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THE BROSX PRIZE . . . 1905 






"Nubecula eit, quae cito evanescet." 


NEW YORK 1906 f /Vf f 




8H)tg Foltmu ig ratefullg Urtueatrti 



IN 1879, the late William Bross of Chicago, lieutenant- 
governor of Illinois in 1866-1870, desiring to make some 
memorial of his son, Nathaniel Bross, who had died in 
1856, entered into an agreement with the "Trustees of 
Lake Forest University," whereby there was finally trans- 
ferred to the said Trustees the sum of Forty Thousand 
Dollars, the income of which was to accumulate in per- 
petuity for successive periods of ten years, at compound 
interest, the accumulations of one decade to be spent in 
the following decade, for the purpose of stimulating the 
production of the best books or treatises " on the connec- 
tion, relation, and mutual bearing of any practical science, 
or history of our race, or the facts in any department of 
knowledge, with and upon the Christian Religion." 

In his deed of gift the founder had in view " the religion 
of the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments of our 
Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as commonly received in the 
Presbyterian and other evangelical churches*' His object 
was M to call out the best efforts of the highest talent and the 
ripest scholarship of the world, to illustrate from science, or 
any department of knowledge, and to demonstrate, the divine 
origin/ and authority of the Christian Scriptures ; and, fur- 
ther, w show how both Science and Revelation coincide, and 
to prove the existence, the providence, or any or all of the at- 
tributes of the one living and true God, infinite, eternal, and 
unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, 
goodness and truth." 


x TJie Bross Foundation 

At the close of the Trust Agreement, the donor ex- 
pressed the hope that, by means of this fund, the various 
authors might, "every ten years, post up the science of the 
world and show how it illustrates the truth of the Bible, and 
the existence of Grod" and that thereby " the gospel of our 
blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the glories of His sacrifice 
and plan of salvation," might be preached " to the end of 

The books or treatises procured by either of the methods 
described below are to be published as volumes of what is 
to be known as "The Bross Library." 

The gift thus contemplated in the original agreement of 
1879 was finally consummated in 1890. The first decade 
of the accumulations of interest having closed in 1900, the 
Trustees of the Bross Fund began at that time the ad- 
ministration of this important trust. 

The Trust Agreement prescribes two methods by which 
the production of books of the above-mentioned character 
is to be stimulated : 

A. The Trustees of the Bross Fund are empowered to 
select able scholars, from time to time, to prepare books, 
upon some theme within the terms of the Trust Agree- 
ment, that would " illustrate " or " demonstrate " the 
Christian Religion, or any phase of it, to the times in 
which we live. 

Ordinarily, the authors of these books are requested to 
deliver the substance of such books in the form of lectures 
before Lake Forest College, and any of the general public 
who may desire to attend them, such courses to be known 
as The Bross Lectures. 

In pursuance of the first method, two writers have 
already been specially appointed : 

The Jirngs Foundation xi 

(1) The Reverend President Francis Landey Patton, 
I). I)., LL.I)., of the Princeton Theological Seminary, 
whnse lectures on "Obligatory Morality," delivered in 
Lake Forest in May, 1903, are being revised and enlarged 
by the author and will be published in due time by the 
Trustees of the Bross Fund ; 

(2) The Reverend Professor Marcus Dods, D.D., of 
New College, Edinburgh, whose lectures on " The Bible : 
Its Origin and Nature," delivered in May, 1904, have 
already been published as a volume of the Bross Library. 

B. The second method for securing books for the Bross 
Library is as follows : 

One or more premiums or prizes are to be offered dur- 
ing each decade, the competition for which was to be 
thrown open to " the scientific men, the Christian philoso- 
phers and historians of all nations." 

Accordingly, in 1902, a prize of Six Thousand Dollars 
($6,000) was offered for the best book fulfilling any of 
the purposes described in the foregoing extracts from the 
Trust Agreement, the manuscripts to be presented on or 
before June 1, 1905. 

The following were appointed a Committee of Judges to 
make the award : the Reverend George Trumbull Ladd, 
D.D., LL.D., Professor of Moral Philosophy, Yale Uni- 
versity; Alexander Thomas Ormond, Ph.D., LL.D., 
Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University, and the 
Reverend George Frederick Wright, D.D., LL.D., Pro- 
fessor of the Harmony of Science and Revelation, Oberlin 

The authorship of the various essays was not known 
to the judges until after the award was made, the under- 
signed having been the custodian of the sealed envelopes 

xii The Bross Foundation 

containing the names of the writers of the respective 

The Committee of Judges has unanimously awarded the 
Bross Prize of 1905 to the essay entitled " The Problem 
of the Old Testament," which is now issued as Volume 
III of the Bross Library. 

The next Bross prize will be offered about 1915, and 
will be announced in due time by the Trustees of the Bross 

The Trust Agreement requires that once in every thirty 
or fifty years (according as the Trustees of the fund may 
decide at the time) the entire sum of simple interest accu- 
mulated during the previous decade is to be offered as a 
single premium or prize for a competition similar to the 
one which has just been completed. 


President of Lake Forest College. 
NOVEMBER, 1905. 


THX thanks of the author are due, in the first place, 
to the Trustees of Lake Forest College, and to the ad- 
judicators acting on their behalf, who, in their generosity, 
have awarded to this book the munificent prize at their dis- 
posal from the Bross Fund. It is right, however, to say, 
that, although the present volume has been so'fortunate as to 
obtain the Bross Prize, it was not for the Bross Prize, or 
with thought or knowledge of the same, that the book was 
written. But for a long-standing promise to the English 
publishers, it is doubtful if it ever would have been written 
at all The book was sent to press in the beginning of 
this year, and the delay in its publication has been due 
principally to the afterthought of submitting it in proof to 
the judgment of the Bross Prize arbiters. The author is 
deeply sensible of the courtesy of the publishers in so 
readily meeting his wishes in this matter at inconvenience 
to themselves. 

The book in one sense is not new, but represents, as 
will probably be evident from its perusal, the gathering 
up of thought, reading, and formation of opinion on its 
subject, going as far back as the days of the old Colenso 
and Samuel Davidson controversies, and of the appearance 

of Grafs work in 1866, when the author's interest in these 



questions was first thoroughly aroused an interest which 
has never since flagged. Much water had flowed under 
the bridge in the interval, and the author entered on the 
task of putting his book into shape with many misgivings. 
Still, now that the work is done, and apart altogether from 
the material reward which has so unexpectedly come to 
him, he does not regret having undertaken it. The time 
is past when the discussion of Old Testament questions 
can be left wholly to professional experts, who represent 
one, but only one, of the many points of view necessary to 
be taken into account in considering this subject. The 
conclusions of the critics, of whom personally the author 
would speak only with respect, force themselves on every- 
one's attention, and it is a matter, no longer of choice, but 
of necessity, to pay regard to their opinions. Especially 
for one engaged in the teaching of theology, in whatever 
department, it is absolutely indispensable to possess some 
acquaintance with the methods and results of Old Testa- 
ment study, and to try to come to some understanding with 
himself in regard to the theories of Old Testament religion 
and literature which he finds prevailing around him. The 
judgment of such an one may not be of the highest value ; 
but, if it is his own, and has been reached at the cost of 
prolonged thought and study, the expression of it, and the 
exhibition of the grounds on which it rests, may not be 
without help to others working their way through similar 

The standpoint of the present book can be readily 
understood from a survey of the Table of Contents, or from 
reading the sketch of its scope at the close of the first 
chapter. Those who expect to find in it a wholesale 
denunciation of critics and of everything that savours of 


criticism will be disappointed. The author is not of the 
opinion that much good is accomplished by the violent and 
^discriminating assaults on the critics sometimes indulged 
in by very excellent men. The case which the critics 
present must be met in a calm, temperate, aud scholarly 
way, if it is to be dealt with to the satisfaction of thought- 
ful Christian people. On the other hand, those who come 
to the book expecting to find in it agreement with the 
methods and results of the reigning critical schools will 
probably be not less disappointed. The author has here 
no option. With the best will in the world to accept 
whatever new light criticism may have to throw on the 
structure and meaning of the Old Testament, he has to 
confess that his study of the critical developments now 
for over thirty years has increasingly convinced him that, 
while Biblical students are indebted to the critics, and to 
Old Testament science generally, for valuable help, the 
Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis now in the ascendant is, 
neither in its methods nor in its results, entitled to the un- 
qualified confidence often claimed for it. He is persuaded, 
on the contrary, that it rests on erroneous fundamental 
principles, is eaten through with subjectivity, and must, 
if carried out to its logical issues to which, happily, 
very many do not carry it prove subversive of our 
Christian faith, and of such belief in, and use of, the 
Bible as alone can meet the needs of the living Church. 
Only, if this is to be shown, it must, as far as one's 
knowledge enables him to do it, be done thoroughly, 
and with due regard for all really critically-ascertained 

Being designed specially for an English-reading public, 
the book is purposely cast in a form as little technical as 


the nature of the subject permits. Hebrew words and minute 
philological discussions are, as a rule, avoided, and where 
English translations of foreign books exist, references are 
usually made to these. The customary form of the divine 
name, " Jehovah," is retained ; but in quotations authors 
have been allowed to use their own various spellings of the 
name. If, throughout, a seemingly disproportionate space 
is given to German writers, this is simply due to the 
fact that at least nine-tenths of the " Higher-Critical " 
theories now in vogue had their origin and elaboration in 
Germany, and in Britain and America are largely of the 
nature of importations. One early learns that, if these 
theories are to be dealt with satisfactorily, it can only be 
by going at first hand to the sources tapping the stream, 
as it were, at the fountain-head. At the same time the 
Indexes will show that representative writers of English- 
speaking countries, of different schools, have by no means 
been overlooked. 

In so immense a field, it is hardly necessary to say that 
no attempt whatever is made at a complete or exhaustive 
treatment of Old Testament questions. That would have 
been impossible in the space, even had the author possessed 
the knowledge or ability qualifying him to undertake it. 
Some aspects of the Old Testament the Wisdom Litera- 
ture, for example have had to be left altogether untouched. 
The idea has been, as far as practicable, to concentrate 
attention on really crucial points, and to make these 
the pivots on which the discussion of other questions turns 
(see Appendix to first chapter). In handling so large a 
mass of material, and copying and re-copying so many 
references, it is inevitable that, with the utmost care, slips 
and mistakes should occur. The author can only hope 


that these will not prove in any case to be of such magni- 
tude as seriously to affect the main argument. 

Since the book went to press in the spring, no small 
amount of literature has appeared to which it would be 
interesting to refer. Allusion may here only be made to 
the appearance of a valuable work by Professor W. Lotz, of 
Erlangen, entitled Das Alte Testament und die Wissenschaft, 
with which, in parts, the treatment in these pages may be 
compared. It would be endless to specify articles and 
pamphlets. Professor James Robertson, of Glasgow, has 
contributed to the May and June numbers of the periodical 
Good Words two interesting papers on " The Beginnings 
of Hebrew History and Religion " ; and Professor R D. 
Wilson, of Princeton, has completed in July and October 
his valuable articles on " Royal Titles " in the Princeton 
Theological Review. The October article is specially devoted 
to the statements of Dr. Driver on the use of royal titles 
in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Three papers 
by Professors Driver and Kirkpatrick on The Higher 
Criticism, have been published, aiming at the removal of 
misconceptions. In his Itiblische Theologie des Alien Testa- 
ments Stade has re-stated his views on the religion of Israel 
in more systematic form. 

With these remarks, the book must be left to its own 
mission. The author entertains no over-sanguine expecta- 
tions as to its effect on general conviction, but he is not 
without hope that it may at least rouse to reflection some 
who have given too easy an assent to current theories, 
simply because they are the theories of the hour. He has 
no wish to be ultra-dogmatic on any point Time may 
not justify all his conclusions ; but he has the strong per- 
suasion that, when the day for summing-up comes if 

xviii PREFACE 

ever such arrives the positions into which men's minds 
will be disposed to settle will be found much nearer those 
advocated in these pages than they will be to those of the 
advanced Wellhausen school. The future will show. 

The volume, it will be observed, has been amply fitted 
with Tables of Contents, Indexes, and cross-references in 
footnotes. These should make the task of consulting its 
pages comparatively easy, and should lighten somewhat 
the impression of abstruseness created by certain of its 
chapters. The author's thanks are specially due to the 
Rev. J. M. Wilson, B.D., Highbury, London, and to George 
Hunter, Esq., Glasgow, for valuable aid in the correction 
of the proofs. 

GLASGOW, October 1906, 



What is the Old Testament 1 

Problem of the Old Testament : relation to criticism. 


How are we to conceive of the religion 1 natural or supernatural ? 
How are we to conceive of the literature I age, authorship, trust- 
worthiness, etc. 

Dependence in part of the second question on the first. 
Popular view of the subject : distrust of " Higher Criticism." 
Need for discrimination of issues. 
The question not simply one between "Higher Critics" and 

"Non-Higher Critics." . 

Deeper issue : the supernatural in the religion of Israel. 
Division on this subject among critics. 
Gains from critical movement. 

Place of religion of Israel among historical religions. 

Its claim to a special divine origin. 
Kuenen and the "modern " school of criticism. 

Israel's religion "nothing less, but also nothing more," than 
other religions. 

Denial of supernatural in history and prophecy. 

"Natural development" alone recognised. 
Petitio jrrindjrii involved in this position. 

Facts of religion and history to be impartially examined. 

Importance of true guiding principles. 

A case of competing interpretations of Old Testament. 

Ultimate test in fitness to meet the facts. 



Interest of Christian faith in literary questions. 

Belief in supernatural not necessarily bound up with questions of 

dates and authorship. 

Yet close connection between critical premises and critical results. 
Critical theories have scientific value. 
Yet mainly elaborated in rationalistic workshops. 

Rationalistic ' ' set " of German criticism. 
Rationalistic basis of Wellhausen theory. 

Its temporary popularity. 
Improbability that a theory evolved from this basis can be 

adequate for Christian faith. 
In this connection dates, etc., not unimportant. 
Dates often determined by critical assumptions : used to subvert 

Need of recasting of theories on believing principles. 


Argument that contrast of supernatural and non-supernatural is 

less important than it seems. 

Professor W. R. Smith on high views of the " modern" school. 
Defects of this view of Israel's religion. 
Ambiguity in use of word " revelation." 
Admission of "providential guidance." 
"Revelation" in sense of psychological development 
Dilemma here that revelation leads to belief in supernatural, 

and in direct communications of God to man. 
Christ the touchstone of the supernatural for faith. 
That view of revelation alone adequate which culminates in 

His Person and redemption. 
Sketch of course of subsequent discussion. 



VIEW. Pp. 27-51. 

Place of Old Testament in the economy of revelation. Tendency of purely 

critical study to obscure view of this. 
Right of Old Testament to be heard for itself. 
The Bible a unity. 

Many books, but structurally one. 


Illustration by contrast : "book-religion*.* 

No unity in ethnic Scriptures (Koran, etc.). 
The Bible has an organic character. 

Marked by plan, purpose, progress. 

Unity grows out of religion and history. 

The Bible in two divisions. 
The second the counterpart and completion of the first 

The " Servant " of Isa. liii. : fulfilment in Christ 
Religion of Israel a religion of hope. 

Anticipation of better economy. 
The Messianic idea. 
New Testament realises hopes and promises of the Old. 

This relation inward and vital. 


History dominated by idea of purpose. 
Sketch of development primitive and patriarchal history. 
Mosaic and later history. 
History viewed retrogressively. 
UniqueneM of this. 


The uniqueness generally acknowledged. 
1. Negative side absence of features found in other religions. 

Magir, nature-superstitions, etc. 
S. furtive side fundamental ideas of Israel's religion. 

(1) Monotheism of religion. 
Peculiar to Israel. 

O[>l'<>.-,ite tendency in other religions. 
Underlies the whole of Old Testament 

(2) Developing purpose of grace. 
Sin and grace in Scripture. 

The Bible a " history of redemption." 
Found in no other religion. 

(8) Indissoluble relation between religion and morality. 
General relations of religion and morality. 
Religion of Israel dominated by this idea. 
God as the Holy One. 

Union of religion and morality in psalms and prophets. 
Such a religion not man-originated, 


Modern substitution of psychology for revelation. 
Biblical point of view "Thus saith Jehovah." 

Revelation of God in act and word. 

The Israelite conscious of being possessor and guardian of a special 


Objection all religions claim similar origin. 

Reply No religion has a story of its beginnings like Israel's. 

(1) Monotheism not of natural origin. 

Only three monotheistic religions in world : Judaism, Chris- 
tianity, and Mohammedanism derived from other two. 

(2) Ethical character of Israel's religion not of natural origin. 
Contrast with Egyptian religion. 

Claim to revelation justified. 


If revelation there, questions about date and placing of books of 

minor importance. 

If revelation given reasonable to expect a record. 
Character of Bible shows it is such a record. 
Qualities of Scripture a proof of inspiration. 
Bible realises its own tests of inspiration. 

Christ the goal of Old Testament revelation. 
The illuminating light in its study. 


Pp. 53-81. 

Does scientific criticism overthrow the history of the Old Testament T 
Provisional adoption of critical standpoint. 

Views of radical critics : denial of historicity. 

Patriarchal and Mosaic periods. 

Later historical books. 
Moderate critical positions. 
Grounds of denial. 

Late date of history. 

Rudimentary state of belief. 

Contradictions, etc. 

Non-recognition by radical school. 
Recognition by believing critics. 
Explanation of appearance of teleology 
Reading back of prophetic ideas. 


Refutation of this : 

1. Teleological element not on turfaee of history, but enters into 

it* substance. 

2. Where is the mind capable of inventing it t 


Critical theory of the Hexateuch. 
The Documents JEDP. 
Consideration confined to J and E. 

Theories of age (ninth or eighth century), authorship, relations, 

1. Main result from this theory 

J and E antecede written prophecy. 
Wavering of critics. 

2. Inferences : 

(1) Teleological character an integral part of the tradition. 
Not due to prophetic manipulation. 

(2) Tradition has already developed and settled form. 
Contrast with popular legend. 

(8) Critical theory assumes two histories. 

Independent, yet in substance resembling and parallel 
Hence (1) check on free invention ; (2) proof of settled 
character of tradition. 


1. Tradition must antedate division of kingdom. 
Age of Solomon, David, Samuel. 

2. Critical dates do not fix terminus a quo. 
Critical support for earlier date. 

No good reason for putting late. 

3. Hypothesis of earlier records. 

(1) Support from history of language. 

J and E from "golden age of literature. 1 * 
Necessity of previous cultivation. 

(2) Preceding development of literature. 
Result* as to J and E. 

(3) Critical admission of earlier records. 


1. Now light cost by discovery of age and use of writing, an<i 

development of literature. 
Revolution in ideas : Babylonia, Egypt, Canaan, etc. 

2. Corroborations of data of history. 

Genesis xiv. ; Genesis z. ; life of Joseph, etc. 

3. Witness of Old Testament to early use of writing in Israel. 




Critical reconstruction of the history. 

The critical presupposition and its results. 
Naturalness of the Biblical view on its own presuppositions. 
Meaning of "history" in the Bible. 
Patriarchal history as carefully preserved tradition. 

Prevalence of this theory : its grounds. 

1. Names of the patriarchs not individual, but tribal. 
This only partially true : examination of names. 
Difficulties in case of Abraham. 

2. Forms of Scripture genealogies. 
Ethnographic genealogies (Genesis x.). 
Bnt family genealogies also. 

No biographies of "Mizraim," "Ludim," etc. 
8. Assumed law of growth of societies. 

Views of Stade, etc. 

Lack of proof of this " law." 

Maine on Patriarchal theory of Society. 
Peculiarity of call and destiny in Israel. 
Patriarchs loth persons and progenitors. 


Argument as to religion postponed. 
Dillmann on patriarchal religion. 
Minimising of later testimony to patriarchs. 

1. Application of critical method to prophetic passages. 

H. P. Smith ; Wellhausen. 
Disproof of their assertions. 

2. Positive evidence in later literature 

The prophets. 
The JE history. 
Book of Deuteronomy. 


1. Belittling of testimony to Moses as lawgiver. 
Carpenter on prophetic references. 
Moses in Book of Deuteronomy. 
In JE history. 
History to be taken as a hole. 


3. The Exodus ami Red Sea deliverance. 

If ever happened, impossible should he forgotten. 

Indelibility of national recollection. 
Testimony of literature. 

Song of Miriam ; historical books ; prophets, 

Kautzach on historicity of Exodus. 
No tenable rival theory. 

Unexplained how Israelites did leave Egypt. 

" Escape " hypothesis impossible. 


Value of internal evidence of truthfulness. 
Application to patriarchal history. 

1. Credibility of narratives as a whole. 

Dr. Driver's testimony. 

Sobriety and spariugness of miracle in Genesis. 

Contrast with period of Exodus. 

2. Unity of picture of patriarchs in different sources. 

Wellhausen's statements on this point. 
Interdependence of sources. 

Illustrations from narrative. 

8. Character of Abraham a guarantee of historicity. 
General grandeur of character. 
His place in revelation. 
Contrast with later fables. 

Primitive character and simplicity of ideas. 

1. History moves in primitive conditions. 

Free life of patriarchs : primitive ideas. 
Alleged mirroring of later political events. 
Gunkel in disproof of this. 

2. Primitive character of religious ideas and/orm* of worship. 
Prayer and sacrifice ; burnt offering, etc. 

Objective character of revelation. 

The theophany : "Angel of Jehovah." 

Undeveloped character of doctrine of angels. 

But "Angel of Jehovah" peculiar form of revelation in 
earliest age. 

Identification with Jehovah. 

8. Idea of God appropriate to this stage of revelation. 
The names of God in Genesis : El, Elohim, El ShaddsL 

Contrast with name "Jehovah." 

Use of Jehovah in Genesis. 
The divine character and attributes. 

Absence of terms "holy," "righteousness," "wrath," ete. 


4. Ethical conceptions of the patriarchs mark lower stage. 

Marriage of sisters, etc. 

Weaker sense of sin. 

Contrast with prophets. 

Advance in Book of Exodus in both religious and ethical 

Grander scale of history in this book ; deeper ideas, etc. 

Greatness of Mosaic era. 

Vividness of narratives. 
Unity of representation of Moses and Aaron. 


Pp. 117-147. 

Critical treatment of problems of religion. 


Rejection of history we have, and substitution for it of imaginary 


E.g., Budde on Yahweh ; his admissions. 
A priori rejection of Second Commandment. 
Failure of criticism to abide by its own assumptions. 

E.g., Jephthah ; David ; golden calf, etc. 
More systematic inquiry. 


1. Biblical representation Israel from first monotheistic. 

Inability of people to maintain this standpoint. 

Belief in inferior gods. 
Religion itself based on belief in one true God. 

Genesis a monotheistic book. 

Jehovah in Exodus a supreme God. 
This not contradicted by "anthropomorphisms." 

2. Views of evolutionary critical school. 
Early monotheism rejected. 
Religion begins with polytheism. 

Yahweh a tribal God. 
Theories of early religion in Israel : 
Moloch theory (Kuenen). 
Polydetnonism (Kautzsch). 
Kenite theory (Budde). 
Superstitious elements ; fetishism, etc. 


Grounds of critical theory : 

(1) Old Testament conception of God too derated for patriarchal 

and Mosaic tiroes. 

Alleged dependence of monotheism on ideas of the world 
and of humanity. 

Fallacy of this ; Israel early in contact with high civilisa- 

High views of God in older religions. 

Views of other Old Testament scholars. 

Witness of Decalogue. 

(2) Examination of Kenite theory. 
Yahweh a new god to Israel. 

The storm-god of Sinai. 
Moses among Kenites Song of Deborah. 
Reply : Jehovah the God of the fathers. 
Yahweh not a Kenite deity. 
Not proved by Song of Deborah. 
Stade's admissions of universality of Tahweh. 
Sublimity of Song of Deborah. 
(8) Proof from special passages : 

Jephthah's words on Chemosh 

Not conclusive for Israelitish view. 
David "driven" from Jehovah's inheritance Well- 

hausen, etc. 

No idea of serving gods other than Jehovah anywhere. 
Comparison with Deuteronomy. 
" Ethical monotheism " not a creation of the prophets. 
Prophets all assume knowledge of one true God. 


Theories of fetishism, animism, ancestor-worship, etc. 
Contrast with Biblical view. 

Patriarchal and Mosaic periods. 
Bible on face of it does not support these theories. 
Examination of particulars : 

1. Theory of sanctuaries. 

Biblical view of origin of sanctuaries (Bethel, etc.). 
Critical view old Canaanitish shrines. 

Patriarchal legends an aftergrowth. 

Proof only by rejection of Biblical histories. 

2. Aneettor worship. 

Stade's theory and " proofs." 

"Graves" of patriarchs, etc. 

Mourning customs, etc. 
Bndde and Addis on ancestor-worship. 
Baselessness of theory. 

xxviii CONTENTS 

8. Animism sacred wells and trees. 

" Wells" in patriarchal history but for water. 
" Trees " but God not thought of as in them. 

W. B. Smith on sacred trees. 
" Asherahs" but idolatrous. 

4. Fetishism and stone-uoorship. 
' ' Ark " alleged to be fetish. 

Sacred stones in ark (meteorites). 
H. P. Smith, etc. 
Sacred "pillars" (mafcebai). 
Jacob at Bethel. 

No class of stones called " Bethels.* 
God not thought of as in stone. 
Memorial pillars (Dillmann, etc.). 
The prophets and matftbas. 

5. Totemism. 

Alleged belief in descent of tribes from animals. 

Animal names, etc. 

Bearings on sacrifice. 
Theory not generally accepted. 

6. Human sacrifice. 
Connection with Moloch theory. 

Other evidences secondary. 
Case of daughter of Jephthah. 

Interpretation of incident. 

No proof of general custom. 

Attitude of prophets to human sacrifice. 

Second Commandment denied to Moses. 
Positive assertion of worship of Yahweh by images. 
Alleged antiquity of bull-worship. 
Examination of evidence : 

1. No evidence in older history. 

Not in Genesis case of " teraphim." 
Not in Mosaic history 

Golden calf a breach of covenant. 

2. State of religion under Judges. 
Lapse into Canaanitish idolatry. 

Little evidence of image-worship of Jehovah. 
Case of Gideon 

Not proved that his "ephod" was an image of Jehovah. 

No proof that it was image of a bull. 

No proof that bull-worship was general. 
Case of Micah and Danites. 

Real instance of idolatrous worship of Jehovah. 

Not proof of rule in Israel. 

Micah at first without images. 


8. Calf-worship of Northern Kingdom. 
Assumed revival of ancient usage. 

But why need " revival " t 
Theory disproved by nilrnce of earlier history. 

No trace in age of Samuel or David. 

Absence of image in temple. 
Alleged absence of protest in prophet*. 

Strong protest in Hoeea. 

But also in Amos. 

Elijah's conflict with " Baal-worship "not with calves. 

Incredibility of his approval of calf- worship. 

Threatens Ahab with doom of Jeroboam. 
Conclusion Biblical view still valid. 


HOOD, ETC. Pp. 149-180. 

Dependence of criticism on view taken of laws and institutions. 
Difficulty of critics on this point. 

Name of Moses given to all laws, yet all laws withheld from him. 
1. Relation of Moses to Decaloyue and Book of Covenant. 
Grounds of denial of Decalogue to Moses. 
So-called second Decalogue in Ex. xxxiv. 
Baselessness of this. 
Decalogue gives probability to Mosaic origin of laws in Book 

of Covenant. 
Antecedent probability of legislation. 


Denial of belief in Mosaic or divine origin of sacrificial law before 

1. Assertion that P writer "knows nothing" of sacrifice before Moses. 

2. Sacrifice in prophetic age not merely " traditional usage." 
8. Prophetic denunciations of outward ritual. 

Real meaning of these. 

Recognition of divine sanction of ordinances. 
4. Admissions of Kuenen, Smend, etc. 
Incredible that, in settling constitution, MUMS should give no 

religious ordinances. 
Special institutions. 



Critical theory of the ark ; contradicted by facts. 

1. The making of the ark. 

An old ark admitted : alleged JE account of making. 
Agreement of Deut. x. 1-5 with P account. 

2. Subsequent history of the ark. 
Notices regarding name, structure, uses. 
These not discrepant with P. 

The ark aud Levites : H. P. Smith. 

3. Relation of ark to Solomonic temple. 
Solomonic ark was the old ark. 

P's description, if taken from Solomonic ark, would agree with 

old ark. 
Neglect of ark in pre-Davidic time : lesson of this. 


Initial objection to splendour of tabernacle. 

1. Admission that tabernacle of some kind existed. 

Nature of tabernacle : Grafs views. 
Alleged distinction from tabernacle of the law. 
The " tent of meeting" in JE Ex. xxxiii. 7. 
Supposed contrasts. 

2. Place of the tabernacle. 

View that JE tent outside of camp ; P tabernacle in midst of 


Examination of cases : Num. xi., xii. 
Indications that JE tabernacle also within the camp. 

3. Use of the tabernacle. 

View that JE tent a place of revelation ; P tabernacle a place of 


But (1) P tabernacle also a place of revelation. 
Resemblances of JE and P tabernacles. 

(2) And JE tabernacle a place of worship. 
Notices till time of Judges. 
The ark at Shiloh : centre for "all Israel." 
Objection that Shiloh sanctuary a "temple" still, however, a 

Also that Samuel slept in chamber of ark. 

Groundlessness of this. 
The Levitical dues. 
Subsequent fortunes of tabernacle. 


Wellhausen on centralisation of cnltus in Deuteronomy. 

Alleged relation to Ex. xx. 24 (JE) and to P. 
Need of more careful scrutiny of facts. 


1. The fundamental law in Ex. zz. 24. 
Professor W. R. Smith on freedom of worship. 
Law does not give unrestricted liberty. 

"Recording" of Ood'a name covers cases of special revelation 
(Gideon, Hanoah, etc.). 

2. Unity of sanctuary the ideal for Israel from beginning. 

"An altar" in fundamental law. 

One " house of God " in Book of Covenant. 

One sanctuary in wilderness, 

The altar Ed in Josh. zxii. 

Worship at one centre in Judges. 

3. Deuteronomy does not demand immediate realisation of the law 

of unity. 

Postponement of full realisation till land had " rest." 
Settled state first with David and Solomon. 

4. Allowance necessary for irregularities in times of unsettlement 

and disorganisation. 
Period of confusion specially after capture of ark "a religious 


Samuel's relation to worship. 
Spirit of law above its letter. 

5. Religions attitude to " high places." 
Paucity of early notices. 

Worship till Solomon mainly to Jehovah. 
Idolatry in later reigns. 
Attitude of prophets to "high places." 

A Levitical priesthood attested, but further questions. 

1. Was the priesthood Aaronit t 
Wellhausen's theo risings on tribe of Levi. 

Denial of Aaronic " high priest " before exile. 
Testimony to Aaronic priesthood Aaron to Eli. 
" High priest" seldom in Priestly Code. 

2. Priests and Levitts. 

Alleged conflict of PC with Deuteronomy and early practice. 
A relative contrast granted. 

(1) Examination of phraseology. 

"The priests the Levites " in earlier history. 

" Priests and Levitas " not in law. 

" Levitas " used also in wide sense in P. 

" Sons of Aaron " in PC not a universal designation, and 

disap|ieara later. 

Change in designation with choice of tribe of Levi. 
Nomenclature follows fact. 

(2) Functions of priesthood attributed to whole tribt of Levi 

in Deuteronomy. 
Even Urim and Thummim of priesthood. 


Nevertheless traces of distinction of orders. 
All " Levites" not " priests." 
Aaronic priesthood recognised. 
Priests and Levites not identical in Deut. zviii. 1-8. 
Terms for service applicable to both classes. 
(8) Position of Levitts in Deuteronomy and in history. 
Alleged contradiction with PC. 
Legal provision for Levites, however, not ignored in 

Needy condition of Levites in accordance with situation before 

settled conditions. 
Levites in later times. 
(4) Scant notices of Levites in history. 
Samuel as Levite. 
Wellhausen and W. E. Smith on Samuel as "priest." 

Groundlessness of this view (1) the ephod ; (2) the mantle. 


PRIESTS AND LEVITES (Dr. Driver on "ministering" and "standing" 
before Jehovah). Pp. 191, 192. 


New problem validity of critical theory of documents. 
Criticism brings to light real phenomena. 


1. Astruc: Elohistic and Jehovistic documents. 

2. Eichhom : literary peculiarities in documents. 
8. De Wette : problem of Deuteronomy. 

4. Hupfeld : separation of 2nd Elohist. 
6. The Qraf revolution : the law post-exilian. 
Theories of relation of sources. 

Fragmentary supplementary documentary. 

Points of agreement among critics. 
Wide divergences in detail. 

Eantzsch and Kuenen on lack of agreement. 
Justification of doubts as to soundness of principles. 

CONTENTS xxxiii 

1. Cm/Kelt of opinion in critical school*. 
Hypothetical character of JEDP. 

Lack of agreement as to dates, relations, priority. 

2. Excessive multiplication of sources. 

Serial Js, Es, Ps, Ba. 

This a necessity of theory (Ptolemaio epicycles). 
Bnt creates insoluble complications. 
S. Resolution o/JEP, etc., into "schools." 

Impossibility of longer insisting on minute criteria. 
Effect on questions of date. 
Contradicted by unity of book. 


1. Place of origin, with bearings on age. 

E Ephraimitio (interest in sacred places, etc.) J Judean. 
Grounds inadequate for this distinction. 

(1) J also placed by leading critics in Northern Israel. 

(2) False assumptions of motive. 

Gunkel and Kuenen deny party-tendency. 

(8) Narratives do not bear out preference for North and South. 

J interested in Northern localities ; E in South. 

Critics on " tone " of E. 
(4) Strained interpretation of incident*. 
Bethel, Beersheba, etc. 

2. Extent of documents. 

Admitted difficulty in distinction after Genesis. 
Are J and E found in Judges, Samuel, etc. f 
Case of Joshua : PenlaUuch or HeiaUwh t 
Cornill, etc., on distinctness of Joshua. 
Differences in language, structure, etc. 

Wellhausen, etc. , deny J in Joshua. 

Difficulties with E and P. 

Stylistic difficulties. 

Samaritan Joshua : balance against Hexatench. 


1. No proof that E ever was distinct document. 

Intermittent, fragmentary character of E. 

2. Unity supported by thoroughly parallel character of narratives. 

Critical testimonies on parallelism. 

3. Stylistic resemblance of J and E. 

Dr. Driver on resemblance. 

4. Fusion and interrelation of narratives. 

Union " bewilderingly close." 
Narratives closely interconnected. 
The "omission" theory. 


5. Violent expedients needed to make hypothesis workable. 
Place and functions of "redactor." 
Peculiarities of redactor. 


1. A see rtainment of fact*. 

These less simple than supposed. 

(1) " Elohim " in admitted J passages. 

(2) " Jehovah " in E passages. 

(3) Kuenen's admissions on discrimination. 

2. Explanation of facts. 

(1) Theory of distinct sources loaded with difficulties. 
Older sources not denied, but these not J and E. 

(2) Hypothesis of discrimination : lias true elements in it 
Cessation of " Elohim " in E with Exodus iii. 
Difficulties of critical explanation. 

Revelation of Jehovah in Exodus vi. true meaning of 

P avoids "Jehovah" till Exodus vi ; two stages of 

Explanation inadequate for JE. 

(3) Possibility of change in text. 

Examples of this ; E's usage after Exodus iii. 
Double names in Genesis ii., iii. 
Usage of LXX in Genesis. 
Outstanding case : phenomena of Psalter. 
Klostermann's theory of Jehovistic and Elohistic recensions 
of one work. 


Illusory character of these. 

1. Linguistic peculiarities. 
Typical cases examined. 

2. Mode of representation in E. 
The " dream " criterion 
Angel calling "out of heaven." 

Partition tested by Gen. xxii. and Gen. xxviii. 10 ff. 
Unity of narratives. 
Significant use of divine names. 
8. ' ' Duplicate " narratives. 

General principles affecting these. 

Bethel Joseph Hagar, etc. 
Test case : denial of wives by Abraham and Isaac. 

(1) Three narratives two in J. 
Critical disintegration processes. 

(2) Use of divine names : exaggerations, etc. 
Difficulties of analysis. 


(8) Difference* in narrative*. 

Probably represent genuinely distinct traditions. 
Abraham's action a result of settled policy. 
Later narrative refers to earlier. 




Place of Deuteronomy in critical theory. 

Contents of Deuteronomy. 
Critical theory of origin : age of Josiah. 
Consequences of view of late date. 
Doubts as to soundness of critical view 

From course of criticism itself. 

From enormous difficulties of hypothesis. 


1. Unity of thought and style in the book. 

Allowance for redaction. 

Older critics held "unity " as indubitable. 
Critical disintegration of the book. 

Conflicting views: Wellhausen, Kuenen, Carpenter, etc. 

a "dissolving view." 
Dr. Driver on unity of style. 

2. Relation of ityie to that of other Pentateuch source*. 
Delitzsch on style of Moses " Jehovistic-Deuteronomic." 
Affinities with Deuteronomy in P (Lev. zxvi., etc.). 
Affinities of Deuteronomy with JE. 

Rook of Covenant ; Genesis, etc. 
Affinities with Deuteronomy in later books. 

" Pre-Deuteronomic " passages. 
Decrease of Deuteronomic influence as history advances. 


Presuppositions of criticism on date. 

Relation to age of JE. 
1. The finding of " tht book of tlu law " in Jonah's reign. 

Narrative of discovery. 


(1) Plainly believed to be discovery of an old book. 

All concerned believed book to be Mosaic. 
Difficulties of opposite hypothesis. 

(2) Theory of " fraud " in production of the book. 

This the view of leading critics (Wellhausen, etc.). 
Supposition morally condemnable and historically un- 

(3) Assumed earlier date under Manasseh or Hezekiah. 

Disadvantages of this view ; guiding principle lost 
Euenen's "fatal" objection. 

(4) Did the book originate with prophets or priests 1 

Priests (Euenen) ; prophets (Eautzsch, etc.). 
Difficulties of both views. 

2. Testimony of book to its own origin. 
Apparently clear claim to Mosaic authorship. 

Not whole Pentateuch. 

But not code (chaps, xii.-xxvi.) only. 

Theory of a "free reproduction" of written discourses of Moses 
(Delitzsch, etc.). 

Admissibility of this view. 

But Citibonot 

If Moses wrote, a literary "double" not called for. 

Literary capabilities of Moses. 

Real ground of objection belief in non-historicity of Mosaic 

3. Internal character of book. 
Minimising of difficulties here. 

Book and history do not fit each other. 

(1) Josiah not moved primarily by idea of centralising 


His reformation directed against idolatry. 
Deuteronomy not aimed directly at " high places." 
Even in Deuteronomy centralisation of worship not an 

all-dominating idea. 

(2) Problem of miscellaneous laws in a book composed to 

effect reform of worship. 

Incongruity and irrelevancy of many of the laws. 
Israel an unbroken unity. 
Obsolete and unsuitable laws. 
Deuteronomic law of death for idolatry not put in force 

by Josiah. 
Theory of Levites as " disestablished priests." 



Real ground with many : altered view of Moses and his age. 
Importance of question of date : results for JE and P. 

CONTENTS xxxvii 

1. Extensive rancetsians of critical writers as to Mosaic basis. 
Oettli and Driver on relation to older laws. 

Only " real innovation " the centralisation of worship (Keuss). 
This the fundamental pillar of hypothesis. 
Results of previous investigations on the point. 

2. Subordinate importance of other arguments. 

(1) Alleged discrepancies in laws. 

Former results on Aaronic priesthood and Levites. 
Reproduction of laws of Book of Covenant. 
Freedom in reiteration and enforcement. 
Tithe-laws as illustration of discrepancies. 

Apparent conflict with Numbers. 

But law of Numbers also recognised. 

Possible lines of solution. 

Difficulties of critical alternative. 
Minor discrepancies. 

(2) Alleged historical discrepancies. 

Inconsistencies in book itself : critical explanations of these. 
Admitted general fidelity to J E history. 
Is P also used T Critical denial. 

Instances proving a certain use. 
Examples of " contradictions " : 

Appointment of judges : sending the spies. 

Ground and time of prohibition to Moses to enter Canaan. 

Joshua and the mission of the spies. 

Dathan and Abiram (Korah omitted). 

Aaron's death. 

Cities of refuge. 
(8) Expressions thought to imply post-Mosaic date. 

E.g., " Other side of Jordan " (standpoint western). 

Double usage of phrase in Deuteronomy and Numbers. 
Summary of conclusions on Deuteronomy. 



I. THE CODE. Pp. 285-329. 
The Graf revolution in Pentateuchal theory. 

The Levitical legislation exilian or later. 
Everything in code not absolutely new. 
But now for first time written, and largely developed. 
Thrown back into Mosaic age. 
Idea of code from Ezekiel. 
History invented to suit the cod*. 

xxxviii CONTENTS 

Introduction of Pentateuch by Ezra in 444 B.C. 
Differences in school as to extent of Ezra's law. 
Theory of later developments, etc. 
Hypothesis loaded with difficulties. 


1. The moral issue involved. 

Deliberate design of passing off code as Mosaic. 
Not a work of mere "codification." 
Alleged custom of ascribing all laws to Moses. 
Comparison with mediaeval Isidorian Decretals. 
Inconsistent with moral standard of prophets, etc. 

2. The historical incredibility. 

Assuming the law concocted, how did it get accepted ! 
Narrative of reading of law in Neh. viii. 

The transaction bond fide. 

No suspicion of a new origin of law. 

Classes most affected made no protest. 

Parts of law already in operation at first return (priests and 
Levites, etc.). 

3. Unsuitability of code to situation. 

Not adapted to the conditions of the return. 

Its Mosaic dress tabernacle, wilderness, etc. 

Deviations by Nehemiah from Levitical rules. 

Unsuitability of the tithe-laws, etc. 
A temple-organisation at return, of which code knows nothing. 


Positive grounds of theory : lines of reply. 
Precarious character of argument from silence. 

1. Inconclusiveness of argument shown from critical admissions. 
Allowed that materially a large part of the legislation in 

operation before the exile. 
Driver on " pre-existing temple usage." 
Critical distinction of " praxis " and " code." 
If praxis existed consistently with history, so might code. 
Improbability that no written law existed regulating practice. 

2. Wide scope of this "pre-existing usage " : bearings on law. 

How much presupposed in existence of temple, priesthood, 

cultus, sacrifices, feasts, etc. 
Wellhausen's large admissions on cultus. 
Silence of history on "feasts," etc. 
8. Theory tested in case of Levites. 

MostjK<-exilian books as silent about Levites as jwe-exilian. 
E.g., II. Isaiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Psalter. 
Silence even in Leviticus (one exception). 

CONTEN 7 TS xxxix 

Silence in New Testament 

Scant allusion in Gospels and Acts : silence in Hebrews. 
Application to day of atonement. 

Here also port-exilian books as silent as ^re-exilian. 
Earliest notice in Joseph us. 

No notice in rest of New Testament : yet observance prored 
by Hebrews. 

Testimony of history to institutions (Chap. VI.). 

1. Relation of Ezekiel to priestly laws. 
Ezekiel's sketch of restored temple. 
Theory that Priestly Code based on Ezekiel. 
Proof that Ezekiel presupposes priestly legislation. 

Saturated with ideas of law. 
"Statutes and judgments." 

2. Nearer determination priority of "Law of Holiness" (Ley. 

xviL-xxvi.) to Ezekiel. 
Admitted relation of this law to Ezekiel. 
Theory of Graf, etc., that Ezekiel was author of liw. 
Theory of Euenen that law "imitates" Ezekiel. 
Only satisfactory view that Ezekiel uses the law. 
Dr. Driver's agreement with this view. 
Conclusions: (1) Priestly law before the exile ; (2) Large vista 

opened of extent of written law. 
8. Levitical laws presupposed in Deuteronomy. 
Denial of this by critics. 
Dr. Driver's admissions on the subject. 
Views of Dillmann, Biehm, Kittel, etc., on dependence of 

Deuteronomy on priestly laws. 
Leading examples in proof of such dependence. 
But Deuteronomy, on other hand, not reflected in Priestly Code. 
Latter therefore older. 


1. Ezekiel -theory of origin of distinction of priests and LeviUs. 

Levites degraded idolatrous priests (Ezek. xliv.). 
Untenable assumptions of this theory. 
Not proved from Ezekiel : 

(1) Eztikiel presupposes older law in his denunciations of ministry 

of uncircumcised. . 

(2) His code purely ideal : its degradation never carried out. 

(3) Inconsistency of Ezekiel's regulations with those of Priestly 


(4) The people received the latter aa in accordance with their own 

recollections and tradition*. 

2. Critical theory of other institutions. 

Kg., (1) The/out* of the law. 


The three feasts recognised from the beginning as national 

Passover from first connected with Exodus. 

Agricultural view of passover in Lev. xxiii. & priestly law. 
Wellhausen's theory of passover. 
Historical notices of feasts. 

(2) Sin and trespass offerings. 

Ezekiel presupposes these as well-known. 
References in Ps. xl. and in prophets and history. 

(3) The altar of incense. 

8. Incidental references to law in history and prophet*. 

Critical date of Joel : Joel's prophecy implies law. 

But not more than Isaiah and other prophets. 
Cultus and feasts in Isaiah, etc. 

Written laws assumed : Hos. viii. 12. 

Previous proofs from history. 

Unique character of Levitical law. 
If not post-exilian when ! 

Mediating view of Dillmann, Noldeke (age of kings), etc. 

Untenableness of this view : " passive existence " of laws. 

Service of Wellhausen theory in eliminating this view. 
No halting-place between a post-exilian and an early origin. 

This involves substantially Mosaic origin of laws. 

Redaction of code probably early. 


Pp. 831-877. 

Critical stages in history of opinion on this document. 
Compass of writing age independence unity. 

The P style distinct from that of JE. 

Its peculiarities. 
Limitations of this difference. 

Vocabulary other alleged marks of P. 

1. P formerly regarded as a connected narrative from a single pen. 
Change with rise of idea of "school," etc. 

Later writers " imitate " earlier. 
Effects on conception of unity of P. 


Different relations of P to JE : 

(1) in Genesis, (2) in middle books, (S) in Joshua. 
2. Is P an independent document T 

Denial by Graf logical grounds of his denial. 
Independence disproved by character of writing. 

(1) The structure of P adverse to view of independence. 
The alleged " completeness " of the history. 

This not borne out by facts. 
Document scanty, fragmentary, unequal. 
Its narratives presuppose JE. 
Large hiatuses in lives of patriarchs. 
Theory of "omissions" ; its inadequacy. 

(2) Relations to JE in subject-matter disprove independence. 
Parts lacking in P supplied in JE, and vice versa. 

P narrative throughout parallel with JE. 

Euenen and Wellhausen on this. 
Onus of proof on those who affirm independence. 

Interrelation of P and JE inseparably close throughout. 

1. P and JE narratives in Genesis. 

(1) Stories of creation : these not contradictory, bat com* 

Close textual relation. 
The Priestly Writer and the fall. 

(2) Story of the ./food : narratives again complementary. 
Relation to Babylonian legend. 

In separation each narrative incomplete. 

Alleged discrepancy on duration of flood. 

Discrepancy arises from the partition. 

Alleged ignorance of flood in J l . 

Noah's three sons : critical substitution of Canaan for Ham, 
(8) TabU of nations : critical difficulties. 

Inseparability of parts. 
(4) Lives of patriarchs : Abraham, Gen. xii., xiii. 

Gen. xiv. ; peculiarities of narrative. 

Ilagar episode : Gen. xvi. 

Gen. xix. 29. 

Isaac and Jacob : fragmentary character of narratives. 
Book a unity : divided, the unity disappears. 

2. Mosaic period. 

(1) Early chapters of Exodus : inseparability of P and JE. 
Narratives of plagues : critical distinctions untenable. 

(2) Wilderness incidents : two example* 

Mission of spies : unity of narrative. 
Koran's rebellion : a doable movement, bat narratives in- 


Importance of critical admission that P knew ,TE. 

1. Disproves supposed ignorance in P of fall, patriarchal sacrifices, 

errors of patriarchs, etc. 

2. Duplicate narratives usually not really such. 

Jacob at Bethel ; revelations to Moses, etc. 

3. Historical incredibilities : a chief ground of objection. 
Critical reliance on Colenso's "demonstrations." 
Defects of Colenso's treatment. 

(1) Colenso's difficulties about tabernacle and priests in the 

Absurdity of his calculations. 

(2) Difficulties of the Exodus : 

Increase of Israel, etc. 
Colenso creates difficulties by a grotesque literalism. 

The departure from Barneses. 
(8) Special examples : 

Htzron and Hamul in Gen. xlvi. 

The list of the Descent. 
The number of the first-born. 

Key to the solution. 

To what point has the argument conducted ? 

(1) Not to view that Moses wrote the Pentateuch in present 

shape and extent ; 

(2) But to view of the unity, essential Mosaicity, and relative 

antiquity of the Pentateuch. 

1. Support given to this view in tradition : crucial points : 

(1) Old Testament ascribes the three codes to Moses. 

Two said to be written by him. 

(2) Both Deuteronomy and Priestly Writing presuppose the JE 

(8) Deuteronomy received as Mosaic in time of Josiah. 

(4) Whole Pentateuch received as Mosaic in time of Ezra. 

(5) Samaritans received Pentateuch as Mosaic. 

2. Critical results support Mosaicity of Pentateuch. 

(1) No good reason for separating J and E, or giving them late date. 

(2) Deuteronomy not of Josianic origin, but its discourses 

genuinely Mosaic. 
(8) Priestly writing ; not post-exilian ; but legislation and history 

8. Proofs of early date otJSook of Genesis. 

Later references to Genesis. 
4. Early knowledge and wide diffusion of writing favours the 

Mosaicity of the Pentateuch. 

Writing known and practised by Hebrews in Mosaic age. 
This implies earlier use : possibility of pre-Mosaic documents. 


5. Mode of composition best conceive*! of as collaboration or co- 

How Pentateuch may have grown to present form. 
Would seldom be copied as a whole. 
The "law of Jehovah " in pious circles. 


I. Bearings of critical theory of the Pentateuch on later books. 

P history Deuteronomy JE. 
II. Results for later books of opposite view. 
Delitzsch on Joshua. 
Deuteronomic revisions. 
III. Critical treatment of later books. 
General character of later histories. 

1. Book of Judges. 

Critical analysis of this book (Kautzsch, eta). 
The Deuteronomic framework. 
Consciousness of unity in Israel. 
Religious and moral ideas. 
Time of origin. 

2. Books of Samuel. 
Diversities in analysis. 

Kautzsch, Driver, H. P. Smith, Lbhr. 

Alleged diversity of representation. 

Alleged partisanship of sources. 

Mode and time of origin. 
8. Books of Chronicles. 

Critical assaults on credibility. 

Deepest ground Levitical representation. 

View of wholesale invention untenable. 

Theory of older sources (Dilhnann, Klostermaon, etc.). 

Corroborations of history. 

Question of the numbers. 

General result 


Archaeology as controlling criticism and history. 

Triumphs of archeology in recovery of ancient civilisations. 
Singular degree of illumination on Bible. 
KflecU on attitude of critics. 


Alteration of perspective in relation to Israel. 
Antiquity of letters and arts in Egypt and Babylonia. 

Babylonian libraries. 
Early explorations at Nineveh. 

Palace of Sargon a Biblical confirmation. 

Library of Assurbanipal. 

Does Genesis preserve oldest traditions of the race ? 
Reasons for looking for answer to Babylonia. 
Glance first at facts, then at explanation. 

1. Table of nations in Genesis x. 
Threefold testimony about Babylonia. 

(1) Babel before Nineveh ; (2) Assyria colonised from Baby- 
lonia ; (3) Founders of Babylonian civilisation not 

Monumental corroboration of these positions, formerly disputed. 
Statement that Elam is "the son of Shem." 

Recent confirmation from discovery. 
Distribution of mankind from plain of Shinar. 
Great antiquity of Babylonian civilisation. 
Tendency to derive other civilisations from this Egypt, 
China, etc. 

2. Creation and deluge stories. 

Discovery of creation tablets comparison and contrast with 

Genesis i. 

Polytheistic and mythological character ; features of resem- 

The sabbath paradise and fall. 
The deluge tablets. 

Debased by polytheism, but marked resemblance to Biblical 

S. Explanations of connection. 

(1) Theory of borrowing from Babylonia. 
Babylonian legends adopted and purified. 
When was this borrowing I 

In exile ? reasons against this. 

In time of Ahaz or Solomon T 

In time after settlement in Canaan T 

Pervasion of Canaan by Babylonian influence*. 

Difficulties of "borrowing" theory. 

Brought from Ur of Chaldees f 

Objection from absence of early mention ; reply to this. 

(2) Theory of cognate relationship. 

Radically different character of stories supports this view. 
Theory of cognate relationship favoured by many scholars 

(Kittel, Hommel, Oettli, etc.). 
Genesis preserves older and purer version of original tradition. 


(3) Babylonian monotheitm" Babel and Bible," 
Groundwork of truth in this view. 

Supposed occurrence of name Jehovah (JAU). 
Israelitish religion not borrowed from Babylonia. 


Patriarch* bore personal names. 
Importance of age of Abraham. 

The Hammurabi Code. 
Expedition of Chedorlaomer (Genesis xiv.). 

Strange character of story. 

Denial of its historicity (Noldeke, Wellhausen, etc. ). 

Singular corroborations from modern discovery. 

The Elamitdc supremacy ; names of kings ; relation to Palestine ; 
Uru-Salim, etc. 

Slighting of evidence by critics. 

Midrash theory of Genesis xiv. 

In reality accurate knowledge of remote times and bona fide* of 
writer thoroughly established. 

Defence of narrative by critics. 


Transition with Joseph to Egypt 

Admitted accuracy of picture of Egyptian life and customs. 

Points formerly challenged established from monuments. 

Egyptian manners ; descent into Egypt, eta 

Tale of two brothers. 
Bearings on place and time of origin of narrative. 

Must have originated on Egyptian soil. 

Objection from proper names not valid. 


Main periods in history of Egypt 
Old Empire : Menes as myth. 

Petrie's discovery of Menes and of first two dynasties. 
Middle Empire : Joseph and Shepherd Kings. 
New Empire : Israel and Exodus to be sought for in eighteenth 
or nineteenth dynasty. 

Theories of Exodus : Rameses n. and Meneptah. 
Recent discoveries bearing on Mosaic period. 

1. Finding of the muinmut of the Pharaohs (1881, 1898). 
Recovery of all the great Pharaohs. 

2. Discovery of Tel el-Amama tablet*. 

Correspondence of Amenophis III. and Amenophia iv. (e, 

1400 B.C.). 

Language and writing Babylonian. 
LttUrs from Palestine. 


8. Discovery of name "Israel" on monument of Meneptah 

supposed Pharaoh of Exodus. 

Difficulty arising from this : Israel already in Palestine. 
Earlier traces of tribes in Palestine. 
Need of modification of view. 


Was the Exodus under nineteenth dynasty ? 
The chronological difficulty : 

Too short interval till Solomon ; too long from Abraham. 
Biblical statements : Exodus placed about 1450 B.C. 
Suitability of conditions of this time (eighteenth dynasty). 

The "store-cities" not decisive. 

Reign of Thothmes in. ; on this view the oppressor. 

Picture of brickmakers. 

Career of Hatasu : " Pharaoh's daughter " ? 
Problem of the Khabiri of Tel el-Amarna tablets. 

Their conquest of Canaan. 

Tendency to identify them with Hebrews. 


1. The Hittites early Biblical notices. 

Existence of empire denied. 
Egyptian and Assyrian confirmations. 
Discovery of Hittite monuments. 
Hieroglyphic and origin of Hittites. 

2. Period of kings. 

Nearly all points of contact receive corroboration. 

Assyrian and Hebrew chronology. 

Instances in history Shiahak's invasion ; Mesh a ; Jehu ; 

Tiglath-Pileser ; fall of Samaria ; Sennacherib, etc. 
Manasseh and credibility of Chronicles. 


Daniel put in age of Maccabees. 

Theory of an older basis historical and prophetical. 

Disproof of objections to historicity. 

Greek name of instruments. 

Discovery of early date and wide range of Greek culture. 

Character of Nebuchadnezzar. 

Belshazzar now proved historical. 
The capture of Babylon. 

Not discrepant with Daniel. 

" Babylonian Chronicle" : stages in taking of Babylon. 

Final capture : Belshazzar slain. 

Question of " Darius the Mecle." 



REVELATION.^. 431-478. 

Piialma and prophets the soul of Old Testament revelation. 

Value of psalms independent of their dates. 
Yet dates important in history of revelation. 

P<>>t exilian origin of psalms a dogma of Wellhausen School. 
Wellhausen's estimate of the psalms. 

1. Theory it not and cannot be proved. 

There are post-exilian, possibly Maccabeean, psalms. 

No proof that most, or all, of the psalms are post-exilian. 

The theory conflicts with tradition. 

2. Post-exilian period mostly a blank to our knowledge. 
Opening for groundless theorising. 

8. Age not productive of literature. 
No record of itself. 

Return from captivity an incentive to psalm -com position. 
Hut bulk of psalms show no post-exilian marks. 
Many psalms demand an earlier date. 

Psalms about king, etc. 

4. Traditional connection of psalms with David. 
Presumption in favour of pre-exilian psalms. 
Positive evidences of pre-exilian psalmody. 

Temple " singers" at return. 

References to temple praise. 

" Songs of Zion " ; quotations, etc. 
Ascription of psalms to David in titles. 
Chronicler traces temple singing and music to David. 

Critical view of David : untrue to history. 
1. David's career surveyed : 

(1) As young man : early piety and skill. 

(2) At Saufi Court : behaviour irreproachable. 

(3) As exile : relations to his men ; mode of life ; relations 

with Saul, etc. 

(4) As timj : services to country and religion ; foreign 

oonqneata ; project of temple and promise. 
Biota on life and reign : Bathsheba. 
Estimate of character. 

xlviii CONTENTS 

2. Abundant material and motive for psalm-composition. 
View of David as model for effeminate frivolity. 

A " sportful " muse. 

Davidic psalms : genuineness of Ps. xviii. 
If this genuine, doubtless many others. 

Views of Ewald, Hitzig, Bleek, Delitzsoh, etc. 
Probably number of Davidic psalms not small. 

Value of titles of Books I and II. 


Probable main periods of pre-exiliau psalm-composition. 

David : Jehoshaphat : Hezekiah. 
Separate collections of psalms : Davidic, Korahite, etc. 
Later psalms : division into books. 
Date of collections and of close of Canon. 
Testimony of: 

1. Books of Maccabees. 

2. Sep tu agin t translation (before 130 B.C. ; probably a good 

deal earlier). 
Meaning of titles forgotten. 

3. Kcclesiasticus (implies Canon before 200 B.C.). 

4. Books of Chronicles : Canon apparently completed ; implies 

pre-exiliau psalmody. 

5. Book of Jonah : use of earlier psalms. 

6. Jeremiah : quotes Ps. i. (implies Davidic collection) ; thanks- 

giving formula. 

7. Music of second temple an inheritance from first temple. 
General result. 


Uniqueness of Hebrew prophecy. 
Nature and development of prophecy. 
Prophecy and genius : its supernatural side. 
Tests of true prophecy. 

Essence of prophecy wrongly placed in prediction. 
Modern denial of predictive prophecy. 
Prediction not mere deductions of prophets' own. 
Inevitable that prediction should enter into prophecy. 

Has to do with promise and warning. 

With future of kingdom of God. 

Distinction from heathen soothsaying. 

Failure of critics to eliminate prediction. 
Examples from Wellhausen. 


Abundance of prediction in prophetic writing!. 

The captivities, 70 weeks, etc. 
Messianic prophecy ; Professor Flint quoted. 


Psychological aide of prophecy ; necessary limitations. 
Contrast between prophecy of near and prophecy ofrrmnU events. 
The former definite ; the latter necessarily more ideal in form 

and character. 
Bearings on interpretation : 

1. Prophecy of distant future presented in forms of present. 
Symbol in prophecy. 

2. Time-element in prophecy. 

Certain fact is triumph of kingdom of God ; steps to this hidden. 
" Day of Jehovah " as background of every crisis. 
Events grouped in ideal, not temporal relations. 

3. Conditional element in prophecy. 
Jeremiah on this : examples. 

Bearings on fulfilment of promises to Israel. 
Bearings on New Testament Parousia. 


General recognition of progressiveness, but bearings not always 

Not progress in knowledge only. 
Growth from lower morality to higher. 
Elements of evil in lower stages 

Polygamy ; blood-revenge ; slavery, etc. 
Exaggeration of moral difficulties : Deistical controversy. 
Central difficulty : ap|>arent implication of God in laws and com- 
mands which our consciences condemn. 

" Progreasiveness " alone not a solution. 
Denia! of evil in lower stage not a solution. 
Evolutionary theory. 
Keality of good and evil must be upheld. 
Critical solution laws and commands attributed to God not really 


This a cutting of the knot, not a loosing of it 
Rolls burden on prophetic writers who endorse commands. 
E.g., Deuteronomy and extermination of Cauaanitrs ; revision 
of Joshua. 


Tendency to undue lowering of morality of early Israel. 

Professor Gray on non-recognition of obligations to Gentiles. 
Moral precepts of universal scope always recognised. 
Lapses of individuals not measure of moral standards. 


Larger problem of God's general relation to evil of world. 

1. Revelation must take up man where it finds him : results of this. 

2. Revelation responsible only for new element it introduces, not for 

everything associated with it in mind of recipient. 

3. Revelation lays hold on better elements, in order by means of them 

to overcome what is imperfect and eviL 
Educative aspect of revelation. 
Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. 
Cities of refuge and blood-revenge. 
Laws of marriage ; polygamy and monogamy. 
Restrictions of spirit of mercy ; Canaanites. 
All through preparation for higher stage. 
Higher stages of revelation conserve all elements of value in lower. 


Culmination of progressive revelation in Christ. 
Faith in Him essential to right view of Old Testament. 
Bearings of Old Testament criticism on New Testament. 
Same principles and methods now being applied. 
Crisis in view of Christ and New Testament, 
Bearing of foregoing discussion on issue. 


CHAP IKK I r*a* 

The Jewish Canon . ...... 481 


The Bible and other Sacred Books ..... 484 

Mythology and History in the Old Testament . . . 485 

Inspiration and the Materials of the Record .... 486 


Critical Extravagances ...... 488 


KSnig on the Personification Theory ..... 490 

The Covenant with Israel ...... 491 

Theories of the Exodus ...... 492 

Patriarchal Chronology ...... 493 

Gnnkel's Theory of Patriarchal History .... 494 

The Name Jehovah in the Patriarchal Age .... 495 


Early Ideas of God ....... 499 

Antiquity of the Name Jehovah ..... 497 

Professor W. R. Smith's Theory of Sacrifice .... 498 

Sacrifice of Children in Canaan ..... 499 

H. P. Smith on the Brazen Serpent ..... .'.no 

Dillmann on Image- Worship ...... 501 


Objections to Mosaic Origin of Det-alo^ue .... 503 

The Force of Kx. xx. 24 . . . . . 60:J 

Frewlotu under the Law . . . . . .504 

The Genealogy of Zadok ...... 504 

David's Sons as Priests .... . 50ft 



The Self-Confidence of Critics ..... 507 

CoruiU's Decomposition of J ...... 508 

The View of J and E as "Schools" ..... 509 


The breaking up of Deuteronomy ..... 510 

Deuterononiic and Priestly Styles . . . . .511 

Deuteronomy as Fraua Pia . . . . . .513 

Oblivion of Charlemagne's Code ..... 514 

The Law of the King in Deut. xvii. ..... 515 

Minor Discrepancies in Laws ...... 515 


Kuenen's early Views of the Post-Exilian Theory . . . 517 

The Unity of the Law ...... 518 

Ezekiel and earlier Laws . . . . . .519 

Quotations in Deuteronomy from JE and P . . . . 520 

Levites in Ezekiel ....... 520 

Alleged Contradictions in the Passover Laws . . . 520 
The Mediating View of the Priestly Code . . . .521 


Klostermann on the Relation of JE and P . . . 522 

Colenso's Numerical Objections ..... 522 

Christ's Testimony to the Old Testament . . . .523 

The Samaritan Pentateuch ...... 524 

Early Hebrew Writing ...... 525 

Hypothesis in Criticism ...... 526 

The Idea of " Co-operation" in Critical History . . .527 

State of the Hebrew Text ...... 527 


Ethnological Relations in Gen. z. . . . . . 529 

Cognateness of Babylonian and Hebrew Traditions . . . 530 

Alleged " Midrash " Character of Gen. xiv. .... 531 

The Resurrection of Myths ...... 532 

The Identification of Rameses and Pithora .... 533 

Belshazzar and Babylon ...... 534 


Critical Estimate of David ...... 535 

The Unity of Second Isaiah ...... 536 

The Prophecies of Daniel ...... 536 

Kueuen on Unfulfilled Prophecies ..... 538 

The Destruction of the Canaauites ..... 539 

INDEXES ...... 541 


Sntrooucton?: TTbe problem Statefc 

"I hare been obliged to bestow the greatest amount of labour on a 
hitherto entirely uu worked field, the investigation of the inner constitu- 
tion of the separate books of the Old Testament by the aid of the Higher 
Criticism (a new name to no Humanist)." EICHHORN. 

" It is true that the present destructive proceedings in the department 
of Old Testament criticism, which demand the construction of a new edifice, 
are quite fitted to confuse consciences and to entangle a weak faith in all 
kinds of temptation. If, however, we keep fast hold in this labyrinth of 
the one truth, Chriatus vere resurrexit, we have in our hands Ariadne's 
thread to lead us out of it." DKLITZSCH. 

Wellhausen "has identified himself with that 'so-called criticism* 
(Ewald's phraseology) which has 'given up Moses and so much that 
is excellent besides,' and which leads on directly to the contemptuous 
rejection of the Old Testament, if not also of the New (again, Ewald's 
phraseology). " CHKYNB. 

"Erroneous criticism cannot be corrected by dogmatic theology, but 
only by a better, more searching, and less prejudiced criticism." OTTLEY. 


WHEN we speak of a problem of the Old Testament, what 
do we mean ? What is the problem, and how does it arise ? 
A consideration of these questions will form a suitable 
introduction to the subsequent discussions. 

It can hardly be necessary for us, in opening our inquiry, 
to define what is meant by the Old Testament, though on 
this point also, as between Protestants and Roman Catholics, 
a few questions might arise. By the term is here under- 
stood, in brief, that collection of Scriptures which now 
forms the first part of our ordinary Bibles, 1 which the Jews 
technically divided into " the law, the prophets, and the 
(holy) writings," 2 which our Lord and His apostles spoke 
of as " the Scriptures," * " the Holy Scriptures," * " the oracles 
of God," 6 " the sacred writings," * and uniformly treated as the 
"God-inspired" 7 and authoritative record of God's revelations 
to, and dealings with, His ancient people. 8 This yields a 
first regulative position in our study. It may be laid down f 
as axiomatic that, whatever they may be for others, these I 
ancient Scriptures can never have less value for the Chris- 1 
tian Church than they had for the Church's Master Christ \ 

1 This excludes the Apocrypha. On the name itoelf Bishop Wettcott 
ays : " The establishment of Christianity Rave at oiice a diatimt unity to 
the former dispensation, and thus St. Paul could speak of the Jewish 
Scripture* by the name \vhich they have always retained since, as the 'Old 
Testament' or 'Covenant' ('2 Cor. iii. 14). ... At the close of the second 
century the terms ' Old ' and ' New Testament ' were already in common 
me." TJu Bible in the Ckvreh, p. 5. 

* Cf. Lake xxiv. 44 : " In the law of Moses, and the prophet*, and 
the psalms." 

* Matt. xxi. 42 ; Luke xxiv. 27. 4 Rom. i. 2. 

Rom. iii. 2. 2 Tim. UL 15. 
2 Tim. UL 18. Cf. 2 Pet. i. 21. 

Matt v. 18 ; XT. 3, 6 ; xxii. 29, 81, 82 ; Luke xxir. 27 ; John z. 86, 
etc. See Note A on the Jewish Canon. 



Himself. Believing scholars of all standpoints may be 
trusted to agree in this. 1 

But what is meant by the problem of the Old Testament ? 
Naturally there are many problems, but our title indicates 
that the problem we have now in view is that which arises 
peculiarly from the course of recent criticism. That problem 
will be found large and complex enough to occupy us in 
this volume, and, as going to the root of a believing attitude 
to the Scriptures of the Old Covenant, will probably be 
allowed to be, for the present moment, the fundamental 
and essential one. In this chapter we shall seek to convey 
as clear an idea as we can of where we conceive the crux 
of this Old Testament problem to lie, and shall indicate 
generally the lines to be followed in the handling of it. 


The problem of the Old Testament, then, as it presses on 
the Church from various sides at the present hour, may be 
said to be twofold. First, and most fundamentally, the 
question raised by it is How are we to conceive of the 
religion which the Old Testament embodies, and presents to 
/us in its successive stages, as respects its nature and origin ? 
/Is it a natural product of the development of the human 
J spirit, as scholars of the distinctively "modern" way of 
' thinking Kuenen, Wellhausen, Stade, and the like* 
allege ; or is it something more a result of special, super- 
natural revelation to Israel, such as other nations did not 
possess ? Then second, How are we to conceive of the 
literature itself, or of the books which make up the Old 
Testament, as respects their age, origin, mode of composition, 
trustworthiness, and, generally, their connection with the 
religion of which they are the monuments ? 

At first sight it might seem as if the second of these 
questions had no necessary relation to the first. Nothing, 
it may be plausibly argued, depends, for the decision of 
the supernatural origin of the religion, on whether the 

1 Professor G. A. Smith says : "The Bible of the Jews in our Lord's time 
was practically our Old Testament. For us its supreme sanction is that 
which it derived from Christ Himself. . . . What was indispensable to 
the Redeemer must always be indispensable to the redeemed." Modern 
Criticism, p. 11. 

1 See below, pp. 12 ffi, 


Pentateuch, as we have it, is from the pen of Moses, or is 
made up of three or four documents, put together at a lute 
date ; or at what period the Levitical law was finally 
codified ; or whether the Book of Isaiah is the work of one, 
or two, or of ten authors; or whether the Psalms are 
pre-exilic, or post-exilic, in origin. Yet, as will be seen more 
fully later, 1 the dependence of the literary criticism on the 
religious theory is really very close. For, if it be true, 
as every fair mind must admit, that there are many 
scholars who succeed, to their own satisfaction, in com- 
bining the acceptance of the main results of the critical 
hypothesis of the Old Testament, even in its advanced form, 
with firm belief in the reality of supernatural revelation 
in Israel, and in the culmination of that revelation in 
Christ; it is equally true that, in the case of others, and 
these pre-eminently, in Dr. Cheyne's phrase, " The Founders 
of Criticism," the decisions arrived at on purely literary 
questions, the date of a psalm, e.g., the genuineness of a 
passage, or the integrity of a book, are largely controlled 
by the view taken of the origin and course of development 
of the religion ; and, with a different theory on these 
subjects, the judgments passed on the age, relations, and 
historical value, of particular writings, would be different 
also. This dependence of many of the conclusions of 
criticism by no means, of course, all on the religious and 
historical standpoint is practically admitted by Wellhausen, 
when he declares that "it is only within the region of 
religious antiquities and dominant religious ideas the 
region which Vatke in his Bibli&chc Theologie had occupied 
in its full breadth, and where the real battle first kindled 
that the controversy can be brought to a definite issue." 8 

It is the perception of this fact and of its results which 
affords the explanation of the very genuine disquiet and 
perplexity which undeniably exist in large sections of the 
Church as to the tendency and outcome of recent develop- 

1 See below, pp. 16 IT. 

1 Hist, of Itrael, p. 12. On Vatke, see below, p. 18. Graf alto, the 
pioneer of the new movement (see below, pp. 199 h*.), in his chief work, lays 
tress on the fact that Pentateuch criticism was bound to remain " unclear, 
uncertain, and wavering," till it grasped the fact of the port-exilian origin 
of the Levitical legislation. To attempt to decide its problems on mere 
literary grounds was to move in a "vicious circle." (Jaehicht. Bticher, 
pp. 2, S. 


merits in Old Testament criticism. From the popular point 
of view the light in which the matter presents itself to 
the average Christian niiud the problem of the Old 
Testament is simply one of how we are to regard the Bible. 
It is not merely, as the instinct of the humblest is quick 
enough to perceive, the dates and authorship of books that 
are in dispute in these critical theories : it is the whole 
question of the value of the Bible as an inspired and 
authoritative record of God's historical revelation to man- 
kind. Has God spoken, and does this book convey to us 
His sure word for our salvation and guidance ? Have the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament any longer the value for 
us which they had for Christ and His disciples ? Or are 
we to concede to the writers of the school above mentioned, 
that, as the result of the critical discussions of the past 
century, the historical foundations of Old Testament revela- 
tion have in the main been subverted ? Must man's 
changing and erring thoughts about God henceforth take 
the place of God's words to man ? Are the erewhile 
" lively oracles " of God simply the fragmentary remains of 
a literature to which no special quality of divineness 
attaches, and is the supposed history of revelation largely 
a piecing together of the myths, legends, and free inventions 
of an age whose circle of ideas the modern spirit has 
outgrown ? These and like questions, that extensive body 
of opinion which arrogates to itself the title " modern " 
would answer with an unhesitating " Yes " ; it need not 
occasion surprise if the great mass of believing opinion in 
the Church, on the other hand, meets such a challenge with 
an emphatic " No." 

It is to be admitted that the position of those who, at 
the present time, occupy a believing standpoint, yet are 
strongly repelled by the rationalism which seems to them 
to inhere in much of the prevailing criticism, is one of 
peculiar difficulty. On the one hand, they feel keenly the 
seriousness of the issues by which they are confronted. 
They seem to themselves to be called to give up, not only 
those ideas of the Bible in which they have been nurtured, 
and with which their tenderest associations are entwined, 
but the view of the Bible that appears to them to arise 
from an impartial study of its contents and claims. They 
see the disintegrating processes which have wrought such 


havoc, as they regard it, with the Old Testament, extended 
to the New, and with like results. 1 On the other hand, 
they are met by the assertion that practically all competent 
scholarship believing and unbelieving alike is agreed in 
the acceptance of those critical conclusions about the Old 
Testament which so greatly disturb them. What, IB the 
"storm and stress" of this conflict and confusion of opinion, 
are those who hold fast by the Bible as the Word of life 
for their souls to do? General assurances, such as are 
sometimes given, that, when they have parted with the 
gi eater part of what they have been accustomed to regard 
as the historical substance of revelation, they will find the 
Bible a diviner book to them than ever, do not yield the 
desired comfort Is it to be wondered at if, in their per- 
plexity and resentment, many who feel thus should round 
on "Higher Criticism" itself, and uncompromisingly de- 
nounce it as the prolific parent of all the mischief an 
invention of the Evil One for the destruction of the 
unwary ? 

Nevertheless, this attitude of unreasoning denunciation 
of what is called " Higher Criticism " is also manifestly an 
extreme; and the problem we have to deal with, if it is 
to be profitably discussed, requires a clearer discrimination 
of issues. In particular, it cannot too early be recognised 
that this is not, at bottom, a question simply, as is too 
commonly assumed, between "Higher Critics" and "Non- 
Higher Critics." Questions of criticism, indeed, enter 
deeply far more deeply, to our thinking, than many are 
disposed to allow into the dispute; but it is only to 
confuse the issue, and is a gratuitous weakening of the 
believing case, not to recognise that the real cleft goes 
much deeper viz., into a radical contrariety of view as 

/to the natural or supernatural origin of the religion of 
Israel, and that on this fundamental issue those whom ue 

Jcall "critics" are themselves sharply divided, and found 
ranged in opposing camps. There are, one must own, 
few outstanding scholars at the present day on the Con- 
tinent or in Britain in America it is somewhat different 

1 As examples reference may be made to the articles of Schmiedel 
in the JSitcyc. Biblvca, and to such works, among many others, aa 
O. Holtxmann's Life of Jesus, and Wernle's Beginnings of Christianity, 
recently translated. C'f. below, p. 478. 



who do not in greater or less degree accept conclusions 
regarding the Old Testament of the kind ordinarily de- 
nominated critical ; 1 yet among the foremost are many whom 
no one who understands their work would dream of classing 
as other than believing, and defenders of revealed religion. 
Such, among Continental scholars, recent or living, are 
Delitzsch, Kiehm, Dillmann, Konig, Kittel, Kohler, Strack, 
Oettli, Westphal, Orelli; in Britain, Dr. Driver, the late 
Dr. A. B. Davidson, Professor G. A. Smith, and many 
others : all more or less " critics," but all convinced upholders 
of supernatural revelation. This is not a reason for un- 
questioning acceptance of their opinions ; as critics it will 
be found that they are far enough from agreeing among 
themselves. But the attitude to criticism of so large a 
body of believing scholars may at least suggest to those 
disposed to form hasty judgments that there is here a very 
real problem to be solved ; that the case is more complex 
than perhaps they had imagined; that there are real 
phenomena in the literary structure of the Old Testament, 
for the explanation of which, in the judgment of many 
able minds, the traditional view is not adequate, and for 
which they seem to themselves to find a more satisfactory 
solution in some form or other of the critical hypothesis. 8 

1 This is true even of so cautious a scholar as Professor James 
Robertson, of Glasgow, whose works, in a conservative spirit, have done 
such excellent service. It is Dillmann, himself a pronounced critic, but 
decided in his opposition to what he calls the " Hegel- Vatke " view of 
religious development, who speaks of Professor Robertson's Early Religion 
of Israel as ' ' hitting the nail on the head " (Alttest. Theol. p. 59). 
Yet, as will appear, the views of Professor Robertson, and those, say, of 
Dr. Driver, on such subjects as the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, the 
gradual growth of legislation, the origin of Deuteronomy, etc., are not i 
principle so far apart as might appear, though Professor Robertson's results 
are somewhat more positive, and the accent falls differently. Of. Early 
Religion, pp. 332 ff. , 382, 420-27. 

3 An interesting example of how the leading results of criticism may be 
accepted by a devout and intensely evangelical mind is furnished by the 
Rev. G. H. C. Macgrejior, a favourite teacher of the "Keswick" school. 
See his tribute to Professor W. R. Smith in the Biography by his brother 
(p. 100), and the frequent references to critical positions in his Messages 
of the Old Testament, with Preface by Rev. F. B. Meyer. It is significant 
also that the productions of critical writers of believing tendency, such as 
Konig and Kittel, are now being translated and reproduced in conservative 
quarters, in refutation of the theories of the more rationalistic school. 
Cf. below, pp. 79, etc., on Kittel's pamphlet, Babylonian Excavations and 
Early Bible History, published, with Preface by Dr. Wace, by the London 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 


The truth is, and the fact has to be faced, that no one 
who studies the Old Testament in the light of modern 
knowledge can help being, to some extent, a "Higher 
Critic," nor is it desirable he should. The name has un- 
fortunately come to be associated all but exclusively with 
a method yielding a certain class of results; but it has 
no necessary connection with these results. "Higher 
Criticism," rightly understood, is simply the careful scrutiny, 
on the principles which it is customary to apply to all 
literature, of the actual phenomena of the Bible, with a 
view to deduce from these such conclusions as may be 
warranted regarding the age, authorship, mode of com- 
position, sources, etc., of the different books ; and everyone 
who engages in such inquiries, with whatever aim, is a 
" Higher Critic," and cannot help himself. The peculiar 
distribution of the names of God in Genesis, e.g. t is a 
fact to be recognised, whatever account may be given of 
it, 1 and the collation and sifting of evidence, with a view 
to the obtaining of a satisfactory explanation, is, so far, a 
critical process. There is nothing in such scholarly examina- 
tion of the Bible, even though the result be to present some 
things in a new light, which need alarm anyone. As the 
world of nature presents a different aspect to the man 
of science, still more to the metaphysician, from that which 
it does to the common view of sense, yet is the same world ; 
so the Bible may present a somewhat different aspect to 
the eye of the trained critical scholar, yet is the same Bible, 
for edification, devotion, and instruction in the way of 

/ That we may discharge our debt to criticism, even of 
/ the rationalistic sort, once for all, let us acknowledge that, 
with all its attendant evils, its course has been productive, 
I under the providence of God, of many benefits, which in 
\ large measure counterbalance, if they do not outweigh, these 
evils. Some of the positive advances in its course it will 
be our business to notice hereafter. 1 It is assuredly not 
for nothing that, for more than a century, the light of tin- 
best European scholarship has been keenly directed on every 
page, verse, line, and even word, of the sacred record. Many 
of the leaders of criticism, however defective in their 
apprehension of the full truth of revelation, have been 
> See below, p. 198. 'Set below, Chap. VII. pp. 198 ff. 


men of fine literary gifts, wide culture, acute critical faculty, 
and genuine appreciation of the nobler elements in the 
religious and ethical teaching of the prophets ; and the 
result of their labours, as everyone must own, has been, 
in modern times, a wonderful freshening of interest in 
the historical, poetical, and prophetical parts of the Old 
Testament, and an immensely better understanding of its 
textual meaning and historical setting. What student 
of Old Testament history or prophecy, e.g., would willingly 
part with the aid afforded by the works of Ewald ? l What 
most rabid opponent of criticism is not ready to own his 
indebtedness, on the linguistic side, to that dry old 
rationalist, Gesenius? There is a yet greater gain. It 
is not too much to say that one direct result of the applica- 
tion of the strictest historical and critical methods to the 
Old Testament has been to bring out, as never before, the 
absolutely unique and marvellous character of the religion 
of Israel. 2 With the best will in the world to explain the 
religious development of Israel out of natural factors, the 
efforts of the critics have resulted, in the view of many 
of themselves, in a magnificent demonstration of the 
immense, and, on natural principles, inexplicable difference 
between the religion of this obscure people and every 
other. 8 Some may regard this as a small result; to us 
it presents itself as something for which to be devoutly 


Still the deep cleft remains between what we have 
called the believing and the unbelieving views of the Old 
Testament, between the view which admits, and the view 
which denies, the properly supernatural element in the 
history and religion of Israel, and it is not in our power, 

1 ' ' From another side, " wrote Principal John Cairns, ' ' a great scholar 
like Ewald redressed the unfairness of Schlciermacher to the Old Testament, 
and, with many and great drawbacks of his own, asserted in his own way 
the historical greatness and necessity of the Bible revelation." Unbelief 
in the Eighteenth Century, p. 230. 

2 See next chapter. 

This is the argument pursued, on critical lines, in Lecture IV., on 
"The Proof of a Divine Kevelation in the Old Testament," of Professor 
G. A. Smith's Modern Criticism, etc. 


neither is it our wish, to minimise it We must now approach 
the subject more closely, and endeavour to fix with greater 
precision where the dividing-line between the two views lies. 
In certain external respects, as in temple, priesthood, 
sacrifices, the religion of Israel necessarily presents a 
resemblance to other religions. To the eye of the outward I 
observer, it is simply one of the great historical religions.) 
If at the same time it presents differences, this does not 
of itself establish more than a relative distinction between 
it and others. Every religion has not only a certain 
resemblance to every other, arising from the fact that it 
is a religion, but has, moreover, a definite character or 
physiognomy of its own, resulting from the different genius 
of the people, from the individuality of its founder, or from 
the circumstances of its history. If now, however, we go 
further, and affirm that, in the midst of all resemblances, 
this religion of Israel presents features which not only 
differentiate it from every other, but differentiate it in 
such a way as to compel us to ascribe to it an origin in 
special, supernatural revelation, we obviously take a new 
step, which we must be prepared to justify by the most 
cogent reasons. It will not be enough to show that 'the 
religion of Israel is a better religion than others or even, 
taking into account its fulfilment in Christianity, that it 
is the most perfect of existing religions : for conceivably it 
might be that, yet have essentially no higher origin thjin 
they ; just as one people may be endowed with the artistic, 
or philosophic, or scientific genius beyond others, the 
Greeks, for instance, among ancient peoples, in art and 
philosophy, without its being necessary to postulate for 
this a supernatural cause. Most critics, even of the 
rationalistic order, will admit that Israel had a genius 
for religion, and was the classical people of religion in 
antiquity ; will not hesitate to speak also of its providential 
mission to humanity, even as Greece and Home had their 
vocations to mankind. It is a proposition different in kind 
when the origin of the religion of Israel is sought in a 
special, continuous, authoritative revelation, such as other 
peoples did not possess. Here we touch a real contrast, 
and, with reservation of a certain ambiguity in the word 
" revelation," ! obtain a clear issue. 

1 See below, pp. 19 ff. 


For now the fact becomes apparent, there is, indeed, 
not the least attempt to disguise it, that, to a large and 
influential school of critical inquirers those, moreover, who 
have had most to do with the shaping of the current critical 
theories this question of a supernatural origin for the 
religion of Israel is already foreclosed ; is ruled out at the 
start as a priori inadmissible. The issue could not be 
better stated than it is by the Dutch scholar Kuenen in 
the opening chapter of his work, Tlie Religion of Israel. 
The chapter is entitled " Our Standpoint," and in it the 
principle is expressly laid down that no distinction can be 
admitted in respect of origin between the religion of Israel 

fand other religions. " For us," he says, " the Israelitish 
religion is one of those religions; nothing less, but also 
nothing more." 1 This is, in the style of assumption too 
usual in the school, declared to be "the view taken by 
modern theological science." 2 " No one," he says, " can 
expect or require us to support in this place by a complete 
demonstration the right of the modern as opposed to the 
ecclesiastical view." 3 It is an "ecclesiastical" view, 
it appears, to assume that any supernatural factor is 
involved in the history or religion of Israel : the " modern " 
view rejects this. If any ambiguity could attach to these 
statements, it would be removed by his further explana- 
tions, which, in so many words, exclude the idea that the 
Jewish and Christian religions are derived from "special 
divine revelation," or are "supernatural" in their origin. 4 
He puts the matter with equal frankness in his work on 
Prophets and Prophecy. " Prophecy is," he tells us, " accord- 
ing to this new view, a phenomenon, yet one of the most 
important and remarkable phenomena, in the history of 
religion, but just on that account a human phenomenon, 

1 Religion of Israel, i. p. 5. ' Ibid. p. 6. 

Ibid. p. 7. 

* Ibid. pp. 5, 6. In a Life of Kuenen in the Jeicish Quarterly Rcrir- 
vol. iv., by Mr. Wicksteed, the Dutch "modern" movement, of wh -li 
Kuenen was a principal leader, is thus described. "It was an attempt 
singular boldness and vigour to shake tl>e traditions of Christian piety IV.- 
from every trace of supernatunilism and implied exclusiveness. ... It 
involved the absolute surrender of the orthodox dogmatics ; of the author)' y 
of the Scriptures; of the divine character of the Church as an extern 1 1 
institution ; and of course it based the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to our 
affection and gratitude solely upon what history could show that He, as a 
man, had been, and had done for men " (p. 596). 


proceeding from Israel, directed to Israel." 1 And later: 
44 So soon as we derive a separate part of Israel's religious 
life directly from God, and allow the supernatural or 
immediate revelation to intervene in even one single 
point, so long also our view of the whole continues to be 
incorrect. ... It is the supposition of a natural develop- 
ment alone which accounts for all the phenomena." * Quite 
similar to the standpoint here avowed by Kuenen is that 
of a wide circle of leading scholars of Duhm, Well- 
hausen, Stade, Smend, Gunkel, and a multitude more in 
the front ranks of the modern critical movement. We noted 
above Wellhausen's declaration of his identity in standpoint 
with Vatke Vatke being a thorough - going Hegelian 
rationalist in the first half of last century. Shortly after in 
his book we have the express acknowledgment : " My inquiry 
comes nearer to that of Vatke, from whom indeed I grate- 
fully acknowledge myself to have learned best and most." 3 

This, then, quite unambiguously stated, is the issue to 
which the religion of Israel and with it Christianity, for 
in this connection the two very much stand or fall together 
is brought at the present day. Yet the contrast drawn by 
Kuenen in the above passage between the " modern " and 
the " ecclesiastical " view, which he announces as the ruling 
principle of his treatment, is, it need hardly be said, a 
flagrant petitio principii* To assume beforehand, in an 
inquiry which turns on this very point, that the religion 
of Israel presents no features but such as are explicable 
out of natural causes, that no higher factors are needed 
to account for it, is to prejudge the whole question; 
while to assume this to be the only view held by " modern " 
scholars in other words, to exclude from this category men 
of the distinction of those formerly enumerated, who, with 

1 PropHett and Prophtey in Itrael, p. 4. 

* Ibid. p. 585. Dr. John Muir, at whose instance the work waa under- 
taken, contributed an Introduction to the English translation. In the 
coarse of this he thus states Dr. Kuenen's position : " Israelitish prophecy 
waa not a supernatural phenomenon, derived front divine inspiration ; but 
waa a result of the high moral and religious character attained by the 
prophets whose writings have been transmitted to us" (p. xxxvii). From a 
published letter of Kuenen's we learn the interesting fact, otherwise 
attested to us, that Dr. Muir subsequently changed his opinions, and 
recalled from circulation the volume he had been instrumental m producing. 

* Hi*. <tf Itr<ul, p. 13. 

4 Cf. the remarks of Ladd, Dcei. qf Sac. Seripturt, i. p. 371. 


their critical views, take strong ground on the subject of 
revelation is to contradict fact, and degrade the term 
" modern " to the designation of a clique. If, on impartial 
consideration, it can be shown that the religion of Israel 
admits of explanation on purely natural principles, then the 
historian will be justified in his verdict that it stands, in 
this respect, on the same footing as other religions. If, on 
the other hand, fair investigation brings out a different 
result, if it demonstrates that this religion has features 
which place it in a different category from all others, and 
compel us to postulate for it a different and higher origin, 1 
then that fact must be frankly recognised as part of the 
scientific result, and the nature and extent of this higher 
element must be made the subject of inquiry. It will not 
do to override the facts if facts they are by a priori 
dogmatic assumptions on the one side any more than on 
the other. Thus far we agree with Kuenen, that we must 
begin by treating the religion of Israel exactly as we would 
treat any other religion. Whatever our personal con- 
victions and of these, of course, we cannot divest our- 
selves we must, in conducting our argument, place 
ourselves in as absolutely neutral an attitude of mind as 
we can. We must try to see the facts exactly as they are 
If differences emerge, let them be noted. If the facts ars 
such as to compel us to assume a special origin for thifc 
religion, let that come to light in the course of the inquiry. 
Let us frankly admit also that it is no slight, recondite, 
contestable, or inferential differences, but only broad, 
obvious, cumulative, indubitable grounds, which will suffice 
as basis of a claim to such special origin. If such do not 
exist, we concede that candour will compel us to fall back 
on the naturalistic hypothesis. 

It is perfectly true that it is impossible in any inquiry 
to* dispense with guiding principles of investigation, and 
with presuppositions of some kind, and there is no criticism 
on earth that does so certainly not that of Kuenen and 
Wellhausen. Only these should not be allowed to warp 
or distort the facts, or be applied to support a preconceived 
conclusion. The scientist also finds it incumbent on him 
to " anticipate nature " with his interrogations and tentative 
hypotheses, which, however, have to be brought to the test 

1 This is the argument in Chap. II. 


of experimental verification. We find no fault with these 
writers, if they are persuaded that their view of Israel's 
religion is the true one, for endeavouring, with all the skill 
at their command, to show that it is so. It is even well 
that such experiments should be made. The case, in short, 
is one of competing interpretations of the Old Testament, 
and, assuming Israel's religion to be divine, the effect of 
the most searching application of critical tests can only be 
to bring out this divineness into stronger relief. No 
Christian, therefore, who has confidence that God, who 
spoke to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days 
spoken to us by His Son, 1 need shrink from any trial to 
which criticism exposes the Bible. It is the Nemesis of a 
wrong starting-point in every department of inquiry that 
those who adopt it find themselves plunged, as they proceed, 
into ever-deepening error and confusion; while a right 
guiding-idea as infallibly conducts to a view marked by 
simplicity and truth. If Kuenen and those who think 
with him are right in their first principles, they will find 
their theory work out easily and naturally in its application 
to the phenomena of Scripture : * if they are wrong, their 
hypothesis will inevitably break down under its own weight, 
as did that of Baur in the sphere of the New Testament 
half a century ago. The ultimate test in either case is 
fitness to meet the facts. It has already been pointed out 
that the result of a searching inquiry has been to produce 
in many minds the conviction that Israel's religion can not 
be explained on mere natural principles. 


Thus much on the more fundamental part of our 
problem; it remains to be asked how far the conclusions 
reached on this point affect the questions raised, in the 
field of literary discussion, on the age, authorship, structure, 

1 Heb. L 1. 

* This is their own claim. Professor W. R. Smith, e.g., in his Preface 
to Wellhanatn, ay : " In the ooarae of the argument it appears that the 
plain, natural sense of the old history has constantly been distorted by the 
talse presuppositions with which we have been accustomed to approach 
it.~-.Pref. to Hi*, of Itrwtl, p. riii. The implication is that WeUhaoaen's 
riew fires the "plain, natural sense." 


and historical value of the Old Testament books especially 
of the Pentateuch, or " five books " traditionally attributed 
to Moses. What is the interest of Christian faith in these 
discussions, or has it any ? Abstractly considered, of 
course, as already said, 1 questions of age, authorship, and 
historical genesis are, in comparison with those we have 
now been considering, of secondary importance. The later 
age, or composite structure, of a book is no necessary 
disproof of its truth. Freeman's History of the Norman 
Conquest, e.g., though written in the nineteenth century, 
does not give us a less just or vivid idea of the series of 
events to which it relates, than the contemporary monkish 
chronicles, etc., on which it is based. The age, authorship, 
and simple or composite character of a book are matters 
for investigation, to be determined solely by evidence, and 
it is justly claimed that criticism, in its investigation of 
such subjects, must be untrammelled: that faith cannot 
be bound up with results of purely literary judgments. 
It will be urged, further, that, as we have admitted, the 
denial of the supernatural in the Old Testament history 
or religion in no way necessarily follows from any theory 
of the dates or relations of documents. All this is true; 
still the matter is not quite so simple as this rather 
superficial way of presenting the case would picture it. 
There is, as was before hinted, a very close connection 
between critical premises and critical results, and it is 
necessary in the present discussion that this connection 
should be kept carefully in view. 

It has already been explained that it is no part of the 
design of these pages to cast discredit on the function of 
criticism as such. It is not even contended that the critical 
theories at present in vogue are constructed wholly in the 
interest of rationalism: far from that. If they were, we 
may be sure that so many believing men would not be 
found accepting or advocating them. To account for such 
acceptance we must assume that they are felt by candid 
minds to answer in some degree to real facts, to rest on a 
basis of real evidence, to afford an explanation of real 
phenomena, to possess a plausibility and reasonableness 
which constrain a genuine assent.* On the other hand, it 
can as little be doubted that the critical hypothesis, in the 

1 See above, p. 5. * See below, Chap. VII. pp. 195-6. 


form into which it has gradually crystallised, shows, in many 
of its features, a marked dependence on rationalistic pre- 
suppositions. There is no gainsaying the fact that, histori- was in rationalistic workshops, mainly, that the critical 
theory was elaborated, and that, from this circumstance, a 
certain rationalistic impress was stamped upon it from the 
first. 1 From Eichhorn and those who followed him Von 
Bohlen, Vatke, De Wette, and the rest the critical treat- 
ment of the Pentateuch received a " set " in the direction of 
naturalism which it has to some extent retained ever since. 
Most of all is it true of the type of theory which is at 
present the dominant one the theory which, to indicate 
the line of its origin, we might describe as the Vatke-Graf- 
Kuenen-Wellhausen-Stade one that it is rationalistic in 
its basis, and in every fibre of its construction. Yet it 
is this theory which, chiefly through the brilliant advocacy 
of Wellhausen, has for the time won an all but universal 
recognition in critical circles on the Continent and in English- 
speaking countries. Its arguments are adopted, its con- 
clusions endorsed, its watchwords repeated, with almost 
monotonous fidelity of iteration, by a majority of scholars 
of all classes in Churches and out of Churches, High 
Church, Broad Church, and Low Church, sceptical and 
believing. This says much for the plausibility of the 
theory, but it suggests also a grave problem. The critical 
hypothesis must, of course, be considered on its merits ; but 
is there not, on the face of it, a supreme improbability that 
a theory evolved under the conditions we have described 
should be, in that form, a theory adequate to Christian faith, 
or with which Christian faith can ultimately be content? 
Is it such a theory as Christian faith would ever have 
evolved from its own presuppositions ? Can it ever be purged 
of its rationalistic leaven, and adapted to the use of 
the Christian Churches, without a complete re-casting on 

1 The statement of the late Dr. Green may need qualification aa respects 
later scholars, but is in the main true of the originators of the critical 
movement: "The development of critical hypotheses inimical to the 
genuinm.-ss and the truth of the book* of the Bible has from the beginning 
Been in the hands of those who were antagonistic to supernatural religion ; 
whose interest in the Bible was purely literary, and who refused to recognise 
its claims as an immediate and authoritative revelation from God." Higher 
Criticism, p. 177. Of. Dr. Cheyne on the indebtedness of the German critical 
movement to English Deism (Foundrrt of Criticism, pp. 1, 2). See also 
below, p. 58. 



principles which are the direct antitheses of those which 
obtain in the schools in which it originated ? We take 
leave to doubt it. Christian scholars are no doubt entirely 
serious in their acceptance of its conclusions, but there 
must grow up, we are persuaded if there is not already 
growing up a perception of the incompatibility of their 
belief, as Christians, in a historical revelation, culminating 
in the Incarnation, 1 with a set of results wrought out on 
the basis of a purely naturalistic view of Israel's history 
and religion which, in fact, as will be discovered, reduces 
the bulk of that history to ruins ! 2 

Criticism, it is granted, must be untrammelled ; also, the 
results complained of do not necessarily follow from the 
reigning critical hypothesis. This last remark we must admit 
to be true, for part of our own argument in a future chapter 
is built upon it. 3 Still it cannot well be denied that, if all 
the results do not necessarily follow from the theory, a 
good many of them do very easily and naturally follow; 
that the way is logically open for them, as it would not be 
on another theory ; and that the reason why the stronger 
conclusion is not drawn often is simply that the believing 
critics are less logical than their fellows. A theory may 
not always be followed to its conclusions, where these, 
nevertheless, very logically follow. It could not be other- 
wise, when regard is had to the presuppositions under the 
influence of which the theory was formed. Everything, as 
Rothe said, can be laid hold of by two handles ; and where the 
case is one, as before remarked, of competing interpretations 
of the same facts, while it is true as ever that both will not 
be found equally suitable to the facts, and that no ingenuity 
can make them so, the room left for the play of subjective con- 
siderations is still very large. In this connection, questions 
of age and authorship are far from being always of secondary 
moment. The true inwardness of many of these will appear 
after in the course of our discussion. It will be forced 
upon us when we observe how frequently the dating does 
not arise from purely literary considerations, but is deter- 
mined by critical assumptions, or by congruity with an 
a priori scheme of development, and when we see the use 
to which the dating is put, viz., to lower the dates of other 

1 See Ottley blow, p. 22. CL Chap. III. pp. 66 tf. 

Chap. III. 


writings, or subvert the credibility of the history. 1 TheA 
late date of the documents composing the Pentateuch, e.g., 
may be employed to support the contention that the narra- 
tive of the Pentateuchal books is wholly, or in great part, \ 
legendary ; the post-exilian date of the Levitical laws may \ 
be used to destroy the connection of the laws with Moses ; 
the low date assigned to the psalms may be really a corollary 
from a particular theory of Israel's religious development, / 
and may be used, in tuni, to buttress that theory. In other 
ways the literary criticism, not intentionally perhaps, but 
really and effectively, may be put at the service of the 
theory. Books may be divided up, or texts manipulated 
and struck out, till the writing is made to speak the language 
which the critic desires. The hyper-analysis of documents 
may result in the dissipation of everything of grandeur, 
not to say of consistency and truthfulness, in a narrative. 
Whether this is an over-colouring of the character of the 
critical procedure, in the hands of many of its representatives, 
will be better judged of in the sequel 


A little may be said before closing this chapter on a line 
of remark sometimes met with, to the effect that the 
contrast we have sought to indicate between the believing 
and the " modern " ways of regarding the Old Testament is, 
after all, less important than it seems. Partly, it may be 
urged, we have unduly narrowed the scope of the words 
" revelation " and " supernatural " ; partly, we have not done 
justice to the high views of God and of His providential 
government which even rationalistic critics allow that the 
prophets of Israel ultimately attained. Professor W. R. 
Smith, in his lectures on The Prophets of Israel, may be taken 
as representing this latter standpoint. Referring to that 
"large and thoughtful school of theologians" which yet 
"refuses to believe that God's dealings with Israel in the 
times before Christ can be distinguished under the special 
name of revelation from His providential guidance of 
other nations," he observes that "in one point of view 
this departure from the usual doctrine of Christians is 
perhaps less fundamental than it seems at first sight to be." 

1 See Appendix to Chap. X. pp. 378-9. 


He goes on : " For, as a matter of fact, it is not and cannot 
be denied that the prophets found for themselves and their 
nation a knowledge of God, and not a mere speculative 
knowledge, but a practical fellowship of faith with Him, 
which the seekers after truth among the Gentiles never 
attained to." * The idea seems to be that, these high views 
of God and of religion in the prophets being acknowledged 
to be there, it is not necessary to burden the argument with 
too curious questions as to how they got to be there, 
whether by supernatural revelation, or in the way in which 
spiritual truth is grasped by thinkers of other nations. 
Enough that we now have them. 

This appears to us, however, to be very fallacious 
reasoning ; the more that Professor Smith admits that behind 
" there appears to lie a substantial and practical difference 
of view between the common faith of the Churches and the 
views of the modern school," z and proceeds to give very 
cogent reasons for assuming a more direct and special revela- 
tion. 8 Not only, on the view described, is the prophet's 
own consciousness of the source of his message denied, and 
the higher character of his knowledge of God left without 
adequate explanation ; but the results in the two cases are 
not the same. The ideas of the prophets on God, on the 
naturalistic hypothesis, cannot be allowed, at best, to rise 
higher than man is capable of attaining by the reflection of 
his own mind on his natural and providential environment, 
i.e., to certain general truths about God's existence, unity, 
ethical character, and universal providence. Even this, it 
might be shown, assumes much more than the premises of 
the system will warrant, and, like the " natural religion " of the 
eighteenth century Deism, implies an unacknowledged debt 
to revelation. In any case it does not yield an authoritative 
revelation of God's purpose, and saving will for man, derived 
immediately from Himself : it lacks, even in what it does 
yield, in certitude ; and in both respects falls short of what 
is demanded by the full Christian faith. It is further 
apparent that on such a view justice cannot be done to the 
earlier stages of the religion of Israel. The temptation ot 
the critic who proceeds on these lines if, indeed, he has 
any alternative is to lower the character of the religion to 
suit the conditions of its hypothetical development ; to give 

1 Prophets of Israel, p. 9. * Ibid. p. 10. Ibid. pp. 11, 12. 


a mean view of its origin and early manifestations ; and to 
contend against the recognition of a divine redemptive 
purpose manifesting itself from the first in its history. 

With respect to the usage of the words " revelation " 
and "supernatural," we have gladly acknowledged that 
there are few scholars of the present day among serious 
investigators probably none who would deny that Israel 
had a unique vocation, or would refuse to recognise, in some 
degree, a "providential guidance" in its history. Thus 
Duhm makes the quite general statement that, objectively 
regarded, there is no alternative to "the necessity of 
accepting a providential guidance in the actual stages of the 
development of religion." 1 Most, however, in recent years 
go further, and freely use the word " revelation " to express 
the peculiarity of Israel's religion. Thus Gunkel, one of the 
most radical of critics, says : " The conviction remains irre- 
fragable that, in the course of the Israelitish religion, the 
power of the living God reveals itself"; 2 and elsewhere: 
" Israel is, and remains, the people of revelation." * When 
the matter is inquired into, however, it is found that the 
term " revelation " is here used in a sense which does not in 
reality cover more than Kuenen's " natural development," or 
Duhm's " providential guidance." That which, on the human 
side, is natural psychological development, is, on the divine 
ide, interpreted as God's revelation of Himself to man. 4 

Whichever formula is employed, the advocates of this 
type of theory find themselves in an obvious difficulty. 
God's "guidance" is recognised, but the guidance is of so 
faulty a character that it results in a set of ideas as to a 
*upmiatural government of the world, and su/vrnatural 
dealings of God with Israel, wholly alien to the actual state 
of the facts as the critics represent it If " revelation " is 
affirmed, the revelation is held to be compatible with an 
abundance of error and illusion, and results, again, on the 
part of the prophets, in a total misreading of the past 
history of the nation, and in views of God, His purpose, and 
living relations with men, which, if true, would cut the 

1 Thfol. d. Prophet**, p. 89. 

' Sehdpfwtg vnd Chaos, p. 118. 

* Itmul **d Babylonian, pp. 37-38. 

4 Gunkel says: "The history of rerelation transacts itself among men 
according to the same psychological laws an erery other human *Tcnt." 
Ibid. p. 87. Cf. the whole passage, pp. 84-38. 


ground from under the rationalistic theory. The elements, 
in either case, which the critics permit themselves to extract 
from the prophetic teaching do not, as said, rise above a 
vague theism, and the announcement of an ethical ideal. 
" Revelation," in the specific, supernatural sense, is not, and 
cannot be, admitted on this view, either in the process or in 
the goal. Not in the process, for there is nothing there, 
confessedly, transcending natural conditions; and not in 
the goal, for Jesus, with all these writers, while reverenced 
as the highest type for us the pattern of spiritual religion, 
is nothing more : l least of all is He the Son of God incar- 
nate. Our distinction between natural and supernatural in 
the history of Israel, therefore, remains. Even with regard 
to those and they are many who do in some form admit 
" supernatural " revelation, it cannot be too constantly borne 
in mind that it is not any and every kind of admission of 
the supernatural which satisfies the Christian demand. It 
is Christ Himself in the full revelation of His glory as the 
only-begotten Son who is the touchstone and measure of 
the supernatural for faith ; and only that view of revelation 
in Israel is adequate which finds its necessary culmination 
in His Person and redemption. 2 

It is now proper that a sketch should be given of the 
general course to be followed in the discussions in the 
succeeding chapters. 

First, a brief preliminary survey will be taken of the 
witness which the Old Testament itself bears, in its 
structure, and in the uniqueness of its history and religion, 
to its own authority and inspiration as the record of God's 
revelation to His ancient people (Chap. II.). Thus far 
critical questions are held over. 

1 See on Kuenen above, p. 12. 

J Ottley says : " If Jesus Christ were merely the last and most eminent 
of a line of prophets, there would be more to be said for that familiar type 

pie not 

revelation imparted to elect souls at different epochs in Israel a history, 
but in fetishism, or totemism, or polytheism, whence by a slow process of 
purely natural evolution it passed to its final stage in ethical mono- 
theism." Aspects of O.T., p. 13. Ottley, in this work, with his belief in 
the Incarnation and in miracle, admits too much not to admit more. His 
positive Christian beliefs fit badly into the frame of Wellhausenism. 


The next four chapters will be devoted to the consider- 
ation of the question How far is this view which the Old 
Testament gives of itself affected by the results of modern 
criticism? At this stage the ordinary analysis of the 
Hexateuch (JE, D, P) 1 will be provisionally accepted, and 
the aim will be to show that, even on this basis, the 
essential outlines of the patriarchal and Mosaic history 
(Chaps. III., IV.), and the outstanding facts of the religion 
and institutions of the Old Testament (Chaps. V., VI.), are 
not sensibly affected, that they are not, and cannot be, 
overturned. The way being thus cleared for consideration 
of the critical hypothesis on its own merits, the four 
succeeding chapters are occupied with a somewhat careful 
examination of that hypothesis in its fundamental positions 
and several parts. In this examination attention is con- 
centrated on the points which are thought to be most 
crucial* These chapters (VII.-X.) set forth the reasons 
which prevent us yielding our assent to the current critical 
hypothesis, except under conditions which essentially 
transform its character and bearings. The chapters may, 
if the reader likes, be viewed as setting forth our " sceptical 
doubts " on that hypothesis, though in many respects they 
are really more than doubts. It is sought to be shown how 
precarious and arbitrary are many of the grounds on which 
the critical hypothesis rests, and how strong are the reasons 
for challenging its principal postulates, and some of what 
are regarded as its most " settled " results. This is argued 
particularly in respect of : 

1. The alleged distinction of the documents J and , 
and the dates assigned to these (Chap. VII.). 

2. The origin of Deuteronomy in the age of Josiah or 
Manasseh (Chap. VIIL). 

3. The post-exilian origin of the so-called Priestly 
Code (Chaps. IX., X.). Chap. IX. deals with the Code and 
Chap. X. with the document. 

The question of the divine names is discussed in 
Chap. VII. 

With respect to the Priestly writing (P), it is contended 
that, whilst it is distinct in stylistic character from JE, there 

1 For explanation of these symbol* a* Chan. III. pp. 65-66, and Chap. 
VII. PP. 196 ff. 

' Cf. Appendix at end of ohaptei . 


is no evidence of P ever having existed as an independent 
document; that, on the contrary, it stands in the closest 
relations with the other elements in the narrative, and is 
most appropriately regarded as (at least in Genesis) the 
" framework " in which the JE narrative is set, with slight 
working over of the latter. Eeasons are given for carrying 
back both books and legislation to a much earlier date than 
the critical hypothesis allows, and for recognising in both 
a substantially Mosaic basis. 

A glance is taken at the later historical books in an 
Appendix to Chap. X. 

The conclusions reached in the preceding discussions 
receive corroboration in a chapter on the bearings of 
Archaeology on the Old Testament (Chap. XL). 

A closing chapter deals with the age of the Psalter, 
the reality of predictive prophecy, and the progressiveness 
of divine revelation (Chap. XI L). 


IT is interesting to note what the critics themselves 
regard as the crucial points in their theory. Here are 
a few utterances on the subject. 

Westphal says: "We shall take Deuteronomy as 
Ariadne's thread in the labyrinth into which the historical 
problem of the Pentateuch introduces us." l 

Delitzsch says: "Since then (Grafs time) the Book 
of Ezekiel has become the Archimedean point on which the 
Pentateuchal criticism has planted itself, and from which it 
has lifted off its hinges the history of worship and literature 
in Israel as hitherto accepted." * 

Wellhausen says : " The chapters xL-xlviii. (in Ezekiel) 
are the most important in his book, and have been called 
by J. Orth, not incorrectly, the key of the Old Testament." * 

Smend also says: "The decisive importance of this 
section for the criticism of the Pentateuch was first re- 
cognised by George and Vatke. It has been rightly called 
the key of the Old Testament"* 

Wellhausen in another place says: "The position of 
the Levites is the Achilles heel of the Priestly Coda" * 

Elsewhere he emphasises the centralisation of the cultus 
as containing his whole position. " I differ from Graf/' he 
says, "chiefly in this, that I always go back to the 
centralisation of the cultus, and deduce from it the 
particular divergences. My whole position is contained 
in my first chapter" (on "The Place of Worship.")* 

Kuenen also has his Achilles heel Speaking of Graf's 
original division of the priestly history and legislation (see 

1 Sounet du Pent. ii. p. zzir. * Luthardt's Zttixkrtft, 1880, p. 379. 

Hut, & /trad, p. 421. Euehitl, p. 812. 

Hi*, of Itntl, p. 167. Ibid. p. 868. 


below, p. 200), he says : " I saw clearly that his division 
of the Grundschrift was the Achilles heel of his whole 
hypothesis : the solution of Graf could not be the true one : 
it went only half-way." l 

In the argument in the present book special weight 
will be found to bt attached to the following facts : 

1. The " pre-prophetic " character of J and E, as involved 
in their admitted priority to Amos and Hosea. 

2. The admittedly " parallel " character of J and E, and 
their marked stylistic resemblance. 

3. The admitted priority of J and E, and of the " Book 
of the Covenant," to Deuteronomy. 

4. The admitted priority of J and E to P (in reversal 
of the older view), and the fact that P is throughout 
parallel to, and presupposes, JE (Wellhausen). 

5. The admission by many critics (e.g. t Driver, Baudissin, 
Kyle) of the priority of the Levitical collection known as the 
" Law of Holiness " to EzekieL 

The turning points in the discussion are those indicated 
in the text : 

1. Are J and E two documents, or one ? 

2. The Josianic origin of Deuteronomy. 

3. The post-exilian origin of the Levitical Code. 

The critical positions on these three points are traversed 
and the rejection of them is shown to involve as its onlj 
tenable alternative (middle views as Noldeke's and Dill- 
mann's being cut out by the Wellhausen polemic) thi 
essential Mosaicity of the Pentateuch. 

1 T\eol. Tijdtchr. 1870, p. 410. 


TTbc $lo ^Testament from its own point of IWcw 

" Israel has the idea of teleology as a kind of soul." DORNEB. 

"Behind it all is the mystery of race and of selection. It is an ultimata 
fact in the history and government of the world, this eminent genius of 
one tiny people for religion. We know no more : and, in M. Kenan's own 
terms, the people was 'selected,' just as, in words more familiar, Israel is 
' the chosen people.' " ANDREW LANG. 

"When we say that God dealt with Israel in the way of special revela- 
tion, and crowned His dealings by personally manifesting all His grace 
and truth in Jesus Christ the incarnate Word, we mean that the Bible 
contains within itself a perfect picture of God's gracious relations with 
man, and that we have no need to go outside the Bible history to learn 
anything of God and His saving will towards us, that the whole growth 
of the true religion up to its perfect fulness is set before us in the record 
of God's dealings with Israel culminating in the manifestation of Jesus 
Christ" W. R. SMITH. 

" If the first three chapters of Genesis are taken out of the Bible, it is 
deprived of the terminus a quo : if the last three chapters of the Apocalypse 
are taken away, it is deprived of the terminus ad quern. " 



OUB subject of study, then, is this book of history, of laws, 
of prophecy, of psalms, of wisdom literature, which we call 
the Old Testament. Before, however, entangling ourselves 
in the thorny brakes into which the critical study of this 
older collection of Scriptures conducts us, it is desirable 
that we should look for a little at the book by itself, in 
the form in which we have it, and allow its own voice 
to be heard on its character and place in the economy of 

There are obvious advantages in this course. No slight 
is intended to be cast on criticism : but it may be gravely 
questioned whether this constant discussion going on about 
the Bible, this minute dissection and analysis of it, and 
perpetual weighing of its parts in the nice scales of a critical 
balance, has not at least one harmful effect, that, viz., of 
coming between men and the devout, prayerful study of 
the Bible itself, out of which alone can grow that sense 
of ite harmony and proportion, and experience of its saving 
and sanctifying power, which yield the best proof of its 
divine origin. The dissecting chamber is necessary; but 
it is not exactly the best place for acquiring a sense of the 
symmetry and beauty of the living human body, or for 
cultivating reverence for it. It is hardly less difficult to 
grow into a spiritual appreciation of Scripture, when we 
are not permitted to make acquaintance with a Biblical 
book till it has first been put upon the critic's table, and 
there sliced, severed, and anatomised, till all the palpitating 
life has gone out of it, and we are left, as chief result, with 
dry lists of the sections, verses, or parts of verses, supposed 


to belong to the different narrators or editors ! l The Bible 
has a character and power of impression which belong to 
it as a living book ; it is right that these should have justice 
done to them before the process of disintegration begins. 

We would here indicate, therefore, at the outset, what 
precisely it is we propose to do, and what we do not propose 
to do, in the present chapter. We propose, then, treat- 
ing the Old Testament for the time as part of the general 
organism of Scripture, to take the Bible just as it is, just 
as it lies before us, and to ask what kind of a book it is, 
what sort of an account it gives of itself, and what kind of 
impression of its origin and source grows out of this first- 
hand acquaintance with it. We shall have little or nothing 
to say at this stage of theories of criticism these will come 
after ; nothing of questions of age, authorship, or genuine- 
ness; little of theories of revelation or inspiration. There 
may be gain, for once, in leaving these things for a short while 
aside, and permitting the Bible to speak for itself to utter 
its own unconstrained testimony to produce on the mind 
its own immediate effect, without reference to outside 
controversies. The Bible may prove in this way, as it has 
often proved before, to be its own best witness, and it is 
this aspect and evidence of its divineness which, it seems to 
us, it is necessary at the present time, in the difficulty and 
uncertainty in which many are involved, most of all to 


We take up the Bible, then, in the way suggested, and 
the first thing, we think, that must strike us in connec- 
tion with it, is, that this book is, in a remarkable sense, 
a unity. From another point of view, of course, the Bible 
is not one book, but a collection of books : as Jerome named 
it, " a divine library." It comes to us " by divers portions 
and in divers manners." a The writings that compose it are 
spread over at least a thousand years. Yet the singular 
fact is that, when these writings are put together, they 

1 In illustration, the reader may consult, e.g., the tabular summations 
which are the chief outcome of the (otherwise able) article on " Exodus" in 
Hastings' Diet, of the Bible (i. pp. 806 0*.). The sensation is like chewing 

J Heb. L 1. 


constitute, structurally, one book ; make up a " Bible," 1 as 
we call it, with beginning, and middle, and end, which 
produces on the mind a sense of harmony and completeness. 
This peculiarity in the Bible, which is not essentially 
affected by any results of criticism since, indeed, the more 
the critic divides and distributes his material, the outcome 
in the book as we have it is only the more wonderful * is 
best illustrated by contrast For Christianity is not the 
only religion in the world, nor is the Bible the only 
collection of sacred books in existence. There are many 
Bibles of different religions. The Mohammedan has his 
Koran ; the Buddhist has his Canon of Sacred Scriptures ; 
the Zoroastrian has his Zenda vesta; the Brahman has his 
Vedas. On the basis of this very fact, comparative religion 
groups a number of religions together as " book- religions." 
These sacred books are made accessible to us by reliable 
translations, and we can compare them with our own 
Scriptures. But, not to speak of the enormous superiority 
of the Bible to these other sacred books, even in a literary 
respect, for few, we presume, capable of judging, would 
think of comparing even the noblest of the Babylonian or 
Yedic hymns, or of the Zoroastrian Gathas, in power or 
grandeur, with the Hebrew psalms; or would liken the 
few really lofty passages on God in the Koran with the 
sustained sublimity of the Hebrew prophets ; or would draw 
a parallel between the wild extravagances of the Buddhist 
Lalita Vistara and the simplicity, beauty, and self-restraint 
of the Christian Gospels, 3 we would fix attention only on 
this one point the contrast in respect of unity. We seek 
in vain in these ethnic Scriptures for anything answering to. 
this name. The Koran, for instance, is a miscellany of dis- 
jointed pieces, out of which it is impossible to extract any 
order, progress, or arrangement The 114 Suras or chapters 
of which it is composed are arranged chieHy according 
to length the longer in general preceding the shorter. 4 

1 Originally Biblia, "The Books," then "in the thirteenth century, by 
happy solecism," says Weatoott, " the neuter plural came to be regarded as 
a feminine singular, and 'The Books' became, by common consent, 'The 
Book,' iu which form the word has passed into the languages of modem 
Europe." BibU in the Church, p. 6. 

* 8e below, Chap. HI. 

See Not* A on the Bible and other Sacred Books. 

4 They were originally, as given by Mohammed, written on pieces of 
tone, bone, leather, palm-leaves, or whatever material was available, and 


It is not otherwise with the Zoroastrian and Buddhist 
Scriptures. These are equally destitute of beginning, 
middle, or end. They are, for the most part, coUections 
of heterogeneous materials, loosely placed together. How 
different everyone must acknowledge it to be with the 
Bible ! From Genesis to Revelation we feel that this book 
is in a real sense a unity. It is not a collection of 
fragments, but has, as we say, an organic character. It 
has one connected story to tell from beginning to end; 
we see something growing before our eyes; there is plan, 
purpose, progress; the end folds back on the beginning, 
and, when the whole is finished, we feel that here again, as 
in the primal creation, God has finished all His works, and, 
behold, they are very good. This is a very external way, it 
may be granted, of looking at the Bible, yet it is a very 
important one. It puts the Bible before us at the outset 
as a unique book. There is nothing exactly resembling 
it, or even approaching it, in all literature. 1 To find its 
explanation, it compels us to go behind the fragmentariness 
of the parts, to the underlying unity of thought and purpose 
in the whole. The unity of the Bible is not something 
factitious made. It grows out of the unity of the religion 
and the history, and points to that as its source. 


To deepen our impression of this unity of the Bible, and 
at the same time carry us a step further into the heart of 
our subject, we notice again that the Bible consists of two 
parts an Old Testament and a New, and would observe 
lww the second of these parts folds back upon the first. The 
Old Testament is one group of writings, mostly in Hebrew, 
and the New Testament is another group of writings, in 
Greek, with centuries between them. Yet how manifestly 
is the latter the counterpart and completion of the former ! 
The argument from prophecy has often been overdriven, and 
may easily be run into exaggeration and triviality ; but if 

thrown into a chest ; thence, after Mohammed's death, they were taken out 
and copied. Some were preserved only by memory. 

1 " No other literature is linked into one whole like this, instinct with one 
spirit and purpose, and, with all its variety of character and origin, moving 
forward to an unseen yet certain goal." Eirkpatrick, Divine Library of 
the, O.T., p. 92. 


we take the Bible's own way of putting it, " The testimony 
of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy," l it is difficult for any 
candid mind to deny that the spirit of the Old Testament 
fulfils itself in the New. This, again, is a result largely 
independent of critical discussions. Take, for example, that 
wonderful picture of the suffering Servant of Jehovah in the 
53rd chapter of Isaiah, which the Church has always, 
and rightly, regarded as Messianic. 2 Dismissing for the 
moment all critical considerations as to age, authorship, 
or original reference, let anyone steep his mind in the 
contents of that chapter, then read what is said about Jesus 
in the Gospels, and, as he stands under the shadow of the 
Cross, say if there is not the most complete correspondence 
between the two. In Jesus of Nazareth, alone in all history, 
but in Him perfectly, has this prophecy found a fulfil- 
ment. The meekness, the pathos of undeserved suffering, 
the atoning function, the final triumph, will suit no 
other. 8 

The result is not different if we enlarge our view to the 
consideration of the religion of Israel as a whole. The 
religion of Israel has been called a religion of hope. Its 
face is always to the future. 4 The system of things in the 
Old Testament presents itself prevailingly as something 
provisional, temporary, incomplete. There is growth in the 
Old Testament from the patriarchal stage to the Mosaic ; 
from the Mosaic to the prophetic ; but it is like the plant 
developing from stalk to bud, and from bud to flower, there 
is a final stage yet to come that of the ripened fruit.* 

1 Rev. xix. 10. 

Cf. Dr. A. B. Davidson, O.T. Prophecy, pp. 411, 427, 445. "There 
is not one," he says, " of the better class of critics who does not recognise 
the pertinence of the question, In whom are the features of the Servant to 
be recognised t or who does not give the same answer to the question as 
the orthodox theologian " (p. 411). 

Bleek, quoted by Dr. Davidson, says : " What the prophet here says as 
yet in general, in reference to the Servant as such, as it were t'n abttraeto, 
has received it* complete fulfilment in the One, who was the only holy and 
perfectly sinless among the human race, and therefore the only one whose 
Bufferings had such a character that, not being due to His own individual 
transgression in any way, they can be regarded as serving for the atonement 
of the sins of men." O.T. Prophecy, p. 411 ; of. Orelli, O.T. Piiij^isf. 
pp. 387 ff. 

4 E.g., Gen. xii. 8. 

* Dillmann nays : "This religion of the ancient people of Israel every- 
where points beyond itself, exhibiting itself as a work begun, which lacks 
its final perfection, and so compels UK in the nature of the case to apprehend 


The old covenant is to give place to a new, a more 
inward and spiritual, when the law of God shall be written 
on men's hearts ; l the old national forms are to break up, 
and Jehovah is to become the God of the whole earth ; 2 in 
their deepest abasement and humiliation the people of Israel 
never lose the assurance that from them the light is to go 
forth which shall illumine the darkness of the whole world 
that the Gentiles shall come to their light, and kings to 
the brightness of their rising. 8 These things are not to be 
brought about without instrumentality, and here we find, 
trait after trait, the figure of the Messiah shaping itself, 
the King who is to reign in righteousness, 4 the Immanuel- 
Child, with the wondrous fourfold name, who is the 
guarantee for the perpetuity of the throne and kingdom of 
David, 6 the Servant of Jehovah, who is to bear the people's 
sins, 6 the Branch who is to build again the temple of 
Jehovah. 7 The Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh, 8 
and the kingdom of God will come. 

Now, let anyone open his New Testament, and say if 
there is no counterpart to, and completion of, all this there. 
Something higher, grander, diviner, no doubt, than even the 
prophets could imagine ; yet bringing to pass in every 
essential respect all that they foretold, all that lay in the 
bosom of that old covenant waiting its realisation. 9 May 
we not say that the Christian Church itself is a living proof 
of the truth of these predictions ? Is it not Israel's God 
we worship ? Is it not Israel's faith that beats in our 
hearts ? Israel's Messiah we trust in for salvation ? Israel's 
privilege to which we are admitted ? Every time we sing 
these old Hebrew psalms, which are to this hour so mar- 
vellous an expression of the faith, and hope, and aspirations 
of the soul seeking after God, do we not declare that we 

it in relation to Christianity, as that in which essentially it is per* 
footed. "Altfest. Theol. p. 8. 

1 Cf. Deut xxx. 6 ; Jer. xxxi. 31-4 ; xxxii. 39, 40 ; Ezek. xi. 19, 20 ; 
xxxvi. 26, 27. 

1 Num. xiv. 21 ; Isa. xlv. 22, 23 ; Zeph. ii. 11 ; Hag. ii. 6, 7. 

Isa. lx., etc. 4 Isa. xxxii. 1 ; xxxiii. 15, 16. 

Isa. vii. 14 ; viii. 8, 10 ; ix. 6, 7 ; cf. Mic. v. 2, 3. 
' Isa. liii. 

7 Zech. iii. 8 ; vi. 12 ; cf. Isa. iv. 2 ; Jer. xxiii. 5. 

' Joel ii. 28, 29. On these passages see the works on O.T. Prophecy by 
Davidson, Delitzsch, Riehtn, Orelli, etc., and cf. below, Chap. XII. p. 460. 

Cf. the suggestive sections in Riehm's Mess. Prophecy (E.T. 1876), 
pp. 83 ff. 


belong to the same spiritual city as the men who wrote 
them ? l When, accordingly, the New Testament gathers up 
all these types and prophecies of the Old Testament, and 
sees them fulfilled in Christ,- calls Him, for example, the 
" Lamb of God, which taketh away >he sin of the world," * 
the " chief corner stone, elect, precious," which God has laid 
in Zion,* identifies Him with that Servant of whom it is 
declared that the Spirit of Jehovah was upon Him, to 
preach good tidings to the meek, to bind up the broken- 
hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening 
of the prison to them that are bound, 6 do we not feel that 
it is justified in so doing? When the writer of the Epistle 
to the Hebrews sees all the old rites and institutions 
glorified in the light of the new religion, and represents 
them as types and shadows which have fulfilled their 
function, and pass away now that the reality has come,* do 
we not recognise that he is giving us the truest rationale of 
that old economy ? When the Book of Revelation tells of 
Paradise restored, and figures the tree of life growing in the 
midst, 7 do we not feel that the end of revelation, in very 
truth, looks back to its beginning, and that here the ruin of 
Eden is repaired, and the curse of man's first disobedience, 
which " brought death into our world, and all our woe," 
finally abolished ? There is again nothing mechanical in 
this relation of the Old and New Testaments. The connec- 
tion is vital, not external, but is on that account all the 
more wonderful, and without parallel 


We have seen that this surprising unity which char- 
acterises the Bible is only to be explained by going back 
to the history and the religion which the Bible makes known 

Cf. Pi. Ixxxvii. (R.V.). 

1 Kuenen allows that this fulfilment was claimed by Jesus and His 
disciples, and says " it is impossible for as to form too high an estimate of 
the importance of the application of these pas*ages." Proptutt and /Vopfesjb 
pp. 622 IF. Bat he holds that the interpretation is unwarranted. Yet how 
ingalar that these representations should admit of " being merged in one 
grand figure," if nothing of the kind was intended. 

John L 29. 1 Pet ii. 6 ; cf. Isa. xxriii. 10. 

Isa. JxL 1 ; cf. Luke ir. 18. It is Jesus Himself who make* ibis 

Heb. ix. ; x. 1 . Bar. ii. 7 ; xxiL S. 


to us, in which the real mystery or wonder lies. The Bible 
is a unique book, because it is the record and literature of a 
unique religion. We turn first to the history, and here are 
at once arrested by what may be described as its Ideological 
character. " Israel," says Dorner, " has the idea of teleology 
as a kind of soul." 1 Its history, that is, is dominated by 
the idea of purpose. It is this which gives unity to the 
history and to the books which contain it. The purpose 
is not always consciously apprehended by the actors in the 
events ; still less, as we shall see hereafter, is it something 
which exists only in the minds of the authors of the books, 
and is by them put into the history. 2 It lies in the facts 
themselves, and reveals itself with increasing clearness as 
the history proceeds, till at length the mystery " hid from 
all ages and generations" 3 is fully unveiled in Christ 
and His salvation. This teleological character of the history 
is recognised by every writer of genuine insight into the 
spiritual nature of Israel's religion, 4 and is allowed to stamp 
the religion with a uniqueness which absolutely distinguishes 
it from every other. 

But the fact lies on the face of the history itself. This 
is readily seen by a glance at the development. The basis 
is laid in the account of the creation of the world, and of 
the culmination of that creation in man. From this the 
narrative goes on to recount man's fall, and to trace the 
development of the race in the lines of piety and impiety 
through Seth and Cain respectively, till the growing 
corruption of the world brings upon it the judgment of 
the flood. A new start is made in the covenant with 
Noah, from whom the repeopling of the world, and the 
distribution of its races, proceed. The growing spread of 
godlessness, and lapse of the nations into heathenism, leads 
to the next step in the unfolding of the divine purpose in 
the call of Abraham, and in the promises made to him and 

1 Syst. of Doct. i. p. 274. 

1 See this discussed below, Chap. III. pp. 62-64. 

Col. i. 26 ; cf. Eph. iii. 3, 9. 

4 Schultz, e.g., in his O.T. Theol. p. 2, says : " We mean to describe, 
not various forms of religion, which have merely an external connection 
of place or time, but a single religion in the various stages of its develop- 
ment, which stages consequently have an organic inner connection. Hence 
in such a presentation each member must be properly linked to its fellow. 
A common ligament of living growth must bind all the parts together. 
The presentation must be, not merely historical, but genetic.' 


to his seed. The promise of blessing, beginning in Eden, 1 
afterwards restricted to the line of Shem, 2 is now, in the 
Abrahamic covenant, definitely associated with this patriarch 
and his posterity not, however, ip the spirit of a narrow 
particularism, but with a view to the ultimate blessing of 
mankind. 8 Already appears at this early stage of the history 
that law of election, of gracious purpose working along a 
defined line for an ultimate larger good, which is so marked 
a feature of the history throughout The line of promise 
still further narrows itself for limitation and definiteness 
here are essential to success in Abraham's sons, in the 
election of Isaac, not Ishmael ; in Isaac's sons, in the choice 
of Jacob, not Esau ; in Jacob's sons, in the designation of 
Judah as the royal tribe. 4 The patriarchal age, with its 
renewals of the covenant, its prophetic announcements, 
its singular providences, its preparation in the elevation of 
Joseph for the descent into Egypt, ends with the removal 
to that country, where the people hud room and opportunity 
to multiply, till, with change of dynasty, the fiery trial over- 
took them by which they were finally welded into a nation. 
The Mosaic age, which succeeds the patriarchal, is 
closely linked with the preceding through the promises 
to the fathers, of which it brought the fulfilment. Allusion 
need only be made to the series of events which marks this 
beginning of Israel's national life the birth and call of 
Moses, the Exodus, the covenant at Sinai, the discipline of 
the wilderness, the settlement in Canaan, the land before 
promised to Abraham. The vicissitudes and disorganisation 
of the time of the Judges and of Samuel lead up to the rise 
of the monarchy, and to the new hopes and promises attached 
to the line of David. 6 The rending of the kingdom, and 
the backslidings and often wholesale lapses into idolatry 
of the people, might seem to portend the ruin of these 
hopes, and the frustration of the divine purpose. But the 
singular the unexampled thing in the history of this 
people is that the purpose of God in the history is not 

1 Gen. iii. 15. Ottlej Mja that this passage "strikes at the outset of 
redemptive history the note of promise ana of nope." Hist, of Htbt. p. 11. 
Cf. Driver, Oenen$, pp. 40, 67. 

* Gen. iz. 26. * Gen. xii. 8 ; of. xriii. 18 ; xxii. 18. 

4 Gen. xlix. 10. On the interpretation, cf. Driver, Otnttit, pp. 385, 
410-14 ; Orelli, O.T. Prophecy, pp. 118-23, eto. 

2 Sam. vii. 


defeated by outward failure; rather, it is in the depth of 
adversity and seeming defeat that it asserts itself most 
clearly, enlarges, purities, and spiritualises itself, and is 
never, in the prophets, more confident of victory than when, 
to the eye of sense, the cause of the kingdom of God 
appears hopelessly lost. 

We need not pursue this proof of a teleological character 
in the history of Israel further. The same result would be 
obtained if, starting with the completed revelation, we 
looked at the history retrogressively. Not only does the 
Gospel of the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed unfold 
itself from the bosom of the Jewish community, but the 
whole consciousness of Jesus roots itself in the older revela- 
tion, presupposes it, moves in the circle of its ideas, claims 
to be the fulfilment of it. It was not the prophets only that 
Jesus came to fulfil, but " the law and the prophets," l the 
whole Old Testament revelation. If we go back to the 
prophetic age, we find the prophets as uniformly basing 
their message on the covenant relation of Israel to Jehovah 
which the earlier history attests. 2 The national conscious- 
ness of Israel connects itself unalterably with Moses and 
the Exodus, and with the laws and statutes it then received 
from Jehovah ; yet with not less distinctness it declares that 
the national stage in its history was not the earliest, but 
was preceded by the patriarchal, and by the covenants with 
the fathers. Israel's God was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, 
and of Jacob. The starting-point in its covenant history 
was not Moses, but Abraham. 8 There is thus displayed 
throughout the whole of these Old Testament Scriptures 
a historical continuity, a firmness and coherence of texture, 
a steadily evolving, and victorious, self-fulfilling purpose, 
which has nowhere, even in the remotest degree, its parallel 
in the history of religions. 


Thus far we have looked at the book and at the history 
of Israel's religion, and have found in both a character for 

1 Matt v. 17. 

1 E.g., Amos ii. 4, 10 ; iii. 1, 2; Hos. viii. 1 ; xi. 1-4; Mic. vi. 4 ; 
Isa. i. 2 ; v. 1-7 ; xi. 16 ; li. 1, 2, 10 ; Jer. ii. 17, etc. 

1 Isa. xxix. 22 ; li. 1 ; Jer. xxxiii. 26 ; Ezek. xxxiiL 24 ; Mic. vii. 20. 
See on this below, pp. 94 ff. 


which no proper parallel can be discovered elsewhere: we 
now advance a stage further, and inquire whether the 
religion itself does not present a similar uniqueness. 
Only those who have not truly entered into its spirit, or 
appreciated its relation to other forms of belief, will 
dispute the proposition that the religion of Israel is 
unique. It is not the fact of its uniqueness, but whether 
the uniqueness is of such a kind as to require us to 
postulate a special, supernatural cause for its explanation, 
which is matter of controversy. We shall see immedi- 
ately what the Old Testament itself has to say on that 

1. A unique religion will display its character equally 
by what it has and by what it wants. There are, on the 
negative side, many things absent in Israel's religion which 
we should expect to find there, if it was simply one among 
other religions. Resemblances, as before remarked, in out- 
ward respects, there necessarily are. In the religion of Israel 
we have a sanctuary, priesthood, altars, sacrifices, ritual 
much more that has its counterpart in other cults. When, 
however, from this outward vesture of the religion, we 
come to its heart and essence, it is not the resemblances, 
but the contrasts, which impress us. We are not disposed 
to be stinted in our acknowledgment of the better 
elements in the ethnic religions ; but, whatever place may 
be given to these, the fact remains that, in their historical 
forms, the higher elements are hardly visible, while the 
foreground is occupied by an idolatrous worship, an ex- 
travagant and often immoral mythology, customs and 
usages debasing to the last degree. We need only recall 
the spirit-worship and magic of Babylonia; the animal- 
worship and ancestor-worship of Egypt ; the stone-worship, 
and tree-worship, and serpent-worship, the human sacrifices, 
the lustful rites, the self-immolations, which enter so deeply 
into most non-Biblical religions. How great the contrast 
when we come to the religion of Israel! We do 
not enter into details at present, for we shall have to 
return to the subject in dealing with the very different 
theory of the critical school, that Israel began practically 
on the same level, and with much the same beliefs and 
practices, as its heathen neighbours, and only late in its 
history, in the days of the prophets, attained to higher 


conceptions. 1 It will not be contended, at least, that this is 
the view of things that meets us on the face of the religion. 
Few will be bold enough to maintain that tree- worship, 
stone-worship, serpent-worship, image-worship, and similar 
superstitions, are conspicuous features on the Bible page. 
These things, we grant, or some of them, are found in the 
Bible history in patriarchal and Mosaic times in sparse 
traces ; later, in times of general declension, when the 
people fell away into the idolatries and vices of the nations 
around them, more abundantly; but they are no proper 
part of Israel's religion, and are invariably resisted, 
denounced, and condemned, as apostacy from Jehovah. 
Idolatry is sternly condemned in the oldest code of laws : * 
divination, necromancy, consulting with familiar spirits, 
are prohibited; 3 the instances in which contrary practices 
appear, as Rachel's teraphim,* Micah's images, 6 Saul's con- 
sulting of the witch of Endor, 8 etc., are sporadic and 
occasional, and appear either as survivals of older super- 
stitions, or as violations of fundamental principles of 
the religion, such as are met with in every age and 
country. 7 

2. We do not dwell longer on these negative features 
of Israel's religion, but turn to the positive side, in which, 
naturally, the clearest proof of its uniqueness must lie. 
Here it may be sufficient to fix attention on three great 
fundamental ideas, in which, perhaps, the contrast between 
it and other forms of religion is most distinctly to be traced. 

(1) We take, first, what meets us on the surface the 
monotheism of this Israelitish religion. This of itself is 
much, if we think of the polytheism and idolatry which 
everywhere else overspread the earth. We look to the 
religions of ancient Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt, or 

1 See Chips. IV. p. 86 ; V. pp. 133 ff. Ex. xx. 4, 5 ; xxiii. 4. 

Deut xviii. 9-14. 

4 Gen. xxxi. 84 (stolen from her father Laban, ver. 30). 

Judg. xvii. 

8 1 Sam. xxviii. The fact that Saul had pat down all witches and 
wizards is proof of the law. 

7 Euenen objects that the current conceptions of Israel's religion are 
drawn, not from the facts, but from the general reviews of the Hebrew 
historians. Nat. Religions, etc. (Hibbert Lectures), pp. 69 ff. Professor 
Robertson aptly replies that, if we turn to these reviews, " they are precisely 
in the tone of the prophets Amos and Hosea, the very earliest witnesses to 
whom we are allowed to appeal." Early Rel. of Israel, p. 116. 


to those of Israel's own kinsfolk and neighbours in and 
around Palestine ; 1 and, while recognising higher elements 
in these religions, ever, however, becoming dimmer as we 
recede from their source, we find them, one and all, in 
historical times, grossly, growingly, and incurably, poly- 
theistic and corrupt In Judah alone was God known. 
In no single case, moreover, was this polytheism ever thrown 
off by inherent effort Even, therefore, were the theory, 
favoured by modern critics, that "ethical monotheism" 
was only attained by Israel in the age of the great prophets, 
allowed to be established, the fact would still remain to be 
accounted for that Israel, alone of all nations, did attain to 
it, and became the teacher of the rest of the world. We 
do not, however, give our adherence to the view that 
this monotheism of the religion of Israel was a late develop- 
ment of the time of the prophets. As will be shown more 
fully in a subsequent chapter, 2 the Old Testament knows of 
no time when the people of Israel were without the know- 
ledge of the one God as the Creator and providential Euler 
of the whole world. Monotheism is not the doctrine of 
one part of the Old Testament, and not of another. Its 
oldest parts those which the critics allow to be the 
oldest * have this doctrine of the unity of God as well as 
the latest In these oldest parts, we have as fundamental 
ideas the creation of the world by God, the unity of the 
human family as descended from a first pair, made by God, 
the destruction of the whole race by a flood on account of 
sin, the promises to Noah, embracing the whole earth, 4 
a new descent and distribution of the race from Noah, the 
recognition of God by Abraham as the Judge of the whole 
earth, 5 all laying the foundation for the call of Abraham, 
the covenants with the patriarchs, the growth of Israel into 
* nation, its redemption from bondage, and formation into 
% people for God's glory. While, therefore, it is not 
contended that there was no advance in the ideas of God, 
no deepening, purifying, or spiritualising of these ideas, 
from the days of Abraham and Moses, it may very con- 
fidently be maintained that, in the Old Testament as we 

1 As reapecU the Semitic people*, cf. Professor 0. A. Smith's Mudtm 
Oriticim, pp. 111-29. 

1 Chap. V. pp. 123 ff. The J and histories, see pp. 05-M. 

Gen. Tiii. 20, 21 1 ix. Gen. xriii. 26. 


have it, the unity of God is present as a basal conception 
from the first. 

(2) The monotheism of Israel, however, is not the whole, 
is not even the main thing, in this religion. It is not so 
much, after all, in its declarations of what God is in 
Himself, or of the unity of God, as in what it tells us of 
the relations of God to man, and of His purposes of grace to 
the world, that the peculiarity of the religion of the Old 
Testament lies. 1 No religion exalts man so high as the 
religion of the Bible, in representing him as made in the 
image of God, and capable of knowing, loving, and serving 
God ; and no religion abases man so low, in picturing the 
depths of his apostacy from God, and his inability to deliver 
himself from the guilt and bondage in which that apostacy 
has involved him. But it is the glory of the religion of 
the Bible this in both Old Testament and New that over 
against the picture it gives of the developing sin and cor- 
ruption of the race, there appears almost from its first 
page the developing plan and purpose of God for man's 
salvation. 2 The history of the Bible is essentially, what 
Jonathan Edwards called it, " the history of redemption." 
If the malady is aggravated, the remedy provided is 
adequate to cope with it, even on the Bible's own showing 
of its evil In Paul's language, " Where sin abounded, grace 
did abound more exceedingly." 3 This again brings us to 
the idea of teleology, but now shows us more precisely in 
what the teleology consists. It is the unfolding in its suc- 
cessive stages of God's gracious counsel for man's salvation. 4 
It is this which gives its unity to the Bible ; which is the 
golden thread running through history, psalm, prophecy, 
Gospel, epistle, and binding all together. There is nothing, 
again, which even remotely resembles this in any other 
religion. The partial exception is the Zoroastrian, which, 
in a dim, mythological way, has the idea of a conflict of the 
good principle with the evil, and of a final triumph of the 

1 Cf. Kirkpatrick, Divine, Library, p. 93. 

* See below, pp. 61-62. Rom. T. 20. 

4 Cf. Ottley, Aspects of O.T., pp. 55 ff. : "The Old Testament is to b 
studied, in the first place, as a record of the history of redemption. It 
contains the account of a continuous historical movement of which the 
originating cause was the grace of God, and the aim the salvation of the 
human race." On p. 93 : "In the Pentateuch and the historical books, the 
two most prominent ideas are those of redemption and revelation. " 


good. But, apart from the fact that, as was inevitable on 
a dualistic basis, good and evil are in Zoroastrianism largely 
physical conceptions, the idea receives no development, is 
the subject of no history, is embodied in no plan which is 
historically carried out. The uniqueness of the Biblical 
religion appears only the more strikingly from the 

(3) The aim of God's salvation, of His entire work of 
OMe in humanity, is, that man shall be made holy. 1 This 
brings us to a third marked feature in the religion of the 
Old Testament, as of the Biblical religion generally the 
indissoluble relation it establishes between religion and 
morality, Religions can readily be found which have no 
close connection with morality ; we are familiar also with a 
morality which would fain make itself independent of 
religion. In few of the higher religions, however, is this 
relation between religion and morality altogether obscured. 
Throughout history there is generally some dim perception 
that the gods will protect and reward the good, and will 
not fail to punish the evil-doer. The peculiarity of the 
Biblical religion is that in it this idea of the connection of 
religion with morality is the all-dominating one. To minds 
awakened to the significance of the moral it may now 
appear self-evident that a religion has no real worth which 
does not ally itself with moral ends, which, going beyond 
even external guardianship and sanction of duties, does not 
take morality up into itself as the expression of the will 
and character of God, and count moral obedience an 
essential part of His service. But it should not be forgotten 
that this was not always the view taken of religion, and 
that it is largely through the influence of the religion of 
the Bible, purifying and ennobling our conceptions, that we 
have now come to perceive even this truth as clearly as we 
do. Already in its first pages before the word " holy " is 
yet met with the Old Testament sets itself against sin in 
heart and deed.* God accepts and vindicates righteous men 
like Abel, Enoch, and Noah ; overwhelms with His judgments 
a world corrupted by sin; destroys wicked cities like 
Sodom and Gomorrah. He requires that Abraham shall 
walk before Him and be perfect; Abraham's assurance 

1 Cf. Dillmann, AlUut. Theol. p. 42. 
SMlwlow, pp. 114-15. 


about Him is that the Judge of all the earth will do right. 1 
As revelation advances, the indissolubleness of this con- 
nection of religion and morality becomes only clearer. The 
ethical was never so exalted; the ideals of conduct were 
never raised so high; religion and duty were never so 
completely fused together, as in the pure and sublime 
precepts of psalms and prophets. " He hath showed thee, 
O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of 
thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly 
with thy God." 2 A religion of this kind, so high in its 
views of God, so true to the needs of man, so adequate in its 
provisions for man's deliverance, so holy in its spirit, so 
exalted in its moral demands, never emanated, we may be 
sure, from man's own devisings. It is too high for him ; he 
could not attain to it. Even if he could have conceived the 
idea of it, he could not have translated it into fact and 
history as is done in the Scriptures. 


This, accordingly, is the next thing which impresses us 
in our study of the Old Testament, the consciousness 
which everywhere pervades it that this religion, the 
historical stages of which it unfolds to us, is not the 
creation of man's own spirit, but is a product of special 
-divine revelation. The tendency of the modern mind, it 
was before seen, is to substitute psychology for revelation. 
Instead of God's word to Isaiah, or John, or Paul, it gives 
us the thoughts of Isaiah, or John, or Paul about God. 
Even where the word " revelation " is used, it is with this 
purely psychological connotation. 8 This, however, is not 
the Bible's own point of view. The Bible is not primarily 
a record of man's thoughts about God, but a record of what 
God has done and revealed of Himself to man. Its basis is 
not, " Thus and thus thinks man," but, " Thus and thus saith 
Jehovah," or, "Thus and thus Jehovah has done." It 
records, indeed, man's thoughts about God his prayers, 
struggles, hopes, meditations, aspirations but these spring 
always out of what God has made known of Himself in 
word and deed. The Bible is not a mere revelation of 

1 Gen. zvii. 1, xviii. 25, etc. 

1 Mic. yi. 8. 'See above, p. 21. 


abstract, or what Leasing would call " eternal," truths about 
God, but above all a discovery of the way in which God has 
revealed His loving will to man in word and deed in history. 
" He made known His ways unto Moses, His doings unto 
the children of Israel" l It is this, we would here observe, 
which makes the historical element in Scripture so indis- 
pensable and precious, and warns us against the tendency 
bo speak slightingly of it, as if myth and legend would 
serve the purposes of revelation equally with fact. 1 
Everyone feels that this is not the case with the history, 
of Christ in the Gospels ; but in the Old Testament also it 
is in great measure true that it was not from inward in- 
tuition, or reflections of their own, that prophets and 
psalmists, or the ordinary pious Israelite, derived their 
knowledge of God, and assured confidence in Him, but from 
what God had revealed of Himself in the past history of 
the people. 8 The acts were the source, the medium, the 
authorisation of the knowledge; and, if these were taken 
away, the knowledge would disappear with them. Accord- 
ingly, we find that, in the highest point which the saint of 
the Old Testament can reach in the apprehension of this 
revelation, he still feels that it transcends him, is infinitely 
above him, in a way which anything proceeding from his 
own thoughts could not be. Thus : " Many, Jehovah my 
God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and 
Thy thoughts which are to us- ward: they cannot be set 
in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of 
them, they are more than can be numbered." * Or again : 
" My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways 
My ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher 
than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and 
My thoughts than your thoughts." 6 

Here, then, we strike on another great peculiarity of 
Israel's consciousness the sense, viz., that it was the * 

1 Ps. ciiL 7. 

'Thus, e.g., Schultz, O.T. Thtol. i. pp. 17-23: "In fact, legend must 
be regarded aa fitted in a higher degree than history to be the medium of 
the Holy Spirit" Would Schultz apply this to the history of Jesus in the 
Gospels t See Note B on Mythology and History in the Old Testament. 

Cf. W. R. Smith, Prophets, pp. 10-14 ; Ladil, DocL of Sae. Scripture, 
L pp. 737 IT. ; Bruce, Chief End of Revelation, pp. 57 IF. This connecting 
of revelation with actt of God is the strong point made in Rothe's Zur 

4 Ps. xl. 5. Isa. IT. 8, 9. 


possessor and guardian of a quite peculiar revelation from 
God, and in this respect occupied a perfectly unique 
position among the nations of the earth. The answer to 
this, we know, is thought to be simple. It is often said by 
those who believe all religions to be equally a natural 
growth : " Every nation in the beginning of its history has 
its wonderful stories to tell of miracles, revelations, appari- 
tions of the gods : all religions in this respect are much the 
same : the Jewish and Christian religions are just like the 
rest." But we would take the liberty to reply : That is not 
quite the case. There is no other nation on earth which 
has such a story to tell of the beginnings of its religion 
even as a story, we mean as the Israelite had to tell of 
his, and the Israelite was perfectly consckms of this 
absolutely unique character of his history. Mythologies, 
fables, legends of appearances of the gods there are in 
abundance ; but no such orderly, coherent history, charged 
with great ideas, as that which meets us in the Bible. 
This consciousness of the absolutely exceptional character 
of the history is brought out very strikingly in one passage 
in the Book of Deuteronomy. Moses there speaks: "For 
ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, 
since the day that God created man upon the earth, and 
from the one end of the heaven unto the other, whether 
there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or 
hath been heard like it ? Did ever people hear the voice 
of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast 
heard, and live ? Or hath God assayed to go and take Him 
a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, 
by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty 
hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great terrors, 
according to all that Jehovah your God did for you in 
Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that 
thou mightest know that Jehovah He is God : there is none 
else beside Him." 1 If this be true of the origin of the 
religion of Israel, it is still more true of the origin of 
Christianity; for, assuredly, no other religion is founded 
on such a history as that of Jesus Christ, on the character, 
claims, work, life, death, and resurrection, of such a Person 
as Jesus Christ is, no, not in all the world ! 

The truth is, it is vain to attempt to find a parallel for 
1 Dent. iv. 32-35 ; cf. vein. 6-8. 


this wholly unique phenomenon of the religion of Israel 
Take again the two points already mentioned : the mono- 
theism of this religion, and the indissoluble connection it 
establishes between religion and morality. It is not 
uncommon to hear this monotheistic faith spoken of as if 
it were a stage which, given only favourable conditions, 
every nation was bound to reach in the course of its 
development. 1 Man begins, it is supposed, by worshipping 
spirits, or ghosts of ancestors, or something of the kind; 
then mounts to the conception of a tribal deity; then 
extends the power of this deity, or blends the deity with 
others, till he is viewed as the sole ruler of the world. But, 
unfortunately, the facts do not bear out this ingenious 
theory. It has frequently been pointed out that there are, 
even yet, only three monotheistic religions in the world 
the Jewish, the Christian, and the Mohammedan, which, 
in this respect, is derived from the other two. That is to 
say, all the monotheistic religion there is in the world is 
derived from the religion of the Bible. It is not meant 
that, beneath and behind the polytheism of older religions, 
there are not many indications of a purer monotheistic 
consciousness, or that there have not often been, in indi- 
viduals and schools, very remarkable approximations to the 
truth about the unity, power, wisdom, goodness, and 
providence of God.* In that sense God has never left 
Himself without witness. But it is a well-understood truth 
that philosophical speculations have never founded, or can 
found, a religion ; and it is simple fact of history that no 
monotheistic religions religions, that is, based on the unity 
and spirituality of God as fundamental articles have ever 
arisen, except those above mentioned. 

Or take the other point the indissoluble blending of 
morality and religion. Where, again, do we find anything 
corresponding to this outside the Biblical revelation ? One 
of the early fathers of the Church gives us a description 
of an Egyptian temple lofty, spacious, gorgeous, inspiring 
the worshipper by its grandeur with solemn awe. You 

1 Kuenen, e.g., says : "To what we might call the universal, or at least 
the comiuou rale, that religion begins with fetishism, then develop* into 
polytheism, and then, but not before, ascends to monotheism that is to 
say, if this highest stage be reached [a Terr important proviso] to this rule 
the Israelites are no exception." Rl. of Israel, \, p. 225. 

* See p. 128 below. 


enter the precincts of the temple, but when the priest, with 
grave air, draws aside the veil that hides the inner shrine, 
you behold what? A cat, a crocodile, a serpent, or 
other animal, rolling on a purple couch. 1 Visit now the 
temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem. Here, too, you have a 
gorgeous building ; here, too, a priesthood, altars, a shrine 
hidden by a veil. Within the veil stands the ark of the 
covenant, covered by the mercy-seat, sprinkled with blood 
of atonement, and shadowed by the golden cherubim. Let 
that covering be lifted, and within that ark, in the very 
core and centre of Israel's religion, in its most sacred place, 
you find what ? The two tables of the moral law. There, 
in a word, is the contrast of the two religions. There is 
the declaration of the truth that, before and above all 
things else, Israel's is an ethical religion. For these are 
" the tables of the testimony " 2 the basis and bond of the 
nation's covenant with God and all the ritual of ceremonial 
institutions is but a scaffolding to protect this ethical core 
from injury, or a means of restoring the worshipper to 
favour when sin has disturbed his fellowship. It will be 
remembered that, when Jesus came, He did not cut Himself 
off from that older revelation, but declared that on its two 
commandments of love to God and love to man hung all 
the law and the prophets. 3 


If we thus let the Bible Old Testament and New 
speak for itself, and compare it part with part : still more 
if we yield ourselves to its power, and strive faithfully to 
follow its directions, the conviction will irresistibly grow 
upon us that it is right when it claims to be based on 
divine revelation. Out of that revelation, the literature of 
revelation, which we call the Bible, grows. If this fact be 
firmly apprehended, particular questions about the dates or 
placing of books will not much trouble us. The revelation is 
there, and no changes in the dates or placing of books none 
at least that are likely to be permanently brought out can 
do anything to alter its fundamental outlines. If a revela- 
tion has been given, it is surely the most natural thing in 

1 Clem. Alex. Peed. iii. 2. 

1 Ex. xxxii. 15. See below, Chap. VI. pp. 152 ff. Matt. xiii. 40 


the world to expect that a record should be made or kept 
of the stages of that revelation, either by its original 
recipients, or by those who stood within the circle of 
revelation, and possessed in an eminent degree its spirit 1 
That such a literature exists, adequate in every respect for 
making known to us the revelation, animated and pene- 
trated by its spirit, though in varying degrees, for the 
strictest upholder of inspiration will hardly place the Books 
of Chronicles on tho same level with the Gospel of St. John, 
fitted as a whole infallibly to accomplish its great end of 
making men wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus 
Christ, and of completely furnishing the man of God unto 
every good work, 2 that such a literature exists, the only 
ultimate proof that can be given is the existence of the 
book itself ; and such a book, as we have seen even from 
this brief inspection of its character, we have in the Bible. 
The simple fact that in this sacred volume, so marvellous 
in its own structure, so harmonious and complete in the 
view it gives of the dealings of God with man, so rich and 
exhaustless in its spiritual content, so filled with the mani- 
fest presence and power of the Spirit of God, we have every- 
thing we need to acquaint us fully with the mind and will of 
God for our salvation, and to supply us for all the ends of 
our spiritual life, is sufficient evidence that the revelation 
which God has given is, in every essential particular, purely 
and faithfully embodied in it. No more than the revela- 
tion from which it springs, is the Bible a product of mere 
human wisdom, but has God for its inspiring source ! 

This, as we understand it, is the Bible's own test of its 
inspiration, alike in Old Testament and in New, 9 and by 
it, without nearer definition, we are content, for our present 
purpose, to abide. The subject is taken hold of by its 
wrong end, when the test of inspiration is sought primarily 

1 " What would to the conceivable nature of revealed religion, without a 
record of facts T The briefest consideration convinces us, that either the 
whole nature of revelation must to essentially changed, or else a record of 
its historic process must somehow to preserved. To to sure, the fact of 
ultimate and supreme importance is the fact of revelation itself. But the 
verr nature of revelation, if it is to take the form of an historic process, is 
such as to demand a record of that process. The foundations of Christianity 
are historically laid," etc. Ladd, Doet. of Sac. Script, i. p. 787. 

* 2 Tim. iil 16-17. 

Cf., .g., Dent xxx. 10-16 ; Josh. L 7, 8; Pas. L, xix. 7-14, cxix. ; 
John xiv. 26 ; xx. 31 ; Burn. xv. 4, etc. 


in minute inerrancy in external details, as those of 
geography, or chronology, or of physical science. Inspira- 
tion does not create the materials of its record: it works 
upon them. 1 The crucial question is Do the qualities 
which inspiration is expressly declared to confer on 
Scripture e.g., in such a classical passage as 2 Tim. iii 
15-17 really belong to it ? We think it will be difficult 
for any candid mind to deny that they do. Who, coming 
to this sacred book, with a sincere desire to know God's 
will for the direction of his life, will say that he cannot 
find it? Who, desiring to be instructed in the way of 
salvation "through faith which is in Christ Jesus," will 
consult its pages, and say it is not made plain to him ? 
Who, coming to it for equipment of his spiritual life, will 
say that there are still needs of that life which are left 
unprovided for? Who, seeking direction in the way of 
the life everlasting, can doubt that, if he faithfully obeys 
its teaching, he will reach that goal ? The Scripture fulfils 
the ends for which it was given ; no higher proof of its 
inspiration can be demanded. 2 


There is but one further remark we would make in 
closing this chapter. It relates to the place which Christ 
holds in Scripture, and ought to have in our study of every 
part of it. If what has been said of divine revelation is 
true, it follows that everything else in Scripture has its 
centre and point of connection in Him. If the Bible is a 
structure, Christ is the corner stone in that structure. All 
else in it is designed to lead up to Him, while in knowing 
Him, in learning to see in Him the image and revelation 
of the Father, in being drawn into sympathy with His 

1 See Note C on Inspiration and the Materials of the Record. 

Cf. Westcott, Bible in the Church, p. 14: "The Bible contains in 
itself the fullest witness to its divine authority. If it appears that a 
large collection of fragmentary records, written, with few exceptions, 
without any designed connection, at most distant times and under the 
most varied circumstances, yet combine to form a definite whole, broadly 
separated from other books ... if in proportion as they are felt to be 
separate they are felt also to be instinct with a common spirit ; then it 
will he readily acknowledged that, however they were united afterwards 
into the sacred volume, they are yet legibly stamped with the divine seal 
as ' in -pined of God' in a sense in which no other writings are." 


Spirit, in tasting the grace of His salvation, in coming 
to know that in Him we possess "the true God and 
eternal life," 1 we gain the key which sets all else in 
Scripture in its true light. Without this key we are 
bound to miss our way in the search for its secret No 
learning, no cleverness, will enable us to find it out In 
vain do we go to the Old Testament, or to any part of 
Scripture, for the satisfaction of a mere intellectual or 
literary curiosity. It was not for this it was given, but 
to conduct us into the presence of Him who, of God, is 
made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, 
and redemption. 2 What the closing verse of the 20th 
chapter of John's Gospel says of that book : " But these are 
written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Son of God, and that believing ye may have life through 
His name," 8 may with equal truth be applied to the Bible 
as a whole. Christ is the central sun in that firmament : 
only when we are brought within the range of His beams 
have we the light of life. 

1 1 John v. 20. f 1 Cor. i. 30. John xx. 81. 


ttbe U> Testament as affectefc b Criticism 
L Ubc t)tston?: argument from Critical 

"The Bible is through apd through of historical nature and spirit." 

"For what is the Old Testament from the Christian point of view 
and from no other point of view can it be rightly understood but the 
record of God's gradual revelation of Himself to Israel in His purpose of 
redeeming love with a view to the establishment of His universal kingdom t 
The Incarnation was to be the culminating point of that revelation and 
that purpose." A. F. KIKKPATRICK. 

"On the other hand, writers of the liberal school in Germany take so 
completely for granted, either on mere critical grounds, or because they 
assume from the first the utter impossibility of miracles or supernatural 
revelations, the unhistorical character and non-Mosaic origin of the greater 
portion, at least, if not the whole, of the Pentateuch, that they do not 
generally take the trouble to test the credibility of the story, by entering 
into such matter-of-fact inquiries as are here made the basis of the whole 
argument." COLENSO. 

" We nevertheless firmly maintain that the preceding history of Israel, 
from the Elohistic account of the creation to the history of Joseph, was 
written in ancient pre-exilian times." DELITZSCH. 

" Kuenen's name for the book [JE] with which we are dealing, viz., 
the ' Prophetic ' narrative, is scarcely happy. Some of ita most remarkable 
elements are, as Kuenen himself points out, pre-prophetic. . . . The two 
books evidently proceeded in parallel lines of narrative, and it is often hard 
nay, impossible to say whether a particular section of the Hexateuch 
belongs to the Jahvist or the Elohist." ADDIS. 



LONG ere this point is reached, loud protests will have 
been raised against the flagrantly " uncritical " character of 
our procedure, as shown in our ignoring of those well- 
established results of scholarship which have had the 
effect of shivering the supposed unity of the Old Testament, 
and of destroying the credibility of its narratives, especially 
of those which have had most weight attached to them in 
the history of revelation. We shall now do what we can 
to remove this reproach by proceeding to inquire how far 
the view of the Old Testament to which we have been led 
by the consideration of its own structure is overthrown or 
modified by the application of a really scientific criticism. 
Further, that no undue advantage may be taken, or cause 
given for complaint that the strength of the critical position 
is overlooked, we propose, in the first instance, as indicated 
in the preliminary sketch, to discuss the questions of the 
history, and of the religion and institutions, of Israel, on 
the basis of the critical theory itself, that is, with pro- 
visional assumption of the correctness of the ordinary 
critical analysis and dating of books. The canvassing of 
the critical theory on its merits will come after. But it is 
well at the outset to see what follows, even if the generally- 
accepted critical analysis, to its full extent, is admitted. 
In this chapter and the next we shall deal with the history. 
It is not necessary to repeat the caution formerly given, 
that all critics are not offhand to be classed as of the same 
mind on this and other subjects. There are, as we shall 
constantly have occasion to see, more radical and more 
moderate schools of criticism. But it has also in justice 


to be recognised that it is largely the methods and con- 
clusions of the most radical school the Graf-Kuenen-Well- 
hausen school which, without always the adoption of its 
anti-supernaturalistic premises, have been imported into 
English-speaking countries, are actively propagated under 
the name "Higher Criticism," and chiefly rule the 
current representations of Old Testament history and 
religion. 1 The late Professor W. K. Smith already claimed 
in 1885 : " Almost every younger scholar of mark is on 
the side of Vatke and Reuss, Lagarde and Graf, Kuenen 
and Wellhausen" 2 an ominous utterance for the Old 
Testament. This is our justification, if one is needed, for 
treating the radical school as representative. 


We begin by looking at the general attitude of this 
advanced school to the history of the Old Testament. 

1. It does not put the matter too strongly, then, to say 
that, to the more radical school of critics, the Old Testament 
is in the main unhistorical. Not necessarily, of course, that 
there is not in parts some would acknowledge in con- 
siderable parts a historical substratum. Everyone may 
not go so far, at one end of the history, as Stade, who 
doubts whether Israel as a people was ever in Egypt at 
all ; 3 or, at the other end, as Kosters, who denies the return 
from the exile at Babylon under ZerubbabeL* But the 
books as they stand are, for all that, held not to be, at 
least till the days of the kings, and even then only very 
partially, genuine history. 

1 Cf. above, pp. 12, 17. In proof we may refer generally to the Old 
Testament articles in Hastings' Diet, of Bible (with exceptions) or Cheyne's 
Encyc. Biblica ; to Addis and Carpenter on the Hezateuch ; to the volumes 
on Joshua, etc., in "Polychrome Bible"; to those on Numbers, Judges, 
Samuel, etc., in the "International Crit. Commentary"; to Professor 
H. P. Smith's 0. T. History, in the " International Theological Library," 
and many other works of the same class. 

J Preface to Wellhausen's Hist, of Israel (E.T.), p. vL 

Geschichte, i. pp. 129-30. 

4 In his Het herstel van Israel (1894), H. P. Smith adopts his theory, 
O.T. Hist. chap. xvi. According to the latter writer, "the decree of Cyrus 
is impossible," and "the theory of a return, of an interruption of the work, 
of any interference by Darius, is contradicted by Haggai and Zechariah " 
(p. 853). Of Ezra, if he existed, "we know nothing " (p. 396). See below, 
Chap. IX. p. 295. 


To illustrate : the Book of Genesis, we are told, is " a 
book of sacred legend, with a mythical introduction." 1 It 
yields us "no historical knowledge of the patriarchs, but 
only of the time when the stories about them arose in 
the Israelite people: this later age is here unconsciously 
projected, in its inner and outer features, into hoar antiquity, 
and is reflected there like a glorified mirage,"* The " de- 
scriptions of the Exodus from Egypt, the wandering in the 
desert, and the conquest and partition of Canaan ... to put 
it in a word, are utterly unhistoruxd." 5 "Briefly described, 
then, the Book of Joshua is an historical romance. . . . We 
must lose much of the religious value the Book of Joshua 
possesses while we treat it as history, and, indeed, until we 
treat it as what it is romance." * " The narrative gives 
us exactly what did not occur at the conquest." 6 The 
Jehovistic writer in the Hexateuch (J) " feels himself in 
an ideal fairy land in which no wonders are surprising." ' 
The unfortunate Priestly writer (P), on the other hand, has 
neither historical nor literary merit, and is refused credence 
on all hands. Noldeke, we are told, made an end of him 
" once for all " ; but " Colenso is properly entitled to the 
credit of having first torn the web asunder." 7 His names, 
numbers, and precise details, which imposed even on such 
good critics as Bleek, Hupfeld, and Knobel, " are not drawn 
from contemporary records, but are the fruit solely of late 
Jewish fancy, a fancy which, it is well known, does not 
design nor sketch, but counts and constructs, and produces 
nothing more than barren plans." 8 In brief: "We have no 
really historical knowledge of a patriarchal period preceding 
Israel's conquest of Canaan. The individuals, Abraham, 

1 Scholtz, 0. T. TJuol. i. p. 81. 

1 Wellhansen, llitl. of Israel, pp. 818-19. 

' Kuenen, Hexatfuch, p. 42 (italics his). It is of this writer's work that 
Professor W. R. Smith permitted bimsell to say : " H is (Kuenen'a) discussions 
of the more complicated questions of Pentateuch analysis arc perhaps the 
finest things that modern criticism can show." Preface to Wellhausen, 
p. viii. 

4 Professor G. B. Gray, in a review of Bennett's Joshua (" Polychrome 
Bible"), 1899. 

H. P. Smith, O.T. Hint. p. 382. 

F. H. Woods, art. " Hexateuch " in Diet, tf Bible, ii. p. 872. Of. with 
Dr. Driver's statement in his flenetii, p. zlv, quoted below, p. 105: "The 
patriarchal narratives are marked by great sobriety of statement and repre- 
sentation," etc. 

' Wellhaosen, Hut. tf Israel, p. 847. Ibid. p. 848. 


Isaac, and Jacob, are eponyms personifications of clans, 
tribes, or ethnological groups and they are nothing 
more." 1 

-As respects the later books, a basis of political history 
is necessarily recognised, but the books as we have them 
are declared to be throughout unreliable and misleading. 
" In Judges, Samuel, and Kings," we are told, " we are not 
presented with tradition purely in its original condition: 
already it is overgrown with later accretions. ... To vary 
the metaphor, the whole area of tradition has finally been 
uniformly covered with an alluvial deposit by which the con- 
figuration of the surface has been determined." 2 Here are a 
few examples. On 1 Sam. vii. : " The mere recapitulation of 
the contents of this narrative makes us feel at once what 
a pious make-up it is, and how full of inherent impossi- 
bility." * On 1 Sam. xix. 18-24 : " We can scarcely avoid 
the suspicion that what we have before us here is a pious 
caricature ; the point can be nothing but Samuel's and David's 
enjoyment of the disgrace of the naked king." 4 On the 
Deuteronomic revision of Kings: "The most unblushing 
example of this kind, a piece which, for historical worthless- 
ness, may compare with Judges xix.-xxi., or 1 Sam. vii. seq. t 
or even stands a step lower, is 1 Kings xxii." 6 On editorial 
additions: "These valuable notes commence even with 
Solomon, though here they are largely mixed with anecdotic 
chaff." 8 Chronicles, of course, so far as it does not embody 
extracts from older works, is regarded as past redemption. 
It is the product of a "law-crazed " fancy, which effects " a 
complete transformation of the original tradition." 7 " His 
work must not be called history." 8 In the irreverence of 
much of this, one is forcibly reminded of what Dr. Cheyne 
says of the indebtedness of the newer criticism to eighteenth 
century English Deism. 9 The atmosphere into which we 
are brought back is that of Morgan, and Bolingbroke, and 
Hume, and the impression produced is correspondingly 
painful 10 

1 H. P. Smith, 0. T. Hist. p. 48. 
J Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, p. 228. 
Ibid. p. 248. * Ibid. p. 268. 

Ibid. p. 285. Ibid. p. 286. 

7 Ibid. pp. 195, 224. 8 H. P. Smith, O.T. Hist. p. 5. 

' Founders of Criticism, pp. 1, 2. 
M We have not taken notice of the older mythological theories, e.g. 


2. It will not be disputed, we think, that these extracts, 
taken almost at random, fairly represent the views and 
spirit of the majority of the books and articles written from 
the newer critical standpoint, certainly those of the most 
influential representatives of the school, but, as already 
said, there are critics also of more positive tendency, who 
contest these deductions of the extremer party, and take 
much firmer ground on the historicity of the patriarchal 
and Mosaic periods. Such, e.g., on the Continent, are 
Konig, Strack, Kittel, Oettli, and many mora 1 In England, 
Dr. Driver, in his reverence and moderation of tone, repre- 
sents the mediating position of many believing scholars, 
though he is obviously hampered by his adherence to the 
Wellhausen basis. He argues for a historical " core " in the 
patriarchal narratives, thinks, even, that there are "reasonable 
grounds for concluding that the narratives are in substance 
historical"; but comes in the end to the rather lame 
conclusion, that "it is still, all things considered, difficult 
to believe that some foundation of actual personal history 
does not underlie the patriarchal narratives." 2 The main 
stream of the critical movement, however, is not to be held 
in by these feeble barriers, and continues to spread itself 
over the entire field of patriarchal and Mosaic history in a 
broad flood of scepticism. 

3. What are the grounds on which this sweeping indict- 
ment against the Old Testament history, and specially the 

those of Goldziher in Ins Mythology among the Hebrews, who takes the char- 
acters in Genesis and Judges to be sun-myths ; or of the newer extravagances of 
Winckler, whose theories are favourably regarded by Dr. Cheyne (Nineteenth 
Century, Dec. 1902). See Note A on Critical Extravagances. 

1 In his Neueste Primipien Konig coin bats the views of Stade, Guthe, and 
others, who would resolve the patriarchs into " personifications " of tribes (see 
below, pp. 88 ff.) ; Kittel defends the earlier history in his lecture (translated) 
on The Babylonian Excavations and Early Bible History, etc. Dillmann, 
in his posthumously published Altltst. Theol. (pp. 77-78, 82-33), says : " We 
have no right to explain these Genesis narratives as pure fiction, as so many 
now do. . . . We mistake if we do not recognise that they rest in essentials 
on sound historical recollection. . . . Even if none of their names had been 
handed down to us, we would require to postulate such revelation-figures as 
we have in Abraham and those who followed him. . . . The facts, therefore, 
afford rational justification for the picture of the course of events given in 
Genesis, at least in its main features (im grossen und game*)," Even 
Dillmann, however, concedes a good deal more than is necessary. 

1 Genesis, pp. xlv, xlvii, Ivii. Canon Cheyne, on the other hand, is seriously 
disturbed at what he thinks to be the baiting attitude and spirit of com- 
promise in Dr. Driver's Introduction. He thinks " his fences are weak, aud 
may at any moment be broken down." Founders of Criticism, pp. 261 ff. 


earlier part of it, is based ? They are, as we shall see, 
various : the late date of composition, the manifest legendary 
character of the narratives, assumed variations and contra- 
dictions in the sources, supposed incompatibility with the 
rudimentary state of religious belief in early times, and the 
like. The historicity of the early narratives, it is held, 
cannot be maintained in view of the fact, which criticism 
is said to have established, that the Pentateuch (or with 
Joshua, the Hexateuch) is composed of documents of late 
date, based on tradition many centuries old in the case of 
the Exodus at least 500 or 600 years, in the case of the 
patriarchs 1000 to 1300 years which, therefore, cannot 
be supposed to preserve accurately the memory of such 
distant events. 1 Kuenen, who here may be taken as repre- 
sentative, gives four special reasons for rejecting the 
patriarchal narratives. They are : the religious ideas which 
are ascribed to the patriarchs, insoluble chronological 
difficulties, the familiar intercourse of the deity with the 
patriarchs (" we are not in the habit of accepting as history 
the legends which afford evidence of that belief "), and, " the 
principal cause of hesitation," the persons who appear as 
actors in the narratives "are all progenitors of tribes." 2 
We wonder how many readers of the Bible feel these 
" obstacles " to be as " insurmountable " as they were to Dr. 
Kuenen. 3 Much of all this, in any case, as we shall soon 
discover, is undiluted assumption : the criticism rests on 
the theory, not the theory on the criticism. How obviously, 
e.g., does the argument from " religious ideas " * rest on a 
certain assumption as to the stage of religious knowledge of 
the patriarchs an assumption which has no warrant save 
in the critic's own theory of the course of the development. 6 

1 Cf. Kuenen, Eel. of Israel, i. pp. 16, 17 ; Driver, Genesis, p. xliii ; 
H. P. Smith, 0. T. Hist. i. p. 7. 

a Ed. of Israel, i. pp. 108-9. Cf. below, pp. 88 ff. 

* Cf. Ladd, Doct. of Sacred Scripture, i. p. 362. 

4 Dr. Driver also argues for an " idealisation " of the narratives, on the 
ground that " in the days of the patriarchs religion must have been in 
a relatively rudimentary stage" (p. Ix). It is shown later (p. 115), 
however, that it is not the case, as Kuenen argues, that the patriarchs are 
represented as "not inferior to the prophets of the eighth century B.C., in 
pureness of religious insight and inward personal piety." 

Horamel says: "When we find that a whole school of evangelical 
theologians do not hesitate to declare that a passage was composed at a later 
date or interpolated, simply because they are unwilling to recognise the 
existence of any high moral teaching or lofty conception of the Godhead prior 


Postponing meantime, however, the discussion of these 
objections, we propose to proceed in more constructive 
fashion, in setting forth, first, the grounds of our belief in the 
substantial trustworthiness of the Old Testament history, 
even under the limits prescribed by the critical hypothesis. 


The critical treatment breaks down the Biblical narra- 
tives, disintegrates them, causes them to crumble to pieces. 
But there are features in the narratives which resist this 
treatment, and constitute a standing protest against it. 
In the previous chapter we laid stress on the singular 
character of "teleology" in the Hebrew history. It is 
history dominated by the idea of purpose, and that a 
purpose of grace of redemption. There is little, if any, 
recognition of this in the writers we have chiefly in view, 
though, to do them justice, they do not seek to get rid of 
the impression of the extraordinary and unique in Israel's 
history. Still the necessity of explaining the development 
out of purely natural factors causes a very different picture 
to be given from that which the Old Testament itself 
sketches. 1 One looks in vain in Kuenen, or Wellhausen, 
or Stade, or Gunkel, or in such an Old Testament History 
as that of Professor H. P. Smith, for any perception of the 
deeper ideas that lie in the Genesis narratives, or of their 
organic relation to the rest of Scripture. To a developing 
purpose of salvation they seem altogether blind. In this 
their criticism is already self-condemned; for what they 
fail to see is discerned by many others, as keenly critical 
as themselves. An example or two may be cited from such 
critical writers, if only to show that this idea of purpose is 
no hallucination of our own fancy, which we are seeking per- 
versely to import into the narratives. Dr. Kautzsch, of Halle, 
in a lecture on The Abiding Value of the Old Testament, 
thus writes : " The abiding value of the Old Testament lies 
above all in this, that it guarantees to us with absolute 
certainty the fact and the process of a divine plan and way 

to the time of the prophets of the eighth or seventh centuries B.C., then, 
in view of the facts <iduo-d in the present volume, we cannot but regard 
their attitude as a deplorably mistaken one, and hope that it may 
become a thing of the past." Anf. Ifeb. Trad. pp. 291-92. 
1 See below, pp. 86, 133 ff. 



of salvation, which found its conclusion and fulfilment in 
the new covenant, in the Person and work of Jesus 
Christ." l Dillmann likewise sees in the Old Testament the 
development of God's redemptive "plan." "So soon," he 
says, "as man becomes untrue to his original idea, and, 
forsaking the attitude of obedience to God, begins his 
self-seeking way, there comes also to manifestation the 
saving activity of God directed to this apostacy of the 
creature. ... So soon as, and so long as, sin is in the 
world, there is also a saving activity of God." * Dr. Driver 
says of the narrator J : " The patriarchal history is, in his 
hands, instinct with the consciousness of a great future: 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are vouchsafed in succession 
glimpses of the divine plan." 8 Kautzsch, again, just quoted, 
says of his (two) J writers : " Both relate the primeval 
history from the standpoint of a history of redemption." * 

To all this, so far as it is admitted, the reply which 
comes from the side of the criticism that seeks to get rid 
of the teleological element in the history is, that the 
Biblical representation is an unreal and artificial one : not 
a development in accordance with the actual history, but 
an imaginary development, the result of a reading back into 
the primitive legends of the ideas of the prophetic age. 
The appearance of development is superimposed on the 
historical tradition by the manner in which its materials 
are manipulated. Grant, it is said, the critical scheme its 
analysis and partition of documents and the illusion of 
teleology in the Old Testament story disappears ; so far at 
least as any extraordinary cause is required to account for it. 
In the words of Professor Robertson : " What they maintain 
is, that the scheme of the Biblical writers is an afterthought, 
which, by a process of manipulation of older documents, and 
by a systematic representation of earlier events in the light 
of much later times, has been made to appear as if it were 
the original and genuine development" 6 

1 Die Bleibendc Bedeutung da A. T., p. 28. 

1 fittest. Theol. p. 411. See whole section. 

* Genesis, p. xxi ; cf. pp. Ixx ff. 

4 Lit. of O.T., p. 38. Sec also Ottley's Aspects of the O.T., pp. 56 ff. ; 
McFadyen's Messages of the Prophetic and Priestly Historians, pp. 27 fT. 
on " The Progress of the Divine Purpose in the Book of Genesis." 

8 Early Religion, p. 30. Most critics agree with the above view, so fr 
M the reading back of prophetic ideas into the narratives is concerned. 


Now we do not wish to shirk any real difficulty : we do 
not really feel that there is any difficulty here that needs to 
be shirked. We shall not even at this stage, as before said, 
raise any objection to the currently-accepted critical view. 
We are prepared to assume provisionally that, within 
reasonable limits, that view is correct But we ask Is it* 
the case that, if the general critical hypothesis be granted, 
this organic unity of the history, with the remarkable 
teleological character which we have seen to belong to it, 
disappears, or is shown to be an illusion? It is there in 
the Old Testament as it stands: 1 can it be got rid of by 
any skilful dividing up, or re-dating, of documents, or sup- 
posed later touchiug-up, interpolation, or re-editing? We 
answer that question very confidently in the negative. 

1. For, in the first place, this teleological character we 
speak of is not a thing upon the surface of the Biblical 
history, not a thing that could be produced by any number 
of editorial touchings and interpolations, and ingenious 
piecing together of fragments, but is ingrained into the 
very substance of the history, is part of its texture, is, to 
use the happy figure of Bushnell about the image of Christ 
in the Gospels, like a watermark in paper, which cannot be 
destroyed without destroying the paper itself. It is not the 
ingenuity of the writer in arranging his materials, but the 
facts of the history and development of the people, which 
work out this plan for us. It makes little difference how 
far we multiply the parts ; the singular tiling is that, when 
the parts are put together, this remarkable appearance of 
teleology should present itself. If the critic persists: 
" That depends on your way of arranging the materials : let 
me arrange them my way, and this appearance of develop- 
ment will be destroyed " ; it is a fair reply to make that, if 
the Biblical way of arranging the materials brings out a 
manifest divine design, whereas his yields only confusion, 
this of itself is a good reason for thinking that the Biblical 
way is probably the right one. Take an illustration. The 
pieces of a child's puzzle map are put together to form, 
say, the map of Europe. " Oh," says a bystander, " that is 
because you have put the bits together in a particular way. 

1 Wellhaosen himself, wo shall find, allows; "There i* no primitive 
legend, it is well known, so well-knit a* the Biblical one," and he speaks of 
"the linked unity " of the narrative. Hitt. of Israel, pp. 285, 818. 


Let me arrange them in another way, and you will have no 
map at all." Possibly ; but the fact that the pieces, when 
so put together, form the map is the best proof that this 
was the contriver's intention. But the map of Europe is a 
small matter compared with this purpose of God wrought 
out in the history of Israel from patriarchal times, and 
culminating in Christ. 

2. A second reason for our answer is, that, if the plan 
inwrought into the history of Israel is an artificial or in- 
vented one, we have to find the mind capable of inventing 
it. If anyone can bring himself to believe that the teleology 
we meet with in Scripture the divine plan of grace which 
forms its connecting thread is of so simple and superficial 
a character that it would readily and naturally occur to any 
casual collector of legends, or prophetically-minded man, in 
the ninth or eighth century B.C., so that he could sit down and 
work it into a whole history, and give it an appearance of 
naturalness there, we can only say of such an one that he 
has a very large faith, a faith nearly as great as that of the 
theorists who suppose that the portrait of Jesus in the 
Gospels was created by a Church gathered promiscuously 
out from Jews and Gentiles, working on the legendary 
reminiscences of a good and wise teacher, when the real 
image of Jesus had been forgotten ! The difficulty is tenfold 
enhanced if we accept the descriptions furnished us by the 
Wellhausen school of the state of prophetic orders in the age 
when the narratives are supposed to have originated; and 
further assume, with the newer critics, that the authors of 
these narratives were not, as formerly believed, individuals, 
but were "schools" of writers. 1 This is how Wellhausen 
speaks of the prophets before Amos : " In the time of Ahab 
and Jehu the Nebiim were a widespread body, and organised 
in orders of their own, but were not highly respected ; the 
average of them were miserable fellows, who ate out of the 
king's hand, and were treated with disdain by members of 
the leading classes. Amos of Tekoa, who, it is true, belonged 
to a younger generation, felt it an insult to be counted one 
of them." 2 Truly a likely soil for the growth of such 
conceptions as we have in the Book of Genesis ! 

1 On this, see below, pp. 206 ff. 

9 History of Israel, p. 293; cf. p. 461. See also Stade, GeschieJite, L 
pp. 476 ff. 



It is possible, however, we believe, on the premises of 
the critical theory itself, to show that this " teleology " in 
the history of Israel is not an invented or manipulated 
thing, an element which does not inhere naturally in 
the facts, but a conception unhistorically imported into 
them, and to furnish strong reasons for belief in the 
essential trustworthiness of the narratives. This we shall 
now attempt to do. We confine attention to the Pentateuch, 
or Hexateuch, in which most will admit that the crucial 
part of the problem lies, and limit ourselves, at this stage, 
to absolutely essential outlines and most general agreements. 
The full discussion of particular points involved in the 
theory belongs to later chapters. 

We take, then, the history of things that lies before us 
in our present Pentateuch, and ask what, on the critical 
theory, is the origin of this book. Setting aside Deuteronomy, 
commonly assumed to be a composition of the age of Josiah, 1 
we have, on the currently-accepted view, three main strands 
of narrative in the Pentateuch, of which one the Priestly 
Writing (P) is understood, in its present form, and principal 
contents, to date from the time of the exile, or after. It 
furnishes the "framework" of the Book of Genesis,* and 
contains, in the middle books, the Levitical legislation, to 
which the slender thread of narrative and genealogy in the 
earlier part serves as introduction. 8 It is not supposed to 
be an independent historical source, but in its narratives 
so Wellhausen thinks 4 presupposes and runs parallel to 
the other and earlier history books, J and E, by that time 
united into one. Nothing is lost, therefore, by meanwhile 
leaving this P portion aside, and confining ourselves to the 
two older writings. The theory regarding these, in brief, 
is, that they were originally separate, probably independent 
productions, extending, with inclusion of the Book of Joshua, 
to the conquest of Canaan, but latterly were combined with 

Cf. Chap. VIII. 1 Dillmnn,GiMflit,i.p.l8. See below, pp. 21 5, 340 ff. 
' See Wellhanwn, Hilary of Irrael, p. 382. i|uoted below, p. 342. 
*Ibid. pp. 295, 318. See below, p. 107. The P narrative op to Ex. Ti. 
u given by Wellhauaen, pp. 327-32. 


each other into something like the form in which we now 
find them in the Pentateuch. They are allowed to be works 
extremely similar in character, and largely parallel in 
contents; 1 but are marked, the one by the use of the 
divine name Jehovah, 2 the other by the use of the divine 
name Elohim (God). 3 Hence the designations J and E 
applied to them respectively. One of these histories (J) is 
commonly thought to have originated in the Southern 
Kingdom of Judah ; the other (E) in the Northern Kingdom 
of Israel. 4 How far they were the fixing of mere oral 
tradition, or how far they rested on older written material, is 
a moot question, to which different answers are given. It is 
further a point in dispute which of these assumed narratives, 
J or E, is the earlier ; 6 but it is agreed that, in the words 
of Dr. Driver, " both belong to the golden period of Hebrew 
literature." 8 The stylistic and other differences between 
them are slight ; whereas both present a strong contrast to 
P, which is distinguished by marked peculiarities of style 
and method. 7 

-* What are the dates of these books ? On the current 
view, we may say roughly, not later in their independent 
form than the ninth and eighth centuries, or from 850 to 
750 B.C. ; in combination a century or two later. Dr. 
Driver may be usefully quoted on this point. " On the 
relative date of E and J," he says, " the opinions of critics 
differ. Dillmann, Kittel, and Eiehm assign the priority to 
E, placing him 900-850 B.C., and J c. 750 (Dillmann), 830- 
800 (Kittel), or c. 850 (Eiehm). Wellhausen, Kuenen, and 
Stade, on the other hand, assign the priority to J, placing 
him 850-800 B.C., and E c. 750 B.C." In a footnote to the 

^ee below, pp. 218ff. 

2 Variously spelt by the critics, in its original form, Yahweh, Yahveh, 
Jahweh, Jahveh, Yahve, etc. The form "Jehovah," arising from the com- 
bination of the Hebrew consonants with the vowels of the name " Adonai" 
(see below, p. 22S\ was first introduced by the Franciscan friar Petrus 
Galatinus, in 1518 A.D. It is, therefore, quite modern. 

* E is supposed to begin in Gen. xx. : according to some, earlier (chap. xv. ). 
See below, p. 217. 

4 See Chap. VII. pp. 208 ff. B See Chap. VII. pp. 204 ff. 

8 Introd. p. 124 : Wellhausen also says that JE "dates from the golden 
age of Hebrew literature." History of Israel, p. 9. 

7 J is described as vivid, flowing, anthropomorphic : E as slightly less 
so, more elevated, etc. P, on the other hand, is pragmatic, formal, 
precise, statistical, genealogical, juristic, and abounds in words and phrase* 
peculiar to himself. See below, Chap. X. pp. 330 ff. 


first of these sentences, he adds : " So most previous critics, 
as Noldeke (J e. 900), Schrader (E 975-950; J 825-800). 
Kayser (c. 800), Reuss (J 850-800 ; E ' perhaps still earlier '>" 
And in a second note : " H. Schultz, O.T. Theology, i. pp. 66 ft'. 
(J to the reign of Solomon : E 850-800)." l 

Accepting provisionally this account of the documents, 
we proceed to inquire what inferences may be deduced from 
it as to the trustworthiness of the history. 

1. And, first, we invite the attention of the reader to the 
important fact, that, according to the dates given, these 
writings antecede (he mje of written prophecy, and embody 
the traditions which we Israel itish people possessed of its 
history prior to that age. We do not ask at present 
whether this tradition was oral, or was already in any 
degree written. It was there, and these writings are the 
literary depository of it, in somewhat the same way as the 
Synoptic Gospels are the records of the oral teaching about 
Christ in the apostolic age. It is customary to speak of 
J and E as the reduction to writing of the popular legends 
of the Israelites about their own past. Be it so: the 
essential point is that they are at least not histories in- 
vented or doctored by prophets in the interests of a later 
theory of the religious development. The more naive the 
consciousness they exhibit, the less can they be regarded as 
the products of reflective manipulation. In any case they 
antecede the period of written prophecy. 8 They cannot, 
therefore, as regards their general character, be reasonably 
assumed to be influenced, modified, or transformed, by the 
ideas of that period. Their authors the unknown J and E 
we are entitled to suppose, put faithfully down the 
tradition as they found it in circulation among their people. 
They might select according to predilection from the 
material furnished to them, but they did not consciously 
falsify or invent. It is a contradiction, in one breath to/ 
speak of these writers as giving literary form to the current 

1 Introd. p. 123. Further dates of interest are given below, pp. 78-74. 

* "The general conclusions," says Dr. Driver, "to which a consideration 
of all the facts has led critics ... are that the two source*, J and E, 
date from the early centuries of the monarchy, J belonging probably to the 
ninth and E to the early part of the eighth century B.C. (br/or* Amos 
or Hosea)." Geneiit, p. xvi. Sea below, p. 97. It will be seen after, 
however, that this theory has come to be greatly modified in the interests of 
later dating (see pp. 206 U). 


traditions of their nation, and in another to represent them 
as elaborating and transforming the narratives to make 
them the vehicles of the ideas of an age which, on the 
hypothesis, had not yet come. 

It could be wished that critical writers showed them- 
selves a little clearer here as to the implications of their 
own admissions as to the dates of these J and E narratives. 
Two representations cross and mingle continually in their 
pages : one, that the writers of these narratives were simple 
" collectors of legends," l as Grimm might collect the folk- 
tales of Germany; the other, that they were consummate 
literary artists, altering, embellishing, and idealising their 
material at pleasure: one, that the narrators are "pre- 
prophetic" 2 that is, antecede the age of the great writing 
prophets, when, we are told, "ethical monotheism" was 
first introduced ; the other, that they were prophetic 
narrators, instinct with the prophetic spirit, dominated by 
prophetic ideas, and adepts in recasting their narratives to 
make them express these ideas. 8 Manifestly the critics 
cannot have it both ways : on the one hand holding the low 
views of Wellhausen, Kuenen, and Stade, on the state of 
people and prophets in " pre-prophetic " Israel, and regard- 
ing " pure Jahvism " as the " creation " of Amos and Hosea ; 4 
and on the other, picturing the ninth and eighth centuries 
as already penetrated with lofty prophetic ideas, bringing to 
the birth, and giving exquisite expression to, the elevated 
conceptions which we find in Genesis and Exodus writing 
histories "from the standpoint of redemption." A choice 
must be made, and either the books be brought down to an 
age when prophetic ideas were in the ascendant, which 
involves the abandonment of the given dates, or the con- 
tention be surrendered that these higher ideas first entered 

1 "The Jahvist and the Elohist," says Addis, "were historians, or 
rather collectors of national myths and legends, which passed for history." 
Hex. p. Ixvi. 

s " Both belong," says Bennett, "to the pre-Deuteronomic, pre-prophetic 
stage of the religion of Israel." Primer, pp. 11, 15. Cf. Wellhausen, 
Hi*t. of Israel, p. 32 ; Addis, p. liii ; Driver, Genesis, p. xlviii, etc. 

Thus, e.g., Kautzsch, Lit. of O.T., pp. 35 ff. ; Mcfridyen, Messages, 
etc., pp. 25, 26 ("Prophetic Documents"): Kuenen likewise uses this 
designation (Hex. pp. 138tf., 232 ff.), but regards J and E as undergoing 
extensive change* in a later " Judaean edition " (p. 248). 

4 Or, with Duhm, Micah and Amos. "Micah and Amos," he says, 
" first raised religion out of the sphere of nature into that of morality : 
thence it could develop higher." Theol. d. Proph. p. 103. 


with Amos and Hosea. The natural course would seem 
to be to regard the writings as, indeed, " pre-prophetic " in 
the sense of anteceding written prophecy, but at the same 
time as faithfully recording the ancient tradition, 1 in which 
prophetic ideas were already present 

2. The fact thus conceded of the "pre-prophetic" 
character of the narratives yields several weighty results. 

(1) We deduce from it, first, as just said, that the internal 
unity and teleological character so conspicuous in these 
narratives formed an integral part of the tradition, and was 
not put into it by later prophetic manipulation. It was 
part of the tradition as early as the ninth century, when at 
least one of these narratives took written shape. If here, 
again, anyone is content to think of what he finds in the 
J and histories as answering to the idea of loose, popular 
legend, he must be allowed to retain his opinion, but we 
cannot share it. Legend does not usually assume this char- 
acter of depth, coherence, developing purpose ; does not em- 
l>ody ideas, transactions, promises, such ns we find in these 
nairatives, the protevangelium, for instance, the call of 
Abraham, the covenants, the revelations at the Exodus, 
containing in them the germs of a long future. If these 
things are there in a "pre-prophetic " narrative, they clearly 
formed part of the original tradition, and were not put there 
by a later prophetic hand. 

(2) We deduce, next, that this tradition, at the time of 
its being written down by J and E, must already have 
assumed a quite developed and settled form. When we look 
at the range of this J and E history in the Pentateuchal 
books at its rich content, at its well-developed biographies, 
with their wealth of characterisation, finished dialogue, 
connection with specified localities and situations, at its 

1 On this point of the faithful recording of the tradition, on which ranch 
hinges, we have such testimonies as the following : 

Dillniann says that E "preserves unchanged in its narration* the 
manner, tone, and colour of the living legendary lore of the people." 
Gbnm.1, p. 9. 

Gunkel nays : "The legends of J and E an taken over by the collectors 
tneiUially at they found them." Omen*, Introd. n. Ivi. 

Driver says : " J and E give ns picture* of the traditions as they were 
current in the early centuries of the monarchy." Genen*, p. Iviii. He 
speaks of the indication* " that these narrators were keeping themselves 
within the limits of a tradition which they had received, rather than freely 
creating ideal picture* of their own " (p. zlr). 


articulated unity from beginning to close, it seems clear as 
day that it is no floating, Protean legend we have to deal 
with, but a legend if the critic will have it so already 
firmly fixed in outline and in the bulk of its contents, 
already clothed with flesh and blood, already as definite in 
substance, if not in form, as a written narrative itself could 
ba The loose way in which many speak of J and E giving 
literary shape to floating, popular legends, as one might 
write down countryside fairy tales, shows that they have 
never clearly apprehended what kind of history this in the 
JE narrative is, or what it is needful to presuppose as the 
condition of such a history being there to write. If the 
ideas in these writings were elaborated in any early 
prophetic workshop, how profoundly spiritual, how deep- 
seeing, the minds in that workshop must have been ! 
How explain the presence, or prevalence, of such ideas 
in the age of Elijah and Elisha, on "Wellhausen's theory 
of the religious development and of the state of the 
prophetic orders? 1 

(3) There is a yet weightier consideration one based 
directly on the critical hypothesis which we do not see 
how anyone can easily get over. It is the fact that, on this 
theory, we have not one only, but two histories of early 
times to reckon with. Here, as the critics tell us, are 
two lengthy and practically independent 2 histories, one 
emanating from the South, the other from the North, at 
a time when (on the hypothesis) the kingdoms were 
already divided, and separate in interests. Both cover the 
same ground, and give the history of the people for the 
same period. But now comes the startling thing about them, 
that, while two in authorship, place of writing, and perhaps 
tendency, these histories are, in nearly every other respect, 
almost identical The substance of the narrative is the 
same, or varies only in trifling details. They record the 
same incidents, follow nearly the same order, tell their story 

1 Elijah was, in Wellhausen's view, the first to grasp the idea " that 
there exists over all hut one Holy One and one Mighty One, who reveals 
Himself not in nature, but in law an<l righteousness, in the world of 
man." Hist, of Israel, p. 462. But Elijah's idea was not generally shared. 

2 Addis says that HupTeld made it plain "that each of these documents 
had once been an independent work. Hex. p. xxix. Gunkel strongly 
affirms the independence of the documents (Genesis, p. Ivii). Other critics 
suppose partial dependence of one on the other. See below, p. 204. 


in almost the same language. They are parallel narratives 
in the fullest sense. The proof of this lies in the fact that, 
on the critical view, these narratives have subsequently been 
combined, and in the union, not only is sometimes the section 
of one, sometimes the section of another, taken into the 
record, but in many chapters the two narratives are blended 
line by line, clause by clause, with such minuteness, some- 
what after the fashion of a Harmony of the Gospels, or are 
so completely fused together, that the keen-scented critics 
often declare themselves baffled to separate them, and diller 
widely in their attempts to do so. 1 The reader has only 
to examine the analysis offered of such chapters as Gen. 
xxvii., xxviii., xxx., xxxvii., to be convinced of the truth of 
what we state. 

So striking a class of phenomena naturally suggests the 
question whether we are really dealing with two documents 
at all.* Keeping, however, meanwhile to the critical 
hypothesis as given, we ask What follows from it? Two 
things very plainly. In theirs* place, such phenomena put 
an effective check on any theorist who would contend that 
the J and writers did not, as we have supposed, faithfully 
reproduce the tradition, but wrought it up artistically in a 
new form of their own, as Shakespeare might work up the 1 
old stories of Macbeth or King Lear, or Tennyson the 
legends of King Arthur. If that were admissible for one 
writer, it plainly would not be admissible for two, working 
independently. The fact that two writers one Northern, 
the other Southern give the same cycle of stories in much 
the same way, is proof that both are reproducing, not in- 
venting. But, second, it proves also the truth of what has 
been said above of the fixed character of the tradition. 
Here, ex hypothesi, we have two writers setting down the 
traditions current in their respective localities and circles.; 
and these, when compared, are found to be, in the words of 

1 On the parallelism of the narratives, we below, Chap. VII. pp. 218 ff. 
Wellhaua*n, as already noted, extends the parallelism to P ; we below, p. 107. 
Testimonies as to the clearness of the resemblance, and intimate union, of 
the JE narratives are found in every writer. Dillmann sap : " It is often 
very difficult or impossible to make a complete separation between them, 
where their narratives have been worked into each other by later editor*, 
and material criteria are wanting. "OtMott, p. 14. Cf. Gunkel, Gt*t*u, 
pp. Iz ff. ; and see below, pp. 219 IF. 

* The question is discussed in Chap. VII. pp. 210 ff., and there answered 
in the negative. 


Klostermann, " throughout parallel." l The slight discre- 
pancies that are alleged are quite outweighed by the 
substantial agreement. Criticism, therefore, if its division 
of these documents could be trusted, would furnish us with 
a powerful corroboration of the genuineness and fixed char- 
acter of the tradition at a period not later than the ninth 
century B.C. It would give us two witnesses instead of one. 2 


The above results are obtained from the simple con- 
siderations that our assumed documents antedate the age 
of written prophecy, and that they are two in number. 
From the vantage-ground thus gained, we may now push 
our inquiry into the value of the Hebrew tradition a good 
way further back. Obviously there is need for doing this. 
Grant that we have a rich, and in the main coherent, tradi- 
tion as a possession of the people of Israel in North and 
South as early as the ninth or eighth century, it will be 
felt that we are still a long way from the events them- 
selves to which the tradition relates, 3 and the question may 
properly be asked whether an earlier date can be assigned 
to the tradition than that which we have yet reached ? 
Conjecture here is of little value ; but there are some very 
definite stepping-stones, to which we may, we think, trust 
ourselves with great confidence. 

1. It is first to be noted that the facts already ascertained 
about the tradition of themselves carry us a good way beyond 
the dates assumed for the reduction of the tradition to 
writing. The point here is, that, whatever the date of 
authorship of the supposed documents, the tradition itself, 
from its fixed and settled character in both branches of the 
kingdom, must be much earlier. The tradition which 
J and E found did not come into existence in that year, 
or that century. It had a definite, stable form, which it 

1 Der Pentateuch, p. 10 ; see below, pp. 218-19, 345. 

2 Cf. Kittel, Hist, of Hebs. i. p. 168 ; Driver, Genesis, p. xliv ; 
West|>hal, Lei Sources du Pent. i. Pref. p. xxviii. 

* Kuenen asks in regard to these narratives: "Do we arrive at the 
certainty of which we are in search witli regard to Israel's former history ? " 
and he answers : "To befjin with, we obtain nothing but the idea which was 
entertained of that history in the eighth [or ninth] century B.C." Rel. 
of Israel, i. p. 103. 


must have possessed for a considerable time before, and 
which took a much longer time to grow into its settled shape. 
It must have had substantially the shape in which we find 
it before the division of the kingdom, only thus can we 
account for its being found in practically the same form in 
both North and South, and for the absence of all allusions 
to the division. 1 This means that it was the possession of 
Israel in the days of Solomon and David : there is no great 
stretch of imagination in saying, even in the days of 
Samuel If it be urged that this is incompatible with its 
mode of transmission by vague popular repetition, it may 
with great cogency be replied that the coherence, consist-' 
ency, and persistence of the tradition may be itself a proof 
that it was not left to depend entirely on this mode of trans- 
mission, but already existed, in some form, in written shape, 
or was at least the subject of careful and continuous in- 

2. With this has to be taken into account another fact 
of great importance. We have hitherto, in deference to pre- 
vailing views, accepted the ninth and eighth centuries as 
the periods of the composition of the J and narratives. 
These dates, however, it is now necessary to remind the 
reader, are at most the termini ad quern for the writing of 
these histories. They were not later than 850-750 B.C., but 
it does not follow that they were not much earlier. " The 
terminus a quo," says Dr. Driver, " is more difficult to fix 
with confidence : in fact, conclusive criteria fail us." * The 
statement that J and originated at about the dates named 
has settled down into a kind of commonplace in the critical 
schools ; yet it is far from being a secure result of criticism : 
we should be disposed to say it is one of the most insecure. 
If the reader will consult the list of dates formerly given, 
he will see that critics like Dillmann, Riehm, Kittel, curry 
back the date of as far as 900-850 B.C. ; Schrader to 
975-950 B.C. ; Noldeke puts J about 900 B.C. ; Schultz puts 
J in the reign of Solomon, etc. Writers of older standing 
went back still further. Bleek. e.g., put the Jehovist in the 

1 Stade, indeed, think* that the Jacob-Joseph legend suppose* the 
divided kingdom (OexhicfiU, L p. 128). This is a good specimen of the 
style of argument. 

* Of. Oeii. xriii. 19 ; Ex. xii 26, 27 ; Deut rt. 7, 20-25 ; xi. 19 ; Ps. 
IxxriiL 8, 4. 

* Introd. p. 128. 


reign of David ; Colenso, in the age of David and Solomon. 1 
But many recent writers also uphold a very early date. 
Konig, e.g., thinks that E can be placed with greatest cer- 
tainty in the time of the Judges ; J is put by him in the 
reign of David. 2 Kohler gives similar dates : E in the time 
of the Judges (c. 1100 B.C.) and J in the reign of David 
(c. 1000 B.C.). 3 Klostermann, from an independent stand- 
point, attributes to the old Pentateuchal history a very 
high antiquity, the upper limit of which cannot be 
determined. 4 

If, in surprise, the reader asks on what grounds 
the dates have undergone so remarkable a lowering in 
the Wellhausen school, the answer is not far to seek. It 
is not that any new and revolutionary discoveries have 
been made as regards the language, text, or contents of 
the books. The really determining factor will be found 
generally to lie in a new theory of religious development? 
combined with assumptions as to the reflections of later 
events (e.g., the wars of Syria with Israel) in the patriarchal 
stories. 6 But here again, as we shall see more fully below, 
the newest school of all that of Gunkel comes in with 
a weighty caveat. Gunkel argues strongly for the "pre- 
prophetic " character of the narratives ; finds the formation 
of patriarchal legends concluded as far back as 1200 B.C. ; 
is clear that their after working-up is not later than the 
early kings; rejects the mirroring of the Syrian wars, 
and (with one exception due to later addition) can discover 

1 Pent. Pt. vi. p. 536. It is to be remembered that all these older 
writers put the Elonist writer (including P) still earlier than J. Ewald, 
e.g., places his "Book of Origins" under Solomon ; Colenso assigns his Elo- 
histic narrative in Genesis to the age of Saul and Samuel (Pent. Pt. vi. 
App. p. 116). 

^ Einleitung, p. 205. 

* Hauck's Realencyc. art. "Abraham," i. p. 102. 

4 Pent. pp. 77, 219-20. There have, of course, always been those also 
who defended a direct Mosaic authorship. 

8 Dr. Driver says: "We can only argue upon grounds of probability 
derived from our view of the progress of the art of writing, or of literary 
composition, or of the rise and growth of the prophetic tone and feeling in 
ancient Israel. . . . For estimating most of which, though plausible argu- 
ments, on one side or the other, may be advanced, a standard on which we 
can confidently rely scarcely admits of being fixed." Introd. pp. 123-24. 

8 E.g., "In the story of Jacob and Laban, again, the contemporary 
background shines through the patriarchal history very distinctly." 
Wellhausen, Hist, of I.trael, p. 323 ; cf. Addis, Hex, i. p. 62 ; Driver, Qenesit, 
p. lix. See below, pp. Ill, 209. 


no indication of political conditions after 900 B.C. 1 It 
need not be said that if dates such as those preferred by 
the above-mentioned writers be admitted, the whole state 
of the question is revolutionised, and we are brought within 
measurable distance of a period from which sound tradition 
could easily be preserved. The argument from the firmness 
and consistency of the tradition acquires in that case 
enhanced importance. 

3. The supposition is made above that the J and 
histories, if the dates assigned to them by the critics are 
correct, were not based wholly on oral tradition, but may 
rest on older written material as well Is this entirely 
conjecture ? Let us see. 

(1) The history of the language affords the best grounds 
for believing that the history of the people must have 
existed in some earlier written form. We have argued 
that the existence of the tradition in a fixed and settled 
form in the ninth and eighth centuries implies its existence 
at a long anterior period. But what shall we say of the 
works J and E themselves, and of the language in which 
they are written? That language belongs, as we have 
seen, "to the golden age of Hebrew literature."* It was 
a fully-formed literary language a language with the finest 
capabilities of historical narration already developed. How 
did that language come into being ? Whence did it derive 
its literary capabilities ? Whence the literary art and skill 
to produce these books we are dealing with? These are 
questions which seem often strangely ignored. The language 
of Shakespeare was not Shakespeare's creation ; neither was 
the language of Chaucer, Chaucer's creation. But here are 
two historians according to some, " schools " of historians 
expert to the highest degree in the use of the pen. The 
men who wrote the 24th chapter of Genesis that " charm- 
ing idyll, the captivating picture of the wooing and bringing 
home of Rflbekah" 8 the story of Joseph, the dramatic 
scenes between Moses and Pharaoh, the narrative of the 
crossing of the Red Sea, were authors of the first rank. 
How were they created ? On what models did they work ? 
Is it not necessary to assume earlier literature, and that, 

1 Centals, pp. Ixi, Ixii. See below, pp. Ill, 209. 
1 Driver, Wellbauaan, see above, p. 60. 
* Delitzach, Genesis, ii. p. 104. 


too, of a highly developed kind, not songs merely, or dry 
court chronicles, but historical compositions, to explain the 
existing productions ? 

(2) But here, again, it is important to note, we are not 
left wholly to inference or conjecture. The productions of 
J and E are not, on the current view of their dates, the 
earliest specimens of Hebrew literature we possess. 1 We 
need not go further than the pages of Dr. Kautzsch, whose 
devotion to criticism will not be doubted, in proof of this 
statement. According to this authority, the language was 
already highly developed, and the art of writing dis- 
seminated among the common people, 2 in the time of the 
Judges. The Song of Deborah in Judges v. "a poem of 
priceless worth," "genuine, splendid poetry" is ascribed 
by him to about 1250 B.C., and the fable of Jotham (Judjj. 
ix. 7 ff.), the artistic finish of which, he says, is so high, and 
the delicate satire so great, " as again to suggest the conjec- 
ture that this form of composition must have been long 
and diligently cultivated, is referred to the same period." 3 
Between this and the reign of David fall other pieces, 
as the Song of Miriam, the poetical fragments in Numbers, 
the address to the sun and moon in Joshua. To David's 
reign (1020-980 B.C.) belong the elegies of David on Saul 
and Abner, and to the same age, or that of Solomon, a 
number of other highly finished productions. 4 The speech 
of Solomon at the dedication of the temple, 1 Kings viii. 
12 ff. (how much?) is held to be "an authentic monument 

1 It would scarcely he necessary to emphasise this, but for the suggestion 
in a remark of Wellhausen's, that in the interval between Elijah and Elisha 
and Amos, "a non-literary had developed into a literary age." Hist, of 
Israel, p. 465. 

* Lit. of 0.2"., p. 10; cf. Judg. viii. 14 (R.V.). Many critics carry 
literary composition much further back. Ewald, e.g., supposes Gen. xlix. 
22-26 to go back to the times before Moses (written?). Revelation: tw 
Natwe and Record (E.T.), p. 323. Delitzsch thinks the Song and Blessing 
of Moses may have been written l>y him. Genesis, i. p. 45, etc. 

* Ibid. pp. 4, 5. Kautzsch thinks it probable, however, "that we must 
come down to the time of David for the writing out of the products of those 
earlier days " (p. 10. Why?). Stade also says the Song of Deborah bears 
traces of having been composed under the immediate impression of the 
victory it records. See the remarkable list of testimonies on this point in 
Konig's art. "Judges," in Diet, of Bible, ii. p. 813. Professor Robertson 
thinks the Song "may have come down in writing from that period." 
Early Religion, p. 79. 

4 He includes here the Blessing of Jacob, and the original form of the 


of the reign of Solomon." l Then we come to the so-called 
" Hero-Stories " of the Book of Judges, and to the " Jerusalem- 
Stories," the " David-Stories," and the " Saul-Stories," which 
make up a large part of the Books of Samuel These are 
placed between 933-911 B.C. the "Saul-Stories" a few 
years later.* The " Jerusalem-Source " is assigned " to the 
period immediately after Solomon," 8 and is described ae 
"one of the most complete, truthful, and finished pro- 
ducts of historical writing which have come down to us 
from the Hebrews, and indeed from the whole ancient 

Here then we have the language nearly in its prime 
carried back to the thirteenth century B.C., with a long 
cultivation necessarily preceding, are brought, in short, 
almost to the verge of the Exodus. Are we to suppose 
that all this while nothing was done to produce some 
records of the people's history, of the events of the Exodus, 
which admittedly so deeply moved them, 6 and, beyond that, 
of the traditions of the fathers? To us this appears so 
incredible, that, even if no literature existed which seemed 
to require such records for its explanation, we should be 
forced to suppose that they once existed, but had unfortu- 
nately become lost. Much more are we driven to assume 
them, if regard is had to the mass of the tradition, and 
to the clearness, coherence, and religious importance of its 
contents, so different from what forms the staple of popular 
oral legend. It is not a conclusive answer to this to say 
that we have no direct evidence of the existence of such 
records. If the essential parts of such records are in- 
corporated in the works we have, it can readily be understood 
why they should drop out of memory and use ; or it mayt 
turn out in the end that the so - called J and E arel 
themselves such records, that is, we may be compelled by| 
the internal character of the history to antedate its written 

l LU.ofO. T., p. 12 ; of. p. 1 77. Set below, p. 102. 

Ibid. pp. 178-79. Ibid. p. 27. 

4 Ibid. p. 25. Dr. Driver nays of this narrative (2 Sam. ix.-xx.) : "The 
abundance aud particularity of detail show that the narrative must date 
from a period very little later than that of the events related. The style 
is singularly bright, flowing, and picturesque," Introd. p. 183. 

See below, pp. 100 If. 

Thus the voluminous records which nnderlie the historical books 
(Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, etc.) hare perished : so also the early attempt* 
at the composition of written Gospels (Luke i. 1). 


form, and to revise our conceptions of the literary capabilities 
of an earlier age. 1 

(3) A third consideration under this head remains. The 
use of earlier records in the composition of J and E is not 
a hypothesis opposed to critical science : it is one to which 
adherents of the critical school in perhaps increasing number 
are coming back. Not to speak of others more conservative, 
such writers as Delitzsch always insisted on the use of 
ancient material, part of it Mosaic, in the Pentateuch ; 
but, as representing a newer position, we may instance 
Kittel. " Certain it is," this writer says, " that such sources, 
probably even in documentary form, to some extent, lay 
before E as well as J. ... In many cases it seems 
demonstrable that E worked in accordance with sources 
that were ancient, and in part very ancient. And further, 
where this cannot now be discerned, we may accept his 
descriptions as resting on older material, oral or written, 
except where there are conclusive reasons of a special 
kind to the contrary." 2 


There are, we would say in concluding, three things 
which strongly corroborate the positions we have laid 

1. The first is the enormous increase of light which recent 
i discovery has cast on the very early, and indeed common, use 
of writing, and high development of literature in the ancient 
East. We return to this subject in a later chapter, 8 and only 
here anticipate the general result. The discoveries amount 
to a revolution in old beliefs, and, as scholars are beginning 
to recognise, alter the perspective of everything that 
relates to arts, laws, and letters in the early parts of the 
Old Testament. Culture and writing are carried back in 
Babylonia to an almost fabulous antiquity millenniums 

1 This, it will be seen after, is what we take 'to be the true solution. 
The classic period of the JE writings does not then come after, but, as seems 
most reasonable, lies behind the flourishing age of Kautzsch's "Jerusalem- 
Source." Can it be thought likely that such skill should be bestowed on 
the reign of David, while the whole wonderful past of the nation stood 
neglected T 

Hist. ofHebt. i. pp. 90, 95. 

* Chap. XI., where details are given. 


before the days of Abraham, and the age of Abraham itself 
is shown by the Code of Hammurabi and the contract 
j tablets of the same age to have been one of highly-developed 
civilisation and general enlightenment. In Egypt we find 
that the hieroglyphic system was already complete by the 
time of Menes, founder of the first dynasty (c. 4000 B.C.) ; 
in Canaan, as the Tel el-Amarna tablets discover to us, 
epistolary correspondence was freely carried on about 
1400 B.C.. in the Babylonian language and cuneiform 
character ; l Crete is proved to have been the abode of an 
advanced culture long before the age of Moses : if Dr. 
Glaser's speculations are correct, 2 the inscriptions of the 
kingdom of Maon in South Arabia are possibly as old as the 
Exodus. It cannot be denied that this wholly unexpected 
light on the all but universal diffusion of letters in the 
ancient world* puts the problems of the patriarchal and 
Mosaic times in an entirely new setting. 4 It is no longer 
sufficient to reply that a nomad people like the Hebrews 
was an exception to the general rule. The nomad theory ? 
rests on the critic's own assumptions, and is of no force * 
against the indications of the history itself. 6 Moses was not 
a nomad, but is figured as " learned in all the wisdom of 
the Egyptians." 6 Joseph and his family were not nomads, 
and the position of the Hebrews in Egypt under Joseph's 
rigvme must have been one of great honour and influence, 7 
2. The progress of discovery, again, has brought to light 

1 Dr. Sayce goes so far as to say of Canaan : " Schools and libraries, in 
fact, must have existed everywhere, and tin- art of reading and writing must 
have been as widely spread aa it was in Europe before the days of the 
penny iwet." Higher Crit. p. 67 ; cf. his Early Israel, Introduction. 

1 Cf. Sayce, Higher CriL pp. 89 ff. 

* Sayce says: "From one end of the civilised ancient world to the 
other men and women were reading and writing and corre*|onding with 
one another ; schools abounded and great libraries weic formed, in an age 
which the critic only a few yean ago declared was almost wholly 
illiterate." Monument Fact*, p. 42. 

4 " According to all analogy," says Professor Kittel, " we may henceforth 
expect that in the case of Biblical science also, the stakes may I* pushed 
farther forward and the cord* much further lengthened than anxious minds 
were im-pare-l for, and that, too, without leaving the gmund of the 
historically possible and admissible. If in the case of Hellas and the 
Islands the second millennium before Christ is no longer absolutely a ' 
terns incognita, in all probability the presumably older culture field ol * 
Syria and Pale-tine will be still b-a so." Babyl. Excar*. pp. 17, 18. 

See below, pp. 104, 1S4. Acts vii. 22. 
1 Gen. 1. 7-11. Cf. Hummel, Ancient Htb. Trad. p. 229. 


so much minutely confirmatory of the historical, geographical, 
and ethnographical data of the early parts of the Old Testa- 
ment, that the assumption of early records seems indispens- 
able to explain how such knowledge often antiquarian and 
obsolete has been preserved. Such ,e.g., is the light thrown 
on the historical conditions in the account of the expedition 
of Chedorlaomer in Gen. xiv. ; or on the remarkable state- 
ments in Gen. x. as to the origin and relations of the most 
ancient peoples ; or on the vivid picturing of Egyptian life 
and customs in the history of Joseph, and in the narratives 
of Moses and the Exodus. 1 

3. Lastly, there is the evidence of the Biblical narratives 
themselves as to the early use of writing in Israel. Thus 
far we have refrained from drawing on the Biblical history, 
but, in an inquiry of this kind, its evidence cannot in 
fairness be disregarded. It is not to be thought of, that, 
while every scrap of testimony from profane sources is 
welcomed, and made the most of, the Scriptures alone are to 
be treated like criminal suspects, whose every word is to be 
doubted, unless hostile cross-examination fails to shake it, 
or independent confirmation of it can be produced. 2 Like 
other witnesses, the Biblical writers are entitled to be heard 
with a prima facie presumption of their honesty. It is the 
case, then, that writing and written records are frequently 
referred to in the Pentateuchal narratives. Not, indeed, in 
the patriarchal narratives an internal mark of their 
truthfulness 8 but in the age of Moses and Joshua, Ee- 
peatedly things are said to be written, or are commanded 
to be written. Writing is implied in the name of the 
" officers " (Shoterim = scribes) 4 set over the Israelites in 
their bondage. No inconsiderable amount of written matter 
is directly ascribed to Moses, creating the presumption that 
there was more, even when the fact is not directly stated. 
Moses wrote " all the words of Jehovah " in the " Book 
of the Covenant." 5 He was commanded to write in a 

1 See below, Chap. XI. pp. 413ff. 

* Cf. Ladd. Doct. of Sac. Scripture, i. p. 345. Ladd quotes Leasing on 
the N.T. : "If now Livy and Dionysius and Polybius and Tacitus are 
treated so frankly and nobly that we do not put tliem to the rack for every 
syllable, why not also Matthew and Mark and Luke and John f " 

* Cf. Delitzsch, Genesis, i. p. 8. But see below, p. 375. The argument 
from silence is precarious, and Babylonian analogy would suggest that 
writing would be used in such a contract as that in Gen. xxiii. 

4 Ex. v. 6, 14, etc. Ex. xxiv. 4, 7. 


(the) book the decree against Amalek. 1 He wrote " the 
goings-out" of Israel from Egypt, "according to their 
journeyings." f There was a written register of the seventy 
elders. 8 He wrote " the words of this law " at Moab, " in a 
book until they were finished," 4 and also wrote his " Song," 
and "taught it to the children of Israel"* "All the 
words of this law" were to be written on stones at 
Mount Klial, 6 and the Book of Joshua records that this was 
done. 7 Joshua assumes, in conformity with Deut. xxxi. 24- 
26, the existence of a " book of the law," and it is said of 
Joshua's own address to the people that "he wrote these 
words in the bonk of the law of God." All this, as we now 
know, is in keeping with the state of culture at the time, 8 
and lends support to the view that much first-hand material 
from the Mosaic age is substantially preserved in the books 
which refer to this period. 

The conclusion we draw from the whole discussion is, 
that the view is untenable which regards the Biblical 
history of Israel's early condition and religious development 
as a projection back on patriarchal times of the ideas 
of the prophetic age. Even accepting the critical pre- 
mises in part by help of them we are warranted in the 
belief to which we were led by the consideration of the 
organic and purposeful character of the Old Testament 
narrative itself, that it is a faithful representation of the 
actual course of the early history of the people. This con- 
clusion will obtain confirmation from the detailed examina- 
tion which follows. 

> Ex. xvii. 14. Num. xxxiii. 2. 

Nam. zL 26. 4 Deut xxxi. 9, 24, 20. 

Deut. xxxi. 19, 22. U-'Ut. xxvii. 8. 

Joeh. viii. 80-85. Se below, p. 263. 

Referring to the Tel el-Amarna discoveries, Professor Robertson says : 
"We need no longer, theielore, wonder that among the towns taken by 
Johaa was one called Kirjath-Sepher, Book-town (Josh. xv. 15 ; Judg. i. 
11), or Kiriath-Saunah [City of Instruction} (Josh. xv. 49) ; or that a lad 
caught at the roadside was able to write down the names of the chief men of 
Succoth in the time of the Judges (Judg. viii. 14.B.V.)." Early Reliyion, 
p. 78. See further on Hebrew writing in Chap. JL below, pp. 874-6. 


TEestament as affectefc bs Criticism 
TTbe "fcistory : Counter-TIbeories 

"The characteristic of the Israelitish mind was an outlook into the 
future. . . . Was the case different with Abraham ? If he was anything 
like that character which these early histories describe him to have been, 
nothing would seem more natural than that he should be made to know 
what the goal was to be to which his history looked. One can scarcely 
explain how Israel came to -direct its attention to Canaan when it escaped 
from Egypt, unless it had some tradition of its destiny alive in it" 

"Abraham in that early dawn of history, with polytheism and idolatry 
all around him, saw his own creed triumphant in the world ; he predicted 
its triumph, and the prediction has as a matter of fact come true. It is 
triumphant. The creed of Abraham has become the creed of the civilised 
world. The patriarch's creed has been victorious over the idolatry of the 
human race, and grown from a deposit in the breast of one man into a 
universal religion." MOZLEY. 

"There are certain points which all the sources take for granted as 
firmly established by tradition : namely, that Moses, of the tribe of Levi, 
was the first to proclaim Jahweh as the God of the whole people of Israel, 
and as their Deliverer from the bondage of Egypt ; that at Sinai he brought 
about the conclusion of a ' covenant ' between Jahweh and Israel ; that he 
at least laid the foundation of the judicial and ceremonial ordinances 
in Israel, and that he left behind him more or less copious notes on all 
thi." KAUTZSCH. 



IT is necessary now to widen our argument, and look more 
closely at the construction of the history which the radical 
criticism opposes to the Biblical to test its grounds, and 
weigh the force of the considerations which are thought to 
be fetal to the latter. This will afford us opportunity of 
reinforcing our previous conclusions, and will prepare the 
way for the discussion, in succeeding chapters, of the bear- 
ing of critical principles on religion and institutions. 


It was pointed out in the first chapter 1 that nearly 
everything in the critical discussion of the history and 
religion of the Old Testament depends on the presup- 
positions with which we start. If the Old Testament is 
read in the light of its own presuppositions, which, surely, 
in the first instance, is not an unfair thing to ask, its 
contents present a very different aspect from what they do 
if read in the light of principles which contradict these 
presuppositions. Let one assume, and hold fast by the 
idea, that there has really been a great scheme of historical 
revelation extending through successive dispensations, and 
culminating in the Incarnation in Jesus Christ, and many 
things will appear natural and fitting as parts of such 
a scheme, which otherwise would be rejected as incredible, 
or be taken account of only to be explained away. 

It need not surprise us, therefore, that, rejecting the 
Biblical presuppositions, the more radical criticism rejects 

1 See above, p. 14. 



of necessity the history which depends on these, and, for 
the picture of the origins of Israel, and of Mosaic times, 
given in the Old Testament, substitutes another and very 
different one, evolved from its own assumptions. For it, 
the unhistorical character of the Biblical narratives is 
decided before the inquiry begins. Israel, on its view, 
emerges from the dim past as a loose aggregation of tribes ; 
polytheists, or at least monolaters ; not a people chosen and 
called of God, with the memory of a past, and the con- 
sciousness of a future, but a horde of semi-barbarians, 
sharing the ordinary Semitic ideas, customs, and super- 
stitions, and indebted for what rudiments of culture they 
ultimately came to possess to the more advanced 
Canaanites. There was no revelation; everything 
happened by natural development. It is obvious that 
such a people could not have had the history which 
the Bible ascribes to it. With such a theory in the back- 
ground of his mind, and consciously or unconsciously used 
as the standard of his judgments, the critic has no alterna- 
tive but to regard the stories he is dealing with as a 
bundle of legends. The sole question he has to ask 
himself is, How did such legends come to be formed ? 
What tribal reminiscences may be supposed to shimmer 
through them? The paradoxical thing is, when his con- 
clusions are taken over by those who do not share his 
presuppositions, and receive endorsement as the results 
of the latest critical scholarship! 

When, however, as just said, the standpoint is reversed, 
and we look at the matter from the Bible's own point of 
view, things appear very differently. Assume, for instance, 
what is the Bible's own assertion, that God did really 
call this man Abraham, and make His covenant with him, 
assume that this was a grave, serious transaction, of the 
utmost moment to Abraham himself, to his posterity, and 
to mankind, and was felt to be so, assume that it was 
required of him that he should diligently train his children 
and his household after him in the knowledge of it, 1 then, 
can it be doubted that the utmost pains would be taken 
to preserve and transmit faithful accounts of these doings, 
till such time as a permanent record could be made of 
them; and does not the patriarchal history, with its rich 
1 Cf. Gen. xviii. 18, 19. 
rt - 


biographies, and impregnation with covenant-ideas, present 
precisely the character we might expect in such a record ? 
Assume, again, that the Exodus really took place in some 
such way as the Bible relates, that Jehovah, the covenant- 
keeping God of the fathers, really revealed Himself to 
Moses, and really brought the people out of Egypt with 
wonderful manifestations of His power and grace, we have 
only to ask the question, Could the people ever forget it ? 
to see how impossible is the supposition. We shall then 
cease to wonder at the graphic narratives which have come 
down to us from that soul-stirring time, and will be ready 
to see in them a faithful reflection of the consciousness 
of the period. 

All this, naturally, is folly to the newer critical school ; 
for does it not imply those higher religious ideas, and that 
" familiar intercourse of the Deity with the patriarchs," l 
which Kuenen tells us are conclusive marks of the un- 
historical character of the narratives ? We are not without 
hope that a different impression may be produced by a 
candid examination of the grounds of his objections. 

The foregoing, it should be noticed, yields us the right 
point of view for answering the question sometimes asked 
In what sense do we speak of " history " in these early 
parts of the Bible ? So far we must agree with the critics 
when they remind us that the history in the Bible is 
religious history that is, not bare narratives of outward 
occurrences, as an ancient chronicler, or modern newspaper 
reporter, might set them down, but history written from a 
religious standpoint, for purposes of edification, and reflect- 
ing in its story the impression on the mind of the beholder 
and on the writer, as well as the objective fact. As 
respects the early periods, it follows from what has been 
said, and is evident of itself, that what we have to do with 
is, for the most part, not contemporary narration, but 
history in the form of carefully preserved tradition, not, 
indeed, as the critics will have it, mere floating folk-lore, 
but sacred tradition of real events and transactions in the 
lives of real men, and of God's revelations and dealings 
with them tradition on which we can rely as faithfully 
conveying to us the contents of God's message to them and 
to ourselves yet still tradition, having the rounded, 

1 Rei. of Imutl, i. p. 108. 8e above, p. 00. 


dramatic character which narratives naturally assume as 
the result of repeated telling, 1 and recorded in the form in 
which they finally reached the literary narrator. Such 
transmission may not exclude a measure of " idealisation," 
and reflection of later ideas and conditions; but this, we 
are persuaded, to a far smaller extent than many even 
believing writers suppose. The view of the history thus 
indicated we now proceed to vindicate. 


An interesting light is thrown on the method of un- 
proved assumption and arbitrary hypothesis by which, as 
we think, much of the work of this newer criticism is done, 
in what Kuenen adduces as his " principal cause of hesita- 
tion " in accepting the patriarchal narratives, viz., that the 
actors in them " have one characteristic in common they 
are all progenitors of tribes." He infers from this " that the 
narratives in Genesis present us, not with real historical 
personages, but with personifications." 2 Since the days of 
Ewald the theory of personification has been a favourite one 
with critical writers, though generally there has gone with 
it, as in the case of Ewald himself, the recognition of a basis 
of real personal history in the narratives. Wellhausen, Stade, 
and the more thorough-going members of their school, how- 
ever, make no such reservations. With them all historical 
reality is given up, logically enough, for, if individual 
progenitors of tribes are admitted at all, a main foundation 
of the theory is destroyed, and only collective names, and 
reflections of tribal relations and characteristics remain. 8 
Wellhausen actually thinks that Abraham was a compara- 

1 Dr. John Smith, in his Integrity of Scripture, p. 38, speaks of the 
Pentateuch, which he upholds as "a credible and substantially con- 
temporary record of a true revelation of God to Moses, and through Moses 
to Israel," as " incorporating the sacred family traditions of earlier 

*Xel. of Israel, i. pp. 109-112. 

* Cf. Euenen, trf supra ; Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, pp. 318 ff. ; Stade, 
Creschichte, pp. 28 ff. ; Gunkel, Genesis, Introd. ; Guthe, art. " Israel," 
Ency. Bib. (also arts, on Patriarchs) ; Cornill, Hist, of Israel ; H. P. Smith, 
O.T. Hist. pp. 38 ff., etc. For criticism of the theory, cf. Konig's Neueste 
Prinzipien, pp. 85 ff. ; Kohler, art. "Abraham" in Hauck's Bealeneyc. ; 
Robertson's Early Eel. pp. 121 ff., etc. 


tively late " free creation of unconscious art " ; * others can 
persuade themselves that even Amos and Hosea did not 
regard the patriarchs as individual persons. 1 It is well that 
Kueneu should tell us that this is his strongest proof, for, 
in testing his chain in its firmest link, we are better enabled 
to judge of its strength as a whole. 

The theory, then, is, that the patriarchs were not actual 
individuals, but " personifications " of tribes. To the critic's 
mind nothing could be simpler or more demonstrable. " To 
the Oriental," says Professor H. P. Smith, "it is natural 
to speak of the clan as an individual. . . . The common 
method of our Hebrew writers was to personify clans, 
tribes, nations, or geographical divisions, and treat them 
as individuals." 8 No shade of doubt is held to rest on 
this conclusion. " What interests us here is the fact that 
the patriarchs cannot be taken as individuals. If individuals 
licuben, Gad, and Judah never existed, it is plain that 
individuals Jacob, Esau, and Abraham cannot have any 
more substantial reality. We have to do here with figures 
of the poetic or legend -building imagination." 4 Let us 
look at the reasons by which these confident assertions are 

1. The theory has its starting-point in the statement 
that the names of the patriarchs in the history are not in- 
dividual, but tribal. But this, to begin with, is onljj>a.rJal]j 
tr^ie. Of the majority of the progenitors of tribes (e.g., Dan, 
Gad, Naphtali), little is recorded save the names ; of a few 
(Judah, Simeon, Reuben), only special incidents; of the 
three great patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob on the 
other hand, and of Joseph, we have full and detailed bio- 
graphies. But, as has often been pointed out, neither 
Abraham nor Isaac 6 gave their names to tribes; Joseph, 
also, did not do so directly, but only through his sons, 
Ephraim and Manasseh. Lot is not the name of any tribe, 
though this "weak-kneed saint," as Wellhausen calls him, 

1 Hi*, o/lorael, p. 320. 

* H. P. Smith UTS : " Amc* and Hoaea at anyrate had little idea of the 
patriarchs as individual men." 0.7*. J/itt. p. 88. So fiuthe, etc. 

Ibid. pp. 88, 89. Und. p. 42. 

' In AnvM rii. 10 the designation " house of Inaao" is nafd, bat for the 
whole nation, and plainly with reference to the HiHiral statement* as to 
the relation of Isaac to Jacob. No light is thrown from the history of the 
tribes on the origin of the name. 


is the father of the Moabites and Ammonites. Neither 
does Esau give his personal name to his descendants, the 
Edomites. Even of Jacob, whose names (Jacob, Israel) 
became, quite naturally and reasonably on the Biblical view, 
those of the nation, it is to be noted that he is regarded, not 
as the founder of a special tribe, but as the progenitor of the 
individual tribes from whose union the nation was formed. 
His name and character, therefore, can hardly have been 
a mere abstraction from the nation collectively. There 
seems, indeed, to be now evidence that both his name, and 
those of Abraham and Joseph (with Ishmael, and others) 
were proper names in use in Babylonia and Palestine from 
early times. 1 

Abraham, as might be expected, is a special difficulty to 
the theory. He is, as Wellhausen owns, " a little difficult 
to interpret." 2 We have just seen that his name is not a 
designation of either tribe or nation : neither is Isaac's. 
The critic is therefore driven, as above hinted, to suggest 
that he is " a free creation of unconscious art " ; 3 later than 
Isaac. 4 But then how explain these long and detailed 
biographies, which bear so inimitable a stamp of reality, 
yet have so little to suggest the reflection of the features 
of a later age ? For here again the theory is in difficulty. 
" It is remarkable," confesses Wellhausen, " that the heroes 
of Israelitish legend show so little taste for war, and in this 
point they seem to be scarcely a true reflection of the 
character of the Israelites, as known from their history. . . . 
The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are all peace- 
loving shepherds, inclined to live quietly beside their tents, 
anxious to steer clear of strife and clamour. . . . Brave 
and manly they are not, 6 but they are good fathers of 
families," 6 etc. There are evidently knotty problems still 

1 In a list of Thothmes in. (e. 1480 B.c.) there occur the names Jacob-el 
and Joseph-el (the latter doubted by some), as those of places in Central 
Palestine. Much earlier, in Babylonian contract tablets (c. 2200 B.C.), are 
found the names Jacob, Jacob-el, and the name Abe-ramu, similar to 
Abraham. See below, Chap. XI. pp. 409-10. 

3 Hist, of Israel, p. 320. The idea that Abraham was the name of a 
"god " has been very generally abandoned, but is now revived by Winckler ; 
see above, p. 59. 


4 Professor Robertson pertinently remarks : "One would like to know how 
much of the story of Isaac, aa a popular legend, would be comprehensible 
without reference to that of Abraham." Rel. of Israel, p. 125. 

See below, p. 109. 8 Hist, of Israel, pp. 320-21. 


unsolved on the theory that the history is simply a form of 
" ethnographic genealogy." 

2. A special proof of the personifying tendencies of the 
Hebrew writers is sought in the forms of some of the 
Scripture genealogies. These, it is pointed out, are frequently 
ethnographical, not individual. A familiar example is the 
" table of nations " in Gen. x. When, e.g., one reads there : 
" The sons of Ham ; Gush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and 
Canaan. . . . And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and 
Lehabim, and Naphtuhim. . . . And Ganaan begat Sidon his 
first-born, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and 
the Girgashite," l etc., everyone readily perceives, that not 
individual persons, but nations or tribes, are meant. The 
genealogies bear their ethnographic character upon their 
face. But all genealogies are not of this nature; and the 
existence of such tables no more proves that Abraham and 
Sarah, Isaac and Eebekah, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his 
brethren, Moses and Aaron, were not real persons, than it 
proves, say, that Elkanah was not the father of Samuel, or 
Eli of Hophni and Phinehas, or Jesse of David, but that in 
all these cases we are dealing only with tribal abstractions. 
We do not suppose, e.g., that when we read, " Salmon begat 
Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse 
begat David," 2 we have before us a scrap of " ethnographic 
genealogy," because elsewhere it is said that Canaan begat 
the Jebusite and the Amorite. When we find richly- 
developed biographies like those of Abraham and Jacob 
attached to such names as " Mizraim," or " Ludim," or " the 
Girgashite," it will be time to consider the analogy. 8 

3. The crowning support for the personification theory 
is sought by Kuenen, Stade, Guthe, and others, in an 
assumed law of the growth of societies. " New nations," Stade 
says, " never originate through rapid increase of a tribe ; new 
tribes never through derivation from a family propagating 
itself abundantly through several generations." * To which 
Konig aptly replies : " Often as I have read these sweeping 
statements, I have always missed one trifle : I never found 
a proof of this thesis." 6 Such a proof, in fact, is not to be 

1 Gen. x. , 18, 15, 1. Ruth iv. 21, 22. 

* See farther illustration in Note A Konig on the Personification Theory. 
4 Ottehifhle, i. p. 28. Cf. Kuenen'a Ktl. of Itrael, i. p. 40. 

NeuesU Prinzipien, p. 36. 


found; for none can be offered which does not, as in the 
present case, assume the thing to be proved. As a general 
dictum on the origin of society, its truth would be disputed 
by many far better entitled to be listened to on the subject 
than Stade. H. S. Maine, for instance, in his book on 
Ancient Law : its Connection iuith the Early History of Society, 
maintains the directly opposite thesis. To him the 
" patriarchal theory " of the origin of society is the one 
which best accords with all the facts. Jurisprudence, he 
affirms, is full of the clearest indications that society in 
primitive times was not a collection of individuals, but 
an aggregation of families. " The unit of an ancient Society 
was the Family. . . . The elementary group is the Family, 
connected by common subjection to the highest male 
ascendant. The Aggregation of Families forms the Gens or 
House. The Aggregation of Houses makes the Tribe. The 
Aggregation of Tribes constitutes the Commonwealth." 1 
Allowing, however, what is probably the truth, that society 
does not follow everywhere the same law of growth, we are 
still in no way shut up to the conclusion that it was not 
thus that the Hebrew nation, under its peculiar conditions 
of call and destiny, did develop. The development from 
the one chosen individual into the many, 2 in fulfilment of 
promise, is the most natural thing imaginable, provided the 
nation's own account of its antecedents and mission to the 
world is accepted. The history here is in complete harmony 
with itself. From the earliest period to which we can trace 
back the Hebrew tribes, they are " the sons of Israel," and 
of what that title meant they believed themselves to have 
the clearest historical recollection. Why should that 
recollection not be trusted, and designations like " house of 
Jacob," " house of Isaac," " seed of Abraham," not be allowed 
to mean what they obviously suggest, and were always 
believed to mean that the people were historically de- 
scended from these patriarchs, instead of being twisted into 
proofs that these progenitors of the race never existed ? 

The result to which we are thus far led is that the newer 
criticism is unsuccessful in its attempt to make out the 
patriarchs to be "not persons, but personifications." The 

, Law, pp. 126, 128. 

* Isa. li. 1, 2 : " When he was but one, I called him, and i blessed him, 
and made him many." 


patriarchs, in the Biblical view, are both persons and pro- 
genitors of tribes, and there is no necessary contradiction 
between the two things. It is to be anticipated that 
ancestral traits will reappear in the descendants, and it is 
not inadmissible to suppose that characteristics of the 
descendants, to some degree, will be found, designedly or 
unconsciously, reflected in the portraiture of the progenitor 
as, for instance, in the cases of Ishmael and Esau. 1 In 
this sense there may be an element of " idealisation " in the 
narratives, as there is, in fact, in every good painting, or 
every good biography, of a person who has become historical. 
This does not detract from the fidelity of the history, but 
enhances it by interpreting its inner significance, and 
investing it with the charm of literary art. 


There is another branch of the critical method on which 
it is proper that something should now be said. This relates 
to the point just touched on the testimony of the national 
consciousness of Israel to its own past. 

It was seen above that exception is taken to the high 
religious ideas ascribed to the patriarchs, and to the stories 
of the divine communications made to them. The question 
of the early religion of Israel will be investigated in next 
chapter. Meanwhile it may be permitted to remark on 
Kuenen's dictum that "at first the religion of Israel was 
polytheism," that that can hardly be a sure result of criticism 
which many of the most distinguished critics of both past 
and present times energetically repudiate. Ewald was free 
enough in his treatment of the history, but he had no doubt 
of the existence of the patriarchs, or that they " thought and 
spoke monotheistically." * Dillmann, and Delitzsch, and 
Eiehm were critics, but none of them would assent to the 
propositions of the Kuenen school about the religion of 
early Israel As little would Konig, or Kittel, or Baethgen, 
or Klostermann, or Oettli, or the late Dr. A. B. Davidson, 
or many others that might be named. Dilhuaun may !> 
quoted in this connection as an example. " If anyone." 
he says, " desires to maintain that this representation reals 

1 Cf. Gen. zri. 11, 12 ; xxrii. 40. > Hi*, of Imul, i. p. 820. 


only on an idealising conception of later writers, and is not 
to be accepted as historical, it must be contended in opposi- 
tion that not merely Genesis, but the whole Old Testament, 
speaks of a covenant, of a peculiar relation in which God 
stood with the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; that 
Moses attached himself with his work to the God of the 
fathers; that without this attachment his work would be 
incomprehensible ; that, therefore, even if Genesis had said 
nothing on the subject, we should be compelled to postulate 
a certain acquaintance of these fathers with the living God, 
a higher faith in God." x 

This deep consciousness which the Israelites possessed 
throughout their history of their origin from Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, and of the peculiar favour of God to these 
fathers of their race in making His covenant with them, 
might be deemed an irrefragable argument for the truth of 
the Biblical representations. So in reality it is ; but it is 
essential to the modern critical view that the argument 
should be deprived of its force, and the method by which this 
is sought to be accomplished is an excellent example of the 
arbitrariness we complain of in the critical procedure. The 
aim is to show that the references to the patriarchs and 
their doings even to Moses are so late as to deprive them 
of all value, and the means employed for this end is the 
summary excision from the text of all passages that speak 
to the contrary as later additions. It is a method beautiful 
in its simplicity, easily worked, and, when applied with 
sufficient courage, as it is in both history and prophets, 
never fails in silencing all opposing witness. 2 

1. We begin by giving two examples of the application 
of this method to the prophets. " A striking fact is," says 
Professor H. P. Smith, " that none of the prophets allude to 
Abraham till we come to Ezekiel. The weight of this in an 
inquiry into the historicity of the patriarchs can hardly be 

1 Alttcst. Theol. p. 82 ; cf. pp. 414-15. Cf. Klostermann's Gcschichte de 
Volkes Israel, pp. 28 if. Klostermann rejects as an "absolutely irrational 
opinion" the view that the patriarchs are mythical forms, and contends that 
only grounds of real tradition could have led the people to se-i, not in Moses, 
who actually formed them into a nation, but in fathers, shar jy distinguished 
from Moses, and living in quite other times and relatiur /the founders of 
their monotheistic religion. 

* It need scarcely be said that our remarks are not intended to apply 
to soberly-directed attempts to correct errors or corruptions in the Hebrew 
text, which reliable evidence shows to be really such. See Note H to Chap. X. 


over-estimated." l Wellhausen, who, as we saw, is disposed 
to regard Abraham as " a free creation of unconscious art," 
similarly writes: "The later development of the legend 
shows a manifest tendency to make Abraham the patriarch 
par excellence, and cast the others into the shade. In the 
earlier literature, on the other hand, Isaac is mentioned 
even by Amos. Abraham first appears in Isa. xl.-lxvi." * The 
two statements, it may be observed, are not quite in 
harmony, for Ezekiel, in which the one critic allows a 
reference to Abraham, is at least earlier than the date 
assumed by Wellhausen for Isa. xL-lxvl, where, on his 
showing, Abraham first appears. The passage in Ezekiel 
(chap, xxxiii. 24) reads : " Abraham was one, and he inherited 
the land." Even on the meagre footing of these passages, 
it might be urged, we would not be without important 
witnesses to the singular place occupied by Abraham in the 
Israelitish tradition. 

But are the facts as stated? If we take the Hebrew 
text as it stands, they certainly are not. We go back to 
Jeremiah, and there read, chap, xxxiii. 26 : " I will take of his 
seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob." We go back a stage further, to the earlier Isaiah, 
and there read, chap. xxix. 22: "Jehovah who redeemed 
Abraham." We turn to Isaiah's contemporary, Micah, and 
read, chap. viL 20 : " Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, 
and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn to our 
fathers from the days of old." Here, then, are passages 
which directly contradict the categorical assertions of the 
critics: how are they dealt with ? In the simplest possible 
fashion, by denying that they should be there. Thus, to his 
statement that no prophet prior to Ezekiel alludes to 
Abraham, Professor H. P. Smith calmly appends the foot- 
note : " The present text shows two passages, Micah vii. 20 
and Jer. xxxiii. 26, but both are confessedly (?) late additions 
to the prophetic text." s Wellhausen is equally summary : 

1 O.T. Hist. p. 49 ; cf. p. 38. Hist, of Itrael, p. 810. 

* As above. The whole passage Jer. xxxiii. 14-'26 u omitted in the 
LXX, which otherwise takes extensive liberties with the text Kut no food 
ground exinta for its rejection from the !M>rew text. Graf defends it, an-i 
Ewald says: "Nothing is so perverse and groundless as to find in this 
passage, or generally, in chaps, xxx. -xxxiii., additions by a later prophet. ** 
Dit Propheten, ii. p. 268. The remaining passages are in the LXX as well 
as in the Hebrew. 


"Micah viL 20," he says, "belongs to the exile, and the 
words ' who redeemed Abraham ' in Isa. xxix. 22 are not 
genuine: they have no possible position in the sentence." 
To which it may be as summarily replied, that there is no 
convincing reason for changing any of the passages, if 
reason at all, except in the critic's own caprice. Even 
Kuenen, in his Religion of Israel, accepts as genuine the 
passages to which Wellhausen takes exception. 1 Gunkel, 
one of the newest and most radical of critics, enters a much- 
needed protest against the whole system of procedure. " The 
author," he says, " at this point cannot conceal his conviction 
that the reigning school of literary criticism is all too zealous 
to explain as not genuine the passages which do not exactly 
fit in with its construction of the history, or which are hard 
to be understood by the modern investigator, and that a 
powerful reaction must follow on the period of this criticism." 2 
2. It is now to be remarked, however, that even if the 
critics were right in their assertion that there are no express 
allusions to Abraham in the prophets prior to the exile, no 
such dire results would follow for the historicity of the 
patriarchs as the authorities we have quoted imagine. 
Direct allusions in the prophets are, after all, only a fraction 
of the evidence, and hardly affect the force of the argument 
from the national recollection of Israel. In the first place, 
it is to be observed that where allusions to Abraham do 
occur, it is always as to a person well known, and enshrined 
in the highest honour in the memory of the people. It is 
no stranger that is being introduced to them. Israel is 
" the seed of Abraham My friend." 3 They are exhorted to 
look to Abraham their father, and to Sarah that bare them, 
and are reminded for their encouragement, how, when he 
was but one, God called him, and blessed him, and increased 
him.* He was one, and he inherited the land. 6 It is 
declared that God will perform tbe truth to Jacob, and the 
mercy to Abraham, which He had sworn to their fathers 
from the days of old." But further, these patriarchs appear 

1 Rel. of Israel, i. p. 101. Another historical passage in Micah, chap. vi. 
3, 4, declared by some to be late, is also accepted by Kueneu in this work 
(p. 113). 

8 Genesis, p. 113. Gunkel's own methods, as will be seen after, are 
sufficiently arbitrary. 

8 Isa. xli. 8 ; cf. Ixiii. 16. 4 Isa. li. 1, 2. 

Ezek. xxxiii. 24. Mic. rii. 20. 


as figures in a connected history, and whatever in the 
prophets implies acquaintance with part of that history may 
fairly be regarded as implying knowledge of the rest, at 
least in its main features. The admitted allusions to Isaac 
and Jacob, for instance, and to incidents in the life of the 
latter, 1 inferentially imply some knowledge of Abraham as 

But this is by no means the whole. Nothing is surer in 
criticism, as was shown in the last chapter, than that, by the 
time of Amos and Hosea i.e., long before the time of the 
exile written histories of the patriarchal period existed, 
and were in circulation, embodying the current tradition of 
the nation, 2 in which Abraham plays so prominent a part. 
" When stories were told of Isaac and Ishmael, and Lot and 
Esau," says Wellhausen himself, speaking of a time when, 
as he thinks, the stories only circulated orally, " everyone 
knew at once who these personages were, and how they were 
related to Israel, and to one another."* Is it credible 
that the same should not be true of Abraham? What 
stories of Isaac, or Ishmael, or Lot, could be in currency in 
the days of the monarchy, which did not imply a knowledge 
of that patriarch ? Or what stories could be told of Joseph 
which did not bring in Jacob, and Judah, and Reuben, and 
Benjamin, and the patriarchs generally ? 4 Then what of the 
Book of Deuteronomy ? a prophetic book, on the theory of 
the critics, yet based upon, and saturated with allusions to, 
this whole earlier history, including the Abrahamic covenant 
and promises. 5 Is not this book before Ezekiel, or Isa. 
xL-lxvl, as the critics date the latter? What, in view of 
such facts, becomes of Professor H. P. Smith's " can hardly 
be over-estimated" in relation to the historicity of the 

1 E.g., Amos vii. 9, 16 (Isaac) ; Ho*, xii. 3-5, 12. 

* Professor W. R. Smith says that the story of the patriarchs "is still 
recorded to us as it lived in the mouths of the people. . . We still read it 
very much as it was read or told in the house of Joseph in the days of Amos 
and Hoses, "Prophet*, pp. 116, 117. 

JRst o/Itratl, p. 333. 

4 Professor Bennett says: "The story of Joseph may be taken as the 
account of events which really happened to a historical individual, Joseph, 
who really existed. Such history might l>e supposed to be accurate in 
every detail by those who held the strictest theory of verbal inspira- 
tion." Gciu*u, p. 47. But how much of the remaining; history is involved 
in that of Joseph 1 If he is historical, Jacob, Judah, Reuben, etc.. an no 
longer "personifications." 

' Deut. i. 8, vi. 10, etc. 


patriarchs, because, as he alleges, nothing is heard of 
Abraham before Ezekiel ? Does not the use of such 
language recoil rather on himself as showing his singular 
lack of perspective in dealing with the subject ? 


To the testimony which the prophets and related writings 
bear to the period of the patriarchs falls to be added that 
of the later historical books, and of the psalms. 1 Here, 
however, we prefer to cast a glance at the Mosaic period, 
to which objections of the same kind are made, and to which 
the same general considerations, based on the immovable 
certainty of the consciousness of the nation as to its own 
past, apply. Attention is naturally concentrated in this 
connection on two things the personality of Moses, and 
the great deliverance of the Exodus. 

1. If there is one personage in Hebrew history about 
whose character and doings it might be supposed without 
doubt that every Israelite had some knowledge, that person 
is Moses. Yet in regard to Moses also we have occasionally 
the suggestion that the earlier prophets knew little or 
nothing about him; 2 and particularly it is argued that 
only in the latest period is he definitely connected with a 
code of laws. Thus in an authoritative work we read: 
" The indications of subsequent literature suggest that Moses 
was only gradually connected by tradition with the pro- 
duction of a continuous body of legislation. . . . Even to 
the author of Isa. Ixiii. 11 Moses is the heroic leader 
under divine guidance to whom Israel owed its liberty 
rather than its laws. Malachi is the first of the prophets 
to refer to a Mosaic code (iv. 4)." 8 

This appears to us, in the light of admitted facts, to 
be remarkable reasoning. We go back again to the Book 

1 Pas. xlvii. 9, cv. 9, 42, etc. On the Psalms, see Chap. XII. 

3 Mic. vi. 4, with its explicit reference to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, is 
declared to be an interpolation. Ghillany, an oMer writer, cannot find 
Moses named in the prophets before Malachi. Cf. Konig's Hauptprobleme, 
pp. 15, 16. Yet besides Mic. vi. 4, which Kuenen accepts as genuine, 
there is Isa. Ixiii. 11, and the reference to Moses in Hos. xii. 13. Even 
Kautzsch, however, who, on the whole, stands up for a higher conception 
of Moses, arbitrarily declares the passage in Hosea to be an interpolation 
(" Rel. of Israel," Diet. p. 625). 

* Carpenter, Oxf. Hex. i. p. 19. 


of Deuteronomy, alleged by critics to be a work of 
14 prophets," which, in any case, came to light in the days 
of Josiah. This book, in point of form, is a repromulgation 
by Moses in the steppes of Moab of the commandments, 
statutes, and judgments received by him thirty-eight years 
before from God in Horeb. and by him then communicated to 
the people. In it, it will hardly be denied, Moses appears 
pre-eminently as the lawgiver. But the book itself, it is 
now well recognised, presupposes the older code of laws 
in the "Book of the Covenant" of Ex. xx.-xxiii. More- 
over, not only are the laws Mosaic, but both the " Book of 
the Covenant," and the " law " of Deuteronomy, are declared 
to have been written by Moses. 1 What then does the writer 
of the above-quoted passage mean by saying that " for the 
pre-exilian seers there was no fixed and definite 'law' 
recorded in precise and definite form " ? * Was Deuteronomy 
not a law-book ? The Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy 
and of the " Book of the Covenant " may be disputed ; but 
can it be denied that " tradition " at any rate had by that 
time come to regard Moses as a lawgiver, and in the fullest 
and most " definite " way ascribed the laws of the nation 
to him, or to God through him ? There is the further 
argument from the JE histories. Already in these histories, 
which antecede the time of written prophecy, and extend, 
in the view of the critics, to the conquest, there is 
embodied the whole history of the Exodus, of the lawgiving 
at Sinai, of the covenant, of the events of the wilderness, 
of the entrance into Canaan. How then could any Israelite 
or prophet of that or any subsequent time possibly be 
ignorant of the role of Moses as a lawgiver ? How could 
the writer of Isa. Ixiii. 11 be ignorant of it ? It is amazing 
that the critics do not see more clearly the force of their 
own admissions in these matters. If Deuteronomy was 
promulgated in the reign of Josiah ; if the JE histories 
existed a century and a half earlier ; it is a strange in- 
consequence to talk of the paucity of references in the 
prophets before Malachi as showing that Moses was not 

1 Ex. xzir. 4 ; Deut xxxi. 24. See below, Chap. VIII. pp. 262 ff. 

' As above. Kautzscli says : " Over against thin [tu-anty mention] must 
be set the fact that, throughout the Old Tertament, ail the various legisla- 
tions ... are amid to have born introduced, and in part even written 
down by him."" Bel. of Israel," Diet, p. 626. 


connected in the Israelitish mind with the work of 
legislation. 1 

The basis of the argument is greatly strengthened, if, 
from the references to legislation, we extend our view to 
the related history. Here, again, it is to be remembered, 
the history goes in a piece. The people who knew of the 
Exodus, of the Red Sea deliverance, and of the wilderness 
journeyings, knew also of Sinai, of the covenant of their 
nation with God, and of the commandments and laws on 
which the covenant was based. It seems futile to contend, 
with Professor W. R. Smith, that " the early history and the 
prophets do not use the Sinaitic legislation as the basis of 
their conception of the relation of Jehovah to Israel, but 
habitually go back to the deliverance from Egypt, and from 
it pass directly to the wilderness wanderings and the 
conquest of Canaan." 2 The Levitical legislation, if that 
is meant, the history and prophets do not use, no part of 
Scripture uses the Levitical law as the basis of God's 
relation to Israel, but it is hard to see how anyone can 
imagine that either prophets or people could be familiar 
with the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings, and leave 
out of view, or be indifferent to, that which forms the 
kernel of the whole history, the covenant which God 
made with the nation through Moses; when, as Jeremiah 
says, He " brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the 
iron furnace, saying, Obey My voice, and do them [the words 
of the covenant], according to all which I command you"; 8 
or when, as Hosea expresses it, He espoused the nation to 
Himself in the wilderness, in the days of its youth.* Are 
we to suppose that the prophets (even Jeremiah) were 
ignorant of the recapitulation of the law of Horeb in 
Deuteronomy ? 

2. It is true, nevertheless, that the great fact in which the 
consciousness of Israel ever rooted itself, as that which first 
gave the nation its freedom, and made it a nation, was the 
Exodus, with which is constantly associated the deliverance 
at the Red Sea. It was remarked at the beginning that we 
have only to reflect on the nature of such an event as the 

1 The position of Moses as legislator is further discussed in Chap. VI. 
Of. pp. 151 ff. 

'Prophttt, p. 111. * Jer. xi. 4. 

4 Hos. ii. 15 ; cf. viii. 1. The passages are among those cited by Pro- 
fessor Smith himself. See Note B on the Covenant with Israel. 


Exodus to see that, if it really happened, it could never 
gun be forgotten by the people whose redemption it was. 
s.-me things in a nation's history may be forgotten; of 
others the memory is indelible. Could the English people 
ever forget the Normans and the Conquest; the Scottish, 
Bannockburn or Flodden, or the events of their Reforma- 
tion ; Americans, Bunker's Hill or the Declaration of 
Independence ? Yet these are small matters compared 
with what the Exodus, and the events which followed it, 
were to the Israelites. When we turn, accordingly, to the 
poetical and prophetical books of the Old Testament, we 
find that, amidst all the vicissitudes in their fortunes, the 
memory of the Exodus, with its attendant circumstances, 
never was obliterated, but remained fresh and green in the 
minds of the people as long as their national life lasted. 
In song, and psalm, and prophecy, the echoes of this 
wonderful deliverance in Egypt and at the Red Sea ring 
down their history till its close. 1 The same difficulty meets 
us here, indeed, as before, that the historical and prophetical 
books are not allowed to be used as witnesses till they have 
been critically adjusted, and, in the multitude of editors 
and redactors among whom their contents are parcelled out, 
it is never hard to find a way of getting rid of an incon- 
venient testimony. Apart, however, from the direct narra- 
tives, which, in their freshness, force, and dramatic power, 
speak so unmistakably to the liveliness of the impression 
under which they were composed, the literature en bloc is a 
witness to the vivid recollection of the essential facts. An 
old monument is the Song of Miriam at the Red Sea, in 
Ex. xv., the genuineness of which there are no good grounds 
for disputing. 2 Joshua and Samuel go back on these facts 
in rehearsing the great deeds of God for their nation.* 

Cf. Ex. XT. ; Josh, xxir. 4-7 ; 1 Sam. xii. 8 ff. ; 1 Kings viii. 18, 
51-53; Pas. xliv. 1, Ixxvii. 12-20, Ixxviii., etc.; Anma ii. 9, 10; Hon. 
xi. 1 ; xii. 13 ; Ia. li. 9, 10 ; Jer. ii. 6, etc. ; Deut. iv. 34 ; xvi. 8, 8, IS ; 
xxvi. 6, etc. 

1 Dr. Driver says : " Probably the greater part of the Song is Mosaic, and 
the modification or expansion is limited to the closing verses ; for the 
general style is antiqnc, and the triumphant tone which pervades it is 
just such as might naturally have been inspired by the event which it 
celebrate*." lntrod. p. 30. 

' References aa above. Josh. xxiv. is usually ancribrd by the critics to 
E, with later touch's. 1 Sam. xii. 6 ff. is attributed by Kautzuch to his 
Saul-Source in the tenth or ninth century B.C. H. P. Smith, on the other 


Solomon dwells on them in his speech and prayer at the 
dedication of the temple. 1 They appear as the motive to 
obedience in the Decalogue, 2 in the discourses and legislation 
in the Book of Deuteronomy, and in the Levitical Code 
known to critics as the " Law of Holiness," 3 assigned by 
very many to an early date. Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, and 
the other prophets appeal to them ; and they inspire many 
of the psalms. These recollections of the nation we can 
fully trust. " No nation," as Professor Kautzsch says, " ever 
gratuitously invented the report that it had been ignomini- 
ously enslaved by another ; none ever forgot the days of 
its deliverance. And so through all the centuries there 
survived in Israel the inextinguishable recollection that it 
was once delivered out of Egypt, the house of bondage, by 
Jahweh, the God of its fathers, with a strong hand and 
outstretched arm ; that specially at the passage of the Eed 
Sea it experienced the mighty protection of its God. " * 
This knowledge dwells, not as a vague reminiscence, but as 
a strong, definite, historical assurance, in the heart of the 
nation, and it is as inconceivable that Israel should be 
mistaken about it, as that a grown man should forget the 
scenes of his boyhood, or episodes of his early life that 
burned themselves into his very soul 

The confidence which the dramatic vividness and tone 
of reality in the Mosaic history beget in us is not dissipated 
by the often far-fetched criticism to which its details are 
subjected by writers like Colenso, in search of arithmetical 
and other "contradictions" and "impossibilities." This 
criticism will come before us for consideration after; 6 mean- 
while it would be well if those who urge these objections to the 

hand, holds it to be exilian. Driver, following Budde, ranks it as pre- 
Denteronomic, etc. See below, p. 386. 

1 Kautzsch says that "in his speech dedicatory of the temple, 1 Kings 
viii. 12 if., we have an authentic monument of the time of Solomon." He 
apparently attributes, however, vers. 14-43 to the " Deuteronomist " 
(LU. of O.T., pp. 12, 241). The LXX derives vers. 12, 13 from "the 
book of the Song." 

J Ex. xx. 2 ; Deat. v. 6, 15. 

* Lev. xix. 36 ; xxiL 33 ; xxiii. 43 ; xxv. 55, etc. On this Code see 
below, pp. 308 ff. 

*LU. of O.T., p. 9 ; cf. his " Rel. of Israel," Did. p. 631. It is the 
more unaccountable that, acknowledging the essential facts, Kautzsch 
should sit so loosely to the history as given. He rejects, e.g., the upbringing 
of Moses at the court of Pharaoh. 

See below, Chap. X. pp. 362 ff. 


truth of the history would reflect a little on the difficulties 
which, on the other side, attach to their own too hasty 
rejection of it. After all, these things which the Mosaic 
books record were not, any more than the events in Christ's 
life, to which Paul appealed before Agrippa, "done in a 
corner." l They were public events, in the fullest sense of 
the term. Does it involve no strain on belief to say that an 
event so extraordinary as, in any case, the Exodus of Israel 
from Egypt must be admitted to have been, 2 happened in 
the full light of one of the most brilliant civilisations of the 
time, and yet that the people who came out, with a leader 
like Moses at their head, did not know, or could not re- 
member, or could ever possibly forget, how it happened ? 
The Israelites themselves, as we have seen, did not believe 
they did not know. They had but one story to give of it 
all down their history the same story which, in circum- 
stantial detail, is embodied in these old books. If this is 
not how the Israelites got out of Egypt, will the critic, in 
turn, furnish us with some plausible explanation of how 
they did get out ? It is here as in the discussion of the 
origins of Christianity. It is not enough to discredit the 
Gospels and the Acts; the critic must be prepared to 
show how, if these are rejected, Christianity did originate. 
So, in the case of the Exodus, it is not enough to discredit 
the one history we have of that event; the critic has to 
show how, if the whole history was different from that 
which we possess, it came about that no echo of it was 
preserved in Israel, and that this lifelike, vivid, detailed 
narration came to take its place. It is admitted, with few 
extreme exceptions, that the people of Israel were once in 
Egypt; that they were in bitter bondage; that Egypt at 
the time was ruled over by one or other of its powerful 
monarchs ; that they came out, not by war, but peaceably ; 
that they were at least tolerably numerous, with women, 
children, and cattle; that they found their way, under 
pursuit, so Wellhausen allows, across the Red Sea. Is 
it unfair to ask How did they make their way out ? 
Theories of course there are : ingenuity, when freed from 

1 Acts xrri. 26. 

Of. WeUhauMn, Hist, of ItratJ, pp. 432-33 : " His <1dgn was aided 
in a wholly unlooked-for way, by a marvellous occurrence, quite beyond his 
control, and which no sagacity could possibly bare foi ' 


the necessity of respecting facts, is equal to anything. But 
have they warrant, or even verisimilitude ? l It is easy to 
pen sentences about an " escape " of nomadic tribes on the 
border, in whom the despotic policy of the Pharaoh had 
awakened "the innate love of freedom"; 2 or to hazard the 
conjecture that there was a slipping away of the tribes one 
by one; 3 but such speculations, alongside of which the 
Egyptian story of an expulsion of lepers is respectable, 
conflict with tradition, and break on the hard facts of the 
situation. For the Israelites were no loose conglomeration 
of tribes on the border.* According to every testimony, 
they occupied a wide territory, dwelt in houses, were the 
victims of a systematic oppression, 5 were engaged in forced 
labour, were broken-spirited, under strict surveillance of 
tyrannical overseers, etc. How, in these circumstances, was 
furtive escape possible ? Where is there analogy for such a 
horde of " runaway slaves " finding their way out of bondage, 
;ind defying the power of a mighty king to bring them back ? 
It is a simple method to reject history as we have it, and 
evolve hypotheses, but the process is not always as satis- 
factory as it is simple. There is need in this case for the 
" strong hand " and " stretched-out arm." 


Attention may now be given to the internal character 
of the narratives, and to the bearings of this on their 

It sounds paradoxical, yet it is the case, that internal 
evidence of truthfulness is sometimes such as to outweigh 
in value even external evidence, and to support confidence 
in a narrative where external evidence is lacking or dis- 
puted. Had we, for instance, no external evidence for the 
Gospels, did they come to us for the first time from 

1 See Note C on Theories of the Exodus. 

2 Thus Kuenen ; cf. Colenso, Pent. Ft vi. p. 600. 

3 This theory is thought to find support in indications of the presence of 
i he tribes of Asher (W. Max Miiller ; cf. Hommel, Heb. Trad. p. 228) and 
.ludah (J astro w) in Palestine prior to the Exodus. The facts probably 
really point to an earlier date for the Exodus. Cf. below, Chap. XI. pp. 422 ff. 

4 Cf. al>ove, p. 79. 

* Note the recurrence of " house of bondage " in history, law, prophecy. 


unknown hands, it might still be possible to argue that 
the holy and gracious Personage portrayed in them was no 
invention, but a drawing from a divine Original In like 
manner it may be contended that there are internal marks 
which support our confidence in the patriarchal and Mosaic 
histories, apart from all reasoning as to the age of documents, 
or mode of transmission of the traditions. Something has 
already been said of the teleological character of the narra- 
tives ; the argument may, however, now be widened to in- 
clude a number of other features, hardly less remarkable. We 
draw our illustrations chiefly from the patriarchal age. 

1. A first question relates to the general credibility of 
the patriarchal narratives. Discussion of alleged historical 
and chronological " contradictions " can stand over ; but 
what of the credibility of the narratives as a whole ? Here 
we willingly avail ourselves of the well-weighed judgment 
of a moderate critic like Dr. Driver. "The patriarchal 
narratives," Dr. Driver says, " are marked by great sobriety 
of statement and representation. There are no incredible 
marvels, no fantastic extravagances, no surprising miracles ; 
the miraculous hardly extends beyond manifestations and 
communications of the Deity to the earlier patriarchs, and 
in the case of Joseph there are not even these : l the events 
of his life move on by the orderly sequence of natural cause 
and effect. There is also a great moderation in the claims 
made on behalf of the patriarchs." He goes on to ask : 
" Do the patriarchal narratives contain intrinsic historical 
improbabilities? Or, in other words, is there anything 
intrinsically improbable in the lives of the several patriarchs, 
and the vicissitudes through which they severally pass?" 
And he answers : " Though particular details in them may 
be improbable (e.g., Gen. xix. 31 ff. [?]),* and though the 
representations may in parts be coloured by the religious 
and other associations of the age in which they were 
written, it cannot be said that the biographies of the first 
three patriarchs, as told in JE, are, speaking generally, 
historically improbable : the movements and personal lives 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are, taken on the whole, 

1 Of. Professor Bennett on Joseph, there, p. 97. 

See below, p. 115. 

' Qtiusis, pp. X!T, xlri Exception i taken by Dr. Driver, howerer, to 


The witness here borne is true. Nothing is more 
striking to an impartial mind than the sobriety of tone and 
spavingness of miracle in the Book of Genesis, where, on 
the legendary theory, one would expect a superabundance 
of marvels. To say, as is done, for instance, in the 
article, "Hexateuch," in Hastings' Dictionary, that, "in J 
the most wonderful phenomena appear quite natural, the 
writer feels himself in an ideal fairy land in which no 
wonders are surprising," 1 is to convey a quite misleading 
impression. Apart from the theophanies to the patriarchs, 
and a few instances of revelations in dreams, there is but 
one recorded miracle in the whole long period from Abraham 
to Moses the destruction of the cities of the plain, and 
even this, like the Noachian deluge, is connected with 
physical causes. If the birth of Isaac is reckoned another, 
there are two. This, as one has said, 2 is a frugal provision 
of signs and wonders for the first foundation of an economy 
by which all families of the earth were to be blessed. In 
this respect the patriarchal period presents a marked 
contrast to the period of the Exodus, which is distinguished 
by the number, frequency, and stupendous character of its 
miracles. All the remaining miracles of the Old Testament, 
in fact, are scarcely so numerous and striking as those 
which are crowded into this single generation. But this 
again is intelligible from the nature of the case. It is 
characteristic of the miracles of the Bible that they are 
never mere prodigies, or aimless displays of power, but 
stand in intimate connection with, and strict subordination 
to, the ends of revelation. It need stagger no one that the 
Exodus took place, and the foundations of the covenant 
with Israel as a nation were laid, amidst surpassing mani- 
festations of divine power and grace, designed to produce 
an indelible impression on the minds of the beholders, and 
burn into their hearts a grateful sense of their indebtedness 
to Jehovah. And this end, as we saw from the history, was 
effectually attained. 

2. As another point in the argument from internal 
character, which powerfully supports belief in the historicity 

the chronology "as it stands." A particular example from an article by 
Dr. Driver in the Contemporary Eeview, Ivii, p. 221, is considered in Note D. 
on the Patriarchal Chronology. 
1 Diet of Bible, ii. p. 372. 


of the patriarchal narratives, we may note the unity of the 
picture of the patriarchs in the various sources. There are, 
we are assured, three main strands of narrative, at least, in 
Genesis, in the case of Abraham there are four, for Gen. 
xiv. is allowed to be a source by itself, yet it is the same 
personages, the same environment, the same doings, the 
same idiosyncrasies, essentially, which we have in each. 
" There is," as Wellhausen himself declares, " no primitive 
legend so well-knit as the Biblical one." l Nor is this simply 
a matter of artificial arrangement. " This connection," he 
says, "is common in its main features to all the sources 
alike. The Priestly Code runs, as to its historical thread, 
quite parallel to the Jehovist history." * Again : " In the 
history of the patriarchs also, the outlines of the narrative 
are the same in Q [ = P] and in JE. We find in both, 
Abraham's immigration into Canaan with Sarah and Lot, 
his separation from Lot, the birth of Ishmael by Hagar, 
the appearance of God for the promise of Isaac, Isaac's 
birth, the death of Sarah and Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac's 
marriage with Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, Jacob's journey to 
Mesopotamia, and the foundation of his family there, his 
return, Esau, Joseph in Egypt, Jacob in Egypt, Jacob's 
blessing on Joseph and his sons, his death and burial." * 

Closer observation discovers that the case for unity is 
even stronger than Wellhausen represents it. The sources 
specified not only presuppose the same persons and the 
same history, but are so interwoven as to constitute n 
compact single narrative of which the several parts imply, 
and depend on, each other. E.g., the change of the names 
of Abram and Sarai in Gen. xvii. into Abraham and Sarah 
governs the rest of the story, 4 and there are continual 
similar inter lac ings. Wellhausen, in fact, overstates the 
matter when he says that all the above details are found 
in each of the three sources. It is not the case, e.g., that 
the birth of Ishmael, or the death of Abraham, is mentioned 
in JE. 6 The separation of sources only makes the problem 

1 /ft*, of Israel, p. 295. 

' Ibid. By " Jehovut " WcllhMMB means the combined J and E. 

Ibid. |i 318. 

4 This in assumed to be the work of a redactor. See below, p. 220. 

* Wellhauaen joints oat (Compos, d. Hex. pp. 27, 28) that Abraham 
disappears from view in Ueo. xxiv., and (quite arbitrarily) conjecture* that 
originally rer. 67, " Isaac wai comforted after hit mother's death," may 


harder; for the unity which exists in the book as it is 
disappears when its parts are sundered. Abundant illustra- 
tion is given in later chapters, 1 and only an example or two 
need be cited here. Thus, Haran is assumed in JE as the 
place where Abraham received his call, 2 but, with the 
elimination of Gen. xi. 31, xii. 4b, 5, assigned to P, the 
reference to Haran in the story of Abraham's migrations 
disappears. So no explanation is given in J of " the land " 
which Abraham, chap. xii. 6, is said to have passed through : 
it is P, in ver. 5, who tells us it was " the land of Canaan." 
It has been mentioned that the death of Abraham 
is not recorded in JE. But, strangely enough, it is in 
P alone, on the current analysis, that an account is found 
of the deaths of any of the patriarchs. 3 In JE the account 
of Jacob's funeral is actually given before any allusion to 
his decease. 4 This had preceded in P. Apart, however, 
from such details, which might be indefinitely multiplied, 
the entire picture of the patriarchs, alike in their personal 
characters, their attitude to God, the promises made to 
them, and of the persons connected with them in the story, 
as Sarah, Lot, Hagar, Ishmael, Esau, is identical throughout, 
and leaves essentially the same impression on the mind in 
all the supposed sources. Thus, in the P narrative of 
Abraham's dealings with the sons of Heth in Gen. xxiii., 
he appears as " a mighty prince " (ver. 6) ; with this agrees 
the picture of him in chap, xiv a separate source as 
the possessor of 318 trained servants, born in his own 

3. This leads us to remark that the figure of Abraham 
might almost be adduced as of itself a guarantee of the 
historicity of the narrative in which it is embodied. It is 
difficult, indeed, in our familiarity with the story, rightly to 
estimate the nobility and grandeur of the personality that 
here presents itself. To speak of Abraham's faith is to 
touch the central and most conspicuous point in his great- 
ness ; yet it must not be overlooked that this faith is only 
the highest expression of a largeness of soul which manifests 

hare read, "after his father's death." Addis actually adopts this con- 
jecture into his text \ 
1 CL Chaps. VII., X. 

3 Gen. xxiv. 4, 7, 10 ; of. xxvii. 43. 

8 Gen. xxv. 7-10 ; xxxv. 28, 29 ; xlix. 23-33 ; 1. 12, 18. 

4 Gen. 1. 15. 


itself in all the aspects of his character. As instances of 
this magnanimity, with which is joined a rare meekness, 
peaceableness, and unselfishness, together with a never- 
failing courtesy and politeness, we need only refer to his 
dealings with Lot about the choice of a settlement, 1 his 
relations with the king of Sodom and with Melchizedek,* 
and his negotiations with the sons of Heth about a burying- 
place for his dead. 9 But this is only one side of his 
character. Wellhausen was never further astray than when 
he spoke of this patriarch as unmanly. With bis gentleness 
and reasonableness of disposition were united, as the rescue 
of Lot showed, the most conspicuous courage and decision. 
Abraham was no mere wealthy sheikh ; no mere stay-at- 
home watcher by the sheepfolds. His was a strong as well 
as a meek nature. Sarah, his wife, though in many respects 
a noble woman, worthy of such a husband, is a far inferior 
character. She moves throughout on a lower level. Stead- 
fast and loyal in her affection to her lord, and moved by a 
true religious feeling, she has not Abraham's strength of 
faith, tends to be haughty, imperious, and impatient, can 
brook no rival, is stung by Hagar's conduct, though she 
was herself to blame for putting the girl in her false posi- 
tion, complained petulantly to Abraham, treated her maid 
with intolerable harshness, and finally would be content 
with nothing but the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael 
from the household. In comparison with her, the strong, 
patient, much-enduring Abraham appears greater than 

Yet there is no attempt to picture Abraham as faultless. 
It is, indeed, difficult to understand how a man whose faith 
was uniformly so strong should so far yield to fear as twice, 
according to the history, to stoop to falsehood or evasion to 
conceal his true relation to his wife. It was not a casual 
lapse, but seems to have been part of a settled policy, that 
Abraham should pass off Sarah as his sister, when travelling 
in dangerous parts. 4 One can only say of it, that, by 
whatever excuses Abraham may have sought to justify his 
behaviour to himself, it was a course of conduct unworthy of 
him, indefensible even with such moral knowledge as be 
possessed, inexcusable in the eyes of God, and certain to 

1 Gen. ziii. * Gen. sir. Gen. xxtti. 

4 Gen. xx. 13. On this incident, ice below, Chap. VII. pp. 287 ft 


involve him, as it actually did, in much danger and 

The highest point of view, however, in which to consider 
Abraham in these narratives is in his connection with the 
plan and purpose of revelation. Alike on the divine and 
the human sides, we are here in presence of transactions 
unsurpassed in the Old Testament in interest and import- 
ance. The call of Abraham the covenant made with him 
is the beginning of a new era in the religious history of 
mankind. 1 The faith with which Abraham responded to 
that call, and, in prompt and unhesitating obedience to the 
divine word, left home and kindred to go to a land which 
yet he knew not ; his patient waiting, in spite of apparent 
natural obstacles, for the fulfilment of the promise of a son ; 
his disinterested and lofty intercession for Sodom; above 
all, the great act of surrender of Isaac on the altar at 
Morian, in undoubting confidence, apparently, that God was 
able to give his son back to him, even if from the dead, 2 
in general, his habitual enduring as seeing Him who is 
invisible, all show the magnificent greatness of this man, 
as, to the end of time, the Father of the Faithful ! It is this 
unique and profoundly significant character which the 
revolutionary criticism would dissipate into unsubstantial 
myth or legend. But the thing cannot be done. What 
legend can effect for the life of Abraham is sufficiently 
evidenced by the fables and stories in Jewish, Mohammedan, 
and Persian sources. The history of Abraham in the Bible 
stands, from internal evidence alone, on an entirely different 
footing from these. In its simple, coherent, elevated 
character, its organic unity with the rest of revelation, its 
freedom from the puerility and extravagance which mark 
the products of the myth-forming spirit, it approves itself 
as a serious record of important events, the knowledge of 
which had been carefully preserved possibly at an early 
age had been written down 3 and the essential contents of 
which we may safely trust. 

1 Cf. the fine remarks of Mozley on Abraham, Ruling Ideas, etc , pp. 
21 ff. 

3 Heb. xi. 17-19 ; cf. Mozley, p. 60. 

* Cf. Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, pp. 277, 296 ; and see below, 
p. 676. 



One of the most pronounced internal signatures of the 
truth of the patriarchal history is undoubtedly found in its 
primitive character, and ite simplicity of ideas and worship, 
as compared with later stages of revelation. 

1. This appears on the surface in the fact that the 
patriarchal history moves in primitive conditions, and keeps 
true to these throughout. The patriarchs have a character 
of their own, and are not modelled after the pattern of 
heroes, and prophets, and warriors of a later time. 1 They 
live their own free life under the open heaven, moving from 
place to place, building their altars, and calling on the name 
of Jehovah. Their thoughts, hopes, interests, outlook into 
the future, are all relatively simple. They are untroubled 
by the problems and mental conflicts of later times, the 
problems met with in Job, for instance, or in some of the 
psalms, even their temptations, as in the command to 
sacrifice Isaac, are those of a primitive age. It is generally 
greed, therefore, that it would not be possible to assign a 
late date to the narratives in Genesis on the ground of that 
book alone. 1 Many critics, no doubt, think otherwise, and 
fancy they can see in the narratives in question reflections 
of almost the whole political history of Israel, the revolt of 
Moab, the contempt for the wild Arabs on the south-west 
border, the subjection and revolt of Edom, the Syrian wars, 8 
the prosperity and pride of the Northern Kingdom, etc, 4 
But it may safely be affirmed that most of these supposed 
mirrorings of later conditions are imaginary. Gunkel 
recently has cogently argued that the narratives in Genesis 
" legends " as he calls them are far more distinguished 
by contrast to the later period than by resemblance. With 

1 Cf. Robertson, Early Religion, p. 120. 

'"The Book of Genesis," says Kuenen, "may here be left oat of 
account, since the picture it contains of the BK- of the patrinrcha gives us no 
unequivocal indications of the period at which it was produced " Hex. 
p. 42. "The question of tbedaUaof the source* of which the Book of Genesis 
is com|Ksed," aays Dr. Driver, "cannot bo properly answered from a consider- 
ation of this book alone," eic. Gcneti*, p. XT. See below, Chap. X. p. 273. 

* See above, p. 74. 

4 A large collection of these may be seen In the Introduction to Mr. 
Fripp's book on The Comjtontion of (jkiutis, written from the standpoint of 


one exception, that of the revolt of Edom (regarded by him 
as a later addition), 1 he can find no trace of reflection of 
political events after 900 B.C., and the narratives themselves 
he takes to be much older completed by the time of the 
Judges. He points out that there is no trace of the 
sanctuary at Jerusalem, of the kingdom of Saul, of the 
conflict of Saul with David, of the kingdom in its united 
form under David and Solomon, of the division and wars of 
the separate kingdoms, of the frightful Syrian wars, etc. 
As little, he argues, is there any trace of the later conflicts 
of the prophets against image-worship, Asherahs, maftebas 
(pillars), high places ; the worship of the patriarchs, on the 
contrary, is naive and free, and betrays no sense of the 
existence of these bitter contests. 2 Gunkel's own theory of 
the origin of the patriarchal stories is, we grant, as untenable 
as any which he criticises ; 3 but he is surely right, at any 
rate, in his defence of their relative antiquity. 

2. We observe next, in partial anticipation of subsequent 
discussion, that the religious ideas, and forms of worship, in 
the patriarchal history, are those which suit an early 
stage of revelation, and would not be in place later. The 
patriarchs worship one God there is no trace of any other 
in Genesis 4 but their worship is of the simplest order : 
prayer and sacrifice. There are no temples or fixed 
sanctuaries. The only ceremonial rite is circumcision ; the 
one suggestion of Levitical prescriptions is in the distinction 
of clean and unclean animals, and this is found in J, 5 not in 
P. The form of revelation is not, as in the prophetic age, 
internal, but is predominatingly objective by dream, vision, 
theophany, or through the Mal'ach, or " Angel of Jehovah." 
This last mode of revelation is one deserving of special 
attention. The doctrine of angels generally is undeveloped 
in these earlier books. The critics note it as a mark of P 
that he does not introduce angels; but even in J and E 
angels are brought in very sparingly. In E they are only 

1 On Edom, see below, p. 209. 

2 Genesis, Introd. pp. Ixi-lxiii. Of. Note E on Gunkel's Theory of 
Patriarchal History. 

* It is surprising that Guukel does not see that his argument is as cogent 
against the late writing down of the narratives in their present form (ninth 
and eighth centuries) as against their composition in or near that age. The 
" mirrorings " are a chief reason for the later dating. 

4 See below, p. 124. 

In the story of the flood, Gen. vii. 2, 8 ; viii. 20. 


introduced twice, and then collectively in Jacob's dream at 
Bethel, 1 and again at Mahanaim, when " the angels of God '' 
"God's host" 2 met him. J mentions "angels," ir. 
forms of men, at the destruction of Sodom. 8 The apparent 
exception to this reticence, the appearances of the 
" Angel of Jehovah," or " Angel of God," is really a striking 
confirmation of our argument. For this form of revelation 
is one almost peculiar to the earlier periods patriarchal and 
Mosaic and stands by itself. " The Angel of Jehovah " is 
not an ordinary angel, like those in the above passages, but 
is a peculiar manifestation of Jehovah in the creaturely 
sphere, for purposes of revelation. Jehovah's name is in 
him; he is distinct from Jehovah, yet again mysteriously 
identified with Him ; in address his name is interchanged 
with that of Jehovah ; he is worshipped as Jehovah. 4 How 
came so remarkable a conception to be there in this early 
age, and how came it to be confined to this age? It is 
certainly no creation of the prophetic mind, and can only be 
explained as the tradition of a well-known form of revela- 
tion of the older time. 

3. The idea of God Himself in these narratives is ap- 
propriate to that early age, and is readily distinguishable 
from the more developed conceptions of later epochs of 
revelation. Without discussing at present the divine names 
as the basis of a theory of documents, 5 we can at least say 
that the names of God proper to the patriarchal history 
El, Elohim, El Elyon, El Shaddai are those which re- 
present God under the most general forms of His being and 
manifestation, and in this respect stand in contrast with the 
name Jehovah, as, in its fullest significance, the covenant- 
name of the God of Israel El, the most generic of all, is 
the only name that enters into the composition of proper 
names in Genesis. It corresponds with the Babylonian Ilu, 
but is not ordinarily used without some predicative designa- 
tionEl Ely5n (God Most High), El Olam (God Everkst- 

1 Gen. xxviii. 12. ' Gen. zxzii. 1, 2. 

'Gen. xix. 1, 15. 

Cf. Gen. xvi. 7, 11, 13 ; xxf. 17 ff. ; xxiL 12, 14. 15 ; xxxi. 11-13 ; xMii. 
15, 10 ; Ex. iiL 2, 8 ; xiii. 21 ; xiv. 19, 24 ; xxiiL 20 ff., etc. On the riews 
taken of these aj>|>earances and their significance, see the works on O.T. 
Theology of Oehler, Schultz, Dillmann, Smend, etc. (Oebler, i. pp. 183 ff., 
has good remarks); art. "Angel" bj Dr. A. B. Daridmn in Diet, </ 
JOb, etc. 

See below, pp. 221 ff. 



ing), etc. Elohim, a plural form with a singular sense, is 
peculiar to Israel, and is likewise general in signification. 
It denotes God as the God of creation and providence. El 
Shaddai, again, marks a distinct stage in patriarchal revela- 
tion, 1 but seems still, like the two former names, to be 
connected with the idea of power. 2 The fuller manifest- 
ation of the divine attributes implied in, or to be historically 
connected with, the name Jehovah, lay yet in the future. 
It is true that in the sections of Genesis ascribed by 
criticism to J the name Jehovah is carried back into the 
days of the patriarchs is put even into the mouth of Eve. 3 
Even there, however, careful observation of the phenomena 
will suggest that while, in the view of the narrator, the 
name Jehovah was not unknown in earlier times, it is used 
by him sparingly and with discrimination in comparison 
with other designations often is used simply proleptically. 4 
Its absence in proper names is a testimony to this dis- 
crimination in its use. 

The ideas of the divine attributes suggested by these 
names, though high, are yet in many respects undeveloped, 
relatively to later stages of revelation. What later Scripture 
means by the holiness, righteousness, wrath against sin, 
condescending grace, and covenant-keeping faithfulness of 
God, is, indeed, everywhere implied. God is the Judge of 
all the earth, doing right. He accepts and saves the 
righteous, and overwhelms a sinful world, or sinful cities, 
like Sodom and Gomorrah, with His judgments. Yet the 
terms " holy," " righteousness," " wrath," " love," are not yet 
found. The word " holy " first appears in connection with 
the revelations at the Exodus. 6 Schultz, in his Old Testa- 
ment Theology, speaks of "the impression of the terrible 
God of the Semites " in earlier times, and says " the ancient 
Hebrews, too, tremble before a mysterious wrath of God." fl 

1 Gen. xvii. 1 ; xliii. 14 ; xlix. 25 ; cf. Ex. vi. 8. 

9 The etymology of this, as of the other names, is uncertain, but 
probably the root-idea is power (God Almighty). The power denoted by 
El Shaddai is power exercised within the sphere of revelation, e.g., in the 
promise of a son to Abraham. Cf. Driver on "The Names of God" in 
Genesis, pp. 402 ff. ; Ottley, Aspects of O.T., pp. 181 ff. ; also Oehler, O.T. 
Theol. i. pp. 128 ff. 

1 Gen. iv. 1 (LXX, however, has " God"). 

4 See Note F on the Name Jehovah in the Patriarchal Age, and Note B 
to Chap. V. 

9 Ex. iii. 5 ; xv. 11. O.T. Theol. ii. p. 175. 


He strangely forgets that, on his own hypothesis, the 
passages he cites in proof are all from the very latest parts 
of the Pentateuch from P. The Book of Genesis has no 
mention of the " wrath," any more than of the " holiness," 
of God a fact the more striking that the writers are 
familiar with these ideas in Exodus. 1 But the limits of the 
earlier revelation are in the former book carefully preserved. 

4. As it is with the idea of God, so, we observe lastly, 
it is with the ethical conceptions of the patriarchs. These 
again, as already seen, are relatively high, yet fall short in 
many respects of the ethical standards of the period of the 
prophets. Abraham marries his half-sister ; Jacob marries 
two sisters, Leah and Rachel ; the custom is recognised of 
the childless wife giving a handmaid as concubine to the 
husband for the purpose of obtaining children by her a 
custom now so singularly attested by the provisions of 
the Code of Hammurabi as belonging to that age. 1 The 
conduct of the daughters of Lot in Gen. xix. 30 ff., and that 
of Judah in chap, xxxviii., shock our moral sense, but are 
in keeping with the degrading offer made by Lot of his 
daughters to the men of Sodom. The patriarchs Abraham 
and Isaac fail in a due sense of the sin involved in their 
conduct about their wives. With all the religious and 
ethical elevation we must ascribe to the patriarchs, there- 
fore, Kuenen is not borne out in his formerly-quoted remark 
that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are pictured as "not in- 
ferior to the prophets of the eighth century B.C., in pure- 
ness of religious insight and inward spiritual piety."* 

When we advance to Exodus, we are conscious of a great 
progress. The writers are, on the theory, the same, and 
the history is the continuation of the preceding. Tet 
everything is on a changed and grander scale. The ideas 
are deeper; the scene is larger and more imposing; the 
forces at work are more titanic; the issues are more 

Cf. arta. "Anger" and "Love," In Diet, of SHU. A similar line of 
argument is developed in Dr. Watson's little work. The Book Generi* a Tnu 
History, which we nad not seen before writing this. Dr. Driver singularly 
taw the point of Dr. Watson's argument in supposing it to prove only 
that the narratives reached their present form before the age when Amos, 
Hosea, etc., "began to emphasise and develop beliefs and truths such at 
those referred to (Gtnetif, p. xlviii). Dr. Watson's argument turn* on the 
contrast of Omtna with Exodus, which was likewise prior to that age, yet 
has theae idea*. 

1 Cod* (Johns' edition), sects. 144-47. * Sea above, p. 60. 


tremendous. The hour has come for Jehovah to fulfil His 
promises to the fathers. The instrument is prepared ; the 
yoke of bondage is to be broken ; the people are to be led 
forth to breathe the air of liberty in the desert, and, as 
redeemed, to make voluntary dedication of themselves to 
their Deliverer. With this access of religious enthusiasm, 
and unparalleled experience of divine grace, goes of necessity 
an immense uplifting both in the religious ideas and in the 
standard of ethical obligation. The people have now given 
them " statutes and judgments " which are to serve as the 
norm of moral conduct. The ideal set before them is 
nothing less than the holiness of Jehovah Himself. They 
are to be a " holy " people to Him, 1 and are to prove their 
fidelity by obedience to His voice. The scenes in this 
great drama are depicted with a realism and fresco-like 
vividness of colouring which irresistibly suggest that the 
narratives were written under the recent impression of the 
events which they record : when, at least, the vividness of 
that impression had not yet faded from the memory and 
heart of the nation. The strands of the story may be 
multiple, that is yet to be inquired into, but we cannot 
admit that they are diverse. Moses and Aaron are the 
central figures in the history, but, as in the case of the 
patriarchal narratives, the portraits of the two are the same 
in J, E, P, D alike. It is one and the same Moses, with 
one and the same Aaron beside him, who appears in all the 
so-called " sources," and mediates, under God, the freedom 
and covenant-organisation of the nation. 



Cbe lfc ^Testament as affcctc5 bg Criticism 
15. IRcliaiou an& Institutions : 0o& ant> Dis 

"The vp&rov \j/ev8os, historically considered, of Graf, Kuenen, and all 
their followers, consists in this : that they make use of the variety of 
material afforded them for positively constructing a history of ancient 
Israel, only to destroy the possibility of such a history. This they appear 
to do, not so much because of the discrepancies which exist in the 
materials, as because of their predetermination to reject as untrustworthy 
all the materials which partake largely of the Hebrew belief in the super- 
natural. " L ADD. 

"The view of Israel's early history, offered by any writer, will largely 
depend upon his thought of Israel's God." J. E. CARPENTER. 

"We must first firmly assert that, while there have been different forms 
of monotheism in many peoples and at various times, nevertheless Israel 
is and remains the classical people of monotheism ; of that monotheism 
which we confess, or, more strictly, which is the precursor of ours ; and 
in Israel this monotheism is of native origin : we know the history of its 
origin very well." GUNKEL. 

"God, in creating, theomorphises man; man, therefore, necessarily 
anthropomorphises God." JACOBI. 



IT will be evident from the preceding discussions that the 
real leverage of the newer criticism is found in its theory 
of the religious development in ancient Israel: to this 
subject, therefore, special attention must now be given. It 
IB not disputed that difficult problems have to be faced on 
any theory of the Israelitish religion and institutions. 
Questions exceedingly hard of solution arise in regard to 
laws, institutions, and practice, and it is the service of 
criticism to have set these in the clearest light We are 
fur from persuaded, however, that the methods which have 
come into vogue with the radical school hold out the promise 
of a satisfactory solution of these difficulties. On the con- 
trary, these methods seem to us eaten through with an 
arbitrary subjectivism which vitiates their application at 
every point Stade and Budde are conspicuous examples 
of this fault ; but few of the other best-known writers of 
the school are far behind in their wilful setting aside, or 
mutilation, of the Biblical accounts, and substitution for these 
of an imaginary history, built up from ingenious conjectures, 
and brilliant combinations on the line of what the critic 
thinks the history should have been. 


It may be useful, before entering on the main discussion, 
to offer one or two examples of what we regard as the 
radical vice of the newer critical method its continual 
substitution of arbitrary conjecture for the facts of the 
history as given. 



We take the following from Budde, who prides himself 
be it said on his respect for the history. 1 After propounding 
the extraordinary thesis that " the tradition claims that it 
was not Israel's own God who performed these great deeds " 
at the Exodus, "but a God up to that time completely 
unknown to the Israelites, whose name even they then 
learned for the first time " z (the statement that the fore- 
fathers had known Yahweh is a later " palliating addition "), 3 
he proceeds to explain how this God became transformed 
into the Yahweh of a later period by the absorption of 
" other gods " into Himself. " Yahweh had not expelled or 
annihilated them (the Canaanitish gods), but had made them 
subject ; He had divested them of their personality by 
absorbing them into His own person." 4 Then, with charm- 
ing frankness: "To be sure, neither the law, nor the historical 
narratives, nor the prophets, say a word of all this, yet it can 
be proved," etc. 5 Nearly anything, we imagine, could be 
proved in the same manner. 

Budde's respect for the history does not allow of his 
agreeing with those who, "while relinquishing everything 
else, have tried to save the Ten Commandments, the ' Mosaic ' 
moral law, for these oldest times." For, " the Ten Command- 
ments base all their demands on the nature of the God of 
Israel. If, then, they really did come from this period " 
we may ask the reader to note what, in Budde's view, is 
involved in the acceptance even of the Decalogue "it 
appears that there existed, even in the earliest times, a 
conception of God so sublime that hardly anything could 
have remained for the prophets to do. This of itself should 
suffice to show the impossibility of the Mosaic origin of the 
Ten Commandments." Then, with the same engaging 
frankness: "It is, therefore, in the highest degree im- 
probable that Yahweh demanded at Sinai the exclusive 
veneration of His own Godhead. True, this is the unvarying 
testimony of Old Testament tradition. It is to this day the 
generally accepted view, and is held even by advanced 
specialists. But it can hardly be maintained," etc. 6 

1 "Thus treated," he says, "the Biblical tradition, even of the oldest 
times, has proved itself to me to be, in its main features, trustworthy 
I speak of the history of Israel as a nation, not of the stories of primeval and 
patriarchal times in Genesis." Eel. of Israel, p. 3. 

* Ibid. p. 14. * Ibid. p. 15. * Ibid. p. 41. 

5 Ibid, (italics are ours). ' Ibid. p. 59. 


We quote these passages because they are typical. 
Delitzsch has said : " If history is critically annihilated, 
what is left but to fill the tabula rasa with myths?" 1 
This we take, as said, to be the primary vice of the prevail- 
ing theory either, the arbitrary setting aside of the Biblical 
narrative in favour of some novel, no doubt highly ingenious, 
construction of the critic's own ; or, the persistent reading 
into the history, in the interest of some fancy, of a meaning 
which it cannot be made to bear. A main difficulty, in fact, 
in the discussion, is, that, in the multitude of hypotheses, 
and unbounded liberty claimed by the critic to accept or 
reject as suits his convenience, it is impossible ever to feel 
that one has a sure hold on anything. The critic should at 
least, one would think, abide by his own assumptions ; but 
he is far from doing so. How constantly, for instance, are 
Jephthah's words in Judg. XL 24, 2 relied on in proof that, 
in the time of the Judges, Jehovah sustained the same 
relation to Israel as Chemosh did to Moab. Yet this section 
is declared by the critics not to belong to the older stratum 
of the Book of Judges, but to be a late insertion of uncertain 
date : 8 certainly, therefore, on the theory, no real speech of 
Jephthah's. Wellhausen cites it, 4 yet, as Dr. A. B. Davidson 
points out, " elsewhere regards the whole passage, with the 
allusion to Chemosh, as a later interpolation founded on 
Num. xxi. 29." 6 Similarly, the statement of David in 1 Sam. 
xxvi. 19, that his enemies had driven him out of Jehovah's 
inheritance, saying, " Go, serve other gods " continually 
quoted in proof that to David Jehovah was only a tribal 
god 6 is, with the chapter to which it belongs, assigned by 
Kautzsch, with others, to a comparatively late date : 7 is 
valueless, therefore, as a testimony to David's own sentiments. 
Is it desired, again, to prove an original connection between 
Jehovah and Moloch ? Kuenen, to that end, accepts as 
" historical " the statement in Amos v. 26 that the Israelites 
carried about in the desert "the tabernacle of Moloch," 8 

1 Genesis, i. p. 9. * See below, p. 131. 

Thus Kautzsch, Moore (Judges), Thatcher (Judges, "Cent. Bible"), 

*Hist. of Israel, p. 235. 

6 Expositor, 3rd Series, v. p. 49. "This pet passage," Dr. Davidson 
says, "figures of course in Wellhausen, as it does everywhere else since 
Vatke." He refers to Wellhausen's Sleek, p. 195. 

See below, p. 182. 7 Lit. of 0. T., pp. 45, 237. 

l. of Israel, i. p. 250. 


though the whole history of the wanderings, which, in its 
JE parts, is allowed to be older than Amos, is rejected by 
him. A proof of the bull-worship of Jehovah from ancient 
times is found by some in the story of the making of the 
golden calf in Ex. xxxii. ; yet the story is rejected as un- 
historical. 1 Others take it as a protest against bull-worship : z 
Kuenen, as will be seen below, thinks it glances at the fact 
that the idolatrous priests of the Northern Kingdom claimed 
descent from Aaron. 3 

To take only one other example, Professor W. R Smith 
writes thus of the sacred pillars of the patriarchs : " In the 
Biblical story they appear simply as memorial pillars, without 
any definite ritual significance." This, however, he goes on, 
" is due to the fact that the narratives are conformed to the 
standpoint of the law and of the later prophets, who look on 
the ritual use of sacred pillars as idolatrous." 4 The critic 
forgets, or ignores, that, on his own showing, these patriarchal 
stories anteceded the age of written prophecy, and that, 
according to him, in the days of Amos and Hosea, pillars 
were still thought to be legitimate. 6 Where then is the 
place for the conforming of the narratives to the ideas of 
" later prophets " ? With the talismanic power which 
such instances exemplify of getting rid of unwelcome facts, 
and making a theory prove itself by employing it as a means 
to break down opposing testimony, it is not difficult for 
criticism to produce astonishing results. 

Accepting for ourselves the historicity of the Biblical 
narratives, till at least their title to our confidence is 
disproved, we propose to invert the procedure of the 
schools, and, instead of sacrificing the history to a priori 
considerations, to inquire at every point whether reason 
is shown for setting it aside. 

1 Most writers see some coimection with the bull- worship, e.g., Stade, 
Gesckichte, i. pp. 466-67. Addis dates the narrative later than the fall 
of Samaria (722 B.C.) on the ground that only then "the old worship of 
Yahweh under the form of a calf, long maintained by kings and Levitical 
priests (Judg. xviii. 30), received its death-blow." Hex. i. pp. 151-52. On 
this see below, pp. 143 ff. 

2 Cf. Kittel, Hist, of Hebs. i. p. 152. 

'Hex. p. 245. See below, p. 211. 

*Rel. of Semites, p. 186 ; O.T. in J. C., pp. 241, 354. 

*2bid. pp. 186-87 ; Prophets of Israel, p. 116. 



We begin by contrasting the Biblical and the critical 
views of the early Israeli tish conceptions of God. 

1. It was formerly shown that, in the earliest tradition 
we possess of Israel's beliefs, there is no trace of any con- 
ception of God but one essentially monotheistic. There 
is but one qualification, which, in justice to the facts, it 
is necessary to make on this statement. It is not contended 
that, at any period of their history, the Israelitish people 
as a whole rose to, or maintained themselves at, the full 
height of the monotheistic conception : we know they did 
not. To many the conception of Jehovah was no doubt 
simply that of their national god ; nor was it always, or 
perhaps even generally, clear, that some kind of inferior 
reality did not belong to the gods worshipped with so 
much pomp and ardour by the nations around them. 1 Even 
in apostolic and sub-apostolic times, Christian believers 
and Church fathers did not regard the idol-gods of the 
Gentiles as simple nonentities: paganism was to them a 
system of demon -worship. 2 Still harder would it be for 
Israel to rise to the height of the prophetic conception 
that the idols were " nothings " (elilim), 3 in a world where 
every people was polytheistic but themselves. But that, 
the religion of Abraham, and Moses, and the other great 
leaders of the nation was at heart the worship of the one 
true God, recognised by them to be the Creator, Ruler, 
and Lord in providence of the whole world, we see not 
the smallest reason to doubt. This was the common view, 
prior to the advent of the Kuenen-Wellhausen school, 
among the critics themselves,* and, as the passage above 
cited from Budde acknowledges, is the view of leading 

I It would be unsafe, however, to infer this from such expressions as, 
"Who is like Thee, Jehovah, among the godst" (Ex. xv. 11), for such 
expressions are found in prophets and psalms where the monotheistic 
consciousness is not doubted. See below, p. 438. 

I 1 Cor. x. 20, 21 ; cf. Justin Martyr, 1 Apol. 14, 54, 62, etc. 

1 Cf. Deut xxxii. 21 ; Lev. xix. 4 ; Isa. ii. 8 ; Ps. xcvi. 4, 6, etc. In 
the last passage we read : Jehovah "is to be feared above all gods," but 
in ver. 5, "For all the gods of the peoples are nothings." 

* So De Wette, Lengerke, Hitzig, Ewald, Bleek, Dillmann, etc. On the 
other hand, the views of Vatke, ana of writers like Daumer, Ghillany, etc., 
met with little countenance. Cf. Konig's Havptjrroblcme, pp. 7 ff. 


Old Testament specialists stilL 1 It is the view also, we 
are persuaded, which answers to the natural reading of 
the facts. 

The Book of Genesis, originating, it is to be remembered, 
as respects at least its JE parts, in the " pre-prophetic " age, 
is, as before pointed out, 2 throughout a monotheistic book. 3 
God is the Creator of the world and of man : destroys the 
whole human race by a flood; is present and active in 
all lands Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Egypt; works out a 
gracious purpose in the lives of men. The difficulty in 
Genesis is not its recognition of God as supreme, that 
appears in every part, but its almost entire ignoring of 
what we nevertheless know to be the fact, the existence of 
polytheism and idolatry in tribes and nations outside the 
patriarchal circle. The God worshipped by the patriarchs 
is the only God whose existence, presence, and working 
are recognised in it. We read nothing of gods of Canaan 
or Egypt. Melchizedek is, like Abraham, a worshipper of 
El Elyon " God Most High," 4 and even Abimelech and 
Pharaoh speak generally simply of " God." 5 The single 
glimpse we get to the contrary is in the " strange gods " 
(teraphim) which Jacob's household brought with them 
from Mesopotamia, and which Jacob required them to 
put away. 6 In Exodus and the remaining Pentateuchal 
books it is different. There we have a sharp contrast 
drawn between Jehovah and "the gods of Egypt"; 7 the 
people are stringently forbidden to worship " other gods " ; 8 

1 See above, p. 120 ; and Chap. IV. p. 93. * Of. above, p. 41. 

* This is very generally admitted of the Book of Genesis as we have it. 
H. P. Smith, e.g., says of the early part, where anthropomorphism is most 
marked: "What J has preserved he was able to bring into harmony 
with the strictest monotheism. For the Yahweh of our account, anthro- 
pomorphic as He is, is yet the Supreme God." O.T. Hist. p. 16. Cf. 
Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, p. 304. Gunkel acknowledges this " mono- 
theistic trend " of Genesis, and carries it back to an early date. Genesis, 
p. xlvii ; see also his Israel und Eabylmiien, p. 29. 

4 Gen. xiv. 18-22. It is not easy to say how far polytheism had 
advanced in Canaan in the time of Abraham. The Tel el-Amarna tablets 
speak of Baalat of Gebal (frequently), Asherah, Milku (Moloch), Ammon 
(1 Amon), Samas, Dagon, etc., but do not give much definite light. 

Cf. Gen. xxi. 22 if. (in chap. xxvi. 27, 28, "Jehovah" ); Gen. xli. 
39, etc. 

8 Gen. xxxi. 19, 30 ; xxxv. 2, 4. 

7 Ex. xii. 12 (P) ; xv. 11. It will not be claimed that P, in the former 
passage, writes other than monotheistically. 

8 Ex. xx. 3 ; xxiii. 32. 


they are enjoined to keep themselves apart from, and to 
root out, the idolatry of the Canaanites. 1 But Jehovah 
is still regarded as exalted above all these other gods in 
nature, dignity, and power, as the God of the whole earth 
its Creator, Ruler, and Lord. He is the One who says 
of Himself, " All the earth is Mine." 2 Budde, we have seen, 
acknowledges that this is the view of God involved in the 
Decalogue. While, therefore, Kuenen is right when he 
sums up Israel's religion in the formula, " Yahweh Israel's 
God and Israel Yahweh's people," 3 this does not in the 
least imply that Jehovah was simply to Israel a tribal or 
national god. He was the God of their fathers the God 
of heaven and earth 4 who of His condescending love had 
chosen them to be a people for Himself, with a view to 
the ultimate larger blessing of mankind. The keynote 
in these early books is precisely the same as in Amos 
the alleged introducer of the " ethical monotheism " : 
" You only have I known of all the families of the 

What is here said of early monotheism is not contra- 
dicted by the anthropomorphisms attributed peculiarly to 
the J writer in the Genesis narratives. The anthro- 
pomorphisms are naive and popular enough ; 8 yet, beneath 
them, the conception of Jehovah as the Creator and Ruler 
of the world is never lost sight of ; 7 and the sublimity of 
the representations of God in other parts of the J narrative 
in the. revelation of God's name, e.g., in Ex. xxxiii. 18, 19, 
xxxiv. 5-8 8 shows clearly that no such paltry ideas of 
God as the critics ascribe to this writer were really his. 
The anthropomorphisms belong either to the older tradition 
the writer is dealing with, or to a vivid and personalising 
way of setting forth God's presence and interest in human 

1 Ex. xxiii. 24 ; cf. Deut. xii. 2 ff. 'Ex. xix. 5. 

Nat. and Univ. Religions (Hibbert Lectures), p. 105. 

4 Cf. Gen xxiv. 8, etc. Amos iii. 2. 

"Jehovah forms men and beasts, brcathts the breath of life into 
nan's nostrils, builds a rib into a woman, plants a garden, takes a man and 
puts him into it, briiujs the beasts to the man, walks in the cool of the day, 
xpeaks (Gen. iii. 22) as though He were jealous of the man " (Knobel, m 


7 Cf. the narrative of the flood, the representations of God in Gen. xviii. 25, 
xxiv. 8. See H. P. Smith, Quoted above. 

On the sole ground of this loftier character these passage* art treated 
by certain critics as later insertions. Cf. Oxf. Hex. U. p. 134. 


things, 1 such as is found in prophets and psalmists to the 
latest time. 

2. Entirely different from this is the early Israelitish 
conception of God imagined by the new critical school. The 
guiding idea here is no longer " revelation," but " evolution." 
Man's oldest ideas of God being supposed to be his poorest, 
an original monotheism in this people is decisively rejected. 
"At first," says Kuenen, "the religion of Israel was poly- 
theism." * " Monotheism," says Wellhausen, " was unknown 
to ancient Israel." 3 "The knowledge that there is a 
supreme spiritual Being, alone of His kind, Creator and 
Preserver of all things, is perfectly lacking to ancient 
Israel," is the first sentence in Stade's chapter on pre- 
prophetic religion in Israel. 4 If we ask what conception 
is to take the place of that which is discarded, we have first 
the general answer that "the relation in which Yaliweh 
stands to Israel is the same as, for instance, that of Chemosh 
to the Moabites." 6 Beyond this, we are offered a wide 
choice of theories. Kautzsch, e.g., can find nothing in the 
religion of pre-Mosaic Israel but a species of " polydemonism." 
" It is only in a very restricted sense," he thinks, " that we 
can speak of such a notion [as God] at all." 6 A connection 
is sought by Kuenen between Jehovah and Moloch, the 
fire-god, who was worshipped with human sacrifices. 7 A 
favourite theory at present, revived by Budde, is that 
Yahweh was originally the storm-god of Sinai, worshipped 
by the Kenites, from whom Moses borrowed the name and 
cult. 8 With these theories are blended by Stade and others 

*Cf. Dr. A. B. Davidson, art. "God" in Diet, of Bible, ii. p. 198: 
"The language only testifies to the warmth and intensity of feeling of the 
writers"; Theol. of O.T., pp. 108-9. Gunkel remarks: "In the Old 
Testament there are occasionally strong anthropomorphisms ; but they are 
not so gross as is usual in Babylonia ; Israel never said that Jehovah eats 
and drinks. Such anthropomorphisms are, in the Old Testament, archaisms," 
etc. Is. und Bab. p. 32. 

3 Eel. of Israel, i p. 223. He deduces this from the later practice of idolatry. 

Isr. und Jud. GeschichU (1897), p. 30. 4 Geschickte, i. p. 428. 

8 Kuenen, Rel. of Israel, p. 224 ; so Wellhausen, Stade, Budde, W. E. 
Smith, etc. 

6 Art. " Rel. of Israel " in Diet, of Bible (Extra), p. 623. Kautzsch severs 
himself from naturalistic theories when he comes to Moses. His idea of 
God, he thinks, can only have come from special revelation (p. 625). But it 
was not yet a monotheism : only a "monolatry." 

7 Rel. of Israel, i. pp. 226-28, 240, etc. On the similar theory of 
Daumer, etc., cf. Konig, Hauptprobleme, pp. 7 ff. 

8 The Kenite theory, on which see below, pp. 129 ff., is advocated by Budde, 


a number of other elements drawn from fetishism, animism, 
ancestor-worship, totemism, etc. of which more again. 
What are some of the grounds of these allegations, and of 
the rejection of the Biblical view ? 

(1) First, and perhaps deepest, of the reasons for this 
rejection is the a priori one, that such a conception of God 
as the Old Testament attributes to the patriarchs and to 
Moses was impossible for them at that stage of the history. 
It is too elevated and spiritual for their minds to have 
entertained. The idea of the unity of God has for its 
correlates the ideas of the world and of humanity, and 
neither of these ideas, it is asserted, was possessed by ancient 
Israel. 1 The idea of the world did not arise till the time 
of Amos, when it was introduced through the Assyrian 
invasions. These "introduced," says Wellhausen, "a new 
factor, the conception of the world the world, of course, 
in the historical sense of that expression. In presence of 
that conception, the petty nationalities lost their centre of 
gravity, brute force dispelled their illusions, they flung their 
gods to the moles and to the bats." 2 Thus arose the 
universalism of the prophets : thus was brought about 
the transformation of Yahweh-worship from monolatry to 

This seems to us most singular reasoning; is, indeed, 
throughout, both as to the idea of the world, and the 
impossibility of framing a spiritual conception of God, 
again a huge petitio principii. Here is a people whose own 
traditions, with the best warrant, went back to Babylonia 
and Mesopotamia ; who had lived for centuries in Egypt in 
the most brilliant period of its civilisation ; a people of the 
age of the Tel el-Amarna tablets; who entered Canaan 
when it stood in connection with, and was the highway of, 

Tiele, Stade, Cheyne, etc. It was favoured by Colenso, and .-ome older 
writers. It is one of the conceits of Budde that originally the Israelite!* 
traced their descent to Cain I Cf. Delitzsch, Genesis, i. p. 192. 

1 Thus Stade, Kuenen, Wellhausen, etc. On the creation of the world, 
Wellhauseu declares that " in a youthful people such a theological abstraction 
is unheard of, and so with the Hebrews we find both the word and the notion 
only coming into use after the Babylonian exile." Hist, of Jitrael, p. 30f>. 
"The religious notion of humanity underlying Gen. ix. 6 is not ancient with 
the Hebrews any more than with other nations." Ibid. p. 312. 

* Ibid. p. 473. \Vellhausen fails to show what other nations flung their 
gods to the moles and the bats as the result of the Assyrian conquests, or 
even that Israel did so as the result of these conquests, or till after the exile. 


all the great empires of the world ; who knew something of 
the vast power of the Hittites in the north ; yet we are 
asked to believe that it had no conception of the world, or 
of anything larger than a petty state, till the days of Amos ! 
The JE parts of the " table of nations " alone, in Gen. x., 
cry out against such a notion. As to the spirituality of 
God, how can it well be maintained, in view of the exalted 
conceptions of God now proved to have existed in both 
the Babylonian and the Egyptian religions in periods long 
anterior to Abraham and Moses, 1 that such conceptions 
were beyond the grasp of the greater spirits in these times ? 
The Code of Hammurabi, in the simplicity and elevation of 
its idea of " God," as the One in whose name, or before 
whom, oaths were to be taken, 2 is a singular example of 
what thoughtful minds were capable of in the age of 
Abraham. In the Mosaic religion itself we have the 
powerful witness of the Decalogue. We agree with Budde 
in his testimony to the spirituality of the conception of 
God involved in the Ten Words, 3 but we do not, on that 
account, in face of the strongest historical improbabilities, 
deny these precepts to Moses. The First Commandment, 
indeed, " Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," might 
be interpreted in the sense of monolatry, 4 not of monotheism ; 
but, in its actual setting, the obvious meaning of the precept 
is, that Jehovah alone is to be worshipped, because He alone 
is the living and true God. 5 

1 On the pronounced monotheistic elements in the oldest Egyptian texts, 
cf. Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, 1879, pp. 89 ff. See also Note A, below. 

8 The formula in the Code is simply, " shall swear in the name of God," 
"shall recount before God," or the like. The language is nearly identical 
with that of the Book of Genesis. The difference is, that with this high 
conception of divinity, the Babylonians worshipped many special gods, while 
the Hebrews were forbidden to worship any but Jehovah. See Note A on 
Early Ideas of God. 

* Wellhausen also speaks of " the actual monotheism which is undoubtedly 
presupposed in the universal precepts of the Decalogue." Hist, of Israel, 
p. 440. We have thus the alternative of denying the Decalogue to Moses, 
or of admitting that a monotheistic conception of God lay at the foundation 
of the religion of Israel. See below, pp. 152 if. Even Kuenen admits that, in 
its fundamental form, the Decalogue is Mosaic. 

4 Thus Kuenen, Kautzsch, etc. The theory on which this rests, viz., 
that "monolatry," or the worship of one sole (tribal) god, was the rule 
among surrounding peoples is open to the gravest doubts. Cf. Dr. A. B. 
Davidson, art. "God," in Diet, of Bible. 

8 r ". Dr. A. B. Davidson on this precept in Expositor, 3rd Series, T. 
p. 44. 


(2) The modern theory may be usefully tested by 
reference to its most prevalent recent form the alleged 
Kenite origin of the Yahweh cult. The theory, in essence, 
is, as above stated, that Yahweh, whose name and worship 
Moses introduced into Israel, was originally the storm-god 
of the Kenites, believed by them to have his local seat on 
Mount Sinai. A connection is thought to be established by 
the facts that Moses was living among the Kenites, with 
Jethro, when Yahweh was revealed to him ; that the abode 
of Yahweh is placed at Sinai ; and that His presence there 
is associated with thunder, lightning, and storm. The 
classical passage in proof is Deborah's Song, 1 in which, 
according to Wellhausen, Yahweh is "summoned to come 
from Sinai to succour His oppressed people, and to place 
Himself at the head of His warriors." 2 Budde, it was seen, 
draws the conclusion that Yahweh was a God absolutely 
unknown to the Hebrews before the Exodus, and explains 
His intimate association with Canaan by the notion that He 
" absorbed " the Canaanitish deities into Himself ! 

The far-fetched and arbitrary character of this theory, 
which Budde allows to be contradictory of the uniform 
tradition of the Old Testament, can be judged of by the 
most ordinary reader. Not only does it lack real evidence, 
but it is directly in the teeth of the fact that the Jehovah 
who appeared to Moses is expressly identified in the oldest 
sources with the God of the fathers, and His interposition 
is represented as in fulfilment of His covenant promises to 
them. 8 This is independent of any theory we may form as 
to whether the sacred name was known earlier or not. In 
point of fact many of the critics now hold that it was 
known, if only in limited circles. 4 On the other hand, 
there is not the least proof, as Kittel points out, that 
Yahweh was the name of a Kenite deity. 6 When Moses, 
later, invited Hobab the Kenite, his brother-in-law, to come 
with the Israelites, it was that they might do him good, 
" for Jehovah hath spoken good concerning Israel," not that 
he, as an earlier worshipper of Yahweh, might do them 
good. 8 It is but a precarious hold which the theory finds 

1 Jndg. r. Hist, of Israel, p. 344. 

Ex. ii. 28-25, iii. 18-16, eta 

4 See Note B on the Antiquity of the Name Jehovah. Many now trace it 
as far back as Babylonia. See below, p. 409. 

Hut. of Hebs. i. p. 250. Num. x. 28. 



iii the Song of Deborah, especially when it is remembered 
that by the time of the Judges Jehovah's presence is beyond 
all question presupposed as in the midst of His people in 
Canaan. 1 How then should He require to be " summoned " 
from Sinai? 2 The bold, figurative language in the opening 
of the Song is most easily understood as a reminiscence of 
the manifestations of Jehovah's presence and power in the 
desert and at Mount Sinai, viewed as a pledge of present 
help. 8 

Stade has himself no little difficulty in maintaining his 
theory of a local and limited deity, whose seat was at Sinai. 
Yahweh, he allows, was " everywhere " present to His 
worshippers in Canaan, and could be worshipped " every- 
where." 4 His presence and help are not confined to His 
own land : He accompanies His worshippers into foreign 
lands, and there guards and defends them. Thus He 
promises to Jacob at Bethel to be everywhere with him : 
He is with Joseph in Egypt, goes with Jacob down to 
Egypt, works miracles for Elijah at Zarephath, etc. He 
knows Sarah's thoughts ; it is declared of Him that nothing 
is too hard for Him ; He can help by many or by few ; He 
destroys wicked cities ; visits lands like Egypt with famine ; 
and otherwise displays His universal might. 6 Stade speaks 
of these things as indications of a tendency to "break 
through " the old notion of God ; 6 they are in reality a 
disproof of his theory of that notion. The Song of Deborah 
itself, rightly regarded, is evidence of a far higher conception 
of Jehovah in the time of the Judges than the modern 
theory will allow. How sublime the picturing of the 
majesty and omnipotence of God in the opening theophany ; 
how irreconcilable with the idea of a local deity the resist- 

1 The whole book is evidence ; but cf. Judg. i. 19, 22; or chap. xi. 11: 
" Jephthah tittered all his words before Jehovah in Mizpeh " ; or the presence 
of the ark of Jehovah at Bethel and Shiloh. 

1 "The truth is, "says Professor Robertson, "the Song says not a word 
about Jehovah being 'summoned' from Sinai on the occasion of the battle 
referred to." Early Rcl. p. 193. 

1 Cf. for parallels, Deut. xxxiii. 2 ; Hab. iii. 3 ff. ; Pss. xviii. 7 ff., Ixviii. 
7 ff., etc. Kuenen himself says : " Of course, we do not deny that the pious 
among the Israelites, in using tliese expressions, were aware that they spoke 
in metaphors." Rel. of Israel, i. p. 241. 

4 Gcschichte, i. p. 446. 

8 Ibid. i. pp. 430-32. Cf. the references, Gen. xviii. 14 ; xxviii. 15 ff. ; 
1 Sam. xiv. 6 ; 2 Kings v. 15 ff., etc. 

Ibid. p. 430. 


less presence of Jehovah in Seir, at Sinai, in Canaan ; l 
how manifest the supremacy of this God in nature and 
providence, when even " the stars in their courses " fight 
against His enemies ; 8 how distinct the assertion of Jehovah's 
righteousness ; 3 how lofty and spiritual the closing strain 
suggestive of the Second Commandment and of Deuteronomy 
" Let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth 
forth in his might ! " 4 The theory as a whole thus fails of 
evidence, and we are not surprised that critics like Konig, 
Kittel, Kautzsch, Dr. A. B. Davidson, 5 and others reject it. 
The fact that Horeb is already spoken of in Ex. iii. 1 as 
" the mountain of God " is a very fragile buttress : the ex- 
pression is probably used proleptically. 

(3) We come back, then, in support of the theory that 
Jehovah was a "tribal" (or merely national) god to the 
two passages which, from their perpetual recurrence, may, 
without offence, be called the stock proofs of that hypothesis, 
viz., the words of Jephthah in Judg. XL 24, and those of 
David in 1 Sam. xxvi. 19. But, impartially examined, 
what do these passages amount to ? Jephthah says to the 
king of the Ammonites : " Wilt thou not possess that which 
Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess ? So whomsoever 
Jehovah our God hath dispossessed from before us, them 
will we possess." Even accepting the interpretation put 
upon the words, one may reasonably demur to the erecting 
of the utterance of this rude Gileadite chieftain, in a time 
of religious disorganisation, into a standard for the true 
idea of God in the Mosaic religion. That must be judged 
of on its own ampler evidence, apart from a passage like 
this. But even on the lips of Jephthah, rude soldier though 
he is, it is by no means clear that the words are intended 
as more than a form of speech in accommodation to the 

1 Judg. v. 4, 5. 

1 Ver. 20. " In the Song," says Dr. A. B. Davidson, " we observe Him 
regarded as ruling in heaven and on earth, commanding the stars in their 
courses, and the rivers as they How." O.T. Prophecy, p. 88. 

* Ver. 11. In Budde's view, the Yabweh of Moses had not even moral 
character (Rel. of Israel, n. 30). 

4 Ver. 81. Dr. Davidson says here : " Had we a few more po-ms by 
prophetic minds such as this, and not the external histories of rude soldiers, 
such as unfortunately we possess alone [But see below, pp. 143, 884], we 
should, I believe, be able to form a higher idea even of the religious condition 
of the people under the Judges." Ibisl. pp. 37-38. 

1 Kautzsch speaks of it with respect, but does not accept it "ReL of 
Israel," Diet. p. 62 ; cf. Davidson, Thtol. of O.T. t pp. 50-62. 


Ammonite point of view. The section seems based, aa 
before said, on Num. xxi. 22 ff., where, it might be shown, 
a sufficiently high idea of God is implied. Jehovah, in any 
case, is obviously far more to Israel than Chemosh is to 
Ammon ; is even, in ver. 27, invoked as " the Judge " to 
judge between them. 1 The second passage, in which David 
says, " They have driven me out this day that I should not 
cleave unto (or, have no share in) the inheritance of 
Jehovah, saying, Go, serve other gods," has, to our mind, 
even less probative force. Wellhausen entirely misrepre- 
sents its import when he speaks of David as " compelled to 
serve other gods," 2 and Professor W. E. Smith not less when 
he says that David takes it for granted that a man who is 
excluded from the commonwealth of Israel " must go and 
serve other gods." 8 One desiderates here some more exact 
thinking. Does anyone even Wellhausen really suppose 
that when David crossed into Philistia he ceased to worship 
Jehovah, and served Dagon instead? or that Naomi 
worshipped Chemosh in Moab ? or that Elijah served Baal 
at Zarephath ? What, on this theory, would be the meaning 
of Naaman's apology for " bowing down " in the house of 
Rimmon ? 4 We have learned from Stade himself, what all 
the history teaches, that Jehovah accompanied His servants 
in their wanderings : how could David imagine it would be 
otherwise with him ? Taking the passage most literally, 
David is not speaking for himself, but declaring what others 
say ; and he uses this bold mode of speech to emphasise his 
sense of the deprivation implied in being banished from 
Jehovah's immediate presence, and driven into a land where 
other gods are worshipped. The fact that precisely the 
same expression occurs twice in an undoubtedly mono- 
theistic book like Deuteronomy should warn us against 
attaching too much weight to its presence here. 6 

1 We may quote Dr. A. B. Davidson again : " The truth is that such 
references to Chemosh and other heathen gods prove nothing, because they 
would prove that even Jeremiah regarded Chemosh as a real divinity (Jer. 
xlviii. 7)." Expositor, 3rd Series, v. p. 49. We may compare our own way 
of speaking of heathen goda. Even in the case of a monotheistic religion 
like Mohammedanism, we make a distinction between the Christian's God 
and Allah. Both are designations of the Supreme Being, yet the concep- 
tions of God are so different that we hold them apart in thought, and give 
them different names. 

1 Hist, of Israel, p. 22. Projyhets, p. 54. 4 2 Kings v. 18. 

Deut. xxviii. 36, 64. Wellhausen cites as another proof : " When 


We conclude that no good ground has been shown for 
the view that " ethical monotheism " was first introduced 
by the prophets, beginning with Amos. 1 We have found 
monotheism already embedded in the narratives in Genesis, 
which, in their J and E parts, are, on the critic's own 
showing, " pre-prophetic." So far from monotheism being 
the creation of the prophets, with, perhaps, Elijah as 
precursor, these prophets, without exception, found upon, 
and presuppose, an older knowledge of the true God. They 
bring in no new doctrine, still less dream of the evolution 
from a Moloch or a Kenite storm-god, as much the product 
of men's fancies as Chemosh or Dagon, of the living, holy, 
all-powerful, all-gracious Being to whose service the people 
were bound by every tie of gratitude, but from whom they 
had basely apostatised. They could not have understood 
such evolution from an unreality into a reality. They were 
in continuity with the past, not innovators upon it. 
Dillmann speaks for a large class of scholars wlim he says, 
in decisively rejecting this theory : " No prophet is conscious 
of proclaiming for the first time this higher divine 
Principle : each reproaches the people for an ap- istacy from 
a much better past and better knowledge : God has a con- 
troversy with His people."* 


Budde stands nearly alone in denying an ethical element 
in the original Mosaic conception of God ; but it is hardly 
possible to put lower than most writers of this school do 
the ideas entertained by the people in the pre-prophetic age 
of the proper mode of representing and worshipping the 
deity to whom they had attached themselves. Fetishism, 
animism, totemism, image-worship, ancestor-worship, tree- 
and stone-worship, human sacrifices, etc., all play their part 

Cain is driven out of the land (Canaan), he is driven from the presence of 
J<-hovah" (Gen. iv. 14, Ifi). Similarly Stale: "Cain, driven out of 
Palestine, and pleading for the alleviation of his punishment, is made to 
ay," etc. (i. pp. 446-47). Cain, on this view, is supposed to have had his 
abode in Palestine. Wonderful is the power of criticism to make the text 
say what it pleases even to the turning of it into nonsense ! 

1 Cf. Duhm, quoted above, p. 68. 

AlUeat. Theol. p. 5. Cf. Schultz agi-inst Stade in O.T. Theot. i. pp. 
123-24. Baethgen maintains tlmt the religion of Israel never was poly- 
theistic : that its strange gods were imported. eitrdye, p. 289. 


here. Most writers are content to explain a religion by the 
help of one or two such principles by fetishism, e.g., or 
ancestor-worship, or totemisra. It is reserved for Stade, 
in his picture of pre-prophetic religion, to blend all these 
forms of superstition in one grand melange. We shall con- 
sider this subject under the general head of worship. 

The simple elements of patriarchal worship, in the 
Biblical view, are prayer and sacrifice. The patriarchs 
build their altars, and call on the name of God. After the 
Exodus, worship is regulated by the Mosaic constitution. 
The fundamental laws of the covenant forbade the worship 
of God by images, required the extirpation of idolatry, 
denounced witchcraft, and condemned the practices of the 
Canaanites generally. 1 In the hands of the critics this 
picture of Israel's history undergoes a complete transforma- 
tion. It was seen before that the Biblical history, on the 
face of it, does not lend support to the view that tree- and 
stone- worship, ancestor- worship, totem -worship, teraphim- 
worship, human sacrifices and the like, were prominent 
features of the religion of the patriarchs, or of the people 
who came out of Egypt with Moses. 2 How then is the 
theory made out ? In the first place, as before, by rejecting 
the history we have, and substituting for it a construction 
evolved from a general theory of the origin of religion ; in 
the next place, by reading back the disobediences and cor- 
ruptions of the later history into the original form of the 
religion, and fastening on stray passages and incidents an 
interpretation contrary to the general impression of the 
narrative. 3 The method can best be illustrated by observing 
it at work. 

1. The Book of Genesis gives us a clear and intelligible 
account of how places like Bethel, Hebron, Beersheba, 
Shechem, came to be regarded with peculiar veneration by 
the Israelites. They were places hallowed by the residence, 
and worship of their fathers, and by the revelations of God. 
These stories form part of the patriarchal history, and we 
have sought to show that there is no reason for discrediting 
them. The newer criticism, however, cannot accept so 

1 Ex. xx. 4, 5, 23 ; xxii. 18, 21; xxiiL 24, 32, 33. 

a See above, pp. 39, 40. 

* Kautzsch says he " must emphasise very strongly that in almost every 
instance we have here to deal with hypotheses, and not with facts." " Rel. 
of Israel," Did. p. 613. 


simple an explanation. It rejects the history, and assumes 
that these places were really old Canaanitish sanctuaries, 
which the Israelites adopted on their entrance into Canaan, 
and afterwards glorified by weaving around them this web 
of patriarchal legend. 1 If we ask for proof, none is forth- 
coming. We are thrown back on assertion, and on the 
assumption of the mythical character and non-historicity of 
the patriarchal narratives generally. 

2. Stade gives the matter a further development. There 
were graves at some of these places (Hebron, Machpelah, 
Shechem). What is clearer than that the real origin of the 
sacred ness of these sanctuaries was ancestor - worship ?~ 
" Before the altars at Hebron and Shechem were altars of 
Yahweh, sacrifices were offered on them to the ancestral 
spirits of Abraham and Joseph, and we have here a proof " 
the reader will note the stringency of Stade's ideas of 
proof " that we are right in our conclusion that the 
worship of ancestors was a usage in ancient Israel." 2 The 
tribal system is thought to be connected with ancestor- 
ivorship, 8 and additional proofs are found in mourning 
sustoms. 4 Other writers amplify the suggestion. "The 
teraphim," Budde thinks, " belong to the extensive domain 
}f ancestor-worship, which, iu many lands and continents, 
even in the New World, has formed the oldest verifiable 
foundation of religion." 6 The yearly sacrifice of David's 
family in Bethlehem may be presumed to have been 
originally offered " to a deified eponymous hero." fl The 
rule is a simple one wherever you find mention of burial- 
places, be sure you are on the track of worship of ancestors. 7 
Addis finds Jacob in Gen. xxxv. 14 " pouring out a libation 

1 Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, pp. 18, 80, 825, etc. ; Budde, Rd. of 
Israel, p. 107, etc. E.g., Jacob's vow at Bethel is supposed to be meant 
as a sanction of the payment of tithes to the priests of the calf-worship at 
that place. 

* Geschichte, i. pp. 451-52. Ibid. p. 452. 

4 Mourning customs are supposed to have their rationale in the attempt, 
ns Kautzsch says, "to render oneself -unrecognisable by the spirit of the 
dead, and thus to escape its malign influence." "Eel. of Israel," Did, 
]>]>. 614-15. Kaut/sch criticises the theory, and concludes that if ancestor- 
worship ever prevailed in the pre- Mosaic period, no consciousness of it sur- 
vived to historical times. 

8 Rcl. of Israel, p. 64. Max Miillcr subjects the theory of ancestor* 
worship to a historical examination in his Anthropological JieligioH(Lect.V.), 
and rejects it aa based on totally mistaken data. 

Ibid. p. 65. Ibid. 


to the soul of the dead." l And these things, in all serious- 
ness, are regarded as " scientific " treatment of the history. 

3. Was animism, or belief in a spiritual presence in 
natural objects, a feature of the religion of ancient Israel ? 
These writers have no doubt of it. Primitive peoples are 
accustomed to connect the presence of the deity with wells 
and trees. 2 Now there are " wells " mentioned in Genesis, 
at Beersheba and elsewhere. 3 It is true that there is no 
hint in the patriarchal narratives that the wells were valued 
for anything but the supply of water they yielded. But 
this is no obstacle to the belief that originally the wells 
were thought of as dwelt in by spirits, and that this was 
the real ground of the reverence paid to them.* So trees 
were wont to be regarded as manifestations of a divine life. 
And the patriarchs were fond of the shade of spreading 
trees, built altars near them, 5 sometimes even planted them. 
Abraham dwelt by the " oaks " or " terebinths " of Mamre ; 6 
he planted a tamarisk at Beersheba; Deborah, Rebekah's 
nurse, was buried under " the oak " at Bethel, which thence- 
forth was called " Allon-bacuth " "the oak of weeping." 7 
" The famous holy tree near Shechem," says Professor W. R. 
Smith, "called 'the tree of soothsayers/ in Judg. ix. 37, 
and ' the tree of the revealer ' in Gen. xii. 6, must have been 
the seat of a Canaanite oracle." 8 Possibly ; though there is 
in the statement the full measure of assumption usual in 
such matters. 9 But there is nothing to connect the 
patriarchs with these superstitions, or to indicate that they 
thought of a god as dwelling in these trees. The Ganaanite 

1 Hex. ii. p. 226. Addis takes this verse from its place, and connects it 
with the death of Deborah. 

2 Cf. W. R. Smith, Rel. of Semite*, pp. 151 ff. 

Gen. xvi. 7; xxi. 25, 30 ff. ; xxiv. 16; xxvi. 15, 19 ff., etc. 

4 Stade, Geschichte, i. p. 456. 

5 Gen. xiii. 18. 

8 Gen. xiii. 18 ; xiv. 13 ; xviii. 1. The LXX has the singular, "onk." 

7 Gen. xxxv. 8. Stade would connect the very names of the trees 
Elah, Elon, Allon with the divine name El (i. p. 455). "This attempt," 
says Professor A. B. Davidson, "may be safely neglected." Diet, of Bible, 
ii. p. 199. 

8 Rel. of Semites, p. 179. 

9 "The famous holy oak " has already a touch of such assumption. It 
is assumed that the " Moreh " in Gen. xii. 6 is not, like Mamre, a proper 
name (cf. Dillmann, in loc.), and that the identity of this tree is certain with 
the "oak of Meonenim" in Judg. ix. 37. Similarly, "the palm tree" 
under which Deborah sat and judged (Judg. iv. 4) is identified with " the 
oak" winch marked the grave of Rebekah's nurse (Gen. xxxv. 8). 


Asherahs, or tree symbols of Astarte, on the other hand, 
another of the proofs, were no doubt idolatrous ; but they 
were from the first, and all down the history, absolutely 
condemned. 1 

4 The proofs offered of fetishism and of stone-worship in 
ancient Israel are equally numerous and equally incon- 
clusive. Only allusion need be made here to the ark of 
the covenant, which will form a subject of discussion by 
itself after. 2 The history speaks of an ark, the visible 
symbol of the presence of Jehovah among His people, 3 in 
which were deposited the two tables of the law.* Jehovah 
dwelt, not in, but above the ark, between (or upon) the 
cherubim." * This, however, in the view of the critics, is a 
mistake. Analogies are drawn from other religions to prove 
that " the ark of Yahweh " was really a fetish-chest ; and 
the tradition that it contained tables of stone is to Stade 
the " most convincing " evidence that it had in it two stones in 
which Yahweh was believed to dwell* The stones were pro- 
bably " meteorites " appropriate to the lightning-god. 7 " If 
the divinity of Sinai resided in a rock," says Professor H. P. 
Smith sagely, " which from Arabian analogies seems very 
probable, it would be natural for the people to secure His 
presence by providing such a chest in which to transport 
the fetish." 8 One feels sometimes that it would require 

1 Ex. xxxiv. 13 ; of. Deut xvi. 21. 

Cf. Chap. VI. pp. 161 ff. 

Num. x. 33 tf.; Josh. iii. 6. 

4 Hence the name "ark of the covenant." Cf. Dent. x. 1-6, 1 Kings 
Tiii. 9, with Ex. xxiv. 12 ff., xxv. 21. See below, p. 162. 

1 Sam. iv. 4 ; 2 Sam. vi. 2. Cf. A. B. Davidson, Theol. 0/0.7*., p. 112. 
Kuenen says of these passages: "We must hold that the author wrote 
' the ark of Yahweh,' and ' the ark of God,' nothing more." Rtl. of Israel, i. 
p. 259. Apart, however, from the omission of the words " of the cove- 
nant" in the LXX (Vat. Cod.) of 1 Sam. iv. 3-5, which is not decisive, 
the " must " ia in bis own theory. See below, p. 162. 

6 GechichU, L pp. 448-49, 457. "This conception," Stade says, "is 
what from the standpoint of the history of religion must be called 
fetishistic " (p. 448). 

1 Ibid. p. 458 ; cf. Kuenen, i. p. 233. Kautzsch adopts the " meteorite " 
theory. " Rel. of Israel," Diet. p. 629. Bennett says: "According to 
early tradition, two sacred stones were preserved in the ark." Genesis, 
p. 282. Tradition, however, says nothing of " two sacred stones," it speaks 
only and definitely of the two tables of the law. 

0. T. History, p. 71. Professor A. R. S. Kennedy, in art. "Ark" in Diet, 
of Bible (L p. 150), dissociates himself from this view, "now generally 
adopted," he says, "by Continental writers." On the literature, aee 
Kautzsch, as above. 


the irony of an Elijah to deal fittingly with such 
hypotheses, but we are content to leave them to the reader's 
own reflections. 

A more direct proof of stone-worship, however, is 
thought to be found in the setting up of sacred " pillars " 
or ma^ebas by the patriarchs and others as by Jacob at 
Bethel, 1 by Jacob and Laban in Mount Gilead, 2 by Joshua 
at Shechem, 8 by Samuel at Ebenezer, 4 etc. It is true that, 
as Professor W. R Smith admits, these pillars or stones are 
never represented in the narratives as anything but 
memorial pillars;* but it is insisted that the real idea 
underlying them is that God was actually present in the 
stone, or at least then took up 'His abode in it. 6 It is 
pointed out that, in the case of Jacob, not "the place," 
but the " stone " itself, is called " Bethel," in Gen. xxviii. 
22, 7 and a connection is sought with the Greek word 
/Sa/rix/a, a name for sacred stones. 8 But there is not 
a vestige of evidence that there was ever a class of sacred 
stones in Israel called " Bethels," 9 and it is surely obvious 
from the context that the stone is called " Bethel," merely 
as marking the site of the place. This ingenious hypothesis, 
in short, is simply a reading into the narrative of ideas 
which do not necessarily belong to it. " It cannot be 
inferred," Dillmann says justly, " from Gen. xxviii. 18, xxxv. 
14, 15, xlix. 24, that the patriarchs worshipped holy stones : 
the stone of Jacob appears only as a symbol of a place, 
and monument of the experience of God's nearness; also 
in later times we read nothing of stone-worship among 
the people." 10 Neither, we may add, is there the slightest 
evidence that the prophets, in their later polemic against 
idolatrous maf^ebas, intended the least disrespect to such 
memorial pillars as were set up by Jacob or Joshua. In 

1 Gen. xxviii. 18, 22 ; xxxv. 14. 

2 Gen. xxxi. 45. Also in vers. 46-49, a heap or cairn. 
8 Josh. xxiv. 26, 27. 

4 1 Sam. vii. 12. 8 Cf. above, p. 122. 

8 Professor W. R. Smith distinguishes such dwelling in stones from fetish- 
ism proper (Bel. of Semites, p. 189). 

7 find. p. 187. 

8 Cf. art. " Bethel " in Diet, of Bible, L p. 218. 

9 As Schultz, e.g., would seem to suggest, O.T. Theol. i. p. 207. 

10 Alttest. Theol. p. 90. So Konig in art. " Symbol " in Diet, of Bible 
(Extra), p. 170: "The ma^eboth, again, were not set up on their own 
account. They were not meant to be dwelling-places of the deity, but 
were symbols, expressive of gratitude for a divine revelation," etc. 


Isa. xix. 19 it is even predicted that " in that day there 
shall be an altar of Jehovah in the midst of the land of 
Egypt, and a pillar (maffeba) at the border thereof to 
Jehovah." It is a forced explanation of such a passage 
to say that, in Isaiah's time, pillars were not yet regarded 
as unlawful. 1 Memorial pillars never were so regarded : 
"pillars" on the other hand, connected with idolatrous 
worship were already condemned in the first legislation, 2 
far older, on any showing, than Isaiah, 

5. Another form of superstition with which the religion 
of Israel is brought into relation is totemism, or belief in 
the descent of a tribe from a sacred animal. Professor W. R 
Smith found in this the key to the clan system and 
sacrificial customs of the Semites the Hebrews included. 3 
Support is sought for the theory in Biblical names in 
the name Caleb, e.g., which means a dog, 4 and Stade 
urges such facts as the "horns" of the altar, and the 
bull-worship of the Northern Kingdom. 6 The theory has 
not met with general acceptance, and hardly needs here 
fuller discussion. 6 

6. To the long list of heathenish practices asserted 
to belong to the religion of ancient Israel may be added 
human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was a feature of 
Moloch- worship : the Israelites were acquainted with it ; 
in times of religious declension even caused their children 
to pass through the fire to Moloch. 7 If, then, as Kuenen 
thinks, Yahweh was originally connected with Moloch, 

1 According to Vatke, Kuenen, Duhm, etc., the abolition of 
was included in the reforms of Hezekiali. Of. Kouig, Hauplpr obi erne, p. 68. 

s Ex. xxiii. 24 (images = maf^ebaa) ; of. Isa. xvii. 7, 8; Mic. v. 13. 
Hoses, in chap. iii. 4, seems to group together lawful and unlawful objects. 

* Kel. of Semites, pp. 117 ff., 130, 261 ft, 424 ff. ; Kinship and Marriage, 
chap. viii. ; "Animal Worship and Animal Tribes," Jour, of Philology, 

4 Of. Kinship and Marriage, pp. 218 ff. : "The nomadic populations of 
Southern Palestine, which ultimately became incorporated with Judah, also 
present animal names, of which the most important is that of the Calebbites, 
or dog- tribe "(p. 219). 

Grschichte, p. 465. Stade mentions (p. 466) that W. R. Smith 
supposes the serpent to be the totem of the house of David. 

See Note C on Professor W. R. Smith's Theory of Sacrifice. Kantzsch 
criticises the totem-theory in "Rel. of Israel," Diet. p. 613. If the theory 
were as ingeniously applied to British personal (animal) names, symbols 
(<..'/., John Bull, British Lion), tavern signs (a large class), etc., it would 
bring out startling results. 

7 Of. 2 Kings xvi. 3 ; xxi. 6 ; xxiii. 10 ; Jer. xxxii. 35, etc. 


human sacrifice was to be expected in His service. 1 If, 
on the other hand, this abhorrent idea of the connection of 
Jehovah with Moloch is rejected, the chief basis of the 
theory is destroyed, and other proofs become of secondary 
account. No fair reader of the history of Israel can say 
that human sacrifice was at any time a legitimate or 
recognised part of the worship of the nation. Proofs 
drawn from Abraham's temptation (the moral of which 
is that such sacrifices were not desired by Jehovah), 2 from 
the destruction of the first-born, 3 Samuel's hewing of Agag 
in pieces before Jehovah, 4 the hanging of Saul's seven sons, 5 
etc., are quite illusory, for none of the last-named cases 
answers properly to the idea of sacrifice. If Micah asks : 
" Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit 
of my body for the sin of my soul?" 6 asks it only to 
reject the supposition this no more proves that human 
sacrifice was a usual or recognised part of Jehovah's 
religion, than Paul's words, "If I give my body to be 
burned," 7 prove that surrender to death by fire was a 
common form of devotion in the apostolic Church. There 
remains the case of Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter in 
fulfilment of his rash vow. 8 The circumstances are unusual, 
and there is still doubt as to the manner in which Jephthah 
fulfilled his vow. 9 But, admitting that the maiden was 
actually slain as a sacrifice, and not simply devoted, we 
may be excused, as before, for not accepting the action of 
this very partially enlightened Gileadite, in a rude age, 
as a rule for judging of the true character of Israel's 
religion. How would it fare with Christianity, if it were 
judged by individual instances of misguided zeal, in con- 
trariety with its own first principles, occurring, say, in the 
Middle Ages ? We may safely apply to all human sacrifices 

1 Of. Rd. of Israel, i. pp. 228, 237. Kuenen carries over all the things 
condemned by the prophets, including female prostitution, into the worship 
of Yahweh (cf. p. 72). 

2 Gen. xxii. 

8 Ex. xiii. 2, 11-12, etc. The redemption of the first-born is thought 
to have its origin in this practice. Cf. Kuenen, i. p. 290. 
4 1 Sam. xv. 33. 

2 Sam. xxi. 1-14. These are Kueuen's own instances (i. p. 287). 

Mic. vi. 7, 8. 7 1 Cor. xiii. 3. 

8 Judg. xL 30, 31, 34-40. 

9 Cf. Sanday, Inspiration, p. 138 ; and see the full discussion in 
Kohler's Bib. Getchichte, ii. pp. 100-3. 


what Jeremiah says of the sacrifices to Moloch: "Which 
I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, 
that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah 
to sin." 1 


A more important question than any of the above is 
Was image-worship an original or permissible part of 
Israel's religion ? To most the Second Commandment would 
seem decisive on that point ; but it is not so to the critics. 
The Decalogue is denied to Moses, and a principal reason 
for rejecting the precept prohibiting images is precisely 
that images are held to have been, in point of fact, 
worshippsd. 2 That there was deplorable defection, and 
lapsing into idolatry, in the time of the Judges, and under 
the kings, no one, of course, denies ; it is the assertion of 
the Bible itself, and the constant subject of the denunciation 
of the prophets. It is a different matter when it is maintained 
that the worship of Jehovah was originally, and all down 
the history, by images. The assertions of the critics here 
are of the most positive kind. Wellhausen says roundly : 
"The prohibition of images was during the older period 
quite unknown."* Professor H. P. Smith tells us that even 
the great prophets "no doubt conceived God as existing 
in human form." 4 It was not, however, in human form, 
but under the image of a bull, that Jehovah is supposed 
to have been worshipped from ancient times in Israel. 5 
The support for this is chiefly drawn from the calf-worship 
set up by Jeroboam in Northern Israel, and confirmatory 
evidences are sought in the ephod of Gideon,* the images 

1 Jer. xzzii. 35. Another prophetic passage adduced by Kuenen is HOB. 
xiii. 2, with the reading, "Sacrificing men, they kiss the calves" (i. p. 75). 
Even so, the practice is only mentioned to be condemned. See Note D on 
Sacrifice of Children. 

1 See above, p. 120 ; and below, p. 153. Cf. Kittel, Hut. of Hebs. i. p. 248. 
Cf. Schultz, O.T. Theol. i. p. 210. Professor W. R. Smith says : " Even the 
principle of the Second Commandment, that Jehovah is not to be worshipped 
by images . . . cannot, in the light of history, be regarded as having M> 
fundamental a place in the religion of early Israel." Prophets, p. 63. 

'Hist, of Israel, p. 439. 

4 0. T. ffi*tory, p. 18. Kautzsch also thinks that the idea of Jehovah 
as having bodily form continued till the prophetic age. "Rel. of Israel," 
Diet. p. 637. Cf. Kittel, Hist, of Hebs. i. pp. 248 ff. 

Thus generally. * Judg. viii. 27. 


of Micah, 1 the brazen serpent of Moses. 2 It is allowed 
that there was no image of Jehovah in the temple at 
Jerusalem ; 3 but it is urged that there were other visible 
symbols, 4 and that images were common among the people. 5 
Nothing, in our view, could be more baseless than this 
contention, but it will be well to look at the subject more 

1. We are entitled to say that the oldest periods of the 
history afford no confirmation of this theory. The worship 
of the patriarchs, in the Book of Genesis, was without 
images. The only apparent exception, as before noticed, is 
in the " teraphim " of Laban's family. 6 What these " tera- 
phim " were is obscure. They are probably correctly enough 
described by Kuenen as "images which were revered as 
household gods, and consulted as to the future." 7 They 
were at any rate not images of Jehovah, and were put away 
by Jacob at Shechem as incompatible with the pure worship 
of God. 8 In the cases of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of 
Joseph, or, indeed, of any of the patriarchs, image-worship 
is not so much as hinted at. " The worship of God in the 
house of Abraham," as Dillmann says, " was imageless." 9 
Baudissin, indeed, would carry back the bull-worship even 
to Abraham; 10 but this is baseless conjecture. Again, in 
Mosaic times, and in the Book of Joshua, there is no sugges- 
tion of a lawful worship of images. The only recorded 
instance of image-worship is in the making of the golden 
calf at Sinai, 11 and this is denounced and punished as a 
flagrant transgression, which all but cost the people their 
covenant privilege. The prohibitions of image-worship, and 
of participation in the idolatry of the Canaanites, are, on the 
other hand, absolute. The brazen serpent erected by Moses 
was not an image of Jehovah, or an image for worship at 
all, though it became at a later time an object of worship 
to the Israelites, and was in consequence destroyed by 

1 Judg. xvii. 3, 4 ; xviii. 14, 20, etc. * Num. xxi. 8, 9. 

* Kuenen, Bel. of Israel, i. pp. 80, 289. 

4 The ark is held by Kuenen, Stade, etc., to have been such a symbol. 
The two brazen pillars in the temple of Solomon are alleged by Professor 
W. R. Smith to have been "doubtless symbols of Jehovah." Rel. of 
Semites, p. 191. 

8 Kuenen, as above, p. 80. 

6 Gen. xxxi. 19, 30-35. * Rel. of Israel, p. 246. 

8 Gen. xxxv. 2-4. 9 Alttest. Theol. p. 90. 

10 Cf. Konig, Hauplprobleme, p. 58. " Ex. xxxii. 


Hezekiah. 1 Neither Moses nor Joshua none of the 
leaders showed the least tendency to image-worship. The 
first notice of idolatrous practices in the wilderness journey- 
ings is in the prophet Amos if even there. 2 

2. When we pass to the Book of Judges, it is different. 
We are now in a period expressly signalised as one of 
declension and sinful adoption of Canaanitish idolatries. 8 
But even here we seek in vain in the greater part of the 
book for evidence of an image-worship of Jehovah. The sin 
for which the people are blamed is much more that of 
forsaking Jehovah, and serving "the Baalim and the 
Ashtaroth" (Astartes), "the Baalim arid the Asheroth" 
(sacred trees or poles), of their heathen neighbours, an 
undeniable violation of fundamental law, than image- 
worship of their own God. 4 One clear example of the latter 
is in the case of the Ephraimite Micah, whose images were 
carried off by the Danites. 6 The other case usually cited is 
that of Gideon, who, after his victory over the Midianites, 
made from the spoils a golden " ephod," which, it is declared, 
became a "snare" to Gideon and his house.* On this 
mistaken act of a man whose zeal had been conspicuous 
against the Baal altars and the Asherahs, 7 a whole edifice of 
rickety conjecture is built up. It is first assumed that 
Gideon's " ephod " was an " image " of Jehovah ; it is next 
taken for granted that the image was in the form of a 
bull ; 8 lastly, it is concluded that bull-worship, or at least 

1 2 Kings xviii. 4. Professor H. P. Smith, who sees in the brazen serpent 
survival of primitive totemism in Israel, has some characteristic remarks on 
the subject. See Note E on H. P. Smith on the Brazen Serpent. 

* Amos v. 25, 26. The interpretation of the passage ia much disputed. 
Jndg. ii. 11-14. 

4 Judg. ii. 11, 18 ; iii. 7 ; x. 6, etc. It is possible, however, to paint 
even this period of backsliding and disorganisation in too dark colours. It 
ia, e.g., an exaggeration to say with Mr. Thatcher : " There is no conception 
of spiritual worship or moral duty in our book." Judgti ("Cent. Bible"), 
Introd. p. 33. This ia only true if first of all the higher elements (the repent- 
ances, etc.) are critically eliminated. The very absence of image-worship in 
so large a part of the book is a disproof of the statement. The Song of 
Deborah strikes a lofty, and at the end, spiritual note. Cf. above, p. 131 ; 
and see the remarks of Kbnig on this point in art. "Judges," Diet, of Bible, 
iii. p. 816 (cf. below, p. 384). Cf. also the Book of Ruth. 

Judg. xvii., xviii. 

Ju.lg. viii. 27. 7 Judg. vi. 28-32. 

Thus even Pchultz, 0. T. Theol. \. p. 149 : " The molten image ... fa, 
according to the analogy of other |>a.*saxc8 (Judg. xviii. 30 ; 1 Kings xii. 28 
if. ; Ex. xxxii. 4) to be thought of as the image of an ox." C Kuenen, 
Rtl of Israel, i. p. 236. 


image-worship, was common among the people. It may be 
observed that, even if it were true that Gideon made an 
image for worship, these sweeping inferences would not be 
justified. There would in itself be nothing more wonderful 
in this heroic man falling in his latter days into the sin of 
idolatry, than there is in Solomon, in his old age, building 
idolatrous shrines for his wives. 1 But the inferences are 
unwarranted on other grounds. What the text says is, not 
that Gideon made an "image," but that he made an 
" ephod " 2 a massive and costly piece of work, 3 certainly, 
and not designed for actual use, but in some way suggestive 
of the high priest and his oracle. There is no indication 
that he meant the ephod for worship. Least of all is there 
any ground for the assertion that it was an image in the 
form of a bull. 4 The ephod is expressly declared to have 
become a " snare " to Gideon and his house : a condemnatory 
statement not to be got rid of by the too easy hypothesis of 
interpolation. There remains, therefore, as the single prop 
of the theory of an image- worship of Jehovah in the time of 
the Judges, the case of Micah, who made for himself "a 
graven image and a molten image," a sanctuary, " an ephod 
(here evidently distinguished from the images) and tera- 
phim " : 6 an undisputed instance of idolatry in the worship 
of Jehovah. We willingly make a present of this weak- 
minded, superstitious Ephraimite, and of the Danites who 
stole his images from him, to the critics; but decline to 
accept his behaviour as evidence of the fundamental law, or 
better religious practice, in Israel It is more to the point 
to notice that even Micah does not appear to have had 
images till his mother suggested this use of the stolen silver 
to him. 

3. The stronghold of the case for image-worship, how- 

1 1 Kings xi. 4, 5. 

1 Kuenen, in a long note in liis fid. of Israel (i. pp. 260 ff.), "decidedly 
rejects " the opinion that the ephod was an image ; but in his Hibbert lectures 
he accepts it (p. 82). 

3 This is shown by the amount of gold used, about 70 pounds. 

4 The idea rests, as the passage from Schultz above cited shows, on the 
reading back into the time of the Judges of the calf- worship of Jeroboam. It 
has no basis in the Book of Judges itself. Even so extreme a rationalist as 
Dr. Oort contests this idea (cf. Kuenen, i. pp. 261-62). 

8 Judg. xvii. 3-6 ; xviii. 14, 20. Budile says of Micah's ephod, which 
he takes to be "a silver, oracular image," that "unfortunately we do not 
know its form." Eel. of Israel, p. 80. See Note F on Dillmann on Image- 


ever, is in the two calves of gold which Jeroboam set up at 
Bethel and Dan, after the division of the kingdom. It is 
true that no hint is given that such images were known 
before in Israel, unless the words, "Behold thy gods, 
Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt," be 
an allusion to the golden calf of Ex. xxxii ; but it is 
thought unlikely that Jeroboam would set up a symbol 
entirely new, 1 and it is pointed out at least alleged that 
no protest was made against the worship of the calves by 
prophets like Elijah and Amos. 2 The denunciations in the 
Books of Kings are regarded as representing a later point of 
view. Here, again, the history which we have is thrust 
aside and a new history invented which suits the critic's 
theory. No ingenuity, however, can give this new theory 
the semblance of probability. How strange, if this was an 
old and well-known custom in Israel, that absolutely no 
trace of it should be discoverable, or that it should need to 
be " revived " ! How remarkable that nothing of this bull- 
worship should be known in Jerusalem, or in the temple, 
the seat of Jehovah's worship, 8 in which there was no image, 
or, apparently, in Judah generally, where it was universally 
regarded as an abomination ! The narrator in the Book of 
Kings, who had access to old records, plainly regarded it as 
something new. The judgment of the prophets, when we 
turn to these, does not differ from that of the Book of 
Kings. Hosea, it is generally admitted, is unsparing in his 
denunciation of the calves, 4 and he was a prophet of 
Northern Israel. It is held, however, that his attitude in 
this respect is not that of his predecessors. " There is no 
failure in Hosea's prophecy," says Professor W. R Smith, 
" which distinguishes him from earlier prophets so sharply 

1 A connection is conjecturally sought with the old sanctuary at Dan, 
Judg. xviii. 29-31. 

1 Thus Wellhausen, Kuenen, Stade, W. R. Smith, and generally. The 
suggestion may he made that Jeroboam got the idea from Egypt, where he 
resided from the time of his revolt against Solomon till the accession of 
Rehoboam (I Kings xi. 40 ; xii. 1-8). Kuenen, however, rejects this, and 
says : " It is much more reasonable to suppose that the ten tribes who rebelled 
against Solomon's exactions, and his leanings towards foreign manners and 
customs, introduced a genuinely national and ancient Israel itish worship." 
Bel. oflgratl, i. p. 236. 

1 Are the " lions, own, and cherubim** that supported the " bases " in 
the temple (1 Kings vii. 29) thought to be an exception T They were 
certainly not objects of worship. 

4 Hos. viii. 5, 6 ; xiii. 2. 



as his attitude to the golden calves, the local symbols of 
Jehovah adored in the Northern sanctuaries. Elijah and 
Elisha had no quarrel with the traditional l worship of their 
nation. Even Amos never speaks in condemnation of the 
calves." 2 This last sentence is astonishing. To the 
ordinary reader Amos and Hosea would seem to speak 
with precisely the same voice on the Northern calf-worship 
Amos, if possible, with the greater vehemence of the two. 
"When I visit the transgressions of Israel upon him," says this 
prophet, " I will also visit the altars of Bethel." 3 " Come to 
Bethel," he exclaims, " and transgress." 4 He speaks of those 
" that swear by the sin of Samaria, and that swear, As thy 
god, Dan, liveth." 5 Even Kuenen agrees that Amos 
speaks in the same way as Hosea of the calf- worship. 6 

With greater plausibility it may be maintained that 
there is no direct denunciation of the calf-worship by Elijah 
and Elisha. The argument from silence, however, is a peculi- 
arly unsafe one here. In the only episodes in which Elijah is 
brought before us, he is engaged in a life-and-death struggle 
of another kind the conflict between Jehovah and Baal 
arising from the introduction of the Tyrian Baal-worship 
into Samaria by Ahab and Jezebel. 7 It requires great faith 
to believe that a stern and zealous monotheist like Elijah 
could have any toleration for the calf-worship, which every 
other prophet of that age is represented as denouncing. 8 
It is a sounder application of the argument from silence 
to observe that Elijah is never found as a worshipper in 
the neighbourhood of Bethel or Dan, and that he never 
drops a word indicative of recognition of that worship. 9 
When he speaks despairingly of Jehovah's altars being 
thrown down, 10 he can hardly have included Bethel and Dan 
among their number, for these altars stood, and doubtless 

1 The reader will mark thepelitio in the word " traditional." To Professor 
Smith also the calf-worship is as old as the days of the Judges (Propliets, 
p. 96). 

2 Prophets, p. 175. 

8 Amos iii. 14. * Amos iv. 4 ; cf. v. 4, 5. 

8 Amos viii. 14. 

8 Rd. of Israel, i. pp. 73-74. Cf. the pungent remarks of Dr. A. B. 
Davidson, Bib. Essays, pp. 91, 120-22. 

7 1 Kings xvi. 30-34. 

8 E.g., Ahijah (1 Kings xiv. 7 ff.) ; the prophet from Judah (chap. xiii. 
2) ; Jehu, the son of Hanani (chap. xvi. 1, 2). 

9 Elisha was mocked at Bethel (2 Kings ii. 23). 
10 1 Kings xix. 10. 


had their crowds of worshippers. We may suppose that to him 
they would be practically in the category of the Baal-altars. 
And does his threatening to Ahab, " I will make thine house 
like the house of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat," l etc., convey 
no allusion to that by wliich peculiarly Jeroboam "made 
Israel to sin " ? 

A dispassionate review, therefore, of this long catalogue 
of superstitions alleged to belong to {>re-prophetic religion 
in Israel fails to establish the theory of the critics that any 
one of these formed part of the genuine religion of Israel. 
They show abundant defection in particular periods from 
the pure norm of that religion ; but the evidence is over- 
whelming that they were foreign to the true genius of the 
religion, were condemned by its laws and by the prophets, 
and at no time received countenance from its great .re- 
presentatives. The ideas on which the religion rested the 
unity, holiness, universal providence, and saving purpose of 
God were, as before shown, entirely distinct from those 
of other religions. As it is with the idea of God and with 
the adjuncts of His worship, so, we shall next see, it is with 
the institutions of the religion. 

1 1 Kings xxL 21-24. 


TTbc U> Testament as affectefc bs Criticism 
HE. "Religion an& Snstitutfons : Hrh, Zlabcr- 
nacle, priestboo&, etc. 

" I believe that, alongside of the modern representations, which resolve 
the founders of the Old Testament religion into flitting shadows that elude 
the grasp, and throw overboard the solid mass of the Pentateuchal history, 
like unnecessary ballast from a ship, my attempt will still meet with sym- 
pathy, to find an intelligible meaning in the narrative of the Pentateuch, 
and to apprehend the religion of Abraham as the preliminary stage, and the 
proclamation of Moses as the foundation, of the Old Testament faith, 
thought, and life. The Bible remains : scientific attempts to represent 
the Biblical history come and go." KLOSTEIIMANN. 

" It [German criticism] has generally been wanting in flexibility and 
moderation. It has insisted upon knowing everything, ex plaining everything, 
precisely determining everything. . . . Hence complicated and obscure 
theories, provided with odd comers in which all the details may be sheltered, 
and which leave the mind little opening or leisure to observe the tendency 
of facts and the general currents of history." DARMESTETEK (in Ottley). 

"In Wellhansen's review of the history, he has much to say of the 
gradual rise of feasts from the presentation of first-fruits, and of their 
annual observance at neighbourhood sanctuaries, and the growth of larger 
sanctuaries towards the close of the period of the Judges. . . . But the whole 
thing is spun out of his own brain. It is as purely fictitious as an astro- 
nomical map would be of the other side of the moon." W. H. GREEN. 




THE subject of laws aud institutions in Israel is bound up 
with so many intricate critical questions as to dates and 
succession of codes, that it may seem scarcely possible to 
deal with it satisfactorily till the critical questions have 
been, at least in some provisional way, disposed of. On the 
other hand, it is to be observed that the discussion of laws 
and institutions does not wholly depend on the conclusions 
reached on such matters, say, as the age of Deuteronomy, 
or date of compilation of the Priestly Code ; for, conceivably, 
these books, in their present form, might be late, yet the 
laws embodied in them might be very old. 1 It will be 
found, in fact, that the determination of the critical 
questions themselves depends in no small measure on the 
view we are led to take of the history and nature of the 
institutions. 1 There is room and need, therefore, for some 
preliminary consideration of the latter, so far as this can 
be done without begging any question not yet critically 
dealt with. 


We may first advert a little further than has yet been 
done to the general position assigned to Moses in tradition 
as the lawgiver of Israel.* This is a point on which the 
critics can hardly avoid involving themselves in some 
inconsistency. On the one hand, it is necessary to exalt 

1 This is the position taken up by some critics, as Kbnig. 
* See Wellhauson above, p. 6. 
' See above, Chap. IV. pp. 98-99. 



the personality and work of Moses, in order to explain how 
it comes about that all the legislation in the Old Testament 
is connected with his name; 1 on the other hand, it is 
necessary to minimise his influence almost to vanishing 
point, in order to make it credible that he really gave to 
Israel no laws at all none at least of which we have any 
knowledge. It will be recalled how we are told that 
" Malachi is the first of the prophets to refer to a Mosaic 
code." z This line of reasoning, as shown before, is fatuous, 
The JE history, put by the critics as early as the ninth or 
eighth century, gives the foremost place to. Moses as a law- 
giver. The Book of the Covenant, older than this history, 
and incorporated into it, is expressly ascribed to Moses as 
its author. The Book of Deuteronomy, again, whenever 
written, is evidence that Israel had but one tradition about 
Moses that he gave and wrote laws for the nation. The 
force of this testimony is not in the least satisfied by sup- 
posing, with Wellhausen, W. E. Smith, and others, that the 
repute of Moses rested on such oral decisions as those 
referred to in Ex. xviii. 13-16, 26. 3 Budde will have 
nothing to do with this basing of the legislation of Moses 
on these oral toroth of Ex. xviii., 4 and there is certainly 
something arbitrary in founding on this chapter as more 
historically trustworthy than its neighbours. If it is 
accepted, one must notice the evidence it yields of a high 
organisation of the people at the time of the Exodus. 6 
What then are the reasons for refusing to Moses such 
legislation as the Old Testament ascribes to him ? 

1. If anything can be attributed with certainty to Moses, 
it surely is the Decalogue, which lies at the foundation of 
the whole covenant relation of Jehovah to Israel. Yet even 
this, which Delitzsch calls "the most genuine of genuine 

1 Of. "Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, pp. 432 ff., 438 ff. ; Kuenen, Ed. 
of Israel, i. pp. 272 ff. The latter says: "The collections of laws were 
fearlessly embellished with his name, because it was known that he had laid 
the foundations of all legislation " (p. 279). He thinks, indeed, that "this 
he could do without writing down a single precept." 

* Carpenter, as above, p. 98. " The prophets of the eighth century," says 
Professor W. R. Smith, "never speak of a written law of Moses." O.T. in 
J. 0., p. 302. To show this, he has to put a non-natural sense on Hos. 
viiL 12 (see below, p. 325). But at least the prophets knew of the Book 
of the Covenant, professing to be written by Moses. 

8 Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, p. 439 ; W. R. Smith, O.T. in J. C., pp. 
304, 339. 

4 Rel. of Israel, p. 33. Ex. xviii. 21, 25. 


productions," 1 it has of late become almost universally the 
fashion to deny to the lawgiver. But on what subjective 
and arbitrary grounds ! 2 A main reason, as we have seen, 
is the prohibition of images in the Second Commandment 8 
a subject already discussed. 4 Apart from this, and the too 
elevated idea of God in the Decalogue as a whole, two 
special objections may be noticed: (1) the variation in the 
form of the Fourth Commandment in the Deuteronomic 
version, 6 and (2) the alleged occurrence of a second Deca- 
logue in Ex. xxxiv. 12-26 a notion borrowed from Goethe. 
The first of these objections comes badly from those who 
see in Deuteronomy a free prophetic composition of the 
age of Josiah, and, apart from the supposition of an 
original shorter form, seems sufficiently met by Delitzsch's 
remark that " the Decalogue is there freely rendered in the 
flow of hortatory oratory, and not literally reproduced." 6 
The variation may indeed be regarded as an incidental mark 
of genuineness in Deuteronomy, for hardly any other than 
the lawgiver would be likely to allow himself this liberty 
of change. The second objection derives some colour from 
a slight ambiguity or confusion in the language of Ex. xxxiv. 
'27, 28 ; but cannot overbear the clear connection of ver. 28, 
"And He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the words of 
the covenant, the ten commandments (words)," with ver. 1, 
" I will write upon the tables the words which were upon 
the first tables, which thou brakest," or the plain intention 
of the narrative as a whole. The so-called second Decalogue 
of J in Ex. xxxiv. 12-26, is, in fact, pretty much, as scholars 
are coming to see, a figment of the critical imagination. It 
is only by straining that the section can be made into a 
Decalogue at all, 7 and, with its mixed precepts, it has no 

1 Genesis, i. p. 29. Smend also formerly wrote : " The Decalogue, 
whose Mosaic origin no one can doubt." Stud. u. Krit. 1876, p. 643. 
Of. in defence of the genuineness, Riehm, Einleit. i. p. 166 ; Eittel, Hist, of 
Hebs. i. p. 244 ff. (in shorter form). 

* For a summary byAddis, see Note A on Objections to the Decalogue. 
Cf. also Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, pp. 892-93, 439 ff. ; Smend, AlUcst. 
Reliyionsyescliichte, p. 47. 

* "There would be no valid reason," says Kautzsch, "for refusing to 
attribute to Moses himself a primitive, concise form of the Decalogue, were 
it not for the formidable difficulty presented by the jtrohibiiion of the use of 
images." "Eel. of Israel," Diet. p. 633. 

4 See above, pp. 141 ff. Deut v. 15. 

8 Genesis, i. p. 30. 

7 Scarcely two critics divide the precepts so as to make ten in precisely 


suitability for taking the place of the historical " words " 
of the tablea 1 

2. If the Decalogue is allowed to be Mosaic, there is 
little reason for denying that the remaining laws ("judg- 
ments ") of the Book of the Covenant, with which the " ten 
words " stand in so close a connection, also proceeded from 
Moses in substantially their present form. 2 The principal 
objection urged to this is that they imply a settled life 
and agriculture. 3 But, on the one hand, the laws in 
question are of a very primitive and simple character, 
probably resting on old usage; 4 and, on the other, the 
people were not the undisciplined horde the critics for 
their own purposes would make them out to be. 5 They 
had long had the experience of orderly and settled life, 
and were, moreover, on the point of entering Canaan. 
They were organised, and had "statutes of God" and 
" laws " given them in the wilderness. 6 What more likely 
in itself than that Moses, by divine command, should draw 
up for them a simple code, suited for present and prospective 
needs ? How, indeed, could a people like Israel have been 
kept together, or have preserved its distinction from the 
Canaanites, without some such body of laws, moral, civil, 
and religious, 7 and this not simply in the form of floating 

the same way, and the attempt to do so is now being pretty generally given 
up, even by advanced critics. Addis speaks of the division into ten as 
" mere guess-work." " Many critics," he says, " (e.g., Wellhausen), adopting 
a suggestion of Goethe, have tried to disentangle ten ' words of the 
covenant,' answering to the Ten Words or Decalogue of the Elohist. This, 
however, is mere guess-work." Hex. i. p. 157. Carpenter also does not 
favour the notion. Kittel says : "It requires the utmost arbitrariness even 
to find in it the number ten." Hist, of Hebs. i. p. 198. Kautzsch rejects 
the second Decalogue. 

1 Cf. Kittel and Riehm, as above, in reply to Wellhausen. 

* Thus Delitzsch, Genesis, i. p. 31. 

8 Thus Wellhausen, Kuenen, Addis, etc. Cf. Riehra in reply, i. pp. 170 tf. 
4 The Code of Hammurabi presents interesting ancient analogies. See 

for details art. in Diet, of BMe (Extra Vol.). One regrets to find Mr. 
Johns, in the section on comparison with Hebrew legislation, writing in 
the usual flippant style "The current opinion of critics does not ascribe 
much of the Hebrew law to Moses. So his personality may be set aside " 
(p. 608). 

9 See above, pp. 79, 104. Ex. xviii. 16, 21, 25. 

7 Wellhausen himself points out that "when the Israelites settled in 
Palestine, they found it inhabited by a population superior to themsel7es 
both in numbers and in civilisation," yet "it never had the effect of 
making the Israelites Canaanites ; on the contrary, it made the Canaanites 
Israelites. Notwithstanding their inferiority, numerical and otherwise, 


oral toroth, but in the shape of definite, authoritative 
"statutes and judgments," such as the history, the prophets, 
and the psalms, uniformly assume the nation to have 
possessed? 1 And if this was needed, can we suppose 
that a man of Moses' capabilities and prescient mind would 
have left the people without it? We have several codes 
of laws " programmes " which the critics assume to have 
arisen at various junctures in the history of the nation. 
But, as Dr. Kobertson observes, "it is strange indeed that 
critical historians should postulate the putting forth of 
' legislative programmes ' at various later points in Israel's 
history, and should be so unwilling to admit the same for 
the time of Moses." 2 We seem fully entitled, therefore, 
in accordance with the whole tradition of Israel, to look 
on Moses as the fountain of both civil and religious institu- 
tions to his nation, s.nd to consider without prejudice any 
statements attributing such institutions to his time. The 
question of ritual laws demands separate treatment 


The Book of the Covenant deals mainly with civil 
matters, and, except in the law of the altar, 8 and the 
ordinance about the three feasts,* has no properly religious 
enactments. This of itself creates a not unreasonable pre- 
sumption that such will be found elsewhere. To most it 
will appear incredible that, in settling the constitution of 
Israel, Moses should not have given the people, among his 
other laws, at least some ordinances for religious worship. 
The critico, however, hold a directly contrary opinion. Not 
content with denying that Moses was the author of any 
ritual legislation, they go so far as to maintain that, till 
the time of the exile, no sacrificial or other ritual existed 
which was even believed to have Mosaic or divine sanction. 
The prophets, it is declared, show clearly by their denuncia- 
tions that they know nothing of such a divinely-ordained 
ritual " Thus it is," says Wellhausen, " that the prophets 

they maintained their individuality, and that without the support of any 
external organisation. Thus a certain inner unity suhsisb-d lone before 
it bad found any outward political expression : it goes back to the time 
of MOM*, who is to be regarded as its author." Hut. of Israel, p. 433. 

1 See below, pp. 308, 824. * Early Reli-iion of I$rael, p. 387. 

Ex. xx. 24-2. 4 Ex. xxiii. 14-19. 


are able to ask whether then Jehovah has commanded Hia 
people to tax their energies with such exertions : the fact 
presupposed being that no such command exists, and that 
no one knows anything at all about a ritual torah." l The 
idea of a ritual which " goes back to Moses or to Jehovah 
Himself " 2 is said to be foreign to them. It first came in 
with the Priestly Code, which is so insistent on the Mosaic 
origin of lawful sacrifice that it carefully avoids, in the 
earlier history, ever ascribing sacrifice to the patriarchs. 3 
Without at this stage entering into details, which will 
more properly come up when discussing the Code itself, 
we would make on these representations the following 
remarks : 

1. There is, to put it mildly, some absurdity in the often- 
repeated statement that " the Priestly Writer knows nothing 
of sacrifice by the servants of God before Moses." 4 We 
might ask How often is sacrifice mentioned altogether in 
the Book of Genesis ? And in how many instances does 
the meagre thread of narrative assigned to the Priestly 
Writer admit of the act of sacrifice being introduced ? But 
there is a more obvious answer one of which a good deal 
more will be heard as we proceed. The Priestly Writer 
knew at least about the patriarchal sacrifices all that the 
J and E histories had to tell him ; for he had, on the newer 
theory, these histories before him, presupposes and founds 
upon them, if he does not actually furnish the frame in 
which their narratives are set. 5 He cannot, therefore, be 
supposed designedly to contradict them on this point of 
patriarchal sacrifices. 6 It is in truth no part of the theory 

1 Hist, of Israel, p. 56 ; cf. the whole section, pp. 52-59. Thus also 
Knenen, Hex. pp. 176-77 ; W. R. Smith, O.T. in J. C., pp. 293-95. "All 
this," says Professor Smith, " is so clear that it seems impossible to misunder- 
stand it. Yet the position of the prophets is not only habitually explained 
away by those who are determined^ at any cost to maintain the traditional 
view of the Pentateuch, " etc. We shall see immediately about the " explain- 
ing away." 

* Hi-,t. of Isntel, p. 56. * Ibid. 

4 Addis, Hex. p. li See below, pp. 340, 360. 

8 Colenso, in combating Kuenen on this point, says : " Is it credible that 
he supposed the patriarchs to have offered no sacrifices at all before the 
delivery of the sacrificial laws at Siuai more especially if he had before him 
the sacrifices mentioned in Gen. iv. 3, 4 ; viii. 20, 21 ; xxxi. 54 ; xlvi. 1, 
etc. " ; and in another connection : " It seems incredible that a later post- 
captivity writer, sitting down (as Kuenen supposes) with the J narrative 
before him, and of course known to him, and now venerable by age, should 
deliberately contradict it" Pent. Pt. vi. pp. 126, 139. 


of the Priestly Writer that sacrifices began with Moses. 
His own legislation gives no hint that up to that time these 
were unheard-of. Bather, in such phrases as, " If any man 
bring an offering to Jehovah," ... "If his offering be a 
burnt offering of the herd," 1 etc., it assumes that such 
sacrifices are well-known and customary. 

2. As little can it be maintained, with any show of 
reason, that, up to the time of the exile, sacrifice in Israel 
was simply, as Wellhausen affirms, traditional custom, 
without divine sanction, or regulation of the when, the 
where, the by whom, the how* The Book of the Covenant 
already makes a beginning in regulations about the altar, 
and the times and manner of sacrifice "My sacrifice"; 8 
and the Book of Deuteronomy, " which still occupies the 
same standpoint as JE," 4 has abundance of prescriptions 
and regulations about sacrifices described as "all that I 
command you." 6 How can it be claimed that Jeremiah, 
whose mind is steeped in Deuteronomy if he had not, 
as some of these writers think, to do with its production 
is ignorant of these commands, or means to deny them, in 
his impassioned protestations that it was not about burnt 
offerings and sacrifices, but about obedience, that God 
commanded their fathers, when He brought them out of 

3. The strong language of the prophets in denunciation 
of outward ritual? while the ethical side of religion was 
neglected, admits of easy explanation : the one explanation 
it will not bear, it is safe to say, is that which the critics 
put upon it This for a twofold reason. Probably, first, 
not one of these prophets could form the conception of a 
religion for a nation which bad not ita temple, priesthood, 
sacrifices, and outward order of worship, or ever dreamt of 
the abolition of these things ; and, second, so far from regard- 
ing sacrifice as not well-pleasing to Jehovah, when the right 
spirit was present, there is not one of the greater prophets 
who does not include sacrifice in his own picture of the 

1 Lev. i. 2, 8, etc. * Hut. of Isnul, p. 54. 

Ex. zx. 24, 25 ; xxiii. 18, 19. Wellhausen, aa aboye. 

Deut xiL 11, etc. 

Jer. ril 22, 24. Professor W. R. Smith nevertheless thinks " it is 
impossible to give * flatter contradiction to the traditional theory that the 
Levitiral system was enacted in the wilderness." O.T. in J. ('., p, 295. 

1 Amos iv. 4, 5 ; T. 21, 27 ; Is*, i. 10-15 ; Jer. vii. 23, 23, etc. 


restored and perfected theocracy. 1 It is to be remembered 
that it is not sacrifice alone, but prayer, feast-days, Sabbaths, 
etc., that the prophets include in their denunciations ; yet 
we know the importance they attached to prayer and the 
Sabbath in other parts of their writings. 2 In many places 
and ways, also, we see incidentally their recognition of the 
divine sanction of these outward ordinances, which, in other 
connections, viz., when made a substitute for heart-piety 
and moral conduct, they condemn. It was in vision of the 
temple of Jehovah that Isaiah received his call, and by 
the touch of a live coal from the altar that his lips were 
purged. 3 It is Jehovah's courts " My courts " that were 
profaned by the people's splendid but unholy worship;* 
just as in Hosea it is "the sacrifices of Mine offerings" 
which the people turn into "sacrifices of flesh." 5 If the 
40th Psalm is relegated, as on the critical theory it must 
be, to post-exilian times, we read in it also : " Sacrifice and 
offering Thou didst not desire . . . burnt offering and sin 
offering hast Thou not required." c But who misunderstands 
these words ? 

4. Strange to say, all this, and a great deal more, is, in 
the end, admitted by the critics. Their argument means 
nothing, if it does not amount to a rejection by the prophets 
of a ritual worship of God absolutely. Yet we are told by 
Kuenen : " We must not assert that the prophets reject the 
cultus unconditionally. On the contrary, they too share 
the belief, for instance, that sacrifice is an essential element 
of true worship (Isa. Ivi. 7 ; Zech. xiv. 16-19 ; Mic. iv. 1 ff. ; 
Isa. ii. 1 ff. ; xviii. 7 ; xix. 19 ff., etc. etc.). The context 
always shows that what they really protest against is the 
idea that it is enough to take part in the cultus," etc. 7 
Only, it is argued, they did not allow this cultus to be of 
Mosaic or divine origin. It is precisely on this point that 
the proof fails. The proof was supposed to be found in the 
fact that the prophets condemned the cultus ; now it is 
owned that they did not condemn it as in any sense incoro- 

1 Of. Isa. Ivi. 6, 7 ; Ix. 7 ; Ixvi. 23, etc. ; Jer. xvii. 24-27 ; xxxiii. 17-18, 
etc. (cf. p. 95) ; Ezek. xl. ff. 

1 Cf. Jer. xvii. 21-27; "As I commanded your fathers" (ver. 22); 
Isa. Iviii. 13, 14. 

Isa. vi. * Isa. i. 12. Hos. viii. 13. Ps. xl. 6. 

7 Hex. p. 176 ; cf. Smend, Alttest. Religionsgeschichte, p. 168. See also 
Smend's article, referred to on next page. 


patible with the belief that it was a lawful and necessary 
part of the service of Jehovah. If, further, we ask What 
kind of cultus was it which existed in the days of the 
prophets? we get a number of surprising admissions, to 
which it will be necessary that we return later. It was a 
cultus " of very old and sacred usage," l and highly elaborate 
in character. There were " splendid sacrifices . . . presum- 
ably offered in accordance with all the rules of priestly 
skill." * We have, in fact, only to analyse the passages in 
the prophets to see what a highly elaborate ritual system 
was already in operation in their day as elaborate, practi- 
cally, as in the Levitical Code itself. It is interesting to 
read what one of the ablest adherents of the Graf school 
Rudolf Smend had to say on this point at an earlier 
stage in his development. In his work Moses apud 
Prophctas, Smend discerns what he calls " Levitismus" peering 
out from the pages of the oldest prophets Amos and Hosea. 
He says, even : " It is sufficiently evident that the cultus of 
Jehovah, as it existed in the time of the earlier prophets, 
and doubtless long before, is by no means at variance with 
the character of Leviticus. Whatever judgment may be 
formed of the age of this book, the opinion hitherto enter- 
tained of the birth, growth, and maturity of the religion of 
Israel will undergo no change." 8 In a valuable article 
contributed to the Studien und Kritiken in 1876, he 
reiterates these views, and concludes : " Accordingly, we do 
not know what objection can be made to the earlier com- 
position of Leviticus on the ground of the older prophetical 
writings." 4 In such statements, supported by reasons 
which time has done nothing to refute, we are far enougli 
away from the theory that nothing was known of a divine 
sanction of ritual ordinances till after the time of the exile. 
To ourselves, as before said, it appears incredible that 
no ordinances for religious worship should have been given 
to the people by Moses, in sell ling the constitution of 

1 Wellhausen, Hint, of Israel, p. 59. 

* Ibid. p. 55. See below, p. 303. 

P. 75. 

4 Stud, und Krii. 1876, p. 661. This important article was written ten 

Biars after the appearance of (irafs work (arc below, p. 325), in criticism of 
uliiu, and from the standpoint that up to that time "a stringent proof" 
had not been offered "either for or against" Unit's hypothesis of tin* 
age of Leviticus, and that such "was not to be looked for in the near 
future " (p. 644). 


Israel If such were given, they must, in the nature of the 
case, have included regulations about priesthood, sacrifice, 
purification, and much else. 1 This does not prove the 
existence of the Levitical ritual Code ; but such laws, if 
given, must have covered a large part of the ground of that 
Code. It does not prove even that the laws were written, 
but it is highly probable that they soon were. 2 If these 
laws are not incorporated in our present Levitical Code, it 
is certain they are not to be found anywhere else. We 
shall be better able to judge on this point, when we have 
looked at some of the more special institutions of the 
national worship. 

We proceed now, accordingly, to consider how it stands 
with such institutions as the ark, the tabernacle, the priesthood, 
and, in connection with these, with the unity of worship, 
made by Wellhausen, as we shall see, the turning-point of 
his whole discussion. 3 Graf, with his thesis of the post- 
exilian origin of the Levitical Code, is the pioneer here, 
and we are not sure that the case for the new theory, as 
respects the above institutions, has been more plausibly 
presented anywhere than it is in his pages. 4 It is not 
denied by the Graf school that there was an ark, a tent to 
cover it, and priests of some sort, from early times, but it is 
contended with decision that these were not, and could not 
have been, the ark, tabernacle, and priesthood of the 
Levitical Code. All we read on these subjects in the Priestly 
sections is " unhistorical fiction" of exilic or post-exilic 
origin. Rejecting hypotheses, our duty will be to turn the 

1 We shall see below that Dillmann, in fact, supposes Lev. xvii.-xxvi. 
(mainly) to be a very old, and in basis Mosaic, code, which he thinks may 
originally have stood after Ex. xxiv. Cf. his JSxod.-Lev. on Ex. xxv. and 
Lev. xvii., and see below, pp. 328, 376. 

* See below, p. 329. Dillmann says in the Preface to his Commentary 
on Exodus-Leviticus: "That the priesthood of the central sanctuary 
already in ancient times wrote down their laws is the most natural assump- 
tion in the world, and can be proved from A, C, D [= P, J, D] : that the laws 
of the priesthood and of divine service were written down, not to say made, 
first of all in the exile and in Babylon, where there was no service of God, 
is contrary to common sense. " 

*Hist. of Israel, p. 368. See below, pp. 173 ff. 

4 On Graf and his place in the critical development, see next chapter 
(pp. 199 ff.). His principal work, Die Oeschichtlichen Bucher des Allen 
Testaments, was published in 1866. His chief predecessors were Vatke and 
George, but their works had produced little impression, and were regard-d as 
conclusively refuted. Cf. Delitzsch, Lnthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, pp. 57 ff. 


matter round about, and try to look at the facts historically. 
This will prepare the way for the later critical inquiry. 


It has been seen above what the critics think of the 
original ark which they allow to have existed. It was a 
sort of fetish-chest in which Jehovah, represented by two 
stones, probably meteoric, was thought of as carried about ; 
or it was itself a fetish. 1 This may be met by observing 
that, while Jehovah's presence is conceived of as connected 
with the ark, the special symbol of His presence the cloud, 
or pillar, or glory is always distinguished from both ark 
and sanctuary : this in both JE and P sections. 8 The cloud, 
or pillar of cloud and of fire, is represented as above the 
tabernacle, or over the people, or as going before them in their 
journeyings. Jehovah descends in the pillar to commune 
with Moses at the tabernacle. He dwells upon or between 
the cherubim.* His presence, therefore, it is perfectly plain, 
was not identified with the ark, or with anything in it 

1. It is not denied, then, and it is a valuable admission, 
that there was an ark of Jehovah in Israel from the times 
of Moses. Where did it come from ? The ark does not 
appear to have been with the people in Egypt: we may 
therefore conclude it to be a Mosaic institution. A first point 
of interest relates to the making of the ark. The only 
account we have of its construction is in the Priestly Code, 
Ex. xxv. 10 ff. ; xxvil 1 11'. ; outside of P the first incidental 
notice is in the important passage, Num. x. 33-36, "And 
the ark of the covenant went before them," etc., where, 
however, its existence is firmly assumed. On the critical 
side it is said indeed, is taken for granted as one of the 
things about which "no doubt" exists 4 that originally 
the JE narrative also must have had an account of the 
making of the ark, now displaced by that of P. 6 Let this 

1 See abore, p. 137. 

1 Of. Ex. xzxiii. 9 ; xl. 84-88 ; Nam. x. 34 ; xir. 10-14 ; xx. 8 ; Dmt 
xxxi. 15, etc. 

* Ex. XXT. 22 ; 1 Sam. ir. 4. etc. 

4 Addis says : " He (the J writer] no doubt also mentioned here the 
making of the ark, to which he refers shortly [where?] afterwards." 11 j-. 
i. p. 155. 

8 Thus practically all the critics, as Wellhauseo, Kueuen, Dillmaan, 
Driver, Addu, Carjwnter, Kennedy, etc. 



be assumed : we discover from Deut. x. 1-5, which is supposed 
to follow this older account, that the ark of the JE story 
was an ark made " of acacia wood," and was the repository 
of the two tables of the law, which agrees perfectly with 
the history we have. Thus far, therefore, there is no con- 
tradiction. It remains to be seen whether any emerges in 
the further notices of the nature, uses, fortunes, and 
destination of the ark. 

2. We pass to the subsequent history of the ark, and note 
on this the following interesting facts. Its familiar name 
is "the ark of the covenant." 1 It is connected with the 
presence of Jehovah among His people. 2 It goes before, or 
accompanies, the people in their journeys. 8 It is invested 
with the most awful sanctity: to touch it irreverently is 
death. 4 It is taken charge of, and borne, by Levitical 
priests, or by Levites simply. 5 It is found, in the days of 
the Judges, at Bethel, where Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, 
the son of Aaron, ministers before it. 6 In Eli's days it is in 
the sanctuary at Shiloh. 7 It is overshadowed by the 
cherubim. 8 After its captivity among the Philistines, and 
prolonged sojourn at Kirjath-jearim, 9 it is brought up by 
David with the greatest solemnity and the utmost re- 
joicings to Zion, and there lodged in a tent he had pitched 
for it. 10 Finally, it is brought into the temple of Solomon, 
when we are told it had nothing in it " save the two tables 
of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb." u Here, as it 
stands, is a very fair history of the ark from pre-exilian 
sources, and it requires some ingenuity to discover wherein 
the ark of these accounts differs, in structure, character, 
and uses, from the ark of the law in Exodus. That ingenuity, 

1 This name occurs in Num. x. 83 ; xiv. 44 ; Deut. x. 8 ; xxxi. 9, 25, 26 ; 
Josh. iii. (seven times) ; iv. 7, 9, 18 ; vi. 6, 8 ; viii. 33 ; Judg. xx. 27 ; 
1 Sam. iv. 3-5 (see above, p. 137) ; 2 Sam. xv. 24 ; 1 Kings iii. 15 ; vi. 19 ; 
viii. 1, 6, etc. etc. In all the cases in the older history the words "of the 
covenant " are simply struck out by the critics. Cf. , e.g. , Kuenen , Hist, of Israel, 
i. pp. 257-58; or Oxford Hex. on Josh, iii., iv. The passages then read 
" the ark of Jehovah " only. See Note at end of chapter. 

1 Num. x. 33, etc. 

s Num. x. 33-36 ; cf. Ex. xl. 36, 37 ; Num. ix. 15-23 (P). On the 
position cf the ark, see below, pp. 168-69. 

4 1 Sam. vi. 19 ; 2 Sam. vi. 7. 

8 Josh, iii., iv; 2 Sam. xv. 24, 29 ; cf. Deut. xxxi. 9, 25. 

6 Judg. xx. 27, 28. 7 1 Sam. iii. 3. 

8 1 Sam. iv. 4 ; 2 Sam. vi. 2. 1 Sam. vii. 1, 2. 

10 2 Sam vi. " 1 Kings viii. 1-11. 


however, is not wanting. One point of alleged contradic- 
tion, viz., that in JE the ark is represented as borne at a 
distance in front of the host, while in P it is carried, with 
the tabernacle, in the midst of the host, is considered below 
in connection with the place of the tabernacle. 1 For the rest, 
the method is always at hand, and is freely resorted to, of 
getting rid of inconvenient testimony by the assumption of 
interpolation. This disposes, as noted above, of the words 
" the covenant," and also of the mention of the " cherubim," s 
and gets rid of the notices of " Levites " as bearing the ark, in 
distinction from the priests. Thus, e.g., Professor H. P. Smith, 
following Wellhausen, disposes of the testimony in 2 Sam. xv. 
24. That passage reads : " And lo Zadok also, and all the 
Levites that were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant 
of God." This will not do, so the comment is : " The present 
text inserts 'and all the Levites with him.' But as the 
Levites are unknown to the Books of Samuel [they had 
been mentioned before in 1 Sam. VL 15], this is obviously a 
late insertion. Probably the original was ' Zadok and 
Abiathar.'"* On this subject, it can scarcely be held to 
be a contradiction that in some of the above passages it is 
the "priests" who bear the ark, while the Levitical law 
aligns that duty to the " Levites." The carrying of the 
ark by the Levites on ordinary occasions, and as servants 
of the priests, 4 does not preclude the bearing of it by priests 
on special occasions, as in Josh, iii., iv. It was the priests 
who were at all times primarily responsible for its right 
conveyance. 6 

3. A point of some importance in its bearings on the 
descriptions of the ark in the Priestly Code, which, how- 
ever, we do not remember having seen adverted to, is the 

1 This, u will be seen below, is a question of some real difficulty. It is not 
clear whether the ark was always, or only on special occasions, borne in front 
of the host ; or whether it was not borne usually in front of the tabernacle 
in midst of the host, still with the idea of leadership. In either case, as the 
passages cited show, it was the movement of the ark, or of the guiding 
pillar, which determined that of the camp. 

* " It is more than probable," says Kuenen, "that the cherubim were 
not mentioned by the author him.-elf, but were inserted by a later writer." 
Rel. of Itrael, i. p. 259. 

1 Samutl ( " lutcrnat. Grit. Com."), p. 844. In defence of these passage* 
(also in LXX), see Van Hoonacker, Le Saeerdoce Ltvitique, p. 199. 

4 Num. iv. 16, etc. 

' Num. iv. 19. In 1 Sam. iv. 4, Hophni and Phinehas (priests) an said to 
be " there with the ark of the covenant of God " (not, apparently, its bearers). 


relation of the ancient ark to that of the Solomonic temple. 
It is not denied, as we have seen, that there was an old 
Mosaic ark ; but the fact is perhaps not always sufficiently 
attended to that, according to every testimony we have, it 
was this identical ark which was brought up and deposited 
in Solomon's splendid house. The Mosaic tabernacle, on 
Graf's view, is a " fiction " a " copy " of the temple : it is 
the temple made "portable," and projected back into 
Mosaic times. But the ark, at all events, was not a new 
thing in the temple. It was the old ark that was brought 
into it ; * the same old ark that can be traced back to the 
times of the Judges, and of Moses, and had experienced so 
many vicissitudes. It was an ark, therefore, which con- 
tinued to exist, and whose character and structure could be 
verified, down to late historical times. It follows that, if 
the ark of the law is a " copy " of the ark of the temple, it 
must, in its general character, form, and structure, be pretty 
much a "copy," likewise, of the real ark of the pre- 
Solomonic age. Exilian priests would hardly invent an ark 
totally different from that which had perished within quite 
recent memory. 

Another reflection is suggested by the pre-Solomonic 
history of the ark. No one disputes the sacredness of the 
ark in the eyes of the Israelites. It was in a sense the 
centre and core of their religion. They had the most 
undoubting belief in the manifestations of God's presence in 
connection with it, and in the importance of its possession, 
and of worship before it, as a pledge of God's favour and 
protection. Yet after its return from the Philistines, and 
the judgment at Beth-shemesh, we find this holiest of 
objects taken to the house of a private Israelite, Abinadab, 
and allowed to remain there till David's time, i.e., 2 during 
the whole reign of Saul, guarded by this man's son ; 
apparently, therefore, without Levitical ministration, 
neglected and almost forgotten by the people. 8 Then again 

1 1 Kings viii. 6ff. "The ark was guarded," says Dr. Driver, "till it 
was transferred by Solomon to the temple." Introd. p. 188. 

9 The twenty years of 1 Sam. vii. 2 do not denote the whole duration of 
the ark's stay at Rirjath-jearim, but the period, apparently, till the time 
of Samuel's reformation. 

* 1 Sam. rii. 1, 2. Of. below, p. 178. The ingenious suggestion of Van 
Hoona-ker (Le Sacerdocc, p. 192) that " Eleazar his son" should be "son 
of Eleazar " (a priest) is without sufficient warrant. 


we find it raised to highest honour by David and Solomon. 
We ask Would it be safe to argue from the seeming 
neglect, at least intermission of religious use, of this sacred 
object for so long a period, to the denial of its earlier high 
repute, and established place, in the worship of the people ? 
Or, if o extraordinary an irregularity must be admitted in 
this confused time, must we not, in consistency, admit the 
likelihood of many more ? 


An initial difficulty in the Mosaic account is the richness 
and splendour of the " tent of meeting," said to be reared by 
command of Go<i in the wilderness. This of itself, however, 
is not insuperable. Neither the resources nor the skill of 
the people in leaving Egypt were so slender as the critics 
represent, 1 and the rearing of a sanctuary was an object for 
which they would strip themselves of their best If the 
ark was as fine an object as its description implies, we 
should expect that the tabernacle made for its reception 
would have some degree of splendour as well. Much more 
radical is the position now taken up by the Graf- 
Wellhausen critics. Such a tabernacle as the Priestly Code 
deicribes, they tell us, never existed. The tent of the 
wilderness is a pure creation of the post-exilian imagination. 
In Wellhausen's language: "The temple, the focus to 
which the worship was concentrated, and which was not 
built until Solomon's time, is by this document regarded 
as so indispensable even for the troubled days of the 
wanderings before the settlement, that it is made portable, 
and in the form of a tabernacle set up in the very beginning 
of things. For the truth is, that the tabernacle is the copy, 
not the prototype, of the temple at Jerusalem." 1 The 
critical and other difficulties which inhere in such a 
conception are left over for the present ; we look only at 
the facts. 

1. Our starting-point here, as before, is the admission of 
the critics that a tabernacle of tome sort did exist, as a 

1 Of. Knobel, quoted by Dillmann, Emd.-Lev. pp. 26S-70. 

1 Hut. of Itratl, pp. 36-37. In these expressions about the sanctuary 
being "made portable," and the tabernacle being "the copy," not the 
prototype, of the temple, Wollhansen hot repeats Graf, Gtxkitht. BOeher, 
pp. 53, 55. 61, etc. 


covering for the ark and a place of meeting with Jehovah, 
at least as far back as they will allow the history to go. 
Graf may be quoted here, though his concessions are ampler 
than those which Wellhausen would be disposed to make. 
" The presence of the ark in the field (1 Sam. iv. 3 ff.)," he 
says, " presupposes also that of a tent, of however simple a 
character, which might serve as a protection and lodging 
for the ark and for the priests with the sacred utensils ; 
and it lies likewise in the nature of the case that before this 
tent, where sacrifice was offered by the priests, and the will 
of Jehovah inquired after, meetings and deliberations of the 
host were also held ; hence the tent was the ohel moed 
(tent of meeting)." l But then, it is contended, this is not 
the tabernacle of the Priestly Code, and reference is made 
in proof to " the tent " which, in Ex. xxxiii. 7, Moses is said to 
have pitched (K.V. " used to pitch ") "afar off" without the 
camp, and to have called " the tent of meeting," when as 
yet the tabernacle of the law was not erected. Wellhausen 
goes further, and will have it that the pre-Soloinonic 
tabernacle was not a single tent at all, but a succession of 
changing tents, staying himself in this contention, of all 
authorities in the world, on the Chronicler* whose words 
" have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to 
another " are made to bear a sense which that writer 
assuredly never dreamt of. 

Now it is the case, and is an interesting fact, that after 
the sin of the golden calf, before the Sinaitic tabernacle was 
made, Moses is related to have taken strictly, "used to 
take" "the tent," and pitched it "without the camp, 
afar off from the camp," and to have called it " the tent 
of meeting." The mention of " the tent " comes in quite 
abruptly, and may fairly suggest that we have here, as the 
critics say, part of an originally independent narrative the 
same to which also Num. xi. 16 ff., and xii. 4ff. (cf. Deut. 
xxxi. 14, 15) belong. As it stands in the context, however, 

1 Geschicht. Sucker, pp. 57-58. 

8 Hist, of Israel, p. 45: "The parallel passage in 1 Chron. xviL 5 
correctly interprets the sense " (cf. 2 Sam. vii. 6). How the Chronicler 
could be supposed to say this, in Wellhausen's sense, not only of the 
" tent " (ohel), but of the " tabernacle " (mishkan), is not explained. " The 
passage says no more," remarks Delitzsch, "than that the ark of Jehovah 
wandered from place to place, so that He abode in it, sometimes here and 
sometimes there." Luthardt's Zeilschrift, 1880, p. 63. 


the impression distinctly produced is, that the withdrawal 
of the tent or tabernacle from the camp is penal in character 
(cf. vers. 3-5 : " I will not go up in the midst of thee "), 
and that the tabernacle itself is a provisional one, meeting 
a need till the permanent " tent of meeting " is got ready. 
The tenses, indeed, imply usage ; but duration of usage is 
limited by the writer's thought, and need not cover more 
than the period of alienation, or at most the interval the 
greater part of a year till the erection of the new 
tabernacle. 1 The critics, however, will not admit this ; and, 
comparing the passages above mentioned, maintain that 
there are the clearest points of distinction between this JE 
tent or tabernacle and that of -the Priestly Code. The 
former, it is said, is always represented as pitched without 
the camp ; the latter is as invariably pitched in the midst of 
the camp. The one is a place of revelation (Jehovah 
descends in the pillar to the door of the tabernacle) ; the 
other is a place of divine service or worship. The one has 
Joshua as its attendant ; * the other is served by priests and 
Levitts. On this last objection the absence of Levites 
it is enough to remark that, at the time referred to in Ex. 
xxxiii, Levites had not yet been appointed ; the ark itself 
had not yet been made. The other two objections deserve 
more consideration. They rest on grounds which have a 
degree of plausibility, though closer examination, we are 
convinced, will bring out the essential harmony of the 

2. The first question relates to the place of the taber- 
nacle. Is there real contrariety here between the JE and 
the P accounts ? When we examine the evidence for the 
contention that all through the wanderings, in the JE 
narrative, the place of the tabernacle was without the 
camp "afar off" we are struck, first, with its exceeding 
mcagrcm OOP It consists of the two passages in Numbers 
above referred to, concerning which it may be observed 
that, while their language, taken alone, will agree with this 
hypothesis, it certainly does not necessitate it. It is not 

1 Cf. Ex. xv. 80 (T. ; xl. 1 ff. 

* Wellhauaen says: "Thus Mows has Joshua with him as his aditvus, 
who does not guit the tent of Jehovah." 7/iX. of Isrnel, p. 130. Cf. 
Addis in loc., ilex. i. p. 155 : "The tent of meeting is outside the camp ; 
it is not guarded by Levites, much less by the sons of Aarou, but fay 
Joshua, the ' minister ' of MOMS " Bat * e Deut. xxxi. 9, etc. 


conclusive that we are told on one or two occasions that 
persons " went out " from the camp to the tent, 1 or that Moses 
" went out " from the tent to the people ; 2 for the same 
language would be as appropriately used of going out from 
.any particular encampment to the open space in the centre 
/where the sanctuary stood; just as it is said of Dathan 
and Abiram that they " came out " and stood in the door 
of their own tents. 8 The question requires to be decided 
on broader grounds. Even in Ex. xxxiii. 7, the natural 
suggestion of the statement that Moses, in particular 
circumstances, took the tent assumed as known and 
pitched it "without the camp, afar off from the camp," 
would seem to be that the original and proper place of 
the tent was within the camp ; and there are not wanting 
in the narratives indications that this was the real state 
of the case. Both in the JE and the P sections the 
region outside the camp is regarded as a region of 
exclusion from Jehovah's presence ; it would be passing 
strange if His tabernacle, surmounted by the cloudy pillar, 
were thought of as pitched "afar off" in this region. It 
requires much faith, for instance, to believe that when 
Miriam, smitten with leprosy, was " shut up outside the 
camp seven days,"* she was nearer the tabernacle of 
Jehovah than the people who were within ; or that, when 
quails were sent, the tabernacle was in such a position as 
to be certainly smothered by them when they fell; 6 or 
that, when Balaam, looking on Israel, testified, "Jehovah 
his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among 
them," 6 the tabernacle of Jehovah was really beheld by the 
seer as far apart from the people. But there are other 
and more crucial JE passages. When, in particular, it is 
declared in Num. xiv. 44 that " the ark of the covenant 

1 Num. xi. 24-30 ; xii. 4, 5. 

2 Num. xi. 24. Cf. Strack's remarks on these passages in his Com- 
mentary, in loc. 

3 Num. xvi. 27. 

4 Num. xii. 14, 15. It should be noted that this JE narrative implies 
the leprosy law of Lev. xiii. (P). 

8 Num. xi. 31, 32. Van Hoonacker, in his Le Sacerdoce Ltvitique 
(pp. 145-46), has an ingenious way of explaining these passages, in 
comparison with Ex. xxxiii. 7 (where, as he points out, "the tent" is 
assumed as already known), by the supposition of a series of transpositions 
in the narrative ; but we do not feel this to be justified or necessary. 

8 Num. xxiii. 21. Balaam, in chap. xxiv. 2, sees " Israel dwelling 
according to their tribes," which implies the orderly encampment of P. 


of Jehovah, and Moses, departed not out of the carap," it 
cannot be supposed that the ark was, before starting, 
already outside of the camp " afar off " ; the words imply 
as plainly as may be that its resting-place was within the 
camp. When, again, Moses is related in Num. x. 36 to 
have said at the resting of the ark, " Return, Jehovah, 
to the ten thousands of Israel," 1 his formula has hardly 
any meaning if the ark did not return from going before 
the people to a resting-place within the camp. In the 
same direction point such allusions as "the cloud of 
Jehovah was over them by day, when they set forward 
from the camp " 2 " and Thy cloud standeth over them 8 
allusions which those who adopt the hypothesis we are 
criticising think it necessary to relegate to P or a redactor ; 4 
together with instances of an immediate acting, speaking, 
or calling of Jehovah from the tabernacle 6 (were Moses, 
Aaron, and Miriam, e.g., " afar off" when they heard Jehovah 
call " suddenly " to them, as in Num. xii. 4 ?), or of direct 
transactions with the officials of the sanctuary.' Taken 
together, these things show that, while there may be 
divergences in the mode of representation, there is no 
essential disagreement in the accounts as to the place of 
the tabernacle. 

3. Neither, when we take the history as a whole, does 
there appear to be any better basis for the statement that 
in JE the tabernacle is a place of revelation only, whereas 
in P it is peculiarly a place of worship. In P also, as in 

1 Cf. Dillmann and Strack, in loc. Professor Gray's comments on this 
VMMg*, Nam. z. 38-35, are a good example of the new method. "Here," 
he says, "if we may judge from so fragmentary a record, it [the arkj i* 
conceived as moving of itself (!) . . . 3S. Here, as in ver. 33, the ark starts 
of itself, and the words that follow [' Rise np, O Jehovah,' etc.] may !> 
taken aa addressed to it. ... 36. Such worda could I* suitably addressed 
to the ark returning from battle to its fixed sanctuary . . . after the 
people were settled in Canaan. It is less clearly suitable to the circum- 
stances of the march through the wilderness : the people overtake the 
ark, the ark does not return to them " (!) Number* (" Intr. Crit. Com."), 
p. 97. How would Dr. Gray apply his canon to Pa. cxxxii. 8 1 

* Num. x. 84. ' Num. xiv. 14. 

4 Thus Dillmann, Gray, the Oxford Ilex., etc. (not Addis). On the 

rnd that " nowhere describes it [the pillar] as ' over ' it " [the tent] 
thing to be proved the Oxford annotator arbitrarily makes the won! 
over in Num. xii. 10 bear a different setise from what it ordinarily has 
in this connection. The phrase is identical with that in Ex. xl. 36 ; Num. 
ix. 17 (P). 

* E.g., Num. xu 1, 10, 16 ; xii. 4. * E.g., Deut xxxi. 9, 25, 26. 


JE, the tabernacle is a place of revelation ; in JE, and in 
pre-Solomonic times, as in P, it is a place of worship, with 
its altars and sacred furniture, its priestly ministrants, its 
assemblies at the feasts, etc. Only by isolating one or two 
special passages, in which the aspect of revelation in JE 
is prominent, 1 can it be made to appear otherwise. In 
certain respects there is obvious resemblance from the 
first. In P, as well as in JE, the tabernacle is called 
ohel moed (tent of meeting): 2 in P this alternates with 
the name mishkan (dwelling). A curious fact here, and 
one puzzling to the critics, is that in certain sections of 
P (Ex. xxv.-xxvii. 19) only mishkan is used ; in others 
(chaps. xxviii.-xxxi.) only ohel moed ; in others the names 
intermingle. 3 In both JE and P Jehovah manifests His 
presence in a cloud of fire ; * the fact that in JE the cloud 
is spoken of as a "pillar" is no contradiction. If in JE 
Jehovah descends in the pillar to the door of the tabernacle 
to speak with Moses, this mode of communication is also 
recognised in P (" At the door of the teat of meeting . . . 
where I will speak with you," Ex. xxix. 42, 43) ; 6 else- 
where Jehovah speaks from between the cherubim. 6 The 
tabernacle in both JE and P contains the ark of the 
covenant; a Levitical priesthood in its service is implied 
in the JE notices in Joshua, 7 and in Deuteronomy. 8 A 
tabernacle existed, and was set up in Shiloh, in Joshua's 
time, as Josh, xviii. 1, ascribed to P, 9 declares: this re- 
appears under the name " the house of God " in Shiloh, in 
Judg. xviiL 3 1. 10 In this connection it should not be 

1 Num. xi., xii. ; Deut. xxxi. 14, 15. These are the only passages after 
Ex. xxxiii. 7-il : a narrow basis for an induction. 

1 In JE, e.g., in Num. xi. 16 ; xii. 4 ; Deut. xxxi. 14. 

* Cf. Oxford Hex. ii. p. 120. In consistency different authors ought to 
be assumed. 

4 Numbers and Deut. for JE ; in P, Ex. xl. 84-38 ; Num. ix. 15-23, 
etc. It should be noted that in the narrative of the dedication of the 
temple in 1 Kings viii., vers. 10, 11 are modelled directly on the P passage, 
Ex. xl. 34-35. 

8 Cf. Oxford Hex. ii. p. 120. ' Ex. xxv. 22; Num. vii. 89. 

7 Josh, iii.-vi. 8 Deut. x. 6, 8 ; xxxi. 9, 25, 26. 

9 On the critical analysis here, cf. Van Hoonacker, Le Sacerdoce, 
p. 177. 

10 Cf. Judg. xix. 18, " to the house of Jehovah," where, however, the 
LXX has ' ' my (the man's own) house " (R. V. marg. ). The ' ' house of God " 
in Judg. xx. 26 is more correctly "Bethel," where either the tabernacle 
was for a time (cf. chap. ii. 1, in LXX), or where the ark was temporarily 
taken for the war. 


overlooked that the Book of the Covenant (JE) already 
provides for offerings being brought to "the house of 
Jehovah thy God." 1 At the sanctuary at Shiloh an annual 
feast, described as "a (or the) feast of Jehovah," 1 is held, 
which is most naturally identified with one of the three 
prescribed feasts 8 (cf. 1 Sam. i. 3). The notices of the 
ark, 4 again, and the custom of "inquiring of Jehovah," 6 
attest the existence of a stated priesthood, of sacrifices the 
offering of " burnt offerings and peace offerings before 
Jehovah " 8 and of the priestly ephod. In face of all this, 
Wellhausen's assertion that in the Book of Judges " there 
is no mention of the tabernacle ... it is only in pre- 
paration, it has not yet appeared," 7 can only excite 

When we pass to the Books of Samuel, we get fresh and 
valuable light on the tabernacle, and its place in the 
religion of Israel. At the end of the period of the Judges,- 
it is still at Shiloh, with Eli, of the house of Aaron, as its 
principal priest. It bears the old name " the tent of 
meeting" to which no suspicion need attach; 8 contains 
the ark with its cherubim;' is the centre of worship for 
" all Israel " ; 10 in its furniture and ritual suggests the pre- 
scriptions of the Levitical Code. " The lamp of God " 
burns, as directed, all night; 11 from the later incidental 
mention of the shewbread, and of the regulations connected 
with it, at Nob, 12 we may infer the presence of the table 

1 Ex. zxiii. 19. It is one of the astounding statements in Wellhausen 
tli at " house of God " always means " bouse of an image." Hist, of Israel, 
p. ISO. 

I Judg. xxi. 19. 

* According to Bertheau, the word hay is almost without exception used 
of the three great tc&st*.xey. Handb. p. 278. 

4 Judg. xx. 27, 28. 

* Judg. i 1 ; xx. 18, 23, 28. 

Judg. xx. 26. 

7 Hist, of Israel. Graf also says that there is no mention of " a sacred 
tent " in the time of the Judges, but remarks that this is not to be wondered 
at, an the ark of the covenant is also not mentioned (p. 58). The critics 
in both case* reach their results by rejecting what does not please them. 
" The house of God " and " the ark of the covenant " are both mentioned 
in Judges. 

See next page. 1 Sam. iv. 4 ; cf. abuve, p. 137. 
1 Sam. ii. 14, 19; iii. 19, 21. 

11 1 Sam. iii. 3 ; cf. Ex. xxvii. 20-21. 

II 1 Sam. XXL Dr. Driver objects that these allusions do not prove that 
the institutions "were observed unth th precut formaiitu* vmcribed 
in P." JntrocL p. 142. How much does one expect in a historical allusion t 


with the shewbread. Elkanah goes up yearly to worship, 1 
and his sacrifice for his vow is according to the law. 2 In 
1 Sam. iL 22, there is allusion to " the women who did 
service at the door of the tent of meeting " the only other 
mention of these women being in Ex. xxxviii. 8. (P). The 
genuineness of this important passage, the second half of 
which, for reasons that may be guessed, is omitted in the 
LXX (Vat. Cod.), has been disputed, but, it seems to us, 
without sufficient reason. 3 

Thus far the resemblance of "the house of God" in 
Shiloh to the tabernacle of the law must be admitted. But 
objections, on the other hand, are urged, which, it is thought, 
disprove the identification. 4 It is pointed out that the 
sanctuary is described, not as a tent, but as a "temple" 
(hekal), with doors and posts, which implies a permanent 
structure; 6 that Samuel is represented as sleeping in the 
room where the ark of God was ; 6 that the sons of Eli were 
within their Levitical rights in demanding uncooked 
flesh, etc. 7 But there is needed here not a little forcing of 
the text to make out a case in favour of the critics. " Every- 
where else in 1 Sam. i.-iii.," says Wellhausen, arguing against 
the name ohel moed, "the sanctuary of Shiloh is called 
hekal " : 8 the " everywhere else " being simply twice. And 
it does not prove his point. Whatever structures or 
supports may have grown up about the sanctuary (for safety, 
stability, protection, convenience) during its century-long 
stay at Shiloh and from its age such were to be expected 
it was still essentially, as 2 Sam. vii. 6 shows, " a tent and 
a tabernacle," nor did Israelitish tradition ever know of 

When the Chronicler expands, it is taken as a proof of non -historicity. See 
below, p. 300. 

1 1 Sam. i. 3, 7. Professor W. R. Smith allows that the yearly feasts 
were observed (O.T. in J. (7., p. 345). 

2 1 Sam. i. 21, 25 ; cf. Lev. vii. 16 ; Num. xv. 8-10. 

The name ohel moed is, as we have seen, an old, well-attested name 
of the tabernacle (cf. Graf, p. 58), and is found again, in both Heb. and 
LXX, in 1 Kings viii. 4. As regards the women, even on the supposition, 
"which we do not accept, of a post-exilian coni}>osition of Ex. xxxviii., it is 
inconceivable that there should occur thit singfe mention of the women at 
the tabernacle in the Code, if there was not old, well-established tradition 
behind it. 

4 Cf. in Wellhausen, Kuenen, W. R. Smith, and the critics generally. 
See the very dogmatic statements in O.T. in J. C., pp. 269-70. 

5 1 Sam. i. 9 ; iii. 3. 6 1 Sam. iii. 3. 

7 1 Sam. ii. 15. 8 Hist, of Israel, p. 41 (italics ours). 


any other kind of habitation of Jehovah. The further tn\] 
position that Samuel slept literally in the shrine of the at I 
is, from the point of view of an Israelite, an outrage on all 
probability; neither does the language of the text cornpH 
any such meaning. 1 Samuel and Eli slept in contiguous 
chambers of some lodgment connected with the sanctuary, 
such as may be presumed to have been provided for the 
priests and others engaged in its service. The sin of the sons 
of Eli consisted in their greed and violence, and in the appro- 
priating of such portions as their " flesh-hooks " laid hold of, 
before the fat was burned on the altar, as the law required. 1 
The Levitical dues are presupposed : not contradicted. 

What remains to be said on the tabernacle may be brieflx 
summed up. Ark and tabernacle, as above noted, weu 
separated during the long period that the former was ai 
Kirjath-jearim. When David brought the ark to Zion, 
the tabernacle, probably then old and frail, and unfitted for 
removal, was at Gibeon. 8 Thence it was brought up with 
its vessels, and preserved, apparently, as a precious relic, in 
Solomon's temple. 4 The supposition that the ohd moed 
of 1 Kings viii. 4 was not this historic tabernacle, but the 
temporary tent set up by David on Zion, is contradicted by 
the name, 6 which is not given to that tent, by the mention 
of the vessels, and by the unlikelihood that a temporary 
tent would have such honour put upon it, while one can 
well understand why the old tabernacle should. 


We now approach a subject of cardinal importance 
probably the one of most importance iu this discussion : 
the unity of thf sanctuary, ami the conflict alleged to exist 
on the centralisation of the cultus between Deuteronomy and 
the earlier law and practice in Israel. The point of the 

1 DeliUzch says : " That ho should sleep betide the ark would certainly 
be a colossal contradiction of the law, but Wellhaosen reads this into the 
text." Luthardt's Zeitxhrit't, 1880, |>. 232. Of. Wellhausea, p. ISO. On 
the alleged priesthood of Samuel, tee below, pp. 189-90. 

Lev. iii. 1 ff. ; TU. 28 ff. 

* 1 Kings iii. 4 ; viii. 4 ; cf. 1 Chron. xvi. 39, 40 ; 2 Chron. L 3. 
According to 1 Chron. xvi. 39, Zadok ministered at Gil-eon. 

4 1 Kings viii. 4 ; 2 Chron. v. 5. If this be admitted, then the tabernacle, 
as well as the ark, was there for inspection till late times. 

Cf. Delitiach, as above, p. 63. 


critical position on this head, briefly, is, that, while in 
Deut. xii. placed in or near the age of Josiah we have 
the law of a central sanctuary at which alone sacrifices are 
lawful, in the earlier history we have not only no trace of 
this idea of a central sanctuary, in which all lawful worship 
is concentrated, but, in the absolute freedom of worship 
that prevailed, convincing proof that such a law was neither 
observed nor known. The older law in Ex. xx. 24, on 
which the people acted in that earlier time, granted, it is 
alleged, unrestricted liberty of worship ; as Professor W. R 
Smith interprets it " Jehovah promises to meet with His 
people and bless them at the altars of earth or unhewn 
stone which stood in all corners of the land, on every spot 
where Jehovah has set a memorial of His name." 1 The 
'idea of the central sanctuary was, it is contended, the out- 
come of the great prophetic movement which resulted in 
the reign of Josiah in the suppression of the bamoth, or 
" high places," till then regarded as lawful The relation 
of the Deuteronomic to the Priestly Code assumed to be 
still later on this subject is thus expressed by Wellhausen : 
" In that book (Deuteronomy) the unity of the cultus is 
commanded; in the Priestly Code it is presupposed. . . . 
In the one case we have, so to speak, only the idea as it 
exists in the mind of the lawgiver, but making no claim to 
be realised till a much later date ; in the other, the Mosaic 
idea has acquired also a Mosaic embodiment, with which it 
entered the world at the very first." 2 The case, however, 
is not nearly so strong as these statements would imply, 
as many critical writers are coming themselves to perceive. 3 
Eeserving, as before, what is to be said on the purely critical 
aspects, we proceed to look at the subject in its historical 

The Priestly Code may be left out of consideration at 
this stage, for it will scarcely be denied that, if there was a 
sacrificial system in the wilderness at all, it would be a 
system centralised in the sanctuary, as the Code represents. 
The question turns then, really, on the compatibility of the 
law in Deuteronomy with the enactment in Ex. xx. 24, and 

1 Prophets of Israel, p. 109. J Hist, of Israel, pp. 35, 37. 

3 This point is emphasised in an interesting lecture by Dr. S. A. Fries, 
delivered to a Scientific Congress at Stockholm in 1897, entitled Modcrne 
Vorstellungen der Geschichie Israels (Modern- Representations of the History 
of Israel). See below, pp. 176, 278. 


with the later practice. And the first condition of a satis- 
factory treatment lies, as the lawyers would say, in a proper 
adjustment of the issues. 

1. We do well to begin by looking at the precise form, 
of the fundamental law in Ex. xx. 24 itself. The passage 
reads: "An altar of earth thou shalt make to Me, and 
shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace 
offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen : in every place where I 
record My name, I will come to thee and I will bless thee." 
The law is general in form, but it must be observed that 
there is nothing in it warranting the worship " at the altars 
of earth and unhewn stones in all corners of the land," 
which Professor W. R Smith reads into its terms. It is/ 
addressed to the nation, not to the individual ; and it does! 
not speak of " altars," but only of " an altar." It is not a' 
law in the least giving unrestricted liberty of worship ; its 
scope, rather, is carefully limited by the clause, " in every 
place where I record My name." 1 It would be unduly 
narrowing the force of this law to confine it, with some, to 
the successive places where the sanctuary was set up during 
the wilderness wanderings and in Canaan ; it must at least 
include all places sanctified to their recipients by special 
appearances or revelations of God. This fully explains, 
and legitimises, e.g. t the cases of Gideon,"* of Manoah, 8 
of David, 4 of Solomon* of Elijah.' Neither is there any- 
thing here that conflicts with Deuteronomy. The law in 
Deut. xii. gives the general rule of worship at the central 
sanctuary, but is not to be understood as denying that 
circumstances might arise in which, under proper divine 
authority, exceptional sacrifices might be offered. The 
clearest proof of this is that Deuteronomy itself gives 
directions for the building of an altar on Mount Ebal, 
precisely in the manner of Ex. xx. 25. T 

1 Professor W. R. Smith, replying to Dr. Wm. H. Green, seems to insist 
that these words can only bear the meaning, " in all places" in the sense of 
a number of co-existent sanctuaries. Prophets, p. 894. On this see Note B 
on the Force of Ex. xz. 24. 

* Judg. vi. 25, 26. ' Judg. xiii. 16. 

* 2 Sain. xxiv. 18. '1 King!) iii. 4, 5. 

* 1 Kings xviii. 81. 

1 Dent xxrii. 5, 6. Van Hoonacker advocates the view that there were 
two systems of worship a private and a public and supposes that the law 
in Exodus refers to the former, and the law in Deuteronomy to the latter. 
SM his ingenious discussion in his IA Litu du CulU dam la Legislation 


2. With this, in the next place, must be taken the fact, 
which the critics too much ignore, that, even in the earliest 
period, the rule and ideal in Israel is that of a central 
sanctuary, as the legitimate place of worship. It has just 
been seen that the fundamental law itself speaks of "an 
altar," not of "altars," and no countenance is given any- 
where to a multitude of co-existing altar.8. 1 It is not 
questioned that the Priestly C9de the only Code we possess 
for the wilderness "presupposes" unity of worship; 
neither, in the history, is there trace of any other than 
centralised worship of a lawful kind during the wanderings. 
The Book of the Covenant the same which contains the 
law of the altar has plainly the same ideal of the unity of 
the sanctuary. It takes for granted " the house of Jehovah 
thy God," and requires that three times in the year all males 
shall present themselves there before Jehovah. 2 The 
idolatrous shrines in Canaan are to be broken down. 8 It is 
in keeping with this, that, in prospect of entering Canaan, 
Deuteronomy relaxes the law requiring the slaying of all 
oxen, lambs, and goats at the door of the tabernacle,* and 
permits the slaying of animals for food at home. 6 In the 
Book of Joshua, the incident of the altar Ed the narrative 
of which, in a way perplexing to the critics, combines 
peculiarities of P and JE 6 is a striking testimony to the 
hold which this idea of the one altar had upon the tribes. 
We have already seen that the tabernacle at Shiloh was the 
recognised centre of worship for " all Israel " in the days of 

rituelle des Hfortux, and in his Le Sacerdoce Lfriitique (pp. 5 ff.). Similar 
views are advocated by Fries, referred to above (p. 174), in his work, Die 
Zentralisation des israelitischen Kuitus. The hypothesis is probably not 
without its elements of truth, and would explain certain anomalies, but we 
have not felt it necessary to adopt it. 

1 Ex. xx. 24 ; xxL 14. Cf. Robertson's Early Religion, pp. 405-13. 
" It is remarkable," says Professor Robertson, " that we do not find in all the 
Old Testament such a divine utterance as 'My altars' ; and only twice 
does the expression 'Thy altars,' addressed to God, occur. It is found in 
Elijah's complaint, which refers to Northern Israel, at a time when the 
legitimate worship at Jerusalem was excluded ; and in Ps. Ixxxiv., where 
it again occurs [on the critical view, post-exilian], no inference can be drawn 
from it. On the other hand, Hosea says distinctly, ' Ephraim hath multi- 
plied altars to sin ' (Hos. viii. 11) " (p. 112). 

Ex. xxiii. 14-17. 8 Ex. xxiii. 24. 

4 Lev. xvii. 1 ff. The object of the law is to prevent promiscuous sacri- 
ficing to demons (vers. 5, 8). 

8 Deut. xii. 20. See below, po. 276, 314. 

* Josh. xxii. 9-34. On the criticism, cf. Oxf. Hex., Driver, etc. 


Eli. 1 In Judges, legitimate sacrifices are offered at the 
sanctuary, 2 or before the ark, 8 or where God has " recorded 
His name " in a special revelation ; 4 all others are condemned 
as transgressions. 6 The period succeeding the captivity of 
the ark is considered below. 

3. When we turn, next, to Deuteronomy, we discover 
another fact of great importance in this connection, viz., 
that there also, as Wellhausen says, the unity of the cultus 
is an " idea " which makes " no claim to be realised till a 
much later date." 6 The law in Deut. xii., in other words, 
is not given as a law intended to come into perfect operation 
from the first. It has just been seen that the principle of; 
centralisation of worship was involved in the Mosaic system 
from the commencement, but the realisation of the idea 
was, and in the nature of the case could only be, gradual. 
The law of Deuteronomy, in agreement with this, bears on 
its face that it was not intended to be put strictly in 
force till certain important conditions had been fulfilled 
conditions which, owing to the disobedience of the people, 
who, during the time of the Judges, so often put back the 
clock of their own history, were not fulfilled till as late as 
the days of David and Solomon. The law reads thus: 
" When ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which 
Jehovah your God causeth you to inherit, and He giveth 
you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye 
dwell in safety : then shall it come to pass that the place 
which Jehovah your God shall choose to cause His name to 
dwell there," etc. 7 In point of fact, the unsettled state of 
things here described lasted till the reign of David. 8 

1 See above, p. 171. Of. Jer. vii. 12. Jndg. xxi. 19. 

Judg. xx. 26, 27 ; xxi. 2-4 (tor " house of God" read "Bethel"). 

4 Gidfon, Manoah, as above, p. 175. Cf. Jndg. ii. 1-5. It has been 
inferred, and is not improbable, that Gideon's altar in Judg. vi. 24, to 
which he gave the name " Jehovah-Shalom," was a monumental altar, like 
the altar " Ed " in Josh. xxii. This would explain why he was required next 
day to build a new altar beside it (ver. 26). 

Judg. viii. 27, x vii. 5, 6, etc. Dr. W. R. Smith appears to assume 
that the phrase "before Jehovah" (Judg. xi. 11, etc.) always implies 
sacrifice. That, however, ia not so Cf. Gen. xxvii. 7 ; Ex. vi. 12, 80 ; 
Deut iv. 10 ; ix. 25 ; 1 Sam. xxiii. 18. See Graf, GetcHcht. faeher, p. 68. 

See above, p. 174. 7 Deut xii. 10, 11. 

2 Sam. vii. 1. Pr^tssor W. R. Smith allows that Deuteronomy "puts 
the case as if the introduction of a strictly unified cultus was to be deferred 
till the peaceful occupation of Palestine was accomplished." O.T. in J. C., 
p. 272. Where then is the contradiction T 



Accordingly, in 1 Kings iii. 2, it is not urged that the 
law did not exist, or that it was not known, but 
the excuse given for irregularities is that " there was 
no house built for the name of Jehovah until these 
days." 1 This principle alone solves many difficulties, and 
goes a long way to bring the history and the law into 

4. This leads, finally, to the remark that, in the inter- 
pretation of these laws, large allowance needs to be made 
'for the irregularities incident to times of political confusion 
and religious declension. It is not fair to plead, as contra- 
dictory of the law, the falling back on local sanctuaries in 
periods of great national and religious disorganisation, as 
when the land was in possession of enemies, or when the 
ark was in captivity, or separated from the tabernacle, or 
when the kingdom was divided, and the state-worship in 
the Northern division was idolatrous. In particular, the 
period following the rejection of Eli and his sons was one of 
unusual complications, during which Samuel's own person 
would seem to have been the chief religious centre of the 
nation. 2 It is here that the critical case finds its strongest 
support, and there are undoubted difficulties. How could it 
be otherwise, after " the capture of the ark, the fall of 
Shiloh, and the extension of the Philistine power into the 
heart of Mount Ephraim " ? 3 We are reminded, however, 
that even after the ark had been brought back, and settled 
in the house of Abinadab, Samuel made no attempt to remove 
it to Nob, but "continued to sacrifice at a variety of shrines " * 
Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, Eamah. It is a sweeping and 
unwarranted inference to draw from this that "Samuel 
did not know of a systematic and exclusive system of 
sacrificial ritual confined to the sanctuary of the ark." 6 
Samuel evidently knew something of it as long as Shiloh 
stood ; for we read of no attempt then to go about the shrines 

1 Cf. 1 Kings viii. 29 ; ix. 3 ; 2 Chron. vi. 5, 6. 

* Shiloh had probably fallen. Cf. Jer. vii. 12, xxvi. 6, with subsequent 
mention of Nob, 1 Sam. xxi. 
'O.T. inJ. C., p. 271. 

4 Ibid. p. 272. Professor Smith, as usual, overshoots the mark in his 
statement that " Eleazar ben Abinadab was consecrated its priest." There 
is no mention of a "priest" in 1 Sam. vii. 1. Eleazar was sanctified for 
the custody of the ark. Samuel's apparent neglect of the ark has to be 
accounted for on any theory (see above, p. 164). 

5 Ib id. p. 274. 


sacrificing. 1 The ark and Shiloh had been rejected ; the 
former had been taken to Kirjath-jearim under judgment 
of God ; Israel felt itself in a manner under bereavement, 
and " all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah." 2 The 
age was truly, as Professor Smith says " is generally argued," 
" one of religious interregnum " ; 3 are we, in such circum- 
stances, to judge Samuel by the law of an orderly and 
settled time ? He fell back naturally, as even the law in 
Deuteronomy permitted him to do, on local sanctuaries 
until such time as Jehovah would give the people rest. 
The law had its place ; but even under the law, " the letter 
killeth, but the spirit giveth life; 4 and in no age were 
prophetically-minded men the slaves of the mere letter of 
the commandment to the degree that the critics suppose.' 
Samuel acted with a measure of freedom, as his circumstances 
demanded; and writers who suppose that priests and 
prophets were perpetually engaged in changing and modi- 
fying laws believed to be divine should be the last to 
challenge his right to do so. 

5. When all is said, it is plain from the statement in 
the Book of Kings that, in the beginning of Solomon's 
reign, there was a widespread resort of the people tojrigh 
places for worship, and that even the establishment of 
Soldftron's great temple, with its powerful centralising 
influence, was not effectual to check this tendency. The 
compiler of Kings looks on worship at " high places " before 
the temple was founded as irregular, but excusable; 9 after 
that it is condemned. The history of these " high places " 
has yet to be written in a fairer spirit than is generally 
manifested in notices of them. Much obscurity, in reality, 
rests upon them. In Judges the word does not occur, and 
the defections described are mostly of the nature of worship 
at the Canaanitish shrines of Baal and Ashtoreth. 7 The few 
allusions in Samuel are connected with Samuel's own city 

1 The statement that Samuel regularly sacrificed at all the plaom men- 
tioned is an importation into the text The special mention of his building 
an altar at Ratnah (1 Sam. vii. 17) would suggest that he did not. Professor 
Smith's list of " sanctuaries " needs a good deal of sifting. 

1 Sam. vii. 2. 0. T. in J.C., p. 272. 4 2 Cor. ili. . 

* See Note C on Freedom under the Law. Cf. Nam. z. 16-20 ; 1 8am. 
xr. 22 ; xxi. 1-6 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 34 ; xxx. 17, 19. 

' 1 Kings iii. 2, 3. 

7 Allusions to Canaanitish "high place*" are found in Lev. xxvi. 30 ; 
Num. xxi. 28; xxii. 41 ; xxxiii. 52. 


of Eamah, and with the residence of the band of prophets 
at Gibeah : l elsewhere in Samuel they are unnoticed. It 
may be inferred from the toleration accorded to it that the 
greater part of what worship there was at " high places " 
prior to the founding of the temple was directed to 
Jehovah; afterwards, partly through Solomon's own evil 
example, 2 idolatry found entrance, and rapidly spread. 
What the " high places " became in the Northern Kingdom, 
latterly in Judah also, we know from the prophets. It 
is, however, a perversion of the facts to speak of the 
prophets as ever sanctioning, or approving of, this style of 
worship. If it is replied that it is idolatrous worship which 
the prophets so strongly reprobate, not worship at the " high 
places" as such, it may be pointed out that they never 
make such a distinction, or use language which would 
suggest the acceptableness of the bamoth worship in any 
form. 8 That Elijah mourned the breaking down of the 
altars of Jehovah in Northern Israel is readily explicable 
from the peculiar circumstances of that kingdom. To 
Amos and Hosea, Micah and Isaiah, not less than to 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the one legitimate sanctuary is that 
of Zion at Jerusalem.* 

The conclusion we reach on this subject of the unity of 
worship is, that the history is consistent with itself, provided 
we accept its own premises, and do not insist on forcing on 
it an alien theory of religious development. The reforma- 
tions of Hezekiah and Josiah then fall into their proper 
places, without the necessity of assuming the invention of 
ad hoc " programmes." 


Ark and tabernacle imply a priesthood, and the notices 
already cited from Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, and Deuter- 
onomy, abundantly show that from the days of Moses such 

1 1 Sam. ix., x. * 1 Kings xi. 7, 8. 

1 Dr. W. H. Green says: "The people are never told that they may 
sacrifice on the high hills and under green trees, or at Bethel and Gilgal and 
Beenheba, if only they sacrifice to the Lord alone, and in a proper manner. 
They are never told that God will be pleased with the erection of numerous 
altars, provided the service upon them is rightly conducted." Moses and 
the Prophets, p. 157. 

4 Cf. Amos L 2 ; Isa. ii. 2 ; Mic. iv. 2 ; Hos. iii. 5. See Robertson, 
Early Eel. p. 405. 


a priesthood existed, and that it was LevUical. But was it 
Aaronic 1 And was there from early times such a dis- 
tinction between priests and Levitts as the Priestly Code 
represents ? 

1. It is a fundamental contention of the new school that i 
a distinctively Aaronic priesthood was unknown before the 
exile. Till Ezekiel, in his sketch of the new temple arrange- 
ments (chaps, xl.-xlviii.), initiated a distinction between 
Zadokite priests and other Levites a theory considered in 
a later chapter 1 there was no distinction in principle 
between priests and Levites : all Levites are possible priestsJ 
In particular, a high priest of Aaronic descent wag 
unknown. The question of the relation of the priests to 
other Levites is considered below ; we inquire at present 
whether it is the case that the earlier books give no traces 
of an Aaronic priesthood. We aflirm that they do, and 
believe that the proof of this can only be set aside by the 
usual circle method of first assuming that the Aaronic priest- 
hood is late, then, on that ground, disallowing the passages 
which imply it 

Wellhausen has 1 some wonderful constructive history on 
this subject, on which we need not dwell. The Levites of 
history, he affirms, have nothing to do with the old tribe of 
Levi : in the J narrative in Exodus, Aaron was not origin- 
ally mentioned at all ; it is the line of Moses, not of Aaron, 
that gives rise to the clerical guild. 8 As an instance of the 
critical procedure, we may take the case of the high priest. 
It is, as just said, an essential part of the Wellhausen theory 
that this functionary is a creation of the exile. He is, we 
are told, still "unknown even to EzekieL" 8 Unfortunately 
for the theory, the high priest is expressly mentioned in 
at least four places in 2 Kings, viz., in chaps, xil 10, xxii. 
4, 8, xxiii. 4* the last two chapters being those relied 
on as furnishing one of the main pillars of the critical 
theory, the finding of " the book of the law " in the reign of 

1 8e below. Chap. IX. 

* Hist, of Israel, pp. 142-43. "Akron," he says, "was not originally 
present in J, bat owed his introduction to the redactor who combined J and 
into JE." Precisely the opposite view is taken by Dillmann, Exod.-L*e. 
p. 437. See also Kuenen below. 

Ibid. pp. 148-49. 

4 It occurs earlier in 2 Sam. XT. 27, if Wellhausen 'a amended reading of 
that text is accepted. 


Josiah. The texts are sustained by the parallel passages in 
Chronicles and by the LXX. What is to be done with 
them ? They are simply struck out as interpolations, though 
it is unaccountable why a redactor should have inserted 
them in just those places, when so many more invited his 
attention. 1 

If, on the other hand, we let the history speak for itself, 
we get such notices as these, which are sufficiently unam- 
biguous. Deut. x. 6, attributed by the critics to E, 2 informs 
us that, after Aaron's death, " Eleazar his son ministered in 
the priest's office in his stead." 3 Josh. xxiv. 33 carries 
this a step further by narrating the death of Eleazar, the 
son of Aaron, and his burial in the hill of Phinehas, his 
son. This is continued in Judg. xx. 27, 28, where we 
read that " Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, 
stood before it [the ark] in these days." From some cause 
unexplained, the high priesthood became transferred from 
the line of Eleazar to that of Ithamar, and in the opening 
of 1 Samuel, Eli, of this younger branch, 4 is found in office. 
For the sins of his sons it is announced to Eli that his 
house shall be deprived of its pre-eminence. 5 This took 
place in the reign of Solomon, when Abiathar was deposed, 8 
and Zadok, of the older line, obtained the sole high priest- 
hood. 7 Thus far the case is exactly that described in the 
words of the " man of God " to Eli in 1 Sam. ii. 27, 28 : 
" Thus saith Jehovah, Did I reveal myself unto the house of 
thy father, when they were in bondage to Pharaoh's house ? 
And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be 

1 Graf does not challenge the earlier mention of the "high priest" 
(Geschicht. iicher, p. 4, etc.). Delitzsch (Zcitschrift, 1880, p. 228); 
Dillmann (Num.-Jos. p. 645) ; Baudissin (Diet, of Bible, iv. p. 73) ; Van 
Hoonacker, etc., defend the passages. Kautzsch removes 2 Kings xii. 10 as 
a gloss, but lets the others stand. See below, p. 306. Cf. Professor H. P. 
Smith's treatment of the Levites in Samuel, above, p. 163. 

a Thus Oxf. Hex., Addis, etc. 

* Van Hoonacker draws attention to the harmony of JE and P in passing 
by Nadab and Abihu ; see below, p. 354. 

4 Thus 1 Chron. xxiv. 3, but in 1 Sam. ii. 27, 28 also, Eli is assumed to 
be of the house of Aaron. Wellhausen's idea that in this passage Moses, 
not Aaron, is intended scarcely deserves notice. Cf. W. R. Smith, 0. T. in 
J. C., p. 268. 

8 1 Sam. ii. 27-36. 8 1 Kings ii. 26, 27. 

7 1 Kings ii. 35. Owing to the political division in the reign of 
David there was for a time a double priesthood. On Wellhansen's denial 
of the Aaronite descent of Zadok, see Note D on the Genealogy of 


My priest, to go up unto Mine altar, to burn incense, to 
wear an ephod before Me ? " l In using here the term 
" high priesthood," we do not forget that it is held that the 
high priest is an exilian creation. But is that BO ? It has 
just been pointed out that the title is repeatedly used in the 
history of the kings. How, in fact, can we otherwise 
express the undoubted position of supremacy or dignity 
held by priests like Eleazar, Phinehas, Eli, Abiathar, 
Zadok ? But there is another point of much interest. If 
the high priesthood was a creation of the exile, we should 
expect that the title would be one frequently met with in 
the Levitical Code at least more frequently than else- 
where. Yet it occurs there only three times altogether 
twice in Num. xxxv. (vers. 25, 28), and once in Lev. xxi. 10 
the last a passage which many take to be very old. 8 The 
term ordinarily used in the Code is simply " the priest." 

The priesthood was Aaronic, but was it exclusively so; 
or even exclusively Levitical? This is contested, but 
without real force, on the ground of certain notices in the 
historical books, as where the king is represented as taking 
a lead in religious celebrations, otlering sacrifices, blessing 
the people, 8 etc., or where David's sons and others are 
spoken of as " priests." 4 A peculiar place is accorded, 
certainly, to the king, as representative of Jehovah, in the 
arrangements and conduct of worship, 6 but this as much in 
Chronicles and Ezekiel 8 as in the Books of Samuel or 
Kings. Nor is the king permitted to usurp functions 
strictly sacerdotal. 7 It is not to be supposed that Solomon 
offered with his own hand the 22,000 oxen and 120,000 
sheep mentioned in 1 Kings viii. 63, to the exclusion of the 

1 Kuenen differs from Wellhausen in allowing in his Religion of Israel 
a Levitical and originally Aaronic priesthood. " Levi was one of the 
twelve tribes from the first . . . Moses and Aaron were Levit-s ; Aaron's 
family discharges the priestly office at the common sanctuary,'' etc. ii. 
p. 302. BaixlisMii argues for an Aaronic priesthood at least older than 
Joeiah't reform. Diet, of Bible, iv. p. 89. 

1 On this subject see more fully below, Chap. IX. Cf. also Delitzsch, 
Luttiardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, p. 228. 

' David, 2 Sam. vi. 17, 18 ; Solomon, 1 Kings iii. 4 ; viii. 62-64. 

4 2 Sam. viii. 18 (B.V.) ; xx. 26 (R. V.) ; 1 Kings iv. 5 (R. V.}. 

' See the admirable remarks on this in Van Hoonacker, Le Saeerdoce, 
pp. 256 ff. 

1 Chron. XT. 27 ; xvi. 2 ; 2 Chron. vi. 8, 12 ff. ; vii. 4 ff., etc. ; 
Ezek. xliv. 3 ; xlv. 7, 16, 17, 22, etc. 

7 Cf. the judgment on Uzziah, 2 Chron. xxvi. 16 ff. ; ef. 2 Kings xv. 6. 


priests mentioned in vers. 3, 6, 1 ; 1 or that David, earlier, 
slew for himself the numerous offerings of 2 Sam. vi. 17, 18, 
from which " a portion " was given to the whole multitude (also 
with his own hand ?). The priesthood of the sons of David, 
however that difficult passage and related texts are to be 
understood, 2 was evidently something different from the 
ordinary service of the altar, and cannot outweigh the very 
full testimony to the Levitical character of the latter. 

2. This brings us to the second question that of the 
relations of priests and Levites. The subject will come up 
at an after stage, and we need not do more here than inquire 
whether the representation of a special order of Aaronic 
priests, in distinction from other Levites, is really, as 
alleged, in conflict with Deuteronomy, and with the facts of 
the earlier history. The general position of critical writers 
is that the view of the priesthood in the Levitical Code is 
irreconcilable with the representation in Deuteronomy, and 
with the earlier practice. In the Code a strong distinction 
is made between "the sons of Aaron," who are the only 
lawful priests, and the ordinary Levites, who are servants 
of the sanctuary. In Deuteronomy, it is held, this distinc- 
tion has no place. The tribe of Levi as a whole is the 
priestly tribe. Aa Professor W. R Smith puts it: 
" Deuteronomy knows no Levites who cannot be priests, 
and no priests who are not Levites. The two ideas are 
identical." 8 The phraseology in this book, accordingly, is, 
not "sons of Aaron," but "sons of Levi." It speaks of 
" the priests the Levites," not of " priests and Levites." 
This also, it is pointed out, is the phraseology of the older his- 
torical books so far as not revised. The distinction between 
" priests " and " Levites " is held to be due to a later degrada- 
tion of priests of the " high places," as sketched by EzekieL* 

1 Wellhausen says that doubtless Solomon with his own hands offered 
the "first" sacrifice (Hist, of Israel, p. 133), on which Van Hoonacker 
remarks: "If the 21,999 oxen that remained can be said to be offered by 
Solomon, when in reality they have been offered by others in his name, 
the first may have been so also ; the text knows nothing of an offering of 
the first " (p. 259). 

* Cf. the disctiaion in Van Hoonacker, pp. 268 ff., and see Note E on 
David s Sons as Priests. On other questions in the historical books bearing 
ou the priesthood, see pp. 358, 363 ff., 388 below. 

*O.T. inJ. C., p. 360. 

4 See below, Chap. IX. p. 315 ff. The older theory was that Deuteronomy 
implies an elevation of the Levites from their original lower status, and 


What is true in this contention is to be frankly acknow- 
ledged. The difference in point of view and mode of speech 
in Deuteronomy must be apparent to every reader ; and it 
may at once be conceded to an able writer on the subject * 
that, if we had only Deuteronomy, we should never be able 
to arrive at a knowledge of the sharp division of the tribe 
of Levi into the superior and subordinate orders with which 
the Levitical law makes us acquainted. But it does not 
follow that the distinction is not there, and is not pre- 
supposed throughout. 

(1) We do well, in the first place, to look with some 
closeness into the phraseology on which so much practically 
the whole case is based. When this is done, we discover 
that the phenomena are not quite so simple as the above 
statement would suggest. The expression "the priests the 
Levites," occurring in Deut. xvii. 9, 18, xviii. 1, xxiv. 8, 
xxvii. 9 not earlier in the book, of itself, it will be 
allowed, decides nothing: it means simply "the Levitical 
priests." It is not found, indeed, in the Priestly Code ; but 
as little is the other expression, "priests and Levites." 
That is peculiar to the later books, 1 and even in Chronicles 
is sometimes interchanged with " the priests the Levites." 8 
The Book of Joshua, likewise, has " the priests the 
Levites": 4 never "priests and Levites." On the other 
hand, the Priestly Writer occasionally uses "Levites," as 
in Deuteronomy, to cover both priests and Levites : 5 this is 
the case also in Chronicles.' Finally, it is true that " sons 
of Aaron" is not used in Deuteronomy to describe the 
priests, though there is the recognition of the Aaronic high 
priest. But it is very noticeable that, even in the Levitical 

the late date of the book was argued for on the ground that it most have 
taken a long time to bring this change about The newer criticism gives 
up the premises, but retains the conclusion. 

1 Van Hoonacker, Le Sacerdoce, p. 170. The theory of this writer is, 
that the distinction existed, but in popular usage the name " priests" came 
to be applied to all Levites, whether of the higher or lower grade (of. 
Dillmanu on Deut. xviii. 1). The theory, while containing suggestive 
elements, doe* not seem to us in this form tenable. 

1 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah ; once in 1 Kings viii. 4, where the parallel 
passage in 2 Chron. v. 5 has " the priests the Levitee." 

2 Chron. v. 5 ; xxiii. 18 ; xxx. 27. 
4 Josh. iii. ff. (or "priests" simply). 

E.g. , Num. xxxv. 2, 6, 8 ; Josh. xiv. 4 ; xxi. 8 (cf. Van Hoonacker). 

1 Chron. zri 4, 37 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 6 fl. In Malachi also (chap. iii. 8) 
the priests are "the sons of Levi." 



Code, "sons of Aaron" is by no means the only, or uni- 
versal, designation for the priests; there are considerable 
sections of the Code in which it either does not occur at 
all, or occurs only sparingly. 1 It is, moreover, chiefly in the 
laws and narratives of the earlier part of the wilderness 
sojourn that this usage is found ; it is not characteristic of 
the later chapters of Numbers. Nor can this change from 
a narrower to a more general designation, on the assumption 
of the truth of the history, be regarded as strange. At first 
the priests, " the sons of Aaron," stood out from the people 
with sharp distinctness as alone invested with sacred office. 
The case was greatly altered after the separation of the 
tribe of Levi, 2 when the designation " sons of Aaron " seems 
to have been gradually dropped fur another identifying the 
priests more directly with their tribe. 3 Priests and Levites 
had more in common with each other than either class had 
with the general body of the people; and, besides, the 
priests were Levites. The rise of such a designation as " the 
priests the Levites " is therefore quite natural, and the view 
in Deuteronomy of the tribe of Levi as, collectively, a 
priestly tribe, is entirely in keeping with the situation in 
which the discourses are supposed to have been delivered. 
To the popular eye, the tribe of Levi stood apart, forming, 
as a whole, one sacred body, engaged in ministering in holy 
things to God. 

(2) It does not surprise us, then, to find in Deuteronomy 
the functions of the priestly ministry even to the " Urim and 
Thummim," which was the peculiar prerogative of the high 
priest ascribed to the tribe of Levi as a whole. 4 The question 
of real importance is Does the book contain any indication of 
such a distinction as we have nevertheless assumed to exist 
between the different orders in this tribe, or does it exclude 
such distinction ? We believe there is evidence of such dis- 
tinction ; the newer critics deny it. 5 The question belongs 
more properly to the discussion of Deuteronomy, 6 but, in the 

1 For details see Kittel, Hist, of ffebs. i. p. 120. 

2 Num. i. 47 ff. ; iii. 5 ff. ; viii. 5 ff., etc. 

* After Numbers the phrase occurs only in Josh, xxi., where discrimina- 
tion is necessary in the appointment of the cities. 

4 Deut. x. 8 ; xxxiii. 8. 

6 Dillmann, Delitzsch, Kittel, etc., Van Hoonacker also from his own 
point of view, hold that distinctions are not excluded. 

See below, Chap. VIII. 


interest of the history, we may be permitted thus far to antici- 
pate. We would draw attention first, then, to the fact, that < 
in Deuteronomy the terms " priest " and " Levite " are, after 
all, not quite synonymous. There are " the priests the 
Levites," but there are also " Levitcs " who are not priests. 
Even allowing them to be " possible " priests, though we do 
not believe this to be the meaning of the book, they have 
still to be distinguished from those who, in the sense of the 
writer, are actual priests. It is a perfectly unwarranted 
assumption that, wherever the term Levite is used we 
have a synonym for priest. A distinction is already in- 
dicated, and the fact of at least certain gradations within 
the tribe established, by the statement in chap. x. 6 that 
" Aaron died, and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's 
office in his stead." 1 The clearest indication, however, is 
in chap, xviii. 1-8, where an obvious distinction is made 
between the " priest " serving at the sanctuary (vers. 3-5), 
and the " Levite " not thus serving 2 (vers. 6-8) ; the only in- 
telligible reason for the more general designation being, 
either that ordinary non-priestly Levites are meant, or at 
least that they are intended to be included. It is a reading 
into the text what is not there to assert that every 
" Levite " going up to the sanctuary is a " possible " priest 
in the stricter sense. This rules the meaning to be 
attached to the opening sentence : " The priests the Levites, 
all the tribe of Levi." 8 The second designation includes, 
the first : in apposition it cannot be, since, in the writer's 
sense, all Levites are not actual priests. To us it seems 
most evident that when he speaks of " the priests the 
Levites," he has a definite class in view, and by no means 
the whole body of the tribe. 4 This view of the passage, 

1 Of. chap, zxxiii. 8. To what again can the separation in chap. x. 8 
refer, if not to the betting aitart of the eons of Aaron, aud afterwards of 
the whole tribe of Levi, recorded in the P sections of the history t Critics 
suppose an omitted narrative of this separation in JE (cf. Driver, Deut. 
p. 121). 

* Thus, e.g., Dillmann, yum. -Jos., in loc. It is to be remembered that 
it is only in the few pSMSgx above cited that priests are mentioned at all. 

' Chap, xviii. 1. 

4 Dr. Driver refers to the frequency of explanatory appositions in 
Deuteronomy, and gives examples (Devi. p. 214). The case seems rather 
analogous to those in which tie lawgiver expand* his original statement I- 
enlarging additions; e.g., "Ye shall eat ... ye and your household " 
(chap. xii. 7) ; " Ye shall rejoice ... ye, ami your sons, and your 
daughters," etc. etc. (chap. xii. 12) ; cf. chap. xii. 18 ; xv. 11, etc. 


we are aware, the critical school meets with a direct 
negative, assigning as a reason that the terms used in 
ver. 7 to describe the Levites' services (" to minister in 
the name of Jehovah," " to stand before Jehovah ") are 
those regularly used of priestly duties. We believe this is 
far from being really the case ; but the question is a little 
intricate, and had better be discussed apart. 1 

(3) A word may be said before leaving the subject on 
the difficulty arising from the representations in Deuter- 
onomy of the dispersed and needy condition of the Levites. 
The objection is urged that, instead of being furnished with 
cities and pasturages, and enjoying an independent income 
from tithes, as the Priestly Code provides, the Levites 
appear in this book as homeless and dependent, wandering 
from place to place, and glad to be invited, with the 
stranger, the widow, and the fatherless, to share in 
charitable feasts. 2 Here, in the first place, it must be 
remarked that the legal provision is not ignored, but is, 
on the other hand, expressly alluded to in chap. xviiL 1, 2 
(cf. chap. x. 9), " And they shall have no inheritance among 
their brethren; Jehovah is their inheritance, as He hath 
spoken to them," where the reference seems unmistakable 
to the law in Num. xviii. 20, 23, 24. Dillmann says : 
" The corresponding law stands in Num. xviii." 3 But, 
waiving this, may we not suggest that, if a time is sought 
when these exhortations to care for the Levite would be 
suitable, no time is so fit as that when they are supposed 
to have been delivered, before the tithe-laws had come into 
regular operation, when in truth there was little or 
nothing to tithe, and when the Levites would be largely 
dependent on the hospitality of individuals. The Levites 
were dependent then, and might from very obvious causes 

1 See Appendix to Chapter " Priests and Levites." Cf. also the case of 
Samuel, considered below, pp. 189-90. 

3 Deut. xii. 12, 19 ; xvi. 11, etc. 

1 Xum.-Jos., in loc. Dr. Driver argnes against this on the ground that 
in Num. xviii. 20 "the promise is made expressly to the priests (Aaron) 
alone, as distinguished from the Levites (vers. 21-24), whose ' inheritance ' is 
specified separately (ver. 24) ; here it is given to the whole tribe without 
distinction ' Deut. p. 125 (on chap. x. 9). But surely it is obvious that the 
whole passage in Numbers (xviii. 20-24) goes together, and that the 
principal part of the "inheritance " of the priests is the tenth of the tithe 
they are to receive from the Levites (ver. 26). Let the reader compare the 
passages for himself. 


come to be dependent again. Their state would not be 
greatly bettered in the unsettled times of the conquest. 1 
Nothing could be more appropriate in itself, better adapted 
to create kindly sympathies between Levites and people, 
or more likely to avert neglect of the tribe by the with- 
holding of their just dues, than the perpetuation of these 
primitive hospitalities. It is to be remembered that no 
tribunal existed to enforce payment of the tithes : all 
depended on the conscientiousness of the individual payer. 
It is easy to see that an income of this kind was in the 
highest degree precarious, and that, in times of religious 
declension, the body of the Levites would be reduced to 
great straits. The Levites no doubt suffered severely in 
the days of the Judges, and under bad kings ; under good 
kings, like David, and Solomon, and Hezekiah, the order, 
we may believe, experienced considerable revivals. At 
other times it sank in the general corruption, and Levites 
were content to earn a doubtful livelihood by irregular 
ministrations at the " high places." There is no evidence 
we know of that their condition in the later days of the 
kingdom was so deplorably destitute as the critics represent. 
(4) It will be seen later how little can be inferred from 
the general silence of the history about the Levitea ; * yet 
that silence, as has already been hinted, is not altogether 
unbroken. 8 Two instances, at least, of mention occur in 
1 Sam. vi. 15, and 2 Sam. xv. 24; perhaps also the presence 
of Levites may be inferred where Hophni and Phinehas are 
spoken of as "with the ark of Jehovah." 4 A case of 
special interest is that of the youthful Samuel, who is 
described as "ministering unto," or "before" Jehovah at 
Shiloh* though his duties were the subordinate ones 
of the Levite." The words "ministered before Eli" also 
show that this was his position. 7 The attempt, on the 
other hand, sometimes made to prove Samuel to be a priest 

1 Cf. Konig, art. "Judges." Diet, of BibU, ii. p. 816 : " Further, we MW a 
Levito wandering about, reiuly to settle down wherever he found office and 
bread (Jndg. xvii. 8 If. ; xviii. 19 ff ; zix. 1). This situation of the member* 
of the tribe of Levi was an actual one as long as a number of the Levitical 
cities were not yet conquered [Kunig accepts the historicity of these], snrh 
as Ge/er, and those remnrks of the Book of Judges would have powme<l no 
probability if tln-v had proceeded from a pi-riod when Jeroboam selected 
priests from anion^ the people at large," etc. 

See below, Chap. IX. p. 304. * Cf. p. 163. 1 Sam iv. 4. 

1 Sam. ii. 11, 18 ; iii. 1. 1 Sam. Hi. 15. 1 Sam. ill 1. 


(in contradiction of the law) from the mention of his 
" linen ephod " and " little robe," must be regarded as 
another instance of forcing the text. 1 It is inexcusable 
exaggeration when Professor W. R. Smith writes : " As a 
child he ministers before Jehovah, wearing the ephod 
which the law confines to the high priest, and not 
only this, but the high priestly mantle (meil)." z The 
high priestly ephod, as every reference to it shows, 3 was 
something distinctive, and different from " the linen ephod," 
which was worn by ordinary priests, 4 but not by them 
exclusively. 5 The meil, or robe, again, was a long sleeve- 
less tunic, "worn," says Gesenius, "by women of rank 
(2 Sam. xiii. 18), by men of rank and birth (Job i. 20 ; 
ii. 12), by kings (1 Sam. xv. 27; xviii. 4; xxiv. 4, II)" 6 
therefore no peculiar property of the high priest. The 
usurpation of high priestly or even of ordinary priestly 
functions by Samuel is on a par with his sleeping in the 
inner temple beside the sacred ark. 

NOTE. The Ark: In connection with the discussions, 
pp. 13738 and 161-65, the author would draw attention 
to the searching Essay by Professor Lotz, of Erlangen, Die 
Bundeslade (1901), which did not fall into his hands till this 
chapter was printed. It lends valuable support to the 
contentions in the text. See especially the discusssion of 
the names of the ark (pp. 28 ff.). 

1 Thus Wellhausen, W. E. Smith, etc. Wellhausen's note should be 
quoted: "House of God is never anything hut the house of an image. 
Outside the Priestly Code, ephod is the image ; ephod bad (the linen 
ephod), the priestly garment." Hist, of Israel, p. 130. Was Abiathar's 
ephod then (p. 132) an image ? 

2 0. T. inJ. C., p. 270. 

Cf. Ex. xxviii. 6 ; 1 Sam. ii. 28 ; xxiii. 6, 9 ; xxx. 7. 

4 1 Sam. xxii. 18. It was not, however, a prescribed part of the dresa. 

8 2 Sam. rL 14 8 Lexicon, in loc. 



DR. DRIVER gives a reason for rejecting the view of the 
relation of priests and Invites indicated in the text, which, 
if it were valid, would be fatal ; but which, as it stands, 
seems to us, we confess, an example of that overstraining 
which plays so large a part in these discussions. He writes : 
"The terms used in [Deut. xviii.] 7 to describe the Levitt- 
services are those used regularly of priestly duties. To 
minister in thf namr. as xviii. 5 (of the priest; cf. xvii. 12; 
xxi. 5); to xtand before i.e., to wait on (see, e.g., 1 Kings 
x. 8) Jehorah, as Ezek. xliv. 15 ; Judg. xx. 28 ; cf. Deut. 
xvii. 12; xviii. 5. (The Levites 'stand before' i.e., wait 
upon the congregation, Num. xvi 9; Ezek. xliv. 116. In 
2 Chron. xxix. 11, priests are present; see v. 4)." 1 We 
should not, of course, presume to differ from Dr. Driver 
on a question of philology or grammar; but this is a 
question of palpable fact, and invites examination. All 
Hebrew scholars, besides, are far from agreeing with Dr. 
Driver in the above dicta. The statement made, we venture 
to think, needs much qualification. It is not denied that 
the terms employed are appropriate to priestly duties; the 
question is whether they are used of these duties " regularly " 
and only. And this it is difficult to admit. The exact 
phrase "to minister in the name" is, so far as we know, 
found nowhere else than in vers. 5, 7, of this passage; but 
the verb itself, " minister " (shartth) is used constantly in 
the law and in Chronicles of Levitical as well as of priestly 
service.* The Levites, we read, shall be appointed ovc-r 
the tabernacle of the testimony, "and they shall minister 

Introd. p. 83 (note) ; cf. W. R Smith, 0. T. i /. (7. , p. 381. 
'Num. i. 50; iii. . 31 ; iv. 9, 12, 14 ; viii. 26 ; xvi. 9; xviii. 2 ; 
1 Chron. xv. 2 ; xvi. 4, 37. 



to it"; 1 aged Levites "shall minister with their brethren 
in the tent of meeting," 2 but shall do no service; the 
Levites " are chosen to carry the ark of God and to minister 
unto Him for ever " ; 3 they " minister before the ark of the 
covenant of Jehovah," 4 etc. In fad, the, only use of the word 
" minister " in the Book of Numbers, if we are not mistaken, 
is with reference to the service of the Levites? With this may 
be compared Dr. Driver's own note in his Deuteronomy, 
where the facts are stated more fully, but still, as we 
think, onesidedly. " To minister" he there says, " is a less 
distinctive term, being used not only of priests, but also 
of Levites (Num. viii. 26), and other subordinate attendants, 
as in 1 Sam. ii. 11, 18; iii. 1 (of Samuel)." 6 [We gather 
from this that Dr. Driver does not adopt Wellhausen's 
theory that Samuel was a "priest."] But then, what 
becomes of its peculiar force in Deuteronomy ? For Samuel 
also ministered "to Jehovah"; so in 1 Chron. xv. 2, etc. 
It does not fare better with the expression " to stand before 
Jehovah." Apart from the passage quoted, it is used in 
Deuteronomy once of the tribe of Levi, 7 and once of the 
Levitical priest. 8 In the Levitical law it does not occur at 
all a curious instance of " regularly." On the other hand, 
in Chronicles, the Levites " stand every morning to thank 
and praise Jehovah, and likewise at even," 9 and "priests 
and Levites" are addressed together as "chosen to stand 
before Jehovah." 10 In Nehemiah also " priests and Levites " 
are spoken of together as those who " stood." u Can it be 
claimed that the case is made out ? u 

I Num. L 50. 2 Num. viii. 26. 

1 Chron. xv. 2. 4 1 Chron. xvi. 4, 37. 

5 The note on the word as found in Pin the Oxf. Hexateiuih is: "Of 
priests in the sanctuary, or of Levites attending on priests " (i. p. 216). 

6 Deut. p. 123. 7 Dent. x. 8. 

8 Deut. xvii. 12. 1 Chron. xxiii. 30. 

10 2 Chron. xxix. 11 ; cf. xxxv. 5. Dr. Driver says that here "priests 
are present." The important point is that Levites also are present, and 
that both are addressed. 

"Neh. xiL 44 (Heb.). 

II In Lev. ix. 5, and a few places in Deuteronomy (iv. 10 ; xix. 17, etc.), 
" stand before Jehovah " is used of Israel generally. "To stand before the 
congregation " (used of the Levites) occurs once (Num. x?L 9 ; ct Ezek. 
xliv. 11). 


Difficulties an& perpletfties of tbe Critical 
Dgpotbesfs : E. TTbc 3E analysis 

11 He His fabric of the Heavens 
Hath left to their disputes ; perhaps to move 
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide 
Hereafter, when they come to model Heaven 
And calculate the stars ; how they will wield 
The mighty frame ; how build, contrive 
To save appearances ; how gird the sphere 
With centrick and eccentrick scribbled o'er, 
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb." MILTON. 

"To base a determination of age on bare peculiarities of language, 
especially iu things that concern legal relations, in which the form of 
expression is not arbitrarily employed by the writer, is precarious. When the 
relationship of certain sections is assumed on perhaps insufficient criteria, 
and then other sections are added to them because of some similar lin- 
guistic phenomena, and from these again further and further conclusions are 
drawn, one easily runs the risk of moving in a vicious circle." GRAF. 

"The history of critical investigation has shown that far too much 
weight has often been laid on agreement in the use of the divine names so 
much so that it has twice led the critics wrong. It is well therefore to 
utter a warning against laying an exaggerated stress on this one phenomenon. " 

" No intelligent observer, however, will deny that the work of investiga- 
tion has gone onwards, and not moved in a circle." DELITZSCH. 




THUS far we have been content to proceed on the assumption 
of the correctness of the ordinary critical analysis of docu- 
ments in the " Hexateuch," and, without challenging either 
documents or dates, have endeavoured to show that, even 
on this basis, the essential facts of the history, and the 
outstanding features in the Biblical picture of the religion 
and institutions of Israel, remain unaffected. We now take 
a further step, and go on to inquire whether the critical 
theory of documents, as usually presented, is valid, and, 
if at all, how far. Here we part company with many, 
of whose help, in defending the truth of supernatural revela- 
tion, we have hitherto gladly availed ourselves, but who, 
we are compelled to think, have unnecessarily hampered 
themselves, and weakened their contentions, by assent to 
critical positions which are far from being solidly established. 
We shall still seek, as far as may be, common ground with 
these writers, and hope to show that, if we break with them, 
our doubts are born, not from an obstinate wedding of the 
mind to obsolete traditions, but from a sincere regard to 
the facts, as we are constrained to apprehend them. 

It is not uncommon to find the course of criticism 
during the last century represented as purely a work of 
unbelief, resulting in hopeless error and confusion. That, 
however, is not altogether our opinion. If it cannot well 
be denied that, as before stated, what is called " Higher 
Criticism" was cradled in, and received its characteristic 
"set" from the older rationalism, 1 and if, unfortunately, 

1 That this statement is not too strong may bo neen from the names of 
its founders as given in Cheyne and other writers. Choyno himself censures 
the early excesses of criticism. " In the previous age " (before Ueaenius), ha 


this vice of its origin has clung to it, more or less, in all 
its subsequent developments, it would be unreasonable not 
to acknowledge that it is also, in large part, the product 
of a genuinely scientific temper, and of a true perception 
of phenomena which are there in Scripture, and, on any 
theory, require explanation. Its course, too, has been 
marked by a real and continuous advance in the appre- 
hension of these phenomena, and, with whatever mingling 
of error, has tended to an ever closer definition of the 
problem to be solved. A brief glance at the principal 
stadia in the history of the development will illustrate 
what we mean. 


The chief stages in the development of the critical 
hypothesis have been the following: 

1. The beginning of the critical movement is usually 
associated with the French physician Astruc* who, in his 
Conjectures, in 1753, drew attention to the presence of 
Elohistic and Jehovistic sections in Genesis, and on this 
based his theory of the employment of distinct documents 
in the composition of the book. The fact thus founded on 
is a highly interesting one, and, once pointed out, cannot 
be ignored. It is the case that some chapters, and portions 
of chapters, in Genesis are marked by the use, exclusively 
or predominatingly, of the divine name "Elohim" (God), 
and others by a similar use of the divine name " Jehovah " 
(E.T. LORD). This distinction continues till Ex. vi., 
when God reveals Himself by His name Jehovah, then 
(mainly) ceases. A considerable part of Genesis, accordingly, 
can really, by the use of this criterion, be divided into 

says, "there had been an epidemic of arbitrary emendation in the depart- 
ment of textual criticism, and a tendency (at any rate among some 'higher 
critics' of the Pentateuch and Isaiah) to break up the text into a number 
of separate pieces, which threatened to open the door to unbounded caprice." 
Founders of Criticism, p. 63. [What will a future critic say of Dr. 
Cheyne ?] The result is described by Tholuck in his inaugural lecture at 
Halle in 1821 : "For the last twenty or thirty years the opinion has been 
generally prevalent, that the study of the Old Testament for theologians, 
as well as the devotional reading of it for the laity, is either entirely profit- 
less, or at least promises little advantage" (Ibid. p. 67). 

1 One of the best accounts of Astruc is that by Dr. H. Osgood in The 
Presbyterian and Reformed Review for January 1892. It shows that Astruc's 
personal character was deeply marred by the vices of French society. 


Elohistic and Jehovistic sections. 1 A fact to be placed 
alongside of this, though its full bearings do not always 
seem to be perceived, is that in the Psalter we have an 
arrangement of psalms into Jehovistic and Elohistic groups 
by a similar distinction in the use of the divine names. 8 

2. A further step was taken when Eichhom (1779), 8 
to whom is due the name " Higher Criticism," and who 
seems to have worked independently of Astruc, pointed out 
that the Elohistic and Jehovistic sections in Genesis were 
distinguished, not simply by the use of the divine names, 
but by certain other literary peculiarities, which furnished 
aid in their discrimination. The Elohistic sections in 
particular not all of them, as came afterwards to be seen 
were found to be characterised by a vocabulary and style 
of their own, which enabled them, on the whole, to be 
readily distinguished. This result also, whatever explana- 
tion may be offered of it, has stood the test of time, and 
will not, we believe, be overturned. The long lists of words 
and phrases customarily adduced as characteristic of the 
Elohist (now P), need, indeed, much sifting, 4 but enough 
remains to justify the critic in distinguishing a P hand in 
Genesis, different from that of JE. 6 

3. It was at this point that De Wette struck in with his 
thesis (1805-6) that Deuteronomy, shown by him to have 
also a style and character of its own, could not have been 

1 Aa examples of Elohistic sections in this sense, cf. Gen. i.-ii. 3 ; r. ; 
xvii. ; xxiii. ; xxv. 7-17, etc. : in the story of the flood, vi. 9-22 ; Tii. 11- 
16; ix. 1-18, etc. As specimens of Jehovistic section*, cf. Gen. ii. 4-iv. ; 
xi. 1-9 ; xii. ; xiii. (mainly) ; xviii., xix., etc., with the alternate sections 
in the flood atory. 

* The Psalter is divided into five Books, each concluding with a doxology 
(Pas. xli. 13 ; Ixxii. 18, 19 ; Ixxxix. 52 ; cvi. 48). In the first three of 
these books the psalms are grouped according to the predominant use of 
the divine names : Hook I. (i.-xli.), Jehovittie, ascribed to David ; Bo<>k II. 
(xlii. -Ixxii.), Elohistic, acril>ed to sons of Korah, Asaph (one psalm), David ; 
Book III. (Ixxiii.-lxxxix.), Jrhoristie, ascribed to Asaph, sons of Korah, etc. 
The last two books are mainly Jehovistic. See below, pp. 277 ff., on these 
group* of psalms, and their significance. For details, cf. W. K. Smith, 
O. T. in J. 0., pp. 195-96, etc. 

* Eichhorn was a rationalist of the Paulus type, giving a naturalistic 
explanation of the miracles. 

4 See below, pp. 836 ff. 

' Astrnc and Eu-hhorn did not carry the analysis beyond Genesis, thongh 
Eichhorn suggests such extension (cf. De Wette, Introd. ii. p. 150). Both 
regarded Moses (wholly or mainlv) as the compiler. Their position may 
be compared with that of Principal Cave in his Inspiration of uu O.T., who, 
however, makes Moses also the proluble author of both documents. 


composed earlier than the reign of Josiah. This he inferred 
mainly from the law of the central sanctuary in Deut. 
xii., and from the breaches of that law in the older history, 
considered in last chapter. Westphal has declared that 
" Deuteronomy is the Ariadne's thread in the labyrinth of 
the historical problem of the Pentateuch," l and we are not 
sure that we are not disposed to agree with him, if in a 
sense different from what he intended. Meanwhile, as 
was inevitable, the question arose as to whether the 
Elohistic and Jehovistic documents did not extend beyond 
Genesis into the remaining books of the Pentateuch, and, 
further, into Joshua (Bleek, 1822), with which the earlier 
books are so closely connected. In this extension, the 
criterion of the divine names failed, 2 but the other linguistic 
phenomena, and relations with acknowledged J and E 
sections, were relied on to establish the distinction. Thus, 
mainly under the guidance of Bleek, Ewald (1831), and 
Stahelin (1835), 3 the criticism of the " Pentateuch " passed 
definitely over into that of the " Hexateuch " the 
Pentateuch and Joshua. 

4. The next step is connected with Hupfeld (1853), and 
marks again a distinct advance. Ilgen (1798) had preluded 
the discovery, but Hupfeld, with more success, drew 
attention to the fact that the assumed Elohistic document 
in Genesis was not all of one cast. Certain sections all, 
indeed, up to chap. xx. had the well-marked characteristics 
now attributed to P ; but other portions, agreeing in the 
use of the name Elohim, were quite dissimilar in style, 
and closely resembled the Jehovistic parts were, in fact, 
indistinguishable from the latter, save in the difference of 
the divine names. 4 Hupfeld's solution was that we have 
here a document from a third writer named by him the 
2nd Elohist (E), who agreed with the older in the use of 

1 Sources du Pent. ii. p. xxiv. De Wette, with most scholars of that age, 
regarded the Elohistic document as the older, and partly on that ground 
argued for the lateness of Deuteronomy (to give time tor development). 
Modern scholars, reversing the relations of age, yet hold by De Wette's 

8 Colenso to the last (in published works) broke off the Elohistic narra- 
tive at Ex. vi. ; Cave, attributing it to Moses (or earlier writer), does the 
same a curious instance of extremes meeting. 

8 Stahelin made important contributions in Stud, und Krit., 1835 
and 1838. 

4 Examples are Gen. xx. ; XXL 6.-xxii. ; xxvi. 


the name Elohim, but whose style, vocabulary, and mode 
of representation were akin to, and nearly identical with, 
those of the Johovist. This observation, again, in substance 
corresponds with facts ; for it is the case that in the sections 
in question there is little or nothing to distinguish the 
Elohist from the Jehovist, beyond the use of the divine 
names. 1 A natural solution would seem to be that, despite 
the difference in names, the documents are not really two, 
but one ; 2 but modern critics generally adhere to Hupfeld's 
distinction of J and E, and evolve a number of other 
peculiarities which are thought to distinguish the two 
writers. The theory had its disadvantages, which kept 
many of the older scholars, e.g., Bleek, from assenting to 
it; for, while explaining certain stylistic phenomena, it 
destroyed, in d*ing so, the previously boasted unity of the 
Elohistic narrative, 8 and created in the latter great and 
unaccountable hiatuses: left in fact, as we shall see, only 
a few fragments and lists for P after Gen. xxiii. to the end 
of the book ! * 

5. The final stage in the development if that can be 
termed development which is more properly revolution 
outstrips in importance all the preceding. Hitherto, with 
some little regarded exceptions, 6 the universal assumption 
liad been that the Elohistic Writer, or 1st Elohist was the 
oldest of all, and his date was variously fixed in the time of 
the Judges, or in the reigns of Saul or David. The order 
was assumed to be : 1st Elohist Jehovist and 2nd Elohist 
Deuteronomy. Then came the somersault of Graf, who, 
in his Historical Books of the Old Testament, in 1866, 

1 Colenso, who only partially accepted Hupfeld's analysis, says: "The 
style of the two writers 1.1 so very similar ,excupt in the use of the divine 
names, that it is impossible to distinguish them by considerations of style 
alone." Pent. v. p. 69. 

* Colenso favours this solution for the parts he accepts of E : so 
Klostermann. Cf. below, p. 218. 

Cf. De Wette, Introd. li. p. 77 : "The Elohistic fragments form a whole 
which can be reduced to a form almost perfect." (See below, pp. 333, 341.) 
On the other hand, writers like Bleek (more recently rave), who accept the 
Klohistic narrative in its integrity, are in this dilemma, that they destroy 
their own grounds lor distinguishing the Elohint from the Jehoviat For it 
has to be admitted that considerable sections of the Elohistic document are 
in every respect of style (except the names) indistinguishable from the 
Jehovistic. Those again who, like Colenso, in parts identify E with J, have 
to own that the name* are not an infallible criterion. 

4 See below, pp. 841 ff. See below, p. 204. 


propounded the view, 1 which he owed to Keuss, 2 that the 
legislation of the middle books of the Pentateuch (the 
Levitical law) was not earlier, but later, than Deuteronomy 
was, in fact, a product of the age of the exile. Graf, 
however, was not yet of the opinion that all the Elohistic 
sections of the Pentateuch were late: he accepted the 
ordinary view that the Elohistic writing was the oldest for 
the historical sections, but contended that the priestly laws 
were a later, and post-exilian, insertion. 8 Kuenen and 
Eiehm, from opposite sides, wrote to show that this was an 
untenable position. History and laws go together, and 
either the whole is early, or the whole is late.* Graf before 
his death acknowledged the force of Kuenen's arguments 
for the late date of the (P) history as well as of the legis- 
lation, 6 while not admitting that the P writing constituted 
an independent document. Owing mainly to the powerful 
advocacy of Wellhausen, 6 the more thoroughgoing view has 
prevailed, and, as formerly stated, it is now held to be one 
of the "settled" results of criticism 7 that the Priestly 
element is the very latest constituent in the Hexateuch, 
and is of exilian or post-exilian date. Yet in one 'respect 

1 See above, p. 160. An earlier work in 1855, De templo Silonensi, pre- 
luded the idea of his chief work. 

2 Cf. Kuenen. Hex. pp. xxxiv-v. Reuss's own work, L'Hi-stoire Sainteet 
la Loi, was published in 1879. 

* This also was Colenso's position in his published works, after he had 
come round to Grafs standpoint (Pent. Pts. v. and vi.) history early, laws 
late. See below, p. 334. 

4 Kuenen puts it thus : " Must the laws stand with the narratives, or 
must the narratives fall with the laws ? I could not hesitate for a moment 
in accepting the latter alternative." Hex. p. xxii. 

8 Ibid. pp. xxviii, xxx. Professor Robertson properly says: "To say 
bluntly that the narratives must go with the laws, is no more a process of 
criticism than to say that the laws must go with the history. It is therefore 
inaccurate to describe the position of Graf as a conclusion of criticism. It 
was simply a hypothesis to evade a difficulty in which criticism had landed 
him." Early Rel. pp. 418-19. 

8 Wellhausen tells us: "I learned through Ritschl that Karl Heinrich 
Graf placed the law later than the prophets ; and, almost without knowing 
hia reasons for the hypothesis, I was prepared to accept it." Hist, of 
Israel, p. 3. 

7 Professor W. R. Smith names " Kuenen and Wellhausen as the men 
whose acumen and research have carried this inquiry to a point where nothing 
of importance for the historical study of the Old Testament still remains 
uncertain." Rel. of Semites, p. viL There oan be "no doubt," says a 
recent able writer, that "all this part of the Hexateuch is, in its present 
form, )>ost-exilic." McFadyen, Mess, of Historians. See Note A on Self- 
ConKdence of Critics, p. 240. 


even this theory, which we shall have occasion to oppose 
very decidedly, appears to us to mark an advance. In so far 
as a documentary hypothesis is to be accepted at all on 
which after it is difficult to resist the conviction that P 
must be regarded as relatively later than JE, for whose 
narratives, in Genesis at least, it furnishes the " framework," l 
and that it is not, as former critics held, a separate older 
work. In agreement with Graf, 2 however, we do not suppose 
that at any period it ever formed a separate, independent 

As supplementing this sketch of the chief stadia in the 
critical development, a glance may be taken at the views 
which have been held on the relation of the dements of the 
Pentateuch in the course of this long history. These may 
be roughly divided into the fragmentary, the supplementary, 
and the documentary. 

(1) At an early stage Vater (1805) and others developed 
the idea that the Pentateuch was made up, not of continuous 
documents, but of a great number of smaller/ra^m^nte This 
view was vigorously contested, especially with respect to the 
Book of Genesis, by Stahelin, Ewald (1823), Tuch (1838), 
etc., as well as by the thoroughgoing defenders of the 
Mosaic authorship, who, till the middle of the century, 
formed an influential group. 8 The f ragmen tist view was 
regarded as overcome ; but it will be seen as we advance that 
the newer criticism, with its multiplication of documents 
(P 1 P 1 P* etc.), its substitution of " schools " for individual 
authors, and its minute tesselation of texts, represents 
largely a return to it 4 

(2) The theory which superseded the fragmentary was 
that of an Elohistic groundwork, or fundamental document 
(Cfrundschrift), supplemented at a later time by Jehovistic 
additions. This was the view of Bleek, and of most of the 
above-named writers : later representatives of it are Knobel, 

1 Cf. Klostermann, Pentateuch, p. 10. On P as " framework, " see below, 
pp. 215, 340. 

* Gnf Adhered to this till his death, cf. Knenen, Hex. p. xxx. Se 
below, rhap. X. 

* The beat known names in this conservative school are those of Banke, 
Drechsler, Hengstenbvrg, Havernick, Keil. 

4 For examples, cf. text and notes in Oxford HexaUufk, which hardly 
leaves a paragraph, Terse, or even clause untouched. 


Schrader, and Colenso. 1 It was a theory which, granting 
its initial assumption, had much to recommend it. Its 
advocates based on the fact that the Jehovistic narrative, 
as it stands, is incomplete, and presupposes the Elohistic : 
e.g., it has no command to build the ark (cf. Gen. vii. 1), 
and contains no notices of the deaths of the patriarchs. 
" It is still more unmistakable," argued Bleek, " that those 
Elohistic portions in the first part of our book refer to one 
another, presuppose one another, and follow one another 
in due course, whilst they take no notice of the Jehovistic 
passages lying between them." z Its opponents reply that it 
is impossible that the Jehovist could have filled in passages 
which, as they hold, are contradictory of the main narrative. 3 
Hupfeld's theory of the 2nd Elohist weakened this view, 
and it fell to the ground altogether when the Graf theory 
came to prevail, that P ( = the Elohist) was not the earliest, 
but the latest, of the sources. 

(3) The documentary hypothesis earliest of all after- 
wards revived by Hupfeld, rose again to favour, and since 
Graf's time has generally been held in the form already 
described, viz., JE and P as independent documents, which 
have been combined with each other, and with Deuteronomy 
(D), by a redactor, or series of redactors. So stated, the 
theory seems simple : its enormous difficulties are only re- 
vealed when the attempt is made to work it out in detail. 
We advance now to the consideration of these difficulties, 
with a view to the attainment of a more positive result. 



The course of criticism, we have granted, has been in 
a very real sense onward, so far as the discovery of 
phenomena is concerned. As the outcome, the critics are 
justified in saying that on certain leading points there is 
very general agreement in their ranks. It is agreed that 
four main sources are to be distinguished in the Pentateuch 
(or Hexateuch) J E D P and that these have been com- 

1 Colenso maintained his supplementary theory to the close against 
Hupfeld and Kuenen. See below, p. 334. 
* Introd. i. p. 275. 
' Cf., e.g., Dillmann, Genesis, i. pp. 14, 15 ; Kuenen, Hex. p. 160. 


bined by one or more hands to form the present work. It 
is also very generally believed (not, however, by Dillmann), 
that J and were combined, if not before the time of 
Deuteronomy (Kittel, Addis, and others think after), at 
least before their final union with that book (D) and with 
P. Beyond these very general results, 1 however, it is, as 
will immediately be seen, highly misleading to speak, as is 
sometimes done, of unanimity. Agreement in main features 
of the critical division there is, especially with regard to 
P, the original premises beinj,' grunted, there is little 
alternative, hut whenever the attempt is made to carry 
the analysis into details, or to establish a consistent theory 
of the relations of the documents, or of their mode of com- 
bination, divergences wide and deep reveal themselves, com- 
plications thicken at every step, and inevitable doubt arisei 
as to the soundness of the premises which lead to such 
perplexity in the results. Two unimpeachable witnessea 
may be cited at the outset in general corroboration of what 
is said as to the absence of unanimity. Kautzsch, the 
author, with Socin, of one of the best typographical analyses 
of the Book of Genesis, makes this remarkable statement : 
" In the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua, it is only with 
regard to P that something approaching to unanimity has 
been reached." * Kuenen, again, says with special reference 
to JE : " As the analysis has been carried gradually further, 
it has become increasingly evident that the critical question 
is far more difficult and involved than was at first supposed, 
and the solutions which seemed to have been secured have 
been in whole or in part brought into question again."* 
These words might be taken as the text of nearly everything 
that follows. 

1. With every allowance for what may be said of pro- 
grass, inevitable doubt is awakened in regard to the soundness 
of the critical process by the conflicts of opinion which the 

1 Wcstpbal reduces the results on which there is agreement to three : 
"(1) The existence, henceforth established, of four sources in the Pentateuch : 
the lt Elohist, or Priestly Code, the 2nd Elohist, the Jehoriat, and the 
Deatcronomiat ; (2) the admission of the fact that each of these sources, 
before its entrance into the composition of our Biblical books, existed as am 
independent writing ; (3) the unanimity of scholars aa to the manner in 
which it is necessary to reconstruct, at least in their great lines, the four 
sources indicated." Sources du Pent. ii. p. xxvi. We shall see that even 
this statement requires considerable modification. 

*JL\t. tfO.T., p. 226. Hex. p. 139. 


history of criticism itself discovers. It is to be remembered, 
in discussing this subject, that the J E D P of the critics 
so far as not simply symbols for the supposed documents 
themselves with their serial duplicates, to be immediately 
referred to, and the numerous retinue of redactors, are, 
though spoken of so familiarly, purely hypothetical entities 
postulated beings, of whom history or tradition knows 
nothing. Moses, Joshua, Samuel, we know, or think we do ; 
but these shadows have left no trace of themselves, save, if 
it be so, in their work, now taken to pieces again by the 
critics. When we desire to know something more of their 
time or their relations, we are in a region in which, the 
history of criticism being witness, the agreements are far 
overborne by the disagreements. Do we ask when they 
lived ? the dates assigned to P (the 1st Elohist), we have 
found, range from the days of Samuel (Bleek, Colenso, older 
writers generally), through the period of the kings (Eiehm, 
Dillmann, Noldeke, Schrader, etc.), to the time of the exile, or 
later (Graf school). The dates of JE run from the time of the 
Judges (Konig, Kohler, etc.) to the tenth, ninth, eighth cen- 
turies, with, in the view of Kuenen, " Judaean editions " after. 
The composition of Deuteronomy is commonly placed in 
the reign of Josiah, or of Manasseh ; but many able critics 
(Delitzsch, Oettli, Klostermann, etc.) hold it to be much 
older, and in kernel Mosaic; while others divide it up, 
and put extensive portions later than Josiah. Do we 
inquire as to dependence ? The older view was, as we saw, 
that J and E are supplementary to P ; the newer theory is 
that P is later than JE and presupposes them. J is 
held by many (Dillmann, Noldeke, Schrader, Kittel, etc.) to 
be dependent on E and to have borrowed from him ; 
Wellhausen, Kuenen, Stade, etc., as confidently reverse the 
relation, and make E dependent on J; 1 others treat the 
documents as practically independent (e.g., Woods). 2 One 
set of critics (Dillmann, Riehm, etc.) hold that the marks 
demonstrate E to be about a century older than J ; the pre- 
vailing tendency at present is to make J about a century 
older than E. Addis says that this question of priority " is 

1 Wellhausen points out that E " has come down to us only in extracts 
embodied in the Jehovist narrative," and appears to doubt its independence. 
Hist, of Israel, pp. 7, 8. See below, p. 217. 

2 Art. "Hexateuch" in Diet, of Bible. 


still one of the most vexed questions in the criticism of the 
Hi'xateuch." 1 The interesting point in the discussion is the 
cogency with which each critic refutes the reasonings of his 
neighbours, and shows them to be nugatory. All this would 
matter little, if it were, as is sometimes said, mere variation 
on the surface, with slight bearing on the soundness of the 
theory as a whole. But it is far from that. The criteria 
which determine these judgments are found on inspection 
to go deep into the substance of the theory, and afford 
a valuable practical test of the principles by which it is 
built up. 1 

2. These perplexities are slight, however, in comparison 
with those arising from another cause now to be mentioned 
the excessive multiplication of sources. The matter is 
relatively simple when we have to deal only with a J D 
or P, and when the critic honestly abides by these. But, 
as the analysis proceeds, we find it impossible to stop 
here. As the old Ptolemaic astronomer discovered that, 
to explain the irregularities in the visible motions of the 
heavenly bodies, he had to add epicycles to his original 
cycles, then fresh epicycles to these, till his chart became 
a huge maze of complications and incredibilities ; so the 
critic finds that the application of the same criteria 
which guided him in the severance of his main documents, 
necessitates, when pushed further, a continuance of the 
process, and the splitting up of the documents into yet 
minuter parts. Hence new divisions, and the gradual 
resolution of the original JE, etc., into the nebulous series, 
JW; E'E'E 8 ; rl*l*l"; l^R'R 8 , etc., or equivalents; 
all of which have now become part of the recognised 
apparatus of the critical schools. 8 Can we wonder that 

1 Hex. I p. Ixxxi. 

' E.g., Driver says on the opposite views of Dillmann and Wellhauaen 
about J and E : " The difference turns in part upon a different conception of 
the limit* of J. Dillmann's ' J ' embraces more than Wellhausen's 'J' . . . 
Dillmann's date, e. 750, is assigned to J largrly on the ground of just those 
(MAsa^es which form no part of Wellhausen's J." Introd. p. 123. Kittel, 
again, upholding Dillmann's view, says: " When \\Vlll.auwu Finds to be 
in closer contact than J with the specially prophetic M>U it . . . this arises, at 
any rate in part, from his altogether jxxniliar analysis of J; an analysis 
which, again, is based on this character assigned to J by him." J/itt. of 
Hebt. i. p. 80. Again : " Kueu< n will not admit any reference (in Amos 
and Hosca) to E, but only to J; Dillniauu cannot nee any acquaintance with 
J, but only with K. I cannot assent to either view." Ibid. p. 83. 

1 Cf. Oxford HexaUuch, or any of the text-books. As a popular book, 


even a tolerably advanced critic like Dillniann should 
write: "with a Q^Q 8 [= P], JW, E^E 3 I can do 
nothing, and can only see in them a hypothesis of per- 
plexity." l Assume such multiples to have existed, does 
anyone with a modicum of common sense believe it possible 
for a twentieth century critic to pick their handiwork to 
pieces again, and assign to each his proper fragment of the 
whole ? These processional Js and Es, however, should not 
be scoffed at as arbitrary. They are really indispensable 
parts of a critical stock-in-trade if the original principles of 
the theory are to be consistently carried out. In that respect 
they serve again as a test of the value of these principles. 
The critic thinks he observes, for instance, within the limits 
of the same document, a discrepancy, or a new turn of 
expression, or a duplicate incident the denial of a wife, 
e.g., in Gen. xii xxvi., both in J, 2 or a seeming intermingling 
of two stories in Koran's rebellion, e.g., in Num. xvi. 211, 
P, 3 or a reference in J (older writer) to E (younger) : what 
is to be done except to assume that there is here a trace 
of a distinct source, or of a redactor ? 4 The hypothesis 
is as essential to the critic as his epicycle was to the 
Ptolemaic star-gazer. 

3. The matter becomes still more complicated when, 
finally, the problematical J E D P lose all individuality, 
and are frankly transformed, as they are by most of the 
newer writers, into schools. 5 When these "schools" are 
made to extend over a very long period, as from the 
statements made, and the work attributed to them, we 
must suppose them to have done, the problem of maintain- 
ing for them the identity of character and style with which 
the investigation started becomes insoluble. Obviously, if 
the writers are to be regarded as "schools," it will be 
impossible, as before, to insist on minute criteria of language, 
often descending to single words, and the finest nuances of 
expression, as infallible means of distinguishing their several 

see Bennett's Genesis, Introd. pp. 23, 32, 37, 52, etc. Kuenen has a P, 
with redactors (Hex. pp. 86 ff.). 

1 Pref. to Exod.-Lev. a Cf. Oxford Hexateiieh, ii. p. 19. 

3 Ibid. p. 212. Cf. Dillmann, in loc. See below, p. 358. 

4 For a longer example, see Note B on Cornill's Decomposition of J, and 
compare in full Cornill's EinleUung, pp. 52-53. 

8 See Note C on the Views of J and E, etc., aa " Schools." See also below 
on P, Chap. X. p. 335. 


contributions. It is possible to argue, however unreasonably, 
that an individual author must be rigidly bound down to one 
style, one set of phrases, one idea or circle of ideas ; but this 
will hardly apply to " schools," lasting for centuries, where, 
within the limits of a general tradition, there must, with 
difference of minds, inevitably be wide diversities of culture, 
thought, and speech. We may properly speak, e.g., of an 
"Anglican," a " Ritschlian," or a "Cobdenite" school, and 
may mark how in each the influence of dominant ideas 
stamps a general resemblance on the style and speech of 
the members, but none the less individual idiosyncrasies 
will assert themselves in each writer. If, further, the 
writers are to be regarded as " schools," the question of 
date assumes a new aspect. How far may or do these 
" schools " go back ? Why must J and E be any longer 
forced down to the ninth or eighth century ? " l Why must 
the priestly narratives be of the same age as the priestly 
laws ? Delitzsch was of opinion that " the literary activity 
of the Elohistic pen reaches far back to ancient times nearly 
approaching the time of Moses." * Why, on this hypothesis 
should it not be so ? 

There is, one cannot help feeling, something essentially 
mechanical in this idea of " schools " of writers continuously 
engaged for centuries in patching, revising, tesselatiug, 
resetting, altering and embellishing, the work of their 
predecessors. We are here back, in fact, by another 
route, and under another name, to the old " fragmentary " 
hypothesis, thought so long ago to have been exploded. 3 
But the striking thing about the labours of these manifold 
unknowns is that the product shows so little trace of this 
excessive fragmentariness of its origin. The Pentateuch 
pre-eminently the Book of Genesis, but even the legal part * 
is undeniably a well-planned, massively-compacted work. 
Apart from the " firmly-knit " character of its story, it is 
marked by a unity of thought and spirit, is pervaded by 

1 Carpenter allows that the question of the date of J (so of the others) 
has become " increasingly complex " under the influence of this new idea 
(Ilex. i. p. 106). 

* Genesis, p. 49. 

* Carpenter says with reference to this newer theory of "schools": 
"This was the truth that lay behind the fragtuent-hypotlieais of the older 
criticism : is it possible to re-state it in more suitable form T " Hex. L p. 108. 

* Ses below, pp. 294, 325-26. 


great ideas, is instinct with a living purpose, as no other 
book is. Its organic character bespeaks for it a higher 
origin than a concourse of literary atoms. 1 


It is now necessary, in order that the value of the current 
critical theories may be thoroughly tested, to investigate the 
analysis and other questions connected with the different 
documents more in detail : and first we consider the problems 
involved in the relations of J and E. These problems, in our 
view, all converge ultimately into one Are the critics right 
in distinguishing two documents at all ? To set this question 
in its proper light, and reveal more clearly the serious 
differences that emerge on fundamental points, it will be 
advisable to look, first, at the views entertained as to the 
place of origin of the assumed documents, and as to their 
extent. Some hint of the range of these differences has 
already been given. 

1. Much light is cast on critical procedure by observing 
the methods employed to determine the place of origin of 
the documents, with the implications as to their age. We 
saw before that it has become customary to take for granted, 
though without real proof, 2 that J and E first originated, the 
one (which one is in dispute) in the ninth century, the other 
about the middle of the eighth century B.C. It is also very 
generally held, and is confidently stated, that E was a native 
of the Northern Kingdom, while J, probably, was a native 
of the Southern, or Judaean Kingdom. 8 The chief reasons 
given for localising E in Ephraim are his peculiar interest 
in the sacred places of Northern Israel (Bethel, Shechem, 
etc.), his exaltation of the house of Joseph, and his preference 
in the story of Joseph for Ephraim over Judah. How 
shadowy and assumptive all this is, and how inadequate 
as a ground of separation of the documents, will be evident 
from the following considerations : 

(1) In the first place, there are eminent critics (e.g., 

1 See further in Chap. X. 

2 See above, p. 73. 

3 Cf. Dillmann, Driver ("relatively probable," Jnlrod. p. 123), Addis. 
Carpenter, etc. 


Schrader, Eeusa, Kuenen, Kautzscli), who place J alm> in 
Northern Israel, and for precisely the same reason of his 
supposed interest in Ephraimitic shrines. 1 The two writings, 
therefore, it may be concluded, cannot really stand far 
apart in this respect Kautzsch, e.g., thinks it inconceivable 
" that a Judahite, at a time when the temple of Solomon 
was already in existence [note the assumption on date], 
brought the sanctity of Shechem, Bethel, and Peniel into 
the prominence they have at Gen. xii. 6, xxviii. 13 ff., and 
xxxii. 30 ff." 8 Yet the Judfean origin of J is one of the 
things which Dillrnann, among others, regards as "demon- 
strable with certainty." s 

(2) In the next place, the whole reasoning proceeds on 
the assumption that the writings are as late as the ninth or 
eighth century, and that the motive for recording the move- 
ments and residences of the patriarchs is to glorify existing 
sacred places, or exalt one branch of the divided kingdom 
above the other. The ndivttt of the narratives might save 
them from this charge of "tendency," which has really 
nothing tangible to support it. There is no trace of the 
divided kingdom, 4 or of partiality for one side or the other, 
in the j>atriarchal narratives. The history of Joseph is 
recorded with fulness and freshness by both writers. 
Gunkel takes strong ground on this point. "There can," 
he says, " be no talk of a party -tendency in the two collec- 
tions for the North or for the South Kingdom : they are too 
faithful." 5 Even Kuenen writes: "It would be incorrect 
to say that the narratives in Genesis exalt Joseph at the 
expense of his brothers, and are unfriendly to Judah. This 

1 "The daU," says Carjicnter, "do not appear to be decisive, and each 
Wfribilityfmdfl eminent advocates. . . . Critical judgment has consequently 
been much divided." Hex. i. pp. 104-5. Hommel also places J in Northern 
Israel (Ane. Heb. Trad. pp. 2a9-90). 

* Lit. of O.T., p. 38. Kittel also thinks it " impossible to assert that J 
originated in Northern Israel " (p. 85). Kautzsch and Kuenen explain 
recalcitrant phenomena by the hypothesis of a later Ju<Ia*an redaction 
(which Kittel reject*, i. p. 85). 

0b*n., p. 10. 

4 Cf. (Jtinkel, Genesis, p. Ix, and ee aliove, p. 111. The older writers 
justly laid stress on this in evidence of date (e.g., Blcek, Introd. pp. 291 IT., 
'298 ff.). It is curious how little stress, for dilTeivnt rvasons, critics are 
disposed to lay on the one piuvs >,'< w hirh might be regarded as an exci ptiou 
the reference to the subjection of Kdom in Oen. xxvii. 40. De Wtte 
urged this as proof of a late date, but the inference is rejected by Uleek, 
Kittel (i. p. 88), Kautzsch (Lit. p. 39), etc. 

Ucttesis, p. Ix. 



would contradict their ever present idea that all the tribes 
have sprung from a single father, and on the strength of this 
common descent are a single people. . . . Neither J nor E 
takes sides with any one of the tribes, or specifically for 
or against Joseph or Judah ; for both alike occupy the 
Israelitish position, in the widest sense of the word." l The 
real reason why the sojournings of the patriarchs are 
followed with such interest in J and E is simply that, in 
the old Israelitish tradition, Hebron, - Beersheba, Bethel, 
Shechem, were believed to be the real spots where these 
patriarchs dwelt, and built their altars. 2 

(3) When, further, we look into the narratives, we do 
not find, in fact, that they bear out this idea of a special 
favouritism in E for localities in the North, and in J for 
places in the South. Addis remarks on J's " large-hearted 
interest in the myths (?) and sacred places both of Northern 
Israel and of Judah." 3 Abraham's home in J is at Hebron, 
but his first altar is built near Bethel. 4 Latterly, in both 
J and E, he lives at Beersheba (in South). 6 Isaac also, in 
both sources, lives at Beersheba. J narrates the vision of 
Jacob at Bethel (with E), 6 his wrestling with the angel at 
Peniel, 7 his residence at Shechem (with E and P), 8 etc. E 
also has his stories about Bethel, Shechem, and Beersheba, 
but he records Jacob's residence in " the vale of Hebron " 
(South), 9 as, earlier, he had shared in the story of the offering 
of Isaac on Mount Moriah. 10 As little are we disposed to 

1 Hex. pp. 230-32. He thinks he finds significance, however, in the fact 
that Joseph was "crowned" of his brethren, etc. 

3 " In weighing these accounts," says Kueuen, "for our present purpose, 
we must remember that the writers were not free to choose whatever spots 
they liked. Hebron was Abraham's ' territorial cradle,' and Beersheba 
Isaac's. It needs no explanation or justification, therefore, when they 
make the two patriarchs dwell respectively in these two places " ; but, he 
adds, "we have to give some account of why Abraham is transplanted to 
Beersheba." Sear. p. 231. But why? if, as both J and E declare, he 
actually went there ? The lives of Abraham and Isaac were mainly spent in 
the South, that of Jacob in the middle of Palestine. 

8 Hex. i. p. liv. 4 Gen. xii. 8. 8 Gen. xxi. 33 ; xxii. 19. 

8 Gen. xxviii. 10 ff. 7 Gen. xxxii. 24 ff. 8 Gen. xxxiv. 

9 Gen xxxvii. 14. Though it is clear from the context that Jacob's 
home was not at Shechem (vers. 12, 13), yet simply on the ground that it 
mentions Hebron, this verse is treated by Kuenen, with others, as an 
interpolation (Hex. pp. 230, 231). Carpenter says flatly: "Of Hebron, 
whHi belonged peculiarly to Judah, no notice is taken." Hex. i. 
p. 116. 

'" Gen. xxiL 


trust the critic's " feeling " for an " Ephraimitic tinge " in E. 
when we find, e.g., one authority on this " tinge " (Kautzsch) 
declaring that " it [E] no longer conveys the impression 
of a triumphant outlook on a glorious future, but rather 
that of a retrospect on a bygone history, in which were 
many gloomy experiences ; " l and another (Kittel) assuring 
us that "the whole tone of E bears witness to a certain 
satisfaction of the national consciousness, and joy over what 
has been won."* 

(4) Finally, if anything were lacking to destroy our 
confidence in this theory of tendencies of J and E, it would 
be supplied by the interpretations that are given of particular 
incidents in the narrative. It strains our faith to breaking- 
point to be asked to believe that the interest of a prophetic 
writer like E, of the days of Amos and Hosea, in Bethel and 
Beersheba, arose from the fact that these places were the 
then famous centres of (idolatrous) worship (cf. Amos 
v. 5; viii. 14; Hos. iv. 15);* or that Gen. xxviii. 22 is 
intended to explain and sanction the custom of paying 
tithes at the calf-shrine at Bethel; 4 or that Hebron was 
preferred as Abraham's residence because it was "the 
ancient Judaean capital" (Kittel), 6 or had become "the 
great Judaic sanctuary " (Driver).' In the view of one set 
of critics, Gen. xxxviii. is a bitter mockery of Judah (J 
therefore is Northern); 7 according to another, it is a tribal 
history written expressly to favour Judah (J therefore is 
Southern). 8 Kautzsch is of opinion that "at Ex. xxxii. 
1 ff. there is in all probability a Judahite condemnation of 
the Ephraimite bull-worship " ; * others see in the narrative 
an Ephraimitic condemnation of the same practice ; 10 Kuenen 
thinks it glances at a claim of the Northern priests to a 

1 Lit. ofO.T., p. 44. * Hist, of Jlebt. i. p. 88. 

Carpenter, Hex. i. p. 116 ; cf. Driver, Introd. p. 118. 

4 Driver, ibid. p. 122 ; Dillmann, Kittel, Bennett, etc. See above, p. 185. 
What of J"s motive in the references to Bethel and Beersheba f 

Hitt. i. p. 83. Introd. p. 118. 
1 Thus, Schrader, Kenan, etc. 

Thus Kittel (i. p. 83), etc. Cf. Kuenen, Hex. p. 232; Westphal, 
Sources, ii. p. 259 ; Carpenter, Hex. i. p. 105. 

Lit. o/O.T.,p. 38. 

10 Dillmann, who thinks a North Israelite could not have framed this 
protest against Jeroboam's bull-worship (Krod.-Lev. p. 332). Kittel differ* 
(i. p. 89). It should be noticed that KauUsch, Dillmann, Kittel, etc., 
ascribe the main story in Ex. xxxii. to J ; others, as Westphal, as 
confidently give it to E. 


descent from Aaron. 1 So ad libitum. When one re- 
members that it is chiefly on the ground of these supposed 
" mirrorings " of later events that the narratives are placed 
where they are in date, 2 one begins to see the precariousness 
of this part of the critical structure. Thus far nothing has 
been established as to place or time of origin, or distinct 
authorship of the documents. 

2. A second problem of much importance in its 
bearings on the possibility of a critical distinction of J and 
E is that of the extent of the supposed documents. The 
consideration of Genesis may be reserved. There is agree- 
ment that the J narrative in Genesis begins with chap. ii. 
36, and, in union with other sources, continues throughout 
the book, and into Exodus. E, on the other hand, though 
some find traces of its presence earlier, 3 is understood to 
enter clearly first in chap. xx. With Exodus iii., the 
criterion of the divine names fails, after which it is allowed, 
on all hands, that the discrimination is exceedingly difficult, 
and often impossible. In the words of Addis, " In other 
books of the Hexateuch [after Genesis] the Jahvist and 
the Elohist are rather fused than pieced together, and 
discrimination between the two documents is often im- 
possible." 4 In their union, however, it is commonly agreed 
that the presence of the two documents can be traced, not 
only through Exodus and Numbers (in small measure in 
Deuteronomy) but through Joshua that Joshua, in fact, 
is an integral part of the total work now called the 
" Hexateuch." The validity of this conclusion will occupy 
us immediately. 

Beyond this rises another question, now keenly exercising 
the minds of scholars, viz., whether there must not be 

1 Hex. p. 245 ; cf. Van Hoonacker, Le Saeerdoee, p. 136. See above, 
p. 122. 

J Cf. Carpenter, Hex. i. p. 107 ; Kuenen, Hex. p. 226. See above, 
p. 74 ; also Gunkel, Genesis, p. Ixii. 

* See below, p. 217. 

4 Hex. i. p. xxxi. McFadyen says similarly: "After Ex. vi. it is 
seldom possible to distinguish with much confidence between the Jehovist 
and the Elohist, as they have so much in common." Mess, of Historians, 
p. 18. The impossibility is owned by critics (as Eautzsch and Socin) in 
considerable parts of Genesis as well. Strack says generally : " Since J and 
E are on the whole (im Groxsen und Ganzen) similar to one another, it is 
often no longer possible to separate what originally belongs to E and what 
originally belongs to J." Die Bilcher Genesis, etc. ("Handkommentar," 
i., ii.), Introd. p. rviii. 


recognised a still further continuation of these documents 

I and E into the Books of Judges, Samuel, and even 
Kings, Such a possibility was early hinted at, 1 but the 
newer tendency to resolve J and E into " schools " has led 
to a revival of the idea, 2 and to its adoption by many 
critical scholars. Cornill and Budde have no doubt about 
it ; Moore adopts it in his Commentary on Judges ; 
Westphal goes so far as to make it a chief ground in his 
determination of the dates of the documents. 8 E.g., 
Cornill discerns J in 1 Kings " with perfect certainty " ; * 
the traces of E, he thinks, arc slight after the story of the 
death of SauL These conclusions, with good reason, do 
not commend themselves to other scholars, so that the 
camp remains here also divided. 6 The hypothesis has a 
value as showing the precarious grounds on which writers 
often build their critical " certainties." 

Returning to Joshua, we may briefly test the assertion 
that the J and E documents are continued into this book, 
and that Joshua forms with the Pentateuch a single larger 
work. The question of "Pentateuch" or "Hexateuch" 
need not be discussed at length ; we touch on it only as 
far as relates to our subject. Addis, however, speaks far 
too strongly when he declares that the unity of Joshua 
with the other five books "is acknowledged by all who 
admit the composite character of the Pentateuch." fl This 
is by no means the case. Even Cornill says : " Many now 
speak of a Hexateuch. Joshua, nevertheless, presents an 
essentially different literary physiognomy from that of the 
Pentateuch, so that it appears to me more correct to treat 
the latter by itself, and the Book of Joshua as an appendix 
to it." 7 There are, in fact, tolerably strong indications of 

* tendency among recent critics to separate Joshua again 
from the Pentateuch, and regard it as a more or less 

1 Grambcrg (1880) ; Schrader (1869). 

Cf. Westphal on the views of Ed. Meyer (1884) and Bruston (1885) in 
Sonreei du Pent, ii. pp. 255 If. Stade thought he discovered trace* of K 
in above works ; Boh me traces of J, etc. 

' Sovrcet, ii. p. 256. 

4 Einleiluny, pp. 117, 121. 

Kittel acutely criticised the theory in Stud, wut Krit. 1891 (pp. 44 ff.) ; 
<-f. his //id. ii. pp. 16 ff. Kuonen, Knutzach (Lit. 0/0.7., pp. 27, 287-39). 
Driver (Introd. pp. 171, 184), Kbnig, IL P. Smith (Samuel, p. ii), etc., 
reject it. 

Hex. pp. xir, xxii. T Einlfit. p. 86. 


independent work. 1 For such a view also there are many 
cogent grounds. Cornill gives as one reason that the 
sources are quite differently worked up in the Book of 
Joshua from what they are elsewhere. In the narrative 
portions they are fused together so as to be ordinarily 
inseparabla The language, too, presents peculiarities. 
Even in the P parts, as will be seen immediately, it is 
doubtful if the sections are from the same hand or hands 
as in the other books. The book has, also, according to the 
critics, been subjected to a Deuteronomic revision, 2 which, 
curiously, was not extended (or only slightly) to the earlier 
books. 8 

It is beyond doubt, at least, that, in the separation of 
the sources in Joshua, the critics continually find them- 
selves involved in inextricable difficulties. With respect 
particularly to J and E, it has become not simply a 
question of whether J and E can be severed (admittedly 
they can not), but of whether J and E are present in the 
book at all. Wellhausen came to the conclusion that J was 
wholly absent, 4 and Steuernagel more recently has affirmed 
the same opinion. 6 "The original scope and significance 
of E" are admitted by Carpenter to be "hardly less 
difficult to determine." 6 The high-water mark of his 

1 Cf. the views of Wellhausen, Compos, d. Hex. pp. 116-17 ; Carpenter, 
Hex. i. pp. 178-79 ; Bennett, Primer of Bible, p. 90 ; cf. his Joshua 
("Polychrome Bible"), p. 44: "Perhaps the Joshua sections of JED and 
P were separated from the preceding sections before the latter were 
combined to form the Pentateuch " (or perhaps never formed part of them). 

3 That is, if " revision " is the proper word, and not rather " invention." 
If, e.g., the incident of the reading of the law on Mount Ebal in Josh. viii. 
30-35 did not happen, it was simply invention on the basis of Deut. xxvii. 
The Deuteronomic reviser is called D 2 to distinguish him from the author 
of Deuteronomy (D 1 ). He belongs to the D "school," and writes a 
similar style. 

3 On supposed Denteronomic traces in the earlier books, see below, 
pp. 254-55. 

4 Comp. d. Hex. p. 116. Kittel's view of the matter is: "The com- 
paratively few traces which point at all decisively to J frequently allow of 
the assumption that they have no longer precisely the same form as when 
they came from the author's pen. E is in almost the same case : of this 
source, too, there are only a few remnants in the Book of Joshua." Hist, 
of Hebs. i. p. 263. 

8 Carpenter notes that Steuernagel's Das Buch Josua invites comment, 
"for his results vary very widely from those already set forth. ... In 
regard to J, Steuernagel returns to the view of Wellhausen and Meyer that 
it recognised no Joshua," etc. Hex. ii. p. 318. Thus theories chase each 
other like clouds in the sky. 

Ibid. ii. p. 308. 


assurance is reached in the statement: "Budde, Kittel, 
Albere, and Bennett have all concurred in believing that 
the main elements of J and E are not rlw/iii.wd beyond 
recognition, though their results do not always run side 
by side." 1 The separation of the P sections in Joshua at 
tirst sight seems easier, but in detail the difficulties are 
nearly as insuperable, and of a kind that set theorising at 
defiance. " The inquiry " (as to " the relation of the P 
sections to the rest of the book "), Carpenter admits, " is full 
of difficulty, and the seemingly conflicting facts have been 
differently interpreted in different critical schools." 2 The 
language, as already said, is markedly different. " In chape. 
i-xiL, xxiii., xxiv.," says Professor Bennett, "there are 
only a few short paragraphs and sentences in the style of 
P, and most of these are rather due to an editor than 
derived from the Priestly Code." 8 Still more instructive 
is the fact, pointed out by Professor G. A. Smith, that " in 
the Book of Joshua P does not occupy the regulative 
position, nor supply the framework, as it does in the 
Pentateuch."* As Wellhausen puts it: "Without a pre- 
ceding history of the conquest, these [P] sections are quite 
in the air: they cannot be taken as telling a continuous 
story of their own, but presuppose the Jehovistic- 
Deuteronomic work. . . . We have already shown that 
the Priestly Code in Joshua is simply the filling up of 
the Jehovistic-Deuteronomic narrative." 6 As interesting 
illustrations of the stylistic perplexities, reference may be 
made to the two important chapters xxii. and xxiv. The 
phraseology in chap. xxii. 9-34, " is in the main that of P," 
says Dr. Driver ("almost a cento of Fs phrases," says 

1 Hex. ii. p. 806 (italics ours). 

Ibid. p. 315. /,'.</., ' If xvi. 1-3 is rightly assigned to J, a probability 
ia established that it may have contained other geographical descriptions, 
now perhaps absorbed into P's more detailed survey. But it appears to be 
beyond the power of any critical method to discover the clue* to their 
separation" (pp. 807-8). 

Primer, p. 90. The P sections, Carpenter says, "show several curious 
features, and doubts have consequently ben expreaspd concerning their 
original charterer (r.g , by Wellhausen). /far. i. n. 178. 

4 Art. "Joshua" in Diet, of KMf, ii. p. 784. Similarly Bennett says: 
"In the Pentateuch P is used as framework; in Joshua JED." Book of 
Joshua ("Polychrome Bible"), p. 45. 

Hist, of Israel, pp. 357, 85. A* shown later (Chap. X.), Wellhausen 
regards the " main stock " of the Priestly narrative as coaxing with the 
.;,..;., Of Mi 


Carpenter), " but the narrative does not display throughout 
the characteristic style of P, and in some parts of it there 
occur expressions which are not those of P." He proceeds : 
"Either a narrative of P has been combined with elements 
from another source in a manner which makes it difficult to 
effect a satisfactory analysis, or the whole is the work of 
a distinct writer, whose phraseology is in part that of P, 
but not entirely." l Wellhausen, on the other hand, thinks 
it is P's wholly (but not the P of the earlier books). Addis, 
with Kuenen, assumes that " it is a late production in the 
school and after the manner of P." 2 Chap, xxiv., in 
turn, is assigned generally to E ; yet, says Dr. Driver, " it 
might almost be said to be written from a standpoint 
approaching (in this respect) that of DV 8 Addis 
assumes a Deuteronomic revision, and abundant inter- 
polation. 4 What, one is tempted to ask, can such criteria 
avail ? 

Not much support, we think it will be felt, is to be got 
from the Book of Joshua for an original distinction of J and 
E if for their existence in that book at all. When it is 
added that the Samaritans seem from the beginning to have 
had, in Buhl's words, " outside of the Canon an independent 
reproduction of the Book of Joshua," 6 it may be realised 
that the reasons for affirming a " Ifexateuch " are not so 
conclusive as is generally assumed. 


The decisive grounds for the separation of J and E must 
be sought for, if anywhere, in the Book of Genesis, where 
the divine names are still distinguished. It is important 

1 Introd. pp. 112-13. 2 Hex. ii. p. 473. Introd. p. 115. 

4 Hex. i. p. 233. It is a curious observation of Carpenter's that "the 
Deuteronomic editors of the national histories during the exile were con- 
temporary with the priestly schools of Ezekiel and his successors, and some 
interchange of phraseology would be only natural " (this to account for 
occasional appearances of P in D passages). Hex. ii. p. 815. It is 
interesting to see how the theory of JED and P schools extending into the 
exile tends to work round to a theory of contemporary authorship for much 
of the matter. But may not the same thing be assumed for early co-opera- 
tion in the production of the book * See befow, pp. 375-6. 

5 Canon of O.T., p. 41. On the historicity of Joshua, see Appendix to 


for the purpose of our inquiry here to remember how the 
discrimination of J and E was originally brought about. 
It will be recalled l that, till the time of Hupfeld, E was 
commonly regarded as an integral part of P a proof that, 
notwithstanding their differences, even these documents are 
not so far apart as many suppose. 2 Then E was separated 
from P on the ground of its greater literary affinities with 
J, and, not unnaturally, in view of the difference in the 
divine names, continued to be regarded as a distinct writing 
from the latter. Now the question recurs Is it really 
distinct? The only actually weighty ground for the dis- 
tinction is the difference of usage in the names, and that 
peculiarity must be considered by itself. Apart from this 
it is our purpose to show that the strongest reasons speak 
for the unity of the documents, while the hypothesis of 
distinction is loaded with improbabilities which amount, in 
the sum, well-nigh to impossibilities. 

1. In the first place, then, there is no clear proof that E 
ever did exist as a continuous independent document. It 
has a broken, intermittent character, which excites doubts, 
even in Wellhausen.* Roughly, after Gen. xx.-xxi, where 
the document is supposed abruptly to enter, 4 we have only 
fragments till chap, xxxi., then again broken pieces till 

1 See above, p. 196. 

* Bleek, Cave, Lange, Perowne, etc., retained the older view. An inter- 
esting series of equations might be drawu up along this line, based on the 
axiom that things that are equal to the same tiling are equal to one another, 
weakening somewhat the force of the ordinary documentary theory. If, r.g., 
E resembles P sufficiently to have been regarded by moat critics till Hupfeld, 
and by many since, as imrt of P, and E is at the same time practically in-li.s- 
tinguiahable stylistically from J, an obvious conclusion follows us to the 
relations of J and I'. So in other places approximations may be shown to 
exist between E and D, D and J, and even between JE and P, D and P. 
See below, pp. 253 if. 

' Wellhausi-n says : " Not merely is the in his matter and in his 
manner of looking at things most closely akin to the Jehovist ; his docu- 
ment has come down to us, as NoldeKe wan the first to pcrc> ive, only in 
extracts embodied in the Jehovist narrative." And in a note : " What 
Kuenen {>oints out is, that certain elements assigned by me to the Elohist 
are not fragments of a once independent whole, but interpolated and 
parasitic additions. What effect this demonstration may have on the judg- 
ment we form of the Eluhist himself is as yet uncertain." Hist, of Itrael, 
pp. 7, 8. 

4 Traces of E are thought by some to be found in chap. xv. (Wellhau*en, 
Dillmann, etc.). Dill man n would attribute to E part of the material in chapa. 
iv. 17 tr. ) ; vi. (1-4) and xiv. ; but he is not generally followed in this. Cf. 
Kuenen, Hoc. p. 149. 


chaps, xl.-xlii., in the life of Joseph, and a few portions there- 
after, chiefly in chaps, xlv. and I. 1 

2. Next, doubt, and more than doubt, is awakened by 
the thoroughly parallel character of the narratives. As was 
shown at an earlier stage, 2 the two supposed documents are 
similar in character, largely parallel in matter, and, as 
proved by their complete interfusion in many places, 
must often have been nearly verbally identical. A few 
testimonies on this important point may not be out of 

" In the main," says Wellhausen, " JE is a composition 
out of these two parallel books of history," adding, " We see 
how uncommonly similar these two history books must have 
been." 8 

" The two books," says Addis, " evidently proceeded in 
parallel lines of narrative, and it is often hard nay 
impossible to say whether a particular section of the 
Hexateuch belongs to the Jahvist or the Elohist." 4 " Two 
accounts of Joseph's history, closely parallel on the whole, 
but discordant in important details (?) 5 have been mingled 
together." * 

" It [JE]," says Kautzsch, " must have run in almost 
unbroken parallelism with the Jahwist in the patriarchal 
histories, the history of the Exodus, and of the conquest of 
Canaan." 7 

" In the history of the patriarchs," says Dillmann, 
" especially in that of Jacob and Joseph, it [E] shows itself 
most closely related to [J] ; so much so that most of its 
narratives from chap, xxvii. onwards have their perfect 
parallels in [J]." 8 

After this, it does not surprise us that an able scholar 
like Klostermann at one time a supporter of the usual 
critical hypothesis was so impressed with the similar 
character and close relation of these " throughout parallel " 
narratives as to be led to break with the current theory 

1 Colenso, so far as he accepted Hupfeld's E, did not regard it as independ- 
ent, but identified it with J. See above, p. 199. 

a See above, p. 71. 

8 Comp. d. Hex. p. 22. It lias already been seen that Wellhausen extends 
this parallel, as regards matter, to P (Hist, of Israel, pp. 295, 318). Cf. above, 
p. 107 ; but specially see below, pp. 344 ff. 

4 Hex. p. liii. 5 See below, p. 237. 8 Hex. p xlix. 

'Lit. o/O.T.,p. 43. 

8 Genesis, p. 11. In a similar strain Driver, Kiinig, Strack, Gtnkel, etc. 


altogether, and to recast his whole view of the origin of the 
Pentateuch. 1 

3. Again, the marked stylistic resemblance of J and 
speaks strongly against their being regarded as 
separate documents. On this point it may be sufficient at 
present to quote Dr. Driver. " Indeed," he says, " stylistic 
criteria alone would not generally suffice to distinguish J 
and ; though, when the distinction has been effected by 
other means, slight differences of style appear to disclose 
themselves." 8 How slight they are will be afterwards 

4. The force of these considerations is greatly enhanced 
when we observe the intimate fusion and dose interrelations 
of the documents, and the impossibility of separating them 
without complete disintegration of the narrative. The facts 
here, as elsewhere, are not disputed. 8 " The mutual relation 
of J and ," Kuenen confesses, " is one of the most vexed 
questions of the criticism of the Pentateuch." 4 " It must," 
he says again, "be admitted that the resemblance between 
and the narratives now united with it is sometimes 
bewilderingly close, so that when the use of Elohini does 
not put us on the track, we are almost at a loss for means 
of carrying the analysis through." 5 "There is much 
difference of opinion," acknowledges Addis, " on the contents 
of J and considered separately : the problem becomes 
more difficult when we pass beyond Genesis to the later 
books of the Hexateuch, and to a great extent the problem 
may prove insoluble." 9 The close interrelation of the 
several narratives is not less perplexing. This interrela- 
tion appears all through e.g. t the very first words of Gen. 
xx., " And Abraham journeyed from thence" connect with the 
preceding narrative ; the difficulties of chap. xxi. 1-7 (birth 
of Isaac), in which J, , and P are concerned, cau only be 
got over by the assumption that " all three sources, J, K, 

1 Cf. his Der Pentateuch, pp. 10, 52-58. On Klostermann, ne farther 
below, pp. 227-29, 345. 

* JitirotL p. 126; cf. p. 13: "Other phraseological criteria (bendes the 
name*) are slight." Cf. Colenso, quoted above, p.199 ; and Hnpfeld, below, 
p. 234. Dr. Driver himself speaks on the duality of the documents with con- 
siderable reserve, though " he must own that he has a! way rueii from the 
study of JE with the conviction that it is enrnnorite '' (p. 11 A). 

* The notes to Kautzsch and Socin's analysis of Gmtmt art here very 

* Hex. p. 64. Ibid. p. 144. I/ex, p, 


and P seem to have contained the account of the biith 
of Isaac " l but it is at its maximum in the history of 
Joseph. 2 Illustrations will occur as we proceed. 3 The usual 
way of dealing with these difficulties is by assuming that 
sections in J parallel to E, and sections in E parallel to J, 
once existed (so of P), but were omitted in the combined 
work. This, if established, would immensely strengthen the 
proof of parallelism would, in fact, practically do away with 
the necessity for assuming the existence of two histories ; but 
the hypothesis, to the extent required, is incapable of proof, 
and its assumption only complicates further an already too 
complicated problem. 4 

5. Finally, the argument for unity is confirmed by the 
violent expedients which are found necessary to make the 
opposite hypothesis workable. We have specially in view 
here the place given, and the functions ascribed, to that 
convenient, but most unsatisfactory, appendage of the critical 
theory the Redactor. The behaviour of this remark- 
able individual or series of individuals (II 1 , E 2 , E 3 , etc.) 
is one of the most puzzling features in the whole case. At 
times he (E) puts his sections side by side, or alternates 
them, with little alteration; again he weaves them 
together into the most complicated literary webs ; yet again 
he "works them up" till the separate existence of the 
documents is lost in the blend. 6 At one time, as Kloster- 
mann says, he shows an almost "demonic art" 8 in com- 
bining and relating ; at another, an incapacity verging on 
imbecility. At one moment he is phenomenally alert in 
smoothing out difficulties, correcting mistakes, and inter- 
polating harmonistic clauses; at another, he leaves the 
most glaring contradictions, in the critics' view, to stand 

1 Oxf. Hex. ii. p. 29 ; see below, p. 352. 

2 Cf. Addis and Dillmann above. 

*Cf., e.g., on the analysis of Gen. xxii. and Gen. xxviii. 10. fT., below, 
pp. 234-35. 

4 Cf. below, Chap. X. pp. 343, 348-9, 362. 

5 It is customary to speak of the Hebrew writers as if they were 
scrupulously careful simply to reproduce the material at their disposal 
combining, re-arranging, but not re-writing. That, if the critics are right, 
can only be accepted with much qualitication. P, on Wellhausen's theory, 
must have re-written the history. According to Kuenen, the "legends" 
have " been worked up in one way by one writer and another by another 
... so often as to be notably modified, or even completely transformed. 
Hex. p. 38 (on the process in Joshua, cf. p. 158). 

Pentateuch, p. 36. 


side by side. Now he copies J's style, now D's, now P's. 1 
A serviceable, but somewhat unaccountable personage 1 


The crux of the question of the distinction of documents 
lies, it will be admitted, in the use of the divine names in 
Genesis, and this problem, so far as it concerns J and E 
P stands on a somewhat different basis * must now 
seriously engage our attention. 

1. The first thing to be done is to ascertain the facts, 
and here, once more, we believe, it will be found that 
the case is not quite so simple as it is ordinarily represented 
to be. The broad statement is not to be questioned that 
there are certain sections in the narrative attributed to 
JE in which the divine name "Jehovah" is preponder- 
atingly used, and certain other sections in which the name 
" Elohira " (God) is chiefly used. It is this which constitutes 
the problem. We must beware, however, of exaggeration 
even here. When, e.g., Dr. Driver says that in the 
narrative, Gen. xii. 10-20, " the term Jehovah is uniformly 
employed," * it would not readily occur to the reader that 
" uniformly " in this instance means only once. The truth 
is, as we soon discover, that no absolute rule about the use of 
the names can be laid down. Even eliminating those 
instances in which the " redactor " is invoked to interpolate 
and alter, there remains a not inconsiderable number of cases 
to show that the presence of the divine names is not an 
infallible test Kuenen himself says and the admission 
is striking" The history of critical investigation has shown 
that far too much weight has often been laid on agreement 
in the use of the divine names [it is the pillar of the whole 
hypothesis]. ... It is well, therefore, to utter a warning 
against laying an exaggerated stress on this one 
phenomenon." * There are grounds for this warning. 

(1) There can be no doubt whatever that the name I 
" Elohim " ig sometimes found in J passages. In the 
narrative of the temptation in Gen. iil (J), e.g., the name 

1 Cf. Dillraann, Genesis, p. 21 : " The redactor R often writes the language 
of A [ = P]," eta See later on " imitation* " of D, P, etc. 

1 See below, p. 226. * Introd. p. 13 ; Oenuit, p, zL 

4 Hex. p. 01. 


" Jehovah " is not put into the mouth of the serpent, but, 
instead, the name "Elohim": 1 "Yea, hath Elohim said," 
etc. Similarly, in the story of Hagar's flight (J), the hand- 
maid is made to say : " Thou Elohim seest me." 2 In such 
cases one can easily see that a principle is involved. In 
the story of the wrestling at Peniel, again, in Gen. xxxii. 
(J), we have "Elohim" in vers. 28, 29. In the life of 
Joseph, Gen. xxxix. is assigned by Dillmann, Kuenen, 
Kautzsch, and most to J (as against Wellhausen), despite 
its "linguistic suggestions" of E, and the occurrence of 
" Elohim " in ver. 9 ; and Kuenen writes of other passages : 
" Elohim in chaps, xliii. 29, xliv. 16, is no evidence for E, 
since Joseph speaks and is spoken to as a heathen until 
chap, xlv." 8 

(2) Examples of the converse case of the use of Jehovah 
by E are not so numerous, but such occasionally occur. 
Addis, indeed, says roundly: "The Elohist . . . always 
speaks of Elohim and never of Yahweh, till he relates 
the theophany in the burning bush." 4 But Dr. Driver 
states the facts more cautiously and correctly. "E," he 
says, " prefers God (though not exclusively), and Angel of 
God, where J prefers Jehovah and Angel of Jehovah." 6 
E.g., in Gen. xxii. 1-14 (E) " Angel of Jehovah " occurs in 
ver. 11, and "Jehovah" twice in ver. 14. Similarly, in 
Gen. xxviii 17-22 (E), Jacob says: "Then shall Jehovah 
be my God." 6 When the use of the divine names is taken 
from the former exclusive ground, and reduced to a " pre- 
ference," it is obvious that new possibilities are opened. 
We ask that it be noted further that isolated Elohistic 
sections occur after Ex. iiL, 7 e.g., in Ex. xiii 17-19, xviii. 
a singular fact to be afterwards considered. 

(3) We would call attention, lastly, to the lengths 
which criticism is prepared to go in acknowledging the 
principle of discrimination in the use of the divine names. 
Kuenen, with his usual candour from his own point of 

1 Gen. iii. 1, 3, 5. s Gen. rri. 13. 

1 Hex. pp. 145-46. 4 Hex. L p. liv. Thus most critics. 

8 Genesis, p. xiii. Cf. Inf.rod. p. 13. " 

8 Ver. 21. A redactor is here brought in, as elsewhere, but unwarrant- 
ably. What caprice should lead a redactor to change these particular 
expressions, when so many others are left untouched 

7 But note the use of "Jehovah" in this chapter before the revelation 
(vers. 2, 4). 


view, allows to this principle considerable scope. " The 
original distinction between Jahwe and Elohiin," he says, 
" very often accounts for the use of one of these appellations 
in preference to the other." 1 (Dr. Driver allows it 
"only in a comparatively small number of instances.") - 
He gives in illustration the following cases. " When the 
God of Israel is placed over against the gods of the heathen, 
the former is naturally described by the proper name 
Jahwe (Ex. xii. 12; xv. 11; xviii. 11). When heathens 
are introduced as speaking, they use the word Elohim 
(Gen. xli. 39). . . . So, too, the Israelites, when speaking 
to heathens, often use Elohim, as Joseph does, for instance, 
to Potiphar's wife, Gen. xxxix. 9 ; to the butler and baker, 
Gen. xL 8 ; and to Pharaoh, Gen. xli. 16, 25, 28, 32 (but 
also in vers. 51, 52, which makes us suspect that there 
may be some other reason for the preference of Elohim); 
so, too, Abraham to Abimelech, Gen. xx. 13 (where Elohini 
even takes the plural construction). Where a contrast 
between the divine and the human is in the mind of the 
author, Elohim is at any rate the more suitable word 
(e.g., Gen. iv. 25; xxxii. 28; Ex. viii. 15; xxxii. 16, etc.)." 8 

2. What now, we go on to inquire, is the explanation of 
these phenomena? 

(1) We have already seen the difficulties which attend 
the critical solution of distinct sources in the case of docu- 
ments so markedly similar and closely related as J and E. 
There can be no objection, indeed, to the assumption 
of the use by the writer of Genesis of an older source, 
or older sources, for the lives of the patriarchs; such, 
in our opinion, must have been there. But such source, 
or sources, would, if used, underlie both, J and E sections, 
while the general similarity of style in the narratives shows 
that, in any case, older records were not simply copied. 
It may be further pointed out that the supposition of two 
or more documents (JEP, etc.), combined by a redactor, 
does not in reality relieve the difficulty. We have still 
to ask On what principle did the redactor work in the 
selection of his material ? What moved him, out of the 
several (parallel) narratives at his disposal, here to choose 
J, there to choose E, in another place to choose P, at other 
times to weave in stray sentences or clauses from this 

1 Hex. p. 68. * JiUrod. p. 13. Ilex. pp. 58-59. 


or that writing ? Did he act from mere caprice ? If he 
did not, the difficulty of the names seems only shifted 
back from the original authors to the compiler. 

(2) Shall we then say, sustaining ourselves on such 
admissions as those of Kuenen above, that the alternation 
of names in JE narratives in Genesis is due to the fact 
that these names are always used discriminativcly ? This 
has been the favourite view of writers of a conservative 
tendency, 1 and there is assuredly a deep truth underlying it, 
though we do not think it can be carried through to the full 
extent that these writers desire. It is the case, and is gener- 
ally admitted, that there is a difference of meaning in the two 
names of God, " Ehhim and Jahweh," as Dr. Driver puts 
it, "represent the*clivine nature under different aspects, 
viz., as the God of nature and the God of revelation re- 
spectively," 2 and it will also be allowed that to some extent 
this is the principle governing their selection in particular 
passages. But is it the principle of distinction throughout ? 

In this connection it is necessary to consider the 
important fact, on which the critics rightly lay much stress, 
that in the case of E the distinction in the use of the divine 
names ceases (not wholly, as we saw, but generally) with the 
revelation in Ex. iii. What does this fact mean ? The 
critical answer is simple : a new name of God the name 
Jehovah is here revealed, and with the revelation of the 
new name the use of the older name is discontinued. This 
explanation, however, as a little reflection shows, is not 
quite so satisfactory as it seems. For, first, it is not a 
distinction between E and J that the one knows of a 
revelation of God to Moses by His name Jehovah, and 
the other does not. Both, as we find, are aware of, and 
describe in nearly the same terms, the commission to Moses. 
In both Moses was to tell the children of Israel that 
" Jehovah, the God of [their] fathers " had sent him. Ex. 
iii 15 (E); 16 V J); iv. 5 (J). And, second, while it is E 
who records the words of revelation "I AM THAT I AM" 
(ver. 14), it is not E, but P, who later has the declaration : 
" I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, 
as El-Shaddai, but by My name Jehovah I was not known 
to them." 3 There is thus no indication that E regarded 

1 E.g., Hengstenberg, Keil, Green, Rupprecht, etc. 

1 Introd. p. 13. * Ex. vi. 3. 


the revelation to Moses in any other light than J did : l 
therefore, no apparent reason why E, any more than J, 
should draw in his narrative so sharp a distinction hetween 
the period before and that after the revelation in Exodus. 
Nor, in fact, did he ; for \ve have seen that Elohistic sections 
are found later in the book, and many able critics hold the 
view that originally the E document had this name Elohim 
till its close.* 

The general sense of the revelation to Moses is evidently 
the same in all the three supposed sources, and this helps 
us in determining the meaning of the words above quoted 
from P " By My name Jehovah I was not known to them." 
Do these words mean, as most critics aver, that the name 
Jehovah was up to that time absolutely unknown ? Was 
ihe . revelation merely a question of a new vocable? Or, in 
consonance with the pregnant Scriptural use of the word 
" name," in harmony also with the declarations of J and 
E that the God who speaks is " Jehovah, the God of your 
fathers," 8 is the meaning not, as many have contended, 
that the God who in earlier times had revealed Himself in 
deeds of power and mercy as El Shaddai, would now reveal 
Himself, in the deliverance of Israel, in accordance with 
the grander character and attributes implied in His name 
Jehovah the ever-abiding, changeless, covenant-keeping 
One ? 4 For ourselves we have no doubt that, as this is tho 
deeper, so it is the truer view of the revelation ; any other 
we have always felt to be a superficiulising of it 6 

There is, therefore, good ground for laying stress on the 
distinction of meaning in the divine names. This, probably, 

1 E, in point of fact does, as we saw, occasionally use "Jehovah" in Genesis. 
*Cf., e.g., Dil'.mann, Xum.-Jos. p. 617; Addis, Hex. i. p. liv. See 
In-low, p. 226. 

* That the name Jehovah was probably really older, as J, certainly, and 
probably both J ami E, assume, in shown in Note B to Chap. V. al ove. 

4 The "name" denotes in p-neral the revelation-side of God's ling. 
Jehovah, as we understand it, denotes the God of the Covenant as the Out 
who remains eternally one with Himself in all that He is and does : the 
Srlf-Ean&nt and there-fore the Mf-ContitteiU One. Kautzsch taken the name 
as meaning the "eternal and constant." Diet, of Bible (Extra Vol.). p. 625. 

It is interesting to notice that Colenao, who at first tenaciously n-nisted 
this view, came round latterly to regard it as admissible even suggrsta it 
as an explanation of how J might use the sacred name in Genesis without a 
MOM or discrepancy with P. " Whereas," he m\*, "if it means (aa some 
explain it) that it [the name Jehovah] was not fully understood or rtoJited, 
the contradiction in terms would disappear altogether," etc. ftnL vi. 
pp B82-3. 



so far we go with the critics, is the real reason of the 
predominating usage in the P parts prior to Ex. vi. The 
usage in this writing is ruled by the contrast of two stages 
of revelation, which the writer desires to emphasise. Still 
we think that, while this explanation of discriminative use 
is perhaps not impossible for JE, and often has real place, 1 
it is highly improbable that the same author should designedly 
change the name in so marked a fashion through whole 
chapters, as is done in this narrative, without more obvious 
reason than generally presents itself. Only, as formerly 
remarked, the critics themselves cannot wholly get away 
from this difficulty. If not the author, then the redactor 
must have had some principle to guide him in choosing, 
now a Jehovistic, now an Elohistic section. He is too 
skilful a person to have worked at random ; the distinction 
of names in his documents must have been as obvious to 
him as to us ; he is supposed to have often changed the 
names to make them suit his context ; it is difficult, therefore, 
to think that he had not some principle or theory to guide him. 
3. This leads to another, and very important question 
Is it so certain that in the case of JE there has been no 
change in the names ? The question is not so uncalled for 
as it may seem. We do not need to fall back on the redactor 
of the critics to recognise that the Pentateuch has a history 
that, like other books of the Bible, it has undergone a 
good deal of revision, and that sometimes this revision has 
left pretty deep traces upon the text. The differences in 
the Hebrew, Samaritan, and LXX numbers in Gen. v. and 
XL are a familiar example. But in the use of the divine 
names also suggestive facts present themselves. It has 
been mentioned above as the conjecture of certain critics 
that the E document had originally " Elohim " till its close, 
and was designedly changed to " Jehovah " after Ex. iii. 
(but why then not wholly ?). A plainer example is in Gen. 
ii.-iii. (J), where the two names are conjoined in the form 
"Jehovah Elohim" (LcwD God). It is generally allowed 
that this is not the original form of writing, 2 and that the 

1 As in Gen. iii. above, p. 222. Cf. also below, pp. 234-35. As analogous, 
the usage in the prologue and close of the Book of Job may be compared 
with that in the body of the book. 

a Gunkel. however, following Budde, actually thinks that we have here 
also the working together of two stories of Paradise an Elohistio and a 
Johoviatic. Genesis, p. 4. 


names are intentionally combined to show the identity of 
the " Elohim " of chap. i. (P) with the " Jehovah " of the 
subsequent narratives. If we may believe Klostermann, 
the ancient Hebrews could never have used in speech such 
a combination as "Jehovah Elohim," and would read 
here simply " Elohim." l The LXX is specially instructive 
on this point, for it frequently reads " God " simply (chap. ii. 
5, 7, 9, 19, 21), where the Hebrew has the double name. 
So in chap. iv. 1, for " I have gotten a man by the help of 
Jehovah," the LXX reads "God" (conversely in ver. 25, 
for " God " in the Hebrew it reads " Lord God ") ; and in 
ver. 26, for "call on Jehovah," it has "Lord God." This 
raises the question, more easily asked than answered Did 
this combination of the names stop originally with chap. iii. ? 
Or if not, how far did it go ? The LXX certainly carried 
it a good way further than our present text at least to the 
end of the story of the flood. 1 

There is, however, yet another class of phenomena bear- 
ing closely on our subject which has, in fact, furnished 
Klostermann with the suggestion of a possible solution of 
our problem well deserving of consideration. We refer to 
the remarkable distribution of the divine names in the 
Book of Psalms. It was before pointed out that in the first 
three of the five Books into which the Psalter is divided, 
the psalms are systematically arranged into Jehovistic 
and Elohistic groups: Book I. is Jehovistic (Davidic); 
Book II., Elohistic (sons of Korah, Asaph, David) ; Book III., 
Jehovistic (sons of Korah, etc.). 3 Here, then, in the 
Pentateuch and in the Psalter are two sets of phenomena 
sufficiently similar to suggest the probability of a common 
cause. What is the explanation in the case of the psalms ? 
Is it, as Colenso thought, that David wrote Elohistic psalms 

1 /Vn/ofeiuA, p. 37. "Only in tho temple, according? to Jacob (Ztit. d. 
Mitt*. lYiMentcha/t, 1896, p. 158), WMthemcred name JHVH pronounced " 
- Kirkpatrick, /Www, p. 67. 

1 The oom|>ound expressions "Jehovah, Qod of fthem " (Aiiraham, etr.), 
Oen. ix. 26 ; xxiv., etc., also deserve consideration. IB it, beside*, certain 
that the divine namca in the oldest script were always written in full, or 
aa words, and not represented by a xign T Dillmann, it may be observed, 
thinks that, conversely, Klohini in E is frequently changed into Jehovah 
(i\um.-Jot. p. 52), a statement which proves rather the uncertainty of his 
hypothesis than the necessity of the change. 

* Of. above, p. 197. For details see W. R. Smith, Ice. dt. ; Kirkpatrick, 
Th Psalms, pp. Iv ff., etc, 


at one period of his life, and Jehovistic psalms at another ? 
Few critics at the present day would accept this solution ; 
besides, it does not explain the phenomena of the other 
groups. The real key, it is generally allowed, is furnished 
in the fact that, in a few cases, the same psalms (or parts of 
psalms) appear in different groups in one form Jehovistic, 
in the other Elohistic. Thus Ps. liii. is an Elohistic re- 
cension of the Jehovistic Ps. xiv. ; Ps. Ixx. is an Elohistic 
recension of the Jehovistic Ps. xl. 13-17 (in the remaining 
case, Ps. cviii = Ps. Ivii 7-11, and Ix. 5-12, both versions 
are Elohistic). As the psalmist cannot well be supposed 
to have written the psalm in both forms, it is clear that in 
one or other of the versions the name has been designedly 
changed. This also is the nearly unanimous opinion of 
modern scholars. 1 Facts show that there was a time, or 
were times, in the history of Israel, when in certain circles 
there was a shrinking from the use of the sacred name 
Jehovah, 2 and when, in speech, the name "Elohim" or 
" Adonai " s was substituted for it. Not only was the name 
changed in reading, but versions of the psalms apparently 
were produced for use with the name written as it was to be 
read that is, with Elohim substituted for Jehovah. 4 
Klostermann's suggestion, in brief, is that precisely the 
same thing happened with the old Jehovistic history-book 
of Israel, which corresponds with what we call JE. There 
was an Elohistic version of this work in circulation along- 
side of the original Jehovistic a recension in which the 
divine name was written " Elohim," at least up to Ex. iii., 
and possibly all through. When the final editing of the 
Pentateuch took place, texts of both recensions were 
employed, and sections taken from one or the other as was 
thought most suitable. 5 In other words, for the J and E 

'Of. W. R. Smith, O.T. in J. C., p. 119; Driver, Introd. p. 372; 
Kirkpatrick, Psalms, as above, Library of O.T., p. 39; Klosterniann, 
Pentateuch, p. 36 ; Kcinig, Hauptjtrobleme, p. 28, etc. 

*t'f., e.g., Ecdesiastes, and the preference for "Elohim" in Chronicles. 
"The compiler of Chronicles," says Driver, "changes conversely Jehovah 
of his original source into God," etc. Introd. p. 21 ; cf. p. 372. 

3 It is well known that the Jews change " Jehovah " in reading into 
'Adonai" or "Elohim," and that the vowels of "Jehovah" itself are 
really those of " AdonaL" The name, we have seen, is properly Jahweh. 

Cf. Klostermann, as above. 

8 Evidently on this theory the need remains of finding a reason for the 
preference of the divine names as much as ever. This brings us back, as at 


documents of the critics, Kloatermann substitutes J and E 
recensions uf unc and fkt same old uvrk. 1 To him, as to us, 
the piecing together of independent documents in the 
manner which the critical theory supposes, appears 
incredible. If hypothesis is to be employed, this of 
Xlostermann, in its general idea, seems to us as good as 
any. 1 


It has been shown that the strongest reasons exist, 
despite the distinction in the divine names, for believing 
that J and E never had currency as separate documents ; 
it is now to be asked whether these reasons are overborne 
by the remaining grounds ordinarily alleged to prove 
that J and E were originally independent. The long 
lists of marks of distinction adduced by JDillnmnn and 
other critics 8 have at first sight an imposing appear- 
ance. On closer inspection, however, they reduce them- 
selves to much scantier dimensions. They were, for the 
most part, not obvious to the earlier critics, and, as proofs 
of independence, can be shown to be largely illusory. Such, 
e.g., are all the marks, formerly adverted to, supposed to 
show a superior interest of E in Ephraimitic localities and 
in the house of Joseph. It turned out that J displayed at 
least as warm an interest in Northern places, while E 
dwells also on Beersheba, the one Southern locality that 
comes prominently into the part of the history he nar- 
rates. Indeed, "the South country "is adduced as one of 
his favourite phrases. 4 The chief remaining grounds of dis- 

least the main reason, to the feeling of a superior appropriateness of one 
name rather than the other in a given context. 

1 Cf. Pentateuch, pp. 10, 11, 27 ff. 

* We do not gather that Klostermann supposes his Elohistio recension 
to be necessarily late the same causes probably operated at earlier periods 
or to be inconsistent with a union of J K with P. His own theory is that 
Mich * nnion goes far back (Pent. p. 185). The fault of KlcmtrmannV 
treatment is the excessive scope he allows for variations of the text in 
course of transmission. The well-marked physiognomy of the JE and I' 
text is an argument against such wide change. 

'Cf. Dillmann, Num.-Jos. pp. 617 if.; more moderately, Driver, 
IntrocL pp. 118-19. Genesis, p. xiii. 

4 E mentions also Hebron (see above, p. 210), and. if his hand is really 
present, as some suppose, in (u-n. xv. he must have had an account of tho 


tinction are alleged linguistic peculiarities, distinctive modes 
of representation, duplicate narratives, etc. Let us look at 

1. On the subject of liiiguistic peculiarities, Dr. Driver's 
statement was formerly quoted that "the phraseological 
criteria " distinguishing J and E are " slight." l They are 
slight, in fact, to a degree of tenuity that often makes the 
recital of them appear like trifling. In not a few cases 
words are fixed on as characteristic which occur only once 
or twice in the whole Pentateuch, or which occur in both J 
and E, or in contexts where the analysis is doubtful, or 
where the reasoning is of the circular order which first 
gives a word to J or E, then assigns a passage to that 
document because the word is present in it. Here are a lew 
examples : 

E is credited with " what may be called an antiquarian 
interest," 2 on the ground, among other things, that he once 
uses in Genesis (xxxiii. 19), in narrating a purchase, the 
word Kesitah (a piece of money) found elsewhere in the 
Bible only in Josh. xxiv. 32 (E ?) and Job xlii. 11. 

" Land of the South," above referred to, occurs only three 
times in the Pentateuch in Gen. xx. 1 (E), in Gen. xxiv. 
62 (which Delitzsch says cannot be referred to E), and in 
Num. xiii. 29 (doubtful) ; and once in Josh. xv. 19 (J). 

The phrase " after these things," said to be a mark of E 
(Well.), is found first in Gen. xv. 1 (J) E's presence in this 
context is contested, and the analysis is declared to be at 
best "only probable" then in three passages given to E 
(Gen. xxii. 1; xl. 1 ; xlviii. 1); but also in two J passages 
(Gen. xxii. 20 ; xxxix. 7), and in Josh. xxiv. 29 (possibly P, 
as giving an age). 

The word Koh, (in sense of "here") in Gen. xxii. 5, 
assigned as a mark of E, is found elsewhere once in Genesis 
(xxxi. 37 E), in Num. xxiii. 15 (mixed), and besides in 
Ex. ii. 12, assigned by Wellhausen to J, and in Num. xi. 31, 
given by Kuenen to J. 

When we turn to instances which may be judged more 
important, we are in hardly better case. One observes that 

covenant with Abraham at Harare. If otherwise, it is not easy to see how 
E can be expected to speak of localities which belong to a period before his 
own narrative be<rins. 

1 Introd. pp. 13, 126 ; see above, p. 219. 2 Addis, Hex. i. p. Iv. 


where other writers indulge in the customary "always" and 
" invariably," Dr. Driver frequently uses the safer word 
" prefers." 1 The following are a few principal examples, and 
the extent of the " preference" may be gauged from them : 

"The Jahvist," we are told, "calls a female slave or 
concubine Shiphhah, the Elohist invariably Amah."* Dr. 
Driver says in the case of E, " prefers " and prudently. 
Amah is used by E some half-dozen times in Genesis (xx. 17 ; 
xxi 10, 12, 13 ; xxx. 3 ; xxxi. 33), but Shiphhah occurs nearly 
as often in E or in inseparably interwoven contexts (Gen. xx. 
14; xxix. 24, 29, assigned to P; xxx. 4, 7, 18). 8 Whether 
Amah is used by E or J in Ex. ii. 5, xx. 10 (Fourth Com.), 
xxi. (Book of Covenant repeatedly), depends on the 
accuracy of the analysis which assigns these parts to E, and 
on this critics are quite divided. 4 Ex. xxi.-xxiii., e.g., are 
given by Wellhausen, Westphal, etc., to J. 

We are told again that " the Jahvist speaks of ' Sinai,' 
the Elohist of 'Horeb.' E's usage reduces itself to three 
passages (Ex. iil 1 ; xvil 6 ; xxxiii. 6) the last two deter- 
mined mainly by the presence of the word ; J employs Sinai 
solely in chaps, xix. (cf. ver. 1 ; xxiv. 16, P) and xxxiv. 2, 4, 
in connection with the actual giving of the law. 5 The 
related expression " mountain of God " seems common (Ex. 
iil 1, E ; iv. 27, J ; xxiv. 13 ?). 

"The Jahvist," it is said, "calls the aborigines of 
Palestine ' Canaanites,' the Elohist ' Amorites.'" This, 
on examination, breaks down entirely. E has no monopoly 
of "Amorite" (cf. Gen. x. 16; xiv. 13; xv. 21), e and the 

1 Genesis, p. xiii. 

* Addis, i. p. Ivi. The quotations that follow are also from Addis, pp. 
Ivi, Ivii. 

1 It is pure arbitrariness and circular reasoning to change this single 
word in chap. xx. 14 ami xxx. 18, on the ground that "the regular word for 
women slaves in E is Amah," and that "J on the other hand always 
employs Shiphhah " (Oxf. Hex. ii. pp. 29, 45) the very point in dispute, 
lu chap. xxix. 24, 29, the verses are cut out and given to P ; chap. xxx. 
4, 7 a r e similarly cut out and given to J (p. 45). 

4 Ex. ii. ft is confessedly given to E because "the linguistic conditions 
in vers. 1 and 6 [i.e., this word] point to E rather than .1 " (Oxf. Hex. ii. 
i>. 81). Jiilicher, however, gives the verso to J. The assignment of the 
IVcalngne and the Book of the Covenant are matter* of much controversy. 
Delitzsch remarks on the latter: "Such words as Amah . . . are no 
marks of E in contradistinction to J and D." Genesis, i. p. 82. 

* Possibly Horeb is a wider designation. 

' Oxf. Hex. itself says : "Otherwise in lists." Cf. Kuenen on Gen. x., 
Ilex. pp. 140, 149. 


two instances assigned to him in Genesis (xv. 16; xlviii. 22) 
are in passages of most doubtful analysis. 1 Similarly with 
the few instances of 'Canaanite' in J (Gen. x. 18; xii. 6; 
xiii. 7, etc. ; cf. xv. 21, " Amorite and Canaanite," given 
to R). 

One other instance must suffice. " The Jahvist calls 
Jacob in the latter part of his life 'Israel'; the Elohist 
retains the name 'Jacob.'" Dr. Driver more cautiously 
says "prefers"; Kuenen says "generally." 2 Here, again, 
the case is only made out by tearing asunder the web of what 
is evidently a closely-connected narrative, and by liberal 
use of the redactor. It will be observed that it is only in 
the " latter part " of Jacob's life that this peculiarity is said 
to be found. J had recorded the change of name from 
Jacob to Israel in chap, xxxii. 24-32, 8 but from some 
eccentric motive he is supposed not to commence his use of 
" Israel" till xxxv. 21. Yet, as the text stands, "Jacob" is 
found in a J narrative later (chap, xxxvii. 34), and " Israel " 
in a long series of E passages (Gen. xxxvii. 3 ; xlv. 27, 28 ; 
xlvi. 1, 2; xlviii. 2, 8, 10, 11, 14, 21). There is no reason 
for denying these verses to E except that this name is found 
in them. The logician could find no better example of the 
circulus vitiosus than in the critical treatment of Gen. xlviii. 
It may be noted that in Exodus J has " the God of Abraham, 
of Isaac, and of Jacob" (chap. iii. 16), and E in both Genesis 
and Exodus has " sons of Israel." 

2. Connected with these alleged peculiarities of language 
are others which turn more on general style, " tone," mode 
of representation of God, and the like. E has a more 
elevated idea of God ; J is more vivid and anthropomorphic, 
etc. Much depends here on subjective impression, 4 and on 
the view taken of the relation sustained by E to J whether 

1 Gen. XT. 16 is attributed by Wellhausen, Budde, Kuenen, etc., to 
another hand (not to E). 

3 "At present we can only say that in the E sections after Gen. xxxii. 
the patriarch is generally called 'Jacob,' whereas the J passages generally 
speak of Israel," but "in our mongrel state of the text numerous exceptions 
occur" (Hex. p. 145). 

3 If, with some critics, as Dillmann, we assign Gen. xxxii. 24-32 to E, 
we have, as Dr. Green points out, "this curious circumstance," that "P 
(xxxv. 10) and E (xxxii. 28) record the change of name to Israel, but never 
use it ; J alone makes of it, and, according to Dillmann, he does not 
record the change at all." Genesis, p. 450. 

4 Cf. the illustration jnven on p. 211. 


earlier or later. Two examples may be selected of these 
alleged differences, and one or two illustrations given of the 
analysis of passages resulting from the theory. 

We take examples universally accepted. " The God of 
whom lie [E] writes," we read, " appears in dreams, or acts 
through the ministry of angels." l " His angel calls out of 
heaven." * The " dream " criterion is one much insisted on, 
and for various reasons deserves attention. As the " dream " 
is a lower form of revelation, and is generally employed in 
connection with secular personages Abimelech, Laban, 
Joseph (dreams of secular pre-eminence), the butler and 
baker, Pharaoh, etc. it is not wonderful that it should 
commonly appear in passages of a prevailingly Elohistic 
cast. But the attempt to make out this to be a peculiar 
criterion of E proves, on inspection, to be an exaggeration. 
The passages adduced in its support, indeed, frequently 
prove the contrary. Thus, Gen. xv. 1, given by Driver, is 
on the face of it Jehovistic.' Gen. xx. 3, and most of the 
other instances (Abimelech, Laban, Pharaoh), fall under the 
above rule of fitness, and in some of the cases are assigned 
to E simply because a " dream " is recorded. Gen. xxviii. 
10-22 Jacob's vision at Bethel (cf. chap, xlvi 2) is divided 
between E and J (arbitrarily, as shown below), but the dream 
is implied in both. In E, Jacob sleeps and dreams (ver. 12) ; 
in J, he awakes (ver. 16). In J also God reveals Himself to 
Isaac in a night vision (chap. xxvi. 24 : cf. E passage above, 
xlvi. 2). Further, it is not the case that in E God reveals 
Himself only in dreams or by angels, as on the theory He ought 
to do. God speaks directly with Abraham in chaps, xxi. 12 
(contrast with case of Abimelech), xxii. 1 ; and with Jacob in 
chap. xxxv. 1. He " appears " to Jacob at Bethel in E, chap. 
xxxv. 7, just as He does in P (ver. 9). Finally, Wellhausen 
himself concludes from chap, x xxvii. 19, 20 that the " Jahvist" 
also must have related Joseph's dreams; 4 and Professor 
Bennett, who adduces this very criiorion of E, 6 follows suit and 

1 Addis, i. p. IT ; cf. Driver, Genesit, pp. xx, xxi ; Me Fad yen, Men. of 
Hut. ; " In the Kloliist He usually appears in a dream " (p. 19). 

* Driver, ibid. p. xxi ; cf. A-ldis, i. p. 36 ; McFadyen, p. 19, etc. 

* There is certainly no agreement that chap. xv. 1 is E's. This refutes 
also the exclusive right of E to a "coming " of God in a dream (Driver) 
twice elsewhere in Genesis. Why, it may be asked, if the dream is so 
peculiar a mark of E, ut it not carried into the other look ? 

4 Comp. d. Hex. p. 64. Genesis, p. 31. 


says : " Perhaps J had also an account of Pharaoh's dream." l 
So falls this hypothesis of " dreams " itself a dream. 

The argument based on the calling of the Angel of God 
"out of heaven" is not more successful. The expression 
occurs once in an E passage, in Gen. XXL 17, then twice in 
chap. xxii. (11, 15), but in both the latter cases in a Jehovistic 
form, " the Angel of Jehovah called out of heaven." Even 
if the redactor be called in to change the word to " Elohim " 
in ver. 11, because of the E context, this is inadmissible in 
the second case, where the context is Jehovistic. There is, 
in truth, no warrant for changing it in either case. Yet on 
this infinitesimally slender basis an argument for the dis- 
tinction of E is reared. 

This leads us to say that no stronger proof for the 
inadmissibility of the partition hypothesis in the case of J 
and E could be desired than the two passages just referred 
to Gen. xxii. 1-19. (the sacrifice of Isaac), and Gen. xxviii. 
10-22 (Jacob at Bethel). We would almost be willing to 
stake the case for the unity of the alleged documents 
on these narratives alone. Each, on its face, is a single 
story, which needs both the parts ascribed to E and those 
ascribed to J to constitute it in its completeness, and for 
the dividing of which nothing of importance but the 
variation in the divine names can be pleaded. The E and 
J portions, on the other hand, are unintelligible, if taken 
by themselves. Even on the basis of the divine names, the 
analysis presents great difficulties, and critics are far from 
agreed in their ideas of it. Thus, in Dr. Driver's scheme, 
Gen. xxii. 1-14 is given to E, though " Jehovah " occurs in 
ver. 11 and twice in ver. 14; in Gen. xxviiL 21, "Jehovah" 
occurs in the E part, and has to be forcibly excised. The 
unity of the story in both cases is destroyed by the partition. 
In Gen. xxii. vers. 1-14 are given, as said, to E, vers. 15-18 
to J (others give vers. 14-18 to a Jehovistic " redactor "), 
ver. 19, again, is given to E. But each of these parts is 
evidently complementary to the others. 2 If we break off 

1 Genesis, p. 29. 

2 Hupfeld, to whom is due the 2nd Eioliist, Las a remarkable admission 
of this. " I cannot conceal the fact," he says, " that the entire narrative 
seems to me to bear the stamp of the Jehovist ; and certainly one would 
never think of the Elohist, hut for the name Elohim, which here (as in part 
of the history of Joseph) is not .sup]K>rted by the internal phenomena, and 
em ban asses criticism ' (Quellcn, p. 178). Knobel also says : "Apart from 


with E at vers. 13 or 14 (still more, with the older critics, at 
ver. 10), the sequel of the story is clearly lacking. It is the 
suiue with Gen. xxviii. 10-22. E begins with vers. 10-12; 
vers. 13-16 are given to J; vers. 17, 18 again fall to E; 
ver. 19 is credited to J ; and vers. 20-22 are once more E's. 1 
Is such a patchwork credible, especially when " redactors " 
are needed to help out the complicated process ? * It is clear 
that both documents must have had the story, yet neither, 
it appears, is able to tell it completely. Jacob, as already 
pointed out, falls asleep in the one document, and awakes in 
the other. Even as respects the names, it is difficult not to 
see an appropriateness in their distribution, whether that is 
supposed due to an original writer, or to a later editor 
combining Elohistic and Jebovistic recensions. In both 
narratives the story begins on a lower level and mounts to 
a higher the "crisis" in each case being marked by the 
change of name. Hengstenberg, 8 but also Knobel, Delitzsch, 
and others, 4 have pointed this out in the case of the sacrifice 
of Isaac. "Elohim" tempts Abraham, and the name 
continues to be used till the trial of faith is complete ; it 
then changes ascends to "Jehovah" with the new 
revelation that arrests the sacrifice, and confirms the 
covenant promise. So in Gen. xxviii. 10 ff., Jacob, leaving 
his father's house, is practically in a state of spiritual 
outlawry. As befits this lower level, he receives his revela- 
tion in a dream (" angels of Elohim ascending," etc.) ; but 
"Jehovah" appears to him above the mystic ladder, and 
renews the covenant It was a revelation of grace, wholly 
undeserved and unexpected, designed to set Jacob on his 

Elohim nothing in this narrative reminds us of the Elohist ; on the contrary, 
everything ppeaks for the Jehovist " (quoted by Green, Qcnrsia, p. 483). 

1 There are variations among the critics here as elsewhere, several, e.g., 
give ver. 10 to J. 

1 Orelli says : "Gen. xxviii. is probably Yahwintic, at least the splitting 
ihest de 

cp of the narrative is in the highest degree arbitrary." O.T. 
p. 105. 

9 Gen. of Pent. i. p. 848. 

4 Knobel, who gives the whole narrative to J, says : " We have to 
that the Jehovist here uses Klohim BO long as there is reference to a human 
sacrifice, and only introduces Jehovah (ver. 11) after Mtting aside snob a 
sacrifice, which wan foreign to the religion of Jehovah " (as above). The 
change to the divine name, Hay* Delit/Mch, " is in its present .stale significant, 
the God who commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac is called ' (Ha)- Klohim, ' 
and the divine apjiearance that forbids the sacrifice, ' the Angel of 
Jehovah.'" Genesis, ii. pp. 80-91. 


feet again, and make a new man of him. Only the higher 
name was suited to such a theophany. 

3. One of the strongest of the evidences because not 
depending on single words relied on to prove the distinc- 
tion of J and E, and the validity of the documentary 
hypothesis generally, is the occurrence of "duplicate" 
narratives of the same event ("doublets"), and to this 
subject we may now finally refer. Duplicates, or what are 
held to be such, are pointed out in the case of JE and P, as 
in the two narratives of creation, Gen. L ii. 3 (P), ii. 3 ff. 
(J), and the twice naming of Bethel, Gen. xxviii. 19 (J), 
xxxv. 15 (P), cf. ver. 7 (E) ; but also between J and E, as in 
the twice naming of Beersheba, Gen. xxi. 31 (E), xxvi. 33 
(J), the two flights of Hagar, Gen. xvi. 4-14 (J), xxi. 9-21 
(E), and specially in the stories of the denials of their wives 
by Abraham and Isaac, Gen. xii. 10-20 (J), xx. (E), xxvi. 
6-11 (J). 1 Similar duplications are thought to be found 
in the Mosaic history. The presence of such differing 
and so-called contradictory accounts is held to prove 
distinct sources. 

On these alleged "duplicate" narratives the following 
remarks may first be made generally : 

(1) Narratives of the same event may be different in 
point of view and detail, without being necessarily, as 
is constantly assumed "contradictory" or "discordant" 
(creation, flood, etc. 2 ). 

(2) Similar acts may be, and frequently are, repeated 
under new circumstances. E.g., in the cases of Bethel and 
Beersheba above, the second narrative expressly refers back 
to the first (Gen. xxxv. 9, cf. on E below; xxvi 15, 18). 
This close interrelation of the different parts of the narrative 
( JEP) is one. of the most striking facts about it. 

(3) It weakens the argument that " duplications " do not 
always occur in different documents as on the theory they 
ought to do but in no inconsiderable number of cases fall 
within the limits of the same document. Thus E has a 
second visit to Bethel as well as P (Gen. xxxv. 6, 7); J 
has two denials of wives see below ; alleged duplicate 
accounts of the Korahite rebellion are found in Num. xvi. 

1 See a list of duplicates in Kuenen, Hex. pp. 88 ff. De Wette laid great 
stress on this argument in his Introduction. 
a See below, pp. 346 ff. 


3-10 (P), 1 etc. Criticism is driven here to further dis- 

(4) This suggests, lastly, that, even were the similarity 
of incidents as clear as is alleged, it would not necessarily 
prove different authorship. The same author might find 
varying narrations in the traditions or sources from which 
he drew, and might himself reproduce them in his history. 
Suppose, to take a favourite instance, that the narrator 
of the life of Joseph found the merchants to whom Joseph 
was sold described in one of his sources as Ishmaelites and 
in another as Midianites, is it not as likely that he would 
himself introduce both names (Gen. xxxvii. 27, 28, 36 ; 
xxxix. 1), as that a later " redactor " should weave together 
the varying histories of J and E ? * Even this hypothesis is 
not necessary, for we have independent evidence that 
" Ishmaelites ' was used as a wide term to include 
"Midianites" (Judg. viii. 24). In Hagar's flights (in 
second case an expulsion), one before the birth of Ishmael, 
the other when he was grown up to be a lad, it seems 
plain that tradition had preserved the memory of two 
incidents, connected with different times and occasions, and 
each natural in its own place. 8 

Without delaying on other instances, we may take, as 
a test-case, the most striking of all these " doublets " the 
denial of their wives by Abraham and Isaac and subject 
that, in closing, to a brief analysis. The results will be 

1 Cf., e.g., MeFadyen's Jftst. of Hist. p. 7, where thia cue is founded on. 
See below, pp. 858-59. 

The critics evolve from the narrative two discrepant histories of 
JOMph, according to which, in the one case (E), Joseph is, unknown to the 
brothers, taken out of the pit by passing JJidianites, and sold to Potiphar, 
captain of the guard, in Kgypt ; in the other (J) he is sold by the brother* 
(no pit) to a conn-any of IthmaeliUt, who sell him in turn to an unnamed 
Egyptian (no Potiphar). The " they " in ver. 28 is referred to the 
Midianites, In chap, xxxiz. 1, indeed, Potiphar is expressly said to have 
bought him from the Ishmaelites, but this is excised as an interpolation. 
The whole thing seems to us au exercise of misplaced ingenuity, refuted !> 
the narrative, which hangs together as it is, but not on this theory. 

' A difficulty is create! about the aye of Ishmael in the second story. 
The critics adopt the reading of the LXX for chap. xxi. 14, " put the child on 
her shoulder," and find a discrepancy with the representation of him as a lad 
of some fourteen years of age (cf. Addis, Hex. i. p. 34). But the story itself 
describes him as a "lad" (vers. 12, 17, 18, 19, 20), and the " mocking" of 
Isaac (ver. 9) implies some age. Colenso, for once, is not stumbled by the 
"carrying," and cites a curious Zulu parallel (quoted in Quarry, Gcnttit, 
p. 456). The LXX reading has no claim to supersede the Hebrew (ct 
Delitzsch, inloc.}. See further below, p. 352. 


instructive, as throwing light on critical methods, and as 
showing how far from simple this matter of " duplicates " 
really is. 

(1) We have first, then, to observe that what we have 
here to deal with is not two, but three incidents (not dupli- 
cates, but triplicates) one denial in Egypt (Gen. xii. 
Abraham), and two in Gerar (chap. xx. Abraham, xxvi. 
Isaac). Of these narratives, two are classed as Jehovistic 
(Gen. xii xxvi.), and one is classed as Elohistic (chap. xx.). 
In strictness, therefore, on the duplication theory, we seem 
bound to assume for them, not two, but three authors ; and 
this, accordingly, is what is now commonly done. It is 
allowed that " the narrative in chap. xii. shows the general 
style and language of J," l but " it can hardly be supposed 
that the story of Abram passing off Sarai as his sister at 
Pharaoh's court, and that of Isaac dealing similarly with 
Ilebekah at Gerar, belonged originally to the same series of 
traditions." z The former story, therefore, must be given to 
some later representative of the J "school." 3 We have 
here the critical process of disintegration in a nutshell 

(2) We have next to look at the phenomena of the 
divine names. In Gen. xiL 10-20, Dr. Driver, in words 
formerly quoted, tells us that " the term Jehovah is uniformly 
employed." 4 In point of fact, it is employed only once 
(ver. 17), and, strikingly enough, it is employed once also in 
the Elohistic narrative (chap. xx. 18) in a similar connection. 
In the third narrative (Gen. xxvi 6-11), the divine name 
does not occur at all, though the context is Jehovistic (vers. 
2, 12). So uncertain, indeed, are the criteria, that, according 
to Dillmann, 5 Wellhausen actually at first gave Gen. xii. 
10-20 to E (same as in chap. xx.). Now, he gives the 
section, as above hinted, to a later writer on the ground, 
for one thing, that Lot is not mentioned as accompanying 
Abraham to Egypt (Lot's presence, however, is plainly 
assumed, cf. chap, xiii 1). As respects the third narrative 
(Gen. xxvi), so far from there being disharmony, the opening 
verse of the chapter contains an express reference to the 
going down of Abraham to Egypt in the first narrative 
(Gen. xii. 10) ; but the whole text of this passage (vers. 1-5) 

1 Carpenter, Hex. ii. p. 19, * Ibid. i. p. 108. 

* See Wellhausen, below. 4 Genesis, p. *L 

* Genes it, L p. 17. 


is made a patchwork of by the critics. 1 Finally, in chap. 
xx. it remains to be explained how a Jehovist verse comes 
to stray into the story of E at ver. 18. It is easy to say 
" redactor " ; but one desires to know what moved a redactor 
to interpolate into his E context the mention of a fact for 
which he had no authority, and to employ in doing so a 
divine name out of keeping with his context. 

(3) The facts as they stand may be summed up thus. 
All three scenes are laid in heathen courts. In the first 
and third stories, the divine name is not used in the body of 
the narrative (in the third is not used at all) ; in the first 
and second, the name "Jehovah" is used towar. s the close 
(chaps, xii. 17 ; xx. 18) in connection with the divine action 
in inflicting penalty. As two of the narratives are allowed 
by the more moderate critics (e.g., Dillniann, Driver) to be 
by the same writer (J), there is no need, on the mere 
ground of duplication, to assume a different writer for 
the third story. All three stories may well have belonged 
to the original tradition. Nor do the conditions require us 
to treat the stories as simply varying traditions of the same 
incident There are resemblances, but there are also great 
differences. From both chaps, xii. and xx. it appears that 
it was part of Abraham's settled policy, when travelling 
in strange parts, to pass off Sarah, still childless, as his 
sister (chap. xii. 13; xx. 13: on the half-truth by which 
this was justified, cf. chap. xx. 12).* This of itself implies 
that the thing was done more than once (cf. " at every 
place," etc.) ; if, indeed, chap. xx. 13 is not a direct glancing 
back to the former narrative. What Abraham was known 
to have done, Isaac, in similar peril, may well have been 
tempted to do likewise. In the story about Isaac there is, 
in fact, as above noticed, a direct reference to his father's 
first visit to Egypt (chap, xxvl I). 8 

> Cf. Oxf. Hex. in he. Se aboye, p. 109. 

1 It would obviously be easy, on similar line* t the above, to make out a 
aeries of "demonstrable" duplicate* in, say, Hriti-h history, as in Spaniah 
wan, Chines* wan, Afghan wars, mad Mullahs, etc. : so in history 



THE historical character of the Book of Joshua is assailed, 
partly on the ground of discrepancies in the narrative, as 
in the chapters on the crossing of Jordan (chaps, iii., iv.), 
where two accounts apparently blend ; but chiefly because 
of an alleged difference in the mode of representation of 
the conquest. On the so-called discrepancies we have no 
need to deny the use of separate sources, 1 if these are not 
held to be contradictory. In the above instance, Kohler 
remarks that the notices of the two monuments (of twelve 
stones, one in Jordan, the other at Gilgal), while belonging 
to distinct sources, do not exclude each other, and are both 
to be held fast : 2 so in other narratives. 

As regards the conquest, it is urged that, according 
to one representation, that derived from the Deuteronomic 
redactor and the still later P, the conquest under Joshua 
was rapid, continuous, and complete ; while older notices 
in separate passages, 3 and in Judg. i., show that it was 
in reality only achieved gradually, by the efforts of the 
several tribes, and never completely. There is, however, 
if the book be taken as a whole, and allowance be made 
for the generalising tendency peculiar to all summaries, no 
necessary contradiction in the different representations of 
the -conquest, 4 while the circumstantiality, local knowledge, 
and evidently full recollection of the narratives, give con- 
fidence in the truth of their statements. On the one hand, 
the uniform assumption in all the JE history, from the 

1 Probably not, however, the J and E of the previous books. See above, 
p. 214. 

8 See his Bib. Geschichtc, i. pp. 473-74. 

3 E.g., chaps, xiii. 13 ; xv. 13-19, 63 ; xvi. 10 ; xvii. 12 ff. ; xviii. 2 ff. 

4 Cf. Kbnig's criticism of Budde in his article on Judges in Diet, of 
Bible, ii. pp. 818-19. 



original promise to Abraham of the possession of the land 
to the actual conquest, in the Deuteronomic discourses, and 
generally in the tradition of the people, is, that the tribes 
under Joshua did take effective possession of the land ; and 
this is borne out by the fact that in Judges it is not the 
Canaanites chiefly by whom they are molested (an exception 
is the temporary oppression by Jabin 1 ), but surrounding 
and more distant peoples (e.g. Chushan-rishathaim, king 
of Mesopotamia, 2 Moab, 8 Ammon, 4 Midianites, 5 Philistines 6 ). 
With this agrees the picture given of the conquest, begin- 
ning with the taking of Jericho and Ai, advancing to the 
defeat of the confederacy of the kings at Bethhoron, and 
destruction of their cities, 7 then to the defeat of the greater 
confederacy in the North under Jabin, and conquests there, 8 
afterwards, in more general terms, to further campaigns 
in the middle, South, and North of Palestine, till the whole 
land has been overrun. 9 The course of conquest is what 
might have been expected from the terror described by 
Rahab (JE ?), 10 and accords with the retrospect of Joshua 
in his last address (E ?). n On it the division of the land, 
described with so much topographical minuteness, naturally 
follows. 12 

On the other hand, the Book of Joshua itself gives many 
indications that, notwithstanding these extensive, and, as 
respects the main object, decisive conquests, there still 
remained much land to be possessed, which the tribes 
could only conquer gradually. 13 Much detail work had 
to be done in the several territories; and there is no 
difficulty in the supposition that, after the first sweeping 
wave of conquest, the Canaanites rallied, and regained 
possession of many places, e.g., Hebron, from which they 
had been temporarily expelled. An instance of this we 
have in Jerusalem, which had been taken by the Israelites, 

1 Judg. IT. * Judg. iii. 8 ff. 

Judg. iii. 12 ff. 4 Judg. x. 7 ff. 

* Jndg. vi. 1 ff. Judg. xiiL 1 ff. 
7 Josh. x. Josh. xi. 1-14. 

Josh. xi. 15 ff., xiL 10 Josh. ii. 9 ; cf. ver. 24. 
11 Josh. xxiv. 11, 18. 

11 Chaps, xii. ff. On the historicity of this, see below, pp. 879-80, and cf. 
Konig on Judges in Diet, of Bible, ii. p. 820. It is noted below (p. 242) that 
a division of the land is implied iu Judg. i., as Budde himself admits (cf. 
Konig, loc. cit.). 

u Josh. xiii. 1,2; seo passages cited on p. 240. 


and burnt with fire, and the population destroyed, 1 but 
which the Jebusites regained, and held till the time of 
David. 2 These facts do not really contradict the other 
narrative: 8 indeed, it is hard to see how a Deuteronomic 
redactor could have incorporated them unchanged in his 
narrative, if he believed they contradicted it. The language 
in Joshua about the conquest is not more sweeping than 
that in the Tel el-Amarna tablets about the Khabiri. In 
the letters of Abdi-Khiba, king of Jerusalem, e.g., to 
Amenophis iv. of Egypt, we have such expressions as the 
following: "The cities of my lord, the king, belonging to 
Elimelech, have fallen away, and the whole territory of the 
king will be lost. . . . The king has no longer any 
territory. ... If no troops come, the territory of my lord, 
the king, is lost." " Bring plainly before my lord, the 
king, these words: 'The whole territory of my lord, the 
king, is going to ruin.' " " The Khabiri are occupying the 
king's cities. There remains not one prince to my lord, the 
king: every one is ruined." "The territory of the king 
has fallen into the hands of the Khabiri." 4 

There is no feature in the conquest better attested than 
that Joshua was the leader of the tribes in this work, and 
that they advanced and acted under his single leadership 
till the first stages of the conquest were completed. This 
was not a thing done at once, but probably occupied several 
years. Kittel, who defends in the main the truth of the 
historical recollections in the narrative, and emphasises this 
point about Joshua, 5 thinks that a partition of the land 
(which he finds implied in Judg. i., etc. 6 ) must have taken 
place before the conquest began, and supposes that, after 
the general crossing of Jordan under Joshua, and capture of 

1 Judg. i. 8 ; cf. Josh. x. 

1 2 Sam. v. 6-8. 

8 Kbnig says : " It is a groundless assertion that the record of Judg. i. 
1 excludes ' the narrative of the Book of Joshua " (p. 820). 

4 See Bennett's Book of Joshua ("Polychrome Bible"), p. 55. The 
Khabiri are supposed by some to have been the Hebrews. See further 
below, Chap. XI. p. 421. 

8 Hist, of Hebs. i. p. 274. He points out that the view of Meyer, Stade, 
etc., that J did not know Joshua, is impugned by Kuenen, Dillmann, and 

6 The summary in Judg. i., he says, begins with the question, "Who 
shall begin the fight ? " and the territory of each tribe is called its " lot" 
"two facts which clearly enough presuppose a previous common agreement,' 
etc. Ibid. p. 275. 


Jericho, Judah and Simeon separated from the main body to 
act for themselves in the south. Joshua was thereafter leader 
of the Joseph tribes alone. 1 The view seems artificial, and 
no improvement on that in the book. The course of events 
is, we may believe, correctly represented in Josh. xxiv. 

l ffist. o/Hebt. pp. 272-77. 


difficulties ano perplexities of tbe Critical 
tbesis : ftbe Question ot IDeuteronomg 

"The Book of Deuteronomy in and for itself teaches nothing new. . .- . 
How could Josiah have been so terrified because the prescriptions of tins 
book had not been observed by the fathers, and the people had thereby 
incurred the wrath of Jahweh, if he had not been aware that these 
commands were known to them ? " GRAF. 

" I am still certain that the finding of the book of the law in the 
eighteenth year of Josiah is neither meant, nor is, to be understood of the 
first appearance of the Book of Deuteronomy, originating about that time." 

"Our review of sources has convinced us that it [Deuteronomy] draws 
from old Mosaic tradition, which in fact in many places goes back 
demonstrably into the Mosaic time, and par excellence to the person of the 
lawgiver. It goes so far as to incorporate such ordinances as no longer 
suited the writer's own time, but only suited the time of the conquest and 
settlement in Canaan." OETTLI. 

" Leaving out of account isolated passages, especially the close, Deutero- 
nomy is a whole proceeding from one and the same hand." RIEHM. 




THE questions we have been engaged in discussing with 
relation to J and E, while interesting as an object-lesson in 
criticism, and, in their bearing on dates, important, are 
secondary in comparison with those which yet await in- 
vestigation the age and origin of Deuteronomy and of the 
so-called Priestly Code. It will be remembered that the 
Graf-Wellhausen school does not pretend to settle the age 
and relations of documents or codes by critical considera- 
tions alone. Criticism is to be guided, and its conclusions 
are to be checked, at every step, by history. A parallel, it 
is alleged, can be traced between the course of the history 
and the successive stages of the legislation. Up to the time 
of Josiah, it is held, no trace can be discovered of the ex- 
istence and operation of any body of laws but that of the 
Book of the Covenant in Ex. xx.-xxiii. With the finding of 
"the book of the law" in Josiah's reign, 1 there enters a 
manifold influence of the spirit and teaching of the Book of 
Deuteronomy, strongly reflected in the later literature 
for instance, in Jeremiah ; but no sign is yet shown of the 
peculiar institutions of the Levitical Code. These first 
l>egin to be visible in the sketch of the restored temple and 
its ordinances in Ezekiel (chaps, xl. fi'.), and emerge as a 
definitely completed system in the law-book which Ezra 
brought with him from Babylon, and gave to the post-exilian 
community in Jerusalem. 2 Thenceforth they rule the life 
of the nation. The ingenuity of the new scheme is un- 
doubted, and the acceptance it has won is sufficient evidence 

1 2 Kings xxii. 

* Ezra vii. ; Neh. viii. For a popular statement of the theory of the 
three Codes see Professor W. R. Smith's O.T. in J. C., Lects. viii., i*. 


of the skill with which it has been expounded and defended. 
But is it really tenable ? Many reasons not the least 
cogent of them derived from the course of criticism itself 
convince us it is not. We shall deal in this chapter with 
the application of the theory to the Book of Deuteronomy. 1 


The Book of Deuteronomy, in its main part, consists, it 
is well known, after a slight introduction, and with some 
connecting notes, of three hortatory discourses purporting 
to have been delivered by Moses in the Arabah* of Moab, 
shortly before his death (chaps, i. 6-iv. 40, v.-xxviii ; xxix. 2- 
xxx.). To these discourses are appended an account of 
certain closing transactions of Moses (chap, xxxi.), the Song 
and Blessing of Moses (chaps, xxxii., xxxiii.), and a narrative 
of Moses' death on Mount Nebo (chaps, xxxii. 48-52 ; xxxiv.). 
The longest of the discourses (chaps, v.-xxviii.) embraces a re- 
hearsal (chaps, xii. ff.), in the form of popular address, of the 
principal laws given by God to Moses at Horeb, as these 
were to be observed by the people in their new settlement 
in Canaan. There is general agreement that the laws to 
which reference is made in this recapitulation are chiefly 
though, as will be seen after, by no means exclusively those 
contained in the Book of the Covenant (Ex. xx.-xxiii.); 
but they are handled by the speaker, not literally, but 
in free reproduction, with rhetorical amplification or 
abbreviation, and occasionally modification to suit new 

Deuteronomy is the one book of the Pentateuch which 
might seem on the face of it to make claim to direct Mosaic 
authorship. "Moses," it is declared, after the rehearsal is 
completed, "wrote this law." 3 This view of its origin 
modern criticism decisively rejects ; will hardly allow even 

1 Graf makes the Book of Deuteronomy his starting-point. His work 
opens : "The composition of Deuteronomy in the age of Josiah is one of the 
most generally accepted results of the historical criticism of the Old Testa- 
ment, for all who do not simply ignore these results." Geschicht. Biicher, 
p. 1 ; cf. p. 4. 

1 "That is, the deep valley running north and south of the Dead Sea" 
(R.V.). Usually (in P) Arboth, the steppes or plains of Moab. See an 
interesting description in an article on The Steppes of Moab, by Professor G. B. 
Gray in Expositor, January 1905. 

5 Deut. xxxi. 9, 24-26 ; see below, pp. 262 ff. 


to be discussed. 1 It was De Wette's achievement in criticism, 
as we saw, that he relegated Deuteronomy to the age of 
Josiah ; and in this judgment the great majority of critics 
now follow him, only that a few carry back the composition 
of the book a reign or two earlier to the time of Manasseh 
or of Hezekiah. Views differ as to how the book is to be 
regarded whether as a pseudograph ("forgery"), or as a 
free composition in the name and spirit of Moses without 
intention to deceive ; but it is generally agreed that, in its 
present form, it is a production of the prophetic age, and 
has for its leading aim the centralising of worship at the 
sanctuary at Jerusalem. The reasons given for this view 
are its prophetic tone and standpoint, its obvious connection 
with the work of reformation, the irreconcilability of its law 
of the central sanctuary with the older history, incon- 
sistencies with earlier legislation, etc. A main objection of 
the older critics was its alleged incompatibility with the 
Levitical legislation, then believed to be in substance 
Mosaic: 2 but the newer criticism has taken the ground 
from this objection by putting the Levitical laws still later 
than Deuteronomy in the exile. 

What weight is to be allowed to these opinions is con- 
sidered below. The composition of a book of exhortation or 
instruction in the form of addresses by Moses provided 
this is only literary dress, with honest motive in the writer 
is not a priori to be ruled out as inadmissible, or incom- 
patible with just views of Scripture. 3 The only question is 
whether Deuteronomy is a book of this character, or, if it is 
so, in what sense and to what extent it is so, and to what 
age it belongs. On the other hand, we cannot shut our eyes 
to certain far-reaching consequences of the acceptance of 
the critical view. If Deuteronomy is a work of the age 
of Josiah, then, necessarily, everything in the other Old 
Testament books which depends on Deuteronomy the 
Deuteronomic revisions of Joshua and Judges, the Deutero- 

1 Cf. Graf, above. Wellhausen says : "About the origin of Deuteronomy 
there is still less dispute ; in all circles where appreciation of scientific 
results can be looked for at all, it is recognised that it was composed in the 
same age as that in which it was discovered, and that it was made the rule 
of Josiah 's reformation, which took place about a generation before the de- 
struction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans." Hist, of Israel, p. 9. 

8 Cf. Blcek, Introd. i. pp. 328 ft". 

* Ecclesiastes, e.g., put into the mouth of Solomon, is generally admitted, 
even by conservative critics, to be a work of this kind. 


iiomic allusions and speeches in the Books of Kings, 1 
narratives of facts based on Deuteronomy e.g., the blessings 
and cursings, and writing of the law on stones, at Ebal, 2 all 
must be put later than that age. If, again, it be the case 
that the Levitical laws are later than Deuteronomy, this 
requires the carrying of these down to where the critics 
place them at or near the exile. The very gravity of 
some of these conclusions is our warrant for raising the 
question Is the critical view correct ? The course of 
criticism itself, as just hinted, despite the apparent 
unanimity, forces this question upon us. For, as we soon 
come to discover, even on the subject of Deuteronomy, the 
critical school is rent within itself by divisions which raise 
the greatest doubts as to the soundness of the original 
premises. The mania for disintegration the appetite for 
which seems to grow with what it feeds on has been at 
work here also. In the Oxford Hexateuch, e.g., so far to 
anticipate, the unity of Deuteronomy with which criticism 
started that even of the Code in chaps. xii.-xxvi. is lost in 
a sort of dissolving view. 3 There are, however, in our judg- 
ment, other and far stronger reasons for scepticism than 
even these critical vagaries. We hear much of the reasons 
for putting the book late, many of them, we shall find, sadly 
overstrained ; but we hear little or nothing of the enormous 
difficulties attaching to the critic's own hypothesis. These 
are either ignored completely, or are toned down and 
minimised till they are made to appear trifling. We are 
content, when the case has been presented, to let the reader 
judge on that matter for himself. The time, at all events, 
we venture to think, has fully come, when a halt should be 
called, and the question should be boldly put for recon- 
sideration Is the Josianic origin of Deuteronomy a result 

1 E.g., Solomon's prayer, 1 Kings viii., or Amaziah's sparing the children 
<>f murderers, 2 Kings xiv. 5, 6. 

2 Josh. viii. 30 ff. 

3 Cf. Hex. i. pp. 92-96; ii. p. 246. On the Code it is said: "The 
Code and its envelopments, homiletic and narrative, hortatory or retro- 
spective, must thus be regarded as tlie product of a long course of literary 
activity to which the various members of a great religious school contributed, 
the affinities with the language and thought of Jeremiah [not Jeremiah 'a 
affinities with Deuteronomy] being particularly numerous." To this group, 
it is added, "other additions were made from time to time, involving further 
dislocations " ; to these again iinal additions when JED were united 
with P (ii. p. 302). 


of scientific criticism which the impartial mind is bound 
to accept? 


As clearing the way for the discussion of date, a few 
words may be said, first, on the subject of unity and style. 

1. No book in the Bible, it may be safely affirmed, bears 
on its face a stronger impress of unity than the Book of 
Deuteronomy. It is not disputed that, in the form in which 
we have it, the book shows traces of editorial redaction. 
The discourses are put together with introductory and 
connecting notes, 1 and the last part of the work, with its 
account of Moses' death, and in one or two places what 
seem unmistakable indications of JE and P hands, 2 points 
clearly to such redaction. This suggests the possibility that 
such archaeological notices as occur in chap. ii. 10-12, 20-22, 
and perhaps slight annotations elsewhere, may come from the 
same revisional hand. But these minor, and in general 
readily distinguishable, traces of editorial labour only throw 
into more commanding relief the general unity of the book 
in thought and style. The most ordinary reader cannot 
peruse its chapters without perceiving that, as one has said, 
"the same vein of thought, the same tone and tenor of 
feeling, the same peculiarities of thought and expression," 
characterise it throughout. Accordingly, up to a compara- 
tively recent period till Graf's time the unity of Deutero- 
nomy, as respects the discourses, was recognised on nearly 
every hand as one of the surest results of criticism. 3 It 

1 These, however, differ little in style from the rest of the work. 

* Chap, zxxii. 48-.V2 is generally given to P, and chap. xxzi. 14. 15, 23, 
to JE ; both are found in chap, xxziv. 

* " By far the greater part," says De Wette, " belong to oue author." 
Introd. ii. p. 131. 

"These" (the discourses), says Bleek, "are so homogeneous in their 
language and whole character that we may assume as certain and on this 
point there is scarcely a con dieting opinion they were on the whole com- 
pood in the shape in which we now have them, by one and the same 
author." Introd. L p. 320. 

In 1864 Colenso wrote: "There can be no doubt that Deuteronomy is 
throughout the work of the same hand, with the exception of the last 
chapter . . . the book is complete in itself and exhibits a perfect unity of 
style and subject," Pent., Pop. edit. p. 185. By 1871, in Pt. vi. of his 
large work, he had come to believe that that which admitted of " no doubt " 
earlier wan wrong, and that the original Deuteronomy began with chap. v. 


was not doubted that the book found in the temple and 
read to Josiah was substantially the Deuteronomy we possess. 
This can no longer be affirmed. The fine art of distinc- 
tion acquired in the dissection of the other Pentateuchal 
" sources " soon led, as it could not but do as it would do 
with any book in existence to the discovery of abundant 
reasons for dividing up Deuteronomy also, first, into a 
number of larger sections of different ages, then into a 
variety of smaller pieces, 1 till, latterly, as indicated above, 
the unity tends entirely to disappear in the flux of the 
labours of a "school." Kuenen, who, in this point, is 
relatively conservative, extends the length of what he calls 
" the Deuteronomic period, which began in the year 621[2] 
B.C., and which called the additions to D 1 into existence," 
beyond the beginning of the Babylonian captivity. 2 Broadly, 
however, two main opinions on division may be distinguished, 
in regard to which we are happy in being able to leave it 
with the critics to answer each other. (1) There is the 
view of Wellhausen, Cornill, and others, who would limit 
the original Book of Deuteronomy (its " kernel ") to chaps, 
xil xxvi. ; but this, as Dr. Driver justly says, " upon grounds 
which cannot be deemed cogent." 8 Even Kuenen contests 
the reasons of Wellhausen on this point, and upholds the 
unity of chaps, v. xxvi. 4 He gives also chap, xxviii. to the 
author of these chapters, as against Wellhausen. 5 (2) 
Kuenen, however, following Graf, 6 here draws a new line, 
and, " with the majority of recent critics," says Dr. Driver, 
"declares chaps, i-iv. to be the work of a different hand." 7 
The resemblance of style cannot be denied, but, says 
Kuenen, " the great similarity of language must be explained 
as the result of imitation." 8 To Dr. Driver himself there 
seems " no conclusive reason " for questioning the unity of 

1 See Note A on the Breaking up of Deuteronomy. 

9 Hex. p. 225. 8 Deut. p. Ixv. 

4 Hex. pp. 113 ff. Ibid. pp. 126 ft. 

9 Cf. Graf, Geschicht. Biicher. pp. 4, 5. It is interesting to notice the 
reasons given by Graf, as a pioneer in this division. He does not base it on 
style. He thinks, indeed, that in parts a greater " diffuseness" may be 
detected, but this "may perhaps seem too subjective." His objective reason 
is that, through the first four chapters, Deuteronomy is "closely bound 
with the preceding books," even as "the last four chapters contain the 
continuation of the historical narrations of those books.' This does not 
suit his hypothesis that the Pentateuch as a whole did not exist in Josiah'a 

7 Deut. p. Ixvii ; cf. Kuenen, Hex. pp. 117 S. e Hex. p. 117. 


chaps, i.-iii. with the body of the work, and he doubts whether 
"the only reason of any weight" for questioning chap. iv. 
1-40 is conclusive either. 1 Oettli, another witness, says on 
chaps. L-iv. : " The usage of speech is the same as in chaps. 

For ourselves, the broad argument from unity of thought, 
language, and style throughout the book seems overwhelming 
against all these attempts at disintegration. Dr. Driver is 
mainly with us here. He points out how " particular words, 
and phrases, consisting sometimes of entire clauses, recur 
with extraordinary frequency, giving a distinctive colouring 
to every part of the work." 8 Almost more important is his 
statement that " the majority of the expressions noted occur 
seldom or never besides; others occur only in passages 
modelled upon the style of Deuteronomy, and representing 
the same point of view." 4 As respects the opinions of 
other critics, Dillmann, Westphal, Kittel, Oettli, Delitzsch 
and others, defend, like Dr. Driver, the general unity of 
Deuteronomy. Dillmann and Westphal, however, have 
hypotheses of transpositions, etc., which Dr. Driver, with 
good reason, rejects as "intrinsically improbable." 6 The 
unity of Deuteronomy, it may be concluded, is likely to 
survive the attacks made upon it. 

2. An interesting question arises here, with considerable 
bearings on later discussions How does the style of Deutero- 
nomy stand related to that of the other Fentateuchal books, 
and to those passages said to be " modelled " on it in other 
Old Testament writings? There are marked differences 
between the Deuteronomic and the JE and F styles, but it 
is important that these should not be exaggerated, and that 
affinities also should be noted. 8 Delitzsch, in his Genesis, 

1 DeiU. p. Izxii. * Com. on Dent. p. 9. 

1 Dent. p. Ixxvii. Dr. Driver's words on chape. Y.-xxvi., xxviii. are worth 
quoting: "There is no sufficient reason for doubting that the whole of 
these chapters formed part of the law-book found l>y Hilkiah ; all are 
written in the same style, and all breathe the same spirit, the only material 
dillerence being that, from the nature of the case, the jwrenetic phraseology 
in not so exclusively predominant in chaps, xii.-xxvi., xxviii. as it is in chaps. 
v.-xi. . . . Chaps, v.-xxvi. may thus be concluded, without hesitation, lobe 
tlie work of a single author ; and chap, xxviii. may be included without 
serious misgivings. ' Pp. Ixv, Ixvii. 

* Ibid. p. Ixxxv. 

B Il/id. p. Ixxv. Kittel sympathises with Dillmaun and Westphal. See 
bis Hist, of Hcbt. i. pp. 58 ft. 

* See Note B on Deuteronomic and Priestly Styles. 


made an interesting attempt, from comparison of the 
Decalogue and Book of the Covenant with Deuteronomy 
(which he took to be Mosaic in kernel), to arrive at an idea 
of the mode of thought and language of Moses. He found 
many Deuteronomic assonances in the above writings, and 
concluded that there was " an original Mosaic type," which 
he termed " Jehovistic-Deuteronomic." l It is at any rate 
certain that comparison with the other Pentateuchal books 
reveals some curious relations. Of all styles, that of the so- 
called P is furthest removed from Deuteronomy; yet in 
Lev. xxvi., which is of the P type, the language rises to a 
quite Deuteronomic strain of hortatory and admonitory 
eloquence. The resemblance is in fact so remarkable that 
it is commonly allowed that a close relation of some kind 
subsists between Lev. xxvi. and Deuteronomy, whether of 
priority or dependence on the part of Leviticus remains yet 
to be considered. 2 The affinities of Deuteronomy with JE 
are much closer. 3 Such are clearly traceable in the Deca- 
logue and Book of the Covenant, 4 whether we ascribe the 
latter, with some critics, to J, or, with others, to E. 6 More 
generally, " there are," says Dr. Driver, " certain sections of 
JE (in particular, Gen. xxvi. 5 ; Ex. xiii. 3-16 ; xv. 26 ; xix. 
3-6; parts of xx. 2-17; xxiil 20-23; xxxiv. 10-26), in 
which the author (or compiler) adopts a parenetic tone, and 
where his style displays what may be termed an approxima- 
tion to the style of Deuteronomy ; and these sections appear 
to have been the source from which the author of Deutero- 
nomy adopted some of the expressions currently used by 
him." 8 Not, it will be observed, borrowed from Deutero- 
nomy, a proof, surely, of an early Deuteronomic type. 

1 Genesis, pp. 29-32. 

8 Of. Colenso, Pent., Pt. vi. pp. 4 ff. ; and see on Law of Holiness below, 
Chap. IX. pp. 308 ff. On P phrases in Deuteronomy, see below, p. 277. 

* Some older critics, as Stahelin, even attributed the composition of 
Deuteronomy to the Jehovist. De Wette writes of Deuteronomy: "By 
far the greater part belongs to one author, and, as it appears, to the 
Jehovistic, of which it has numerous characteristic marks." Introd, ii. p. 131 . 

4 Cf. Deli tzsch above. Wellhausen Dillmann also explains the refer- 
ences by a " back -current " from Deuteronomy. But the Decalogue, whether 
provided with " enlargements " or not, must in its present form, as incorpor- 
ated in the ,IE history, have been older than Deuteronomy (on critical date 
of that book). So with the Book of the Covenant. 

See above, p. 231 ; below, p. 276. 

6 Deut. pp. Ixxvii-lxxviii ; cf. pp. Ixxxv-vi. Delitzsch also finds 
Deuteronomic traces occasionally in Genesis (e.g., chap. xxvi. 5). Coleuso 


Still more interesting in this connection are certain 
passages in Joshua, Judges, and Samuel, described by 
Dr. Driver as " pre-Deuteronomic " (i.e., pre- Josianic), and 
"allied to E," yet which have affinities in thought and 
expression to Deuteronomy. 1 And a last interesting and 
curious fact, as bearing on the alleged "modelling" on 
Deuteronomy, is that, if Dr. Driver is correct, the purity 
of the Deuteronomic revisers' style seems to diminish as 
we recede further in the history from the Mosaic age. 
It is, he tells us, most " strongly -marked " in Joshua and 
Judges, hardly appears in Samuel at all, is mingled with 
other forms of expression in Kings. " It is interesting to 
note," he observes, "what is on the whole an interesting 
accumulation of deviations from the original Deuteronomic 
type, till in, e.g., 2 Kings xvii. it is mingled with phrases 
derived from the Book of Kings itself, Judges, and 
Jeremiah." * The inference we are disposed to draw from 
these facts is not quite that of the learned author. They 
appear to us to point to a much earlier dating and influence 
of Deuteronomy than he would allow. 


We now approach the central problem of the aye and 
origin of the book. Was the Book of Deuteronomy, as the 
critics, with nearly united voice, allege, a production of ihe 
age of Josiah, or of one of his immediate predecessors ? If 
not, what were the circumstances of its origin ? It is 
extremely important to observe that for most of the 
critics thia question is already settled before they begin. 
Deuteronomy is universally allowed to presuppose, and to 

finds the hand of the Deuteronomist traceable from Genesis to 2 Kings 
(Pent., Pt vi. p. 28). He finally finds 117 Deuteronomic verses in Genesis, 
138J in Exodus, and 156J in Numbers (Pt. vii. pp. i-vi ; A pp. pp. 145 if.). 
Kuenen points out that Wellhausen approaches the positions of Stiihelin 
and Colenso " when, from time to time, he notes a relationship between JE, 
'.., the redactor of the two works J and K, and the Book of Deuteronomy, 
and even asks whether JE may not have been revised by a deuteronoimr 
redactor." Hex. p. 137. 

1 Jbid. p. Ixxxvi. Cf. Introd. pp. 106, 107, etc. Such passages aro 
parts of Josh. xxiv. 1-26 ; Judjj. vi. 7-10 ; x. 6-16 ; 1 Sam. ii. 17-36 ; 
parts of 1 Sum. vii.-viii. ; x. 11-27, etc. 

* Ibid. p. xcii. 


be dependent on, the laws and history contained in JE, 
and, these writings being brought down by general con- 
sent to the ninth or eighth century B.C., a later date for 
Deuteronomy necessarily follows. 1 We decline to bind 
ourselves in starting by this or any similar assumption. It 
may well be that the result of the argument will rather 
be to push the date of JE farther back, than to make 
Deuteronomy late. Eeasons for the late date are found 
in the narrative of the finding of "the book of the law" 
in 2 Kings xxii., in statements of Deuteronomy itself, and 
in the character of its laws, compared with the earlier code, 
and with the history. 2 It seems to us, on the other hand, 
that, under these very heads, insoluble difficulties arise, 
which really amount to a disproof of the critical theory. 
Eeversing the usual procedure, it will be our aim, first, 
to set forth these difficulties which call for a revisal of 
the current view, then to weigh the force of the considera- 
tions adduced in its support. 

1. Investigation naturally begins with the narrative of 
the finding of " the look of the law " in the eighteenth year 
of the reign of Josiah (B.C. 622), which criticism holds to be 
the first appearance of Deuteronomy. The story, in brief, 
is that, during repairs in the temple, Hilkiah the high 
priest found a book, identified and described by him as 
" the book of the law." He announced his discovery to 
Shaphan the scribe, who, after reading the book himself, 
presented and read it to the king. Josiah was extra- 
ordinarily moved by what he heard, confessed the guilt 
of the " fathers " in not hearkening to the words of this 
book, sent to inquire of Jehovah at the prophetess Huldah, 
finally, after the holding of a great assembly, and the renewal 
of the nation's covenant with God on the basis of the book, 
instituted and carried through the remarkable " reformation " 

1 "Of course, "remarks Dr. Driver, "for those who admit this [(viz., that 
JE is long subsequent to Moses)], the post-Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy 
follows at onre ; for, as was shown above, it is dependent ujton, and conse- 
quently later than, JE." Dent. p. xlii. Thus one part of the theory rules 

2 Dr. Driver again says : "As a work of the Mosaic age, Deuteronomy, 
I must own, though intelligible, if it stood perfectly alone, i.e., if the 
history of Israel had been other than it was, does not seem to me in- 
telligible, when read in the light shod upon it by other parts of the Old 
Testament." Ibid. Pref. p. xii. This seems to show that it is the history 
(or view taken of it) which really decides the late date. 


with his name. 1 There is no reason to doubt that 
the book which called forth this reformation, embraced, if 
it did not entirely consist of, the Book of Deuteronomy. 2 
The critical theory, in its usual form, is, that the book was 
composed at or about this time, and was deposited in the 
temple, with the express design of bringing about just such 
a result. Is this credible or likely ? 

(1) Now, if anything is clear on the face of the narrative 
above summarised, it surely is, that this finding of the book 
of the law in the temple was regarded by everybody con- 
cerned as the genuine discovery of an old lost book, and that 
the " book of the law " of Moses. This is evident as well 
from the terms in which the book is described (" the book 
of the law," 3 "the book of the covenant," 4 "the law of 
Moses " 6 ), as from the profound impression it produced on 
king and people, and from the covenant and reformation 
founded on it. Hilkiah, who announced its discovery in the 
words, " I have found the book of the law in the house 
of Jehovah," 6 the king, who was vehemently distressed 
"because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of 
this book," 7 Huldah the prophetess, who confirmed the 
threatenings of the book, 8 had no other idea of it. There 
is not a whisper of doubt regarding its genuineness from 
any side from priests at the temple, whose revenues it 
seriously interfered with, from prophets, on many of whom 
it bore hardly less severely, from the people, whose mode 
of life and religious habits it revolutionised, from priests 
of the high places, whom it deposed, and whose worship 
it put down as a high crime against Jehovah. The critics 

1 2 Kings xxii., xxiii. ; cf. 2 Chr-^n. xxxiv.. xxxv. The credence accorded 
to this narrative in 2 Kings by the critics contrasts singularly with their 
free treatment of other parts of the later history of Kings, e.g., the reforms 
of Hezekiah (2 Kings xviii. 4 If.) questioned by Wellhausen, Stade, Smeixl, 
etr.), and the deliverance from Sennacherib (chap. xix. ; cf. H. P. Smith, 
O. T. Hist. p. 245). 

* The narrative in Kings generally does not require, though at points it 
suggests, more (e.g., chap, xxiii. 21) ; the Chronicler's account of the great 
Pu-sover implies the Mosaic ordinance. 

2 Kings xxii. 8. 4 Chap, xxiii. 2. Chap, xxiii. 24, 26. 

Chap. xxii. 8. 

7 Chap. xxii. 13; cf. Jer. xxxiv. 13 ff. Professor W. R. Smith could 
persuade himself that " it was of no consequence to him [JosiahJ to know the 
exact date of the authorship of the book" O.T. in J. C. Not ita txact 
date, perhaps, but its antiquity 1 

8 L'hap. xxii. 10. 



themselves do not dispute, but freely allow, that it was 
taken for a genuinely Mosaic book, and that it was this 
fact which gave it its authority. The last thing, we may 
be certain, that would enter the minds of Josiah or of 
those associated with him, was that the book which so 
greatly moved them was one newly composed by prophetic 
or priestly men of their own circles. This was a point, 
moreover, on which we may be sure that king and people 
would not be readily deceived. People at no time are easily 
deceived where their own interests or privileges are con- 
cerned, but in this case there were special difficulties. A 
new book, after all, does not look like an old one ; and if 
high priest, scribe, king, prophetess, were misled into 
thinking that they were dealing with an old Mosaic book, 
when the parchment in their hands was one on which 
the ink was hardly dry, they must have been simpletons 
to a degree without parallel in history. On the other 
hand, assume the book to have been old, mouldy, de- 
faced, and what are we to say of its recent origin ? Did its 
authors, as Oettli asks, disfigure the book to make it look 
old? 1 

(2) To these objections, there is but one plain answer, if 
the Josianic origin of the book is to be upheld, and that is 
an answer which the more influential leaders of the new 
school do not hesitate to give the book was a result of 
pious fraud, or of a deliberate intention to deceive. It was 
a " pseudograph " ; in popular speech, a " forgery." This, 
without any disguise, is the view taken of the matter by 
Ileuss, Graf, Kuenen, Wellhausen, Stade, Cornill, Cheyne, 
etc., 2 as by Colenso, 3 and many older critics. Many 
believing scholars, to their credit, repudiate it, but their 
scruples are treated by the real masters of the school as 
the result of timidity and weak compromise. Yet, as 
Klostermann says, in criticising it, " What a swallowing of 

1 Deut. Introd. p. 19. 

a One of Reuss' propositions (endorsed by Wellhansen) is : " Deuteronomy 
is the book which the priests pretended to have found in the temple in the 
time of Josiah." Wellhansen, Hist, of Israel, p. 4. For the views of other 
scholars, see Note C on Deuteronomy as Fraus Pia. 

8 Colenso, who thinks it likely that Jeremiah was the falsarius, writes : 
" What it [the inner voice] ordered him to do, he would do without hesita- 
tion, as by direct command of God ; and all considerations of morality or 
immorality would either not be entertained," etc. (Pent. Pop. edit 1864, 
p. 201 ; cf. pp. 196 ff.). 


camels is hero!" 1 Tt is a view which, despite the excuse 
attempted to be made for it by talk about the " less strict " 
notions of truth in those days, 2 shocks the moral sense, arid 
is not for a moment to be entertained of a circle to which 
the prophet Jeremiah, with his scathing denunciations of 
lying and deceit, and of the "false pen of the scribes" that 
" wrought falsely, ' 8 belonged. Not that oven on this 
supposition the difficulty of the transaction is removed. 
Hilkiah might be a party with prophets and priests in an 
intrigue to palm off a " book of the law " on the unsuspecting 
king; 4 but how should he be able to use such language to 
Shaphan as, " I have found the book of the law " ? or how 
should Josiah speak of the disobedience of the " fathers " 
to commandments which he must have been aware were not 
known to them ? Is it not apparent that, though " the 
book of the law " had long been neglected, disobeyed, and 
allowed to become practically a dead letter, men still knew 
of the existence of such a book, and had sufficient idea of 
its contents to be able to recognise it when this old temple 
copy, which had evidently been left to lie covered with ite 
dust, one does not know how long, in some recess, was 
suddenly brought to light. It is nothing to the point to 
urge, in answer, that, had Deuteronomy existed earlier, 
there could not have been that long course of flagrant 
violation of its precepts which Josiah deplores. The whole 
condition of Jerusalem and Judah at this time, as described 
in 2 Kings xxiii., was in flagrant violation of far more 
fundamental statutes than that of the central sanctuary in 
Deuteronomy. Let one read, e.g., the account of the state 
of things under Manasseh, or in Josiah's time, alongside 
of such a sentence as the following from Dr. Driver: 
"Now if there is one thing which (even upon the most 
strictly critical premises) is certain about Moses, it is 
that he laid the greatest stress upon Jehovah's being 
Israel's only God, who tolerated no other God beside Him, 
and who claimed to be the only object of the Israelite's 

1 Pent. p. 97. 

* Knenen, Rel. of Isrofl, ii. p. 19. See Note 0. 

1 Jer. viii. 8 ; cf. chajw. v. 30, 81 , vi. 8-8, etc. See below, p. 294. 

4 The extreme improbability of Hilkiah being a party to the forgery of 
a work which (on the theory) seriously infringed on the privileges of the 
Jerusalem priesthood, ia pointed out by many writers (W. B. Smith, 
Dillmann, Kitu-1, Driver, etc.). 


allegiance." 1 And are there no parallels in history, both 
to the condition of neglect into which the book of the law 
had fallen, and to the startling effect of the timely re- 
discovery of a book long forgotten? 2 

(3) In light of these facts, it is not a little singular that 
Dr. Driver, in repelling the charge that "if the critical 
view of Deuteronomy be correct, the book is a 'forgery,' 
the author of which sought to shelter himself under a great 
name, and to secure by a fiction recognition or authority 
for a number of laws 'invented' by himself" 8 should not 
make it clearer than he does that this opinion represented 
by him as a groundless " objection " of opponents is, so far 
as the pseudographic character of the work is concerned, 
precisely and explicitly that of the heads of the school with 
which " the critical view " he defends, is specially associated. 
It is the theory also, we cannot help agreeing, to which we 
are logically brought, if it is assumed that Deuteronomy is 
really a product of the age of Josiah, in which it was found. 4 
Dr. Driver himself, however, and, as already said, most 
believing scholars, separate themselves from this obnoxious 
hypothesis of deceit, and, to explain the " discovery " of the 
book by Hilkiah, commonly suppose that it belongs to a 
somewhat earlier period 5 e.g., to the reign of Manasseh, 
or that of Hezekiah, or the age immediately before Hezekiah. 6 

1 Deut. p. lix. 

* The general neglect of the Scriptures in the age before the Reformation, 
and the effect on Luther's mind and work of the discovery of a complete 
copy of the Bible at Erfurt, offer a partial illustration. For a remarkable 
instance of the total oblivion of a noted code of laws in the Middle Ages, see 
Note D on Oblivion of Charlemagne's Code. 

* Deut. p. Ixi. Dr. Driver refers to the plot theory on p. liv. Even as 
regards "invention," it may be noticed that this was the view of De Wette, 
who first set the ball a-rolling. The book may be proved, De Wette 
thought, " to rest entirely on fiction, and indeed so much so that, while the 
preceding books amidst myths contained traditional data, here tradition 
does not seem in any instance to have supplied any materials." Beitrage, 
ii. pp. 385 ff. ; cf. i. p. 268. 

4 Cf. Kittel, Hist, of Hebrews, i. pp. 64 ff. 

8 Dr. Driver says that " the narrative of the discovery certainly supports 
the view that the book which was found was one which had been lost for 
some time, not one which had just been written " (p. liv). His own mind 
leans to an origin in the childhood of Josiah. But does this answer to the ' 
idea of a book " lost " for some time, and, apart from fraud, what would be 
the appearance of such a book ? 

So Ewald, Bleek, W. R. Smith, Kittel, Kantzsch, etc. (Manasseh); 
Delitzsch, Riehm, Westphal, Oettli, Konig, Klostermann, etc. (Hezekiah or 


The moral qualms which load to these theories are to 1. 
respected, but those who adopt them now labour under tin- 
disadvantage that, having cut themselves away from the 
age of Josiah, they have no fixed principle to go by, and, 
apart from a priori assumptions in regard to the course of 
development, there is no particular reason why they should 
stop where they do, and not carry the date of Deuteronomy 
much higher stilL They find themselves exposed also to 
the attacks of the advocates of the Josiah date, who point 
out the unsuitability of Deuteronomy to Manasseh's gloomy 
reign ("the calm and hopeful spirit which the author 
displays, and the absence even of any covert allusion to the 
special troubles of Manasseh's reign " J ) ; but, above all, urge 
what Kuenen calls " the great, and in my opinion fatal 
objection," " that it makes the actual reformation the work 
of those who had not planned it, but were blind tools in the 
service of the unknown projector." 2 It would, indeed, be 
strange procedure on the part of anyone composing a work 
in the spirit of Moses, yet not desiring to pass it off as other 
than his own, to deposit it secretly in the temple, there to 
lie undiscovered for perhaps a century finally, in the irony 
of history, on its coming to light, to be accepted as a work 
of Moses, and continuously regarded as such by the Jewish 
and Christian world for over two millenniums ! " Fatal " 
objections thus seem to lie at the door of all these hypotheses, 
and we are driven to ask whether some other explanation is 
not imperative. 

(4) It may be added that the critics are seriously at 
variance on another point, viz., whether the author of 
Deuteronomy in Josiah's or an earlier age is to be sought 
for among the prophets or the priests. It seems a curious 
question to ask, after starting with the view that 
Deuteronomy was a " prophetic " programme ; yet it is 
one of no small importance in its bearings on origin, and 
the reasons against either view, on the critical premises, 
seem extremely strong. If a prophet, why, unlike the 
practice of other prophets, did he adopt this device of 
clothing his message in the form of addresses of Moses, 

1 Deut. p. liii. 

1 Hex. p. 219. Kuenen a<Ms : " The reassigned to D himself is almost 
equally improbable : for he is made to commit his aspirations to writing, 
urge their realisation with intense fervour and leave the result to chance" 
(p. 220). Cf. Carpenter, Htx. i. j-p. 96-97. 


and whence the strength of his interest in the sanctuary, 
its worship, and its feasts ? As Kuenen, who favours the 
view of the priestly origin, points out : " It is obvious from 
Deut. xxiv. 8, and still more from chaps, xvii. 18, xxxi. 9, 
that the Deuteronomist had relations with the priesthood 
of Jerusalem. In chap. xiv. 3-21 he even incorporates a 
priestly torah on clean and unclean animals into his book 
of law." 1 But then, on the other hand, if a priest, 
how account for the remodelling of the older laws in a 
direction inimical to the prerogatives of the Jerusalem 
priesthood ? z The last thing one would look for from a 
priest would be the concocting of ordinances which meant 
the sharing of his temple perquisites with all Levites who 
chose to claim them. The idea, again, of a joint composition 
by prophets and priests is not favoured by the conditions of 
the age, and is opposed to the unity of style and spirit in 
the book. This apparent conflict of interests, so difficult to 
harmonise with the time of Josiah, seems to point to an 
origin far nearer the fountainhead. 

2. The next natural branch of inquiry relates to the testi- 
mony of the book itself as to the circumstances of its own origin. 
To the ordinary reader it might seem as if no doubt whatever 
could rest on this point. The book would appear in the 
most explicit fashion to claim for itself a Mosaic origin. 
Not only are the discourses it contains affirmed to have 
been delivered by Moses in the Arobah of Moab this might 
be accounted for by literary impersonation but at the close 
there are express attestations that Moses ivrote his law, 
and delivered it into the custody of the priests for safe 
preservation. " And Moses wrote this law," we read, " and 
delivered it unto the priests, the sons of Levi. . . . When 
Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in 
a book, until they were finished, Moses commanded the 
Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, 
saying, Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of 
the ark," etc. 3 In view of these declarations, one does not 
well know what to make of the remarkable statement of 
Dr. Driver that, " though it may appear paradoxical to say 

1 Hex. p. 273. It is to be remembereil that Hilkiah was a priest. 

a Cf. Kaiitz>ch, in criticism of this view, Int. of O.T., pp. 64-65. 

8 Deut. xxxi. 9, 24-26. The Song and the Blessing of Moses are also said 
to be from Moses the former to have been written by him (chaps, xxxi. 22, 
xxxiii. 1). 


so, Deuteronomy does not claim to be "written by Moses." 1 
The paradox Dr. Driver defends is, at all events, not one 
accepted by the leaders of the critical school, who lay stress 
upon the fact that the writer obviously intended his book to 
be received as genuinely Mosaic, and in that way sought to 
gain authority for its teachings. 2 It was undoubtedly as a 
genuine work of Moses subject, of course, to any necessary 
revisional processes that it was received by Josiah and his 

There is, however, the possibility of a mediating view, 
which must in justice be taken account of, though it is not one, 
it seems to us, which greatly helps the newer critics. First, 
we should say, as respects the scope of the above testimony, 
we entirely agree that the words, " Moses wrote this law," 
cannot, in the connection in which they stand, be fairly 
extended, as has sometimes been attempted, to cover the 
whole Pentateuch. 8 On the other hand, we see no fitness 
or probability in confining them, with Delitzsch 4 and many 
others, to the " kernel " of the Mosaic law in chaps. xii.-xxvi. 
The word torah must be taken here in its widest sense as 
covering the hortatory and admonitory parts of the book, 
not less than its strictly legal portions. 6 The godly of later 
times, who found their souls' nourishment and delight in 

1 Introd. p. 89. The fact that the above statements are made in the third 
person does not alter their purport. Dilltnann's explanation of the notice 
of authorship is singularly roundabout and lme. "The statement," 
he says, " is satisfactorily explained by the fact that the writer was convinced 
of the antiquity and Mosaic character of the law [represented as] expounded 
by Moses, and it was precisely for one who wished to give out the old 
Mosaic law in a renewed form that an express statement of the writing down 
and preservation of that law was indispensable." Num.-Jos. p. 601. 
" Indispensable" to assert that as a fact which existed nowhere bat in his 
own imagination ! 

1 De Wette says : ' ' The author of Deuteronomy, as it appears, would have 
us regard liLs whole book as the work of Moses." Introd. li. p. 159. Cornill 
instances Deuteronomy as "an instructive proof that only under the name 
of Moses did a later writer believe himself able to reckon on a hearing as a 
religious lawgiver." Evnleit. p. 37. 

'Thus Hengstenberjr, Hdvernick, etc. 

4 Genesis, i. pp. 36-37. 

' Cf. chap. i. 5 : " began Moses to declare this law." There is little force 
in the objection drawn from tlie command to write the law on plastered 
stones on Mount Ebal (Deut. xxvii. 8). The recently discovered Code of 
Hammurabi shows what was possible to ancient times in tin- way of writing 
on stones. It is stated by Dr. Green that " the famous Behistun inscription 
of Darius in its triple form is twice as long as thi entire Code (Chaps, xii. 
xxvi.), besides being carved in bold characters on the solid rock, and in a 
position difficult of access on the mountain side." JJoses and Prophet , p. 53 


the " law of Jehovah " (cf. Pss. i., xix. 7 ff., cxix., etc.), had, we 
may be sure, other material before them than the bare legal 
precepts of either the Deuteronomic or the Priestly Code. 1 
The notice can only fairly be understood as meaning that 
Moses put in writing, and delivered to the priests, the 
substance, if not the letter, of what he had just been saying ; 
and such a statement, once and again repeated in the book 
(cf. in addition to the above, chap. xvii. 18), must, for those 
who recognise its honesty of intent, always have the greatest 
weight. But, this being granted, the question remains 
whether the words " this law " necessarily apply to the 
discourses precisely as we have them, i.e., in their present 
literary form. Assuming that Moses, as Delitzsch conjectures, 
" before his departure left behind with the priestly order 
an autograph torah to be preserved and disseminated," 2 
may we not reasonably suppose that, in the book as we 
possess it, we have, not a literal transcription of that torah, 
but a "free literary reproduction" of its contents, in the 
form best adapted for general instruction and edification, 
with occasional developments and modifications suited to 
the time of its origin ? So again Delitzsch and not a few 
others think. " The Deuteronomian," he says, " has com- 
pletely appropriated the thoughts and language of Moses, 
and from a genuine oneness of mind with him reproduces 
them in the highest intensity of divine inspiration." 3 

There will be little doubt, we think, as to the admissibility 
of this " reproduction " theory, if the circumstances are 
shown to require it. It implies no purpose to deceive, and 
stands on a different footing from theories which, under the 
name "development," assume the attribution to Moses of 
ideas, laws, and institutions, not only unknown to him, but, if 
the critical hypothesis is correct, actually in conflict with his 
genuine legislation. Perhaps, also, in a modified degree, 

1 See below, pp. 376-77. 2 Gene*is, i. p. 35. 

3 Ibid. Cf. also art. in Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, pp. 503-5. For 
related views, cf. Oettli, Dent. Introd. pp. 16-18 ; Ladd's Doct. of Sac. Scrip- 
lure, i. p. 527-29 ; Robertson, Early Religion, etc., pp. 420-25. Dr. Driver 
approximates to this vi-w. "Dftiteronomy," he says, "may be described as 
the prophetic reformulation, and adajitation to new needs, of an older legislation. 
It is probable that there was a tradition, if not a written record, of a final 
legislative address delivered by Moses in the steppes of Moab ; the plan 
followed by the author would rest upon a more obvious motive, if he thus 
worked upon a traditional basis " (p. Ixi). This too much ignores the strong 
positive testimony that Moses did write his last discourses. 


some recasting in form and language, in the sense of this 
hypothesis, must be admitted, if we suppose what is very 
probable that the script which Moses used was other 
than the ancient Hebrew, or grant that the discourses were 
written out rather in substance than in full detail leaving 
it to the transcriber or interpreter to fill out, and give the 
living impression of scene and voice. If this was done (as 
we believe it must have been) when the remembrance or 
tradition of Moses and his time was still vivid and reliable, 
it would give us a book such as we have in Deuteronomy. 
On the other hand, if so much is admitted about Moses, the 
question which must always recur regarding this theory, even 
to the very limited extent indicated, is Cui bono ? If, as 
Delitzsch supposes, the contents of Deuteronomy are sub- 
stantially Mosaic, if Moses really delivered testamentary 
discourses, and in some form wrote them down for posterity, 
whence the necessity for this literary " double " to re- write 
and improve them ? Why should the form in which Moses 
spoke and wrote them not be substantially that in which we 
have them ? Shall we suppose that the actual discourses 
were less grand and sustained in style less tender, glowing, 
and eloquent than those we possess, that they contained 
less recitation of God's dealings, 1 less expostulation, exhort- 
ation, and affectionate appeal, or were less impressive in 
their counsels and warnings ? Or that Moses, when he came 
to write them down "till they were finished," says the 
text was not able to make as noble and powerful a record 
of them as any inspired man of a later date ? We, at least, 
have a less mean idea of Moses, the man of God, and of his 
literary capabilities. We have a full and vivid picture of 
him, and specimens of his style of thought and pleading, in 
the history ; we can judge of his lofty gifts, if the Ode at the 
Red Sea, or the Song in Deuteronomy, 2 are from his pen ; 
and we may well believe that, of all men living, he was the 
one most capable of giving worthy literary form to his own 
addresses. 8 If the book, in substance, is from Moses, very 

1 If so, what dealings T Those in the JE history ? It is to be 
remembered that, wherever we place Deuteronomy, the JE history, in 
eubstance at least, stands behind it. 

Nothing necessitates us," says Pelitzseh, "to deny the Song to 
Moses." Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, p. f06 ; cf. Genesis, i. p. 45. 

'"In presence," says Dtlitzsoh, "of the Egyptian and Babylonian- 
Assyrian written monuments, which likewise contain great connected 


cogent reasons must be shown for putting it, even in its 
literary form, at a much later date. 

In reality, however, so far as critics of the newer -time 
are concerned, such a hypothesis as we have been consider- 
ing is wholly in the air. Possessed of quite other ideas of 
what must have been, these writers will hardly entertain 
even the possibility, either of Moses having written these 
discourses, or of his being able to write them. For them 
the Mosaic age is literally, as Duhm says, "wiped out." 1 
Underlying their refusal of Deuteronomy to Moses will 
generally be found the denial that we know anything 
definitely at all about Moses, or of his literary capabilities, 
or that he delivered any testamentary discourses, or that 
any of the laws or institutions ordinarily attributed to him 
even the Ten Commandments are actually of his age. 2 
In that case, Delitzsch's hypothesis, with other mediating 
views, falls, and we are brought back essentially to the old 
alternative. The thorough-paced critic will have nothing 
to say to a hypothetical or traditionary basis for a book 
admitted to belong in its present shape to the age of 
the kings. 3 Kuenen will allow no alternative between 
" authenticity " and " literary fiction." 4 

3. When, finally, from the external attestation, we turn 
to the internal character of the book and it is here the 
strength of the critical position is held to lie we find a 
series of phenomena which, so far from supporting, throw 
very great, if not insuperable, obstacles in the way of its 
ascription to the age of Josiah. On these the minifying 
end of the critical telescope is persistently turned, while the 

oratorical pieces, and represent a form of speech which remained essentially 
the same during 1000 years, one need not be disturbed by the high antiquity 
of a written production of Moses." Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, p. 506. 
See his testimony to Moses as a poet in Genesis, i. pp. 44-45. 

1 Theol. d. Proph. p. 19. See below, p. 286. 

2 It is not advanced writers alone that fall into this arbitrary style of 
reasoning. Such a reason, e.g., as that assigned even by a believing critic 
like Riehm for refusing the Deuteronomic discourses to Moses "the 
spiritual apprehension of the law, as seen in the demand for a circumcision 
of the heart " (Einleit. i. pp. 245-46) belongs to the same a priori, "subjective 
system of judging of a past age, which scientific investigation is increasingly 

3 "The opinion," said De Wette long ago, "that these latter passages 
(Deut. xxxi. 9, etc.) refer to a short treatise which has been worked over in 
Deuteronomy is quite arbitrary." Introd. ii. p. 159. 

* Hex. p. 219. 


magnifying end is brought to bear in its full power on any 
difficulties that seem to tell against an earlier date. We 
have to remember that the book, on the critical view, was 
composed with the express design of calling into being such 
a reformation as that which followed its " discovery " in the 
reign of Josiah. 1 The proof of its origin in that age is held 
to be its suitability to the conditions of the time, and the 
stress it lays on the demand for centralisation of worship. 
When, however, we open the book itself, we are forcibly 
struck by the absence of clear evidence of any such design 
on the part of the author, and by the numerous indications 
of MTisuitability to the age in which it is believed to have 
been composed. The book and the history, in a word, do 
not fit each other. 

(1) It is extremely doubtful if " centralisation of worship," 
in the critical acceptation of that phrase, was the dominant 
motive in Josiah 's reformation at all. The idea of the un- 
lawfulness of worship even of Jehovah on high places 
need not have been absent ; it had, we believe, been in the 
background of men's minds ever since the founding of 
Solomon's temple. But it was not that which so strangely 
moved Josiah to alarm and action. His reformation from 
beginning to end was a crusade against the idolatry which 
had everywhere infected Church and state central sanctuary 
included, 2 and the " high places " were put down as part of 
this stern suppression of all idolatrous and heathenish 
practices. Of a movement for unity of worship as such the 
narrative gives not a single hint. On the other hand, 
when we look to Deuteronomy, we find little or nothing 
that points directly to a consuming zeal against the " high 
places" in Josiah's time the crying sin, because the 
chief centres of idolatry, in Judah. There are warnings 
against failing into the idolatries and other abominations of 
the CanaaniteSy when the land should be possessed, 3 and in 
chaps, vii. 5, 25, xii. 2-4, injunctions to " utterly destroy " 
the sanctuaries, altars, pillars, Asherahs, and graven images 
of these former inhabitants. But there is nothing peculiarly 

1 " It was not by accident," Kuenen says, "but in accordance with the 
writer's deliberate purpose, that it became the foundation and norm of 
Josinh's reformation." Hex. p. 215. Cf. Wellhaus>eu, Hist, of Israel, 
p. 33. 

2 Cf. 2 Kings xxiii. 4, 7, 11, 12, etc. 
8 Cf. especially chap, xviii. 9 ff. 


Josianic in this it is all there already in the older Book of 
the Covenant. 1 Still further, while Deuteronomy gives 
prominence to the idea of the centralisation of worship at 
the sanctuary, it is far from correct to say that this is the 
dominating idea of the book the one grand idea which 
inspires it. 2 It has its place in chap, xii., and recurs in the 
regulations for feasts, tithing, and priestly duty; but the 
preceding discourses have nothing to say of it, and in the 
Code it appears with a multitude of other laws, some of 
them more fundamental than itself. The bulk of the laws 
in the book, as will appear below, are taken from the Book 
of the Covenant ; others are from a priestly source yet to 
be investigated. 

(2) Here already is a puzzling problem for the critics 
to account for the relevancy of this wide range of laws, 
many of them dealing with seemingly trivial matters, in a 
book assumed to be specially composed to effect a reforma- 
tion in worship? The irrelevancy of the greater number of 
the precepts for such a purpose is obvious at a glance. But 
the incongruity of the Code in structure and contents with 
the supposed occasion of its origin appears in other respects. 
The most favourable view of the book is that it is a corpus 
of old laws reproduced in a hortatory setting with special 
adaptation to the circumstances of a late time. Yet in 

l Ex. xx. 3 ff. ; xxii. 18, 20; xxiii. 13, 24, 32, 33; cf. xxxiv. 14-17. 
The exception is the sun, moon, and "host of heaven" in Deut. iv. 19, 
xvii. 3, founded on by Riehm (i. p. 245) and others. But the worship of 
sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies goes far back beyond Moses, and is 
alluded to in the Old Testament long before the time of Josiah (Isa. xvii. 8, 
R.V. ; Amos v. 26). Cf. Beth-shemesh in Josh. xv. 10, etc. 

2 Oettli says : " It rests on an unusual onesidedness in the mode of 
consideration, if, as now mostly happens, the aim of Deuteronomy is 
restricted to the centralisation of the cultus, and the ordinances of worship 
connected- with this. That is one of its demands, but it is neither the most 
original nor the weightiest, but only an outcome of its deepening of the 
thought of the covenant." Deut. Introd. p. 21. 

8 This is in fact made the starting-point by the newer critics for their 
hypothesis of "gradual accretion." "There is no apparent appropriate- 
ness," we read, " so far as the programme of the Deuteronomic reforms is 
concerned, in the historical retrospect,- i. 6-iii. But neither is there, for 
example, in the laws which regulate birds' nesting or parapets upon a roof 
in xxii. 6-8. With what feelings [one tnay well ask it] could Josiah have 
listened to these details? ... It is plain that the contents of the Code, at 
least in its later portions, are very miscellaneous." Carpenter, Hex. i. 
p. 93. But then, instead of recasting the theory of " programmes " which 
thus has the bottom taken out of it, the law-book of Josiah is reduced 
practically to chaps, xii.-xix. (p. 95). 


point of form everything is thrown back into the age of 
Moses. The standpoint of the speaker is the East of Jordan, 1 
with the prospect of the people's immediately entering 
Canaan; Israel is treated in its unbroken unity as a nation 
("all Israel "), and there is not a hint anywhere of the great 
division that, centuries before Josiah's time, had rent the 
kingdom into twain, and had ended in the destruction of 
one of its branches (Ephraim). What is even more remark- 
able, the laws frequently are, not only long obsolete, but of 
a character ludicrously out of place in a reforming Code of 
the end of the seventh century. We need not dwell at 
length on these anachronisms of the Code, which have been 
so often pointed out, 2 the law, e.g., for the extermination 
of the Canaanites, 3 when no Canaanites remained to be 
exterminated; the injunction to destroy the Amalekites;* 
the rules for military service (inapplicable to the later 
time), 5 for besieging of foreign cities, 6 for arrangements in 
the camp ; 7 the warnings against choosing a foreigner for a 
king, and causing to return to Egypt, 8 the friendly tone 
towards Edom, 9 so strangely in contrast with the hostile 
spirit of the prophets ; 10 and the like. These things may 
seem as the small dust of the balance to the critic, 11 but 
they may not appear so insignificant to others. Dr. 
Diiver's answer, that the injunctions against the Canaanites 
and Amalekites are repeated from the older legislation, and 
"in a recapitulation of Mosaic principles addressed ex 
hypothesi to the people when they were about to enter 
Canaan, would be naturally included," 12 only corroborates 

1 On the expression " the other side Jordan," see below, p. 281. 

I Cf. Delitzsch, Genesis, p. 38 ; Oettli, Deut. Introd. pp. 11, 12, 17 ff. 
Chaps, vii. 1, 2, xx. 10-18. 

4 Chap. xxv. 17-19. Dr. Green speaks of these injunctions as being as 
utterly out of date as would be at the present day " a royal proclamation in 
Great Britain ordering the expulsion of the Danes." Moses and the Prophets, 
p. 63. 

6 Chap. xx. 1-9. Chap. xx. 9-15, 19, 20. 

7 Chap, xxiii. 2-9. Imagine these provisions in a Code seven centuries 
after Moses. 

8 Chap. xvii. 15-16. See Note E on the Law of the King. 

9 Chap, xxiii. 7, 8. 

10 Jer. xlix. 17, 18 ; Ohadiah ; Joel Hi. 19 ; Isa. Ixiii. 1-6. 

II Cf. Kuenen, Hex. pp. 218-19. Kuenen has no difficulty, because he 
frankly attributes to the author the design to deceive. 

l - Deut. p. Ixii. Dr. Driver's suggestion that the injunctions against the 
Canaanites would have an indirect value aa a protest against heathenish 
practices in Judah is without support in the text, which evidently 


our point, that they were suitable to the times of Moses, 
but not to those of Josiah. The difficulty is not touched 
why a writer in that age should go out of his way to include 
them, when they did not bear on his purpose, and had no 
relevancy to existing conditions. But even in the matter 
of reformation of worship, it is important to observe that 
the laws in Deuteronomy were not of a kind that could be, 
or were, enforced by Josiah in their integrity. In the Code, 
e.g., it is ordained that idolaters of every degree, with all who 
secretly or openly entice to idolatry, are to be unsparingly 
put to death. 1 Josiah, it is true, slew the priests of the 
high places of Samaria upon their altars. But he did not 
attempt any such drastic measures in Judah. He brought 
up, instead, the priests of the high places to Jerusalem, and 
allowed them to " eat of the unleavened bread among their 
brethren." 2 It is one of the most singular instances of 
the reading of a preconceived theory into a plain text, when, 
in face of the law ordaining death for all idolatry, these 
" disestablished priests " of the high places are regarded as 
the Levites of Deut. xviii. 8, for whom provision is made 
out of the temple dues. 3 Of course, there is not a syllable 
hinting at " disestablished priests " of the high places in the 
provisions of Deuteronomy for the Levites. The latter, 
besides, were permitted to minister at the sanctuary, while 
Josiah's priests were not. 


It is now incumbent on us, having indicated the 
difficulties which seem to us decisive against a late dating 
of Deuteronomy, to consider the reasons ordinarily adduced 
in favour of that late dating, or at least of the origin of the 
book in times long posterior to Moses. We have already 
seen that, of those who reject the substantially Mosaic 

means them to be taken quite seriously, and does not apply to the 
Amalekites, etc. 

1 Deut. xiii. a 2 Kings xxiii. 9. 

* Thus Dr. Driver connects as if it were a matter of course Deut. 
xviii. 8 with " Josiah's provision made for the support of the disestablished 

E-iests out of the temple dues." Deut. p. xlv. Cf. Wellhausen : " He (the 
euteionomist) provides for the priests of the suppressed sanctuaries," 
etc. Hist, ofltrael, p. 33. 


origin of the book, a few place the book earlier than 
Hezekiah, some put it in the reign of Manasseh, most put it 
in the reign of Josiah. It may be found that several, at 
least, of the reasons for this late dating turn, on examina- 
tion, into arguments for the opposite view. 

It cannot be too constantly borne in mind, what was 
before said, that, with the majority of critics of the Graf- 
Wellhausen school, the really determining grounds for the 
late dating of Deuteronomy lie outside the region of 
properly critical discussion altogether, viz., in the com- 
pletely altered view taken of the age of Moses, and of the 
subsequent course of the religious history of Israel. If the 
accounts we have of Moses and his work are, as Kuenen 
says, " utterly unhistorical," if it is inconceivable that he 
should have had the elevated conceptions or the prophetic 
foresight attributed to him in these discourses, then it 
needs no further argument to prove that Deuteronomy must 
be late. The date of Deuteronomy is, in this case, no longer 
merely a literary question, and the critics are not wrong in 
speaking of it, as they have sometimes done, as the pivot of 
the Pentateuchal question. It does not, indeed, follow, as 
we formerly sought to show, that the Mosaic history and 
religion are subverted, even if a late date is accepted for the 
present form of the book. But very important conclusions 
certainly do follow, if the book is admitted to be early. If 
Deuteronomy, in its present form, be even substantially 
Mosaic, if it conveys to us with fidelity the purport of 
discourses and laws actually delivered by Moses to the 
people of Israel before his death, then we must go a great 
deal further. For Deuteronomy undeniably rests in some 
degree on the JE history embodied in our Pentateuch ; on 
the Code of laws which we call the Book of the Covenant, 
incorporated in that history; as well as on priestly laws 
from some other source. The effect of the acceptance of an 
early date for Deuteronomy, therefore, is to throw all these 
writings back practically into the Mosaic age, whatever the 
time when they were finally put together. We should like, 
to be more sure than we are that it is not the perception of 
this fact which is at least one motive in leading the critics 
to put down Deuteronomy as far as they do, in the age of 
the kings. 

1. It is important, in this connection, to observe how 


much is conceded by the more moderate advocates of the 
critical hypothesis themselves. These concessions are very 
considerable so extensive, in fact, that they really amount, 
in our view, to the giving up of a large part of the critical 
case for the late dating. We have seen how Delitzsch 
postulates written "testamentary discourses" and laws of 
Moses ; but critics like Oettli and Driver also go a long way 
in allowing, in the words of the latter, 1 " a continuous Mosaic 
tradition," reaching back to Moses' own time, and " embrac- 
ing a moral, a ceremonial, arid a civil element." When, 
particularly, the object is to vindicate Deuteronomy against 
the charge of " forgery " and " invention," stress is strongly 
-laid on the fact that the great bulk of the legislation is old, 
and that the few laws which are really new are but " the 
logical and consistent development of Mosaic principles." 2 
So far, indeed, is this insistence on the antiquity and 
genuinely Mosaic character of the legislation carried in 
striking and favourable contrast with the more radical 
tendency to deny all legislation to Moses that one begins 
to wonder where the contradictions with earlier law and 
practice come in which are to prove indubitably that the 
book cannot be Mosaic. Thus we are bid remember " that 
what is essentially new in Deuteronomy is not the matter, 
but the form." 3 Dillmann is quoted as testifying that 
" Deuteronomy is anything but an original law-book." 4 
" The new element in Deuteronomy," it is said, " is not the 
laws, but their parenetic setting. . . . [The author's] aim 
was to win obedience to laws, or truths, which were already 
known, but were in danger of being forgotten." 6 "It was 
felt to be (in the main) merely the re-affirmation of laws 
and usages which had been long familiar to the nation, 
though in particular cases they might have fallen into 
neglect." 6 Most significant of all is a sentence quoted from 
Eeuss : " The only real innovation . . . was the absolute 
prohibition of worship outside of Jerusalem." 7 

Here at length we seem to come to a definite issue. 
The " only real innovation " in Deuteronomy is the law of 
the central sanctuary. We are not unjustified, therefore, in 

1 Deut. p. Ivii. Cf. Oettli, Devi. Introd. pp. 17, 18. Delitzsch may be 
quoted again : "The claim of Deuteronomy to a Mosaic origin is justified on 
internal grounds." Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, p. 503 ; cf. p. 504. 

3 Ibid. p. IvL 8 Ibid. * Ibid. 

8 Ibid. p. to. Ibid. p. Ivi. Ibid. 


regarding this as the fundamental pillar which upholds the 
case for the late dating of Deuteronomy. Even this 
law, moreover, it is conceded, is only " relatively " new ; it 
was a genuine development from Mosaic principles, and 
focalising of tendencies which had long been in operation. 1 
The natural inference one would draw from this is, that it 
cannot be really incompatible with the law in Ex. xx. 24, 
with its supposed permission of unlimited freedom of 
worship. 2 The subject was discussed in an earlier chapter, 
to which it is sufficient here to refer. 3 The conclusion there 
arrived at was that there is nothing in this Deuteronomic 
law essentially at variance with the altar-law in Exodus, or 
with the later religious practice, if allowance is made for 
times of religious backsliding and neglect, and for the 
complete disorganisation of an age like Samuel's, when 
ecclesiastical and every other kind of laws were necessarily 
in large part in abeyance. One fact which should lead 
criticism to pause before giving too narrow an interpretation 
of the law is that, as before noted, in Deuteronomy itself a 
command is given for the building of an altar for sacrifice 
on Mount Ebal, in harmony with the law in Exodus.* We 
marked also a tendency in the newer criticism itself to break 
with the "VVellhausen " dogma " of an absolute centralisation 
of worship in Deuteronomy, and a consequent conflict with 
the older law in Exodus. 6 

2. If this fundamental prop of the Wellhausen theory 
gives way, as we are persuaded it does, most of the other con- 
siderations adduced in favour of the late date of Deuteronomy 
may fairly be treated as of subordinate importance. They 
resolve themselves, partly into alleged discrepancies between 
the Deuteronomic laws and those of the Book of the 
Covenant, and of the Levitical Code; partly into alleged 

1 Dcut. p. Ivi. * See ahove, pp. 173 ff. 

Chap. VI. pp. 173 ff. 4 Di-nt. xxvii. 5-7. 

Seeal>ove, Oiap. VI. pp. 174, 176. Fries, in his Modern* Vorstellungen 
der Geschichle Israels, speaks of this " dogma " as playing well-nigh the same 
part in the Wellhansen criticism as did formerly "the opposition between 
Jewish and Pauline Christianity in the school of Baur in the New Testa- 
ment domain" (p. 15) ; and Van Hoonacker, in his Le Sacerdoce Ltmtique, 
says : "The whole historical and critical system of tin- school of Wellluuisea 
rests in effect on the pretended first promulgation of the principle of the 
unity of the sanctuary in the seventh century " (|>. 14). This writer points 
out that the unity of the sanctuary is not so much enacted as presupposed 
in Deuteronomy (p. 13). 

1 8 


discrepancies with the history of the preceding books ; and 
partly into a few expressions in the book thought to imply a 
later date than that of Moses. On none of these classes of 
objection will it be found necessary to spend much time: 
a few typical examples may be examined. 

(1) The subject of laws may be glanced at first. In a 
previous chapter we endeavoured to show that there is 
nothing in Deuteronomy necessarily incompatible with the 
Aaronic priesthood and Levitical arrangements of the 
middle books of the Pentateuch l arrangements now held, 
however, by the critical school to be later than Deutero- 
nomy ; and we shall see as we proceed that, while it was 
no part of the design of the speaker in these farewell 
addresses to dwell on details of ritual, chiefly of interest to 
the priests, yet Levitical regulations are presupposed, and 
in some instances are referred to, in his recital. 2 As to the 
Book of the Covenant, it is allowed on all hands that the 
bulk of its provisions are taken up, and reiterated and 
enforced in the discourses. 3 In such hortatory recapitulation, 
where much is left to be understood by the hearer, points of 
difficulty in comparison with other Codes may be expected 
to arise ; but, considering the number of the laws, the 
seeming discrepancies must be pronounced very few. In 
some cases it may be that we do not possess all the 
elements for a complete solution, but there is no reason to 
suppose that, if we had them, a solution would not be 

A chief example of discrepancy between Deuteronomy 
and the Priestly Code the chief, perhaps, after that of the 
priests and Levites 4 is in the tithe-laws in chaps, xii. 6, 
17-19, xiv. 22-29, xxvi. 12-15, which certainly present a 
different aspect from those in Num. xviii. 21-31. 5 In 
the latter case the tithe is devoted in fixed proportions to 
the maintenance of Levites and priests; in the former, it 
is used by the worshippers for two years out of three in 

1 Cf. Chap. VI. pp. 180 ff. 

8 See below, pp. 311 ff. On the relation of Deuteronomy to the so-called 
"Law of Holiness," see next chapter. 

8 Lists of comparison of the laws in the Book of the Covenant and in 
Deuteronomy may be seen in Driver (Deut. pp. iv if.), Westphal, Oettli, or 
any of the text-books. 

4 See above, pp. 1 84 ff. 

8 Cf. on the discrepancy, Kuenen, Hex. pp. 28, 29 ; Driver, Deut. pp. 
168 ff. 


feasts at the sanctuary, to which the Levites are invited, and 
on the third year is given up wholly, at home, to the 
Levites, orphans, widows, and strangers. Apart, however, 
from the fact that the Levitical provision seems clearly 
(indeed, verbally) referred to in chap, xviii. 1, 2, 1 it appears, 
if better solution does not offer, 2 a not unreasonable ex- 
planation that, in accordance with later Jewish practice, the 
festal tithe of Deuteronomy is different from, and additional 
to, the ordinary tithe for the maintenance of the Levites (a 
" second tithe "). s We may perhaps venture the suggestion 
that it is really this Deuteronomic tithe which was the old 
and traditional one, and the Levitical tithe which was the 
second and additional impost. The tithe devoted to 
Jehovah probably goes back in pious circles to remotest 
times (cf. Gen. xiv. 20 ; xxviii. 22), and then can only be 
supposed to have been used in a religious feast, or in charity. 
This was the old and well-understood voluntary tithe ; the 
Levitical had a different object. But if the Deuteronomic 
tithe creates difficulty, what is to be said of the counter- 
theory of the critics ? Is it really to be credited for this 
is the alternative supposition that a tithe-law for the 
maintenance of the Levites, unknown in the days of Josiah, 
first came in with Ezra, yet, though previously unheard 
of, was unmurmuringly submitted to by everybody as a law 
given in the wilderness by Moses ? 4 

Minor examples of discrepancies, as those which relate 
to firstlings (chap. xv. 19, 20 ; cf. Num. xviii. 17, 18), to 
priestly dues (chap, xviii 3, 4), to the treatment of bond- 

1 See above, p. 187. 

* Van Hoonaeker has here an ingenious, but, as it seems to us, untenable 
theory, based on the expression in Deut. xxvt 12, "the third year, which 
is the year of tithing," compared with Amos iv. 4, that the Levitical tithe 
of Num. xviii. was not an annual, but a triennial one, and that the yearly 
festal tithe of Deuteronomy was a secondary and less strict taxing of 
produce, which only improperly got the name tithe (Le Sacerdoce, pp. 
384 ff.). 

* Thus in Tob. i. 7 ; Jowphus, Aniia. ir. 8. 22 ; LXX in Deut, xxvi. 12. 
The explanation does not remove all difficulties, especially the absence of 
allusion to the primary tithe. It is to be noticed, however, that the speaker 
is here evidently alluding to a custom already established, not (as Dr. 
Driver has it), instituting a second tithe for the first time. 

4 See below, pp. 296, 319. Seeing that in Deuteronomy also the tribe of 
I>vi is set aside for sacred service, and has therefore no inheritance with the 
other tribes, is it conceivable that no provision should be made for the tribe 
but these rare feasts at the sanctuary, or every third year t Does chap, xviii 
1, 2 not suggest a different view ? 


servants (chap. xv. 12 ; cf. Ex. xxi. 1-6), to the law of carrion 
(chap. xiv. 21 ; cf. Lev. xvii. 15), seem capable of reasonable 
explanation. 1 A few modifications on older laws are made 
in view of the altered circumstances of settlement in Canaan, 
notably the permission to kill and eat flesh at home (Deut. 
xiL 15), in room of the wilderness requirement that all 
slaying for food should be at the door of the tabernacle (cf. 
Lev. xvii. 3 ff.). 

' (2) There are alleged, next, certain historical discrepancies, 
some of them, we cannot but think, instructive examples 
of that Widerspruchsjdgerei "hunting for contradictions" 
which Delitzsch not unjustly ascribes to the school of Well- 
hausen. 2 The opponents of the unity of Deuteronomy find 
numerous inconsistencies in the different parts of the book 
itself (e.g.> between chaps, v.-xi. and xil-xxvL, or between 
chaps, i.-iv. and v.-xxvi.) ; but these the critical defenders of 
the unity find means of satisfactorily explaining. 3 A slight 
extension of the same skill, we are persuaded, would 
enable them to dispose as satisfactorily of most of the 
others. On the general relation to the preceding history, 
it is agreed on all hands that the retrospects in Deuteronomy 
presuppose the narratives of JE, and reproduce them with 
substantial fidelity. 4 The Wellhausen school, in accordance 
with its principles, denies any similar dependence on the P 
sections of the history ; 5 but this it is difficult to maintain 
in view of the considerable number of references to par- 
ticulars, and turns of expression, found only in P. Only in 
P., e.g., is there mention of Moses and Aaron being debarred 
from Canaan as a punishment ; 8 of " seventy " as the number 
who went down to Egypt ; 7 of " twelve " as the number of the 

1 See Note E on Minor Discrepancies in Laws. 

1 Luthardt's Zeitschrift, 1880, p. 623. 

8 Cf. Kuenen (against Wellhausen), Hex. pp. 113 ff. ; Driver, Deut. pp. 
Ixviii ff. etc. 

4 Driver represents the general view in saying that Deuteronomy "is 
demonstrably dependent upon JE" (p. xix ; cf. p. xv). Some- assume a 
closer dej>endence on E than on J, but this depends on what is attributed to 
E, and what to J. Westphal, e.g., as before noticed, gives the Book of the 
Covenant to J ; Dillmann and Kuenen give it to E. Dillinann, on the other 
hand, gives the story of the golden calf (Ex. xxxii.) to J ; Westphal and 
others give it to E. 

6 Ibid. p. xvi. 

8 Num. xx. 12 ; xxvii. 13 ff. ; Deut. xxxii. 50 ff. Cf. Deut. i. 37 ; iii. 
26 ; iv. 21. 

7 Gen. xlvi. 27 ; Ex. i. 5. Cf. Dent. x. 22. 


spies; 1 of the making of the ark of acacia wood. 2 The 
words, " Since the day that God created man upon the 
earth," in chup. iv. 32, seem a verbal reference to Gen. i. 26, 
27 ; and there are numerous phraseological assonances with 
P in this fourth chapter, " belonging usually to P," says 
Carpenter, " suggesting occasional contact with the school 
that produced P," 3 and later, as "horses and chariots," 
" hard bondage," " stretched-out arm," etc. (only in P). 4 In 
no case, however, is there slavish dependence on the letter 
of the history. 6 The speaker deals with his materials with 
the freedom and intimate knowledge of one who had been a 
chief actor in the events he recounts ; amplifies, abbreviates 
supplies fresh details ; groups according to subject rather 
than time ; passes by swift association to related topics. It 
is this which in a few instances gives rise to the appearance 
of what the critics are pleased to call "contradictions." 
Instead of telling against the genuineness of the book, they 
constitute, to our mind, one of the most convincing internal 
evidences of its genuineness. For what later composer, 
with the JE history before him, would have allowed himself 
these freedoms, or have wilfully laid himself open to the 
charge of " contradiction " of his sources ? 6 

But what, taken at their utmost, do these "contra- 
dictions " amount to ? We shall glance at a few of the chief 
cases. It is to be borne in mind that the question here is 
not, whether Moses wrote personally the JE or P sections 
of the Pentateuch, but whether there is such contradiction 
with these as to forbid us ascribing the discourses in 
Deuteronomy to Moses as their speaker. We do not 
disprove, e.g., the Mosaic character of the discourses by 

i Num. xiii. 2-10. Cf. Deut i. 23. See below, p. 279. 

* Kx. xxxvii. 1. Cf. Deut. x. 3. The critical view is that JE also had a 
story of the making of the ark. 

* Hex. ii. p. 254. 

4 Deut xi. 4 ; xxvi. 6 (cf. Ex. i. 14) ; iv. 34, etc. Cf. Driver, Dcvt. pp. 
xvii, Ixxi. 

9 Graf concludes from the freedom of reproduction that the author draws 
from oral tradition and not from written sources. Geschicht. BUcher, 
p. 13. 

6 Unless, indeed, the reader is prepared to accept for the Deuteronomist 
the patronising apology of : " He treats them [the statement- of 
the older narrative] often with great freedom, and sometimes in a way which 
shows that, though generally familiar with that document, he was not so 
thoroughly at home with it as a devout English reader of the Pentateuch 
would be. Pent. Pt. vi. p. 27. 


showing, e.g., that the P sections are not directly, or at all, 
from Moses' pen. 

A first instance of discrepancy is, that in Deuteronomy 
(i. 9 ff.) Moses reminds the people how, with their consent, 
he appointed judges over them; in Ex. xviii. we are told 
that this plan was originally suggested to Moses by Jethro. 
We submit that there is not here the shadow of a real 
difficulty ? Can it be supposed that the composer of the 
book, whoever he was, imagined that there was any conflict ? 
Yet this is one of two " discrepancies " which Dr. Driver 
allows " are not absolutely incompatible " x with Moses' 
authorship. The other is, that in Deuteronomy (i. 22, 23) 
the people ask that spies be sent to search the land, while 
in Num. xiii. 1 (P), Jehovah gives the order for the mission. 
" Not absolutely incompatible " ! 

As an example of a discrepancy held to be irreconcilable 
with Mosaic authorship, we take the passages relating to 
Jehovah's anger against Moses, and the prohibition to 
enter Canaan. " In Num. xx. 12 (cf. xxvii. 13 ff. ; Deut. xxxii. 
50 ff.)," we are told, " Moses is prohibited to enter Canaan on 
account of his presumption in striking the rock at Kadesh, 
in the thirty-ninth year of the Exodus ; here (Deut. i. 
37, 38 ; iii. 26 ; iv. 21), the ground of the prohibition is 
Jehovah's anger with him on account of the people, upon an 
occasion which is plainly fixed by the context for the 
second year of the Exodus, thirty-seven years previously." 2 
We invite the reader to compare carefully the passages, and 
judge for himself whether there is any real basis for this 
assertion. In three places in his address, Moses refers to 
his exclusion from Canaan, and in one of them tells of his 
pleading with Jehovah (fixed in the fortieth year, chap. iii. 
23) to have the sentence reversed. The narrative of this 
exclusion is given at length in Numbers, with the rebellion 
of the people that led to it, and the permission to view the 
land alluded to in Deut. iii. 27 (cf. Num. xxvii. 12, 13). 
It is surely only the hyper-acute sense of a critic that can 
see in the words "for your sakes," which evidently refer 
to the provocation of the people that occasioned the 
offence of Moses (Num. xx. 2 ff.), a "contradiction" of 
the statement that he, with Aaron, personally sinned at 
Meribah (Num. xx. 10); while the assertion that the 

1 Deut. p. xxxvii. 3 Ibid. p. xxxv. 


incident IB " plainly fixed " in Dent. i. 37 in the second year 
of the Exodus is a " plain " misreading of the text. Moses 
is speaking in the context of the exclusion of that older 
generation from Canaan, and by a natural association he 
alludes in passing to how the rebellious spirit of the living 
generation had brought a similar sentence of exclusion on 
himself. The discourses are full of such rapid transitions, 
determined not by chronology, but by the connection of the 
thought Cf., e.g., chap. i. 9, where the discourse turns back 
to events a year before the command in ver. 6 ; chap. ii. 1, 2, 
where there is a leap over thirty-seven or thirty-eight years ; 
chaps. ix.,x., where x. 1 resumes, with the words "at that time," 
the transactions at Horeb, left far behind in chap. ix. 22 ff. 

The mission of the spies, alluded to above, is itself a 
fruitful source of " contradictions," occasioned, however, 
mainly by the merciless way in which the narrative in 
Numbers is torn up. 1 The incident will be examined in 
detail in a future chapter; 2 only the main point, therefore, 
need be anticipated here. Deuteronomy, it is said, follow- 
ing JE, knows nothing of Joshua as one of the spies, and 
represents the search party, in contrast with P, as pro- 
ceeding only as far as Eshcol (chap. i. 24, 25). Yet Deutero- 
nomy knows of the choosing of " twelve " spies, " one 
of a tribe," as in Num. xiii. 2 (P), where Joshua is included 
in the list (ver. 8) ; and the statement in Deut. i. 38 that 
Joshua (as well as Caleb, ver. 36) would enter the land, 
connects most naturally with the promise given in Num. 
xiv. 30.* If the letter in JE is pressed to mean that 
Caleb only was to enter the land, it would seem to 
exclude Joshua, not only from the number of the spies, 
but from Canaan, which cannot be the meaning. In the 
JE narrative also it is clearly implied, as will be afterwards 

1 The critical analysis of Num. xiii. -xiv. certainly results in a moss of con- 
tradictions (see below, pp. 356 ff. ). Addis says of the JE parts : "Attempts 
have been made to separate the component documents. . . . But the task 
seems to be hopeless, and there is nothing like agreement in results." 
Hex. i. p. 165. 

1 Cf. Chap. X. pp. 356 ff. 

* Dillmann and Kittel take Joshua to be included among the spies in 
the J narrative, but not in the E narrative a distinction that (alls, if JE 
are one, and at any rate is an acknowledgment of the inclusion of Joshua 
in the combined JE story. Cf. Dillmann, Num.- Jos. p. 69, and on 
Num. xxvi. 65 ; xxxii. 12, pp. 177, 195 ; Kittel, Hist, of Hebs. p. 201. 
See below, p. 357. 


seen, that the spies, or some of them (for there surely were 
several parties ; they did not all inarch in a body), went 
through the whole land (Num. xiii. 28, 29). 

The last-named instance is one of several involving the 
question of the possibility of an acquaintance of Deutero- 
nomy with the P history. The denial of such acquaintance 
is founded in part on the mention of Dathan and Abiram, 
and the silence about Korah, in chap. xi. 6. 1 Here, it is 
concluded, the mention of Korah is omitted because he 
had no place in the JE narration. This, however, we 
would point out, does not necessarily follow. Apart from 
the question of " sources " in Num. xvi., it is evident that, 
in the combined uprising there narrated, Dathan and 
Abiram represented the general spirit of murmuring in 
the congregation (vers. 12-15), while Korah stood for the 
Levites, in their aspiration after the privileges of the priest- 
hood (vers. 8-11). This of itself is sufficient reason why Moses, 
in his address to the people, should refer only to the former. 2 

A more definite " contradiction " likewise implicated 
with intricate questions of analysis is in the brief notice 
of Aaron's death, and of the journeyings of the people in 
chap. x. 6, 7, as compared with the notice in the list of 
stations in Num. xxxiii. In Deuteronomy, Aaron is stated 
to have died at Moserah, while his death is placed in 
Numbers (ver. 38) at Mount Hor ; in Deuteronomy, four 
stations are mentioned in the journeyings (Bene-Jaakan, 
Moserah, Gudgodah, Jotbathah), but in Numbers (vers. 
31, 32) the first two are named in inverse order. Moserah, 
however, as we discover from comparison, was in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Hor, and there is evidence 
in the list in Numbers itself that after wandering southwards 
to Eziongeber, at the Eed Sea, and turning again north- 
wards, the people returned in the fortieth year from Kadesh 
to the district of Mount Hor, where Aaron died (vers. 35-39 ; 
cf. Num. xx.). The old camping spots would then be 
revisited, as stated in Deuteronomy. The mention of 
these places may thus be regarded rather as an un- 

1 On this incident, see below, pp. 358-9. 

2 It must be allowed that great suspicion attaches to the clause " of 
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram " in Num. xvi. 24, 27, in the connection in 
which it stands with mishlan (dwelling), which everywhere else in these 
narratives is the designation of the tabernacle (not of an ordinary tent). 
Cf. Straek, in loc. 


designed corroboration of the accuracy of the list in 
Numbers. 1 

Finally, a word should perhaps be said on the alleged 
"contradiction" between the law in Ex. xxi. 12-14, 
and the Deuteronomic appointment of three cities of 
refuge (chap. iv. 41-43 ; cf. xix. 1 ff.). The asylum in the 
older law, Wellhausen argues, is the altar ; now " in order 
not to abolish the right of asylum along with altars [mark 
the change to the plural], he [the Deuteronomist] appoints 
special cities of refuge for the innocent who are pursued 
by the avenger of blood." 2 It is a little difficult to under- 
stand how anyone could hope to persuade the people of 
Josiah's age that three cities of refuge had been appointed 
by Moses (three more afterwards) when, ex hypothesi, they 
knew perfectly well that up to their day no such cities 
existed. The whole objection, however, is largely a creation 
of the critic's fancy, as shown by the fact that the future 
appointment of a place of refuge for the manslayer is 
provided for in the very law of Exodus to which appeal is 
made (chap. xxi. 13). 

3. For the above reasons we cannot allow that a case 
has been made out on the ground of discrepancies in laws 
and history for denying the Deuteronomic discourses to the 
great lawgiver with whose name they are connected. 
When these are set aside, there remain as proofs of post- 
Mosaic origin chiefly incidental expressions, as "other side 
of (or beyond) Jordan," "unto this day," and the like. 
The first of these expressions "other side of Jordan" 
is much relied on, as showing that the standpoint of the 
author of the book was the Westew side of Jordan. 8 If we 
have not hitherto taken notice of this favourite argument, 
it is principally because, after the fairest consideration we 

1 The supposition that, according to JE, the Israelites stuck immovably 
like limpets on a rock to Kadesh lor thirty-eight years, is against common 
sense, and can only be made out by tearing the narrative to pieces. Even then, 
the command to the Israelites in JE, "Turn ye, and get you into the 
wilderness by the way of the Red Sea" (Num. xiv. 25), implies intervening 
wanderings, as in Num. xxxiii. In the beginning of the fortieth year (not 
the third, as Bleek), the Israelites are found again at Kadesh (chap. zz. 1 ; 
cf. Dill maim , in loc. ). Criticism rejects the thirty-eight years' wanderings, but 
in contradiction to all the sources, J E D P. Cf. Kittel's remarks, Hint, of 
Hebs. i. pp. 231-32. 

3 Hist, of Israel, p. 33 ; cf. W. R. Smith, O.T. in J. C.. p. 854. 

* Cf. Driver, Deut. pp. xlii ff. 


have been able to give it, it seems to us to have extremely 
little force. So far as the expression occurs in the frame- 
work of the book (e.g., chap. i. 1, 5), it occasions little 
difficulty, but it may appear to be different when it is found 
in the discourses themselves. It does occur there, but (as 
also in the framework) with an application both to the 
Eastern (chap. iii. 8), and, more commonly, to the Western 
(chaps, iii. 20, 25 ; xi. 30), sides of the Jordan. 1 Very generally 
there is some determinative clause attached, to show which 
side is meant " beyond Jordan, toward the sunrising " (chap, 
iv. 41, 46), " eastward " (ver. 49), " behind the way of the 
going down of the sun " (chap. xi. 30), etc. It is most natural 
to conclude that the phrase " beyond Jordan " was a current 
geographical designation for the Moabite side of the river ; 
but that, along with this, there went a local usage, deter- 
mined by the position of the speaker. 2 Far more reasonably 
may we argue from the minute and serious care of the writer 
in his geographical and chronological notices in the intro- 
duction to the discourses and elsewhere, that he means his 
book to be taken as a genuine record of the last utterances 
of the lawgiver. 

It may be serviceable at this stage to sum up the 
conclusions to which the discussions in this chapter have 
conducted us. 

1. The discovery of " the book of the law " in Josiah's 
day was a genuine discovery, and the book then found was 
already old. 

2. The age of Manasseh was unsuitable for the com- 
position of Deuteronomy, and there is no evidence of its 
composition in that age. The ideas of Deuteronomy no 

1 Num. xxxii. 19 is a remarkable case of the use of the phrase in both 
senses in a single verse. Dr. Driver explains the passage, not very con- 
vincingly, by an " idiom " : and accounts for Deut. iii. 20, 25 by the assumed 
position of the speaker, which, he thinks, by a lapse, is forgotten in ver. 8, 
where the real situation is betrayed. We may, however, pretty safely clear 
the writer of Deuteronomy from the suspicion of such unconscious " be- 
trayals " of his position. 

2 When Dr. Driver says: "It is of course conceivable that this was a 
habit of the Canaanites, but it can hardly be considered likely that the 
usage suggested by it passed from them to the Israelites, before the latter 
had set foot in the land," f to. (p. xliii), he seems to forget that the fathers 
of the Israelites had lived for at least two centuries in Canaan, and that the 
traditions and hopes of the people were all bound up with it (cf. their words 
for " West," etc.). 


doubt lay behind Hezekiah's reformation, but there is no 
evidence of the presence of the book, or of its composition, at 
or about that time. Had it been newly composed, or then 
appeared for the first time, we should have expected it to 
make a sensation, as it did afterwards in the time of Josiah. 
The question also would again arise as to its Mosaic claim, 
and the acknowledgment of this by Hezekiah and his circle. 

3. From Hezekiah upwards till at least the time of the 
Judges, or the immediately post-Mosaic age, there is no 
period to which the composition of the book can suitably 
be referred, nor is there any evidence of its composition in 
that interval. Traces of its use may be thought to be found 
in the revision of Joshua, in speeches like those of Solomon 
(1 Kings viii.), in Amaziah's action (2 Kings xiv. 5, 6), and 
in allusions in the early prophets. 1 But this we do not at 
present urge. 

4. The book definitely gives itself out as a reproduction 
of the speeches which Moses delivered in the Ardbah of 
Moab before his death, and expressly declares that Moses 
wrote his addresses (" this law "), and gave the book into 
custody of the priests. 

5. The internal character of the book, in its Mosaic stand- 
point, its absence of reference to the division of the kingdom, 
and the archaic and obsolete character of many of its laws, 
supports the claim to a high antiquity and a Mosaic origin. 

6. The supposition that Deuteronomy is " a free repro- 
duction," or elaboration, of written addresses left by Moses, 
by one who has fully entered into his spirit, and continues 
his work, while not inadmissible, if the facts are shown to 
require it, is unnecessary, and, in view of the actual character 
of the book, not probable. The literary gifts of Moses were 
amply adequate to the writing of his own discourses in their 
present form. This is not to deny editorial revision and 

7. There are no conclusive reasons in the character of 
the laws or of the historical retrospects for denying the 
authorship of the discourses, in this sense, to Moses. 

8. It seems implied in Deut. XXXL 9, 24-26, that 
Deuteronomy originally subsisted as a separate book. It 
may have done so for a longer or shorter period, and separate 
copies may have continued to circulate, even after its union 

1 See below, pp. 328 ff. 


with the other parts of the Pentateuch. 1 It was probably 
a separate authentic copy which was deposited in the temple, 
and was found there by Hilkiah. 

9. It is possible, as some have thought, that the JE Penta- 
teuchal history may originally have contained a brief account 
of the testamentary discourses of Moses, and of his death 
(cf. the fragment, chap. xxxi. -14, 15, 23). This would be 
superseded when Deuteronomy was united with the rest of 
the Pentateuch. 

10. The historical laws and narratives which Deutero- 
nomy presupposes must, in some form, have existed earlier 
than the present book, if not earlier than the delivery of the 
discourses. These also, therefore, are pushed back, in 
essentials, into the Mosaic age. They need not, however, 
have been then completed, or put together in their present 
shape ; or may only have furnished the basis for our present 

The relation of Deuteronomy to the Priestly Writing has 
yet to be considered. 

NOTE. Steuernagel's Theory of Deuteronomy: A word 
should perhaps be said on the novel theory of Deuteronomy 
expounded by C. Steuernagel in his work, Deuteronomium und 
Josua (1900). Discarding, with much else (as the depend- 
ence of Deuteronomy on the Book of the Covenant), the 
view of a division of the Book into hortatory and legal 
portions, Steuernagel contends for a division, as it were 
transversely, into sections, distinguished respectively by the 
use of the singular ("thou," "thy," etc.) and the plural 
(" ye," " your," etc.) numbers (Sg and PI). These sections 
(PI being itself highly composite) were united in the pre- 
Josianic period, and subsequently underwent extensive 
enlargements and redactional changes. It is difficult not 
to regard this theory as another instance of misplaced in- 
genuity. The use of singular and plural affords no sufficient 
ground for distinguishing different authors. The nation 
addressed as " thou " was also a " ye," and there is a free 
transition throughout from the one mode of speech to the 
other, often within the limits of the same verse or para- 
graph (cf., e.g., Deut. i. 31 ; iv. 10, 11 ; 25, 26 ; 34-36 ; vi. 
1-3; 17, 18; viii. 1, 2 ; 19, 20; ix. 7; xi. 12, 13, etc.). 

1 See below, p. 376. 


IDtfficultfes anfc {perplexities of tbe Critical t>po 
tbesis : TTbe iprfestl THndting. n. Tlbe 

"Nothing in fact is simpler than the Grafian hypothesis : it needs only 
the transference of a single source the collection of laws named commonly 
the Orundschrift, by others the Book of Origins, the Writing of the Older 
Elohist, or of the Annalist, which we would call the Book of Priestly Law 
or Religion into the post-exilian time, into the period of Ezra and 
Nehemiah, and at one stroke the 'Mosaic' period is wiped out." DUHM. 

"I have specially drawn attention to the fact that one result of these 
criticisms must inevitably be that, for all those who are convinced of the 
substantial truth of the above results, the whole ritualistic system, as a 
system of divine institution, comes at once to the ground. . . . The whole 
support of this system is struck away, when it is once ascertained that the 
Levitical legislation of the Pentateuch is entirely the product of a very 
late age, a mere figment of the post-captivity priesthood." COLENSO. 

"But, if we place at the head of their whole history [the Hebrew 
nation's] a great positive act of the will, a legislation by which the natural 
development is forestalled, and its course prescribed, we account for the rise 
of that discrepancy [the sense of guilt, consciousness of departure from the 
known will of God] and the peculiar tone of the national character among 
the Hebrews." DE WETTE (against VATKE). 

" But again the questioning spirit revives when one is asked to believe 
that Moses is partly at least a historic figure. Alas ! how gladly would one 
believe it ! But where are the historical elements ? ... No one can now be 
found to doubt that Sargon is a historical personage with mythic accretions. 
But can one really venture to say the like of Moses I" CHEYNE. 



IT was indicated in our sketch of the critical development 
that the greatest revolution in Pentateuchal criticism up 
to the present has been the acceptance by the majority of 
scholars of the Graf-Wellhausen contention that the legisla- 
tion of the middle books of the Pentateuch, instead of being, 
as was formerly all but universally supposed, the oldest, 
is in reality the very youngest of the constituent elements 
in that composite work not, as it professes to be, a creation 
of the work of Moses, but a production of priestly scribes 
in exilian and post-exilian times. Up to the appearance of 
Graf's work on The Historical Hooks of the Old Testament in 
1866, as was then pointed out, though earlier writers like 
Von Bohlen, George, and Vatke had advocated the idea, 
and Reuss, Graf's teacher, had been inculcating it in his 
class-room at Strassburg, 1 the hypothesis of a post-exilian 
origin of the law had met with no general acceptance. De 
Wette repudiated it ; 2 Bleek declared it to be " decidedly 
false to hold with Vater, Von Bohlen, Vatke, and George, 
that Deuterouoray, with the laws it contains, is older than 
the foregoing books with their legislation " ; 8 even Kuenen, 
in 1861, pronounced its grounds to be " not worthy of refuta- 
tion." 4 Since the publication of Graf's book, the tide has 

1 On Rruss, see below, p. 288. 

* Introd. ii. p. 143. Similarly Ewald. 

* Com. on Dent., Introd. p. 107. 

4 See quotation from Kuenen in full in Note A. Nearly the only writer 
who seems to have had a glimpse into the ]K>sml>ilitie.s of George's view was 
Hengstenberg, who wrote: "The view maintained l>y De Wette, that 
Deuteronomy waa the latest of all, the to]>stoiie of the mythical stnu-tun-, 
which at one time seemed to have won universal acceptance, begins now to 
yield to the exactly opposite opinion, that Deuteronomy is the most ancient 



decisively turned, and the previously rejected theory has 
now become the dominant (though by no means the 
universally-accepted) hypothesis among critical scholars. 

There are many reasons, apart from the skill and 
plausibility with which its case has been presented, which 
account for the fascination of this theory for minds that 
have already yielded assent to the previous critical develop- 
ments. It is not without justice, as we shall by and by see, 
that the claim is made for the Wellhausen hypothesis that 
it is the logical outcome of the whole critical movement 
of last century. A chief value of the theory is that, by the 
very startlingness of its conclusions, it compels a halt, and 
summons to a reconsideration of the long course by which 
its results have been reached. 


We shall best begin by sketching more fully than has 
yet been done the Graf- Wellhausen position. The problem 
relates, as said, to the age and character of that large body 
of laws found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, which 
forms the kernel of the writing described by the critics 
as the Priestly Code. Whereas formerly this Levitical 
legislation was held to be at least older than Deuteronomy, 
and probably in its main parts Mosaic, 1 the newer theory 
supposes it to be the work of scribes in the exile, or after. 
It is not, indeed, contended, as we shall find, that everything 
in the Code was absolutely the creation of that time. 2 
There had been, of course, a temple, priesthood, religious 
institutions, sacrificial ritual, priestly rules and technique. 
Still the law, as elaborated in the exile, was practically a 
new thing. What belonged to the practice of a previous 
age was taken up, transformed, had a new meaning put into 
it, was brought under new leading ideas, was developed and 

among all the books of the Pentateuch." Gen. of Pent. i. p. 58 (he refers 
to George's work). 

1 Thus, e.g., Bleek, Inlrod. i. pp. 212 ff. 

Of. Graf, as above, p. 93 ; Kuenen, Eel. of Israsl, ii. pp. 96, 1 92. (But 
see below, p. 291.) Reuss, on this point, does not go so far as some of h is 
successors. He says: "It is self-evident that the existence of a Levitical 
tradition in relation to ritual, as early as the days of the kings, cannot be 
denied ; we cannot speak, however, of a written, official, and sacred codex 
of this kind." Geschichte der Hett. Schriften A. T. i. p. 81 (in Ladd, i. p. 530). 
See below, pp. 300 ff. 


enlarged by new rites and institutions. Above all, in onlcr 
to clothe it with a Mosaic character, and secure for it the 
necessary authority, old and new alike were thrown back 
into the age of Moses and the wilderness, and were represented 
as originating and being put into force there. This Mosaic 1 
dress was a fiction. The elaborate descriptions of the 
tabernacle and its arrangements, the dispositions of the camp 
in the wilderness, the accounts of the consecration of Aaron 
and his sons, of the choice and setting apart of the Levites, 
of the origin of the passover, etc. all was a " product of 
imagination." l 

The idea of the Code was not wholly original. The first 
conception and sketch of a Priestly Code was in Ezekiel's 
vision of the restored temple in the closing chapters of his 
book. 2 The scheme of the scribes, however, was not that 
of Ezekiel, but was independently wrought out. A chief 
feature borrowed from the prophet's programme was the 
idea of the Levites as a class of temple servants subordinate 
to the priests. It will be seen below s how, in Ezek. xliv.. 
the law is laid down that the priests who had gone 
astray into idolatry were to be degraded from their priestly 
ottice, and made servants in the sanctuary. Only the* 
Zadokites, who had remained faithful, were to retain their 
priestly dignity. This, according to the theory, is the origin 
of the class of Levites. The priests thus degraded were, it 
is contended, the " disestablished priests " of the high places, 
for whom some sort of provision had to be made. We are 
called to trace here a development. Deuteronomy had, it is 
alleged, allowed such "disestablished priests" the full 
rights of priesthood when they came up to the temple; 
Ezekiel degrades them to the rank known afterwards as 
Levites: now the Priests' Code gives them a permanent 
standing in the sanctuary, and represents them as always 
having had this secondary position, and as having been 
originally honourably set apart by Jehovah for His service 
in the wilderness. The Israelites being thus organised as 
a hierarchy " the clergy the skeleton, the high priest the 
head, and the tabernacle the heart" 4 liberal provision is 

1 Cf. Kuenen, Rtl. of Israel, ii. pp. 171, etc. 

* Ezek. xl. etc. See below, pp. 315 ff. 

* Wellhausen, Hist of Israel, p. 127. Cf. p. 8 : "The Mosaic theocracy, 
with the tabernacle at its centre, the high priest at its head, the priests 
and Lcvitee aa iU organs, ths legitimate cultus as its popular function. 



made for the sacred body. Tithes, hitherto unknown for 
such a purpose, are appointed for the support of the priests 
and Levites, and the priestly revenues are otherwise greatly 

, enlarged. Forty-eight cities, with pasturages, 1 are only, 
of course, on paper set apart for the Levitical order. The 
sacrificial system, now centralised in the tabernacle, is 
enlarged, and recast in its provisions. Sin- and trespass- 
olferings (the sin-offering is held by Wellhausen to appear 
first in Ezekiel) z are introduced ; a cycle of feasts is estab- 
lished, with new historical meanings; an annual day of 

v atonement previously unheard of is instituted. Sacrifice 
loses its older joyous character, and becomes an affair of the 
priesthood a ritual of atonement, with associations of 
gloom. 3 

Still better to facilitate the introduction of this novel 
scheme, a history is invented to suit it. In its preparatory 
part in Genesis, this history goes back to the creation, and 
is marked in the patriarchal period by the rigid exclusion 
of all sacrifices; 4 in the Mosaic part, there is the freest 
indulgence in the invention of incidents, lists, genealogies, 
numbers, etc. All this, if we accept Wellhausen's view, 
was, some time before the coming of Ezra to Jerusalem in 
458 B.C., put together in Babylon; was afterwards combined 
with the previously existing JE and D, which knew nothing 
of such legislation, and indeed in a multitude of ways 
contradicted it ; finally, in 444 B.C., as related in Neh. viii., 
was produced and read by Ezra to the people, was accepted 
by them, and became thenceforth the foundation of post- 
exilic religion. Precisely at this crucial point, however, a 
serious divergence of opinion reveals itself in the school. 
According to Wellhausen, it was the completed Pentateuch, 
substantially, that was brought by Ezra to Jerusalem, and 
read by him to the people ; 6 according to perhaps the 
majority of his followers, it was only the Priests Code that 
was then made known, and the combination with JE and D 

1 The Levitioal cities are held by Wellhausen to be a transformation of 
the old bamo/h or high places. Ibid. pp. 37-38, 162. 

2 Ibid. p. 75. 

8 Ibid. p. 81 : " No greater contrast could be conceived than the monoto- 
nous seriousness of the so-called Mosaic worship." Delitzsch and others have 
shown the groundlessness of this allegation. 

4 See above, p. 156. 

"Substantially at least Ezra's law-book must be regarded as practically 
identical with our Pentateuch." Ibid. p. 497. Cf. p. 404. 


did not take place till later, after new redactions and 
developments of the Code. 1 Wellhausen, who retains his 
opinion, argues convincingly that the narrative (cf. Neh. 
ix.) clearly requires that the book should be the whole 
Pentateuch; 2 the others as triumphantly ask how Codes of 
laws, which ex hypothesi were in flat contradiction of each 
other, could simultaneously be brought forward with any hope 
of acceptance ! We agree that neither set of critics succeeds 
in answering the others' reasons. 

Such, in barest outline, is the nature of the scheme 
which is to take the place of the " traditional " view of the 
Mosaic origin of the Levitical legislation. It will, we 
venture to predict, be to future generations one of the 
greatest psychological puzzles of history how such a 
hypothesis, loaded, as we believe it to be, with external 
and internal incredibilities, should have gained the remark- 
able ascendency it has over so many able minds. It is a 
singular tribute to the genius of Wellhausen that he should 
have been able to secure this wide acceptance for his theory, 
and to make that appear to his contemporaries as the 
highest wisdom which nearly all his predecessors scouted 
as the extreme of folly. His feat is hardly second to that 
of Ezra himself, who, on this new showing, succeeded in 
imposing on his generation the belief that a complex system 
of laws and institutions had been given by Moses, and had 
been in operation since the days of that lawgiver, though, 
till the moment of his own promulgation, nothing had been 
heard of them by anyone present ! 8 

1 For a sketch of these supposed developments after 444 B.C., cf. Kuenen, 
Hex. pp. 302 tf. ; Professor W. Robertson Smith, 0. T. inj. C., NoteF. Pro- 
fessor Smith differs again in thinking that "the Priestly Code has far too 
many points of contact with the actual situation at Jerusalem, and the actual 
usage of the second temple [?], to lend plausibility to the view that it was 
an abstract system evolved in Babylonia, by someone who was remote from 
the contemporary movement at Jerusalem ; but, on the other hand, its author 
must have stood . . . outside the petty local entanglements that hampered 
the Judaean priests" (pp. 448-49). He holds that to conjecture " that Ezra 
was himself the author of the Priests' Code is to step into a region of 
purely arbitrary guesswork " (p. 449). Thus the theories eat up each 

1 Professor H. P. Smith gets rid of Ezra and the narrative altogether. 
Cf. below, p. 295. 

* " They were not," says Kuenwi, " laws which had been long in existence, 
and which were now proclaimed afresh and accepted by the people, after 
having been forgotten for a while. The priestly ordinances were made known 
and imposed upon the Jewish nation HOW /or the first tint. As we hare 



tThere are, it seems to us, three huge incredibilities which 
attach to this theory of the origin of the Levitical legislation, 
and to these, at the outset, as illustrative of the difficulties 
in which the modern criticism involves itself, we would refer. 
* 1. There is no mistaking in this case the serious nature 
,of the moral issue. In the case of " the book of the law " 
brought to light in Josiah's reign, there is at least always 
open the assumption of a literary artifice which involved 
no dishonest intention on the part of he writer. Here, 
on the other hand, there can be no evading of the meaning 
of the transaction. What we have is the deliberate con- 
istruction of an elaborate Code of laws with the express 
design of passing it off upon the people in the name of 
IMoses. It is not a sufficient reply to urge that much in 
!|bhe law was simply the codification of pre-exilian usage. 
A codification of ancient law if that were all that was 
meant even though it involved some degree of re-editing 
and expansion, is a process to which no one could reasonably 
take exception, provided it were proved that it had actually 
taken place. 1 But though this notion is, as we shall see, a 
good deal played with, the Wellhausen theory is assuredly 
not fairly represented, when, with a view to turn the edge 
of an objection, it is spoken of as mainly a work of " codifica- 
tion." The very essence of the theory, as Kuenen and 
.Wellhausen expound it, is, that in all that gives the Priestly 
Code its distinctive character, it is something entirely new. 2 
There never, e.g., existed such an ark or tabernacle as the 
Code describes with minute precision. The tabernacle is 

seen, no written ritual legislation yet existed in Ezekiel's time," etc. Eel. 
of Israel, ii. p. 231. Cf. Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, p. 408. 

1 Few of the critics of the Wellhausen hypothesis object, within reasonable 
limits, to a theory of codification, but treat it as a question of evidence. Cf. 
Robertson's Early Religion of Israel, p. 394. It already goes beyond codi- 
fication when the object is to stamp pre-existing usage with a divine 

3 According to Wellhausen, the Code was not only not in operation, but 
"it did not even admit of being carried into effect in the conditions that 
prevailed previous to the exile. " Hint, of Israel, p. 12. " The idea that the 
Priests' Code was extant before the exile," says Kautzsch, "could only be 
maintained on the assumption that no man knew of it, not even the spiritual 
leaders of the people, such as the priests Jeremiah and Ezekiel." Lit. of 
O.T., p. 116. 


a pure fiction, obtained by halving the dimensions of the) 
temple, and making it portable. 1 There never was a choice! 
of Aaron and his sons to be priests, or a separation of the' 
Levites to be ministers to the priests. There never was a 
tithe system for the support of priests and Levites; there 
never were Levitical cities ; there never were sin- and 
trespass-offerings, or a day of atonement, such as the Code 
prescribes; there never were feasts having the historical 
origin and reference assigned to them in the law. These 
institutions were not only not Mosaic, but they never 
existed at all ; and the cmistructor& of thie Code knew it, for 
they were .themselves the inventors. This cannot be evaded 
by saying, as is sometimes done, that it was a well-recognised 
custom to attribute all new legislation to Moses. For first, 
apart from the singular problem which this raises for the 
critics who attribute no laws to Moses, such a custom 
simply did not exist; 2 and, second, this is not a case of 
mere literary convention, but one of serious intention, with 
a view to gaining a real advantage by the use of the law- 
giver's authority. The nearest parallel, perhaps, that 
suggests itself is the promulgation in Europe in the ninth 
century of our era of the great collection of spurious 
documents known as the Isidorian Decretals, carrying back 
the loftiest claims of the mediaeval Papacy to apostolic men 
of the first century. No one hesitates to speak of these 
spurious decretals, which gained acceptance, and were for 
long incorporated in the Canon law, by their rightful name 
of " forgeries." 8 Can we help giving the same designation 
to the handiwork of these exilian constructors of a pseudo- 
Mosaic Code? 4 It is futile to speak, in excuse, of the 

'See above, pp. 165 ff. 

1 E.g., EzekicI did not attribute his laws to Moses ; the Chronicler did 
not attribute the elaborate ordinance* in 1 Chron. xxiii. to Moses but to 
David ; Ezra and Nehemiah themselves did not attribute their modified 
arrangements to Moses. Circumcision was not attributed to Moses, etc. 
We do not know of any laws being attributed to Moses which were not 
believed to be Mosaic. 

' Hallam says of these in his Middle Ages : " Upon these spurious 
decretals was built tin- great fabric of pupal supremacy over the different 
national Churches ; a fabric which has stood after its foundation crumbled 
beneath it ; for no one has pretended to deny, for the last two centuries, 
that the imposture is too palpable for any but the most ignorant ages to 
credit" (Stwknt'x Hallam, p. l'05). 

4 " Such procedure," sav U chin, "would have to be called a fraud." 
Einlcit. i. p. 217. 


different standards of literary honesty in those days. It 
is not overstepping the mark to say, as before, that men 
like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Ezra, were as capable of dis- 
tinguishing between truth and falsehood, as conscious of 
the sin of deceit, as zealous for the honour of God, as 
incapable of employing lying lips, or a lying pen, in the 
service of Jehovah, as any of our critics to-day. 1 We 
simply cannot conceive of these men as entering into such 
a conspiracy, or taking part in such a fraud, as the 
Wellhausen theory supposes. For it was undeniably as 
genuine Mosaic ordinances that it was meant to pass off 
these laws upon the people. Let only the effect be imagined 
had Ezra interpolated his reading with the occasional ex- 
planation that this or that principal ordinance, given forth 
by him as a law of Moses in the wilderness, was really a 
private concoction of some unknown priest in Babylon 
perchance his own ! 

v 2. Besides the moral, there confronts us, in the second 
place, a historiuil incredibility. We do not dwell on 
the peculiar taste of these exilian scribes, of whose very 
existence, it must be remembered, we have not a morsel of 
evidence, who, out of their own heads, occupied themselves 
with tireless ingenuity in elaborating these details of 
tabernacle, encampments, and ceremonial, planning new 
laws, festivals, and regulations for imaginary situations 
devising everything with such care, and surrounding it with 
so perfect an air of the wilderness, that, as Wellhausen 
owns, 2 no trace of the real date by any chance shines 
through. Neither do we dwell on the singular unity of 
mind which must have pervaded their ranks to enable them 
to concert so well-compacted and coherent a scheme as, on 
any showing, the Levitical law is. 3 We shall assume that 
some peculiarly constituted minds might delight in evolving 
these fanciful things, and might even, at a sufficient distance 
of time, get their romance by mistake accepted as history. 

1 See above, p. 259. Cf. Jer. viii. 8 ; xiv. 14 ; xxiii. 32 ; Ezek. xiii. 6, 
7, 19, etc. 

3 "It tries hard to i'nitite t'e costume of the Mosaic period and, with 
whatever success, to disguise its own. ... It guards itself against itll 
reference to later times and a settled life in Canaan. ... It keeps itselt 
carefully and strictly within the limits of the situation in the wilderness." 
Hist, of Israel, p. 9. Riehm says: "Nowhere are any anachronisms found 
in the Levitical legislation." Eiid. i. p. 217. 

* Cf. Note B 011 Unity of the Law. 


The thing which needs explanation is, how the scheme, once 
conceived, should be ahle to get under weigh as it did, in 
the actual circumstances of the return from the exile. That 
problem has only to be faced to show how incredible is the 
critical solution. 

We turn to the account of the production and reading of 
the law by Ezra in Neh. viii., as before we did to the narrative 
of the finding of " the book of the law " in 2 Kings, and are 
there presented with a plain, unvarnished tale, which bears 
upon its face every mark of truth. We read how the people 
of Jerusalem, gathered "as one man into the broad place 
that was before the water-gate," asked Ezra the scribe " to 
bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had 
commanded to Israel." 1 Ezra, who before has been 
described as "a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which 
Jehovah, the God of Israel, had given," 2 and as coming 
from Babylon with the law of God in his hand, 3 now, at the 
people's request, produced the book, and from an improvised 
" pulpit of wood " read its contents to the congregation 
"from morning till midday," while others who stood by 
" gave the sense." 4 This was repeated from the first to the 
last day of the feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month. 6 
Everything in the narrative is plain and above board. There 
is not a hint that anything contained in this " book of the 
law " was new," though the knowledge of much that it con- 
tained had evidently been lost. The entire congregation 
listen to it with unquestioning faith as " the law of Mosea" 
They hear all its enactments about priests and Levites, its 
complicated regulations about sacrifices, about sin-offerings, 

1 Neh. viii. 1. Ezra vii. 6. 

Ezra vii. 14. 4 Neh. viii. 2-8. 

' Yen. 8, 18. Professor H. P. Smith, unlike Welihausen and Kuenen, who 
found upon it, discredits, as before intimated, the whole story, and doubts 
the very existence of Ezra. His account is worth quoting, as a specimen of 
a phase of criticism : " During the century after N'-lu-muli the community 
in Judah was becoming more rigid in its exclusivcness and in its devotion to 
the ritual. Ezra in the impersonation of Ixjth tendencies. Whether there 
was a scribe named Ezra is not a matter of great importance. Very likely 
there was such a scribe to whose name tradition attached itself. First, it 
transferred the favour of Artaxerxes to him from Nehemiah. Then it made 
him the hero of the introduction of the law, and finally it attributed to him 
the abrogation of the mixed marriages. . . . The wish was father to the 
thought, and the thought gave rise to tlie story of Ezra. F.xra was the ideal 
s< rit', as Solomon was the ideal king, projected upon the background of an 
earlier age." O.T. Hi*t. pp. 396-97. 

Cf. Kittel, HisL of Ifebi. i. p. 104. 


about tithes, but do not raise a question. Nothing, on the 
premises of the theory, could be more surprising. Tithes 
of corn and oil, not to say of cattle, for the support of the 
Levitical order, had never before been heard of, 1 but the 
people submit to the burden without dissent. They hear 
of a day of atonement, and of the solemn and elaborate 
ritual by which it is to be annually observed, but it does 
not occur to them that this institution has been unknown 
in all the past of their history. The Levites, descendants, 
on the theory, of Ezekiel's degraded idolatrous priests of 
whose degradation, however, to this lower rank, history 
contains no mention show no amazement when they 
learn for the first time that their tribe was specially set 
apart by Jehovah for His service in the wilderness, and had 
then a liberal provision made for their wants; that cities 
even had been appointed for them to dwell in. Many 
of the more learned in the gathering men versed in 
genealogies and priestly traditions must have been well 
aware that the most striking of the ordinances which Ezra was 
reading from his roll, were unhistorical inventions, yet they 
take it all in. There was, as the Book of Nehemiah itself 
clearly shows, a strongly disaffected party, and a religiously 
faithless party, in the city, a faction keenly opposed to 
Ezra and Nehemiah, 2 but no one raises a doubt. Priests 
and people, we learn from Malachi, were alike shamefully 
remiss in the discharge of their obligations, 8 yet they never 
question the genuineness of any article in the Code. The 
very Samaritans the bitterest of the Jews' enemies in this 
period receive not long after the whole law at the hands 
of the Jews as the undoubted law of Moses. 4 Is anything 
in the " traditional " theory more astounding, or harder to 
believe, than all this is? 5 There is another fact. Ezra's 

1 Wellhausen says the tithe was introduced by Ezra, Hist, of Israel, p. 166. 

2 Cf. Neh. vi. 10-19; viii. etc. W. R. Smith even says: "All the 
historical indications point to the priestly aristocracy being the chief 
opponents of Ezra." Q,T. in J. C., p. 448. This makes matters still more 

3 Mai. i. 6-14 ; iii. 7-15 ; Neh. xiii. 10 ff. Of. W. R. Smith, as above, 
p. 445. 

4 See below, Chap. X. p. 370, and Note there. 

8 Wellhausen says : " As we are accustomed to infer the date of the com- 
position of Deuteronomy from its publication and introduction by Josiah, so 
we must infer the date of the composition of the Priestly Code from its 
publication and introduction by Ezra and Nehemiah." Hist, of Israel, 


reading of the law was in 444 B.C. But nearly a century 
earlier, in 536 B.C., at the time of the first return under 
Zerubbabel, we find no inconsiderable part of the law already 
in operation. Priests and Levites are there ; the high priest 
is there; 1 a complete organisation of worship is there, 
morning and evening sacrifices are there, set feasts are 
there, etc.* Even if details are challenged, the central facts 
in this narrative, e.g., the presence of priests and Levites, 
and of an organisation of worship, cannot be overthrown. 8 

3. There is yet, however, a third incredibility arising 
from the ^unsuitdbUity of the Code itself. We found the 
Code of Deuteronomy to be in many respects unsuitable to 
the age of Josiah. But the unsuitability of Deuteronomy 
is slight compared with the lack of agreement in the 
Levitical Code with the state of things in the days of Ezra 
and Nehemiah. From the point of view of the theory, the 
Code was designed to be put in force after the return from 
the exile. The return, therefore, even in the exile, must 
have been confidently expected. Yet, when the Code is 
examined, nothing could seem less suitable for its purpose. 
The whole wilderness framework of the legislation was out 
of date and place in that late age. The sanctuary is a 
portable tabernacle, whereas the circumstances of the time 
demanded a temple. Many of the laws, like that requiring 
that all sacrifices should be offered at the door of the 
tabernacle, with the reason for this regulation, 4 were quite 
out of keeping with the new conditions, had, indeed, no 
relevancy from the time when the people entered on a 
settled life in Canaan. Suitable in its place, if it precedes 
the relaxing rule of Deut. xii. 15, it is unintelligible after. 
Other parts of the Code had to be dropped or changed, as 
inapplicable to the post-exilian order of things. There was, 
e.g., no ark, or priestly Urim or Thummim, in the second 

p. 408. We contend, on the contrary, that the narrative of this introduction 
is a conclusive disproof ol Wellhausen's view of its date. 

1 Cf. Zech. iii. 1. 

s Kzra iii. 2 ff. 

1 Delitzach says : " It is a fact an credibly attested as possible that the 
distinction of ranks of priests and Levites existed already in B.C. 536, and 
long before B.C. 444 ; and indeed so uncou tested, MO thoroughly established, 
so strictly maintained, tint it must be dated back beyond the exile, in which 
it cannot have originated, as one regulated by law and custom in the pre- 
exilian time." Luthardt's Znlxchrift, 1880, p. 268. 

4 Lev. xvii. 1-4. See below, p. 314. 


temple. The tax imposed by Nehemiah was a third part of a 
shekel, instead of the half -shekel of the law. 1 The law, in one 
place, prescribes twenty-five years as the age for the Levites 
entering on service, and in another place thirty years. 2 We 
find, however, that, after the return, neither of these laws 
was adopted, but, in accordance with a rule ascribed in 
Chronicles to David, the Levites commenced their duties at 
the age of twenty. 3 A more striking example of unsuitability 
to contemporary conditions is found in the tithe-laws, declared 
to be a direct creation of the exile. The Levitical law in 
Numbers is based on the assumption of a large body of 
Levites, and a relatively small body of priests. The tithes 
are to be paid directly to the Levites, who are then required 
to give a tenth of what they receive to the priests. 4 But 
these provisions were absolutely unsuitable to the times 
succeeding the exile, when, as we see from the Book of 
Ezra, the number of Levites who returned was very small, 
while the number of priests was large. 5 Instead of ten 
Levites for every priest, the proportion may have been about 
twelve or thirteen priests for every Levite. This rendered 
completely nugatory the arrangements of the Code, and 
made readjustment inevitable. Wellhausen calls this 
discrepancy "a trifling circumstance," 8 but fails to explain 
why a law should have been promulgated so entirely un- 
suited to the actual situation. The history, besides, has no 
mention of the tithing of cattle under Nehemiah as pre- 
scribed by the law only of tithes of field produce. 7 As if 
to render the contrast more striking, while we have in the 
Code these rules about tithes, so absolutely unsuitable to 
the circumstances of the exile, with its numerous priests 
and handful of Levites, we have, on the other hand, mention 
in the history of an extensive personnel connected with the 
service of the temple porters, Nethinim, children of 

1 Ex. xxx. 11-10 ; cf. Neh. x. 32. 

3 Num. iv. 23, 30, etc. ; cf. viii. 24. The LXX makes both passages 
thirty years. This is one of those unessential variations in laws, which, if 
the ordinary harmonistic explanation is not accepted, viz., that the one law 
(Num. viii.) refers to the lighter service of the tabernacle itself, the other 
(Num. iv.) to the harder work of transportation, points to a liberty of 
varying the strict letter of the law, provided its spirit or principle was 
ail I it-red to. See above, p. 179. 

3 Ezra iii. 8 ; cf. 1 Chron. xxiii. 24, 27. 

4 Num. xviii. 21-20. 8 Ezra ii. ; viii. 15 IF. 
Hist, of Israel, p. 167. 7 Neh. x. 39 ; xiii. 5. 


Solomon's servants, singing-men, and singing- women l of 
which, curiously enough, the law, supposed to be drawn up 
specially for this community, knows nothing. 1 How is this 
to be rendered natural or conceivable on the critical 
assumption of the date of the Code ? 3 


We pass now from these initial incredibilities to the 
examination of the positive foundations of the critical 
theory; and here, if we mistake not, the impression pro- 
duced by the above considerations will be more than con- 
firmed. The argument for the exilian or post-exilian dating 
of the Priestly Code may be said to have two main branches : 
(1) the alleged silence of pre-exilian history and literature 
as to the peculiar institutions of the Code; and (2) the 
alleged incompatibility of the sanctuary and ritual arrange- 
ments of the pre-exilic time mirrored to us in the history, 
the prophets, and the Book of Deuteronomy with the 
Levitical regulations. We shall under the present head 
consider the general value of this argument from silence ; 
we shall then inquire whether the silence regarding the 
laws and institutions of the Priests' Code is as unbroken as 
is alleged; finally, we shall endeavour to show that the 
critical theory itself breaks down in its attempt to explain 
these institutions this with special reference to the 
Ezekiel theory of the origin of the distinction of priests and 
Levites. The " incompatibility " argument has already 
been in considerable part anticipated, but will be touched 
upon as far as necessary. 

The argument from mere silence then, to begin with 
that, is proverbially precarious ; in a case like the present 
it is peculiarly so. It is easy to understand why a ritual 
law, which, all down, must have been largely an affair of the 

1 Ezra ii. 41, 55, 58, 65, 70. The members of some of these guilds were 
probably Levitical (1 Clirou. xxiii. ; cf. Delitzscb, Zritxhrift, 1880, p. 287), 
though the name "Levite" was specially appropriated to those directly 
ministering to the priests. This would increase somewhat the proportion 
of returning Ijevites. 

1 DeliUsdi, Dillinann (Xum.-Joa. p. 671), llaudissin (" Priests and 
Levites" in Did. qf Bible, iv. p 88), etc., urge this point. 

* For additional instances of unsuitability, cf. kittel, UitL of Utbi. i. 
p. 106. 


priests, should not frequently obtrude itself upon the view : 
when it does, as in the Books of Chronicles, it is set down as 
a mark of untrustworthiness. Particularly, the fact that 
the Levitical laws are, in their original form, adapted to a 
tabernacle, and to wilderness conditions, precludes the 
possibility of much reference to them in that form, after the 
people were settled in Canaan, and after a temple had been 
built. Assuming the sanctuary and sacrificial ordinances of 
the Code to have always been in the most perfect opera- 
tion, and it is certain that in many periods they were 
not, it would still be unreasonable to expect that they 
should be constantly thrusting their heads into the story, 
and foolish to argue that, because they did not, therefore 
they had no existence. We take, however, broader ground, 
and propose to show, with the help of the critics them- 
selves, that, notwithstanding the silence, a large part of 
the Code may have been, and indeed actually was, in 

1. On the showing of the Wellhausen theory itself, it is 
not difficult to establish that the argument from mere 
silence is far from conclusive. We fall back here on the 
admission freely made that everything in the Priestly Code 
is not new. It is allowed, on the contrary, that materially 
a great part of the Levitical legislation must have been in 
existence before the exile. Especially, as before in the case 
of Deuteronomy, when the object is to free the hypothesis 
from the aspect of fraud, remarkable concessions on this 
point are frequently made. If, at one time, we are told by 
Dr. Driver that " the pre-exilic period shows no indications 
of the legislation of P as being in operation," * at another 
time we are assured that " in its main stock, the legislation 
of P was not (as the critical view of it is sometimes 
represented by its opponents as teaching) ' manufactured ' 
by the priests during the exile ; it is based upon pre- 
existing temple usage." 2 We do not defend the consistency of 

1 Introd. p. 136. 

- Ibid. p. 143. See below, p. 312. Similarly the quotations from Kuenen 
ami Wellhausen on pp. 291-92 above, may be compared with the following 
from Kuenen: "The decrees of the priestly law were not made and 
invented during or after the exile, but drawn up. Prior to the exile, the 
priests had already delivered verbally what with the modifications that 
had become necessary in the meantime they afterwards committed to 
writing." Rel. of Israel, ii. p. 96. " I have already drawn attention to the 
probability that disconnected priestly ordinances or torahs were in circula- 


these statements ; the one is, in fact, as \vc .si mil immediately 
see, destructive of the other. The tendency in writers of 
this school is, in reality, to a kind of sec-saw between these 
two positions; the one that the Priestly Code was in the 
main a simple "codification" of pre-exilic usage a com- 
paratively innocent hypothesis; and the other that the 
characteristic institutions of the Priestly Code ark, 
tabernacle, Aaronic priests, Levites, tithes, Levitical cities, 
sin-offerings, day of atonement," etc., were, one and all, the 
free creation of the exilic period were then, despite Dr. 
Driver's disclaimer, " manufactured " l and were absolutely 
unknown earlier. If the latter proposition cannot be 
maintained, the whole hypothesis goes to earth. Here 
again we are entitled to say that the critics must really 
make their choice. They cannot well be allowed at one 
time to employ arguments which are of no force unless on 
the assumption that the Levitical law is, as a whole, in 
matter as well as in form, //": and at another, to use 
arguments based on the contention that the bulk of the 
legislation is, in practice, vld.~ 

Let us, however, accept, as we are glad to do, the state- 
ment that " the main stock " of the legislation of P is " based 
upon pre-existing temple usage," and see what follows. The 
observance of this "main stock" before the exile either 
appears in the history, or it does not If it does not, what 
becomes of the argument from silence against the other 
institutions? If it does, what becomes of Wellhausen's 
statement that "no trace can be found of acquaintance 
with the Priestly Code, but, on the other hand, very clear 
indications of ignorance of its contents ? " 8 It is nothing to 
the purpose to reply, as is commonly done, that before the 
exile there was indeed praxis usage but no written 

tion before the exile, even though a system of priestly legislation wan 
wanting at that time " (p. 192). 

1 We may take in illustration the law of the pnssover in Exodus, 
referred to further below, pp. 320-21. Graf treats Ex. xiL 1-28 as a pure 
creation of the time of the exile, and deduces from the fact of its agreement 
with the priestly and sacrificial laws of Leviticus, that these must be 
exilian or post-exilian also (Gfschicht. Etichtr, pp. 34-86). Wellhausen'a 
view is that the law lias undergone a transformation which inverts tlie 
relation of cause and effect. It was the Israelitish custom of offering the 
firstlings which gave rise to the story of the slaying of the firstborn iu 
Egypt, not vice vena. Hut. of Israel, pp. 88, 100, 102, 352. 

* Cf. Robertson on Wellhauscn, Early Religion, etc., pp. 393-94. 

Hist. o/Itnul, p. 59. 


Priestly Code, or Code of ritual law attributed to Moses. 1 
For (1) the very ground on which the existence of a written 
Code is denied is that there is no proof of the practice ; and (2) 
if the practice is allowed, who is to certify that a written 
law, regulating the practice, was not there ? Against the 
existence of a written law, we have only Wellhausen's 
dogmatic dictum, repeated by other critics, that, so long 
as the cultus lasted, people would not concern themselves 
with reducing it to the form of a Code. 2 It was only when 
it had passed away that men thought of reducing it to 
writing. That, however, Wellhausen certainly cannot prove, 
and his view is not that of older and of a good many 
recent scholars. 8 Nor has it probability in itself. Are 
written Codes especially in the light of modern knowledge 
so entirely unknown to antiquity as to warrant anyone in 
saying a priori that, even where an elaborate ritual is 
acknowledged to be in operation, a Code regulating it 
cannot have existed ? 4 

2. There is an admitted "pre-existing temple usage," 
constituting " the main stock " of the priestly law ; reflection 
may next convince us that this "pre-existing usage must 
have covered a much larger part of the Levitical Code than 
is commonly realised. There existed at least a splendid 
temple, with outer and inner divisions; a sacred ark; 
temple furniture and utensils; a hereditary priesthood. 
The priests would have their sacred vestments, prescribed 
duties, ritual lore, their technique in the manipulation of 
the different kinds of sacrifices, their recognised rules for 
the discernment and treatment of leprosy, their rules for 
ceremonial purification, their calendar of sacred festivals, 
etc. These things existed ; assume the laws relating to them 

1 Ibid. ; cf. Euenen, as above, p. 96. 2 Ibid. 

8 Cf. Bleck, Introd. i. pp. 221 ff. ; Dillmann, Exod.-Lev. Pref. p. viii 
(see above, p. 160) ; p. 386. 

4 Analogy and discovery furnish strong grounds for believing that Israel 
would have a written law. Kittel says on this point : ' ' Israel came out of, 
and always continued to be connected with, a country where external 
prescriptions and rules played their part in all ages. As in Egypt, so in 
Babylonia and Assyria, rules were laid down for sacrificial worship at an 
early period. The Marseilles Table of Offerings has brought the same fact to 
light as regards the Phoenicians. Is it to be believed that with all this 
scrupulosity on the part of the surrounding priesthoods, a primitive 
informalism, of which there is no other example, prevailed in Israel alone 
until the days of the restoration ? " Hist, of ffebs. i. p. 113. Cf. Dillmann, 
Nv,n.-Jo9. p. 647. 


to be written down, what ground have we for supposing that 
they would have differed greatly from the laws preserved to 
us in Leviticus and Numbers ? Yet how little of all this 
obtrudes itself in the history ? Nothing, we have again to 
point out, is gained by the substitution of praxis for written 
law ; for it is not the written law, usually, but the practice, 
that history takes cognisance of, and, if silence in the history 
is compatible with the practice, it must also be compatible 
with the existence of any Code that regulates it. How far 
this reaches will appear more clearly if we look at specific 

Wellhausen speaks repeatedly of the splendour and 
elaboration of the pre-exilic cultus. There was a cult us 
" carried on," he tells us, " with the utmost zeal and 
splendour " * " splendid sacrifices, presumably offered with 
all the rules of priestly skill." 2 " Elaborate ritual may have 
existed in the great sanctuaries at a very early period." 8 
He correctly infers " that Amos and Hosea, presupposing as 
they do a splendid cultus and great sanctuaries, doubtless 
also knew of a variety of festivals." * But he has to add, 
" they have no occasion to mention any one by name." To 
the same effect Isaiah is quoted : " Add ye year to year, let 
the feasts go round." 5 But where shall we look in history 
for any notice of these feasts ? It is allowed that the three 
feasts of the Book of the Covenant were observed from early 
times; yet, says Wellhausen, "names are nowhere to be 
found, and in point of fact it is only the autumn festival 
that is well attested, and this, it would appear, as the only 
festival, as the feast." Still the critic has no doubt that 
" even under the older monarchy the previous festivals must 
also have already existed as well." 7 As particular examples, 
let the reader take his concordance, and note the exceeding 
paucity of the allusions in the historical books to such 
institutions as the sabbath, the new moon, or even the rite 
of circumcision. How easy, on the strength of this silence, 
would it be to say in the familiar way: "Joshua, Judges, 
the Books of Samuel, know nothing of the sabbath!" 
Drop one or two incidental references, which might easily 

1 Hi*, of Israel, p. 56. Ibitl. p. 55. 

Ibid. p. 54. Ibid. r>. 94. Ibid. 

' Ibid. It is not the case, however, that no other feasts are named. Sea 
below, pp. 821-22. 
T IbvL p. 96. 


not have been there, and the evidence in the history for the 
above, as for many other institutions, disappears altogether. 
Does it follow that the sabbath, or a law of the sabbath, 
had no existence ? 

3. The test may be applied in another way. It is urged, 
e.g., that there is no clear reference in pre-exilian literature 
to the existence of a class of Levites as distinct from the 
priests. It has already been seen that this is not altogether 
the case, 1 and, at least, as pointed out, the Levites appear 
quite distinctly at the return, nearly a century before the 
Priestly Code was promulgated by Ezra. But what of post- 
exilian literature? Apart from Ezra and Nehemiah, and 
the Books of Chronicles, how many references to the Levites 
could be gleaned from exilian and post-exilian writings ? 
The second Isaiah (assuming the critical date), the prophets 
Haggai, Zechariah, Joel (if he be post-exilian), Malachi, 2 the 
Psalter declared to be the song-book of the second temple 
all are silent, with the possible exception of Ps. cxxxv. 20. 
The Priests' Code generally finds little reflection in the 
Psalter. Even in the Priestly Code itself, it is surprising to 
discover how large a part contains no allusions to the 
Levites.. In Leviticus the priestly book par excellence 
with the solitary exception of chap. xxv. 32, 33, they are not 
so much as named. 3 Equally remarkable is the silence of 
the New Testament on the Levites. One stray allusion in 
the parable of the Good Samaritan; 4 one in the Fourth 
Gospel; 5 one in Acts, where Barnabas is described as a 
Levite 8 that is all. The Epistle to the Hebrews, even, 
has nothing to say of them. Priests everywhere, but 
Levites nowhere. This, surely, is a sufficiently striking 
object-lesson in silence. Yet it is on the ground of a 
similar silence to this that we are asked to believe that 
there was no pre-exilian observance of the day of atone- 
ment. 7 Doubtless there is no mention in the history of this 
yearly day of expiation any more than there is of the 

1 See above, pp. 163, 189. 

2 The Levites in Malachi are the priests. 

8 Of. Kittel, Hist, of Hehs. i. pp. 120-21. Kittel shows tliat in large parts 
of the Priestly Code "there is no contrast between priests and Levites." 

4 Luke x. 32. * John i. 19. 6 Acts iv. 36. 

7 We are aware that it is argued that its observance is on certain occasions 
jrreclitded by the narrative. But see Delitzsch's article, Luthardt's Zeitschrift. 
1880, pp. 173 ff. 


year, 1 the year of jubilee,* and many other 
institutions which we have good reason to believe were 
known, even if they were not always faithfully observed. 8 
But the argument from silence in the case of the day of 
atonement proves too much ; for, as it happens, jt?os-exilian 
literature is as silent about it as ^re-exilian. Important 
solemnity as it was, it is not mentioned by Ezra, Nehemiah, 
Chronicles,-t>r any of the post-exilian prophets. The first 
notice of its observance is in Josephus, who tells us that, in 
27 B.C., Herod took Jerusalem on that day, as Pompey had 
done twenty-seven years before. 4 The Gospels and Acts 
contain no reference to the day of atonement; yet we 
know from the Epistle to the Hebrews that it was observed, 
and that its rites were familiar. 6 


Thus far we have proceeded on the critics' own 
assumption of the silence in pre-exilian times regarding 
the laws and institutions of the Priestly Code. But was - 
the silence really as unbroken as is alleged ? We shall now 
endeavour to show that it was not. The opposite can onlyi 
be maintained by the process of circular reasoning which \ 
explains away every testimony to the contrary by the 1 
assumption of late date or interpolation of the notice, or by ' 
the convenient distinction between Code and usage. We 
go on the contrary principle that praxis, as a rule, is a 
testimony in favour of Code ; but we hope to do something 
to prove the presence of Code also. 

In an earlier chapter we sought to establish the existence 
in pre-exilic times of many of the characteristic institutions 

1 Ex. zxiiL 10 ; Lev. xxv. 2 fT. ; xxri. 34, 85. The first mention of the 
sabbatical year is in the time of the Maccabees (1 Mace. vi. 53). 

1 Lev. xxv. Cf. Isa. Ixi. 1, 2. Kuenen admits that Ezekiel knew the 
jubilee year (Rel. of Israel, ii. p. 191). 

* The Wellhausen school deny the observance, bat without good reason 
(cf. Dillmann on Lev. xxv. 7, p. 608). 

4 Antlq. xiv. 16. 4. 

' Heb. ix. 7 ff. The list of silences might easily be extended. The 
feast of weeks, e.g., is not mentioned by Ezekiel, who speaks of the 
passover and the feast of tabernacles. It is alluded to only once in the 
whole history before the exile (1 Kinga ix. 25 ; 2 Chron. viii. 13). Neither 
does Ezekiel allude to the evening sacrifice. 


of the Levitical Code, e.g., the ark, the tabernacle, the 
Aaronic priesthood, the high priest, etc. 1 It adds to the 
weight of the argument that in many instances we are 
indebted to quite incidental allusions for a knowledge of 
facts and observances whose existence might not otherwise 
have been suspected. It is, e.g., only by accident that we 
came on the notice of "the shewbread" in the sanctuary 
at Nob in the reign of Saul. 2 Again, from 1 Sam. i., ii., we 
might hastily conclude that there were at Shiloh no priests 
but Eli and his two sons ; as from chap. xxi. we might infer 
that there was at Nob only the single priest Ahimelech. Yet 
Saul's massacre after David's flight discovers to us the pres- 
ence at Nob of eighty-five priests that wore a linen ephod. 3 
If it be replied that the references to ark, tabernacle, priest- 
hood, shewbread, and the like, do not prove the existence 
of the detailed representations of the Priestly Code, 4 this 
may be granted, and is only to be expected. But they 
show at least that these things were there to be legislated 
for, and annul the presumption against laws which have 
this for their object. It is a curious state of mind that can 
see a propriety in the codification of laws, e.g., about 
parapets and fringes, 5 but supposes that everything about 
sanctuary and sacrifice was left to drift on without 
authoritative regulation. It is now necessary, however, to 
come to closer quarters, and to ask whether there is any 
direct evidence of the existence of priestly laws in written 
form in pre-exilian times. 

1. We turn first to the Book of Ezekiel, and specially 
to chaps, xl. xlviii., which Wellhausen says have been not 
incorrectly called " the key of the Old Testament," 6 and 
between which and the Priestly Code, at any rate, it is 

1 Cf. above, Chap. VI. 3 1 Sam. xxi. 

8 1 Sam. xxii. 18. Wellhausen allows that there must have been a 
considerable establishment at Shiloh. "The temple of Shiloh," he says, 
" the priesthood of which we find officiating at Nob a little later." "The 
otfice is hereditary, and the priesthood already very numerous." Hist, of 
Israel, pp. 19, 128. 

* Thus Dr. Driver, Introd. p. 142. See above, p. 171. The regulations 
for such an establishment must have been pretty detailed, if they existed 
at all. 

8 Deut xxii. 8, 12. 

6 Hist, of Israel, p. 421. (Cf. p. 25 above.) Smend also says : " The 
decisive importance of this section for the criticism of the Pentateuch was 
first recognised by George and Vatke. It has been rightly called the key 
oi the Old Testament. In fact it is only intelligible as an intermediate 


allowed on all sides that there exists a close relation. 1 
What is the nature of that relation ? Is it, as the world 
has till recently believed, the Levitical Code, with which 
as a priest he was necessarily familiar, which furnished 
Ezekiel with suggestion and guidance in the framing of his 
sketch of a new theocracy, in which older institutions are 
freely remodelled and changed?* Or is it, as the newer 
critics allege, that no written priestly laws as yet existed, 
and that Ezekiel's sketch was the first rough draft 
" programme " on the basis of which exilian scribes 
afterwards worked to produce their so-called Mosaic Code. 3 
The latter view is necessary to the Wellhausen hypothesis, 4 
yet it is one against which a powerful note of dissent is 
raised by an influential company of scholars, many of them 
well-nigh as " advanced " as Wellhausen himself. 6 It is 
pointed out, surely with justice, that the vision of Ezekiel 
is only conceivable as the product of a mind saturated with 
the knowledge of temple law and ritual ; that the parallels 
with the Priestly Code are not confined to chapa xL-xlviiL, 
but go through the whole book;* that much is simply j 
alluded to, or left to be understood, which only the Priestly 
Code can explain; 7 above all, that the scheme of the 
Levitical Code deviates so widely in conception and detail 
from that of Ezekiel as to render it unthinkable that its 

link between Deuteronomy and the Priestly Code, and it thence follows 
that the latter is exilian or post-exilian." zechiel, p. 312. 

1 " On one point," says Baudissin, " there can be no doubt, namely this, 
that the affinity between the law of Ezekiel and the Priests' Code is so 
great that it can be explained only by the dependence of one of these upon 
the other." Did. of Bible, iv % p. 86. 

1 It seems obvious that the vision is a work of prophetic imagination, 
and is not intended to be taken as a literal programme for future realisation. 
One has only to read the vision of the waters, and the direction for the 
division of the land in chap, xlvii. to see that they belong to the region of 
the ideal not of fact. 

1 Cf. Kuenen, Rel. of Israel, ii. p. 118. 

4 Oue of the theses on which, from 1833, Ecuss based his lectures was this : 
" Ezekiel is earlier than the redaction of the ritual code, and of the laws, 
which definitely organised the hierarchy." (Cf. Wellhausen, Hist. p. 4.) 
See above, p. 200. Since the time of Graf, Delitzsch says, "the Book of 
Ezekiel has become the Archimedean point of the Pentateuchal criticism." 
Luthardt's ZeiUehrtfl, 1880, p. 279. 

Among critics of the theory may be mentioned Delitzach, Biehm, 
Dillmann, Schroder, Noldcke, Baudissin, Kittel, Oettli, etc. 

See below, pp. 808-9. 

1 E.g., the sin- and trespass-offerings, chaps, xl. 39; xliv. 29. See 
Note C on Ezekiel aud Earlier Law and Observance. 


authors took the temple-vision of Ezekiel as a pattern. 
How, indeed, if they viewed the vision of Ezekiel as a 
prophetic revelation, should they presume to ignore or 
contradict it so directly as they do ? * We are aware that 
the objection is retorted : how should Ezekiel presume to 
alter a divinely-given earlier Code ? 2 But the cases are 
quite different. Ezekiel is not putting forward a code in 
the name of Moses. He is a prophetic man, avowedly 
legislating in the Spirit for a transformed land and a 
transformed people in the future. Not only, however, does 
the prophesying of Ezekiel presuppose an older law, but the 
references with which his pages are filled to " statutes and 
judgments," or "ordinances" of God, 8 which the people had 
transgressed (in their "abominations" at the sanctuary 
among other things), show explicitly that he had such laws 
habitually before him. 

2. But the subject admits of being brought to a nearer 

determination. There is at least one important section of 

the Priestly Code which, it is allowed, stands in the closest 

possible connection with Ezekiel. We refer to "that 

t peculiar little collection of laws," as Wellhausen calls it, 4 

\embraced in Lev. xvii.-xxvi. (with, according to most, 

extensive fragments elsewhere), which modern writers, 

following Klostermann, usually name "The Law o( 

Holiness." 5 The resemblances with Ezekiel here, particu- 

1 "It is," says Delitzsch, "incomprehensible how Ezra and Nehemiah 
rould dare to publish a law-book whose ordinances contradict those of 
Kzekiel on all sides, and which still, in matter and form, shows itself well 
acquainted with the latter." Zeitschrift, p. 281. The systematic character 
of Ezekiel's law, as compared with the unsystematic character of the 
Levitical Code, shows that it is not the latter which is dependent on the 
1'ormer, but vice versa. 

* Thus Graf, Kautzsch, etc. Professor Robertson remarks : " Well, on the 
critical hypothesis, the Deuteronomic law at least existed as authoritative, 
and yet Ezekiel deviates from it." Early Religion, pp. 432-33. Dr. A. B. 
Davidson points out : " Inferences from comparison of Ezekiel with the 
TAW have to he drawn with caution, for it is evident that the prophet 
handles with freedom institutions certainly older than his own time." 
Ezekiel, Introd. p. liii. 

3 Ezek. v. 6 ; xi. 12, and jjassim. 

4 Hist, of Israel, p. 51 (cf. pp. 75, 86, 376, 384)- 

6 Klostermann gave it this name in 1877 in a searching article since 
reprinted in his Der Pentateuch, pp. 368 ff. "The principle," says Dr. 
Driver, "which determines most conspicuously the character of the entire 
section is that of holiness partly ceremonial, partly moral as a quality 
distinguishing Israel, demanded of Israel by Jehovah." Introd. p. 48. 
Characteristic of it is the phrase "I am Jehovah." 


larly in -Lev. xxvi., 1 are so numerous and striking that no 
one doubts the reality of some kind of dependence, hut 
opinions have widely differed in critical quarters as to the 
nature of that dependence. At first it was confidently 
maintained, as by Graf, Kayser, Colenso (in part), etc., that 
Ezekiel himself must be the author of these sections. 
" Amidst all the peculiarities," wrote Graf, " by which these 
passages, and especially chap, xxvi., are distinguished from 
the other portions of the Pentateuch, there is exhibited so 
strange an agreement in thought and expression with 
Ezekiel, that this cannot be accidental, nor can be explained 
by reference to the sameness of the circle within which 
Ezekiel and the writer worked, but leads necessarily to the 
assumption that Ezekiel himself was the writer." 2 Subse- 
quently, when this theory was effectually disproved, on the 
basis of a wider induction, by Klostermann, Noldeke, and 
Kuenen, the view was adopted that the writer was some 
one acquainted with Ezekiel, who, in Kuenen's words, 
" imitated him, and worked on in his spirit." s This, 
however, is too evidently a makeshift, and does violence 
also to all probability ; for how should an " imitator " be 
supposed to have picked out just these isolated expressions 
of Ezekiel, and inserted them into a Code presenting 
throughout such marked peculiarities? "That the Law of 
Holiness is formed after the model of Ezekiel's speech," says 
Delitzsch, " is, to unprejudiced literary criticism, a sheer 
impossibility." 4 The only view which simply and naturally 
meets the case is that favoured also by Dr. Driver 6 viz., ( 
that Hit prophet was acquainted with and used the law inj 
question, which, therefore, is older than himself. 

1 For lists of parallels cf. Colenso, Pent. Pt. vi. pp. 6-10 ; Driver, 
Inirod. p. 147 ; Cariwuter, Ilex. i. pp. 147-48, etc. 

* Qtsehicht. Biieher, p. 81 ; cf. Colenso, as above, chaps. L, ii. 

* Hex. p. 276. See below, p. 839. 

4 Luthanit's Ztitschrift, 1880, p. 619. 

* Dr. Driver saya : " His [Lzekiel's] book appenra to contain clear 
Miilence that he was acquainted with the Law of Holiness. ... In 
aih instance he expresses himself in terms agreeing with the Law of 
Holiness in such a manner as only to be reasonably explained by the 
supposition that it formed a body of precepts with which lie was familiar, 
and which he regarded as an authoritative batis of moral and religions life." 
Introd. pp. 145-46 ; cf. p. 149 : " It may further be taken for granted that 
the laws of H at least the principal and moat characteristic laws are prior 
to Ezekiel." So Ryle, Canon, pp. 7'2 IF. Dillmnnn says : " Ezekiel lives and 
moves in the precepts of the Law of Holiness." A'um.-Jos. p. 646. 


N This yields at once certain important conclusions. It 
demonstrates, in the first place, the fallacy of the statement 
that no priestly written law existed before the exile for 
here is at least one important Code of priestly law; and, 
second, it opens up large vistas of possibility as to the 
extent of this written law, and casts valuable light on 
the- pre-exilian existence of many disputed institutions. 
Critical ingenuity, indeed, is amply equal to the fresh 
task of dissecting the Code it has discovered of dis- 
tinguishing in it a P 1 and P 2 , even an H 1 , H 2 , H 3 , and of 
relegating to later hands everything which it thinks un- 
suitable. 1 Thus Baentsch, a recent writer, distinguishes 
between chaps, xviii.-xx. (H 1 ) as post-Deuteronomic, but 
prior to Ezekiel, and the group later than Ezekiel, chaps, 
xxi-xxii. (H 2 ), and finally chaps, xvii. and xxvi. (H 8 ). 2 
On the whole, however, the tendency of critical opinion 
has been to enlarge the scope of this "Law of Holiness" 
rather than to contract it 3 the expansion, when the assump- 
tion of late date gives the critic a free hand, assuming 
sometimes quite remarkable proportions. 4 Even if some 
degree of redaction is admitted, it remains certain that 
in these chapters of Leviticus with which Ezekiel shows 
himself so closely in rapport, laws are embedded relating 
to the most contested points in Israel's religion. This 
Code is, in fact, in a very real sense, the quintessence of 
Levitical law. We find in it, to adduce only main instances, 

1 Kuenen lays down somewhat naively the following canon for identifying 
the fragments of P 1 : "We may assign to P 1 with high- probability (a) the 
sections which obviously are not a part of P 2 , with its later amplifications," 
etc. Hex. p. 277. 

3 Das Hettigkeitsgesetz, 1893. 

3 With, again, the usual wide divergence. "Thus," says Carpenter, 
"Driver ascribes to this document Ex. vi. 6-8; xii. 12; xxxi. 13-14; 
Lev. x. 9a, 10 ; xi. 44 ; Num. xv. 37-41, while Addis allows only Lev. xi. 
43-45, and Num. xv. 37-41." Hex. i. p. 145 See next note. 

4 The following from Carpenter will illustrate: " Other scholars, again, 
like Wurster, Cornill, WUdeboer, further propose to include within it a 
considerable group of Levitical laws more or less cognate in subject and 
style. . . . Are all these [passages included by Driver] to be regarded as 
relics of P h I In that case it must have contained historical as well as 
legislative matter on an extensive scale. It must have related the commis- 
sion to Moses, the death of the firstborn, the establishment of the dwelling, 
and the dedication of the Levites to Yahweh's service. Even if the latter 
]>assages be denied to P h , the implications of Ex. vi. 6-8 suggest that the 
document to which it belonged comprised an account of the Exodus, the 
great religious institutions, and the settlement in the land promised to the 
forefathers," etc. Hex. p. 145. The vista, indeed, is widening ! 



the Aaronic priesthood, 1 the higli priest, 8 sin- and trespass- 

ofleriiigs, 8 the day of atonement, 4 the three historical 
feasts, 6 the sabbatic year,' the year of jubilee, 7 the Levitical 
cities, 8 etc. We shall think twice, and require strong 
evidence, before surrendering all this, at the bidding of 
critical theory, to post-exilian hands. 

3. Accepting it as established that the Law of Holiness, 
and other Levitical laws, were known to Ezekiel, we may 
now carry the argument a considerable way higher, with 
fresh confirmation of the result already reached. It is 
essential to the Wellhausen hypothesis to prove that the 
Levitical Code is posterior to Ezekiel; it is still morei 
indispensable for its purpose to show that it is later than 
Deuteronomy. But is this really so ? The assertion is, no 
doubt, continually made ; but on this point, once more, the 
critical camp is keenly divided, and there appears the 
clearest evidence that, as the older scholars all but 
unanimously maintained, the author of Deuteronomy is 
familiar with, and in his legislation actually embodies or 
alludes to, many provisions of the Levitical Code. Here 
again Dr. Driver will be our witness, though this time, 
perhaps, against his own intention. At first sight, indeed, 
this careful scholar seems altogether against us. "The 
pre-exilic period," he tells us, " shows no indications of the 
legislation of P being in operation. . . . Nor is the legis- 
lation of P presupposed in Deuteronomy."* Ere long, 
however, we discover that here, also, after the critical 
fashion, we have to distinguish two Dr. Drivers (Dr. 1 and 
Dr. 5 , shall we say?) a first, who contends unqualifiedly 
that the pre-exilic period "shows no indications of the 
legislation of P," and a second, who admits that it is 
only " the completed Priests' Code " that is unknown before 
the exile, and that " the contradiction of the pre-exilic 
literature does not extend to the whole of the Priests' 
Code indiscriminately." 10 Citation is made of Deut xiv. 

1 Lev. xvii 2 ; xxi. 1, 17, 21, etc. Chap. xxi. 10-15. 

' Chaps, xix. 21, 22 ; xxiii. 19. Chaps, xxiii. 27-32 ; xxv. 9. 

8 Chap, xxiii. Cliap. xxv. 2-7. ' Chap. xxv. 8 fl'. 

* Chap. xxv. 32, 83. The notice of the cities is the more valuable that 
it comes ID incidentally in connection with a different subject. 

Introd. pp. 136, 137. Cf. above, p. 300. 

10 Ibid. p. 142 (italics are Dr. D.'s). As statements so diflcrq>ant within a 
.short compass can hardly be supposed to come from the sonic pen, we are 


4-20, but in the remarks that follow there is a slight varia- 
tion between the first and the revised editions of the 
Introduction which deserves attention. We quote the first 
edition, as better representing the facts, and give the revised 
form below. 1 " Here," it is said, " is a long passage virtually 
identical in Deuteronomy and Leviticus; and that it is 
borrowed by D from P or at least from a priestly collec- 
tion of toroth rather than conversely, appears from 
certain features of style which connect it with P and not 
with Deuteronomy. ... If so, however, one part of P was in 
existence when Deuteronomy was written ; and a presump- 
tion at once arises that other parts were in existence also. 
Now the tenor of Deuteronomy as a whole conflicts with 
the supposition that all the institutions of the Priests' Code 
were in force when D wrote ; but the list of passages just 
quoted shows that some were, and that the terminology 
used in connection with them was known to D." 2 The 
" list " referred to gives in parallel columns a long catalogue 
of passages of Deuteronomy corresponding " with P (includ- 
ing H)," with note of some peculiarities in the mode of 
quotation. 8 On another page it is said : " In Deuteronomy 
the following parallels may be noted," with list again given. 4 
These are significant admissions, and completely dispose of 
the unqualified statements first quoted. Eeduced to its 
real dimensions, Dr. Driver's argument only is that some 
of the characteristic institutions of P e.g., the distinction 
of priests and Levites conflict with the tenor of D ; 6 and 
even this contention, resting largely on the argument from 
silence, cannot be allowed the weight he attaches to it. As 
he himself says: "That many of the distinctive institutions 
of P are not alluded to the day of atonement, the jubilee 
year, the Levitical cities, the sin-offering, the system of 

driven back, on critical principles, upon the supposition that the work is 
really the composition of a Driver " school " whose members vnry slightly in 
their standpoints a hypothesis which other indications support. 

1 The 7th edition reads: "Here is a long passage in great measure 
verbally identical in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and a critical comparison 
of the two texts makes it probable that both are divergent recensions of a 
common original, which in each case, but specially in Leviticus, has been 
modified in accordance with the spirit of the book in which it was in- 
corporated. It is thus apparent that at least one collection of priestly 
toroth, which now forms part of P, was in existence when Deuteronomy was 
written," etc. (p. 145). The rest as above. 

a Ibid., pp. 187-38 (1st edit.). > Ibid. pp. 73-75. 

4 Ibid. p. 144. * Ibid. p. 137. 


sacrifices- prescribed for particular days is of less import- 
ance: the writers of these [historical] books may have 
found no occasion to mention them." l The argument from 
silence applies nearly as much to the parts of the law 
which he admits to have existed, as to those which he 
thinks did not exist ; and as much to praxis as to Code. 2 

However the matter may appear to Dr. Driver, it is 
certain that to many able critics, 8 looking at the facts from 
a different point of view, the evidence seems conclusive 
that Deuteronomy was acquainted with the laws of P. 
" The Deuteronomic legislation," says Eiehm positively, 
" presupposes acquaintance with the Priestly Code." 4 
Dillmann puts the Priests' Code earlier than Deuteronomy, 
and the Law of Holiness, named by him S [ = Sinai], in the 
main earlier still. 6 He says : " That D not merely knows 
priestly laws, but presupposes them as well known, appears 
from many passages of his book." 8 " It is just as certain 
that D presupposes and has used other laws (S) which now 
lie before us in the connection of A [ = P]." 7 Oettli says : 
" Here certainly such laws as now lie before us only in the 
codification of P appear as well known and in validity." 8 
He agrees with Delitzsch and the others quoted that 
Deuteronomy shows itself acquainted with the priestly 
laws. 9 Baudissin also puts the Law of Holiness before 
Deuteronomy. 10 These judgments of leading critics, which 
might be largely multiplied, are not based on slight grounds. 
The proofs they offer are solid and convincing. We can as 
before only give examples, but these will sufficiently indicate 
the line of argument 

1 Inirod. p. 137. The author, accordingly, falls back on "the different 
tone of feeling, and the different spirit " of tfie historical books ; and allows 
that "it is not so much the institutions in themselves as the system with 
v hich they are associated, and the principles of which in P they are made 
more distinctly the expression, winch seem to bear the marks of a more 
advanced stage of ceremonial observance " (ibid. p. 152). Thus the matter 
t-nds to get refined sway. Cf. Dr. A. B. Davidson on the argument from 
silence, quoted in Note C above. 

5 Dr. Driver makes a point of the difference in the mode of quotation in 
Deuteronomy from, or reference to, JE and P respectively (ibid. pp. 76, 187). 
Hut his statements need qualification. See Note D on Quotations from JE 
and P. 

* Kg. Dillmann, Delitzsch, Riehni, Kittel, Oettli, etc. 

* Einleit. I p. 218. Num.-Jo. pp. 644-47, 660. 

Ibid. p. 605. T Ibid. Deut., Introd. p. 14. 

Ibid. p. 15. w Diet, of Bible, iv. p. 82, 


Deut. xiv. 4-20 (on clean and unclean animals) is, as Dr. 
Driver admits, " in great measure verbally identical " with 
Lev. XL 4-20. 

The permission to kill and eat flesh at home in Deut. 
xii 15, 20 ff., presupposes and modifies (in view of the 
entrance into Canaan, ver. 20) the stringent law in Lev. xvii. 
1-3, that all slaying was to be at the tabernacle door ; l 
and the reiterated prohibitions of eating the blood (vers. 16, 
23-25) rest on the enactments in P on the same subject 
(Lev. xvii 23-25; cf. Gen. ix. 4; Lev. iii. 17; vii. 26, 
27, etc.). 

In Lev. XL there is a law relating to the eating of things 
that die of themselves (vers. 39, 40 ; cf. chap. xvii. 15, 16) ; 
in Deut. xiv. 21 there stands a law which, with some modi- 
fication, presupposes the former. This is marked by the 
use of the word " carcase " (Heb.). The discrepancy alleged 
to exist between the laws probably arises from the prospect 
of altered conditions in Canaan. 2 

" The year of release " in Deut. xv. 1 ff. glances at the 
Sabbatic year of Lev. xxv. 2 ff. 

The law of the Passover in Deut. xvi. 1 ff. presupposes 
throughout the law in Ex. xii. (P), and modifies it in the 
important respect that the Passover is to be no longer a 
domestic festival, but is to be observed at the central 
sanctuary (vers. 5, 6). This implies the earlier family 
observance, while it is inconceivable that a law ordaining 
the home observance should arise after Deuteronomy. 

The references to uncleanness in Deut. xxiii. 9, 10, imply 
a knowledge of laws of ceremonial impurity, as in Lev. xv. 

Deut. xxiv. 8 expressly affirms the existence of a Mosaic 
law of leprosy given to the priests (cf. Lev. xiii., xiv.). 

Deut. xxii. 30 certainly does not intend to limit the 
crime of incest to this one case, but, as Delitzsch says, 3 has 
in view the whole series of enactments in Lev. xviii. 7 ff. 

It has before been pointed out that in Deut. xviii. 2 we 
have a verbal reference to the provision for the Levites in 
Num. xviii. 20 ff. In the same chapter we have parallels 
in vers. 10, 11 to Lev. xviii. 21 ff, xix. 26, 31, etc. 

1 Kuenen by a peculiar logic will have it that the command in Deutero- 
nomy excludes the law in Leviticus; why, Oettli says, is " unerfindlich " 
(Deut. p. 14). 

1 Cft p. 276 above and Note there. 

' Genesis, i. p. 42. See Delitzsch's whole list, pp. 41-42. 


It Will be seen, even from this selection of instances, 
that the references more or less explicit to priestly laws in 
Deuteronomy cover large sections of the Levitical legislation, 
e.g., Lev. xi., xiii., xiv., xv.,xvii.,xviii., xix.; Num. xviii. 20 ff. 
eta If, with Dr. Driver, we fall back on the assumption 
of " old laws," then these old laws must have been so 
extremely like those we possess in Leviticus, that it is 
hardly worth disputing about the differences, and the 
argument against the pre-exilian existence of the Levitical 
laws goes for nothing. 

The legislation of P, therefore, is in manifold ways 
implied in Deuteronomy. On the other hand, the peculiarities 
of Deuteronomy are not in any degree reflected in tlie Levitical 
law. There is allusion to the priestly law in Deuteronomy, 
but the Priestly Code is apparently ignorant of Deuteronomy, 
and certainly does not depend on it. 1 What conclusion can 
we draw from such a fact but that the Priestly Code is the 
earlier of the two ? 


An important part of our argument remains, viz., to 
show the untenableness of the rival critical explanation of 
those institutions for which a post-exilian date is claimed. 
The institutions in any case are there in post-exilian times, 
and have to be explained. If the account which the Old 
Testament itself gives of them is not the true one, how did 
they originate ? On this constructive side, as palpably aa 
anywhere else, the critical theory breaks down. We begin, 
as a chief example, with the Ezekiel theory of the origin of 
the Levitical order, then shall pass to the consideration of 
feasts and other institutions. 

1. A chief part of the argument on institutions relates 
to the fundamental question already so often referred to- 
of the distinction of priests and Levites, That distinction, . 
in the view of the critics, did not exist when Deuteronomy 
was composed in the reign of Josiah : it is a prominent 
feature in the Priests' Code. How was the transition 

1 Cf. Dillmann, Num.-Jo$. p. 668. See list of instances which render 
at least probable, in his view (as respects law in S certain), dependence of 
Deuteronomy on the Priestly Code, pp. 606-7, 610. 


effected ? The answer given to this hinted at by Graf, 1 
developed by Kuenen 2 and Wellhausen, 3 and now a cardinal 
article of faith in all sections of the school 4 is, through 
the degradation of the idolatrous priests, i.e., the "dis- 
established priests " of the high places, on the lines sketched 
by Ezekiel in chap. xliv. 4 ff. In Kuenen's view the man 
who is not prepared to accept this explanation is only 
deserving of pity. 5 Wellhausen indicates his estimate of 
the importance of the contention in the remark : " The position 
of the Levites is the Achilles heel of the Priestly Code." 6 
We agree, in the sense that it is the most vulnerable part 
in the new scheme. 

The Ezekiel theory of the critics is bound up with so 
many subsidiary hypotheses, and involves so many question- 
begging assumptions, that it is not easy to disentangle it in 
its simplicity. Its corner-stone, e.g., is the assumption that 
the Levites for whom provision is made in Deut. xviii. 6, 7 
are " the disestablished priests " of the bamoth an assumption 
which we regard as baseless. When we turn to Ezekiel 
xliv. 4 ff. itself, what we find is that the prophet denounces 
the house of Israel for having permitted strangers, un- 
circumcised in heart and flesh, to perform the subordinate 
services of the sanctuary (vers. 7, 8) ; that he forbids this, to 
be done in the future (ver. 9) ; that he degrades to the rank 
of servants in the sanctuary those priests who had turned 
aside, and had caused the people to turn aside, to idolatry 
(vers. 10-14) ; and finally, that he confines the priesthood 
in his new temple to the sons of Zadok, who alone had 
remained faithful (vers. 15, 16). There is certainly in these 
verses degradation of priests to that lower rank of service 
which the Priestly Code assigns to the Levites ; but this is 
very far from proving that we have here the origin of the 
order of the Levites, or from explaining the representa- 
tion of the Priestly Code, which diverges as widely as 
it is possible to do from the lines of Ezekiel's ordinance. 
There are admittedly difficulties in the interpretation 
of Ezekiel's vision ; but the difficulties in the way of 

1 Geschicht. Biicher, p. 45. 

1 Rel. of Israel, ii. p. 168 ; Hex. pp. 293 ff.: c p. 205. 

3 Hist, of Israel, pp. 122 IF. 

4 Kayser, Sinend, Kautzsch, W. E. Smith, Driver, etc. (Kbnig agrees with 
the critics here). 

Hex. p. 205. Hist, of Israel, p. 167. 


accepting this reading of its meaning are to our mind 

(1) That the temple service prior to the exile was in a 
deplorable condition that both in and out of the temple the 
priesthood had largely fallen into abominable idolatries all 
indications show. 1 Irregularities abounded, and the prophet 
is sufficient witness that the place which the law gives to 
the Levites had been mostly usurped by uncircumcised 
strangers. 2 But the first point evidently which claims 
notice here is, that this very ministry of the uncircumcised 
the prophet denounces as an iniquity, a violation of God's 
covenant, and the setting up by the people of keepers of 
His charge in His sanctuary for themselves (vers. 7, 8). 
This ministry, therefore, was not, in his view, a lawful 
thing, but a breach of law, an abomination like the idolatry 
itself. What, then, in the prophet's mind, was the lawful 
order? who, prior to the degradation of the idolatrous 
priests, were the lawful keepers of the charge of the 
sanctuary ? Not the priests themselves, for the services in 
question were subordinate ministries the very ministries 
ascribed elsewhere to the Levites (ver. 11 ; cf. Num. xviii 
3, 4). Is not the inference very plain, though the critics 
generally ignore it, that, in Ezekiel's view, there did already 
exist a law on this subject, which in practice had been 
wantonly violated ? s It can hardly be mistaken that the 
only properly official classes recognised by the prophet in 
the service of the temple are Levitical, and that these are 
distinguished into a higher and a lower class the keepers 
of the charge of the house (chap. xl. 45), and the keepers of 
the charge of the altar (ver. 46). The unfaithful priests 
are punished by being degraded to the lower rank. 4 

(2) The next point to be borne in mind is, that this 
programme of Ezekiel was, and remained, a purely ideal one. 
It was probably never intended to have literal realisation ; 
it was at least never actually put in force at the return, or 

1 Cf., e.g., Jer. vii., viii. ; Ezek. viii. 

1 On the view advocated, e.g., by W. R. Smith, O.T. in J. C., pp. 262-3, 
that these already aro thn guards of the sanctuary in the reign of Joash 
(1 Kings xi.), cf. Van Hoonacker, Lt. Saeerdoee Ltvitiqw, pp. 93 If. 

3 Cf. Delit/soh, Luthardt's Zeilxhrift, 1880, pp. 279 ff. ; Van Hoonacker, 
Lt Sactrdoce Lemtique, pp. 191 ff. The prophet would seem to be familiar 
with the name " Levites for the lower order distinctively (Ezek. xlviii. 13 
"And answerable to the border of the priests, the Levites shall have,' 1 etc.). 

4 See Note E on Levites in Ezekiel. 


at any earlier time. The degradation it depicts was never 
historically carried out ; therefore could not affect the state 
of things subsisting after the exile. Scholars have indeed 
pleased themselves with pictures of " vehement struggles " 
(adumbrated in the story of Korah) on the part of Ezekiel's 
degraded priests to regain their lost privileges ; x but these 
" struggles " exist nowhere, so far as we know, but in the 
critics' own imaginations, for there is no trace in history 
that any such degradation ever took place. On the other 
hand, we have seen that the distinction of priests and 
Levites was already known, and universally recognised, at 
the time of the return from exile. The Books of Ezra and 
Nehemiah assume it, but in no sense create it. If, there- 
fore, this distinction was not made by Ezekiel's law directly, 
as little can it have been called forth by the Priests' Code 
founded on that law, for the Code did not make its appear- 
ance till Ezra's time, long after. It follows, in agreement 
with what has been said, that it can only be understood as 
an inheritance from pre-exilian times. 

(3) Still more decisive, perhaps, is the fact that the 
Code, when it did come, by no means corresponded with 
'Ezekiel's picture, on which it is presumed to be based, but 
in many respects stood in direct contradiction with EzekieL 
There is, as already said, nothing in the Code to suggest 
" disestablished priests," degradation as a punishment, sub- 
stitution for uncircumcised strangers, or any of the other 
ideas of Ezek. xliv. On the contrary, the Levites are 
represented as set apart by Jehovah Himself in the 
wilderness for His peculiar service, and their position from 
the first is one of privilege and honour. 2 Again, in the 

1 Kautzsch, e.g., says : "Again in the narrative of the revolt of the 
Korahites, now blended in Num. xvi. with an older account of a political 
revolt of the Reubenites, we have a clear reflection of the vehement struggles 
(subsequently buried in deep silence [!]), occasioned by the dislike the 
non-Zadokites felt to the manner in which they were employed in religious 
services." Lit. of 0. T., p. 117. It is thus he accounts for the fewness of 
the Levites at the return. 

8 Kautzsch says: "According to Ezek. xliv. 10 ff., the sentence which 
reduced the former priests of the high places to the inferior services of the 
sanctuary was a deserved punishment ; according to the Priests' Code the 
service of the Levites, by virtue of a divine appointment, is an honourable 
office of which they may be proud " (ibid. p. 117). Kautzsch's theory is, that 
the revolts of the non-Zadokites above referred to compelled the priestly 
circles "to find another ground for the position of the Levites" (pp. 
117-18). Again a pure imagination of the critic. 


Code, the priests are not "sons of Zadok" only (a vital 
point in Ezekiel), but the "sons of Aaron" generally. 
Ezekiel can be conceived of as having modelled his picture on 
the basis of the Code by limiting the priestly dignity to the 1 
Zadokites ; the Code can never be explained as a construc- 
tion from his ideas. 

(4) Yet, apparently, this Code, so discrepant with 
Ezekiel, harmonised with the people's own recollections and 
traditions, since we find that they unhesitatingly received 
it. This simple fact, that, according to the history, the 
provisions of the Code were received without questioning 
by priests, Levites, and people alike, is of itself sufficient to 
overthrow the theory that the distinction was a new one 
due to the initiative of Ezekiel. How possibly could such a 
thing as the critics suppose ever have happened ? Had the 
Zadokites nothing to say about the loss of the exclusive 
position given them by Ezekiel ? Were the Levites content 
that certain families of their number the non-Zadokite 
Aaronites should have the priestly prerogatives which 
Ezekiel had denied them, while others had not? If the 
records do not deceive us, both priests and Levites knew 
something of their own past. They had many links with 
that past by genealogies and otherwise. If the Levites or 
their fathers had been disestablished priests of high places, 
they must have been perfectly aware of the fact. Yet the 
Levites assent to have a position given to them which 
agrees neither with their own recollections, nor with the 
rights of priesthood alleged to be accorded to them in 
Deuteronomy, nor with the degradation theory of Ezekiel 
which is thus condemned on every side as unhistorical. 
That such a patent make-believe should have succeeded is 
on the face of it incredible. Even had priests and Levites 
been willing to acquiesce in the new mock status, the 
people on whom the fresh and heavy tithe-burdens fell 
would not have been likely to do so. The longer, in fact, 
the theory is pondered, the more untenable it must appear. 

2. What applies to the critical explanation of the dis- 
tinction of priests and Levites applies with not less force to 
the explanations offered of otfier institutions, whose pre- 
exilic existence is called in question. We take a few of 
the more typical instances. 

(1) There are the three great feasts of the nation 


passover, or unleavened bread, the feast of weeks, and 
the feast of tabernacles : these are robbed of their historical 
'reference, and declared to be mere agricultural observances, 
locally observed till the age of Josiah, when Deuteronomy 
centralised them. The ceremonial character, in particular, 
stamped on them by the Priestly Code is held to be wholly 
post-exilian. But no tenable account is given of this 
sudden rise of agricultural festivals into historical signifi- 
cance, and of their unquestioned acceptance as feasts having 
this historical meaning, in the age of Ezra. Special assault 
is made upon the Biblical account of the institution of the 
passover, and of its association with the Exodus. Yet we 
have seen that the law in Ex. xiL 3 ff. is unintelligible, as 
framed for a domestic observance of the passover, unless 
it is placed before the centralising ordinance in Deutero- 
nomy; while the latter by its use of this name pesach 
(passover), 1 its reference to the month Abib (chap. xvi. 1), 
and its distinct historical allusions (vers. 3, 6), as clearly 
presupposes the older law. The three feasts appear from the 
first, in all the Codes, as national (not local) feasts ; z and in 
every instance, with but one exception, the passover, or feast 
of unleavened bread, is directly connected with the Exodus. 
That one exception, strange to say, is the most instructive 
of all as a refutation of the critical theory. It is the 
priestly law of Lev. xxiii. 4 ff. ; yet it alone (1), as said, lacks 
a reference to the Exodus; (2) contains the regulation 
about presenting a sheaf of first-fruits which gives the feast 
any agricultural character it has; while (3) neither in it, 
nor in the law for passover offerings in Num. xxviii. 16 ff., 
is mention made even of the paschal lamb. 8 So that we 
have this curious result, in contradiction of the critical 
theory, that the historical reference comes in at the 
beginning, and the agricultural at the end of the 
development ! 

How, now, on the other hand, do the critics explain 
the name " passover " and the historical reference attached 
to this feast ? Only, it must be replied, by again arbitrarily 
blotting out the history we have, and indulging in con- 

1 Wellhausen says this word "first occurs in Deuteronomy, "a statement, 
of course, which (1) begs the question as to the date of Ex. xiL, and (2) 
ignores Ex. xxxiv. 25. 

1 Ex. xxiii. 14-19 ; xxxiv. 18-26 ; Lev. xxiii. ; Deut. xvi. 1-17. 

' See Note F on Alleged Contradictions in the Passover Laws. 


jectures-of their own, about which there is no agreement. 
Wellhausen, e.g., will have it that the Exodus was, in the 
tradition, connected with the demand to be permitted to 
observe a spring festival, a chief feature of which was the 
offering of firstlings. Cause and effect became inverted, 
and instead ''of the festival being the occasion of the 
Exodus, it came to be regarded as occasioned by it. Out 
of this grew how we are not told the story of the slaying 
of the firstborn in Egypt. Even so the meaning of the 
name "passover" is allowed to be "not clear." 1 As the 
history stands, both the passover rite, and the dwelling 
in booths which gives the feast of tabernacles its name 
(Succoth),* find their appropriate explanation; but it is 
impossible to conceive how, in the full light of history, 
these meanings could come to be imported into them at so 
late an age as Ezra's. 

The notices of the feasts in the history are, it is allowed, 
scant. But they are more numerous than Wellhausen 
admits, and, such as they are, unless again we arbitrarily 
reject the narratives, they contradict his theory, and are in 
keeping with the law. At the head of the series stands 
the observance of the passover in Ex. xii., and the 
wilderness observance in Num. ix. 4, 5, which gives rise to 
a supplementary ordinance. Then comes the observance of 
the passover under Joshua at Gilgal in Josh. v. 10, 11. 
Pawing the yearly feast of Jehovah at Shiloh (tabernacles ? 
Judg. xxi. 19 ; 1 Sam. i. 3, 7, 21), we have a general reference 
to the three feasts in Solomon's reign (1 Kings ix. 25 ; cf. 
2 Chron. viii. 13), and special allusions to the feast of 
tabernacles in 1 Kings viii. 2, 65, 66 ; xii. 32, 33. Hosea 
makes allusion to the dwelling in tents at this feast 
(chap. xii. 9). The Chronicler records a great observance ) 
<f the passover under He/ekiah in a narrative too detailed 
jind circumstantial to be the work of invention. 8 Then we' 
come to the great passover of Josiah, of which it is said 
that the like of it had not been held "from the days of the 
Judges that judged Israel." 4 The returned exiles under 
Zerubbabel observed both the feast of tabernacles and the 

1 Hist, of Israel, pp. 87-83. * Lev. xxiii. 39-43. 

*2 Chron. xxx. The Chronicler may \te held to "improve" for homiletio 
imri-oscs an existing narrative, but a history like this, without any 
foundation for it, would be an absolute fraud. 

4 2 Kings xxiii. 21-23 ; cf. 2 Chron. zzzr. 1 ff. 



passover according to known laws, 1 and the reading of the 
law by Ezra was the occasion of another great observance of 
the feast of tabernacles, with special reference to the 
requirements of Lev. xxiii. Here again it is declared 
that such a feast had not been observed "since the days 
k>f Joshua the son of Nun." 2 It is a straining of these 
passages in Kings and Nehemiah, and a contradiction of 
their own testimony, to make them affirm that there had 
been no observance of the feasts named in earlier times ; 
the allusion is evidently to the enthusiasm, spontaneity, 
and scrupulous attention to the law, with which the feasts 
were observed in the latter case with special regard to 
the "booths." 3 

(2) As a second example, we may glance at the case 
of the sin- and trespass-offerings, of which it is alleged that 
the first mention is in Ezekiel. 4 Sin- and trespass-offerings 
were in their nature occasional, and we might readily be 
tempted to suppose that they had fallen largely into disuse 
in pre-exilic times. Yet even this would be a rash infer- 
ence from silence. It is to be observed that Ezekiel writes 
of these offerings, not as something new, but as quite 
familiar to his readers; 5 they are found also in the Law 
of Holiness, 6 which, we have seen, precedes Ezekiel, and is, 
from all indications, very old. Nor is it true that no earlier 
trace of them exists. Ps. xl. cannot be put later than the 
exile, and is probably earlier, yet in it the sin-offering is 
spoken of as a customary sacrifice (ver. 6). Isa. liii. 10 
declares that the soul of Jehovah's Righteous Servant 
is made a " guilt- (trespass-) offering." Kuenen allows that 
the " sin-offering " is not unknown to Hosea (chap. iv. 8), 
though he fails to find a distinction between the sin- and 
the trespass-offering. 7 Yet in 2 Kings xii. 16 a clear 
reference is made to " trespass-money " and " sin-money," 
which, as Kuenen again grants, must have had a certain 

1 Ezra iii. 4 ; vi. 22. a Neh. viii. 11 ff. 

3 Hos. xii. 9 may suggest that usage has substituted "tents" for 
literal "booths." 

4 " Of this kind of sacrifice," says Wellhausen, "not a single trace 
occurs in the Old Testament before Ezekiel." Hist, of Israel, p. 73. 

8 Ezek. xl. 39 ; xlii. 13 ; xliii. 19 ; xliv. 29 ; xlvi. 20. Cf. Dr. A. B. 
Davidson, Ezekiel, Introd. p. liv. Cf. Note C. 

8 Lev. xix. 21, 22 ; xxiii. 19. 

7 Hex. p. 210 ; cf. Kittel, Hist, of Hebs. i. p. 114. Even in the kw 
the distinction is not very rigorously kept. 


connection with the Levitical offerings. 1 Even if it be 
supposed 'that a custom had grown up of commutation of 
the sacrifices by "pecuniary fines," the sacrifices and the 
law requiring them are still presupposed. The idea of a 
trespass-offering was present in some form to the minds 
of the Philistines in the time of the Judges: 2 a fact which 
shows it to be old. No proper explanation is given of the 
when, where, or how, of the introduction of these sacrifices, 
on the critical theory. 

(3) One of the most daring strokes of the Wellhausen 
criticism is the denial of the existence of the incense-offering 
in pre-exilic times, and, as involved in this, the denial of an 
altar of incense, not simply in the supposed imaginary 
tabernacle, but even in the Solomonic temple. Wellhausen 
goes still further, and, in face of the express statements in 
1 Mace, i 21 ff. ; iv. 49, that the golden altar and golden 
table were both carried away by Antiochus Epiphanes, 
and renewed at the feast of the dedication, casts doubt on 
the existence of an altar of incense even in the second 
temple. 8 The chief ground for these denials is the fact 
that, in Exodus, the command for the making of the altar 
of incense does not appear where we might expect it, in chaps, 
xxv.-xxix., but at the commencement of chap. xxx. How 
arbitrary the procedure is, is shown by the clear testimony 
of at least four passages of the history (1 Kings vi. 20, 22 ; 
vii. 48 ; ix. 25 ; cf. 2 Chron. iv. 19) to the construction and 
presence of the golden altar in the temple of Solomon. 4 

The critical theory of the tithe-laws, of the Levitical 
cities as transformations of the Bamoth, and other matters, 
have already been referred to. 6 

3. In conducting the above argument, we have laid little 
stress on incidental words or allusions in either the historical 
or the prophetical books which might seem to indicate 
acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. These allu- 
sions, though not decisive in themselves, are more numerous 

1 Hex, p. 211 ; of. Delitrsch, Luthanlt's Zeitehr\ft, 1880, p. 8. 

1 Sam. vi. 8. * Hist, of Israel, pp. 64-67. 

4 Delitzsch admirably shows the groundlessness of Welihausen's general 
reasonings, and particuliirly of his assertion that " the golden altar in the 
sanctuary is originally simply the golden table " (Hint. p. 66), in his article 
on the subject in ZeiLichrijft, 1880, pp. 113 ff. Ezekiel, whom Wellhausen 
cites in bis favour, is shown to be really a witness against him. 

See above, pp. 275, 290, etc. 


than the critics are wont to allow, and, when a pre-exilian 
origin of Levitical laws is independently rendered 
probable, acquire enhanced importance. Joel, e.g., which 
> used to be regarded as one of the earliest of the prophetical 
books, has many allusions which suggest the ritual code 
the sanctuary and its altar in Zion, priests, blowing of 
trumpets, fasts, solemn assemblies, meal and drink-offerings, 
etc. 1 and is now, largely for this very reason, regarded by 
the Wellhausen school as post-exilian. 2 Yet we question 
if the allusions in Joel are more definite than those of the 
earlier prophets, or would, on critical principles, suffice any 
more than these, to establish a knowledge of the written 
law, which is yet allowed to have been in existence when he 
wrote. Not to dwell on Amos (e.g., chap. v. 21, 22), we may 
cite such a passage as Isa. i. 13, 14: "Bring no more vain 
oblations ; incense is an abomination unto Me ; new moons 
and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with 
iniquity and the solemn meeting. Your new moons and 
your appointed feasts My soul hateth," etc. (cf. ver. 11 ; 
chaps, iv. 5 ; xxxiii. 20 " the city of our solemnities "). The 
vocabulary of this passage "assembly" (convocation), 
" solemn meeting," " appointed feasts," etc. and the allusions 
to festivals and sacrifices, are entirely suggestive of the 
Levitical law (cf. Lev. xxiii. ; Num. xxviii. ; cf. Deut. xvi. 8). 
lieference was before made to the allusions in the prophets 
to a cycle of feasts, of which little or nothing is said in the 
history. Thus, Isa. xxix. 1 : " Let the feasts come round " ; or 
Nah. i. 15 : "Keep thy feasts, Judah, perform thy vows." 
It cannot be overlooked, further, that the prophets 
constantly assume the people to be in possession of " statutes," 
or " statutes and judgments " 8 i.e., of fixed laws evidently 
of considerable extent, and, we must suppose, written. That 

1 Joel i. 9, 13, 14 ; ii. 1, 15-17, etc. 

2 Duhm, who led the way here, said in his Theof. der Proph. (187- r >) 
that at that time scholars almost unanimously put Joel early (p. 71). His 
own proofs are mainly a begging of the question of the post-exilian origin of 
the Law. He describes Joel as an "epigon," with a great gift for form, 
>>nt not much burdened with thoughts. The theory is combated by 
Delitzsch, Orelli, Reuss, Professor J. Robertson, Kirknatrick, and others. 
Delitzsch said of it : " The bringing down of Joel into the post-exilic age by 
Duhm, Merx, Stade, and others, is one of the most rotten fruits of the 
modern criticism." O.T. Hist, of Redemption, p. 113 (E.T.). 

3 Amos ii. 4 (R.V.) ; Jer. xfiv. 10; Ezek. v. 6, xi. 12, etc. Cf. Lev. 
xvii.-xxvi., and Deuteronomy (constantly). 


" statutes " were covered by the word torah (instruction, 
law) we see no reason to doubt. Here comes in that much- 
debated passage, Hos. viii. 12 : " Though I write for him my 
law in ten thousand precepts (R.V. marg., " wrote for him 
the ten thousand things of my law "), they are counted as 
a strange thing." l If this does not point to written law of 
considerable compass, it is difficult to know what form of 
words would. Smeud, at an earlier stage, found, as was 
before shown,* Hosea and Amos impregnated with 
Levitismus (e.g., Hos. ix. 3-5). It may be observed that 
Hosea has also, in the view of many, unmistakable assonances 
with Deuteronomy. 8 When to these indications in the 
prophets we add what was before said of allusions in the 
historical books to ark, tabernacle, Aaronic priesthood, high 
priest, ephod, shewbread, etc., and of the evidence which 
these books afford of a knowledge of festivals, of sacrifices 
(burnt - offerings, peace-offerings, meal - offerings, drink- 
offerings, probably sin-offerings as well), of ritual of worship, 
of laws of purity, of clean and unclean food, of leprosy, of 
consanguinity, prohibitions of eating blood, etc. we may 
begin to feel, with Dillmann, that the allusions in history 
and prophecy are well-nigh as numerous as we had any 
right to expect 

Of the law itself, we would only say in closing, in i 
opposition to the purely secular, and often unworthy, views 
of its origin we have been discussing, that it is pervaded by 
a spirit of holiness, and, in its aim and structure, is as 
unique as all the other parts of the Jewish religion. 

1 Wellhansen renders thia passage : " How many soever my instructions 
may be, they are counted those of a stranger." Hist, of Israrl, p. 57. This 
1MMM oat altogether the word of chief importance " write. Delitzsdi 
thinks that passages like Hos. iv. 6 ; viii. 1 ; Amos ii. 4 ; Isa. i. 11-14 show 
" that a codex of the Mosaic law was already in existence in the time of the 
prophets of the eighth century," and says : " with the last passage we may 
compare Hos. viii. 12, which should be translated, ' were I to write for him 
the myriads of my law, they would be regarded as strange,' that is, a still 
in TV extensive Torah would have the same fate as the existing one." Then, 
af er quoting Smend's translation, " I wrote for him myriads of my law," 
he says : "These words of Hosea certainly indicate, as even Schrader 
acknowledges, the existence of a divinely obligatory law in the form of a 
codex." Met*. Profihtcics (E.T. 1880), p. 11. 

See above, p. 159. 

Cf. Hos. ii. 8, xii. 8, xiii. 6. with Dent vii. 13, viii. 7-20, xi. 14-16 ; 
Hos. viii. 11, with Deut. xii. ; Hos. xii. 18, with Deut xviii. 18 ; Hoa. iv. 
4, with Deut. xvii. 12 ; Hos. viii. 13, ix. 8, with Deut. xxviii. 68 ; Hoc. 
xi. 8. with Deut xxix. 23 ; Hos. xii. 7, with Dent xxv. 13-16, etc. 


Whatever the formal resemblances, the Levitical law had 
nothing essentially in common with heathen ritual, but 
rested on a basis of its own. No heathen religion had a 
system based on the idea of the holiness of God, and 
governed by the design of restoring and maintaining 
fellowship with God, and the peace of conscience of the 
worshipper, by the grace of atonement. For this was the 
real nature of the Levitical system. It was designed in all 
its parts to impress on the mind of the worshipper a sense 
of the separation which sin had put between him and the 
holy God, and provided a means by which the people, 
notwithstanding their sin, could have access to God, and 
enjoy His favour. 1 There is nothing in this, if the Bible's 
own view of the course of revelation is accepted, incom- 
patible with its early origin. It is one of the groundless 
assumptions of the newer theory that the idea of expiation 
by sacrifice was foreign to the pre-exilian, and earlier 
Israelitish, mind. One sufficient proof to the contrary is 
furnished in 1 Sam. iii. 14 : " Therefore I have sworn unto 
the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not 
be purged (" atoned for," the Levitical word) with sacrifice 
nor offering for ever." 


To sum up our argument thus far : we have sought to 
show, on both moral and historical grounds, and by positive 
proof to the contrary, that the Graf-Wellhausen theory of a 
post-exilian origin of the Levitical Code cannot be upheld. 
Its main stronghold is the argument from silence ; but that 
silence is neither so complete as is alleged, nor are the 
inferences drawn from it warranted. By a similar argument, 
if Deuteronomy were left out of account, it might be proved 
that the Book of the Covenant also, as a written Code, was 
not known before the exile. Yet Deuteronomy shows how 
erroneous would be such an inference. 

If, however, the Priestly Code is not a post-exilian 
production, when did it originate? Here we pass over 
unreservedly to the standpoint of Wellhausen as against 
those mediating critics, who, with more or less admission of 
antiquity in parts, assume the law as a whole to have taken 
1 Cf. Heb. ix., x. On Unity of the Law see above, p. 294. 


shape in the hands of the priests about the ninth century 
B.C., or between that and the time of Deuteronomy but 
still only as a quasi-private document, a " programme " 
struggling for recognition and very imperfectly attaining 
it, and receiving changes and additions as far down as the 
exile. Such, in general statement, is the midway theory 
advocated by critics like Noldeke, Dillmann, Kittel, and 
Jiaudissin, and against it the more compact and internally 
consistent hypothesis of Kuenen and Wellhausen bears 
down with irresistible force. 1 Such a theory is strong, 
indeed, in its proof, as against the Wellhausen contention, 
that the Levitical law is older than Deuteronomy, no trace 
of whose existence it betrays, while Deuteronomy very 
evidently shows traces of its influence, but it is weak as 
water in arguing for the existence of a Code which embodies 
the idea of the unity of the sanctuary a century or two 
before Deuteronomy was heard of, while yet holding, with 
the De Wette school, that this idea first came to recognition, 
or at least to influence, with the publication of Deuteronomy 
in the reign of Josiah. Kuenen is fully justified in protest- 
ing against this " idea of the passive existence of these laws 
for ages before they had any practical influence." 2 A 
theory which, like that of the older scholars, carries back 
the bulk of the laws to Mosaic or immediately post-Mosaic 
times, or, again, a theory which, like Wellhausen's, brings 
them all down to times subsequent to Deuteronomy, 
which means, practically, to the exile or after, 
can be understood: there is coherence in it. But this 
intermediate theory, which ascribes to the laws an un- 
acknowledged existence suspends them, as it were, in the 
air in the days of the kings, and supposes them to have 
remained inoperative for centuries, is impotent against the 
assaults of its energetic opponents. 8 It encounters all the 
difficulties of the older theory, arising from the supposed 

1 On Noldeke's views, cf. Wellhausen, Hist, of Israel, pp. 46-51 ; 
Kuenen, Hex, Introd. pp. xxxvi ft". For Noldeke also the tabernacle is " a 
mere creature of the brain." On the theory generally, see Note on the 
Mediating View of the Priestly Code. 

1 As above, p. xxxi. 

Wellhausen ridicules those "who in blind faith hold fast, not to the 
Church tradition there would be sense in that but to a hypothesis which 
is but two decades old, viz., De Wette's discovery that Deuteronomy is more 
recent than the Priests' Code." Geschiehte Israels, p. 173 (1st edit: the 
pMMge is dropped in Proltg.). 


silence of the history and conflict with Deuteronomy, and 
has none of its compensating advantages. For the law 
presents in no sense the aspect of a private priestly pro- 
gramme, struggling, without success, for recognition and 
acceptance. It rests on very definite principles and ideas, 
gives itself out in all seriousness as a Code of wilderness 
legislation (why, it may be asked, should ninth century 
priests throw their " programme " into this form ?), and 
presents not the slightest trace of hesitation or doubt 
in its demands. It ascribes its legislation in obvious good 
faith to Moses, or, more correctly, to God through him. 
We agree, therefore, that this middle theory of a " trance- 
like " existence of the Levitical Code in the ninth or 
eighth century, to the priestly circles of which it owed its 
origin, cannot stand before the rigorous logic of the newer 
criticism. It is such theories which give the Wellhausen 
criticism its "case." We reckon it, indeed, one of the 
greatest services of the Graf- Wellhausen scheme that it 
effectually cuts out this mediating, but logically helpless 
view which weakly contests the ground with it, and leaves 
us fairly face to face with the ultimate alternative a post- 
exilian origin of the law, which many reasons show to be 
untenable, or a real antiquity of the law answerable to its 
own profession. 

It is involved in what has been said that it is the latter 
alternative which we adopt, and so come back to the older 
position of a substantially Mosaic origin of the laws. It is 
not necessarily implied in this that Moses wrote all these 
laws, or any one of them with his own pen ; or that they 
were all written down at one time ; or that they underwent 
no subsequent changes in drafting or development ; or that 
the collection of them was not a more or less gradual 
process ; or that there may not have been smaller collections, 
such, e.g., as that lying at the basis of the Law of Holiness 
in circulation and use prior to the final collection, or 
codification, as we now have it. There is much plausibility 
in Dillmann's conjecture that the Law of Holiness (Lev. 
xvii.-xxvL), with its Sinaitic signature (chap. xxvi. 46), its 
constantly recurring formula, " I am Jehovah your God," and 
its references to deliverance from the bondage to Egypt, in 
its original form stood after the Book of the Covenant in 
Exodus (cf. chap. xxiv. 12), as a summary of the priestly 


legislation of Sinai. 1 However this may be and we lay no 
stress upon it there appears no good ground for assuming 
that the general codification was not completed at a very 
early date, possibly before the relapse in the time of the 
Judges, and probably not later than the early days of the 
monarchy. There is nothing we can discover which points 
to a later date ; though it does not follow that there may 
not have been minor modifications and adjustments after.* 

1 Dillmann, Ex.-Lcv. pp. 261, 534. 
* See further below, pp. 372 S. 


Difficulties ant> perplexities of tbe Critical f)$po* 
tbesis : ZTbe priestly HBlrltfng. H. TCbe 2)ocu* 

" A really vivid picture of the manner in which the documents are 
interwoven cannot be given by merely stating the numbers of the verses. 
And it is just as impossible to state with each single verse or section whether 
it is assigned to the document in question by all investigators or by the 
majority or only by a few. In the Pentateuch and in the Book of Joshua 
it is only with regard to P that something like unanimity has been reached." 

"In the present state of Hexateuch criticism the weightiest question is 
not, how much of the Pentateuch, as it comes to us, has Moses himself 
written . . . but this is the chief question : Does the Priestly Writing 
contain trustworthy accounts of the time and work of Moses, or is everything 
narrated in it, as the modern 'science' maintains, only defacement, fiction, 
yea, 'the merest fiction,' and full of contradictions with the (so-called) alone 
old tradition offered by J and E ? I venture to saj that in many cases the 
alleged contradiction is not present ; elsewhere the word of Augustine holds 
good, Distingue tempora et concordaMt scriptura ; and in yet other places the 
difficulty is occasioned through glosses of other readers glosses for which 
we cannot make the redactor or redactors responsible." STRACK. 

" I suppress my regret that Wellhausen has still not advanced to the 
point of recognising in the firmly-defined writer Q [=P], whose narrative 
is composed with regard to JE, and enclasps this element, as taking the 
place of the inner content lacking to itself, the everywhere sought for and 
nowhere found E." KLOSTEKMANN. 



IN nothing are critics of all schools more at one than 
in the recognition of a writing, partly historical and partly 
legislative, running through the Pentateuch and Joshua, 
which, from its linguistic and other traits, has been 
variously described, in the course of opinion, as the Elohist 
document, the Grundschrift (primary document), the 1st 
Elohist, the Priestly Writing, the Priests' Code, or simply 
P. 1 Yet the history of opinion on this Priestly Writing, 
as on other parts of the documentary theory, has been 
a slow development, and has been marked by at least 
four critical stages, the general nature of which has already 
been indicated. 

1. With reference to the compass of the writing, it 
has already been seen that all Elohistic matter, or matter 
agreeing with the Elohistic in character and style, was 
originally assigned to this assumed fundamental document. 
Even here, indeed, it was soon found necessary to make 
distinctions and multiply parts, but these variations may at 
present be disregarded. The first critical point was reached 
when, on the ground of its greater affinity with the Jehovist, 
Hupfeld removed a considerable part of this Elohistic matter, 
and set it up as a separate document, thenceforth known 
as E, or the 2nd Elohist. Previously much stress hud 
been laid on the unity and completeness of the Elohistic 
document, as giving " a connected narrative of the theocracy " 
from the creation to the settlement in Canaan. 2 Now, 

1 Wellhausen uses the symbol Q (QwUuor Book of the Four Covenants) ; 
Dillmann and others use A for this document. 
' Cf. Bleek, Introd. I p. 200. 


however, that the 2nd Elohist was cut out of it, 
extremely little, as will be shown, was left to the older 
writer in Genesis after chap, xvii., and it was felt 
to be curious that the 1st Elohist should become so 
extremely fragmentary just where the new writer came 

2. In respect to the age of the document, we have seen 
how, originally, the Elohistic document was all but uni- 
versally recognised as the fundamental part, or Grundschrift, 
of the Pentateuch, while the Jehovist was viewed as 
supplementary. 1 A change was prepared for here* also by 
Hupfeld's contention that J and E were independent 
histories. Then came the Graf-Wellhausen upturning, 
by which the supposed Grundschrift was lifted from the 
beginning of the literary history, and carried down bodily 
to its close. Graf, however, as was formerly mentioned, 
did not at first contemplate so great a revolution. He 
brought the Levitical laws down to the exile, but was 
content to leave the Elohistic history in its old place prior 
to Deuteronomy. Subsequently, in deference to Kuenen, 
he renounced that view, and accepted the late date for 
both. 2 It is carefully to be observed that it was not 
critical reasons, but a dogmatic consideration the supposed 
necessity of keeping history and laws together which led 
Graf to this tour deforce as respects the P history. 

3. A difference next emerged in respect of the inde- 
pendence of the document. In putting the Priestly 
Writing late, Graf felt that the ground was taken from 
the older view that the Grundschrift was an independent 
document, complete in itself, and he sought to show, as 
Kuenen states it, " that its narratives not only presuppose 
those of the Yahwist, but were intended from the first 
to supplement them, and to constitute a single whole with 

1 See above, p. 201. 

2 See above, p. 200. Colenso, in Pent. Pt. vi. pp. 579 ff., adhered to, and 
contended strongly for, Grafs original view of the history : thus also in 
Pt. vii. Carpenter says that "he finally acquiesced in the modern view."- 
ffex. i. p. 69. If he did, Cheyne does not seem to have known of the 
change (Founders of Grit. p. 203), and Kuenen only says : " He subsequently 
came to the conclusion that he had been at least to some extent mistaken." 
Hex. p. 70 (with reference). We are very certain that whether, under 
pressure of the opinion of others, Colenso changed his view or not, he never 
refuted his own arguments against the lute date. A change of this kind 
would mean the collapse of the reasoning of a great part of his volumes. 


them." 1 In this, as we shall seek to show, Graf proved 
himself more logical, and took up a sounder position, than 
Kuenen and Wellhausen, who held to the old assumption 
that the Priestly Writing originally subsisted by itself. 

4. With respect, finally, to the unity of the writing, 
a great change has latterly been brought about (1) by the 
splitting up of the P document into a P 1 , P 2 , P 3 , etc., and (2) 
by the abandonment of the idea of a single writer for that 
of " schools," whose activity extended over a long period. 2 
This change also strikes a blow at the idea of the P writing 
being a complete and independent history, as was at first 

It will already begin to appear that the problem of the 
Priestly Writing is by no means so simple as it is apt to 
seem in the neat statements of the text-books. The 
difficulties inherent in the current view will, we believe, 
only become clearer on nearer inspection. 


The initial question is as to the right to speak of 
a Priestly Writing, 8 or style of writing, at all in the 
Pentateuch, in distinction from JE, already considered. 
Here it is at once to be admitted that the case stands 
somewhat differently from what it did with JE. It cannot, 
we think, be reasonably disputed, and only a few critics of 
the present day, even among the more conservatively 
disposed,* would be prepared to deny, that the sections 
ordinarily attributed to P have a vocabulary, and a 

1 Hex. pp. xxx, xxxi. See below, p. 341. 

* Graf alao originally explained in this way the resemblance of the style 
of the Levitical laws to the P sections in Genesis. Thus on Gen. xvii. : 
" We can only conclude that this older law of circumcision served as 
a model in formulating laws during the exile and after it, with an aim 
at antiquity ... or that these formula were generally at all times usual 
in certain circles of priestly legislators, from whom the composition of that 
law proceeded." Qtschicht. BScJutr, p. 98. 

* In using this customary designation we by no means commit ourselves 
to the position that the authors are necessarily priests. Colcnso vigorously 
combats the idea that the Elohistic sections in Genesis are jtriestly, cf. Pent. 
Pt. vi. pp. 581 ff. ; App. pp. 126 ff. 

4 Thus the late Priueij>al Cave, as already mentioned, in his Jnxjnratirm 
of the 0. T., distinguishes an Elohistic and a Jehovistic writing in Genesis, 
inclining to attribute both to MOM*. 


stylistic character, of their own, which render them in the 
main readily distinguishable. The case for the distinc- 
tion, indeed, is often enormously overdriven. The long 
lists of words alleged to be peculiar to P admit of great 
reduction, many of the marks assumed for the document 
are no sure criteria, the skill that distinguishes a P 1 , P 2 , P 3 , 
P 4 is continually to be distrusted, some of the descriptions 
of the P style are little better than caricatures. 1 Yet on 
the whole it is a distinct style. It is a style stately and 
impressive of its own kind ; in such a chapter as Gen. i. rising 
to sublimity, in narrative often exhibiting a grave dignity, 
as in Gen. xxiii., occasionally, again, as in the story of 
Gen. xxxiv., not readily distinguishable from that of JE. 2 
It is a style, however, less flowing, lively, picturesque, 
anthropomorphic than that of JE ; more formal, circum- 
stantial, precise. We should speak of it in the Book of 
Genesis as less a priest-like than a lawyer-like style ; the 
style of a hand trained to work with laws, genealogies, 
chronologies, to put things in regular and methodical shape, 
to give unity and exactitude to looser compositions. It 
is marked by general adherence to the name " Elohim " till 
the revelation of the name Jehovah in Ex. vi. 2 ff. 

"We have referred to the limitations with which the 
statements often made as to the vocabulary, and other 
supposed marks of the P document, are to be received, 
and, to form a just idea of the writing, these also need to 
be remembered. In sifting the lists of words and phrases 
put forth as signs of this document, 3 we are speedily struck 
with the fact that many of them occur only once or twice 

1 Wellhausen exhausts the vocabulary of contempt in conveying his idea 
of the pedantry, verboseness, insufferable tediousness, and barrenness of the 
Priests' Code. "Art-products of pedantry. . . . One would imagine that 
he was giving specifications to measurers for estimates, or that he was 
writing for carpet-makers or upholsterers. ... Of a piece with this 
tendency is an indescribable pedantry, belonging to the very being of the 
author of the Priestly Code. . . . Nor is it any sign of originality, rather 
of senility," etc. Hist, of Israel, pp. 337, 348, 350, 353. Addis consider- 
ately grants that the "intolerable pedantry" of the Priestly Writer in 
Ex. xxxiv.-xl. is due more to " the successors of the Priestly Writer 
and his school" than to the Priestly Writer himself. Hex. i. p. Ixix. 

- What most critics ascribe to P in this narrative, Colenso gives to J. 
See further below, p. 352. 

3 The lists may be seen in detail in Dillmann, Driver, Carpenter, West- 
phal, etc. The reader will do well to note how small a proportion of them 
is carried on to Joshua. 


in the Book of flem-sis, or in the whole Pentateuch ; that 
some belong to particular passages from the nature of their 
subject, and are not general in P, or elsewhere ; that some 
are found also in JE ; that other examples are doubtful (JE 
or P) ; that within the limits of P itself the language varies 
greatly, and in very few cases are the words uniformly 
distributed through the sections. This statement may be 
briefly illustrated. There are few better examples of the 
words and phrases of P than the following: "After his 
(their) kind," " be fruitful and multiply," " male and 
female," "swarm," "establish (give) a covenant" (JE has 
" cut " = make), " self-same day," " possession," " create," 
"expire" (A.V. "die," Gen. vi. 17, etc.), "substance," etc. 
Yet of these, "kind," "swarm," "male and female," occur in 
Genesis only in the narratives of the creation and flood. 
"Kind" occurs elsewhere only in the laws of clean and 
unclean food, Lev. xi. (P) and Deut. xiv. (D) ; " swarm " in 
the same laws, but also in Ex. viii. 3 (JE); "male and 
female" three times in ritual passages in Leviticus. 
"Create" (bara) occurs only in Gen. L-ii 4 ; v. 1 (P), 
and chap, vi 7 (J), with Deut. iv. 32 (D). "Substance" 
occurs five times in P passages in Genesis, but also in 
Gen. xiv. (five times), and chap. xv. 14 which are not 
P ; elsewhere twice in Numbers. We are probably not un- 
warranted in regarding such formulae as "be fruitful and 
multiply," "establish My covenant," preserved in Gen. i., ix., 
xvii., etc., as very old, and belonging to pre-Mosaic tradition 
of covenant and promise. 1 It is thus evident that many 
of the alleged marks of P are absent from the greater part 
of the P writing just as much as from JE ; * too much stress, 
therefore, should not be laid on them. The significant thing 
is that where they do occur, and are repeated, it is mostly 

1 P varies the formula about multiplying, e.g., in Ex. i. 7 ; and the JE 
passages that follow in Ex. i. hare clear verbal references to P's language 
(vers. 9, 10, 12, 20 in Heb.). 

* We cannot follow the late Dr. Green in his denial of a distinct literary 1 in P, but that able scholar is surely justified in pointing out thitt 
"only two words or phrases noted as characteristic of P in chap. i. occur 
again in Genesis after chap, ix.," and that " after the covenant with Abraham 
(chap, xvii.), which recalls that of Noah (chap, ix.), almost every mark of P 
in the preceding part of Genesis disappears entirely. Scarcely a word or 
phrase that is reckoned characteristic of P in chaps, xvii. or xxiii. is found 
in later chapters of Genesis, except where the transactions of the latter are 
explicitly referred to, or the promises of the former are repeated." Genesis, 
p. 553. 



in P passages. The wide statements one meets with on 
this subject need, in fact, constantly to be checked. Mr. 
Addis, e.g., writes : " He (the Priestly Writer) says ' Paddan- 
Araru,' not, like the other writers, ' Aram of the two rivers.' " l 
Yet this latter designation ( Aram - Naharaim) actually 
occurs only once altogether (Gen. xxiv. 10). "Destroy," 
sometimes claimed as a P word, occurs, outside the 
narrative of the flood (Gen. vi 13, 17 ; ix. 11, 15), only 
once in P (Gen xix. 29), while it is found repeatedly in 
JE passages. Many of the other criteria of distinction 
of P from JE are equally insecure, or depend on false 
assumptions. Wellhausen, e.g., finds in P the idea of 
"sin, as the root of ruin, explaining it, and capable of 
being got rid of," in contrast with J, who is marked " by 
a peculiar sombre earnestness . . . almost bordering on 
pessimism ; as if mankind were groaning under some terrible 
weight, the pressure not so much of sin as of creaturehood." 2 
Yet P, we are often told, has no knowledge of the fall, 
while J has. Elsewhere, also, it is P who is represented 
as gloomy, monotonous, and serious. 3 Kuenen makes it a 
fault of P that he is " completely dominated by his theory 
of a graduated progress alike of the history of mankind 
and of the divine revelation," 4 as if this were not equally 
true of JE. 5 


When the existence of a P writing, or quality of writing, 
in the Pentateuch has been ascertained, we are still only at 
the beginning of our investigation. Is this alleged document 
a unity ? Had it ever an independent existence ? How is 
it related to JE ? Of these questions the most funda- 
mental is that which relates to P's existence as an 
independent document, but it will clear the way for dealing 

1 Hex. p. bcxiii (italics ours). 

"Hist, of Israel, pp. 314-15. Dillmann, on the other hand, declares 
of J that "especially of all the three narrators does he show the deepest 
knowledge of the nature, origin, and growth of sin." Genesis, i. p. 15. 
Neither P nor E, according to these writers, have any account of the 

3 Hist, of Israel, p. 81. 4 Hex. p. 301. 

1 See above, p. 62. 


with this to consider briefly, first, the question of its unity 
and homogeneous character. 

1. The old idea of P was that, whatever its date, it 
was essentially a connected narrative from a single pen, 
though naturally working up older materials. We have 
seen that the case is fundamentally altered when the 
individual writer is transformed into a "school." With 
the assumption of a series of priestly writers, belonging to 
yet wider "circles," the later members of the succession 
inheriting the vocabulary and methods of the earlier and 
continuing their work, unity of composition tends to 
disappear. It is now open to account for resemblance of 
style by "imitation." As in regard to Deuteronomy we 
have a D 2 , who successfully " imitates " the ideas and style 
of D 1 , with numerous Deuteronomic revisers of historical 
books later ; l so we can now speak of a P 2 , P s , etc., who 
" imitate " the style of P 1 , of an author of the Law of 
Holiness who "imitates" Ezekiel, 2 of a P writer .in the 
Book of Joshua who "imitates" the P of Leviticus, 8 etc. 
On this new basis it can no longer be urged that similarity 
of style means necessarily sameness of author, or pleaded 
that the author who drew up the Levitical laws must be 
identical with the author of the P sections in Genesis. 
There is no longer anything to preclude the supposition of 
Delitzsch, formerly referred to, that the literary activity of 
the Elohistic pen may reach back to times nearly approach- 
ing those of Moses ; * or even the belief, if one is disposed 
to entertain it, that its earlier models- go back beyond the 
time of Moses. 5 The protocol style characteristic of this 
writing was certainly not the invention of the people of 
Israel, nor its peculiar property ; there are, besides, marked 
features distinguishing the Elohist in Genesis from the 

1 Cf. Kuenon, as quoted above, p. 252: "The great similarity [of Deut. 
i.-iv. to the rest of the book] must be explained as the result of imitation." 
Hex. i. p. 117. "It hardly seems possible to ascribe the Deuteronomic 
recension [of Joshua] to a single author; nor is there anything against our 
supposing several hands to have been at work on the same lines " (p. 131). 

* See above, p. 309. The explanation, says Kuenen, of the relation 
between Ezekiel and P 1 is found "in the supposition that P 1 was acquainted 
with the priest-prophet, imitated him and worked on in his spirit. ... It 
follows that in Lev. xxvi., where P 1 coincides with Ezukiel, he is imitating 
him sometimes word for won!." Ibid. pp. 276, 287. 

8 See above, pp. 214 ff. * Genesis, i. p. 48. See above, p. 207. 

* Gen. xiv. shows traces of this P style, though probably an old 
independent source. 


Levitical writer or writers in the middle books. Colenso, 
e.g., in support of this distinction, draws attention to the 
curious fact that " the peculiarities of expression which 
distinguish the wo;i-Elohistic portions of Genesis, and 
which the Elohist never employs, appear, almost all of them, 
in the Levitical laws or in Ezekiel." * Colenso himself 
supposes that the original Elohistic writing ends with 
Ex. vi 2-5. 2 What is more to our purpose, Wellhausen, 
on his part, finds that after Exodus " the independent 
main stock of the Priestly Code more and more gives way 
to later additions, and ceases altogether, it appears, at the 
death of Moses." 8 He excludes from it the priestly 
portions of the Book of Joshua. 4 

We do not require to adopt any of these theories to 
admit that the facts just noticed with regard to the 
differences of vocabulary and style in different parts of the 
P writing give probability to the idea, within, however, 
narrower limits, of a process of composition, rather than of a 
single author. With this strikingly accords the altered 
relations which the P writer is found to sustain to JE in 
Genesis, in the middle books of the Pentateuch, and in the 
Book of Joshua, respectively. In Genesis, as is universally 
admitted, P furnishes the systematic "framework" into 
which the remaining narratives are fitted. 5 In the middle 
books the systematic arrangement disappears. The parts 
(JE, P) appear as co-ordinate, and are more closely fused 
together; the narrative in the main follows a simple 
chronological order ;. 6 the laws are interspersed, singly, or 
in masses, as occasion offers. In Joshua, finally, it is the 

1 Pent. Ft. vi. p. 583 (italics his). We should prefer to say, "many 
of them." Colenso makes large use of this principle of "imitation. 
According to him, later writers "affected the language" of the Elohist 
(p. 585): "The following [in Lev. xxvi.] appear to be imitations of 
expressions in Deuteronomy " (App. p. 3) : " We can only conclude that 
the resemblance in question has arisen from a deliberate attempt of the 
Levitical writer to imitate the phraseology of the Elohist" (App. p. 126) ; 
though he can on occasion rebuke Euenen for his use of it (App. p. 144). 
Similarly Graf, Gesch. Biicher, p. 93. 

1 Ibid., p. 576 ; App. pp. 116 ff. ; cf. Pt. v. pp. 197-211. 

1 Hist, of Israel, p. 357. 4 Ibid. See above, p. 216. 

5 "It actually forms," says Kautzsch, "(at least in Genesis) the frame- 
work in which the united whole is fitted." Lit. of O.T., p. 33. Cf. Driver, 
Genesis, Introd. pp. ii, iii, vi ; Dillmann, Genesis, \. p. 16. 

8 This formed the ground on which Principal Cave based his "Journal" 
theory of the origin of these narratives. Inspir. ofO.T., pp. 230 ff., 239 ff. 


JE narrative which furnishes the basis, while the priestly 
parts appear as supplementary or filling in. 1 The sig- 
nificance of this important fact will appear as we proceed. 

2. We come now to the principal question of the 
independence of the Priestly Writing? Was P ever a 
distinct or self-subsisting document? Here Graf, as we 
saw, severed himself from his fellow-critics, and surely with 
good logical reason. For once that (1) the supplementary 
theory was abandoned, and J was erected into an inde- 
pendent history; (2) E was cut out of the Grundschrift, 
thereby reducing the latter after Gen. xvii. to the smallest 
dimensions; (3) the unity of the Priestly Writing was 
piecemeal surrendered ; and (4) P was removed down to the 
exile, long after JE had attained a recognised authority, 8 
nearly every tenable ground for maintaining the inde- 
pendence of the document was taken away. The most 
convincing reasons, however, against the independence are 
those drawn from the character of the writing itself, and 
from its relations to JE. This must be looked into with 
some care. 

(1) The structure of the writing speaks in the strongest 
way against the theory of its original independence. 
Reference has already been made to the claim that P, taken 
by itself, furnishes us with a connected and nearly complete 
narrative from the creation to the conquest. Kuenen, 
speaking for the critics, assures us that the P history in 
Genesis "has come down to us nearly, but not quite 
complete " ; 8 and we are frequently told, as by Colenso, how 
its narrative " forms a continuous and connected whole 
almost from beginning to end." 4 It is not easy to under- 
stand how, if it was, as we were then equally assured, a 
" connected whole " in the days of Tuch and Bleek, before 
the excision of the extensive sections now assigned to E, it 
can be so still, after these have been removed. This 
completeness of the P history, however, is a matter on which 
the ordinary reader is nearly as competent to judge as the 
critical scholar, and we can fancy the astonishment with 

1 Wellhausen, Hist. ML 357, 385. See above, p. 215. 

* Cf. Kautzsch, quoted bolow. 

Hex. p. 66. 

'AtO.Pt. vi. p. 582. Cf. Dr. Diiver, Genesis, p. iv: "If read eon- 
aecutivcly, apart from the rust of the narrative, it will be found to form a 
nearly complete whole." 


which, after looking into the matter for himself, such a 
reader will regard the above dicta. In truth, anything more 
fragmentary, broken, incomplete, or generally unsatisfactory 
as a connected narrative, it would be difficult to imagine. 
As Wellhausen correctly says of it : " As a rule nothing 
more is aimed at than to give the mere links and articula- 
tions of the narratives. It is as if Q ( = P) were the scarlet 
thread on which the pearls of JE are hung." 1 Or, as 
Kautzsch says, the Priests' Writing gives us the pre- 
liminary history " in such extremely scanty outlines as to 
be only comprehensible when we think of the detailed 
representation in J and E as universally known." 2 Yet at 
times its mere thread of history widens out into complete 
and detailed narration, as in the story of creation (Gen. L), 
part of the narrative of the flood (chaps, vi.-ix.), the covenant 
with Abraham (chap, xvii.), the burial of Sarah (chap, xxiii.), 
the story of Dinah (chap, xxxiv.), Jacob's second visit to 
Bethel (chap. xxxv. 8-15). Hiatuses abound, 3 as will be seen 
more clearly after. From chaps, xi. to xvii. all that is told of 
Abraham is comprised in some eight verses, or fragments of 
verses ; after that, till the death of Sarah (chap, xxiii.) in 
some six verses, or parts of verses. The gaps are most con- 
spicuous after the entrance (in chap, xx.) of the 2nd Elohist, to 
whom, as above said, is transferred most of what was formerly 
assigned to the primary document. Thus, in chap. xxv. 19, 
we have the heading, " T^hese are the generations of Isaac," 
but of the life of Isaac thus introduced nothing is given, 
after ver. 20, but the concluding sentence of ver. 26 : " And 
Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them" 
(whom?), the notice of Esau's marriage, and the sending 
away of Jacob (chaps, xxvi. 34, 35; xxvii. 46-xxviii. 9). 
Jacob is sent to Paddan-Aram to take a wife, but of his long 
residence there, with the exception of two interpolated 
verses (chap. xxix. 24, 29), not a syllable is breathed, and we 
hear no more of him till he is found returning, rich in goods 
and cattle (one verse, chap. xxxi. 18). The patriarch fares, 

1 Hist, of Israel, p. 332 ; cf. p. 7 : "For the most part the thread of 
narrative is extremely thin." For the complete story of P after chap. xii. 
see p. 327. 

-Zi*. 0/0.2*., p. 107. 

* Dillmann thinks the document is preserved nearly complete till chap, 
xi. 2fi, after which great gaps occur. Genesis, pp. 16, 17. It will be seen 
below that there are gaps enough in the early part as well. 


if possible, still worse in his later history. Gen. xxxvii. 2 
reads, "These are the generations of Jacob," but there is 
not a scrap more from P till we reach chap. xli. 46 : " And 
Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh," 
and the descent into Egypt in chap. xlvi. 6 fif. Joseph's 
birth had been mentioned (chap. xxxv. 24), but we hear 
nothing further of him till suddenly he stands before Pharaoh 
as above. 1 This is certainly an unexampled specimen of a 
connected and " nearly complete " document ! The answer 
given, as before, 2 by the critics is, that no doubt P had 
originally brief notices of the events in the lives of Abraham, 
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc., where these gaps occur, but the 
" redactor " has omitted them to make room for the more 
copious narrations of JE. 3 This, in the first place, it must 
again be replied, is pure hypothesis the buttressing of one 
critical assumption by another, and does not, besides, as we 
shall immediately see, meet the difficulties arising from the 
relations of the narratives. But, assuming it to be true, 
why still speak of the narrative as we have it as " nearly 
complete," and how explain the arbitrary procedure of the 
redactor in sometimes leaving the two narratives side by 
side, sometimes intimately blending them, sometimes pre- 
serving a stray verse b'ke Gen. xix. 29, which simply repeats 
what has gone before 4 but here so largely deleting ? 

(2) The alleged independence of the document is further 
discredited when we consider it materially i.e., in the relation 
of its subject-matter to that of JE. For here the striking 
fact which immediately confronts us is, that the parts of the 
history which are lacking in P are precisely those which are 

1 Colenso saves himself a little by borrowing a few connecting passages 
from JE in the lives of Isaac and Joseph, bat these the later critics disallow 
to the Elohut. 

Soe above, p. 220. 

To see how far this "omitting" theory is carried so also with JE, 
"mutual mutilations," as Dillmann calls them one would require to go 
over the chapters in detail. See some examples in Kuenen, Ilex. p. 67. 

4 Kuenen extols the "conservatism " of the redactor, who " scrupulously 
inserts even the minor fragments of P in the places that seem best to fit 
them, when the more detailed notices of tho older documents might have 
seemed to a less zealous discii)le to have rendered them superfluous." Ibid. 
p. 320. How then explain the deleting? This redactor figures in Kuenen's 
scheme as R", but it is explained that he is really "a collective body headed 
by the scriU who united the two works, etc. . . . For the most part we 
shall have to club them together, and may indicate them by the single 
letter R " (p. 316). 


given us in JE. The converse of this is equally true, that 
the elements which are lacking in JE are supplied by P. 
Thus, P alone records the making of the ark (Gen. vi. 9-22), 
and the ages and deaths of the patriarchs. The story of 
Hagar in Gen. xvi. has neither beginning nor end without P, 
who alone mentions Ishmael's birth (vers. 15, 16). 1 The 
elements in the narratives are thus materially united in. the 
closest fashion. But the intimacy of the relation between P 
and JE admits of yet closer determination. So long as the 
Jehovist was regarded as a mere supplementer of the Elohist, 
it was impossible to assume any knowledge of his narrative 
by the latter. Now, however, that the Priestly Writer is 
regarded as the later, there is found no difficulty in 
admitting, rather, as furnishing a proof of his posteriority, 
the fact is insisted on, not only that the Priestly Writer is 
acquainted with JE, but that his narrative is throughout 
parallel with the other. 2 The effect of this change in the 
point of view, in its bearings on the relations of the 
narratives, seems even yet hardly to be fully realised. Not 
merely, as formerly shown, are J and E in the fullest sense 
parallel narratives, but P, in turn, is parallel with them. 
" The priestly author," says Kuenen, " builds on JE through- 
out." 8 "ThatP 2 and JE run parallel, even in details, is 
undeniable ; and hence it follows that they did not spring 
up independently of each other. P 2 is either the basis of JE 
or an excerpt from it." 4 The latter, of course, is the 
alternative he adopts. 5 Wellhausen, in language before 

1 The same assumption is made here about JE as above about P, viz., 
that in all these cases JE had the relevant narrative in his history, but R 
has left it out, and, for some reason, substituted P's (see above, p. 343). It 
is possible that in some instances omissions may have taken place, but they 
are for the most part as problematical in J K as in P. 

2 Guukel stands nearly alone in denying that P used JE in Genesis (cf. 
his Genesis, p. Ixviii), but he admits that the source of P was one to which 
JE " was manifoldly related." But why then not JE, which P must have 
known ? Dillmann makes P dependent in part on E (his oldest document), 
and says of its relationship to J : " Certainly the relationship in matter 
between the two is so great, that of necessity one writing must presuppose 
the other." He supposes P to be dependent in part on J or J's sources, but 
J in the main to be dependent on P. Num.-Jos. pp. 656-57. The in- 
security of such combinations is evident from the fact that the newer 
criticism rejects most of them. 

8 Hex. p. 299. * Ibid. p. 301. 

8 In this sense it is allowed that P is not independent. In an article he 
wrote in reply to Graf, Kuenen says: "We can deny the independence of 
the priestly passages, and at the same time recognise them as self-subsisting, 


quoted, 1 lays great stress on the parallelism and material 
identity of the narratives. " The Priestly Code," he tells us, 
"runs, as to its historical thread, quite parallel to the 
Jehovistic history " ; and, in a note, " The agreement extends, 
not only to the thread of the narrative, but also to 
particulars, and even to expressions."* Again: "In the 
history of the patriarchs also, the outlines of the narrative 
are the same in Q ( = P) and in JE." 8 Here, then, are very 
practical admissions that the substance and more than the 
substance 4 of the two narratives is the same, and we have 
seen how closely related and interdependent the narratives 
are in their present form. P, in Genesis, we have also seen, 
is really not a complete work, but supplies the frame in which 
the other narratives are set. Does not the onus of proof 
rest on those who maintain that it was ever intended to be 
anything else? Is not the hypothesis which the facts of 
interrelation and mutual dependence suggest rather that of 
collaboration in some form, than of entirely independent 
origin ? 6 

The principal proof, however, that P cannot be regarded 
as an independent document arises when the P writing is 
considered textually i.e., in its inseparable textual inter- 
weaving with the JE narrative. This is a subject of 
sufficient importance and intricacy to be considered under 
a separate heading. 

.., M fragments of a book which once existed in separate form" (Thfol. 
Tijd. Sept 1870). But did itf Grafs later view on this point may be 
stated in nia own words. He says : "These narratives [of the Grundsehrtft] 
imply everywhere the connection of the circumstantial J narrative ; whereas 
they themselves, except a few longer sections, appear only as notices more 
or less abrupt, inserted into the narrative " (in Kuenen, as above). 

1 See Chap. IV. above, p. 107. 

1 Hist, of Israel, pp. 295-96. Of. his illustrations. 

Ibid. p. 318. Cf. KauUsch, above, p. 342. 

4 It i.s interesting to note the additional testimony borne by Kuenen 
that the Deuteronomic history also consists of recensions of prophetic narra- 
tivei, "in part of more independent compositions, which, however, still 
nm parallel, in almost every case, with JE, and are dependent on it."- 
Hex, pp. 168-69. The substantial agreement of the history in the various 
sources could hardly be more strongly expressed than in the above 

* Thia is substantially the view taken by Klostermann in his Der 
Pentateuch, pp. 9, 10. See Not* A on Klostermann on the Relation of JE 
and P. 



The interweaving of P with JE in the actual history 
of the Pentateuch is so intimate that it is only "by the utmost 
critical violence that the different elements can be rent 
asunder. To illustrate this fully would carry us much 
beyond our limits, but, the point being crucial, it is 
necessary to bestow some little pains on its elucidation. 
We begin with the patriarchal period and the Book of 
Genesis ; then glance at the Mosaic period. The diffi- 
culties of the critical hypothesis will reveal themselves in 

1. We look, first, at the P and JE narratives in Genesis. 
The general relation of P to JE in this book, as already 
said, is that of " framework." The following, in order of 
the book, are examples of the closeness of the textual 

(1) With regard to the beginnings of things, how con- 
stantly is it alleged that " we have two contradictory 
accounts of the creation." l It is certain that the narratives 
in Gen. i.-ii. 4 and chap. ii. 4 ff. are quite different in character 
and style, and view the work of creation from different 
standpoints. But they are not " contradictory " ; they are, 
in fact, bound together in the closest manner as comple- 
mentary. The second narrative, taken by itself, begins 
abruptly, with manifest reference to the first : " In the day 
that Jehovah Elohim made earth and heaven" (ver. 4). 
It is, in truth, a misnomer to speak of chap. ii. as an account 
of the " creation " at all, in the same sense as chap. i. It 
contains no account of the creation of either earth or 
heaven, or of the general world of vegetation ; 2 its interest 
centres in the making of man and woman, and everything 

1 Cf. Addis, Hex. i. p. xlviii ; Kuencn, Hex. p. 38, etc. 

2 Dillmann says here : " We now expect before or after ver. 7, intimation 
of the bringing forth of the plant world and of the finishing of the construc- 
tion of the world. But nothing of the kind is found. Such a gap can 
scarcely have existed originally. It rather seems as if something had been 
left out by R, either because it appeared a needless repetition alongside of 
chap, i., or because it seemed too little in accordance with chap, i." (This 
latter reason should have led to the suppression of much more.) Genesis, 

K. 116. What appears in the narrative is simply the planting of a garden 
i Eden as an abode for man (vers. 8, 9). 


in the narrative is regarded from that point of view. 1 The 
very union of the divine names in chaps, ii., iii. indicates 
a designed connection of the two narratives which it is 
arbitrary to refer to a redactor, instead of to the original 
composers of the book. 2 

We have next, in P, the bare thread of genealogy in 
chap. v. (with, however, universal death) to conduct us from 
the creation to the flood, when the earth, which God made 
"very good" (chap. i. 31) is found, without explanation, 
" corrupt before God," and " filled with violence " " for all 
flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth " (chap. vi. 
11, 12). Yet we are asked to believe that P, who is 
admittedly acquainted with the JE history, " builds " upon 
it, and produces a narrative " parallel " with it, " knows 
nothing " of a fall. 8 Much more natural is the supposition 
that P, who furnishes the " framework " for JE, pre- 
supposes the JE narrative which it enshrines, and which 
in Gen. vi. 5-7 contains precisely similar intimations of the 
corruption of mankind proceeding from the fall. Here 
for once we have Wellhausen as an ally. " In JE," he 
says, " the flood is well led up to ; in Q [ = P] we should be 
inclined to ask in surprise how the earth has come all at 
once to be so corrupted, after being in the best of order, did 
we not know it from JE." 4 A fact which shows quite 
clearly how far P is from being complete, and how necessary 
JE is to its right understanding. 

(2) The story of the flood (Gen. vi.-ix.), which comes 
next, is the classical proof of the distinction of the 

1 On the age and origin of these histories, see Chap. XI. pp. 402 ff. 

* See above, pp. 226-27. We have here the usual variety of critical 
theories. Most ascribe the combination to the redactor ; Reuss postulates a 
special document distinct from J and P ; Budde and Gunkel suppose a com- 
bination of two documents, one using Jehovah, the other Klohiin, etc. 

* Thus, e.g., Carpenter : " He knows no Eden, he relates no temptation, 
he does not seek to explain the stern conditions of human labour or suffer- 
ing." Hex. i. p. 122. But a few sentences further on we read : "The 
reader learns with surprise in chap. vi. 11 that corruption and violence filled 
the earth." And on p. 132 : If the tolcdhoth sections do not describe 
the origin of evil and the entry of sin and suffering, they are not indifferent 
to them, rather does the method of Gn. v. presuppose them, and chap. 
TI. 13 record their" Which destroys the " knows nothing.' 

* Hiit. of Israel, p. 310. Wellhausen finds many other indications of 
dependence of P on JE. E.g., "If in spite of this lie (the first man) is 
called simply Adam (Gen. v. 2), as if that were his proper name, the only 
way to account for this is to suppose a reminiscence of Gen. ii., iii., etc. 
(p. 308). 


two sources P and J ; but we must claim it also as an 
illustration of the impossibility of separating these elements 
in the narrative into two independent histories. The sub- 
stance of the story is allowed to be the same in both. " In 
chaps, vii., viii.," Kuenen says, " two almost parallel narratives 
are combined into a single whole." 1 Since the discovery 
of the Babylonian account of the deluge, it is recognised 
that both writers drew from very old sources, 2 and, more- 
over, that it needs both J and P to yield the complete 
parallel to the old Chaldean version. P, e.g., in Genesis, 
gives the measurements of the ark, but lacks the sending 
out of the birds an essential feature in the Babylonian 
story. J has the birds, and also the sacrifice of Noah, 
which P, again, wants. 3 In not a few passages the criteria 
curiously intermingle, and the services of the redactor have 
to be called freely into requisition to disentangle them. 
E.g., in chaps. viL 7-10, 23, viii 1, 2, where there is clearly 
literary fusion of some kind. 4 Above all, the parts of the 
narrative fit into each other in a way that makes it im- 
possible to separate them. We have just seen how the 
" corruption" of chap. vi. 11, 12 (P) implies the Jehovistic 
story of the fall. From the sudden mention of Noah in 
chap. vi. 8 the J story passes abruptly to chap. vii. 1 : " And 
Jehovah said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into 
the ark." But it is P who mentions Noah's sons, and 
narrates the building of the ark (chap. vi. 6-22). The 
Jehovistic clause, " And Jehovah shut him in" (chap. vii. 16), 
stands isolated if taken from the P connection in which it 
stands. J, as stated, records Noah's sacrifice (chap. viii. 20), 
but tells us nothing of his going out of the ark That is 
left for P (vers. 15-19). 

It is easy, as before, to assert that all these lacking parts 

1 Hex. p. 67. Cf. Wellhausen, p. 296. 
3 On age, see below, Chap. XL p. 404. 

3 "Noah offers no sacrifice," says Carpenter. Hex. i. p. 123. But this 
is really a proof of the unity of the history, for the sacrifice an essential 
part of the Babylonian story, which P must have knownis found in J. 

4 Kuenen says that in chaps, vii., viii. the narratives " are combined into 
a single whole, and consequently the analysis does not always yield very 
certain results. We find distinct traces of P in chaps, vii. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 
14, 15, 16a, 18-21 ; viii. 1, 2a, 2-5, 13-19. But the verses have been 
worked over by some later hand. ... It is evident from these indications 
that when the two texts were woven together a certain process of assimila- 
tion took place." Hex. p. 67. 


of J and P were originally present, but were omitted by 
the redactor, but it is impossible to prove it, and the 
hypothesis is superfluous, because the missing parts are 
there in the other narrative. Besides, what in that case 
becomes of the "completeness" of the P narrative? If 
"omission" is postulated to the extent required, the two 
narratives become simply duplicates, and the ground for 
the assertion that P "knows nothing" of this or that is 
destroyed. If there has been replacement of parts, as 
here and there is not impossible, it may be more simply 
conceived as the result of one writer collaborating with 
another, or working upon, and in parts re-writing, the 
materials furnished him by another, in view of a plan, and 
with a common aim. 

Against this view of the unity of the narrative, it is 
customary to urge the repetitions and alleged inconsistencies 
of the several parts. On this it may suffice at present to 
observe that the P writer does not shun repetitions, even of 
his own statements, where these serve his purpose, they 
are in fact a mark of his style, 1 and that at least the 
greater number of the inconsistencies arise from the 
very evil of the hypothesis we are criticising the 
pitting of one part of the narrative against another as if 
each was complete in itself.* The most plausible example 
in the present case is the alleged discrepancy as to the 
duration of the flood. J's numbers, it is said, yield a much 
shorter duration for the flood (40 + 21 = 61 days) than the 
year and eleven days assigned to it by P. 8 It is not 
explained how P, with the J narrative before him, should 
gratuitously invent numbers hopelessly at variance with 

1 The same applies to J, though not to so great an extent. P repeats 
freely where emphasis is wanted, where he recapitulates, where he com- 
mences a new section, etc. E-g-, the birth of Noah's sons and their names 
are several times repeated (chaps, v. 32, vi. 10, iz. 19, 20, x. 1). The 
corruption of the earth is thrice affirmed in chap. vi. 11, 12 ; the entrance 
into the ark is thrice mentioned in one section (chap. vii. 13, 15, 16), etc. 
J repeats the "repenting" of Jehovah (chap. vi. 6, 7). 

* E.y., it is not a real contradiction if in one place (Gen. vi. 19, 20) the 
general rule is laid down that the animals shall enter in pairs ("male and 
female"), niul in another (chap. vii. 2, 3) that clean beasts and fowls shall 
go in by sevt'iis (also " male and female"). Of. chap. vii. 8, 9, 14. Both 
statements may have been found in fie old sources. 

s Cf. I >illiii.uiii, Driver, etc. Delitzsch concedes the discrepancy, un- 
necessarily, as we think. The unity of the narrative is upheld by Kuhler, 
Bib. GeschicJUe, i. pp. 58-59. 


his authority and with the common tradition. But if the 
narrative be taken as a whole there need be no discrepancy. 
P's longer period is of itself more in keeping with the 
magnitude of the catastrophe, even as described by J; and 
the assumption of the critics that J meant to confine the 
actual flood within forty days can be shown by the text 
itself to be unwarrantable. For (1) forty days is expressly 
given by J as the period when " the rain was upon the 
earth," i.e., when the cataclysm was in process (chap. vii. 
12, 17); and (2) is separated from a second forty days 
(chap. viii. 6) by the mention of an interval of gradual sub- 
sidence of the waters " the waters returned from off the 
earth continually " (chap. viii. 2, 3 ; also J) which P in the 
same verse dates at one hundred and fifty days. J's second 
forty days, therefore, with the three weeks spent in sending 
out the birds, equate with P's interval of two months 
between chap. viii. 5 and chap. viii. 13, which covers the 
same period, and the discrepancy disappears. 1 

In further illustration of the divisive methods employed 
in this part of the history, it may be mentioned that 
Wellhausen, Kuenen, Budde, Gunkel, etc., distinguish a 
J 1 and J 2 , and suppose that J 1 (cf. Gen. iv. 16-24) had 
no knowledge of a flood, which, therefore, it is held, does 
not belong to the oldest tradition ; neither does Gen. xi. 
1-9 look back, it is said, to a flood. 2 It is even contended 
that in Gen. ix. 18-27 the names of the three sons of Noah 
must have been originally Shem, Japheth, and Canaan 
this on the ground that in ver. 25 the curse is pronounced 
on Canaan 3 a notion which, in its direct defiance of the 
text, Delitzsch justly cites as " a specimen of what 
emulation in the art of severing can accomplish." 4 

1 The critics are not agreed whether J has two periods of forty days, or 
only one ; and differ, besiaes, in many details of the analysis. ,Kautzsch and 
Socin, Budde, etc., even give chap. vii. 17a "the flood was forty days upon 
the earth " to P, but strike out the forty days. Thus discrepancies are 

2 Cf. in reply Kbnig, Einleit. pp. 198-99. If Gen. ix. 18, 19 is 
allowed to J 1 , as by Addis, etc., then the overspreading of the earth from 
the sons of Noah is directly affirmed. Others give these verses to P. 

3 Kautzsch says positively: "At Gen. ix. 20 ff. the sons of Noah, who 
still dwell with him in one tent, are called in t!ie original text Shcm, 
Japheth, and Canaan." Lit. of O.T., p. 38. The " original text " states tlie 
precise contrary (vers. 18, 22), only the clauses naming Ham are expunged 
as interpolations. Dillmann, Delitzsch, Kb'nig, etc., reject the theory. 

* Genesis, i. p. 291. 


(3) The critics have admittedly difficulty in dividing 
up the table of nations in Gen. x. " Such being the relation 
of the two documents," comments Kuenen, "it is easy to 
understand that chap. x. (always excepting vers. 8-12) has 
been included in P by some critics, and excluded from it 
by others." * Tuch, Hupfeld, and Kayser gave the chapter 
to J ; Noldeke, with most critics of his time, to P (ex- 
cepting vers. 8-11); most critics now divide it between 
J and P. But the J part, as usual, begins abruptly at 
ver. 8 ; has no heading for the descendants of Ham ; omits 
those of Japheth altogether ; and, on the other hand, alone 
gives the descendants of Mizraim and Canaan, previously 
mentioned by P (ver. 6). The entire table is needed to 
restore the unity. An incidental proof of the unity is the 
fact that it is constructed on the principle of seventy 

(4) We pass to the history of the patriarchs, some 
points in which have already been touched on. The 
different parts of this history are again found to be in- 
separably connected textually. Difficulties begin with the 
life of Abraham. After many variations of opinion, the 
critics have settled down to give Gen. XL 28-30 to J, and 
ver. 27, 31, and 32 to P ; beyond this only chaps, xii. 46, 5, 
and xiii. 6, 116, 12 are assigned to P in chaps, xii., xiii. 
But this yields some remarkable results. In chap. XL 28, 
the J story begins quite abruptly, without telling us who 
Terah, Haran, Abram, and Nahor are ; i.e., it needs ver. 27 
for its explanation. The residence of the family is placed 
by J in Ur of the Chaldees (elsewhere given as a P mark), 
and nothing is related of the migration to Haran (cf. P, 
vers. 31, 32). Yet this migration is apparently assumed 
in the call to Abraham in Gen. xiL l. s In ver. 6, Abraham 
is said to have "passed through the land into the place 
of Sichem," but we are not told wfuit land. It is P alone 
who tells of his departure from Haran, and coming to tho 
land of Canaan (ver. 4b, 5). But this very fragment in 
P assumes the departure from Haran as a thing known 
(ver. 46), and so needs the first part of the verse, given to 
J. In other words, the story, as it stands, is a unity ; 
divided, its connection is destroyed. 

Gen. xiv. the Chedorlaomer expedition is, it is well 
1 Hex. p. 67. l See above, Chap. IV. p. 108. 


known, a literary crux ; so unlike is it to P, yet so many 
P marks are found in it. 1 As P is made post-exilian, our 
critics are under the necessity of putting this chapter still 
later. 2 On the very different verdict to which archaeology 
points, we shall speak in next chapter. 3 In the Hagar 
episode, chap, xvi., instructive examples of critical division 
are furnished. The first half of ver. 1, together with ver. 3, 
is given to P ; then the J part begins without explanation 
" And she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was 
Hagar." The promise of Ishmael is given in J (ver. 11); 
it is left for P to record his birth (vers. 16, 17). 4 It is the 
"dry pedant" P who relates Abraham's touching inter- 
cession for Ishmael (chap. xvii. 18) ; afterwards, however, 
several chapters later, J, who was silent on the birth, suddenly 
introduces Ishmael as a grown lad, mocking Isaac (chap. xxi. 
9). In chaps, xviii. to xx. the solitary indication of P is the 
isolated verse, chap. xix. 29, which presupposes the destruction 
of the cities of the plain intelligible, perhaps, if regarded 
as a recapitulatory statement, intended to introduce the 
succeeding narrative, but utterly superfluous as the in- 
sertion of a redactor. 5 Chap. xxi. 1-5 is again a fine specimen 
of critical dissection. The second half of ver. 1 is given to 
P, despite the fact that Jehovah occurs in it (similarly in 
chap. xvii. 1) ; ver. 2 is likewise split between J and P. 
P's narrative, as stated earlier, after the introduction 

1 "Gen. xiv. is admitted on every hand," says Carpenter, "to show 
many peculiarities. . . . The margins show affinities of style with both 
J and P. ... These phenomena would point to a writer acquainted with 
the linguistic usage of both J and P." Hex. i. pp. 155-56. Addis writes : 
" The unknown author must have read the Pentateuch much as we have it. 
His language, as shown above, betrays the influence of P, while his facts 
are partly drawn from the Jahvist. He must have belonged to Judah, for 
he exalts the sanctuary of Jerusalem, and its sacred right to tithes" ! 
Hex. ii. p. 212. Cf. Kueuen, Hex. p. 324. 

* Professor Bennett says " the narrative may be partly based on information 
derived from Babylon, possibly by Jews of the Captivity." Genesis, p. 19. 

8 See below, pp. 410 ff. The revolutionary effects of admitting an early 
date of composition for this chapter are evident from the above. 

4 See above, p. 344. 

B Coleuso, arguing against Kuenen, says: " Is it credible that after the 
long circumstantial account of Jehovah's visit to Abraham, and conversation 
with him, and of Lot's being rescued out of Sodom in chap, xviii. 1-xix. 28, 
a later writer would think it necessary to insert the perfectly superfluous 
statement in chap. xix. 29 ? " Pent. Pt. vi. App. p. 121. Carpenter says : 
"When th 'overthrow' is mentioned in chap. xix. 29, it is apparently 
assumed that its cause is known." Hex. i. p. 123. But why then men- 
tion it ! 


of the E writer, becomes largely a blank. Apart from Gen. 
xxiii. and later references to the same (chaps, xlix. 29 ff., 
1. 12, 13) ; J a few other incidents (chaps, xxvii. 46-xxviii. 
9; xxxv. 9-15; cf. xlvii. 6-11; xlviii. 3-7); and some 
genealogies and lists, it is absolutely confined, assuming 
that even they belong to it, to such disconnected verses, 
or parts of verses, as those formerly enumerated "And 
Isaac was threescore years when she bare them " (chap. xxv. 
266), Zilpah and Bilhah given as handmaids (chap. xxix. 24, 
29), " And all his goods that he had gotten, the cattle of 
his getting," etc. (chap. xxxi. 18), " And Joseph was thirty 
years old when he stood before Pharaoh" (chap. xli. 46). 
Chap, xxxiv. the story of Dinah is an exception, for here 
a P narrative is blended with a JE one, but so intimately, 
and with such peculiarities of style, that the critics do 
not well know what to make of it, and are at sixes and 
sevens in their analysis. 2 A similar perplexity attaches 
to the list of those descending to Egypt in chaps, xlvi. 8-27. 
" The general evidence," we are told, " points to a writer 
familiar with P, but also acquainted with other documents 
besides." 3 Wellhausen, the Oxford analysts, and others, 
accordingly, treat the P parts of both chaps, xxxiv. and 
xlvi. 8-27, as belonging to a later and secondary stratum. 
Other phenomena in Genesis, e.g., the fact that it is P 
alone who records the deaths of the patriarchs, have already 
been noticed. 

It is needless to do more than draw attention to the 
results which thus far stand out clear from our review. 
They are: (1) that the book, as we have it, is a unity; (2) 
that the unity is destroyed by breaking it up into separately 
existing JE and P documents; (3) that the unity is too 
close to be the work of a redactor piecing together such 
separate documents; (4) that to secure the unity we do 
not need to go beyond the book we have, i.e., what P lacks, 

1 Colenso, however, gives chap. 1. 12 to J, and bases an argument on it 
(Pent. Pt. vi., App. p. 122). 

* The Oxford writers say of this chapter : "The linguistic affinities of 
the first story clearly connects it with J. . . . Equally clearly the various 
marks in the second story bring it within the scope of P. But it is so 
different in kind from P's other narratives of the patriarchal age, as to make 
it highly improbable that it ever belonged to the Toledholh-book ... as 
the interlacing is very close the assignment of some passages must be 
doubtful." Hex. ii. pp. 52-53. 

1 Oxford Hex. ii. p. 72 : on Gen. xlri. 8 ff. see below, pp. 866 S. 



J supplies, and rice versa. In brief, whatever the number 
of pens employed, the phenomena would seem to point, not 
to late irresponsible redaction, but to singleness of plan, and 
co-operation of effort, in the original production. 

2. When we pass from the patriarchal to the Mosaic 
period, though P no longer possesses the marked character 
of " framework " which it had in the Book of Genesis, but 
appears rather as co-ordinate with JE, and even, in the 
legislative parts, as an inserted content, we discover that the 
union of narratives is not less close than in the earlier book, 
and the impossibility of separating them into independent 
documents equally great. 

(1) Not much is given to P in Exodus before chap, vi., 
but what little is given is bound up inseparably with its 
JE context. From the mention, e.g., of the increase and 
prosperity of the Israelites in Egypt (chap. i. 7), P passes 
abruptly to their bondage (vers. 13, 14), and the intervening 
verses are required to give the explanation. The language 
used in chap. ii. 23-25 (P) " cry," " heard," " saw," " knew " 
(in Heb.) has its verbal counterpart in chap. iii. 7 (J). 1 In 
chap. vi. 2, the narrative of the revelation of the name' 
begins with the words, " And God spake unto Moses " ; but 
nothing has yet been said in P of either Moses or Aaron. 2 
The information necessary is supplied by JE. Chap. vi. itself 
presents many peculiarities, with traces of J, which are 
a perplexity to the critics. 3 Vers. 13-20 of this chapter, 
embracing the genealogy, are roundly declared to be a 
" later amalgam," 4 or probably " an insertion by a very late 
hand." 6 Then follow in chaps. vii.-xii., the narratives of 

1 Colenso, accordingly, with his view of the earlier date of the Elohist, 
sees in chap. iii. 7 (and in Deut. xxvi. 7) a " plain allusion " to chap. ii. 23- 
25. It should be noticed also that chap. ii. 24 alludes to God's covenant 
with Isaac, mentioned only by J (Gen. xxvi. 2-5, 24). 

2 To obviate this difficulty many ingenious methods are emplo\ i-d 
(assumed omissions, transpositions, etc.), which in other hands would be 
described as " harmonistic expedients." 

'* Cf. Oxford Hexateuch and Addis, in loc. 

* Oxford Hex. ii. p. 87. 

8 Addis, Hex. ii. p. 236 ; so Kuenen. Van Hoonacker points out an 
interesting harmony between this table and the JE history. In ver. 23 
Nadab and Abihu are mentioned as the two eldest sons of Aaron. The 
names recur in Ex. xxiv. 9 (J K). Further, P relates how these two were 
destroyed for the sin of offering strange fire (Lev. x. 1 ft".). In perfect 
harmony with this the line of Aaron is viewed in the. historical books as 
continued in descent from the remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar (ver. 
23), and Nadab and Abihn are no more heard of. Le Saccrdoce, pp. 138-89. 


the plagues, about which many difficulties are raised. Not 
reckoning the death of the firstborn, P, it is said, knows only 
of four of the plagues ; JE only of seven. Other differences 
are pointed out In P the miracles are wrought by Aaron 
and his rod ; in JE, either without human instrumentality 
(J), or by the agency of Moses and his rod (E). 1 It may readily 
be shown, however, that these differences are greatly over- 
driven, where they do not turn round into a new proof of 
the unity of the narrative. It is the case, as stated, that 
JE has seven of the plagues, or, including the firstborn, eight ; 
while P has only two peculiar to himself (lice and boils). 
But it results from the new form of the critical hypothesis 
that P cannot have been ignorant of those recorded in JE; 
therefore, cannot have intended to ignore or contradict 
them. 8 Accordingly, where the narratives touch, they are 
closely interwoven. In the plague of frogs, for instance, J 
records the threatening (chap. viii. i-4), but P narrates the 
execution of the threat (vers. 5-7). Without P this part of 
the story would be a blank. Conversely, J alone narrates 
the judgment on the firstborn (chap. xii. 29, 30), which is 
announced in the passover law of P (ver. 12), but is not 
described by P. This further curious result follows from 
the critical partition, that, while in P Aaron is appointed to 
be a prophet to Moses, and to speak for him to Pharaoh 
(chap. vii. 1, 2), in none of the P sections does either Moses 
or Aaron ever utter a word. All the speaking is done in 
JE. As respects the mode of working the miracles, it is 
not the case that P invariably represents Aaron as perform- 
ing the wonders with his rod ; in the plague of boils (one 
peculiar to P), Moses is the agent (chap. ix. 10), and in the 
destruction of the firstborn Jehovah Himself executes the 
judgment (chap. xii. 12). But in JE also, even where the 
fact is not expressly stated (as in P), we are entitled to 
assume that the same rule applies to the acting as to the 
speaking, viz., that Aaron is regarded as the agent of 
Moses. 9 This, indeed, is the rule laid down in JE itself. 

1 This again is made a basis of distinction as between J and E, and fresh 
inconsistencies are evolved. 

1 On the plagues, cf. Kohler, Bib. Getch. i. pp. 185-86. 

* It is to be observed that in Ex. iv. 2-5 (Jh) Muses receives the sign of 
the rod changed into a serpent to be, with other wouuers, displayed before 
Pharaoh (vers. 17, 21) ; but in chap. vii. 8 if. (P), Aaron performs the wonder 


Thus in chap. iv. 30 (J) we read : " Aaron spake all the words 
which Jehovah had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs 
in the sight of the people " ; and in chap. xi. 10 (E) : " And 
Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh." 
The two are regularly conjoined throughout the history. 1 

(2) The narratives of the wilderness journeyifigs show 
even closer interweaving than those of the Exodus ; but we 
shall content ourselves with two typical instances from the 
Book of Numbers, viz., the mission of the spies (chaps, xrii., 
xiv.), and the rebellion of Korah (chap. xvi.). These have 
already been before us in connection with Deuteronomy ; * 
it is desirable now to look at them from the point of view 
of P. There are evidences, we think, of distinct sources in 
these narratives, but the histories, as we have them, are 
nevertheless firmly-compacted and inseparable wholes. 

First, as respects the mission of the spies, it is admitted 
that the narratives we have to deal with are substantially 
parallel, but it is held, as before seen, that they conflict in 
several important particulars. Thus P makes the spies 
traverse the whole land, in JE they go only as far as 
Eshcol, near Hebron ; P includes Joshua with Caleb among 
the spies, JE knows only of Caleb ; P makes the spies bring 
up an evil report of the country, but says nothing of the 
inhabitants, while in JE the explorers describe the land as 
fruitful, but give terrifying accounts of the inhabitants. 
But now, to make out these discrepancies, which would 
hardly occur to the reader of the story as it stands, the 
narrative has first of all to be torn to shreds. 8 The JE 
contribution, e.g., begins in the middle of a verse : " And 
said unto them, Get you up this way by the South " (chap, 
xiii. 17&); its commencement is supposed to be lost. But 
the proper commencement is there in P, with his list of the 
spies, if we will only accept it. Again, the second half of 
ver. 21 is singled out, 4 and given to P, with the result that 
JE reads : " So they went up, and they went up by the 
South" (vers. 21a, 22). But this now is an obvious 

for Moses. So the threat of the frogs (J) is executed through Aaron (P) in 
c ap. viii. 

1 Chs. v. 1, 4, 20 ; viii. 5, 12, 25 ; ix. 27 ; x. 3, 8, 16, etc. 

1 See above, pp. 279 ff. 

* We follow the analysis of the Oxford Hexateuck, which agrees in most 
points with that of Dillmann, Wellhausen, etc. 

4 Or the whole verse according to others. 


" doublet," and forms the basis of a new division let .\vr.n 
J and E (but what of the sense of the redactor, who so 
united them ?). Similarly, the first half of ver. 26 is given 
to P, and the second half to JE, though the connection is 
close, and the second half has a marked P phrase. 1 The 
way is now clear for declaring that JE knows nothing of a 
searching of the whole land. Yet it seems very evident to 
the unprejudiced reader that, both in the commission to the 
searchers (vers. 17-20), and in the report they bring (vers. 
27-29), in JE itself, an exploration of the whole country is 
implied. We go on to chap, xiv., the first verse in which is 
divided up among three writers: "And all the congregation 
lifted up their voice " (P), "and cried " (E), 2 " and the people 
wept that night " (J). In P, Addis tells us, " no mention 
is made of the inhabitants, who are indeed treited as 
non-existent " (!) 3 as if this absurdity was not of itself 
sufficient to condemn his scheme. But this, like P's ignor- 
ance of the fruitf ulness of the land, disproved by Caleb's 
words in ver. 7, is only made out by separating vers. 8, 9 
from their close connection with ver. 7 reserving for P 
only the words in the middle : " only rebel not ye against 
Jehovah." Even the allegation that JE knows nothing of 
Joshua as one of the spies, seems, apart from its connection 
with the list in chap. xiii. 1-6, to break down on examination. 
Most critics are now disposed to assign chap. xiv. 30-33 to J, 
or a related writer, 4 and in it Caleb and Joshua are united. 
It happens also that we have yet another rehearsal of this 
mission in Num. xxxii. 7 ft . a section admittedly based on 
JE; 6 and there, too, the names occur in like connection 

1 "Unto all the conyrrffa(ion" handed over to a redactor. 

1 The second verb changes to masc. plur. "they cried," from the fern, 
sing, of first clause. But thoughts are not always rigully bound to 

Ilex, ii p. 403. 

4 Cf. Dillinann (Num.-Jos. pp. 89, 78 ; J in contradistinction from E) ; 
Wollhansen (Com/n>t. p. 102); Oettli, Kittcl, etc. Ad<li.s adopts this view 
in his vol. ii. p. 403 "probably the Jahvixt." 

* Cf. Dill MM mi, pp. 198 ff. Wellhauseu (Comp. pp. 118 ft". ) assigns vors. 
1-15 to a source which takes a " middle position between J and Q ( = P)," 
and is most nearly related to the Deutemnomist, Its narrative is given as 
parallel to JE. Dillmarm, Kittel, and others admit that J (not E) reckoned 
Joshua among the spies. Cf. also Kohler, Bib. Gtsch. i. p. 306. This 
Kumars xxxii. is one of the most disconcerting chapters for the divisive 
hyjiothrsis. " All at tempts hitherto at division of sources," says Dillmami, 
" go widely asunder " (p. 193). 


and order (ver. 12). The critics, clearly, have still a good 
deal to do before they break up the unity of this story. 

The Korah Episode (chap, xvi.), to which we next turn, 
is perhaps a yet more signal example of the perplexities 
in which the divisive hypothesis of the critics, when 
carried out to its issues, involves itself. We start with 
the assertion for which there is some basis that there 
are traces in the narrative of two movements one, headed 
by Korah, which aimed at securing for the Levites the 
rights of the priesthood (vers. 4-11); and the other, headed 
by Dathan and Abiram, a revolt of the general congregation 
(laity) against the authority of Moses and Aaron (vers. 
13-14). The two movements, supposing them to have 
existed, were no doubt blended in fact, as they now are 
in the narrative hence the inextricable difficulties which 
attend the attempt to make two independent histories out 
of them. 1 In the first place, the narrative of P itself 
presents perplexities from this point of view; for with 
Korah are united, in vers. 2, 3, as many as two hundred and 
fifty princes of the congregation, " men of renown," who 
evidently represent the laity in their uprising against 
Moses and Aaron ; 2 i.e., are in the same cause as Dathan 
and Abiram. 3 Wellhausen, the Oxford critics, and many 
more, therefore, find it necessary to resolve this part of the 
P history into two, and even to deny that, in the original 
form of the story, Korah was a Levite at all. Dillmann 
and others defend the unity of P in this place; while 
Kuenen, like Graf earlier, 4 sees in the Levitical parts 
rather the late work of a redactor. 5 But the JE narrative 

1 Kbhler says : " There are no sufficient grounds for the contention that 
in the narrative as it lies before us, two quite distinct histories the history 
of an uprising of the Levite Korah against the exclusive priesthood of Aaron, 
and the history of a revolt of the Reubenites, Dathan and Abiram against 
the supremacy of Moses over Israel have been blended together." Bib. 
Gesch. p. 307. 

a This, e.g., is one of the "contradictions" adduced by McFadyen, in 
his Messages of the Historians, p. 7. 

3 Dathan and Abiram throughout the story decline to face Moses and 
Aaron (vers. 12 ff.). Their absence at the interview, vers. 3 ff., need, 
therefore, occasion no surprise. 

4 Graf seems to admit that in the original form of the story Korah, 
Dathan, and Abiram were united. Ocschicht. Biicher, p. 89. 

8 From the Graf-Wellhausen standpoint it is of course impossible to 
admit that the Korah episode had any foundation in fact, or was earlier 
than the exile. Hence the theory, referred to in last chapter, that it 
reflects the conflicts of Ezekiel's degraded priests (Levites) for restoration 


is equally recalcitrant, for it, in turn, makes it clear that a 
relig-ious claim entered as well into the popular movement 
of Dathan and Abiram. As the Oxford Hezateuch has it : 
" Dathan and Abiram defy the authority of Moses on the 
ground that he has failed to fulfil his promise, and he 
replies by entreating Yahweh to pay no attention to their 
ottering. The basis of ver. 15 is clearly some religious 
act, culminating in sacrifice, and having affinity rather 
with Korah's protest than with the rebellion of Dathan 
and Abiram." 1 It is necessary, accordingly, to find two 
narratives here also, as well as in P, and still further 
complications are involved in working the whole into shape. 
The simplest solution is that the error lies in the original 
assumption of independent narratives, and that probably 
the events took place as they are actually described. 2 


Frequent references have been made in the course of 
these discussions to the inconsistencies, contradictions, 
duplicate narratives, incredibilities, and the like, which are 
said to prove that P is a distinct writing from JE, late in 
origin, and historically untrustworthy. If our contention 
is correct, it would be truer to say that it is the assumption 
that the documents in question are independent, and each 
complete in itself, which gives rise to most of the appear- 
ances of inconsistency and contradiction. 

1. It was before indicated that only thus can it be made 

to their full priestly dignity. As there pointed out, those post-Eaekiel 
conflict* of a party of degraded priests have no foundation in history ; are, 
in fact, a pure creation of the imagination. 

1 Hex. ii. p. 212. 

1 As a further illustration of the difficulties involved in the divisive 
hypothesis, we might have referred to the critical treatment of the story 
of the bringing of the water from the rock at Meribah (Num. xx. 1 n".). 
Of this story, Addis says : " Here we have one of tho tew (?) instances 
in which the documents of the 'Oldest Ilook of Hebrew History' have been 
inextricably entangled, not, as is often the case, with each other, but with 
the narrative of the ' Priestly Writer.'" Hex. i. p. 169. It is pointed out 
that here the writer departs from his usual practice of idealising his heroes, 
in admitting that MOMS and Aaron were guilty of great sin. The reason 
given is an excellent example of the method. " He docs so," we are told, 
" because the fact that Moses and Aaron did not enter the promised land 
was too fixed and conspicuous in tradition to be gainsaid, ana it had to be 
accounted for." Hex. ii. p. 419. 


out, e.g., that P " knows nothing " of a fall, or of sacrifices 
of the patriarchs, 1 or of incidents derogatory to the 
patriarchs his narrative being, as Kuenen says, one 
" from which every trace of hostility between Abraham and 
Lot, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his 
brothers, has been carefully removed." 2 Is it credible, on 
the principles of the critical hypothesis itself, that P, with 
the JE history in his hands, and founding upon it, should 
have supposed his readers unacquainted with the fact that 
the patriarchs built altars and offered sacrifices, or should 
have intended to " make sacrifices to the deity begin with the 
Mosaic age " ? 8 One might as well argue that J, on his part, 
" knows nothing " of the deaths of the patriarchs ! Again, 
if P gives only a "thread" "the mere links and articu- 
lations " of a narrative, and records practically nothing of 
the lives of Isaac and Joseph, where is the room for the 
assertion that he " carefully removes " this, or " avoids " 
that ? Especially when the knowledge of the full patriarchal 
history is throughout presupposed.* If P, e.g., gives us no 
life of Joseph at all, how can it be alleged that he has 
removed " every trace of hostility between Joseph and his 
brothers " ? 5 Can inferences be drawn from that which 
does not exist ? On the other hand, as we have sought 
to show in the narratives of the flood, of the plagues in 
Egypt, of the spies, of the rebellion of Korah, when the 
narratives are taken in their completeness, nine-tenths of 
the allegations of inconsistency and contradiction fall of 
their own accord. 

1 See above, p. 166 ; cf. Kautzsch, Lit. of O.T.,p. 110 ; Driver, Genesis, 
p. x*ii, etc. 

2 Hex. p. 301. Carpenter says: "The extent to which the figures of 
the primeval history were already surrounded, in view of the Priests' Writ- 
ing, with a kind of saintly aureole, is seen from the obviously intentional 
omission of all the traits which seem to lower the dignity of the patriarchs." 
Hex. i. p. 301. Probably, on the same principle, P intends throwing an 
"aureole round Sodom and Gomorrah, since, as Carpenter says : "Even 
when Lot settles in the cities of the 'circle,' the writer refrains from 
commenting on their characters" (p. 123). 

* Euenen, Hex. p. 301. Cf. Colenso in reply to Kuenen, quoted above, 
p. 156. 

4 Carpenter says : " Again and again does the brevity of the narrative 
imply that the author relies on the previous acquaintance of his readers 
with the facts." Fez. i. p. 123 : cf. above, pp. 344 ff. 

8 Kuenen, as above. It was shown earlier that it is P alone who records 
the sin of Moses and Aaron that excluded them from Canaan (cf. above, p. 


2. It is not greatly different with alleged duplicate 
narratives, some of which, as the stories of the creation and 
the flood, and the denial of their wives by the patriarchs, have 
already been dealt with. It was found earlier that several 
of the alleged duplicates fall within the limits of the same 
document, as the denials of their wives by Abraham and Isaac 
in J (Gen. xii ; xxvl 6 ff.), and two Korah stories, according 
to Wellhausen and others, in P (Num. xvi. 2 fl'.), and may 
therefore reasonably be supposed to have belonged to the 
original tradition. By far the greater number of instances 
we should deny to be " duplicates " in the proper sense at 
all i.e., divergent traditions of the same incidents. The 
redactor (not to say the original authors) can hardly have 
regarded them as such, or he would have omitted one, or 
sought to combine them in his usual harmonistic way. 
We said before, in speaking of JE, that there was no good 
reason, as it appeared to us, for identifying the flight of 
Hagar, in Gen. xvi. (J), with her expulsion by Sarah in 
chap. XXL (E), or even Abraham's denials of his wife at 
Egypt (chap, xil J) and at Gerar (Gen. xx. E). 1 So there is 
no good reason in the nature of the case for identifying 
the two revelations at Bethel one before Jacob's going to 
Paddan-Aram (Gen. xxviii. 10 ff. JE), the other on his 
return (chap. xxxv. 9 ff. P) ; or the two revelations to Moses 
one at the burning bush in Midian (Ex. iii. 1 ff. JE), the 
other in Egypt (chap. vi. 2 tf. P), etc. On the contrary, in 
most of these narratives there are plain indications that the 
incidents are distinct, and that the later implies the earlier. 
In Gen. xxi., e.g., Ishmael is already born, and old enough 
to "mock" Isaac; but only in Gen. xvi. 15, 16 (P) is his 
birth narrated. The second vision in Bethel is connected 
with the first by the word " again " * (Gen. xxxv. 9), and is 
led up to by the revelations in chaps, xxxi. 13, xxxv 1 (E), 
summoning Jacob back from Paddan-Aram, and recalling 
him to Bethel histories admittedly known to P. Ex. vL 
'2 ff. introduces Moses and Aaron abruptly, and the earlier 
IE history is implied, explaining who Moses was, and how 
he came to be connected with the children of Israel and 

1 Se above, pp. 236 ff. 

1 " The editor," say the Oxford critics, " has inserted the word ' again.' " 
--//. ii. p. 55. Hut why I Siure P admittedly knew the earlier stories, 
what motive could he have lor ignoring them, and inventing a new one in 
a different connection f 


with Pharaoh in Egypt 1 a history again presumed, on 
the newer theory, to be known to P. 2 Indeed, on the 
"omission" or "mutual mutilation" hypothesis of the 
critics, what right have we to suppose that in all these 
cases both stories were not found in the documents con- 
cerned, and that, as in so many other instances of parallel 
narratives, the suppression of one is not due to the redactor ? 
3. The " historical incredibilities " freely imputed to the 
Priestly Writing, as to other parts of the narrative of the 
Pentateuch, can only here be briefly touched on, though 
they form the real ground of much of the criticism directed 
against that work. 3 There is, in truth, in this department, 
extremely little hardly anything with which those who 
have had to do with the subject have not been familiar since 
the days of the Deistical controversy, or which was not 
pressed home with skill and cogency by the earlier sceptical 
writers of last century, as Von Bohlen, etc. Only in those 
days it was not called " believing criticism " of the Bible, but 
destructive attack upon it ! In modern times the writer 
chiefly relied on as having irretrievably shattered the 
historical credibility of the narratives in the Pentateuch 
especially those proceeding from the Priestly Writer is 
Bishop Colenso. The arguments of this authority are taken 
over practically en bloc by modern critical scholars, and 
treated as irrefragable demonstrations that the stories in 
Genesis, but particularly those of the Mosaic period, are 
throughout utterly unhistorical. 4 On this subject, while we 

1 Of. Kohler, Sib. Gesch. i. pp. 182-83. 

1 It is in the light of such considerations that we see how revolutionary 
for the critical theory is the admission that P knew, and supposed his 
readers to know, these earlier histories. To take one other example from 
Genesis. "The promise of a son to Sarah," says Dr. Driver, "is twice 
described." Genesis, p. iii. But how is the matter mended if the author 
of chap. xvii. knew of chap, xviii. ? The promises are really distinct one to 
Abraham, the other in hearing of Sarah. 

* Thus Kuenen : ' ' The representations in the later books of the Pentateuch 
simply defy the conditions of space and time to which every event is subject, 
and by which, therefore, every narrative may be tested. The Exodus, the 
wandering, the passage of the Jordan, and the settlement in Canaan, as they 
are described in the ffexateuch, simply could not have happened." Hex. 
p. 43. 

4 "With one single exception, "says Kuenen, "the twenty chapters of his 
book (Pt. i.) are devoted to an absolutely pulverising criticism of the data of 
the Griindschrift." He speaks of the difficulties as "massed together and 
set forth by him with imperturbable sang froid and relentless thoroughness." 
Hex. Introd. pp. xiv-xvii, p. 45. Wellhausen says : " Colenso is properly 


lave no interest in arguing for a supernatural accuracy in 
chronological or historical matters in the Biblical narratives 
beyond what the soundness of his information enabled the 
sacred writer to attain, yet, as having lived through the 
Colenso storm, and read pretty fully into the literature 
it called forth, we desire to dissociate ourselves entirely 
from these extravagant estimates of the success of the 
Bishop's destructive work. Colenso's courage, honesty, and 
loyalty to truth, as he understood it, we shall not seek 
to dispute. But his work lacked from the commencement 
the first condition of success, insight into the meaning, 
and sympathy with the spirit, of the books he was working 
with. The distinction between a supernatural and a purely 
natural history was one to which he allowed no weight did 
not seem able even to appreciate; many real difficulties 
he emphasised, which others, perhaps, had passed over too 
lightly, but many more were the creation of a mind working 
in narrow arithmetical grooves, and bent on applying to a 
historical writing the canons of a rigorous literalism, which 
would be more justly described as " intolerable pedantry " 
than the work of the Priestly Writer to which it was 
applied. His book was keenly scrutinised, and manifoldly 
replied to, at the time ; and those are widely mistaken who, 
on the strength of the laudations of the critics, persuade 
themselves that the victory was altogether his. We shall 
best show this by a rapid glance at his criticism. 

(1) It would be unpardonable to resuscitate were it not 
that they must be presumed to belong to those demonstra- 
tions of contradiction of the " universal laws of time and 
space" which Kuenen speaks of the extraordinary com- 
putations by which Bishop Colenso proves to his satisfaction 
that " all the congregation " of Israel could not assemble 
at the door of the tabernacle, or that the Levitical laws could 
not be observed in their entirety in the wilderness. Who 
that has read his book will ever forget his wonderful calcula- 
tions to show that, even excepting ex gratia such as may 
have been detained by sickness or other necessary causes, 
" the whole congregation " of nearly 2,000,000, could not 

entitled to the creilit of having first torn the web asunder." ////. i>f Israel, 
p. 347. Addis says: "One baa only to n-.i.l the first two volumes of 
CoK-uso to see what absurdities are involved if wo take the Pentateuch as it 
stands, and treat it as one book. There is no end to the chronological 
monstrosities which meet us at every turn." Hex. i. p. 1. 


have been squeezed into the court of the tabernacle, and, 
standing as closely as possible, in rows of nine, not merely 
at the door, but (another concession) at the end of the 
tabernacle, would have reached the men alone for nearly 
20 miles, all the people for nearly 60 miles ! Or his 
reasoning that the Levitical law required the officiating 
priest " to carry on his back on foot " the carcase of the 
bullock of the sin-offering to " a clean place " without the 
camp on one reckoning a distance of about f of a mile, on 
another reckoning about 6 miles! Or his proof that the 
three priests in the wilderness could not have offered not 
to say eaten the 90,000 pigeons annually, or 88 per diem 
apiece, required by the law for the 250 cases of child-birth 
daily ! l Some least grain of common sense might be con- 
ceded to the Priestly Writer, who, whatever his faults, 
certainly did not mean to palm off upon his readers such 
crude absurdities as these. Most people will feel that the 
force of his language is abundantly satisfied by large and 
representative gatherings of the people at and around the 
tabernacle on solemn occasions ; 2 and will remember that, 
"according to the story," to use the Bishop's phrase, the 
priests had a whole tribe of Levites to assist them in their 
menial duties though these, as formerly noticed, 3 strangely 
enough, from the critical point of view, never appear in the 
laws in Leviticus. If the pigeons were not, as the Bishop 
says they would riot be, obtainable in any large numbers in 
the wilderness, they would not be there to bring or eat; 
but the objection overlooks that the sacrificial system had 
specially in view the future settled habitation of the people 
(cf. Num. xv. 2 ff.), and that in point of fact, it is represented 
as having been largely suspended during the years of 
wandering. 4 

(2) No thoughtful reader will minimise the very real 
difficulties inhering in the Biblical narratives of the Exodus 
the remarkable increase of the children of Israel in 

1 Pent. Pt. i. See references and quotations in Note A on Bishop Colenso's 
Numerical Objections. 

2 Publicly-called meetings of "the inhabitants" of large towns or cities 
are frequently held in hulls of very moderate dimensions. Ecclesiasti- 
cally, the writer lias been present at duly-summoned and formally-minuted 
meetings of a Church Presbytery of several hundred members, for purposes 
of ordination, where the members present were accommodated on a railed 
platform of a few feet square. Golenso could prove it impossible. 

* See above, p. 304. * Josh. v. 5 ; cf. Amos v. 25. 


. 't, 1 the circumstances of the Exodus itself, the passage 
of the Red Sea, the care of the people in the wilderness and 
provision for them, etc. These facts, at the same time, are 
precisely among the best attested in the history of Israel ; 
and, in dealing with them, justice requires that we treat 
them from the Bible's own point of view, as events altogether 
exceptional in the history of that people, and, indeed, of 
mankind, accomplished by divine help, and, as respects the 
Exodus, under the highest exaltation of religious and 
patriotic consciousness of which a nation is capable. Many 
i-lements, also, which do not appear upon the surface of the 
narrative, have to be taken into account, e.g. t that the 
patriarchs who went down to Egypt did so accompanied by 
extensive households. 2 Colenso, in the work referred to, 
however, will admit none of these relieving considerations 
(nor even the "households"), insists on bringing every- 
thing to the foot-rule of the most ordinary experience 
the birth-rate of London, e.g., or a lower rate, 8 eliminates 
wholly the supernatural element, founds upon the Biblical 
data where these suit his purpose, but rejects other state- 
ments which throw light upon the former ; very often by 
his grotesque literalism creates difficulties which are not in 
the Biblical narrative at all. Thus, e.g., he will have it that 
" in one single day, the order to start was communicated 
suddenly, at midnight, to every single family of every town 
and village, throughout a tract of country as large as 
Hertfordshire, but ten times as thickly peopled"; that 
" they then came in from all parts of the land of Goshen to 
Rameses, bringing with them the sick and infirm, the young 
and the aged; further, that since receiving the summons, 
they had sent out to gather in all their flocks and herds, 
spread over so wide a district, and had driven them also to 
Rameses ; and lastly, that having done all this, since they 

1 It is undesirable, on the other band, to exaggerate the difficulty. The 
writer has personal knowledge of a family the heads of which celebrated 
their golden wedding in 1830. In that 50 yrars the original couple had 
multiplied to 60 (there were two deaths). If the reader will reckon the 
i. -Milt of a similar rate of iiu-reasc Tor 300 or 400 years, the figures may 
Kurprise him. 

- This is no doubt the uniform representation in Genesis, cf., e.g., Gen. 
xiv. 14; zxri. 13, 14; xxxii. 4, 5, 10, etc. Colenso clings to the literal 
sevt-nty souls. 

' He prefers to take his rate from the alow growth in the lifetimes of 
Abraham and Isaac. 


were roused at midnight, they were started again from 
Barneses that very same day and marched on to Succoth, 
not leaving a single sick or infirm person, a single woman 
in child-birth, or even ' a single hoof ' behind them." " This 
is undoubtedly," he avers, " what the story in the Book of 
Exodus requires us to believe (Ex. xii. 31-41, 51)." l 
" Incredibility," truly ! But the picture is a creation of the 
objector's own imagination, of a piece with his persistence 
(in which many modern critics support him) that the 
passover is represented as taking place on the night of the 
same day in which the first command to observe it was given. 
Both objections fall together in view of the fact that the 
text on which the above assertion is based: "I will pass 
through the land of Egypt this night " (Ex. xii. 12), 2 occurs in 
a law which expressly ordains that the lamb of the passover 
is to be chosen on the 10th day of the month, and kept 
till the 14th (vers. 3, 6) ; which, therefore, must have been 
given still earlier in the month, perhaps near its beginning. 

(3) We do not propose to re-thresh the hundred times 
threshed straw of Colenso's long catalogue of "incredibilities" 
most of them retailed by others but confine ourselves to 
two examples, which perhaps will be admitted to be fairly 

The first is the very old difficulty about Hezron and 
Hamul, the sons of Pharez, whose names are included in 
the list of threescore and ten who went down with Jacob to 
Egypt (Gen. xlvL). A simple reckoning shows that Pharez, 
the father of this pair, cannot himself have been more than 
three or four years old at the time of the descent; 3 his 
sons, therefore, must have been born, not in Canaan, but in 
Egypt. Dr. Driver, like Bishop Colenso, finds here " a grave 
chronological discrepancy between P and JE."* Yet the 

1 Pent. Pt. i. pp. 61-62. The passage is partly from E, partly from P. 

9 In ver. 12 as in ver. 8, etc., the words " this night " refer to the night 
spoken of, not to the night in which the words are spoken. The Oxford 
Hexateuch translates "that night" (ii. p. 96). 

3 Judah was about forty-three years old at the descent, and as his sons 
Er and Onan had been married and were dead a year or two before the birth 
of Pharez (Gen. xxxviii.), the latter cannot have been more than the age 
staled at the descent. 

* Genesis, p. 365. On the contrary, the reference to Er and Onan iu. 
ver. 12 is a clear allusion to the JE story in chap, xxxviii., as also is the 
place given to Hezron and Hamul in the list. Why should P, who knew 
the JE story, wantonly contradict it T 


ordinary solution, viz., that Hezron and Hamul are 
here introduced (Colenso failed to observe, in a separate 
clause) as the legal representatives and substitutes of Er 
and Onan, who are said to have died in the land of Canaan, 1 
seems not only perfectly admissible, but even required by 
the peculiar construction of the passage. The story in Gen. 
xxxviiL, forbidding as it is, adequately explains the ground 
of this substitution. On genealogies generally it is to be 
remarked that they are commonly constructed on more or 
less technical principles, and have to be construed in that 
light. This table of seventy persons, e.g., is evidently one 
of heads of families, and includes in its enumeration, not 
only Jacob himself and his daughter Dinah, but Er and 
Onun, who died in Canaan (represented by Hezron and 
Hamul), and Joseph's two sons, who, though expressly 
mentioned as boru in the land of Egypt (ver. 20), are 
embraced in " the souls that came with Jacob into 

Our second example is one usually regarded as among 
the most formidable the number of the (male) firstborn in 
Israel as compared with the total number of males. The 
firstborn males are given in Num. iii. 43 as 22,273 (a 
number whose accuracy is checked by comparison with 
that of the Levites). Assuming now the total number of 
males to be 900,000, we have a proportion of one firstborn 
to 42 males, which is interpreted to mean that " according 
to the story of the Pentateuch every mother in Israel must 
have had on the average 42 sons ! " 8 It may again occur 
that the Priestly Writer, who had at least a genius for 
manipulating and systematizing figures, could hardly have 

1 Reckoning Jacob, either Er and Onan, or Hezron and Hanml, must be 
omitted to make the number S3 in vcr. 15. 

* Cf. Delitzach, Genetis, i. pp. 337-40 ; Hengstenbcrg, Pent. ii. pp. 
290 ff. Kuenen regards this list as a (atrhwork put together from Num. 
xxri. (Hex. p. 68) ; Bennett thinks it "may be an abstract of the chapters 
in Chronicles" (t), and says "the 66 (in ver. 20) is a correction of an 
editor" (Om. pp. 378, 882). Dr. Driver also brackets "Jacob and his 
MM" (ver. 8), and the "threescore-and-six " of ver. 26, and all ver. 27, 
but " threescore and ten " as additions to the original text (Otnesit, p. 368). 
There is no authority for any of these assertions or changes, which create 
difficulties, and remove none. Even in Dr. Driver'* revised text, Er and 
Onan, who never were in Egypt, and Joseph's two sons, wli<> never were in 
Canaan, are needed to make up the 70 " that came down with Jacob to 

jpt " (vew. 26-27). 

' Pent., People's edit. p. 49. 


been unaware of a discrepancy which has been so obvious 
to his critics from the beginning ; and that the more likely 
explanation is, that he and his critics are proceeding on 
different principles in their reckonings. Nor is it hard, 
perhaps, to see where at least the main part of the solution 
lies ; the solution is, in fact, as old as the difficulty itself. 
In the first place, it must be observed that the firstborn in 
a family would be as often a daughter as a son ; this at once 
reduces the number of sons to each mother by one half. 1 
In the next place, it is on every ground unlikely that 
persons who were themselves married and heads of families 
would be reckoned as " firstborns." It is more reasonable 
to suppose that the reckoning was confined, as it has been 
expressed, " to the rising generation those who were still 
children in the houses of their parents " and that it did 
not include all who had ever been firstborns in their own 
generation ; fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, if 
still alive. That this was the real nature of the reckoning 
seems established, among other considerations, by the analogy 
of the firstborns in Egypt, where certainly fathers, grand- 
fathers, and more remote ancestors are not regarded as 
included in the judgment. 2 This again practically limits 
the firstborns to those under twenty. 3 These may have 
formed about a third of the total number, or, if regard be 
had to the longer ages of these times, may have been nearer 
a fourth. 4 Instead of 42 sons to each mother, there- 
fore, we are now brought down to nearly 5 ; and account 
has still to be taken of cases in which the firstborn of a 
family was dead, of polygamous marriages, or concubinage, 
where possibly only the firstborn of the house was reckoned, 5 
and of a probable diminished rate of marriage in the last 
years of the oppression, and in prospect of deliverance. 

1 Colenso ingenuously observes that this does not rid us of the difficulty, 
but only "changes the form of it, for each mother has still 42 children" 
(ibid. p. 50). But, with all respect, the daughters are there in any case, 
and have to be accounted for. 

2 Pharaoh, e.g., was himself probably a firstborn, but was not slain. 
On Colenso's view, in most houses there would be more than "one dead" 
(Ex. xii. 30). 

8 Colenso says that the text does not prescribe any such limit. But the 
text does not state at all on what principle the reckoning was made. 

4 Cf. Kohler's discussion, Bib. Gesch. pp. 288-89. 

8 In a family like Jacob's, e.g., how many "firstborns" would be 
reckoned ; Reuben, whom Jacob calls "my firstborn" (Gen. xlix. 3), or all 
the firstborns of the several wives ? Cf. the law, Deut. xxi. 15, 17. 


Thrso are not "harmonistic expedients," but explanations 
that lie in the nature of the case, and are obviously 
suggested by the reckoning itself. 

The conclusion of our inquiry, therefore, brings us back 
to the point we started from strong confidence in the unity 
of the narrative, and in its essential historical credibility. 


To what result we must now ask does our whole 
investigation conduct us on the origin of the Priestly 
Writing, and the age and composition of the Pentateuch 
generally. We began by leaving it an open question 
whether, or how many, separate documents were employed 
in the compilation of that work, and if so, what were the 
ages and mutual relations of these documents. To what 
conclusions have we now been led ? 

For one thing, it is first to be said, not to the conclusion 
that Moses himself wrote the Pentateuch in the precise 
shape or extent in which we now possess it ; for the work, 
we think, shows very evident signs of different pens and 
styles, of editorial redaction, of stages of compilation. As 
before observed, its composition has a history, whether we 
are able ever to track satisfactorily that history or not. 
On the other hand, next, very strongly to the view of the 
unity, essential Mosaicity, and relative antiquity of the 
Pentateuch. The unity which characterises the work has 
its basis mainly in the history, knit together as that is by 
the presence of a developing divine purpose ; but arises also 
from the plan of the book, which must have been laid down 
early, by one mind, or different minds working together, 
while the memory of the great patriarchal traditions was yet 
fresh, and the impressions of the stupendous deliverance 
from Egypt, and of the wonderful events connected with, 
and following it, were yet recent and vivid. In the collation 
and preparation of the materials for this work some of 
them, perhaps, reaching back into pre-Mosaic times and 
the laying of the foundations of the existing narratives, to 
which Moses by his own compositions, according to constant 
tradition, lent the initial impulse, many hands and minds 
may have co-operated, and may have continued to co- 
operate, after the master-mind was removed ; but unity of 



purpose and will gave a corresponding unity to the product 
of their labours. So far from such a view being obsolete, or 
disproved by modern criticism, we hold that internal in- 
dications, external evidence, and the circumstances of the 
Mosaic age itself, unite in lending their support to its 

1. It is in favour of the view we defend that it is in line 
with the Bible's own constant tradition of the Mosaicity of 
the Pentateuchal books, which the modern hypothesis 
contradicts at every point. The Biblical evidence on this 
subject of Mosaic origin is often unduly minimised, but it is 
really very strong and pervasive. Apart from the assump- 
tion of the existence of a "book of the law of Moses" in 
passages of the historical books, 1 and the implication of its 
existence in passages where it is not expressly mentioned : 2 
apart also from the firm belief of the Jews in the days of 
our Lord and His apostles a belief which our Lord 
Himself shared 3 there can be no question : 

(1) That all the three Codes the Book of the Covenant, 
the Deuteronomic discourses, and the Levitical Code 
profess to come from Moses, and the first and second 
profess to have been written by him. 4 

(2) That the Deuteronomic discourses imply the existence, 
in substance and in part in written form, of the JE history ; 
and that the P writing, likewise, presupposes the JE history, 
with which, in its narrative part, it is parallel. 6 

(3) That king Josiah and the Jewish people of his day 
received Deuteronomy as a genuine work of Moses, and that 
the nation ever after regarded it as his. 6 

(4) That the Jewish people of Ezra's time similarly 
accepted the whole Pentateuch including the Levitical 
legislation as genuinely Mosaic. 7 

(5) That the Samaritans received the Pentateuch at the 
hands of the Jews as an undoubtedly Mosaic book. 8 

To these firm strands of tradition we may with 
much confidence attach ourselves, without feeling that 

1 Josh. i. 7, 8 ; viii. 30-35 ; xxiv. 26 ; 2 Kings xiv. 6 ; cf. 2 Chron. 
xxv. 4, etc. 

a E.g., 1 Kings viii. 4 ff. 

3 See Note B on our Lord's Testimony to Moses. 

4 Cf. above, pp. 99, 152, 262. 8 Cf. above, pp. 107, etc. 

6 Cf. above, pp. 257 ff. 7 Ezra vi. 18 ; Neh. xiii. 1 ; cf. Mai. iv. 4. 
8 See Note C on the Samaritan Pentateuch. 


" traditionalist," in such a connection, is any term of 
reproach. As has happened in the case of the New 
Testament, 1 so, it may be predicted, it will prove also in the 
case of the Old, that greater respect will yet come to be 
paid to consentient tradition than it is now the fashion to 
accord to it 

2. It is not, however, tradition merely which supports 
the idea of an essential Mosaicity of the Pentateuch. A 
strict application of critical metJwds leads to the same 
conclusion. We may sum up here the chief results at 
which we have arrived. 

(1) We have found no good reason for separating the 
J and E of the critics, and regarding them as independent 
documents ; and as little for placing their origin as late as 
the ninth or eighth century. We attach, as formerly said, 
no importance to the supposed mirroring of later events in 
the narratives, on which the argument for a late date is 
chiefly founded. 2 Gunkel, we saw, can find no trace in the 
tradition in Genesis, apart from the reference to Edom 
(chap, xxvil 40), which looks beyond 900 B.C.;* and the 
bulk of the JE narrative may well go back to Mosaic or 
immediately post-Mosaic times. The older scholars did not 
feel the need of bringing it, at latest, below the days of the 
undivided kingdom, and there is no new evidence. 

(2) We have been led, on historical and critical grounds, 
to reject the theory of the Josianic origin of Deuteronomy, 
and, in accordance with the claim of the book itself, to 
affirm the genuineness of the Deuteronomic discourses, 
substantially in the form in which we have them. But 
Deuteronomy, as repeatedly shown, attests the existence 
and Mosaic character of the Book of the Covenant, 4 founds 
upon the JE history, and involves at least the presence of a 
measure of Levitical legislation. 5 

1 Cf. Harnack, Chron. d. Altehrist. Lit., p. viii. 

1 See above, pp. 111-12. Kuenen says : " References to historical facts, 
.v eh as might give a clue to the dates of composition, are exttvniely rare in 
the ' prophetic narratives of the Hezateuch.' Hex. p. 237. Still be finds 
a few, as he thinks, in Edom, the wars of the Syrians, etc. In P there are 
none such. 

> Genesis, p. Ixii. See above on Edom, pp. 112, 209 ; also below, p. 878. 

4 Dillmann puts the Decalogue and Book of the Covenant "in the first 
days of the possession of the land, at latest in the days of Samuel." J 
Jo. p. 644. He finds a few traces of later revision. 

See above, Chap. VIII. 


(3) "We have found that there are the strongest critical 
reasons for denying that the P vsriting (the peculiarities of 
which are acknowledged) ever subsisted as an independent 
document, and for regarding it, especially in Genesis, as 
mainly a "framework" enclosing the contents of JE, 1 
though it has also, at certain points, its original, and, in 
parts, considerable contributions to bring to the history. 
We found ourselves compelled to reject the post-exilian 
date assigned to the laws in this writing by the critics ; but 
equally (here in agreement with the Wellhausen school) 
the mediating view of those who regard the Code as a 
private document originating in priestly circles under the 
monarchy. 2 There remains as the only alternative to the 
post-exilian date the view which was also that of the 
older scholars of the substantially Mosaic origin of the 
laws. 3 It has been seen that these contain no anachronisms, 
but keep strictly within the limits of the Mosaic age. 4 If, 
however, the laws are early, there can be no good reason for 
doubting the antiquity of the history with which they are 
connected, for it was simply the assumption of the late date 
of the laws which led, for consistency's sake, to the putting 
of the history late. 5 Further, from the close relation 
subsisting between P and JE in the narratives, we are 
compelled to assign both, as elements in a composite work, 
to practically the same age. 

3. Taking the Book of Genesis by itself, we may con- 
fidently affirm that, apart from the few words and phrases 
commonly adduced, as "The Canaanite was then in the 
land," 6 " Before there reigned any king over the children of 
Israel," 7 there are no indications which point necessarily 
beyond the Mosaic age, 8 and even these do not point later 
than the early days of the kingdom if they do even this. 

1 See earlier in chapter, pp. 340 ff. a See above, Chap. IX. pp. 326 ff. 
3 Cf. pp. 328-29 above. 4 See above, p. 294. 

8 See above, pp. 200, 334. 

6 Gen. xii. 6 ; xiii. 7. The proper meaning of these passages seems to 
us to be that the Canaanites comparatively recent settlers (cf. Gen. xiv. 
5-7 ; Deut. ii. 10-12, 20-23 ; see below, p. 529) were already in the land 
when Abraham entered it. No Jew needed to be informed that the Canaanites 
had not then been dispossessed. 

7 Gen. xxxvi. 81. 

8 Whether as part of the original text, or a reviser's note, the words 
naturally suggest that when they were written kings were reigning in 
Israel. The list of Edom's kings, on the other hand, does not necessarily 


"The Book of Genesis," siiys Kuenen himself, in words 
a In -july quoted, "may here be left out of account, since 
the picture it contains of the age of the patriarchs gives no 
unequivocal indications of the period at which it was 
produced." 1 On the other hand, there are not a few in- 
dications in the book, as well as references to it in other 
books, which imply a high antiquity this, also, especially 
in its Elohistic parts. There is reason for believing that the 
narratives of the creation and the flood in the P sections are 
very old. 8 The Fourth Commandment in Exodus is based, 
both in chap. xx. 11 and chap. xxxi. 17, on the sabbath- 
rest of God in Gen. ii. 1-3 a fact doubly significant if, as 
Graf allows, " the Decalogue in the form in which it appears 
handed down in Ex. xx. is manifestly older and more 
original than that in Deut. v." 8 Deut. iv. 32 seems to be 
a clear reference to the Elohistic account of the creation, 
witli its characteristic word bara (" in the day when 
Kl'ihim created man upon the earth"). The list of the 
eight kings of Edom in Gen. xxxvi., which stops with 
Hadar (ver. 39), apparently a person still living, points to a 
date considerably earlier than Saul or David, when the inde- 
pendence of the kingdom ceased. 4 Colenso, who is our ally 
here against the post-exilian theory of the P narrative, points 
out quite a number of other expressions which look back 
to Genesis. 6 He mentions, e.g., the phrase in Deuteronomy, 
" Unto them and to their seed after them " (chaps, i. 8, 
iv. 37, x. 15), in which there seems allusion to the re- 

earry us beyond the Mosaic age, and can hardly be extended to the time of 
Sauf (see below). Delitzach says on the passage : "It does not necessarily 
follow that the writer lived till the time of the Israelite kingdom, though 
it looks like it." Genesis, ii. p. 247. 

1 Hex. p. 42. Cf. above, p. 111. Dr. Driver says on the above allusions : 
"These are isolated passages, the inferences naturally authorized by which 
mi^lit not impossibly be neutralized by the supposition that they were later 
additions to the original narrative, and did not consequently determine by 
themselves the date of the book as a whole." Genesis, p. xv. 

See next chapter, pp. 402 ff. 

Geschicht. Biicker, p. 19 ; of. Delitzsch, Genesis, i. pp. 30-31 ; Colenso, 
Pent. Pt vi. p. 684 ; App. pp. 124 ff. 

4 Edom was under kings in Moses' time (Num. xx. 14), and it ia 
pomible that Hadar may be the king then referred to ; at least no stretch 
of reigns can easily bring Hadar down to the time of Saul. Delitzsch says : 
"There is nothing against the supposition that Q [ = PJis here communi- 
cating a document whose original author was a contemporary of Moses, and 
survived to the entry into the promised land." Gem-sis, ii. p. 249. 

8 Pent. Pt vi., as above. 


curring P formula in Gen. xvii. 8; xxxv. 12; xlviii. 2; cf. 
chaps, ix. 19, xvii. 7, 10, 19 ; the words in Deut. xxix. 13, 
" that He may be to thee an Elohim," which seems distinctly 
to refer to Gen. xvii. 7, 8, where alone we have such a 
promise under solemn covenant ; the declaration in Isa. liv. 9 
(at least not pos-exilian), " I have sworn that as the waters 
of Noah should no more go over the earth," etc., which 
refers to the P phraseology and covenant in Gen. ix. 11. 
The cumulative effect of these allusions, as against the 
modern theory, is very great. 

4. We have not attempted to go into detailed argument 
on the history of the language, 1 nor to rebut objections, 
more frequently heard earlier than now, 2 on the supposed 
ignorance of the Hebrews in the Mosaic age of the art of 
writing. The discussion of the language lies beyond our 
province ; and discovery, as already seen, has thrown such 
remarkable light on the existence, and wide diffusion of 
writing, in antiquity, specially among the peoples with 
whom the Hebrews were brought most closely into contact 
(Babylonia, Egypt, Palestine), 3 as to place the possibility 
of such literary labours as we have been supposing beyond 
reasonable doubt. Few, therefore, now found on the 
assumption that writing was unknown, or not practised, 
among the early Hebrews ; 4 less even is heard of the un- 
likelihood of an " undisciplined horde " of nomads possess- 
ing a knowledge of letters. 5 Every indication shows that 
the Hebrews, as they came up out of Egypt, were not a 
people of this character, but had a good knowledge of the 
arts and ways of civilised life. 6 The Pentateuch, we saw 

1 Cf. the general argument in Chap. III. 

2 The argument was formerly very often urged, as by Von Bohlen, 
Hartmann, etc., and is still occasionally met with. Cf. Reusa, e.g., Gesehichte 
des A.T., p. 96. Even DilJniann thinks it against the Mosaic com- 
position of the books that writing was not generally practised in the 
beginning of the people's history (Num.-Jos. p. 594). Later discoveries 
would probably have altered his opinion. 

8 Cf. above, pp. 78 if. ; see further in next chapter. 

4 Kuenen (quoted by Vos) says: "That the Israelites possessed an 
alphabet, and knew the art of writing, in the Mosaic age, is not subject 
to reasonable doubt, and is now almost universally ailmitted." Kautzsch, 
we have seen (p. 76), allows that Judg. viii. 14. (R.V.) proves that "the 
art of writing had been gradually disseminated among the lower people." 
Lit. o/O.T., p. 10. 

8 Thus Von Bohlen, etc. Most older scholars, however, e.g., Bleek, 
upheld the Mosaic use of writing. So Colenso. 

8 See above, pp. 79, 104, 154. 


before, assunu's a knowledge of the art of writing; 1 and 
if such knowledge was possessed by Moses, and those about 
him, there can be little doubt but that it would be used. 
There seems, accordingly, no bar in the way of the supposition 
that in the age of Moses the main features of the language 
as a vehicle of literary expression were already established, 
and, in some form of script, the use of writing may go back 
much earlier. 2 On this point Dr. Driver says : " It is not 
denied that the patriarchs possessed the art of writing"; 
but he thinks that the use of documents from the patriarchal 
age is " a mere hypothesis, for the truth of which no positive 
grounds can be alleged." 8 Even if it were so, it would be 
in no worse case than much in the critical view itself, 
which, if anything in the world ever was, is hypothesis 
built on hypothesis. 4 The value of a hypothesis is the 
degree in which it explains facts, and, in the silence of 
the Book of Genesis, 6 we can only reason from general 
probabilities. But the probabilities, derived from the state 
of culture at the time, from the fixed and circumstantial 
character of the tradition, and from the archaeological 
notices embedded in the book,' are, we think, strong, that 
the Hebrews, even in the patriarchal age, were to some extent 
acquainted with books and writing. If so, we may believe 
that at an early period, in Egypt under Joseph, if not before, 
attempts would be made to set down things in writing. 7 

5. "We have used the term "collaboration" and "co- 
operation " to express the kind and manner of the activity 
which, in our view, brought the Pentateuchal books into 
their present shape, 8 less, however, as suggesting a definite 
theory of origin, than as indicating the labour of original 
composers, working with a common aim, and towards a 
common end, in contrast with the idea of late irresponsible 
redactors, combining, altering, manipulating, enlarging at 

1 See above, pp. 80 ff. 

'The question of the script used in early Hebrew writing (old 
Phoenician, cuneiform, Minn-ant) ia one of great difficulty, on which 
opinions are much divided. In the view of some the use of the Mm-nician 
alphabet by the Israelites does not go back beyond about 1000 B.C. But 
this is unlikely. See Note D on Early Hebrew Writing. 

1 Genesis, p. zlii. 4 See Note on Hypotheses in Criticism. 

8 The silence most not be pressed too far. See above, p. 80. 

See above, pp. 78 ff. ; and cf. next chapter. 

7 Cf. Rommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, pp. 277, 296. 

See above, pp. 216, 354. 


pleasure. It has been shown how the critical theory itself 
tends to approximate to this idea of " co-operation " in the 
production of the Hexateuch, 1 though at the other end of 
the development. What it puts at the end, we are disposed 
to transfer to the beginning. 

Beyond this we do not feel it possible to go with any 
degree of confidence. It may very well be though every- 
thing here is more or less conjectural that, as already 
hinted, the original JEP history and Code embraced, not 
simply the Book of the Covenant, but a brief summary of 
the Levitical ordinances, analogous, as Dillmann thinks, to 
the so-called Law of Holiness ; possibly also, as Delitzsch 
supposes, a short narrative, in its proper place, of the last 
discourses of Moses, and of his death. 2 We have seen 
that Deuteronomy, in its original form, was probably an 
independent work ; the priestly laws, also, would be at first 
chiefly in the hands of the priests. Later, but still, in our 
opinion, early possibly in the times immediately succeeding 
the conquest, but not later than the days of the undivided 
kingdom the original work would be enlarged by union with 
Deuteronomy, and by incorporation of the larger mass of 
Levitical material. In some such way, with possible re- 
vision by Ezra, or whoever else gave the work its final 
canonical shape, our Pentateuch may have arisen. 

It is difficult, however, to suppose that this large work, 
assuming its origin to be as early as we have suggested, 
ever had, in its completeness, any wide circulation, or was 
frequently copied in its entirety. As in the Christian 
Church, before the days of printing, it was customary to 
copy out selected books and portions, as the Psalter, or 
the Gospels ; so, it may reasonably be presumed, the parts 
of the Pentateuch copied out for general use, and in more 
common circulation, would ordinarily be those to which we 
still turn as the more interesting and edifying the story 
of the patriarchs and of Moses, the history of the Exodus 
and the wanderings, the Book of Deuteronomy, short digests 
of laws, etc. The detailed Levitical Code would be left to 
the priests, and would be known mainly through the praxis, 

1 See Note F on the idea of " Co-operation " in Critical Theory. 

* See above, p. 284. Similarly, in place of the present detailed de- 
scriptions, there may have been snorter accounts of the making of the ark 
and tabernacle. 


or by oral instruction at the sanctuary. The "law of 
Jehovah," of which we read so much in the Psalter, by 
which the piety of the godly in Israel was nourished, which 
enlightened, converted, directed, warned, comforted, cleansed, 
made fruitful, the souls that delighted in it, was assuredly, 
at before remarked, 1 something very different from the dry 
Levitical regulations. The versions of these books in 
circulation would also have their vicissitudes; would 
undergo the usual textual corruptions ; may have received 
unauthorised modifications or additions; may have had 
their Jehovistic and Elohistic recensions. But the sense in 
pious minds that it was Jehovah's " law " embodying the 
" words of His lips " * which they were dealing with would 
check rash freedoms, and the means of correction would 
never be wholly lost God's people had a "Bible" then, 
and, as it comes to us from their hands, we may cherish 
the confidence that it has suffered no change which unfits 
it for being our Bible also. 8 

1 See above, pp. 263-64. 

* Ps. xvii. 4 ; of. Pea. i., xviii. 21, 22, xix. 7-11, XXY., etc. 

1 The statements made as to the liberties taken with the text of the 
Hebrew Scriptures in pre-Christian times are often much too sweeping. 
See Note C on the State of the Hebrew Text 



IT is not proposed to discuss at length the problems con- 
nected with the age, authorship, and credibility of the later 
historical books of the Old Testament. Incidentally the 
history in the later books has been defended in the pre- 
ceding chapters, and will receive further illustration in the 
chapter on archaeology. The Pentateuchal question is, as 
everyone acknowledges, the fundamental one in Old Testa- 
ment criticism. If that stone can be dislodged, the critics 
have shaken the edifice of the Old Testament to its base. 
If the attack on that foundation is repelled, the succeeding 
history has not much to fear from assault. It will be 
sufficient here to indicate the bearings of the results already 
arrived at on the composition and authority of the later 

I. We may briefly indicate, first, the bearing of the 
acceptance of the critical theory on the age and value of 
the books in question. 

1. If the P element in the Pentateuch is of exilian or 
post-exilian date, then necessarily all assumed P sections 
in the Book of Joshua must be post-exilian also, and, on 
the theory, destitute of historical worth. This condemns, 
e.g., the whole account of the division of the land in the 
second half of Joshua. 1 Similarly, all passages or allusions 
in later books, which imply the existence of P or its institu- 
tions must (or may) be held to be late. Everything of this 
nature, therefore, tent of meeting, Levites, high priest, etc., 
is usually struck out as interpolation. The Levitical 
representations in the Books of Chronicles are a priori 
discredited, and put out of court as worthless. 

1 Of. below, pp. 379-80. 


2. In the same way, if Deuteronomy is a composition 
of the age of Josiah, then all Deuteronomic sections, or 
revisions in the D style, of the historical books, 
must be later than Deuteronomy, and cannot be taken as 
genuine history. Large sections of Joshua the reading 
of the law on Mount Ebal, e.g., chap. viii. 30 if. and of 
Judges, are thus discredited as the unhistorical work of 
a D 1 or D 2 , etc. 1 The Books of Kings are a late com- 
pilation from a Deuteronomic point of view, and exhibit 
a revision of the history in a Deuteronomic spirit which 
amounts, in its effect, to a falsification of it. 2 The mystery 
is why this Deuteronomic revision has left nearly untouched 
the Books of Samuel, 8 and, in view of most, the narratives 
of the Pentateuch. 4 

3. If the JE narratives belong at earliest to the ninth or 
eighth centuries, a presumption is created, in the opinion 
of the critics, in favour of their legendary character, and 
all additions or redactions of members of the " school " must 
be later, and less trustworthy, still As Deuteronomy rests 
on the JE histories, the late date of that book is held to 
be confirmed. 

II. The matter presents itself in a very different light 
when looked at from the opposite point of view. 

1. If the P sections in the Pentateuch are not of post- 
exilian date, but go back to early times, there is no need 
for putting the P sections in Joshua late ; or for expunging 
the allusions to priesthood and tabernacle in the historical 
books ; or even, on this ground, for discrediting the state- 
ments of the Books of Chronicles. 6 Delitzsch, e.g., pre- 
cisely inverting the usual style of argument, finds his 
conclusion that "the literary activity of the Eluhistic pen 
reaches back to ancient times nearly approaching those 
of Moses " actually " confirmed by the Book of Joshua," with 
its account of the division of the lnnd. " Modern criticism," 
he says, " indeed greatly depreciates the historical authority 

1 Cf. Wellhausen, Hist, of Jvrati, p. 235. 

1 Ibid. pp. 228, 274, 281, etc. 

1 KnutzHch finds a few traces of Deuteronomic revision in Samuel (Lit. 
of O.T., pp. 95-96, 238); Driver apparently (with Budde) fewer (Intrnd. 
pp. 173, 188). 

4 "Comparatively infrequent" (Kautzsch, p. 95). 

See below, pp. 388-89. 


of the priestly narrator in matters relating to the history 
of the conquest; but the priestly narrator wrote also the 
main bulk of the account of the division, and this may 
lay claim to documentary authority. For that this history 
of the division is based upon written documents may be 
conjectured from its very nature, while the sepher (book) 
of the commissioners entrusted with the task of describing 
the land (chap, xviii. 9), shows that the division of the land 
was carried out with legal accuracy. ... It is therefore 
quite an arbitrary assertion, at least with respect to the 
history of the division, that the priestly narrator of the 
Book of Joshua was of more recent times than the Jehovist 
and the Deuteronomian, and it is certainly possible that 
the Deuteronomian himself composed and formed the Book 
of Joshua from Jehovistic and Elohistic models." 1 

2. If Deuteronomy is not late, but early, and if the 
discourses contained in it are in substance really Mosaic, 
then the reason falls for discrediting the D sections and 
colouring in Joshua, Judges, and Kings. A good deal, we 
shall see below, 2 is taken for granted in speaking of 
" Deuteronomic " revision. In any case, assuming such to 
be present, it neither, on the view we uphold, argues late 
date nor unhistorical presentation. There is no longer 
ground, e.g., for questioning the genuineness in substance 
of such speeches as Solomon's at the dedication of the 
temple (1 Kings viii.), or the justice of the condemnation 
of the toleration of high places; or for regarding these 
"Deuteronomic" speeches as compositions of an exilian 
compiler. We do not deny that there may be a measure 
of freedom in the reproduction of the speeches, but they 
need not on that account be late, or untrue to the occasion 
on which they were delivered. 

III. The critical treatment of the historical books is 
itself a strong argument for the second of these views 
rather than the first. Not only does the critical hypothesis 
imply invention and falsification of history on an unpre- 
cedented scale, but it results in a disintegration of the 

p. 49. See above, p. 242, and cf. Konig, art. "Judges," in 
Hastings' Diet, of Bible, who shows that the partition is implied in the 
"lot" of Judg. L (ii. p. 820). 
3 See also above, p. 255. 


books in a fashion as complicated and bewildering as in 
the Pentateuch analysis, and often, as the radical disagree- 
ment of critics shows, as assumptive and arbitrary. 

The Book of Joshua has already been referred to. A 
few remarks may be made on the others. 

In general, it is not denied that the historical books 
are compilations, for the most part, from older writings, 
which criticism is quite within its rights in endeavouring 
to distinguish if it can. It is the fact that the books 
embody old and authentic material which gives them their 
value. The narratives incorporated in the Book of Judges, 
e.g., must in many cases have taken shape not long after 
the events which they relate, the Song of Deborah is 
practically contemporary, 1 and the sources of the Books 
of Samuel are, in like manner, very old. There seems no 
ground for doubting the view, borne out by the notices in 
the later books, that the prophets themselves from Samuel 
on acted as the sacred " historiographers " of their nation, 
and that it is to narratives composed by them that we owe 
the greater part of the material embodied in our canonical 
writings* (hence the name "former prophets" applied to 
Joshua 2 Kings, excepting Ruth). What is objected to is 
not a cautious discrimination based on the clear phenomena 
of the books, but the assumption of the ability to dissect 
a historic book into its minutest parts, and distribute out 
the fragments to writers of widely separated ages, with 
frequently a wholesale impeachment of the integrity of 
the composers. 

1. We take the Book of Judges as a first example. In 

1 See above, p. 76. Such allusions, e.g., as those to Jerusalem and Gezer 
(chap. i. 21, 29), point to a date hefore the monarchy, though the book as 
a whole implies that it was compiled when the kingdom was settled 
(chaps, xvii. 6, xviii. 1, xix. 1, etc.). 

Cf. Kirkpatrick, Divine Library of O.T., pp. 13 tt. (so in Introd. to 
Samuel); Ottlry, Aspects of O.T., p. 145, etc. ; of older writers, Bleek, 
Introd. i. pp. 175 ff. ; S. Davidson, Introd. toO.T.,\\. pp. 68-69, 682 ff., etc. 
Ottley says: "There is little reason to doubt that the documents which 
form the substratum of the Books of Samuel and Kings were official notices 
of political events, and nearly conteni|K>iary narratives, some of which muy 
reasonably b sup|x>sn| in have been written bv prophets like Qad, Nathan, 
Iddo, and others" (p. 145). See Kirk|>atrick s remarks (Samuel, p. 10) 
on the view "that Samuel, Nathan, and God were the subjects, not the 
Authors, of the works referred to." In some cases the fact is |>aU-nt 
that the work is a history by the person named ; the presumption is it woa 
so in all. Cf. S. Davidson, Introd. ii. pp. 68-69 ; Zockler, Chronidct 
("Lange"), pp. 17 ff. ; etc. 


Kautzsch, who is by no means the extremest of the critics, 
we have the book parcelled out into a great number of 
elements. We have H 1 , an older stratum of Hero-Stories, 
constituting the nucleus of the book ; H 2 , Hero-Stories from 
the early kingly period; ri, fragments of a list of Judges 
from the later kingly period; Ki, the first Deuteronomic 
compiler; N and N 1 , pre-Deuteronomic compilers of the 
narratives in the appendix (" chaps, xx., xxi. originally came 
from this source, but have been thoroughly revised by a 
hand related to the Priests' Code ") ; K, the post-exilic editor 
or editors of the present book. In addition there are " later 
glosses" and " passages of doubtful origin" (Jephthah). As 
showing the minuteness of the analysis, we may give the 
parts attributed to N 1 "xvii. 2-4, 6, 12 ; xviii. la, 2*, 7*. 
10&, 14*, 15*, 18*, 20*, 30." 1 The asterisks mean worked 
over by redactors. Does criticism here by its very minute- 
ness not destroy confidence in itself ? 2 

It is the Deuteronomic editor of Judges who, we 
are told, has supplied the introduction and unhistorical 
"scheme" of the book, representing the alternate declen- 
sions and repentances of the people, with their corre- 
sponding experiences of oppression and deliverance. This 
is declared to be doubly unhistorical: (1) As picturing the 
people as a unity, " acting together, suffering together, re- 
penting together, ruled over as a whole by one judge at a 
time," wherea