx'^d. G has Tjp^aro . . . woiTja-ai. 

* Expressly mentioned as G's reading in Mechilta : see above, p. 14, 
and Geiger, I.e. 439. 

t In another passage of P, Ex. 31", the anthropomorphism is greatly 
intensified : " God rested and refreshed Himself" (lit. ' took breath '). — 
See Jast. {AJTh. ii. 343 ff.), who thinks that God's 'resting' meant 
originally " His purification after His conquest of the forces hostile to 


sanctified^ The day is blessed and sacred in itself and from 
the beginning- ; to say that the remark is made in view of the 
future institution of the Sabbath (Dri.), does not quite bring 
out the sense. Both verbs contain the idea of selection and 
distinction (cf. Sir. 36 [33] '^~^), but they are not synonymous 
(Gu.). A blessing is the effective utterance of a good wish ; 
applied to things, it means their endowment with per- 
manently beneficial qualities (Gn. 27^7, Ex. 2^'^, Dt. 28^^). 
This is the case here : the Sabbath is a constant source of 
well-being to the man who recognises its true nature and 
purpose. To sanctify is to set apart from common things 
to holy uses, or to put in a special relation to God. — "which 
God creatively made] see the footnote. — Although no closing 
formula for the seventh day is given, it is contrary to the 
intention of the passage to think that the rest of God 
means His work of providence as distinct from creation : it 
is plainly a rest of one day that is thought of. It is, of 
course, a still greater absurdity to suppose an interval of 
twenty-four hours between the two modes of divine activity. 
The author did not think in our dogmatic categories at all. 

The origin of the Hebrew Sabbath, and its relation to Babylonian 
usages, raise questions too intricate to be fully discussed here (see Lotz, 
Qucest. de hist. Sabbati [1883] ; Jastrow, AJTh. ii. [1898], 312 ff. ; KAT^, 
592 ff.; Dri. DB, s.v., and Gen. 34; Sta. BTh. § 88, 2). The main 
facts, however, are these : (i) The name Sab[p]atfu occurs some five or 
six times in cuneiform records ; but of these only two are of material 
importance for the Sabbath problem, (a) In a syllabary (H R. 32, 16 a, b) 
labattu is equated with Am nitf} libbi, which has been conclusively shown 
to mean 'day of the appeasement of the heart (of the deity),'- — in the 
first instance, therefore, a day of propitiation or atonement (Jen. ZA, 
iv. 274 ff. ; Jast. I.e. 316 f.). (b) In a tablet discovered by Pinches in 
1904, the name sapattu is applied to the fifteenth day of the month (as 
full-moon-day?) (Pin. PSBA, xxvi. 51 ff. ; Zimmern, ZDMG, Iviii. 199 ff., 
458 ff. ). (2) The only trace of a Babylonian institution at all resembling 
the Heb. Sabbath is the fact that in certain months of the year (Elul, 
Marcheivan, but possibly the rest as well) the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th 
days, and also the 19th (probably as the 7 x7th from the beginning of 
the previous month), had the character of dies nefasti (' \uc\iy day, un- 

the order of the world," and was a survival of the mythological idea of 
the appeasement of Marduk's anger against Ti'Smat. The vb. there 
used is ndliu, the equivalent of Heb. nu, used in Ex. 20''. 

11. 3, 4A 39 

lucky day '), on which certain actions had to be avoided by important 
personages (king, priest, physician) (IV R. 32 f., 33). Now, no evidence 
has ever been produced that these dies nefasii bore the name iabattu ; 
and the likelihood that this was the case is distinctly lessened by the 
Pinches fragment, where the name is applied to the isth day, but not 
to the 7th, although it also is mentioned on the tablet. The question, 
therefore, has assumed a new aspect ; and Meinhold {Sabbath u. Woche 
im AT[i^s\ and ^^^^ recently [1909], ZATW, xxix. 81 ff.), developing 
a hint of Zim., has constructed an ingenious hypothesis on the assump- 
tion that in Bab. iabattu denotes the day of the full moon. He points 
to the close association of new-moon and Sabbath in nearly all the pre- 
exilic references (Am. 8*, Hos. 2^^, Is. i^*, 2 Ki. 422'-); and concludes 
that in early Israel, as in Bab., the Sabbath was the full-moon festival 
and nothing else. The institution of the weekly Sabbath he traces to a 
desire to compensate for the loss of the old lunar festivals, when these 
were abrogated by the Deuteronomic reformation. This innovation he 
attributes to Ezekiel ; but steps towards it are found in the introduction 
of a weekly day of rest during harvest only (on the ground of Dt. 16' ; 
cf. Ex. 34^'), and in the establishment of the sabbatical year (Lv. 25), 
which he considers to be older than the weekly Sabbath. The theory 
involves great improbabilities, and its net result seems to be to leave the 
actual Jewish Sabbath as we know it without any point of contact in 
Bab. institutions. It is hard to suppose that there is no historical con- 
nexion between the Heb. Sabbath and the dies nefasti of the Bab. 
calendar ; and if such a connexion exists, the chief difficulties remain 
where they have long been felt to lie, viz., (a) in the substitution of 
a weekly cycle running continuously through the calendar for a division 
of each month into seven-day periods, probably regulated by the phases 
of the moon ; and (b) in the transformation of a day of superstitious re- 
strictions into a day of joy and rest. Of these changes, it must be 
confessed, no convincing explanation has yet been found. The estab- 
lished sanctity of the number seven, and the decay or suppression of the 
lunar feasts, might be contributory causes ; but when the change took 
place, and whether it was directly due to Babylonian influence, or was 
a parallel development from a lunar observance more primitive than 
either, cannot at present be determined. See Hehn, Siebenzahl u. 
Sabbat, 91 ff., esp. ii4fF. ; cf. Gordon, ETG, 216 ff. 

4a. These are the generations^ etc.\ The best sense that 
can be given to the expression is to refer the pronoun to 

4a. nnSin] only in pi. const, or with suff. ; and confined to P, Ch. 
and Ru. 4^®. Formed from Hiph. of n'?', it means properly ' begettings ' ; 
not, however, as noun of action, but concretely (= 'progeny') ; and this 
is certainly the prevalent sense. The phrase 'n 'k (only P [all in Gn. 
except Nu. 3'], i Ch. 1^, Ru. 4") means primarily "These are the 
descendants " ; but since a list of descendants is a genealogy, it is 
practically the same thing if we render, " This is the genealogical 
register." In the great majority of instances (Gn. [5^] 10^ ii^" ii=" 25" 


what precedes, and render the noun by ' origin ' : * This is 
the origin of,' etc. But it is doubtful if nn^in can bear any 
such meaning-, and altogether the half-verse is in the last 
degree perplexing. It is in all probability a redactional 

The formula (and indeed the whole phraseology) is characteristic of 
P ; and in that document it invariably stands as introduction to the 
section following'. But in this case the next section (2^^-4^) belongs 
to J ; and if we pass over the J passages to the next portion of P (ch. 5), 
the formula would collide with 5', which is evidently the proper heading 
to what follows. Unless, therefore, we adopt the improbable hypothesis 
of Strack, that a part of P's narrative has been dropped, the attempt to 
treat 2** in its present position as a superscription must be abandoned. 
On this ground most critics have embraced a view propounded by Ilgen, 
that the clause stood originally before i^ as the heading of P's account 

36'* ^, I Ch. 1^, Ru. 4^^) this sense is entirely suitable ; the addition of 
a few historical notices is not inconsistent with the idea of a genealogy, 
nor is the general character of these sections affected by it. There are 
just three cases where this meaning is inapplicable : Gn. 6* 25'® 37^ 
But it is noteworthy that, except in the last case, at least a fragment of 
a genealogy follows ; and it is fair to inquire whether 37* may not have 
been originally followed by a genealogy (such as 35^^''"*® or 46^'^^ [see 
Hupfeld, Quellen, 102-109, 213-216]) which was afterwards displaced 
in the course of redaction (see p. 423, below). With that assumption we 
could explain every occurrence of the formula without having recourse to 
the unnatural view that the word may mean a " family history" (G-B. 
s.v.^, or "an account of a man and his descendants "(BDB). The natural 
hypothesis would then be that a series of nn'?in formed one of the sources 
employed by P in compiling his work : the introduction of this genea- 
logical document is preserved in 5' (so Ho.); the recurrent formula 
represents successive sections of it, and 2^* is a redactional imitation. 
When it came to be amalgamated with the narrative material, some 
dislocations took place : hence the curious anomaly that a man's history 
sometimes appears under his own TolMoth, sometimes imder those of 
his father ; and it is difficult otherwise to account for the omission 
of the formula before 12^ or for its insertion in 36*. On the whole, this 
theory seems to explain the facts better than the ordinary view that 
the formula was devised by P to mark the divisions of the principal 
work. — CN'i3'"'3] 'in their creation' or ' when they were created.' If the 
lit. minusc. has critical significance (Tu. Di.) the primary reading was 
inf. Qal (DN'in?) ; and this requires to be supplemented by D'n'?N as subj. 
It is in this form that Di. thinks the clause originally stood at the begin- 
ning of Gen. (see on 1^). But the omission of D'nS.x and the insertion 
of the '"' minusc. are no necessary consequences of the transposition of 
the sentence ; and the small '"■ may be merely an error in the archetypal 
MS, which has been mechanically repeated in all copies. 

II. 4A 41 

of the creation.* But this theory also is open to serious objection. It 
involves a meaning of nnSm which is contrary both to its etymology and 
the usage of P (see footnote). Whatever latitude of meaning be as- 
signed to the word, it is the fact that in this formula it is always followed 
by gen. of the progenitor, never of the progeny : hence by analogy the 
phrase must describe that which is generated by the heavens and the 
earth, not the process by which they themselves are generated (so 
Lagarde, Or. ii. 38 ff., and Ho.). And even if that difficulty could be 
overcome (see Lagarde), generation is a most unsuitable description of 
the process of creation as conceived by P. In short, neither as super- 
scription nor as subscription can the sentence be accounted for as an 
integral part of the Priestly Code. There seems no way out of the 
difficulty but to assume with Ho. that the formula in this place owes 
its origin to a mechanical imitation of the manner of P by a later 
hand. The insertion would be suggested by the observation that the 
formula divides the book of Gen. into definite sections ; while the advan- 
tage of beginning a new section at this point would naturally occur to 
an editor who felt the need of sharply separating the two accounts of 
the creation, and regarded the second as in some way the continuation 
of the first. If that be so, he probably took 'n in the sense of ' history ' 
and referred nVx to what follows. The analogy of 5^ Nu. 3^ would 
suffice to justify the use of the formula before the Qva of *^ — It has 
been thought that ffi has preserved the original form of the text : viz. 
'iji 'n nED ni (cf 5^) ; the redactor having, " before inserting a section from 
the other document, accidentally copied in the opening words of 5^, 
which were afterwards adapted to their present position " (Ben.). That 
is improbable. It is more likely that i& deliberately altered the text to 
correspond with 5^. See Field, Hex., ad loc. ; Nestle, MM, 4. 

Babylonian and other Cosmogonies. 

1. The outlines of Bab. cosmogony have long been known from two 
brief notices in Greek writers : (i) an extract from Berossus (3rd cent. 
B.C.) made by Alexander Polyhistor, and preserved by Syncellus from 
the lost Chronicle of Eusebius (lib. i.); and (2) a passage from the 
Neo-Platonic writer Damascius (6th cent. A.D.). From these it was 
apparent that the biblical account of creation is in its main conceptions 
Babylonian. The interest of the fragments has been partly enhanced, 
but partly superseded, since the discovery of the closely parallel ' Chal- 
daean Genesis,' unearthed from the debris of Asshurbanipal's library at 
Nineveh by George Smith in 1873. It is therefore unnecessary to 
examine them in detail ; but since the originals are not very accessible 
to English readers, they are here reprinted in full (with emendations 
after KA T\ 488 ff. ) : 

(i) Berossus: Tev^(r6ai 4>r)al xp^fO" iv <^ t6 irav aKdros Kal iiSwp elvai, 
Kal iv TovToii ^Cia. reparwdT], Kal Idiocpvels [em. Richt., cod. eiSi^uers] rdy 
Idias ^x""^"' ^uoyoveladar avOpb^irovs yap diirr^povi yevvrjd^vai, iviovs 5^ 

* On Dillmann's modification of this theory, see above on i'. 


Kal TeTpairrdpov! Kal Siirpocrwwovs' Kal crdifia fi^v ^x""^*' ^"j xetpaXai S^ Svo, 
avdpeiav re Kal yvvaiKelap, Kal aldota d^ [corn v. Gutschm., cod. re] Stcrcd, 
d^pev Kal 6tj\v Kal erepovs dvdpwTrovs toi>s ^^i* at7u;j' aK^Xr] Kal K^para ^X""- 
ras, ro()s 6e 'iirirov 7r65aj [corr. v. Gutschm,, cod. iiriroiroSas], toi>s 5^ to, 
diriffo} /xh ixiprj iirwwv, to. d^ ^fnrpoadev dvdpibirwv, oOs [tbs ? v. Gutschm.] 
IviroKevTavpovs rrjv IMav elvai. Zuoyourjdrji'ai dk Kal ravpovs dvdpilnrwv 
Kf(f)a\as ^x'^"'''''-^ '''''' '^''''tts TeTpacrufidrovs, ovpds Ix^vos iK rQiv dirKTdep fiepQi' 
^XOi'Ttts, Kal 'iirwovs Kvi'OK€(pd\ovs Kal dvdpuirovs, Kal 'irepa fwa K€<f>d\cis fih 
Kal awfiara 'iTnrujv ^x'"''''^) ovpa% hk IxOvoiV Kal dXXa 5^ fiDa iravTodair&f 
dripiw pLop(pas ^x'>''^°- Hpds 5^ to^toi^ IxOvas Kal epirerk Kal 6</>fis Kal dXXa 
fuja irXeiova dan/xaaTo. Kal Trap-qWay/xiva^ [em. v. Gutschm., cod. irapijWay- 
/x^i>a] rdj 6rp€Li dXX^Xwv ^x'"'''* ' '^'' '<''■'■ '''^■^ (iKdvai iv t<^ toO B17X01; vai^ 
dvaKelcrOaL, Sipxn-v 5k tovtuv wdvrwv yvvaiKa fi 6voaa '0/nopKa [corr, Scaliger, 
cod. 'OfJ-opwKa] dvai' tovto 5k XaXSaiarl fikv Qafire [corr. W. R. Smith, 
^A, vi. 339, cod. QaXard], 'EXXtjvkttI 5k ixedepfn^veieTai. ddXacrcra Kard 5k 
Iffbipiqcpov creX-nvT]. OOrojs 5^ tQv dXojv crwecrTijKdTOiv, iiraveXdiivTa, BtjXo;/ 
crxlco-i- 'TW yvvaiKa fi^cr-qv, Kal rb fikv rjfiicv avrijs TroiTJffai yijv, rb 5i dXXo 
ijfiKTv ovpavbv, Kal ra iv [^avv? v. Gutschm.] avT-^ ftDa d<t>avlaai, dXXrjyopLKWs 
5i (j)7)(n TOVTO ire(pvffLoXoyTJ<76ai ' vypou yap dvros tov TravTbs Kal ^ibwv iv avTip 
yeyevvrjfieviov [A]* Toiu>v8e [em. v. Gutschm., cod. rbv 5k] BtjXov, 8v Aia 
fj.edepixr)V€Vovai, /nicrov Tefxovra Tb ckStos xw/aicrai 7^1/ Kal ovpavbv dir' dXX-fjXwv, 
Kal Siard^ai Tbv KbafMov. Td 5^ fwa ovk iveyKbvTa tt]v tov (pwTbs Svvaixiv ipdap- 
Tjvai, i56vTa 5k Tbv BijXov X'^P^^ iprj/mov Kal dKapwocpdpov [em. Gunkel, cod. 
Kapiro<p6pov] KeXevffai kvl twv deQv ttjv Ke<paXT]v d<peX6vTi kavrov ti^ diro^pvivTi 
a'lfiaTi (pvpdcrai ttjv yrjv Kal SiaTrXdcrai dvdpibirovs Kal Oripla rd Swd/xeva rbv 
d^pa (pkpeiv. 'ATToreXiaai 5k Tbv BrfKov Kal darpa Kal ijXiov Kal afX-qv-qv Kal 
Tovi TrivTf TrXavrjTas. TaOrd, (p7)<TLv 6 ttoXi'iotw/) 'AXi^av5poi Tbv Brjpucrcrbv iv 
Trj irpuiTTi <pd(TKeiv [B] * tovtov Tbv debv d(l>eXe'iv ttjv kavTOv Ke4>aXT]v Kal Tb 
pvkv alfj.a Tovs HXXovs deods (pvpaffai Ty yy, Kal 5MxXd<rai Toiis dvOpuinovs' 
5ib voepotjs Te elvai Kal (ppovrjcreoos deias /ier^xetj'. 

(2) Damascius : Twi' 5k ^ap^dpuv io'iKaffi Ba^vXuvioi fikv ttjv ulav tQiv 
8Xci}v dpXT)^ ""'7^ Trapiivai, Svo 5k iroieTv Tai'^e Kal'Aira<Tuv, Tbv fikv ' Awacruv 
&v5pa TTJs Tavde iroiouvTes, TavTrjv 5k fxr]Tipa deiov dvofid^ovT£$, i^ wv /xovoyevrj 
irai5a yevvrjdTJvaL Tbv Mujvfiiv, avTov ol/xaL Tbv voijTbv KOfffMOv iK tQv bvolv 
dpxi^v irapaybfievov. 'Ek 5k tQv avTCiv dXX-qv 7f)'edi' irpoeXOeiv, Aax'?'' [cod. 
Aax'?''] /cat Aaxot* [cod. Aaxoi']. Elra aH Tpiryjv iK tuiv avTQv, Kiaaaprj Kal 
'A(j(Twpov, i^ &v yevkadaL Tpeh, 'Avov Kal 'IXXivov Kal ' Aov tov 5k 'Aov Kal 
AavKr/s vibv yevkcrdai rbv BrfXov, 5v Srjixiovpybv elvai ^acrtcf 

* The sections commencing with [A] and [B] stand in the reverse 
order in the text. The transposition is due to von Gutschmid, and 
seems quite necessary to bring- out any connected meaning, though 
there may remain a suspicion that the two accounts of the creation of 
man are variants, and that the second is interpolated. Je. ATLO^, 134, 
plausibly assigns the section from dXXrjyopiKws to <p6aprjvai. to another 
recension (restoring [B] to its place in the text). 

t The Greek text of Berossus will be found in Miiller, Fragm. Hist. 
GrcEC. ii. 497 f. ; that of Damascius in Damascii philos. de prim, princ. 
(ed. Kopp, 1826), cap. 125. For translations of both fragments, see 



2. The only cuneiform document which admits of close and con- 
tinuous comparison with Gn. i is the great Creation Epos just referred 
to. Since the publication, in 1876, of the first fragments, many lacunae 
have been filled up from subsequent discoveries, and several duplicates 
have been brought to light ; and the series is seen to have consisted of 
seven Tablets, entitled, from the opening phrase, Enurna elis (='When 
above').* The actual tablets discovered are not of earlier date than 
the 7th cent. B.C., but there are strong reasons to believe that the 
originals of which these are copies are of much greater antiquity, and 
may go back to 2000 B.C., while the myth itself probably existed in 
writing in other forms centuries before that. Moreover, they represent 
the theory of creation on which the statements of Berossus and 
Damascius are based, and they have every claim to be regarded as the 
authorised version of the Babylonian cosmogony. It is here, therefore, 
if anywhere, that we must look for traces of Babylonian influences on 
the Hebrew conception of the origin of the world. The following out- 
line of the contents of the tablets is based on King's analysis of the 
epic into five originally distinct parts (C7\ p. Ixvii). 

i. The Theogony. — The first twenty-one lines of Tab, I. contain a 
description of the primaeval chaos and the evolution of successive 
generations of deities : 

When in the height heaven was not named, 
And the earth beneath did not bear a name. 
And the primaeval Apsu,^ who begat them, 
And chaos, Ti'amat,^ the mother of them both, — 
Their waters were mingled together. 

Then were created the gods in the midst of (heaven), etc. 

First Lahmu and Lahamu,^ then Ansar and Kisar,* and lastly (as we 
learn from Damascius, whose report is in accord with this part of the 
tablet, and may safely be used to make up a slight defect) the supreme 
triad of the Bab. pantheon, Anu, Bel, and Ea.* 

' Damascius, 'Airairwi'. ^ Dam. Tavde, Ber. Qafire (em., see above). 
^ Dam. Aax^? and Aaxoj (em.). *'kcrffupos and Kicraapri. ^'Avos, 

'IWiyos (In-lil = BeI), and 'Aoj. 

/fTAT^, 488 ff. ; G. Smith, Chaldean Genesis (ed. Sayce), pp. 34 ff., 43 f. 
(from Cory, Ancient Fragments) ; Gu. Schopf. 17 ff. ; Nikel, Gen. v. 
Keilschr. 24 f., 28. 

* The best collection and translation of the relevant texts in English 
is given in L. W. King's Seveti Tablets of Creation, vol. i. (1902); with 
which should be compared Jen. My then und Epen, in KIB, vi. i (1900), 
and now (1909) Gressmann, Altorient. Texte und Bilder z. AT., i. 4ff. 
See also Jen. Kosmologie {i8go), 268-301 ; Gu. Schopf. (1894)401-420, and 
the summaries in KAT^, 492 ff. ; Lukas, Grundbegriffe in d. Kosm. d. 
alt. Volker (1893), 2 ff . ; Jast. Rel. of Bab. and Ass. (1898) 410 ff. ; Jer. 
ATLG^, 132 ff. ; EB, art. Creation. 


ii. The Subjtigation of Apsu hy Ea. — ^The powers of chaos, Apsu, 
Tiamat, and a third being called Mummu (Dam. Mwhaws), take counsel 
together to ' destroy the way ' of the heavenly deities. An illegible 
portion of Tab. I. must have told how Apsu and Mummu were vanquished 
by Ea, leaving Tiamat still unsubdued. In the latter part of the tablet 
the female monster is again incited to rebellion by a god called Kingu, 
whom she chooses as her consort, laying on his breast the ' Tables of 
Destiny ' which the heavenly gods seek to recover. She draws to her 
side many of the old gods, and brings forth eleven kinds of monstrous 
beings to aid her in the fight. 

iii. The conflict between Marduk and Tiamat.— Tabs. II. and III. are 
occupied with the consultations of the gods in view of this new peril, 
resulting in the choice of Marduk as their champion ; and Tab. IV. 
gives a graphic description of the conflict that ensues. On the approach 
of the sun-god, mounted on his chariot and formidably armed, attended 
by a host of winds, Tiamat's helpers flee in terror, and she alone con- 
fronts the angry deity. Marduk entangles her in his net, sends a 
hurricane into her distended jaws, and finally despatches her by an 
arrow shot into her body. 

iv. The account of creation commences near the end of Tab. IV. 
After subduing the helpers of Tiamat and taking the Tables of Destiny 
from Kingu, Marduk surveys the carcase, and 'devised a cunning 
plan ' : 

He split her up like a flat fish into two halves ; 

One half of her he stablished as a covering for the heaven. 

He fixed a bolt, he stationed a watchman, 

And bade them not to let her waters come forth. 

He passed through the heavens, he surveyed the regions (thereof), 

And over against the Deep he set the dwelling of Nudimmud.^ 

And the lord measured the structure of the Deep 

And he founded E-§ara, a mansion like unto it. 

The mansion E-§ara which he created as heaven, 

He caused Anu, Bel, and Ea in their districts to inhabit. 

Berossus says, what is no doubt implied here, that of the other half of 
Tiamat he made the earth ; but whether this is meant by the founding 
of E-sara, or is to be looked for in a lost part of Tab. V., is a point in 
dispute (see Jen. Kosm. 185 ff"., 195 ff. ; and KIB, vi. i, 344 f.). Tab. 
V. opens with the creation of the heavenly bodies : 

He made the stations for the great gods ; 

The stars, their images, as the stars of the Zodiac, he fixed. 

He ordained the year and into sections he divided it ; 

For the twelve months he fixed three stars. 

The Moon-god he caused to shine forth, the night he entrusted to 

He appointed him, a being of the night, to determine the days ; 



Every month without ceasing- with the crown he covered (?) him, 

"At the beginning of the month, when thou shinest upon the land, 
Thou commandest the horns to determine six days, 
And on the seventh day," etc. etc. 

The rest of Tab. V., where leg^ible, contains nothing bearing on the 
present subject ; but in Tab. VI. we come to the creation of man, which 
is recorded in a form corresponding to the account of Berossus : 

When Marduk heard the word of the gods, 

His heart prompted him, and he devised (a cunning plan). 

He opened his mouth and unto Ea (he spake), 

(That which) he had conceived in his heart he imparted (unto 

him) : 
" My blood will I take and bone will I (fashion), 
I will make man, that man may ...(...) 
I will create man, who shall inhabit (the earth). 
That the service of the gods may be established," etc. etc. 

At the end of the tablet the gods assemble to sing the praises of 
Marduk ; and the last tablet is filled with a 

v. Hymn in honour of Marduk. — From this we learn that to Marduk 
was ascribed the creation of vegetation and of the ' firm earth,' as well 
as those works which are described in the legible portions of Tabs. 
IV. -VI. 

How far, now, does this conception of creation correspond with the 
cosmogony of Gn. i ? (i) In both we find the general notion of a watery 
chaos, and an etymological equivalence in the names {Tiamat, T^hom) 
by which it is called. It is true that the Bab. chaos is the subject of a 
double personification, Apsu representing the male, and Tiamat the 
female principle by whose union the gods are generated. Accord- 
ing to Jen. (KlBy 559 f), Apsu is the fresh, life-giving water which 
descends from heaven in the rain, while Tiamat is the 'stinking,' 
salt water of the ocean : in the beginning these were mingled (Tab. 
I. 5), and by the mixture the gods were produced. But in the sub- 
sequent narrative the role of Apsu is insignificant ; and in the central 
episode, the conflict with Marduk, Tiamat alone represents the power 
of chaos, as in Heb. T^hnm. — (2) In Enuma elis the description of 
chaos is followed by a theogony, of which there is no trace in Gen. 
The Bab. theory is essentially monistic, the gods being conceived as 
emanating from a material chaos. Lukas, indeed {I.e. 14 ff., 24fF.), 
has tried to show that they are represented as proceeding from a 
supreme spiritual principle, Anu. But while an independent origin of 
deity may be consistent with the opening lines of Tab. I., it is in direct 
opposition to the statement of Damascius, and is irreconcilable with 
the later parts of the series, where the gods are repeatedly spoken 
of as children of Apsu and Tiamat. The biblical conception, on the 
contrary, is probably dualistic (above, pp. 7, 15), and at all events 
the supremacy of the spiritual principle {Elohim) is absolute. That a 


theogony must have originally stood between vv.^ and ' of Gn. i (Gu.) 
is more than can be safely affirmed. Gu. thinks it is the necessary 
sequel to the idea of the world-egg in the end of v.^ But he himself 
regards that idea as foreign to the main narrative ; and if in the 
original source something must have come out of the egg, it is more 
likely to have been the world itself (as in the Phoenician and Indian 
cosmogonies) than a series of divine emanations. — (3) Both accounts 
assume, but in very different ways, the existence of light before the 
creation of the hoavenh' bodies. In the Bab. legend the assumption 
is disguised by the imagery of the myth : the fact that Marduk, the 
god of light, is himself the demiurge, explains the omission of light 
from the category of created things. In the biblical account that 
motive no longer operates, and accordingly light takes its place as the 
first creation of the Almighty. — (4) A very important parallel is the 
conception of heaven as formed by a separation of the waters of 
the primaeval chaos. In Enuma elis the septum is formed from the 
body of Tiamat ; in Gen. it is simply a rakt'a — a solid structure 
fashioned for the purpose. But the common idea is one that could 
hardly have been suggested except by the climatic conditions under 
which the Bab. myth is thought to have originated. Jen. has shown, 
to the satisfaction of a great many writers, how the imagery of the 
Bab. myth can be explained from the changes that pass over the face 
of nature in the lower Euphrates valley about the time of the vernal 
equinox (see Kosm. 307 ff. ; cf. Gu. Schupf. 24 ff. ; Gordon). Chaos is 
an idealisation of the Babylonian winter, when the heavy rains and 
the overflow of the rivers have made the vast plain like a sea, when 
thick mists obscure the light, and the distinction between heaven and 
sea seems to be effaced, Marduk represents the spring sun, whose 
rays pierce the darkness and divide the waters, sending them partly 
upwards as clouds, and partly downwards to the sea, so that the dry 
land appears. The 'hurricane,' which plays so important a part in 
the destruction of the chaos-monster, is the spring winds that roll 
away the dense masses of vapour from the surface of the earth. If 
this be the natural basis of the myth of Marduk and Tiamat, it is 
evident that it must have originated in a marshy alluvial region, subject 
to annual inundations, like the Euphrates valley. — (5) There is, again, 
a close correspondence between the accounts of the creation of the 
heavenly bodies (see p. 21 f.). The Babylonian is much fuller, and more 
saturated with mythology : it mentions not only the moon but the signs 
of the Zodiac, the planet Jupiter, and the stars. But in the idea that 
the function of the luminaries is to regulate time, and in the destination 
of the moon to rule the night, we must recognise a striking resemblance 
between the two cosmogonies. — (6) The last definite point of contact 
is the creation of man (p. 30 f.). Here, however, the resemblance is 
slight, though the deliberative ist pers. pi. in Gn. i** is probably a 
reminiscence of a dialogue like that between Marduk and Ea in the 
Enuma elis narrative. — (7) With regard to the order of the works, it 
is evident that there cannot have been complete parallelism between 
the two accounts. In the tablets the creation of heaven is followed 


naturally by that of the stars. The arrangement of the remaining: 
works, which must have been mentioned in lost parts of Tabs. V. and 
VI., is, of course, uncertain ; but the statement of Berossus suggests 
that the creation of land animals followed instead of preceding that of 
man. At the same time it is very significant that the separate works 
themselves, apart from their order : Firmament, Luminaries, Earth, 
Plants, Animals, Men, — are practically identical in the two documents : 
there is even a fragment (possibly belonging to the series) which alludes 
to the creation of marine animals as a distinct class (King, CT, lix, 
Ixxxvi). Gordon {Early Traditions of Ge«.) holds that the differences 
of arrangement can be reduced to the single transposition of heavenly 
bodies and plants (see his table, p. 51). 

In view of these parallels, it seems impossible to doubt that the 
cosmogony of Gn. i rests on a conception of the process of creation 
fundamentally identical with that of the Enuma elii tablets. 

3. There is, however, another recension of the Babylonian creation 
story from which the fight of the sun-god with chaos is absent, and 
which for that reason possesses a certain importance for our present 
purpose. It occurs as the introduction to a bilingual magical text, first 
published by Pinches in 1891.* Once upon a time, it tells us, there were 
no temples for the gods, no plants, no houses or cities, no human 
inhabitants : 

The Deep had not been created, Eridu had not been built ; 

Of the holy house, the house of the gods, the habitation had not been 

All lands were sea {tatntu). 

Then arose a ' movement in the sea ' ; the most ancient shrines and 
cities of Babylonia were made, and divine beings created to inhabit 
them. Then 

Marduk laid a reed + on the face of the waters ; 

He formed dust and poured it out beside the reed, 

That he might cause the gods to dwell in the habitation of their 

heart's desire. 
He formed mankind ; the goddess Aruru together with him created 

the seed of mankind. 

Next he formed beasts, the rivers, grasses, various kinds of animals, etc.; 
then, having 'laid in a dam by the side of the sea," he made reeds and 
trees, houses and cities, and the great Babylonian sanctuaries. The 
whole description is extremely obscure, and the translations vary widely. 

*JRAS, 1891, 393 ff.; translated in King, CT, 131 ff.; KIB, 39 ff.; 
ATLO^, i29ff. ; Texie u. Bilder, i. 27 f.; Sayce, Early Israel, 336!". 
Cf. the summary in KAT^, 498. 

t So King ; but Je. ' a reed-hurdle ' {Rohrgejlecht) ; while Jen. 
renders : ' Marduk placed a canopy in front of the waters, He created 
earth and heaped it up against the canopy ' — a reference to the 
firmament (so KA 7'*). 


The main interest of the fragment lies in its non-legendary, matter-of- 
fact representation of the primzeval condition of things, and of the 
process of world-building. Of special correspondences with Gn. i there 
are perhaps but two : (a) the impersonal conception of chaos implied 
in the appellative sense of tdmtu ( T^hdm) for the sea ; (b) the comparison 
of the firmament to a canopy, if that be the right interpretation of the 
phrase. In the order of the creation of living beings it resembles more 
the account in Gn. 2 ; but from that account it is sharply distinguished 
by its assumption of a watery chaos in contrast to the arid waste of 
Gn. 2'. It is therefore inadmissible to regard this text as a more illumi- 
nating parallel to Gn. i than the Enuma elil tablets. The most that can 
be said is that it suggests the possibility that in Babylonia there may 
have existed recensions of the creation story in which the mythical 
motive of a conflict between the creator and the chaos-monster played 
no part, and that the biblical narrative goes back directly to one of 
these. But when we consider that the Tiamat myth appears in both the 
Greek accounts of Babylonian cosmogony, that echoes of it are found in 
other ancient cosmogonies, and that in these cases its imagery is 
modified in accordance with the religious ideas of the various races, the 
greater probability is that the cosmogony of Gn. i is directly derived 
from it, and that the elimination of its mythical and polytheistic elements 
is due to the influence of the pure ethical monotheism of the OT. — 
Gu. in his Schopfung und Chaos was the first to call attention to 
possible survivals of the creation myth in Hebrew poetry. We find 
allusions to a conflict between Yahwe and a monster personified under 
various names (Rahab, the Dragon, Leviathan, etc. — but never T^hom); 
and no explanation of them is so natural as that which traces them to 
the idea of a struggle between Yahwe and the power of chaos, preceding 
(as in the Babylonian myth) the creation of the world. The passages, 
however, are late ; and we cannot be sure that they do not express a 
literary interest in foreign mythology rather than a survival of a native 
Hebrew myth.* 

4. The Phoenician cosmogony, of which the three extant recensions 
are given below,t hardly presents any instructive points of comparison 

•The chief texts are Is. si^'-, Ps. Sg^o^-, Jb. 2612'- (Rahab); Ps. 
T^^'^^-, Is. 27I (Leviathan) ; Jb. 7I- (the Dragon), etc. See the discussion 
in Schfipf. 30-111 ; and the criticisms of Che. EB, i. 950 f, and Nikel, 
pp. 90-99. 

t Eus. PrcBp. Evang. i. 10 (ed. Heinichen, p. 37 ff.; cf Orelli, Sanch. 
Berytii Fragm. [1826]), gives the following account of the cosmogony 
of Sanchuniathon (a Phoenician writer of unknown date, and even of 
uncertain historicity) taken from Philo Byblius : 

"TV tCov bXwv dpxh" vTroTiderai aipa. ^o<p<l35r) Kal irvevfiardiSt], ij ttvot^v 
dipoi i'o<pd}Sovs, Kal X'^°^ 66\epbv, ipe^u>8ei. TaCra di ehai direipa, /cat 5t4 
iroXvi' aluiva fXT) ^x^'-" t'^P^^- "Ore 54, (p-qaLV. Tjpda-d-rjTb irvfO/xarCov Idliiiv dpx^f, 
Kal ^yivero air/Kpaaii, i] irXoKri iKeiv-q iK\r)Ori Ili^oj. Avtt) 8^ dpxv KTiaeL:! 
dirdvTbiV avrb di ovk (yivwcTKe ttjv avToO ktI<tiv, Kal iK t^s avrov crvfj.7r\oKrjs 
ToO TTVivixaros, iy^vero Mtir. Tovt6 Tivis (paaiv IXvv, ol 8i, vdardidovs /j-i^eui 


with Gn. I. It contains, however, in each of its recensions, the idea of 
the world-egfg — a very widespread cosmological speculation to which 
no Babylonian analogies have been found, but which is supposed to 
underlie the last clause of Gn. i''. In Sanchuniathon, the union of 
'gloomy, breath-like Air' with 'turbid dark Chaos' produces a miry 
watery mixture called Mwr, in which all things originate, and first of all 
certain living beings named ' watchers of heaven ' (dv'JV' "S'^)- These 
appear to be the constellations, and it is said that they are ' shaped Hie 
the form of an egg,' i.e., probably, are arranged in the sky in that form. 
In Eudemos, the first principles are Xpdi'oj, li6dos, and 'Ofiix^v : the two 
latter give birth to 'A-qp and APpa, and from the union of these again 

aij^l/iv. Kai iK ravTrjs iyivero iracra airopa Krlaew^, Kal yiveais tCov SKuv. ^Hv 
54 Tiva fuJa ovk Ixo"^"- o-^cOv^i-") ^1 <^'' ey^vero j'uia voepa, Kal eKXr/dT] ZwcpaffTifilu 
[Zo}<pri(Tafjii/ji] toOt' ^(Ttiv ovpavou KarSirTai. Kal dveirXdcrdr] ofioLcos [ + d)ov, see 
Or.] o-x^Mtt'Tf Kal i^iXa/xtf/e Mwr f)Xt6s re Kal <Te\rivTj, daripei re Kal Siarpa 
/xe7dXa" . . . "Kai tov dipos dtavxdcravTos, 8ia irvpw(n.v Kal ttjs daXdaarji Kal 
TTJi yTJi iyiveTO irt'ev/xara, Kal vecprj, Kal oiipavLwv vSaruv fiiyiffrai Karacpopai 
Kal X'^<''^'S' Kai 4irei5r] SieKpidrj, Kal tov idiov tSttov 5iex^pi-<T6ri 5id Tr)v tov 
rfKiov TTi/pwcru', Kal irdvTa avvrji'T7]a-e trdXLv iv dipi Tdde Tolade, Kal avvippa^av • 
^povral re d-rreTeX^adrjaav Kal darpairal, Kal irphi t6v irdTayov tQv jipovTwv 
TO. irpoyeypap.p.iva voepa fwa iypriyhpri<xev Kal irpbs Tbu fjxov iirrvprj, Kal 
iKivfjdt) iv T€ yy Kal da\d<ra-ri dp'pev Kal drjXv." . . . 'Efijs tovtois 6v6fxaTa 
tCiv dvifiuv eiirdiv, Ndroi; Kal Bopeov, Kal tuip Xoiiruiv, ^TriX^yei' "'AW oiirolye 
irpCiTOi d(piepu}ffav to, tjjs yrjs fiXaffTTj/xaTa, Kal deovs iv6p.i<rav, Kal irpodeKvvovv 
TavTa, d<j)' Siv airrol re dieylvovTO, Kal ol eir6/x€i>oi, Kal oi irp6 avrwv Trdcres, Kai 
Xods Kal iiridvceis iirolovv." Kai imXiyei' " ACrat 5' ^aav al iwlvoiai ttjj 
irpo<JKVvf)ffewi, 8/xoiai, ttJ avTwv dedeveiq., Kal ^vxv^ droXyui^. Eird (f>r](n 
yeyevrjadai. 4k tov KoXirla dv4/j.ov, Kal yvvaiKbs aiiToD Bdau, tovto 84 vvKTa 
epfiTjvetjeLv, AiQua Kal llpuiTiyovov Ovqrots &vSpas, ovtu KaXovfi4vovs." . . . 
[the sequel on p. 124 below]. 

The other versions are from Eudemos (a pupil of Aristotle) and a 
native writer Mochos : they are preserved in the following passage of 
Damascius (cap. 125; ed. Kopp, p. 385): 

^iSwvioi 84 Kara Tbv avTbv <Tvyypa(p4a {i.e. Eudemos) nrpb irdvTwv Xpdvov 
vworLdevTai Kal llbdov Kal 'OixixX-qv. Ilbdov 84 Kal '0/j.lxXr]s fjLiy4vT(ov wj Suoti' 
dpx^^v 'A4pa yev4<T0ai koI ACpav, A4pa fi4v &KpaTOv tov votjtov ■irapa8r)XovvT€S, 
Avpav 84 rb 4^ aiiTov KiPOVfj-evov tov votitov ^uTLKbv TrporvirufM. lldXii' 84 
4k tovtuv d/x(f>oTv Sitov [rd. wbv] yevvrid-qvai /card Tbv vovv 6lp.ai Tbv votjt6v. 
'fly 5^ 4^w6(v Evbrj/jLOV Tr)v ^oivUtjiv evplcTKO/xev Kara McDxoy /xvdoXoylav, Aldr^p 
J)V rb irp^Tov Kal 'Atjp al 8vo aCrai dpxo-i; 4^ wv yevvdrai OvXio/xbs, 6 voijTbi 
debi, airrb olfiai r6 8.Kpov tcv votitov' 4^ ov 4avTip crvveXdbvTOi yevvijO^val <p7ja-i 
Xovffwpbv, dvoiy4a wpwrov, eira uibv tovtov fj.4v oTfxai Tbv vor]Tbv vovv X4yovTes, 
Tbv 84 d;'0i7^a 'Kovcrupbv, tt]v voijTriv bt/va/niv arc irpwT-qv 8iaKpLvaaav ttjv 
d8tdKpiTov (pva-iv, el ht) Upa fieTO. rdj 860 dpxds Tb fj.4v &Kpov 4<ttIv dve/xoi 6 
eh, Tb 84 p.4<Tov 01 8vo dvefioi A(^ re Kai N(5ros' iroiovfft yap ttojj Kal tovtovs 
wpb TOV OvXufMov' 6 84 OvXu/xbi avTbs 6 vorirbs eir) vovs, 6 5^ dvoiyevs, Xov<rwpbt, 
il /xerd r6 votjTbv irpwrr) Td|is, r6 5^ wbv 6 ovpavor X4yeTaiydp 4^ airrov ^ay^vros 
(li 81JO, yev4adai ovpavbi koI yrj, tQiv 8txoTO/x7ifj.dTuv eKdTepov. 


proceeds 'an egg:^ More striking- is the expression of the idea in 
Mochos. Here the union of Aldrip and 'Arjp produces OiiXw/xos (dVij;), from 
which proceed Xovawpos, 'the first opener,' and then 'an egg.' It is 
afterwards explained that the egg is the heaven, and that when it is split 
in two (? by Xovcrupos) the one half forms the heaven and the other the 
earth. It may introduce consistency into these representations if we 
suppose that in the process of evolution the primeval chaos (which is 
coextensive with the future heaven and earth) assumes the shape of an 
egg, and that this is afterwards divided into two parts, corresponding 
to the heaven and the earth. The function of Xovffcopos is thus analogous 
to the act of Marduk in cleaving the body of Tiamat in two. But 
obviously all this throws remarkably little light on Gn. i^. — Another 
supposed point of contact is the resemblance between the name Baau 
and the Heb. inii. In Sanchuniathon Baau is explained as night, and 
is said to be the wife of the Kolpia-wind, and mother of Aluv and 
Upurdyovos, the first pair of mortals. It is evident that there is much 
confusion in this part of the extract ; and it is not unreasonably con- 
jectured that Alu)i> and UpuTdyovo^ were really the first pair of emanations, 
and Kolpia and Baau the chaotic principles from which they spring ; 
so that they may be the cosmological equivalents of Tohfi and BohQ 
in Gn. There is a strong probability that the name Baau is connected 
with Bau, a Babylonian mother-goddess (see ATLO'^, i6i); but the 
evidence is too slight to enable us to say that specifically Phoenician 
influences are traceable in Gn. i^ 

5. A division of creation into six stages, in an order similar to that of 
Gn. I, appears in the late book of the Bundehesh (the Parsee Genesis), 
where the periods are connected with the six annual festivals called 
Gahanbars, so as to form a creative year, parallel to the week of Gn. i. 
The order is : i. Heaven ; 2. W^ater ; 3. Earth ; 4. Plants ; 5. Animals ; 
6. Men. We miss from the enumeration : Light, which in Zoroastrian- 
ism is an uncreated element ; and the Heavenly bodies, which are said 
to belong to an earlier creation (Tiele, Gesch. d. Rel. im Altert. ii. 296). 
The late date of the Bundehesh leaves room, of course, for the suspicion 
of biblical influence ; but it is thought by some that the same order can 
be traced in a passage of the younger Avesta, and that it may belong 
to ancient Iranian tradition (Tiele, I.e., and ARW, vi. 244 ff. ; Caland, 
ThT, xxiii, 179 ff".).— The most remarkable of all known parallels to the 
six days' scheme of Gn. is found in a cosmogony attributed to the 
ancient Etruscans by Suidas {Lexicon, s.v. Tvpp-nvla). Here the creation 
is said to have been accomplished in six periods of 1000 years, in the 
following order : i. Heaven and Earth ; 2. the Firmament; 3. Sea and 
Water ; 4. Sun and Moon ; 5. Souls of Animals ; 6. Man (see K. O. Muller, 
Die Etrusker, ii. 38; ATLO"-, 154 f). Suidas, however, lived not earlier 
than the loth cent. A.D., and though his information may have been 
derived from ancient sources, we cannot be sure that his account is not 
coloured by knowledge of the Hebrew cosmogony. 

II. 4B-nL 24 

II. 4b -III. 24.-7'-^^ Creation and Fall of Man (J). 

The passage forms a complete and closely articulated 
narrative,* of which the leading motive is man's loss of his 
original innocence and happiness through eating forbidden 
fruit, and his consequent expulsion from the garden of Eden. 
The account of creation in 2*^^- had primarily, perhaps, an 
independent interest ; yet it contains little that is not 
directly subservient to the main theme developed in ch. 3. 
It is scarcely to be called a cosmogony, for the making of 
' earth and heaven ' (2"*^) is assumed without being described ; 
the narrative springs from an early phase of thought which 
was interested in the beginnings of human life and history, 
but had not advanced to speculation on the origin of heaven 
and earth (cf. Frankenberg in Gu.^ 24). From ch. 1 it 
differs fundamentally both in its conception of the primal 
condition of the world as an arid, waterless waste (2^'- : ct. 
i'2), and in the order of creative works : viz. Man C^), Trees 
(9), Animals (I8-20), Woman (2i-23). Alike in this arrange- 
ment and in the supplementary features^ — the garden (^- ^'^"^-j, 
the miraculous trees C'^), the appointments regarding man's 
position in the world (^^"^^), and the remarkable omissions 
(plants, fishes, etc.) — it is governed by the main episode to 
which it leads up (ch. 3), with its account of the temptation 
by the serpent (^"•''), the transgression i^- ^), the inquest (^"^^), 
the sentences (^*"^^), and the expulsion from Eden (^2-24). 

The story thus summarised is one of the most charming idylls in 
literature: ch. 3 is justly described by Gu. as the 'pearl of Genesis.' 
Its literary and aesthetic character is best appreciated by comparison 
with ch. I. Instead of the formal precision, the schematic disposition, 
the stereotyped diction, the aim at scientific classification, which distin- 
guish the great cosmogony, we have here a narrative marked by child- 
like simplicity of conception, exnberant though pure imagination, and a 
captivating freedom of style. Instead of lifting God far above man and 
nature, this writer revels in the most exquisite anthropomorphisms ; he 
does not shrink from speaking of God as walking in His garden in the 
cool of the day (3^), or making experiments for the welfare of His first 
creature (^t}-^^-), or arriving at a knowledge of man's sin by a searching 

• Cf. especially 2*"^ with 319- ^ ; 2^- '6'- with 31-*- "• "• 22 . 28b. 16 ^i^h 
328f. . 219 with 3^=^ " ; a^i-J" with 3I2 ; (^24 with 2,^^^) ; 2^^ with s^- ""•. 


examination (s'"'-), etc. While the purely mythological phase of thought 
has long been outgrown, a mythical background everywhere appears ; 
the happy garden of God, the magic trees, the speaking serpent, the 
Cherubim and Flaming Sword, are all emblems derived from a more 
ancient religious tradition. Yet in depth of moral and religious insight 
the passage is unsurpassed in the OT. We have but to think of its 
delicate handling of the question of sex, its profound psychology of 
temptation and conscience, and its serious view of sin, in order to realise 
the educative influence of revealed religion in the life of ancient Israel. 
It has to be added that we detect here the first note of that sombre, 
almost melancholy, outlook on human life which pervades the older 
stratum of Gn. i-ii. Cf. the characterisation in We. Prol.^ 302 fF. ; Gu. 
p. 22 fF. 

Source. — The features just noted, together with the use of the divine 
name ni,T, show beyond doubt that the passage belongs to the Yahwistic 
cycle of narratives (J). Expressions characteristic of this document are 
found in ncnp 2", cycn 2"^ nm-na 3'*, iiin 3"- ", jnsv 3'^-^'', inyn ■^'' ; and 
(in contrast to P) li", ' create,' instead of xnn, r\-\^r\ n'n instead of \-\»r\ 'n, 
D"n nDB': instead of 'n nn (see on 7^'^) ; and the constant use of ace. suff. 
to the verb. 

Traces of Composition. — That the literary unity of the narrative is 
not perfect there are several indications, more or less decisive, (i) The 
geographical section 2^'^"^^ is regarded by most critics (since Ewald) as 
a later insertion, on the grounds that it is out of keeping with the 
simplicity of the main narrative, and seriously interrupts its sequence. 
The question is whether it be merely an isolated interpolation, or an 
extract from a parallel recension. If the latter be in evidence, we know 
too little of its character to say that 2^""^* could not have belonged to it. 
At all events the objections urged would apply only to '^■'■* ; and there 
is much to be said, on this assumption, for retaining ^^ (or at least ^''*) 
as a parallel to v." (Ho.). — (2) A more difficult problem is the confusion 
regarding the two trees on which the fate of man depends, a point to 
which attention was first directed by Bu. According to 2^'^ the tree of 
life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil grew together in the 
midst of the garden, and in 2P the second alone is made the test of the 
man's obedience. But ch. 3 (down to v.^') knows of only one tree in the 
midst of the garden, and that obviously (though it is never so named) 
the tree of knowledge. The tree of life plays no part in the story except 
in 3"^"^^, and its sudden introduction there only creates fresh embarrass- 
ment ; for if this tree also was forbidden, the writer's silence about it in 
2P 3^ is inexplicable ; and if it was not forbidden, can we suppose that 
in the author's intention the boon of immortality was placed freely 
within man's reach during the period of his probation? So far as the 
main narrative is concerned, the tree of life is an irrelevance ; and we 
shall see immediately that the part where it does enter into the story is 
precisely the part where signs of redaction or dual authorship accumu- 
late. — (3) The clearest indication of a double recension is found in the 
twofold account of the expulsion from Eden : 3-^- -■*. Here ''^ and 2* 
clearly hang together ; '" and *' are as clearly out of their proper 

II. 4B-III. 24 53 

position ; hence -' may have been the original continuation of ", to 
which it forms a natural sequel. There is thus some reason to believe 
that in this instance, at any rate, the * tree of life ' is not from the hand of 
the chief narrator.— (4) Other and less certain duplicates are : 2''|| a'" ("■"> 
(see above), ^'H*" (the planting of the garden) ; and 8*> '** (the placing 
of man in it) ; 2^113-" (the naming of the woman).— (5) Bu. {Urg. 232 if.) 
was the first to suggest that the double name cnSx ni.T (which is all but 
peculiar to this section) has arisen through amalgamation of sources. 
His theory in its broader aspects has been stated on p. 3, above ; it is 
enough here to point out its bearing on the compound name in Gn. 2 f. 
It is assumed that two closely parallel accounts existed, one of which 
(J^) employed only D'hSn, the other (JJ) only nin\ When these were 
combined the editor harmonised them by adding dmVk to nin' everywhere 
in JJ, and prefixing ai.T to D'nSx everywhere in J^ except in the colloquy 
between the serpent and the woman (3'"'), where the general name was 
felt to be more appropriate.* The reasoning is precarious ; but if it be 
sound, it follows that 3'"^ must be assigned to J« ; and since these vv. 
are part of the main narrative (that which speaks only of the tree 
of knowledge), there remain for JJ only 3^'-- ^, and possibly some variants 
and glosses in the earlier part of the narrative. — On the whole, the facts 
seem to warrant these conclusions : of the Paradise story two recen- 
sions existed ; in one, the only tree mentioned was the tree of the know- 
ledge of good and evil, while the other certainly contained the tree of life 
(so V. Doorninck, ThT, xxxix. 225 f.) and possibly both trees ; t the 
former supplied the basis of our present narrative, and is practically 
complete, while the second is so fragmentary that all attempt to recon- 
struct even its main outlines must be abandoned as hopeless. 

* So Gu. A still more complete explanation of this particular point 
would be afforded by the somewhat intricate original hypothesis of Bu. 
He suggested that the primary narrative (J') in which m.T was regularly 
used, except in 3^'', was re-written and supplemented by J* who sub- 
stituted DM/N for niiT ; the two narratives were subsequently amalgamated 
in rather mechanical fashion by J^ with the result that wherever the 
divine names differed both were retained, and where the documents 
agreed D'n'?N alone appears {Urg. 233 f.). Later in the volume (471 ff.) 
the hypothesis is withdrawn in favour of the view that J^ contained no 
Paradise story at all. — A similar explanation is given by v. Doorninck 
(I.e. 239), who thinks the retention of D'hSk in 3'"^ was due to the redactor's 
desire to avoid the imputation of falsehood to Yahwe ! 

t The point here depends on the degree of similarity assumed to 
have obtained between the two recensions. Gu., who assumes that the 
resemblance was very close, holds that in JJ probably both trees were 
concerned in the fall of man. But the text gives no indication that in 
JJ the knowledge of good and evil was attained by eating the fruit of a 
tree : other ways of procuring unlawful knowledge are conceivable ; 
and it is therefore possible that in this version the tree of life alone 
occupied a position analogous to that of the tree of knowledge in the 
other (see, further, Gressmann, ARW, x. 355 f.). 


4b-7. — The creation of man. — On the somewhat in- 
volved construction of the section, see the footnote. — 4b. 
A/ the time when Yahwe Elohini made, etc.] The double 
name Q'^^^.^ ^)J}], wliich is all but peculiar to Gn. 2 f., is 
probably to be explained as a result of redactional operations 
{v. I.), rather than (with Reuss, Ayles, al.) as a feature of 
the isolated source from which these two chapters were 
taken. — earth ayid heaven] The unusual order (which is 
reversed by jua^SS) appears again only in Ps. 148^^. — 
5. there was as yet no hush, etc.] Or (on Di.'s construction) 
•while as yet there was no, etc. The rare word n''^' denotes 
elsewhere (21^^ [E], Jb. 30*-''') a desert shrub (so Syr., 
Arab.); but a wider sense is attested by Ass. and Phcen. 
It is difficult to say whether here it means wild as opposed 

4b-7- The sudden change of style and lang-iiage shows that the 
transition to the Yahwistic document takes place at the middle of v.*. 
The construction presents the same syntactic ambiguity as i^"*(see the 
note there) ; except, of course, that there can be no question of taking *** 
as an independent sentence. We may also set aside the conjecture 
(We. Prol.^ 297 f. ; KS. al.) that the clause is the conclusion of a lost 
sentence of J, as inconsistent with the natural position of the time 
determination in Heb. ^^ must therefore be joined as prot. to what 
follows ; and the question is whether the apod, commences at ' (Tu. 
Str. Dri. al.), or (with ^'- as a parenthesis) at ^ (Di. Gu. al.). In 
syntax either view is admissible ; but the first yields the better sense. 
The state of things described in ^^- evidently lasted some time ; hence 
it is not correct to say that Yahwe made man at the time when He made 
heaven and earth : to connect ^ directly with *^ is "to identify a period 
(v.^) with a point [w.'') of time" (Spurrell). — On the form of apod., see 
again Dri. T. § 78. — 4. DV? always emphasises contemporaneousness of 
two events (cf. 2'^ 3'^) ; the indefiniteness lies in the subst., which often 
covers a space of time (=' when ' : Ex. 6-^ 32^^, Jer. 11* etc.). — dm^n m.T] 
in Hex. only Ex. g^o ; elsewhere 2 Sa. f^- -^, Jon. 4«, Ps. 72^8 84»- ^^ 
I Ch. 17^®, 2 Ch. 6*^. ffir uses the expression frequently up to 9^-, but its 
usage is not uniform even in chs. 2. 3. The double name has sometimes 
been explained by the supposition that an editor added om'?x to the 
original m.T in order to smooth the transition from P to J, or as a hint 
to the Synagogue reader to substitute □m'?x for n^^' ; but that is scarcely 
satisfactory. A more adequate solution is afforded by the theory 
of Bu. and Gu., on which see p. 53. Barton and Che. {TBAI, 99 f.) 
take it as a compound of the same type as Melek-Aitart, etc., an 
utterly improbable suggestion. — 5. n'a" is probably the same as Ass. 
sijjtii, from sj = 'grow high' (Del. Hdivb.), and hence might include 
trees, as rendered by 52^- — On 2a]}, see on i". The gen. .nm, common 

II. 4-6 55 

to cultivated plants (Hupf. Gu.), or perennials as opposed 
to annuals (Ho.). — For the earth's barrenness two reasons 
are assigned: (i) the absence of rain, and (2) the lack of 
cultivation. In the East, however, the essence of husbandry 
is irrigation ; hence the two conditions of fertility corre- 
spond broadly to the Arabian (and Talmudic) contrast 
between land watered by the Baal and that watered by 
human labour (Rob. Sm. J?S^, 96!^.). — /o till the ground] 
This, therefore, is man's original destiny, though afterwards 
it is imposed on him as a curse, — an indication of the 
fusion of variant traditions. "^97^' ^°^^ h^^re. and v.^, has 
probably the restricted sense of ' soil,' ' arable land ' (cf. 4^*). 
— 6. but a flood (or mist, v.i.) used to come up (periodically)] 
"The idea of the author appears to be that the ground 
was rendered capable of cultivation by the overflow of some 
great river" (Ayles). 

It is certainly difficult to imagine any other purpose to be served by 
the 'flood' than to induce fertility, for we can hardly attribute to the 
writer the trivial idea that it had simply the effect of moistening the soil 
for the formation of man, etc. (Ra. al., cf. Gu. Che. TBAI, 87). But this 
appears to neutralise ""*, since rain is no longer an indispensable condi- 
tion of vegetation. Ho., accordingly, proposes to remove ^ and to treat 
it as a variant of '"''^ The meaning might be, however, that the flood, 
when supplemented by human labour, was sufficient to fertilise the 
'dddmah, but had, of course, no effect on the steppes, which were de- 
pendent on rain. The difficulty is not removed if we render ' mist ' ; and 
the brevity of the narrative leaves other questions unanswered ; such as. 
When was rain first sent on the earth ? At what stage are we to place 
the creation of the cereals? etc. 

to both, denotes open country, as opposed sometimes to cities or houses, 
sometimes to enclosed cultivated land (De. 96). — On Vfo with impf see 
G-K. § 107c; Dri. T. § 27/3. The rendering 'before' (ffi [one of the 
deviations mentioned in Mechilta — see on i^] TB) would imply d-jm?, and 
is wrong.— 6. n><] ffi tttjy^, Aq. iirtp\vcr/x6s, V /oris, <S ]v r)*-^Vn . E^ Km. 
Che. conj. nk; ; others ]'.]l (after Vns.). The word has no etymol. in 
Heb., and the only other occurrence (Jb. 36''^) is even more obscure than 
this. 'Cloud' (O or 'mist' is a natural guess, and it is doubtful if it 
be anything better. The meaning ' flood ' comes from Ass. edii, applied 
to the annual overflow of a river (Del. Hdwb.), — note the freq. impf Gu. 
thinks it a technical semi-mythological term of the same order as T^hom, 
with which Ra. seems to connect it; while lEz. interprets 'cloud,' but 
confounds the word with tn, ' calamity ' (Zeph. i^^) ; so Aq. , who renders 
the latter by iwi^XvJuos in Pr. i^", Jb. 30^^ (^ee Ber. R. § 13).— On the tenses. 


If the above explanation be correct, there is a confusion of two 
points of view which throws an interesting- light on the origin of the 
story. The rain is suggested by experience of a dry country, like 
Palestine. The flood, on the other hand, is a reminiscence of the 
entirely different state of things in an alluvial country like the Euphrates 
valley, where husbandry depends on artificial irrigation assisted by 
periodic inundations. While, therefore, there may be a Babylonian 
basis to the myth, it must have taken its present shape in some drier 
region, presumably in Palestine. To say that it "describes . . . the 
phenomena witnessed by the first colonists of Babylonia," involves more 
than ' mythic exaggeration ' (Che. EB, 949). 

7. Yahwe Elohim 7no2ilded man] The verb "iV) (avoided by 
P) is used, in the ptcp., of the potter ; and that figure under- 
Hes the representation. An Egyptian picture shows the 
god Chnum forming human beings on the potter's disc 
[ATLO^y 146). — The idea of man as made of clay or earth 
appears in Babylonian ; but is indeed universal, and pervades 
the whole OT. — breath of life] Omit the art. The phrase 
recurs only 7^"^ (J), where it denotes the animal life, and 
there is no reason for supposing another meaning here. 
" Subscribere eorum sententiae non dubito qui de animali 
hominis vita locum hunc exponunt " (Calvin). — man became 
a living being] ^"S? here is not a constituent of human 
nature, but denotes the personality as a whole. 

The V. has commonly been treated as a locus classicus of OT 
anthropology, and as determining the relations of the three elements of 
human nature — flesh, soul, spirit — to one another. It is supposed to 

see G-K. § ii2^; Dri. T. § 113, 4{^).— 7. hdin . . . dik] Both words are 
of uncertain etymology. The old derivation from the vb. 'be red'( . . . 
■Kvypbv i-Treid-^irep airb ttjs wv^pdt yrjs (pvpadeia-rjs iyeydvei : Jos. Ant. i. 34) is 
generally abandoned, but none better has been found to replace it (recent 
theories in Di. 53 f). According to Noldeke {ZDMG, xl. 722), din 
appears in Arab, as 'dndm (cf Haupt, ib. Ixi. 194). Frd. Del.'s view, 
that both words embody the idea of tillage, seems (as Di. says) to rest 
on the ambiguity of the German hauen ; but it is very near the thought 
of this passage : man is made from the soil, lives by its cultivation, and 
returns to it at death. — isj;] Ace. of material, G-K. § 1 17 hh. Gu. regards 
it as a variant to nmN.T from J'. — n-n b'£3:] This appears to be the only 
place where the phrase is applied to man ; elsewhere to animals (iSO-J-i 
etc.). '3, primarily 'breath,' denotes usually the vital principle (with 
various mental connotations), and ultimately the whole being thus 
animated— the person. The last is the only sense consistent with the 
structure of the sentence here. 

11. 7, 8 57 

teach that the soul (e'ej) arises tliroiigh the union of the universal life- 
principle (r?-i) with the material frame (1^7?) : cf. e.g. Griineisen, Ahnen- 
kuUtis, 34 f. No such ideas are expressed : neither ne-a nor nn is men- 
tioned, while B'SJ is not applied to a separate element of man's being, but 
to the whole man in possession of vital powers. "All that seems in 
question here is just the giving of vitality to man. There seems no 
allusion to man's immaterial being, to his spiritual element. . . . Vitality 
is communicated by God, and he is here represented as communicating 
it by breathing into man's nostrils that breath which is the sign of life" 
(Davidson, OTTh. 194). At the same time, the fact that God imparts 
his own breath to man, marks the dignity of man above the animals : it 
is J's equivalent for the * image of God.' 

8-17. The garden of Eden.— That the planting- of the 
garden was subsequent to the creation of man is the un- 
doubted meaning- of the writer ; the rendering plantaverat 
(5J: so lEz.) is grammatically impossible, and is connected 
with a misconception of DTpO below. — a garden in Eden\ 
This is perhaps the only place where Eden (as a geo- 
graphical designation) is distinguished from the garden 

(cf. 210-15 323.24 416^ Is. -i3^ Ezk. 28^3 3I9-16-18 3635, JJ. 2^, 

Sir. 40^^). The common phrase HV |3 would suggest to a 
Hebrew the idea 'garden of delight,' as it is rendered by (^ 
(often) and ]FT {v.i.). There is no probability that the 
proper name was actually coined in this sense. It is derived 
by the younger Del. and Schrader from Bab. edinu, * plain,' 
'steppe,' or 'desert' (Del. Par. 80 ; KA 7^, 26 f. ; KA T^, 539) ; 
but it is a somewhat precarious inference that the garden 
was conceived as an oasis in the midst of a desert (Ho.). — 
D*ii^O] ' in the (far) Easf ; i.e. from the Palestinian standpoint 
of the author ; not, of course, to be identified with any other 
nV within the geographical horizon of the Israelites (see 
2 Ki. 19I2 [ = Is. 37!-^], Ezk. 2723, Am. i5). 

Besides the passages cited above, the idea of a divine garden 
appears also in Gn. 131", Ezk. 31*. Usually it is a mere symbol of 

8. p] <&. irapdSet(Tos (cf. Dins, Ca. 4'^, Ec. 2', Neh. 2® : probably from 
Pers.), and so U^. — [^j;] is regularly treated as tio»i. prop, by iC^ S, by 
U only 4^^ (everywhere else as appellative : vohtptas, deltcice). ffi has 
'E5e;U only in 2^-^* 4^^; elsewhere Tpi'07J[s], except Is. 51^ (wapdSeLaos). 
— mpD] Lit. 'in front' (on the p see Kon. Lgb. ii. p. 318; BDB, 578''): 
in the hist, books it always means 'east' or 'eastward' ; but in propbs. 
and Pss. it usually has temporal sense (' of old ') ; and so it is misunder- 


luxuriant fertility, especially in respect of its lordly trees (Ezk. 
^j8f. 16. 18^ . but in Ezk. 28^' it is mentioned as the residence of a semi- 
divine beingf. Most of the allusions are explicable as based on Gn. 2 f. ; 
but the imagery of Ezk. 28 reveals a highly mythological conception of 
which few traces remain in the present narrative. If the idea be primitive 
Semitic (and J3 is common to all the leading dialects), it may originate in 
the sacred grove (Hima) "where water and verdure are united, where 
the fruits of the sacred trees are taboo, and the wild animals are 'anfs, 
i.e. on good terms with man, because they may not be frightened 
away" (We. Pro I. ^ 2° 3^ ! cf Hetd. 141 ; Barton, S0\ 96). In early times 
such spots of natural fertility were the haunts of the gods or super- 
natural beings {PS^, 102 ff.). But from the wide diffusion of the m3'th, 
and the facts pointed out on p. 93 f. below, it is plain that the conception 
has been enriched by material from different quarters, and had passed 
through a mythological phase before it came into the hands of the 
biblical writers. Such sacred groves were common in Babylonia, and 
mythological idealisations of them enter largely into the religious 
literature (see ATLO^, 195 ff.). 

9. all sorts of trees . . . food] The primitive vegetation 
is conceived as consisting solely of trees, on whose fruit 
man was to subsist ; the appearance of herbs is a result of 
the curse pronounced on the ground (3^^^')* — ^"'^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^/ 
life (was) in the midst] On Bu.'s strictures on the form of the 
sentence, v.i. The intricate question of the two trees must 
be reserved for separate discussion (pp. 52 f., 94) ; for the 
present form of the story both are indispensable. The tree 

stood here by all Vns. except ffi (F in principio, etc.). — 9. {'y'ja] G-K. 
§ 127 b. — nynn] The use of art. with inf. const, is very rare (Dav. § 19), but 
is explained by the frequent use of nyi as abstr. noun. Otherwise the 
construction is regular, jni 31B being ace, not gen. of obj. — Budde 
{Urg. 51 f.) objects to the splitting up of the compound obj. by the 
secondarj' pred. p^i iina, and thinks the original text must have been 
'ui nyin }'y pn ninai ; thus finding a confirmation of the theory that the 
primary narrative knew of only one tree, and that the tree of knowledge 
(p. 52 ; so Ba. Ho. Gu. al.). In view of the instances examined by Dri. 
in Hebraica, ii. 2)2ii ^^ '^ doubtful if the grammatical argument can be 
sustained ; but if it had any force it ought certainly to lead to the 
excision of the second member rather than of the first (Kuen. ThT, 1884, 
136; v. Doorninck, ib., 1905, 225 f. ; Eerdmans, ih. 494 ff.). A more im- 
portant point is the absence of nn before the def obj. The writer's use 
of this part, is very discriminating ; and its omission suggests that ^"^ is 
really a nominal clause, as rendered above. If we were to indulge in 
analysis of sources, we might put "> (in whole or in part) after **, and 
assign it to that secondary stratum of narrative which undoubtedly 
spoke of a tree of life (3^"). 

II. 9-1 1 59 

of life, whose fruit confers immortality (3^2; cf. Pr. 3^^ ii^*' 
13^^ 15*; further, Ezk. 47^^, Rev. 22^), is a widely diffused 
idea (see Di. 49 ; Wiinsche, Die Sagen vom Lebensbauni u. 
Lebens7vasser). The tree of knowledge is a more refined 
conception ; its property of communicating knowledge of 
good and evil is, however, magical, like that of the other; 
a connexion with oracular trees (Lenormant, Or. i. 85 f. ; 
Baudissin, Siiid. ii. 227) is not so probable. As to what is 
meant by ' knowing good and evil,' see p. 95 fF. 

The primitive Semitic tree of life is plausibly supposed by Barton 
{SO\ 92 f.) to have been the date-palm; and this corresponds to the 
sacred palm in the sanctuary of Ea at Eridu (IV R. 15*), and also to 
the conventionalised sacred tree of the seals and palace-reliefs, which 
is considered to be a palm combined with some species of conifer. Cf. 
also the sacred cedar in the cedar forest of Gilg., Tabs. IV. V. For 
these and other Bab. parallels, see ATLO-, 195 ff. 

10. a river issued (or issues) frorn Eden\ The language 
does not necessarily imply that the fountain-head was outside 
the garden (Dri. Ben.); the vb. N^*^ is used of the rise of a 
stream at its source (Ex. 17^, Nu. 20^^, Ju. 15^^, Ezk. 47^ 
Zee. 14^ Jl. 4^^). Whether the ptcp. expresses past or 
present time cannot be determined. — -fro7n thence it divides 
itself^ The river issues from the garden as a single stream, 
then divides into four branches, which are the four great 
rivers of the world. The site of Paradise, therefore, is at the 
common source of the four rivers inquestion (pp. 62-66 below). 
That is the plain meaning of the verse, however inconsistent 
it may be with physical geography. — II. Pisd7i\ The name 
occurs (along with Tigris, Euphrates, Jordan, and Gihon) 

10. ITS'] Freq. impf. ? So Dri. T. §§ 30 a, 113, 4/3; G-K. § 107 tf 
{'always taking place afresh'), Dav. § 54 (i). That seems hardly 
natural. Is it possible that for once D^p could have the effect of in in 
transporting the mind to a point whence a new development takes 
place? (Dav. § 45, R. 2). — d"?***-;] Not 'sources' but 'branches'; as 
Arab, ras en-nahr (as distinct from ras el- ain) means the point of 
divergence of two streams (Wetzstein, quoted by De., p. 82). So Ass. 
rii ndri or rU ndr, of the point of divergence {Ausgangsort) of a canal 
(Del. Par. 98, 191). — II. nnNn] See on i'.— 33Dn Kin] On the determina- 
tion of pred., Dav. § 19, R. 3; cf. G-K. § 126/& (so v."f-)._,iyinn] If 
the art. be genuine, it shows that the name was significant (' sandland,' 


in Sir. 24^^, but nowhere else in OT. That it was not a 
familiar name to the Hebrews is shown by the topo- 
g-raphical description which follows. On the various 
speculative identifications, see De. and Di., and p. 64 f. 
below. — the -whole land of HdviWi\ 'I'he phraseology 
indicates that the name is used with some vagueness, 
and considerable latitude. In lo'^- ^^ 25^^ etc., Havilah 
seems to be a district of Arabia (see p. 202) ; but we cannot 
be sure that it bears the same meaning in the mythically 
coloured geography of this passage. — 12. Two other pro- 
ducts of the region are specified ; but neither helps to an 
identification of the locality. — bedolah] a substance well 
known to the Israelites (Nu. 11^), is undoubtedly the 
fragrant but bitter gum called by the Greeks f^SiXXtov or 
/38iXXa. Pliny {N//, xii. 35 f.) says the best kind grew in 
Bactriana, but adds that it was found also in Arabia, India, 
Media, and Babylonia. — Ihe Soham slone] A highly esteemed 

from ^'in ?) ; but everywhere else it is wanting, and xtx omits it here. — 12, 
nnn] On metheg- and hat.-pathach, see G-K. §§ 10^, \6e,f:, Kon. i. § 10, 
6^5 (cf. 1'*). — Nin] The first instance of this Qre perpetuum of the 
Pent., where the regular N'.i is found only Gn. 14^ 20'' 38"', Lv. 2^^ 1 1** 
j^io. 21 j53i 2x9^ Nu. 5"'-. Kon. {Lgb. i. p. i24ff.) almost alone amongst 
modern scholars still holds to the opinion that the epicene consonantal 
form is genuinely archaic ; but the verdict of philology and of Hex. 
criticism seems decisive against that view. It must be a graphic error 
of some scribe or school of scribes : whether proceeding from the original 
scrip, def. Nrr or not does not much matter (see Dri. and White's note 
on Lv. i^^ in SBOT, p. 25 f.).— aia] ux. + nxp.— nSnnn] Of the ancient Vns. 
fflr alone has misunderstood the word, rendering here 6 S.vdpa^ (red 
garnet), and in Nu. 11' (the only other occurrence) KpvffTaWos. B 
]j^K_10^ can only be a clerical error. That it is not a gem is 
proved by the absence of px. — Dna-n pN] ffir 6 \l0os 6 Trpdaivos (leek- 
green stone) ; other Gk. Vns. 6vv^, and so U {onychinus) ; S fJOjJCi, 
21'^ K'?ni3. Philology has as yet thrown no light on the word, though 
a connexion with Bab. s&mtu is probable. Myres {EB, 4808 f.) makes 
the interesting suggestion that it originally denoted malachite, which 
is at once striped and green, and that after malachite ceased to be 
valued tradition wavered between the onyx (striped) and the beryl 
(green). Petrie, on the other hand {DB, iv. 620), thinks that in early 
times it was green felspar, afterwards confused with the beryl. It is 
at least noteworthy that Jen, {KIB^ vi. i, 405) is led on independent 
grounds to identify sdmtu with malachite. But is malachite found in any 

II. 12-14 6r 

gem (Jb. 28'^), suitable for engraving (Ex. 28^ etc.), one 
of the precious stones of Eden (Ezk. 28^^), and apparently 
used in architecture (i Ch. 29^). From the Greek equiva- 
lents it is generally supposed to be either the onyx or the 
beryl (v.i.). According to Pliny, the latter was obtained 
from India, the former from India and Arabia {JV//, xxxvii. 
76, 86). — 13. Gihon] The name of a well on the E of 
Jerusalem (the Virgin's spring : i Ki. i^^ etc.), which lEz. 
strangely takes to be meant here. In Jewish and Christian 
tradition it was persistently identified with the Nile (Si. 24^^; 
ffi of Jer. 2^^ [where linu' is translated Trjwv] ; Jos. Anf. i. 39, 
and the Fathers generally). The great difficulty of that view 
is that the Nile was as well known to the Hebrews as the 
Euphrates, and no reason appears either for the mysterious 
designation, or the vague description appended to the 
name. — land of KiVs\ Usually Ethiopia; but see on 10^. — 
14. Hiddekel\ is certainly the Tigris, though the name 
occurs only once again (Dn. 10*). — in front of *Assur\ Either 
between it and the spectator, or to the east of it : the 
latter view is adopted by nearly all comm. ; but the parallels 
are indecisive, and the point is not absolutely settled. 
Geographically the former would be more correct, since 
the centre of the Assyrian Empire lay E of the Tigris. 
The second view can be maintained only if "i^tJ'x be the city 

reg-ion that could be plausibly identified with Havilah ? — 13. pn'j] Prob- 
ably from ^/ n'J (Jb. 38^ 40*^) = ' bursting forth. ' — 14. Dai] <&. om. — ^'?'\n\ 

Bab. Idigla, Diglat, Aram. nS^i and AXoj, Arab. Di^lat; then Old 
Pers. TigrA, Pehlevi Digrat, Gr. Ti-ypis and llypT^^. The Pers. Tigrd 
was explained by a popular etymology as ' arrow-swift ' (Strabo) ; and 
similarly it was believed that the Hebrews saw in their name a compound 
of nn, 'sharp,' and S'3, 'swift,' — a view given by Ra., and mentioned 
with some scorn by lEz. Hommel's derivation {AHT, 315) from fjadd, 
'wadi,' and nVp^ ( = *wadi of Diklah,' Gn. 10-'), is of interest only in 
connexion with his peculiar theory of the site of Paradise. — nanp] 
Rendered ' in front ' by ffi {KarivavTi.), & {\\*~) Odl^) and U (contra) ; 
as 'eastward' by Aq. 2. {4^ auaToXrjs) and C*^ (Nnnc"?). This last is also 
the view of Ra. lEz. and of most moderns. But see No. ZDMG, 
xxxiii. 532, where the sense ' eastward ' is decisively rejected. The 
other examples are 4^*, i Sa. 13^ Ezk. 39"t. — mc] Bab. Purdtu, Old 
Pars. U/rdtu, whence Gr. EJ'0/)dTijj. 


which was the ancient capital of the Empire, now Kafat 
Serkdt on the W bank of the river. But that city was 
replaced as capital by Kalhi as early as 1300 B.C., and is 
never 'mentioned in OT. It is at least premature to find 
in this circumstance a conclusive proof that the Paradise 
legend had wandered to Palestine before 1300 B.C. (Gress- 
mann, ARW, x. 347). — Euphrates^ The name (f^"^?)) needed 
no explanation to a Hebrew reader : it is ihe "li^J par excel- 
lence of the OT (Is. 8^ and often). 

The site of Eden. — If the explanation given above of v.'* be correct, 
— and it is the only sense which the words will naturally bear, — it is 
obvious that a real locality answering- to the description of Eden exists 
and has existed nowhere on the face of the earth. The Euphrates and 
Tigris are not and never were branches of a single stream ; and the 
idea that two other great rivers sprang from the same source places 
the whole representation outside the sphere of real geographical 
knowledge. In ^"'^S in short, we have to do with a semi-mythical 
geography, which the Hebrews no doubt believed to correspond with 
fact, but which is based neither on accurate knowledge of the region 
in question, nor on authentic tradition handed down from the ancestors 
of the human race. Nevertheless, the question where the Hebrew 
imagination located Paradise is one of great interest ; and many of 
the proposed solutions are of value, not only for the light they have 
thrown on the details of ^*'^*, but also for the questions they raise as to 
the origin and character of the Paradise-myth. This is true both of 
those which deny, and of those which admit, the presence of a mythical 
element in the geography of ^''"^^. 

I. Several recent theories seek an exact determination of the locality 
of Paradise, and of all the data of '•'"^', at the cost of a somewhat un- 
natural exegesis of v.^". That of Frd. Del. {Wo lag das Paradies?, 
1881) is based partly on the fact that N of Babylon (in the vicinity of 
Bagdad) the Euphrates and Tigris approach within some twenty miles 
of each other, the Euphrates from its higher level discharging water 
through canals into the Tigris, which might thus be regarded as an 
offshoot of it. The land of Eden is the plain {edinu) between the two 
rivers from Tekrit (on the Tigris : nearly a hundred miles N of Bagdad) 
and 'Ana (on the Euphrates) to the Persian Gulf; the garden being one 
specially favoured region from the so-called ' isthmus ' to a little S of 
Babylon. The river of v.i° is the Euphrates ; Pishon is the Pallakopas 
canal, branching off from the Euphrates on the right a little above 
Babylon and running nearly parallel with it to the Persian Gulf; Gihon 
is the Shaft en-Nil, another canal running E of the Euphrates from 
near Babylon and rejoining the parent river opposite Ur ; Hiddekel 
and Euphrates are, of course, the lower courses of the Tigris and 
Euphrates respectively, the former regarded as replenished through 
the canal system from the latter. Havilah is part of the great Syrian 

II. II-I4 63 

desert lying W and S of the Euphrates ; and Kush is a name for 
northern and middle Babylonia, derived from the Kassite dynasty that 
once ruled there. In spite of the learning- and injjenuity with which 
this theory has been worked out, it cannot clear itself of an air of 
artificiality at variance with the simplicity of the passage it seeks to 
explain. That the Euphrates should be at once the undivided Paradise- 
stream and one of the ' heads ' into which it breaks up is a glaring 
anomaly; while v.'* shows that the narrator had distinctly before his 
mind the upper course of the Tigris opposite Assur, and is therefore 
not likely to have spoken of it as an effluent of the Euphrates. The 
objection that the theory confuses rivers and canals is fairly met by the 
argument that the Bab. equivalent of im is used of canals, and also by 
the consideration that both the canals mentioned were probably ancient 
river-beds ; but the order in which the rivers are named tells heavily 
against the identifications. Moreover, the expression ' the -ivhole land 
of Havilah * seems to imply a much larger tract of the earth's surface 
than the small section of desert enclosed by the Pallakopas ; and to 
speak of the luhole of northern Babylonia as 'surrounded' by the 
Shatt en-Nil is an abuse of language.— According to Sayce {HCM, 
95 ff. ; DB, i. 643 f.), the garden of Eden is the sacred garden of Ea 
at Eridu ; and the river which waters it is the Persian Gulf, on the 
shore of which Eridu formerly stood. The four branches are, in 
addition to Euphrates and Tigris (which in ancient times entered the 
Gulf separately), the Pallakopas and the Choaspes (now the Kerkha), 
the sacred river of the Persians, from whose waters alone their kings 
were allowed to drink (Her. i. 18S). Besides the difficulty of supposing 
that the writer of v.'" meant to trace the streams upwards towards their 
source above the garden, the theory does not account for the order in 
which the rivers are given ; for the Pallakopas is W of Euphrates, 
while the Choaspes is E of the Tigris.* Further, although the de- 
scription of the Persian Gulf as a 'river' is fully justified by its Bab. 
designation as N&r Marratum ('Bitter River'), it has yet to be made 
probable that cither Babylonians or Israelites would have thought of a 
garden as watered by 'bitter' {i.e. salt) water. — These objections apply 
with equal force to the theory of Hommel {AA, iii. i, p. 281 fF., etc., 
AHT, 314 tf.), who agrees with Sayce in placing Paradise at Eridu, in 
making the single stream the Persian Gulf, and one of the four branches 
the Euphrates. But the three other branches, Pishon, Gihon, and 
Hiddekel, he identifies with three N Arabian wadls, — W. Dawasir, 
W. Rumma, and W. Sirhan (the last the ' wadi of DMah' = /}ad-dekel 
[see on v.'* above], the name having been afterwards transferred io the 

2. Since none of the above theories furnishes a satisfactory solution 
of the problem, we may as well go back to what appears the natural 

* This objection is avoided by the modified theory of Dawson, who 
identifies Pishon with the Karun, still further E than the Kerkha. But 
that removes it from all connexion with Havilah, which is one of the 
r 'commendations of Sayce's view. 


interpretation of v.^**, and take along with it the Utopian conception of 
four g-reat rivers issuing from a single source. The site of Paradise 
is then determined by the imaginary common source of the two known 
rivers, Euphrates and Tigris. As a matter of fact, the western arm of 
the Euphrates and the eastern arm of the Tigris do rise sufficiently 
near each other to make the supposition of a common source possible 
to ancient cosmography ; and there is no difficulty in believing that 
the passage locates the garden in the unexplored mountains of Armenia. 
The difficulty is to find the Pishon and the Gihon. To seek them 
amongst the smaller rivers of Armenia and Trans-Caucasia is a 
hopeless quest ; for a knowledge of these rivers would imply a know- 
ledge of the country, which must have dispelled the notion of a common 
source. Van Doorninck has suggested the Leontes and Orontes 
{ThT, xxxix. 236), but a Hebrew writer must surely have known that 
these rivers rose much nearer home than the Euphrates and Tigris. 
There is more to be said for the opinion that they represent the two 
great Indian rivers, Ganges and Indus, whose sources must have been 
even more mysterious than those of the Euphrates and Tigris, and 
might very well be supposed to lie in the unknown region from Armenia 
to Turkestan.* The attraction of this view is that it embraces all 
rivers of the first magnitude that can have been known in western 
Asia (for, as we shall see, even the Nile is not absolutely excluded) ; 
and it is no valid objection to say that the Indian rivers were beyond 
the horizon of the Israelites, since we do not know from what quarter 
the myth had travelled before it reached Palestine. Yet I find no 
modern writer of note who accepts the theory in its completeness. 
De. and Di. identify the Pishon with the Indus, but follow the tradi- 
tional identification of Gihon with the Nile (see p. 61 above). But if 
the biblical narrator believed the Nile to rise with Euphrates and 
Tigris, it is extremely likely that he regarded its upper waters as the 
Indus, as Alexander the Great did in his time ; t and we might then 
fall back on the old identification of Pishon with the Ganges. + But it 
must be admitted that the names Havilah and Kush are a serious 

* Strabo reports the belief of the ancients that all Indian rivers 
rise in the Caucasus (xv. i. 13). The fact that in mediseval Arabian 
geographers 6eif}un is a proper name of the Oxus and the Cilician 
Pyramus, and an appellative of the Araxes and the Ganges, might 
seem at first sight to have a bearing on the question at issue ; but its 
importance is discounted by the possibility that the usage is based on 
this passage, due to Jewish and Christian influences in the Middle 

t From the presence in both of crocodiles : Arrian, Anab. vi. i, 2f. ; 
cf. Strabo, xv. i. 25, and the similar notion about the Nile and 
Euphrates in Pausanias, ii. 5. 2. 

:J: Josephus and most of the Fathers. Strangely enough, th(;re 
seems to be no suggestion of the Indus earlier than Kosmas Indico- 
pleustes (ii. 131). Is this because the identity of Nile and Indus was 
a fixed idea ? 

II. II-I4 65 

difficulty to this class of theories. The latter, indeed, may retain its 
usual OT meaning- if Gilion be the upper Nile, either as a continu- 
ation of the Indus or a separate river ; but if it be the Indus alone, Kush 
must be the country of the Ka§§ites, conceived as extending indefinitely 
E of Babylonia. Havilah has to be taken as a name for India con- 
sidered as an extension of NE Arabia, an interpretation which finds 
no support in the OT. At the same time, as Di. observes, the language 
employed (' the whole land of H.') suggests some more spacious region 
than a limited district of Arabia ; and from the nature of the passage 
we can have no certainty that the word is connected with the Havilah 
of Gn. lo. — An interesting and independent theory, based on ancient 
Babylonian geographical documents, has been propounded by Haupt. 
The common source of the four rivers is supposed to have been a 
large (imaginary) basin of water in N Mesopotamia : the Euphrates 
and Tigris lose themselves in marshes ; the Pishon (suggested by the 
Kerkha) is conceived as continued in the N&r Marratum (Persian Gulf) 
and the Red Sea, and so ' encompasses ' the whole of Havilah (Arabia) ; 
beyond this there was supposed to be land, through which the Gihon 
(suggested by the Karun) was supposed to reach Kush (Ethiopia), 
whence it flowed northwards as the Nile. The theory perhaps com- 
bines more of the biblical data in an intelligible way than any other 
that has been proposed ; and it seems to agree with those just con- 
sidered in placing the site of Eden at the common source of the rivers, 
to the N of Mesopotamia.* 

3. It seems probable that the resources of philology and scientific 
geography are well-nigh exhausted by theories such as have been 
described above, and that further advance towards a solution of the 
problem of Paradise will be along the line of comparative mythology. 
Discussions precisely similar to those we have examined are maintained 
with regard to the Iranian cosmography — whether, e.g., the stream 
Ranha be the Oxus or the Yaxartes or the Indus ; the truth being that 
Ranha is a mythical celestial stream, for which various earthly 
equivalents might be named (see Tiele, Gesch. d. Rel. ii. 291 f.). If 
we knew more of the diffusion and history of cosmological ideas in 
ancient religions, we should probably find additional reason to believe 
that Gn. 2'"'^^ is but one of many attempts to localise on earth a 
representation which is essentially mythical. Gu. {}^ ZZ^ ^31), adopting 
a suggestion of Stucken, supposes the original Paradise to have been 
at the North pole of the heavens (the summit of the mountain of the 
gods : cf. Ezk. 28^^), and the river to be the Milky Way, branching 
out — [but does it?] — into four arms (there is some indication that 
the two arms between Scorpio and Capricornus were regarded in 
Babylonia as the heavenly counterparts of Euphrates and Tigris : see 
KAT^, 528). It is not meant, of course, that this was the idea in 
the mind of the biblical writer, but only that the conception of the 
mysterious river of Paradise with its four branches originated in 
mythological speculation of this kind. If this be the case, we need not 

* The summary is taken from Dri. p. 59 f. ; the original article, in 
Ueber Land und Meer, 1894-95, I have not been able to consult. 



be surprised if it should prove impossible to identify Pishon and Gibon 
with any known rivers : on the other hand, the mention of the well- 
known Tigris and Euphrates clearly shows that the form of the myth 
preserved in Gn. 2^"'" located the earthly Paradise in the unknown 
northerly region whence these rivers flowed. And the conclusion is 
almost inevitable that the myth took shape in a land watered by these 
two rivers, — in Babylonia or Mesopotamia (see Gressmann, ARW, x. 
346 f.). 

15. to till it and to guard it] To reject this clause (Bu.), 
or the second member (Di,), as inconsistent with 3^'^*^- 
are arbitrary expedients. The ideal existence for man is 
not idle enjoyment, but easy and pleasant work; "the 
highest aspiration of the Eastern peasant" (Gu.) being to 
keep a garden. The question from what the garden had 
to be protected is one that should not be pressed. — 16 f. The 
belief that man lived originally on the natural fruit of trees 
(observe the difference from i^^) was widespread in antiquity, 
and appears in Phoenician mythology.* Here, however, the 
point lies rather in the restriction than the permission, — in 
the imposition of a tadoo on one particular tree. — For the 
words 0/ the knowledge of good and evil it has been proposed 
to substitute "which is in the midst of the garden" (as 3^), 
on the ground that the revelation of the mysterious property 
of the tree was the essence of the serpent's temptation and 
must not be anticipated (3^) (Bu. Ho. Gu. al.). But the 
narrative ought not to be subjected to such rigorous logical 

15. The v. is either a resumption of ^^ after the insertion of ^""'*, 
or a duplicate from a parallel document. It is too original to be a 
gloss ; and since there was no motive for making an interpolation at 
^^, the excision of ^"'^^ seems to lead necessarily to the conclusion 
that two sources have been combined. — mxn-riN] <& + &v ^irXao-ev (as 
v.^). — inn'3'i] On the two Hiphils of ni: and their distinction in meaning, 
see G-K. § 72 ee, and the Lexx. — pv] ffi^ and most cursives render ttjs 
Tpv(pTJs : (&^ and uncials omit the word. — ^'ui npv'?] Since p is nowhere 
fem., it is better to point n'ncB''?! nij^h (see Albrecht, ZATW, xvi. 53). — 
16. mxn] ffi 'ASa/j., TB ei. Except in v.^*, the word is regularly, but 
wrongly, treated as nom. pr. by these two Vns. from this point 
onwards.— 17. niDn mo] S. 6vi)rh% ia-Q. In ffi the vbs. of this v. are all 
pl. (as33-^), 

* Eus. Preep. Ev. i. 10 (from Philo Byblius) : evpeiv di rbv Aldva rijt^ 
dirb tCjv devSpuiv Tpo(prjv. 

11. 15-19 6; 

tests ; and, after all, there still remained something for the 
serpent to disclose, viz. that such knowledge put man on 
an equality with God. — in the day . . . die] The threat was 
not fulfilled ; but its force is not to be weakened by such 
considerations as that man from that time became mortal 
(Jer. al.), or that he entered on the experience of miseries 
and hardships which are the prelude of dissolution (Calv. 
al.). The simple explanation is that God, having- regard to 
the circumstances of the temptation, changed His purpose 
and modified the penalty. 

18-25. Creation of animals and woman. — The Creator, 
taking pity on the solitude of the man, resolves to provide 
him with a suitable companion. The naivetd of the con- 
ception is extraordinary. Not only did man exist before the 
beasts, but the whole animal creation is the result of an 
unsuccessful experiment to find a mate for him. Of the 
revolting idea that man lived for a time in sexual inter- 
course with the beasts (see p. 91), there is not a trace. — 
18. a helper] The writer seems to be thinking (as in 2^), 
not of the original, but of the present familiar conditions of 
human life. — ^"^^P.s] (only here) lit. ' as in front of him,' i.e. 
corresponding to him. — IQ. The meaning cannot be that the 
animals had already been created, and are now brought to 
be named (Calv. al. and recently De. Str.) : such a sense 
is excluded by grammar (see Dri. T. § 76, Obs.), and misses 
the point of the passage. — to see what he would call it] To 
watch its effect on him, and (eventually) to see if he would 
recognise in it the associate he needed, — as one watches 

18. ntryx] May be cohort. (G-K. § 75 /) ; <&T3 render as ist p. pi. (as 
i^*). — niy] (usually ' succour ')= 'helper' {ahstr. pro concr.) is used else- 
where chiefly of God (Dt. 33''* ^*, Ps. 33-° 115^^- etc.) ; possible exceptions 
are Ezk. X2^* (if text right), Ho. i3»(if em. with We.): see BDB.— hjod] 
(5 /car airrdv (but v.^** S/ioios avT(^) ; Aq. wj KarivavTi airrov ; 2. dvTiKpiis 
aiiTov ; "B similis sibi (ejus, v.^) ; 5> CJlZ-dD | ; E° n'Sa'pD. — 19. jum© ins. 
lij; after D'h^k. — Omission of "nx before n'n-S^ is remarkable in this ch. 
(see on v.^), and is rectified by jjul. — n'n rs:] The only construction 
possible would be to take iV as daf. eth., and 'n ': as direct obj. to xnp' ; 
but that is contrary to the writer's usage, and yields a jejune sense. 
Even if (with Ra. ) we transpose and read ' every living thing which the 
man called [by a name], that was its name,' the discord of gender would 


the effect of a new experience on a little child. — whatever 
the 7nan should call it, that (was to be) its nafne] The spon- 
taneous ejaculation of the first man becomes to his posterity 
a name : such is the orig-in of (Hebrew) names. — The words 
n^^n c'DD are incapable of construction, and are to be omitted 
as an explanatory gloss (Ew. al.). — 20. The classification 
of animals is carried a step further than in ^^ (domestic and 
wild animals being distinguished), but is still simpler than 
inch. I. Fishes and 'creeping things 'are frankly omitted 
as inappropriate to the situation. — 21. It has appeared that 
no fresh creation ' from the ground ' can provide a fit com- 
panion for man : from his own body, therefore, must his 
future associate be taken. — HOTirij is a hypnotic trance, 
induced by supernatural agency (cf. Duhm on Is. 29^*^). 
The purpose here is to produce anesthesia, with perhaps 
the additional idea that the divine working cannot take 
place under human observation (Di. Gu.). — one 0/ his rids] 
A part of his frame that (it was thought) could easily be 
spared. There is doubtless a deeper significance in the 
representation: it suggests "the moral and social relation 
of the sexes to each other, the dependence of woman upon 
man, her close relationship to him, and the foundation 
existing in nature for . . . the feelings with which each 
should naturally regard the other" (Dri.). The Arabs use 
similarly a word for * rib,' saying" ht'ia liski or hua bilizki for 
* he is my bosom companion.' On the other hand, the notion 
that the first human being- was androgynous, and afterwards 
separated into man and woman (see Schw. ARW^ ix. 172 ff.), 
finds no countenance in the passage. — 22. built up the rib 

be fatal, to say nothing of the addition of m.—2a. ']iy'7i] Rd. with MSS 
^'SSiW ^T^i^'^ (Ba.).— din'-i] Here the Mass. takes Adam as a proper 
name. De. al. explain it as generic = ' for a human being' (Gu.) ; Ols. 
emends Dixm. The truth is that the Mass. loses no opportunity pre- 
sented by the Kethih of treating m.v as n. pr. Point d^n^I- — **^'° '*''] Tu. 
al. take God as subj. ; but it may be pass, expressed by indef subj. 
(G-K. § 144^, e) = ' there was not found.' — 21. nmnn] C5 'iK(iTixcTi.v\ Aq. 
KaTa(popdv ; S. Kdpov ; & [^ — ^.» ('tranquillity'); "S sopor; 2^° and some 
Gr. Vns. (Field) have 'sleep' simply. The examples of its use (15"^, 
I Sa. 261^, Is. 291", Jb. 4'3 2>Z^^, Pr. 19"^!), all except the last, confirm 

II, 20— 23 6g 

. . . znio a woman] So in the Eg-yptian "Tale of the two 
brothers," the god Chnum ' built ' a wife for his favourite 
Batau, the hieroglyphic determinative showing that the 
operation was actually likened to the building of a wall 
(see Wiedemann, JDB, Sup. 180). — 23. By a flash of intu- 
ition the man divines that the fair creature now brought to 
him is part of himself, and names her accordingly. There 
is a poetic ring and rhythm in the exclamation that breaks 
from him. — T/n's at lasi\ Lit. 'This, this time' {v.i.)'. note 
the thrice repeated riNT. — bone of my bones, efc] The expres- 
sions originate in the primitive notion of kinship as resting 
on "participation in a common mass of flesh, blood, and 
bones" (Rob. Sm. J?S^, 273 f. : cf. KAI^, 175 f.), so that 
all the members of a kindred group are parts of the same 
substance, whether acquired by heredity or assimilated in 
the processes of nourishment (cf. 29^* 37^'', Ju. 9^, 2 Sa. 5^ 
19^^). The case before us, where the material identity is 
expressed in the manner of woman's creation, is unique. — 
shall be called Woman] English is fortunate in being able 
to reproduce this assonance ('/i, 'IsM) without straining 
language : other translations are driven to lours de force 

Duhm's view that hypnotic sleep is indicated. It is true that in the 
vb. (Niph.) that sense is less marked. — 23. Dvsn riNt] The construction 
rendered above takes nxi as subj. of the sent, and Dy2n = 'this time,' the 
art. having full demonstrative force, as in 29^^'- 30-'' 46^, Ex. 9-^ (so ffi 
2GU ; De. Di. Gu. al.). The accents, however, unite the words 
in one phrase ' this time,' after the rather important analogy of crys ni 
(27^® 43'"), leaving the subj. unexpressed. This sense is followed by 
SC^J, and advocated by Sta. {ZATW, xvii. 2ioff.); but it seems less 
acceptable than the other. — ty>', r\-i't(\ The old derivation of these words 
from a common ^J ti':^ is generally abandoned, e^'n being assigned to a 
hypothetical 1^ i:';x='be strong' (Ges. Th.). An and Aram., indeed, 
show quite clearly that the sj seen in the pi. dtjn (and in m^) and 
that of n^'N (nV'iN) are only apparently identical, the one having 5 where 
the other has /. The masc. and fem. are therefore etymologically 
distinct, and nothing remains but a very strong assonance. The 
question whether we are to postulate a third s] for the sing. c-'N does 
not greatly concern us here ; the arguments will be found in BDB, s.v. 
See No. ZDMG, xl. 740 (" Aber b^-js mochte ich doch bei ^=jn lassen"). 
In imitation of the assonance, S. has dvSpLi, V Virago. 6. X'^i/zts, re- 
presents N^x, ' I will take ' : a curious blunder which is fully elucidated by 


{e.g. ]eY. Virago; Luther, Afdfmtn). Whether even in Heb. 
it is more than an assonance is doubtful [v.z'.). — 24. An 
aetiological observation of the narrator : TMs is why a man 
leaves . . . and cleaves ... and they become, etc.\ It is 
not a prophecy from the standpoint of the narrative ; nor 
a recommendation of monogamic marriage (as applied in 
Mt. i9*ff-, Mk. lo*'^-, I Co. 6^^ Eph. s^i) ; it is an answer 
to the question, What is the meaning of that universal 
instinct which impels a man to separate from his parents 
and cling to his wife? It is strange that the man's attach- 
ment to the woman is explained here, and the woman's to 
the man only in 3^^. 

It has been imag-ined that the v. presupposes the primitive custom 
called beena marriag-e, or that modification of it in which the husband 
parts from his own kindred for good, and goes to live with his wife's 
kin (so Gu. : cf. KM'^, 87, 207) ; and other instances are alleged in the 
patriarchal history. But this would imply an almost incredible antiquity 
for the present form of the narrative ; and, moreover, the dominion of the 
man over the wife assumed in 3''''' is inconsistent with the conditions of 
beena marriage. Cf. Benz. EB, 2675: "The phrase . . . may be an 
old saying dating from remote times when the husband went to the 
house (tent) of the wife and joined her clan. Still the passage may be 
merely the narrator's remark ; and even if it should be an old proverb 
we cannot be sure that it really carries us so far back in antiquity." — 
See, however, Gressmann, ARW, x. 353^; van Doorninck, ThT, xxxix. 
238 (who assigns 2^* and 3^^ to different recensions). 

oneflesJi\ If the view just mentioned could be maintained, 
this phrase might be equivalent to * one clan ' (Lv. 25^^) ; 
for "both in Hebrew and Arabic 'flesh' is synonymous 
with 'clan' or kindred group" {RS'^, 274). More probably 
it refers simply to the connubium. — 25. naked . . . not 
ashamed] The remark is not merely an anticipation of the 

the quotation from Origen given in Field, p. 15^-. — For v-kd, wjifflrC^ read 
n^'ND, which is by no means an improvement. — nxmni'^^] See G-K. §§ 10 h, 
20 c. — 24. vni] Add Qn'iv with ffiUSST-' and NT citations, m. has 
D.TJB'O n'm, referring to the offspring. — 25. D's^i'] chj; 'naked,' to be care- 
fully distinguished from Dili; ( ^ mv) 'crafty,' in 3^, is either a by-form 
of DTj; (sj nij;='be bare') in 3'*"-, or (more probably) a different forma- 
tion from A^/ my ('be bare'). See BOB, s.vv. — icxon'] The Hithpal. 
(only here) probably expresses reciprocity ('ashamed before one 
another ') ; the impf. is frequentative. 

II. 24-ni. I 71 

account given later of the origin of clothing (3'', of. 21). It 
calls attention to the difference between the original and the 
actual condition of man as conceived by the writer. Tha 
consciousness of sex is the result of eating the tree : before 
then ourlTrst parents had the innocence of children, who are 
often seen naked in the East (Doughty, AD, ii. 475). 

V.^ is a transition verse, leading over to the main theme to which all 
that goes before is but the prelude. How long the state of primitive 
innocence lasted, the writer is at no pains to inform us. This indiffer- 
ence to the non-essential is as characteristic of the popular tale as its 
graphic wealth of detail in features of real interest. The omission 
afforded an opportunity for the exercise of later Midrashic ingenuity ; 
Jub. iii. 15 fixes the period at seven years, while R. Eliezer {Ber. J?.) 
finds that it did not last six hours. 

III. 1-7. The temptation. — Attention is at once 
directed to the quarter where the possibility of evil already 
lurked amidst the happiness of Eden — the preternatural 
subtlety of the serpent : Bu^ the serpent was wily] The 
wisdom of the serpent was proverbial in antiquity (Mt. 10^^ : 
see Bochart, Hieroz. iii. 246 ff.), a belief probably founded 
less on observation of the creature's actual qualities than on 
the general idea of its divine or demonic nature : Trvcv/xari- 
KoiTttTov yap TO tjiiov TTOLVTOiv Twv kpiT€Tuiv (Sauchuniathon, in Eus. 
Prcep. Ev. i. 10). Hence the epithet DllV might be used of 
it sensu bono (^poVt/xo?), though the context here makes it 
certain that the bad sense (Travov/syos) is intended (see below). 
— beyond any beast, etc.] The serpent, therefore, belongs to 
the category of ' beasts of the field,' and is a creature of 
Yahwe ; and an effort seems to be made to maintain this 
view throughout the narrative (v.^*). At the same time it 
is a being possessing supernatural knowledge, with the 
power of speech, and animated by hostility towards God. 
It is this last feature which causes some perplexity. To say 
that the thoughts which it instils into the mind of the woman 
were on the serpent's part not evil, but only extremely 
sagacious, and became sin first in the human consciousness 
(so Merx, Di. al.), is hardly in accordance with the spirit of 
the narrative. It is more probable that behind the sober 
description of the serpent as a mere creature of Yahwe, 


there was an earlier form of the leg-end in which he figured as 
a god or a demon. 

The ascription of supernatural characters to the serpent presents 
little difficulty even to the modern mind. The marvellous agility of the 
snake, in spite of the absence of visible motor organs, its stealthy move- 
ments, its rapid death-dealing stroke, and its mysterious power of 
fascinating other animals and even men, sufficiently account for the 
superstitious regard of which it has been the object amongst all peoples.* 
Accordingly, among the Arabs every snake is the abode of a spirit, 
sometimes bad and sometimes good, so that ^anfi and gul and even 
Shaitdn are given as designations of the serpent (We. Heid. 152 f. ; cf. 
Rob. Sm. RS"^, 120^ 129 f., 442). f What is more surprising to us is the 
fact that in the sphere of religion the serpent was usually worshipped as 
a good demon. Traces of this conception can be detected in the narrative 
before us. The demonic character of the serpent appears in his posses- 
sion of occult divine knowledge of the properties of the tree in the 
middle of the garden, and in his use of that knowledge to seduce man 
from his allegiance to his Creator. The enmity between the race of 
men and the race of serpents is explained as a punishment for his 
successful temptation ; originally he must have been represented as a 
being hostile, indeed, to God, but friendly to the woman, who tells her 
the truth which the Deity withheld from man (see Gres. I.e. 357). All 
this belongs to the background of heathen mythology from which the 
materials of the narrative were drawn ; and it is the incomplete elimina- 
tion of the mythological element, under the influence of a monotheistic 
and ethical religion, which makes the function of the serpent in Gn. 3 
so difficult to understand. In later Jewish theology the difficulty was 

* Comp. the interesting sequel to the sentence from Sanchuniathon 
quoted above : . . . /cat 7ri'pJ;5es vw avrov Trape566r] Trap 6 Kal rdxos avvw^p- 
^\t]tov dia ToO TTveij/naTOs irapLarriffi, xwpls iro^Giv re Kal x^'-P^") ^ dXXou rivbs 
Twv ^^uOef, i^ uv TO. XoiTrd. ^tlia rets Kivricreis Troielrai' Kal iroiKiXuv axvi^^^i^v 
rvirovs aTroreXeZ, Kal Kara rrjv iropelav eXiKoeideh ^x" '''^■^ op/nas, i(p' 6 ^ovXerai 
Tcixos' Kal TroXuxpovidiTaTOv d^ iffnv, ov jjibvov Ttjj (KOvdfievop t6 y^jpas ued^eiv, 
dXXa Kal ad^yjcnv ^TrtS^xeir^at fiei^ova wicpvKe . . . Aid Kal iv iepols tovto rb 
^Qoy Kal iv fivarripioii (rvfnrapel\7)iTTai kt\. (Orelli, p. 44). 

t Cf. No. ZVP, i. 413: "Das geheimnissvolle, damonische Wesen 
der Schlange, das sie vor alien grosseren Thieren auszeichnet, die 
tiickische, verderbenbringende Natur vieler Arten, konnte in dem 
einfachen semitischen Hirten leicht den Glauben erzeugen, in ihr wohne 
etwas Gottliches, den Menschen Bannendes und Bezauberndes. So 
finden wir die Schlange im Eingang des alten Testaments, so ist sie im 
Alterthum, wie noch jetzt, ein Hauptgegenstand orientalischer Zauberei. 
So glaubte auch der Araber, die Schlange (wie einige andere schadliche 
Thiere) sei kein gewohnliches Geschopf, sondern ein Dschinn, ein Geist. 
Schon die Sprache driickt dies dadurch aus, dass sie mit Dsann, einem 
Worte welches mit Dzinn eng verwandt ist, eine Schiangenart bezeich- 
net, etc." 

III. I 73 

solved, as is well known, by the doctrine that the serpent of Eden was 
the mouthpiece or impersonation of the devil. The idea appears first in 
Alexandrian Judaism in Wisd. 2"* {'by the envy of the devil, death 
entered into ihc world ') : possibly earlier is the allusion in £n. Ixix. 6, 
where the seduction of Eve is ascribed to a Satan called Gadreel. Cf. 
Secrets 0/ En. xxxi. 3ff., Ps. Sol. 4*; also Ber. E. 29, the name B-g} 
•p-jSn (SifrS 138 b), and in the NT Jn. 8« 2 Co. ii^, Ro. 16-0, Ap. i2» 
20' (see Whitehouse, DB, iv. 408 ff.)- Similarly in Persian mytholog-y 
the serpent Dahika, to whose power Yima, the ruler of the golden age, 
succumbs, is a creature and incarnation of the evil spirit Angro-Mainyo 
( Vend. i. 8, xxii. 5, 6, 24 ; Ya^^na ix. 27 ; cf. Di. 70). The Jewish and 
Christian doctrine is a natural and legitimate extension of the teaching 
of Gn. 3, when the problem of evil came to be apprehended in its real 
magnitude ; but it is foreign to the thought of the writer, although it 
cannot be denied that it may have some affinity with the mythological 
background of his narrative. The religious teaching of the passage 
knows nothing of an evil principle external to the serpent, but regards 
himself as the subject of whatever occult powers he displays : he is simply 
a creature of Yahwe distinguished from the rest by his superior subtlety. 
The Yahwistic author does not speculate on the ultimate origin of evil ; 
it was enough for his purpose to have so analysed the process of temp- 
tation that the beginning of sin could be assigned to a source which 
is neither in the nature of man nor in God. The personality of the 
Satan (the Adversary) does not appear in the OT till after the Exile 
(Zee. Jb. Ch.). 

The serpent shows his subtlety by addressing his first 
temptation to the more mobile temperament of the woman 
(Ra. al.), and by the skilful innuendo with which he at once 
invites conversation and masks his ultimate design. — Ay, 
and so God has said, etc. .'] Something like this seems to be 
the force of ''3 H^^ [v.i.). It is a half-interrogative, half- 
reflective exclamation, as if the serpent had brooded long 
over the paradox, and had been driven to an unwelcome 
conclusion. — Ye shall not eat of any tree\ The range of the 
prohibition is purposely exaggerated in order to provoke 
inquiry and criticism. The use of the name ^''^^i?. is 

I. n'n t:'n:ni] The usual order of words when a new subject is intro- 
duced, G-K. § 142 c?; Dav. § 105. — cnv] ffi 4>poi'i//.dJTaTo^, Aq. 9. Travovpyoi, 
S. iravovpydrepos, "E callidior. The good sense (which appears to be 
secondary, cf. Ar. 'arama=^he. ill-natured') is confined to Prov. ; else- 
where (Jb. 5^^ 15") it means 'crafty,' 'wily.' The same distinction is 
observed in all forms of the ^j except that in Jb. 5" u-\y has the good 
sense. The resemblance to D'onj; in 2^ is perhaps accidental. — "CK'i 
ffltS-1-B'mn. — 'D f]«] as a compound part, generally means 'much more 


commonly explained by the analogy of other passages of 
J, where the name mn* is avoided in conversation vi^ith 
heathen (39^ etc.), or when the contrast between the divine 
and the human is reflected upon (32^^). But J's usage in 
such cases is not uniform, and it is doubtful what is the true 
explanation here (see p. 53). — 2, 3. The woman's first 
experience of falsehood leads to an eager repudiation of the 
serpent's intentional calumny, in which she emphasises the 
generosity of the divine rule, but unconsciously intensifies 
the stringency of the prohibition by adding the words: nor 
shall ye touch it\ A Jewish legend says that the serpent 
took advantage of this innocent and immaterial variation 
by forcing her to touch the fruit, and then arguing that as 
death had not followed the touch, so it would not follow the 
eating {^Ber. R., Ra.). Equally futile inferences have been 
drawn by modern comm., and the surmise that the clause 
is redactional (Bu. Urg. 241) is hypercritical. — the tree . . . 
midst] See p. 66 f. — 4. Ve shall assuredly not die] On the 
syntax, v.t. The serpent thus advances to an open 
challenge of the divine veracity, and thence to the imputa- 
tion of an unworthy motive for the command, viz. a jealous 
fear on God's part lest they should become His equals. — 

(or less),' 'not to mention,' etc., as in i Sa. 14^, i Ki. 8", Pr. 11'^ etc. 
In some cases the simple ^n has this sense, and the '3 (=' when,' 'if') 
introduces the following' clause (i Sa. 23^, 2 Sa. 4'*"- etc.). It would be 
easy to retain this sense in v.^ (' How much more w/ien God has said,' 
etc.), if we might assume with many comm. that some previous conver- 
sation had taken place ; but that is an unwarrantable assumption. The 
rendering on which Dri. (BOB) bases the ordinary meaning of 'D ']K — 
''Tis indeed that' — requires but a slight interrogative inflexion of the 
voice to yield the shade of meaning given above : ' So it is the case that 
God,' etc.? The Vns. all express a question : ffi ri Uri, Aq. jxri 6ti, 2. irpbi 
tI, "H cur, S Aj1^-i^^, ^° NBtJ-ip^ (=' really '?).—'72D . . . N'?]='not of 
any': G-K. § 152*.— 2. n£D] ffir ^bp, ^ "janBD.— 3. nsai] Not 'concerning 
the tree.' There is an anakolouthon at D'h'jn nox, and the emphatically 
placed nsD is resumed by 1:00.— fvn] Au. + njn. — pncn] On the ending, see 
G-K. §§47 ^«, 72 I/. —4. pncnmox'?] On the unusual order, see Dav. §86 (i) ; 
G-K. § II3Z'. It is often explained as a negation of the threat in 2", 
adopting the same form of words ; but the phrase had not been used 
by the woman, and the exact words are 7wt repeated. More probably 
its effect is to concentrate the emphasis on the neg. part, rather than on 

III. 2-6 75 

5. But God k7io'weth, etc.] And therefore has falsely 
threatened you with death. The gratuitous insinuation 
reveals the main purpose of the tempter, to sow the seeds 
of distrust towards God in the mind of the woman. — jo7/r 
eyes shall he opetied] The expression denotes a sudden 
acquisition of new powers of perception through super- 
natural influence (21^^, Nu. 22^^, 2 Ki. 6^^). — as gods] or 
'divine beings,' rather than * as God': the rendering * as 
angels' (lEz.) expresses the idea with substantial accuracy. 
The likeness to divinity actually acquired is not equality 
with Yahwe (see Gu. on v.22), — knowing good and evil] See 
p. 95 ff. — "The facts are all, in the view of the narrator, 
correctly stated by the serpent ; he has truly represented 
the mysterious virtue of the tree ; knowledge really confers 
equality with God (3^2) ; and it is also true that death does 
not immediately follow the act of eating. But at the same 
time the serpent insinuates a certain construction of these 
facts : God is envious, inasmuch as He grudges the highest 
good to man : — (f>6ov€pbv to 6e2ov, an antique sentiment 
familiar to us from the Greeks" (Gu.). — 6. The spiritual 
part of the temptation is now accomplished, and the serpent 
is silent, leaving the fascination of sense to do the rest. 
The woman looks on the tree with new eyes ; she observes 
how attractive to taste and sight its fruit seems, and how 
desirable /or obtaining insight (so most) or to contemplate 
(ffiFS; so Tu. Ges. De. Gu. al.). The second trans- 
lation is the more suitable — for how could she tell by sight 
that the fruit would impart wisdom ? — although the vb. is 
not elsewhere used in Heb. for mere looking (z;.z.). — gave 
also to her husband] "The process in the man's case was 
no doubt the same as that just described, the woman taking 
the place of the serpent" (Ben.). That Adam sinned with 
his eyes open in order not to be separated from his wife has 

the verbal idea (cf. Am. 9^, Ps. 49^).— S- o'n'^Ko] (& wj dtol, W^ panana. — 

6. \un-] ffiUom.— S'^B-n'?] ffi Karavorjaai, "S adspeciu, and 5 CTLO ; v .. Vn\ 
all take the vb. as vb. of sight ; 2^° ^'a kSjhd.x'? is indeterminate (see Levy, 
Chald. Wh. 163 a). In OT the word is used of mental vision (insight, or 
attentive consideration: Dt. 32^, Ps. 41-, Pr. 2i'''* etc.); in NH and 


been a common idea both among- Jews and Christians {Ber. 
R., Ra. lEz. Milton, etc.), but is not true to the intention 
of the narrative. — J. the eyes . . . opened] The prediction 
of the serpent is so far fulfilled ; but the change fills them 
with guilty fear and shame. — they ktiew that they were naked] 
The new sense of shame is spoken of as a sort of Werthur- 
theil passed by the awakened intelligence on the empirical 
fact of being unclothed. A connexion between sexual 
shame and sin (Di.) is not suggested by the passage, and 
is besides not true to experience. But to infer from this 
single eff'ect that the forbidden fruit had aphrodisiac 
properties (see Barton, SO^, 93 ff. ; Gressmann, p. 356) is a 
still greater perversion of the author's meaning ; he merely 
gives this as an example of the new range of knowledge 
acquired by eating of the tree. It is the kind of knowledge 
which comes with maturity to all, — the transition " from 
the innocence of childhood into the knowledge which 
belongs to adult age" (Dri.). — -foliage of the fig-tree] To the 
question. Why fig-leaves in particular ? the natural answer 
is that these, if not very suitable for the purpose, were yet 
the most suitable that the flora of Palestine could suggest 
(Di. Dri. Ben. al.). An allusion to the so-called fig-tree 
of Paradise, a native of India (probably the plantain), is on 
every ground improbable; — " ein geradezu pliilisterhafter 
Einfall " (Bu.). For allegorical interpretations of the fig- 
leaves, see Lagarde, Mitth. i. 73flF., who adds a very 
original and fantastic one of his own. 

8-13. The inquest. — Thus far the narrative has dealt 
with what may be called the natural (magical) effects of the 
eating of the tree — the access of enlightenment, and the 
disturbance thus introduced into the relations of the guilty 
pair to each other. The ethical aspect of the offence comes 

Aram, it means ' to look at,' but only in Hithp. (Ithp.). On the other 
view the Hiph. is intrans. (='for acquiring- wisdom': Ps. 94*) rather 
than caus. ( = 'to impart wisdom': Ps. 32^ etc.). — Gu. considers the 
clause 'rh fyn nonr a variant from another source. — npni] C5^ + .X'N.i. — • 
V^N'i] jjuffi i'73xn.— 7. D'DTV] See on 2-^— n'^j,'] coll.; but some MSS and 
us. have ■'h'j^. 

III. 7-12 1*] 

to light in their first interview with Yahwe ; and this is 
delineated w'ith a skill hardly surpassed in the account of 
the temptation itself. — 8. they heard the sound\ ^ip used of 
footsteps, as 2 Sa. 52*, i Ki. i4«, 2 Ki. 6=^2. ^f. Ezk. 312'., 
Jl. 2^. — of Yahtoe God as He walked] The verb is used 
(Lv. 26^, Dt. 23^^, 2 Sa. 7^) of Yahwe's majestic marching 
in the midst of Israel ; but it mars the simplicity of the 
representation if (with De.) we introduce that idea here. — m 
the cool (lit. ' at the breeze ') of the day] i.e. towards evening, 
when in Eastern lands a refreshing wind springs up (cf. 
Ca. 2^'' 4*5 : but v.i.), and the master, who has kept his 
house or tent during the 'heat of the day' (18^), can walk 
abroad with comfort (24^^). Such, we are led to understand, 
was Yahwe's daily practice ; and the man and woman had 
been wont to meet Him with the glad confidence of 
innocence. But on this occasion they hid themselves, etc. — 

9. Where art thou ?] (cf. 4^). The question expresses 
ignorance ; it is not omniscience that the writer wishes to 
illustrate, but the more impressive attribute of sagacity. — 

10. I feared . . . naked] With the instinctive cunning of a bad 
conscience, the man hopes to escape complete exposure 
by acknowledging part of the truth ; he alleges nakedness 
as the ground of his fear, putting fear and shame in a false 
causal connexion (Ho.). — II. Hast thou eaten, etc.?] All 
unwittingly he has disclosed his guilty secret : he has shown 
himself possessed of a knowledge which could only have 
been acquired in one way. — 12. The man cannot even yet 
bring himself to make a clean breast of it ; but with a quaint 
mixture of cowardice and effrontery he throws the blame 

8. I^nna] ace. of condition: Dav. § 70 (a).— cvn m-h] (>5 rb deiXivdi', 
Tff ad auram post meridiem, S (SdO-jJ m . 1 g^ N, 2^° NOV mrh. On 
this use of ^ ( = ' towards'), see BDB, s.v. 6a; and cf. 8" 172J, Is. 
7^, Jb. 24^^ With nn cf. Ar. raivah = tempus vespertinum. Jewish 
exegesis {Ber. R.) and Calv. suppose the morning (sea) breeze to be 
meant, as is probably the case in Ca. 2P 4®, and would seem more in 
accordance with Palestinian conditions. But it is manifestly improbable 
here.— p'] coll., as often. ffiL om. — 9. n^'x] G-K. § 1000. ©supplies 
'Adam' before, and Si after, the interrog. — 10. 'ni'ioc'] ffi + TrepiTraTowTos 
(as V.8). — II. 'n'73'7] See G-K. § 114 s. — Before /x^ (payelv (& has tovtov 


directly on the woman, and indirectly on God who gave her 
to him. — 13. The woman in like manner exculpates herself 
by pleading (truly enough) that she had been deceived by 
the serpent. — The whole situation is now laid bare, and 
nothing remains but to pronounce sentence. No question 
is put to the serpent, because his evil motive is understood : 
he has acted just as might have been expected of him. 
Calv. says, " the heast had no sense of sin, and the devil no 
hope of pardon." 

14-19. This section contains the key to the significance 
of the story of the Fall. It is the first example of a 
frequently recurring motive of the Genesis narratives, the 
idea, viz., that the more perplexing facts in the history of 
men and peoples are the working out of a doom or ' weird ' 
pronounced of old under divine inspiration, or (as in this 
case) by the Almighty Himself: see ^^ 82i«- if>^- \G^ zf^^- 
39f. ^^8^^*-, ch. 49; cf. Nu. 23 f., Dt. 33. Here certain fixed 
adverse conditions of the universal human lot are traced 
back to a primaeval curse uttered by Yahwe in consequence 
of man's first transgression. See, further, p. 95 below. — 
The form of the oracles is poetic ; but the structure is 
irregular, and no definite metrical scheme can be made 

14, 15. The curse on the serpent is legible, partly 
in its degraded form and habits (^*), and partly in the 
deadly feud between it and the human race (^^). — 14. on thy 
belly ^ elc] The assumption undoubtedly is that originally 
the serpent moved erect, but not necessarily that its 
organism was changed {e.g: by cutting off its legs, etc. 
Rabb.). As a matter of fact most snakes have the power of 
erecting a considerable part of their bodies ; and in mytho- 

nbvov.—x^. riNT-no] So commonly with ncy ; with other vbs. ni-no (G-K. 
§i36f;Dav. §7(r)). 

14. "730] On this use of p (=^ numero), see G-K. § iigw, and cf. 
Ex. 19', Dt. 142 ^y*, Ju. 52* etc. Sta.'s argument (ZATW, xvii. 209) for 
deleting 1 nor^in '?3d, on the ground that the serpent belongs to the cate- 
gory of ma'.i n'n but not to nann, is logical, but hardly convincing. — pnj] 
Probably from ^ jn: (Aram.) = ' curve' or 'bend' (De., BDB), occurs 
again only Lv. ii'*-, of reptiles. 'P renders pectus, <& combines ot^5os 

III. 13-15 79 

logical representations the serpent often appears in the 
upright position (Ben.). The idea probably is that this was 
its original posture : how it was maintained was perhaps 
not reflected upon. — dust shall thou eat] Cf. Mic. 7", Is. 652*. 
It is a prosaic explanation to say that the serpent, crawl- 
ing on the ground, inadvertently swallows a good deal of 
dust (Boch, Hieroz. iii. 245 ; Di. al.) ; and a mere metaphor 
for humiliation (like Ass. ti-ka-lu ip-ra\ KIB, v. 232 f.) is 
too weak a sense for this passage. Probably it is a piece 
of ancient superstition, like the Arabian notion that the 
£^inn eat dirt (We. Heid. 150). — all the days of thy life] 
i.e. each serpent as long as it lives, and the race of 
serpents as long as it lasts. It is not so certain as most 
comm. seem to think that these words exclude the 
demonic character of the serpent. It is true that the 
punishment of a morally irresponsible agent was recognised 
in Hebrew jurisprudence (9^, Ex. 21^^-, Lv. 20^^^). But it 
is quite possible that here (as in v.^^) the archetypal serpent 
is conceived as re-embodied in all his progeny, as acting 
and suffering in each member of the species. — 15. The 
serpent's attempt to establish unholy fellowship with the 
woman is punished by implacable and undying enmity 
between them.* — l?iy seed and her seed] The whole brood of 

and KoiKla. — 1$. yij] in the sense of 'offspring-,' is nearly always col- 
lective. In a few cases where it is used of an individual child (4^' ai^*, 
I Sa. i") it denotes the immediate offspring as the pledge of posterity, 
never a remote descendant (see No. AI? W, viii. 164 ff.). The Messianic 
application therefore is not justified in grammar. — xin] the rendering 
ipsa (U) is said not to be found in the Fathers before Ambrose and 
Augustine (Zapletal, ATliches, 19). Jer. at all events knew that ipse 
should be read. — usiB-n . . . ieiib"] The form '\w recurs only Jb. 9", 
Ps. I39^^ and, in both, text and meaning are doubtful. In Aram, and 
NH the sj (I'V or y"y) has the primary sense of 'rub,' hence 'wear 
down by rubbing '= ' crush ' ; in Syr. it also means to crawl. There are 
a few exx. of a tendency of Vy vbs. to strengthen themselves by 
insertion of K (Kon. i. 439), and it is often supposed that in certain pass. 

* " Fit enim arcano naturae sensu ut ab ipsis abhorreat homo " (Calv.). 
Cf. (with Boch. Hieroz. iii. 250) " quam dudum dixeras te odisse asque 
atque angues" (Plant. Merc, 4) ; and iK iraiSbs rbv \pvxpbv 6(piv to. fiiXiara 
diSoiKa (Theoc. Id. 15). 


serpents, and the whole race of men. — He shall bruise thee 
on the head, etc.] In the first clause the subj. (x^n) is the 
' seed ' of the woman individualised (or collectively), in the 
second {'^^^) it is the serpent himself, acting through his 
* seed.' The current reading of 5J {ipsa) may have been 
prompted by a feeling that the proper antithesis to the 
serpent is the woman herself. The general meaning of the 
sentence is clear : in the war between men and serpents 
the former will crush the head of the foe, while the latter 
can only wound in the heel. The difficulty is in the vb. f]ltJ', 
which in the sense * bruise ' is inappropriate to the serpent's 
mode of attack. We may speak of a serpent striking a 
man (as in Lat. feriri a serpente), but hardly of bruising. 
Hence many comm. (following ^ al.) take the vb. as a 
by-form of ^'^'^' (strictly * pant '), in the sense of ' be eager 
for,' 'aim at' (Ges. Ew. Di. al.); while others (Gu. al.) 
suppose that by paronomasia the word means ' bruise ' in 
the first clause, and * aim at ' in the second. But it may 
be questioned whether this idea is not even less suitable 
than the other (Dri.). A perfectly satisfactory interpretation 
cannot be given [v.i.]. 

The Messianic interpretation of the * seed of the woman ' appears 
in CJ and Targ. Jer., where the v. is explained of the Jewish com- 

(Ezk. 36^ Am. 2' 8\ Ps. 562-^57^) >-]ia* is disguised under the by-form «]N2'. 
But the only places where the assumption is at all necessary are 
Am. 2^ 8^, where the ^< may be simply tnafer lectionis for the & of the 
ptcp. (cf. Dxpi, Ho. 10'^) ; in the other cases the proper sense of ^1^ 
('pant ' or metaph. ' long- for ') suffices. The reverse process (substitu- 
tion of fjiB" for fjxii') is much less likely ; and the only possible instance 
would be Jb. 9'^, which is too uncertain to count for anything. There 
is thus not much ground for supposing a confusion in this v. ; and De. 
points out that vbs. of hostile endeavour, as distinct from hostile achieve- 
ment (^3.1, nsn, etc.), are never construed with double ace. The gain 
in sense is so doubtful that it is better to adhere to the meaning 'crush.' 
The old Vns. felt the difficulty and ambiguity. The idea of crushing 
is represented by Aq. Trpoo-rp/^et, S. dXiipei, ffi '^°'^'- "s- rpixf/ei. (see 
Field) and Jer. {Qucest.^ conterere \ 'pant after' by G^ ^- T7;p^(r«[s] (if 
not a mistake for rpijcre^s] or r€i(ir\aei\%\). A double sense is given by 
!H conteret . . . insidiaberis, and perhaps 5 «_*OrJ . . . ■ .m o » ....Vn / • 
while 2"° paraphrases : n-^ naj 'nn nm poipSo n'S maj;n no tdt n.t mn 

III. 15 81 

munlty and its victory over the devil "in the days of King- Messiah," 
The reference to the person of Christ was taught by Irenjeus, but was 
never so generally accepted in the Church as the kindred idea that the 
serpent is the instrument of Satan. Medieeval exegetes, relying on the 
ipsa of the Vulg., applied the expression directly to the Virgin Mary; 
and even Luther, while rejecting this reference, recognised an allusion 
to the virgin birth of Christ. In Protestant theolog-y this view gave 
way to the more reasonable view of Calvin, that the passage is a 
promise of victory over the devil to mankind, united in Christ its divine 
Head. That even this goes beyond the original meaning of the v. is 
admitted by most modern expositors ; and indeed it is doubtful if, from 
the standpoint of strict historical exegesis, the passage can be regarded 
as in any sense a Protevangelium. Di. (with whom Dri. substantially 
agrees) finds in the words the idea of man's vocation to ceaseless moral 
warfare with the ' serpent-brood ' of sinful thoug-hts, and an implicit 
promise of the ultimate destruction of the evil power. That interpreta- 
tion, however, is open to several objections, (i) A message of hope 
and encouragement in the midst of a series of curses and punishments 
is not to be assumed unless it be clearly implied in the language. It 
would be out of harmony with the tone not only of the Paradise story, 
but of the Yahwistic sections of chs. i-ii as a whole : it is not till we 
come to the patriarchal history that the " note of promise and of hope " 
is firmly struck. (2) To the mind of the narrator, the serpent is no 
more a symbol of the power of evil or of temptation than he is an in- 
carnation of the devil. He is himself an evil creature, perhaps a 
demonic creature transmitting his demonic character to his progeny, 
but there is no hint that he represents a principle, of .eviLapa,rt_ from 
himself. (3) No victory is promised to either party, but only perpetual 
warfare between them : the order of the' clauses making- it specially 
hard to suppose that the victory of man was contemplated. Di. admits 
that no such assurance is expressed ; but finds it in the general tenor 
of the passage : " a conflict ordained by God cannot be without prospect 
of success." But that is really to beg the whole question in dispute. 
If it be said that the words, being part of the sentence on the serpent, 
must mean that he is ultimately to be defeated, it may be answered 
that the curse on the serpent is the enmity established between him and 
the human race, and that the feud between them is simply the mani- 
festation and proof of that antagonism. — It is thus possible that in its 
primary intention the oracle reflects the protest of ethical religion 
against the unnatural fascination of snake-worship. It is psychologi- 
cally true that the instinctive feelings which lie at the root of the worship 
of serpents are closely akin to the hatred and loathing which the 
repulsive reptile excites in the healthy human mind ; and the trans- 
formation of a once sacred animal into an object of aversion is a not 
infrequent phenomenon in the history of religion (see Ores. I.e. 360). 
The essence of the temptation is that the serpent-demon has tampered 
with the religious instinct in man by posing as his good genius, and 
insinuating distrust of the goodness of God ; and his punishment is to 
find himself at eternal war with the race whom he has seduced from 


their allegiance to their Creator. And that is very much the light in 
which serpent-worship must have appeared to a believer in the holy and 
righteous God of the OT. — The conjecture of Gu., that originally the 
'seed of the woman' and the 'seed of the serpent' may have been 
mythological personages (cf. ATLO-, 217 f.), even if confirmed by 
Assyriology, would have little bearing on the thought of the biblical 

16. The doom of the woman: consisting: in the 
hardships incident to her sex, and social position in the 
East. The pains of childbirth, and the desire which makes 
her the willing- slave of the man, impressed the ancient 
mind as at once mysterious and unnatural ; therefore to be 
accounted for by a curse imposed on woman from the 
beg-inning", — / 70111 multiply^ etc.\ More strictly, * I will 
cause thee to have much suffering and pregnancy' (see 
Dav. § 3, R. (2)). It is, of course, not an intensification of 
pain to which she is already subject that is meant. — For 
"^iy^i ffi read some word meaning 'groaning' (y.i.); but to 
prefer this reading on the ground that Hebrew women 
esteemed frequent pregnancy a blessing (Gu.) makes a too 
general statement. It is better (with Ho.) to assume a 
hendiadys : ' the pain of thy conception ' (as in the ex- 
planatory clause which follows). — in pain . . . children] 
The pangs of childbirth are proverbial in OT for the 
extremity of human anguish (Is. 21^ 13^, Mic. 4^, Ps. 48^, 
and oft. : Ex. i^^ cannot be cited to the contrary). — lo thy 

16. Sk] Read -'jni, with wjifflrS.— nanx nam] So 16'" 22". On the 
irreg. form of inf. abs., see G-K. § 7S#— p^sj;] (3'^ ^-•^\ [J]), ffi X^Trat 
(=.innyH ?).— inni] (Vm.i): «xi3vnni (Ru. 4^3, Ho. 9"). Ols. {MBA, 
1870, 380) conj. l^inng, to avoid the harsh use of ). ffi rhv ffrevayfxbv 
ffov probably = i:vjn ; ^iij; ('sorrow') has also been suggested (Gu.) ; 
and -n-jv (Di. Ho. al.). The other Vns. follow MT. — niiyn] «x [nsya ; 
(S likewise repeats iv Xinraii. — npicn] Probably connected with Ar. 
Sauk, 'ardent desire' (Rahlfs " 'Ji; und ill!," p. 71); cf. pper, Is. 29*, 
Ps. 107'. Aq. avvd^eia, S. opixr). Although it recurs only ^ and Ca. 7^^, 
it is found in NH and should not be suspected, ffi 17 aTro(XTpo<(>ii <tov 
and & » 1 <yi / / point to the reading ^naic'^, preferred by many, and 
defended by Nestle (MM, 6) as a technical expression for the relation 
here indicated, on the basis of ffi's text of 2 Sa. 17^. His parallel between 
the return of the woman to her source (the man) and the return of the 
man to his source (the ground, v.'") is perhaps fanciful. 

III. i6, 17 83 

husband . . desire] It is quite unnecessary to give up the 
rare but expressive ni^iC'n of the Heb. for the weaker nniK'n. 
of (Ef, etc. {v.t.). It is not, however, implied that the 
woman's sexual desire is stronger than the man's (Kn, 
Gu.) ; the point rather is that by the instincts of her nature 
she shall be bound to the hard conditions of her lot, both 
the ever-recurring" pains of child-bearing, and subjection to 
the man. — while he (on his part) shall rule over thee\ 
The idea of tyrannous exercise of power does not lie in the 
vb. ; but it means that the woman is wholly subject to the 
man, and so liable to the arbitrary treatment sanctioned by 
the marriage customs of the East. It is noteworthy that 
to the writer this is not the ideal relation of the sexes 
(cf. 2^8- 23). There is here certainly no trace of the matri- 
archate or of polyandry (see on 2^*). 

17-19. The man's sentence. — The hard, unremitting 
toil of the husbandman, wringing a bare subsistence from 
the grudging and intractable ground, is the standing 
evidence of a divine curse, resting, not, indeed, on man 
himself, but on the earth for his sake. Originally, it had 
provided him with all kinds of fruit good for food, — and this 
is the ideal state of things ; now it yields nothing spontane- 
ously but thorns and briars ; bread to eat can only be 
extorted in the sweat of the brow, — and this is a curse : 
formerly man had been a gardener, now he is a fellah. It 
does not appear that death itself is part of the curse. The 
name death is avoided ; and the fact is referred to as part 
of the natural order of things, — the inevitable ' return ' of 
man to the ground whence he was taken. The question 
whether man would have lived for ever if he had not sinned 
is one to which the narrative furnishes no answer (Gu.). — 
17. And to the man] v.i. The sentence is introduced by a 
formal recital of the offence. — Cursed is the ground] As 

17. Point D^K71 ; there is no conceivable reason why dik should be 
a proper name here (cf. 2^ 3^^). — ijdd . , . ien':'] ffi reads to-utov fj-bvov 
(see v.") firi (paydv, an' aiirov ?<payes. — "iini'3] G (^i' roh ?pyois <tov), 2. 
U read I'liy?, 0. iv rrj Trapa^dffei uov (rpz-j^). The phrase is characteristic 
of J ; out of 22 instances in the Hex., only about 3 can be assigned 


exceptional fertility was ascribed to a divine blessing (27^8 
etc.), and exceptional barrenness to a curse (Is. 24^, 
Jer. 23^**), so the relative unproductiveness of the whole 
earth in comparison with man's expectations and ideals is 
here regarded as the permanent effect of a curse. — in suffer- 
ing (bodily fatigue and mental anxiety) shall Ihou eat [of] it\ 
See 5-^. The ' laborious work ' of the husbandman is re- 
ferred to in Sir. 7^^ ; but this is not the prevailing feeling 
of the OT; and the remark of Kno., that 'agriculture was 
to the Hebrew a divine institution, but at the same time a 
heavy burden," needs qualification. It is well to be re- 
minded that "ancient Israel did not live constantly in the 
joy of the harvest festival " (Gu.) ; but none the less it would 
be a mistake to suppose that it lived habitually in the mood 
of this passage. — 18. the herb of thefield\ See on 1". The 
creation of this order of vegetation has not been recorded by 
J. Are we to suppose that it comes into existence simply 
in consequence of the earth's diminished productivity caused 
by the curse? It seems implied at all events that the earth 
will not yield even this, except under the compulsion of 
human labour (see 2^). — 19. in the sweat of thy brow, etc.] A 
more expressive repetition of the thought of ^^^^. The 
phrase eat bread may mean ' earn a livelihood ' (Am. 'j'^'^), 
but here it must be understood literally as the immediate 
reward of man's toil. — till thou returUy etc.] hardly means 
more than * all the days of thy life ' (in v.^'^). It is not a 
threat of death as the punishment of sin, and we have no 
right to say (with Di.) that vv.^^~^^ are simply an expansion 
of the sentence of 2^^. That man was by nature immortal is 
not taught in this passage ; and since the Tree of Life in 
v.22 belongs to another recension, there is no evidence that 
the main narrative regarded even endless life as within man's 

to E (none to P). — n:'?3Nn] The government of direct ace. seems harsh, 
but is not unexampled : see Jer. 36^^ — 18. ffi omits initial 1 : so IT 
Jub. — m-ni Y^p] Hos. 10*; ti-\-> occurs nowhere else in OT. It is still 
used m Syria, {dardar) as a general name for thistles.— 19. nyi] {j^JilV, 
wada'a) is &ir. \ey. ; cf. VV,, Ezk. 44^*.— Dn"?] <& fub. "IDn"?. 

III. 18-20 85 

reach. The connexion of the closing words is rather with 
2} : man was taken from the ground, and in the natural 
course will return to it again, — and to dust, etc.] Cf. Jb. 
10' 34^5^ ps. go^ 146*, Ec. 320 12^ etc. : « yatas f^Xaa-TUjv yala 
irdXiv yiyova. 

The arrangement of the clauses in ^^''^ is not very natural, and the 
repeated variations of the same idea have suggfested the hypothesis of 
textual corruption or fusion of sources. In Jub. iii. 25 the passage is 
quoted in an abridged form, the line ' Cursed . . . sake ' being immedi- 
ately followed by 'Thorns ... to thee,' and '^^^ being omitted. This 
is, of course, a much smoother reading, and leaves out nothing essential ; 
but "'' is guaranteed by 5-^. Ho. rejects ^^^, and to avoid the repetition 
of '?3K proposes .mai-n instead ofnj'^DNn in ". Gu. is satisfied with v.^'''- 
as they stand, but assigns '^a (to cnS) and ^^^ to another source (JJ), as 
doublets respectively of ^'^P and ^^^P. This is perhaps on the whole 
the most satisfactory analysis. — The poetic structure of the vv., which 
might be expected to clear up a question of this kind, is too obscure 
to afford any guidance. Sievers, e.g: (II. 10 f.) finds nothing, except 
in V.'*, to distinguish the rhythm from that of the narrative in which 
it is embedded, and all attempts at strophic arrangement are only 

20-24. The expulsion from Eden. — 20. The naming 
of the woman can hardly have come in between the sentence 
and its execution, or before there was any experience of 
motherhood to suggest it. The attempts to connect the 
notice with the mention of child-bearing in ^^*- (De. al.), or 

20, nin] ffi EOa [ECa] (in 4^), Aq. APa, F Beva, Jer. Eva (Eng. Eve) ; 
in this v. ffi translates ZwtJ, 2, 7iuoy6vos. The similarity of the name 

.0 * . 

to the Aram, word for 'serpent' ('.in, N;in, Syr. [jQ_k», Syro-Pal. JQ_kj 

[Mt. 7'"]); cf. Ar. hayyat from hauyat [No.]) has always been noticed, 
and is accepted by several modern scholars as a real etymological 
equivalence (No. ZDMG, xlii. 487; Sta. GVI, i. 633; We. Heid. 154). 
The ancient idea was that Eve was so named because she had done 
the serpent's work in tempting Adam {Ber. R. ; Philo, De agr, Noe, 
21; Clem. Alex. Protrept. ii. 12. i). Quite recently the philological 
equation has acquired fresh significance from the discovery of the name 
nin on a leaden Punic tabella devotionis (described by Lidz. Ephemeris, 
i. 26 ff. ; see Cooke, NSI, 135), of which the first line reads : "O Lady 
HVT, goddess, queen . . . !" Lidz. sees in this mythological per- 
sonage a goddess of the under-world, and as such a serpent-deity ; 
and identifies her with the biblical Havvah. Havvah would thus be 
a ' depotentiated ' deity, whose prototype was a Phoenician goddess of 
the Under-world, worshipped in the form of a serpent, and bearing the 


with the thought of mortality in ^^ (Kn.), are forced. The 
most suitable position in the present text would be before 
(so Jub. iii. 33) or after 4^ ; and accordingly some regard 
it as a misplaced gloss in explanation of that v. But when 
we consider [a) that the name Havvah must in any case be 
traditional, {b) that it is a proper name, whereas Q"J^5n 
remains appellative throughout, and (c) that in the follow- 
ing vv. there are unambiguous traces of a second recension 
of the Paradise story, it is reasonable to suppose that v.^o 
comes from that recension, and is a parallel to the naming 
of the woman in 2^^, whether it stands here in the original 
order or not. The fact that the name Eve has been pre- 
served, while there is no distinctive name for the man, 
suggests that nin is a survival from a more primitive theory 
of human origins in which the first mother represented the 
unity of the race. — the ?nother of every living tJmig] Accord- 
ing to this derivation, Hjn would seem to denote first the 
idea of life, and then the source of life — the mother.* But 

title of 'Mother of all living' (see Gres. I.e. 359 f.)- Precarious as 
such combinations may seem, there is no objection in principle to an 
explanation of the name Havvah on these lines. Besides the Hivvites 
of the OT (who were probably a serpent-tribe), We. cites examples of 
Semitic princely families that traced their genealogy back to a serpent. 
The substitution of human for animal ancestry, and the transference 
of the animal name to the human ancestor, are phenomena frequently 
observed in the transition from a lower to a higher stage of religion. 
If the change took place while a law of female descent still prevailed, 
the ancestry would naturally be traced to a woman (or goddess) ; and 
when the law of male kinship was introduced she would as naturally 
be identified with the wife of the first man. It need hardly be said that 
all this, while possibly throwing some light on the mythical background 
of the biblical narrative, is quite apart from the religious significance 
of the story of the Fall in itself. — 'n-'^J dn] Rob. Sm. renders 'mother of 
every hayy,' — hayy being the Arab, word which originally denoted a 
group of female kinship. Thus "Eve is the personification of the bond 
of kinship (conceived as exclusively mother-kinship), just as Adam is 
simply 'man,' i.e. the personification of mankind " {KM'^, 208). The 
interpretation has found no support. 

* So Baethgen, Beitr. 148, who appends the note : " Im holstein- 
ischen Plattdeutsch ist ' Dat Leben ' euphemistischer Ausdruck flir das 
pudendum muliebre " — a meaning by the way which also attaches to 
Ar. hayy (Lane, Lex. 681 b). 

III. 20-22 87 

the form mn is not Heb., and the real meaning of the word 
is not settled by the etymolog-y here given {v.t'.). — ^O'pS 
commonly includes all animals (8-^ etc.), but is here 
restricted to mankind (as Ps. 143^, Jb. 30-^). Cf. however, 
TTOTvta drjpwr, 'Lady of wild things,' a Greek epithet of the 
Earth -mother (Miss Harrison, Prol. 264). — 21. Another 
detached notice describing the origin of clothing. It is, 
of course, not inconsistent with v.'^, but neither can it be 
said to be the necessary sequel to that v. ; most probably 
it is a parallel from another source. — coa^s 0/ skin] "The 
simplest and most primitive kind of clothing in practical 
use" (Dri.). 

An interesting question arises as to the connexion between this 
method of clothing and the loss of pristine innocence. That it exhibits 
God's continued care for man even after the Fall (Di. al.) may be true 
as regards the present form of the legend ; but that is hardly the 
original conception. In the Phoen. legend of Usoos, the invention is 
connected with the hunting of wild animals, and this again with the 
institution of sacrifice : ... 6s ffKiw-qv r^i awfj-ari wpOros iK dep/xdruv Ci)v 
((rxvce avWa^e'iv dTjplwv evpe . . . d/xa re Jirivdeiv avrais e^ wv ijypeve 
d-qpluv {Prcep. Ev. i. 10; Orelli, p. 17 f.)- Since sacrifice and the use of 
animal food were inseparably associated in Semitic antiquity, it may 
be assumed that this is conceived as the first departure from the Golden 
Age, when men lived on the spontaneous fruits of the earth. Similarly, 
Rob. Sm. {RSr, 306 ff.) found in the v. the Yahwistic theory of the 
introduction of the sacrifice of domestic animals, which thus coincided, 
as in Greek legend, with the transition from the state of innocence to 
the life of agriculture. 

22-24. The actual expulsion.— 22. Behold . . . one of 
us\ This is no ' ironica exprobatio' (Calv. al.), but a serious 
admission that man has snatched a divine prerogative not 
meant for him. The feeling expressed (cf. 11^) is akin to 
what the Greeks called the 'envy of the gods,' and more 
remotely to the OT attribute of the zeal or jealousy of Yah we, 
— His resentment of all action that encroaches on His 

21. Point DiK^, as in v.".— 22. nnjo] Constr. before prep. ; G-K. 
§1300. — «3p] The so-called oriental punctuation (which distinguishes 
1st pi, from 3rd sg. masc. suffix) has i:5P, 'from us' (B-D. p. 81). C*^ 
(.iro ndVi'3 'TH') and S (o^uoO di^' ka-vrov) treat the form as 3rd sing. : 
cf. Ra.'s paraphrase: "alone below, as I am alone above." — ni■^'?] 'in 
[respect ofj knowing': gerundial inf. ; Dav. §93; G-K. § 1140; Dri. 


divinity (see p. 97). In v.^ the same words are put in the 
mouth of the serpent with a distinct imputation of envy 
to God ; and it is perhaps improbable that the writer of 
that V. would have justified the serpent's insinuation, even 
in form, by a divine utterance. There are several indica- 
tions {e.g. the phrase ' like one of us ') that the secondary 
recension to which v.^^ belongs represents a cruder form 
of the legend than does the main narrative ; and it is 
possible that it retains more of the characteristically pagan 
feeling of the envy of the gods. — in respect of knowing, etc.'] 
Man has not attained complete equality with God, but 
only God-likeness in this one respect. Gres.'s contention 
that the v. is self-contradictory (man has become like a 
god, and yet lacks the immortality of a god) is therefore 
unfounded. — And now, etc.] There remains another divine 
attribute which man will be prompt to seize, viz. immor- 
tality : to prevent his thus attaining complete likeness to 
God he must be debarred from the Tree of Life. The 
expression put forth his hand suggests that a single 
partaking of the fruit would have conferred eternal life 
(Bu. Urg. 52) ; and at least implies that it would have 
been an easy thing to do. The question why man had not 
as yet done so is not impertinent (De,), but inevitable; so 
momentous an issue could not have been left to chance in 
a continuous narrative. The obvious solution is that in this 
recension the Tree of Life was a (or the) forbidden tree, 
that man in his first innocence had respected the injunction, 
but that now when he knows the virtue of the tree he will 
not refrain from eating. It is to be observed that it is only 
in this part of the story that the idea of immortality is 
introduced, and that not as an essential endowment of 
human nature, but as contingent on an act which would 
be as efficacious after the Fall as before it. — On the aposio- 
pesis at the end of the v., v.i. — 23 is clearly a doublet of 
2* ; and the latter is the natural continuation of 2^. V.^^ is 

T. § 205. — The pregnant use of "]3 ( = ' I fear lest') is common (Gn. 19^* 
26^ 38^' 44^, Ex. 13^^ etc.). Here it is more natural to assume an 
anakolouthon, the clause depending on a cohortative, converted in v.^ 

III. 23, 24 89 

a fitting- conclusion to the main narrative, in which it 
probably followed immediately on v.^^. — 24. He drove out 
the man and made \Jmn\ dwell on the east of . . . [and 
stationed] the Cherubim^ etc.] This is the reading of ffi {v.t.), 
and it g-ives a more natural construction than MT, which 
omits the words in brackets. On either view the assumption 
is that the first abode of mankind was east of the garden. 
There is no reason to suppose that the v. represents a 
different tradition as to the site of Eden from 2^ or 2^°^-. 
It is not said in 2^ that it was in the extreme east, or in 
21° that it was in the extreme north ; nor is it here implied 
that it was further west than Palestine. The account of 
the early migration of the race in n^ is quite consistent 
with the supposition that mankind entered the Euphrates 
valley from a region still further east. — the Cherubim and 
the revolving sword-flame] Lit. * the flame of the whirling 
sword.* It has usually been assumed that the sword was 
in the hand of one of the cherubim ; but probably it was an 
independent symbol, and a representation of the lightning. 
Some light may be thrown on it by an inscription of Tiglath- 
pileser i. {KIB, i. 36 f.), where the king says that when he 
destroyed the fortress of Hunusa he made * a lightning of 
bronze.' The emblem appears to be otherwise unknown, 
but the allusion suggests a parallel to the * flaming sword ' 
of this passage. 

The Cherubi7n.—See the notes of Di. Gu. Dri. ; KAT^, 529 f., 631 ff. ; 
Che. in EB, 741 ff. ; Je. ATLO\ 218; Haupt, SEAT, Numbers, 46; 
Polychrome Bible, 181 f. ; Furtwangler, in Roscher's Lex. art. Gryps. 
— The derivation of the word is uncertain. The old theory of a con- 
nexion with ypv\l/ {Greif, gfriffin, etc.) is not devoid of plausibility, but 
lacks proof. The often quoted statement of Lenormant {Orig. i. n8), 
that kirubu occurs on an amulet in the de Clercq collection as a name 

into a historic tense.— Dj] ©5 om. — 24. G koL i^^^aXev rbv 'A5A/x Kal 
KaTifiKKXev airrbv airivoiVTi roO irapabelaov ttjs rpv<pTJs, Kai ira^ev tA x^poi'/Si'' 
KT\.='m D'an:.Tnx ca-n pv p^ oipo pci DiN.Tnx cnri Ball rightly adopts 
this text, inserting ink after pty^i, against J's usage. There is no need 
to supply any pron. obj. whatever : see 2^" iS'' 38'^ i Sa. 19^^ etc. 
For the first three words S has simply r no«s^ ]o, and for pB"i ^;:2]o 
(with the cherubim, etc., as obj.).— najj.inon] Hithpa. in the sense of 
'revolve,' Ju. 7'^ Jb. 27^^ ; in Jb. 381* it means ' be transformed.' 


of the winged bulls of Assyrian palaces, seems to be definitely disproved 
(see Je. 218). — A great part of the OT symbolism could be explained 
from the hypothesis that the Cherubim were originally wind-demons, 
like the Harpies of Greek mythology (Harrison, Prol. lySff.). The 
most suggestive analogy to this verse is perhaps to be found in the 
winged genii often depicted by the side of the tree of life in Babylonian 
art. These figures are usually human in form with human heads, but 
sometimes combine the human form with an eagle's head, and occasion- 
ally the human head with an animal body. They are shown in the act 
of fecundating the date-palm by transferring the pollen of the male 
tree to the flower of the female ; and hence it has been conjectured that 
they are personifications of the winds, by whose agency the fertilisation 
of the palm is effected in nature (Tylor, PSBA, xii. 383 ff.). Starting 
with this clue, we can readily explain (i) the function of the Cherub as 
the living chariot of Yahwe, or bearer of the Theophany, in Ps. 18'^ 
(2 Sa. 22'^). It is a personification of the storm-wind on which Yahwe 
rides, just as the Babylonian storm-god Z(i was figured as a bird-deity. 
The theory that it was a personification of the thunder-cloud is a mere 
conjecture based on Ps. i8'"-, and has no more intrinsic probability than 
that here suggested. (2) The association of the winged figures with 
the Tree of Life in Babylonian art would naturally lead to the belief 
that the Cherubim were denizens of Paradise (Ezk. 28'*- '^), and guardians 
of the Tree (as in this passage). (3) Thence they came to be viewed as 
guardians of sacred things and places generally, like the composite 
figures placed at the entrances of Assyrian temples and palaces to 
prevent the approach of evil spirits. To this category belong probably 
in the first instance the colossal Cherubim of Solomon's temple (i Ki. 
523ff. get.^^ and the miniatures on the lid of the ark in the Tabernacle 
(Ex. 25^**- etc.); but a trace of the primary conception appears in the 
alternation of cherubim and palm-trees in the temple decoration (i Ki. 
e-'s*^-, Ezk. 4ii8ff. . see^ further, i Ki. -f^^-, Ex. 2b^-^^). (4) The most 
difficult embodiment of the idea is found in the Cherubim of Ezekiel's 
visions — four composite creatures combining the features of the ox, the 
lion, the man, and the eagle (Ezk. i^^- lo'"'-). These may represent 
primarily the ' four winds of heaven ' ; but the complex symbolism of 
the Merkdbdh shows that they have some deeper cosmic significance. 
Gu. (p. 20) thinks that an older form of the representation is preserved 
in Apoc. 4'^'^-, where the four animal types are kept distinct. These he 
connects with the four constellations of the Zodiac which mark the four 
quarters of the heavens : Taurus, Leo, Scorpio (in the earliest astronomy 
a scorpion-waw), and Aquila (near Aquarius). See KAT^, 631 f. 

The Origin and Significance of the Paradise Legend. 

I. Ethnic parallels. — The Babylonian version of the Fall of man 
(if any such existed) has not yet been discovered. There is in the 
British Museum a much-debated seal-cylinder which is often cited as 
evidence that a legend very similar to the biblical narrative was current 
in Babylonia. It shows two completely clothed figures seated on either 


side of a tree, and each stretching out a hand toward its fruit, while a 
crooked Hne on the left of the picture is supposed to exhibit the serpent.* 
The engraving- no doubt represents some legend connected with the tree 
of life; but even if we knew that it illustrates the first temptation, the 
story is still wanting ; and the details of the picture show that it can 
have had very little resemblance to Gn. 3. — The most that can be 
claimed is that there are certain remote parallels to particular features 
or ideas of Gn. 2^-3"*, which are yet sufficiently close to suggest that 
the ultimate source of the biblical narrative is to be sought in the 
Babylonian mythology. Attention should be directed to the following : — 

(a) The account of Creation in a*"^' has undoubted resemblances 
to the Babylonian document described on p. 47 f., though they are 
hardly such as to prove dependence. Each starts with a vision of 
chaos, and in both the prior existence of heaven and earth seems to be 
assumed ; although the Babylonian chaos is a waste of waters, while 
that of Gn. 2''- is based rather on the idea of a waterless desert (see 
p. 56 above). The order of creation, though not the same, is alike 
in its promiscuous and unscientific character : in the Babylonian we 
have a hopeless medley — mankind, beasts of the field, living things of 
the field, Tigris and Euphrates, verdure of the field, grass, marshes, 
reeds, wild-cow, ewe, sheep of the fold, orchards, forests, houses, and 
cities, etc. etc. — but no separate creation of woman. — The creation of 
man from earth moistened by the blood of a god, in another document, 
may be instanced as a distant parallel to i'' (pp. 42, 45). 

(J) The legend of Eabani, embedded in the GilgameS-Epic (Tab. I. 
Col. ii. 1. 33 ff. : KIB, vi. i, p. i2off.), seems to present us (it has been 
thought) with a 'type of primitive man.' Eabani, created as a rival 
to Gilgame§ by the goddess Aruru from a lump of clay, is a being of 
gigantic strength who is found associating with the wild animals, living 
their Hfe, and foiling all the devices of the huntsman. Eager to capture 
him, GilgameS sends with the huntsman a harlot, by whose attractions 
he hopes to lure Eabani from his savagery. Eabani yields to her 
charms, and is led, a willing captive, to the life of civilisation : 
When she speaks to him, her speech pleases him, 
One who knows his heart he seeks, a friend. 

But later in the epic, the harlot appears as the cause of his sorrows, 
and Eabani curses her with all his heart. Apart from its present 
setting, and considered as an independent bit of folk-lore, it cannot 
be denied that the story has a certain resemblance to Gn. 2'^'-^. Only, 
we may be sure that if the idea of sexual intercourse with the beasts be 
implied in the picture of Eabani, the moral purity of the Hebrew writer 
never stooped so low (see Jastrow, AJSL, xv. 198 ff. ; Stade, ZATW, 
xxiii. i74f.). 

{c) Far more instructive affinities with the inner motive of the story 

* Reproduced in Smith's Chaldean Genesis, 88 ; Del. Babel und Bibel 
(M'Cormack's trans, p. 48) ; ATLO-, 203, etc. Je. has satisfied himself 
that the zigzag line is a snake, but is equally convinced that the snake 
cannot be tempting a man and a woman to eat the fruit. 


of the Fall are found in the myth of Adapa and the South-wind, dis- 
covered amongst the Tel-Amarna Tablets, and therefore known in 
Palestine in the 15th cent. B.C. {KIB, vi. r, 92-101). Adapa, the son 
of the god Ea, is endowed by him with the fulness of divine wisdom, 
but denied the gift of immortality : 

"Wisdom I gave him, immortality I gave him not." 
While plying the trade of a fisherman on the Persian Gulf, the south- 
wind overwhelms his bark, and in revenge Adapa breaks the wings of 
the south-wind. For this offence he is summoned by Anu to appear 
before the assembly of the gods in heaven ; and Ea instructs him how 
to appease the anger of Anu. Then the gods, disconcerted by finding 
a mortal in possession of their secrets, resolve to make the best of it, and 
to admit him fully into their society, by conferring on him immortality. 
They offer him food of life that he may eat, and water of life that he 
may drink. But Adapa had previously been deceived by Ea, who did 
not wish him to become immortal. Ea had said that what would be 
offered to him would be food and water of death, and had strictly 
cautioned him to refuse. He did refuse, and so missed immortal life. 
Anu laments over his infatuated refusal : 

" Why, Adapa ! Wherefore hast thou not eaten, not drunken, so that 

Thou wilt not live . . . ?" " Ea, my lord. 

Commanded, ' Eat not and drink not ! ' " 

"Take him and bring him back to his earth!" 
This looks almost like a travesty of the leading ideas of Gn. 3 ; yet the 
common features are very striking. In both we have the idea that 
wisdom and immortality combined constitute equality with deity; in 
both we have a man securing the first and missing the second ; and in 
both the man is counselled in opposite directions by supernatural voices, 
and acts on that advice which is contrary to his interest. There is, of 
course, the vital difference that while Yahwe forbids both wisdom and 
immortality to man, Ea confers the first (and thus far plays the part of 
the biblical serpent) but withholds the second, and Anu is ready to 
bestow both. Still, it is not too much to expect that a story like this 
will throw light on the mythological antecedents of the Genesis narrative, 
if not directly on that narrative itself (see below, p. 94). 

What is true of Babylonian affinities holds good in a lesser degree 
of the ancient mythologies as a whole : everywhere we find echoes of 
the Paradise myth, but nowhere a story which forms an exact parallel 
to Gn. 2. 3. The Grsco-Roman traditions told of a 'golden age,' lost 
through the increasing sinfulness of the race, — an age when the earth 
freely yielded its fruits, and men lived in a happiness undisturbed by 
toil or care or sin (Hesiod, Op. et Dies, 90-92, 109-120; Ovid, Met. i. 
8g-ii2, etc.); but they knew nothing of a sudden fall. Indian and 
Persian mythologies told, in addition, of sacred mountains where the 
gods dwelt, with bright gold and flashing gems, and miraculous trees 
conferring immortality, and every imaginable blessing ; and we have 
seen that similar representations were current in Babylonia. The 
nearest approach to definite counterparts of the biblical narrative 


are found in Iranian legends, where we read of Meshia and Meshiane, 
who lived at first on fruits, but who, tempted by Ahriman, denied the 
g-ood god, lost their innocence, and practised all kinds of wickedness ; 
or of Yima, the ruler of the golden age, under whom there was neither 
sickness nor death, nor hunger nor thirst, until (in one tradition) he 
gave way to pride, and fell under the dominion of the evil serpent 
Dahaka (see Di. p. 47 ff.)- But these echoes are too faint and distant 
to enable us to determine the quarter whence the original impulse pro- 
ceeded, or where the myth assumed the form in which it appears in 
Genesis. For answers to these questions we are dependent mainly on 
the uncertain indications of the biblical narrative itself. Some features 
(the name Hawaii [p. 85 f.], and elements of ch. 4) seem to point to 
Phoenicia as the quarter whence this stratum of myth entered the 
religion of Israel ; others (the Paradise-geography) point rather to 
Babylonia, or at least Mesopotamia. In the present state of our 
knowledge it is a plausible conjecture that the myth has travelled from 
Babylonia, and reached Israel through the Phoenicians or the Canaan- 
itesfWe. Prol.^ 307 ; Gres. ARW, x. 345 ff. ; cf Bevan, yZi:, iv. 500 f.). 
A similar conclusion might be drawn from the contradiction in the idea 
of chaos, if the explanation given above of 2^ be correct: it looks as if 
the cosmogony of an alluvial region had been modified through trans- 
ference to a dry climate (see p. 56). The fig-leaves of 3^ are certainly 
not Babylonian ; though a single detail of that kind cannot settle the 
question of origin. But until further light comes from the monuments, 
all speculations on this subject are very much in the air. 

2. The mythical substratum of the narrative. — The strongest evidence 
of the non-Israelite origin of the story of the Fall is furnished by the 
biblical account itself, in the many mythological conceptions, of which 
traces still remain in Genesis. "The narrative," as Dri. says, "con- 
tains features which have unmistakable counterparts in the religious 
traditions of other nations ; and some of these, though they have been 
accommodated to the spirit of Israel's religion, carry indications that they 
are not native to it " {Gen. 51). Amongst the features which are at variance 
with the standpoint of Hebrew religion we may put first of all the fact 
that the abode of Yahwe is placed, not in Canaan or at Mount Sinai, 
but in the far East. The strictly mythological background of the story 
emerges chiefly in the conceptions of the garden of the gods (see p. 57 f.), 
the trees oflife and of knowledge (p. 59), the serpent (p. 72 f), Eve (p. 85 f.), 
and the Cherubim (p. 89 f). It is true, as has been shown, that each of 
these conceptions is rooted in the most primitive ideas of Semitic religion ; 
but it is equally true that they have passed through a mythological 
development for which the religion of Israel gave no opportunity. Thus 
the association of trees and serpents in Semitic folk-lore is illustrated by 
an Arabian storj', which tells how, when an untrodden thicket was 
burned down, the spirits of the trees made their escape in the shape of 
white serpents {RS-, 133) ; but it is quite clear that a long interval 
separates that primitive superstition from the ideas that invest the 
serpent and the tree in this passage. If proof were needed, it would be 
found in the suggestive combinations of the serpent and the tree in 


Babylonian and Phoenician art ; or in the fabled garden of the 
Hesperides, with its golden fruit guarded by a dragon, always figured 
in artistic representations as a huge snake coiled round the trunk of the 
tree (cf. Lenorniant, Origines, i. 93 f.: see the illustrations in Roscher, 
Lex. 2599 f.). How the various elements were combined in the particular 
myth which lies immediately behind the biblical narrative, it is impossible 
to say ; but the myth of Adapa suggests at least some elements of a 
possible construction, which cannot be very far from the truth. Ob- 
viously we have to do with a polytheistic legend, in which rivalries and 
jealousies between the different deities are almost a matter of course. 
The serpent is himself a demon ; and his readiness to initiate man in 
the knowledge of the mysterious virtue of the forbidden tree means that 
he is at variance with the other gods, or at least with the particular god 
who had imposed the prohibition. The intention of the command was 
to prevent man from sharing the life of the gods ; and the serpent- 
demon, posing as the good genius of man, defeats that intention by 
revealing to man the truth (similarly Gu. 30). To the original heathen 
myth we may also attribute the idea of the envy of the gods, which the 
biblical narrator hardly avoids, and the note of weariness and melan- 
choly, the sombre view of life, — the ' scheue heidnische Stimmung,' — 
which is the ground-tone of the passage. 

It is impossible to determine what, in the original myth, was the 
nature of the tree (or trees) which man was forbidden to eat. Gres. 
{I.e. 351 ff.) finds in the passage traces of three primitive conceptions : 
(i) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, whose fruit imparts the 
knowledge of magic, — the only knowledge of which it can be said that 
it makes man at once the equal and the rival of the deity ; (2) the tree of 
knowledge, whose fruit excites the sexual appetite and destroys child- 
like innocence (3^) ; (3) the tree of life, whose fruit confers immortality 
(3-^). The question is immensely complicated by the existence of two 
recensions, which do not seem so hopelessly inseparable as Gres. thinks. 
In the main recension we have the tree of knowledge, of which man eats 
to his hurt, but no hint of a tree of life. In the secondary recension 
there is the tree of life (of which man does not eat), and apparently the 
tree of knowledge of which he had eaten ; but this depends on the word 
D3 in 3-2, which is wanting in (&, and may be an interpolation. Again, 
the statement that knowledge of good and evil really amounts to equality 
with God, is found only in the second recension ; in the other it is doubt- 
ful if the actual effect of eating the fruit was not a cruel disappointment 
of the hope held out by the serpent. How far we are entitled to read 
the ideas of the one into the other is a question we cannot answer. 
Eerdmans' ingenious but improbable theory {ThT, xxxix. 504 ff.) need 
not here be discussed. What is meant by knowledge of good and evil 
in the final form of the narrative will be considered under the next head. 
3. The religious ideas of the passage. — Out of such crude and seem- 
ingly unpromising material the religion of revelation has fashioned the 
immortal allegory before us. We have now to inquire what are the 
religious and moral truths under the influence of which the narrative 
assumed its present form, distinguishing as far as possible the ideas 


which it originally conveyed from those which it suggested to more 
advanced theological speculation. 

(i) We observe, in the first place, that the astiological motive is 
strongly marked throughout. The story gives an explanation of many 
of the facts of universal experience, — the bond between man and wife 
{2"*), the sense of shame which accompanies adolescence (3''), the use of 
clothing (3'-'), the instinctive antipathy to serpents (3'*). But chiefly it 
seeks the key to the darker side of human existence as seen in a simple 
agricultural state of society, — the hard toil of the husbandman, the 
birth-pangs of the woman, and her subjection to the man. These are 
evils which the author feels to be contrary to the ideal of human nature, 
and to the intention of a good God. They are results of a curse justly 
incurred by transgression, a curse pronounced before history began, and 
shadowing, rather than crushing, human life always and everywhere. 
It is doubtful if death be included in the effects of the curse. In v.^^ it is 
spoken of as the natural fate of a being made from the earth ; in v.-^ it 
follows from being excluded from the tree of life. Man was capable of 
immortality, but not by nature immortal ; and God did not mean that he 
should attain immortality. The death threatened in 2" is immediate 
death ; and to assume that the death which actually ensues is the ex- 
action of that deferred penalty, is perhaps to go beyond the intention of 
the writer. Nor does it appear that the narrative seeks to account for 
the origin of sin. It describes what was, no doubt, the first sin ; but 
it describes it as something intelligible, not needing explanation, not 
a mystery like the instinct of shame or the possession of knowledge, 
which are produced by eating the fruit of the tree. 

(2) Amongst other things which distinguish man's present from his 
original state, is the possession of a certain kind of knowledge which 
was acquired by eating the forbidden fruit. This brings us to the most 
difficult question which the narrative presents : what is meant by the 
knowledge of good and evil ? * Keeping in mind the possibility that 
the two recensions may represent different conceptions, our data are 
these : In 3-^ knowledge of good and evil is an attainment which (a) 

* In OT usage, knowledge of good and evil marks the difference 
between adulthood and childhood (Dt, i*^, Is. 7"'-)> or second childhood 
(2 Sa. 1^^) ; it also denotes (with diff"erent verbs) judicial discernment of 
right and wrong (2 Sa. 14''', i Ki. 3"), which is an intellectual function, 
quite distinct from the working of the conscience. The antithesis of 
good and evil may, of course, be ethical (Am. 5'^'-, Is. 5-" etc.) ; but it 
may also be merely the contrast of pleasant and painful, or wholesome 
and hurtful (2 Sa. 19^). Hence the phrase comes to stand for the whole 
range of experience, — "a comprehensive designation of things by their 
two polar attributes, according to which they interest man for his weal 
or hurt " : cf. 2 Sa. 14^^ with "" ' all things that are in earth ' (Gn. 24^* 31^*)- 
We. maintains that the non-ethical sense is fundamental, the expressions 
being transferred to virtue and vice only in so far as their consequences 
are advantageous or the reverse. Knowledge of good and evil may 
thus mean knowledge in general,.— knowing one thing from another. 


implies equality with God, (b) was forbidden to man, {c) is actually secured 
by man. In the leading narrative (b) certainly holds good (2"), but (a) 
and (c) are doubtful. Did the serpent speak truth when he said that 
knowledge of good and evil would make man like God ? Did man 
actually attain such knowledge ? Was the perception of nakedness a 
first flash of the new divine insight which man had coveted, or was it a 
bitter disenchantment and mockery of the hopes inspired by the serpent's 
words? It is only the habit of reading the ideas of 3-'^ into the story of 
the temptation which makes these questions seem superfluous. Let us 
consider how far the various interpretations enable us to answer them. — 
i. The suggestion that magical knowledge is meant may be set aside as 
inadequate to either form of the biblical narrative : magic is not god- 
like knowledge, nor is it the universal property of humanity. — ii. The 
usual explanation identifies the knowledge of good and evil with the 
moral sense, the faculty of discerning between right and wrong. This 
view is ably defended by Bu. {Ufg. 69 ff.), and is not to be lightly dis- 
missed, but yet raises serious difficulties. Could it be said that God 
meant to withhold from man the power of moral discernment? Does 
not the prohibition itself presuppose that man already knew that 
obedience was right and disobedience sinful? We have no right to say 
that the restriction was only temporary, and that God would in other 
ways have bestowed on man the gift of conscience ; the narrative 
suggests nothing of the sort. — iii. We. {Prol.^ 299 ff".) holds that the 
knowledge in question is insight into the secrets of nature, and intel- 
ligence to manipulate them for human ends ; and this as a quality not 
so much of the individual as of the race, — the knowledge which is the 
principle of human civilisation. It is the faculty which we see at work 
in the invention of clothing (3^' ?), in the founding of cities (4^''), in the 
discovery of the arts and crafts (4'^'''^'), and in the building of the tower 
(ii**-). The undertone of condemnation of the cultural achievements of 
humanity which runs through the Yahwistic sections of chs. i-ii makes 
it probable that the writer traced their root to the knowledge acquired 
by the first transgression ; and of such knowledge it might be said that 
it made man like God, and that God willed to withhold it permanently 
from His creatures.- -iv. Against this view Gu. (11 f., 25 f.) urges some- 
what ineptly that the myth does not speak of arts and aptitudes which 
are learned by education, but of a kind of knowledge which comes by 
nature, of which the instinct of sex is a typical illustration. Knowledge 
of good and evil is simply the enlargement of capacity and experience 
which belongs to mature age, — ripeness of judgment, reason, — including 
moral discernment, but not identical with it. — The difference between 
the last two explanations is not great ; and possibly both are true. 
We.'s seems to me the only view that does justice to the thought of 3** ; 
and if 4^®"'- and ii^^^ be the continuation of this version of the Fall, the 
theory has much to recommend it. On the other hand, Gu.'s acceptation 
may be truer to the teaching of 3^^-. Man's primitive state was one of 
childlike innocence and purity ; and the knowledge which he obtained 
by disobedience is the knowledge of life and of the world which distin- 
guishes the grown man from the child. If it be objected that such 


knowledge is a good thing, which God could not have forbidden to man, 
we may be content to fall back on the paradox of Christ's idea of child- 
hood : " Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no 
wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." 

(3) The next point that claims attention is the author's conception of 
sin. Formally, sin is represented as an act of disobedience to a positive 
command, imposed as a test of fidelity ; an act, therefore, which implies 
disloyalty to God, and a want of the trust and confidence due from man 
to his Maker. But the essence of the transgression lies deeper : God 
had a reason for imposing the command, and man had a motive for 
disobeying it ; and the reason and motive are unambiguously indicated. 
Man was tempted by the desire to be as God, and Yahwe does not will 
that man should be as God. Sin is thus in the last instance presump- 
tion, — an overstepping of the limits of creaturehood, and an encroach- 
ment on the prerogatives of Deity. It is true that the offence is invested 
with every circumstance of extenuation, — inexperience, the absence of 
evil intention, the suddenness of the temptation, and the superior subtlety 
of the serpent ; but sin it was nevertheless, and was justly followed by 
punishment. — How far the passage foreshadows a doctrine of hereditary 
sin, it is impossible to say. The consequences of the transgression, 
both privative and positive, are undoubtedly transmitted from the first 
pair to their posterity ; but whether the sinful tendency itself is regarded 
as having become hereditary in the race, there is not evidence to show. 

(4) Lastly, what view of God does the narrative present ? It has 
already been pointed out that 3^^ borders hard on the pagan notion 
of the 'envy' of the godhead, a notion difficult to reconcile with the 
conceptions of OT religion. But of that idea there is no trace in 
the main narrative of the temptation and the Fall, except in the lying 
insinuation of the serpent : the writer himself does not thus ' charge 
God foolishly.' His religious attitude is one of reverent submission to the 
limitations imposed on human life by a sovereign Will, which is deter- 
mined to maintain inviolate the distinction between the divine and the 
human. The attribute most conspicuously displayed is closely akin to 
what the prophets called the 'holiness ' of God, as illustrated, e.g., in Is. 
2^"^-. After all, the world is God's world and not man's, and the Almighty 
is just, as well as holy, when He frustrates the impious aspiration of 
humanity after an independent footing and sphere of action in the uni- 
verse. The God of Gn. 3 is no arbitrary heathen deity, dreading lest 
the sceptre of the universe should be snatched from his hand by the 
soaring ambition of the race of men ; but a Being infinitely exalted above 
the world, stern in His displeasure at sin, and terrible in His justice; 
yet benignant and compassionate, slow to anger, and 'repenting Him of 
the evil.' Through an intensely anthropomorphic medium we discern the 
features of the God of the prophets and the Old Testament ; nay, in the 
analogy of human fatherhood which underlies the description, we can 
trace the lineaments of the God and Father of Jesus Christ. That is the 
real Protevangeliian which lies in the passage : the fact that God tempers 
judgment with mercy, the faith that man, though he has forfeited in- 
nocence and happiness, is not cut off from fellowship with his Creator. 


Ch. IV. — Beginnings of History and Civilisation. 

Critical Analysis. — Ch. 4 consists of three easily separable sections : 
{a) the story of Cain and Abel (i-i"), (b) a Cainite genealogy ("■^),* 
and (c) a fragment of a Sethite genealogy i^- ^). As they lie before 
us, these are woven into a consecutive history of antediluvian mankind, 
with a semblance of unity sufficient to satisfy the older generation of 
critics. t Closer examination seems to show that the chapter is com- 
posite, and that the superficial continuity conceals a series of critical 
problems of great intricacy. 

I. We have first to determine the character and extent of the 
Cainite genealogy. It is probable that the first link occurs in v.^*^*, and 
has to be disentangled from the Cain legend (so We. Bu.) ; whether 
it can have included the whole of that legend is a point to be considered 
later (p. 100). We have thus a list of Adam's descendants through 
Cain, continued in a single line for seven generations, after which it 
branches into three, and then ceases. It has no explicit sequel in 
Genesis; the sacred number 7 marks it as complete in itself; and 
the attempts of some scholars to remodel it in accordance with its 
supposed original place in the history are to be distrusted. Its main 
purpose is to record the origin of various arts and industries of civilised 
life ; and apart from the history of Cain there is nothing whatever to 
indicate that it deals with a race of sinners, as distinct from the godly 
line of Seth. That this genealogy belongs to J has hardly been 
questioned except by Di., who argues with some hesitation for assigning 
it to E, chiefly on the ground of its discordance with vv.2*-28. Bu. 
(p. 220 ff.) has shown that the stylistic criteria point decidedly (if not 
quite unequivocally) to J; J and in the absence of any certain trace of E 
in chs. i-u, the strong presumption is that the genealogy represents a 
stratum of the former document. The question then arises whether it 
be the original continuation of ch. 3. An essential connexion cannot, 
from the nature of the case, be affirmed. The primitive genealogies 
are composed of desiccated legends, in which each member is originally 
independent of the rest ; and we are not entitled to assume that an 
account of the Fall necessarily attached itself to the person of the first 
man. If it were certain that 3-* is an integral part of one recension of 
the Paradise story, it might reasonably be concluded that that recension 
was continued in 4^, and then in 4^^"^. In the absence of complete 
certainty on that point the larger question must be left in suspense ; 
there is, however, no difficulty in supposing that in the earliest written 
collection of Hebrew traditions the genealogy was preceded by a history 
of the Fall in a version partly preserved in ch. 3. The presumption that 
this was the case would, of course, be immensely strengthened if we could 
suppose it to be the intention of the original writer to describe not merely 
the progress of culture, but also the rapid development of sin (so We.). 

• We. unites v.ib^ with "-". f e.g. Hupfeld, Quellen, 126 fF. 

5nV; = ' beget,' ^* ; Kin a, ^ {in genealogies, confined to J, 10*' ig" 
2220. 24 ^26) . vnx Dsfi, "1 (cf. lo^) ; cf. ^^ with lo^s etc. (Bu. I.e.). 

IV. 99 

2. The fragmentary' genealogy of vv.^* ^ corresponds, so far as it 
goes, with the Sethite genealogy of P in oh. 5. It will be shown later 
(p. 138 f.) that the lists of 4""^* and 5 go back to a common original ; 
and if the discrepancy had been merely between J and P, the obvious 
conclusion would be that these two documents had followed difTerent 
traditional variants of the ancient genealogy. But how are we to 
account for the fact that the first three names of P's list occur also in 
the connexion of J ? There are four possible solutions, (i) It is conceiv- 
able that J, not perceiving the ultimate identity of the two genealogies, 
incorporated both in his document (cf. Ew. JBB W, vi. p. 4) ; and that 
the final redactor (R'') then curtailed the second list in view of ch. 5. 
This hypothesis is on various grounds improbable. It assumes (see "*'') 
the murder of Abel by Cain as an original constituent of J's narrative ; 
now that story takes for granted that the worship of Yahwe was 
practised from the beginning, whereas ''^^ explicitly states that it was 
only introduced in the third generation. (2) It has not unnaturally 
been conjectured that v.^'* are entirely redactional (Ew. Schr. al.) ; i.e., 
that they were inserted by an editor (R^) to establish a connexion 
between the genealogy of J and that of P. In favour of this view the 
use of DIN (as a proper name) and of D'h'^n has been cited ; but again the 
statement of *'' presents an insurmountable difficulty. P has his own 
definite theory of the introduction of the name mn' (see Ex. 6^"^-), and it is 
incredible that any editor influenced by him should have invented the 
gratuitous statement that the name was in use from the time of Enosh. 
(3) A third view is that vv.''*- ^ stood originally before v.^ (or before v."), 
so that the father of Cain and Abel (or of Cain alone) was not Adam but 
Enosh ; and that the redactor who made the transposition is responsible 
also for some changes on v.^ to adapt it to its new setting (so Sta.) 
(see on the v.). That is, no doubt, a plausible solution (admitted as 
possible by Di.), although it involves operations on the structure of the 
genealogy too drastic and precarious to be readily assented to. It is 
difficult also to imagine any sufficient motive for the supposed trans- 
position. That it was made to find a connexion for the (secondary) 
story of Cain and Abel is a forced suggestion. The tendency of a 
redactor must have been to keep that story as far from the beginning as 
possible, and that the traditional data should have been deliberately 
altered so as to make it the opening scene of human history is hardly 
intelligible. (4) There remains the hypothesis that the two genealogies 
belong to separate strata within the Yahwistic tradition, which had 
been amalgamated by a redactor of that school (RJ) prior to the 
incorporation of P ; and that the second list was curtailed by R^ because 
of its substantial identity with that of the Priestly Code in ch. 5. 
The harmonistic glossing of v.^ is an inevitable assumption of any 
theory except (i) and (2) ; it must have taken place after the insertion 
of the Cain and Abel episode ; and on the view we are now considering 
it must be attributed to RJ. In other respects the solution is free from 
difficulty. The recognition of the complex character of the source called 
J is forced on us by many lines of proof; and it will probably be found 
that this view of the genealogies yields a valuable clue to the structure 


of the non-Priestly sections of chs. 2-1 1 (see pp. 3, 134). One important 
consequence may here be noted. Eve's use of the name D'n'?N, and the 
subsequent notice of the introduction of the name mn-, sug-g-est that this 
writer had previously avoided the latter title of God (as E and P pre- 
viously to Ex. 3"'^- and Ex. 6^^-). Hence, if it be the case that one 
recension of the Paradise story was characterised by the exclusive use 
of D'nhti (see p. 53), 4^-26 will naturally be regarded as the sequel to 
that recension. 

3. There remains the Cain and Abel narrative of vv.'"^®. That it 
belong-s to J in the wider sense is undisputed,* but its precise affinities 
within the Yahvvistic cycle are exceedingly perplexing-. If the theory 
mentioned at the end of the last paragraph is correct, the consistent use 
of the name m.Tf would show that it was unknown to the author of 
yy_25. 26 anjj Qf (_ha,t form of the Paradise story presupposed by these vv. 
Is it, then, a primary element of the genealogy in which it is embedded ? 
It certainly contains notices — such as the introduction of agriculture 
and (perhaps) the origin of sacrifice — in keeping with the idea of the 
genealogy ; but the length and amplitude of the narration would be 
without parallel in a genealogy ; and (what is more decisive) there is an 
obvious incongruity between the Cain of the legend, doomed to a 
fugitive unsettled existence, and the Cain of the genealogy (v.^^), who as 
the first city-builder inaugurates the highest type of stable civilised life. J 
Still more complicated are the relations of the passage to the history of 
the Fall in ch. 3. On the one hand, a series of material incongruities 
seem to show that the two narratives are unconnected : the assumption 
of an already existing population on the earth could hardly have been 
made by the author of ch. 3 ; the free choice of occupation by the two 
brothers, and Yahwe's preference for the shepherd's sacrifice, ignore 
the representation (3^^) that husbandry is the destined lot of the race ; 
and the curse on Cain is recorded in terms which betray no conscious- 
ness of a primal curse resting on the ground. It is true, on the other 
hand, that the literary form of 4^"'® contains striking reminiscences of 
that of ch. 3. The most surprising of these (4"'' || 3^^'') may be set down 
to textual corruption (see the note on the v.) ; but there are several other 
turns of expression which recall the language of the earlier narrative : 
of. 4^" ^"^ ^^ with 3®' ^^- ^^. In both we have the same sequence of sin, 
investigation and punishment (in the form of a curse), the same dramatic 
dialogue, and the same power of psychological analysis. But whether 
these resemblances are such as to prove identity of authorship is a 
question that cannot be confidently answered. There is an indistinct- 

* Cf. nin', 1- 3- 4. 6. 9. 13. 18. 16 . ^nx, " ; 'nbS, i« ; and obs. the resemblances 
to ch. 3 noted below : the naming of the child by the mother. 

t This uniformity of usage is not, however, observed in ffi. In (5^ 
Kiipios occurs twice (^- '•"), 6 6e6s 5 times (^* ^ "• ^"^ ^^), and Kvpios 6 Beds 3 
times ("■ ^^- ^^) (for variants, see Cambridge LXX). 

X Even if we adopt Bu.'s emendation of v.^'', and make Enoch the 
city-founder (see on the v.), it still remains improbable that that role 
should be assigned to the son of a wandering nomad. 

IV. I lOI 

ness of conception in 4'"'' which contrasts unfavourably with the con- 
vincing lucidity of ch. 3, as if the writer's touch were less delicate, or 
his gift of ima^^inative delineation more restricted. Such impressions 
are too subjective to be greatly trusted ; but, taken along with the 
material differences already enumerated, they confirm the opinion that 
the literary connexion between ch. 3 and 4^^- is due to conscious or 
unconscious imitation of one writer by another. — On the whole, the 
evidence points to the following conclusion : The story of Cain and Abel 
existed as a popular legend entirely independent of the traditions 
regarding the infancy of the race, and having no vital relation to any 
part of its present hterary environment. It was incorporated in the Yah- 
wistic document by a writer familiar with the narrative of the Fall, who 
identified the Cain of the legend with the son of the first man, and linked 
the story to his name in the genealogy. How much of the original 
genealogy has been preserved it is impossible to say : any notices 
that belonged to it have certainly been rewritten, and cannot now be 
isolated ; but v.^ (birth of Cain) may with reasonable probability be 
assigned to it (so Bu.), possibly also '^^P (Cain's occupation), and 3'' 
(Cain's sacrifice). — -Other important questions will be best considered 
in connexion with the original significance of the legend (p. iii fF.). 

IV. I— 16. — Cain and Abel. 

Eve bears to her husband two sons, Cain and Abel ; the 
first becomes a tiller of the ground, and the second a keeper 
of sheep (^- ^). Each offers to Yah we the sacrifice ap- 
propriate to his calling; but only the shepherd's offering 
is accepted, and Cain is filled with morose jealousy and 
hatred of Abel {^~^). Though warned by Yahwe {^^■), he yields 
to his evil passion and slays his brother (^). Yahwe pro- 
nounces him accursed from the fertile ground, which will no 
longer yield its substance to him, and he is condemned to 
the wandering life of the desert (^""^2^. As a mitigation of 
his lot, Yahwe appoints him a sign which protects him from 
indiscriminate vengeance (^'*'-) ; and he departs into the land 
of Nod, east of Eden {^^). 

1-5. Birth of Cain and Abel : their occupation, 
and sacrifice.— I. On the naming of the child by the 

I. IIT DiNni] A plup. sense (Ra.) being unsuitable, the peculiar order 
of words is difficult to explain; see on 3', and cf. 21^ Sta. (Ai. Red. 
239) regards it as a proof of editorial manipulation. — The euphemistic 
use of vv is peculiar to J in the Hex. (7 times) : Nu. 31''- '*• " (P : cf. Ju. 
2i"- '") are somewhat different. Elsewhere Ju. ii^^ 1922-28^ i Sa. i'*, 
I Ki. i^, — all in the older historiography, and some perhaps from the 


mother^ see Benzing-er, ArchcBol^ ii6. It is peculiar to the 
oldest strata (J and E) of the Hex., and is not quite con- 
sistently observed even there (4^^ 5^^ 2525^-, Ex. 2^2) : it may 
therefore be a relic of the matriarchate which was giving 
place to the later custom of naming by the father (P) at the 
time when these traditions were taking shape. — The difficult 
sentence ~1.^l^^^^; {^'''N ^n"'3p connects the name X?. with the 
verb n^i?. But V,'i\> has two meanings in Heb. : [a) to (create, 
or) produce, and [b) to acquire ; and it is not easy to 
determine which is intended here. 

The second idea would seem more suitable in the present connexion, 
but it leads to a forced and doubtful construction of the last two words. 

(a) To render m 'with the help of (Di. and most) is against all 
analogy. It is admitted that nx itself nowhere has this sense (in 49^* 
the true reading is '?xi, and Mic 3* is at least doubtful) ; and the few 
cases in which the synonym cy can be so translated are not really 
parallel. Both in i Sa. 14*^ and Dn. 11^^, the oy denotes association 
in the same act, and therefore does not go beyond the sense ' along 
with.' The analogy does not hold in this v. if the vb. means 'acquire' ; 
Eve could not say that she had acquired a man along with Yahwe. 

(b) We may, of course, assume an error in the text and read nN3=: ' from ' 
(Bu. al. after ZP). {c) The idea that m is the sign of ace. (C, al.), and 
that Eve imagined she had given birth to the divine ' seed ' promised in 
3^5 (Luther, al.) may be disregarded as a piece of antiquated dogmatic 
exegesis.— If we adopt the other meaning of n^p, the construction is 
perfectly natural : / have created (or produced) a man with (the co- 
operation of) Yahwe {cC. Ra. : "When he created me and my husband 
he created us alone, but in this case we are associated with him "). 
A strikingly similar phrase in the bilingual Babylonian account of 
Creation (above, p. 47) suggests that the language here may be more 
deeply tinged with mythology than has been generally suspected. We 
read that "Aruru, together with him [Marduk], created (the) seed of 
mankind": Aruru zl-ir a-mi-lu-ti it-ti-iu ib-ta-nu {KIB, vi. i, 4of. ; 
King, Cr. Tab. i. 134 f.). Aruru, a form of Istar, is a mother-goddess 
of the Babylonians (see KAT^, 43o)> ^-^-t a deified ancestress, and 
therefore so far the counterpart of the Heb. njn (see on 3*). The 
exclamation certainly gains in significance if we suppose it to have 
survived from a more mythological phase of tradition, in which 

literary school of J. — |!i3] V PP (An kdna). In Ar. kain means 'smith' ; 
= Syr. |j_l_i_D, 'worker in metal ' (see 4^^ 5'). Noldeke's remark, that 
in Ar. kain several words are combined, is perhaps equally true of Heb. 
j:i3 (£5, 130). Many critics (We. Bu. Sta. Ho. al.) take the name as 
eponymof the Kenites(i:i3, 'J'p) : seep. 113 below. — -n'^i^] All Vns. express 
the idea of ' acquiring ' {iKTr)(x6.ix7}v, possedi, etc. ). The sense ' create ' 
or 'originate,' though apparently confined to Heb. and subordinate 

IV. 2, 3 I03 

Hawwah was not a mortal wife and mother, but a creative deity taking 
part with the supreme god in the production of man. See Cheyne, 
TBI, 104, who thinks it "psychologically probable that Eve congratu- 
lated herself on having 'created' a man." — That jp'n is not elsewhere 
used of a man-child is not a serious objection to any interpretation (of. 
T^J in Jb. 3^) ; though the thought readily occurs that the etymology 
would be more appropriate to the name tr'bN (4-") than to pp. 

2. And again she bare, etc.\ The omission of the verb 
iTin is not to be pressed as implying that the brothers were 
twins, although that may very well be the meaning. The 
OT contains no certain trace of the widespread superstitions 
regarding twin-births. — The sons betake themselves to the 
two fundamental pursuits of settled life : the elder to 
agriculture, the younger to the rearing of small cattle 
(sheep and goats). The previous story of the Fall, in which 
Adam, as representing the race, is condemned to husbandry, 
seems to be ignored (Gu.). 

The absence of an etymology of ^2.7 is remarkable (but cf. v."), 
and hardly to be accounted for by the supposition that the name was 
only coined afterwards in token of his brief, fleeting existence (Di.). 
The word (=' breath') might suggest that to a Heb. reader, but the 
original sense is unknown. Gu. regards it as the proper name of an 
extinct tribe or people ; Ew. We. al. take it to be a variant of "75;, 
the father of nomadic shepherds (4^") ; and Chej'ne has ingeniously 
combined both names with a group of Semitic words denoting domestic 

..0 9 7 
animals and those who take charge of them {e.g. Syr. j,)*->rn = ' herd ' ; 

Ar. 'aWa/=' camel-herd,' etc.): the meaning would then be 'herds- 
man' {EB, i. 6). The conjecture is retracted in TBI, in the interests 
of Yerahme'el. 

Z. An offering] '^nJD, lit. a present or tribute (321*^- 3310 
43^^^-, I Sa. lo^'^ etc.): see below. The use of this word 

even there, is established by Dt. 32^, Pr. 82^ Ps. 139'^ Gn. 14"- ^.—nK] 
Of the Vns. Z9 alone can be thought to have read riNia (cip p) ; one 
anonymous Gr. tr. (see Field) took the word as not ace. (Afffpoj-jroi/ 
Kvpiov) ; the rest vary greatly in rendering (as was to be expected from 
the difficulty of the phrase), but there is no reason to suppose they had 
a different text : ffi Sik toO 9., 2. auv k., '0 'E/3/). Kal 6 Zvp.: iv 0., U per 
Deitm, 5 |-t;V)\. Conjectures: Marti (Lit. Centralhl., 1897, xx. 641) 
and Zeydner {ZATW, xviii. 120): nvi: m ^'x=' the man ofthe Jahwe 
sign' (v.^*) ; Gu. n\}<m B''!< = 'a man whom I desire.' 

3. D'D' j-po] After some time, which may be longer (i Sa. 29') or 
shorter (24*^). To take D'D' in the definite sense of 'year' (i Sa. i^' 2*» 


shows that the 'gift-theory' of sacrifice (J^Sr, 392 flF.) was 
fully established in the age when the narrative originated. — 
0/ the fridt of the ground\ " Fruit in its natural state was 
offered at Carthage, and was probably admitted by the 
Hebrews in ancient times." "The Carthaginian fruit- 
offering consisted of a branch bearing fruit, ... it seems 
to be clear that the fruit was offered at the altar, . . . and 
this, no doubt, is the original sense of the Hebrew rite also" 
{RS^, 221 and n. 3). Cain's offering is thus analogous to 
the first-fruits (Dni33 : Ex. 2316- w 3422. 26^ ^u. 1320 etc.) of 
Heb. ritual ; and it is arbitrary to suppose that his fault 
lay in not selecting the best of what he had for God. — 4. 
Abel's offering consisted of the firstlings of his flock ^ namely 
(see G-K. § 154 ar, iV. i {b)) of their fat-pieces] cf. Nu. iS^^. 
Certain fat portions of the victim were in ancient ritual 
reserved for the deity, and might not be eaten (i Sa. 2^® etc. : 
for Levitical details, see Dri. -White, Lev., Polychr. Bible, 
pp. 4, 65). — 4b, 5a. How did Yahwe signify His acceptance 
of the one offering and rejection of the other? It is 

20^ etc.) is unnecessary, thoug-h not altogether unnatural (lEz. al.). — 
J<'?ri] the ritual use is well established: Lv. 2^"*, Is. i'^, Jer. 17-^ etc. 
— nnjn : Ar. minkat = ^ gift,' 'loan': ij manaha.* On the uses of the 
word, see Dri. DB, iii. 587b. In sacrificial terminology there are 
perhaps three senses to be distinguished: (i) Sacrifice in general, con- 
ceived as a tribute or propitiatory present to the deity, Nu. 16^', Ju. 6^', 
I Sa. 2"- -9 2619, Is. ii3, Zeph. 3'«, Ps. 96^ etc. (2) The conjunction of nn:D 
and nji (i Sa. 2-^ 3^*, Is. 19-^, Am. 5^ etc.) may show that it denotes 
vegetable as distinct from animal oblations (see RS", 217, 236). (3) In 
P and late writings generally it is restricted to cereal offerings : Ex. 30®, 
Nu. iS^ etc. Whether the wider or the more restricted meaning be the 
older it is difficult to say.— 4. inn^npi] On Meth., see G-K. § 16 d. We 
might point as sing, of the noun (fn^^n, Lv. 8'^- ^^ ; G-K. § 91 c) ; but mx 
has scriptio plena of the pi. po'^nai. — i'B"i] ffi koX ^-mdev (in v.^ irpoaiffxev) ; 
Aq. iireKKldT] ; 2. iTip(pd7) ; 9. ivewvpi<7ev (see above) ; 6 'Lvp. evSdKrjaev ; 
U respexit ; Si ■> ' *^ I, tjO ; ^'^ " nnp Niyn mm. There is no exact parallel 
to the meaning here ; the nearest is Ex. 5^ (' look away [from their tasks] 
to' idle words). — 5. mn] in Heb. always of mental heat (anger); ffi 

* Some, however, derive it from nn:=' direct' ; and Hommel {AHT, 
322) cites a Sabjean inscr. where tanahhnyai (V conj.) is used of offering 
a sacrifice (see Lagrange, J^ttides, 250). If this be correct, what was 
said above about the ' gift theory ' would fall to the ground. 

IV. 4, 5 I05 

commonly answered (in accordance with Lv. 9^*, i Ki. 18^ 
etc.), that fire descended from heaven and consumed Abel's 
oflfering (0. Ra. IKz. De. al.). Others (Di. Gu.) think 
more vaguely of some technical sign, e.g. the manner in 
which the smoke ascended (Ew. Str.); while Calv. supposes 
that Cain inferred the truth from the subsequent course of 
God's providence. But these conjectures overlook the strong 
anthropomorphism of the description : one might as well ask 
how Adam knew that he was expelled from the garden (3^*). 
Perhaps the likeliest analogy is the acceptance of Gideon's 
sacrifice by the Angel of Yahwe (Ju. 6^^). — Why was the 
one sacrifice accepted and not the other? The distinction 
must lie either («) in the disposition of the brothers (so 
nearly all comm.), or {b) in the material of the sacrifice (Tu.). 
In favour of («) it is pointed out that in each case the 
personality of the worshipper is mentioned before the gift. 
But since the reason is not stated, it must be presumed to 
be one which the first hearers would understand for them- 
selves ; and they could hardly understand that Cain, apart 
from his occupation and sacrifice, was less acceptable to 
God than Abel. On the other hand, they would readily 
perceive that the material of Cain's off"ering was not in 
accordance with primitive Semitic ideas of sacrifice (see 
RS^, Lect. VIII.). 

From the fact that the altar is not expressly mentioned, it has been 
inferred that sacrifice is here regarded as belonging: to the established 
order of things (Sta. al.). But the whole manner of the narration 
suggests rather that the incident is conceived as the initiation of 
sacrifice, — the first spontaneous expression of religious feeling in 
cultus.* If that impression be sound, it follows also that the narrative 
proceeds on a theory of sacrifice : the idea, viz., that animal sacrifice 
alone is acceptable to Yahwe. It is true that we cannot go back to 

wrongly i\<nr7\(T^v; so ,S. On impers. const., see G-K. § 1446 ; cf. 
1830.32 3i36 3_^7^ Nu_ igis gtc. The word is not used by P.— For '?S3, S 
has , |.»^n/j (lit. 'became black'). 

* It may be a mere coincidence that in Philo Byblius the institution 
of animal sacrifice occurs in a legend of two brothers who quarrelled 
{Pr. Ev. i. 10). Kittel (Studien zur hebr. Archdol. 103^) suggests that 
our narrative may go back to a time prior to the introduction of the 
fire-offering and the altar. 


a stage of Heb. ritual when vegetable offerings were excluded ; but 
such sacrifices must have been introduced after the adoption of agri- 
cultural life ; and it is quite conceivable that in the early days of the 
settlement in Canaan the view was maintained among the Israelites 
that the animal offerings of their nomadic religion were superior to 
the vegetable offerings made to the Canaanite Baals. Behind this may 
lie (as Gu. thinks) the idea that pastoral life as a whole is more pleasing 
to Yahwe than husbandry. 

5b. Cain's feeling is a mixture of anger {it became very 
hot to him) and dejection [his face fell : cf. Jb. 29^*, Jer. 3^^^^ 
This does not imply that his previous state of mind had 
been bad (Di. al.). In tracing Cain's sin to a disturbance 
of his religious relation to God, the narrator shows his 
profound knowledge of the human heart. 

6-12. Warning, murder, and sentence.— 7. The point 
of the remonstrance obviously is that the cause of Cain's 
dissatisfaction lies in himself, but whether in his general 
temper or in his defective sacrifice can no longer be made 

7. The difficulties of the present text are "the curt and ambiguous 
expression nx'?' ; further, the use of nxan as masc, then the whole tenor 
of the sentence, If thou doest not well . . . ; finally, the exact and yet 
incongruous parallelism of the second half-verse with 3^^" (Ols. MBBA, 
1870, 380). — As regards ^% the main lines of interpretation are these : 
(i) The inf. n^v may be complementary to n'a'fl as a relative vb. (G-K. 
§ 120, 1), in which case V must have the sense of 'offer' sacrifice 
(cf. 43^, Ezk. 20^'). So (a) fflr ovk iav 6p6ws irpocreviyKri^, dpdus df fxij 
SiAt/s, -iifiapres ; 7}(t(ixO'(tov (reading nnj^ for nns^, and pointing the next 
two words i'5"i nNan)=' Is it not so — if thou offerest rightly, but dost not 
cut in pieces rightly, thou hast sinned ? Be still ! ' Ball strangely 
follows this fantastic rendering, seemingly oblivious of the fact that 
nn^ (cf. Ex. 29", Lv. 16-12, i Ki. iS""^-^ etc.)— for which he needlessly 
substitutes "153 (15'") — has no sense as applied to a fruit-offering. — {b) 
Somewhat similar is a view approved by Bu. as " vollig befriedigend " 
{Urg. 204 f.): 'Whether thou make thine offering costly or not, at the 
door,' etc. ['Whether thou offerest correctly or not,' would be the 
safer rendering]. — (2) The inf. may be taken as compressed apod., 
and 'n as an independent vb. = ' do well ' (as often). '\a might then 
express the idea of (a) elevation of countenajice ( = D'J3'e': cf. Jb. 11'^ 
22^8): 'If thou doest well, shall there not be lifting up?' etc. (so Tu. 
Ew. De. Di. Dri. a).); or {h) acceptance ('«)'{? as Gn. i<f^, 2 Ki. 3", 

Mai, i8- 9) : so Aq. (dp^(r«s), G. (p^Krhv), % (AXt^T)), U {recipies) ; or 

{c) forgiveness (as Gn. 50", Ex. 32^') : so 2. (a.<pi\(jK^), W^ Jer. and 
recently Ho. Of these renderings 2 (a) or i (b) are perhaps the most 

IV. 5-8 lOJ 

out. Every attempt to extract a meaning from the v. is 
more or less of a tour de force, and it is nearly certain that 
the obscurity is due to deep-seated textual corruption {y.i,). 
— 8. And Cain said\ l^N never being- quite synonymous 
with 13'^, the sentence is incomplete : the missing words, 
Let us go to the field, must be supplied from Vns. ; see below 
(so Ew. Di. Dri. al.). That Cain, as a first step towards 
reconciliation, communicated to Abel the warning he had 
just received (Tu. al.), is perhaps possible grammatically, but 
psychologically is altogether improbable. — thefield\ the open 
country (see on 2^), where they were safe from observation 

satisfying, thoug-h both are cumbered with the unnatural metaphor of 
sin as a wild beast couching at the door (of what?), and the harsh 
discord of gender. The latter is not fairly to be got rid of by taking 
p'n as a noun (' sin is at the door, a lurker ' : Ew. al.), though no doubt 
it might be removed by a change of text. Of the image itself the best 
explanation would be that of Ho., who regards fj-j as a technical 
expression for unforgiven sin (cf Dt. 29^^). Jewish interpreters explain 
it of the evil impulse in man (vin n^:), and most Christians similarly of 
the overmastering or seductive power of sin ; '*' being regarded as 
a summons to Cain to subdue his evil passions. — 7b reads smoothly 
enough by itself, but connects badly with what precedes. The ante- 
cedent to the pron. suff. is usually taken to be Sin personified as a wild 
beast, or less commonly (Calv. al.) Abel, the object of Cain's envy. 
The word r\^^WT\ is equally unsuitable, whether it be understood of the 
wild beast's eagerness for its prey or the deference due from a younger 
brother to an older ; and the alternative n^iB-n of ffi and .S (see on 3'*) 
is no better. The verbal resemblance to 3^^** is itself suspicious ; a 
facetious parody of the language of a predecessor is not to be attributed 
to any early writer. It is more likely that the eye of a copyist had 
wandered to 3^* in the adjacent column, and that the erroneous words 
were afterwards adjusted to their present context : in S the suff. are 
actually reversed {^ J^LmlJ^ OOIO OlZoX ]j.^ZZ Aj])._The 
paraphrase of W^ affords no help, and the textual confusion is probably 
irremediable ; tentative emendations like those of Gu. (p. 38) are of no 
avail. Che. TBI, 105, would remove v.'' as a gloss, and make *" 
(reading 'nn) Cain's answer to v.*. 

8. Tcx, in the sense of 'speak,' 'converse' (2 Ch. 32^*), is excessively 
rare and late : the only instance in early Heb. is apparently Ex. 19-', 
where the context has been broken by a change of document. It might 
mean 'mention' (as 43-^ etc.), but in that case the obj. must be indi- 
cated. Usually it is followed, like Eng. 'say,' by the actual words 
spoken. Hence niisn np^j is to be supplied with AuffiSF, but not Aq. 
(Tu. De. : see the scholia in Field) : a Pisqa in some Heb. MSS, though 


(i Ki. ii^^). — 9. Yahwe opens the inquisition, as in 3^, with 
a question, which Cain, unHke Adam, answers with a 
defiant repudiation of responsibility. It is impossible to 
doubt that here the writer has the earlier scene before his 
mind, and consciously depicts a terrible advance in the 
power of sin. — 10. Hark! Thy brothei^ s blood is crying- to 
me, etc.] P^V denotes strictly the cry for help, and specially 
for redress or veng-eance (Ex. 22'^^-^^, Ju. 4^, Ps. 107^- ^s 
etc.). The idea that blood exposed on the g-round thus 
clamours for vengeance is persistently vivid in the OT 
(Jb. 16I8, Is. 2621, Ezk. 247-8, 2 Ki. 926) : see JiS"^, 41 f. In 
this passage we have more than a mere metaphor, for 
it is the blood which is represented as drawing Yahwe's 
attention to the crime of Cain. — II. And now cursed art 
thou from (off) the ground] i.e., not the earth's surface, but 
the cultivated g-round (cf. v.^*, and see on 2^). To restrict 
it to the soil of Palestine (We. Sta. Ho.) goes beyond the 
necessities of the case. — which has opened her mouth, etc.] 
a personification of the ground similar to that of Sheol in 
Is. 5I* (cf. Nu. -[6^"^). The idea cannot be that the earth 
is a monster greedy of blood ; it seems rather akin to the 
primitive superstition of a physical infection or poisoning 
of the soil, and through it of the murderer, by the shed 
blood (see Miss Harrison, P?'olegomena, 219 ff.). The 
ordinary OT conception is that the blood remains un- 
covered {cL Eurip. Electra, 3i8f.). The relation of the 
two notions is obscure. — 12. The curse * from off the 
ground' has two sides: (i) The ground will no longer yield 
its strength (Jb. 31^^) to the murderer, so that even if he 
wished he will be unable to resume his husbandry ; and 

not recognised by the Mass., supports this view of the text. To emend 
-ibyn (Ols. al.) or nyn., n?n (Gk.) is less salisfactor}'. — 9. 'K'] ux .tx. — 10. 
On the interjectional use of ^ip, see G-K. § 146 b ; No. Mand. Gr. p. 482. 
— Q'PIiii] 3ix pyi', agreeing with Vip (?). — 11. [P . . . inx] pregnant constr., 
G-K. § i\gx,y, ff. This sense of IP is more accurately expressed by 
'?yp in v.'^ but is quite common (cf. esp. 27^^). Other renderings, as 
from (indicating the direction from which the curse comes) or by, are 
less appropriate ; and the compar. more than is impossible. — 12. iph] 
juss. form with k"? (G-K. § iogd,/i; Dav. §§ 63, I^. 3, 66, I^. 6); fol- 

IV. 9-14 I09 

(2) he is to be a vagrant and "wanderer in the earth. The 
second is the negative consequence of the first, and need 
not be regarded as a separate curse, or a symbol of the 
inward unrest which springs from a guilty conscience. 

13-16. Mitigation of Cain's punishment. — 13. My 
punishment is too great to he borne\ So the plea of Cain is 
understood by all modern authorities. The older rendering : 
my guilt is too great to he forgiven (which is in some ways 
preferable), is abandoned because the sequel shows that 
Cain's reflexions run on the thought of suff'ering and not of 
sin ; see below. — 14. from Thy face 1 shall he hidden^ This 
anguished cry of Cain has received scant sympathy at the 
hands of comm. (except Gu.). Like that of Esau in 27^*, 
it reveals him as one who had blindly striven for a spiritual 
good, — as a man not wholly bad who had sought the favour 
of God with the passionate determination of an ill-regulated 
nature and missed it : one to whom banishment from the 
divine presence is a distinct ingredient in his cup of misery. 
— every one that findeth me, etc.] The object of Cain's dread 
is hardly the vengeance of the slain man's kinsmen (so 
nearly all comm.) ; but rather the lawless state of things 
in the desert, where any one's life may be taken with 
impunity (Gu.). That the words imply a diffusion of the 
human race is an incongruity on either view, and is one of 
many indications that the Cain of the original story was 
not the son of the first man. 

This expostulation of Cain, with its rapid grasp of the situation, 
lig-hts up some aspects of the historic background of the legend, (i) It 

lowed by inf. without h (G-K. § 114 m). — ij) J?j] an alliteration, as in i'. 
Best rendered in anon. Gr. Vns. (Field) : <ra\ev6fj.evos Kal aKaraffraTiov ; 
U vagiis et profugiis ; G (incorrectly) arivuv koI Tpifxuv. 

13. On Jij; ( y ga-way = ' go astray ' : Dri. Sam. 134 f ) in the sense of 
punishment of sin, see the passages cited in BDB, s.v. 3. y Ncj, in 
the sense of 'bear guilt,' seems peculiar to P and Ezk. ; elsewhere it 
means to 'pardon iniquity' (Ex. 34'', Nu. 14'*, Ho. 14', Mic. 7^^, Ps. 32'). 
This consideration is not decisive ; but there is something to be said 
for the consensus of anc. Vns. (Cr d^e^^t-at ; U veniam merear, etc.) in 
favour of the second interpretation, which might be retained without 
detriment to the sense if the sentence could be read as a question. — 
14. ^rk\ instead of suff. is unlike J. In the next v. \rN after inf. was 


is assumed that Yahwe's presence is confined to the cultivated land ; 
in other words, that He is the God of settled life, agricultural and 
pastoral. To conclude, however, that He is the God of Canaan in 
particular (of. i Sa. 26'®), is perhaps an over-hasty inference. (2) The 
reign of right is coextensive with Yahwe's sphere of influence : the 
outer desert is the abode of lawlessness ; justice does not exist, and 
human life is cheap. That Cain, the convicted murderer, should use 
this plea will not appear strange if we remember the conditions under 
which such narratives arose. 

15. What follows must be understood as a divinely 
appointed amelioration of Cain's lot : although he is not 
restored to the amenities of civilised life, Yahwe grants 
him a special protection, suited to his vagrant existence, 
against indiscriminate homicide. — W7ioso kills Kayin (or 
' whenever any one kills K '), it (the murder) shall be avenged 
sevenfold] by the slaughter of seven members of the 
murderer's clan. See below. — appointed a sign for Kayin] 
or set a mark on K. The former is the more obvious 
rendering of the words ; but the latter has analogies, and 
is demanded by the context. 

The idea that the sign is a pledge given once for all of the truth of 
Yahwe's promise, after the analogy of the prophetic nix, is certainly 
consistent with the phrase ^ . . . D'if' : cf. e.g. Ex. \^, Jos. 24^^ with 
Ex. lo^ etc. So some authorities in Ber. R., lEz. Tu. al. But Ex. 4"* 
proves that it may also be something attached to the person of Cain 
(Calv. Ber. R., De. and most) ; and that mx may denote a mark appears 
from Ex. 13^- ^® etc. Since the sign is to serve as a warning to all and 
sundry who might attempt the life of Cain, it is obvious that the second 
view alone meets the requirements of the case : we must think of some- 
thing about Cain, visible to all the world, marking him out as one 
whose death would be avenged sevenfold. Its purpose is protective 
and not penal : that it brands him as a murderer is a natural but 
mistaken idea. — It is to be observed that in this part of the narrative 
Kayin is no longer a personal but a collective name. The clause 
'p iin-'?? (not Jiq; '?, or '' ^a'^?) has frequentative force (exx. below), imply- 
ing that the act might be repeated many times on members of the tribe 
Kayin : similarly the sevenfold vengeance assumes a kin - circle to 
which the murderer belongs. See, further, p. 112. 

necessary to avoid confusion between subj. and obj. — 15. |D^] oix ovrus 
(ffiSQ) implies j? ^i'? : so S>F ; but this would require to be followed 
by '?.— 'p :in-h3] see G-K. § ii6w; cf. Ex. 12I', Nu. 3530, i Sa. 2" 3" 
etc.— DiTJ The subj. might be pp (as v.") or (more probably) impers. 
(Ex. 21-^), certainly not the murderer of Cain. — D^n^/np'] = '7 times': 
G-K. § 134''. Vns. : (Sc iirTO. iKSiKovfj.eva TrapaXva-ei. ; Aq. eirTairXacrLus 

IV. 15, i6 III 

l6. and dwelt in the land of Ndd] The vb. yp\ is not 
necessarily inconsistent with nomadic life, as Sta. alleges 
(see Gn. 13^^, i Ch, 5^° etc.). It is uncertain whether the 
name *li3 is traditional (We. Gu.), or was coined from the 
participle ^J = ' land of wandering- ' (so most) ; at all events 
it cannot be geographically identified. If the last words 
py nonp belong to the original narrative, it would be 
natural to regard Kayin as representative of the nomads 
of Central Asia (Knob, al.); but the phrase may have been 
added by a redactor to bring the episode into connexion 
with the account of the Fall. 

The Origin of the Cain Legend. — The exposition of 4^'^' would be 
incomplete without some account of recent speculations regarding the 
historical or ethnological situation out of which the legend arose. The 
tendency of opinion has been to affirm with increasing distinctness the 
view that the narrative "embodies the old Hebrew conception of 
the lawless nomad life, where only the blood-feud prevents the wanderer 
in the desert from falling a victim to the first man who meets him."* 
A subordinate point, on which undue stress is commonly laid, is the 
identity of Cain with the nomadic tribe of the Kenites. These ideas, 
first propounded by Ew.,t adopted by We. ,+ and (in part) by Rob. 
Sm.,§ have been worked up by Sta., in his instructive essay on 'The 
sign of Cain,' II into a complete theory, in which what may be called 
the nomadic motive is treated as the clue to the significance of every 
characteristic feature of the popular legend lying at the basis of the 
narrative. Although the questions involved are too numerous to be 
fully dealt with here, it is necessary to consider those points in the 
argument which bear more directly on the original meaning of vv.^"^*. 

I. That the figure of Cain represents some phase of nomadic life 
may be regarded as certain. We have seen (p. no) that in v."^- the 
name Cain has a collective sense ; and every descriptive touch in these 
closing vv. is characteristic of desert life. His expulsion from the nonx 
and the phrase nJi yj, express (though not by any means necessarily, — 

iKSiKr]0-fi(TeTai ; 2. ip86/j.<i}S iKdlKr)<Tiv dJiffei ; 0. Si' ipSofxados iKSiKriffei ; 
F septuplum punietur; S VJ^^Aj ] V^ « *~^ ,_k» ; WJ^ })-\tn- pii Ki'^r'? 
n'rD (hence the idea that Cain was killed by Lamech the 7th from 
Adam [see on v.^]).— 16. m:] *u. n:, ffi Nai'5 (tj?) with variants (see 
Nestle, MM, p. 9). — SGF (hahitavit profugus in terra) [E?] take 
the word as a participle ; but the order of words forbids this. — nmp] 
see on 2". 'In front of E.' and 'East of E.' would here be the same 
thing (3"). 

* Smith, A'yl/2, 251. ^! JBBW, \\. ^if. t Comp.'' 10 {. 

§ I.e. Ak. I^eden, 229-73. 


see below) the fundamental fact that his descendants are doomed to 
wander in the uncultivated regfions beyond the pale of civilisation. The 
veng-eance which protects him is the self-acting law of blood-revenge, — 
that 'salutary institution ' which, in the opinion of Burckhardt, has done 
more than anything else to preserve the Bedouin tribes from mutual 
extermination.* The sign which Yahwe puts on him is most naturally 
explained as the " shnrt or tribal mark which every man bore in his 
person, and without which the ancient form of blood-feud, as the affair 
of a whole stock and not of near relations alone, could hardly have been 
worked." t And the fact that this kind of existence is traced to the 
operation of a hereditary curse embodies the feeling of a settled 
agricultural or pastoral community with regard to the turbulent and 
poverty-stricken life of the desert. 

2. While this is true, the narrative cannot be regarded as expressing 
reprobation of every form of nomadism known to the Hebrews. A dis- 
paraging estimate of Bedouin life as a whole is, no doubt, conceivable 
on the part of the settled Israelites (cf. Gn. i6^"^) ; but Cain is hardly 
the symbol of that estimate, (i) The ordinary Bedouin could not be 
described as ' fugitives and vagabonds in the earth ' : their movements 
are restricted to definite areas of the desert, and are hardly less 
monotonous than the routine of husbandry. J (2) The full Bedouin are 
breeders of camels, the half-nomads of sheep and goats ; and both live 
mainly on the produce of their flocks and herds (see Meyer, INS, 303 ff.). 
But to suppose Cain to exemplify the latter mode of life is inconsistent 
with the narrative, for sheep-rearing is the distinctive profession of Abel ; 
and it is hardly conceivable that Hebrew legend was so ignorant of 
the proud spirit of the full Bedouin as to describe them as degraded 
agriculturists. If Cain be the type of any permanent occupation at all, 
it must be one lower than agriculture and pasturage ; i.e. he must 
stand for some of those rude tribes which subsist by hunting or robbery. 
(3) It is unlikely that a rule of sevenfold revenge was generally observed 
amongst Semitic nomads in OT times. Among the modern Arabs the 
law of the blood-feud is a life for a life : it is only under circumstances 
of extreme provocation that a twofold revenge is permissible. We are, 
therefore, led to think of Cain as the impersonation of an inferior race 
of nomads, maintaining a miserable existence by the chase, and 
practising a peculiarly ferocious form of blood-feud. — The view thus 
suggested of the fate of Cain finds a partial illustration in the picture 

* Bedouins and Wahabys, 148. — The meaning is that the certainty 
of retaliation acts as a check on the warlike tribesmen, and renders 
their fiercest conflicts nearly bloodless. 

t Smith, I.e. — It may be explained that at present the kindred group 
for the purpose of the blood-feud consists of all those whose lineage 
goes back to a common ancestor in the fifth generation. There are 
still certain tribes, however, who are greatly feared because they are 
said to 'strike sideways'; i.e. they retaliate upon any member of the 
murderer's tribe whether innocent or guilty. See Burck, i49flf., 320 f. 

X No. EB, 130. 


given by Burck. and Doughty of a group of low-caste tribes called 
Solubba or Sleyb. These people live partly by hunting, partly by 
coarse smith-work and other gipsy labour in the Arab encampments ; 
they are forbidden by their patriarch to be cattle-keepers, and have 
no property save a few asses ; they are excluded from fellowship and 
intermarriage with the regular Bedouin, though on friendly terms with 
them ; and they are the only tribes that are free of the Arabian deserts 
to travel where they will, ranging practically over the whole peninsula 
from Syria to Yemen. It is, perhaps, of less significance that they 
sometimes speak of themselves as decayed Bedouin, and point out the 
ruins of the villages where their ancestors dwelt as owners of camels 
and flocks.* The name pp, signifying 'smith' (p. 102), would be a 
suitable eponym for such degraded nomads. The one point in which 
the analogy absolutely fails is that tribes so circumstanced could not 
aftbrd to practise the stringent rule of blood-revenge indicated by v.". — 
It thus appears that the known conditions of Arabian nomadism present 
no exact parallel to the figure of Cain. To carry back the origin of 
the legend to pre-historic times would destroy the raison detre of Sta.'s 
hypothesis, which seeks to deduce everything from definite historical 
relations : at the same time it may be the only course by which the theory 
can be freed from certain inconsistencies with which it is encumbered. f 

3. The kernel of Sta.'s argument is the attractive combination of 
Cain the fratricide with the eponymous ancestor of the Kenites.J In 
historical times the Kenites appear to have been pastoral nomads (Ex. 
2i6ff. ^1) frequenting the deserts south of Judah (i Sa. 27'" 30-''), and (in 
some of their brandies) clinging tenaciously to their ancestral manner 
of life (Ju. 4'^- " 5-^ Jer. 35'^ cpd. with i Ch. 2^% From the fact that 
they are found associated now with Israel (Ju. i^^ etc.), now with 
Amalek (Nu. 21^^'^-, \ Sa. 15^), and now with Midian (Nu. lo^"), Sta. 
infers that they were a numerically weak tribe of the second rank ; and 
from the name, that they were smiths. The latter character, however, 
would imply that they were pariahs, and of that there is no evidence 
whatever. Nor is there any indication that the Kenites exercised a 
more rigorous blood-feud than other Semites : indeed, it seems an 
inconsistency in Sta.'s position that he regards the Kenites as at once 
distinguished by reckless bravery in the vindication of the tribal honour, 
and at the same time too feeble to maintain their independence without 
the aid of stronger tribes. There is, in short, nothing to show that the 
l^enites were anything but typical Bedouin ; and all the objections to 

* Burck. 14 f. ; Dought)', Arabia Deserta, i. 280 fF. 

+ An interesting parallel might be found in the account given by 
Merker (Die Masai, p. 306 ff.) of the smiths {ol kononi) among the 
Masai of East Africa. Apart from the question of the origin of the 
Masai, it is quite possible that these African nomads present a truer 
picture of the conditions of primitive Semitic life than the Arabs of the 
present day. See also Andree, Ethnogr. Parall. u. Vergl. (1878), i56fF. 

X The tribe is called j^jj in Nu. 24^^, Ju. 4" ; elsewhere the gentilic 'rp 
is used (in i Ch. 2^ du'R). 



associating Cain with the higher levels of nomadism apply with full 
force to his identification with this particular tribe. When we consider, 
further, that the Kenites are nearly everywhere on friendly terms with 
Israel, and that they seem to have cherished the most ardent attachment 
to Yahwism, it becomes almost incredible that they should have been 
conceived as resting under a special curse. 

4. It is very doubtful if any form of the nomadic or Kenite theory 
can account for the rise of the legend as a whole. The evidence 
on which it rests is drawn almost exclusively from vv.^^'^*. Sta. 
justifies his extension of the theory to the incident of the murder by the 
analogy of those temporary alliances between Bedouin and peasants 
in which the settled society purchases immunity from extortion by the 
payment of a fixed tribute to the nomads (cf i Sa. 25^*-). This relation 
is spoken of as a brotherhood, the tributary party figuring as the sister 
of the Bedouin tribe. The murder of Abel is thus resolved into the 
massacre of a settled pastoral people by a Bedouin tribe which had been 
on terms of formal friendship with it. But the analogy is hardly con- 
vincing. It would amount to this : that certain nomads were punished 
for a crime by being transformed into nomads : the fact that Cain was 
previously a husbandman is left unexplained. — Gu., with more consist- 
ency, finds in the narrative a vague reminiscence of an actual (prehis- 
toric) event, — the extermination of a pastoral tribe by a neighbouring 
agricultural tribe, in consequence of which the latter were driven from 
their settlements and lived as outlaws in the wilderness. Such changes 
of fortune must have been common in early times on the border-land 
between civilisation and savagery ; * and Gu. 's view has the advantage 
over Sta.'s that it makes a difference of sacrificial ritual an intelligible 
factor in the quarrel (see p. 105 f.). But the process of extracting history 
from legend is always precarious ; and in this case the motive of indi- 
vidual blood-guilt appears too prominent to be regarded as a secondary 
interest of the narrative. 

The truth is that in the present form of the story the figure of Cain 
represents a fusion of several distinct types, of which it is difficult to 
single out any one as the central idea of the legend, (i) He is the 
originator of agriculture (v.^). (2) He is the founder of sacrifice, and 
(as the foil to his brother Abel) exhibits the idea that vegetable offer- 
ings alone are not acceptable to Yahwe (see on v.^). (3) He is the 
individual murderer (or rather shedder of kindred blood) pursued by the 
curse, like the Orestes, Alcmseon, Bellerophon, etc., of Greek legend 
(v.*^-). Up to V.'- that motive not only is sufficient, but is the only 
one naturally suggested to the mind : the expression ^:1 VJ being merely 
the negative aspect of the curse which drives him from the ground. t 

* Instances in Merker, Die Masai, pp. 3, 7, 8, 14, 328, etc. 

t For a Semitic parallel to this conception of Cain, comp. Doughty 's 
description of the wretched Harb Bedouin who had accidentally slain 
his antagonist in a wrestling match : " None accused Aly ; nevertheless 
the mesquin fled for his life ; and he has gone ever since thus armed, 
lest the kindred of the deceased finding him should kill him " {Ar. Des. 
ii. 293, cited by Stade). 

IV. 17-24 115 

(4) Lastly, in vv.'*"'^ he is the representative of tlie nomad tribes of 
the desert, as viewed from the standpoint of settled and orderly civilisa- 
tion. Evvald pointed out the significant circumstance, that at the 
beginning of the ' second age ' of the world's history we find the 
counterparts of Abel and Cain in the shepherd Jabal and the smith 
Tubal-Cain (v.^"^-). It seems probable that some connexion exists 
between the two pairs of brothers : in other words, that the story of 
Cain and Abel embodies a variation of the tradition which assigned the 
origin of cattle-breeding and metal-working to two sons of Lamech. 
But to resolve the composite legend into its primary elements, and 
assign each to its original source, is a task obviously beyond the 
resources of criticism. 

IV. 17-24. — The line of Cain. 

This genealog-y, unlike that of P in ch. 5, is not a mere 
list of names, but is compiled with the view of showing- the 
origin of the principal arts and institutions of civilised 
life.* These are : Husbandry (v.^ ; see above), city-life (^'^), 
[polygamy {^^)?], pastoral nomadism, music and metal- 
working (20-22j_ Ti^g Song of Lamech (^^f-) may signalise 
an appalling development of the spirit of blood-revenge, 
which could hardly be considered an advance in culture ; but 
the connexion of these vv. with the genealogy is doubtful. — 
It has commonly been held that the passage involves a 
pessimistic estimate of human civilisation, as a record of 
progressive degeneracy and increasing alienation from God. 
That is probably true of the compiler who placed the section 
after the account of the Fall, and incorporated the Song of 
Lamech, which could hardly fail to strike the Hebrew mind 
as an exhibition of human depravity. In itself, however, 
the genealogy contains no moral judgment on the facts 
recorded. The names have no sinister significance ; poly- 
gamy (though a declension from the ideal of 2^*) is not 
generally condemned in the OT (Dt. 2.\^^) ; and even the 
song of Lamech (which is older than the genealogy) implies 
no condemnation of the reckless and bloodthirsty valour 
which it celebrates. — The institutions enumerated are clearly 

* Gu., however (p. 47), considers the archaeological notices to be 
insertions in the genealogy, and treats them as of a piece with the 
similar notices in 2^' j'"-^* ^. 


those existing' in the writer's own day ; hence the passage 
does not contemplate a rupture of the continuity of develop- 
ment by a cataclysm like the Flood. That the representa- 
tion involves a series of anachronisms, and is not historical, 
requires no proof (see Dri. Gen. 68). — On the relation of the 
section to other parts of the ch., see p. 98 above : on some 
further critical questions, see the concluding- Note (p. I22ff.). 
17. Enoch and the building of the first city.— The 
question where Cain got his wife is duly answered in 
Jub. iv. 1,9: she was his sister, and her name was 'Awdft. 
For other traditions, see Marmorstein, ' Die Nainen der 
Schwestern Kains u. Abels,' etc., ZATW, xxv. 141 fF. — and 
he became a city-buildcr\ So the clause is rightly rendered 
by De. Bu. Ho. Gu. al. (cf. 2\-^^, Ju. iG^i, 2 Ki. \i% 
The idea that he happened to be eng^aged in the building 
of a city when his son was born would probably have been 
expressed otherwise, and is itself a little unnatural. 

That pp is the subj. of 'n;! only appears from the phrase '133 W"^ towards 
the end. Bu. {i2off. ) conjectures that the orig-inal text was iD^*?, making- 
Enoch himself the builder of the city called after him (so Ho.). The 
emendation is plausible : it avoids the ascription to Cain of two steps in 
civilisation— agriculture and city-building; and it satisfies a natural 
expectation that after the mention of Enoch we should hear what he 
became, not what his father became after his birth, — especially when 
the subj. of the immediately preceding- vbs. is Cain's wife. But the 
difficulty of accounting for the present text is a serious objection, the 
motive suggested by Bu. (123) being far-fetched and improbable. — The 
incongruity between this notice and vv.^^'i^ has already been mentioned 
(p. 100). Lenormant's examples of the mythical connexion of city-building- 
with fratricide {Origines^, i. 141 ff.) are not to the point ; the difficulty is 
not that the first city was founded by a murderer, but by a nomad. More 
relevant would be the instances of cities originating in hordes of out- 
laws, collected by Frazer, as parallels to the peopling- of Rome {Fort. 
Rev. 1899, Apr., 650-4). But the anomaly is wholly due to composition 
of sources : the Cain of the gfenealogy was neither a nomad nor a 
fratricide. It has been proposed (Ho. Gu.) to remove "'' as an addition 
to the genealogy, on the ground that no intelligent writer would put 

17. On yTi, see on v.^. — The vb. 'HJn appears from An kanaka to be a 
denom. from hanak (Heb. -qn), and means to rub the palate of a new-born 
child with chewed dates: hence trop. 'to initiate' (Lane, s.^>. ; We. 
Heid. 173). In Heb. it means to 'dedicate' or 'inaugurate' a house, 
etc. (Dt. 2o-', I Ki. S*'^: cf. nr:n, Nu. y'S Neh. 12^' etc.); and also to 
•teach ■ (Pr. 22^). See, further, on 5^*. 

IV. 17, i8 117 

city-building- before cattle-rearing ; but the Phoenician tradition is full 
of such anachronisms, and shows how little they influenced the reasoning 
of ancient genealogists.— The name Tli:n occurs (besides s'*"'-, i Ch. 1*) 
as that of a Midianite tribe in 25^ (i Ch. i''^), and of a Reubenite clan 
in 46' (Ex. 6'*, Nu. 26", i Ch. 5^). It is also said that l^n is a Sabaean 
tribal name (G-B.^^ .s.t;.),* which has some importance in view of the 
fact that |j'i3 (s^^-) is the name of a Sabaean deity. As the name of a 
city, the word would sug-gest to the Heb. mind the thought of ' initia- 
tion' (u/.). The city ni:n cannot be identified. The older conjectures 
are given by Di. (p. 99) ; Sayce {ZKF, ii. 404 ; Hib. Lect. 185) and 
Cheyne {EB, 624 ; but see now TBI, 106) connect it with Unuk, the 
ideographic name of the ancient Babylonian city of Erech. 

18. The next four generations are a blank so far as any 
advance in civilisation is concerned. The only question of 
general interest is the relation of the names to those of 
ch. 5. 

On the first three names, see esp. Lagarde, Orienfalia, ii. 33-38 ; 
Bu. Urg. 123-9. — ■^Ti'] ®^ TaiSaS ( = nTj?), S iTj; (the latter supported 
by Philo), corresponds to Tj; in 5^**'. The initial guttural, and the want 
of a Heb. etymology, would seem to indicate iTV as the older form which 
has been Hebraized in m' ; but the conclusion is not certain. If the 
root be connected with Ar. ' arada (which is doubtful in view of (Er's F), 
the idea might be either 'fugitive' (Di. al.), or 'strength, hardness, 
courage ' (Bu.). Sayce {ZKF, ii. 404) suggests an identification with 
the Chaldean city Eridu ; Ho. with mj;. in the Ncgeb (Ju. i^" etc.). — The 
next two names are probably (but not certainly : see Gray, HPN, 164 f.) 
compounds with hi}. The first is given by MT in two forms, ^N;inp and 
S><[>];n?. The variants of <& are reducible to three types, Ma£?;\ ('jK^no), 
MaowijX ('jK'inc), MaXeXe^jX ( = SnS'jhd, s'^"^-)- Lag. considers the last 
original, though the first is the best attested. Adopting this form, we 
may (with Bu.) point the Heb. Sx VO'? or '?N ':np = ' God makes me live' : 
so virtually Philo avb t'^ys 0€ov, and Jen ex vifa Detis (cited by Lag.). 
Both Mass. forms undoubtedly imply a bad sense: 'destroyed (or 
smitten) of God ' (though the form is absolutely un-Hebraic, see Dri. Sam. 
14). — "jN^'wa is now commonly explained by Ass. mutu-Sa-ili, 'Man of 
God,'t though the relative Sa presents a difficulty (Gray, I.e.). The 
true <& reading is Ma^owaXa { = Thmr\-^, 5^^^-) I ^'^o.OovaarfK occurs as a 
correction in some MSS — r(oh] again inexplicable from Heb. or even 
Arabic. Sayce {Hib. Lect. 186) and Hommel connect it with Laniga, a 
Babylonian name of the moon-god, naturalised in S. Arabia. J 

18. On ace. nx with pass, see G-K. § 116 a, b.—-h-, in the sense of 
'beget' is a sure mark of the style of J (see Ho. Einl. 99).— ins] archaic 

* Omitted in 13th edition. 

t Lenorm. Orig."^ i. 262 f., Di. Bu. al. Che. EB, 625. It does not 
appear that muiu-sa-ili occurs as an acliial name. 

X Hommel, Altisrael. Uberl. 117 n.: " Lamga ist ein babylonischer 


19. The two wives of Lamech. — No judgment is passed 
on Lamech's bigamy, and probably none was intended. 
The notice may be due simply to the fact that the names of 
the wives happened to be preserved in the song afterwards 

Of the two female names by far the most attractive explanation is 
that of Ew. {JBBW, vi. 17), that nnj; means Dawn (Ar. gad^", but ffi 
has 'A5a), and rh'i (fern, of "js) Shadow, — a relic of some nature-myth (cf. 
Lenorm. Orig.' 183 f.). Others (Ho.) take them as actual proper names 
of inferior stocks incorporated in the tribe Lamech ; pointing out that 
mV recurs in 36-^* as a Canaanite clan amalgamated with Esau. This 
ethnographic theory, however, has very little foothold in the passage. 
For other explanations, see Di. p. 100. 

20-22. The sons of Lamech and their occupations. — 

At this point the genealogy breaks up into three branches, 
introducing (as Ew. thinks) a second age of the world. But 
since it is nowhere continued, all we can say is that the three 
sons represent three permanent social divisions, and (we 
must suppose) three modes of life that had some special 
interest for the authors of the genealogy. On the significance 
of this division, see at the close. — 20. Yabal, son of 'Adah, 
became the father {i.e. originator: ^° 3"}) of tent- and cattle- 
dwellers {v.i.)\ i.e. of nomadic shepherds. '^J?i?'?, however, 
is a wider term than |NV (v.^), including all kinds of cattle, 
and even camels and asses (Ex. 9^). The whole Bedouin life 
is thus assigned to Jabal as its progenitor. — 21. Yubal, also a 

nom. case (G-K. § 90 0) of an old Sem. word (also Egypt, according 
to Erman) np='man' (male, husband, etc.) : cf. G-B. s.v. 

20. n^i?Ol Snx a;^'] ffi oUovvtwv iv (TKy^vah KTi^vorpdipuiv, perhaps reading 
mpD '"j.iN as in 2 Ch. 14'^ (so Ball). U {atque pastorum) takes najpn as a 

ptcp.; S inserts - » > ^ on, and C^ "iDi, before 'cattle'; similarly 
Kuenen proposed mpD njpi. The zeugma is somewhat hard, but is 
retained by most comm. for the sake of conformity with v.^^'-; G-K. 
§ w^bb, 118 g.—2I. rnx d-^i] cf lo"^ (J) (i Ch. 7^^). — 'ui '3.><] ffi 6 Kara- 
Sel^as xpaXr-qpiov Kal Kiddpav. — 2^111] 1133] U c/V^ara et organo ; & (jAj-O 
] ; 1 n n ; tjr° N313N1 N-n33 (|| vhii). See Benzinger, Archceol.^, 237-246 ; We. 
Psalms {Polychr. Bible), 2i9f., 222f ; Riehm, Hd-wb. i043ff. The ni:3 is 

Beiname des Sin ; daraus machten die Sabaer, mit volksetymologischer 
Anlehnung an ihr Verbum lamaka (wahrsch. glanzen), einen Plural 
Almaku. " 

IV. 19-22 I T9 

son of 'Adah, is the father of all w/io handle lyre and pipe ; the 
oldest and simplest musical instruments. These two occupa- 
tions, representing the bright side of human existence, have 
'Adah (the Dawn ?) as their mother ; recalling the classical 
association of shepherds with music (see Lenorm. i. 207). — 
22. Equally suggestive is the combination of Tubal-kdyin, the 
smith, and Ndd77iah ('pleasant'), as children of the dark 
Zillah ; cf. the union of Hephsestos and Aphrodite in Greek 
mythology (Di. al.). — The opening words of *^ are corrupt. 
We should expect : he becatne the father of every artificer in 
brass and iron (see footnote). The persistent idea that 
Tubal-cain was the inventor of weapons, Ber. R., Ra. and 
most, which has led to a questionable interpretation of the 
Song, has no foundation. He is simply the metal-worker, 

certainly a stringed instrument, played with the hand (i Sa. iS"^ etc.), 
probably the lyre (Greek Kivvpa). The a:iy (associated with the tm 
in Jb. 2i'2 30^1 : elsewhere only Ps. 150'') is some kind of wind instrument 
(115^0),— a flute or reed-pipe, perhaps the Tan's pipe {(n'pLy^).—22. K^n oi] 
in genealogies (as here, at^ lo^i ig^s 222('-24 [ju. s^i]) is characteristic of J. 
—yp Sam] ffi Go^eX- koI 7]v. Other Vns. have the compound name, and 
on the whole it is probable that Kal ijv is a corruption of Katv, althoug-h 
the next cl. has Go^eX alone. — 'tii v;-g^] ffi Kal ^v (r4>vpoK6wos, xaX(fei)s xa^foO 
Kal ffiS-opov, U gut futi malleator et faher in cuncta opera aer. et f.\ ^ 

]]l^)0 t.«_KKJ? ,^11 ^^nr: ^o] ; CO '31 '3 nT3>v 'VT S^T jinai. 
To get any kind of sense from MT, it is necessary either (a) to take b'dS 
('sharpener' or 'hammerer') in the sense of 'instructor'; or (6) take 
v-m as neut. (' a hammerer of every cutting implement of,' etc.) ; or (c) 
adopt the quaint construction (mentioned by Bu. 138) : 'a hammerer of 
all (sorts of things), — a (successful) artificer in bronze,' etc ! All these 
are unsatisfactory ; and neither the omission of Sd with fiS (Di.), nor the 
insertion of 'ax before it yields a tolerable text. Bu.'s emendation (139 ff.) 
'iji ©in id'? '.ti [for y^)\ is much too drastic, and stands or falls with his 
utterly improbable theory that Lamech and not Tubal-cain was origin- 
ally designated as the inventor of weapons. The error must lie in the 
words e'd'? J'P, for which we should expect, '3n .th xi,t (Ols. Ball). The 
difficulty is to account for the present text : it is easy to say that raV 
and I'p are glosses, but there is nothing in the v. to require a gloss, and 
neither of these words would naturally have been used by a Heb. writer 
for that purpose.— '?n3] The Semitic words for 'iron' (Ass. parsillu, 
Aram. 7ns, (Jlr^, Ar. farziT) have no Semitic etymology, and are 

probably borrowed from a foreign tongue. On the antiquity of iron in 
W. Asia, see Ridgeway, Early Age of Gr. i. 616 fF. 


an occupation regarded by primitive peoples as a species of 
black-art,* and by Semitic nomads held in contempt. 

On the names in these vv. see the interesting discussion of Lenorm. 
Orig? \. 192 ff. — The alliterations, Yabal — Ytlhal — Tfibal, are a feature 
of legendary genealogies : cf. Arab. Habil and Kabil, Shiddtd and 
Shaddad, Milik and Milkan, etc. (Lenorm. 192). '73' {(& 'lw(Se\ -t;\) and 
^ar {'lovj3a\) both suggest "jg' (Heb. and Phoen.), which means primarily 
'ram,' then 'ram's horn ' as a musical instrument (Ex. 19^^), and finally 
'joyous music' (in the designation of the year of Jubilee). On a sup- 
posed connexion of hz" with h^n in the sense of 'herdsman,' see above, 
p. 103. — "73^ is a Japhetic people famous in antiquity for metal-working 
(see on lo") ; and it is generally held that their heros efionjmus sup- 
plies the name of the founder of metallurgy here ; but the equation is 
doubtful. A still more precarious combination with a word for smith 
{tumdl, duhalanza, etc.) in Somali and other East African dialects, 
has been propounded by Merker {Die Masai, 306). The compound hl^n 
J'p (written in Oriental MSS as one word) may mean either ' Tubal [the] 
smith ' (in which case yp [we should expect \'prt] is probably a gloss), or 
'Tubal of (the family of) Cain.'t & has simply 0o/3eX ; but see the 
footnote. Tuch and others adduce the analogy of the TeXx'J'es, the first 
workers in iron and brass, and the makers of Saturn's scythe (Strabo, 
XIV. ii. 7) ; and the pair of brothers who, in the Phcenician legend, 
were cridripov euperal Kal ttjs tovtov ipyaaias. — ncj;^ ((5 Noe/xa) seems to 
have been a mythological personage of some importance. A goddess 
of that name is known to have been worshipped by the Phoenicians. J 
In Jewish tradition she figures as the wife of Noah {Ber. R.), as a 
demon, and also as a sort of St. Cecilia, a patroness of vocal music 
(2P: cf. Lag. OS, 180, 56: Nof^t;' \pd\Xovaa (pupy ovk iv 6p-ydv(f) [Nestle, 
MM, 10]). 

23, 24. The song of Lamech. — A complete poem in three 
distichs, breathing the fierce implacable spirit of revenge 
that forms the chief part of the Bedouin's code of honour. 
It is almost universally assumed (since Herder) that it com- 
memorates the invention of weapons by Tubal-cain, and is 
accordingly spoken of as Lamech's ' Sword Song.' But the 

23. The Introd. of the song is imitated in Is. 28"^ 32^ ; cf also Dt. 32'. 
The words pixri and .tjon are almost exclusively poetical. — On the form 
lya^j, see G-K. § 46/; — 'np.n is perf. of experience (Dav. § 40 (c) ; Dri. T. 
§ 12), rather than of single completed action, or of certainty (lEz. De. 
Bu. al.). — '? is not recitative, but gives the reason for the call to attention. 
— 'yscV, 'rin^an^] On this use of ), see BDB, s.v. 5, f. : fflr els rpav/xa [/xwXwTra] 

* See Andree, Ethnogr. Parall. u. Vergleiche (1878), 157. 

+ So Ew., who thinks the pp belongs to each of the three names. 

X Lenorm. 200 f.; Tiele, Gesch. i. 265; Baethgen, Beitr. 150. 

IV. 23, 24 121 

contents of the song furnish no hint of such an occasion 
(We.) ; and the position in which it stands makes its con- 
nexion with the genealogy dubious. On that point see, 
further, below. It is necessary to study it independently, as 
a part of the ancient legend of Lamech which may have 
supplied some of the material that has been worked into 
the genealogy. — The vv. may be rendered : 

^ Adah and Zillah, hear my voice ! 

Wives of Lamech, attend to my word I 
For I kill a man for a wound to me, 

And a boy for a scar. 
** For Cain takes vengeance seven times, 

But Lamech seventy times and seven ! 

23a. Ho. raises the question whether the words ' Adah and 
Zillah ' belong to the song or the prose introduction ; and 
decides (with U) for the latter view, on the ground that in 
the remaining vv. the second member is shorter than the 
first (which is not the case). The exordium of the song 
might then read : 

Hear my voice, ye women of Lamech ! 
Attend to my word ! — 

the address being not to the wives of an individual chieftain, 
but to the females of the tribe collectively. It appears to 
me that the alteration destroys the balance of clauses, and 
mars the metrical effect : besides, strict syntax would 
require the repetition of the p. — 23b. The meaning is that 
(the tribe?) Lamech habitually avenges the slightest personal 
injury by the death of man or child of the tribe to which the 
assailant belongs. According to the principle of the blood- 
feud, ^''i< and "I?"' ('> is not a fighting 'youth,' — a sense it 
rarely bears: i Ki. 12^*^-, Dn. i^^-, — but an innocent man- 
child [Bu. Ho.]) are not the actual perpetrators of the 
outrage, but any members of the same clan. The parallel- 
ism therefore is not to be taken literally, as if Lamech 
selected a victim proportionate to the hurt he had received. 
— 24. Cain is mentioned as a tribe noted for the fierceness 

i/xol ; F in vulnus [livorem] meum. — 24. 's] again introducing the reason, 
which, however, "lies not in the words immediately after '3, but in the 


of its vendetta (7 times) ; but the vengeance of Lamech 
knows no limit (70 and 7 times). 

The Songf has two points of connexion with the genealogy : the 
names of the two wives, and the allusion to Cain. The first would 
disappear if Ho.'s division of ^* were accepted ; but since the ordinary 
view seems preferable, the coincidence in the names goes to show that 
the song was known to the authors of the genealogy and utilised in its 
construction. With regard to the second, Gu. rightly observes that 
glorying over an ancestor is utterly opposed to the spirit of antiquity ; 
the Cain referred to must be a rival contemporary tribe, whose grim 
vengeance was proverbial. The comparison, therefore, tells decidedly 
against the unity of the passage, and perhaps points (as Sta. thinks) 
to a connection between the song and the legendary cycle from which 
the Cain story of ^'*^ emanated. — The temper of the song is not the 
primitive ferocity of " a savage of the stone-age dancing over the corpse 
of his victim, brandishing his flint tomahawk," etc. (Lenorm.) ; its real 
character was first divined by We., who, after pointing out the base- 
lessness of the notion that it has to do with the invention of weapons, 
describes it as " eine gar keiner besonderen Veranlassung bediirftige 
Prahlerei eines Stammes (Stammvaters) gegen den anderen. Und wie 
die Araber sich besonders gern ihren Weibern gegeniiber als grosse 
Eisenfresser riihmen, so macht es hier auch Lamech" {Comp."^ 305). On 
this view the question whether it be a song of triumph or of menace does 
not arise ; as expressing the permanent temper and habitual practice of 
a tribe, it refers alike to the past and the future. The sense of the 
passage was strangely misconceived by some early Fathers (perhaps by 
fflrU), who regarded it as an utterance of remorse for an isolated murder 
committed by Lamech. The rendering of C*^ is based on the idea 
(maintained by Kalisch) that Lamech's purpose was to represent his 
homicide as justifiable and himself as guiltless : ' I have not slain a man 
on whose account I bear guilt, nor wounded a youth for whose sake my 
seed shall be cut off. W'hen 7 generations were suspended for Cain, 
shall there not be for Lamech his son 70 and 7?' Hence arose the 
fantastic Jewish legend that the persons killed by Lamech were his 
ancestor Cain and his own son Tubal-cain (Ra. al.; cf. Jer. Ep. ad 
Damasum, 125).* — The metrical structure of the poem is investigated 
by Sievers in Metrische Studien, i. 404 f., and ii. i2f., 247 f. According 
to the earlier and more successful analysis, the song consists of a double 
tetrameter, followed by two double trimeters. Sievers' later view is 
vitiated by an attempt to fit the poem into the supposed metrical scheme 
of the genealogy, and necessitates the excision of n'?xi my as a gloss. 

Apart from v."^'-, the most remarkable feature of the genealogy is 

second part of the sentence" (BDB, s.v. 3, c) : cf. Dt. 18'*, Jer. 30".— op; 
on ace, see G-K. § 29 g. The Niph. op^ would yield a better sense : 
'avenges himself (Bu. Di. Ho.). 

• See, further, Lenorm. Orig. i. 186 ff. 

IV. 24 123 

the division of classes represented by the three sons of Lamech. It is 
difficult to understand the prominence given to this classification of 
mankind into herdsmen, musicians, and smiths, or to imagine a point of 
view from v^hich it would appear the natural climax of human develop- 
ment. Several recent scholars have sought a clue in the social con- 
ditions of the Arabian desert, where the three occupations may be said 
to cover the whole area of ordinary life. Jabal, the first-born son, 
stands for the full-blooded Bedouin with their flocks and herds,* — the 
^lite of all nomadic-living men, and the 'flower of human culture' 
(Bu. 146). The two younger sons symbolise the two avocations to which 
the pure nomad will not condescend, but which are yet indispensable 
to his existence or enjoyment — smith-work and music (Sta. 232). The 
obvious inference is that the genealogy originated among a nomadic 
people, presumably the Hebrews before the settlement in Canaan (Bu.); 
though Ho. considers that it embodies a specifically Kenite tradition in 
which the eponymous hero Cain appears as the ancestor of the race (so 
Gordon, ETG, 188 ff'.).— Plausible as this theory is at first sight, it is 
burdened with many improbabilities. If the early Semitic nomads 
traced their ancestry to (peasants and) city-dwellers, they must have 
had very diff'erent ideas from their successors the Bedouin of the present 
day.f Moreover, the circumstances of the Arabian peninsula present a 
very incomplete parallel to the classes of vv.''*''^^. Though the smiths 
form a distinct caste, there is no evidence that a caste of musicians ever 
existed among the Arabs ; and the Bedouin contempt for professional 
musicians is altogether foreign to the sense of the vv., which certainly 
imply no disparaging estimate of Jubal's art. And once more, as Sta. 
himself insists, the outlook of the genealogy is world-wide. Jabal is the 
prototype of all nomadic herdsmen everywhere, Jubal of all musicians, 
and Tubal (the Tibareni?) of all metallurgists. — It is much more 
probable that the genealogy is projected from the standpoint of a settled, 
civilised, and mainly agricultural community. If (with Bu.) we include 
vv.* and "^ and regard it as a record of human progress, the order 
of development is natural : husbandmen, city-dwellers, wanderers [?] 
(shepherds, musicians, and smiths). The three sons of Lamech represent 
not the highest stage of social evolution, but three picturesque modes of 
life, which strike the peasant as interesting and ornamental, but by no 
means essential to the framework of society. — This conclusion is on the 
whole confirmed by the striking family likeness between the Cainite 
genealogy and the legendary Phoenician history preserved by Eusebius 
from Philo Byblius, and said to be based on an ancient native work by 
Sanchuniathon. Philo's confused and often inconsistent account is 
naturally much richer in mythical detail than the Heb. tradition ; but 
the general idea is the same : in each case we have a genealogical list 

* But against this view, see p. 112 above, and Meyer, INS^ 303 ff". 

t Ho. evades this objection by deleting v."**, and reducing the 
genealogy to a bare list of names ; but why should the Kenites have 
interposed a whole series of generations between their eponymous 
ancestor and the origin of their own nomadic life ? 


of the legendary heroes to whom the discovery of the various arts aiid 
occupations is attributed. Whether the biblical or the Phoenician 
tradition is the more original may be doubtful; in any case "it is 
difficult," as Dri. says, "not to think that the Hob. and Phcen. 
representations spring from a common Canaanite cycle of tradition, 
which in its turn may have derived at least some of its elements from 
Babylonia" {Gen. p. 74).* 

IV. 25, 26. — Frag^nentary Sethite Genealogy. 

The vv. are the beginning of a Yahwistic genealogy 
(see above, p. 99), of which another fragment has fortunately 
been preserved in 5^9 (Noah). Since it is thus seen to have 

* Cf. Eus. PrcEp. Ev. i. 10 (ed. Heinichen, p. 39 AF.). The Greek text 
is printed in Miiller's Fragm. Hist. Grcec. iii. 566 f. French transla- 
tions are given by Lenorm. Orig. i. 536 ff., and Lagrange, Etudes sur 
les Religions Setnitiques^, 362 ff. (the latter with a copious commentary 
and critical introduction). — The passage in Eusebius is much too long 
to be quoted in full, but the following extracts will give some idea of 
its contents and its points of similarity with Gen.: Of the two proto- 
plasts Mo)v and Xlpwrbyovos, it is recorded evpelv bk rbv AlQva Tr)v dirb tCov 
Mvbpoyv TpocpTju. — The second pair, T4vos and Teved, dwelt in Phoenicia, 
and inaugurated the worship of the sun. — Of the race of Alwv and 
IlpiOToyovos were born three mortal children, $cDj, Hvp, and 4'\(5^ : oStoi 
iK irapaTpi^ris ^vXwv edpov irvp, Kal tt}v xP'?"'"' ^bida^av. — Then followed 
a race of giants, of whom was born [2a]/i7j/xpoO/ios ( = DnD 'DE') 6 Kal 
'T^J/ovpauios, who founded Tyre. Of him we read : /caXi^ySas re iTrivorjcrai 
dirb KoXdfioov, Kal dpvwv, Kal TraTrijpuv' ffracndcai bi irpos rbv dbe\<pbv Ofcrwoc, 
8s (TKiTrrjv T<p cnofxaTL Trpuiros e\- bepfidrcop ujv tffxvce (niWa^elu drjpiwv evpe . , . 
Aivbpov bk Xa^ofievov rbv Oi'awov Kal dTroK\abev<xavTa, irpdirov roXfiTJaai els 
OdXacaav ifi^-qvai' dviepQaai b^ bOo cr-qKas . . . al/J.d re airivbeLv airah i^ &v 
ijypeve dtjpiwv. — The further history of invention names [a) 'Aypevs and 
' Akievs, Tous dXelas Kal dypas evpeTas ; (b) . . . bvo dbeXcpovs cnbrjpov evperds, 
Kal TTJs TovTov ^pyafflas' &v Odrepov rbv Xpvirwp \6yovs daKiicrai, Kal iirq}5ds 
Kal fiavreias ; (c) TexfiTrjs and Yrj'ii>os AvTbxOo}" : ovtoi. iirevb-qaav tQ ttt^Xw 
rrjs 7r\Lv6ov crv/j.fji.iyvtj€ii> (popvrbv, Kal ry ij\l({i avrds Tepffalvfiv, dXXa Kal ffriyas 
i^evpov ; [d) 'Aypbs and 'Aypovripos (or 'AypbTijs) : iwevb-qcxav bk oiroi awXds 
irpoffndivai toZs olkols aai Trepij36\aia Kal <jirr}\aia' iK tovtuv dyporai Kal 
Kwriyol ; {e)"AiJ.vvos and Mdyoi : ot Karebei^av Kufxas Kal TroLjj.vas ; {/) Micrwp 
(^E"D) and XvbvK (P"is) : odroi tt]v rod dXbs XP^"'"' f^'pov. (g) Of Mta-Jip was 
born TdavT, &s ebpe t7)v tQv irpwruv ffroLxelwv ypacp-qv ; and [h] of "ZvbvK, the 
Aiba-Kovpoi : odroi, (prjal, irpwroi ttXoTov evpov. — After them came others ot 
Kal ^ordvas evpov, Kal Tr]v twv baKerCov taaiv, Kal e-jruibas. — It is impossible 
to doubt that some traditional elements have been preserved in this 
extraordinary medley of euhemerism and archseology, however unfavour- 
ably it may contrast with the simplicity of the biblical record. 

IV. 25 125 

contained the three names (Seth, Enos, Noah) peculiar to 
the genealogy of P, it may be assumed that the two lists 
were in substantial agreement, each consisting of ten 
generations. That that of J was not a dry list of names 
and numbers appears, however, from every item of it that 
has survived. The preservation of 4-^^- is no doubt due to 
the important notice of the introduction of Yahwe-worship 
^26bj^ the redactor having judged it more expedient in this 
instance to retain J's statement intact. The circumstance 
shows on how slight a matter far-reaching critical specula- 
tions may hang. But for this apparently arbitrary decision 
of the redactor, the existence of a Sethite genealogy in J 
would hardly have been suspected ; and the whole analysis 
of the J document into its component strata might have run 
a different course. 

25- And Adam knew, eic] see on v.^ That V^* denotes 
properly the initiation of the conjugal relation (Bu.) is very 
doubtful: see 38-*^, i Sa. i^^. — And she called] see again on v.^. 
— God has appoi^ited me seed] (the remainder of the v. is 
probably an interpolation). Cf. 3^^. Eve's use of DNnfjK is 
not 'surprising' (Di.) ; it only proves that the section is not 
from the same source as v.^. On the other hand, it harmon- 
ises with the fact that in 3^*^- DTipS is used in dialogue. It 
is at least a plausible inference that both passages come 
from one narrator, who systematically avoided the name Din'' 
up to 4^^ (see p. 100). 

The V. in its present form undoubtedly presupposes a knowledge of 
the Cain and Abel narrative of 4^"^® ; but it is doubtful if the allusions 
to the two older brothers can be accepted as original (see Bu. 154-159). 
Some of Bu.'s arguments are strained; but it is important to observe 
that the word l^l! is wanting in ffi, and that the addition of hzn nnn nnn 
destroys the sense of the preceding utterance, the idea of subsHtution 
being quite foreign to the connotation of the vb. nv. The following 
clause )'p u^T '3 reads awkwardly in the mouth of Eve (who would 
naturally have said 'p 'n ntfN), and is entirely superfluous on the part of 

25. D-ix] here for the first time unambiguously a prop. name. There 
is no reason to suspect the text : the transition from the generic to the 
individual sense is made by P only in 5''^ and is just as likely to have 
been made by J. — ffi reads Wvav in place of n'ly ; 5i has both words. — 
Before ^'7n1 &Si insert nnm.— j<-ipni] xix Knp'i.— '?] ffi Xiyovcra ; so U and 


the narrator. The excision of these suspicious elements leaves a 
sentence complete in itself, and exactly corresponding in form to the 
naming of Cain in v.^ : yni D'n'?K ''? nr, 'God has appointed me seed' 
{i.e. posterity). There is an obvious reference to 3^', where both the 
significant words n'E' and V' occur. But this explanation really implies 
that Seth was the first-born son (according to this writer), and is 
unintelligible of one who was regarded as a substitute for another. How 
completely the mind of the glossator is preoccupied by the thought of 
substitution is further shown by the fact that he does not indicate in 
what sense Cain has ceased to be the 'seed' of Eve. — As a Heb. word 
(with equivalents in Phoen. Arab. Syr. Jew. -Aram. : cf. No. Mand. Gr. 
p. 98) DB' would mean ' foundation ' (not Setzlitig, still less Ersatz) ; but its 
realetymologyis, of course, unknown. Hommel's attempt(yiOZ), p. 26 ff.) 
to establish a connexion with the second name in the list of Berossus 
(below, p. 137) involves too many doubtful equations, and even if 
successful would throw no light on the name. In Nu. 24" rvo appears 
to be a synonym for Moab ; but the text is doubtful (Meyer, INS, 219). 
The late Gnostic identification of Seth with the Messiah may be based 
on the Messianic interpretation of 3^®, and does not necessarily imply 
a Babylonian parallel. 

26. On the name JJ'iJN ( = Man^ and therefore in all prob- 
ability the first member of an older genealogy), see below. 
— Then men began to call, etc.] Better (with (^, etc., v.t.): 
He was the first to call on the name of Vahwe (cf. g^" lo^), 
i.e. he was the founder of the worship of Yah we ; cf. 12^ 
13* 21^^ 26^5 (all J). What historic reminiscence (if any) 
lies behind this remarkable statement we cannot conjec- 
ture; but its significance is not correctly expressed when 

even E^— 26. Kin a] (G-K. § 135 A) (S om.— tr'iJ^] like din, properly a 
coll. : En6§ is a personification of mankind. The word is rare and 
mostly poetic in Heb. (esp. Jb. Ps.); but is common in other Sem. 
dialects (Ar. Aram. Nab. Palm. Sab. Ass.). Nestle's opinion {MM, 
6f), that it is in Heb. an artificial formation from c'¥'J^s, and that the 
genealogy is consequently late, has no sort of probability ; the only 
' artificiality ' in Heb. is the occasional individual use. There is a pre- 
sumption, however, that the genealogy originated among a people to 
whom tyi3K or its equivalent was the ordinary name for mankind 
(Aramaean or Arabian). — '?mn in] so Aq. 2. ; *u, hnn in ; ffi o^tos ijXinffev 
(from J hn') implies either Snn m or 'n n^n ; so F {hie coepit) and Jub. 
iv. 12 ; S has t^;-* —^^^01. The true text is that read by ffi, etc. ; 
and if the alteration of MT was intentional (which is possible), we may 
safely restore ^r\r\ wn after 10^. The Jewish exegesis takes Vmn in the 
sense 'was profaned,' and finds in the v. a notice of the introduction of 
idolatry (Jen Qu., S^OJ, Ra. al.), — although the construction is absolutely 
ungrammatical (lEz.). — After nin' <& adds carelessly TovQeov. 

IV. 25-V 127 

it is limited to the institution of formal public worship on 
the part of a religious community (De.) ; and the idea that 
it is connected with a growing" sense of the distinction 
between the human and the divine (Ew. De. al.) is a baseless 
fancy. It means that 'En6§ was the first to invoke the 
Deity under this name ; and it is interesting chiefly as a 
reflexion, emanating from the school of J, on the origin of 
the specifically Israelite name of God. The conception is 
more ingenuous than that of E (Ex. 3^^"^^) or P (6^), who 
base the name on express revelation, and connect it with 
the foundation of the Hebrew nationality. 

The expression '' DVi Kip (lit. 'call by [means of] the name of Y.') 
denotes the essential act in worship, the invocation (or rather evocat{o7i) 
of the Deity by the solemn utterance of His name. It rests on the wide- 
spread primitive idea that a real bond exists between the person and his 
name, such that the pronunciation of the latter exerts a mystic influence 
on the former.* The best illustration is i Ki. iS-'*"^-, where the test 
proposed by Elijah is which name — Baal or Yahwe — will evoke a 
manifestation of divine energfy. — The cosmopolitan diffusion of the name 
ni.T, from the Babylonian or Egyptian pantheon, though often asserted,! 
and in itself not incredible, has not been proved. The association with 
the name of Eno§ might be explained by the supposition that the old 
genealogy of which Eno§ was the first link had been preserved in some 
ancient centre of Yahwe-worship (Sinai ? or Kadesh ?). 

Ch. Y.—The Ante-Diluvian Patriarchs (P). 

In the Priestly Code the interval between the Creation 
{ii-2*») and the Flood {6^-) is bridged by this list of ten 
patriarchs, with its chronological scheme fixing the duration 
of the period (in MT) at 1656 years. The names are 
traditional, as is shown by a comparison of the first three 
with 4^^'-, and of Nos. 4-9 with 4^'^*^*. It has, indeed, been 
held that the names of the Cainite genealogy were intention- 
ally modified by the author of P, in order to suggest certain 

• See Giesebrecht, Die A Tliche Schdtzung des Gottesnamens, esp. p. 

+ W. M. Muller, AE, pp. 239, 312 ; Del. Babel [tr. M'Cormack] p. 
61 f. ; Bezold, Die Bab.-Ass. Keilinschr. etc. p. 31 ff. ; Oppert, ZA, xvii. 
291 ff. ; Daiches, ib. xxii. (1908), 125 ff. ; Algyogyi-Hirsch, ZATW, xxiii. 
355 ff. ; Sta. BTh i. 29; Me. GAK i. (2te Hiilfte), S45f. Cf., further, 
Rogers, ReL of Bab. and Ass. (1908), p. 89 ff. 


views as to the character of the patriarchs. But that is at 
best a doubtful hypothesis, and could only apply to three or 
four of the number. It is quite probable that if we had the 
continuation of J's Sethite genealogy, its names would be 
found to correspond closely with those of ch. 5. — The 
chrojiology, on the other hand, is based on an artificial 
system, the invention of which may be assigned either to P 
or to some later chronologist (see p. 136 below). — What is 
thoroughly characteristic of P is the framework in which 
the details are set. It consists of (a) the age of each 
patriarch at the birth of his first-born, {b) the length of his 
remaining life (with the statement that he begat other chil- 
dren), and (c) his age at death.* The stiff precision and 
severity of the style, the strict adherence to set formulae, 
and the monotonous iteration of them, constitute a some- 
what pronounced example of the literary tendencies of the 
Priestly school of writers. 

The distinctive phraseology of P (□'n''?^, t*!?, nio'i, rt^p^i 131) is seen 
most clearly in vv. ^^' '', which, however, may be partly composed of 
glosses based on i^^^- (see on the vv.). Note also m^in ('■'), D^x, niD^ 
(3), -I'Vin (throughout), D'ri-'7.sri-nx TjVnnn (22- 24^ cf. 6") ; the syntax of the 
numerals (which, though not peculiar to P, is a mark of late style : see 
G-K. § 134 i; Dav. § 37, R. 3) ; the naming of the child by the father (S).— 
The one verse which stands out in marked contrast to its environment 
is 2^, which is shown by the occurrence of the name nin' and the allusion 
to 3" to be an extract from J, and in all probability a fragment of the 
genealogy whose first links are preserved in 4^"- ^®. 

" The aim of the writer is by means of these particulars 
to give a picture of the increasing population of the earth, 
as also of the duration of the first period of its history, as 
conceived by him, and of the longevity which was a current 
element in the Heb. conception of primitive times " (Dri. 
Gen. p. 75). With regard to the extreme longevity attri- 
buted to the early patriarchs, it must be frankly recognised 
that the statements are meant to be understood literally, and 
that the author had in his view actual individuals. The 

* Only in the cases of Adam (v.^), Enoch (^^' ^) and Lamech {^- '^) 
are slight and easily explicable deviations from the stereotyped form 
admitted. The section on Noah is, of course, incomplete. 

CH. V. 129 

attempts to save the historicity of the record by supposing" 

(a) that the names are those of peoples or dynasties, or 

(b) that many links of the genealogy have been omitted, or 

(c) that the word n:K^ denotes a space of time much shorter 
than twelve months (see Di. 107), are now universally 
discredited. The text admits of no such interpretation. It 
is true that " the study of science precludes the possibility 
of such figures being literally correct"; but "the com- 
parative study of literature leads us to expect exaggerated 
statements in any work incorporating the primitive traditions 
of a people" (Ryle, quoted by Dri. p. 75). 

The author of P knows nothing of the Fall, and offers 
no explanation of the * violence ' and ' corruption ' with 
which the earth is filled when the narrative is resumed (6^^^^ 
It is doubtful whether he assumes a progressive deteriora- 
tion of the race, or a sudden outbreak of wickedness on the 
eve of the Flood ; in either case he thinks it unnecessary to 
propound any theory to account for it. The fact reminds 
us how little dogmatic importance was attached to the story 
of the Fall in OT times. The Priestly writers may have 
been repelled by the anthropomorphism, and indifferent to 
the human pathos and profound moral psychology, of 
Gen. 3 ; they may also have thought that the presence of 
sin needs no explanation, being sufficiently accounted for by 
the known tendencies of human nature. 

Budde { Urgesch. 93-103) has endeavoured to show that the genealogfy 
itself contains a cryptic theory of deg-eneration, according- to which the 
first five generations were righteous, and the last five (commencing with 
Jered [= 'descent '], but excepting Enoch and Noah) were wicked. 
His chief arguments are {a) that the names have been manipulated by 
P in the interest of such a theory, and {b) that the Samaritan chronology 
(which Bu. takes to be the original: see below, p. 135 f.) admits of the 
conclusion that Jered, Methuselah, and Lamech perished in the Flood.* 
Budde supports his thesis with close and acute reasoning ; but the facts 
are susceptible of different interpretations, and it is not probable that a 
writer with so definite a theory to inculcate should have been at such 
pains to conceal it. At all events it remains true that no explanation is 
given of the introduction of evil into the world. 

* The more rapid decrease of life (in jju.) after Mahalalel ought not 
to be counted as an additional argument; because it is a necessary 
corollary from the date fixed for the Flood. 



I, 2. — Introduction: consisting of a superscription ('*), 
followed by an account of the creation and naming- of Adam 
pb. 2^^ — j2i j-j^i^ ^^ f^^ ^qqJ^ qJt f^g generations of Adam] 
See the crit. note below ; and on the meaning of n'lpin, 
see on 2**. — lb. When God created Matt (or Adam) he made 
him in the likeness of God] a statement introduced in view of 
the transmission of the divine image from Adam to Seth 
(v.^). On this and the following clauses see, further, i^eff., 
— 2. And called their name Adam] v.i. 

The vv. show signs of editorial manipulation. In ^ onx is pre- 
sumably a proper name (as in ^^■), in ^ it is certainly g-eneric (note the 
pi. suff.), while in '^^ it is impossible to say which sense is intended. The 
confusion seems due to an attempt to describe the creation of the first 
man in terms borrowed almost literally from i^Sff.^ where mx is generic. 
Since the only new statement is and he called their name Adatn, we may 
suppose the writer's aim to have been to explain how din, from being a 
generic term, came to be a proper name. But he has no clear per- 
ception of the relation ; and so, instead of starting with the generic 
sense and leading up to the individual, he resolves the individual into 
the generic, and awkwardly resumes the proper name in v.^. An 
original author would hardly have expressed himself so clumsily. Ho. 
observes that the heading din m'?Tn ncD ni reads like the title of a book, 
suggesting that the chapter is the opening section of an older genea- 
logical work used by P as the skeleton of his history ; and the fuller 
formula, as compared with the usual rrhm nVx, at least justifies the 
assumption that this is the first occurrence of the heading. Di.'s 
opinion, that it is a combination of the superscription of J's Sethite 
genealogy with that of P, is utterly improbable. On the whole, the facts 
point to an amalgamation of two sources, the first using mx as a 
designation of the race, and the other as the name of the first man. 

3-5. Adam. — begat [a son] in his likeness^ etc.] (see on 
i^^) : implying, no doubt, a transmission of the divine image 
(v.^) from Adam to all his posterity. — 6-20. The sections 
on Seth, Enoi, Kenan, Mahalalel, and Yered rigidly 

I. For DIN C5 has 1° dvdpwiruv, 2° 'AdAfx ; IB conversely 1° Adam, 2° 
homineTn.—'Z. DC^] ffi"- in?*.— 3. ^.yv1] ins. [3 as obj. (Ols. al.). tVi.t con- 
fined to P in Pent. ; J, and older writers generally, using -h\ both for 
' beget ' and * bear.' — iO/S? in-D'i?] ffi ko-to. Tr\v elbia.v avrov Kal k. r. eMva o. 
— avoiding onolioaii (see the note on i^^). — 4. din 'D' r.Ti] ffi^ ins. Aj 
?f7?(re, as in v.*. SS reads Dnt< 'n;i (but see Ball's note) as in vv.''- '" etc. 
But vv.'"' contain several deviations from the regular formula : note 
'n IB'.** in V.*, and the order of numerals (hundreds before tens). The 
reverse order is observed elsewhere in tlie chapter. 

V. 1-24 13 I 

observe the prescribed form, and call for no detailed com- 
ment, except as regards the names. 

6-8. Seth: cf. 4^. For the Jewish, Gnostic, and Mohammedan 
legends about this patriarch, see Lenorm. Orig.^ 217-220, and Charles, 
Book 0/ Jubilees, 33ff. — 9-II. 'Ends: see on 4^^*. — 12-14. Ifenan is 
obviously a fuller form of I^dyin in the parallel genealogy of 4"* ; and 

possibly, like it, means ' smith ' or ' artificer * (cf. Syr- | . » 1 » f) : see on 
4I). Whether the longer or the shorter form is the more ancient, we 
have no means of judging. It is important to note that p'p or pp is the 
name of a Sab^an deity, occurring several times in inscriptions : see 
Mordtmann, ZDMG, xxxi. 86; Baethgen, Beitr. 127 f., 152.— 15-17. 
Mah&laVel (=' Praise of God') is a compound with the St. X67. S^-p 
(Pr. 27-^). But there the Vns. read the participle ; and so ffi must have 
done here : MaXeXe7;X = 'rK^|:np, /.g. ' Praising God.' Proper names com- 
pounded with a ptcp. are rare and late in OT (see Dri. Sam. 14* ; 
Gray, HPN, 201), but are common in Assyrian. Nestle's inference that 
the genealogy must be late {MM, 7 f. ) is not certain, because the word 
might have been borrowed, or first borrowed and then hebraized : 
Hommel conjectures (not very plausibly) that it is a corruption oi Aviil- 
Ar&ru in the list of Berossus (see AOD, 29). 'd is found as a personal 
or family name in Neh. 11^. — 18-20. Y^red (i Ch. 4'^) would signify in 
Heb. ' Descent ' ; hence the Jewish legend that in his days the angels 
descended to the earth {Gen. 6^) : cf. Jub. iv. 15; En. vi. 6, cvi. 13. On 
Bu.'s interpretation, see p. 129 above. The question whether m/y or ti^ 
be the older form must be left open. Hommel (30) traces both to an 
original Babylonian '/-j>/amrf= ' descent of fire.' 

21-24. The account of Hnoch contains three extraordinary 
features : {a) The twice repeated D^^■S^5^-nN ^??nn'V In the 
OT such an expression (used also of Noah, 6^) signifies 
intimate companionship (i Sa. 25^^), and here denotes a 
fellowship with God morally and religiously perfect (cf. 
Mic. 6^, Mai. 2^ ["^IfC])) hardly differing from the commoner 
•walk before God' (17^ 24^0) or 'after God' (Dt. 135, i Ki. 
14^). We shall see, however, that originally it included 
the idea of initiation into divine mysteries, {b) Instead of 
the usual nb'i we read D'nS{< Sm T\\h-^2 ^srxi ; i.e. he was 

22. D'nSxn-nK — iVnn'i] (& evrfpiaTrjaev ry 6e^ (ffi^ adds Kal (l^rjafv 'Evux), 
S dve<TTpi4)fTo, 5 loiXP ; <^ •, C^ "i NnSma yhn -. Aq. and F render 
literally. The art. before 'k is unusual in P (see 6^- ^'). The phrase must 
have been taken from a traditional source, and may retain an unobserved 
trace of the original polytheism ('with the gods'). — 23. '.n] Rd vn>i 
(MSS, AU.C5, etc.). — 24. i:rNi] indicating mysterious disappearance 
(^.j2^t. ^2i3- 82. 36 [E] I Ki. 20«); see G-K. § 152W.— np^] ffi tierid-r^Kev, 


mysteriously translated 'so as not to see death' (He. ii^). 
Though the influence of this narrative on the idea of immor- 
tality in later ages is not to be denied (cf. Ps. 49^^ 73^*), it is 
hardly correct to speak of it as containing a presentiment of 
that idea. The immortality of exceptional men of God like 
Enoch and Elijah suggested no inference as to the destiny of 
ordinary mortals, any more than did similar beliefs among 
other nations (Gu.). (c) His life is much the shortest of the 
ante-diluvian patriarchs. It has long been surmised that the 
duration of his life (365 years) is connected with the number 
of days in the solar year ; and the conjecture has been re- 
markably verified by the Babylonian parallel mentioned below. 

The extraordinary developments of the Enoch-leg-end in later 
Judaism (see below) could never have grown out of this passage alone ; 
everything g-oes to show that the record has a mytholog-ical basis, which 
must have continued to be a living tradition in Jewish circles in the time 
of the Apocalyptic writers. A clue to the mystery that invests the 
figure of Enoch has been discovered in Babylonian literature. The 
7th name in the list of Berossus is Evedoranchus (see A'AT^, 532), — a 
corruption (it seems certain) of Enmeduranki, who is mentioned in a 
ritual tablet from the library of Asshurbanipal (K 2486 + K 4364: trans- 
lated in KAT^, 533 f-) as king of Sippar (city of §ama§, the sun-god), 
and founder of a hereditary guild of priestly diviners. This mythical 
personage is described as a 'favourite of Anu, Bel [and Ea],' and is said 
to have been received into the fellowship of §amas and Ramman, to 
have been initiated into the mysteries of heaven and earth, and in- 
structed in certain arts of divination which he handed down to his son. 
The points of contact with the notice in Gen. are (i) the special relation 
of Enmeduranki to the sun-god (cf. the 365 of v.^) ; and (2) his peculiar 
intimacy with the gods (' walked with God ') : there is, however, no 
mention of a translation. His initiation into the secrets of heaven and 
earth is the g-erm of the later view of Enoch as the patron of esoteric 
knowledge, and the author of Apocalyptic books. In Sir. 44'® he is 
already spoken of as nm nn'? nyn mx. Comp. Jub. iv. 17 ff. (with Charles's 
note ad loc.) ; and see Lenorm. Orig."^ 223; Charles, Book of Enoch 
(1893), pass. 

25-27. Methuselah. — n^^^inp commonly explained as ' man of the 
dart (or weapon),' hence tropically ' man of violence,' which Budde (99) 

F tulit, but (ZTO n'DN. The vb. became, as Duhm (on Ps. 49'*) thinks, a 
technical expression for translation to a higher existence ; cf. 2 Ki. 2"*, 
Ps. 49^^ 73^^. The Rabbinical exegesis (ST^, Ber. J?., Ra.) understood 
it of removal by death, implying an unfavourable judgment on Enoch 
which may be due in part to the reaction of legalism against the 
Apocalyptic influence. 

V. 25-31 133 

regfards as a deliberate variation of Sne'inD (4'^) intended to suggest the 
wickedness of the later generations before the Flood (see above, p. 129). 
Lenormant (247) took it as a designation of Saggitarius, the 9th sign 
of the Zodiac ; according to Hommel, it means ' sein Mann ist das 
Geschoss ' (!), and is connected with the planet Mars.* If the 8th name 
in the list of Berossus be rightly rendered ' man of Sin (the moon-god),' f 
a more probable view would be that nh^ is a divine proper name. 
Hommel, indeed, at one time regarded it as a corruption of iarra^u, 
said to be an ancient name of the moon-god J (cf. Cheyne, EB, 625, 
4412). — 28-31. Lantech. — The scheme is here interrupted by the inser- 
tion of V. 

29. An extract from J, preserving- an oracle uttered by 
Lamech on the birth of Noah. — This (ni; ; cf. nxr in 2^^) shall 
bring us comfort from our labour, and from the toil of our 
hands [proceeding] from the ground, etc.] The utterance 
seems to breathe the same melancholy and sombre view of 
life which we recognise in the Paradise narrative ; and Di. 
rightly calls attention to the contrast in character between 
the Lamech of this v. and the truculent bravo of 423'-. 

There is an obvious reference backwards to 3" (cf. p^vi", '^Tl}^ — ■"■'r'^^v')' 
The forward reference cannot be to the Flood (which certainl}' brought 
no comfort to the generation for whom Lamech spoke), but to Noah's 
discovery of vine-culture: g-*"''- (Bu. 3o6fiF. al.). This is true even if 
the hero of the Flood and the discoverer of wine were traditionally 

27. After n'^nno ffi ins. &s ii^tjaey (cf. v. '*). — 29. «pnr] ffi- SLavcnraixTei. 
i7/i«5 '■ hence Ball, Ki. i:ri'r. The emendation is attractive on two 
grounds : (a) it yields an easier construction with the following [D ; and 
(b) a more correct etymology of the name nJ. The harshness of the 
etymology was felt by Jewish authorities {Ber. R. § 25 ; cf. Ra.) ; and 
We. {Degent. 38^) boldly suggested that m in this v. is a contracted writing 
of Dnj=' comforter.' — Whether x\i (always written defectively) be really 
connected with rii: = 'rest' is very uncertain. If a Heb. name, it will 
naturally signify 'rest,' but we cannot assume that a name presumably 
so ancient is to be explained from the Heb. lexicon. The views mentioned 
by Di. (p. 116) are very questionable. Goldziher {ZDMG, xxiv. 207 ff.) 
shows that in mediaeval times it was explained by Arab writers from 
Ar. naha, 'to wail ' ; but that is utterly improbable. — »!?'j^3] Some MSS 
and juu. have ^''g'yp (pi. ) ; so ffi, etc. 

* AOD [1902], 29. Here Amemphsinus is resolved into Amel-Nisin : 
formerly {PSBA, xv. [1892-3] 245) Hommel propounded the view now 
advocated by Zinimern (see next note). 

+ Zimmern, KAT^, 532. 

X Aufs. u. Ahh. ii. [1900] 222. Cheyne {I.e.) relies on the fact that 
larJiu ('all-powerful ') is an epithet of various gods (De. Hd-wb. 690 a). 



one person ; but the connexion becomes doubly significant in view of 
the evidence that the two figures were distinct, and belong to different 
strata of the J document. Di.'s objection, that a biblical writer would 
not speak of wine as a comfort under the divine curse, has little force : 
see Ju. 9^^, Ps. 104'*. — In virtue of its threefold connexion with the 
story of the Fall, theSethite genealogy of J, and the incident of g'*^-, the 
V. has considerable critical importance. It furnishes a clue to the dis- 
entanglement of a strand of Yahvvistic narrative in which these sections 
formed successive stages. — The fragment is undoubtedly rhythmic, and 
has assonances which suggest rhyme ; but nothing definite can be said 
of its metrical structure (perhaps 3 short lines of 3 pulses each). 

32. The abnormal age of Noah at the birth of his first- 
born is explained by the consideration that his age at the 
Flood was a fixed datum (7^- ^^), as was also the fact that 
no grandchildren of Noah were saved in the ark. The 
chronologist, therefore, had to assign an excessive lateness 
either to the birth of Shem, or to the birth of Shem's 

I. The Chronology of Ch. 5. — In this chapter we have the first instance 
of systematic divergence between the three chief recensions, the Heb., the 
Samaritan, and the LXX. The differences are best exhibited in tabular 
form as follows (after Holzinger) : 


Sam. (Jub.). 


Year (A. M.) 
of Death. 













































I. Adam . 













2. Seth 













3. Enos 











1 140 


1 4. Kenan . . 













5. Mahalalel 













6. Jered . 













7. Enoch . . 













8. Methuselah . 













9. Lamech . 













10. Noah 




Till the Flood . 








Year of the Flood 






• So ffik ^A and other MSS have 187 : 782 ; but this is a later correction. 

CH. V. 135 

These diflferences are certainly not accidental. They are due to 
carefully constructed artificial systems of chronology ; and the business 
of criticism is first to ascertain the principles on which the various 
schemes are based, and then to determine which of them represents the 
original chronology of the Priestly Code. That problem has never been 
satisfactorily solved ; and all that can be done here is to indicate the 
more important lines of investigation along which the solution has been 

I. Commencing with the MT, we may notice (a) the remarkable 
relation discovered by Oppert* between the figures of the biblical 
account and those of the list of Berossus (see the next note). The 
Chaldean chronology reckons from the Creation to the Flood 432,000 
years, the MT 1656 years. These are in the ratio (as nearly as possible) 
of 5 solar years (of 365J days) to i week. We might, therefore, suppose 
the Heb. chronologist to have started from the Babylonian system, and 
to have reduced it by treating each lustricni (5 years) as the equivalent 
of a Heb. week. Whether this result be more than a very striking coinci- 
dence it is perhaps impossible to say, (6) A widely accepted hypothesis 
is that of von Gutschmid,t who pointed out that, according to the 
Massoretic chronology, the period from the Creation to the Exodus is 
2666 years :t i.e. 26| generations of 100 years, or f of a world-cycle 
of 4000 years. The subdivisions of the period also show signs of 
calculation : the duration of the Egyptian sojourn was probably tradi- 
tional ; half as long (215 years) is assigned to the sojourn of the 
patriarchs in Canaan : from the Flood to the birth of Abraham, and 
from the latter event to the descent into Egypt are two equal periods 
of 290 years each, leaving 1656 years from the Creation to the Flood, 
(c) A more intricate theory has been propounded by Bousset (.^VIZTF, 
XX. 136-147). Working on lines marked out by Kuenen {Abhandlungen, 
tr. by Budde, 108 ff.), he shows, from a comparison of 4 Esd. 9^"^- lo^'*, 
Jos. Ant. viii. 61 f., x. 147 f., and Ass. Mosis, i'^ 10", that a chrono- 
logical computation current in Jewish circles placed the establishment 
of the Temple ritual in a.m. 3001, the Exodus in 2501, the migration 
of Abraham in 2071 ; and divided this last interval into an Ante-diluvian 
and Post-diluvian period in the ratio of 4 : i (1656 : 414 years). Further, 
that this system differed from MT only in the following particulars : 
For the birth year of Terah (Gn. ii^*) it substituted (with ffi and ju.) 
79 for 29; with the same authorities it assumed 215 (instead of 430) 
years as the duration of the Egyptian sojourn (Ex. 12^") ; and, finally, 
it dated the dedication of the Temple 20 years after its foundation (as 
I Ki. 6' <&). For the details of the scheme, see the art. cited above. 

* GGN, 1877, 201-223 ; 3-lso his art. m Jewish Enc. iv. 66 f. 

t See No. Unters. iii ff. ; We. Pro!.^ 308. 

X Made up as follows : — 1656 + 290 (Flood to birth of Abraham : see 
the Table on p. 233)+ 100 (birth of Isaac : Gn. 2iS) + 6o (birth of Jacob : 
25**)+ 130 (age of Jacob at Descent to Egypt: 47"-^) + 430 (sojourn in 
Egypt: Ex. 12^") = 2666. —The number of generations from Adam to 
Aaron is actually 26, the odd | stands for Eleazar, who was of mature 
age at the time of the Exodus. 


These results, impressive as they are, really settle nothing" as to the 
priority of the MT. It would obviously be illegitimate to conclude that 
of b and c one must be right and the other wrong, or that that which is 
preferred must be the original system of P. The natural inference is 
that both were actually in use in the first cent. A.D., and that conse- 
quently the text was in a fluid condition at that time. A presumption 
in favour of MT would be established only if it could be shown that the 
numbers of juu. and ffi are either dependent on MT, or involve no chrono- 
logical scheme at all. 

2. The Sam. Vn. has 1307 years from the Creation to the Flood. 
It has been pointed out that if we add the 2 years of Gn. 1 1^", we obtain 
from the Creation to the birth of Arpachshad 187 x 7 years ; and it is 
pretty obvious that this reckoning by year-weeks was in the mind 
of the writer of Jub. (see p. 233 f.). It is worth noting also that if we 
assume MT of Ex. 12^" to be the original reading (as the form of the 
sentence renders almost certain), we find that xxx counts from the Creation 
to the entrance into Canaan 3007 years.* The odd 7 is embarrassing ; 
but if we neglect it (see Bousset, 146) we obtain a series of round 
numbers whose relations can hardly be accidental. The entire period 
was to be divided into three decreasing parts (1300 + 940-1-760 = 3000) 
by the Flood and the birth of Abraham ; and of these the second exceeds 
the third by 180 years, and the first exceeds the second by (2 x 180 = ) 
360. Shem was born in 1200 A.M., and Jacob in 2400. Since the work 
of P closed with the settlement in Canaan, is it not possible that this 
was his original chronological period ; and that the systems of MT 
(as explained by von Gutschmid and Bousset) are due to redactional 
changes intended to adapt the figures to a wider historical survey? 
A somewhat important objection to the originality of mx is, however, 
the disparity between ch. 5 and nioff- with regard to the ages at the 
birth of the first-born. 

3. A connexion between dSc and ux is suggested by the fact that the 
first period of (& (2242) is practically equivalent to the first two of lix 
(1300-1-940 = 2240), though it does not appear on which side the depend- 
ence is. Most critics have been content to say that the ffi figures are 
enhancements of those of MT in order to bring the biblical chronology 
somewhat nearer the stupendous systems of Egypt or Chaldaea. That 
is not probable ; though it does not seem possible to discover any dis- 
tinctive principle of calculation in ffi. Klostermann {NKZ, v. 208-247 
[ = Pent. (1907) 1-41]), who defends the priority of ffi, finds in it a 
reckoning by jubilee periods of 49 years ; but his results, which are 
sufl^iciently ingenious, are attained by rather violent and arbitrary 
handling of the data. Thus, in order to adjust the antediluvian list 
to his theory, he has to reject the 600 years from the birth of Noah to 
the Flood, and substitute the 120 years of Gn. 6* ! This reduces the 
reckoning of ffi to 1762 years, and, adding 2 years for the Flood, we 
obtain 1764 = 3 x 12 x 49. 

See, further, on iiio"^- (p. 234 f.). 

* 1307 + 940 (see p. 233)4290 (as before) + 430 + 40 = 3007. 


II. The Ten Ante-diluvian Kings of Berossus. — The number ten 
occurs with singular persistency in the traditions of many peoples * as 
that of the kings or patriarchs who reigned or lived in the mythical age 
which preceded the dawn of history. The Babylonian form of this 
tradition is as yet known only from a passage of Berossus extracted 
by ApoUodorus and Abydenus ; t although there are allusions to it in 
the inscriptions which encourage the hope that the cuneiform original 
may yet be discovered. t Meanwhile, the general reliability of Berossus 
is such, that scholars are naturally disposed to attach considerable im- 
portance to any correspondence that can be made out between his list 
and the names in Gn. 5. A detailed analysis was first published by 
Hommel in 1893, § another was given by Sayce in 1899.II The first- 
named writer has subsequently abandoned some of his earlier proposals,^ 
substituting others which are equally tentative ; and while some of his 
combinations are regarded as highly problematical, others have been 
widely approved.** 

The names of the Kings before the Flood in Berossus are : i. 'AXwpos, 
2. 'AXdirapos, 3. 'AixrtXwv ['A/xiXXapos], 4. 'A/xfiivoov, 5. MeydXapoi [Meyd- 
\avos], 6. Adwj'os [Adws], 7. Evedupaxos, 8. 'A/xi/x^ivos, 9. 'Qndpr-qs [Rd. 
QirdpTi]s], 10. 'iz.iaovdpos. Of the suggested Bab. equivalents put forward 
by Hommel, the following are accepted as fairly well established by 
Je. and (with the exception of No. i) by Zimmern : i. Arum (see p. 102), 
2. Adapa (p. 126), 3. Amelu ( = Man), 4. Untmanu (=' workman '), 7. 
Enmeduranki {•^. 132), 8. Amel-Sin (p. 133), 9. Ubar-Tutu (named as 
father of Ut-Napistim), and 10. Hasisnlra, or Atra hosts { — ^ the super- 
latively Wise,'— a title applied to Ut-Napi§tim, the hero of the Deluge). 
On comparing this selected list with the Heb. genealogy, it is evident 
that, as Zimmern remarks, the Heb. name is in no case borrowed 
directly from the Bab. In two cases, however, there seems to be a 
connexion which might be explained by a translation from the one 
language into the other : viz. 3. B^u.x ( = Man), and 4. li'R (=' workman ') ; 
while 8 is in both series a compound of which the first element means 
'Man.' The parallel between 7. roir.\\ Enmedura?iki, has already been 
noted (p. 132) ; and the loth name is in both cases that of the hero 
of the Flood. Slight as these coincidences are, it is a mistake to 
minimise their significance. When we have two parallel lists of equal 
length, each terminating with the hero of the Flood, each having the 
name for ' man ' in the 3rd place and a special favourite of the gods in 
the 7th, it is too much to ask us to dismiss the correspondence as 
fortuitous. The historical connexion between the two traditions is still 

* Babylonians, Persians, Indians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Chinese, 
etc. See Liiken, Tradiiionen, 146 ff. ; Lenorm. Orig. i. 224 ff. 

t Preserved by Eus. Chron. [ed. Schoene) i. 7ff., 31 f. See Miiller, 
Frag. Hist. Grcec. ii. 499 f. 

+ See Je. ATLO^, 221 f. § PSBA, xv. 243-246. 

II Exp. Times, 1899, 353. '^ AOD [1902], 23 ff. 

•♦See Zimmern, KAT^, 53i ff- ; Dri. Gen. 50 f. ; Nikel, Gen. u. 
Kschrfrsch. 164 ff. 



obscure, and is complicated by the double genealogy of ch. 4 ; but that 
a connexion exists it seems unreasonable to deny. 

III. Relation of the Sethite atid Caifiite Genealogies. — The substantial 
identity of the names in Gn. 4^- ^''- ^* with Nos. 3-9 of ch. 5 seems to have 
been first pointed out by Buttmann {Mythologus, i. 170 ff.) in 1828, and 
is now universally recognised by scholars. A glance at the following 
table shows that each name in the Cainite series corresponds to a name 
in the other, which is either absolutely the same, or is the same in mean- 
ing, or varies but slightly in form : 


'Adam (Man) 








'EnSs (Man) 








HanSkh ^ 







1 ■ 

Ham Y^pheth 

Yabal Yflbal Tfibal-KAyin. 

While these resemblances undoubtedly point to some common original, 
the variations are not such as can be naturally accounted for by direct 
borrowing of the one list from the other. The facts that each list is 
composed of a perfect number, and that with the last member the 
single stem divides into three branches, rather imply that both forms 
were firmly established in tradition before being incorporated in the 
biblical documents. If we had to do merely with the Hebrew tradition, 
the easiest supposition would perhaps be that the Cainite genealogy 
and the kernel of the Sethite are variants of a single original which 
might have reached Israel through different channels ; * that the latter 
had been expanded by the addition of two names at the beginning and 
one at the end, so as to bring it into line with the story of the Flood, 
and the Babylonian genealogy with which it was linked. The difficulty 
of this hypothesis arises from the curious circumstance that in the 
Berossian list of kings, just as in the Sethite list of patriarchs, the 
name for ' Man ' occupies the third place. It is extremely unlikely 

* Hommel's view {AOD, 29 f.) is that the primary list was Cljaldean, 
that the Sethite list most nearly represents this original, and that the 
Cainite springs from a modification of it under Babylonian influence. 
It would be quite as plausible to suggest that the Cainite form came 
through Phoenicia (see the notes on Jabal, Tubal, and Na'aniah), and 
the Sethite from Arabia (Enos, Kenan, Hanokh [?], Methuselah). 


that such a coincidence should be accidental ; and the question comes 
to be whether the Assyriologists or the biblical critics can produce the 
most convincing explanation of it. Now Hommel (AOD, 26 ff.) argues 
that if the word for Man is preceded by two others, these others must 
have been names of superhuman beings ; and he thinks that his inter- 
pretation of the Bab. names bears out this anticipation. The first, 
Aruru, is the creative earth-goddess, and the second, Adapa ( = Marduk) 
is a sort of Logos or Demiurge — a being intermediate between gods 
and men, who bears elsewhere the title zir amilutt {' seed of mankind') 
but is not himself a man.* And the same thing must, he considers, hold 
good of Adam and Seth : Adam should be read din, a personification of 
the earth, and Seth is a mysterious semi-divine personality who was 
regarded even in Jewish tradition as an incarnation of the Messiah. 
If these somewhat hazardous combinations be sound, then, of course, 
the inference must be accepted that the Sethite genealogy is dependent 
on the Bab. original of Berossus, and the Cainite can be nothing but 
a mutilated version of it. It is just conceivable, however, that the Bab. 
list is itself a secondary modification of a more primitive genealogy, 
which passed independently into Heb. tradition.f 

VI. i-^.—The Origin of the NephUim. 

This obscure and obviously fragmentary narrative relates 
how in the infancy of the human race marriage alliances 
were believed to have been formed by supernatural beings 
with mortal women (vv.^-^) ; and how from these unnatural 
unions there arose a race of heroes or demi-gods (v.*), who 
must have figured largely in Hebrew folklore. It is implied, 
though not expressly said, that the existence of such beings, 
intermediate between the divine and the human, introduced 

* But against this interpretation of the phrase, see Jen. KIB, vi. 
I, 362. 

t Thus, it might be conjectured that the original equivalent oi Aruru 
was not Adam but Havvah, as earth and mother-goddess (see pp. 85 f. , 
102), and that this name stood at the head of the list. That in the process 
of eliminating the mythological element Havvah should in one version 
become the wife, in another remain the mother, of the first man (Adam 
or Enos), is perfectly intelligible ; and an amalgamation of these views 
would account for the duplication of Adam-Enos in 4^'- 5. The insertion 
of a link (Seth-Adapa) between the divine ancestress and the first man 
is a difficulty ; but it might be due to a survival of the old Semitic con- 
ception of mother and son as associated deities (Rob. Sm. KM^, 298 fF.). 
It is obvious that no great importance can be attached to such guesses, 
which necessarily carry us back far beyond the range of authentic 


an element of disorder into the Creation which had to be 
checked by the special interposition of Yahwe (v.^). 

The fragment belong's to the class of setiological myths. The belief 
in Ngphilim is proved only by Nu. 13^ (E ?) ; but it is there seen to 
have been associated with a more widely attested tradition of a race 
of giants surviving- into historic times, especially among the aboriginal 
populations of Canaan (Dt. i^^ 2"'-"-2'9^ Jos. 15", Am. 2^ etc.). The 
question was naturally asked how such beings came to exist, and the 
passage before us supplied the answer. But while the aetiological 
motive may explain the retention of the fragment in Gn., it is not to be 
supposed that the myth originated solely in this reflexion. Its pagan 
colouring is too pronounced to permit of its being dissociated from two 
notions prevalent in antiquity and familiar to us from Greek and Latin 
literature: viz. (i) that among the early inhabitants of the earth were 
men of gigantic stature ; * and (2) that marriages of the gods with 
mortals were not only possible but common in the heroic age.f Similar 
ideas were current among other peoples. The Koran has frequent 
references to the peoples of 'Ad and Thamud, primaeval races noted for 
their giant stature and their daring impiety, to whom were attributed 
the erection of lofty buildings and the excavation of rock-dwellings, 
and who were believed to have been destroyed by a divine judgment. J 
The legend appears also in the Phoenician traditions of Sanchuniathon, 
where it is followed by an obscure allusion to promiscuous sexual inter- 
course which appears to have some remote connexion with Gn. 6^.§ 

That the source is J is not disputed. || Di., indeed, following Schrader 
[Einl. 276), thinks it an extract from E which had passed through the 
hands of J ; but borrowing by the original J from the other source is 
impossible, and the only positive trace of E would be the word d'^'DJ, 
which in Nu. 13^'* is by some critics assigned to E. That argument 
would at most prove overworking, and it is too slight to be considered. 
— The precise position of the fragment among the Yahwistic traditions 

* Horn. //. V. 302 f. ; Herod, i. 68; Paus. i. 35. 5f., viii. 29. 3; 
32. 4; Lucret. ii. 1151 ; Virg. Aen. xii. 900; Pliny, HN, vii. 73 ff. etc. 
Cf. Lenorm. Orig."^ i. 350 ff. 

+ Horn. //. xii. 23 : 7]/j.id4wv 7^vos dvdpuiv ; Plato, Crafylus, ^;^ : irdpres 
[sc. ol ijpues] SrjTTOv ycydvacnv ipa<rd4vTos ij deov dvrjrrjs rj Ovijtov deSts (text 
uncertain) : see Jowett, i. 341. 

X Sur. vii, XV, xxvi, xii, xlvi, Ixxxix : see Sale, Prelim. Disc. § i. 

§ Euseb. Prcep. Ev. i. 10 (see p. 124 above) : dirh y^vovs Alwvos Kal 
mpuToyovov yevvridfivaL aWis Traldas dvrjTOv's, oh ehai dvofxara 4>a)S Kai Hup Kal 
$X(5| . . . vloi;s 8^ iyivvTiaav ovroi /xey^Oei re Kal virepoxv Kpflrraoyas 
. . . iK T0VTU3V, (pTjcrlv, iyewTjOr] 'EafiTjfipov/j.os 6 Kal 'T^ovpavios' dirb firir^puv 
d^, (prjalv, ^;(pi7,udTtfoJ' ruiv r6re yvvaiKQv dviSrjv fiia-yofiivdiv oh hv i^v^rixot-^". 

II The literary indications are not absolutely decisive (except m,T, v.^) ; 
but the following expressions, as well as the structure of the sentences 
(in V."-). are, on the whole, characteristic of J : Snn, ncisn 'i^-Vy {}), .rn 
px^, nia? (■*) : see Bu. Urgesch. 6 ff., 39 A. 

VI. I, 2 141 

cannot be determined. The introductory clause " when mankind began 
to multiply," etc., suggests that it was closely preceded by an account 
of the creation of man. There is, however, no reason why it should 
not have followed a genealogy like that of 4"-2* or 4'"'- (against Ho.), 
though certainly not that of P in ch. 5. The idea that it is a parallel 
to the story of the Fall in ch. 3 (Schr. Di. We. Schultz) has little 
plausibility, though it would be equally rash to affirm that \i presupposes 
such an account. — The disconnectedness of the narrative is probably 
due to drastic abridgment either by the original writer or later editors, 
to whom its crudely mythological character was objectionable, and 
who were interested in retaining no more than was needful to account 
for the origin of the giants. 

There remains the question whether the passage was from the first 
an introduction to the story of the Deluge. That it has been so 
regarded from a very early time is a natural result of its present 
position. But careful examination fails to confirm that impression. 
The passage contains nothing to suggest the Flood as its sequel, 
except on the supposition (which we shall see to be improbable) that 
the 120 years of v.^ refer to an impending judgment on the whole 
human race. Even if that view were more plausible than it is, it would 
still be remarkable that the story of the Flood makes no reference to 
the expir)' of the allotted term ; nor to any such incident as is here 
recorded. The critical probability, therefore, is that 6'^^ belongs to a 
stratum of J which knows nothing of a flood (p. 2 ff.). The Babylonian 
Flood-legend also is free from any allusion to giants, or mingling of 
gods and men. O. Gruppe, however {Philologus, Neue Folge, i. 93 fF. ; 
ZATW, ix. 134 ff.), claims to have recovered from Greek sources a 
Phoenician legend of intermarriages between deities and mortals, which 
presents some striking affinities with Gn. 6^'*, and which leads up to 
an account of the Flood. Of the soundness of Gruppe's combinations 
I am unable to judge ; but he himself admits that the Flood is a late 
importation into Greek mj'thology, and indeed he instances the passage 
before us as the earliest literary trace of the hypothetical Phoenician 
legend. Even, therefore, if his speculations be valid, it would have 
to be considered whether the later form of the myth may not have been 
determined partly by Jewish influence, and whether the connexion 
between the divine intermarriages and the Flood does not simply 
reproduce the sequence of events given in Gn. That this is not incon- 
ceivable is shown by the fact that on late Phrygian coins the biblical 
name NO appears as that of the hero of the Deluge (see p. 180 below). 

I, 2. The sense of these vv. is perfectly clear. The sons 
of God {^y^rhisr^ ^J3) are everywhere in OT members (but 
probably inferior members) of the divine order, or (using- 
the word with some freedom) angels {v.i'.). 

I. '3 '""j] peculiar to J in Hex. ; 26^ 27' 43^1 44=*, Ex. 1*1 13I*, 
Jos. 17^*. See Bu. 6. The apodosis commences with v.-. — "71)^2 see 


"The angels are not called 'sons of God' as if they had actually 
derived their nature from Him as a child from its father ; nor in a less 
exact way, because though created they have received a nature similar 
to God's, being spirits ; nor yet as if on account of their steadfast 
holiness they had been adopted into the family of God. These ideas 
are not found here. The name Elohim or sons {i.e. members of the 
race) of the Elohim is a name given directly to angels in contrast with 
men . . . the name is given to God and angels in common ; He is 
Elohim pre-eminently, they are Elohim in an inferior sense " (Davidson, 
Job, Camh. Bible, p. 6). 

In an earlier polytheistic recension of the myth, they 
were perhaps called n''n^X simply. It is only a desire to 
save the credibility of the record as literal history, that 
has prompted the untenable interpretations mentioned in 
the note below. — 2. These superhuman beings, attracted 
by the beauty of the daughters of men [i.e. mortal women) 
took to themselves as wives (strictly implying permanent 
marriages, but this must not be pressed) whomsoever they 
chose. No sin is imputed to mankind or to their daughters 

Ho. Einl. 97.— HDixn ':3-'?y] see Oxf. Hex. i. 187.— 2. D<nVN[n] 'w] Jb. i« 
2I 38^ [Dn. 3"5] ; cf. a-hn '3, Ps. 29I 89'. In all these places the super- 
human character of the beings denoted is evident, — 'belonging to the 
category of the gods.' On this Semitic use of J3, see Rob. Sm. KM'^, 
17; Pr.^ 85, 389f. (i) The phrase is so understood by ffir {ol dyyeXoi 
[also viol] Tou eeoD), 0,Jub. v. i, En. vi. 2 ff . (Jude ®, 2 Pe. 2*), Jos. Ant. 
i. 73; Fathers down to Cyprian and Lactantius, and nearly all moderns. 
[S transliterates i<ljCnQ_^ . > 1*^ as in Jb. i^ 2^.] (2) Amongst the 
Jews this view was early displaced by another, according to which 
the ' sons of the gods ' are members of aristocratic families in distinc- 
tion from women of humble rank : 2^°^ (k'313T 'J3), S (r. Svva<TTev6pruv), 
Ber. R., Ra. lEz. [Aq. {viol r. 6eCbv) is explained by Jer. as ' deos in- 
telligens sanctos sive angelos'\. So Spinoza, Herder, al. (3) The 
prevalent Christian interpretation (on the rise of which see Charles's 
valuable Note, B. of Jub. 33 ff.) has been to take the phrase in an 
ethical sense as denoting pious men of the line of Seth : Jul. Afr., most 
Fathers, Luth., Calv. al. : still maintained by Strack. Against both 
these last explanations it is decisive that onun nun cannot have a 
narrower reference in v.^ than in v.^ ; and that consequently 'n ':3 cannot 
denote a section of mankind. For other arguments, see Lenormant, 
Orig.^ 291 ff.; the Comm. of De. (i46ff.), Di. (iigf.), or Dri. (82f.). 
On the eccentric theory of Stuart Poole, that the sons of God were a 
wicked pre-Adamite race, see Lenorm. 304 ff. — D'tyj . . . inpn] = ' marry' : 
^19 ji29 25I 362 etc. — ni^'N "jsd] ^ cofisisting of all whom,' — the rare \a of 
explication; BDB, s.v. 3b (e) ; cf. G-K. § iigw^. Qn. 7'"' 9I0. 

VI. 2, 3 143 

in these relations. The guilt is wholly on the side of the 
angels ; and consists partly, perhaps, in sensuality, partly 
in high-handed disregard of the rights of God's lower 
creatures. — It is to be noted, in contrast with analogous 
heathen myths, that the divine element is exclusively 

3. A divine sentence on the human race, imposing a 
limit on the term of man's life. — My spirit shall not 

3. m.T] (S Ki'ptos 6 Beds. — j'n;] There are two traditional interpreta- 
tions: (a) 'abide': so l& {Karaiidinj), U5C'-' ; (6) 'judge' (i;. Kpivei : 
so C-'). The former is perhaps nothing- more than a plausible guess 
at the meaning, though a variant text has been suspected {ph\ in', 
pa:, etc.). The latter traces the form to the J ]n ; but the etymology 
is doubtful, since that ^ shows no trace of med. 1 in Heb. (No. 
ZDMG, xxxvii. 533 f.) ; and to call it a juss. or intrans. form is an abuse 
of grammatical language (see G-K. § 71 r). A Jewish derivation, 
mentioned by lEz. and Calv., connects the vb. with jnj, 'sheath' 
(1 Ch. 21"), — the body being compared to the sheath of the spirit. The 
Ar. ddna (med. TO)='be humbled' or 'degraded,' yields but a tolerable 
sense (Tu. Ew. al.); the Egypt. Ar. ddna, which means 'to do a 
thing continually ' (Socin ; see G-B. s.v.), would suit the context well, but 
can hardly be the same word. VoUers {ZA, xiv. 349 ff.) derives it from 
J ]n. Ass. dandnu='he powerful' ; the idea being that the life-giving 
spirit shall no longer have the same force as formerly, etc. It would be 
still better if the vb. could be taken as a denominative from Ass. dindnu, 
'bodily appearance,' with the sense "shall not be embodied in man for 
ever." — din?] <& iv roh avdpdiiroi^ tovtois, whence Klostermann restores 
njn 01X3,* = ' this humanity,' as distinguished from that originally 
created, — an impossible exegesis, whose sole advantage is that it gives 
a meaning to the D? in aw^ (v.t.). — oViy^— ti'? (thus separated)] here = 
'not . . . for ever,' as Jer. 3", La. 3^^ ; elsewhere (Ps. 15' etc.) the 
phrase means 'never.' — □jg's] so pointed in the majority of MSS, is 
inf. const, of li^, ' err,' with suff. This sense is adopted by many (Tu. 
Ew. Bu. Ho. al.), but it can hardly be right. If we refer the suff. 
to D"3i<'7, the enallage numeri ('through their erring he is flesh ') would 
be harsh, and the idea expressed unsuitable. If we refer it to the 
angels, we can avoid an absurdity only by disregarding the accents 
and joining the word with what precedes : ' shall not (abide ?) in man 
for ever on account of their (the angels') erring ; he is flesh, and,' etc. 
The sentence is doubly bad in point of style : the first member is 
overloaded at the end by the emphatic word ; and the second opens 
awkwardly without a connecting part. Moreover, it is questionable if 
the idea of JJE* (inadvertent transgression) is appropriate in the con- 
nexion. Margoliouth {Expositor, 1898, ii. 33 ff.) explains the obscure 

• Already proposed by Egli (cited by Bu.). 


[ . . . in?'\ maji for ever ; [ . . . ?'\ he is flesh, and his days 
shall be 1 20 years. 

A complete exegesis of these words is impossible, owing first to the 
obscurity of certain leading expressions (see the footnote), and second 
to the want of explicit connexion with what precedes. The record has 
evidently undergone serious mutilation. The original narrative must 
have contained a statement of the effects on human life produced by 
the superhuman alliances, — and that opens up a wide field of specula- 
tion ; * — and possibly also an account of the judgment on the sons of 
God, the really guilty parties in the transaction. In default of this 
guidance, all that can be done is to determine as nearly as possible 
the general sense of the v., assuming the text to be fairly complete, 
and a real connexion to exist with vv.^-^. — (i.) Everything turns on the 
meaning of the word nn, of which four interpretations have been given : 
(i) That 'nn is the Spirit of Yahwe as an ethical principle, striving 
against and 'judging' the prevalent corruption of men (as in Is. 63^"); 
so SCJ, Luther, al. There is nothing to suggest that view except 
the particular acceptation of the vb. JiT associated with it, and it is 
now practically abandoned. (2) Even less admissible is the conception 
of Klostermann, who understands 'nn subjectively of the divine feeling 
{Gemiit) excited by human sin f (similarly Ra.). (3) The commonest 
view in modern times (see Di.) has been that nn is the divine principle 

word by Aeth. sA^^a =' body ' ; but the proposed rendering, 'inasmuch 
as their body (or substance) is flesh,' is not grammatically admissible. 
The correct Mass. reading is Djij'a (/.^. ai + i^ + -s.) = inastnuch as he too. 
The objections to this are («) that the rel. v is never found in Pent, and 
is very rare in the older literature (Ju. 5^ 6'^ 7^^ 8-'^), while compounds 
like '3 do not appear before Eccl. {e.g. 2^") ; and (5) that the D? has no 
force, there being nothing which serves as a contrast to wn. We. 
observes that '3 must represent a causal particle and possibly nothing 
more. The old translators, ffi (otd to elvai avrous) ^UC*-* seem to 
have been of the same opinion ; and it is noticeable that none of them 
attempt to reproduce the Da. The conjectures of Ols. ((D3 b^^^), Cheyne 
(nv^'a nij?v'C3), and others are all beside the mark. — 'ui vd' vni] The only 
natural reference is to the (maximum) term of human life (so Jos. Tu. 
Ew. and most since), a man's D'p; being a standing expression for his 
lifetime, reckoning from his birth (see ch. 5. 35^^ Is. 65-" etc.). The 
older view (C^J, Jer. Ra. lEz. Calv. al. : so De. Klost.), that the 
clause indicates the interval that was to elapse before the Flood, was 
naturally suggested by the present position of the passage, and was 
supported by the consideration that greater ages were subsequently 
attained by many of the patriarchs. But these statements belong to P, 
and decide nothing as to the meaning of the words in J. 

* Comp. Cheyne's imaginarj' restoration in £B, 3391, with the 
reconstructed Phoenician myth of Gruppe in Philolog-its, 1889, i. 100 ff". 

t Reading 'nn dt vh, 'shall not restrain itself (lit. 'be silent'). See 
NKZ, 1894, 234ff. (= Pent. [1907] 28 ff.). 

VI. 4 145 

of life implanted in man at creation, the tenor of the decree being that 
this shall not 'abide ' * in man eternall)' or indefinitely, but only in such 
measure as to admit a maximum life of 120 years. There are two 
difficulties in this interpretation : {a) It has no connexion with what 
precedes, for everything the v. contains would be quite as intelligible 
apart from the marriages with the angels as in relation to them.f 
{b) The following words "ic-a xm have no meaning : as a reason for the 
withdrawal of the animating spirit they involve a hysteron proteron ; 
and as an independent statement they are (on the supposition) not 
true, man as actually constituted being both flesh and spirit (2''). 
(4) The most probable sense is that given by We. {Comp? 3050".), viz. 
that T\-\-\ is the divine substance common to Yahwe and the angels, in 
contrast to V3, which is the element proper to human nature (cf. Is. 31') : 
so Ho. Gu. The idea will then be that the mingling of the divine and 
human substances brought about by illicit sexual unions has intro- 
duced a disorder into the creation which Yahwe cannot suffer to 'abide ' 
permanently, but resolves to end by an exercise of His supreme power. 
— (ii.) We have next to consider whether the 120 years, taken in its 
natural sense of the duration of individual life {y.i.), be consistent with 
the conclusion just reached. We. himself thinks that it is not : the 
fusion of the divine and human elements would be propagated in the 
race, and could not be checked by a shortening of the lives of indi- 
viduals. The context requires an announcement of the annihilation of 
the race, and the last clause of the v. must be a mistaken gloss on the 
first. If this argument were sound it would certainly supply a strong 
reason either ior revising We.'s acceptation of*', or for understanding 
^^ as an announcement of the Flood. But a shortening of the term of 
life, though not a logical corollary from the sin of the angels, might 
nevertheless be a judicial sentence upon it. It would ensure the extinc- 
tion of the giants within a measurable time ; and indirectly impose a 
limit on the new intellectual powers which we may suppose to have 
accrued to mankind at large through union with angelic beings. J In 
view of the defective character of the narrative, it would be unwise to 
press the antagonism of the two clauses so as to put a strain on the 
interpretation of either. 

4. The Nephiltm were (or arose') in the earth in those days\ 
Who were the ^V?? ? The name recurs only in Nu. 13^^, 

4. D'b?|n] Cj o2 YiYavres ; Aq. o'l iTmrlirTOvTes ; 2. ol piaioi ; S \\'~^ ^ 11' 
BC° una:. The etymology is uncertain (see Di. 123). There is no 

* On this traditional rendering of jiT, see the footnote, p. 143. 

t Bu.'s argument that the v. is detachable from its present context 
is, therefore, perfectly sound ; although his attempt to find a place for 
it after 3^^ is not so successful (see p. 3 above). 

J Just as in 3-" ^^ man is allowed to retain the gift of illicitly obtained 
knowledge, but is foiled by being denied the boon of immortality. The 


where we learn that they were conceived as beings of 
gigantic stature, whose descendants survived till the days 
of Moses and Joshua. The circumstantial form of the 
sentence here (cf. 12^ 13'^) is misleading, for the writer can- 
not have meant that the '3 existed in those days apart from 
the alliances with the angels, and that the result of the latter 
were the D''")i33 (Lenormant, al.). The idea undoubtedly is 
that this race arose at that time in consequence of the union 
of the divine 'spirit' with human 'flesh.' — and also after- 

allusion to a 'fall' ( sj "^Oj) of ang-els from heaven (iP, Jer.* Ra.), or to 
a 'fair of the world through their action {Ber. R. Ra.). A connexion 
with '?|)j, 'abortive birth' (from "jsj, 'fall dead'), is not improbable 
(Schwally, ZATW, xviii. 144 ff.). An attractive emendation of Co. 
(DViy? D'^?;) in Ezk. 32^ not only yields a striking- resemblance to this 
v., but supports the idea that the': (like the D'!<?l) were associated with 
the notion of Sheol. — ncn p nnx] cannot mean 'after' (as conj.), which 
would require a perf to follow, but only 'afterwards, when.' On any 
view, ?Nb; and \-h\\ are frequent, tenses. — Vn nu] (as euphemism) is 
characteristic of JE (esp. J) in Hex. (Bu. 39, Anm.). Cf. Rob. Sm. KM'^, 
igSff.— Dni33n] lit. 'mighty ones' (Aq. ^vvoj-oi; F potentes \ ffiSS 
5r° do not distinguish from D'V'ej). The word is thoroughly naturalised 
in Heb. speech, and nearly always in a good sense. But pass, like 
Ezk. 32'^^' show that it had another aspect, akin to Ar. gabbar (proud, 
audacious, tyrannical). The Ar. and Syr. equivalents are used as 
names of the constellation Orion (Lane, Lex. i. 375 a ; P. Sm. Th. 646). — 
d'^ivo •w>(\ cf. oViy Dy, Ezk. 26^", probably an allusion to a wicked ancient 
race thrust down to Sheol. — The whole v. has the appearance of a 
series of antiquarian glosses ; and all that can be strictly inferred from 
it is that there was some traditional association of the Nephilim with 
the incident recorded in v.*'*. At the same time we may reasonably 
hold that the kernel of the v. reproduces in a hesitating and broken 
fashion the essential thought of the original myth. The writer 
apparently shrinks from the direct statement that the Nephilim were 
the offspring of the marriages of vv.^" ^, and tantalises the curiosity of 
his readers with the cautious affirmation that such beings then existed. 
A later hand then introduced a reminder that they existed 'afterwards' 
as well. — Bu., who omits v.*, restores the original connexion with v."- 
as follows : U7\r[ D'D'a pxa D''7£3:n vn [pi] . . . cn'jNn '33 ixa' [ib-nd .thi]. 
Some such excellent sentence may very well have stood in the original ; 
but it was precisely this perspicuity of narration which the editor 
wished to avoid. 

same point of view appears in 11^"^: in each case the ruling motive is 
the divine jealousy of human greatness ; and man's pride is humbled by 
a subtle and indirect exercise of the power of God. 

* " Et angelis et sanctorum liberis, convenit nomen cadentium." 

VI. 4 147 

wards whenever [(^ w? av) the sons of the gods came in . . . 
and they (the women) bore unto theni] That is to say, the 
production of Nephilim was not confined to the remote 
period indicated by v.^'*, but was continued in after ages 
through visits of angels to mortal wives, — a conception 
which certainly betrays the hand of a glossator. It is 
perhaps enough to remove i?"^!^'? ^)\ as an interpolation, 
and connect the "•?:'>? with DHH Cpja ; though even then the 
phrasing is odd {v.i.). — Those are the heroes (D''"l^33n) that 
were of old, the men of fame] (DtJ'n *^'3X, cf. Nu. 16^). Hen has 
for its antecedent not "iL*'i< as obj. to ^1^''^ (We.), but U'h^r\. 
There is a touch of euhemerism in the notice (We.), the 
archaic and mythological CivD3 being identified with the 
more human D''"ii3a who were renowned in Hebrew story. 

It is probable that the legend of the Nephilim had a wider circula- 
tion in Heb. tradition than could be gathered from its curt handling by 
the editors of the Hex. In Ezk. 32 we meet with the weird conception 
of a mighty antique race who are the original denizens of Sheol, where 
they lie in state with their swords under their heads, and are roused to 
a transient interest in the newcomers who disturb their majestic repose. 
If Cornill's correction of v.^' (d'ju'D C'*??^ omaj) be sound, these are to be 
identified with the Nephilim of our passage ; and the picture throws 
light on two points left obscure in Gen. : viz., the character of the 
primaeval giants, and the punishment meted out to them. Ezekiel 
dwells on their haughty violence and warlike prowess, and plainly 
intimates that for their crimes they were consigned to Sheol, where, 
however, they enjoy a kind of aristocratic dignity among the Shades. 
It would almost seem as if the whole conception had been suggested by 
the supposed discoveries of prehistoric skeletons of great stature, buried 
with their arms beside them, like those recorded by Pausanias (i. 35. 5 f, 
viii. 29. 3, 32. 4) and other ancient writers (see Rob. Sm. in Dri. Deut. 
40 f.). 

VI. 5-IX. 29. — Noah and the Flood. 

Analysis of the Flood-Narrative. — The section on the Flood (6'-9") 
is, as has often been observed, the first example in Gen. of a truly 
composite narrative ; i.e., one in which the compiler " instead of 
excerpting the entire account from a single source, has interwoven it out 
of excerpts taken alternatively from J and P, preserving in tiie process 
many duplicates, as well as leaving unaltered many striking differences 
of representation and phraseology" (Dri. 85). The resolution of the 
compound narrative into its constituent elements in this case is justly 
reckoned amongst the most brilliant achievements of purely literary 
criticism, and affords a particularly instructive lesson in the art of 

148 THE FLOOD (j AND p) 

documentary analysis (comp. the interesting- exposition by Gu.' 121 fF.). 
Here it must suffice to give the results of the process, along- with a 
summary of the criteria by which the critical operation is g-uided and 
justified. The division generally accepted by recent critics is as 
follows : 

J 55-8 -1-6 7 (8. 9). 10 1-2 Kib 17b 22. 28 

P 9-22 6 U 13- 16a 17a 18-21 

J 2b. 3a 6-12 13b 20-22 

p »24 gl. 2a 31.-5 13a 14-19 gl-17 

The minutiae of glosses, transpositions, etc., are left to be dealt with 
in the Notes. Neglecting these, the scheme as given above represents 
the results of Bu. (to whom the finishing touches are due : Urgesch. 
248 fF.) Gu. and Ho. Dillmann agrees absolutely, except that he 
assigns 'f wholly to J, and 7^^'' to P ; and We., except with regard to 
7" (J) 8^- ^^ which are both assigned entirely to P. The divergences of 
Kue. and Co. are almost equally slight ; and indeed the main outlines of 
the analysis were fixed by the researches of Hupfeld, Noldeke, and 
Schrader.— This remarkable consensus of critical opinion has been 
arrived at by four chief lines of evidence : (i) Linguistic. The key to 
the whole process is, of course, the distinction between the divine names 
ni,T {G- «■ ''■ 8 f- ^- 1'^'^ S-o- 21) and dm'tn {6^- "• 12. is. 22 ^i6a gi. Js gi. 6. 8. 12. is. 17). 
Besides this, a number of characteristic expressions differentiate the 
two sources. Thus J's incNi c^n (7^) answers to P's nipji idt* (6'" 7(")- '») ; 
nno (6'' 7^- 2^) to nn?' and n'n::M {6^^- " 9I1. is) . niD (722) to V\f (6" 721) ; 
DipM-^D (f- -') to nca-ija* (6'2- 13. 17 ^21 ^nd oft.) ; hp (S^- ") and 2W {f'') to 
non (8^) ; iin {S^-^) to e'3' (8''') [but see on 81^''] ; D"n mm (8"2) to D-n mn 
(6") ; nVn^ (7^) to nvqn^ (6'^- 20) ; -jrrn-'jj (7I) to the specific enumerations of 
618 ^(7). 13 816. 18_ (Comp. the list in Ho. Gen. p. 68).— (2) Diversify of 
representation. In J clean and unclean animals are distinguished, the 
former entering the ark by sevens and the latter in pairs (72, cf. 82") ; in 
P one pair of every kind without distinction is admitted (6i^'- 7^^^"). 
According to J, the cause of the Flood is a forty-days' rain which is to 
commence seven days after the command to enter the ark {"]*• i**- 12 S-''- ^) 
— the latter passage showing that the waters began to subside after the 
40 days. In P we have (7I' 82*) a different conception of the cause 
of the Flood ; and, in f- "• !=*■ 2* S^^- *■ »• i^^ l^ a chronological scheme 
according to which the waters increase for 150 days, and the entire 
duration of the Flood is one year (see p. 167 ff.). — (3) Duplicates. The 
following are obviously parallels from the two documents : 6""* || 6""^' 
(occasion of the Flood) ; '^'^'^ || 6""22 (command to enter the ark, and 
announcement of the Flood); 7''|| 7^^ (entering of the ark); 7^''||7^^ 
(coming of the Flood) ; 7^''''||7"^ (increase of the waters : floating of the 
ark) ; 722^- 1| 721 (destruction of terrestrial life) ; 82''- ^^ ;] S^'- (abatement of the 
Flood); SI*"!! 8i''^-" (drying of the earth); 820-22 || gSff. (promise that the 
Flood shall not recur). — (4) The final confirmation of the theory is that 
the two series of passages form two all but continuous narratives, which 

* Phrases characteristic of the style of P generally. 

VI. 5-IX. 29 149 

exhibit the distinctive features of the two great sources of the primitive 
history, J and P. The J sections are a graphic popular tale, appealing 
to the imagination rather than to the reasoning faculties. The aim of 
the writer, one would say, was to bring the cosmopolitan (Babylonian) 
Flood-legend within the comprehension of a native of Palestine. The 
Deluge is ascribed to a familiar cause, the rain ; only, the rain lasts for 
an unusual time, 40 days. The picturesque incident of the dove (see 8*) 
reveals the touch of descriptive genius which so often breaks forth 
from this document. The boldest anthropomorphisms are freely intro- 
duced into the conception of God (6'"- y^*"" S-^); and the religious institu- 
tions of the author's time are unhesitatingly assumed for the age of 
Noah. — Still more pronounced are the characteristics of P in the other 
account. The vivid details which are the life and charm of the older 
narrative have all disappeared ; and if the sign of the rainbow (9'-"^^) is 
retained, its aesthetic beauty has evaporated. For the rest, everything 
is formal, precise, and calculated, — the size of the ark, the number of the 
persons and the classification of the animals in it, the exact duration of 
the Flood in its various stages, etc. : if these mathematical determina- 
tions are removed, there is little story left. The real interest of the 
writer is in the new departure in God's dealings with the world, of 
which the Flood was the occasion, — the modification of the original 
constitution of nature, 9^-'', and the establishment of the first of the 
three great covenants, 9*"'''. The connexion of the former passage with 
Gn. I is unmistakably evident. Very significant are the omission of 
Noah's sacrifice, and the ignoring of the laws of cleanness and unclean- 
ness amongst animals.* 

The success of the critical process is due to the care and skill with 
which the Redactor (RJ^) has performed his task. His object evidently 
was to produce a synthetic history of the Flood without sacrificing a 
scrap of information that could with any plausibility be utilised for his 
narrative. The sequence of P he appears to have preserved intact, 
allowing neither omissions nor transpositions. Of J he has preserved 
quite enough to show that it was originally a complete and independent 
narrative ; but it was naturally impracticable to handle it as carefully 
as the main document. Yet it is doubtful if there are any actual lacunae 
except (a) the account of the building of the ark (between 6* and 7^), and 
{b) the notice of the exit from it (between 8^'^^ and -"). The middle part 
of the document, however, has been broken up into minute fragments, 

* Traces of P's general vocabulary are very numerous. Besides 
some of those (marked by *) already enumerated in contrast to J, we 
have n-i)in (6^) ; nVn (6' 912) ; n-^i,-, (610) ; nna D'pn (6'8 g^- "• ") and '3 |n3 
(9'2) ; iFiN in enumerations (6^* 7'^ 8'" etc.); yo (6-" 7'^) ; jyo-i, bo-i (6-^ 

^(8). 14. 21 817. 19 92. 3) . p^^ p,.; (^21 §17 ^7) . .^i,^^^ (6^1 g^) ; Ht.T DVH CSl'3 (V^) ! 

IHD -iND (7^9) ; 3 of specification (7^1 8^'' gi"- 1^- 1") ; nmi .ins (8" g^- '') ; 
□n-nnsiro'? (S^^) ; cViy nna (9i6)._Of the style of J the positive indications 
are fewer : ]n nsd (6^) ; nno in the sense ' destroy ' (6^ ■;■*■ ^s) [see Ho. Hex. 
loi] ; 3SJ? (68) ; nmsn >:si-^y {-j*- is g* C i^ lxx)) . ^,3^3 (gai). See the comm. 
of Di. Ho. Gu. etc. 


and these have been placed in position where they would least disturb 
the flow of narration. Some slight transpositions have been made, 
and a number of glosses have been introduced ; but how far these last 
are due to the Redactor himself and how far to subsequent editors, we 
cannot tell (for details see the notes). Duplicates are freely admitted, 
and small discrepancies are disreg-arded ; the only serious discrepancy 
(that of the chronology) is ingeniously surmounted by making J's 40 
days count twice, once as a stage of the increase of the Flood (7^-) and 
once as a phase of its decrease (8'').* This compound narrative is not 
destitute of interest; but for the understanding of the ideas underlying 
the literature the primary documents are obviously of first importance. 
We shall therefore treat them separately. 

The Flood according to J, 

VI. 5-8. The occasion of the Flood : — Yahwe's experi- 
ence of the deep-seated and incurable sinfulness of human 
nature. It is unnecessary to suppose that a description of 
the deterioration of the race has been omitted, or displaced 
by 6^~* (Ho.). The g-round of the pessimistic estimate of 
human nature so forcibly expressed in v.^ is rather the 
whole course of man's development as hitherto related, 
which is the working- out of the sinful knowledge acquired 
by the Fall. The fratricide of Cain, the song- of Lamech, 
the marriages with the angels, are incidents which, if not 
all before the mind of the writer of the Flood-story, at least 
reveal the gloomy view of the early history which character- 
ises the Yahwistic tradition. — 5. the whole bent (lit. ' forma- 
tion ') of the thoughts of his heart] It is difficult to say 
whether "IV''. Is more properly the ' form ' impressed on the 
mind (the disposition or character), or ' that which is formed ' 
by the mind (imagination and purpose — Simien und Trachten) : 

5. ni.T] aSi Ki/ptos 6 dibs (so v.^).— 'ui ns'^'jDi] (& loosely: /cai xas rtj 
Siaj'Of trat (njf' ?) iv ry Kapdlq. avrod iin/xeXws iirl tix irovrjpd ; IT cuncta 
cogitatio. Another Gr, rendering (6 'E^p., see Field, ad loc.) is (pvcriKdv 
Tov 6,vd. ; but in 8'-^ the same translator has rb irXda/xa r^s Kap. avd. On 
the later Jewish theologoumenon of the yin ns' (the evil impulse in man, 
also called is' simply) which is based on this passage, and by Jewish 
comm. (Ra. on 8-^) is found here ; see Taylor, Sayings of Jew. Fathers^, 
yj, 148 ff. ; Porter, Bibl. and Sem. Studies by tne7nbers . . . of Yale 

* The supposition of Hupfeld and Lenormant {Orig. i. 415), that the 
double period occurred in the original J, has no foundation. 

VI. 5-8 VII. I 151 

cf. 821, Dt. 3121^ Is, 263 (Ps. 10314?), I Ch. 289 29I8; v.t.—6. 
The anthropopathy which attributes to Yahwe regret (Dij3'!!) 
and vexation (3jikyn>l) because He had created man is unusually 
strong. Although in the sense of mere change of purpose, 
the former is often ascribed to God (Ex 32^*, Jer. 18'^-^ 
253. 13^ ji, 2^3^ Jon. 310 etc.), the cases are few where divine 
regret for accomplished action is expressed (i Sa. 15^^). The 
whole representation was felt to be inadequate (Nu. 23^'', 
I Sa. 1 5^1) ; yet it continued to be used as inseparable from 
the religious view of history as the personal agency of 
Yahwe. — 7- God's resolve to blot out ('"inro) the race : not as 
yet communicated to Noah, but expressed in monologue, — 
8. But Noah had found favour, etc.] doubtless on account of 
his piety ; but see on 7^. The Yahwistic narrative must 
have contained some previous notice of Noah, probably at 
the end of a genealogy. 

VII. 1-5. Announcement of the Flood. — The section 
is an almost exact parallel to 6^"^'^^ (P). V.^ presupposes 
in J a description of the building of the ark, which the 
redactor has omitted in favour of the elaborate account of 
P. Not till the work is finished does Yahwe reveal to Noah 
the purpose it is to serve : v.* is obviously the first intima- 
tion that has been given of the approaching deluge. The 
building of the ark in implicit obedience to the divine 
command is thus a great test and proof of Noah's faith ; cf. 
Heb. 11'^. — I. Thou and all thy house\ J's brevity is here far 

Univ. (1901), 93 fF. — Dvn-SD] 'continually'; see BDB, 400b. — 6. dlt] 
ffi 6 ^e6s (so V,'').— asvn'i] Gn. 34''; cf. Is. 63I" (Pi.). Ra. softens the 
anthrop. by making- the impending destruction of the creatures the 
immediate object of the divine grief. — 7. nnos] cf. 7*- ^3. In the full 
sense of 'exterminate' (as distinct from 'obliterate' [name, memory, 
etc.]) the vb. is peculiar to J's account of the Flood ; ct. Nu. ^ 34" 
(P). — The V. is strongly interpolated. The clauses 'riKia -van and dind 
D'DB-n ... are in the style of P (cf. (y^ 7"- 21 8"- 1« 9^ etc.); and the 
latter is, besides, an illogical specification of rnxn. They are redac- 
tional glosses, the original text being o 'non: '3 r^rT[)^n 'ji; Sj'D DnK.TnN nncK 
D'H'sj'y (Bu. 249 ff. ; Di. 125).— 8. 'yyn jn n^d] characteristic of, though not 
absolutely confined to, J : igi^ 32« 338- is 34" 39* 47^ etc. (Ho. Einl. 
97 f.). 

I. niiT] uxSi dm'?k ; CIr Ki''/3tos 6 ^c(5s. — pni] pred. accus. ; Dav. § 76. — 


more expressive than the formal enumerations of P (6^^ 
yi3 gie. 18^^ T-he principle involved is the religious solidarity 
of the family ; its members are saved for the righteousness of 
its head (cf. 19^^). — thee have 1 seen {to be) righteous (P^"^V, see 
on 6^)] Bu. and others take this to be a judgement 
based on Noah's obedience in building the ark ; but that is 
hardly correct. The verb is not XVO but nx~i, which has pre- 
cisely the same force as the XT'i of 6^, Comp. also 6^. — 2. 
clean pi-'i^) means, practically, fit for sacrifice and human 
food ; the technical antithesis is i^Ctp, which, however, is 
here avoided, whether purposely (De. 174) or not it is 
impossible to say. The distinction is not, as was once 
supposed (see Tu.), a proof of J's interest in Levitical 
matters, but, on the contrary, of the naivet^ of his religious 
conceptions. He regards it as rooted in the nature of things, 
and cannot imagine a time when it was not observed. His 
view is nearer the historical truth than the theory of P, 
who traces the distinction to the positive enactments of 
the Sinaitic legislation (Lv. 11, Dt. 14), and consequently 
ignores it here. The same difference of standpoint appears 
with regard to sacrifice, altars, etc.: see 4^*- 8'^*' 12''^ etc. — 
nync* n^DK'] by sevens (G-K. § 134^); i.e. '7 (individuals) 
of each kind ' (De. Str. al.), rather than ' 7 pairs' [Ber. R. 
lEz. Di. Gu. al.), — in spite of the following intJ'KI tJ'''S. It 
is a plausible conjecture (Ra. De. Str.) that the odd 
individual was a male destined for sacrifice (8-°). — 3a presents 
an impure text {v.i.), and must either be removed as a gloss 
(Kue. Bu. Ho. Gu. al.) or supplemented with ^(Ba. Ben.). — 
3b. to keep seed alive, etc.] reads better as the continuation of 

2. For d':k', wiffiSiJ read D'Jc d'Jij', — probably correctly. — inrxi b"n (Jw)] 
jtx>. napji n^T, assimilating J to P. — 3a. The distinction to be expected 
between clean and unclean birds is made imperfectly by au. and S, which 
insert ninan after D'Ccn ; and fully by ffi, which goes further and adds 
the words Kai dirb iravrCiv tCov TrereLvQiv r. ju.7j KadapCiv 5<jo 860 dpcrev k, 6r]\v. 
Ball accepts this, thinking the omission in MT due to homoioteleuton. 
But the phrase nip:: -\2i shows that ^'"^ has been manipulated ; and it is 
on the whole more likely that it is entirely redactional. Birds ?na^ be 
included in the nonnn of v.^ ; though Bu.'s parallels (Ex. 8'^'- g^-^^"-^, 
Jer. 32** 33^"-^^ 36-^, Ps. 36'') are not quite convincing. — 3b. nVnS] P uses 

VII. 2-7 153 

2 than of 3*. — 4- With great rhetorical effect, the reason for 
all these preparations — the coming of the Flood — is reserved 
to the end. J knows no other physical cause of the Deluge 
than the 40 days' rain (cf. v.^^). — 5. Comp. 6^2 (P). 

7-10, 12, i6b, 17b, 22, 23.— Entrance into the ark 
and description of the Flood. — J's narrative has here 
been taken to pieces by the Redactor, who has fitted the 
fragments into a new connexion supplied by the combined 
accounts of J and P. The operation has been performed 
with such care and skill that it is still possible to restore 
the original order and recover a succinct and consecutive 
narrative, of which little if anything appears to be lost. The 
sequence of events is as follows : At the end of the seven 
days, the Flood comes (v.^°) ; Noah enters the ark C^) and 
Yahwe shuts him in (^^^). Forty days' rain ensues {^^), and 
the waters rise and float the ark (^''^). All life on the earth's 
surface is extinguished ; only Noah and those in the ark 
survive {^^^■). 

The rearrangement here adopted (^*'* ''• ^^^- ^-- ^''^- ^^ ^) is due mainly 
to the acute criticism of Bu. {Urg. 258 ff.)) who has probably added the 
last refinements to a protracted process of literary investigation. Some 
points (e.g. the transposition of vv.'' and i") are, of course, more or less 
doubtful ; others (e.g: ^^^) are seen to be necessary as soon as the com- 
ponents of J have been isolated. The most difficult thing is to clear the 
text of the glosses which inevitably accompanied the work of redaction ; 
but this also has been accomplished with a considerable degree of 
certainty and agreement amongst recent comm. The most extensive 
interpolations are part of v.'', the whole of vv.^ and ^, and part of ^, 
For details see the footnote. 

10. A^ the end of the 7 days (cf. v.*)] The interval (we 
may suppose) was occupied in assembling the animals and 
provisioning the ark. — the waters of the Flood] T^li'^p^, a tech- 
nical name for the Deluge, common to both sources {v.i.). 
— 7- Noah enters the ark on account of the . . . Flood: 

Hiph. (613'-).— j?-ii] as Jer. 3127.— 4. o'D'^] On ) as denoting the c/05^ of a 
term (cf. v.^"), see BDB, s.v. 6b.— D?p;n] a rare word (only -j^, Dt. ii^), 
meaning ' that which subsists ' ( ,^/ Dip), ffi dvd(TTe/j.a fother exx. in Field, 
i^avda-rafftv), 'S substantia, Ss i>O^D5 \kO. On the form see Barth, Nom.- 
bild. 181 ; Kon. ii. 146 ; G-K. § 85 'd. 

7. "iBK — Vj^^] The enumeration is in the manner of P (obs. also "ibn) ; 


hence vJ presupposes v.^^. The same order of events is 
found in P (H- 13) and in the Babylonian legend : "when the 
lords of the darkness send at evening a (grimy ?) rain, enter 
into the ship and close thy door" (I. 88 f.). — l6b (which must 
in any case follow immediately on v,^) contains a fine anthro- 
pomorphism, which (in spite of the Bab, parallel just cited) 
it is a pity to spoil by deleting nin^ and making Noah the 
implicit subject (Klost. NKZ, i. 717). — 12. forty days and 
forty nights\ This determination, which in J expresses the 
entire duration of the Flood, seems to have been treated by 
R as merely a stage in the increase of the waters (cf. 8^). 
It obviously breaks the connexion of P. The Babylonian 
deluge lasted only six days and nights (1. 128). — 17b. Parallel 
to ^^ (P). — 22, 23. A singularly effective description of the 

the words either replace in'a"73i (as v.^), or are a pure insertion ; — in 
either case redactional.— 'juon 'd] so 7^0 (J), 9" (P) (ct. D^D 'an, (P 7*). — 
S\sa\<&.Ka.To.KK\iaix()s; "S diluvium; ^ and iC° njsib (STJ NOWio). The word 
has usually been derived from Va', 'streaming' (see Ges. Th.^ Di.) ; but 
is more probably a foreign word without Heb. etymology (see No. 
ZDMG, xl. 732). Del. {Parad. 156) proposed the derivation from Ass. 
nabdlu, 'destroy,' which is accepted by Konig (ii. 153), Ball (p. 53), and 
others. The Bab. technical equivalent is abAbu, which denotes both a 
' light-flood ' and a ' water-flood ' : the double sense has been thought 
to explain P's addition of □^'? to the word (see on 6^^). A transformation 
of the one name into the other is, however, difficult to understand (see 
KAT^, 495^, 546^). In Ps. 29^" '?i3D appears to be used in a general 
sense without a historic reference to the Noachic Deluge (see Duhm, 
adloc). — 8, 9 present a mixed text. The distinction of clean and un- 
clean points to J ; but all other features (d'h'^n [though a reading m.T 
seems attested by uxSE^ , and MSS of <&] ; n-2py\ nm ; the undiscrimin- 
ated C'lB' D'JC ; the categorical enumeration [to which dSc adds the birds 
at the beginning of v.^]) to P. In P the vv. are not wanted, because 
they are a duplicate of '^''^ : they must therefore be assigned to an 
interpolator (Bu. al.). — 10. On the construction of the sentence, see 
G-K. § 164a, and on v.® below. — 12. avi\ {»J gasuma—'he massive') 
commonly used of the heavy winter rain (Ezr. lo^ Ca. 2"): see GASm. 
HG, 64. — l6b. m.T] (ScKvpios 6 deds + Ttjv Ki^uiTdv. — 17b. Since '* belongs 
to P (ti3J'i, ixo), its duplicate "^ must be from J, where it forms a natural 
continuation of '^. "% on the other hand (in spite of the 40 days), must be 
assigned to P (see p. 164). — 22. D"n mi ncm] is an unexampled combina- 
tion, arising from confusion of a phrase of J (D"n nDc:, 2') with one of P 
(D"n nn, 6" 7^'). The v. being from J (cf. n^-jri instead of n-^T ; WD instead 
of pri, 21), nn is naturally the word to be deleted. — 23a as a whole is J 
(nno. Dip', rtQian 'jd-'?^) ; but the clause D'Dirn . . . mxa seems again (cf. 6^) 

VII. 8-VIII. 3A 155 

effect of the Flood, which is evidently conceived as uni- 

VIII. (lb?), 2b, 3a, (4?), 6-12, 13b. Subsidence of 
the waters. — The rain from heaven having ceased, the 
Flood gradually abates. [The ark settles on some high 
mountain ; and] Noah, ignorant of his whereabouts and 
unable to see around, sends out first a raven and then a 
dove to ascertain the condition of the earth. 

The continuity of J's narrative has again been disturbed by the 
redaction. V.®*, which in its present position has no point of attach- 
ment in J, probably stood originally before -'', where it refers to the 
40 days' duration of the Flood (We. Comp." 5). It was removed by R so 
as to make up part of the interval between the emergence of the 
mountain-tops and the drying of the ground. — There are two small 
points in which a modification of the generally accepted division of 
sources might be suggested, (i) ^'^ (the wind causing the abatement 
of the waters) is, on account of D'n'?K, assigned to P. But the order 
^^ ^ is unnatural, and transpositions in P do not seem to have been 
admitted. The idea is more in accord with J's conception of the Flood 
than with P's ; and but for the name wnW the half-verse might very 
well be assigned to J, and inserted between *'' and ^\ (2) V.* is also 
almost universally regarded as P's (see Bu. 269 f.). But this leaves a 
lacuna in J between ** and *'', where a notice of the landing of the ark 
must have stood : on the other hand, ^^ makes it extremely doubtful if 
P thought of the ark as stranded on a mountain at all. The only ob- 
jection to assigning ^ to J is the chronology : if we may suppose the 
chronological scheme to have been added or retouched by a later hand 
(see p. 168), there is a great deal to be said for the view of Hupfeld and 
Reuss that the remainder of the v. belongs to J.* — The opening passage 
would then read as follows : 

6a. At the end of /\fO days, 2b. the ram from heaven was 
restrained ; lb. and Yahwe (?) caused a wind to pass over 
the earth, and the waters abated. 3a. And the waters went 

to be redaclional, and the three words following must disappear with 
it. '^^ might be assigned with almost equal propriety to J or to P. — 
n5'l] (apoc. impf. Qal) is a better attested Massor. reading than n^'i 
(Niph.). It is easier, however, to change the pointing (to Niph.) than 
to supply mn' as subj., and the sense is at least as good. — Gu.'s re- 
arrangement (^*"'- -2- 23b) is a distinct improvement : of the two homo- 
logous sentences, that without 1 naturally stands second. 

3a. awi T'?n] G-K. § 113M. (& has misunderstood the idiom both 

* It may be noted that in Jub. v. 28 no date is g^ven for the landing 
of the ark. 


on decreasing from off the earth, 4. and the ark rested on the 
mountains of Ararat. — On the landing'-place of the ark, see 
p. 166 below. 

6b-I2. The episode of the sendhig out of the birds 
appears in many forms of the Delug-e-tradition ; notably in 
the Babylonian, It is here related as an illustration of 
Noah's wisdom (Gu.). Tuch quotes from Pliny, vi. 83 (on 
the Indians): ''siderum in navigando nulla observatio ; 
septentrio non cernitur ; sed volucres secum vehunt, emit- 
tentes saepius, meatumque earum terram petentium comi- 
tantur." — *]. He sent out a raven] The purpose of the action 
is not stated till v.^ ; partly for this reason, partly because 
the threefold experiment with the dove is complete and more 
natural, the genuineness of the v. has been questioned (We. 
Ho. Gu. al.). Dahse, ZATW, xxviii. sf., calls attention to 
the fact that in ^^ the v. is marked with the obelus. The 
Bab, account has three experiments, but with different birds 
(dove, swallow, raven). — 8. And he sent out a dove] perhaps 
immediately ; see ^ below. But if v.''^ be a later insertion, 
we must supply atid he waited j days (see v.^"). — 9, The de- 
scription of the return and admission of the dove is unsur- 
passed even in the Yahwistic document for tenderness and 
beauty of imagination, — 10, Seven other days] implying a 
similar statement before either v,'^ or v,^, — II, a freshly 
plucked olive leaf] The olive does not grow at great alti- 
tudes, and was said to flourish even under water (Tu,). 
But it is probable that some forgotten mythological signi- 
ficance attaches to the symbol in the Flood-legend (see Gu, 
p. 60). Cf. the classical notices of the olive branch as an 
emblem of peace : Virg, Aen. viii. 116 [Paciferaeque manu 
ramum prcetendit oHvcb) ', Livy, xxiv. 30, xxix. 16. — 12. The 
third time the dove returns no more ; and then at last — 

here and in vJ.—y. a-ij;n] on the art. see G-K. § 126 r; but cf. Smith's 
note, I?S-, 126. — ffi here supplies tov ISelv el KeKowaKev rb I'Swp, as in v.^. 
— nici Nis' xsn] ffi Kal ^^eXOwp oux viriarpexpev ; so TBS: (accepted by Ball) : 
see on ^^ — 8. WNO] (S 6irlffw avrov ( = vinN'); assuming that both birds 
were sent forth on the same day. — 10. "^ri;'!] of. Sn,"!, v.^^ (jju has ^n'i both 
times). Both forms are incorrect : read in each case "^n;;! (Bu. Di. al.). 

VIII. 4-21 157 

13b. Noah ventures to remove the covering of the ark, and 
sees that the earth is dry. 

20-22. Noah's sacrifice. — J's account of the leaving of 
the ark has been suppressed. Noah's first act is to offer a 
sacrifice, not of thanksgiving but (as v.^^ shows) of pro- 
pitiation : its effect is to move the Deity to gracious 
thoughts towards the new humanity. The resemblance 
to the Babylonian parallel is here particularly close and 
instructive (see p. 177): the incident appears also in the 
Greek and Indian legends. — 20. an altar\ Lit. * slaughtering- 
place.' The sacrificial institution is carried back by J to 
the remotest antiquity (see on 42*- 7^'), but this is the first 
mention of the altar, and also of sacrifice by fire : see p. 105 
above. — nVy] holocausts, — that form of sacrifice which was 
wholly consumed on the altar, and which was naturally 
resorted to on occasions of peculiar solemnity {e.g. 2 Sa. 24^^). 
— 21. smelled the soothing odour\ nJT'J H^t (kvlo-tj, nidor) * 
becomes a technical term of the Levitical ritual, and is 
never mentioned elsewhere except in P and Ezk. This, 
Gu. points out, is the only place where Yahwe is actually 
described as smelling the sacrifice ; but cf. i Sa. 26^^. It is 
probably a refinement of the crude eudaemonism of the 
Bab. story (see p. 177 below); and it is doubtful how far it 
elucidates primitive Heb. ideas of the effect of sacrifice. 
That "the pleasing odour is not the motive but merely 
the occasion of this gracious purpose " (Knobel), may be 

— 13b. '^??!?] possibly described in J's account of the building of the ark. 
Elsewhere only of the covering- of the Tabernacle (P) ; but cf. norp, 
Ezk. if. — I3in] G ins. rd v^wp 6.-k6. 

■2IQ. mn'^] ffi Ti 9ei^.—2i. mn'] ffi K. 6 de6s {bis).—nn'in nn] Si \.y^^y 
I >> ' ^; |.»->^' "JZ-Q-CDJ —conflate?— VS'2^] a different vb. from that used 
in 3^" 4^^ 5^® (■'""<)• Ho. points out that Pi. of hhp is never used with God 
as subj. (cf. Gn. 12^) ; and for this and other reasons regards ^i* as an 
unskilful attempt to link the Noah of the Flood with the prophecy of 
5^. But -^* can only refer to the Flood, while the curse of 5-^ belongs 
to the past : moreover, an interpolator would have been careful to use 
the same verb. The sense given to '?i'p is fully justified by the usage 

II. I. 317: Kfiat] S' oiipavbv Tkcv iXiffffOfiivr] irepl Ka.irv(} ; cf. Ov. Met. 


sound theology, but it hardly expresses the idea of the 
passage. — 2lb is a monologue (i3^"i'S). — 'l31 "IV"; ""3 (see on 6^) 
may be understood either as epexegetical of ^'}^>} "'''^.V? (a 
reason why Yahwe might be moved to curse the ground, 
though he will not [Ho.]), or as the ground of the promise 
not to visit the earth with a flood any more. The latter is 
by far the more probable. The emphasis is on Vnyiip, from 
his youth ; the innate sinfulness of man constitutes an 
appeal to the divine clemency, since it cannot be cured by 
an undiscriminating judgement like the Flood, which arrests 
all progress toward better things (cf. Is. 54^). — 22. The 
pledge of Yahwe's patience with humanity is the regularity 
of the course of nature, in which good and bad men are 
treated alike (Mt. 5*^). A division of the year into six 
seasons (Ra.), or even into two halves (De.), is not in- 
tended ; the order of nature is simply indicated by a series 
of contrasts, whose alternation is never more to be inter- 
rupted by a catastrophe like the Flood. This assurance 
closes J's account of the Deluge. It rests on an interior 
resolve of Yahwe ; whereas in P it assumes the form of 
a 'covenant' (9^^^), — a striking instance of the development 
of religious ideas in the direction of legalism: cf. Jer. 3i36f. 

33201. 25f.. 

The Flood according to P. 

VI. 9-12. Noah's piety; The corruption of the 
earth. — -9. This is the genealogy of Noah] The formula is 
usually taken as the heading of the section of P dealing 
with the Flood ; but see on 9^^'-. — Noah is characterised as 

of Pual (Ps. 3722, Jb. 24I8, Is. 6520).— nnya] ffi 5ik ri ipya, as 3".— '3 
'ui nr] ffi Btl iyKeirai i) Stdvoia r. dvd. iiri/ieXws kt\. See on 6*. — 22. ^'y] 
<Sc om. ; Ball, ly.— wdb"] 'come to an end ' : see on 2^. 

9. D'On pns] (so Jb. 12^). The asyndeton is harsh ; but it is hardly 
safe to remedy it on the authority of jsx (o'cni) and U, against ffi. To 
remove pns as a gloss from J (7^) (Ball) is too bold. Perhaps the 
sentence should be broken up into two clauses, one nominal and the 
other verbal : * Noah was a righteous man ; perfect was he,' etc.— The 
forensic sense of pns given above may not be the original : see S. A. 
Cook, /TS, ix. 632^, who adduces some evidence that it meant what 
was ' due ' among a definite social group, and between it and its gods. 

VI. 9-12 159 

righteous {P*"1V) and faultless (D'^J^) : on the construction 
v.i. There is perhaps a correspondence between these two 
epithets and the description of the state of the world which 
follows ; pni' being opposed to the ' violence,' and □"•on to 
the 'corruption' of v.^"-. pnv, a forensic term, denotes 
one whose conduct is unimpeachable before a judge ; D'On 
is sacerdotal in its associations (Ex. 12^, Lv. i^ etc.), 
meaning 'free from defect,' integer (cf. 17^). — in his genera- 
tions {v.i.)^ i.e. alone among his contemporaries (cf. 7^). 
That Noah's righteousness was only relative to the standard 
of his age is not implied.* — -walked with God] see on 5"'-. 
The expression receives a fuller significance from the Baby- 
lonian legend, where Ut-napi§tim, like the Biblical Enoch, 
is translated to the society of the gods (p. 177 below). — 
II f. nnwp mni] is the intentional antithesis to the 2it5 nsni 
■ixp of i^^ (De.). — All flesh had corrupted its -way] had 
violated the divinely -appointed order of creation. The 
result is -violence (DDH, ^ dSi/ct'a) — ruthless outrage per- 
petrated by the strong on the weak. A "nature red in 
tooth and claw with ravin " is the picture which rises before 
the mind of the writer; although, as has been already 
remarked (p. 129), the narrative of P contains no explana- 
tion of the change which had thus passed over the face of 
the world. 

The fundamental idea of v."** is the disappearance of the Golden 
Age, or the rupture of the concord of the animal world established by 
the decree of i^'*. The lower animals contribute their share to the 
general 'corruption' by transgressing the regulation of i^, and com- 
mencing to prey upon each other and to attack man (see 9') : so Ra. 
To restrict -\vi-^z to mankind (Sr^, Tu. Str. Dri. Ben. al.) is therefore 

— V^hi?] G iv T^ yeviaei airr. The f. pi. is highly characteristic of P 
(Ho. Einl. 341); but apparently always as a real pi. (series of genera- 
tions) : ct. the solitary use of sg. in P, Ex. i^. Here, accordingly, It 
seems fair to understand it, not of the individual contemporaries of 
Noah (Tu. We. Ho. al.), but of the successive generations covered by 
his lifetime. The resemblance to ntn nna pn)i (7^) is adduced by We. 
{Prol.^ 390) as a proof of P's dependence on J.— II. D-n^xn] One of 
the few instances of P's use of the art. with 'n. — 12. dm'?x] ffi Kvpios 6 6. 

* So Jerome : " ut ostenderet non juxta justltiam consummatam, sed 
juxta generationis suae eum justum fulsse juslitiam." 


unnecessary and unwarranted. The phrase properly denotes * all living 
beings,' and is soused in 8 out of the 13 occurrences in P's account of 
the Flood (Dri. ad loc). In 6^* yis- 18 8'^ it means animals apart from 
man ; but that in the same connexion it should also mean mankind 
apart from animals is not to be expected, and could only be allowed on 
clear evidence. — The difference of standpoint between P and J (6^) on 
this matter is characteristic. 

13-16. Directions for building the ark. — 13. An- 
nouncement in g-eneral terms of some vast impending- 
catastrophe, involving- the end of all flesh (all living beings, 
as y?'^). — 14-16. Description of the Ark. — An Ark (chest) 
of gopher wood] probably some resinous wood. In Heb. 
nnri is used only of Noah's ark and the vessel in -which 
Moses was saved (Ex. 2^- ^) ; the name ark comes to us 
through 5J (area), where, however, it is also applied to the 
ark of the testimony (Ex. 25^^ etc.). The Bab. Flood- 
narrative has the ordinary word for ship [elippii). — The 
vessel is to consist internally of cells (lit. * nests '), and is 
to be coated inside and out with bitumen (cf. Ex. 2^). 

13. 'JD^ N3] not (as Est. 9^^) 'has come to my knowledge,' but 'has 
entered into my purpose.' This is better than (with Di.) to take N^ {'p 
absolutely (as Am. 8-), and ^ith as 'according to my purpose.' — dh'^SP] 
through them ; Ex. 8^° 9", Ju. 6* etc. — pN.Tnx [on'rifD] ffi koX tt}v yrju ; 
3J cutn terra ; so S K^J. As Ols. says, we should expect 'n "rj^p (nxD 
[Graetz] is unsuitable). But the error probably lies deeper. Ball 
emends 'n-riNi nnx n'n:fp ; Bu. '.TriN on'rii^D [on] 'd Dn-nif^a ; Gu. Dn'n?',? Djrt] 
rrriN. Eerdmans (^AT Studien, i. 29) finds a proof of original poly- 
theism. He reads 'i3i Dn'n?'D «:n : " we [the gods] are about to destroy 
the earth." — 14. n^n] ffiS kl^wtos ; STiJE Nnn'n. The word is the Egyptian 
teb(t) = 'chest,' 'sarcophagus' (^i/3is, di^t), in ffi of Ex. 2^-^): see Ges. 
Th. ; Erman, ZDMG, xlvi. 123. Jensen {ZA, iv. 272 f.), while admitting 
the Egypt, etymology, suggests a connexion with the Ass. ilippu ii-hi- 
turn (a kind of ship). I am informed by Dr. C. H. W. Johns that 
while the word is written as the determinative for ' ship,' it is not 
certain that it was pronounced elippu. He thinks it possible that it 
covers the word tahil, found in the phrase ta-bi-e Bel ildni Marduk 
(Del. Hwh. 699 a), which he is inclined to explain of the processional 
barques of the gods. If this conjecture be correct, we may have 
here the Bab. original of Heb. nan. See Camh. Bibl. Essays (1909), 
p. 37 fF. — n5J"'!fj;,] The old trans, were evidently at a loss: ffit (^/c) ^vKbiv 
rerpaydivuii' ; 3J {de) Ugnis IcBvigatis ; Jen ligna bituminata : the word 
being Hir. Xey. Lagarde (Se?n. i. 64 f. ; Symm. ii. 93 f.) considered it a 
mistaken contraction from nn^j (brimstone), or rather a foreign word 
of the same form which meant originall}- ' pine-wood.' Others (Bochart, 

VI. i3-i6 l6l 

Somewhat similar details are given of the ship of Ut- 
napiStim (p. 176). Asphalt is still lavishly applied in the 
construction of the rude boats used for the transport of 
naphtha on the Euphrates (see Cernik, quoted by Suess, 
The Face of the Earth, 27). — 15. Assuming- that the cubit 
is the ordinary Heb. cubit of six handbreadths (about 18 in. : 
see Kennedy, DB, iv. 909), the dimensions of the ark are 
such as modern shipbuilding has only recently exceeded 
(see Ben. 140) ; though it is probably to be assumed that 
it was rectangular in plan and sections. That a vessel of 
these proportions would float, and hold a great deal (though 
it would not carry cannon!), it hardly needed the famous 
experiment of the Dutchman Peter Janson in 1609-21 to 
prove (see Michaelis, Oriental, und Exeget. Bibliot. xviii. 
27 f.). — 16. The details here are very confused and mostly 
obscure. The word "in'V (utt. Xcy.) is generally rendered 
Might' or 'opening for light,' — either a single (square) 
aperture (Tu.), or "a kind of casement running round the 

al.) suppose it to contain the root of KvirdpLO-a-oi, 'cypress,' a wood 
used by the Phoen. in shipbuilding, and by the Egypt, for sarcophagi 
(De.). — D'jp] Lagarde's conjecture, D"Jp D':p {OS^, ii. 95), has been 
happily confirmed from Philo, Qucest. in Gen. ii. 3 {loculos loculos : see 
Bu. 255), and from a Palest. Syr. Lectionary (Nestle, cited by Ho.). 
On the idiom, see G-K. § 123 ^. — nss] also Stt. Xe7., = 'bitumen ' 
{<&i)B^ZP), Ar. kufr, Aram, kisid. Ass. kupru (used in the Bab. Flood- 
story). The native Heb. word for 'bitumen' is ion (ii^ 14^*, Ex. 2'). — 
15. a^k] ffi n^nn-riN. — 16. nnii] ffi i-Ki<xvv6r^u}v (rdg. ini'?); all other Vns. 
express the idea of light (Aq. /xeffTifippivov, 2. 5La<f>avis, "B fenestram, 
Si P,_i01, ' windows,' 2^° mn*:). They connected it (as Aq. shows) with 
onjis, 'noon-day'; but zy onns means properly 'summit' (see G-B. ; 
BDB, S.V.), there seems nothing in Heb. to connect the root with 
the idea of light. The meaning ' back ' is supported by Ar. zahr. — 
Th^vhv) r\^,'2^ noN-'jNi] The suff. may refer either to the ins (whose gender 
is unknown : cf. Kon. S. p. 163) or to the n^n : the latter is certainly 
most natural after nVs. The prevalent explanation — that the cubit 
indicates either the breadth of the light-opening, or its distance below 
the roof (see Di.) — is mere guess-work. Bu. (following We.) removes 
the first three words to the end of the v., rendering: "and according 
to the cubit thou shalt finish it (the ark)" : Di. objects that this would 
require T\r:^^n. Ball reads '"70 n|?3it) '^ll!<"''?li "and for its (the ark's) 
whole length thou shalt cover it above"; Gu. : '"ij^^^ 'n"'?ni, "and on 
a pivot (see Is. ^'^) thou shalt make it (the rooQ revolve," — a doubtful 


sides of the ark (except where interrupted by the beams 
supporting the roof) a little below the roof" (Dri., so De. 
Di. al.). Exegetical tradition is in favour of this view; but 
the material arguments for it (see Di. 141) are weak, and 
its etymological basis is doubtful {v.z'.). Others (Ew. Gu. 
G-B. al.) take it to mean the roof {lit. 'back': Ar. sahr).* 
The clause and to a cubit thou shalt finish it above is unin- 
telligible as it stands : some suggestions are given in the 
footnote. — The door of the ark is to be in its (longer?) 
side ; and the cells inside are to be arranged in three stories. 
The ship of Ut-napistim appears to have had six decks, 
divided into nine compartments (11. 61-63). 

17-22. The purpose of the ark. — Gunkel thinks that 
v.^^ commences a second communication to Noah ; and 
that in the source from which P drew, the construction of 
the ark was recorded before its purpose was revealed (as in 
the parallel account of J : see on 7^). That, of course, is 
possible ; but that P slurred over the proof of Noah's faith 
because he had no interest in personal religion can hardly be 
supposed. There is really nothing to suggest that ^''*^- are 
not the continuation of i3-i6^ — j»^_ Behold I am about to bring 
the Flood] P=i3Gn ; see above on 7'^ (J), and in the Note below. 
— 18. I will establish my covenant, etc.] anticipating 9^-. De. 
and Gu. distinguish the two covenants, taking that here 
referred to as a special pledge to Noah of safety in the 
coming judgement ; but that is contrary to the usage of P, 

17. 'j:,! ':ni] cf. Dri. JPh. xi. 226.— D'p '?i2D.t (cf. f)] The D'D is 
certainly superfluous grammatically, but {'nN.T'?j; is necessary to the 
completeness of the sentence. (& omits D'D in 7'', and inserts it in 9^"" (P). 
Whether it be an explanatory gloss of the unfamiliar "jUD (so most), or a 
peculiar case of nominal apposition (see Dri. T. § 188), it is difficult to 
decide : on the idea that it is meant to distinguish the water-flood from 
the light-flood, see above, p. 154. The pointing D;p (JDMich. al.) is 
objectionable on various grounds : for one thing, P never speaks of the 
Flood as coming ' from the sea.' J's phrase is 'jUDn 'D : f- 1" ; cf. 9"* (P). 
— mt']] XXX, n'oty"? ; but elision of n in Hiph. is unusual : some Sam. MSS 
haven'ncn^ (Ball).— yw?] 'expire,'— peculiar to P in Hex. (cf. 7-' 25*-" 

* According to Jensen {KIB, vi. i, 487), the Bab. ark had a dome- 
shaped rooi (muljfiu). 

VI. i7--vri. II T63 

to whom the ri"'"i3 is always a solemn and permanent embodi- 
ment of the divine will, and never a mere occasional provision 
(Kraetzschmar, Bundesvorstg. 197 f.)- The entering of the 
ark is therefore not the condition to be fulfilled by Noah 
under the covenant, but the condition which makes the 
establishment of the promised covenant possible (Ho.). — Thou 
and thy sotis, etc.] The enumeration is never omitted by P 
except in 8^ ; of. y^^ 8^^- ^^ : ct. J in 7I. — 19 f. One pair of 
each species of animals (fishes naturally excepted) is to be 
taken into the ark. The distinction of clean and unclean 
kinds belongs on the theory of P to a later dispensation 
— 20. The classification (which is repeated with slight 
variations in 7^*- 21 8^^ g^^- ^°) here omits wild beasts (n>n) : 
v.t. on v.^^. — INT does not necessarily imply that the animals 
came of themselves (Ra. lEz. al.), any more than N^3n (v.^^) 
necessarily means that Noah had to catch them. — 21. all 
food "which is (or may he) eateti] according to the prescrip- 
tions of i29'-. — 22. so did he] the pleonastic sentence is 
peculiar to P; cf esp. Ex. 401^ (also Ex. 7^ 1228- eo 2932. 42f.^ 
Nu, i^*, and often). 

VII. 6, II, I3-I7a. Commencement of the Flood.— 
These vv. (omitting '^^^ [J]) appear to form an uninterrupted 
section of the Priestly narrative, following immediately on 
622. _5_ Date of the Flood by the year of Noah's life. The 
number 600 is a Babylonian ner\ and it has been thought 
that the statement rests ultimately on a Bab. tradition. — 
II. This remarkably precise date introduces a sort of diary 

35» 49»— 12 t in all); elsewhere only in poetry (Holz. Einl. 341).— 
19. 'nrt] (on anomalous pointing of art. see G-K. § 35/" (i)). juu. reads 
.Tnn as in 8" ; and so ffir, which takes the word in the limited sense of 
wild animals, reading [Kal airh -iravTwv rwv kttjvQv Kai a. ir. r. epiriTuv] 
AC. d. IT. T. evpiuv{see ^^*■ 21 8^9).— Dw] ©5 d':b' d'jb' as in f-'^K So also 
V.20.— 20. rorbD] Ins. 1 with jjuffi^FCO ; the ) is necessary to the 
sense.— ffi has "ja before each class, but MT rightly confines it to the 

heterogeneous B-m (Ho.). For noiHn rm, mx ffl have 'k.t hv VDi nrK. 

21. nhsK^] see on 1=^.— 22. cnhit] ffi Kvpios 6 0. 

6. On the syntax of the time-relation, see G-K. § 1640.-0:0] see 6". 
—II. njc— njca] 'in the year of 600 years'; cf. G-K. § 1340.— For 
' 17th day ' (5 has ' 27th ' ; see p. 167 below. — D'DB-n na-js] 8^, Mai. 31", = 
D'DB-a 'k, 2 Ki. f- i9=DneD % Is. 24I8. Apart from these phrases the 


of the Flood, which is carried through to the end : see 
below, p. 167 f. V.^, though consistent with ^^, is certainly 
rendered superfluous by it ; and it is not improbable that 
we have here to do with a fusion of authorities within the 
Priestly tradition (p. 168). — the fou7itains of the Great Deep] 
(na"! Dinri : see on i^). Outbursts of subterranean water are 
a frequent accompaniment of seismic disturbances in the 
alluvial districts of great rivers (Suess, 31-33); and a 
knowledge of this physical fact must have suggested the 
feature here expressed. In accordance with ancient ideas, 
however, it is conceived as an eruption of the subterranean 
ocean on which the earth was believed to rest (see p. 17). 
At the same time the zvindows of heaven were opened] allowing 
the waters of the heavenly ocean to mingle with the lower. 
The Flood is thus a partial undoing of the work of creation ; 
although we cannot be certain that the Heb. writer looked 
on it from that point of view. Contrast this grandiose 
cosmological conception with the simple representation of 
J, who sees nothing in the Flood but the result of excessive 

Gunkel was the first to point out the poetic character and structure 
of "'' : note the phrase nm Dinn (Am. 7^, Is. 51^", Ps. 36'), and the 
parallelismus membrorutn. He considers the words a fragment of an 
older version of the leg-end which (like the Babylonian) was written in 
poetry. A similar fragment is found in 8^. 

13. On that very day] continuing v.^^. The idea that all 
the animals entered the ark on one day (J allows a week) 
has been instanced as an example of P's love of the 
marvellous (Ho. Gu.).— 14-16. See on e^^'-.— 17a. the Flood 

word 'n is rare, and denotes a latticed opening, Hos. 13', Is. 60', 
Ec. 12^. Here it can only mean 'sluices' ; the KarapdKTai of ffir "unites 
the senses of waterfalls, trap-doors, and sluices" (De.). — 13. Dvn Dsya 
m,n] 1723.26^ Ex. 1217-41. 61^ Lv. 231^- "i- ^s- 29. 30^ ot. 32« Jos. 5" (all P) ; 
Ho. Eiftl. 346. — nB*"?^] irregular gender: G-K. § 97c. — dbn] Better as 
ffi^ \m (8'^- 1*).— 14. n;nri] distinguishing wild beasts from domestic 
(cf. v."i) ; see on e^".— 'iJi -nEii hj] ffi om. Cf. Ezk. ly^^ ;ig*.—i'ja.. D'y^ix 
Dv] Bu. (264) ingeniously suggests that the last three consonants of 
the gloss (D'D[j;mN]) represent the genuine O^p of P (6'^ 7^). (K adds 
nh-h Q'pnnNi. The half-verse cannot be assigned to J, because it would 
be a mere repetition of v.". 

VII. I2-VIII. IB 165 

came upon the earth] as a result of the upheaval, v.". — The 
words /or/)' days are a gloss based on y*- 12 {v.i.); the 
Redactor treating J's forty days as an episode in the longer 
chronology: see on v.^2 qj_ 

18-21, 24. Magnitude and effect of the Flood.— 
While J confines himself to what is essential — the extinction 
of life — and leaves the universality of the Flood to be 
inferred, P not only asserts its universality, but so to speak 
proves it, by giving the exact height of the waters above 
the highest mountains. — 18, 19. prevailed] 133, lit. 'be 
strong ' (^ ^TTiKparu, Aq. eveSuva/xw^T^). The Flood is con- 
ceived as a contest between the water and the dry land. — 
20. fifteen cubits] is just half the depth of the ark. The 
statement is commonly explained in the light of 8* : when 
the Flood was at its height the ark (immersed to half its 
depth, and therefore drawing fifteen cubits of water) was 
just over one of the highest mountains ; so that on the very 
slightest abatement of the water it grounded ! The explana- 
tion is plausible enough (on the assumption that 8^ belongs 
to P) ; but it is quite as likely that the choice of the number 
is purely arbitrary, — 24. 150 days] the period of * prevalence ' 
of the Flood, reckoned from the outbreak (v.^^): see p. 168. 

VIII. I, 2a, 3b-5, 13a, 14. Abatement of the Flood.— 
The judgement being complete, God remembers the survivors 
in mercy. The Flood has no sooner reached its maximum 
than it begins to abate i^^), and the successive stages of the 
subsidence are chronicled with the precision of a calendar. 
— I. remembered] in mercy, as ig^^ 30^"^ etc. The inclusion 
of the animals in the kindly thought of the Almighty is a 
touch of nature in P which should not be overlooked. — lb. 
The mention of the wind ought certainly to follow the arrest 
of the cause of the Deluge (2^). It is said in defence of the 
present order that the sending of the wind and the stopping 

19. ^Dpr.] ffi iD3;i, with D:a as subj. (better). So v.**. — 20. naa] ffi 
mi {vxpJjdri), is preferable to MT (cf. Ps. 103").— nnrtn] ffi (and S) add 
rd. V}pri\a. as in '^ — 21. D^N.^ h2^] here distinguished from tti-^-h^. 

I. The addition of ffi Kal iravrCov tuiv ireTeivCjv k. it. t. ipirerCiv is here 
very much in place. — ?3b;i] The ,J is rare and late: Nu. 17-** (P), 


of the elemental waters are regarded as simultaneous (Di.); 
but that does not quite meet the difficulty. See, further, p. 
155 above. — 3b. at the e7idof\h^ 150 days\ {f-^). See the foot- 
note. — 4. The resting of the ark. — on {one of) the mountains 
of Ararat] which are probably named as the highest known 
to the Hebrews at the time of writing ; just as one form of 
the Indian legend names the Himalayas, and the Greek, 
Parnassus. Ararat (Ass. Urartu) is the NE part of 
Armenia; cf. 2 Ki. 19^'^ = Is. 37^, Jer. 5127. The name 
Mount Ararat, traditionally applied to the highest peak 
(Massis, Agridagh : c, 17,000 ft.) of the Armenian moun- 
tains, rests on a misunderstanding of this passage. 

The traditions regarding- the landing-place of the ark are fully 
discussed by Lenorm. Or.^n. iff. : cf. Tu. 133-136; Wo.Unters. 145 ff. — 
The district called Ararat or Urartu is properly that named in Armenian 
Ayrarat, and is probably identical with the country of the Alarodians 
of Herod, iii. 94, vii. 79. It is the province of Armenia lying NE of 
Lake Van, including the fertile plain watered by the Araxes, on the 
right (SW) side of which river Mt. Massis rises.* Another tradition, 
represented by Berossus (p. 177 below) and W^ % ("IP)!, locates the 
mountain in Kurdistan, viz. at Gebel Gfldi, which is a striking 
mountain SW of Lake Van, commanding a wide view over the Meso- 
potamian plain. This view is adopted in the Koran (Sur. xi. 46), 
and has become traditional among the Moslems. — The ' mountain 
of Nisir' of the cuneiform legend lies still further south, probably 
in one of the ranges between the Lower Zab and the next tributary 
to the S, the Adhem (Radinu) (Streck, ZA, xv. 272). Tiele and 
Kosters, however {EB, 289), identify it with Elburz, the sacred 
mountain of the Iranians (S of the Caspian Sea) ; and find a trace of 
this name in the ix-kyo. 6pos Kara tt}v 'Apfievlav Bdpis Xeyd/xevov indicated as 
the mountain of the ark by Nicolaus Damascenus (Jos. Anf. i. 95). — 
What the original Heb. tradition was, it is impossible to say. The 
writers just named conjecture that it was identical with the Bab., 
Ararat being here a corruption of Hara haraiti (the ancient Iranian 
name of Elburz), which was afterwards confused with the land of 
Urartu. No. and Ho. think it probable that W^ and Si preserve the 
oldest name (Kardu), and that Ararat is a correction made when it was 

Jer. 52*, Est. 2^ 7^".— 3b. D'CDn T\)i-?ri\ Rd. D'B-on.T fpD (Str. Ho. Gk.). 
«j. 'n fpD.— 4. For 17th ffi has 27th (7"). 

* " Ararat regio in Armenia campestris est, per quam Araxes 
fluit, incredibilis ubertatis, ad radices Tauri montis, qui usque illuc 
extenditur." Jerome on Is. 37^. 

t 2P has both K'jmp and N'^mw, as has Berossus. 

VIII. 3B-I9 16; 

discovered that the northern mountains are in reality higher than those 
of Kurdistan. 

5. the tops of the mountains^ i.e. (as usually explained) 
the other (lower) mountains. The natural interpretation 
would be that the statement is made absolutely, from the 
viewpoint of an imaginary spectator ; in which case it is 
irreconcilable with v.* (cf. Hupf. Qu. 16 f,). — 13a, I4. On 
New Year's day the earth's surface was uncovered, though 
still moist ; but not till the 27th of the 2nd month was it 
dry {arefacta : cf. Jer. 50^^). 

15-19. Exit from the ark : blessing on the 
animals. — 17b. A renewal of the benediction of 1^2, which 
had been forfeited by the excesses before the Flood. The 
corresponding blessing on man is reserved for 9^*^-. — 19. The 
animals leave the ark according to their families, — an example 
of P's love of order. 

The Chronology of the Flood presents a number of intricate though 
unimportant problems. — The Dates, according to MT and ffi,* are as 
follows : 

1. Commencement of Flood . 6ooth year, 2nd mo., 17th day (ffi 27th) 

2. Climax (resting of ark) . „ 7th ,, 17th ,, (ffi 27th) 

3. Mountain tops visible . „ loth(fficiith), ist ,, 

4. Waters dried up . . 6oist year, ist mo., ist ,, 

5. Earth dry. ... ,, 2nd ,, 27th ,, 

The chief points are these : (a) In ffi the duration of the Flood is 
exactly 12 months ; and since the 5 months between (i) and (2) amount 
to 150 days (7''^ 8^), the basis of reckoning is presumably the Egyptian 
solar year (12 mo. of 30 days + 5 intercalated days). The 2 months' 
interval between (3) and (4) also agrees, to a day, with the 40 + 21 days 

5. "iiDm ^1'7.^ vn] 'went on decreasing' (G-K. § 113 m); less idiomatic 
WiZXi^ {Y).—Tenth\ ffi eleventh.— 17^,. After r\w ffi adds m "nV (7"). 

15. D'n'?N] ffi Ktyptos 6 9.—V]. ^ju^S read .Tn.v'jD) ; so v.'^ — N^fin] 
Why Qre substitutes in this solitary instance ».vj\ is not clear : see Kon. 
i. p. 641. — U"i] nm] (S n-i? ns? (Impv.), omitting the previous pN3 iisnci. 
This is perhaps the better text : see on 9^^- U reads the whole as Impv. 
— 19. cm— pdi.tVd] ffi (better) e-pin wipn "jdi rjiy.r'jDi nnnan-'j^i. — D.Tnnsu'o'?] 
(Jer. 15') ; the pi. of j'D (P's word in ch. i) is not in use (Ho.). 

* Juh. V. 23-32 (cf. vi. 25 f.) adds several dates, but otherwise agrees 
with MT, except that it makes the Flood commence on the 27th, gives 
no date for the resting of the ark, and puts the drying of the earth on 
the 17th, and the opening of the ark on the 27th day of the 2nd month. 


of 8**'" (J). In MT the total duration is 12 mo. + 10 days; hence the 
reckoning- appears to be by Iicnar months of c. 29J days, making- up a 
solar year of 364 days.* — {b) The Massoretic scheme, however, pro- 
duces a discrepancy with the 150 days ; for 5 lunar months fall short 
of that period by two or three days. Either the original reckoning 
was by solar months (as in <&), or (what is more probable) the 150 
days belong to an older computation independent of the Calendar.! 
It has been surmised that this points to a 10 months' duration of 
the Flood (150 days' increase +150 days' subsidence); and (Ew. Di.) 
that a trace of this system remains in the 74 days' interval between 
(2) and (3), which amounts to about one-half of the period of sub- 
sidence. — (c) Of the separate data of the Calendar no satisfactory 
explanation has yet been given. The only date that bears its signifi- 
cance on its face is the disappearance of the waters on the 1st day of 
the year ; and even this is confused by the trivial and irrelevant distinc- 
tion between the drying up of the waters and the drying of the earth. 
Why the Flood began and ended in the 2nd month, and on the 17th or 
27th day, remains, in spite of all conjectures, a mystery. J {d) The ques- 
tion whether the months are counted from the old Heb. New Year in the 
autumn, or, according to the post-Exilic (Babylonian) calendar, from the 
spring, has been discussed from the earliest times, and generally 
decided in favour of the former view (Juh., Jos. Ant. i. 80, CJ, Ra. and 
most).§ The arguments on one side or the other have little weight. If 
the second autumn month (Marche§wan) is a suitable time for the 
commencement of the Flood, because it inaugurates the rainy season 
in Palestine and Babylonia, it is for the same reason eminently unsuit- 
able for its close. P elsewhere follows the Babylonian calendar, and 
there is no reason to suppose he departs from his usual procedure here 
(so Tu. Gu. al. ). — {e) The only issue of real interest is how much of the 
chronology is to be attributed to the original Priestly Code. If there 
be two discordant systems in the record, the 150 days might be the 
reckoning of P, and the Calendar a later adjustment (Di.) ; or, again, the 
150 days might be traditional, and the Calendar the work of P himself 
(Gu.). On the former (the more probable) assumption the further 
question arises whether the additions were made before or after the 
amalgamation of J and P. The evidence is not decisive ; but the diver- 
gences of <& from MT seem to prove that the chronology was still in 
process of development after the formation of the Canon. — See Dahse, 
ZATW, xxviii. 717., where it is shewn that a group of Greek MSS 

* So Jub. vi. 32. Cf. Charles's Notes, pp. 54 f. and 56 f. 

t That it is a later redactional addition (Ho.) is much less likely. 

t King (JTS, v. 204 f.) points out the probability that in the triennial 
cycle of Synagogue readings the Parasha containing the Flood-story 
fell to be read abojit the 17th lyyar. This might conceivably have 
suggested the starting-point of the Calendar (but if so it would bring 
down the latter to a somewhat late period), or a modification of an 
original 27th (ffi), which, however, would itself require explanation. 

§SeeDe. i75f., 183, 184; Di. i29f. 


IX. I 169 

agree closely with Jub., and argued (but unconvincingly) that the 
original reckoning was a solar year, beginning and ending with the 
27th of the 2nd month. 

IX. 1-7. The new world-order. — The religious sig-- 
nificance of the Flood to the mind of the Priestly writers 
appears in this and the following- sections. It marks the 
introduction of a new and less ideal age of history, which 
is that under which mankind now lives. The original 
harmonious order of nature, in which all forms of slaughter 
were prohibited, had been violated by both men and 
animals before the Flood (see on 6^"-). This is now replaced 
by a new constitution, in which the slaughter of animals for 
human food is legalised ; and only two restrictions are 
imposed on the bloodthirsty instincts of the degenerate 
creatures : (i) Man may not eat the ' life ' of an animal, and 
(2) human blood may not be shed with impunity either by 
man or beast. 

The Rabbinical theologians were true to the spirit of the passage 
when they formulated the idea of the ' Noachic commandments,' binding 
on men generally, and therefore required of the ' proselytes of the gate ' ; 
though they increased their number. See Schiirer, iii. i28f. 

Vv.i"'', both in substance and expression (cf. nS^K*? .t.t dd^, dd"? 'nm 
SrnK, and esp. 21:/]} pi'), form a pendant to i^^'- We have seen (p. 35) 
that these vv. are supplementary to the cosmogony ; and the same is 
true of the present section in relation to the story of the Flood. It does 
not appear to be an integral part of the Deluge tradition ; and has no 
parallel (as vv."'!® have) in J or the Bab. narrative (Gu.). But that 
neither this nor i^^^- is a secondary addition to P is clear from the 
phraseology here, which is moulded as obviously on i^s. S7f. ^g qj^ j29f._ 
To treat 9'*'* as a later insertion (Ho.) is arbitrary. On the contrary, 
the two passages represent the characteristic contribution of P to the 
ancient traditions. 

I. An almost verbal repetition of i^^. The wives of 
Noah and his sons are not mentioned, women having no 
religious standing in the OT (so v.^). It is perhaps also 
significant that here (in contrast to i^^) the animals are 
excluded from the blessing (though not from the covenant — 

I. ffi adds at end koI KaTaKvpLevaaTe avTTJs, as i^. — 2. h22^ — S33] (S& 
S331 (bis). The 3 cannot be that of specification (7^1 8^'' gi"- is etc.), 
since no comprehensive category precedes ; yet it is harsh to take it 
as continuing the sense of hn (G), and not altogether natural to render 


yy 10. 12. i5fi.^ — 2. Man's * dominion ' over the animals is re- 
established, but now in the form of fear and dread {cf. Dt. 1 1^) 
towards him on their part. — into yotir hand they are given] 
conveying the power of life and death (Lev. 26^5, Dt. ig^^ 
etc.). — 3. The central injunction : removal of the prohibition 
of animal food. — moving thing that is alive] an unusually 
vagfue definition of animal life. — Observe P's resolute 
ignoring of the distinction between clean and unclean 
animals. — 4. The first restriction. Abstention from eating 
blood, or flesh from which the blood has not been drained, 
is a fundamental principle of the Levitical legislation (Lev. 
yV lyio. 14^. a.nd though to our minds a purely ceremonial 
precept, is constantly classed with moral laws (Ezk. 33^^^- 
etc.). The theory on which the prohibition rests is re- 
peatedly stated (Lev. 17"- 1*, Dt. 1223) : the blood is the life, 
and the life is sacred, and must be restored to God before 
the flesh can be eaten. Such mystic views of the blood are 
primitive and widespread ; and amongst some races formed 
a motive not for abstinence, but for drinking it.* All the 
same it is unnecessary to go deeper in search of a reason for 
the ancient Heb. horror of eating with the blood (i Sa. 
i432ff.y). — 5^ 6. The second restriction : sanctity of human 
life. ' Life ' is expressed alternately by D"^ and K'W. — On 
DDTiCDD?, v.i. — / will require] exact an account of, or 
equivalent for (42^2, Ezk. 33^, Ps. g^^ etc.). That God is 

•along with' (Di.). — MB:] jum ffi vnnj :— 3. hj-nK DsS 'nw] seems a slavish 
repetition from 1^. We should at least expect the art., which xix (h^n) 
supplies. — 4. im is an explanatory apposition (if not a gloss) to WSi2 ; 
but ffi renders ^v atpLari \pvxns, and & (r nVn ^ m » <y> 1 *"^ ^)j 2. (o5 avv 
■^vxv o-^t^"- O'^TOv) as a rel. cl. — S- "I**^ i^ suspicious after the preceding 
^K. t3x (o^arnNi) omits. — DD'nrsjV] usually taken as circumscription of 
gen., emphasising the sufF. : ^your blood, your own' — in contrast with 
the animals. It is better to render 'according to your persons,' i.e. 
individually; — "dem eloh. Sprachgebrauch entspricht distributive 
Fassung des "? doch am besten" (De.). — vnx vn td] 'from the hand of 

* See RS^, 234 f. ; Frazer, GB^, i. 133 f., 352 f. ; Kennedy, EB, 1544, 
t It has been thought that the offence warned against is the bar- 
barous African custom of eating portions of animals still alive (3EJ, Ra. 
De. al.) ; but that is a mistake. 

IX. 2-1 1 171 

the avenger of blood is to J (ch. 4) a truth of nature ; to P 
it rests on a positive enactment. — -from the hattd of every 
beast] see Ex. 21^^-. — 6a is remarkable for its assonances 
and the perfect symmetry of the two members : 0"^ ^DK' 
TjSE'^ iDT D^^{3 | t3"isn It is possibly an ancient judicial 
formula which had become proverbial (Gu.). The ^TS^ {v.i.) 
read into the text the idea of judicial procedure ; others 
(Tu. al.) suppose the law of blood-revenge to be contemplated. 
In reality the manner of execution is left quite indefinite. — 
6b. The reason for the higher value set on the life of man. 
On the image of God see on i^^^-. — 7- The section closes, as 
it began, with the note of benediction. 

8-17. The Covenant and its Sign. — In P as in J 
^320-22^ the story of the Flood closes with an assurance that 
the world shall never again be visited by such a catastrophe ; 
and in both the promise is absolute, not contingent on the 
behaviour of the creatures. In P it takes the form of a 
covenant between God and all flesh, — the first of two 
covenants by which (according to this writer) the relations 
of the Almighty to His creatures are regulated. On the 
content and scope of this Noachic covenant, see the con- 
cluding note, p. 173 f. — 9. establish tny coveriant] in i\i\?Ament 
of 6^^. P's formula for the inauguration of the covenant 
is always nna D^pn or '3 jna (172^ ]sju_ 25^2^ instead of the 
more ancient and technical '2 rr\3. — n. The essence of the 
covenant is that the earth shall never be devastated by a 
Flood. Whether its idea be exhausted by this assurance 

one man that of another.' The full expression would be rsmN t5"N td 
vnK (Ols.); but all languages use breviloquence in the expression of 
reciprocity. The construction is hardly more difficult than in 15'" 
^jM- 3* ; and an exact parallel occurs in Zee. 7'". See G-K. § 139 c; 
Bu. 283 ff. The rnxi of xxx S:1S makes nonsense ; ffi omits the previous 
DHNH TD1. It would be better to move the Athnach so as to commence 
a new clause with »'»< to. — 6. mt<2] H om. ; C^ n'J'T id'DD [nnoa : W is 
still more explicit. — 7. na mi] U et implete earn (as v.^). Read na mi 
after i"^ (Nestle in Ball). 

10. '720] ' as many as ' ; see on 6^.— pKn ri'n SaS] ffi om.— Sd^] perhaps 
= ' in short ' : cf. 23^", see G-K. § 143 ^. The sense of '.t 'n = ' animals ' 
in general, immediately after the same expression in the sense of 
•wild animals,' makes the phrase suspicious (Ho.). — II. '?nD] xsx "^laDn ; 


is a difficult question, on which see p. 173 below. — 12-17. The 
sign of the covenant. " In times when contracts were not 
reduced to writing, it was customary, on the occasion of 
solemn vows, promises, and other ' covenant ' transactions, 
to appoint a sign, that the parties might at the proper time 
be reminded of the covenant, and a breach of its observance 
be averted. Exx. in common life: Gn. 21^'', cf. 38^'^*-" 
(Gu.).* Here the sign is a natural phenomenon — the rain- 
bow ; and the question is naturally asked whether the 
rainbow is conceived as not having existed before (so lEz. 
Tu.). That is the most obvious assumption, though not 
perhaps inevitable. That the laws of the refraction and 
reflection of light on which the rainbow depends actually 
existed before the time of Noah is a matter of which the 
writer may very well have been ignorant. — For the rest, 
the image hardly appears here in its original form. The 
brilliant spectacle of the upturned bow against the dark 
background of the retreating storm naturally appeals to man 
as a token of peace and good-will from the god who has 
placed it there ; but of this thought the passage contains 
no trace : the bow is set in the cloud by God to remind 
Himself of the promise He has given. It would seem as if 
P, while retaining the anthropomorphism of the primitive 
conception, has sacrificed its primary significance to his 
abstract theory of the covenant with its accompanying sign. 
On the mythological origin of the symbol, see below. — 
14-16. Explanation of the sign. — ^^^ continues ^*^: and 
{when) the bow appears in the clotid; the apodosis com- 
mencing with ^^ (against De.). — The bow seems conceived 
as lodged once for all in the cloud (so lEz.), to appear at 

<& adds D:a.— nnc'?] xix n-n^j-n'? ; so v.^^ — 12. d'hSn] ffi Ki'/pioj b 6. -\- (with 
&) nyha. — 13. Tinj] hardly historic pf. ('I have set'), but either pf. of 
instant action (' I do set'), or pf. of certainty (' I will set') ; see G-K. 
§ io6i,fn,n. — 14. pv 'j:ya] Ht. 'when I cloud with cloud'; see G-K. 
§§ 52 rf and iiy r. — narpn] ©F 'ntyp ; so ffir in v.^^. — 15. -Tn] juxS 
D3nN ntyx n^n.T (cf. v.^-). 

* Hence both of P's covenants are confirmed by a sig-n : the 
Abrahamic covenant by circumcision, and this by the rainbow. 

IX. 12-17 173 

the rigfht moment for recalling the covenant to the mind of 
God. — 16. an everlasting covenani\ so 177.13.19^ g^. 31^^, 
Lv. 248, Nu. 1819 2513 (all P). 

The idealisation of the rainbow occurs in many mythologies. To 
the Indians it was the battle-bow of Indra, laid aside after his contest 
with the demons ; among the Arabs " Kuzah shoots arrows from his 
bow, and then hangs it up in the clouds" (We. Prol.^ 3"); bj' Homer 
it was personified as Tpts, the radiant messenger of the Olympians 
(//. ii. 786, iii. 121 ; cf. Ov. Met. i. 270 f.), but also regarded as a portent 
of war and storm (xi. 27 f., xvii. 547 ff.). In the Icelandic Eddas it is 
the bridge between heaven and earth. A further stage of idealisation 
is perhaps found in the Bab. Creation-myth, where Marduk's bow, 
which he had used against Tiamat, is set in the heavens as a con- 
stellation. (See Je. ^rZOS 248; Di. 155 f. ; Gu. 138 f. ; Dri. 99).— 
These examples go far to prove a mythological origin of the symbolism 
of this passage. It springs from the imagery of the thunderstorm ; 
the lightnings are Yahwe's arrows ; when the storm is over, His bow 
(cf Hab. 3^"", Ps. 7^^'-) is laid aside and appears in the sky as a sign 
that His anger is pacified. The connexion with the Flood-legend (of 
which there are several examples, though no Babylonian parallel has 
yet been discovered) would thus be a later, though still ancient, adapta- 
tion. The rainbow is only once again mentioned in OT (Ezk. i-^ nrpn 
DJf:.! Dva pyn .t.t -ic\x : but see Sir. 43"'- 50'^), and it is pointed out (by 
We. al.) that elsewhere hb'jd always denotes the bow as a weapon, never 
an arc of a circle. 

With regard to the covenant itself, the most important question 
theologically is whether it includes the regulations of w.^"^, or is con- 
fined to the unconditional promise that there shall no more be a flood. 
For the latter view there is undoubtedly much to be said (see Valeton, 
ZATW, xii. 3f). Vv.^''' and ^'^^ are certainly distinct addresses, and 
possibly of different origin (p. 169) ; and while the first says nothing 
of a covenant, the second makes no reference to the preceding stipula- 
tions. Then, the sign of the covenant is a fact independent of human 
action ; and it is undoubtedly the meaning of the author that the 
promise stands sure whether the precepts of ^'"^ be observed or not. 
On the other hand, it is difficult to believe that P, to whom the nna 
means so much, should have dignified by that name the negative 
assurance of v.". In the case of the Abrahamic covenant, the nna 
marks a new ordering of the relations between God and the world, and 
is capable of being observed or violated by those with whom it is 
established. Analogy, therefore, is so far in favour of including the 
ordinances of ^"'' in the terms of the covenant (so Is. 24"-). Kraetzschmar 
{Bundesvorstg. 192 ff.) solves the difficulty by the supposition that the 
idea of vv.^"^^ is borrowed by P from J, and represents the notion of 
the covenant characteristic of that document. It is much simpler to 
recognise the existence of different tendencies within the priestly school ; 

174 FLOOD 

and we have seen that there are independent reasons for regarding 
vv.i''' as supplementary to the Deluge tradition followed by P. If that 
be the case, it is probable that these vv. were inserted by the priestly 
author with the intention of bringing under the Noachic n-na those 
elementary religious obligations which he regarded as universally 
binding on mankind. — On the conception of the nna in J and P, see 
chs. 15 and 17. 

28, 29. The death of Noah. 

The form of these vv. is exactly that of the genealogy, ch. 5 ; while 
they are at the same time the conclusion of the m m'^in (6^). How much 
was included under that rubric? Does it cover the whole of P"s 
narrative of the Flood (so that nih\r\ is practically equivalent to ' bio- 
graphy '), or does it refer merely to the account of his immediate 
descendants in 6^" ? The coiijecture may be hazarded that 6^- ^^ 7® 
p28. 2» formed a section of the original book of mSm, and that into this 
skeleton the full narrative of the Flood was inserted by one of the 
priestly writers (see the notes on 2**). The relation of the assumed 
genealogy to that of ch. 5 would be precisely that of the m'^in of Terah 
(,j27ff.^ to the mVin of Shem (ii^''"^*'). In each case the second gene- 
alogy is extremely short ; further, it opens by repeating the last link 
of the previous genealogy (in each case the birth of three sons, 5^^ 6^") ; 
and, finally, the second genealogy is interspersed with brief historical 
notices. It may, of course, be held that the whole history of Abraham 
belongs to the nihin of Terah ; that is the accepted view, and the reasons 
for disputing it are those mentioned on p. 40 f. Fortunately the question 
is of no great importance. 

The Deluge Tradition. 

I. Next to cosmogonies, flood-legends present perhaps the most 
interesting and perplexing problem in comparative mythology. The 
wide, though curiously unequal, distribution of these stories, and the 
frequent occurrence of detailed resemblances to the biblical narrative, 
have long attracted attention, and were not unnaturally accepted as 
independent evidence of the strictly historical character of the latter.* 

29. 'H'l, Heb. MSS (London Polyglott) and jju. v.ti. 

* Andree {Die Flutsagen ethnographisch betrachtet, 1891), who has 
collected between eighty and ninety such stories (of which he recognises 
forty-three as original and genuine, and twenty-six as influenced by the 
Bab.) points out, e.g., that they are absent in Arabia, in northern and 
central Asia, in China and Japan, are hardly found anywhere in Europe 
(except Greece) or Africa, while the most numerous and remarkable 
instances come from the American continent (p. 125 f.). The enumera- 
tion, however, must not be considered as closed : Naville {PSBA, 1904, 
251-257, 287-294) claims to have found fresh proof of an Egyptian 


On the question of the universality of the Deluge* they have, of course, 
no immediate bearing, though they frequently assert it ; for it could 
never be supposed that the mere occurrence of a legend in a remote 
part of the globe proved that the Flood had been there. The utmost 
that could be claimed is that there had been a deluge coextensive with 
the primitive seat of mankind ; and that the memory of the cataclysm 
was carried with them by the various branches of the race in their 
dispersion. But even that position, which is still maintained by some 
competent writers, is attended by difficulties which are almost insuper- 
able. The scientific evidence for the antiquity of man all over the 
world shows that such an event (if it ever occurred) must have taken 
place many thousands of years before the date assigned to Noah ; and 
that the tradition should have been preserved for so long a time among 
savage peoples without the aid of writing is incredible. The most 
reasonable line of explanation (though it cannot here be followed out in 
detail) is that the great majority of the legends preserve the recollection 
of local catastrophes, such as inundations, tidal waves, seismic floods 
accompanied by cyclones, etc., of which many historical examples are 
on record ; while in a considerable number of cases these local legends 
have been combined with features due either to the diffusion of Baby- 
lonian culture or to the direct influence of the Bible through Christian 
missionaries.! In this note we shall confine our attention to the group 
of legends most closely affiliated to the Babylonian tradition. 

2. Of the Babylonian story the most complete version is contained 
in the eleventh Tablet of the GilgameS Epic. J GilgameS has arrived at 
the Isles of the Blessed to inquire of his ancestor UtnapiStim how he had 
been received into the society of the gods. The answer is the long and 
exceedingly graphic description of the Flood which occupies the bulk 
of the Tablet. The hero relates how, while he dwelt at Surippak on 

tradition in a text of the Book of the Dead, containing the following 
words : '* And further I (the god Tum) am going to deface all I have 
done ; this earth will become water (or an ocean) through an inundation, 
as it was at the beginning" {I.e. p. 289). 

* On the overwhelming geological and other difficulties of such a 
hypothesis, see Dri. 99 f. 

t See Andree, I.e. 143 ff. ; Suess, The Face of the Earth, i. 18-72 pass. 
Cf. the discussion by Woods in DB, ii. 17 ff". ; and Dri. Gen. 101 ff". — 
Lenormant, who once maintained the independence of the legends as 
witnesses to a primitive tradition, afterwards expressed himself with more 
reserve, and conceded the possibility that the Mexican and Polynesian 
myths might be distant echoes of a central legend, emanating ultimately 
from Babylonia {Orig."^ i. 471 f., 488 ff".). 

X Discovered by G. Smith, in 1872, among the ruins of Asshur- 
banipal's library ; published 1873-4 '■> '^'^'^ often translated since. See 
KAT^, 55 ff'. ; Jen. Kosmologie, 368 ff". ; Zimmern in Gu.'s Schupy. u. Chaos, 
423 ff".; Jen. KIB, vi. i, ii6ff". (the translation followed below); Ba. 
Light from the East, 350". ; Je. ATLO^, 228 ff". ; and the abridgments 
in Jast. RBA^, 493 ff". ; KAT^, 545 ff", ; Texte u. Bilder, i. 50 ff". 

176 FLOOD 

the Euphrates, it was resolved by the g-ods in council to send the Flood 
{abAbu) on the earth. Ea, who had been present at the council, resolved 
to save his favourite Utnapistim ; and contrived without overt breach of 
confidence to convey to him a warning of the impending- danger, com- 
manding him to build a ship {elippu) of definite dimensions for the 
saving of his life. The ' superlatively clever one ' {Atra-hasis, a name of 
Utnapistim) understood the message and promised to obey ; and was 
furnished with a misleading pretext to offer his fellow-citizens for his 
extraordinary proceedings. The account of the building of the ship 
(1. 4811.) is even more obscure than Gn. 6^*-^^: it is enough to say that 
it was divided into compartments and was freely smeared with bitumen. 
The lading of the vessel, and the embarking of the family and depend- 
ants of Utnapi§tim (including artizans), with domestic and wild 
animals, are then described (1. 81 ff".) ; and last of all, in the evening, on 
the appearance of a sign predicted by Sama§ the sun-god, Utnapistim 
himself enters the ship, shuts his door, and hands over the command to 
the steersman, Puzur-Bel (90 ff".). On the following morning the storm 
(magnificently described in 11. 97 ff".) broke ; and it raged for six days 
and nights, till all mankind were destroyed, and the very gods fled to 
the heaven of Anu and " cowered in terror like a dog." 

" When the seventh day came, the hurricane, the Flood, the battle- 
storm was stilled, 
Which had fought like a (host ?) of men. 

The sea became calm, the tempest was still, the Flood ceased. 
When I saw the day, no voice was heard. 
And the whole of mankind was turned to clay. 
When the daylight came, I prayed, 
I opened a window and the light fell on my face, 
I knelt, I sat, and wept, 
On my nostrils my tears ran down. 
I looked on the spaces in the realm of the sea ; 
After twelve double-hours an island stood out. 
At Nisir * the ship had arrived. 
The mountain of Nisir stayed the ship ..." (11. 130-142). 

This brings us to the incident of the birds (146-155): 
"When the seventh dayt came 
I brought out a dove and let it go. 
The dove went forth and came back : 
Because it had not whereon to stand it returned. 
I brought forth a swallow and let it go. 
The swallow went forth and came back : 
Because it had not whereon to stand it returned. 
I brought forth a raven and let it go. 

The raven went forth and saw the decrease of the waters. 
It ate, it ... it croaked, but returned not again." 

* See p. 166. t From the landing. 


On this UtnapiStim released all the animals ; and, leaving the ship, 
offered a sacrifice : 

"The gods smelt the savour, 

The gods smelt the goodly savour 

The gods gathered like flies over the sacrificer " (160 ff.). 
The deities then begin to quarrel, IStar and Ea reproaching Bel for 
his thoughtlessness in destroying mankind indiscriminately, and Bel 
accusing Ea of having connived at the escape of UtnapiJtim. Finally, 
Bel is appeased ; and entering the ship blesses the hero and his wife : 
" ' Formerly UtnapiStim was a man ; 

But now shall Utnapistim and his wife be like to us the gods : 
UtnapiStim shall dwell far hence at the mouth of the streams.' 
Then they took me, and far away at the mouth of the streams they 
made me dwell" (202 ff.)-* 

3. The dependence of the biblical narrative on this ancient Babylonian 
legend hardly requires detailed proof. It is somewhat more obvious in 
the Yahwistic recension than in the Priestly ; but there is enough in the 
common substratum of the two accounts to show that the Heb. tradition 
as a whole was derived from Babylonia. Thus both J and P agree with 
the Bab. story in the general conception of the Flood as a divine visita- 
tion, its universality (so far as the human race is concerned), the 
warnings conveyed to a favoured individual, and the final pacification 
of the deity who had caused the Deluge. J agrees with Bab. in the 
following particulars : the entry of the hero into the ark after the 
premonitory rain ; the shutting of the door ; the prominence of the 
number 7 ; the episode of the birds ; the sacrifice ; and the effect of its 
' savour ' on the gods. P has also its peculiar correspondences (though 
some of these may have been in J originally) : e.g. the precise instruc- 
tions for building the ark ; the mention of bitumen (a distinctively Bab. 
touch) ; the grounding of the ark on a mountain ; the blessing on the 
survivors, t By the side of this close and marked parallelism, the 
material differences on which Nickel (p. 185) lays stress — viz. as to (a) 
the chronology, (b) the landing-place of the ark, (c) the details of the 

* Two fragments of another recension of the Flood-legend, in which 
the hero is regularly named Atra-hasis, have also been deciphered. 
One of them, being dated in the reign of Ammizaduga {c. 1980 B.C.), 
is important as proving that this recension had been reduced to writing 
at so early a time ; but it is too mutilated to add anything substantial 
to our knowledge of the history of the tradition (see KIB, 288-291), 
The other is a mere scrap of twelve lines, containing Ea's instructions 
to Atra-hasis regarding the building and entering of the ark, and the 
latter's promise to comply {KIB, 256-259). See KAT^, 55' f- — The 
extracts from Berossus preserved by Eus. present the Babylonian story 
in a form substantially agreeing with that of the Gilgames Tablets, 
though with some important variations in detail. See Euseb. Chron. i. 
(ed. Schoene, cols. 19-24, 32-34 : cf. Miiller, Fr. Hist. Gr, ii. 501 ff.). 
t See more fully Driver, p. 106. 

1/5 FLOOD 

sending- out of the birds, {d) the sign of the rainbow (absent in Bab.), 
and (<?) the name of the hero — sink into insignificance. They are, 
indeed, sufficient to disprove immediate Hterary contact between the 
Heb. writers and the GilgameS Tablets ; but they do not weaken the 
presumption that the story had taken the shape known to us in Baby- 
lonia before it passed into the possession of the Israelites. And since 
we have seen (p. 177) that the Babylonian legend was already reduced 
to writing about the time usually assigned to the Abrahamic migration, 
it is impossible to suppose that the Heb. oral tradition had preserved 
an independent recollection of the historical occurrence which may be 
assumed as the basis of fact underlying the Deluge tradition. — The 
differences between the two narratives are on this account all the 
more instructive. While the Genesis narratives are written in prose, 
and reveal at most occasional traces of a poetic original (8^^ in J, y^^** 
8^ in P), the Babylonian epic is genuine poetry, which appeals to a 
modern reader in spite of the strangeness of its antique sentiment and 
imagery. Reflecting the feelings of the principal actor in the scene, it 
possesses a human interest and pathos of which only a few touches 
appear in J, and none at all in P. The difference here is not wholly 
due to the elimination of the mythological element by the biblical 
writers : it is characteristic of the Heb. popular tale that it shuns the 
' fine frenzy ' of the poet, and finds its appropriate vehicle in the 
unaffected simplicity of prose recitation. In this we have an additional 
indication that the story was not drawn directly from a Babylonian 
source, but was taken from the lips of the common people ; although in 
P it has been elaborated under the influence of the religious theory of 
history peculiar to that document (p. Ixf.). The most important 
divergences are naturally those which spring from the religion of the 
OT — its ethical spirit, and its monotheistic conception of God. The 
ethical motive, which is but feebly developed in the Babylonian account, 
obtains clear recognition in the hands of the Heb. writers : the Flood 
is a divine judgement on human corruption ; and the one family saved is 
saved on account of the righteousness of its head. More pervasive 
still is the influence of the monotheistic idea. The gods of the Baby- 
lonian version are vindictive, capricious, divided in counsel, false to each 
other and to men ; the writer speaks of them with little reverence, and 
appears to indulge in flashes of Homeric satire at their expense. Over 
against this picturesque variety of deities we have in Genesis the one 
almighty and righteous God, — a Being capable of anger and pity, and 
even change of purpose, but holy and just in His dealings with men. 
It is possible that this transformation supplies the key to some subtle 
affinities between the two streams of tradition. Thus in the Bab, 
version the fact that the command to build the ark precedes the 
announcement of the Flood, is explained by the consideration that 
Ea cannot explicitly divulge the purpose of the gods ; whereas in J 
it becomes a test of the obedience of Noah (Gu. p. 66). Which re- 
presentation is older can scarcely be doubted. It is true, at all events, 
that the Bab, parallel serves as a "measure of the unique grandeur 
of the idea of God in Israel, which was powerful enough to purify 


and transform in such a manner the most uncongenial and repugnant 
features" of the pagan myth (ib.); and, further, that "the Flood-story 
of Genesis retains to this day the power to waken the conscience of 
the world, and was written by the biblical narrator with this paedagogic 
and ethical purpose" (ATLO-, p. 252). 

4. Of other ancient legends in which some traces of the Chaldean 
influence may be suspected, only a very brief account can here be given. 
The Indian story, to which there is a single allusion in the Vedas, is 
first fully recorded in the Qatapatha Brahmaija, i. 8. T-io.* It relates 
how Manu, the first man, found one day in the water with which he 
performed his morning ablution a small fish, which begged him to take 
care of it till it should attain its full growth, and then put it in the sea. 
Manu did so, and in gratitude for its deliverance the fish warned him of 
the year in which the Flood would come, promising, if he would build 
a ship, to return at the appointed time and save him. When the Flood 
came the fish appeared with it ; Manu attached the cable of his ship 
to the fish's horn, and was thus towed to the mountain of the north, 
where he landed, and whence he gradually descended as the waters fell. 
In a year's time a woman came to him, announcing herself as his 
daughter, produced from the offerings he had cast into the water ; and 
from this pair the human race sprang. In a later form of the tradition 
(Mahabharata, iii. 187. 2ff.),t the Babylonian affinities are somewhat 
more obvious ; but even in the oldest version they are not altogether 
negligible, especially when we remember that the fish (which in the 
Mahabharata is an incarnation of Brahma) was the symbol of the 
god Ea.J — The Greeks had several Flood-legends, of which the most 
widely diffused was that of Deukalion, best known from the account 
of Apollodorus (i. 7. 2ff.).§ Zeus, resolved to destroy the brazen race, 
sends a heavy rain, which floods the greater part of Greece, and 
drowns all men except a few who escape to the mountain tops. But 
Deukalion, on the advice of his father Prometheus, had prepared a 
chest, loaded it with provisions, and taken refuge in it with his wife 
Pyrrha. After 9 days and nights they land on Parnassus ; Deukalion 
sacrifices to Zeus and prays for a new race of men : these are produced 
from stones which he and his wife, at the command of the god, throw 
over their shoulders. The incident of the ark seems here incongruous, 
since other human beings were saved without it. It is perhaps an | 

* Translated by Eggeling, Sacred Books of the East, xii. 216 fF. See 
Usener, Die Sintfluthsagen {Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, 
iii.), 25 ff. 

t Translated by Protap Chandra Roy (Calcutta, 1884), iii. 552 fF. See 
Usener, '29 fF. 

X Usener, however (240 fF.), maintains the entire independence of the 
Indian and Semitic legends. 

§ The earhest allusion is Pindar, 01. 9. 41 fF. Cf. Ovid, Met. i. 244- 
415 ; Paus. i. 40. i, x. 6. 2, etc. The incident of the dove (in a peculiar 
modification) appears only in Plut. De soUert. an. 13. — Usener, 31 fF., 
244 ff; 

l8o FLOOD 

indication of the amalgamation of a foreig'n element with local Deluge 
traditions.— A Syrian tradition, with some surprising- resemblances to P 
in Gen., has been preserved by the Pseudo-Lucian (De dea Syra, 12, 13). 
The wickedness of men had become so great that they had to be 
destroyed. The fountains of the earth and the flood-gates of heaven 
were opened simultaneously ; the whole world was submerged, and all 
men perished. Only the pious Deukalion-Sisuthros * was saved with 
his family in a great chest, into which as he entered all sorts of animals 
crowded. When the water had disappeared, Deukalion opened the ark, 
erected altars, and founded the sanctuary of Derketo at Hierapolis. 
The hole in the earth which swallowed up the Flood was shown under 
the temple, and was seen by the writer, who thought it not quite big 
enough for the purpose. In Usener's opinion we have here the Chaldean 
legend localised at a Syrian sanctuary, there being nothing Greek about 
it except the name Deukalion. — A Phrygian localisation of the Semitic 
tradition is attested by the epithet ki^utSs applied to the Phrygian 
Apameia(Kelainai) from the time of Augustus (Strabo, xii. 8. 13, etc.); 
and still more remarkably by bronze coins of that city dating from the 
reign of Septimius Severus. On these an open chest is represented, 
bearing the inscription NfiE, in which are seen the figures of the hero and 
his wife ; a dove is perched on the lid of the ark, and another is flying 
with a twig in its claws. To the left the same two human figures are 
seen standing in the attitude of prayer, t The late date of these coins 
makes the hypothesis of direct Jewish, or even Christian, influence 
extremely probable. — The existence of a P/icenician tradition is inferred 
by Usener (248 ff.) from the discovery in Etruria and Sardinia of bronze 
models of ships with various kinds of animals standing in them : one 
of them is said to date from the 7th cent. B.C. There is no extant 
written record of the Phoenician legend : on Gruppe's reconstruction 
from the statements of Greek mythographers see above, p. 141. 

5. There remains the question of the origin of this widespread and 
evidently very popular conception of a universal Deluge. That it 
embodies a common primitive tradition of an historic event we have 
already seen to be improbable. If we suppose the original story to have 
been elaborated in Babylonia, and to have spread thence to other 
peoples, it may still be doubtful whether we have to do " with a legend 
based upon facts" or "with a myth which has assumed the form of a 
history." The mythical theory has been most fully worked out by 
Usener, who finds the germ of the story in the favourite mythological 
image of "the god in the chest," representing the voyage of the sun- 
god across the heavenly ocean : similar explanations were independently 
propounded by Cheyne (EB, 1063 f.) and Zimmern {ib. 1058 f. ; KAT^, 
555). Of a somewhat different order is the astrological theory advocated 
by Jeremias (249 ff'.). The Babylonian astronomers were aware that 

* Text AevKaXliopcL rbv 1,KvOea, which Buttmann {Mythologus, i. 192) 
ingeniously emended to A. t. 'Ltavdia — a modification of the "Ziaidpos of 

t See the reproductions in Usener, 45, and Je. ATLO^, 131, "235. 


in the course of ages the spring- equinox must traverse the watery 
(southern) region of the Zodiac : this, on their system, signified a sub- 
mergence of the whole universe in water ; and the Deluge-myth symbo- 
lises the safe passage of the vernal sun-god through that part of the 
ecliptic. — Whatever truth there may be in these theories, it is certain 
that they do not account for the concrete features of the Chaldean 
legend ; and if (as can hardly be denied) mythical motives are present, 
it seems just as likely that they were grafted on to a historic tradition as 
that the history is merely the garb in which a solar or astral myth 
arrayed itself The most natural explanation of the Babylonian 
narrative is after all that it is based on the vague reminiscence of 
some memorable and devastating flood in the Euphrates valley, as to the 
physical possibility of which, it may suffice to quote the (perhaps too 
literal) description of an eminent geologist : " In the course of a seismic 
period of some duration the water of the Persian Gulf was repeatedly 
driven by earthquake shocks over the plain at the mouth of the 
Euphrates. Warned by these floods, a prudent man, Hasis-adra, i.e. 
the god-fearing philosopher, builds a ship for the rescue of his family, 
and caulks it with pitch, as is still the custom on the Euphrates. The 
movements of the earth increase ; he flees with his family to the ship ; 
the subterranean water bursts forth from the fissured plain ; a great 
diminution in atmospheric pressure, indicated by fearful storm and 
rain, probably a true cyclone, approaches from the Persian Gulf, and 
accompanies the most violent manifestations of the seismic force. The 
sea sweeps in a devastating flood over the plain, raises the rescuing 
vessel, washes it far inland, and leaves it stranded on one of those 
Miocene foot-hills which bound the plain of the Tigris on the north and 
north-east below the confluence of the Little Zab " (Eduard Suess, The 
Face of the Earth, i. 72). See, however, the criticism of Sollas, The 
Age of the Earth, 316. 

IX. 18—27. — Noah as Vine-grower : His Curse 
aiid Blessing (J). 

Noah is here hitroduced in an entirely new character, as 
the discoverer of the culture of the vine ; and the first victim 
to immoderate indulgence in its fruit. This leads on to an 
account of the shameless behaviour of his youngest son, 
and the modesty and filial feeling of the two elder ; in 
consequence of which Noah pronounces a curse on Canaan 
and blessings on Shem and Japheth. — The Noah of v v. 20-27 
almost certainly comes from a different cycle of tradition 
from the righteous and blameless patriarch who is the 
hero of the Flood. The incident, indeed, cannot, without 
violating all probability, be harmonised with the Flood- 

1 82 noah's drunkenness (j) 

narrative at all. In the latter, Noah's sons are married men 
who take their wives into the ark (so expressly in P, but 
the same must be presumed for J) ; here, on the contrary, 
they are represented as minors living in the ' tent ' with 
their father ; and the conduct of the youngest is obviously 
conceived as an exhibition of juvenile depravity (so Di. Bu. 
al.). The presumption, therefore, is that vv.^*^""^'^ belong to 
a stratum of J which knew nothing of the Flood ; and this 
conclusion is confirmed by an examination of the structure 
of the passage. 

First of all, we observe that in v.^"* the offender is the youngesi son 
of Noah, and in v.^^ is named Canaan; while Shem and Japheth are 
referred to as his brothers. True, in v.^^ the misdeed is attributed to 
' Ham the father of Canaan ' ; but the words '5>? on have all the appear- 
ance of a gloss intended to cover the transition from ^*'' to ^*'*^' ; and 
the clause ]j;j? '?x Kin Dri] in ^^^ can have no other purpose. Now ^^ is 
the close of J's* account of the Flood ; and '^ points forward either to 
J's list of Nations (ch. lo), or to the dispersion of the Tower of Babel. 
Yy_2o-27 interrupt this connexion, and must accordingly be assigned to a 
separate source. That that source is, however, still Yahwistic, is shown 
partly by the language (ni^i:, v.''^ [in spite of D'nSx in v.^''] ; and Snji, v.^*) ; 
and more especially by the connexion with 5-" (see pp. 3, 133 f.). It is 
clear, therefore, that a redactor (RJ ) has here combined two Yahwistic 
documents, and sought to reduce the contradiction by the glosses in 
18b and 22. 

18, 19. Connecting verses (see above). — Noah's sons are 
here for the first time named in J, in harmony, however, 
with the repeated notices of P (5^^ 6^° 7^^). On the names 
see on ch. 10 (p. 195 f.). — 20. Noah the husbandman was the 
first •who planted a vineyard] — a fresh advance in human 
civilisation. The allusion to Noah as the husbandman is 

19. pN.T^3 nssj] 'the whole (population of the) earth was scattered.' 
For the construction cf. 10'. — ^^^i] hardly contracted Niph. from ^/ fss 
[ = ps] (G-K. § 67 dd) ; but from ^J ]'3i, whether this be a secondary 
formation from sj ps (G-B.^* 465 f), or an independent word (BDB, 
659). Cf. I Sa. 13", Is. 11^2 333._2o. '1:1 ^n'l] cf 4^6 6^ lo^ ii" 44^^^) 
41** (E). The rendering ' Noah commenced as a husbandman' (Dav. 
§ 83, /?. 2) is impossible on account of the art. (ct. i Sa. 3") : to insert 
nvn'? (Ball) does not get rid of the difficulty. The construction with i 
cons., instead of inf , is very unusual (Ezr. 3^) ; hence Che. (.EB, 3426^^), 

* Comp. rrf^i with lo'^ „«. 8. 9. ^nd pNn-'?! ( = the population of the 
earth) with 1 1'- ^ (Bu.) ; nr'J? n^x n^'V with lo'-"^ 22-^ 25* (Ho.). 

IX. 18-24 183 

perplexing. If the text be right (v.i.), it implies a previous 
account of him as addicted to (perhaps the inventor of) 
agriculture, which now in his hands advances to the more 
refined stage of vine-growing. See the note on p. 185. 

Amongst other peoples this discovery was frequently attributed to 
a god (Dionysus among the Greeks, Osiris among the Egyptians), 
intoxication being regarded as a divine inspiration. The orgiastic 
character of the religion of the Canaanites makes it probable that the 
same view prevailed amongst them ; and it has even been suggested that 
the Noah of this passage was originally a Canaanitish wine-god (see 
Niebuhr, Geschichte d. Ebrdischen Zei falters, 36 ff.). The native religion 
of Israel (like that of Mohammed) viewed this form of indulgence with 
abhorrence ; and under strong religious enthusiasm the use of fermented 
drinks was entirely avoided (the Nazirites, Samson, the Rechabites). 
This feeling is reflected in the narrative before us, where Noah is 
represented as experiencing in his own person the full degradation to 
which his discovery had opened the way. It exhibits the repugnance 
of a healthy-minded race towards the excesses of a debased civilisa- 
tion. — Since the vine is said to be indigenous to Armenia and Pontus 
(see De. Di. ), it has naturally been proposed to connect the story with 
the landing of the ark in Ararat. But we have seen that the passage 
has nothing to do with the Deluge-tradition ; and it is more probable 
that it is an independent legend, originating amidst Palestinian sur- 

21. uncovered himself] the same result of drunkenness in 
Hab. 2^^, La. 4^1. — 22. There is no reason to think (with 
Ho. and Gu.) that Canaan was guilty of any worse sin than 
the Schadenfreude implied in the words. Heb. morality 
called for the utmost delicacy in such matters, like that 
evinced by Shem and Japheth in v.^^ — 24. Itfi^O i^? cannot 
mean 'his younger son' (^IJ) [i.e. as compared with 

following Kue. {ThT, xviii. 147), proposes mnh ior vs'tt. : ' Noah was the 
first to plough the ground.' That reading would be fatal to any 
connexion of the section with Gn. 3, unless we suppose a distinction 
between nay (manual tillage) and v-^n. Strangely enough, Ra. (on ^^) 
repeats the Haggadic tradition that Noah invented the ploughshare ; 
but this is probably a conjecture based on a comparison of 3" with 5^.* 
—22. -ivS\ Ct pref. Koi i^€\ediv.—2Z- ■i^'rP'C] On the art., see G-K. § 126 r. 
That it was the 'c which Canaan had previously taken away, and that 
this notice was deliberately omitted by J (Gu.), is certainly not to be 
inferred. The 'cs- is the upper garment, which was also used for 
sleeping in (Ex. 22^* etc.). — 24. j-g".!] on the irreg. seghol, see G-K. 

* So Mr. Abrahams, in a private communication. 

184 noah's drunkenness (j) 

Shem) ; still less 'his contemptible son ' (Ra.); or Ham's 
youngest (lEz,). The conclusion is not to be evaded that 
the writer follows a peculiar g-enealog-ical scheme in which 
Canaan is the youngest son of Noah. — 25-27. Noah's curse 
and blessings must be presumed to have been legible in the 
destinies of his reputed descendants at the time when the 
legend took shape (cf. 27^^^- ^^^- 49) (on the fulfilment see the 
concluding note, p. 186 f.). The dominant feature is the curse 
on Canaan, which not only stands first, but is repeated in 
the blessings on the two brothers. — 25. The descendants of 
Canaan are doomed to perpetual enslavement to the other 
two branches of the human family. — a servant of servants\ 
means 'the meanest slave' (G-K. § 1332). — to his brethren] 
not the other members of the Hamitic race, but (as is clear 
from the following vv.) to Shem and Japheth. — 26. Blessed 
be Yahwe the God of Shem] The idea thus expressed is not 
satisfactory. To ' bless ' Yahwe means no more than to 
praise Him ; and an ascription of praise to Yahwe is only 
in an oblique sense a blessing on Shem, inasmuch as it 
assumes a religious primacy of the Shemites in having 
Yahwe for their God. Bu. (294 f.) proposed to omit ^H^X and 
read DC* nin^_ T]n3 : Blessed of Yahwe be Shem (cf. 2481' 2628 
[both J]). Di.'s objection, that this does not express wherein 
the blessing consists, applies with quite as much force to 
the received text. Perhaps a better emendation is that of 
Graetz Dtl' vnx '^ T]in (TJ^T would be still more acceptable) : 
[May] Yahwe bless the tejits of Shem,; see the next v. — 27. 
May God expand (OS!) Yepheth : a play on the name (J^?'.). 
The use of the generic DTiijx implies that the proper name 

§ 70 «. — 26. ^D^ may stand either for ^rh (coll.) or "1^: see Note 3 in 
G-K. § 103/ The latter is the more natural here. Ols. {MBBA, June 
1870, 382) proposed to omit "^b^ substituting- ^Ta^ (Dty— pc'i), and retain 
-^'' with ref. of pi. suff. to vnx. fflr has ainov in "^^ and avrwv in ^^ — 
27. ns:] <Sc irXarvyai, "E dilatef, etc. The ^ nna in the sense 'be spacious' 
is extremely rare in Heb. (Pr. 20^' [?24^']), and the accepted rendering' 
not beyond challeng-e. No. {BL, iii. 191) denies the g-eographical sense, 
and explains the word from the frequent Semitic figure of spaciousness 
for prosperity. This would almost require us to take the subject of the 
following clause to be God {v.s.). 

IX. 25-27 185 

mn* was the peculiar property of the Shemites.— fl';/r/ 7nay 
he d7vell\ or that he may dwell. The subject can hardly 
be God ijnb. E'^, Ber. R. Ra. lEz. No. al.), which would 
convey no blessing- to Japheth ; the wish refers most 
naturally to Japheth, thoug-h it is impossible to decide 
whether the expression 'dwell in the tents of denotes 
friendly intercourse (so most) or forcible dispossession (Gu.). 
For the latter sense cf. Ps 78^^, i Ch. 51°. — A Messianic 
reference to the ingathering- of the Gentiles into the Jewish 
or Christian fold (^^, Fathers, De. al.) is foreign to the 
thought of the passage : see further below. 

The question of the origfin and sig-nificance of this remarkable 
narrative has to be approached from two distinct points of view. — I. In 
one aspect it is a culture-myth, of which the central motive is the dis- 
covery of wine. Here, however, it is necessary to disting-uish between 
the orig'inal idea of the story and its sig-nificance in the connexion of the 
Yahwistic document. Read in its own light, as an independent fragf- 
ment of tradition, the incident sig-nalises the transition from nomadic to 
agricultural life. Noah, the first husbandman and vine-grower, is a 
tent-dweller (v.^^) ; and this mode of life is continued by his oldest and 
favoured son Shem (^). Further, the identification of husbandrj' and 
vine culture points to a situation in which the simpler forms of agri- 
culture had been supplemented by the cultivation of the grape. Such a 
situation existed in Palestine when it was occupied by the Hebrews. 
The sons of the desert who then served themselves heirs by conquest to 
the Canaanitish civilisation escaped the protracted evolution of vine- 
growing from primitive tillage, and stepped into the possession of the 
farm and the vineyard at once. From this point of view the story of 
Noah's drunkenness expresses the healthy recoil of primitive Semitic 
morality from the licentious habits engendered by a civilisation of which 
a salient feature was the enjoyment and abuse of wine. Canaan is the 
prototype of the population which had succumbed to these enervating 
influences, and is doomed by its vices to enslavement at the hands of 
hardier and more virtuous races. — In the setting in which it is placed 
by the Yahwist the incident acquires a profounder and more tragic 
significance. The key to this secondary interpretation is the prophecy 
of Lamech in 5^, which brings it into close connexion with the account 
of the Fall in ch. 3 (p. 133). Noah's discovery is there represented as 
an advance or refinement on the tillage of the ground to which man was 
sentenced in consequence of his first transgression. And the oracle of 
Lamech appears to show that the invention of wine is conceived as a 
relief from the curse. How far it is looked on as a divinely approved 
mode of alleviating the monotony of toil is hard to decide. The 
moderate use of wine is certainly not condemned in the OT : on the 
other hand, it is impossible to doubt that the light in which Noah is 

1 86 noah's drunkenness (j) 

exhibited, and the subsequent behaviour of his youngest son, are meant 
to convey an emphatic warning against the moral dangers attending 
this new step in human development, and the degeneration to which it 
may lead. 

II. In the narrative, however, the cultural motive is crossed by an 
ethnographic problem, which is still more difficult to unravel. Who are 
the peoples represented by the names Shem, Japheth, and Canaan? 
Three points may be regarded as settled : that Shem is that family to 
which the Hebrews reckoned themselves ; that Canaan stands for the 
pre-Israelitish inhabitants of Palestine ; and that the servitude of 
Canaan to Shem at least includes the subjugation of the Canaanites by 
Israel in the early days of the monarchy. Beyond this everything is 
uncertain. The older view, which explains Shem and Japheth in terms 
of the Table of Nations (ch, lo), — i.e. as corresponding roughly to what 
we call the Semitic and Aryan races, — has always had difficulty in dis- 
covering a historic situation combining Japhetic dominion over the 
Canaanites with a dwelling of Japheth in the tents of Shem.* To 
understand the latter of an ideal brotherhood or religious bond between 
the two races brings us no nearer a solution, unless we take the pass- 
age as a prophecy of the diffusion of Christianity ; and even then it 
fails to satisfy the expressions of the text (Di., who explains the figure 
as expressing the more kindly feeling of the Heb. towards these races, 
as compared with the Canaanites). — A number of critics, starting 
from the assumption that the oracles reflect the circumstances and 
aspirations of the age when the Yahwistic document originated, take 
Shem as simply a name for Israel, and identify Japheth either with 
the Philistines (We. Mey.) or the Phoenicians (Bu. Sta. Ho.). But that 
the Hebrews should have wished for an enlargement of the Philis- 
tines at their own expense is incredible ; and as for the Phoenicians, 
though their colonial expansion might have been viewed with compla- 
cency in Israel, there is no proof that an occupation of Israelitish 
territory on their part either took place, or would have been approved 
by the national sentiment under the monarchy. The alienation of a 
portion of Galilee to the Tyrians (i Ki. 9"''*) (Bu.) is an event little 
likely to have been idealised in Heb. legend. The difficulties of this 
theory are so great that Bertholet has proposed to recast the narrative 
with the omission of Japheth, leaving Shem and Canaan as types of the 
racial antipathy between the Hebrews and Canaanites : the figure of 
Japheth, and the blessing on him, he supposes to have been introduced 

* As regards the former, the expulsion of Phoenician colonists from 
the Mediterranean coasts and Asia Minor by the Greeks (Di.) could 
never have been described as enslavement (see Mey. GA^, i. 311 f.); and 
the capture of Tyre by Alexander, the Roman conquest of Carthage, 
etc. (De.), are events certainly beyond the horizon of the writer, — unless, 
indeed, we adopt Berth. 's suggestion (see above), that v.'" is ver}' late. 
For the latter, Di. hints at an absorption of Japhetic peoples in the 
Semitic world-empires ; but that would rather be a dwelling of Shem 
in the tents of Japheth. 

IX. 27-X. 187 

after the time of Alexander the Great, as an expression of the friendly 
feeling of the Jews for their Hellenic conquerors.* — Gu.'s explanation, 
which is put forward with all reserve, breaks ground in an opposite 
direction. Canaan, he suggests, may here represent the great wave of 
Semitic migration which (according to some recent theories) had swept 
over the whole of Western Asia (c. 2250 B.C.), leaving its traces in 
Babylonia, in Phoenicia, perhaps even in Asia Minor,t and of vrhich the 
later Canaanites of Palestine were the sediment. Shem is the Hebraeo- 
Aramaic family, which appears on the stage of history after 1500 B.C., 
and no doubt took possession of territory previously occupied by 
Canaanites. It is here represented as still in the nomadic condition. 
Japheth stands for the Hittites, who in that age were moving down 
from the north, and establishing their power partly at the cost of both 
Canaanites and Arameans. This theory hardly explains the peculiar 
contempt and hatred expressed towards Canaan ; and it is a somewhat 
serious objection to it that in lo^' (which Gu. assigns to the same source 
as g^off-) Heth is the son of Canaan. A better defined background would 
be the struggle for the mastery of Syria in the 14th cent. B.c.iJ: If, as 
many Assyriologists think probable, the Habiri of the Tel-Amarna 
Letters be the onaj; of the OT,—i.e. the original Hebrew stock to 
which Israel belonged, — it would be natural to find in Shem the repre- 
sentative of these invaders ; for in lo'^^ (J) Shem is described as ' the 
father of all the sons of Eber.' Japheth would then be one or other of 
the peoples who, in concert with the IJabiri, were then seeking a foot- 
hold in the country, possibly the Suti or the Amurri, less probably (for 
the reason mentioned above) the Hittites. — These surmises must be 
taken for what they are worth. Further light on that remote period of 
history may yet clear up the circumstances in which the story of Noah 
and his sons originated ; but unless the names Shem and Japheth should 
be actually discovered in some historic connexion, the happiest conjec- 
tures can never effect a solution of the problem. 

Ch. X.—T/ie Table of Peoples (P and J). 

In its present form, the chapter is a redactional composi- 
tion, in which are interwoven two (if not three) successive 
attempts to classify the known peoples of the world, and to 

* See We. Comp. \a,i. ; Bu. Urg. 325 if. ; Sta. GVI, i. 109; May. 
GA^, i. p. 214 ; Bertholet, Stellung d. Isr. zu. d. Fremden, 76 f. Meyer's 
later theory {INS, 220 f. ), that Japheth ( = Eg. Kefti ?) stands for the whole 
body of northern invaders in the 12th cent., to whom the Philistines be- 
longed, does not diminish the improbability that such a prophecy should 
have originated under the monarchy. 

t See Mey. GA^, i. p. 212 ff. ; Wi. GI, i. 37, 130, 134; Peiser, KIB, 
iv. p. viii. 

X Already suggested by Ben. (p. 158), who, however, is inclined to 
identify the Habiri with Japheth. 


exhibit their origin and mutual relationships in the form of 
a genealogical tree. 

Analysis. — The separation of the two main sources is due to the 
lucid and convincing analysis of We. {Comp? 6ff.). The hand of P is 
easily recognised in the superscription (i* m^in n|;'x), and the methodical 
uniformity of the tripartite scheme, with its recurrent opening and 
closing formulae. The headings of the three sections are : ns; '45 {^), 
nn -yy\ (8), and w ':3 (^2) ; the respective conclusions are found in '• 
(mutilated) '"• ^\ v.*^ being a final summary. This framework, how- 
ever, contains several continuous sections which obviously belong to J. 
(«) *"^^ ; the account of Nimrod (who is not even mentioned by P among 
the sons of Kush) stands out both in character and style in strong con- 
trast to P : note also -h\ instead of tVih («), niri' (»). {b) ^^'- : the sons of 
Mizraim (y. i"?;). {c) ^^-i^ : the Canaanites (i'?;). (d) ^i- ^s-so . the Shemites 
("iV; 21- 25 . ^'p1 26^_ — Duplication of sources is further proved by the twofold 
introduction to Shem (-^ II ^2)^ and the discrepancy between ' and '^'^- re- 
garding n^'in and n?^. The documents, therefore, assort themselves as 
follows : 

p : la . 2-6 . 6f. 20 . 2at. 31 . S3 

J . lb rf\ . 8-12 . ISf. . 16-19 . 21. 2S-30_ 

Yy 9. i6-i8a a^^fj 24 g^j-g regarded by We. and most subsequent writers 
as interpolations : see the notes. The framework of P is made the 
basis of the Table ; and so far as appears that document has been pre- 
served in its original order. In J the genealogy of Shem (^i- "•^■^) is 
probably complete ; that of Ham (^^'- '^^^•) is certainly curtailed ; while 
every trace of Japheth has been obliterated (see, however, p. 208). 
Whether the Yahwistic fragments stand in their original order, we have 
no means of determining. 

The analysis has been carried a step further by Gu. (2 74f), who 
first raised the question of the unity of the Yahwistic Table, and its 
connexion with the two recensions of J which appear in ch. 9. He 
agrees with We. Di. al. that 9'^'- forms the transition from the story 
of the Flood to a list of nations which is partly represented in ch. 10 ; 
lo'** being the immediate continuation of 9^^ in that recension of J (Ji). 
But he tries to show that 920-27 -^y^s also followed by a Table of Nations, 
and that to it most of the Yahwistic fragments in ch. 10 belong (8.10-12. 
15. 21. 25-29 — je) This conclusion is reached by a somewhat subtle 
examination of v.^^ and vv.'^'^^ In v.^^ Shem is the 'elder brother of 
Japheth,' which seems to imply that Japheth was the second son of Noah 
as in 92"^- ; hence we may surmise that the third son was not Ham but 
Canaan. This is confirmed by the apparent contradiction between 
^^ and ^^'^- ^®. In ^^ the northern limit of the Canaanites is Zidon, whereas 
in ^^ Canaan includes the Hittites, and has therefore the wider geo- 
graphical sense which Gu. postulates for (y''''-'^ (see p. 186 above). He 
also calls attention to the difference in language between the eponymous 
jj^J? in ^^ and the gentilic 'Jy^Jjn in ^*"'- ^^, and considers that this was a 
characteristic distinction of the two documents. From these premises 
the further dissection of the Table follows easily enough. Vv.^'i2 ^^^y be 

CH. X. 189 

assigned to J« because of the peculiar use of hnn in ' (cf. 9^ 4^8). V."'- 
must in any case be JJ, because it is inconceivable that Egypt should 
ever have been thought of as a son of Canaan ; '^''^ follow ^^ (J*). V.^ 
is assigned to JJ solely on account of its resemblance to ^'. It cannot 
be denied that these arguments (which are put forward with reserve) 
have considerable cumulative force ; and the theory may be correct. 
At the same time it must be remembered (i) that the distinction between 
a wider and a narrower geographical conception of Canaan remains a 
brilliant speculation, which is not absolutely required either by gr""- or 
10" ; and (2) that there is nothing to show that the story of Noah, the 
vine-grower, was followed by a Table of Nations at all. A genealogy 
connecting Shem with Abraham was no doubt included in that docu- 
ment ; but a writer who knows nothing of the Flood, and to whom 
Noah was not the head of a new humanity, had no obvious motive for 
attaching an ethnographic survey to the name of that patriarch. 
Further criticism may be reserved for the notes. 

The names in the Table are throughout eponymous : 
that is to say, each nation is represented by an imaginary 
personage bearing its name, who is called into existence for 
the purpose of expressing its unity, but is at the same time 
conceived as its real progenitor. From this it was an easy 
step to translate the supposed affinities of the various 
peoples into the family relations of father, son, brother, etc., 
between the eponymous ancestors ; while the origin of the 
existing ethnic groups was held to be accounted for by the 
expansion and partition of the family. This vivid and con- 
crete mode of representation, though it was prevalent in 
antiquity, was inevitably suggested by one of the commonest 
idioms of Semitic speech, according to which the individual 
members of a tribe or people were spoken of as ' sons ' or 
' daughters ' of the collective entity to which they belonged. 
It may be added that (as in the case of the Arabian tribal 
genealogies) the usage could only have sprung up in an 
age when the patriarchal type of the family and the rule of 
male descent were firmly established (see Rob. Sm. KM^, 


That this is the principle on which the Tables are constructed 
appears from a slight examination of the names, and is universally 
admitted. With the exception of Nimrod, all the names that can be 
identified are those of peoples and tribes (Madai, Sheba, Dedan, etc.) 
or countries (Mizraim, Havilah, etc. — in most cases it is impossible to 
say whether land or people is meant) or cities (Zidon) ; some are 
gentilicia (Jebusite, Hivvite, etc.) ; and some are actually retained in 


the pi. (Rodanim, Ludim, etc.). Where the distinctions between 
national and geographical desig'nations, between singular, plural, and 
collective names, are thus effaced, the only common denominator to 
which the terms can be reduced is that of the eponymous ancestor. 
It was the universal custom of antiquity in such matters to invent a 
legendary founder of a city or state ; * and it is idle to imagine any 
other explanation of the names before us. — It is, of course, another 
question how far the Hebrew ethnographers believed in the analogy 
on which their system rested, and how far they used it simply as a 
convenient method of expressing racial or political relations. When 
a writer speaks of Lydians, Lybians, Philistines, etc., as 'sons' of 
Egypt, or 'the Jebusite,' 'the Amorite,' 'the Arvadite ' as 'sons' of 
Canaan, it is difficult to think, e.g., that he believed the Lydians to be 
descended from a man named ' Lydians ' (d'-i^S), or the Amorites from 
one called 'the Amorite' (nb^ji) ; and we may begin to suspect that 
the whole system of eponyms is a conventional symbolism which was 
as transparent to its authors as it is to us.f That, however, would be 
a hasty and probably mistaken inference. The instances cited are 
exceptional, — they occur mostly in two groups, of which one (""''■) 
is interpolated, and the other (^^f-) may very well be secondary too ; 
and over against them we have to set not only the names of Noah, 
Shem, etc., but also Nimrod, who is certainly an individual hero, and 
yet is said to have been 'begotten' by the eponymous Kush (Gu.). 
The bulk of the names lend themselves to the one view as readily as 
to the other ; but on the whole it is safer to assume that, in the mind of 
the genealogist, they stand for real individuals, from whom the different 
nations were believed to be descended. 

The geographical horizon of the Table is very restricted ; 
but is considerably wider in P than in J.J J's survey ex- 
tends from the Hittites and Phoenicians in the N to Egypt 
and southern Arabia in the S ; on the E he knows Baby- 
lonia and Assyria and perhaps the Kas^i, and on the W 
the Libyans and the south coast of Asia Minor.§ P includes 
in addition Asia Minor, Armenia, and Media on the N and 
NE, Elam on the E, Nubia in the S, and the whole 

* "An exactly parallel instance ... is afforded by the ancient 
Greeks. The general name of the Greeks was Hellenes ; the principal 
subdivisions were the Dorians, the ^olians, the lonians, and the 
Achaeans ; and accordingly the Greeks traced their descent from a 
supposed eponymous ancestor Hellen, who had three sons, Dorus and 
Aeolus, the supposed ancestors of the Dorians and Cohans, and 
Xuthus, from whose two sons. Ion and Achaeus, the lonians and 
Achaeans were respectively supposed to be descended" (Dri. 112). 

t See Guthe, GI, i ff. 

X Judging, that is, from the extracts of J that are preserved. 

§ Kaphtorim (v.") : according to others the island of Crete. 

CH. X. 191 

Mediterranean coast on the W. The world outside these 
limits is ignored, for the simple reason that the writers 
were not aware of its existence. But even within the area 
thus circumscribed there are remarkable omissions, some 
of which defy reasonable explanation. 

The nearer neighbours and kinsmen of Israel (Moabites, Ishmaelites, 
Edomites, etc.) are naturally reserved for the times when they broke 
off from the parent stem. It would appear, further, that as a rule 
only contemporary peoples are included in the lists ; extinct races and 
nationalities like the Rephaim, Zuzim, etc., and possibly the Amalekites, 
being deliberately passed over ; while, of course, peoples that had not 
yet played any important part in history are ignored. None of these 
considerations, however, accounts for the apparent omission of the 
Babylonians in P, — a fact which has perhaps never been thoroughly 
explained (see p. 205). 

From what has just been said it ought to be possible to form some 
conclusion as to the age in which the lists were drawn up. P'or P 
the terminus a quo is the 8th cent., when the Cimmerian and Scythian 
hordes (^O first make their appearance south of the Caucasus : the 
absence of the Minaeans among the Arabian peoples, if it has any 
significance, would point to the same period (see p. 203). A lower 
limit may with less certainty be found in the circumstance that the 
names D"]? and 2~!)i, ^^"i^i (Persians and Arabs, first mentioned in Jer. 
and Ezk.) do not occur. It would follow that the Priestly List is 
pre-exilic, and represents, not the viewpoint of the PC (5th cent.), but 
one perhaps two centuries earlier (so Gu.). Hommel's opinion 
{Aufs. u. Abh. 314 fF.), that the Table contains the earliest ethnological 
ideas of the Hebrews fresh from Arabia, and that its "Grundstock" 
goes back to Mosaic times and even the 3rd millennium B.C., is reached 
by arbitrary excisions and alterations of the names, and by unwarranted 
inferences from those which are left* (see Je. ATLO'-, 252). — The 
lists of J, on the other hand, yield no definite indications of date. 
The S Arabian tribes {^-^) might have been known as early as the 
age of Solomon (Brown, EB, ii. 1699), — they might even have been 

* It has often been pointed out that there is a remarkable agreement 
between the geographical horizon of P in On. 10 and that of Jer. 
and Ezk. Of the 34 names of nations in P's Table, 22 occur in 
Ezk. and 14 in the book of Jer. ; it has to be remembered, however, 
that a large part of the book of Jer. is later than that prophet. Ezk. 
has perhaps 6 names which might have been expected in P if they 
had been known {i-y,,, D'-^ifj, yip, t^, Dl^, nip?), and Jer. (book) has 5 
([']5Ti!,, D"^e'5, Ol?, nip?, '3P). The statistics certainly do not bear out the 
assertion that P compiled his list from these two books between 538 
and 526 B.C. (see Di. p. 166) ; they rather suggest that while the general 
outlook was similar, the knowledge of the outer world was in some 
directions more precise in the time of Ezk. than in the Table. 


known earlier, — but that does not tell us when they were systematically 
tabulated. The (interpolated) list of Canaanites (I6-I8) jg assigned by 
Jeremias {I.e. 256) to the age of Tiglath-pileser iii. ; but since a con- 
siderable percentage of the names occurs in the Tel-Amarna letters 
{v.i.), the grounds of that determination are not apparent. With 
regard to the section on Nimrod (^"'^), all that can fairly be said is 
that it is probably later than the Kassite conquest of Babylonia : how 
.nuch later, we cannot tell. On the attempt to deduce a date from the 
description of the Assyrian cities, see p. 212. — There are, besides, two 
s*pecial sources of error which import an element of uncertainty into 
all these investigations, {a) Since only two names (N3if' and n^",n) are 
really duplicated in P and J,* we may suppose that the redactor has 
as a general practice omitted names from one source which he gives 
in the other ; and we cannot be quite sure whether the omission has 
been made in P or in J. {b) According to Jewish tradition, the total 
number of names is 70 ; and again the suspicion arises that names 
may have been added or deleted so as to bring out that result. f 

The threefold division of mankind is a feature common 
to P and J, and to both recensions of J if there were two 
(above, p. 188 f.). It is probable, also, though not certain, 
that each of the Tables placed the groups in the reverse 
order of birth : Japheth — Ham — Shem ; or Canaan — ^Japheth 
— Shem (see v.^^). The basis of the classification may not 
have been ethnological in any sense; it may have been 
originally suggested by the tradition that Noah had just 
three sons, in accordance with a frequently observed 
tendency to close a genealogy with three names (41^*- 5^^ 
11^^ etc.). Still, the classification must follow some 
ethnographic principle, and we have to consider what that 
principle is. The more obvious distinctions of colour, 
language, and race are easily seen to be inapplicable. 

The ancient Egyptian division of foreigners into Negroes (black), 
Asiatics (light brown), and Libyans (white) is as much geographical 
as chromatic (Erman, LAE, 32) ; but in any case the survey of Gn. 10 
excludes the true negroes, and differences of colour amongst the 
peoples Included could not have been sufficiently marked to form a 
basis of classification. It is certainly noteworthj' that the Egyptian 
monuments represent the Egyptians, Kos, Punt, and Phoenicians 

* niB-N, »13, Dn^p and jyj? do not count, because they are so introduced 
that the two documents supplement one another. 

t For the official enumeration see Zunz, GdV'^, 207; Steinschneider, 
ZDMG, iv. 150 f. ; Krauss, ZATW, 1899, 6 (1900, 38 ff.) ; cf. PoznaAski, 
ib. 1904, 302. 

CH. X 193 

(P's Hamites) as dark brown (Di. 167); but the characteristic was 
not shared by the offshoots of Kush in Arabia ; and a colour line 
between Sham and Japheth could never have been drawn. — The test of 
language also breaks down. The perception of ling-uistic affinities on 
a wide scale is a modern scientific attainment, beyond the apprehen- 
sion of an antique people, to whom as a rule all foreign tongues were 
alike 'barbarous.' So we find that the most of P's Hamites (the 
Canaanites and nearly all the Kushites) are Semitic-speaking peoples, 
while the language of Elam among the sons of Shem belongs to an 
entirely different family ; and Greek was certainly not spoken in the 
regions assigned to sons of Javan. — Of race, except in so far as it is 
evidenced by language, modern science knows very little ; and attempts 
have been made to show that where the linguistic criterion fails the 
Table follows authentic ethnological traditions : e.g. that the Canaanites 
came from the Red Sea coast and were really related to the Cushites ; 
or that Babylonia was actually colonised from central Africa, etc. But 
none of these speculations can be substantiated ; and the theory that 
true racial affinity is the main principle of the Table has to be abandoned. 
Thus, while most of the Japhetic peoples are Indo-European, and 
nearly all the Shemitic are Semites in the modern sense, the corre- 
spondence is no closer than follows necessarily from the geographic 
arrangement to be described presently. The Hamitic group, on the 
other hand, is destitute alike of linguistic and ethnological unity.— 
Similarly, when J assigns Phoenicians and Hittites (perhaps also 
Egyptians) to one ethnic group, it is plain that he is not guided by a 
sound ethnological tradition. His Shemites are, indeed, all of Semitic 
speech ; what his Japhetic peoples may have been we cannot conjecture 
(see p, 188). 

So far as P is concerned, the main principle is un- 
doubtedly geographical : Japheth representing the North and 
West, Ham the South, and Shem the East. Canaan is the 
solitary exception, which proves the rule (see p. 201 f.). The 
same law appears (so far as can be ascertained) to govern 
the distribution of the subordinate groups ; although too 
many of the names are uncertain to make this absolutely 
clear. There is very little ground for the statement that 
the geographical idea is disturbed here and there by con- 
siderations of a historical or political order. 

The exact delimitation of the three regions is, of course, more or 
less arbitrary : Media might have been reckoned to the Eastern group, 
or Elam to the Southern ; but the actual arrangement is just as natural, 
and there is no need to postulate the influence of ethnology in the one 
case or of political relations in the other. Liid would be a glarii^cr 
exception if the Lydians of Asia Minor were meant, but that is probably 
not the case (p. 206). The Mediterranean coasts and islands are ap- 



propriately enoug-h assigned to Javan, the most westerly of the sons of 
Japheth. It can only be the assumption that Shem represents a middle 
zone between N and S that makes the position of Kittim appear anoma- 
lous to Di. Even if the island of Cyprus be meant (which, however, is 
doubtful ; p. 199), it must, on the view here taken, be assigned to Japheth. 
It is true that in J traces of politico-historical grouping do appear 
(WN and ^-y^ in ^'^^ ; onhsj, D'B^^9 in ^^i.). _ As to the order within the 
principal groups (of P), it is impossible to lay down any strict rule. Jen. 
{ZA, X. 326) holds that it always proceeds from the remoter to the 
nearer nations ; but though that may be true in the main, it cannot be 
rigorously carried through, nor can it be safely used as an argument 
for or against a particular identification. 

The defects of the Table, from the standpoint of modern 
ethnology, are now sufficiently apparent. As a scientific 
account of the origin of the races of mankind, it is dis- 
qualified by its assumption that nations are formed through 
the expansion and genealogical division of families ; and 
still more by the erroneous idea that the historic peoples of 
the old world were fixed within three or at most four 
generations from the common ancestor of the race. History 
shows that nationalities are for the most part political units, 
I formed by the dissolution and re-combination of older peoples 
and tribes ; and it is known that the great nations of 
antiquity were preceded by a long succession of social 
aggregates, whose very names have perished. Whether a 
single family has ever, under any circumstances, increased 
until it became a tribe and then a nation, is an abstract 
question which it is idle to discuss : it is enough that the 
nations here enumerated did not arise in that way, but 
through a process analogous to that by which the English 
nation was welded together out of the heterogeneous ele- 
ments of which it is known to be composed. — As a historical 
document, on the other hand, the chapter is of the highest 
importance : first, as the most systematic record of the 
political geography of the Hebrews at difi"erent stages of 
their history ; and second, as expressing the profound con- 
sciousness of the unity of mankind, and the religious 
primacy of Israel, by which the OT writers were animated. 
Its insertion at this point, where it forms the transition from 
primitive tradition to the history of the chosen people, has 

X. lA 195 

a significance, as well as a literary propriety, which cannot 
be mistaken (Di. 164; Gu. 77; Dri. 114). 

The Table is repeated in i Ch. i''""^ with various omissions and 
textual variations. The list is still further abridged in ffi of i Chr., 
which omits "-'»* and all names after Arpachshad in 22._On the ex- 
tensive literature on the chapter, see especially the commentaries of 
Tu. (159 f.) and Di. (170 f.). See also the map at the end of A TLO. 

The Table of P. 

la. Superscription. — 6"/iew, Ham, and Yepheth\ of. 

5^' (P). 9^' (J). 

On the original sense of the names only vague conjectures can be 
reported, db' is supposed by some to be the Heb. vi-ord for 'name,' 
applied by the Israelites to themselves in the first instance as dk' '45 = 
'men of name' or 'distinction '—the titled or noble race (cf. hvoixaaTds) : 
"perhaps nothing more than the ruling caste in opposition to the 
aborigines." So We. {Comp."^ 14), who compares the name 'Aryan,' 
and contrasts w ''73 '33 (Jb. 30^) ; cf. Bu. Urg. 328 f. ; al. Gu. (73) 
mentions a speculation of Jen. that de* is the Babylonian sumu, in the 
sense of 'eldest son,' who perpetuates the father's name. 

on must, at a certain stage of tradition, have supplanted the earlier 
IkU5 as the name of Noah's third son (p. 182). The change is easily 
explicable from the extension of geographical knowledge, which made 
it impossible any longer to regard the father of the Canaanites as the 
ancestor of one-third of the human race ; but the origin of the name 
has still to be accounted for. As a Heb. word it might mean ' hot ' 
(Jos. 9^^ Jb. 37") : hence it has been taken to denote the hot lands of 
the south (Lepsius, al. ; cf. Juh. viii. 30: "the land of Ham is hot"). 
Again, since in some late Pss. (78*' 105-^--^ 106^) on is a poetic desig- 
nation of Egypt, it has been plausibly connected with the native kerne 
or cAfw«=' black,' with reference to the black soil of the Nile valley 
(Bochart, Ebers, Bu. 323 ff.).* A less probable theory is that of Glaser, 
cited by Hommel (AHT, 48), who identifies it with Eg. 'amu, a collective 
name for the neighbouring Semitic nomads, derived by Miiller {AE, 
123 ff.) from their distinctive primitive weapon, the boomerang. 

•na; is connected in 9^^ with ij nno, and no better etymology has been 
proposed. Che. {EB, ii. 2330) compares the theophorous personal name 
Yapti- Addu in TA Tab., and thinks it a modification of "jN-nnD:, 'God 
opens.' But the form nriD {pitiT) with the probable sense of 'open ' also 
occurs in the Tab. {KIB, v. 290 [last line]). The derivation from si 'iS' 
(beautiful), favoured by Bu. (358 ff.), in allusion to the beauty of the 
Phoenician cities, is very improbable. The resemblance to the Greek 
lapetos was pointed out by Buttmann, and is undoubtedly striking. 
'IdTCToj was the father of Prometheus, and therefore (through Deu- 

* Cf the rare word mn, ' black,' 30^28-. 


kalion) of post-diluvian mankind. The identification is approved by 
Weizsacker (Roscher's Lex. ii. 55ff.)> who holds that 'ICiTreTos, having 
no Greek etymology, may be borrowed from the Semites (of. Lenorm. 
ii. 173-193). See, further, Mey. INS, 221. 

A curiously complicated astro-mythical solution is advanced by Wi. 
mMVAG,v\. 170 flf. 

2-5. The Japhetic or Northern Peoples : fourteen in 
number, chiefly concentrated in Asia Minor and Armenia, 
but extending on either side to the Caspian and the shores 
of the Atlantic. It will be seen that though the enumera- 
tion is not ethnological in principle, yet most o^" the peoples 
named do belong to the same great Indo-Germanic family. 

J aph eth. 


I. Gomer. 5. Magog. 6. Madai. 7. Javan. 12. Tubal. 13. Meshech. 14. Tiras. 
I i 

I I I 

2. Ashkenaz. 3. Riphath. 4. Togarmah. 

r ri 

I I I I 

8. Elishah. 9. Tarshish. 10. Kittim. 11. Rodanim 

(i) npS (ffi FaAte/)) : named along with Togarmah as a confederate of 
Gog in Ezk. 38", is identified with the Galatians by Jos., but is really the 
Gamir oi the Ass. inscr., the Cimmerians of the Greeks. The earliest 
reference to the Kl/ul/jl^ploi {Od. xi. 13 ff.) reveals them as a northern 
people, dwelling on the shores of the Northern Sea. Their irruption 
into Asia Minor, by way of the Caucasus, is circumstantially narrated 
by Herodotus (i. 15, 103, iv. 11 f.), whose account is in its main features 
confirmed by the Ass. monuments. There the Gimirrai first appear 
towards the end of the reign of Sargon, attacking the old kingdom of 
Urartu (see Johns, PSBA, xvii. 223 f., 226). Thence they seem to have 
moved westwards into Asia Minor, where (in the reign of Sennacherib) 
they overthrew the Phrygian Empire, and later (under Asshur-bani-pal, 
c. 657) the Lydian Empire of Gyges {KIB, ii. 173-7). This last effort 
seems to have exhausted their strength, and soon afterwards they 
vanish from history.* A trace of their shortlived ascendancy remained 
in Gamir, the Armenian name for Cappadocia ; f but the probability is 
that the land was named after the people, and not vice versd ; and it is 
not safe to assume that by "cl P meant Cappadocia. It is more likely 
that the name is primarily ethnic, and denotes the common stock of 
which the three following peoples were branches. 

• Cf. Wi. AOF, i. 484-496; KAT^, 76 f, loi ff. ; Je. ATLGP, 253. 
t Cf. Eus. Chron. Arm. (ed. Aucher) i. p. 95* (Gimmeri = Ca.ppa.- 
docians), and ii. p. 12 (Tdfifp, ^^ o5 Ka7r7rd5o/c«). 

X. 2, 3 197 

(z) tj?.;'n! {'ka-xava^) : Jer. si'", after Ararat and Minni.* It has been 
usual (Bochart, al. ) to connect the name with the Ascania of //. ii. 863, 
xiii. 793 ; and to suppose this was a reg-ion of Phrygia and Bithynia 
indicated by a river, two lakes, and other localities bearing- the old name.f 
Recent Assyriologists, however, find in it the ASgiizaX of the monn., — 
a branch of the Indo-Germanic invaders who settled in the vicinity of 
lake Urumia, and are probably identical with the Scythians of Herod, i. 
103, 106. Since they are first mentioned by Esarhaddon, they might 
readily appear to a Heb. writer to be a younger people than the Cim- 
merians. See Wi. Il.cc. ; ATLO^, 259 f. 

(3) ns"! ('Pi4>ad, 'Epi(pa6: but i Ch. i« ng'-n) : otherwise unknown. 
According- to Josephus, it denotes the Paphlagonians. Bochart and 
Lagarde {Ges. Abh. 255) put it further west, near the Bosphorus, on the 
ground of a remote resemblance in name to the river 'PTj^af and the 
district ' Pr7/3avTia. Che. [EB, 41 14) favours the transposition of Halevy 
(m'£3), and compares Bit Burutai, mentioned by Sargon along- with the 
MuSki and Tabali (Schr. KGF, 176). 

(4) non^h {Qepyajj-a, eop7a/ta) = nonjin rvi, Ezk. 38^ 27^*: in the latter 
passage as a region exporting horses and mules. Jos. identities with 
the Phrygians. The name is traditionally associated with Armenia, 
Thorgom being regarded as the mythical ancestor of the Armenians ; 
but that legend is probably derived from <& of this passage (Lag. 
Ges. Abh. 255 ff.; Symm. i. 105). The suggested Assyriological equi- 
valent Til-Garimmu (Del. Par. 246; ATLO^, 260; al.), a city on the 
frontier of the Tabali mentioned by Sargon and Sennacherib, is not 
convincing ; even though the Til- should be a fictitious Ass. etymology 
(Lenorm. Orig.^ ii. 410). 

(5) aiJD (Ma7a)7) : Ezk. 38^ 39*. The generally accepted identifica- 
tion with the Scythians dates from Jos. and Jer., but perhaps reflects 
only a vague impression that the name is a comprehensive designation 
of the barbarous races of the north, somewhat like the Umman-manda 
of the Assyrians. In one of the Tel-Amarna letters {KIB, v. 5), a land 
Ga-ga is alluded to in a similar manner. But how the author differenti- 
ated Magog from the Cimmerians and Medes, etc., does not appear. 
The name JUD is altogether obscure. That it is derived from J'u = Gj'ges, 
king of Lydia (Mey. GA^, \. p. 558), is most improbable ; and the 
suggestion that it is a corruption of Ass. M&t Gog {Mdt Gagaia),% must 
also be received with some caution. 

(6) '-12 (MaSai) : the common Heb. name for Media and the Medes ; 
2 Ki. 176 18I1, Is. 13" 2i2, Jer. 25-« 51"- ^s, Est. i^-i-i- isj. jq^, Dn. S^" 9I [ii^] 

* Ass. Mannai, between lakes Van and Urumia, mentioned along 
with Agguza in KIB, ii. 129, 147. 

t Lag. {Ges. Abh. 2541 instances Ashken as an Armenian proper 
name ; and the inscription yUTji' "Ao-KTjfos on Grseco-Phrygian coins. 

+ Whether the Heb. word is a clerical error for nr:;'N (Wi. Jer.), or 
the Ass. a modification of ASginiza, the Assyriologists may decide (see 
Schmidt, EB, iv. 4330 f.). 

§ Del. Par. 246 f. ; Streck, ZA, 321 ; Sayce, HCAP, 125. 


{Ass. Madai). The formation of the Median Empire must have taken 
place about the middle of the 7th cent., but the existence of the people in 
their later seats (E of the Zagros mountains and S of the Caspian Sea) 
appears to be traceable in the monuments back to the gth cent. They 
are thus the earliest branch of the Aryan family to make their mark 
in Asiatic history. See Mey. GA^, i. § 422 ff. ; KAT^, 100 ff. ; ATLO^, 

(7) ni ('Iwuav) is the Greek 'laFtiiv-ove^, and denotes primarily the 
Greek settlements in Asia Minor, which were mainly Ionian : Ezk. 27^', 
Is. 66^^ After Alexander the Great it was extended to the Hellenes 
generally: Jl. 4^, Zech. 9^^, Dn. 8^' 10^* n^. In Ass. Yamanai is said 
to be used but once (by Sargon, KIB, ii. 43) ; but the Persian Yauna 
occurs, with the same double reference, from the time of Darius (cf. 
.^sch. Pers. 176, 562). Whether the word here includes the European 
Greeks cannot be positively determined.*— The 'sons' of Javan are 
(v.'*) to be sought along the Mediterranean, and probably at spots 
known to the Heb. as commercial colonies of the Phoenicians (on which 
see Mey. EB, 3736 f.). Very few of them, however, can be confidently 

(8) n^^'V^ ('EXio-a, 'EXicro-a) is mentioned only in Ezk. 27'' ('« ';><) as a 
place supplying- Tyre with purple. The older verbal identifications 
with the AioXeis (Jos. Jer. ; so De.), 'EXXds (SP), 'HXis, etc., are value- 
less ; and modern opinion is greatly divided. Some favour Carthage, 
because of Elissa, the name of the legendary foundress of the city 
(Sta. Wi. Je. al.); others (Di, al.) southern Italy with Sicily.t The 
most attractive solution is that first proposed by Conder {PEFS, 1892, 
45 ; cf. 1904, 170), and widely accepted, that the Alasia of the TA 
Tablets is meant (see KIB, v. 80-92). This is now g-enerally recognised 
as the name of Cyprus, of which the Tyrian purple was a product : X see 
below on d'bd. Jensen now {KIB, vi. i, 507) places ne/'ha beyond the 
Pillars of Hercules on the African coast, and connects it with the 
Elysium of the Greeks. 

(9) B'V-in (0a/)(rts) is identified (since Bochart) with TapxTjo-o-^j 
(Tartesos), the Phcenician mining and trading station in the S of Spain ; § 
and no other theory is nearly so plausible. The OT Tarshish was rich 
in minerals (Jer. 10^, Ezk. 27''-^), was a Tyrian colony (Is. 23'* '•^'*), and 
a remote coast-land reached by sea (Is. 66'^, Jn. 1^4^ Ps. 72'"); and 
to distinguish the Tarshish of these pass, from that of Gn. 10 (De. 
Jast. al.), or to consider the latter a doublet of DTn (Che. Mii.), are but 
counsels of despair. The chief rival theory is Tarsus in Cilicia (Jos. 

* Against the theory of a second fi; in Arabia (which in any case 
would not affect the interpretation of this pass.), see Sta. Akad. 
Red. 125-142. Cf., further, ATLO", 255. 

t Cf. 2^0 on Ezk. 27'' N''7a'x runoD ; and Eus. Chr. Arm. ii. p. 13: 
'EXto-o-d, ii ou St/ceXo^ + et Athenienses [Arm.]. 

X See Muller, ZA, x. 257 ff. ; OLz. iii. 288 ff. ; Jen. ZA, 379 f. ; Jast. 
DB, v. Sob. 

§ Her. i. 163, iv. 152; Strabo, iii. 151; Plin. UN, iii. 7, iv. 
120, etc. 

X. 2, 4 199 

Jer. al.); but this in Semitic is nn {Tarzi). Cf. Wi. AOF, i. 445 f.; 
Miiller, OLz. iii. 291. 

(10) D'R? (Ki/rtot, Kmoi)] cf. Jer. 2'", Ezk. 27*, Is. 23'-", Dn. ii**, 
I Mac. i' 8*, Nu. 24^. Against the prevalent view that it denotes 
primarily the island of Cyprus, so called from its chief city K/rtoi' 
(Larnaka), Wi. {AOF, ii. 422'; cf. KAT^, 128) argues that neither the 
island nor its capital * is so named in any ancient document, and that 
the older biblical references demand a site further W. The application 
to the Macedonians (i Mac.) he describes as one of those false identifica- 
tions common in the Egypt of the Ptolemaic period. His argument is 
endorsed by Miiller {OLs. iii. 2S8) and Je. {ATLO^, 261) : they suggest 
S Italy, mainly on the authority of Dn. 11^". The question is obviously 
bound up with the identity of nc'Sx — Alagia {v.s.\ 

(11) D'jYi or D'jYn (wjiffi ['PoStot] and i Ch. i'')] a name omitted by 
Jos. If ffii be right, the Rhodians are doubtless meant (cf. //. ii. 654 f. ) : 
the sing, is perhaps disguised in the corrupt pT of Ezk. 27'^ (cf. ffi). 
The MT has been explained of the Dardanians ((JJ, De. al.), "properly 
a people of Asia Minor, not far from the Lycians " (Che. EB, 1 1 23). Wi. 
(I.e.) proposes Q':n, the Dorians; and Miiller D'3:(i)i, Eg. Da-n6-na = 
TA, Da-nu-na {KIB, v. 277), on the W coast of Asia Minor. 

(12) Sjn (eo/3e\)] and 

(13) ^a*e (Moo-ox)] are mentioned together in Ezk. 27^^ (as exporting 
slaves and copper), 32=^ (a warlike people of antiquity), 38^'- 39^ (in the 
army of Gog), Is. 66^^ (€r) ; l^o alone in Ps. 120'. Jos. arbitrarily 
identifies them with the Iberians and Cappadocians respectively ; but 
since Bochart no one has questioned their identity with the Ttpaprjuol 
and M<5(rxot, first mentioned in Her. iii. 94 as belonging to the 19th 
satrapy of Darius, and again (vii. 78) as furnishing a contingent to the 
host of Xerxes (cf. Strabo, xi. ii. 14, 16). Equally obvious is their 
identity with the Tabali and Muski of the Ass. Monn., where the latter 
appear as early as Tiglath-pileser I. {c. iioo), and the former under 
Shalmaneser 11. {c. 838), — both as formidable military states. In Sargon's 
inscrs. they appear together;! and during this whole period their 
territory evidently extended much further S and W than in Gr;eco- 
Roman times. These stubborn little nationalities, which so tenaciously 
maintained their identity, are regarded by Wi. and Je. as remnants of 
the old Hittite population which were gradually driven (probably by 
the Cimmerian invasion) to the mountainous district SE of the Black 

(14) 0";'n (Getpas)] not mentioned elsewhere, was almost unanimously 
taken by the ancients (Jos. ST J, Jer. etc. ; and so Boch. al.) to be 
the Thracians ( 9paK-es) ; but the superficial resemblance vanishes when 
the nominative ending s is removed. Tu. was the first to suggest the 
Tvp<T-r)vioi, a race of Pelasgian pirates, who left many traces of their 
ancient prowess in the islands and coasts of the ^gean, and who were 

* The city, however, is called Tid in Phoen. inscrs. and coins from 
the 4th cent. B.C. downwards ; see Cooke, NSI, pp. 56, 66?, 78, 352. 
t See KIB, i. 18 f, 64 f., 142 f., ii. 40 f., 56 f. ; and Del. Par. 250 f. 


doubtless identical with the E-frus-cans of Italy.* This brilliant con- 
jecture has since been confirmed by the discovery of the name Turusa 
amongst the seafaring peoples who invaded Egypt in the reign of 
Merneptah (Mey. GA^, i. § 260 ; W. M. Muller, AE, 356 ff.). 

6, 7, 20. The Hamitic or Southern Group : in Africa 
and S Arabia, but including the Canaanites of Palestine. 



1. Kush. 2. Mizraim. 3. Put. 4. Canaan. 


I I I I I 

5. Seba. 6. Havilah. 7. Sabtah. 8. Ra'mah. 9. Sabtekah. 

I I 

10. Sheba. ii. Dedan. 

(i) ^?3 (ffi Xons, but elsewhere AWloTr-es, -la)] the land and people 
S of Egypt (Nubia), — the Ethiopians of the Greeks, the /Tos of the Eg. 
monuments :t cf. Is. i8\ Jer. 1323, Ezk. 291", Zeph. s^" etc. Ass. Ktisu 
occurs repeatedly in the same sense on inscrs. of Esarhaddon and 
Asshurbanipal ; and only four passages of Esarhaddon are claimed by 
Wi. for the hypothesis of a south Arabian X'l/su {KAT^, 144). There is 
no reason to doubt that in this v. the African Kush is meant. That the 

5. The subscription to the first division of the Table is not quite in 
order. We miss the formula ns' ':3 nhn (cf. vv.^- "), which is here 
necessary to the sense, and must be inserted, not (with We.) at the 
beginning of the v., but immediately before nnsnND. The clause 
D'un — rhao is then seen to belong to v.*, and to mean that the Mediter- 
ranean coasts were peopled from the four centres just named as occupied 
by sons of Javan. Although these places were probably all at one 
time Phoenician colonies, it is not to be inferred that the writer confused 
the lonians with Phoenicians. He may be thinking of the native popula- 
tion of regions known to Israel through the Phoenicians, or of the 
Mycenean Greeks, whose colonising enterprise is now believed to be 
of earlier date than the Phoenician (Mey. EB, 3736 f.). — m£33] construed 
like ns23 in 9'^ (J) ; ct. lO'*^. — D'un "x] only again Zeph. 2^^. Should we 
read D'n "x (Is. 11" 24", Est. 10')? 'k (for '1n, perhaps from V 'away, 
" betake oneself") seems to be a seafarer's word denoting the place 
one makes for (for shelter, etc.); hence both "coast" and "island" 
(the latter also in Phoen.). In Heb. the pi. came to be used of distant 
lands in general (Is. 41^- ^ 42^ 51^ etc., Jer. 31"* etc.) 

* Thuc. iv. 109 ; Her. i. 57, 94 ; Strabo, V. ii. 2, iii. 5 : other reff. in 
Tu. adloc. 

t See Steindorff, BA, i. 593 f. 

X. 5, 6 20I 

'sons'ofKush include Arabian peoples is quite naturally explained by 
the assumption that the writer believed these Arabs to be of African 
descent. As a matter of fact, intercourse, involving- intermixture of 
blood, has at all times been common between the two shores of the 
Red Sea ; and indeed the opinion that Africa was the orig-inal cradle of 
the Semites has still a measure of scientific support (see Barton, OS^, 
6ff., 24). — See, further, on v.* (p. 207 f.). 

(2) D'lsp CMeffpaiv)] the Heb. form of the common Semitic name of 
Egypt (TA, Missari, Misri, Masri, Mizirri ; Ass. [from 8th and 7th 

cent.'\ Mu^ur ; Bah. 3Iisir ; Syr. __j5 ^Sd ; Ar. Misr). Etymology and 

meaning are uncertain : Hommel's suggestion (G^5c/i. 530 ; cf. 'W\. AOF, 
I. 25) that it is an Ass. appellative — ' frontier,' is little probable. The 
dual form of Heb. is usually explained by the constant distinction in 
the native inscrs. between Upper and Lower Egypt, though oniiO is 
found in connexions (Is. 11^', Jer. 44'^) which limit it to Lower Eg. ; and 
many scholars now deny that the termination is a real dual (Mey. 
GA, i. § 42, An. ; Jen. ZDMG, xlviii. 439). — On the vexed question of a 
N Arabian Musri, it is unnecessary to enter here. There may be 
passages of OT where that view is plausible, but this is not one of 
them ; and the idea of a wholesale confusion between Eg. and Arabia 
on the part of OT writers is a nightmare which it is high time to be 
quit of. 

(3) ms {^ovb, but elsewhere At/3i/es)] mentioned 6 times (incl. ffir of 
Is. 66'*) in OT, as a warlike people furnishing auxiliaries to Egypt 
(Nah. 3*, Jer. 46^ Ezk. 30^) or Tyre (Ezk. 2f'>) or the host of Gog (38-5), 
and frequently associated with -^13 and ■^^^h. The prevalent view has been 
that the Lybians, on the N coast of Africa W of Egypt, are meant {<&, 
Jos. al.), although Nah. 3^ and probably Ezk. 30^ (G) show that the 
two peoples were distinguished. Another identification, first proposed 
by Ebers, has recently been strongly advocated : viz. with the Pwnt of 
Eg. monuments, comprising ' the whole African coast of the Red Sea ' 
(W. M. Muller,^^, inff., andZ)^, iv. 176 f. ; Je. 263 f.). The only serious 
objection to this theory is the order in which the name occurs, which 
suggests a place further north than Egypt (Jen. ZA, x. 325 fF.). 

(4) [yj? {Xavaav)] the eponym of the pre-Israelitish inhabitants of 
Palestine, is primarily a geographical designation. The etymolog)' is 
doubtful ; but the sense ' lowland ' has still the best claim to acceptance 
(see, however, Moore, PAOS, 1890, Ixviiff.). In Eg. monuments the 
name, in the form pa-Ka-n- -na (^pa is the art.), is applied to the strip 
of coast from Phoenicia to the neighbourhood of Gaza ; but the ethno- 
graphic derivative extends to the inhabitants of all Western Syria 
(Muller, AE, 205 ff.). Similarly in TA Tablets Kinahhi, Kinahna, etc., 
stand for Palestine proper {KAT^, 181), or (according to Jast. EB, 641) 
the northern part of the seacoast. — The fact that Canaan, in spite of its 
geographical situation and the close affinity of its language with Heb., 
is reckoned to the Hamites is not to be explained by the tradition (Her. i. 
I, vii. 89, etc.) that the Phoenicians came originally from the Red Sea ; 
for that probably implies no more than that they were connected with 


the Babylonians {'EpvOprj Qa\a<T(ra = the Persian Gulf). Neither is it 
altogether natural to suppose that Canaan is thus placed because it 
had for a long time been a political dependency of Eg. : in that case, as 
Di. observes, we should have expected Canaan to figure as a son of 
Mizraim, The belief that Canaan and Israel belonged to entirely 
different branches of the human family is rooted in the circumstances 
that gave rise to the blessing and curse of Noah in ch. 9. When, with 
the extension of geographical knowledge, it became necessary to 
assign the Canaanites to a larger group (p. 187 above), it was inevitable 
that they should find their place as remote from the Hebrews as 

Of the descendants of Kush (v.'') a large proportion — all, indeed, that 
can be safely identified — are found in Arabia. Whether this means 
that Kushites had crossed the Red Sea, or that Arabia and Africa were 
supposed to be a continuous continent, in which the Red Sea formed an 
inland lake {KAT^, 137, 144), it is perhaps impossible to decide. 

(5) K5? (2a/3a)] Is. 43^ 45I*, Ps. 72'" ; usually taken to be Meroe * 
(between Berber and Khartoum). The tall stature attributed to the 
people in Is. 45'^ (but cf. 18"'') is in favour of this view; but it has 
nothing else to recommend it. Di. al. prefer the Saba referred to by 
Strabo (xvi. iv. 8, 10; cf Ptolemy, iv. 7. 7f.) on the African side of 
the Red Sea (S of Suakim). Je. {ATLO"^, 265) considers the word as 
the more correct variant to N3tP (see below). 

(6) ."iViri (Ei'[e]tXa[r])] often (since Bochart) explained as 'sand-land' 
(fr. Sin) ; named in v.^^ (J) as a Joktanite people, and in 25^^ (also J) as 
the eastern limit of the Ishmaelite Arabs. It seems impossible to 
harmonise these indications. The last is probably the most ancient, 
and points to a district in N Arabia, not too far to the E. We may 
conjecture that the name is derived from the large tract of loose red 
sand {nefiid) which stretches N of Teima and S of el-6of. This is 
precisely where we should look for the XaiAoraloi whom Eratosthenes 
(Strabo, xvi. iv. 2) mentions (next to the Nabateans) as the second of 
three tribes on the route from Egypt to Babylon ; and Pliny (vi. 157) 
gives Domata (= D{lmah = el-Gof : see p. 353) as a town of the AvalitcE. 
The name might easily be extended to other sandj' regions of Arabia, 
(perhaps especially to the great sand desert in the southern interior) : 
of some more southerly district it must be used both here and v.^^ 
(see Mey. INS, 325 f). To distinguish further the Cushite from the 
Joktanite 'n, and to identify the former with the 'A^aXtrat, etc., on the 
African coast near Bab-el-mandeb, is quite unnecessary. On the other 
hand, it is impossible to place either of these so far N as the head of the 
Persian Gulf (Glaser) or the ENE part of the Syrian desert (Frd. Del.). 
Nothing can be made of Gn. 2}^ ; and in i Sa. 15'' (the only other occur- 
rence) the text is probably corrupt. 

(7) ni?3p (Sa/Sa^a)] not identified. Possibly Sd/Sara, Sabota, the 
capital of Hadramaut (see on v.-'') (Strabo, XVI. iv. 2 ; Pliny, HN, vi. 155, 
xii. 63), — though in Sabsean this is written nnr (see Osiander, ZDMG, 

* Jos. AnL ii. 249. In i. 134 f he seems to confuse N3D and Kae*. 

X. 7 203 

xix, 253; Homm. SA Chrest. 119); or the 2({0^a of Ptol. vi. 7. 30, 
an inland town lying (according to Glaser, 252) W of El-Katlf. 

(8) nDjj'T ("Pe7yua or 'Pe7x/ia)] coupled with Nae' (? and nV'in) in Ezk. 
27^ as a tribe trading in spices, precious stones, and gold. It is doubt- 
less the nnyn i^Ra^mat) of a Minasan inscr. ,* which speaks of an attack 
by the hosts of Saba and Haul^n on a Minasan caravan en route between 
Main and Ra'mat. This again may be connected with the 'Pa^ii/xai'irai 
of Strabo (xvi. iv. 24) N of Hadramaut. The identification with the 

P^7[a]/io ir<5Xii (a seaport on the Persian Gulf) of Ptol. vi. 7. 14 (Boch. 
al. ; so Glaser) is difficult because of its remoteness from Sheba and 
Dedan {v.i.\ and also because this appears on the inscr. as R^nt 
(Glaser, 252). 

(9) Kpnno (2a/3a/catfa)] unknown. Ha/jLvdaKr] in Carmaniaf (Ptol. vi. 
8. 7f., n) is unsuitable both geographically and phonetically. Je. sug- 
gests that the word is a duplicate of nnnp. 

(10) Njif' (2a^a)] (properly, as inscrs. show, K30 : see No. 5 above) is 
assigned in v.''^ to the Joktanites, and in 25^ to the Ketureans. It is 
the OT name of the people known to the classical geographers as 
Sabaeans, the founders of a great commercial state in SW Arabia, with 
its metropolis at Marib (Mariaba), some 45 miles due E of San'a, the 
present capital of Yemen (Strabo, xvi. iv. 2, 19; Pliny, HA\ vi. 154 f, 
etc.). "They were the centre of an old S Arabian civilisation, regarding 
the former existence of which the Sabaean inscriptions and architectural 
monuments supply ample evidence" (Di. 182). Their history is still 
obscure. The native inscrs. commence about 700 B.C. ; and, a little 
earlier, Sab^an princes (not kings) + appear on Ass. monuments as 
paying tribute to Tiglath-pileser iv. (B.C. 738) and Sargon (B.C. 71 5). § 
It would seem that about that time (probably with the help of the 
Assyrians) they overthrew the older Minaean Empire, and established 
themselves on its ruins. Unlike their precursors, however, they do 
not appear to have consolidated their power in N Arabia, though their 
inscrs. have been found as far N as el-6of. To the Hebrews, Sheba 
was a 'far country' (Jer. 6^, Jl. 4^), famous for gold, frankincense, and 
precious stones (i Ki. io>^-, Is. 60", Jer. 6^", Ezk. 27^^, Ps. 72^^) : in all 
these passages, as well as Ps. 72'", Jb. 6'^, the reference to the southern 
Sabaeans is clear. On the other hand, the association with Dedan (25*, 
Ezk. 38^^ and here) favours a more northern locality ; in Jb. i^^ they 
appear as Bedouin of the northern desert ; and the Ass. references 
appear to imply a northerly situation. Since it is undesirable to assume 
the existence of two separate peoples, it is tempting to suppose that the 
pass, last quoted preserve the tradition of an earlier time, before the 

* Halevy, 535, 2 (given in Homm. SA Chrest. 103) = Glaser, 1155: 
translated by MuUer, ZDMG, xxx. 121 f., and Homm. AA, 322, AHT, 
249 f. 

t Boch. : so Glaser, ii. 252 ; but see his virtual withdrawal on p. 404. 

X It is important that neither in their own nor in the Ass, inscrs. 
are the earliest rulers spoken of as kings. 

§ Cf. KIB, ii. 21, 55. 


conquest of the Minasans had led to a settlement in Yemen. V.^ (J), 
however, presupposes the southern settlement* 

(ii) [n^ [AaSav, AeSai' ; but elsewhere Aaidav, etc.)] a merchant tribe 
mentioned along with Sheba in 25^ (=1 Ch. i^^) and Ezk. 38'*; with 
Tema (the modern Teima, c. 230 miles N of Medina) in Is. 21'"*, Jen 25^*, 
and ffi of Gn. 25^ ; and in Jer. 49**, Ezk. 25'^ as a neighbour of Edom. 
All this points to a reg'ion in the N of Arabia ; and as the only other 
reference (Ezk. 27^°) — in 27^^ the text is corrupt — is consistent with this, 
there is no need to postulate another Dedan on the Persian Gulf (Boch. 
al.) or anywhere else. Glaser (397) very suitably locates the Dedanites 
" in the neighbourhood of Khaibar, el-Ola, El-Higr, extending perhaps 
beyond Teima," — a region intersected by the trade-routes from all parts 
of Arabia (see the map in EB, iv. 5160) ; and where the name is probably 
perpetuated in the ruins of Daidan, W of Teima (Di,). The name 
occurs both in Minsean and Sabzean inscrs. (Glaser, 397 ff. ; Miiller, 
ZDMG, XXX. 122), but not in the Greek or Roman geographers. — The 
older tradition of J (25^) recognises a closer kinship of the Israelites 
with Sheba and Dedan, by making them sons of Jokshan and descendants 
of Abraham through Keturah (y. ad loc). (An intermediate stage seems 
represented by lo-^""^^, where S Arabia is assigned to the descendants of 
"Eber). P follows the steps of 25^ by bracketing the two tribes as sons 
of Ra'mah : whether he knew them as comparatively recent offshoots of 
the Kushite stock is not so certain. 

22, 23, 31. The Shemitic or Eastern Group. — With 

the doubtful exception of n^^ (see below) the nations here 
mentioned all lie on the E. of Palestine, and are probably 
arranged in geographical order from SE to NW, till they 
join hands with the Japhethites. 

S he m. 

I \ r~ \ 1 

I, Elam. 2. Asshur. 3. Arpachshad. 4. Lud. 5. Aram. 

I I I I 

6. Uz. 7. Hul. 8. Gether. 9. Mash. 

(i) dVj? (AtXtt/tt)] Ass. Elamfu,^ the name of "the great plain E of 
the lower Tigris and N of the Persian Gulf, together with the mountain- 
ous region enclosing it on the N and E " (Del. Par. 320), corresponding 
to the later Elymals or Susiana. The district round Susa was in very 

* See Mey. GA^, i. § 403; Glaser, ii. 399 ff. ; Sprenger, ZDMG, 
xliv. 501 ff. ; Margoliouth, DB, i. 133, iv. 479 ff. ; Horn. AHT, 77 ff., 
and in EBL, 728 fT. ; KAl^, 148 ff. ; ATLO-, 265. 

t Commonly explained as 'highland' (Schr. Del. Hivh. etc.), but 
according to Jen. {ZA, vi. 170^ xi. 351) = ' front-land,' i.e. ' East land.' 

X. 7- 22 205 

early times (after 3000 B.C.) inhabited by Semitic settlers ruled by 
viceroys of the Babylonian kings ; about 2280 the Anzanite element (of 
a different race and speaking- a different language) gained the upper 
hand, and even established a suzerainty over Babylonia. From that 
time onwards Elam was a powerful monarchy, playing an important 
part in the politics of the Euphrates valley, till it was finally destroyed 
by Assurbanipal.* The reason for including this non-Semitic race 
among the sons of Shem is no doubt geographical or political. The 
other ^OT reff. are Gn. 141- «, Is. 11" 21^ 226, Jer. 252s 49*^'^.^ g^k. 322*, 
Dn. 82. 

(2) n«'N] Assyria. See below on v.^' (p. 211). 

(3) ir;s-)N' {' Ap(pa^ad)'] identified by Boch. with the 'A/5pa7raxtrts which 
Ptol. (vi. I. 2) describes as the province of Assyria next to Armenia, — 
the mountainous region round the sources of the Upper Zab, between 
lakes Van and Urumia, still called in Kurdish Albdk. This name 
appears in Ass. as Arapha (Arbaha, etc.)»t and on Eg. monuments of 
the i8th dynasty as 'Amrpa/ja (Muller, AE, 278 f.). Geographically 
nothing could be more suitable than this identification : the difficulty is 
that the last syllable ic' is left unaccounted for. Jos. recognised in the 
last three letters the name of the Chaldeans ("i^fli),! and several attempts 
have been made to explain the first element of the word in accordance 
with this hint, (a) The best is perhaps that of Cheyne (EB, 3i8),§ 
resolving the word into two proper names : 13"iN or nsn.x (= Ass. Arbaha) 
and Tf3, — the latter here introducing a second trio of sons of Shem. 
On this view the Arpaksad of v.-^ j iioff. must be an error (for iL'O ?) caused 
by the textual corruption here, {b) An older conjecture, approved by Ges. 
{Th.), Knobel, al., compares the tr\K with Ar. 'urfat (= 'boundary'),!] 
Eth. arfat (= 'wall'); HE'S «]nx would thus be the 'wall (or boundary) 
of Kesed.' (c) Hommei {AHT, 212, 294-8) takes the middle syllable /a 
to be the Egyptian art., reading ' Ur-pa-Kesed = Ur of the Chaldees 
(ii^*), — an improbable suggestion, {d) Del. {Par. 255 f.) and Jen. {ZA, 
XV. 256) interpret the word as arba-kisddu = ' [Land of the] four quarters 
(or shores),' after the analog)' of a common designation of Babylonia in 
royal titles. — These theories are partly prompted by the observation 
that otherwise Chaldea is passed over in the Table of P, — a surprising 
omission, no doubt, but perhaps susceptible of other explanations. The 
question is complicated by the mention of an Aramean Kesed in 22^2. 
The difficulty of identifying that tribe with the Chaldeans in the S of 
Babylonia is admitted by Dri. (p. 223) ; and if there was another Kesed 
near Harran, the fact must be taken account of in speculating about 
the meaning of Arpaksad. 

* See the interesting historical sketch by Scheil, Textes elamites- 
semittques {igoo), pp. ix-xv [= vol. ii. of de Morgan, Delectation enPerse : 
Memoires\. Cf. Sayce, ET^ xiii. 65. 

t KIB, i. 177, 213, ii. 13, 89; cf. Del. Par. i24f. 

%' kp<po.^a.h-r)% de tous vuv XaXdalov^ KoXovjuivovs ' Apcpa^adalovi ihvhfiaaev 
dp^as airCiv : Ant. i. 144. 

§ A different conjecture in EB, 3644 ; TBI, 178. 

II Note Tu.'s objections, p. 205. 


(4) ni"? (ux nV, ffi AovS)} usually understood of the Lydians (Jos. Boch. 
a!.), but it has never been satisfactorily explained how a people in the 
extreme W of Asia Minor comes to be numbered among- the Shemites. 
An African people, such as appears to be contemplated in v.^', would 
be equally out of place here. A suggestion of Jen.'s deserves con- 
sideration : that ni'? is the Lubdtt, — a province lying " between the upper 
Tigris and the Euphrates, N of Mt. Masius and its western extension," 
— mentioned in IC/B, i. 4(1. g fr. below, rd. Lu-up-di), 177 (along with 
Arrapha), 199. See Wi. AOF, ii. 47; Streck, ZA, xiv. 168; Je. 276. 
In the remaining refs. (Is, 66^^, Jer. 46^, Ezk. 27^° 30^), the Lydians of 
Asia Minor might be meant, — in the last three as mercenaries in the 
service of Eg. or Tyre. 

(5) vnv. {'Apafi, 'Apa/jLwv)] a collective designation of the Semitic 
peoples speaking ' Aramaic ' dialects,* so far as known to the Hebrews 
(No. £B, 276 ff.). The actual diffusion of that family of Semites was 
wider than appears from OT, which uses the name only of the districts 
to the NE of Palestine (Damascus especially) and Mesopotamia (Aram- 
Naharaim, Paddan-Aram) : these, however, were really the chief centres 
of Aramaean culture and influence. In Ass. the Armaiu (Aramu, Ariinu, 
Arumu) are first named by Tiglath-pileser i. (c. iioo) as dwelling in 
the steppes of Mesopotamia (^KIB, i. 33) ; and Shalmaneser 11. (c. 857) 
encountered them in the same region {ih. 165). But if Wi. be right 
{KAT^, 28 f, 36), they are referred to under the name Ahlatni from a 
much earlier date (TA Tab. ; Ramman-nirari I. [c. 1325] ; A§ur-ri§- 
i§i [<7. 1 150]: see KIB, v. 387, i. 5, 13). Hence Wi. regards the second 
half of the 2nd millennium B.C. as the period during which the Aramaean 
nomads became settled and civilised peoples in Mesopotamia and Syria. 

In I Ch. i^' the words Dnx '331 (v.^^) are omitted, the four following 
names being treated as sons of Shem : 

(6) 5*51; ('fiy, 0^^)] is doubtless the same tribe which in 22"^ ('fif, 'ftf) is 
classed as the firstborn of Nahor : therefore presumably somewhere NE 
of Palestine in the direction of Harran. The conjectural identifications 
are hardly worth repeating. The other Biblical occurrences of the 
name are difficult to harmonise. The Uz of Jb. i^ (Awtrij), and the 
Horite tribe mentioned in Gn. 36-", point to a SE situation, bordering 
on or comprised in Edom ; and this would also suit La. 4^^, Je. 25^ 
(I'lyn !), though in both these passages the reading is doubtful. It is 
suggested by Rob. Sm. (KAP, 61) and We. (Heid. 146) that the name 
is identical with that of the Arabian god 'And; and by the former 
scholar that the OT pv denotes a number of scattered tribes worship- 
ping that deity (similarly Bu. Hiob. ix.-xi. ; but, on the other side, see 
No. ZDMG, xl. i83f.). 

(7) h'in (Oi/X)] Del. {Par. 259) identifies with a district in the neigh- 
bourhood of Mt. Masius mentioned by Asshur-nasir-pal. The word 
(hii-li-ia), however, is there read by Peiser as an appellative =' desert' 
(KIB, i. 86 f., iiof ) ; and no other conjecture is even plausible. 

(8) nna is quite unknown. 

* oOs "E\Xr;ves "Zvpovs Trpoaayope^ovcnv — as Jos. correctly explains. 

X. 22, 23, 31. 32. 8 207 

(g) eto (ju. KE-a, ffi Mo(rox, in accord with i Ch. i" MT r[^a)] perhaps 
connected with Mons Masius, — rd Mdaiov fiporof Ptol. (v. i8. 2) and Strabo 
(xi. xiv. 2), — a mountain range N of Nisibis now called Tflr-'Abdin or 
Kerag:a Dagh (Bo. Del. Par. 259, Di. al.). The uncertainty of the 
text and the fact that the Ass. monuments use a different name render 
the identification precarious. Jen. {KIB, vi. i, 567) suggests the moun- 
tain MCilu of GilgameS ix. ii. i f., which he supposes to be Lebanon 
and Anti-Libanus. The M&t Mas of KIB, ii. 221, which has been 
adduced as a parallel, ought, it now appears, to be read mad-bar 
{KAT^, 191^; cf. Jen. ZA, x. 364). 

31, 32. P's closing- formula for the Shemites {^^) ; and his 
subscription to the whole Table (^-). 

The Table of J. 
IX. i8a, X. lb. Introduction. See pp. 182, 188. 

A slight discontinuity in v.^ makes it probable that ^^ is inserted from 
J. If so, it would stand most naturally after g^**" (Di.), not after '®. 
It seems to me that '^ is rather the Yahwistic parallel to lo^* (P), 
and formed originally the conclusion of J's Table (cf. the closing 
formulae, lo"'' 22-^ 25'*). 

8-12. Nimrod and his empire. — The section deals 
with the foundation of the Babylonio-Assyrian Empire, 
whose legendary hero, Nimrod, is described as a son of 
Kush (see below). Unlike the other names in the chapter, 
Nimrod is not a people, but an individual, — a Gibhor or 
despot, famous as the originator of the idea of the military 
state, based on arbitrary force. — 8. The statement that he 
•was the first to become a Gibbor on the earth implies a dif- 
ferent conception from 6*. There, the Gibborim are identi- 
fied with the semi-divine Nephilim : here, the Gibbor is a 
man, whose personal prowess and energy raise him above 
the common level of humanity. The word expresses the 
idea of violent, tyrannical power, like Ar. ^abbiir. 

If the vxii of V."- be Ethiopia (see p. 200 f.), it follows that in the view 
of the redactor the earliest dynasty in the Euphrates valley was founded 
by immigrants from Africa. That interpretation was accepted even by 
Tuch ; but it is opposed to all we know of the early history of Baby- 

8. nip: (Ne^pwS)] The Heb. naturally connects the name with the 
^ TO = ' rebel ' (CJ, Ra. al.) : see below, p. 209. — 'h ^-u\ .><1,^] ' he was the 


Ionia, and it is extremely improbable that it represents a Heb. tradition. 
The assumption of a S Arabian Kiish would relieve the difficulty ; for 
it is generally agreed that the Setnitic population of Babylonia — which 
goes back as far as monumental evidence carries us— actually came 
from Arabia ; but it is entirely opposed to the ethnography of J, who 
peoples S Arabia with descendants of Shem (^'- ^^•). It is therefore 
not unlikely that, as many Assyriologists think,* J's m'Z is quite inde- 
pendent of the Hamitic Kiash of P, and denotes the Kas or Kassu, a 
people who conquered Babylonia in the i8th cent., and set up a dynasty 
(the 3rd) which reigned there for 600 years t (A'4 7^, 21). It is conceiv- 
able that in consequence of so prolonged a supremacy, Ka§ might have 
become a name for Babylonia, and that J's knowledge of its history 
did not extend farther back than the KaSSite dynasty. Since there is no 
reason to suppose that J regarded Ka§ as Hamitic, it is quite possible 
that the name belonged to his list of Japhetic peoples. 

9. Nimrod was not only a great tyrant and ruler of men, but 
a hero of the chase p^^ "''135), The v. breaks the connexion 
between ^ and ^^, and is probably an interpolation (Di. al.); 
although, as De. remarks, the union of a passion for the 
chase with warlike prowess makes Nimrod a true prototype 
of the Assyrian monarchs, — an observation amply illus- 
trated by the many hunting- scenes sculptured on the monu- 
ments. — Therefore it is said\ introducing a current proverb ; 
cf, I Sa. 192* with 10^2. Qn. 22^* etc. "When the Hebrews 

first to become ' ; see on 4^^ 9^". — 9, While Di. regards the v. as an 
interpolation from oral tradition, Bu. {Urg. 390 ff.) assigns it to his J^, 
and finds a place for it between 6* and 11', — a precarious sugges- 
tion. — nin'i] ffi + roO Q^ov. — '' \:s'?] 'before Yahwe.' The phrase is 
variously explained: (i) 'unique,' like □'n'r.x'? in Jn 3^ (Di. al.); (2) 'in 
the estimation of Y.' (cf. 2 Ki, 5^ etc.); (3) 'in despite of Y,' (Bu.); 
(4) 'with the assistance of Y.' — the name of some god of the chase 
having stood in the original myth vGu.) ; (5) 'in the constant presence 
of Y.' — an allusion to the constellation Orion (Ho.). The last view is 
possible in *^, but hardly in *, because of the wn. A sober exegesis 
will prefer (i)or (2). 

* See Del. Par. 51-55; Schr. KAT^, 87 f. ; Wi. ATU, 146 ff. ; Jen. 
ZA, vi. 340-2 ; Sayce, HC3P, 148 ff., etc. 

t Remnants of this conquering race are mentioned by Sennacherib 
{KIB, ii. 87). They are thought to be identical with the Koo-ffalot of the 
Greeks (Strabo, XI. xiii. 6, XVI. i. 17 f.; Arrian, Anab. vii. 15; Dio- 
dorus, xvii. 11 1, xix. 19, etc.) ; and probably also with the Kiaaioi of Her. 
vii. 62, 86, etc. (cf. v. 49, 52, vl. 119). Cf. Del. Par. 31, 124, 127 ff.; 
Mey. GA^, § 129; Wi. GBA, 78ff. ; Schr. KGF, 176 f. ; Oppert, ZA, 
iii. 421 ff. ; Jen. ZDMG, 1. 244 f., etc. 

X. 9 209 

wished to describe a man as being a great hunter, they 
spoke of him as 'like Nimrod ' " (Dri.). — The expression 
nin^ '327 doubtless belongs to the proverb : the precise 
meaning is obscure (v.t.). 

A perfectly convincing Assyriolog-ical prototype of the figure of 
Nimrod has not as yet been discovered. The derivation of the name 
from Marduk, the tutelary deity of the city of Babylon, first propounded 
by Sayce, and adopted with modifications by We.,* still commends 
itself to some Assyriologists (Pinches, DB, iii. 552 f. ; cf. KAT^, 581); 
but the material points of contact between the two personages seem too 
vague to establish an instructive parallel. The identification with Nazi- 
MaruttaS, a late {c. 1350) and apparently not very successful king of the 
Ka§§ite dynasty (Haupt, Hilprecht, Sayce, al.), is also unsatisf3'ing : the 
supposition that that particular king was so well known in Palestine as to 
eclipse all his predecessors, and take rank as the founder of Babylonian 
civilisation, is improbable. The nearest analogy is that of Gilgame§,t 
the legendary tyrant of Erech (see v.'**), whose adventures are recorded 
in the famous series of Tablets of which the Deluge story occupies 
the eleventh (see p. 175 above, and KAT^, 566 ff.). Gilgame§ is a true 
Gibbor — "two parts deity and one part humanity" — he builds the walls 
of Erech with forced labour, and his subjects groan under his tyranny, 
until they cry to Aruru to create a rival who might draw off some of his 
superabundant energy {KIB, vi. i, 117, 119). Among his exploits, and 
those of his companion Ea-bani, contests with beasts and monsters 
figure prominently ; and he is supposed to be the hero so often repre- 
sented on seals and palace-reliefs in victorious combat with a lion (see 
ATLO-, 266 f.). It is true that the parallel is incomplete; and (what 
is more important) that the name Nimrod remains unexplained. The 
expectation that the phonetic reading of the ideographic GiS. TU. BAR 
might prove to be the Bab. equivalent of the Heb. Nimrod, would seem 
to have been finally dispelled by the discovery (in 1890) of the correct 
pronunciation as GilgameS (but see Je. I.e.). Still, enough general 
resemblance remains to warrant the belief that the original of the 
biblical Nimrod belongs to the sphere of Babylonian mj-thology. A 
striking parallel to the visit of GilgameS to his father Ut-napi3tim 
occurs in a late Nimrod legend, preserved in the Syrian Schatzhohle 
(see Gu. Schopf. 146-; Lidz. ZA, vii. 15). On the theory which con- 
nects Nimrod with the constellation Orion, see Tu. ad loc. ; Bu. Urg. 
395 f. ; KAT^, 581^; and on the late Jewish and Mohammedan legends 
generally, Seligsohn, y^, ix. 309 ff. 

* Sayce {TSBA,'\\. 243 ff.) derived it from the Akkadian equiva- 
lent of Marduk, Atnarud, from which he thought Nimrudu would be 
a regular (Ass.) Niphal form. We. [Comp.- 309 f.) explains the 3 as an 
Aram. impf. preformative to the sj nno, a corruption from Mard-uk which 
took place among the Syrians of Mesopotamia, through whom the myth 
reached the Hebrews. 

t So Smith-Sayce, Chald. Gen. lyGff. ; Je. Isdubar-Nimrod. 


10. The nucleus of his empire was Babylon . . . in the 
land of Shinar\ It is not said that Nimrod founded these 
four cities (ct. v.^^). The rise of the great cities of Baby- 
lonia was not only much older than the Kassite dynasty, but 
probably preceded the establishment of any central govern- 
ment ; and the peculiar form of the expression here may be 
due to a recollection of that fact. Of the four cities, two 
can be absolutely identified; the third is known byname, 
but cannot be located ; and the last is altogether uncertain. 

"733 (Ba^uXoii')] the Heb. form of the native Bdb-ili=' %z.\.& of God' 
or 'the gods' (though this may be only a popular etymology). The 
political supremacy of the city, whose origin is unknown, dates from the 
expulsion of the Elamites by Hammurabi, the sixth king of its first 
dynasty (r. 2100 B.C.) ; and for 2000 years it remained the chief centre 
of ancient Oriental civilisation. Its ruins lie on the left bank of the 
Euphrates, about fifty miles due S. of Baghdad. 

■^l^iN ('Opex)] the Bab. Uruk or Arku, now Warka, also on the 
Euphrates, about 100 miles SE of Babylon. It was the city of GilgameS 


15>< ('ApxaS: cf. pii'OT and p^?l^)] The name {Akkad) frequently 
occurs in the inscriptions, especially in the phrase ' Sumer and Akkad,' 
= South and North Babylonia. But a city of Akkad is also mentioned 
by Nebuchadnezzar 1. {KJB, iii. lyoff.), though its site is uncertain. 
Its identity with the Agad^ of Sargon l. {c. 3800 B.C.), which was 
formerly suspected, is said to be confirmed by a recent decipherment. 
Del. and Zim. suppose that it was close to Sippar on the Euphrates, in 
the latitude of Baghdad (see Par. 209 ff. ; KA T^, 422^ 423^ ; A TLO'~, 270). 

niSg (XaXaKCTj)] Not to be confused with the m^D of Am. 6- ( = ij'?3, 
Is. 10*), which was in N Syria. The Bab. Kalne has not yet been 
discovered. Del. {Par. 225) takes it to be the ideogram Kul-unu (pro- 
nounced Zirlahu), of a city in the vicinity of Babylon. But Jen. {ThLz. 
1895, 510) asserts that the real pronunciation was Kullab(a), and pro- 
poses to read so here (■12^3). 

nj^ip* (2e;'[»']aa/))] apparently the old Heb. name for Babylonia proper 
(11- 14^-*, Jos. 7-1, Is. 11", Zee. 5", Dn. i^), afterwards o'ib-d px or 
simply '733 ['«]. That it is the same as Sunier {south Babylonia : v.s.) is 
improbable. More plausible is the identification with the Sanhnr of TA 
Tab. {KIB, V. 83) = Eg. 5««^am (Muller, AE, 279); though VVi. {AOF, 
i. 240, 399; KAT^, 31) puts it N of the Taurus. 6ebel Singar (6 "Zi-y- 
yapos 6pos : Ptol. v. 18. 2), W of Nineveh, is much too far north for the 
biblical Shin'ar, unless the name had wandered. 

II, 12. The colonisation of Assyria from Babylonia. — 

11. iiiS-N Kfl] 'he went out to Asshur ' (so ^J, Cal. and all moderns). 
The rendering 'Asshur went out' {&Y&^'^, Jer. al.) is grammatically 

X. IO-I2 21 I 

From that land he (Nimrod, v.i.^ went out to Assyria'\ — where 
he built four new cities. That the great Assyrian cities 
were not really built by one king or at one period is certain ; 
nevertheless the statement has a certain historic value, 
inasmuch as the whole religion, culture, and political organ- 
isation of Assyria were derived from the southern state, _It 
is also noteworthy that the rise of the Assyrian power dates 
from^the^ decline of Babylonia under the KaSsite kings 
{KAT^, 2i). In Mic. 5^ Assyria is described as the 'land of 

That -vii'H is here the name of the land (along the Tigris, N of the 
Lower Zab), and not the ancient capital (now Kat at ^erkdt, about half- 
way between the mouths of the two Zabs), is plain from the context, 
and the contrast to nyjtf in v.". 

ni^'J] (Ass. Ninua, Nin&, ffi Niyeu?; [-t]) the foremost city of Assyria, 
was a royal residence from at latest the time of ASSur-bel-kalu, son of 
Tiglath-pileser I. (nth cent.); but did not apparently become the 
political capital till the reign of Sennacherib (Wi. GBA, 146). Its site 
is now marked by the ruined mounds of Nebi Yunus (with a village 
named Nunia) and Kuyunjik, both on the E side of the Tigris opposite 
Mosul (see Hilp. EBL, 11, 88-138). 

Tj; niih-i ('Pow^a>s woXic)] has in Heb. appellative significance = ' broad 
places of a city ' (U plateas civitatis). A similar phrase on Ass 
monuments, rebit NinA, is understood to mean ' suburb of Nineveh ' ; 
and it has been supposed that 'v 'i is a translation of this designation into 
Heb. As to the position of this ' suburb ' authorities differ. Del. i^Par, 
260 f.) thinks it certain that it was on the N or NE side of Nineveh, 
towards Ddr-Sargon (the modern Khorsabad) ; and Johns {EB, iv. 
4029) even identifies it with the latter (of. KIB, ii. 47). Billerbeck, on 
the other hand, places it at Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris, as 
a sort of tete du pont (see ATLO-, 273). No proper name at all 
resembling this is known in the neighbourhood of Nineveh. 

1173 (XaXax, KaXax) is the Ass. KalJju or Kalah, which excavations 
have proved to be the modern Nimrdd, at the mouth of the Upper Zab, 
20 miles S of Nineveh (Hilp. I.e. inf.). Built by Shalmaneser I. 
{c. 1300), it replaced A§§ur as the capital, but afterwards fell into decay, 
and was restored by A§gur-nasir-pal (883-59) i.^^^y '• n?)- From that 
time till Sargon, it seems to have continued the royal residence. 

[□"i (Aao-e/x, Aao-Tj, etc.)] Perhaps = A'«i-f«j ('fountain-head'), an 
extremely common place-name in Semitic countries ; but its site is 
unknown. A Syrian tradition placed it at the ruins of Khorsabad, ' a 
parasang above Nineveh,' where a Ras' xil- Ain is said still to be found 

correct, and gives a good sense (of. Is. 23"). But (i) jtb'nt (v.^") re- 
quires an antithesis (see on i') ; and (2) in Mic. 5' Nimrod is the hero 
of Assyria. 


(G. Hoffmann in Nestle, ZDMG, Iviii. 158 ff.). This is doubtless the 
Ri§-ini of Sennacherib {KIB, ii. 117); but its identity with ]dt is 
phonetically questionable, and topographically impossible, on account 
of the definition 'between Nineveh and Kelah.' 

The clause n'^i-tin tj;,t Nin is almost universally, but very improbably, 
taken to imply that the four places just enumerated had come to be 
regarded as a sing-le city. Schr. {KAT^, 99 f.) is responsible for the 
statement that from the time of Sennacherib the name Nineveh was 
extended to include the whole complex of cities between the Zab and 
the Tigris ; but more recent authorities assure us that the monuments 
contain no trace of such an idea (KAT^, 75*; Gu.^ 78; cf. Johns, EB, 
3420). The fabulous dimensions given by Diodorus (ii. 3 ; cf. Jon. 3^'-) 
must proceed on some such notion ; and it is possible that that might 
have induced a late interpolator to insert the sentence here. But if the 
words be a gloss, it is more probable that it springs from the Th^^l7[ Tj;rt 
of Jn. 1^, which was put in the margin opposite ni^u, and crept into the 
text in the wrong place {ATLO-, 273).* 

13, 14. — The sons of Mizraim. — These doubtless all 
represent parts or (supposed) dependencies of Egypt ; 
althoug-h of the eight names not more than two can be 
certainly identified. — On Q^'^^O = Egypt, see v.^. — Since 
Mizraim could hardly have been reckoned a son of Canaan, 
the section (if documentary) must be an extract from that 
Yahwistic source to which 9^^^- belong (see p. 188 f.). 

(1) on?*? (AouStetyU. : i Ch. i'^ D'^i"?)] Not the Lydians of Asia Minor 
(A TLO", 274), who can hardly be thought of in this connexion ; but (if 
the text be correct) some unknown people of NE Africa (see on v.^*, 
p. 206). The prevalent view of recent scholars is that the word is a 
mistake for D'?6, the Lybians. See Sta. Ak. Red. 141 ; Miiller, AE, 
ii5f. ; OLz, V. 475 ; al. 

(2) D>pjj;. {jjx c'Dry ; l& klv-['&v-]efieTLeip.\y'])] Miiller reads D'DJD or 
(after ffi) dtCJD ; i.e. the inhabitants of the Great Oasis of Knmt in the 
Libyan desert ( Wdhat el-Kharigah).\ For older conjectures see Di. 

* With the above hypothesis, Schr.'s argument that, since Nineveh 
is here used in the restricted sense, the passage must be of earlier date 
than Sennacherib, falls to the ground. From the writer's silence 
regarding ASSur, the ancient capital, it may safely be inferred that he 
lived after 1300 ; and from the omission of Sargon's new residence Dfir- 
Sargon, it is probable that he wrote before 722. But the latter argument 
is not decisive, since Kelah and Nineveh (the only names that can be 
positively identified) were both flourishing cities down to the fall of the 

\ OLz. V. 471 ff. — It should be explained that this dissertation, 
frequently cited above, proceeds on the bold assumption that almost 
the best known name in the section (cpins, ^^) is an interpolation. 

X. 13, 14 2 13 

(^) D'3n^ (Aa^iei/x)'] commonly supposed to be the Lybians, the (niS) 
D'3»'? of Nah. 3», Dn. II^^ 2 Ch. 12^ i68, [Ezk. 30"?]. Muller thinks it a 
variant of on?'? (i). 

(4) D'nnrg CSecpOaXiet/j.)] Muller proposes cnins = P-io-n-hr, 'cow- 
land,'- — the name of the Oasis of Fardfra. But there is a strong- pre- 
sumption that, as the next name stands for Upper Eg-ypt, this will be a 
designation of Lower Eg^ypt. So Erman {ZATIV, x. ii8f.), who reads 
D'HOns = p-t-mahT, 'the north-land,' — at all periods the native name of 
Lower Eg-ypt. More recently Spiegelberg (OZ^-. ix. 276 ff.) recognises 
in it an old name of the Delta, and reads without textual change 
Na-pattih = 'the people of the Delta.' 

(5) D'p-jris (nar/30(rwi'tet/u)] the inhabitants of Dn^s (Is. 11", Jer. 441- ", 
Ezk. 30'^), i.e. Upper Eg-ypt: P-to-reSi = 'south-land' (Ass. paturisi): 
see Erman, I.e. 

(6) D'n^pj (XacT/Lctoi'tefya)] Doubtful conjectures in Di. Muller restores 
with help of (& d":cd], which he identifies with the NacrayuiDi'es of Her. ii. 
32, iv. 172, 182, 190, — a powerful tribe of nomad Lybians, near the 
Oasis of Anion. Sayce has read the name Kasluhat on the inscr. of 
Ombos (see on Kaphtorini, below) ; Ma7i, 1903, No. 77. 

(7) D'riv'^9 (4>uXi(rTtei;a)] The Philistines are here spoken of as an 
offshoot of the KasKahim,— a statement scarcely intelligible in the 
light of other passages (Jer. 47^, Am. 9'' ; cf. Dt. 2-^), according to which 
the Ph. came from Kaphtor. The clause 's DB'p 1n^-,; it's is therefore in 
all probability a marginal g-loss meant to come after D"inS3. — The Ph. 
are mentioned in the Eg. monuments, under the name PuraSafi, as the 
leading people in a great invasion of Syria in the reign of Ramses III. 
(r. 1 175 B.C.). The invaders came both by land and sea from the coasts 
of Asia Minor and the islands of the ^gean ; and the Philistines 
established themselves on the S coast of Palestine so firmly that, though 
nearly all traces of their lang-uag-e and civilisation have disappeared, 
their name has clung to the country ever since. See Muller, AE, 387- 
90, and MVAG, v. 2 ff. ; Moore, EB, iii. 3713 ff. 

(8) Dnri?3 (Xa(/>^opteiM)] Kaphtor {r>t. 2^, Am. 9', Jer. 47*) has usually 
been taken for the island of Crete (see Di.), mainly because of the 
repeated association of D'n-i? (Cretans ?) with the Philistines and the 
Philistine territory ( i Sa. 30^^- '^, Ezk. 25'^, Zeph. 2*). There are con- 
vincing reasons for connecting- it with Keftiu (properly ' the country 
behi7id'), an old Eg-, name for the 'lands of the Great Ring' (the 
Eastern Mediterranean), or the 'isles of the Great Green,' i.e. SW Asia 
Minor, Rhodes, Crete, and the Mycenian lands beyond, to the NW of 
Egypt (see Muller, AE, 337, 344-53, 387 ff. ; and more fully H. R. Hall 
in Antiual of the British School at Athens, 1901-2, pp. 162-6). The pre- 
cise phonetic equivalent Kptar has been found on a late mural decora- 
tion at Ombos (Sayce, HCAP, 173; EHH, 291 ; Muller, MVAG, 1900, 

When this 'cuckoo's e^s' is ejected, the author finds that the 'sons * of 
Egypt are all dependencies or foreign possessions, and are to be sought 
outside the Nile valley. The theory does not seem to have found much 
favour from Egyptologists or others. 


5 ff.)- " Keftiu is the old Eg. name of Caphtor (Crete), Keptar a Ptole- 
maic doublet of it, taken over when the original meaning- of Keftiu had 
been forgotten, and the name had been erroneously applied to Phoenicia " 
(Hall, Man, Nov. 1903, No. 92, p. 162 ff.). In OLz., M. questions the 
originality of the name in this passage : so also Je. ATLO-, 275.* 

15-19. The Canaanites. — The peoples assigned to the 
Canaanitish group are (i) the Phoenicians (1"'"'^), (2) the Hittites 
(nn), and (3) a number of petty communities perhaps summed 
up in the phrase VJ!^-?l' ninQ'J^p in ^^^. It is surprising to 
find the great northern nation of the Hittites classed as a 
subdivision of the Canaanites. The writer may be supposed 
to have in view offshoots of that empire, which survived as 
small enclaves in Palestine proper ; but that explanation 
does not account for the marked prominence given to Heth 
over the little Canaanite kingships. On the other hand, 
one hesitates to adopt Gu.'s theory that |y:D is here used in a 
wide geographical sense as embracing the main seats of the 
Hittite empire (p. 187). There is evidence, however, of a 
strong settlement of Hittites near Hermon (see below), and 
it is conceivable that these were classed as Canaanites and 
so inserted here. 

Critically, the w. are difficult. We. {Comp.^ 15) and others remove 
i6-i8» as a gloss : because (a) the boundaries laid down in '* are exceeded 
in ^^- 1**, and {b) the mention of a subsequent dispersion of Canaanites 
(i8hj has no meaning after '^-isa^ That is perhaps the most reasonable 
view to take ; but even so ^^^ does not read quite naturally after ^^ ; and 
what could have induced a glossator to insert four of the most northerly 
Phoenician cities, passing by those best known to the Hebrews? Is it 

15. nba] cf. 22^1 (J).— 18. nriN] adv. of time, as iS^ 24^5 30^1 etc. = 
P"'lDi<: see BDB, 29^—1x22] Niph. fr. ^ P^ 5 see on 9'^ : cf. ii^- »• 9._ 
'^y^?? nngif'p] can hardly, even if the clause be a gloss, denote the Phoen. 
colonies on the Mediterranean (Brown, EB, ii. 1698 f). — 19. npN^i] 'as 
one comes' (see G-K. § 144 A) might be taken as 'in the direction of 
(so Di. Dri. al.) ; but there does not appear to be any clear case in 
which the expression differs from 15i3"''K = 'as far as' (cf. 10^ 13^*25^^ 
[all J], I Sa. 157 with Ju. 6* 11^, i Sa". 1752, 2 Sa. s^> i Ki. i8'««).— njril?] 

6 Ka.1 Ta^av. 

* V.^*'- present so many peculiar features — the regular use of the 
pi., the great preponderance of quadrillteral names, all vocalised alike 
— that we can hardly help suspecting that they are a secondary addition 
to the Table, written from specially intimate acquaintance with the 
(later?) Egyptian geography. 

X. IS, i6 215 

possible that the last five names were originally given as sons of 
Heth, and the previous four as sons of Zidon ? '^*' might mean that the 
Canaanite clans emanated from Phoenicia, and were afterivards ' dis- 
persed' over the region defined by ^^ — The change from [^33 in '* to 
'3y:Dn in '^"^ '® is hardly sufficient to prove diversity of authorship (Gu.) 

jTx] The oldest of the Phoenician cities ; now Saida, nearly 30 miles 
S of the promontory of Beirut. Here, however, the name is the eponym 
of the ^idonians (D'JI'V), as the Phoenicians were frequently called, not 
only in OT (Ju. 18' f, 1 Ki. s^o 16=*' etc.) and Homer (//. vi. 290 f., etc.), 
but on the Ass. monuments, and even by the Phoenicians themselves 
(Mey. EB, iv. 4504). 

nn (jbv XeTTatoi/)] elsewhere only in the phrases 'n 'i^, 'n n^3? (ch. 23 
pass. 25^" 27^8b ^g32 Jail P]) ; other writers speak of [D]'nn, The Hittites 
(Eg. Heta, Ass. Haiti) were a northern non-Semitic people, who under 
unknown circumstances established themselves in Cappadocia. They 
appear to have invaded Babylonia at the close of the First dynasty (c. 1930 
B.C.) (King, Chronicles cone, early Bah. Kings, p. 72 f.). Not long after 
the time of Thothmes in. (1501-1447), they are found in N Syria. With 
the weakening of the Eg. supremacy in the Tel-Amarna period, they 
pressed further S, occupying the Orontes valley, and threatening the 
Phoenician coast- cities. The indecisive campaigns of Ramses 11. seem to 
have checked their southward movement. In Ass. records they do not 
appear till the reign of Tiglath-pileser I. {c. 1 100), when they seem to have 
held the country from the Taurus and Orontes to the Euphrates, with Car- 
chemish as one of their chief strongholds. After centuries of intermittent 
warfare, they were finally incorporated in the Ass. Empire by Sargon 11. 
(c. 717). See Paton, Syr. and Pal. 104 ff. — The OT allusions to the 
Hittites are extremely confusing, and cannot be fully discussed here : 
see on i^i^-zi 2^, Besides the Palestinian Hittites (whose connexion 
with the people just spoken of may be doubtful), there is mention of an 
extensive Hittite country to the N of Palestine (2 Sa, 24* [ffi^ ]^ j k;_ 
10^^, 2 Ki. 7^ al.). The most important fact for the present purpose is 
the definite location of Hittites in the Lebanon region, or at the foot of 
Hermon (Jos. 11^ [©''■ ^-J and Ju. 3^ [as amended by Mey. al.]), cf. 
Ju. i^?). It does not appear what grounds Moore {Ju. 82) has for 
the statement that these Hittites were Semitic. There is certainly no 
justification for treating (with Jast. EB, 2094) nn in this v. as a gloss. 

The four names which follow are names of Canaanitish clans which 
constantly recur in enumerations of the aborigines of Palestine, and 
seldom elsewhere. 

(i) 'po:n] The clan settled in and around Jerusalem : Jos. 15^ iS''^, Ju. 
191", 2 Sa. 5''"^ etc. 

(2) 'ibxn] An important politico-geographical name in the Egyptian 
and cuneiform documents (Eg. Amor, etc.. Ass. Amurru). In the TA 
Tablets the ' land of Amurru ' denotes the Lebanon region behind the 
Phoenician coast-territory. Its princes Abd-A§irta and Aziru were 
then the most active enemies of the Egyptian authority in the north, 
conducting successful operations against several of the Phoenician 
cities. It has been supposed that subsequently to these events the 


Amorites pressed southwards, and founded kingdoms in Palestine both 
E and W of the Jordan (Nu. 2i"^-, Jos. 24^ etc.) ; though Muller has 
pointed out some difficulties in the way of that hypothesis (A£, 230 f.). 
— In the OT there appears an occasional tendency to restrict the name 
to ' highlanders ' (Nu. 13^^^, Dt. 1''), but this is more than neutralised by 
other passages (Ju. i^''). The most significant fact is that E (followed 
by D) employs the term to designate the pre-Israelite inhabitants of 
Palestine generally (cf. Am. 2^'-), whom J describes as Canaanites. 
Apart from the assumption of an actual Amorite domination, it is 
difficult to suggest an explanation of E's usage, unless we can take it 
as a survival of the old Bab. name Amurru (or at least its ideographic 
equivalent MAR. TU) for Palestine, Phoenicia and Ccele- Syria. — See, 
further, Muller, AE, 2iSff., 229flF.; Wi. GI, i. 51-54, KAT^, lySff.; Mey. 
ZATW, i. i22ffi ; We. Comp.-^ 341 ; Bu. Urg. 344 ff. ; Dri. Deut. 11 f., 
Gen. i25f. ; Sayce, DB, i. 84 f. ; Paton, Syr. and Pal. 25-46, iisff., 
147 f. ; Mey. GA"", i. ii. § 396. 

(3) Tj-jin] only mentioned in enumerations (15^^, Dt. 7^, Jos. 3^" 24^^ 
Neh. 9^) without indication of locality, sfjnj, D'B'nj, 'cjnj occur as prop, 
names on Punic inscrs. (Lidzbarski, Nord-sem. Epigr. 4054, 6224^, 6733 ; 
Ephem. i. 36, 308). Ewald conjectured a connexion with NT Tipyeaa. 

(4) '^n? (j. Eiyatoi')] a tribe of central Palestine, in the neighbourhood 
of Shechem (34^) and Gibeon (Jos. 9') ; in Ju. 3^, where they are spoken 
of in the N, 'pnn should be read, and in Jos. 11^ Hittites and Hivvites 
should be transposed in accordance with ffi^ . The name has been 
explained by Ges. {Th.) and others as meaning ' dwellers innin' (Bedouin 
encampments : cf. Nu. 32'*^) ; but that is improbable in the case of a 
people long settled in Palestine (Moore). We. {Held. 154) more plausibly 
connects it with njn^ ' serpent ' (see on 3'"), surmising that the Hivvites 
were a snake-clan. Cf. Lagarde, OS, 187, 174, 1. 97 (EL^atoi o-KoXtoi tis 
iitl 8<peis). 

The 5 remaining names are formed from names of cities, 4 in the 
extreme N of Phoenicia, and the last in Ccele-Syria. 

(5) 'P15.''7 {nx 'pny.i, 65 r. ' kpovKoiov)] is from the city 'ApKH) iv ri^ At^dv({j 
(Jos. AnL i. 138), the ruins of which, still bearing the name Teil 'Arka, are 
found on the coast about 12 miles NE of Tripolis. It is mentioned by 
Thothmes ill. (in the form ' r-ka-n-tu : see AE, 247 f.), and in TA letters 
(Irkata : KIB, v. 171, etc.) ; also by Shalmaneser 11. {KIB, i. 173 ; along 
with Arvad and Sianu, below), and Tiglath-pileser iv. {ib. ii. 29 ; along 
with Simirra and Sianu). 

(6) 'VBi? (t. ' A-crevvatov)] inhabitants of Jjp, Ass. Sianu (KIB, ll.cc). 
Jer. {Qiicest.) says it was not far from 'Arka, but adds that only the name 
remained in his day. The site is unknown : see Cooke, EB, iv. 4644 f. 

(7) '^n^'C i'^- 'A/)d5toi')] 'Arwad (Ezk. 27^- ") was the most northerly 
of the Phoenician cities, built on a small island (Strabo, XVI. ii. 13 ; 
KIB, i. 109) about 35 miles N of Tripolis (now Budd). It is named 
frequently, in connexions which show its great importance in ancient 
times, in Eg. inscrs. {AE, 186 f.), on TA Tab., and by Ass. kings from 
Tiglath-pileser I. to Asshurbanipal {KAT^ 104 f. ; Del. Par. 281); see 
also Her. vii. 98. 

X. 17-19, 21 217 

(8) "icifn (t. lafj-apaTof)] Six miles S of RuSd, the modern villag-e of 
Sumra preserves the name of this city : Eg^. Samar; TA, Sumur ; Ass. 
Simirra; Gr. St/ii'pa. See Strabo, XVI. ii. 12; AE, 187; KAT-, 105; 
Del. Par. 281 f. 

(9) Tv~i? {j- 'A/Mi^O] from the well-known Hamath on the Orontes ; 
now ffama. 

The delimitation of the Canaanite boundary in v." is very obscure. 
It describes two sides of a triangle, from Zidon on the N to Gaza or 
Gerar in the SW ; and from thence to a point near the S end of the 
Dead Sea. The terminus W^ {<& Aatra) is, however, unknown. The 
traditional identification (STJ, Jer.) with KaWi^por], near the N end of 
the Dead Sea, is obviously unsuitable. Kittel, BH (very improbably), 
sugg-ests j;S3(i4''). We. {Co?np.^ 15) reads n^') or c<ph (Jos. ig^'D!:'^)^' to 
Dan ' (e*;^), the conventional 7iorthern limit of Canaan, — thus completing 
the E side of the triangle. — Gerar were certainly further S. than Gaza 
(see on 20^) ; hence we cannot read ' as far as {v.i.) Gerar, up to Gaza,' 
while the rendering ' in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza,' would 
only be intelligible if Gerar were a better known locality than Gaza. 
Most probably ."ijyny is a gloss (Gu. al.). — On the situation of Sodom, etc., 
see on ch. 19. — On any construction of the v. the northern cities of "• ^^ 
are excluded. — juu. has an entirely different text : hr\ir\ in:n ly onso nnjD 
pinKn Q'n lyi m£3 -in:, — an amalgam of 15^^ and Dt. 1 1^. 

21, 24, 25-30. The Shemites. — The genealogy of 
Shem in J resolves itself entirely into a classification of the 
peoples whose origin was traced to 'Eber. These fall into 
two main branches : the descendants of Peleg (who are not 
here enumerated), and the Yoktanites or S Arabian tribes. 
Shem is thus nothing more than the representative of the 
unity of the widely scattered Hebraic stock: Shemite and 
' Hebrew ' are convertible terms. This recognition of the 
ethnological affinity of the northern and southern Semites is 
a remarkable contrast to P, who assigns the S Arabians to 
Ham, — the family with which Israel had least desire to be 

iny is the eponym of D'1?y (Hebrews), the name by which the Israel- 
ites are often designated in distinction from other peoples, down to 
the time of Saul* (see G-K. §26: the pass, are cited in BOB, s.v.\ It 
is strange at first sight that while the inj? '23 of v.^^ include all Shemites 
known to J, the gentilic word is historically restricted to Israelites. 
The difficulty is perhaps removed by the still disputed, but now widely 

•After I Sa. it occurs only Dt. 15^-, Jer. 34'-", Jon. i^ But see 
the cogent criticisms of Weinheimer in ZATW, 1909, 275 ff., who pro- 
pounds the view that Hebrews and Israelites were distinct strata of the 


accepted, theory that Hahiri in the TA letters is the cuneiform equiva- 
lent of the OT C'l^y. The equation presents no philological difficulty : 
Ass. }i often represents a foreign y ; and Eerdmans' statement {AT 
Studien, ii. 64), that the sign ^a never stands for y (if true) is worthless, 
for ffa-za-ki.-ya-u = '\:\'pm shows that Ass. a may become in OT i, and 
this is all that it is necessary to prove. The historical objections 
vanish if the Habiri be identified, not with the Israelitish invaders after 
the Exodus, but with an earlier immigration of Semitic nomads into 
Palestine, amongst whom the ancestors of Israel were included. The 
chief uncertainty arises from the fact that the phonetic writing Ifa-bi-ri 
occurs only in a limited group of letters, — those of 'Abd-hiba of 
Jerusalem (179, i8o[i82], 183, 185). The ideogram S^. <?yl5 (' robbers') 
in other letters is conjectured to have the same value, but this is not 
absolutely demonstrated. Assuming that Wi. and others are right in 
equating the two, the ^abiri are in evidence over the whole country, 
occasionally as auxiliaries of the Egyptian government, but chieflj' as 
its foes. The inference is very plausible that they were the roving 
Bedouin element of the population, as opposed to the settled inhabitants, 
— presumably a branch of the great Aramaean invasion which was then 
overflowing Mesopotamia and Syria (see above, p. 206 ; cf. Wi. AOF, 
iii. 90 ff., KA'n, 196 fF.; Paton, Syr. and Pal. iii ff.). There is thus a 
strong probability that nnny was originally the name of a group of 
tribes which invaded Palestine in the 15th cent. B.C., and that it was 
afterwards applied to the Israelites as the sole historic survivors of the 
immigrants. — Etymologically, the word has usually been interpreted as 
meaning ' those from beyond ' the river (cf. injn nny, Jos. 24^^- ^*^-) ; and 
on that assumption, the river is certainly not the Tigris (De.), and 
almost certainly not the Jordan (We. Kau. Sta.), but (in accordance 
with prevailing tradition) the "i.t: of the OT, the Euphrates, ' beyond ' 
which lay Harran, the city whence Abraham set out. Hommel's view 
{AHT, 252 ff.) has no probability (cf. Dri. 139''). The vb. nav, however, 
does not necessarily mean to ' cross ' (a stream) ; it sometimes means 
simply to ' traverse ' a region (Jer. 2^) ; and in this sense Spiegelberg 
has recently (1907) revived an attractive conjecture of Goldziher (Mythos, 
p. 66), that D'lny signifies 'wanderers' — nomads {OLz. x. 618 fF.).* 

21. The father of all the sons of 'Eber\ The writer has 
apparently borrowed a genealogical list of the descendants 

21. It is doubtful if the text is in order. First, it is extremely likely 
that the introduction to the section on Shem in J would require modifica- 
tion to prevent contradiction with v. 2^'- (P). Then, the omission of the 
logical subj. to •h\ is suspicious. The Pu. of this vb. never dispenses 

* In Egfyptian texts from Thothmes iii. to Ramses iv., the word 
' Apuriu {'Apriu) occurs as the name of a foreign population in Egypt ; 
and had been identified by Chabas with the Hebrews of OT. The 
identification has been generally discarded, on grounds which seemed 
cogent ; but has recently been revived by Hommel {AHT, 259), and 

X. 21, 24 219 

of Eber which he was at a loss to connect with the name of 
Shem. Hence he avoids the direct assertion that Shem 
begat Eber, and bridges over the gap by the vague hint 
that Shem and Eber stand for the same ethnological abstrac- 
tion. — the elder brother of Yepheth\ The Heb. can mean 
nothing else {y.i.). The difficulty is to account for the 
selection of Japheth for comparison with Shem, the oldest 
member of the family. Unless the clause be a gloss, the 
most obvious inference is that the genealogy of Japheth had 
Immediately preceded ; whether because in the Table of J 
the sequence of age was broken (Bu. 305 f.), or because 
Japheth was really counted the second son of Noah (Di.). 
The most satisfactory solution is undoubtedly that of Gu., 
who finds in the remark an indication that this Table 
followed the order: Canaan — ^Japheth — Shem (see p. 188). — • 
24 is an interpolation (based on ii^^-uj intended to harmonise 
J with P. It cannot be the continuation of ^^ as it stands 
(since we have not been informed who Arpaksad was), and 
still less in the form suggested below. It is also obviously 
inconsistent with the plan of P's Table, which deals with 

with the subj. nor does the Hoph. ; the Niph. does so once (Gn. 17" [P]) ; 
but there the ellipsis is explained by the emphasis which lies on the fact 
of birth. Further, a v.\r\ is required as subj. of the cl. 'ui ok. The 
impression is produced that originally lay was expressly named as the 
son of Shem, and that the words ui 'ax Nin referred to him (perhaps 
'ui '3K Kin najrnx •\^\ db'^i). Considering- the importance of the name, the 
tautology is not too harsh. It would then be hardly possible to retain 
the clause '1JI 'HK ; and to delete it as a gloss (although it has been pro- 
posed by others: see OH) I admit to be difficult, just because of the 
obscurity of the expression. — Kin DJ] cf. 4''^*. — Sr%ir\ ns' 'nx] "S correctly 
fratre J. maj'ore. The Mass. accentuation perhaps favours the gram- 
matically impossible rendering of (& {a.5e\<f)Q 'I. tov fid^ovoi), S, al. ; 
which implies that Japheth was the oldest of Noah's sons, — a notion 
extorted from the chronology of iii* cpd. with 5^^ ^11 ^ggg YLa.. lEz.). 
It is equally inadmissible (with lEz.) to take "jnjn absolutely ( = Japheth 
the great). See Bu. 304 fF. — 24. rhv-nn] ffi pref. n^ jrpi p'p-nx. 

(with arguments which seem very convincing) by Heyes {Bib. u. Aeg., 
1904, 146 ff.). In view of the striking resemblance to Habiri, and the 
new facts brought to light by the TA Tablets, the hypothesis certainly 
deserves to be reconsidered (cf. Eerdmaiis, I.e. 52 ff., or Expos., 1909, 
ii. 197 ff.). 


nations and not with individual genealogies (note also "1?^ 
instead of I'bin). 

25. The two sons of Eber represent the Northern and 
Southern Semites respectively, corresponding roughly to 
Aramaeans and Arabs : we may compare with Jast. {DB, v. 
82 a) the customary division of Arabia into SUm (Syria) and 
Yemen. The older branch, to which the Israelites belonged, 
is not traced in detail : we may assume that a Yahwistic 
genealogy (|| to ijicff. [^pj) existed, showing the descent of 
Abraham from Peleg ; and from scattered notices (ig^^^- 
2220ff. 25^*^- etc.) we can form an idea of the way in which 
the northern and central districts were peopled by that 
family of * Hebrews.' — On J?3, see below. — For in his days 
the earth was divided (njbs3)] a popular etymology naturally 
suggested by the root, which in Heb. (as in Aram. Arab, 
etc.) expresses the idea of ' division ' (cf. the vb. in Ps. 55^°, Jb. 
38^^). There is no very strong reason to suppose that the 
dispersion (kdji^Q, ST^ etc.) of the Tower of Babel is referred 
to ; it is possible that some other tradition regarding the 
distribution of nations is followed {e.g. Jiib. vili. 8 ff.), or 
that the allusion is merely to the separation of the Yoktanites 
from their northern kinsmen. 

jpi (^oKeK, <f>aXe7, <i>a\ex)] 3.S a common noun means 'watercourse' 
or artificial canal (Ass. palgii) : Is. 30-''', Ps. i^ 65^", Jb. 29^ etc. Hence 
it has been thought that the name originally denoted some region 
intersected by irrigating channels or canals, such as Babylonia itself. 
Of geographical identifications there are several which are sufficiently 
plausible : Phalgn in Mesopotamia, at the junction of the Chaboras and 
the Euphrates (Knob.) ; 'el-Falg, a district in NE Arabia near the head 
of the Persian Gulf (Lag. Or. ii. 50) ; 'el-Afld^, S of 6ebel Tuwaik in 
central Arabia (Homm. A A, 222^). 

|9i?; ('le/cTaf)] otherwise unknown, is derived by Fleischer (Goldz. 
Mythos, p. 67) from ^ katana =; ' be settled.' The Arab genealogists 
identified him with Kahtan, the legendary ancestor of a real tribe, who 
was (or came to be) regarded as the founder of the Yemenite Arabs 
(Margoliouth, DB, ii. 743). On the modern stock of 'el-Kahtan, and its 
sinister reputation in the more northerly parts of the Peninsula, see 
Doughty, Arab. Des. i. 129, 229, 282, 343, 389, 418, ii. 39 ff., 437. 

26-30. The sons of Yoktan number 13, but in (Jr (see on 

25. ^2';] >ix.<& n'?' ; but D^:? 'J^ is possibly ace. after pass, as 4^* 
etc. (G-K. § 121 a, A) — vnx— ^^.x.^] similarly ■zz^^ (J). — 26. Some MSS 
have niD-nsn, as if= 'court of death.' 

X. 25-28 22 1 

72)]} below) only 12, which may be the orig-inal number. 
The few names that can be satisfactorily identified {Ske/epk, 
Hazarmaivcth , S/icba, Havilah) point to S Arabia as the 
home of these tribes. 

(i) TiiD^N ("EXyuwSaS)] unknown. The Sk is variously explained as 
the Ar. art. (but this is not Sabaean), as '^/='God,' and as ' al — 
' family ' ; and tssq as a derivative of the vb. for ' love ' {ivadda), equivalent 
to Heb. TT (Wi. MVAG, vi. 169) ; cf. Glaser, Skizze, ii. 425 ; DB, i. 67. 

(2) ^^ (^iaXe^)] A Yemenite tribe or district named on Sabjean inscrs., 
and also by Arab, g-eographers : see Homm. SA Chrest. 70 ; Osiander in 
ZDMG, xi. 153 ff., perhaps identical with the Salapeni of Roman writers. 
Cognate place-names are said to be still common in S Arabia (Glaser). 

(3) '^l'?1^n ( kaapfxijod)] The modern province of Ifadramaut, on the S 
coast, E of Yemen. The name appears in Sabasan inscrs. of 5th and 6th 
cent. A. D., and is slightly disguised in the Xarpa/uLUTlrai of Strabo (xvi. 
iv. 2), the ChatramotitcB of Pliny, vi. 154 [Atramitce, vi. 155, xii. 52?). 

(4) nTi: ("lapaS)] uncertain. The attempts at identification proceed on 
the appellative sense of the word (='moon'), but are devoid of plausi- 
bility (see Di.). 

(5) ^l^n (•«* mnx, ffi 'OSoppa)] likewise unknown. A place called 
Dauram close to Sana has been suggested : the name is found in 
Sabaean (Glaser, 426, 435). 

(6) '^m {m. Sv^, fir AZj'TjX)] mentioned by Ezk. (27^^ : rd. 'jjind) as a 
place whence iron and spices were procured. It is commonly taken to 
be the same as 'Azdl, which Arab, tradition declares to be the old name 
of Sana, now the capital of^Yemen. Glaser (310, 427, 434, etc.) disputes 
the tradition, and locates 'Uzal in the neighbourhood of Medina.* 

(7) ■■'i'P'! (Af/cXa)] Probably the Ar. and Aram, word (dakal, i<hpi, iJ_o>) 

for 'date-palm,' and therefore the name of some noted palm-bearing 
oasis of Arabia. Glaser (MVAG, 1897, 438) and Hommel (AA, 282 f.) 
identify it with the ^oivikuv of Procopius, and the modern (5of es-Sirhan, 
30° NL (as far N as the head of the Red Sea). 

(8) "Jiij; (au and i Ch. 1^2 Vn'y, (&^ rat/3aX)] supposed to be the word 
'Abil, a frequent geographical name in Yemen (Glaser, 427). The name 
is omitted by many MSS of ffi, also by fit" in i Ch. i^^ (ggg Nestle, 
MM, 10), where some Heb. MSS and S have "731$;. 

(9) Sxc'^N ('A/3i/a€r;X)] apparently a tribal name (=' father is God '), of 
genuine Sabaean formation (cf. nnnyoaN, ZDMG, xxxvii. 18), not hitherto 

* In view of the uncertainty of the last three names, it is worthy of 
attention that the account of Asshurbanipal's expedition against the 
Nabatasans {KIB, ii. 221) mentions, in close conjunction, three places, 
Hurarina, Yarki, and Azalla, which could not, of course, be as far S as 
Yemen, but might be as far as the region of Medina. In spite of the 
phonetic differences, the resemblance to Hadoram, Yerahi, and 'Ozal is 
noteworthy. See, however, Glaser, 273 fF., 309 ff. 


(10) N??"] see on v.' (p. 203). The general connexion suggfests that 
the Sabaeans are already established in Yemen ; although, if 'UzSl be as 
far N as Medina, the inference is perhaps not quite certain. 

(11) nsiK {OiKpeip)] known to the Israelites as a gold-producing 
country (Is. 13I-, Ps. 4510, Jb. 22^* 28^^, 1 Ch. 29^ [Sir. f^]), visited by the 
ships of Solomon and Hiram, which brought home not only gold and 
silver and precious stones, but almug-wood, ivory, apes and (?) peacocks 
(i Ki. 9-8 lo"-"; cf. 22'*^). Whether this familiarity with the name 
implies a clear notion of its geographical position may be questioned ; 
but it can hardly be doubted that the author of the Yahwistic Table 
believed it to be in Arabia ; and although no name at all resembling 
Ophir has as yet been discovered in Arabia, that remains the most 
probable view (see Glaser, Sktzze, ii. 357-83). Of other identifications 
the most important are : Abhira in India, E of the mouths of the Indus 
(Lassen) ; (2) the Sofala coast (opposite Madagascar), behind which 
remains of extensive gold-diggings were discovered around Zimbabwe 
in 1871 : the ruins, however, have now been proved to be of native 
African origin, and not older than the 14th or 15th cent. A.D. (see D. 
Randall-Maciver, Mediceval Rhodesia{\<^o(i\) ; (3) ^//r (originally Hapir), 
an old name for the ruling race in Elam, and for the coast of the 
Persian Gulf around Bushire (see Homm. AHT^ 236* ; Husing, OLz, vi. 
367 ff. ; Jen. ZDMG, 1. 246). If we could suppose the name transferred 
to the opposite (Arabian) coast of the gulf, this hypothesis would 
satisfy the condition required by this passage, and would agree in 
particular with Glaser's localisation. For a discussion of the various 
theories, see the excellent summary by Che. in EB, iii. 3513 ft ; Price, 
DB, iii. 626 ff. ; and Dri. Gen."^ xxvi. f., 131. 

(12) nViq] see p. 202. 

(13) 35V ('Ico/3a^)] unknown. Halevy and Glaser (ii. 303) compare 
the Sabsean name Yuhaihab. 

The limits (probably from N to S) of the Yoktanite territory are 
specified in v.^" ; but a satisfactory explanation is impossible owing to 
the uncertainty of the three names mentioned in it (Di.).— x?*!? (Matro-ije) 
has been supposed to be Mesene < m > V). Maisan), within the Delta of 
the Euphrates-Tigris (Ges. Th. 823; Tu.); but the antiquity of this 
name is not established. Di., following ffi, reads N's-a (see on 25^*) in 
N Arabia. This as northern limit would just include Diklah, if 
Glaser's identification, given above, be correct. — rriDP CZaxprjpa) is 
generally acknowledged to be ^afar in the S of Arabia. There were 
two places of the name : one in the interior of Yemen, N of Aden ; the 
other (now pronounced 'Isjar or ' Isfar) on the coast of Mahra, near 
Mirbat. The latter was the capital of the Himyarite kings (Ges. Th. 
968 ; DB, iv. 437 ; EB, iv. 4370). Which of the two is here meant is 
a matter of little consequence. — ogijn in] It is difficult to say whether 
this is an apposition to C^i^ia (Tu. al.), or a definition of TDD, or is a 
continuation of the line beyond TDD. On the first view the ' mountain ' 
might be the highlands of central Arabia {Negd) ; the second is recom- 
mended by the fact that the eastern 'Z.?S3l'C lies at the foot of a high 
mountain, well adapted to serve as a landmark. The third view is not 

X. 28-30, XI. 1-9 223 

assisted by rendering' npKia ' in the direction of (see on v.") ; for in any 
case Zai'ar must have been the terminus in a southern direction. The 
commonly received opinion is that c^pn in is the name of the Frank- 
incense Mountain between Hadramaut and Mahra (see Di.). 

XI. i-^.—T/ie Tower of Bahcl {]). 

A mythical or legendary account of the breaking- up of 
the primitive unity of mankind into separate communities, 
distinguished and isolated by differences of language. The 
story reflects at the same time the impression made on 
Semitic nomads by the imposing monuments of Babylonian 
civilisation. To such stupendous undertakings only an 
undivided humanity could have addressed itself; and the 
existing disunitedness of the race is a divine judgement on 
the presumptuous impiety which inspired these early mani- 
festations of human genius and enterprise. 

Gu. has apparently succeeded in disentangling two distinct but 
kindred legends, which are both Yahwistic (cf. ni.T, vv.** '"• "• "• "), and 
have been blended with remarkable skill. One has crystallised round 
the name ' Babel,' and its leading motive is the " confusion " of tongues ; 
the other around the memory of some ruined tower, which tradition 
connected with the "dispersion" of the race. Gu.'s division will be 
best exhibited by the following continuous translations : 

A. The Babel-Recension : (^)^nrf B. The Tower-Recension: . . . 
it was, when all the earth had one (^) And when they broke up from 
speech and one vocabulary, (^) that the East, they found a plain in the 
they said to one another, Come! Let land of Shin ar, and settled there, 
us make bricks and bum them [And they said, Let us build] (*";3'') 
thoroughly. {*^o->y)And they said, a tower, with its top reaching to 
Come I Let us build us a city, and heaven, lest we disperse over the 
make ourselves a name. (^*") And face of the whole earth. {^^) And 
Yahwe said. Behold it is one people, they had brick for stone and asphalt 
and all of one language. C) Come! for mortar. {^) And Yahwe came 
Let us go down and confound there down to see the tower which the 
their language, so that they may sons of ?nen had built. [And He 
not understand one another s speech, said . . .\(^^?i^) a7id this is but the 
('*'') and that they may cease to build beginning of iheir enterprise ; and 
the city. (^*) Therefore is its name now nothing will be impracticable 
called ^ Babel' (Confusion), for to them which they purpose to do. 
there Yahwe co>ifus£d the speech (*''') So Yahwe scattered them over 
of the whole earth the face of the whole earth. [?There- 

fore the name of the tower was 
called ' Piz ' (Dispersion), for] (9^) 
from thence Yahwe dispersed them 
over the face of the whole earth. 


It is extremely difficult to arrive at a final verdict on the soundness 
of this acute analysis ; but on the whole it justifies itself by the readiness 
with which the various motives assort themselves in two parallel series. 
Its weak point is no doubt the awkward duplicate (^* II ^^) with which 
B closes. Gu.'s bold conjecture that between the two there was an 
etymological play on the name of the tower (f"3 or ps) certainly 
removes the objection ; but the omission of so important an item of the 
tradition is itself a thing- not easily accounted for.* Against this, 
however, we have to set the following considerations : the absence of 
demonstrable lacunae in A, and their infrequency even in B ; the facts 
that only a single phrase (i Tj;ri-nx in v.^) requires to be deleted as 
redactional, and there is only one transposition {^^) ; and the facility 
with which nearly all the numerous doublets (^^ II ^^ ; ^Y II *^ ; Tin (S) || 
niTj C) ; *aa, p || 6ayi> ; ^ II Sa+gb^ (,^^ ^jg definitely assigned to the one recension 
or the other. In particular, it resolves the difficulty presented by the 
twofold descent of Yahwe in ^ and ', from which far-reaching critical 
consequences had already been deduced (see the notes). There are 
perhaps some points of style, and some general differences of conception 
between the two strata, which go to confirm the hypothesis ; but these 
also may be reserved for the notes. 

The section, whether simple or composite, is independent of the 
Ethnographic Table of ch. lo, and is indeed fundamentally irreconcil- 
able with it. There the origin of peoples is conceived as the result of 
the natural increase and partition of the family, and variety of speech 
as its inevitable concomitant (cf. nmahh', etc., in P, lo*- ^"^ 2'). Here, on 
the contrary, the division is caused by a sudden interposition of Yahwe ; 
and it is almost impossible to think that either a confusion of tongues or 
a violent dispersion should follow genealogical lines of cleavage. It is 
plausible, therefore, to assign the passage to that section of J (if there 
be one) which has neither a Flood-tradition nor a Table of Nations (so 
We. Bu. Sta. al.) ; although it must be said that the idea here is little 
less at variance with the classification by professions of 420-22 than with 
ch. 10. The truth is that the inconsistency is not of such a kind as 
would necessarily hinder a collector of traditions from putting the two in 
historical sequence. 

1-4. The Building of the City and the Tower.— 
(Compare the translation given above.) I, 2. The expres- 

I. 'n;i is not verbal pred. to f-ixn-'ja, but merely introduces the 
circumstantial sent., as in 15" 42^ etc. (Da v. § 141 and A'.i). Such 
a sent, is usually followed by n3ni, but see i Ki. 132". It may certainly 
be doubted if it could be followed by another '.Ti with inf. cl. (v. 2) ; and 
this may be reckoned a point in favour of Gu.'s analysis. — If there be 
any distinction between nsp and o'l^i, the former may refer to the 

* In Jub. X. 26, the name of the tower, as distinct from the city, is 
"Overthrow" (KaTa<rrpo<p7j). 

XI. 1-3 225 

sion suggests that in A mankind is already spread far and 
wide over the earth, though forming one great nation (DV, 
v.^), united by a common language. In B, on the other 
hand, it is still a body of nomads, moving all together in 
search of a habitation (v.^; cf. >^'}^<} "3, v.^). — broke up from 
the East\ v.i. — a plain] the Euphrates-Tigris valley ; where 
Babylon Kc'cTai Iv ttcSiw /icyaXu) (Her. i. 178). — the land of 
Shmar\ see on 10^". — 3a. With great nai'vet^, the (city-) 
legend describes first the invention of bricks, and then (v.*) 
as an afterthought the project of building with them. The 
bilingual Babylonian account of creation (see p. 47 above) 
speaks of a time when *' no brick was laid, no brick-mould 
{nalbantti) formed": see KIB, vi. i, 38 f., 360. — 3b shows 
that the legend has taken shape amongst a people familiar 
with stone-masonry. Comp. the construction of the walls 
of Babylon as described by Her. (i. 179).* The accuracy 

pronunciation and the latter to the vocabulary (Di.), or (Gu.) 'v to 
language as a whole, and 'i to its individual elements. — □'l^^? D'1?'?] 
'a single set of vocables ' ; ffi (pwvi] fxia ( + 7raa-t)/ = D^p^, as v.^). Else- 
where (27** 29^" [with D'!?;]) D'nnN means ' single ' in the sense of ' few ' ; 
in Ezk. 37^^ the text is uncertain (see Co.). — On the juxtaposition of 
subj. and pred. in the nom. sent., see Dav. § 29 {e). — 2. nngp Dj;pJ3] 
rendered as above by ffiU52C-'. Nearly all moderns prefer 'as they 
wandered in the east' or 'eastward'; justifying the translation by 
13", which is the only place where mpo means ' eastward ' with a vb. of 
motion. That 'pD never means ' from the east ' is at least a hazardous 
assertion in view of Ts. 2^ 9". yoj (cf. Ass. nis^, 'remove,' 'depart,' 
etc.) is a nomadic term, meaning 'pluck up [tent-pegs]' (Is. 33^"); 
hence ' break up the camp ' or ' start on a journey ' (Gn. 33^^ 35^- ^^- ^ 
37" etc.); and, with the possible exception of Jer. 31^* (but not 
Gn. 12'), there is no case where this primary idea is lost sight of. 
Being essentially a vb. of departure, it is more naturally followed by 
a determination of the starting-point than of the direction or the goal 
(but see 33") ; and there is no difficulty whatever in the assumption 
that the cradle of the race was further E than Babylonia (see 2* ; and 

cf. Sta. Ak. Red. 246, and n. 43).— nj/p?] (Syr. ]Axa^, Ar. bak'at) 
in usage, a wide, open valley, or plain (Dt. 34^, Zech. 12^^, Is. 40*, 
etc.). The derivation from ^J ]ipi, 'split,' is questioned by Barth 
{ES, 2), but is probable nevertheless. — 3. .12,7] impve. of ij 3.T, used 
interjectionally (G-K. § 690), as in w.*- ''• 38'®, Ex. i'" (all J), is given 
by Gu. as a stylistic mark of the recension A (J' ?). Contr. the 

* Cf. Jos. c. Ap. i. 139, 149; Diod. ii. 9; Phny, HN, xxxv. 51. 


oi the notice is confirmed by the excavated remains of Bab. 
houses and temples {A TLO^, 279) — 4. WiYh its top reaching 
to heaveri\ The expression is not hyperboHcal (as Dt. i^^), 
but represents the serious purpose of the builders to raise 
their work to the height of the dwelling-place of the gods 
{J^lh. X. 19, etc.). 

The most conspicuous feature of a Bab. sanctuary was its zikkurat, 
— a hug-e pyramidal tower rising-, often in 7 terraces, from the centre 
of the temple area, and crowned with a shrine at the top (Her. i. 
181 f. : see Jast. RBA, 615-22). These structures appear to have 
embodied a half-cosmical, half-religious symbolism : the 7 stories 
represented the 7 planetary deities as mediators between heaven and 
earth ; the ascent of the tower was a meritorious approach to the 
gods ; and the summit was reg^arded as the entrance to heaven 
(ICAT^jGiSf.; A TLO^, ^2 i., 281 L). Hence it is probably something- more 
than mere hyperbole when it is said of these zikkurats that the top was 
made to reach heaven (see p. 228 f. below) ; and, on the other hand, the 
resemblance between the language of the inscrs. and that of Genesis 
is too striking to be dismissed as accidental. That the tower of 
Gn. 1 1 is a Bab. zikkurat is obvious on every ground ; and we may 
readily suppose that a faint echo of the religious ideas just spoken of 
is preserved in the legend ; although to the purer faith of the Hebrews 
it savoured only of human pride and presumption. — The idea of 
storming heaven and making war on the gods, which is suggested 
by some late forms of the legend (cf. Hom. Od. xi. 313 ff.), is no doubt 
foreign to the passage. 

4b. Lest toe disperse^ The tower was to be at once a 
symbol of the unity of the race, and a centre and rallying- 
point, visible all over the earth (lEz.). The idea is missed 
by ffiU and 5^^ which render ^ ere we be dispersed.' 

verbal use 29^1 30' (both E), 47^', and pi. (nn) 47^*, Dt. i'* 32*, 
Jos. iS*. On the whole, the two uses are characteristic of J and E 
respectively; see Holz. E'ml. 98 f. — D':?^ '""J?^)] Ex. 5"-". So in Ass. 
lab&nu libittu {KIB, ii. 48, etc.), although libittu is used only of the 
wwbumed, sun-dried brick. See No. ZDMG, xxxvi. 181 ; Hoffmann, 
ZA TW, ii. 70.— ns-i.e''?] dat. of product (Di.); 'b'= ' burnt mass ' (cf. Dt. 29", 
Jer. 51^). — "Cn (14^", Ex. 2^)] the native Heb. name for bitumen (see on 
6^^). — nch] (note the play on words) is strictly ' clay,' used in Palestine as 
mortar. — 4. c^sa'j irNii] 3 of contact, as in 3 j;:j (De.). — Ds? — nb'yr] ' acquire 
lasting renown ' ; cf. 2 Sa. 8'^, Jer. 32"", Neh. 9'". The suggestion that 
D!!' here has the sense of 'monument,' though defended by De. Bud. 
{Urg. 375^), al. (cf. Sieg.-St. s.v.'), has no sufficient justification in usage. 
In Is. 5513 56^ (cf. 2 Sa. 1 818), ^^ ^^.gn ^s the amended text of 2 Sa 8" 

XI. 4-9 227 

5-9- Yahwe's Interposition.— The turningf-point in the 
development of the story occurs at vv.^- *, where the descent 
of Yahwe is twice mentioned, in a way which shows some 
discontinuity of narration. — On heaven as the dwelling- 
place of Yahwe, cf. 2812'-, Ex. 1911-20 346 24I0, i Ki. 22i», 
2 Ki. 2" ; and with v.^ cf. iS^i, Ex. 38. 

On the assumption of the unity of the passage, the conclusion of 
Sta. {Ah. Red. 274 fF.) seems unavoidable: that a highly dramatic 
polytheistic recension has here been toned down by the omission of 
some of its most characteristic incidents. In v.* the name Yahwe 
has been substituted for that of some envoy of the gods sent down to 
inspect the latest human enterprise ; v.* is his report to the heavenly 
council on his return ; and v.' the plan of action he recommends to 
his fellow immortals. The main objection to this ingenious solution is 
that it involves, almost necessarily, a process of conscious literary 
manipulation, such as no Heb. writer is likely to have bestowed on a 
document so saturated with pagan theology as the supposed Bab. 
original must have been. It is more natural to believe that the 
elimination of polytheistic representations was effected in the course of 
oral transmission, through the spontaneous action of the Hebrew mind 
controlled by its spiritual faith. — On Gu. 's theory the difficulty disappears. 

6. This is hut the beginning, etc.] The reference is not 
merely to the completion of the tower, but to other enter- 
prises which might be undertaken in the future. — 9. Babel] 
^ rig'htly 2'u7%t'o-i9 ; v.i. 

(see Dri. Sam. 217 f.), the ordinary sense suffices. — ps)] the word, ace. 
to Gu., is distinctive of the recension B: cf. vv.**-*^— 6. 'ui inn oy [n] 
incomplete interjectional sent. (G-K. § i^-j b).—nMy^h oVnn ni] lit. 'this 
is their beginning to act.' On the pointing 'np, see G-K. § 67 w. — 
iDi; — njf?! K*?] imitated in Jb. 42^ — isa] lit. ' be inaccessible ' (cf. Is. 22^", 
Jer. 51*^); hence ' impracticable.'— ?D|;] contr. for lai; (G-K. % 6^ dd).— 
7. '131 rmj] (Er retains the pi. in spite of the alleged reading in 
Mechilta .nSat* mnK (see p. 14 above).— n^?^] (see last note) : fr. sj ^''^ 
= 'mix' (not 'divide,' as & [^. \<^1]).— t^S n^'s] G-K. § 165*.— ycB*] 

= ' understand ' : 4228, Dt. 28*', Is. 33I9, Jer. 5^ etc.— 8. It is perhaps 
better, if a distinction of sources is recognised, to point \^'^J}'] (juss. of 
purpose : G-K. § 109/"), continuing the direct address of ^''. — Tyn] 
*u. pr. nx, and (with ffi) adds SiJD.-rnKi. —9. K^i^] ' one called ' (G-K. § 144 </). 
— V55] 'mixture' or 'confusion.' The name is obviously treated as a 
contraction from '73^;, a form not found in Heb., but occurring in 
Aram. (cf. S v. 8, and C" v.'') and Arab. On the Bab. etymology of 
the name, see lo^*.— 9b.— m.T] G + 6 0e6s. 


Origin aftd Diffusion of the Legends. 

I. The double legend is a product of naive reflexion on such facts 
of experience as the disunity of mankind, its want of a common 
languag-e, and its consequent inability to bend its united energies to 
the accomplishment of some enduring memorial of human greatness. 
The contrast between this condition of things and the ideal unity of 
the race at its origin haunted the mind with a sense of fate and dis- 
comfiture, and prompted the questions, When, and where, and for 
what reason, was this doom imposed on men? The answer naturally 
assumed the legendary form, the concrete features of the representation 
being supplied by two vivid impressions produced by the achievements 
of civilisation in its most ancient centre in Babylonia. On one hand 
the city of Babylon itself, with its mixture of languages, its cosmo- 
politan population, and its proud boast of antiquity, suggested the 
idea that here was the very fountainhead of the confusion of tongues ; 
and this idea, wrapped up in a popular etymology of the name of the 
city, formed the nucleus of the first of the two legends contained in 
the passage. On the other hand, the spectacle of some ruined or un- 
finished Temple-tower {zikktirai), built by a vast expenditure of human 
toil, and reported to symbolise the ascent to heaven (p. 226), appealed 
to the imagination of the nomads as a god-defying work, obviously 
intended to serve as a landmark and rallying-point for the whole human 
race. In each case mankind had measured its strength against the 
decree of the gods above ; and the gods had taken their revenge by 
reducing mankind to the condition of impotent disunion in which it 
now is. 

It is evident that ideas of this order did not emanate from the 
official religion of Babylonia. They originated rather in the unsophisti- 
cated reasoning of nomadic Semites who had penetrated into the 
country, and formed their own notions about the wonders they beheld 
there: the etymology of the name Babel {=Balbel) suggests an 
Aramaean origin (Ch. Gu.). The stories travelled from land to land, 
till they reached Israel, where, divested of their cruder polytheistic 
elements, they became the vehicle of an impressive lesson on the folly 
of human pride, and the supremacy of Yahwe in the affairs of men. 

It is of quite secondary interest to determine which of the numerous 
Babylonian zikkurats gave rise to the legend of the Dispersion. The 
most famous of these edifices were those of E-sagil, the temple of Mar- 
duk in Babylon,* and of E-zida, the temple of Nebo at Borsippa on the 
opposite bank of the river (see Tiele, ZA, ii. 179-190). The former 
bore the (Sumerian) name E-temeri-an-ki ( = ' house of the foundations of 
heaven and earth '). It was restored by Nabo-polassar, who says that 
before him it had become "dilapidated and ruined," and that he was 
commanded by Marduk to "lay its foundations firm in the breast of the 
underworld, and make its top equal to heaven" {KIB, iii. 2. 5). The 

* On its recently discovered site, see Langdon, Expos., 1909, ii. 
p. 91 ff. 

XL 1-9 229 

latter expression recurs in an inscr. of Nebuchadnezzar {BA, iii. 548) 
with reference to the same zikkurat, and is thought by Gu. {^ 86) to 
have been characteristic of E-temen-an-ki ; but that is doubtful, since 
similar language is used by Tiglath-pileser i. of the towers of the 
temple of Anu and Ramman, which had been allowed to fall gradually 
into disrepair for 641 years before his time {KIB, i, 43). The zikkurat 
of E-zida was called E-ur-imin-an-ki (' house of the seven stages (?) of 
heaven and earth ') ; its restorer Nebuchadnezzar tells us, in an inscr. 
found at its four corners, that it had been built by a former king, and 
raised to a height of 42 cubits ; its top, however, had not been set up, 
and it had fallen into disrepair {KIB, iii. 2. 53, 55). The temple of 
Borsippa is entombed in Birs Nimrud — a huge ruined mound still rising 
153 feet above the plain (see Hil. EBL, 13, 30 f.)— which local (and 
Jewish) tradition identifies with the tower of Gn. 11. This view has 
been accepted by many modern scholars (see EB, i. 412), by others 
it is rejected in favour of E-temen-an-ki, chiefly because E-zida was not 
m but only near Babylon. But if the two narratives are separated, 
there is nothing to connect the tower specially with the city of Babylon ; 
and it would seem to be mainly a question which of the two was the 
more imposing ruin at the time when the legend originated. It is pos- 
sible that neither was meant. At Uru (Ur of the Chaldees) there was 
a smaller zikkurat (about 70 feet high) of the moon-god Sin, dating 
from the time of Ur-bau {c. 2700 B.C.) and his son Dungi, which Nabu- 
na'id tells us he rebuilt on the old foundation " with asphalt and bricks " 
{KIB, iii. 2. 95; EBL, 173 fF.). The notice is interesting, because, 
according to one tradition, which is no doubt ancient, though it cannot 
be proved to be Yahwistic, this city was the starting-point of the Hebrew 
migration (see below, p. 239). If it was believed that the ancestors of 
the Hebrews came from Ur, it may very well have been the zikkurat 
of that place which figured in their tradition as the Tower of the 

2. In regard to its religious content, the narrative occupies the same 
standpoint as 3-"- ^^ and 6^'^. Its central idea is the effort of the restless, 
scheming, soaring human mind to transcend its divinely appointed 
limitations: it "emphasises Yahwe's supremacy over the world; it 
teaches how the self-exaltation of man is checked by God ; and it shows 
how the distribution of mankind into nations, and diversity of language, 
are elements in His providential plan for the development and progress 
of humanity " (Dri.). The pagan notion of the envy of the gods, — their 
fear lest human greatness should subvert the order of the world, — no 
doubt emerges in a more pronounced form than in any other passage. 
Yet the essential conception is not mere paganism, but finds an obvious 
point of contact in one aspect of the prophetic theology : see Is. 2'^'^'. 
To say that the narrative is totally devoid of religious significance for 
us is therefore to depreciate the value for modern life of the OT thought 
of God, as well as to evince a lack of sympathy with one of the pro- 
foundest instincts of early religion. Crude in form as the legend is, it 
embodies a truth of permanent validity— the futility and emptiness of 
human effort divorced from the acknowledgment and service of God : 


hsec perpetua mundi dementia est, negleclo coelo immortalitatem 
quserere in terra, ubi nihil est non caducum et evanidum (Calv.). 

3. Parallels.— No Babylonian version of the story has been dis- 
covered ; and for the reason given above (p. 226) it is extremely unlikely 
that anything resembling the biblical form of it will ever be found 
there.* In Greek mythology there are dim traces of a legend ascribing 
the diversities of language to an act of the gods, whether as a punish- 
ment on the creatures for demanding the gift of immortality (Philo, 
De Conf, ling.), or without ethical motive, as in the 143rd fable of 
Hyginus.t But while these myths are no doubt independent of Jewish 
influence, their resemblance to the Genesis narrative is too slight to 
suggest a common origin. It is only in the literature of the Hellenistic 
period that we find real parallels to the story of the Tower of Babel ; 
and these agree so closely with the biblical account that it is extremely 
doubtful if they embody any separate tradition. J The difference to 
which most importance is attached is naturally the polytheistic phrase- 
ology ('the gods') employed by some of the writers named (Polyhistor, 
Abyd.); but the polytheism is only in the language, and is probably 
nothing more than conscious or unconscious Hellenising of the scriptural 
narrative. Other differences — such as the identification of the tower- 
builders with the race of giants (the Nephilim of 6^?), and the destruc- 
tion of the tower by a storm — are easily explicable as accretions to the 
legend of Genesis. § The remarkable Mexican legend of the pyramid 
of Cholula, cited by Jeremias from von Humboldt, || has a special in- 
terest on account of the unmistakable resemblance between the Mexican 
pyramids and the Babylonian zikkurats. If this fact could be accepted 

* The fragment (K 3657) translated in Smith-Sayce, Chald. Gen. 
163 ff. (cf. HCM^y i53f.), and supposed to contain obscure allusions to 
the building of a tower in Babylon, its overthrow by a god during the 
night, and a confusion of speech, has since been shown to contain nothing 
of the sort: see King, Creation Tablets, i. aigf. ; Je. ATLO^, 286. 

t " Sed postquam Mercurius sermones hominum interpretatus est 
... id est nationes distribuit, tum discordia inter mortales esse coepit, 
quod Jovi placitum non est." 

X Cf. Orac. Sibyll. iii. 98 ff. (Kautzsch, Pseudepigraphen, 187) ; Alex- 
ander Polyhistor (Eus. Chron. i. 23 [ed. Schoene]) ; Abydenus {ib. \. 33) ; 
Jos. Ant. i. 118; Eupolemos (Eus. Prcep. Ev. ix. 17); and Booh of 
Jub. X. 18-27. The lines of the Sibyl (iii. 99 f.) may be quoted as a 
typical example of this class of legends : 

6/j.6(p(j3voi 8' Tiaav dwavres 
Kal ^oiiXovT iva^Tjvai d$ oupavbv aarepbevra. 
aiirlKa 5' dddvaros fxeydXr]v iiridr)K€v AvdyK-qv 
irvevfj-acnv avrdp iireiT dv€/j.oi fiiyav v\podi. ■wxipr^w 
pi\l/av, Kal dvT)Tdlai.v iir' d\\r]\ois ipi.v SipaaV 
ToCueKd Toi BajSi'XoJva ^porol ir6\ei oSvo/x' idevTO. 

§ So Gu.2 88 f. On the other side, cf. Gruppe, Griechische Culte una 
Mythen, i. 677 ff. ; Sta. Ak. Red. 277 f. ; Je. A TLG", 383 ff. 
II Vues des Cordilleres (Paris, 1810), 24, 32 ff. 

XI. lo 231 

as proof of direct Babylonian influence, then no doubt the question of 
a Babj'lonian origin of the legend and its transmission through non- 
biblical channels would assume a new complexion. But the inference, 
however tempting, is not quite certain. 

XI. 10-26. — The Genealogy of Shem (P). 

Another section of the Toledoth, spanning the interval 
between the Flood and the birth of Abraham. It is the 
most carefully planned of P's genealogies next to ch. 5 ; 
with which it agrees in form, except that in MT the frame- 
work is lightened by omitting the total duration of each 
patriarch's life. In xix this is consistently supplied ; while 
^ merely adds to MT the statement koI aTreOavtv. The 
number of generations in MT is 9, but in ^ 10, corre- 
sponding with ch. 5. Few of the names can be plausibly 
identified ; these few are mostly geographical, and point 
on the whole to NW Mesopotamia as the original home of 
the Hebrew race. 

In (!5 the number 10 is made up by the addition of Kenan between 
ArpakSad and Shelah (so lo''^). That this is a secondary alteration 
is almost certain, because (a) it is wanting in i Ch. i^^- ^^ ffi ; (b) Kenan 
already occurs in the former genealogy (5^^*) ; and (c) the figures 
simply duplicate those of Shelah. It has been proposed to count Noah 
as the first name (Bu. 412 f.), or Abraham as the loth (Tu. De.); but 
neither expedient brings about the desired formal correspondence be- 
tween thel ists of ch. 5 and 1 1^^- An indication of the artificial character 
of these genealogies is found in the repetition of the name Nahor, once 
as the father, and again as the son, of Tera^ (see Bosse, Chron. 
Systeme, 7 ff.). It is not improbable that here, as in ch. 5 (correspond- 
ing with 4^"0> P has worked up an earlier Yahwistic genealogy, of 
which a fragment may have been preserved in vv.^^"^". We. {Comp."^ 9, 
Prol.^ 313) has conjectured that it consisted of the 7 names left of P's 
list when ArpakSad and Shelah (see on lo^^* -^) and the first Nahor are 
omitted (Abraham counting as the 7th). But there is no proof that the 
Yahwistic genealogy lying behind ch. 5 was 7-membered ; and J's 
parallel to n^o^- could not in any case be the continuation of 4^^"^. 

10. ^^?5^^<] see on 10^. He is here obviously the oldest son of Shem ; 
which does not necessarily involve a contradiction with ch. 10, the 
arrangement there being dictated by geographical considerations. 
Hommel {AA, 222^), maintaining his theory that Arp. = Ur-Kasdim, 
comes to the absurd conclusion that in the original list it was not the 
name of Shem's son, but of his birthplace : ' Shem from Arpakshad ' ! — 
Saijri nrx D^njv'] The discrepancy between this statement and the chron- 


ology of 5^^ 7^^ 9^^'- is not to be got rid of either by wire-drawn arith- 
metical calculations (Ra. al.), or by the assumption that in the other 
passages round numbers are used (Tu. De.). The clause is evidently 
a gloss, introduced apparently for the purpose of making the birth of 
ArpakSad, rather than the Flood, the commencement of a new era. 
It fits in admirably with the scheme of the B. of Jub., which gives an 
integral number of year-weeks from the Creation to the birth of Arp., 
and from the latter event to the birth of Abraham (see p. 234 below). — 
12. nhv (2aXa)] probably the same word which forms a component of 
nV?nD (5^*^")> 3-"^ therefore originally a divine name. This need not 
exclude a tribal or geographical sense, the name of a deity being fre- 
quently transferred to his worshippers or their territory. A place Salah 
or Salah in Mesopotamia is instanced by Knobel (Di.). Others regard 
it as a descriptive name = * offshoot ' or ' dismissal ' ; but very improb- 
ably. — 14. i3i!] see on 10^'. — 16. Jj"£] 10^. Hommel {I.e.) combines the 
two names and takes the compound as a notice of Shelah's birthplace : 
' Shelah from Eber-peleg ' = Eber-hannahar, the region W of the lower 
Euphrates (see pp. 218, 220 above). — 18. ijn('Pa7au)] unknown ; certainly 

not wjOnJO I (Edessa). It is possibly abbreviated from ^^n (36*, Ex. 2^ 
etc. : so Homm.) ; and Mez considers it a divine name. An Aramaean 
tribe Ruua is frequently mentioned in Assyr. inscrs. as dwellers on the 
banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, in or near Babylonia (Del. Par. 
238 ff.). — 20. J'lfc' (SepoKx)] a well-known city and district about half-way 
between Carchemish and Harran, mentioned by Syr. and Arab, writers 
under the name Sarug. The name {Sarugi) also occurs several times 
in the census of the district round Harran (7th cent. B.C.), published by 
Johns under the title of Ati Assyrian Domesday Book: see pp. 29, 30, 
43, 48, 68. — 22. nin: (Naxwp)] is in J the brother of Abraham (22'"' ; cf. 
Jos. 24^) ; in P he is both the grandfather and the brother (11°®). The 
name must have been that of an important Aramaean tribe settled in or 
around Harran (27^^ 28^" 29'*). Johns compares the place-name Til- 
Nahiri in the neighbourhood of Sarugi ; also the personal names Na]}iri 
and Nahar&u found in Assyrian Deeds {I.e. 71 ; Ass. Deeds, iii. 127 ; cf. 
KAT^, 477 f.). As a divine name Naxap is mentioned along with other 
Aramaean deities on a Greek inscription from Carthage (iST^ 7^, 477) ; 
and Jen. {ZA, xi. 300) has called attention to the theophorous name 
j_kkJ t *~^*^ i in the ' Doctrine of Addai,' as possibly a corruption of 
•_^.kJ 1*^^- — 24. rn.n (9a/5pa)] is instanced by Rob. Sm.* as a totem 
clan-name ; |-K»>Z(?) being the Syr. and tur&hd the Ass. word for 'wild 
goat." Similarly Del. {Prol. 80), who also refers tentatively to Til-la- 
tur&hi, the name of a Mesopotamian town in the neighbourhood of 
Harran. Knobel compares a place Tharrana, S of Edessa (Di.); Jen. 
{ZA, vi. 70; Hittiter und Armenier, 150 ff. [esp. 154]) is inclined to 
identify Terah with the Hittite and N Syrian god (or goddess) Tar}}u, 
'HapKo, etc. (cf. KAT^, 484).— 26. 5 reads 75 instead of 70. 

* KW^, 220 (afterwards abandoned). Cf. Noldeke, ZDMG, xl. 
167 f.: "sicher unmoglich." 

XI. 12-26 


The Chronolofry. — The following Table shows the variations of the 
three chief recensions (MT, «i and (S), together with the chronology of 
the Book of Jubilees, which for this period parts company with the 
Sam., and follows a system peculiar to itself (see p. 134 ff. above) : 

The three versions plainly rest on a common basis, and it is not 
easy to decide in favour of the priority of any one of them. On the 
application to this period of the general chronological theories described 
on p. 135 f. it is unnecessary to add much. Klostermann maintains his 
scheme of Jubilee-periods on the basis of ffi, (a) by allowing a year 
for the Flood ; {b) by adopting the reading of S, 75 instead of 70, in 
the case of Terah ; and (c) by following certain MSS which give 179 for 
79 as the age of Nahor at the birth of Terah. This makes from the 
Flood to the birth of Abraham 1176 years = 2x 12x49. By an equally 
arbitrary combination of data of MT and ffi, a similar period of 1176 
years is then made out from the birth of Abraham to the Dedication of 
the Temple. — The seemingly eccentric scheme of Jub. shows clear in- 
dications of a reckoning by year-weeks. Since the birth of Arpak§ad 
is said (vii. 18) to have occurred two years after the Flood, we may con- 
clude that it was assigned to a.m. 1309, the 102nd year of Shem. This 


gives a period of 187 year- weeks from the Creation to the birth of 
Arp., followed by another of 81 (567^7) to the birth of Abraham. We 
observe further that the earlier period embraces 11 generations with an 
average of exactly 17 year-weeks, and the later 9 generations with an 
average of exactly 9 : i.e., as nearly as possible one-half: the author ac- 
cordingly must have proceeded on the theory that after the Flood the age 
of paternity suddenly dropped to one-half of what it had formerly been. 
[It is possible that the key to the various systems has been discovered 
by A. Bosse, whose paper * became known to me only while these sheets 
were passing through the press. His main results are as follows : 
(i) In MT he finds two distinct chronological systems, {a) One reckons 
by generations of 40 years, its termim being the birth of Shem and 
the end of the Exile. In the Shemite table, Terah is excluded entirely, 
and the two years between the Flood and the birth of Arp. are ignored. 
This gives : from the birth of Shem to that of Abraham 320 (8 x 40) 
years; thence to b. of Jacob 160(4x40); to Exodus 560 (14x40); to 
founding of Temple 480 (12x40); to end of Exile 480: in all 2000 
(50 X 40). This sj'stem is, of course, later than the Exile ; but Bo. con- 
cedes the probability that its middle section, with 1200 (30x40) years 
from the b. of Abr. to the founding of the Temple, may be of earlier 
origin. — {b) The other scheme, with which we are more immediately 
concerned, operates with a Great Month of 260 years (260 = the number 
of weeks in a five-years' lustnim). Its period is a Great Year from the 
Creation to the dedication of the Temple, and its reckoning includes 
Terah in the Shemite table, but excludes the 2 years of Arpak^ad. 
This gives 1556 years to b. of Shem + 390 (b. of Abr.) + 75 (migration 
of Abr.) + 215 (descent to Eg}'pt) + 430 (Exodus) + 480 (founding of 
Temple) + 20 {dedication of do.) = 3166. Now 3166 = 12 x 260 + 46. 
The odd 46 years are thus accounted for : the chronologist was 
accustomed to the Egyptian reckoning by months of 30 days, and 
a solar year of 365J days, requiring the interposition of ^^ days each 
year ; and the 46 years are the equivalent of these 5J days in 
the system here followed. (For, if 30 days = 260 years, then 5^ days 
^ 5^x26o ^2i_x^^7203^^^^ ^^^^ ^g^ ^^a«.) The first third of this 

Great Year ends with the b. of Noah 1056 = 4 x 260+ 16 (^ of 46). The 
second third nearly coincides with the b. of Jacob ; but here there 
is a discrepancy of 5 years, which Bo. accounts for by the assumption 
that the figure of the older reckoning by generations has in the case of 
Jacob been allowed to remain in the text. — (2) ffi reckons with a Great 
Month of 355 years (the number of days in the lunar year), and a Great 
Year of 12 x 355 = 4260 years from the Creation to the founding of the 
Temple, made upas follows: 2142+ ii73t + 75 + 215 + 215 + 440^ = 4260. 

* Die Chronologischen Systeme im AT und bei Josephus {MVAG, 
1908, 2). 

t Allowing a year for the Flood, and two years between it and the 
b. of Arpak§ad. 

+ See I Ki. 6^ (ffi). 

XI. 27-32 235 

Sigfnificant subdivisions cannot be traced. — (3) ixx returns to the earlier 
Heb. reckoning by generations, its terminus ad quern being the measur- 
ing out of Gerizim, which, according to the Sam. Chronicle published 
by Neubauer, took place 13 years after the Conquest of Canaan. Thus 
we obtain 1207 + 1040 + 75 + 215 + 215 + 42 (desert wandering) *+ 13 
(measurement of Gerizim) = 2807 = 70 X 40 + 7.t — (4) The Book of 
Jubilees counts by Jubilee-periods of 49 years from the Creation to the 
Conquest of Palestine : 1309 + 567 + 75 + 459 (Exodus) + 40 (entrance to 
Canaan) = 2450 = 50 x 49.] 

XI. 27-32.— 77ie Genealogy of Terah (P and J). 

The vv. are of mixed authorship ; and form, both in 
P and J, an introduction to the Patriarchal History. In P 
(27. 31. 32^^ thg g-enealogical framework encloses a notice of the 
migration of the Terahites from Ur-Kasdim to Harran, to 
which i2*'^-5 may be the immediate sequel. The insertion 
from J (28-30) finds an equally suitable continuation in 12^*^-, 
and is very probably the conclusion of J's lost Shemite 
genealogy. The suppression of the preceding context of 
J is peculiarly tantalising because of the uncertainty of the 
tradition which makes Ur-Kasdim the home of the ancestors 
of the Hebrews (see concluding note, p. 239) 

On the analysis, cf. esp. Bu. Urg. 4i4ff.— Vv.^^ and ^^ belong quite 
obviously to P ; and »^, from its diffuse style and close resemblance 
to P's regular manner in recording the patriarchal migrations (12^ 31'* 
36*46^: see Hupf. Qu. 19 f.), may be confidently assigned to the same 
source. *^ presents nothing distinctive of either document ; but in ^^ 
mSiD px is peculiar to JE (see the footnote on the v.). ^ is J because 
presupposed in 22-'"^- ; and its continuation (^") brings as an additional 
criterion the word n^ijj; (cf. 25-' 29^'), which is never used by P.— The 
extract from J is supplementary to P, and it might be argued that at 
least 28a was necessary in the latter source to explain why Lot and not 
Haran went with Terah. Bu. points out in answer (p. 420) that with 
still greater urgency we desiderate an explanation of the fact that 
Nahur was left behind : if the one fact is left unexplained, so a fortiori 
might the other. 

The formula n'n^n n^xi does not occur again till 25^^ ; and it is very 
widely held that in v." it stands as the heading of the section of P 

* After Jos. 5* (<&). 

t The odd 7 years still remain perplexing (see p. 136). One cannot 
help surmising that the final 13 was originally intended to get rid of 
it, though the textual data do not enable us now to bring out a round 


dealing- with the life of Abraham. That is wholly improbable. It is 
likely enoug-h that a heading- (omiN 'n '«) has been somewhere omitted 
(so We. Bu. Ho. al.) ; but the truth is that from this point onwards 
no consistent principle can be discovered in the use of the formula. The 
hypothesis that an originally independent book of Toledoth has been 
broken up and dislocated by the redaction, is as plausible a solution as 
any that can be thought of. See, further, on 25'®. 

27. On the name Abram, see on 17^; on Nahor, v.^^ 
above. — Haran begat Lot] A statement to the same effect 
must have been found in J (see 12*'''). Haran has no signifi- 
cance in the tradition except as expressing- the relationship 
of Lot, Milkah, and Yiskah within the Hebraic group. 

That ]-\ri is formed from [-jn {v.i.) by a softening of the initial guttural 
(We. Pr.^ 313) is an improbable conjecture (see Bu. 443^). The name 
occurs elsewhere only in 'nTi'3 (Nu. 32'*^ : cf. D'^ri"n'3, Jos. 13^)* in the 
tribe of Gad : this has suggested the view that pn was the name of a 
deity worshipped among the peoples represented by Lot (Mez : cf. Wi. 
AOF, ii. 499). — The name oi'? is also etymologically obscure (? Ar. Idt 
= 'cleave to"). A connexion with the Horite clan ]a'h in Gn. 36"<>-22. 29 
is probable. 

28. The premature death of Haran (which became the 
nucleus of some fantastic Jewish legends) took place in the 
land of his nativity; i.e., according to the present text, 
Ur of the Chaldees, where his grave was shown down to 
the time of Josephus [Ant. i. 151 ; Eus. OS, 285, 50 ff.). 

D'^^3 •flN (v.^^ 15'', Neh. g' : (& X'^P"- '''^^ XaXoaicav) is now almost 
universally identified with the ancient S Babylonian city of Uru, whose 
remains have been discovered in the mounds of 'el-Mukayyar, on the 
right bank of the Euphrates, about 25 miles SE from Erech and 125 
from Babylon (see Hilp. EBL, i72ff.). The evidence for this view is 

28. ':S?''7J^] is coram {(& ivwiriov), rather than a>Ue (B : so Tu.), or 'in 

the lifetime of {S> - - "» ^•^^); cf. Nu. 3^: see BDB and G-B. s.v. 
D'js.— in^ViD pN] so 24' (J), 31'ME); cf. Jer. 221" 46'^ Ezk. 23^^ Ru. 2". 
A commoner phrase in Pent, is '1DI 'in, 12^ 24^ 3r'' 32^", Nu lo^" ^^u j)_ 
From the way in which the two expressions alternate, it is probable 
that they are equivalent ; and since 'd alone certainly means ' kindred ' 
(43^ [J], cf. Est. 2''*- "" 8^), it is better to render ' land of one's parentage' 
than 'land in which one was born' [S here and 12^] (cf. Bu. 419-). P 
has the word, but only in the sense of ' progeny ' (48^, Lv. 18* [H]). 

* Thoug-h Wi. {A OF, ii. 499) contends that both names are corrup- 
tions of D^nin. 

XI. 27-30 237 

very strong-. Uru is the only city of the name known from Assyri- 
ology (although the addition of the gen. Qne^i suggests that others were 
known to the Israelites : G-K. § 125 A) : it was situated in the properly 
Chaldiean territory, was a city of great importance and vast antiquity, 
and (like Harran, with which it is here connected) was a chief centre of 
the worship of the moon-god Sin {/CAT,'^ i29ff.). The only circumstance 
that creates serious misgiving is that the prevalent tradition of Gen. 
points to the NE as the direction whence the patriarchs migrated to 
Canaan (see below) ; and this has led to attempts to find a northern 
Ur connected probably with the Mesopotamian Chaldaeans of 22-^ (see 
Kittel, Gesch. i. 163 fF.). Syrian tradition identifies it with Edessa 
{Urhai, Urfa). It is generally recognised, however, that these considera- 
tions are insufficient to invalidate the arguments in favour of Uru. — 
D>Y?'l]=Bab. Ka^dit, Ass. Knldu (XaX5-a/ot), is the name of a group of 
Semitic tribes, distinguished from the Arabs and Aram^ans, who are 
found settled to the SE of Babylonia, round the shore of the Persian Gulf. 
In the I ith cent, or earlier they are believed to have penetrated Babylonia, 
at first as roving, pastoral nomads (A'4 7^, 22 ff.), but ultimately giving 
their name to the country, and founding the dynasty of Nabopolassar. 
— By the ancients d'ibo was rightly understood of Babylonia (Nikolaos 
Damasc. in Jos. Ant. i. 152 ; Eupolemos in Eus. Prcep. Ev. ix. 17 ; 
Jer. al.) ; but amongst the Jews i^n came to be regarded as an appella- 
tive = ' fire ' (in igne ChaldceoruTn, which Jer. accepts, though he rejects 
the legends that were spun out of the etymology). This is the germ of 
the later Haggadic fables about the ' fire ' in which Harin met an 
untimely fate, and the furnace into which Abraham was cast by order 
of Nimrod (/m6. xii. 12-14; Je<"- Quezst., ad loc. ; W, Ber.R. § 38, Ra.). 

29. While we are told that Nahor's wife was his brother's 
daughter, it is surprising- that nothing is said of the 
parentage of Sarai. According to E (20^''^), she was Abraham's 
half-sister ; but this does not entitle us to suppose that 
words expressing this relationship have been omitted from 
the text of J (Ewald). It would seem, however, that 
tradition represented marriage between near relations as 
the rule among the Terahites (20^^ 24^^- 29^^). 

With regard to the names, '■i^' seems to be an archaic form of 
n-1^ .— 'princess' (see on 17^*), while ns^p means 'queen.' In Bab. the 
relations are reversed, larratuh€\x\% the queen and malkatuihe princess. 
It cannot be a mere coincidence that these two names correspond 
to two personages belonging to the pantheon of Harran, where Sarratu 
was a title of the moon-goddess, the consort of Sin, and Malkatu a title 

29. npn] sing., according to G-K. § 146/". — 30. ■iipv] as 25''^ 29^' (J) ; 
not in P (see 16'").— i^i] axx -\h\ Only again as Kethib of Or. MSS in 
2 Sa. 6^. It is possibly here a scribal error, which eventually influenced 
the other pass. 


of IStar, also worshipped there (Jen. ZA, xi. 299 f. ; KAT^, 364 f.). 
It is needless to say that these associations, if they existed, are forgotten 
in the Hebrew leg-end. — If, as is not improbable, the tradition contains 
ethnographic reminiscences, v.^*'* express (i) the dissolution of an older 
tribal group, Haran ; (2) the survival of one of its subdivisions (Lot) 
through the protection of a stronger tribe ; and (3) the absorption of 
another (Milkah) in a kindred stock. — Of nrp; nothing is known. The 
Rabbinical fiction that she is Sarah under another name (implied in 
Jos. Ant. i. 151 ; VL^ , Jer. Ra. lEz. al.) is worthless. Ewald's conjecture 
that she was the wife of Lot is plausible, but baseless. 

31, 32. The migration from Ur-Kasdim to Canaan is 
accomplished in two stages. Terah, as patriarchal head of 
the family, conducts the expedition as far as Harran, where 
he dies. The obvious implication is that after his death 
the journey is resumed by Abram (12^); although «i alone 
gives a chronology consistent with this view {v. supra). 
Nahor, we are left to infer, remained behind in Ur-Kasdim ; 
and in the subsequent narratives P (in opposition to J) seems 
carefully to avoid any suggestion of a connexion between 
Nahor and the city of Harran. 

pn (with virtually doubled t : cf. ffi Xappav ; Gr. Kappat ; Lat. Carrce, 
Charra ; Ass. Harrdnu ; Syr. and Arab. Harran) was an important 
centre of the caravan trade in NW Mesopotamia, 60 miles E of 
Carchemish, situated near the Bali|}, 70 miles due N from its confluence 
with the Euphrates. Though seldom mentioned in OT (12^ [P], 
27*^ 28'" 29'* [J], 2 Ki. 19^-, Ezk. 27^^t), and now ruined, it was a city of 
great antiquity, and retained its commercial importance in classical 
and mediaeval times. The name in Ass. appears to be susceptible of 
several interpretations — 'way,' 'caravan' (TA Tab.), 'joint-stock 
enterprise ' (Del. Hd-wh. s.v., KA 7^, 29^) — any one of which might denote 
its commercially advantageous position at the parting of the route to 
Damascus from the main highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. 
Harran was also (along with Ur) a chief seat of the worship of Sin, who 
had there a temple, E-Jjtil-hul, described by Nabuna'id as "from 
remote days" a "dwelling of the joy of his (Sin's) heart" {KIB, iii. 2. 
97), and who was known in NW Asia as the "Lord of Harran" 
(Zinjirli inscr. : cf. Lidzbarski, Hh. 444, An.). See, further, Mez, Gesch. 
d. St. ffarran ; Tomkins, Times of Abraham, 55 ff. etc. This double 
connexion of Abraham with centres of lunar religion is the most 

31. m^D] nV? (Syr. (A\n, Ar. kannat) means both 'spouse' and 
* daughter-in-law ' : in Syr. and Ar. also ' sister-in-law,' — a fact adduced 
by Rob. Sm. as a relic of Baal polyandry {KM-, 161, 209^). — dtik iks'i] 
gives no sense. Read with xix<& {koX ^^-rjyayev a-Jrovs) IT, DO** •<)(i'l» or 
&, DnN NSn. — 32. nin-o;] (Si + ^f Xa^pdv, 

XI. 31, 32 239 

plausible argument advanced by those who hold the mythical view of 
his figure as an impersonation of the moon-god. 

It will be observed that while both P and J (in the present text) 
make Ur-Kasdim the starting-point of the Abrahamic migration, J has 
no allusion to a journey from Ur to Harran. His language is perfectly 
consistent either (a) with a march directly from Ur to Canaan, or {b) 
with the view that the real starting-point was Harran, and that niKa 
Dnp3 is here a gloss intended to harmonise J and P. Now, there is a 
group of passages in J which, taken together, unmistakably imply 
that Abraham was a native of Harran, and therefore started from 
thence to seek the promised land. In 24*- ''• i", the place of A.'s nativity 
is Aram-Naharaim, and specially the ' city of Nahor ' ; while a com- 
parison with 27*^ 28^" 29* leaves no doubt that the ' city of Nahor ' was 
Harran. P, on the other hand, nowhere deviates from his theory of a 
double migration with a halt at Harran ; and the persistency with 
which he dissociates Laban and Rebecca from Nahor (25^ zS^-^^-) is a 
proof that the omission of Nah6r from the party that left Ur was 
intentional (Bu. 421 ff.). It is evident, then, that we have to do with a 
divergence in the patriarchal tradition ; and the only uncertainty is 
with regard to the precise point where it comes in. The theory of P, 
though consistently maintained, is not natural ; for (1) all the antecedents 
^jjio-2flj point to Mesopotamia as the home of the patriarchs; and (2) 
the twofold migration, first from Ur and then from Harran, has itself 
the appearance of a compromise between two conflicting traditions. 
The simplest solution would be to suppose that both the references to 
Ur-Kasdim in J (ii'^* 15'') are interpolations, and that P had another 
tradition which he harmonised with that of J by the expedient just 
mentioned (so We. Di. Gu. Dri. al.). Bu. holds that both traditions 
were represented in different strata of J (P Harran, J^ Ur), and tries 
to show that the latter is a probable concomitant of the Yahwistic 
account of the Flood. In that he can hardly be said to be successful ; 
and he is influenced by the consideration that apart from such a 
discrepancy in his sources P could never have thought of the circuitous 
route from Ur to Canaan by way of Harran. That argument has little 
weight with those who are prepared to believe that P had other 
traditions at his disposal than those we happen to know from J and E.* 
In itself, the hypothesis of a dual tradition within the school of J is 
perfectly reasonable ; but in this case, in spite of Bu.'s close reasoning, 
it appears insufficiently supported by other indications. The view of 
vVe. is on the whole the more acceptable. 

* The suggestion has, of course, been made (VVi. A OF. i. 98 ff.; 
Paton, Sjyr. and Pal. 42) that E is the source of the Ur-Kasdim tradition : 
but in view of Jos. 24* that is not probable. 


Chs. XII-XXV. i8. 

Critical Note. — In this section of Genesis the broad lines of demarca- 
tion between J, E, and P are so clear that there is seldom a serious 
diversity of opinion among- critics. The real difficulties of the analysis 
concern the composition of the Yahwistic narrative, and the relation of 
its component parts to E and P respectively. These questions have 
been brought to the front by the commentary of Gu., who has made it 
probable that the Yahwistic document contains two main strata, one 
(J'') fixing Abraham's residence at Hebron, and the other (J'') reg-arding- 
him as a denizen of the Negeb. 

I. The kernel of J'' is a cycle of legends in which the fortunes of 
Abraham and Lot are interlinked : viz. i2i-8; 132-5-18. ig ; i^^-^ ; ig^o-ss. 
If these passages are read continuously, they form an orderly narrative, 
tracing the march of Abraham and Lot from Harran through Shechem 
to Bethel, where they separate ; thence Abraham proceeds to Hebron, 
but is again brought into ideal contact with Lot by visits of angels to 
each in turn ; this leads up to the salvation of Lot from the fate of 
Sodom, his flight to the mountains, and the origin of the two peoples 
supposed to be descended from him. In this sequence I2''-I3' is (as will 
be more fully shown later) an interruption. Earlier critics had attempted 
to get rid of the discontinuity either by seeking a suitable connexion for 
I2''^- at a subsequent stage of J's narrative, or by treating it as a 
redactional expansion. But neither expedient is satisfactory, and the 
suggestion that it comes from a separate source is preferable on several 
grounds. Now \2^^- is distinguished from J*", not only by the absence 
of Lot, but by the implication that Abraham's home was in the Negeb, 
and perhaps by a less idealised conception of the patriarch's character. 
These characteristics reappear in ch. 16, which, as breaking the con- 
nexion of ch. 18 with 13, is plausibly assigned to J*". (To this source 
Gu. also assig-ns the Yahwistic component of ch. 15; but that chapter 
shows so many signs of later elaboration that it can hardly have 
belonged to either of the primary sources.) — After ch. 19, the hand of J 
appears in the accounts of Isaac's birth (21^'''*) and Abraham's treaty 
with Abimelech (21^"^^*): the latter is probably J*" (on account of the 
Negeb), while the former shows slight discrepancies with the pre- 
diction of ch. 18, which lead us (though with less confidence) to assign 

xii.-xxv. 18 241 

it also to J**. With regard to ch. 24, it is impossible to say whether it 
belongs to J*" or J" : we assign it provisionally to the latter.* The bulk 
of the Yahwistic material may therefore be disposed in two parallel 
series as follows : 

Jh . i2l-8». i^a-18». igl-lS. !»-22». SSb . iq1-28 . iq30-S8 . 

J": I20-I31; 16; 2ii-''»; 2i22-"*; 24*.! 

The Yahwistic sections not yet dealt with are ch. 15* (see above); 
and the two genealogies, 22-""^ and 25''', both inserted by a Yahwistic 
editor from unknown sources. Other passages (13""" igi'-iB- aai'-asa 
22i»-i8) which appear to have been added during the redaction (RJ or RJ^) 
will be examined in special notes ad locc. 

2. The hand of E is recognised in the following sections : 15*; 20; 
21'"''*; 21^"-^; 21^-"^*; 22''** (24*?)- Gu. has pointed out that where 
J and E run parallel to one another, E's affinites are always with 
y" and never with J*" (cf. the variants 12 ^'^- || 20; 16 || 21^--'; and the 
compositions in 21'*'' and 2i^-"*''). This, of course, might be merely a 
consequence of the fact that E, like J'', makes the Negeb (Beersheba) 
the scene of Abraham's history. But it is remarkable that in ch. 26 we 
find unquestionable Yahwistic parallels to E and J'', with Isaac as hero 
instead of Abraham. These are probably to be attributed to the writer 
whom we have called J*^, who thus succeeded in preserving the Negeb 
traditions, while at the same time maintaining the theory that Abraham 
was the patron of Hebron, and Isaac of Beersheba. 

Putting all the indications together, we are led to a tentative hypo- 
thesis regarding the formation of the Abrahamic legend, which has 
some value for the clearing of our ideas, though it must be held with 
great reserve. The tradition crystallised mainly at two great religious 
centres, Beersheba and Hebron. The Beersheba narratives took shape 
in two recensions, a Yahwistic and an Elohistic, of which (it may be 

* Gu. analyses 24 into two narratives, assigning one to each source. 
The question is discussed in the Note, pp. 340 f., where the opinion is 
hazarded that the subordinate source may be E, in which case the other 
would naturally be J''. 

t It is interesting to compare this result with the analysis of the 
Yahwistic portions of chs. i-i 1 (pp. 2-4). In each case J appears as a 
complex document, formed by the amalgamation of prior collections of 
traditions ; and the question naturally arises whether any of the com- 
ponent narratives can be traced from the one period into the other. 
It is impossible to prove that this is the case ; but certain affinities of 
thought and expression suggest that J^ in the biography of Abraham 
may be the continuation of J* in the primitive history. Both use the 
phrase 'call by the name of Yahwe ' (4-* 12* [i3''], [but cf 21^ (J*")]) ; 
and the optimistic religious outlook expressed in the blessing of Noah 
(g^sff-) is shared in a marked degree by the writer of J\ Have we here 
fragments of a work whose theme was the history of the Yahvve- 
religion, from its commencement with Enosh to its establishment in the 
leading sanctuaries of Palestine by Abraham and Isaac? See 12^ 
(Shechem), 128 (Bethel), 131" (Hebron), 26-5 (Beersheba). 


added) the second is ethically and religiously on a higher level than the 
first. These were partly amalgamated, probably before the union of J'' 
and J*" (see on ch. 26). The Hebron tradition was naturally indifferent 
to the narratives which connected Abraham with the Negeb, or with 
its sanctuary Beersheba ; hence the writer of J"^, who attaches himself 
to this tradition, excludes the Beersheba stories from his biography of 
Abraham, but finds a place for some of them in the history of Isaac. 

3. The account of P(l2'"'-5 136. lib. 12aba . i61a.3. 15. i^. ig29. 2ilb. 2b-5. 

23 ; 25''-"* ; 25^2"") consists mostly of a skeleton biography based on the 
older documents, and presupposing a knowledge of them. The sole 
raison diire of such an outline is the chronological scheme into which 
the various incidents are fitted : that it fills some gaps in the history 
(birth of Ishmael, death of Abraham) is merely an accident of the 
redaction. P's affinities are chiefly with J*^, with whom he shares the 
idea that Hebron was the permanent residence of Abraham. Of the 
sections peculiar to P, ch. 17 is parallel to 15, and 25^^"" has probably 
replaced a lost Yahwistic genealogy of Ishmael. Ch. 23 stands alone 
as presumably an instance where P has preserved an altogether in- 
dependent tradition. 

Ch. 14 cannot with any show of reason be assigned to any of the 
recognised sources of the Pent., and has accordingly been omitted from 
the above survey. The question of its origin is discussed on pp. 271 fif. 

Chs. XII. yAW.—The migratio7is of Ahram (J and P). 

Leaving his home at the command of Yahwe, Abram 
enters Canaan and erects altars at Shechem and Bethel 
(i2^~^). From Bethel he migrates to the Negeb, and thence, 
under stress of famine, to Egypt ; where by a false repre- 
sentation he enriches himself, but imperils his wife's honour 
(12^-13^). Laden with wealth, he returns to Bethel, where 
an amicable separation from his nephew Lot leaves him in 
sole possession of the promise of the land (13^"^'^). Abram 
journeys southward and settles in Hebron (^^). 

Analysis- — The slender thread of P's narrative is represented by i2^''- ^ 
,38. lib i2aba. note the date in I2'*''; the form of 12*; e'?-i, mr\, 12* 13*; 
E-pj, 'person,' 12'; jM n?> '2"* 13'^ 5 '<iyj, 13"; i33i?'i.j;. 13'^ ; andseeonthe 
vv. below. These fragments form a continuous epitome of the events 
between the exodus from Harran and the parting of Abram and Lot. 
With a slight and inherently plausible transposition (12*- *'' ; Bu. p. 432) 
they might pass for the immediate continuation of 11^^, if we can 
suppose that the call of Abram was entirely omitted by P (see Gu. 231). 
— The rest of the passage is Yahwistic throughout : obs. the consistent 
use of ni.T ; the reference to Paradise, 13^" ; the anticipation of ch. 19 in 
j^io. 13. and the following expressions: nnVra, 12I; 3 T^}, 12^; nn9^p Sa 

XII. 1-3 243 

npiKn, 12^ ; K} .njn, k), 12"- " 13*- '• " ; T3y,i3, 12''- " ; 'v ntlrno, 12'^ ; l'n-):n -13?, 
,^10; 11, It falls naturally into three sections : (a) 12^"^ 8-8 ; (b) i2'"-i3' ; 
(f) 132-'^ 7-1'*- '2h/3-i8 . 129 and ly'- * being redactional links (RJ) uniting b 
to a on the one side and c on the other. The purely mechanical con- 
nexion of b with a and c was first shown by We. {Comp.^ 24 f.).* The 
removal of 5 restores the direct and natural sequence of ^ upon a, and 
gets rid of the redactor's artificial theory of a double visit to Bethel with 
a series of aimless wanderings between. In the main narrative Abram's 
journey is continuously southward, from Shechem to Bethel (where the 
separation from Lot takes place), and thence to his permanent abode in 
Hebron. In the inserted episode (b), Abram simply moves down to 
Eg^'pt from his home in the Negeb and back again. — As to the origin 
of i2'''-2®, see p. 251 below. 

XII. 1-8. The journey to Canaan and the promise 
of the Land. — I. The opening v. strikes a note peculiarly 
characteristic of the story of Abram — the trial of faith. 
There is intentional pathos in the ling-ering description of 
the things he is to leave : ^/ty land, thy kindred, and thy 
fathet's house ; and a corresponding significance in the 
vagueness with which the goal is indicated : to a land 
7vhich I will show thee. Obedience under such conditions 
marks Abram as the hero of faith, and the ideal of Hebrew 
piety (Heb. ii^^-). — 2, 3- The blessings here promised express 
the aspirations of the age in which the narrative originated, 
and reveal the people's consciousness of its exceptional 
destiny among the nations of the world. They breathe the 
spirit of optimism which is on the whole characteristic of the 
Yahwistic treatment of the national legends, as contrasted 
with the primitive and cosmopolitan mythology of chs. 2-1 1, 
whose sombre tone is only once (g^^f-) relieved by a similar 
gleam of hope. — and will make thy name great\ It has 
been noticed that the order in which the names of the 
patriarchs emerge in the prophetic literature is the reverse 
of that in Genesis, and that Abraham is first mentioned in 
Ezk. 33^*. The inference has been drawn that the figure of 

I. ^^ (222 [E]; cf. Ca. 2i«- ")] see G-K. § 1195. — On nn^io (ffi 
(TUTyeceia) see ii''*. — 2. n3"j3 n;m] Impve. expressing consequence (G-K. 
§ no i) is here questionable, because the preceding vbs. are simple 
futures. The pointing as consec. pf. (i;ni) was suggested by Giesebrecht 

• So Di. Ho. Gu. 


Abraham represents a late development of the patriarchal 
legends (cf. We. Prol.^ 317 f.). But from this promise we 
may fairly conclude that even in the pre-prophetic period 
the name of Abraham was famous in Israel, and that in this 
particular the religious ideas of the people are not fully 
reflected in prophecy (i Ki. iS'^^ has also to be considered). 
— The antiquity of the name is now placed beyond doubt 
by an archagological discovery made by Erman in 1888, but 
first published by Breasted in 1904. In the Karnak list 
of places conquered by Sheshonk I., the contemporary of 
Rehoboam, there is mentioned pa-hu-q-rji- a 'a-ba-ra-m — 
max h\>T\, 'Field of Abram.' It has not been identified; 
but from its place in the list it must have been in the S of 
Palestine (see Breasted, AJSL, xxi. 35 f. ; and cf. Meyer, 
INS, 266).* — and be thou a blessing (cf. Zee. 8^^)] Rather: 
and it (the name) shall be a blessing (point HMi^ v.i.') i.e. * a 
name to bless by,' in the sense explained by ^^ — 3b has 
generally been rendered through thee shall all the families 
of the earth be blessed\ i.e. the blessings of true religion 
shall be mediated to the world through Abram and his 
descendants (so all Vns. ; cf. Sir. 44^^, Ac. 3^^, Gal. 3^). 
The better translation, however, is that of Ra., adopted by 
most modern comm. : by thee shall all . . . bless the7nselves\ 
the idea being that in invoking blessings on themselves or 
others they will use such words as * God make thee like 
Abram,' etc. (see 48^*', Is. 65^^, Ps. 72^'^ ; and the opposite, 

{ATliche Schcifziing d. Goftesnamens, 15); see Gu. adv. — 3. ^^^pp] sing. ; 
but the pi. of some MSS, jjulGF5 (I'v), is more probable ; cf. 27^', Nu. 
24'. — 5)3 i313Ji] (& KOui fv\oyy)driaovTai iv crol, and so all Vns. The rendenng' 
depends on the grammatical question whether the Niph. has pass, or 
refl. sense. This form of the vb. does not occur except in the parallels 
18^8 (with ia) and 28I* (?!;;^1?5— 13). In 22^* 26* it is replaced by Hithp., 
which is, of course, refl., and must be translated 'bless themselves' ; 
the renderings 'feel themselves blessed' (Tu. KS. Str.), or 'wish them- 
selves blessed' (De.) are doubtful compromises. These passages, 
however, belong to secondary strata of J (as does also iS'^, and perhaps 
28'''), and are not necessarily decisive of the sense of 12^. But it is 
significant that the Pu., which is the proper pass, of •n"!3, is consistently 
avoided ; and the presumption appears to be distinctly in favour of the 

• See, further, pp. 292 f. below. 

XII. 3-6 245 

Jer. 29^). " So the ancient mind expressed its admiration 
of a man's prosperity " (Gu.). The clause is thus an expan- 
sion of 2^ : the name of Abram will pass into a formula of 
benediction, because he himself and his seed will be as it 
were blessedness incarnate. The exegetical question is 
discussed below. — 4a. The mention of Lot (see on ii^'"') 
establishes a literary connexion with the Lot narratives of 
chs, 13. 19. — 5 is P's parallel to ** [v.t.) ; the last sentence 
supplying- an obvious gap in J 's narrative. — and they came ^ 
etc.\ This time (ct. 11^^) the goal is actually reached. On 
the probable route from Harran to Canaan, see Dri. 146, 
300 ff. — 6, 7. Arrived at Shechem, Abram receives, through 
a theophany, the first intimation that he has reached the 
goal of his pilgrimage, and proceeds to take possession of 

sense given in the text above. The idea is well expressed by Ra. : 

■\-\T 13 n'3iD nii Nnpantj- 13 i^naai 'jd pi nmnND wnn un'? noix mx iQica inn 
ne':D3i onaxD Q'h'^n -|D'B" noxV '?nik" (Gn. 48^").— 4. ^^n] S ..ClLO ( = B'yn), 
adopted by Ba. — 5, The parallel to ** in the distinctive form (see on 1 1^*) 
and phraseologry of P. The vb. r?-] is peculiar to P (31^** 36* 46^); 
B^o-] is a word of the later language, found in P (7 t.), in Gn. 14 (5 t.) and 
as a gloss in 15^^; in Ch. Ezr. Dn. (15!.) : see Ho. Einl. 347. It is 
supposed to denote primarily * riding beasts,' like Heb. c'^n, Aram. 

|_a.^>, v.^'T\, Ass. rukuhi (Haupt, Hebraica, iii. 1 10) ; then property in 
general. — b'sj] in the sense of 'person' is also practically confined to P 
in Hex. (Ho. 345).— ibi;] = ' acquired,' as 31^ Dt. 8", Jer. 17" etc. 
The idea of proselytising' (E^'^-') is rightly characterised by Ra. as 
Haggada. — jtM? pK] " ein fast sicheres Kennzeichen fiir P" (Ho. 340). 
In JE IVJ3 appears never to be used in its geographical sense except in 
the story of Joseph (42. 44-47. 50^) and Jos. 24^.— [UJ?— ?K3;i] ffi'- om., 
probably from homoioteleuton. — 6. psj? '] so <&y , but ffi^- "'•, read 
n3-ix^ (13"). — For n-iio, 2 and S read Nl.oo. The convallem illiislrem of 
U is an amalgamation of <& {tt)v 5pvv ttjv v\p-rik-f)v [cnD?]) and iK" (nB''D 
miD=' plains of M.') ; the latter is probably accounted for by aversion 
to the idolatrous associations of the sacred tree. ST-' has n"D 11m nc'D ; 
on which see Levy, Chald. Wb. 33. The absence of the art (ct. nyaa 
rrjiDn, Ju. 7') seems to show that the word is used as nom. pr. — fiVx] unlike 

its Aram, equivalents ( \ > (, J^'n), which mean tree in general, is never 
used generically, but always of particular (probably sacred) trees. In 
the Vns. ' oak ' and ' terebinth ' are used somewhat indiscriminately 
(see V. Gall, CSt. 24 ff.) for four Heb. words: p'?N!, p^N, rh^, n^x (only 
Jos. 24-^). The theory has been advanced that the forms with e are 
alone correct ; that they are derivatives from Vn, ' god,' and denote 


the land in the name of Yahwe by erecthig altars for His 
worship. It is, however, a singular fact, that in J there is 
no record of actual sacrifice by the patriarchs on such altars : 
see p. 1. 

The original motive of this and similar legends is to explain the 
sacredness of the principal centres of cultus by definite manifestations of 
God to the patriarchs, or definite acts of worship on their part. The 
rule is that the legitimacy of a sanctuary for Israel is established by a 
theophany (Ex. 20-^ [E]). The historic truth is that the sanctuaries 
were far older than the Hebrew immigration, and inherited their sanctity 
from lower forms of religion. That fact appears in v.® in the use of the 
word oSpo, which has there the technical sense of 'sacred place,' as in 
22* 28" 35I (ffi), Ex. 35, I Sa. 7i« ((S vyiaff/xivoLs), Jer. 7I2 (cf. Ar. makdm).— 
Shechem is the first and most northerly of four sanctuaries — the others 
being Bethel, Hebron (J''), and Beersheba (E, J'')— connected with the 
name of Abraham. The name (Skt/im, with pi. termination)* occurs in 
an Eg. inscr. as early as the 12th dynasty. It was an important place in 
the Tel-Amarna period (see Steuernagel, Einwanderung, 1 20 f. ; Knudtzon, 
BAy iv. 127), and figures prominently in OT legend and history. On its 
situation (the modern Ndhultis) between Mts. Ebal and Gerizim, see 
EB, iv. 4437 f. — The r\-\ya p^x ( = ' oracle-giving terebinth') was evidently 
an ancient sacred tree from which oracles were obtained, and therefore 
a survival of primitive tree-worship.f Besides Dt. 11^ (a difficult pass., 

originally the 'sacred tree' without distinction of species. J The p^N of 
Gn. 35^ is called a palm in Ju. 4^ and nVfii (pi. of n^N?) (Ex. 152^ etc.) 
derived its name from 70 palm-trees. But though the Mass. tradition 
may not be uniformly reliable, n^K and [iVx appear to be distinguished in 
Hos. 4'^, Is. 6** (Di.) ; and the existence of a form p^N is confirmed by 
alldnu, which is said to be an Ass. tree-name (G-B." 36 b). It is 
probable from Zee. ii^ Ezk. 27* etc., that pVx is the oak. With regard 
to the other names no convincing theory can be formed, but a connexion 
with Vx {^lu) is at best precarious. — 6b is probably a gloss : cf. 13''^'. 
—7. inii'!] wiffitUS add '1'?.— -v^x r\v.-^}n] so 35' (E). 

* It is possible that this (dddb*) is the oldest form in Heb. also ; since 
aSc often has the pi. Skiyua {t,z^^ 35*- ' etc.). 

t " Where a tree is connected with a welt it was probably the 
original object of honour" (Curtiss, Prim. Setn. Rel? 91). On the 
obtaining of oracles from trees, see Rob. Sm. RS'', 195. Comp. Ju. 4^ 
2 Sa. 5^^ ; and the oak of Zeus at Dodona. — Duhm's brilliant generali- 
sation {Isaiah^, 13 f.), that Abraham was traditionally associated with 
sacred trees, Isaac and Ishmael with sacred wells, and Jacob with 
sacred stones, though not literally accurate, has sufficient truth to be 
suggestive ; and may possibly correspond to some vague impression of 
the popular mind in Israel. 

X We. P/-.« 234 ; Sta. GVI, i. 455 ; v. Gall, I.e. ; cf. Schwally, ThLzg., 
1899. 356- 

XII. 6-8 247 

see Dri. ad loc, and v. Gall, Cult-St. 107 ff.), it seems to be mentioned 
as one of the sacra of Shechem under other names : n^x^, 7\^\<r\ (a mere 
difference of pointing, v.i.), Gn. 35^, Jos. 24-*; DUaiyo pSx ('terebinth of 
soothsayers '), Ju. 9" ; and ayo 'n (' t. of the pillar ' [n;i!?n]) Ju. 98. The 
tree is not said to have been planted by Abram (like the tamarisk of 
Beersheba, iv'^), — an additional indication that Abram was not origin- 
ally the patron or iveli of the shrine. The sacred stone under the tree (the 
nv^of Ju. 9"?) was believed to have been set up by Joshua (Jos. 24^). 
The sanctuary of Shechem was also associated with Jacob {^i^^ 35^)> ^^"d 
especially with Joseph, who was buried there (Jos. 24^-), and whose 
grave is still shown near the village of Balita (6a//i}^='oak') : see v. 
Gall, 117. 

8. Abram moved on, nomadic fashion, and spread his 
tent (26"^^ 33^^ 35^^) near Bethel, about 20 m. from Shechem ; 
there he built a second altar, and called by the name of 
Vahwe; see on 4^^. Luther's rendering: * predigte den 
Namen des Herrn,' is absolutely without exegetical warrant ; 
and the whole notion of a monotheistic propaganda, of 
which Abram was the Mahdi (Je. ATLO'^, 328), is a modern 
invention unsupported by a particle of historical evidence. 
It is noticeable that no theophany is recorded here, perhaps 
because the definite consecration of Bethel was ascribed 
to Jacob (ch. 28). — Here the parting from Lot took place 
(ch. 13). 

On Bethel [Beitin), see on 28^'"^- 3.5^ ; cf, Jos. 7^. Di. distinguishes 
the site of Abram's altar (E of Bethel and W of 'Ai) from that of Jacob's 
pillar, which he takes to have been at Bethel itself. The more natural 
view is that the local sanctuary lay E of the city (so Gu.), perhaps at 
Burg Beitin, the traditional scene of Abram's encampment (GASm. 
EB, I. 552). — On the somewhat uncertain situation of 't'n (always with 
art. = .\'V, Neh. ii'i, i Ch. 7^; and n:y. Is. 10^), see Buhl, GP, 177. 

XII. 9-XIII. I.— Abram in Egypt.— The first of three 
variants of what must have been a very popular story in 
ancient Israel (cf. 20. 26^^-). Whether the original hero 
was Abraham or Isaac we cannot tell ; but a comparison of 
the three parallels shows that certain primitive features of 
the legend are most faithfully preserved in the passage 
before us : note the entire absence of the extenuating 
circumstances introduced into the other accounts, — the 
whole subject being treated with a frank realism which 

8. p^Vn] intr. Hiph. as 26" (J). 


seems to take us down to the bed-rock of Hebrew folklore. 
— 9. to the Negeh] The ' dry ' region between the Judaean 
highland and the wilderness of et-Tlh, extending from 10 or 
12 m. N of Beersheba to the neighbourhood of Kadesh 
(z'.z'.). It is still a suitable pasture ground for camel- 
breeding Bedouin, and the remains of buildings and irriga- 
tion works prove that it was once much more extensively 
cultivated than at present. — 10. the famine was severe (lit. 
* heavy ')] emphasising the fact that the visit to Egypt was 
compulsory. The Nile valley, on account of its great 
fertility and its independence of the annual rainfall, was the 
natural resort of Asiatics in times of scarcity ; and this 
under primitive conditions involved an actual sojourn in the 
country. The admission of Semites to the rich pastures of 
Egypt is both described and depicted in the monuments 
(see Guthe, GI, 16).^ The purchase of corn for home 
consumption (42^*^-) was possible as a temporary expedient 
at a somewhat more advanced stage of culture. — II-13. The 
speech of Abram to his wife is an instructive revelation of 
social and moral sentiment in early Israel. The Hebrew 
women are fairer than all others, and are sure to be coveted 
by foreigners ; but the marriage bond is so sacred that even 
a foreigner, in order to possess the wife, will kill the husband 

9. yiDii iiiSn] Dav. § 86, R. 4; G-K. § 113 «. The idea of continuous 
journeying lies not in yio: (see on ii^), but in Ii'j.t (of. Ju. 14'). — r\Z}}n] (& 
iv T^ ^pvf^V • Aq. vdrovSe : S. els v6tov. The word, from a ij meaning 
' dry,' occurs as a proper name of S Palestine {Ngb) in a document of 
the reign of Thothmes ni. (Muller, AE, 148; Mey. ZATW, vi. i). Its 
use to denote the S direction is rare in JE, and apparently confined to 
later additions (13'* 28'^ Jos. 18"). The geographical limits of the 
region can, of course, only be roughly determined, chiefly from the list 
of its cities in Jos. 1521-32 : on this, and its physical characteristics, see 
Che. EB, 3374 ff.; Palmer, Deserl of the Exodus, ii. 351 f. (1871).— 
10. D^' ^^:h (Jer. 42'"^-)] properly 'dwell as a client or protected guest' 
("iJ^Ar. gar: cf. OTJC^, 342^). The words, however, are often used in 
the wider sense of temporary sojourn (15", Jer. 14*), and this may be 
the case here.— II. KJ-^n] 16" iS^^- « igS-sis zf (all J). The free use 
of Ni {c. 40 t. in Gen.) is very characteristic of J (Ho. Einl. no). — 13. 
ipN 'nhx] oratio ohliqua without '?, G-K. § 157 a. ffi, on the contrary, 6Vi 

* Cf. Authority and Archceology, p. 59; DB^ ii. 531'' (note X)% 

XII. 9-i6 249 

first. Hence the dilemma with which Abram is confronted : 
if Sarai is known as his wife, her life will be safe, but he 
will probably be slain ; if she passes as his sister, her honour 
will be endangered, but his advantage will be served. In 
such a case the true Hebrew wife will not hesitate to sacrifice 
herself for her husband : at the same time she is a free 
moral agent : Abram's proposal is not a command but a 
deferential request. Lastly, it is assumed that in the 
circumstances lying is excusable. There is no suggestion 
that either the untruthfulness or the selfish cowardice of the 
request was severely reprobated by the ethical code to which 
the narrative appealed, — 14, 15. The stratagem succeeds 
beyond expectation. Sarai attracts the notice of the 
courtiers, and is brought into Pharaoh's harem. The 
incident is characteristic of Oriental despotisms generally : 
Ebers {Aeo-. u. d. B. Mosis, 262 f.) cites from the d'Orbiney 
papyrus an example of the zeal of Egyptian officials in 
matters of this kind. — 16. he treated Abram well, etc.] cf. v.^^. 
This feature of the reward is a standing element of the 
tradition ; but in ch. 20 it is only bestowed after the 
misunderstanding has been cleared up, and in 26^-*'^- its 
connexion with the incident is loosened. 

The g-ifts enumerated constituted the riches of the patriarchs : 20" 
24^ 30''* 32^^'- (cf. Jb. 1*42^2), and were perhaps reg-arded by this nar- 
rator as the foundation of Abram's subsequent wealth. The animals 
mentioned were all known in ancient Eg-ypt (Ebers, 265 flf.), except the 

d5. aiVoO €l^>.L — '???3] In Hex. only 30^ 39" (J) and 3 t. in Dt. : elsewhere 
4 t. — IS- 'ij'"!?] The title of all Egy-ptian king-s mentioned in OT except 
Shishak (i Ki. 14^5) and Sev^ (2 Ki. 17^). It corresponds exactly to 
Eg. Pero (' Great House '), denoting- originally the palace or court, and 
is not applied to the person of the king- earlier than the i8th dynasty 
(Erman, LAE, 58 ; Griffith, DB, iii. 819 ; Mu. EB, iii. 3687). It is needless 
to go further in search of an etymology, though Renouf, PSBA, xv. 421, 
may be consulted. A confusion of the name here with the " Pir u king of 
Musuri " mentioned by Sargon [KIB, ii. 55, etc.), is too readily suspected 
by Cheyne {EB, 3164, and TBAI, 223 ; cf. Wi. MVAG, iii. 2 ff.). Even 
supposing- it proved that this is the proper name of a N Arabian prince, 
the narrative here must be much older than the time of Sargon ; and it 
is inconceivable that the Heb. designation for the kings of Egypt should 
have been determined by an isolated and accidental resemblance to a 
native word. — 16. After nij?' ixx inserts ind naD njpo, and puts m^\^\ on^y 


camel, which is neither represented nor named in the monuments before 
the Greek period.* This, Miiller supposes, was due to a religious 
scruple ; but, of course, the difficulty remains of thinking that a 
religiously unclean animal should have been bred in Egypt, or have 
been gifted by Pharaoh to Abram. The order also — slaves between^ 
he-asses and she-asses — is strange ; the explanation (Ho. Gu.) that 
the slaves were intermediate in value between these animals is jejune, 
and is, besides, contradicted by 24'^ 30*^. It is possible that d'^dj? nihK 
has been added at the end by a glossator ; but see 24'* 30*', and cf. 
jjui below. 

17. The story reaches its climax. Yahwe interposes at 
the extreme moment to save Sarai and avert calamity from 
the patriarchal house. It is noteworthy that Yahwe's inter- 
vention is here purely providential : in 26^^- it takes the form 
of a personal communication, while in the attenuated version 
of 26^^- it has become superfluous and is omitted. — smote with 
great plagues] severe bodily maladies ; cf. 20^^, Ex. ii^, Ps. 
39^1 etc. How Pharaoh discovered the cause of his sickness 
we are left to conjecture ; Jos. [Ant. I. 164 f.) pretty nearly 
exhausts the possibilities of the case when he mentions 
sacrifice, inquiry at the priests, and interrogation of Sarai. 
Gu. is probably right in suggesting that something has been 
omitted between '^ and ^^. — 18, 19. To the vigorous expos- 
tulation of the Pharaoh, Abram is unable to reply. The 
narrator evidently feels that morally the heathen king is in 
the right ; and the zest with which the story was related 
was not quite so unalloyed by ethical reflexions as Gu. (151) 
would have us believe. The idea of God, however, is im- 
perfectly moralised ; Yahwe's providence puts in the wrong 
the man who is justified at the bar of human conscience ; He 
is not here the absolutely righteous Being proclaimed by the 
prophets (Am. 3^). — 20. Pharaoh gave men charge concerning 

before ononj. — 17. yari] The Pi. only of smiting with disease : 2 Ki. 15', 
2 Ch. 26^° (Pu. Ps. 73^). — D'^n^] <& + KoX irov^poh. — in'3-nNl] possibly a 
gloss from 20"'- (KS. al.); see on 2'. — 19. npxi] 'so that I took' ; Dri. 
^- § 74 a> § 1 16, Obs. 2.— ^?i;fiK] ffi + ?i'jD^— 20. Auffi add at the end isy oi"?], 
as in MT of 13^ : the phrase is interpolated in both places. 

* Cf. Ex. 9^ (J) ; and see Sayce, EHH, 169 (the notice unhistorical) ; 
Erman, LAE, 493. Ebers' statement as to the name is corrected by 
Miiller, AE, 142, EB, i. 634. 

XII. I7-XIII. 6 251 

Abram] i.e. provided him with an escort (npB' as 18^^ 3i^^). 
The thought of ignominious expulsion is far from the writer's 
mind ; the purpose of the escort is to see that no further 
.injury is done to the patriarch or his wife (lEz.), bringing 
fresh judgements on the realm. — XIII. I. The narrative 
closes with the return of Abram to his home in the Negeb 
(cf. 128). 

Source 0/ 12^"'^. — It has already been pointed out (p. 242 f.) that, though 
the section breaks the connexion of the main narrative, it is Yahwistic 
in style ; and the question of its origin relates only to its place within 
the general cycle of Yahwistic tradition. Three views are possible : 
that it is (i) a secondary expansion of J by a later hand (We.) ; (2) a 
misplaced chapter of J's main narrative belonging properly to a subse- 
quent stage of the history ; or (3) an excerpt from a separate Yahwistic 
collection (Gu. [J'']). To (i) and (2) there are distinct objections : (a) 
the style and moral tone of the narrative, which are those of racy 
popular legend, and produce the impression of great antiquity ; (b) the 
absence from the character of Abram of those ideal features which are 
prominent in the main narrative, and which later ages tended to ex- 
aggerate {e.g. ch. 14) ; especially (c) the fact that the home of Abram 
is not at Hebron but in the Negeb. Gu.'s theory, which is not open to 
these objections, seems, therefore, to mark an advance in the analysis of J. 

2-18. Separation of Abram and Lot.— 2, 5, 7. The 

great wealth of the two patriarchs leads to bickering among 
their retainers. The situation reflects the relations of tribes 
rather than of private families, quarrels about pastures and 
watering-places being a common feature of nomadic life and 
a frequent cause of separation : cf. 21^^-" 26'^^^-. — 2. Silver and 
gold\ 20^ 20^^ 23^^. — 5. Lot's substance, on the other hand, 
is purely nomadic : flocks, herds, and tents. The last word 
appears to have the sense of 'people,' 'families'; cf. Ar. 
'ahl. Sab. ^HN (Muller, ZDMG, xxxvii. 341 ; Homm. SA 
Chrest. 121). — 3, 4. A redactional addition (p. 243), bringing 
the narrative back to Bethel, the traditional scene of the 
separation. — 6. P's account of the parting: cf. 36'^. It has 
often been noticed that he makes no mention of a quarrel ; 
just as J says nothing of the straitness of the land [v.i.). — 

3. V3;pD^] simply ' by stages ' ; not by the same stages by which he 
had come (ffiU Ra.) : cf. Ex. 17^ 40^-88 etc.— 5. D'Shni (G-K. §§ 93 r, 
23 A)] ffi-^ KT-fivT), prob. Gr. corruption of a-KTjval (so many MSS). — 6. nv'J] 
Au INK': — better. Cf. 36'' (P). — 6b/3 is by some (KS. Ho.) assigned to J, 


8, 9. The thought of strife between relatives (D"'nx D''K'3X) is in- 
tolerable to Abram, who, though the older man, renounces 
his rights for the sake of an amicable settlement. The 
narrator has finely conceived the magnanimity which springs 
from fellowship with God. The peaceable disposition 
ascribed to the patriarchs is characteristic of the old narra- 
tives. Jacob substitutes guile for force, but Abraham and 
Isaac conquer by sheer reasonableness and conciliation. — 
10, Iia, I2b/3. Lot's choice. — lifted up his eyes and saw ^ etc.\ 
The Burg Beitln (p. 247), a few minutes SE from the village, 
is described as " one of the great view-points of Palestine" 
(GASm. EB^ 552), from which the Jordan valley and the N 
end of the Dead Sea are clearly visible. — the whole Oval of 
the Jordan\ cf. Dri. Dent. 421 f. 

ni!n nj? (only here and i Ki. 7*^=2 Ch. 4"), or issn simply (v." 
jgi7. 25. 28f^ Dt. 34^ 2 Sa. \??% is not (as Di. 230) the whole of the ' Arabah 
from the Lake of Galilee to the Dead Sea, but the expansion of the 
Jordan valley towards its S end, defined in Dt. 34^ as 'the plain of 
Jericho' (see HG, 505 ff. ; Buhl, GP, 112). The northern limit is in- 
determinate ; the southern depends on the site of Zoar (v.^"), whether 
N or S of the Dead Sea. It is thus not quite certain whether the term 
includes the Dead Sea basin ; and on this hangs the much more import- 
ant question whether the writer conceives the Sea as non-existent at the 
time to which the narrative refers. That is certainly the impression 
produced by the language of v.^". Apart from the assumption of a 
radical transformation of the physical features of the region, the words 
before Yahwe destroyed S. and G. have no significance. As a mere note 
of time they would merely show the connexion of the story with ch. 19, 
and might very well be a gloss (Ols. Di.). See below, pp. 273 f. — ^6'ar 
is the S limit of the Kikkar, and, if situated at the S end of the Lake 
(as is most probable), would not be seen from Bethel. 

but on insufficient grounds (cf. Hupf. Qu. 21 f.) — 7b. ai?'] ux C'3i5". — "nsn] 
The name is coupled with 'Jj;^?n in 34^", Ju. i'*- ^ (J), and often appears 
in enumerations of the pre-Israelite inhabitants (15^'^ etc.). If, as is 
probable, it be connected with 'n? (Dt. 3', 1 Sa. 6^*, Est. 9'*), Ti'u"J9 
(Ezk. 38", Zee. 2^ Est. 9^^), it would mean 'hamlet-dwellers' as dis- 
tinguished from Canaanites, occupying fortified cities (see on 'inn, 10"). 
That the P. were remnants of a />r^-Canaanite population is hardly to 
be inferred from the omission of the name in lo^''^-, or from its 
association with the Rephaim in Jos. 17'^: this last notice is wanting 
in <&^^ and is perhaps a gloss (Moore, Jud. 17). — 9. Ahr<] ©^ nam. — 
7^^D^n — i'c;"] Ball suggests the pointing 'rNrU'n, ps'n (infs. abs.). ixx 
reads n'jNCi^'n nra'n dni nrcni nhaz-^-n dn. — 10. n^:] jux iSd ; ffi^ om. — 
nj^v'?] in the sense of ' watered region ' only again Ezk. 45'* (where 

XIII. 7-17 253 

like the land of Egypt\ coming after like the garden of 
Yahioe {2^^^^ ', cf. Is. 51-^) it is an anti-climax, which might 
be excused (as Di. thinks) because the first comparison was 
pitched too high. But the last half of the v. seems greatly 
overloaded, and it is not improbable that both ^ipV — "Jppand 
'o 'XD are to be removed as glosses. — On the luxuriant fertility 
and abundant water-supply of the district, see HG, 483 f. ; 
Buhl, 39; Seetzen, Reisen, i. 417. — lia. Lot departed east- 
ward] see on ii^and the footnote infra. — I2b/?. The im- 
mediate continuation (in J) of ^^* : and moved his tent Jip to 
Sodom'] the intervening words being from P (cf. "i33l1 """iV 
instead of FilT-C -)• — 13- This notice of the sinfulness of Sodom 
is another anticipation of ch. 19 ; but it is introduced here 
with great effect as showing how Lot had over-reached him- 
self by his selfish conduct. — 14-17' The promise of the land 
is now confirmed to Abram. — 14. Lift up thi?ie eyes, etc.] 
the contrast to Lot's self-interested glance (v.^°), while 
Abram, by his magnanimous surrender of his claims, had 
unconsciously chosen the good part. — 15- It is very doubtful 
if the a?Sv IJ? can be considered (with Di.) a new element of 
the promise as compared with 12'^. — 16. the dust of the 
earth] 2&\ 

This solemn assurance of the possession of the land (i^-i^) jg some- 
what of a contrast to the simple promises of 12^-''; and has affinities 
with a series of passages which appear to represent a later phase of 
religious reflexion (see on ch. 15, p. 284). Other reasons are adduced 
for thinking that ^^"'^ are the work of a younger hand than the original 
J. {a) It is not the habit of J to cite divine oracles without a specifica- 
tion of the circumstances under which the theophany takes place (but 
see 1 2^"'-). {b) The conception of Abram as wandering over the land 
is not that of J**, who fixes his permanent dwelling-place at Hebron. 
{c) While Bethel commands a view of the Jordan valley, it affords no 

the text is corrupt) and Sir. 39-^ Should we read nij^f'D ?— ,12x3] see 

ioi9.— nj^i] S ^^ = Tanis dyi') in Egj^pt (Nu. 1322, Is. 19"- " etc.), 

which is preferred by Ball, but is rather an error caused by the pre- 
ceding D:-3fD. — II. Dij^a (cf. 11^)] fflr airb avaroXdv, U ab oriente. But 
the only possible sense here is ' eastward ' ; hence Sta. {^Ak. Reden, 
292) and Gu. emend to nip-ijj. — iib, in spite of its resemblance to ""^, 
must be assigned to P, being necessary to the completeness of that 
account, and because it disturbs the connexion of "* with ^'"'/S. — 
16. t^'n]='so that' (G-K. § 166 b).—Vj. ffi adds at end koX ri^ airip/iaTl 


wide prospect of the land as a whole. We. {Comp."^ 25 f.) admits that 
these ' general impressions ' are not such as to procure universal assent. 
In point of fact they are rather overstated ; and Di.'s answers may 
satisfy those who refuse to carry critical operations further than is 
absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, We.'s impression is probably 
correct, and has commended itself to KS. Ho. Gu. al,* The vv. 
may be omitted not only without injury to the context, but with the 
obvious advantage of bringing out the reference of ^* to ^^'•. The 
redactor has rightly seized the point of the story, which is that by his 
selfish choice Lot left Abram the sole heir of Canaan. 

18. Abram moves his tent to the terehinth{s) of Mamre, 
in Hebron, and inaug^urates the local sanctuary there. In 
the main narrative of J^ the statement was immediately 
followed by ch. 18; and it is possible that the theophany 
recorded at the beginning of that chapter is that which 
marked the place as holy (see on 12'''). 

The site of the tree (or trees, v.i.) is not known. There was a 
Terebinth of Abraham about 15 stadia from Hebron, which was the 
scene of mixed heathen and Christian worship, suppressed by order 
of Constantine (Sozomen, HE, ii. 4). Josephus {BJ, iv. 533) mentions 
a very large terebinth said to have existed airb t^s Krlaewi iiixp^ ^^"t 
6 stadia from the city. In spite of the discrepancy as to distance, it 
is probable that these are to be identified ; and that the site was the 
Hardm Ramet el-ffalil, 2 m. N of Hebron. The difficulty in accepting 
this, the oldest accessible, tradition is that the distance is inconsistent 
with the statement that the sanctuary was in Hebron. And if we 
suppose the ancient Hebron to have been at er-Rame in the vicinity 
of the Hamm, this conflicts with the tradition as to the cave of 

aov ds Tov aiCJva, — approved by Ball. — 18. N"?.pp '^Sn (14^^ 18')] see on 
12''. ffir TT]v dpvv TT\v 'Ma/x^prji'. ^ also reads the sing., which may be 
right, though 18* cannot be cited in support of it. In J, Mamre is said 
to be in Hebron, in P (where the tree is never mentioned) it is a 
name of Hebron, and in 14^'- -^ it becomes the name of an Amorite 
chief, the owner of the trees. So & here, as shown by the addition of 

* The only point on which it is impossible to follow We. is his 
assumption that Hebron is the fixed residence of Abram in all strata 
of J, and that the notion of his migratory life arose from the amalgama- 
tion of E (which puts Beersheba in the place of Hebron) with J. There 
was probably a whole cycle of Yahwistic legends, in which he is 
represented as living in the Negeb (see already on I2^'''-). So far as 
mere literary criticism goes, there is no reason why the addition should 
not be prior to R^^. 

XIII. I8-XIV. 255 

Machpelah, which has as good claims to be considered authentic. 
The present 'Oak of Abraham," about 2 m. NW, is as old as the 
i6th cent. See Robinson, BR, i. 216; Buhl, GP, 160, 162; Baedeker, 
Pal. andSyr.^ 138, 142 ; Dri. DB, iii. 224 f. ; v. Gall, CSt. 52. 

Ch. XIV. — Abrams Victory over Four Kings. 

While Abram was at Hebron, a revolt of five petty kings 
in the Jordan valley against their over-lord Chedorlaomer 
of Elam brought from the East a great punitive expedition, 
in which no fewer than four powerful monarchs took part. 
A successful campaign — the course of which is traced in 
detail — ended in the complete defeat of the rebels in a 
pitched battle in what is now the Dead Sea basin, followed 
by the sack of Sodom, and the capture of Lot (^"^^). Abram, 
with a handful of slaves, pursues the victorious allies to 
Dan, routs them in a night attack, and rescues the captives, 
including Lot (^^^^). On his homeward journey he is 
met by Melchizedek, king of Salem, who blesses him in 
the name of God Most High, and to whom he pays tithes 
^18-20^ ; and by the king of Sodom, whose offer of the spoil 
Abram rejects with proud and almost disdainful magnanimity 
i^"^- 2i-24j_ — Such is in brief the content of this strange and 
perplexing chapter, in its present form and setting. It is 
obvious that the first half is merely introductory, and that 
the purpose of the whole is to illustrate the singular dignity 
of Abram's position among the potentates of the earth. 
Essentially peaceful, yet ready on the call of duty to take 
the field against overwhelming odds, disinterested and 
considerate of others in the hour of victory, reverential 
towards the name and representative of the true God, he 
moves as a * great prince ' amongst his contemporaries, 
combining the highest earthly success with a certain 
detachment and unworldliness of character. — Whether the 
picture be historically true or not — a question reserved for 
a concluding note — it is unfair to deny to it nobility of con- 
ception ; and it is perhaps an exaggeration to assert that 
it stands in absolute and unrelieved opposition to all we 
elsewhere read of Abram. The story does not give the 


impression that Abram forfeits the character of * Muslim and 
prophet' (We.) even when he assumes the role of a warrior. 

Literary character. — Many features of the chapter show that it has 
had a peculiar literary history, (a) The vocabulary, though exhibiting 
sporadic affinities with P (e^O"], "• i^- is. 21 . j^,g -,,1,,^ 14 . 2*2: [= ' person '], -i) 
or E ('^c^<.^, ''■ ^^ ; 'li;^?, 2^), contains several expressions which are eithe*- 
unique or rare (see the footnotes): il':ri, 1* (fiTr. Xe7.) ; pn^i, "; t^^^sn, ^* 
"JP. Vh"^.: ''>?> ^*"^' ^^ ; 159, ^^ ; T2D, *•*—(*) The numerous antiquarian glossei 
and archaic names, suggesting- the use of an ancient document, have no 
parallel except in Dt. 2'"''" -"'-^ 3^- !'• ^^^- " ; and even these are not quite 
of the same character. {c) The aniialistic official style, specially 
noticeable in the introduction, may be genuine or simulated ; in either 
case it marks the passage sharply off from the narratives by which it 
is surrounded. — That the chapter as it stands cannot be assigned to 
any of the three sources of Gen. is now universally acknowledged, and 
need not be further argued here. Some writers postulate the existence 
of a literary kernel which may either (i) have originated in one of the 
schools J or E,t or (2) have passed through their hands. f In neither 
form can the theory be made at all plausible. The treatment of docu- 
mentary material supposed by (i) is unexampled in Gen. ; and those who 
suggest it have to produce some sufficient reason why a narrative of 
(say) E required to be so heavily glossed. As for (2), we have, to be 
sure, no experience of how E or J would have edited an old cuneiform 
document if it had fallen into their hands, — they were collectors of oral 
tradition, not manipulators of official records, — but we may presume that 
if the story would not bear telling in the vivid style that went to the 
hearts of the people, these writers would have left it alone. The objec- 
tions to P's authorship are equally strong, the style and subject being 
alike foreign to the well-marked character of the Priestly narration. 
Ch. xiv. is therefore an isolated boulder in the stratification of the 
Pent., a fact which certainly invites examination of its origin, but is 
not in itself an evidence of high antiquity. 

1-4. The revolt of the five kings. — l. The four names 

I. 'p'2] fflr ^1' riy ^aaiXeiq. ; U in illo tempore, reading all the names in 
the nom. ffi has the first in gen. and the rest nom. ; ffi-^ further inserts 

* The singularity of the passage appears to be reflected even in the 
translation of ffi, which has some unusual renderings : I'TTTros for i^Ol, 
11. 16. 21 (nowhere else in OT) ; <pdpay^ for pcy, ^ (not again in Pent. : twice 
in Jos. and 4 t. in Book of Isa.) ; nepdr-qs (ctTraf Xe"/.) for -nn];, '^,— though 
this might be explained by the unexpected occurrence of the gentilic in 
this connexion (Aq. TrepaiVj^s). 

t So Di. Kittel {GH, i. 124, 158 ff.), and (with reserve) Ho., all of 
whom think of E as the most likely source. 

J So Wi. GI, ii. 26-48, who holds that the original was a cuneiform 
document of legendary and mythical character, which was worked over 
first by E and then by J (see below, p. 272). 

XIV. I, 2 257 

(see below) do double duty, — as gen. after ^P""? and as 
subj. to 'o lL"y — a faulty syntax which a good writer would 
have avoided [v.t.). The suggestion that the first two names 
are gen. and the last two subj.,* has the advantage of 
putting Kedorla omer, the head of the expedition (*• ^- ^- 1^), 
in the place of honour ; but it is without warrant in the Heb. 
text ; and besides, by excluding the first two kings from 
participation in the campaign (against ^- ^- "), it necessitates 
a series of changes too radical to be safely undertaken. — 
2. The group of five cities {Pentapolis^ Wis. 10^) is thought 
to be the result of an amalgamation of originally independent 

In ch. 19, only Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned as destroyed 
(19=^- =8 [18™] ; so 13'", Is. i8'-, Jer. 23" etc.) and Zoar (19"*-) as spared. 
\;Admahand Zeboim are named alone in Hos. ii^, in a manner hardly vVutXJl^Ao ^"^ 
"""^ Vconsistent with the idea that they were involved in the same catastrophe JW«> -><A/-f>*4J6.y' 
'as S. and G. The only passages besides this where the four are "^ '' 
associated are 10^^ and Dt. 29^2, although 'neighbour cities' of S. and 
G. are referred to in Jer. 49'^ 50^", Ezk. i6^^''''-. If, as seems probable, 
there were two distinct legends, we cannot assume that in the original 
tradition Admah and Zeboim were connected with the Dead Sea (see 
Che. EB, 66 f.). — The old name of Zoar, pVa (Destruction?), appears 
nowhere else. 

The four names in v.^ are undoubtedly historical, although the monu- 
mental evidence is less conclusive than is often represented, (i) Ss-jdn 
{' AfJiaptpak) is thought to be a faulty transcription of J^ammurabi 
{Ammurab[p]i), the name of the 6th king of the first Bab. dynasty, 
who put an end to the Elamite domination and united the whole country 
under his own sway (c. 2100 B.c.).t The final *? presents a difficulty 
which has never been satisfactorily explained ; but the equivalence is 

KaL between the second and third. The reading of the Sixtine ed. 
(first iwo names in gen. coupled by Kal), which is appealed to in support 
of Wi.'s construction, has very little MS authority. " I have little doubt 
that both in H. and P. 19 (which is a rather carelessly written MS) and 
in 135 the reading is due to a scribe's mistake, probably arising from 
misreading of a contracted termination and induced by the immediately 
preceding ^acTLXiws. How it came into the Roman edition, I do not feel 
sure." J —2. v'?3] ffi BaXXa, etc. — ^N^?*] ffi I,evvaap. — ngNpE*] ffi I,vfji.o^op, 

Zvfiop, ixx laNDB' ('name has perished'), ,S « .jVn m. — x'n] the first 
of the II instances of this Kethtb in Pent, (see on 2"'). 

* Wi. GI, ii. 27, 30 ; Peiser, MVAG, 1897, 308 ff. ; approved by Gu. 

t See Introd. pp. xiv f. 

:|: Private communication from Mr. M'Lean. 


258 abram's victory 

widely recognised by Assyriolog-ists.* It is, however, questioned by 
Jen.f, absolutely rejected by Bezold,J and pronounced 'problematical' 
by Mey. GA", i. ii. 551.— (On -\V,W, see io^'^.)-(^rivni< (cf. Dn. 2'^ Jth. 
i"), it seems, is now satisfactorily identified with Eri-agii, the Sumerian 
equivalent of Arad-Sin, a king- of Larsa, who was succeeded by his 
more famous brother, Rim-Sin, the ruler who was conquered by 
Hammurabi m the 31st year of the latter's reign {KAT^, 16, 19). The 
two brothers, sons of the Elamite Kudurmabug, were first distinguished 
by Thureau-Dangin in 1907 {Sumer. und Akkad. Konigsinschr. 2iof. ; 
cf. King, Chronicles concerning early Bab. Kings, vol. i. 68* ; Mey. GA^, 
I. ii. p. 550 f.). Formerly the two names and persons were confused; 
and Schrader's attempt to identify Rim-Sin with Arioch,§ though 
accepted by many, was reasonably contested by the more cautious 
Assyriologists, e.g. Jen. (ZDMG, 1896, 247 ff.), Bezold [op. cit. 27, 56), 
and Zimmern {KAT^, 367). The objections do not hold against the 
equation Arioch = Eriagu = Arad-Sin, provided Arad-Sin be kept distinct 
from Rim-Sin. The discovery by Pinches || in 1892 of the name 
Eri-\^E]aku or Eri-Ekua stands on a somewhat different footing. The 
tablets on which these names occur are admittedly late (not earlier than 
the 4th cent. B.C.) ; the identity of the names with Eri-Aku is called in 
question by King ; H who further points out that this Eri-Ekua is not 
styled a king, that there is nothing to connect him with Larsa, and 
that consequently we have no reason to suppose him the same as 
either of the well-known contemporaries of Hammurabi. The real 
significance of the discovery lies in the coincidence that on these 
same late fragments (and nowhere else) the two remaining names 
of the V. are supposed to occur.— /m)irJ7^"]73 (XoSoXXoyo/xop) unquestion- 
ably stands for Kudur-lagamar, a genuine Elamite proper name, con- 
taining the name of a known Elamite divinity Lagamar {KAT^, 485), 
preceded by a word which appears as a component of theophorous 
Elamite names {Kudur-mabug, Kiidur-Nanhundi , etc.). It is extremely 
doubtful, however, if the actual name has yet been found outside of this 
chapter. The "sensational" announcement of Scheil (1896), that he 
had read it {Ku-dicr-nu-uh-ga-tnar) in a letter of Hammurabi to Sinid- 
innam, king of Larsa, has been disposed of by the brilliant refutation 
of King {op. cit. xxv-xxxix. Cf. also Del. BA, iv. 90). There remains 
the prior discovery of the Pinches fragments, on which there is men- 
tioned thrice a king of Elam whose name, it was thought, might be 
read Kudur-la}}-mal or Kudur-la}}-gu-mal.** The first element (Kudur) 

• See Schr, SBBA, 1887, xxxi. 600 ff. t ZDMG, 1896, 252. 

X Die bab.-ass. Keilinschriften, etc., 1904, pp. 26, 54. 

%SBBA, 1894, XV. 279 ff. 

II See his OT in the light, etc., 223 ff. ; cf. Homm. AHT, 181 ff. ; 
and Sayce's amended trans, in PSBA, 1906, 193 ff., 241 ff. ; 1907, 7 ff. 

IT Letters and Inscrs. of Ha^nniiirabi, i. p. liii. Jen., Peiser, and 
Bezold also pronounce against the identification. 

** This reading is questioned by King ; see liv-lvi, or the extract in 
Dri. Gen., Addenda on p. I57«. Sayce now {I.e. p. 194ft".) proposes to 

XIV. I, 2 259 

is no doubt rig-ht, but the second is very widely questioned by Assyri- 
ologists.* There is, moreover, nothing to show that the king in 
question, whatever his name, belonged to the age of Hammurabi, f 
^^•jy-in (ffi'^L QapyaX, Si ^j_L5Z) was identified by Pinches with a 
" Tu-ud-fyul-a, son of Gas. . . .," who is named once on the tablets 
already spoken of (see Schr. SBBA, 1895, xli. 961 fi".). The resemblance 
to Tid'al is very close, and is naturally convincing to those who find 
'Ariok and Kedorla'omer in the same document ; there is, however, no 
indication that Tud}}xda was a king, or that he was contemporary with 
yammurabi and Rim-Sin (King, op. cit.).—^-'\i can hardly be the usual 
word for 'nations' (ffiFC), either as an indefinite expression (Tu.) or 
as a "verschamtes et cetera" (Ho.)- We seem to require a proper 

name (5 has ( « \ , ■) ; and many accept the suggestion of Rawlinson, 

that Guti (a people N of the Upper Zab) should be read. Peiser (309) 
thinks that D:ia ^i^o is an attempt to render the common Babylonian title 
lar kissati. 

The royal names in v.^ are of a different character from those of v.'. 
Several circumstances suggest that they are fictitious. Jewish exegesis 
gives a sinister interpretation to all four (E^ Ber. R. § 42, Ra.) ; and 
even modern scholars like Tu. and No. recognise in the first two a play 
on the words VT (evil) and W'X (wickedness). And can it be accidental 
that they fall into two alliterative pairs, or that each king's name 
contains exactly as many letters as that of his city?|^ On the other side, 
it may be urged (rt) that the textual tradition is too uncertain to justify 
any conclusions based on the Heb. (see the footnote) ; {b) the nameless- 
ness of the fifth king shows that the writer must have had traditional 
authority for the other four ; and (c) Sanibu occurs as the name of an 
Ammonite king in an inscr. of Tiglath-pileser IV. (Del. Par. 294, KIB, 
ii. 21). These considerations do not remove the impression of artifici- 
aUty which the list produces. Since the names are not repeated in v.^, 
it is quite possible they are late insertions in the text, and, of course (on 
that view), unhistorical.— Jj'^l is elsewhere a royal name (36^2^. 

read Kudur-lakhkha-mal ; but the reading appears to be purely con- 
jectural ; and, unless it should be corroborated, nothing can be built 
upon it. 

* e.g. by King, Zimmern {KAT^, 486^), Peiser (who reads it Kudur- 
tur-bit. I.e. 310), Jen., Bezold, al. 

t There is no doubt some difficulty in finding room for a king 
Kudur-lagamar alongside of Kudur-mabug (who, if not actually king 
of Elam, was certainly the over-lord of Arad-Sin and Rim-Sin) in the 
time of Hammurabi ; but in our ignorance of the situation that difficulty 
must not be pressed. It has, however, induced Langdon (Dri., Gen', 
Add. xxxii.) to revive a conjecture of G. Smith, that Kudur-mabug and 
the Kudur-lagamar of this chapter are one and the same person. It 
does not appear that any fresh facts have come to light to make the 
guess more convincing than it was when first propounded. 

26o abram's victory 

3. all these] not the kings from the East (Di. Dri.), but 
(see V.'*) those of the Pentapolis. That there should be any 
doubt on the point is an indication of the weak style of the 
chapter. What exactly the v. means to say is not clear. 
The most probable sense is that the five cities formed a 
league] of the Vale of Siddim, and therefore acted in concert. 
This is more natural than to suppose the statement a pre- 
mature mention of the preparations for battle in v.^. — the 
Vale of Siddim] The name is peculiar to this narrative, and 
its meaning is unknown [v.i.). 1 ..c writer manifestly shares 
the belief (13^°) that what is now the Dead Sea was once 
dry land (see p. 273 f below). — The Sea of Salt] one of the 
OT names for the Dead Sea (Nu. 34^, Dt. 3^7, Jos. 3^6 15^ 
etc.): see PEFS, 1904, 64. Wi.'s attempt to identify it 
with Lake Huleh is something of a tour de force {GI, ii. 36 f. ; 
cf. 108 f.). — 4. they rebelled] by refusal of tribute (2 Ki. 18'^ 
2^^1.20 etc.). An Elamite dominion over Palestine in the 
earlier part of Hammurabi's reign is perfectly credible in 
the light of the monumental evidence (p. 272). But the 
importance attributed in this connexion to the petty kings 
of the Pentapolis is one of the features which excite suspicion 
of the historicity of the narrative. To say that this is due 
to the writer's interest in Lot and Sodom is to concede that 
his conception of the situation is determined by other influ- 
ences than authentic historical information. 

5-7. The preliminary campaign. — One of the sur- 

3. -'7N nan] apparently a pregnant constr. (G-K. § 119 ^^)=' came 
as confederates to ' ; but this is rather harsh. '?« after nan naturally 
refers to that to which one is joined (Ex. 26^ ; of a person, Sir. 12^*) : 
that being impossible here, ^3^ must be understood absolutely as Ju. 
20^' {v. Moore or Bu. ad loc.) and the ha may have some vague local 
reference: 'all these had formed a confederacy at (?) the V. of S.' — 
D'liyn pry] ffi t7]v (pdpayya rrjv aXvKrjv, apparently a conjecture from the 
context, U va/lem silvestrem. 1KP has K-hpn (from .ti^), W K'omB ; 
5i ' V. of the Sodomites ' : on the renderings of Aq. and ©. see Field's 
Note, p. 30 f. It is evident the Vns. did not understand the word. 
Noldeke {Unters. 160^), Renan (Hist. i. 116), We. {Gesch.^ 105), Je. 
{ATLO^, 351), al. think the true form is DnB* : 'valley of demons.' — 4. 
B'V'] Ace. of time (G-K. § 118 «) ; but ux vhwi-\ is better. — mo] rare in 
Hex. (Nu 149, Jos. 22i«- J8. 19. 2» [P]) ; and mostly late.— 5. Q'KDTnN] The 
art. should be supplied, with )ix. ffi toi)s ylya.vTa.% ; so %W^'^. — 'p niB^f'y?] 

XIV. 3-7 26 1 

prising things in the narrative is the circuitous route by 
which the Eastern kings march against the rebels. We 
may assume that they had followed the usual track by 
Carchemish and Damascus : thence they advanced south- 
wards on the E of the Jordan ; but then, instead of attack- 
ing the Pentapolis, they pass it on their right, proceeding 
southward to the head of the Gulf of Akaba. Then they 
turn NW to Kadesh, thence NE to the Dead Sea depression ; 
and only at the end of this long and difficult journey do 
they join issue with their enemies in the vale of Siddim. 

In explanation, it has been suggested that the real object of the expe- 
dition was to secure conrmand of the caravan routes in W Arabia, 
especially that leading through the Arabah from Syria to the Red Sea 
(see Tu. 257 flF.). It must be remembered, however, that this is the 
account, not of the first assertion of Elamite supremacy over these 
regions, but of the suppression of a revolt of not more than a few 
months' standing : hence it would be necessary to assume that all the 
peoples named were implicated in the rebellion. This is to go behind 
the plain meaning of the Heb. narrator ; and the verisimilitude of the 
description is certainly not enhanced by Hommel's wholly improbable 
speculation that the Pentapolis was the centre of an empire embracing 
the whole region E of the Jordan and the land of Edom {AHT, 149). 
If there were any truth in theories of this kind, we should still have to 
conclude that the writer, for the sake of literary effect, had given a 
fictitious importance to the part played by the cities of the Jordan valley, 
and had so arranged the incidents as to make their defeat seem the 
climax of the campaign. (See Noldeke, 163 f.) 

The general course of the campaign can be traced with sufficient 

The reading of the Sixtine and Aldine edd. of ffi, 'Aa-rapwd Kal 
Kapvaiv, which even Di. adduces in favour of a distinction between 
the two cities, has, amongst the MSS used by the Cambridge 
editors, the support of only one late cursive, which Nestle maintains 
was copied from the Aldine ed. It is doubtless a conflation of Kapvaiv 
and the km Naiv (? Kaivaiv) of ffiE. ai. (Nestle, ZDPV, xv. 256: cf. Moore, 
JBL, xvi. i55f.).— C'lui] ffi iQvr) /a-xi'pa=D'mj; : so SST^J. 2. has Zoi^ofj.- 
/xetcrrD'tjipi.— ens] ffiFS read on? (li/ia amoh, etc.). Some MSS of m. 
have Dn3, which Jerome expressly says is the real reading of the Heb. 
text.— 6. □IIl'3] JiiG5F 'i^jn?. Duplication of n is rare and doubtful 
(Ps. 30^, Jer. 17^) in sing, of this word, but common in const, pi. Buhl 
strikes out tj;b' as an explanatory gloss, retaining DTina. — \-\y.^ S'n] <&% 
render 'terebinth of Paran,' and so virtually FiJCOj^ which have 'plain' 
(see on 12*). If the ordinary theory, as given above, be correct, "^'x 
is used collectively in the sense of ' great tree' (here 'palms'). — 7. For 
is'li^, SC^^J (also Saadya) have opn, apparently identifying it with Petra : 
see Tuch's Note, p. 271 f. — ni^] ffiS 'Ty", 'princes.' 

262 abram's victory 

certainty from the geographical names of *"' ; although it does not 
appear quite clearly whether these are conceived as the centres of the 
various nationalities or the battlefields in which they were defeated. — 
D'np niintfij; (' Astarte of the two horns ' : * Eus. Prcep. Ev. i. 10 ; or ' A. of 
the two-peaked mountain ' t) occurs as a compound name only here. A 
c'liy ' Astaroth in Bashan, the capital of Og's kingdom, is mentioned in 
Dt. I-*, Jos. 9^* 12^ 13^-- ^1, I Ch. 6^^ [ = .Ti^!f'j;|, Jos. 21-']. Karnairn is named 
(according to a probable emendation) in Am. 6^'^, and in i Mac. ^ *^'', 
2 Mac. 12^^ It is uncertain whether these are two names for one 
place, or two adjacent places of which one was named after the other 
('Astaroth of [i.e. near] Karnaim) ; and the confusing statements of 
the OS (84'ff- 8632 jog" 209" 268^8) throw little light on the question. 
The various sites that have been suggested— Sheikh Sa'd, Tell'AStarah, 
Tell el- A§'ari, and El-Muzerib — lie near the great road from Damascus 
to Mecca, about 20 m. E of the Lake of Tiberias (see Buhl, GAP, 248 ff.; 
Dri. DB, i. 166 f. ; GASm. in EB, 335 f.). Wetzstein's identification 
with Bozrah (regarded as a corruption of Bostra, and this of .Ti^^;;?, 
Jos. 21^), the capital of the Haurin, has been shown by No. {ZDMG, 
xxix. 431^) to be philologically untenable. — Of a place on nothing is 
known. It is a natural conjecture (Tu. al.) that it is the archaic name 
oi Rahbath, the capital of 'Ammon ; and Sayce {HCM, 160 f.) thinks 
it must be explained as a retranscription from a cuneiform source 
of the word pay. On the text t/.z. — D^nnp m^- is doubtless the 
Moabite or Reubenite city 'np, mentioned in Jer. 48^*, Ezk. 25*, Nu. 
32^'', Jos. 13^* {.OS, Kapiadaei/M, Kaptada), the modern Kuraiydt, E 
of the Dead Sea, a little S of the Wadi Zerka Main. ni.V' (only 

here and v.") is supposed to mean 'plain' (Syr. (Zq_») ; but that 
is somewhat problematical. — On the phrase Tj;!? DT!?, see the foot- 
note. While Ti'ty alone may include the plateau to the W of the 
Arabah, the commoner Tyi? in appears to be restricted to the 
mountainous region E of that gorge, now called es-^erd (see Buhl, 
Gesch. d. Edomiter, 28 ff.). — p.xs •?>• (•!;./.) is usually identified with n^'N 
(Dt. 28, 2 Ki. 1422 166) or niVN (i Ki. 9-6, 2 Ki. i6«), at the head of the E arm 
of the Red Sea, which is supposed to derive its name from the groves 
of daie-palms for which it was and is famous (see esp. Tu. 264 f.). The 
grounds of the identification seem slender ; and the evidence does not 
carry us further than Tu.'s earlier view (251), that some oasis in the N 
of the desert is meant (see Che. EB, 3584). J The ' wilderness ' is the 
often mentioned 'Wilderness of Paran ' (2i2', Nu. 10^2 etc.), i.e. the 
desolate plateau of et-Tfh, stretching from the Arabah to the isthmus 
of Suez. There is obviously nothing in that definition to support the 
theory that 'El-Pdrd?i is the original name of the later Elath. — trnp (16" 
20^ etc.), or yi-!3 'p (Nu. 34*, Dt. i^-^^ 2'^). The controversy as to the 

* See Miiller, AE, 313 ; Macalister, PEFS, 1904, 15. 

t '^loore,JBL, xvi. 156 f. 

+ Trumbull places it at the oasis of KaJd at Nahl, in the middle of 
et-Tih, on the Hag|- route halfway between 'Akaba and Suez {Kadesh- 
Bariiea, p. 37). 

XIV. 5-7 26 

situation of this important place has been practically settled since the 
appearance of Trumbull's Kadesh-Bamea in 1884 (see Guthe, ZDPV, viii. 
j83ff.). It is the spring now known 3.s' Ain Kadis, at the head of the 
Wadi of the same name, "northward of the desert proper," and about 
50 m. S of Beersheba (see the description by Trumbull, op. cit. 
272-275). The distance in a straight line from Elath would be about 
80 m., with a difficult ascent of 1500 ft. The alternative name BJ^p py 
('Well of Judgement ') is found only here. Since c'lj; means 'holy' and 
Bp-fP 'judicial decision,' it is a plausible conjecture of Rob. Sm. that the 
name refers to an ordeal involving the use of ' holy water ' (Nu. 5") from 
the sacred well (RS'', 181). The sanctuary at Kadesh seems to have 
occupied a prominent place in the earliest Exodus tradition (We. 
Prol.^ 341 ff.); but there is no reason why the institution just alluded 
to should not be of much greater antiquity than the Mosaic age. — icn [k^jn 
is, according to 2 Ch. 20^, ' En-gMi (Atn 6idi), about the middle of 
the W shore of the Dead Sea. A more unsuitable approach for an 
army to any part of the Dead Sea basin than the precipitous descent 
of nearly 2000 feet at this point, could hardly be imagined : see 
Robinson, BR, i. 503. It is not actually said that the army made the 
descent there : it might again have made a detour and reached its goal 
by a more practicable route. But certainly the conditions of this 
narrative would be better satisfied by Ktirnuh, on the road from Hebron 
to Elath, about 20 m. WSW of the S end of the Dead Sea. The 
identification, however, requires three steps, all of which involve 
uncertainties : (i) that nc;? 'n = the ncn of Ezk. 47^8 48^ ; (2) that this is 
the Thamara of OS (85^ 2io»«), the BafMapu of Ptol. xvi. 8 ; and (3) that 
the ruins of this are found at Kumuh. Cf. EB, 4890 ; Buhl, GP, 184. 

The six peoples named in vv.'"'' are the primitive races which, 
according to Heb. tradition, formerly occupied the regions traversed 
by Chedorlaomer. (i) The d'XST are spoken of as a giant race dwelling 
partly on the W (15-", Jos. \f^, 2 Sa. 21^8, Is. \'f), partly on the E, 
of the Jordan, especially in Bashan, where Og reigned as the last of 
the Rephaim (Dt. 3", Jos. 12* etc.).— (2) The D'lii, only mentioned here, 
are probably the same as the Zamzummim of Dt. 2^**, the aborigines of 
the Ammonite country. The equivalence of the two forms is considered 
by Sayce {ZA, iv. 393) and others to be explicable only by the Baby- 
lonian confusion of m and w, and thus a proof that the narrative came 
ultimately from a cuneiform source.— (3) n'p'Nn] a kind of Rephaim, 
aborigines of Moab (Dt. 2^<"-).— (4) ^-f^r\'\ the race extirpated by the 
Edomites (36-"'''-, Dt. 2^^- -2). The name has usually been understood to 
mean ' troglodytes ' (see Dri. Deut. 38) ; but this is questioned by Jen. 
{ZA, x. 332 f., 346f.)and Homm. {AHT, 264^), who identify the word with 
Ij:arn., the Eg. name for SW Palestine.*— (5) -;hji'J.^'\ the Amalekite 
territory (nj,^), was in the Negeb, extending towards Egypt (Nu. 13® 
,_l^43.45^ I Sa. 27*). In ancient tradition, Amalek was 'the firstling of 
peoples' (Nu. 24-"), although, according to Gn. 361^ its ancestor was 
a grandson of Esau. — (6) '13?f3] see on 10'^ ; and cf. Dt. i***, Ju. 1^. 

• Cf. Muller, AE, 136 f., 148 ff. 

264 abram's victory 

While there can be no question of the absolute historicity of the last 
three names, the first three undoubtedly provoke speculation. Rephaim 
is the name for shades or ghosts ; 'Emim probably means ' terrible ones ' ; 
and Zamzummim (if this be the same word as Zuzim), ' murmurers.' 
Schw ally {Leben nach d. Tode, 64 f., and more fully ZATW, xviii. 127 ff.) 
has given reasons to show that all three names originally denoted 
spirits of the dead, and afterwards came to be applied to an imaginary 
race oi extinct giants, the supposed original inhabitants of the country 
(see also Rob. Sm. in Dri. Deut. 40). The tradition with regard to the 
Rephaim is too persistent to make this ingenious hypothesis altogether 
easy of acceptance. It is unfortunate that on a matter bearing so 
closely on the historicity of Gn. 14 the evidence is not more decisive. 

8-12. The final battle, and capture of Lot. — 9. 

four kings against the Jive] That the four Eastern kings 
should have been all present in person (which is the obvious 
meaning- of the narrator) is improbable enough ; that they 
should count heads with the petty kinglets of the Pentapolis 
is an unreal and misleading estimate of the opposing forces, 
due to a desire to magnify Abram's subsequent achievement. 
— 10. The vale of Siddim was at that time wells upon wells of 
bitumen] The notice is a proof of intelligent popular reason- 
ing rather than of authentic information regarding actual 
facts. The Dead Sea was noted in antiquity for the pro- 
duction of bitumen, masses of which were found floating on 
the surface (Strabo, xvi. ii. 42; Diod. ii. 48, xix. 98; 
Pliny, vii. 65), as, indeed, they still are after earthquakes, 
but "only in the southern part of the sea" (Robinson, 
BJ^, i. 518, ii. 189, 191). It was a natural inference that 
the bottom of the sea was covered with asphalt wells, like 
those of Hit in Babylonia. Seetzen (i. 417) says that the 
bitumen oozes from rocks round the sea, " and that {und 
swar) under the surface of the water, as swimmers have felt 
and seen " ; and Strabo says it rose in bubbles like boiling 
water from the middle of the deepest part. — II, 12. Sodom 
and Gomorrah are sacked, and Lot is taken captive. The 

10. n'ix3 ni^a] On the nominal appos. and duplication, see Dav. § 29, 
R. 8 ; G-K. § 123 ^ (cf. § 130 e). ffi"- has the word but once. — n-jbjy] better 
as jjulG 'y Ti^n;. .inn] On the peculiar -^^ see G-K. §§ 27 y, 90 ?.— 11. 
B^pn] Cr 'Lirirov {i.e. B*:"!) ; the confusion appears in ^*- -^, but nowhere else 
in OT.^l2. D-13K 'nN"I|] © inserts the words immediately after mV, — an 
indication that they have been introduced from the margin. It is to be 

XIV. 8-13 265 

account leaves much to be supplied by the imagination. 
The repetition of inp^l and l^^'l in two consecutive sentences 
is a mark of inferior style ; but the phrase D"i2N "'ns'13, which 
anticipates the introduction of Abram in v.^^, is probably a 
gloss {v.t'.). 

13-16. Abram's pursuit and victory. — The homeward 
march of the victorious army must have taken it very near 
Hebron, — Engedi itself is only about 17 m, off, — but Abram 
had ' let the legions thunder past,' until the intelligence 
reached him of his nephew's danger. — 13. Abram iJie Hebrew] 
is obviously meant as the first introduction of Abram in this 
narrative. The epithet is not necessarily an anachronism, if 
we accept the view that the Habiri of the Tel Amarna period 
were the nomadic ancestors of the Israelites (see on lo^^); 
though it is difficult to believe that there were Habiri in 
Palestine more than 600 years earlier, in the time of Ham- 
murabi (against Sellin, NKZ, xvi. 936 ; cf. Paton, Syria and 
Pal. 39 ff.)' That, however, is the only sense in which 
Abram could be naturally described as a Hebrew in a 
contemporary document ; and the probability is that the 
term is used by an anachronistic extension of the later 
distinction between Israelites and foreigners. — Mamre the 
Amorile] see on 13^^. In J (whose phraseology is here 
followed) ^'}P^ is the name of the sacred tree or grove ; in 
P it is a synonym of Hebron ; here it is the personal name 
of the owner of the grove. In like manner 'Eskol is a 
personal name derived from the valley of Eshcol ('grape- 
cluster,' Nu. 13^^^) ; and ' Aner may have a similar origin. 
The first two, at all events, are ^^ heroes eponymi of the most 
unequivocal character" (No. Unters. 166), — a misconcep- 
tion of which no contemporary would have been capable.* — 

noted also that Lot is elsewhere called simply the ' brother ' of Abram 
^14. 16) — "phg la^st clause is awkwardly placed ; but considering- the style 
of the chapter, we are not justified in treating it as an interpolation. 

13. D'bsn] Ezk. 24^^ 33-' (cf. Tien, 2 Sa. 15''). For the idiom, see 
G-K. § 126 r. — 'l^i'v"] © Ti? irepaTri (only here), Aq. rep irepaiTri. — ilil] J"* 

* Di.'s remark (p. 235), that " it makes no difference whether Mamre 
or the (lord) of Mamre helped Abram," is hard to understand. If 

266 abram's victory 

the confederates of Abram (^ o-ww/xoxat)] The expression yy3 
n''"i3 does not recur; cf. nyu^ ''pj;3, Neh. 6^^. Kraetzschmar's 
view [B inidesvorstg. 23 f.), that it denotes the relation of 
patrons to client, is inherently improbable. That these men 
joined Abram in his pursuit is not stated, but is presupposed 
in V.2*, — another example of the writer's laxity in narration. 
— 14. As soon as Abram learns the fate of his brother [i.e. 
* relative '), he called up his trained men (? : on P^^l and "f^^^n, 
•y.?.) and gave chase. — three hundred and eighteen^ The num- 
ber cannot be an arbitrary invention, and is not likely to be 
historical. It is commonly explained as a piece of Jewish 
Gematria, 318 being the numerical value of the letters of 
"iry^i'N (15^) [Ber. R. §43: see Nestle, ET, xvii. 44 f. [cf. 
139 f.]). A modem Gematria finds in it the number of the 
days of the moon's visibility during- the lunar year (Wi. G/, 
ii. 27). — to Dan] Now Tell el-Kadi, at the foot of Hermon. 

CWVi ffi kitvcv. — 14. p-in] Lit. 'emptied out,' used of the unsheathing 
of a sword (Ex. 15®, Lv. 26^^, Ezk. 5^- ^^ etc.), but never with pers. obj. as 
here. Tu. cites the Ar. garrada, which means both ' unsheath a sword ' 
and ' detach a company from an army ' (see Lane) ; but this is no real 
analogy, ux has P'];!^ ' scrutinize ' (Aram.), ffi Tipidfirja-ev (so U) and 2^° 
)nT ('equip' : so & and ^TJ) settle nothing, as they may be conjectural. 
Wi. {AOF, i. 102-) derives from Ass. diku — ' ca.\\ up troops' ; so Sellin, 
937. Ball changes to ip?n.. — V3":q] air. \ey., ffi tovs l8iovs, 3J expedites, 
SST"-" ' young men.' The ^"i:n suggests the meaning 'initiated' (see 
on 4^''), hence 'trained,' 'experienced,' etc. Sellin (937) compares 
the word ^awa^w^a— ' thy men,' found in one of the Ta'annek tablets. 
If it comes direct from the ceremony of rubbing the palate of a new-born 
child (see p. 116), it may have nothing to do with war, but denote 
simply those belonging to the household, the precise equivalent of 
n:3 ■'•h\. The latter phrase is found only in P (17121-23.27^ l^^ 22") 

Mamre and Eshcol were really names of places, and the writer took 
them for names of individual men, the fact has the most important 
bearing on the question of the historicity of the record. The alternative 
theory, that the names were originally those of persons, and were after- 
wards transferred to the places owned or inhabited by them, will hardly 
bear examination. ' Grape-cluster ' is a suitable name for a valley, 
but not for a man. And does any one suppose that J would have re- 
corded Abram's settlement at Hebron in the terms of 13'®, if he had 
been aware that Mamre was an individual living at the time? Yet the 
Yahwist's historical knowledge is far less open to suspicion than that 
of the writer of ch. 14. 

XIV. I4-I8 267 

This name originated in the period of the Judges (Jos. 19'''^, 
Ju. 18^^); and it is singular that such a prolepsis should 
occur in a document elsewhere so careful of the appearance 
of antiquity. — 15. He divided ]mnself\ i.e. (as usually under- 
stood) into three bands, — the favourite tactical manoeuvre 
in Hebrew warfare (Ju. 7^^, i Sa. ii^^ 13^'^, Jb. i^'^, i Mac. 
5^2) : but see the footnote. — sinote thein^ and pursued them as 
far as Hobah] Hobah (cf. Jth. 15^) has been identified by 
Wetzstein with Hoba^ c. 20 hours' journey N of Damascus. 
Sellin (934) takes it to be the Ubi of the TA Tablets, the 
district in which Damascus was situated {KIB, v. 139, 63; 
146, 12). The pursuit must in any case have been a long 
one, since Damascus itself is about 15 hours from Dan. It 
is idle to pretend that Abram's victory was merely a surprise 
attack on the rearguard, and the recovery of part of the 
booty. A pursuit carried so far implies the rout of the main 
body of the enemy. 

17, 18-20. Abram and Melkizedek.— "The scene be- 
tween Abram and Melkizedek is not without poetic charm : 
the two ideals (Grosse) which were afterwards to be so 
intimately united, the holy people and the holy city, are 
here brought together for the first time : here for the first 
time Israel receives the gift of its sanctuary " (Gu. 253). 
17. The scene of the meeting is nvC' ppy, interpreted as the 
kin^s vale. A place of this name is mentioned in 2 Sa. 18^^ 
as the site of Absalom's pillar, which, according to Josephus 
{^Ant. vii. 243), was two stadia from Jerusalem. The situa- 
tion harmonises with the common view that Salem is 
Jerusalem (see below) ; and other information does not 
exist. — 18. Melkizedek, kijig of ^alern, etc.] The primitive 

and Jer. 2". — 15. p^nn] (cf. i Ki. 16-^). The sense given above is not 
altogether natural. Ball emends p3in. Wi. {GI, ii. 27^) suggests a pre- 
carious Ass. etymology, pointing as Piel, and rendering ' and he fell 
upon them by night': so Sellin.— S^biyp] Lit. 'on the left." The sense 
'north' is rare : Jos. 19^7 (P), Ezk. 16^'', Jb. zf. 

17. ni.(7 (without art.) must apparently be a different word from 
that in v.'. Hommel and Wi. emend 'i^ {sarre, the Ass. word for 
'king').— 18. p-ii-'3^0] usually explained as 'King of Righteousness' 
(Heb. 7^), with i as old gen. ending retained by the annexion ; but 
more probably =' My king is Zidk,' Zidk being the name of a S 

268 abram's victory 

combination of the kingly and priestly offices has been 
abundantly illustrated by Frazer from many quarters.* 
The existence of such priest-king-s in Canaan in very early 
times is perfectly credible, though not historically attested 
(comp. the patesis of Babylonia). SdlSfn is usually under- 
stood to be an archaic name for Jerusalem (Jos. Ant. i. i8o; 
2r°^, Jer. [^/^], lEz. al.), as in Ps. 76=^, the only other place 
where it occurs. The chief argument in favour of this view 
is the typical significance attached to Melkizedek in 
Ps. 1 10*, which is hardly intelligible except on the supposi- 
tion that he was in a sense the ideal ancestor of the dynasty 
or hierarchy of Jerusalem. 

Whether the name was actually in use in ancient times, we do not 
know. The Tel Amarna Tablets have certainly proved that the name 
Uru-Salim is of much greater antiquity than might have been gathered 
from the biblical statements (Ju. iq^", i Ch. 11^); but the shortened 
form Salem is as yet unattested. It has been suggested that the cunei- 
form uru was misread as the determinative for 'city' (see Sellin, 941). — 
The identifications with other places of the name which have been 
discovered — e.g. the Salim 8 R. m. from Scythopolis (where, according 
to Je. S^Ep. ad Evagr.\ the ruins of Melkizedek's palace were to be 
seen) — have no claim to acceptance. 

On the name |V^y ^X [God Most High), see below, p. 270 f. 
— bread and wine] comp. ' food and drink ' [akali likari) 
provided for an army, etc., in the TA Tablets: KIB, 50^2 
2071^ 209^2!. 242I6 (Sellin, 938).— 19, 20. The blessing of 

Arabian and Phoenician deity (Baudissin, Stud. i. 15 ; Baethgen, 
Beitr. 128). That Zedek was an ancient name for Jerusalem (see 
Is. i^i-'-s, Jer. si''^ 50'', Ps. 118^^) there is no reason to believe. — 19. njij 
has two senses in the OT (if, indeed, there be not two distinct roots : 
see G-B.i* s.v.): (a) ' create ' or 'produce' (Ps. 139^3, Pr. 8='-, Dt. 32® 
[? Gn. 4^]) ; (b) ' purchase ' or ' acquire by purchase ' (frequent). The 
idea of bare possession apart from purchase is hardly represented 
(? Is. I*) ; and since the suggestion of purchase is here inadmissible, 
the sense ' create ' must be accepted. That this meaning can be 
established only by late examples is certainly no objection so far as 
the present passage is concerned : see on 4^. — 20. After 'n?', ffi^ ins. 

* Studies in the Kingship, 29 ff. " The classical evidence points to 
the conclusion that in prehistoric ages, before the rise of the republican 
form of government, the various tribes or cities were ruled by kings, 
who discharged priestly duties and probably enjoyed a sacred character 
as descendants of deities " (p. 31). 

XIV. i8, 20 269 

Melkizedek is poetic in form and partly in language ; but 
in meaning it is a liturgical formula rather than a ' blessing' 
in the proper sense. It lacks entirely the prophetic inter- 
pretation of concrete experiences which is the note of the 
antique blessing and curse (cf. 3^^*^- 4"'- g^^^- 2y^''^-^^^-). — 
Creator of heaven and earth] so dSrlJ. There is no reason 
to tone down the idea to that of mere possession {^", al.); 
V. infra. — By payment of the tithe, Abram acknowledges 
the legitimacy of Melkizedek's priesthood (Heb. 7*), and 
the religious bond of a common monotheism uniting them ; 
at the same time the action was probably regarded as a 
precedent for the payment of tithes to the Jerusalem 
sanctuary for all time coming (so already in Juh. xiii. 
25-27 : comp. Gn. 28-^). 

The excision of the Melkizedek episode (see Wi. GI, ii. 29), which 
seems to break the .connexion of v."' with v.'^, is a temptingly facile 
operation ; but it is doubtful if it be justified. The designation of 
Yah we as ' God Most High ' in the mouth of Abram (v.^-) is unintellig- 
ible apart from ^^'■. It may rather have been the writer's object to 
bring the three actors on one stage together in order to illustrate 
Abram's contrasted attitude to the sacred (Melkizedek) and the secular 
(king of Sodom) authority. — Hommel's ingenious and confident solution 
{AHT, 158 ff.), which gets rid of the king of Sodom altogether and 
resolves '''■-■* wholly into an interview between Abram and Melkizedek, 
is an extremely arbitrary piece of criticism. Sellin's view (p. 939 f.), 
that vv.i^"-" are original and ".21-24 ^j-g ' Israelitische Wucherung,' is 
simpler and more plausible ; but it has no more justification than any 
of the numerous other expedients which are necessary to save the 
essential historicity of the narrative. 

The mystery which invests the figure of Melkizedek has given rise 
to a great deal of speculation both in ancient and modern times. The 
Jewish idea that he was the patriarch Shem (2P, Talm. al.) is thought 
to be a reaction against mystical interpretations prevalent in the 
school of Alexandria (where Philo identified him with the Logos), 
which, through Heb. "j^^-, exercised a certain influence on Christian 
theology (see Jerome, Ep. ad Evagrium ; cf. JE, viii. 450). From a 
critical point of view the question of interest is whether M. belongs 
to the sphere of ancient tradition or is a fictitious personage, created 
to represent the claims of the post-Exilic priesthood in Jerusalem 
(Well. Comp.^ 3 '2). In opposition to the latter view, Gu. rightly 
points out that Judaism is not likely to have invented as the prototype 

ni.T.— jjp] only Hos. ii^ Is. 64^ (ffi, etc.), Pr. 4^ The etymology is 
uncertain, but the view that it is a denom. fr. jM, 'shield' {ij ]», BDB) 
is hardly correct (see Barth. ES, 4). 


of the High Priesthood a Canaanitish priest-king-, and that all possible 
pretensions of the Jerusalem hierarchy were covered by the figure of 
Aaron (253). It is more probable that M. is, if not a historical figure, 
at least a traditional figure of great antiquity, on whom the monarchy 
and hierarchy of Jerusalem based their dynastic and priestly rights.* 
To the writer of Ps. 110, M. was "a type, consecrated by antiquity, to 
which the ideal king of Israel, ruling on the same spot, must conform " 
(Dri. 167) ; and even if that Ps. be not pre-Exilic (as Gu. supposes), 
but as late as the Maccabaean period, it is difficult to conceive that 
the type could have originated without some traditional basis. — Some 
writers have sought a proof of the historical character of Melkizedek 
in a supposed parallel between the aTrdTCjp, d/LLriTiop, dyeveaXoy-qros of 
Heb. 7^ and a formula several times repeated in letters (Tel Amarna) 
of Abdhiba of Jerusalem to Amenophis iv. : " Neither my father nor 
my mother set me in this place ; the mighty arm of the king estab- 
lished me in my father's house. " f Abdhiba might have been a 
successor of Melkizedek ; and it is just conceivable that Hommel is 
right in his conjecture that a religious formula, associated with the 
head of the Jerusalem sanctuary, receives from Abdhiba a political 
turn, and is made use of to express his absolute dependence on the 
Egyptian king. But it must be observed that Abdhiba's language is 
perfectly intelligible in its diplomatic sense ; its agreement with the 
words of the NT is only partial, and may be accidental ; and it is 
free from the air of mystery which excites interest in the latter. This, 
however, is not to deny the probability that the writer to the Hebrews 
drew his conception partly from other sources than the w. in Gen. 

'El ' Elyon. — ^"El, the oldest Semitic appellative for God, was 
frequently differentiated according to particular aspects of the divine 
nature, or particular local or other relations entered into by the deity : 
hence arose compound names like na* "jk (17^), dViv Sn (21 3'), '^N-jfc': 'nS^ Sx 
{Zf\ SKn'3 Sx (357), and \v^^ "?>< (here and Ps. 7835).+ jv^j^ ( = ' upper," 
' highest ') is not uncommonly used of God in OT, either alone 
(Nu. 24'*, Dt. 32^ Ps. 18^^ etc.) or in combinations with ni.T or D'n'^K 
(Ps. 7'^ (?), 47' 57^ etc.). That it was in actual use among the 
Canaanites is by no means incredible : the Phoenicians had a god 
'EXtouj' KaXoi''jti€i/os "Ti/'toTos (Eus. Prcep. Ev. i. 10, 11, 12); and there is 
nothing to forbid the supposition that the deity of the sanctuary of 
Jerusalem was worshipped under that name. On the other hand, 
there is nothing to prove it ; and it is perhaps a more significant fact 

•• Gu. instances as a historical parallel the legal fiction by which 
the imperial prestige of the Caesars was transferred to Charlemagne 
and his successors. — Josephus had the same view when he spoke of M. 
as Xafai'ttfojc Suj'do'TTjy, and the first founder of Jerusalem {BJ, vi. 438). 

tHomm. AHT, 155 ff-; Sayce, Monn. 175; EHH, 28 f. ; Exp. 
Times, vii. 340 ff., 47Bff., 565 f., viii. 43 f., 94 ff., 142 ff. (arts, and 
letters by Sayce, Driver, and Hommel). 

% See Baethgen, Beitr. 291 f. — Comp., in classical religion, Zeus 
Meilichios, -Xenios, Jupiter Terminus, -Latiaris, etc. 

XIV. 17, 21-34 271 

that the Maccabees were called dpxiepei^ Oeov vfiarov (Jos. Ant. xvi. 
163; Ass. Mosis, 6').* This title, the frequent recurrence of p'S];; as a 
divine name in late Pss., the name Salem in one such Ps.,and Melkizedek 
in (probably) another, make a group of coincidences which g-o to show 
that the Melkizedek legend was much in vogue about the time of the 

17, 21-24. Abram and the king of Sodom.— The 

request of the king- of Sodom presupposes as the usual 
custom of war that Abram was entitled to the whole of the 
booty. Abram's lofty reply is the climax to which the whole 
narrative leads up. — 22. / lifi up my hand] the gesture 
accompanying- an oath (Ex. 6^, Nu. 14^°, Dt. 32*°, Ezk. 20^2, 
Dn. 12' etc.). — to Yahwe, ''El 'Elydn\ A recognition of 
religious affinity with Melkizedek, as a fellow-worshipper 
of the one true God. The ninv however, is probably an 
addition to the text, wanting in (^ and S, while ux has 
DTil^xn. — 23. lest thou shouldst say, etc.] An earlier writer 
(cf. 12^^) would perhaps not have understood this scruple : 
he would have attributed the enrichment of Abram to God, 
ev^en if the medium was a heathen king. — 24. The con- 
descending- allowance for the weakness of inferior natures 
is mentioned to enhance the impression of Abram's 
generosity (Gu.). 

The Historic Value of Ch. 14. — There are obvious reasons why 
this chapter should have come to be regarded in some quarters as a 
' shibboleth ' between two opposite schools of OT criticism (Homm. 
AHT, 165). The narrative is unique in this respect, that it sets the 
figure of Abraham in the framework of world-history. It is the case 
that certain features of this framework have been confirmed, or 
rendered credible, by recent Assyriological discoveries ; and by those 
who look to archaeological research to correct the aberrations of 
literary criticism, this fact is represented as not only demonstrating 
the historicity of the narrative as a whole, but as proving that the 
criticism which resolved it into a late Jewish romance must be vitiated 

22. 'nb-iq] On the pf., G-K. § 106 /.— 23. On the ox of negative 
asseveration, § 149 a, c. The second DXi, which adds force to the 
negation, is not rendered by ffi or U.— 24. 'TJ^Z] lit. 'not unto me!' 
(in Hex. only 41'8-^HE], Jos. 22^'' [late]). ffiFSSTO seem to have read 
PT 'iy.?3 as a compound prepositional phrase (= ' except '). 

* Siegfried, ThLs., 1895, 304. On the late prevalence of the title, see 
also DB, iii. 450, EB, i. 70 (in and near Byblus), and Schiirer, SBBA, 
1897, p. 200 ff. 


by some radical fault of method. How far that sweeping conclusion 
is justified we have now to consider. The question raised is one of 
extreme difficulty, and is perhaps not yet ripe for final settlement. The 
attempt must be made, however, to review once more the chief points 
of the evidence, and to ascertain as fairly as possible the results to 
which it leads. 

The case for the historic trustworthiness of the story (or the 
antiquity of the source on which it is founded) rests on the following' 
facts: (i) The occurrence of prehistoric names of places and peoples, 
some of which had become unintelligible to later readers, and required 
identification by explanatory glosses. Now the mere use of ancient 
and obsolete names is not m itself inconsistent with the fictitious 
character of the narrative. A writer who was projecting himself into a 
remote past would naturally introduce as many archaic names as he 
could find ; and the substitution of such terms as Rephaim, Emim, 
Horim, etc., for the younger populations which occupied these regions, 
is no more than might be expected. Moreover, the force of the 
argument is weakened by the undoubted anachronism involved in the 
use of the name Dan (see on v.^'*). The presence of archaeological 
glosses, however, cannot be disposed of in this way. To suppose that 
a writer deliberately introduced obsolete or fictitious names and glossed 
them, merely for the purpose of casting an air of antiquity over his 
narrative, is certainly a somewhat extreme hypothesis. It is fair to 
admit the presumption that he had really before him some traditional 
(perhaps documentary) material, though of what nature that material 
was it is impossible to determine.*— (2) The general verisimilitude of 
the background of the story. It is proved beyond question that an 
Elamite supremacy over the West and Palestine existed before the year 
2000 B.C. ; consequently an expedition such as is here described is 
(broadly speaking) within the bounds of historic probability. Further, 
the state of things in Palestine presupposed by the record — a number of 
petty kingships striving to maintain their independence, and entering 
into temporary alliances for that purpose — harmonises with all we know 
of the political condition of the country before the Israelitish occupation, 
though it might be difficult to show that the writer's knowledge of the 
situation exceeds what would be acquired by the most cursory perusal 
of the story of the Conquest in the Book of Joshua. — (3) The considera- 
tion most relied upon by apologetic writers is the proof obtained from 
Assyriology that the names in v.' are historical. The evidence on this 
question has been given on p. 257 ff., and need not be here recapitulated. 

* It is to be observed that in no single case is the correctness of the 
gloss attested by independent evidence (see w.^-s.e.i.a.n'^^ Those who 
maintain the existence of a cuneiform original have still to reckon with 
the theory of Wi., who holds that the basis of the narrative is a 
Babylonian legend, which was brought into connexion with the story of 
Abraham by arbitrary identification of names whose primary significance 
was perhaps mythological. See GI, ii. 28 ff. The question cannot be 
further discussed here. 

CH. XIV 273 

We have seen that every one of the identifications is disputed by 
more than one competent Assyrioiogist (see, further, Mey. GA^, I. ii. 
p. 551 f.); and since only an expert is fully qualified to judge of the 
probabilities of the case, it is perhaps premature to regard the confirma- 
tion as assured. At the same time, it is quite clear that the names 
are not invented ; and it is highly probable that they are those of 
contemporary kings who actually reigned over the countries assigned 
to them in this chapter. Their exact relations to one another are still 
undetermined, and in some respects difficult to imagine ; but there is 
nothing in the situation which we may not expect to be cleared up by 
further discoveries. It would seem to follow that the author's informa- 
tion is derived ultimately either from a Babylonian source, or from 
records preserved amongst the Canaanites in Palestine. The presence 
of an element of authentic history in v.' being thus admitted, we have to 
inquire how far this enters into the substance of the narrative. 

Before answering that question, we must look at the arguments 
advanced in favour of the late origin and fictitious character of the 
chapter. These are of two kinds: (i) The inherent improbability or 
incredibility of many of the incidents recorded. This line of criticism was 
most fully elaborated by Noldeke in 1869 {Untei-suchungen, 156-172): 
the following points may be selected as illustrations of the difficulties 
which the narrative presents. (a) The route said to have been 
traversed is, if not absolutely impracticable for a regular army, at least 
quite irreconcilable with the alleged object of the campaign, — the 
chastisement of the Pentapolis. That the four kings should have 
passed the Dead Sea valley, leaving their principal enemies in their 
rear, and postponing a decisive engagement till the end of a circuitous 
and exhausting march, is a proceeding which would be impossible in real 
warfare, and could only have been imagined by a writer out of touch 
with the actualities of the situation (see the Notes on p. 261). {b) It is 
difficult to resist the impression that some of the personal names — 
especially B^ra and Birshd (see on \.\ and Mamre and Eshcol (v.'*) 
— are artificial formations, which reveal either the animus of the writer, 
or else (in the last two instances) a misapprehension of traditional data 
into which only a very late and ill-informed writer could have been 
betrayed, (c) The rout of Chedorlaomer's army by 318 untrained men 
is generally admitted to be incredible. It is no sufficient explanation to 
say that only a rearguard action may have taken place ; the writer 
does not mean that ; and if his meaning misrepresents what actually 
took place, his account is at any rate not historical (see p. 267). (d) It 
appears to be assumed in v.^ that the Dead Sea was formed subsequently 
to the events narrated. This idea seems to have been traditional in 
Israel (cf. 13'"), but it is nevertheless quite erroneous. Geological 
evidence proves that that amazing depression in the earth's surface had 
existed for ages before the advent of man on the earth, and formed, 
from the first, part of a great inland lake whose waters stood originally 
several hundred feet higher than the present level of the Dead Sea. It 
may, indeed, be urged that the vale of Siddim was not coextensive 
with the Dead Sea basin, but only with its shallow southern ' Lagoon ' 



(S of el-Lisan), which by a partial subsidence of the ground might have 
been formed within historic times.* But even if that were the true 
explanation, the manner of the statement is not that which would be 
used by a writer conversant with the facts. — The improbabilities of the 
passage are not confined to the four points just mentioned, but are 
spread over the entire surface of the narrative ; and while their force 
may be differently estimated by different minds, it is at least safe to say 
that they more than neutralise the impression of trustworthiness which 
the precise dates, numbers, and localities may at first produce. — (2) The 
second class of considerations is derived from the spirit and tendency 
which characterise the representation, and reveal the standpoint of the 
writer. It would be easy to show that many of the improbabilities 
observed spring from a desire to enhance the greatness of Abraham's 
achievement ; and indeed the whole tendency of the chapter is to set 
the figure of the patriarch in an ideal light, corresponding not to the 
realities of history, but to the imagination of some later age. Now the 
idealisation of the patriarchs is, of course, common to all stages of 
tradition ; the question is to what period this ideal picture of Abraham 
may be most plausibly referred. The answer given by a number of 
critics is that it belongs to the later Judaism, and has its affinities " with 
P and the midrashic elements in Chronicles rather than with the older 
Israelite historians" (Moore, EB^ ii. 677). Criticism of this kind is 
necessarily subjective and speculative. At first sight it might appear 
that the conception of Abraham as a warlike hero is the mark of a 
warlike age, and therefore older than the more idyllic types delineated 
in the patriarchal legends. That judgement, however, fails to take 
account of the specific character of the narrative before us. It is a 
grandiose and lifeless description of military operations which are quite 
beyond the writer's range of conception ; it contains no trace of the 
martial ardour of ancient times, and betrays considerable ignorance of 
the conditions of actual warfare ; it is essentially the account of a 
Bedouin razzia magnified into a systematic campaign for the consolida- 
tion of empire. It has been fitly characterised as the product of a time 
which " admires military glory all the more because it can conduct no 
wars itself ; and, having no warlike exploits to boast of in the present, 
revels in the mighty deeds of its ancestors. Such narratives tend in 
imagination towards the grotesque ; the lack of the political experience 
which is to be acquired only in the life of the independent state produces 
a condition of mind which can no longer distinguish between the 
possible and the impossible. Thus the passage belongs to an age in 
which, in spite of a certain historical erudition, the historic sense of 
Judaism had sunk almost to zero " (Gu. 255). 

It remains to consider the extent and origin of the historic element 
whose existence in the chapter we have been led to admit. Does it 
proceed from an ancient Canaanite record, which passed into the Hebrew 
tradition, to be gradually moulded into the form in which we now find 

• Cf. Dri.'s elaborate Note, p. 168 ff. ; also Robinson, BR, ii. 187 f. ; 
Gautier, EB, 1043 f., 1046; Hull, DB, i. 576^ 

CH. XIV 275 

it ? Or did it come directly from an external source into the hands of a 
late author, who used it as the basis of a sort of historical romance ? 
The former alternative is difficult to maintain if (as seems to be the case) 
the narrative stands outside the recognised literary sources of the 
Pentateuch.* The most acceptable form of this theory is perhaps that 
presented by Sellin in the article to which reference has frequently been 
made in the preceding- pages {NKZ, xvi. 929-951). The expedition, he 
thinks, maj' have taken place at any time between 2250 and 1750 B.C. ; 
and he allows a long period of oral transmission to have elapsed before 
the preparation of a cuneiform record about 1500. This document he 
supposes to have been deposited in the Temple archives of Jerusalem, 
and to have come into the possession of the Israelites through David's 
conquest of that city. He thus leaves room for a certain distortion of 
events in the primary document, and even for traces of mythological 
influence. The theory would gain immensely in plausibility if the 
alleged Canaanite parallels to the obscure expressions of vv.^^'- (pn, I'jn, 
p'^n) should prove to be relevant. At present, however, they are not 
known to be specifically Canaanite ; and whatever be their value it 
does not appear that they tell more in favour of a Palestinian origin 
than of a cuneiform basis in general. The assumption that the docu- 
ment was deposited in the Temple is, of course, a pure hypothesis, on 
which nothing as to the antiquity or credibility of the narrative can be 

On the other hand, the second alternative has definite support in a 
fact not sufficiently regarded by those who defend the authenticity of the 
chapter. It is significant that the cuneiform document in which three 
of the four royal names in v.^ are supposed to have been discovered is as 
late as the 4th or 3rd cent. B.C. Assuming the correctness of the 
identifications, we have here a positive proof that the period with 
which our story deals was a theme of poetic and legendary treatment in 
the age to which criticism is disposed approximately to assign the 
composition of Gn. 14. It shows that a cuneiform document is not 
necessarily a contemporary document, and need not contain an accurate 
transcript of fact. If we suppose such a document to have come into 
the possession of a Jew of the post-Exilic age, it would furnish just such 
a basis of quasi-historical material as would account for the blending of 
fact and fiction which the literary criticism of the chapter suggests. In 
any case the extent of the historical material remains undetermined. 
The names in v.^ are historical ; some such expedition to the West as is 
here spoken of is possibly so ; but everything else belongs to the region 
of conjecture. The particulars in which we are most interested — the 
figures of Abram and Lot and Melkizedek, the importance, the revolt, 
and even the existence, of the Cities of the Kikkar, and, in short, all 
the details of the story— are as yet unattested by any allusion in secular 

In conclusion, it should be noticed that there is no real antagonism 
between archseology and literary criticism in this matter. They deal 

* P. 256 above. 


with quite distinct aspects of the problem ; and the fallacy lies in treat- 
ing the chapter as a homogeneous and indivisible unity : it is like dis- 
cussing whether the climate of Asia is hot or cold on conflicting evidence 
drawn from opposite extremes of the continent. Criticism claims to 
have shown that the narrative is full of improbabilities in detail which 
make it impossible to accept it as a reliable contemporary record of fact. 
All that the archasologist can pretend to have proved is that the general 
setting of the story is consistent with the political situation in the East 
as disclosed by the monuments ; and that it contains data which cannot 
possibly be the fabrications of an unhistorical age. So much as this 
critics are perfectly prepared to admit. No., who has stated the case 
against the authenticity of the chapter as strongly as any man, ex- 
pressly declined to build an argument on the fact that nothing was then 
known of an Elamite dominion in the West, and allowed that the names 
of the four kings might be traditional (op. cit. 159^).* Assyriology has 
hardly done more as yet than make good the possibilities thus conceded 
in advance. It is absurd to suppose that a theory can be overthrown 
by facts for which due allowance was made before they took rank as 
actual discoveries. 

Ch. X.W.— God's Covenant with Abram (JE). 

In a prolonged interview with Yahwe, Abram's mis- 
givings regarding the fulfilment of the divine promises are 
removed by solemn and explicit assurances, and by a symbolic 
act in which the Almighty binds Himself by the inviolable 
ceremonial of the herith.\ In the present form of the chapter 
there is a clear division between the promise of a son and heir 
(1-^) and the promise of the land C^"^^), the latter alone being 
strictly embraced in the scope of the covenant. 

Analysis. — See, besides the comm.. We. Comp.'^ 23 f. ; Bu. Urg. 416^ ; 
Bacon, Hebraicn, vii. 75 ff. ; Kraetzschmar, op. cit. 58 ff. — The chapter 
shows unmistakable signs of composition, but the analysis is beset with 
peculiar, and perhaps insurmountable, difficulties. We may begin by 

* The same admission was made by We. as long ago as 1889 
[Comp.^ 310). In view of the persistent misrepresentations of critical 
opinion, it is not unnecessary to repeat once more that the historicity of 
the names in v.' has not been denied by any leading critic {e.g. Ew. 
No. Di. We.), even before the discoveries of later years. — For an 
exposure of Sayce's extraordinary travesty of Noldeke's arguments, 
the reader should consult Dri. Gen.'', Addenda to p. 173. 

t "Die Berith ist diejenige kultische Handlung, durch die in feierlicher 
Weise Verpflichtungen oder Abmachungen irgend welcher Art absolut 
bindend und unverbriichlich gemacht wurden " (Kraetzschmar, Bundes- 
vorsfellung, 40 f.). 

XV. I 277 

examining the solution proposed by Gu. He assigns ^*-* V ^* "'• *' '• '• 

10. 12aa. b. 17. 18a. ba to J ; '"o/S- 3a. fab?] 8. 11. 12a^. ISa. 14 (^q ,x^,). 16 to E ; and '• 8- 

isb. i4b^ 15. i8b^. 19-21 to a redactor. On this analysis the J fragments 
form a consecutive and nearly complete narrative, the break at v.' 
being caused by R's insertion of ■"• But (i) it is not so easy to get 
rid of ""■ v.* is, and " is not, a suitable point of contact for '"^- ; and 
the omission of ""• would make the covenant a confirmation of the 
promise of an heir, whereas '* expressly restricts it to the possession of 
the land. And (2) the parts assigned to J contain no marks of the 
Yahwistic style except the name niri' ; they present features not else- 
where observed in that document, and are coloured by ideas character- 
istic of the Deuteronomic age. The following points may be here noted : 
{a) the prophetic character of the divine communication to Abram ('••*) ; 
\b) the address m.T 'nx (2» [cf.s]) ; {c) the theological reflexion on the 
nature of Abram's righteousness (® : cf. Dt. 6"' 24'^) ; {d) the idea of the 
Abrahamic covenant (found only in redactional expansions of JE, and 
common in Dt.) ; to which may be added {e) the ideal boundaries of the 
land and the enumeration of its inhabitants (i8''-'-i), both of which are 
Deuteronomistic (see on the vv. below). The ceremonial of "■ " is no 
proof of antiquity (cf. Jer. 34'^^-)) ^"^ the symbolic representation of 
Yahwe's presence in ^^ is certainly not decisive against the late author- 
ship of the piece (against Gu.). It is difficult to escape the impression 
that the whole of this J narrative (including ''^■) is the composition of an 
editor who used the name m.T, but whose affinities otherwise are with 
the school of Deuteronomy rather than with the early Yahwistic writers. 
— This result, however, still leaves unsolved problems, (i) It fails to 
account for the obvious doublets in ^- ^ -'' and '^'- are generally recog- 
nised as the first traces in the Hex. of the document E, and " (a night 
scene in contrast to '^'^- ^') is naturally assigned to the same source. (2) 
With regard to [^'^'l ^^"'*, which most critics consider to be a redactional 
expansion of J, I incline to the opinion of Gu., that n- is-ie forni part of 
the sequel to the E narrative recognised in 3a. 2b. 6 (note noxn, v.^'^). (3) 
The renewed introduction of Yahwe in v.^ forms a hiatus barely con- 
sistent with unity of authorship. The difficulty would be partly met by 
Bacon's suggestion that the proper position of the J material in '"* is 
intermediate between 15!* and i6^ But though this ingenious theory 
removes one difficulty it creates others, and it leaves untouched what 
seems to me the chief element of the problem, the marks of lateness both 
in ^-^ and ''""^ — The phenomena might be most fully explained by the 
assumption of an Elohistic basis, recast by a Jehovistic or Deuteronomic 
editor (probably RJ^), and afterwards combined with extracts from its 
own original ; but so complex a hypothesis cannot be put forward 
with any confidence. 

1-6. The promise of an heir (J), and a numerous 
posterity (E). — l. The v. presupposes a situation of 

I. rh^r\ onmn [']inN] frequent in E (22^ 40^ 48\ Jos. 24=^), but also 
used by J (22=" 39').— nl,T-^3•^ n-n (cf. v.'')] not elsewhere in the Hex. ; 


anxiety on the part of Abram, following' on some meri- 
torious action performed by him. It is not certain that any 
definite set of circumstances was present to the mind of the 
writer, though the conditions are fairly well satisfied by 
Abram's defenceless position amongst the Canaanites im- 
mediately after his heroic obedience to the divine call (Gu.). 
The attempts to establish a connexion with the events of 
ch. 14 (Jewish Comm. and a few moderns) are far-fetched 
and misleading. — the word of Yah-we came\ On the formula 
v.i. The conception of Abram as a prophet has no parallel 
in J ; and even E, though he speaks vaguely of Abram as a 
X^33 (20'^, q.v.), does not describe his intercourse with God 
in technical prophetic phraseology. The representation is 
not likely to have arisen before the age of written prophecy. 
— in a vzsiofi] probably a night-vision (see v.^), in which case 
the expression must be attributed to E. The mediate 
character of revelation, as contrasted with the directness of 
the older theophanies {e.g: ch. 18), is at all events character- 
istic of E. — thj' s/n'eld] a figure for protection common in 
later writings: Dt. 3329, Ps. 3* 7I1 oft., Pr. 2^ 2P^,—thy 
reward [will be] very greai\ a new sentence ((|ErS)j not (as U, 
EV) a second predicate to ''^ix. — 2. seeing I go hence childless] 

found occasionally in the older writings (i Sa. 15^", 2 Sa. 24^'), but 
chiefly in later prophets and superscriptions : specially common in Jer. 
and Ezk.— njqp] Only Nu. 2^^- '^ Ezk. 13^. The word is thus not at 
all characteristic of E, thoug-h the idea of revelation through dreams 
and visions (nxiD, Nu. 12^ ; rh-^^ nNin, Gn. 46^) undoubtedly is. Consider- 
ing the many traces of late editing in the chapter, it is highly 
precarious to divide the phrases of v.' between J and E. — n3-;n (inf. 
abs.) as pred. is unusual and late (Ps. 130^, Ec. 11^). uj. nmx, ' I will 
multiply,' is perhaps preferable. — 2. nin> 'JiNJ (cf. ^) is common in the 
elevated style of prophecy (esp. Ezk.), but rare in the Pss. In the 
historical books it occurs only as a vocative (exc. i Ki. 2-^) : Jos. ^'', Ju. 
622 i628^ _ Dt, 324 g26^ 2 Sa. 718- 19- 20. 28. 29^ j j^i. 8^3. Of thcsc the first 
three are possibly J ; the rest are Deuteronomic. — nty''?K— J3i] ffi has 6 5^ 
vlb% Md(Te/c Trj% oUoyevovs fiov, ovtos Aa/xaaKos 'EXi^j'ep, — a meaningless sen- 
tence in the connexion, unless supplemented by K\i}povofj.rjatL /xe, as in some 
MSS of Philo (before ovros). & paraphrases : ]_»_QrOQlD55 ^ ] ^ > V ]*^ 
».j.^ Z;.j OCJI «^A-»_0 i^. pm is a d-rr. \ey., which appears not to 
have been understood by any of the Vns. ffi treats it as the name of 
Eliezer's mother, Aq. {votl^ovtos) as = r^psyJp ; GUST^^ give it the sense 

XV. 2-5 2 79 

So all Vns., taking ^^n in the sense of 'die' (Ps. 39^*: 
cf. Ar. halaka), though the other sense (' walk ' = ' live ') 
would be quite admissible. To die childless and leave no 
name on earth (Nu. 27"*) is a fate so melancholy that even 
the assurance of present fellowship with God brings no hope 
or joy. — 2b is absolutely unintelligible {v.i.). The Vns. 
agree in reading the names Eliezer and Damascus^ and 
also (with the partial exception of (&) in the general under- 
standing that the clause is a statement as to Abram's heir. 
This is probably correct ; but the text is so corrupt that 
even the proper names are doubtful, and there is only a 
presumption that the sense agrees with ^^ — 3. In the 
absence of children or near relatives, the slave, as a member 
of the family, might inherit (Sta. GVI, i. 391 ; Benzinger, 
Arch.^ 113)' '^!?"I? is a member of the household, but not 
necessarily a home-born slave (n^? Iv), 14^*). — 5. The promise 
of a numerous * seed'' (cf. ^^- ^^) is E's parallel to the announce- 
ment of the birth of a bodily heir in J (v.*). — the stars\ a 
favourite image of the later editors and Deuteronomy (22^'^ 

of ' steward,' which may be a mere conjecture like the (TxjyyevT]^ of 2. 
Modern comm. generally regard the word as a modification of 7i§*n 
(Jb. 28^^?) with the sense of 'possession' — 7i?'p"i3 = ' son of possession ' 
= ' possessor' or 'inheritor' (so Ges. Tu. KS. Str. al.) ; but this has 
neither philolog-ical justification nor traditional support. A ^ pii'D (in 
spite of PV'PP, Zeph. 2^) is extremely dubious. The last clause cannot be 
rendered either ' This is Eliezer of Damascus,' or ' This is Damascus, 
namely Eliezer' (De.). Sb and W^ adopt the summary expedient of 
turning the subst. into an adj., and reading 'Eliezer the Damascene'