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\LFRi;!) CAN E E 





( C 

Register No. 







Principal of Hackney College. 


Congregational (Onion of (Knglanti and 






established with a view to the promotion of 
Biblical Science, and Theological and Ecclesiastical 

It is intended that each Lecture shall consist of 
a course of Prelections delivered at the Memorial 
Hall, but when the convenience of the Lecturer shall 
so require, the oral delivery will be dispensed with. 

The Committee hope that the Lecture will be main 
tained in an Annual Series ; but they promise to 
continue it only so long as it seems to be efficiently 
serving the end for which it has been established, or as 
they may have the necessary funds at their disposal. 

For the opinions advanced in any of the Lectures, 
the Lecturer alone will be responsible. 






I. Theme Supremacy of the Bible as Revelation 3 

II. Importance of Theme, shown by Historical Survey ... 4 

And by Present Uncertainty of Doctrine of Inspiration... 1 1 

in. Limitation of Theme to Old Testament 13 

iv. Method of Treatment Inductive 16 

Three Steps in Inductive Method 19 

First Step, Textual Criticism, needs no Enlargement ... 21 

Nor does Second Step Exegetical Criticism 24 

Higher Criticism, Third Step, occupies throughout ... 25 

v. Headings of Treatment 27 

vi. Entire Subject, a Branch of Evolution Controversy ... 31 



First Question the Divine Origin of the Law 39 

A Preliminary Question the Historicity of Genesis... ... 40 

Ethnic Tradition, an important evidence 41 

I. Illustration of Ethnic Traditions of a Flood 42 

As preserved in Ancient Babylon 44 

And in Ancient Egypt 47 

And in India 48 

In Persia 52 

In China, Japan, Siam, Tartary, and Borneo 54 

In Phrygia 54 

viii Contents. 


In Greece, Rome, Scandinavia, and Wales 55 

And in North and South America 58 

Summary as to Deluge Tradition 62 

Further Illustration of Ethnic Tradition 63 

E.G. of Chaos 66 

And of Order of Creation 68 

And of Creation of Man limo terra 70 

And of Woman from Man s Rib 70 

And of Eden 71 

And of Serpent as Source of Evil ... ... ... ... 72 

And of Fall 74 

And of Tree of Life 77 

And of Ten Patriarchs 77 

And of Longevity of Patriarchs 78 

And of Three Sons of Noah 79 

And of Confusion of Tongues ... ... ... ... 80 

Summary as to Illustrative Ethnic Traditions 82 

n. Inferences concerning the Traditions of Genesis, viz. 

First, that they are Primitive 82 

Second, Original ... ... ... ... ... ... 84 

Third, Ancient 86 

Fourth, Pure 88 

Fifth, Historical 95 



The Historicity of Genesis still considered 99 

Evidence from Parallel Conclusions of Genesis and Science 100 

i. The Unity of the Race in Genesis and Science 101 

II. The Unity of Language 105 

in. The Genealogy of Races 109 

IV. God and Divine Things ,, ,, ... ... 120 

v. Creation in Genesis and Science 127 

General Conclusions ... ... ... ... ... ... 145 


Consequences of the Historicity of Genesis 153 

Problem of this Lecture who wrote Genesis 155 

I. History of Criticism of Pentateuch 155 

First Phase Astruc, Eichhorn, c. 157 

Contents. ix 


Second Phase De Wette, Bleek, Tuch, &c 161 

Third Phase Hupfeld, Ewald, Dillmann, &c 164 

Fourth Phase Reuss, Kuenen, Wellhausen, Renan, &c. 167 

Fifth Phase D Eichthal, Vernes 171 

ii. Internal Evidence of Date of Genesis 176 

Argument from Anachronisms 177 

Argument from Anatropisms ... 186 

Argument from Romancings 189 

Summary ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 190 

ill. Internal Evidence of Composite Character of Genesis ... 190 

Evidence from Use of Divine Names 191 

Evidence from Style 191 

Evidence from Usus Loquendi 194 

Evidence from Contradictory Narratives ... ... ... 196 

Summary 205 

TV. Theory of Authorship of Genesis 206 

Evidence of Revision 207 

Evidence from Name Jehovah 208 

Evidence from Precision in Use of Divine Names ... 210 

Evidence from Exclusion of Jehovah from Personal Names 2 1 3 

And from Names of Places 214 

Evidence from Characteristics of Jehovist 217 

Theory as to Jehovist summarized 220 

Theory as to Elohist 221 

Summary ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 222 



Corollary from preceding Lecture ... ... ... ... 227 

Problem of this Lecture Authorship of Law 229 

Two Rival Theories ... ... ... ... ... ... 230 

Statement of Journal Theory 230 

Statement of Evolutionary Theory ... ... ... ... 231 

I. Evidence for Journal Theory 237 

Testimony of the Books themselves 237 

Apparent Method of Composition ... ... ... ... 238 

Illustration in the Laws of Passover 243 

Reuss s Examination of Journal Theory 247 

II. Evidence for Evolutionary Theory ... ... ... ... 250 

Wellhausen s Position 252 

Is the Position true 254 

The Priestly Code known to Book of Joshua 255 

x Contents. 

} AGE 

And to Book of Judges 261 

And to Books of Samuel ... ... ... ... ... 266 

And to the Psalms 272 

And to the Prophetical Books proper 277 

As is proved by Amos 278 

And by Hosea 284 

Summary 289 

III. Conclusion in favour of Mosaic Authorship ... ... 290 

Collateral Evidence 291 



Summary of preceding Investigation 297 

Further Question Is the Law credible as Revelation? ... 299 

A Priori Objection to Revelation considered 299 

Evidence to the Supernatural Origin of the Law 302 

I. In the Theocratic Nature of Legal Code ... ... ... 302 

ii. In its Didactic Significance 305 

Considered generally 307 

And considered specifically, e.g., in its Doctrine of God 309 

And in its Doctrine of Sin 311 

And in its Doctrine of Salvation ... ... ... ... 313 

And in its Doctrine of the Church 318 

III. In the Evolutionary Process Illustrated 322 

The Law a Supernatural Successor 323 

The Law a Supernatural Forerunner 327 

iv. In the Supernatural Setting of the Legal Code 337 

v. In the Substantiation of Revelation by Miracles ... 338 

vi. In the Inspiration involved in Revelation ... ... 339 

vii. In the Authorship of Moses 341 



The Prophets, the Second Section of the Old Testament ... 345 

Are the Prophetical Books Historical ? 347 

Are they of Divine Origin ? 347 

i. The Nature of Prophecy 348 

As seen, first, in its History 348 

And, second, in its Claims 350 

Contents. xi 


II. The Divine Origin of Prophecy ... ... ... ... 355 

As seen, first, in its Religious interest ... ... ... 355 

And, second, in its Predictive element 357 

ill. The Divine Origin of the Non-Messianic Prophecies ... 359 

Isaiah s Prediction of the Fall of Babylon 361 

Predictions concerning Israel, viz. 

The Exile Generally 365 

And the Captivity of Ephraim 366 

And the Captivity of Judah ... ... ... ... 368 

And the Return from Exile 37^ 

And the Four Empires ... ... ... ... ... 373 

Predictions concerning Babylon 374 

And Nineveh 377 

And Tyre ... 379 

And Edom 381 

And Philistia, Moab, Ammon, and Elam , ... 383 

And Egypt 383 

Tholuck and Kuenen on Jeremiah s Prophecies 385 

IV. The Divine Origin of the Messianic Prophecies... ... 393 

Two Aspects of all Prophecy 395 

Development of Messianic Prophecy 397 

Fulfilment in Jesus 403 

Revealed Character of Messianic Prophecy 403 

v. The Divine Relations of the Prophetical Books ... ... 404 

The Prophetce Posterior es 405 

The Prophetce Priores ... ... ... ... ... 406 

Summary ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 414 



The Holy Writings the Third Section of the Old Testament 417 

General Principle applicable to all the Holy Writings ... 418 

The Inspiration of the Old Testament considered generally 420 

The Inspiration of the Old Testament specifically considered 423 

I. Hagiographic Inspiration ... ... ... ... ... 426 

II. Prophetic Inspiration 439 

III. Transcriptive Inspiration ... ... ... ... ... 448 

iv. Canonic Inspiration ... ... ... ... ... ... 453 

Conclusion 455 

xii Contents. 


Tabular View of Typical Analyses of Genesis 459 


Tabular View of the Analysis of Exodus, Leviticus, and 

Numbers, according to Wellhausen 466 

ERRATUM. On page 169, line 13, for "seventh" read 
" seventeenth." 





ONE of my predecessors in this Lectureship, upon 
whose honoured grave I feel it a pleasure to place 
another wreath, made it a large part of his life-work to 
remind us of the unique position of the Bible in the 
literature of the world. If the supremacy of Holy 
Scripture engaged the earlier manhood of Henry 
Rogers, as his justly famous Eclipse of FaitJi testifies ; 
the supremacy of Holy Scripture equally engrossed his 
maturest thinking, as is evident from his latest and 
finest work, The Superhuman Origin of the Bible In 
ferred from Itself. Very fresh and very cogent at all 
times was Mr. Rogers s exposition of his favourite 
theme. As, in his own trenchant and brilliant way, Mr. 
Rogers concentrated upon his momentous subject his 
marvellous insight, his exceptional generalization, his 
easy mastery of detail, his characteristic artistic skill, 
the old Book once more became new. We saw its 
catholicity ; we understood its popularity ; we ceased 
to wonder at its influence upon human life and thought ; 
we delighted in its prose ; we revelled in its poetry. 
The survival of the Bible was the most natural of things. 
Once more, as the gifted writer and theologian unfolded 

4 Introductory. [LECT. 

his specific thought, it seemed but reasonable that the 
Book of Books should be the story-book of our child 
hood, the guide of our youth, the inspirer of our man 
hood, and the solace of our age. 

In his Congregational Union Lecture Mr. Rogers gave 
us a study of the Supremacy of Scripture AS LITERATURE. 
I desire to approach this important subject of the supre 
macy of Scripture from another side. I propose to 
handle, with what faculty I can, the Supremacy of the 
Bible AS EEVELATION, all Revelation implying IN 

At once in illustration and in defence of my point of 
view, permit me to take a brief historical survey. 

In that gigantic but beneficent struggle, to which the 
name of the Reformation has been justly given, the 
supreme arbitrament in matters of religion was re-trans 
ferred from the Church to the Bible. The conflict 
between evangelical and papal that is to say, between 
Biblical and ecclesiastical Christianity having been 
first fought out in the breast of Luther, a similar 
conflict, in the Providence of God, was subsequently 
waged in the Diet of Worms, in the Genevan Republic, 
in the States-General of France, and in the Parliaments 
of England and Scotland. For Luther there was 
something of absurdity in any appeal to a higher 
standard of faith and practice than the Bible. " To 
put the Divine word beneath human invention," Luther 
was wont to say, "was to be deficient in understanding." 1 
Again and again, in many forms of speech, Luther 

1 Werke t edit. Walch, Halle, 1740-1753, vol. xviii. p. 254. 

I.] Importance of Theme. 5 

averred that " no Christian can be forced to bind himself 
by aught but the Holy Scriptures, which alone have 
Divine right." I Being the supreme revelation of God 
to man, the Bible was to the great initiator of the 
Reformation the supreme arbiter in matters of religion. 
This belief of Luther s as to the supremacy of Scrip 
ture as revelation all the Reformers shared. What 
the miner s son of Erfurt maintained with so much 
heroism, mother-wit, and persistence, each of the leading 
Reformers declared in his own place and in his own 
way. " He is deceived," said scholarly Melancthon, 
" who seeks the form of Christianity anywhere else than 
from the canonical Scriptures." 2 Pass from Wittenberg 
to Zurich, and gentle, large-hearted Zwingli has nothing 
else to say. " This is my view," writes Zwingli, " that 
the word of God must be held by us in the highest 
honour and that to no word such faith should be given 
as to that." 3 Similarly expresses himself the third 
member of that triad of theologians, the other members 
of which are Paul and Augustine, I mean John Calvin, 
who says, in his immortal Institutes, " If true religion 
is to enlighten us, our principle must be, that it is 
necessary to begin with heavenly teaching, and that it 
is impossible for any man to obtain even the minutest 
portion of right and sound doctrine without being a 
disciple of Scripture." 4 By common consent the Bible 
was regarded by the leading Reformers, as well as by 

1 Werke, vol. xviii. p. 254. 

- Corpus Reformatonim, Brunswick, 1834 to the present (still publish 
ing), vol. xxi. pp. 453, 685, 732. 

3 \Verkc, Turin, 1828, vol. i. p. 8 1 ; compare the extracts given in 
Hagenbacli, A History of Christian Doctrines, Edinburgh, 1881, vol. iii. 
pp. 41-43. 

4 Comp. Corpiis Reforinatonnn , vol. xxx. pp. 56-61, or vol. xxxi. pp. 

6 Introductory. [LECT. 

Luther, as the supreme revelation of God to man, and 
consequently as the ultimate rule of human faith. 

Naturally enough, therefore, the estimate of the 
Scriptures, framed by the great formative minds of the 
Reformation, became the cherished heirloom of the 
generations immediately succeeding them. Turn where 
we will in that age of creeds, and the doctrinal standards 
of Protestantism all avow the same reverence for " the 
Word of God," as they intelligibly named the sacred 
volume. " We believe, confess, and teach," runs the 
Formula of Concord, the confessional standard of the 
Lutheran Churches, "that the only rule and norm, accord 
ing to which all dogmas and doctors ought to be esteemed 
and judged, is no other whatever than the prophetic and 
apostolic writings both of the Old and New Testaments, 
as it is written, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and 
a light unto my path. " z Says the First Helvetic 
Confession, in which Reformed Switzerland gave voice 
to its religious convictions in 1536, "The holy, divine, 
biblical Scripture, which is the word of God, given by 
the Holy Spirit, and transmitted to the world by the 
prophets and apostles, is the most ancient, the most 
complete, and the supreme doctrine," containing " every 
thing which serves for the true knowledge, love, and 
honour of God, for right and true piety, and for the 
preparation of a pious, decorous, and blessed life." 2 In 
almost identical words spake the Huguenot Churches 
of France. " We believe," reads the Confessio Gallicana, 
" that the word contained in these books has proceeded 
from God, and receives its authority from Him alone, 

1 Schaff, The Cn-eds of the Evangelical Protestant Chttrches, London, 
1877, p. 94. 

2 Schaff, ib. p. 210. 

ij Importance of TJieine. 7 

and not from men ; and inasmuch as it is the rule of 
all truth, containing all that is necessary for the service 
of God and for our salvation, it is not lawful for men, 
or even for angels, to add to it, to take away from it, 
or to change it ; whence it follows," the Confession con 
tinues, " that no authority, whether of antiquity, or 
custom, or numbers, or human wisdom, or judgments, 
or proclamations, or edicts, or decrees, or councils, or 
unions, or miracles, should be opposed to these Holy 
Scriptures ; but, on the contrary, all things should be 
examined, regulated, and reformed according to them." * 
The parallel statements of the Thirty-nine Articles 
and of the Westminster Confession it is needless to 
quote. In fact, the citations given are but a few out 
of very many. It was in harmony with the entire spirit 
of the historical churches which sprang from the Refor 
mation, that the Bible should be regarded therein as 
the supreme Divine revelation, and therefore the supreme 
rule of religious faith and practice. 

Three centuries have passed since the birth of 
Protestantism. They have been centuries of much 
controversy. Conflict, too, has often gathered thick 
around the Protestant doctrine of the supremacy of 
Scripture as revelation. So the extant literature 
shows clearly. Undoubtedly the religious life of an 
age is not to be judged wholly by its literature. Human 
chronicles too frequently describe noisy change rather 
than silent growth. In every age there are lives spent, 
victories won, sacrifices made, thoughts moulded, and 
errors unmasked, the sole memorial of which is in the 
great book of the recording angel. Who, for example, 

1 Schaff, 77/6- Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Clntnhes, p. 310. "? 

8 Introductory. [LECT. 

would undertake, from the extant records a few letters, 
and a few brief manuals for catechumens to tell the 
true story of that fruitful century which followed the 
martyrdom of Paul and Peter? The seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries shall not therefore be too hastily 
judged ; for they too had their nobleness and self-denial 
and growth, which no chronicles register or could 
register, their secret deeds of holiness, their unsung 
heroism, their great thoughts no less deep and influ 
ential for being still and silent. Nevertheless, these 
centuries were to a great extent iconoclastic and con 
troversial. The followers of Socinus had much to say 
against the supremacy of Scripture as revelation. So 
had the Deists. Men like Toland and Tindal desired, 
by their popular criticism and attack, to unsettle the 
common faith in the authority of Scripture. Nay, the 
Deism of England gave birth to the great rationalistic 
movements of France and Germany, quite naturally, 
be it observed, for he who plants the seeds of error 
should expect a crop of heresy. They were Deistic 
quills, alas, which fledged the arrows of Voltaire. If 
German Rationalists have brought weapons of precision 
to bear upon the Bible, let it not be forgotten that it 
was the English Deists who first taught these skilled 
assailants to carry arms. There would have been no 
Semler if there had been no Bolingbroke ; there would 
have been no Strauss if there had been no Woolston. 
Now far be it from me to deny that these Socinian, 
Deistic, and Rationalistic attacks upon the Bible have 
had their use in the great scheme of things. History 
has shown us again and again that Christian truth never 
crystallizes so readily and. so sharply as under the 
agitation produced by anti-Christian speculation. To 

I.] Importance of T lie me. 9 

continue the previous mode of expression had there 
been no Deists there would have been no Butler, and 
possibly no Wesley, no Whitefield. Notwithstanding, 
it is idle to ignore the fact that pronounced Protestant 
opinions as to the supremacy of Scripture as revelation, 
are found with less frequency at the close of the 
eighteenth century than at the close of the sixteenth. 

Continuing to descend the stream of time, this nine 
teenth century itself has also forged peculiar weapons 
with which to attack the Protestant doctrine of the 
supremacy of Scripture as revelation. These weapons 
have been cast in three armouries the armoury of 
philosophy, the armoury of the " higher criticism," and 
the armoury of the physical sciences. The century has 
produced the agnostic school of philosophy Agnosticism 
being a term which has been framed by a dominant 
school of thought to describe its ignorance concerning 
any sphere of knowledge outside the human senses ; but 
manifestly if Spencer and Clifford are right, Moses and 
Jesus cannot but be wrong. Again, splendid as have 
been the achievements of physical science in recent 
years and we cannot forget that this century will be 
known, practically, as the century of the steam-engine, 
the camera, the telegraph, and the spectroscope, and, 
theoretically, as the century of the regeneration of 
chemistry, geology, and biology nevertheless this wide 
spread occupancy with the world of force and matter 
has fostered a materialistic bias, which, combined with 
the prevalence of many unwarranted interpretations of 
Scripture, have engendered much doubt upon the re 
vealed character of Holy Writ. It would be vain to 
ignore that geology has seemed to many to conflict 
with the Mosaic narrative of the creation and deluge ; 

io Introductory. [LECT. 

that astronomy has also appeared to many to discredit 
the biblical account of the origin of the solar and stellar 
systems ; and that biology has apparently elevated the 
doctrine of atheistic evolution to the position formerly 
held by the conception of distinct creative acts. Yet 
again, Biblical Science itself has originated many theories 
which seem to militate against the Protestant doctrine of 
the supremacy of Scripture. Much of Biblical Science, 
it is true, is the child of this century, and has rendered 
very eminent service ; still, in this instance again, it 
would be blindness to forget that the many recent 
assaults upon the age and authenticity of the Pentateuch, 
upon the supernatural character of prophecy, upon the 
trustworthiness of the biblical miracles, and upon the 
reliableness of the Gospels and Epistles, have been 
working largely to the unsettlement of the Protestant 
doctrine of the supremacy of Scripture as revelation. 
Whilst cordially allowing that conflicts between rival 
hypotheses ultimately aid the attainment of truth, one 
must as frankly concede that a wide and popular grasp 
of truth cannot co-exist with a wide adherence to rival 
hypotheses. Good as the end is, one may deplore the 

Now in these controversies of the last three centuries, 
and especially in the prominent controversies of our own 
day, I think I see reason for the inquiry I have ventured 
to undertake. The Protestant doctrine of the supremacy 
of Scripture as revelation is manifestly on its trial. The 
truth concerning it cannot be reached by simply re 
peating the arguments of the great theologians of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These arguments 
are in some points as antiquated as the opinions they 
successfully traversed. Each age must fight its own 

I.] Importance of TJieine. 1 1 

doubts, and lay its own spectres, and formulate its own 
creed. In the providence of God, and in the progress of 
man, the new wine is ever bursting the old bottles. 
Every religious thinker is in duty bound to be timely. 
It is his duty to do what in him lies for the religious 
faith of his contemporaries. He best serves the future 
who serves the present. The needs of the present afford 
the best test of what is worth preserving from the past. 
No contribution to current opinion, however humble, 
can be useless, which is timely, honest, and painstaking. 

If I needed additional warrant to proceed, I think 
I should find it in the indefiniteness, if not disrepute, 
into which the doctrine of inspiration has fallen in many 
quarters. Not so long ago a very precise theory of in 
spiration was commonly avowed. The entire contents 
of the Bible, it was thought, were dictated by the Holy 
Spirit to the several writers, word for word, and syllable 
by syllable. It was not in parody, but in exposition of 
this view of inspiration, that Gaussen, one of the latest 
advocates of this theory, declared in his TJicopneustie, 
that " the literary style of Moses, Ezekiel, and Luke was 
the style of God." Now, whatever be the popular concep 
tion of inspiration, it would be difficult to find adherents 
to this mechanical theory among the theological writers 
of to-day. The heat, the passion of Coleridge s attack 
on this theory in his Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit 
seems to the modern reader like flogging a dead horse. 
Neither in England nor in France, neither in Germany 
nor in America, so far as I know, has any recent writer 
of mark declared for the mechanical theory of inspira 
tion, which was nevertheless generally received and 
maintained by the great theologians of the seventeenth 

1 2 Introductory. [LECT. 

century. A great vagueness, I fear, has fallen of late 
upon all deliberate statements concerning inspiration. 
Men know what theory they disbelieve ; they do not 
know how to express their belief in a theory. Even 
where adherence to the plenary inspiration of Scripture 
is avowed, what exactly is meant by plenary inspiration 
is rarely defined with clearness. Many, like Dr. William 
Lee, rest in the statement that, as humanity and Deity 
were really, but inexpressibly, united in the incarnate 
Word of God, so God and man are really but inexpres 
sibly united in the written word of God. 1 Others, 
again, whilst cleaving tenaciously to the formula of the 
plenary inspiration of Scripture, so dilute the idea of 
inspiration, as did Spinoza and many others, that in their 
view inspiration does not differ from the aroma floating 
around all works of genius. Schleiermacher and De 
Wette, Bunsen and Morell, apparently regarded inspira 
tion as the subjective excitement produced by revelation, 
the exhilaration of the fresh and novel. "The Scriptures 
contain the word of God," was the position of Tholuck, 
which has been reiterated in England by men like 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Arnold, and Arthur 
Stanley. It was in view of this fluidity of opinion con 
cerning the doctrine of inspiration that Dean Milman 
wrote, and wisely, more than twenty years ago, that " if 
on such subjects some solid ground be not found in 
which highly educated, reflective, reading, reasoning 
men may find firm footing, I can see nothing but a 
wide, a widening, I fear an irreparable breach, between 
the thought and religion of England." 2 In similar 

1 Inspiration of Holy Scripture ; its Nature and Proof , 1st edit., Dublin, 
1854, 5th edit. 1882. 

- History ofthejws, 4th edit. London, 1886, p. xxxiv. vol. i. 

I.] Importance of Tlieme. 13 

strains Prebendary Row felt himself constrained to say 
in his Bampton Lecture : " There is no one thing at the 
present day occasioning a greater amount of difficulty 
to a number of inquiring and deeply religious minds than 
some of the theories which have been propounded re 
specting the nature and extent of the inspiration under 
the influence of which the different books in the Bible 
have been composed." z And to mention yet another 
instructive American instance, not to name one nearer 
home, Dr. Ladd, a Professor in Yale College, recently 
wrote a book, certainly with much scholarship, thorough 
ness, ability, and force, which, penned confessedly in the 
interests of the Christian Faith, and professing to be a 
monograph upon the entire doctrine of Scripture, an 
nounced these notable results that in his view no 
scientific contents are to be found in the Bible ; that the 
genesis and early history of man recorded in the Bible 
are unhistorical ; that a very different credibility pertains 
to the miracles of the Old Testament to what pertains 
to those of the New ; and that prophetical inspiration 
does not guarantee historical accuracy. I am not 
criticizing Professor Ladd s contentions, at present ; I 
am simply citing them as a sign of the times. In such 
an atmosphere of opinion, no re-examination, in the 
light of modern research, into the data and doctrine of 
the inspiration of Scripture, provided that examination 
be reverent and earnest, can fail to be of some value. 

Thus far I have spoken of the general question of the 

1 Christian Evidences Viewed in Relation to Modern Thought, 3rd edit. 
London, 1881, p. 428. 

- The Doctrine of Sacred Scripture ; a Critical, Historical, and Dogmatic 
Inquiry info the Origin and Nature of the Old and Nezv Testaments, 
Edinburgh, 2 vols. 1883. 

14 Introductory. [LECT. 

authority of Scripture as the supreme rule of faith. It is 
now time to state that I have deliberately restricted my 
inquiry to the Old Testament. I have thus limited my 
view for several reasons. First, the Old Testament is the 
battlefield just now upon which the advocates of the 
natural and supernatural origin of things are engaged 
in a life and death struggle. As Dr. Bissell has well 
remarked, " it is safe to say, bating from the statement 
whatever you please for any partiality we might have for 
favourite studies, that not a few of the problems with 
which the minds of thoughtful men are grappling to-day, 
directly concern the Hebrew Scriptures. It is the 
Book of Genesis that we couple in our thinking with 
certain puzzling questions of geology and cosmography. 
It is the same book that serves as point of departure for 
the still-mooted subject, when human history had its 
beginning, and how it began. It is to the Old Testament 
chiefly that the science of archaeology, opening up in our 
day so broad a field and awakening in its devotees so 
inspiring an ardour, comes to lay down its stores of 
gathered facts and illustrations. It is significant, too, that 
an eminent Assyriologist published, not long ago, as the 
result of special study in this department, a discussion 
of the question more practical in its bearing than might 
appear Where was Paradise ? And it is not geography 
or history or chronology alone that these priceless records 
are teaching us. They are enriching our lexicons and 
correcting our grammars as well. As if all this were 
not enough to quicken our flagging zeal, and teach us 
that the Hebrew Scriptures can never be divorced from 
the Greek Scriptures in our reverential study, the heaviest 
cannonading of Biblical criticism is just now heard among 
these earliest records of our faith. Around the Gospels 

I.] Limitation to Old Testament. 15 

and Epistles there is for the moment a comparative lull 
in the conflict, while Moses and his great work are sharply 
challenged." * Secondly, much more attention has been 
bestowed upon the inspiration of the New Testament 
than of the Old, a restriction of view which is very 
natural, seeing that the life, the character, the teaching, 
and the miracles of Jesus and His apostles, afford such 
manifest evidence for the revealed character of the 
Gospels and Epistles. Thirdly, the data for the doctrine 
of Old Testament inspiration whilst less commonly 
studied, have a fascination all their own. Fourthly a 
personal reason Old Testament studies have for some 
time been peculiarly congenial to me. 2 And lastly, the 
very different contents of the two Testaments, as well 
as the limitations of time, suggest the desirability of 
narrowing my theme. To these reasons let me add that 
I believe it will be seen, as my subject unfolds, that a 
similar line of argument is equally applicable to the New 
Testament, and that I have not selected the easier task. 

Two questions, then, are to be discussed in these 
lectures, namely : on the one ha?td ) the DATA, and, on the 
other hand, the DOCTRINE of the Inspiration of the Old 

1 The Pentateuch ; its Origin and Structure. An Examination of Recent 
Theories, London, 1885. 

- Compare my Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, 1877; my introduction to 
the Pulpit Commentary on Leviticus, 1882; and various articles on Old 
Testament subjects, e.g., " The Critical Estimate of Mosaism," in 77/6 
Princeton Revieiv for 1877 ; "On the Latest Phase of the Pentateuch Ques 
tion," in The British and Foreign Evangelical Review for April, 1880 ; 
" Professor Robertson Smith and the Pentateuch " in the same Review for 
October, 1880, ; " Evolution and the Hebrews," in the same Review for 
January, 1881 ; " The Old Testament in the Jewish Church," in the same 
Review for October, 1881 ; also a concise tract published by the Religious 
Tract Society in several forms When was the Pentateuch Written ? 

1 6 Introductory. [LECT. 

From this mode of presenting the subject it will be seen 
that we are to be engaged upon an inductive inquiry. 

Two methods have been adopted for proving the in 
spired character of Scripture the dogmatic and the in 
ductive methods. According to the dogmatic method, the 
testimony of the Bible has been cited to its own contents, 
a series of texts being quoted, in more or less order, and 
with more or less regard to the historical development 
of the books quoted. According to the inductive method, 
the phenomena of the Bible its history, its law, its 
miracle, its prophecy, its doctrine, its words have been 
critically examined. In these lectures, the latter method 
will be pursued. Having first classified, criticized, and 
weighed our data, we shall afterward infer our doctrine. 
In other words, the doctrine of the inspiration of the Old 
Testament is to be defined and illustrated in the course 
of the inquiry ; it is not to be initially asserted. 
All the facts concerning inspiration presented by the 
Old Testament are to be examined, as far as possible 
without bias or prepossession, with a view to ulti 
mately ascertaining the conclusions these facts warrant. 
The familiar conclusions of Protestant theology are 
not to be assumed at the outset. Seeing that proof- 
texts can only assure us of the claims made by the Bible 
on its own behalf, and cannot assure us of the credi 
bility of those claims, start is not to be made with proof- 
texts. In short, an attempt is to be made to avoid that 
circle of reasoning by which the book is assessed by the 
texts, and the texts by the book. The following inquiry 
is to be inductive. 

A parallel case will possibly make the method clearer. 
Let us suppose ourselves searching, for once, into the 
truth of Mahometanism. As our search is prosecuted, 

I.] Method. 17 

we speedily discover that the investigation narrows itself 
down to the question as to the Divine origin of the 
Koran. Now in the pages of the Koran itself, its contents 
are ascribed to the dictation of the angel Gabriel. What 
Gabriel spoke, Mahomet wrote. But do proof-texts 
from the Koran settle the matter ? Assuredly not. We 
desire information upon the credibility of the Koran. 
The literary testimony must itself be critically tested ; 
the textual evidence requires evidence extra-textual 
in support. In brief, an inductive inquiry must be 
instituted into the veracity of the assertions of the Koran. 

Similarly, in examination of the claims of the Bible 
to Divine origin, an inductive investigation must be 
undertaken into its contents. Acknowledging the Old 
Testament to be an ancient religious record, and as such 
deserving of serious and prolonged study like any other 
great Sacred Book of the East, investigating the Old 
Testament by the same critical processes which have 
been so successfully applied to other literary monuments 
of the distant past, patient inquiry is to be made into 
its varied phenomena, with a view to arriving at sound 
conclusions upon those phenomena, their causes and 
their implications. Inquiry is to be made indeed 
whether, so far from being an ordinary book, the Old 
Testament be not so extraordinary as to belong to a 
category all its own. We submit the Bible to those 
critical tests to which all sacred books must submit. 

In the opening pages of his Religion of Israel, Dr. 
Kuenen has put this inductive point of view with his 
usual lucidity. " Surely," Dr. Kuenen says, " it is a fact 
that the sacred records of the Israelites and the Christians 
attribute to each of these two religions a supernatural 
origin. May we simply overlook this fact ? By no 


1 8 Introductory. [LECT. 

means. The rise of that belief among Israelites and 
Christians is one of the most important facts in their 
religious history, and must be not only acknowledged, 
but, if possible, explained." 1 The statement is incon 
testable. " But here, "continues the Dutch professor, " it 
behoves us not to forget that this belief is by no means 
exclusively characteristic of Israelites and Christians. 
They hold it in common with the adherents of many, 
nay, most other forms of religion. Zarathustra, Sakya- 
mouni, and Mahomet pass among their followers for 
envoys of the Godhead, and in the estimation of the 
Brahmin the Vedas and the Laws of Manou are holy, 
Divine books. At the same time, it does not follow from 
this that the description of these forms of religion must 
start from this belief. No one expects or requires this 
for Buddhism or Islam ; with what right, then, can it be 
demanded with respect to Judaism or Christianity ? " 
The case is stated in a strictly scientific spirit, let it be 
frankly confessed. But then Dr. Kuenen and here it 
is necessary to part company with him, if scientific 
impartiality is to be retained proceeds to regard all 
religions as nothing else than so many natural manifesta 
tions of the religious faculty of man. In the act of 
divesting himself of doctrinal assumptions, Dr. Kuenen 
laysdown a postulate of an extreme dogmatic complexion. 
Instead of presenting us with a rigorous induction from 
the facts he presents, Dr. Kuenen invites us to accept on 
the spot, and without proof, a first principle, which is as 
much an assumption as any advanced by the most 
illogical advocate of orthodoxy. "If we look," this 
famous critic continues, "upon those other religions" of 

1 The Religion of Israel to the Fall of the Jewish State, translated from 
the Dutch by Alfred Heath May. London, 1874, vol. i. pp. 5, 6. 

I.] Method. 19 

Persia, India, and Arabia " as so many manifestations 
of the religious spirit of mankind, are we not bound to 
examine the Israelitish and Christian religions also from 
the same point of view ? " In other words, having dis 
carded the axiom of the Divine origin of Judaism and 
Christianity, shall we not straightway lay down the 
axiom of their purely human origin ? Shall we not 
assume, as self-evident, that all religions are alike in 
kind ? Shall we not commence our inquiry by- taking 
for granted that the religions of Moses and Jesus are, 
like those of Mahomet, Buddha, and Zoroaster, nothing 
but " so many manifestations of the religious spirit of 
mankind " ? Certainly not, we reply. Such an assump 
tion is unscientific. It is starting with a proof-text. 
The scientific inquirer should make at the outset no 
assumption whatever, either as to the Divine or the 
human origin of any religion ; he should industriously 
collect all pertinent facts without prejudice ; he should 
rigorously draw those conclusions, and those conclusions 
only, which the collated facts appear to justify, and he 
should follow those conclusions faithfully wherever they 
may lead. If, at the beginning of an inquiry into the 
place of the Old Testament amongst books, it is un 
scientific to take for granted that these canonical books 
are Divine, it is equally unscientific to assert at the out 
set that they are not Divine. Whether the books of the 
Old Testament are adequately described by designating 
them " so many manifestations of the religious spirit of 
mankind" can only appear at the close, not at the 
beginning, of a scientific inquiry. 

However, the really scientific method of inquiry may 
be suggested to us by the remarks thus criticized. Let 
me illustrate the inductive point of view by Zoroas- 

20 Introductory. [LECT. 

trianism. In the invaluable series of the Sacred Books 
of the East, now being issued by the Clarendon Press 
under the editorship of Professor Max Miiller, Dr. 
James Darmesteter has published a translation of the 
Zend-Avesta, the Bible, so to speak, of the Parsis. A 
modern inquirer, of some thoroughness of mind, is 
anxious, let us suppose, to test the Divine claims made 
by these fire- worshippers for their religion. What course 
must this inquirer pursue ? He must first ascertain, I 
imagine, whether the translation before him is a fair 
rendering of the ancient Zend-Avesta. This process 
would involve two steps. The translation might be poor, 
or the text might be corrupt. Upon both points he 
must satisfy himself. By his own investigations, or by 
conscious reliance upon trustworthy experts, he must 
convince himself that he is dealing with a tolerably 
accurate translation. Further, he must have some 
reasonable ground for supposing that the modern original 
used by the translator is a fairly accurate transcription 
of the autographs of the original writers of this sacred 
book. Should the translation used be bad, some views 
may be erroneously ascribed to the original, which, after 
all, are nothing but blunders of the translator. Should 
the text used by the translator be bad, some opinions* 
may be wrongly attributed to the author which are really 
mistakes of copyists. It is indispensable, in fact, in any 
scientific investigation, for the inquirer to satisfy himself 
both as to the genuineness of his text and the accuracy 
of his translation ; otherwise, if his text be impure, he 
lays himself open to a charge of misrepresentation, or 
if his translation be inaccurate, he renders himself liable 
to a charge of ignorance. These two preliminary pro 
blems solved, the inquirer may prosecute with confidence: 

I.] Method. 2 1 

the more immediate object of his search ; he may 
gradually elicit from his translation all the evidence 
bearing in any way upon the Divine origin of the Zend- 
Avesta ; he may formulate, step by step, a series of 
conclusions which would substantiate, or invalidate, the 
conception of the Zend-Avesta as revelation. In brief, 
from the criticism of the text and the criticism of the 
translation, which are but means to his end, he may pro 
ceed to the end itself to criticism of contents, to literary 
and historical criticism. 

Substitute the Old Testament for the Zend-Avesta, 
and the same words might describe the course of the 
inductive inquirer into the value of the Old Testament. 
The student of the Divine character of the Old Testa 
ment must satisfy himself upon the accuracy of the 
translation he adopts, upon the genuineness of the text 
he employs, and upon the correctness of the inferences 
he draws from the data which the translated text puts 
in his hands. In effect, the inductive investigation of 
the Old Testament combines three stages of research, 
that is to say, textual criticism, or the inquiry into the 
accuracy of the Old Testament text; exegetical critici sm, 
or the inquiry into the meaning of the Old Testament 
text ; and the so-called JiigJier criticism in its two branches, 
viz., historical criticism^ or criticism of the historical 
contents, and literary criticism^ or criticism of the literary 
phenomena. Only by a use of these three varieties of 
criticism can the Old Testament be examined on its 
revealed or natural character. 

Happily little needs be said in these Lectures either 
upon the textual or the exegetical criticism of the Old 
Testament. These two branches of inquiry may, after 
a few remarks, be dismissed from our view once for all, 

22 Introductory. [LECT. 

their results being sufficiently assured to be axiomatic, 
facts which may be assumed rather than opinions which 
require to be argued. No scholar would maintain now 
adays that impregnable opinions are impossible, either 
on the score of our comparative ignorance of the genuine 
words penned by the original scribes of the Law and the 
Prophets, or on the score of our relative ignorance of the 
meaning attached to these words by their original readers. 
The text of the Old Testament is known to be accurate 
enough for our purpose, and our comprehension of the 
meaning of that text, if it be not perfect, is practically 
all that we need. By the industry of many interpreters, 
and the discoveries of many explorers, throughout 
generations, throughout centuries, a fairly adequate 
knowledge of the actual contents of the Sacred Scrip 
tures as known to Moses, to David, to Daniel, and to 
Jesus, has become the common inheritance of man. 

As regards the textual criticism of the Old Testament, 
let it suffice to say that the results even of the most 
recent research shall not be forgotten in these Lectures, 
although, after all, these textual researches are, for the 
most part, rather of a scholarly than a practical interest. 
Thus to speak is to minimize in no degree the precious 
and self-denying labours of textual critics. Seeing that 
we do not possess the autographs of the writers of the 
Law and the Prophets, but only numerous and varying 
transcripts of their writings of much later date, it is 
indispensable that some men, patient and capable, should 
compare copies with copies, originals with versions, 
and manuscripts with printed texts, slowly eliciting 
sound principles of judgment, and gradually construct 
ing a solid mass of critical opinion. Such examina 
tion is rendered necessary by the circumstances of the 

I.] Method. 23 

case. " Certainly," as I have said elsewhere, 1 " had the 
great Revealer seen fit, He might have preserved to us 
the identical sheets of papyrus or skins of parchment 
which passed beneath the styles of the holy men of old 
who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, just 
as by a continuous miracle, He might have scrupulously 
preserved every scribe from error in copying, and every 
compositor from error in printing. As a matter of fact, 
the great Giver of Truth, has not been careful to preserve 
all past, present, and future copies of the Holy Scriptures 
from any and every admixture of error, as innumerable 
minute variations testify. The scribe was no more gifted 
with infallibility in the past than the printer in the 
present." Hence the necessity of textual criticism. 
Nevertheless, the researches of textual criticism, mostly 
upon minutice, are not of high value in such an inquiry 
as ours. It is almost enough, indeed, for us to know 
that such textual researches, carried on for many years, 
have had one positive result : they have accentuated 
the substantial accuracy, the reliableness, of the common 
Hebrew text for all purposes of doctrinal examination. 
In many minutenesses of speech, textual criticism may 
have a large influence in the future, but the general 
tenour of the Old Testament books will most probably 
remain unaffected. In short, the practical reliability 
of the text is now demonstrated beyond gainsaying. 
There is no book of the Old Testament, for instance, 
the text of which is not in a more satisfactory state than 
any literary heirloom of ancient Greece or Rome. How 
ever, at points in our inquiry, valuable hints will follow 

1 An Introduction to TJieology ; its Principles, its Branches , its Results, 
and its Literature, Edinburgh, 1886, pp. 258, 259. Compare on the whole 
subject of Textual Criticism 39-42 of that book. 

24 Introductory. [LECT. 

from textual studies, and nowhere shall textual results 
be ignored. 

Happily also, our knowledge of the meaning of the 
Old Testament is in even a better position than our 
knowledge of the text By many generations of exe- 
getes, the meaning of the Old Testament, in general and 
in detail, has become increasingly plain. The biblical 
scholar has to-day a more confident hold than ever upon 
the laws of Moses or the prophecies of Isaiah. In this 
field also miuuticE doubtless remain to be elucidated ; 
but such minute points of interpretation cannot affect 
very largely such an inquiry as ours. All that it is 
necessary to do in this respect is, on the one hand, to 
lay the best exegetical knowledge of the time under 
contribution ; and, on the other, to occasionally under 
take original investigations which may make the mean 
ing of isolated passages clearer. 

With regard, therefore, to the two preliminary stages 
of any inductive inquiry into the value of the Old 
Testament as revelation, two postulates may be laid 
down. First, it may be fearlessly asserted that the 
original words of the Old Testament are sufficiently 
known to us for the purposes in view, no future 
suggestions of textual criticism being capable of inter 
fering to any material extent with the general conclusions 
which will be arrived at. A second postulate is, that 
the true meaning of the Old Testament is also suffi 
ciently known for our purpose. If our knowledge of 
the original words of the Old Testament, and our ac 
quaintance with their significance be not perfect and 
there is certainly much room for many earnest labourers 
for a long time to come in both departments of biblical 
science it is, notwithstanding, practically all that is 

I.] Method. 25 

needed. No one would have the temerity to maintain 
nowadays that valid opinions upon the general bearings 
of the Old Testament are impossible, either on the score 
of the corruptness of our copies, or on the score of the 
precariousness of our translation. In fact, we might 
almost rest satisfied with the Revised English Version 
everywhere, without going far wrong. 

It is with the third branch of Biblical criticism, how 
ever, that we are to be especially concerned in these 
Lectures. It is only occasionally that textual and exe- 
getical criticism are to be pressed into our service, where 
as literary and historical criticism, that is, rigorous in 
vestigation of the facts of Biblical expression and of the 
facts expressed, arc to provide our entire argument ; and 
necessarily so, seeing that it is only upon the proven 
veracity of the Old Testament that a doctrine of Old 
Testament Inspiration can be built. The various classes 
of contents presented by the Old Testament are to be 
examined, and cross-examined, and re-examined, with a 
view to framing just conclusions. Is the Old Testament 
historically veracious ? This is the very question into 
which we are to inquire ; and we must not therefore 
dogmatize upon the point at the outset. Does the Old 
Testament afford crucial evidence of the supernatural ? 
A conviction upon the matter is to be the goal, and 
cannot be the starting-point, of our inquiry. Are the 
miracles of the Old Testament capable of a purely 
rational explanation ? The question is to be discussed. 
Can the phenomena of Old Testament prophecy be 
attributed to a Shemitic genius for religion, and are they 
explicable therefore by natural causes ? The answer is 
to come after investigation. When the Old Testament 
professes to guide our beliefs concerning God, sin, retri- 

26 Introductory. [LECT. 

bution, salvation, and a future life, are such momentous 
doctrines of religion credible ? In the sequel only does 
our method permit us to reply. By criticism we are to 
strive after results beyond criticism. By comparison the 
most rigorous, we are to endeavour to arrive at induc 
tions the most rigid. Without fear, without bias, with 
out prejudice, the consistency of related facts is to be 
minutely tested. Statements made at one moment are 
to be confronted with statements made at another ; the 
implications of a statement made in one place are to be 
confronted with the implications of statements made in 
other places ; the subtle harmonies of truth are to be 
sought out with diligence, the latent contradictions of 
error are to be unearthed with equal care ; the glamour 
of great names, whether of advocates or opponents of 
orthodoxy, is to be shut from the eyes as far as possible ; 
all the powers of insight, and of experience, and of 
research are to be brought to bear, so as to penetrate 
falsehood and to disclose truth, to unclothe appearance 
and to reveal reality ; inconsistency of every kind, how 
ever recondite its hiding-place, is to be laid bare by 
the engines of logic ; coincidences are to be narrowly 
watched, in order to discover whether they are inten 
tional or casual ; and by all forms of the comparison of 
evidence, whether afforded by the Old Testament itself, 
or by collateral profane knowledge first, the data of a 
doctrine of inspiration are to be elicited, and, sub 
sequently, the doctrine itself is to be formulated. The 
task is difficult. The result attained may be of the 
poorest. But one comfort remains. The task is in 
evitable. The test cannot be refused. Only by literary 
and historical criticism of such a kind, can the claims of 
the Old Testament be put aside. Only by literary and 

I.] Division of Subject. 27 

historical criticism of such a kind can the claims of the 
Old Testament be substantiated. If the Old Testament 
is a purely human composition, this can only be shown 
by " the higher criticism/ If the Old Testament is of 
composition Divine as well as human, the demonstra 
tion can only come from the criticism of contents, as 
distinct from the criticism of text or of interpretation. 

Methods, however, are best appreciated by embodi 
ments. Some sign-posts to mark our way may there 
fore be of use. A complete inductive study of the Old 
Testament would ogcupy many volumes. The salient 
and more controverted points alone can here come 
under discussion. 

From the nature of the case, the Book of Genesis 
must always have a large part in deciding the Divine or 
human origin of the Old Testament. The next three 
Lectures are occupied with this book, each lecture 
dealing with a very important feature of its contents. 
Thus, to start with, there are many extraordinary coin 
cidences between the narratives of Genesis and the 
traditions of profane antiquity. The series of data 
relating to these coincidences are at once deeply 
interesting and profoundly suggestive ; for, as a matter 
of fact, which well repays illustration, wherever there are 
in the religions of heathendom ancient literary relics, 
whether in stone or tradition or writing, these antique 
memorials are found to contain more or less striking 
parallels to the stories of Genesis. The evidence is full. 
Attack the theory of a universal Flood, for example, as 
men may on geological grounds, an important fact, 
nevertheless, calls for explanation, namely, that tradi 
tions of a universal flood have been preserved in the 

28 Introductory. [LECT. 

most opposite quarters in the libraries of stone and clay, 
of palm-leaf and papyrus, of Babylonia, Egypt, Syria, 
and India, in the legends of the Scandinavians and the 
Lithuanians, in the literature of Greece and Rome, and 
in the folk-lore of the savage tribes of America and 
Polynesia. Nor is this a solitary instance. Parallels 
exist between the ancient traditions of heathendom and 
all the other traditions of Genesis, without exception, 
prior to the Confusion of Tongues. Here, then, an 
important series of facts discloses itself. If the early 
history of our race rests, not upon unsupported testi 
mony, but upon the concurrent testimony of many 
peoples, the history of Genesis has received a substantial 
corroboration. Further, if it can be shown, on the one 
hand, that these Pagan traditions have not been derived 
from Genesis, and, on the other hand, that the narratives 
of Genesis have not been derived from these Pagan 
traditions, another conclusion of manifest moment will 
follow concerning the origin of these primitive traditions ; 
these traditions, in short, must be the common in 
heritance of the human race. And yet again, if it can 
be shown that Genesis preserves most purely these com 
mon primeval traditions, the further problem will arise 
as to whether this purity is not due to a supernatural 
source, to a Divine inspiration. The SECOND LECTURE 
will therefore deal with GENESIS AND ETHNIC 

Further, it is characteristic of Genesis that it has 
pronounced views upon several scientific questions. 
Long anterior to the birth of modern science, this 
ancient book incorporated in itself definite views upon 
questions which modern science regards as its peculiar 
treasure. Genesis presents a cosmogony. It also 

I.] Division of Subject. 29 

propounds ethnological opinions concerning the original 
unity of the race, and the genealogy of peoples. It ad 
vances a philological opinion concerning the origin of 
language. Genesis has distinct pathological theories 
regarding the early decay of the race and regarding 
the healthiness of goodness. It has historical views as 
well concerning the primitive civilizations. And, besides 
all these varied physical opinions, Genesis advances 
theological assertions of many kinds, concerning God, 
concerning man, and concerning the relations of God 
and man, past, present, and future, assertions which are 
capable of being tested by later knowledge, and which 
challenge the most careful attention. In view of all 
this expression of opinion, the question is inevitable 
as to its weight. Has Genesis forestalled recent 
scientific results by many centuries, and if it has, how 
is this precocity of knowledge to be explained ? To 
teach science before science, would bring us face to 
face with a profoundly significant fact. The THIRD 
LECTURE will therefore deal with GENESIS AND 

The progress of the argument will next demand that 
some conclusion should be arrived at concerning the 
authorship of Genesis. It will be necessary to plunge 
into the unquiet waves of the " Higher Criticism," as 
it is called ; and, utilizing the methods by which this 
sea of literary criticism is navigated by experts, good 
reasons will appear for retaining the traditional opinion 
of the Mosaic Authorship, and therefore the high 
antiquity, of Genesis. The FOURTH LECTURE will treat 

From Genesis it will be needful to pass to the 
remaining four books of the Pentateuch. Further 

3o Introductory. [LECT. 

questions of literary criticism will immediately confront 
us, those questions which have been at once so con 
genial and so perplexing to our time. No solid ground 
can be secured for the Divine origin of the Law until 
the question of the Authorship of the Pentateuch has 
been examined. However, after careful inductive 
inquiry, the Higher Criticism itself of the Pentateuch 
will give us reason for abiding by the Mosaic origin 
of the last four books of the Law as well as of the 
first ; a result of the highest importance to our sub 
sequent progress. The FIFTH LECTURE will therefore 

The foundations of our inquiry, having thus been 
well if slowly laid, and the principles of our method 
having been clearly if tediously illustrated, one great 
section of the Old Testament may then be finally 
examined. By a careful inquiry into the contents of 
the Books of the Law, and into the logical implications 
of those contents, we shall next arrive at conclusions 
of the highest importance concerning the revealed 
character of the Law. Indeed, attention having been 
called to the various phenomena presented by the Law 
on its theological, its social, and its ethical sides, no 
other conclusion, even upon the inductive method, will 
appear possible, than that the Law was given by 
Divine Revelation. The SIXTH LECTURE will there 
fore be entitled THE DIVINE ORIGIN OF THE LAW. 

From the Law we shall pass to the Prophets. As 
will be seen later on, the remaining data, of specific 
importance to our inquiry, may be classed under the 
head of Prophecy. Law and Prophecy, in fact, are the 
two great supernatural revelations of the Old Testa 
ment. In this instance, again, a cautious inductive 

I.] Evolution v. Revelation. 31 

investigation will supply us with invaluable conclusions 
as to the non-human, the inspired, origin of prophecy. 
In the SEVENTH LECTURE, therefore, the DIVINE 
ORIGIN OF HEBREW PROPHECY will be examined. 

Having, thus, industriously marshalled the data which 
relate to the Inspiration of the Old Testament, and 
drawn from these data several conclusions as logical 
as weighty, it will be possible to advance to the 
doctrine which these data warrant. The subject of 
the EIGHTH and last Lecture will therefore be THE 

I turn to the last point to which it is necessary to 
allude in this Introductory Lecture. From the map 
of the way thus roughly outlined, it will have been 
manifest that these Lectures are to form a contribution 
all too humble when the needs of the case are con 
sidered to the most gigantic problem of modern times, 
the problem of Evolution. The crucial question, which 
will arise again and again is just this, Evolution versus 
Revelation, Naturalistic Evolution versus Miraculous 
Revelation. Let me guard myself against misunder 
standing. I say deliberately, Naturalistic Evolution, 
Non-miraculous Evolution. The idea of development 
or evolution has shown itself the most energizing and 
the most fruitful conception of recent years. Evolution 
is the one generalization which the chemist (the in 
vestigator of elements), the geologist (the investigator 
of the rocky structures of the earth), the astronomer 
(the student of the stellar motions), the physiographer 
(the observer of planetary structure), the physiologist 
(the analyst of the body), and the psychologist (the 

32 Introductory. [LECT. 

anatomist of the mind), the moralist (who treats of 
individuals), and the sociologist (who treats of com 
munities), are all combining to elucidate. Development 
has shown itself to have illustrations in the tiniest 
molecule as well as in the most highly organized 
structure, in the movements of the lowest forms of life 
as well as in the progress of the most civilized 
societies, in the nebulae of the starry heavens as 
well as in the differentiated planets of the solar 
system. But this evolution is not necessarily natu 
ralistic evolution. What exactly is meant by evolution 
is the great conflict of the day. Upon this question 
the world of thought is divided into two opposite 
camps. These antagonistic camps range themselves 
beneath an evolution which is theistic, and an evolution 
which is atheistic, beneath a development which is 
Christian and a development which is Spencerian. That 
there is in the universe a process of development of 
some sort, no one will disbelieve who believes in a 
Divine plan, and who therefore doubts not "through 
the ages one increasing purpose runs " ; but, under the 
exigencies of a philosophic system, men are challenged 
to surrender all convictions as to the existence of a 
personal Deity, all persuasions of a Divine interference 
in human affairs, all hopes of a Divine voice which, 
breaking the silence and order of nature, speaks of a 
possible friendship with the Father of all, and promises 
a blessed immortality, to surrender, in short, all the 
indissoluble dictates of the renewed and Christian con 
sciousness. Now, in deciding between a theistic and 
an atheistic evolution, the religion of the Old Testament 
presents one of the crucial instances which must be 
faced. It is a prime necessity, whether for the theistic. 

I.] Evolution v. Revelation. 33 

or atheistic evolutionist, to explain satisfactorily the 
origin and influence of the Old Testament faith. And, 
as a matter of fact, the crucial nature of the Old Testa 
ment religion has been for some time acknowledged 
by the adherents of an atheistic evolution of all things. 
Attempts have been made to explain Mosaism and 
Prophecy on purely natural grounds. The history of 
the Old Testament has been reconstructed to demon 
strate, if possible, that Sinai and Bethlehem are but 
stages by which the Goshen of the Pharaohs becomes, 
by purely natural processes, the Judaea of the Pro 
consuls. To this end, the Old Testament, in all its 
parts, has been most minutely studied, and most 
elaborately remodelled. It was certain that the Old 
Testament would be remodelled in the interests of a 
naturalistic evolution sooner or later. Evolutionists, 
who have not hesitated to say that the life and words 
of Jesus had a purely naturalistic origin, were not likely 
to shrink from avowing the religion of Israel to be 
a purely natural phenomenon as well. The glove has 
been thrown down, and Christian thinkers are bound 
to take it up, in Christ s name and for His sake. The 
question of the natural or supernatural origin of the* 
Old Testament can only be evaded by those who shut 
their eyes and ears. Graf understated the case, wkem, 
in the opening page of his epoch-making work on 
The Historical Books of the Old Testament? he wrote : 
"The question is worth answering, in what epoch we 
regard the Mosaic Law as completed, whether con 
formably to nature and analogy, we are to regard it 
as a witness and result of a gradual evolution from 
a fruitful germ, or as something initially perfect and 

1 Die Geschichtliclicn Biicher dcs Altai Testaments, Leipsic, 1866, p. i. 


34 Introductory. [LECT. 

underlying every subsequent development ; " the ques 
tion is not only ivortJi answering, the question must 
be answered. Again, it is an inevitable outcome of 
much of the physical and philosophical speculation of 
the time, and it should be frankly recognized to be a 
consistent outcome of such speculation, when Kuenen, 
for example, proceeds, in his investigation of the 
religion of Israel, from what he is pleased to call " the 
standpoint of modern science," and declares his desire 
to show "a natural development both of the Israelitish 
religion itself and of the belief in its heavenly origin ; " x 
and when Kalisch 2 "would fain hope that he has 
furnished a few available stones for that new edifice 
which it is the labour of our age to erect, that he has 
aided, however humbly and modestly, in supporting 
by arguments derived from his special department of 
study the philosophical ideas which all genuine science 
at present seems eager to establish," the ideas, that is 
to say, " of Buckle," and " the fearless and penetrating 
investigations of Darwin, Huxley, and Lyell." In short, 
whether the Old Testament is the outcome of a theistic 
and supernatural evolution, or of an evolution which 
is atheistic and purely natural, is one of the pressing 
questions of the time. To that question much of the 
Lectures which follow is devoted. 

It will be seen, I trust, that the facts presented by the 
Old Testament are inconsistent with any evolutionary 
idea which excludes revelation and miracle. The entire 
discussion will show cause, I hope, for believing, on purely 
scientific grounds and on the evidence of fact, in a 

1 The Religion of Israel, vol. i. pp. 4-10. 

2 A Historical and Critical Commentary on the Old Testament, iviih a 
New Translation, Leviticus, Part I., London, 1867, pp. iii., iv. 

I.] Evolution v. Revelation. 35 

Personal Deity, who is unspeakably interested in sinful 
man and who interferes on his behalf, freely yet lovingly, 
in human history. Of the nescience of the agnostic, 
who only knows that the universe of one moment is 
the consequence of the combined matter, motion, and 
force of the moment before, we shall see nothing. Of 
the evolution of the theist, who knows that the universe 
of one moment is the consequence of all the causes 
existent the moment before, including the great First 
Cause and all supernatural causes, we shall see much. 
Again and again, crucial instances of Divine revelation 
will present themselves, approving themselves solid rock 
upon which any atheistic theory of evolution must split. 
What " integration of matter " can coalesce into a 
Messianic prophecy ? What " dissipation of motion " 
can crystallize into the Mosaic code ? How shall the 
" indefinite, incoherent homogeneity" of the Patriarchal 
Age become, of itself and by its own inherent forces, the 
"definite, coherent homogeneity" of the life at Sinai? 
Is it possible for the chance metamorphosis of force to 
evolve an Isaiah or an Ezekiel ? In a sentence, of an 
evolution which explains the universe by the persistence of 
force we shall see, I believe, little evidence : of an evolu 
tion which explains the universe by the persistence of God, 
evidence both cogent and consolatory will, I trust, be 
afforded. Do not the cardinal facts of the Old Testa 
ment, frankly faced and fairly considered, compel a belief 
in a Holy Spirit who spake by the mouths of holy men of 
old ? The sequel will show. 





THE aim before us, then, in these Lectures, is to 
inquire inductively into the claims of the Old 
Testament, which, professedly a record of many events 
of a supernatural order, asserts again and again that it 
contains revelations from above. In other words, the 
distant goal before us is a doctrine of the Inspiration of 
the Old Testament. 

But data must precede doctrine. 

Before well-grounded opinions can be framed upon 
inspiration, careful investigation must be made of those 
characteristics which lead us to infer inspiration. TJie 
first question which must be approached is tJie Divine 
origin of the so-called Laiv of Moses. In that law, if 
anywhere, evidence is afforded of revelation ; and the 
first sure step to be taken in this inquiry is to examine 
the credentials of the Mosaic Law. But here, again, two 
preliminary questions immediately stop the way. They 
concern, too, it is true, only a part of the Law, viz., the 
Book of Genesis. Nevertheless, in dealing with these 
two questions, although apparently considering but a 
very small portion of the Old Testament, we are, as will 
be evident later on, really taking long strides towards 

4O Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

the final stage. These questions are two : first, is the 
Genesis historical ; and second, in what age was it 
written ? These two unavoidable questions will be 
considered in the next three lectures. After all, Genesis 
is the battle-ground on which the claims of the Old 
Testament will be largely decided. 

Is Genesis, then, we are compelled by our plan to ask, 
the product of human art, or of Divine revelation, or of 
both ? Can we find therein conclusive evidence of a 
Divine interference in human affairs ? Are we dealing, 
in the first book of the Law, with the thinkings or im 
aginings of the unaided faculties of man, or are we con 
cerned therein with information divinely revealed, and, at 
the same time, communicated to man under the influence 
of a supernatural inspiration ? Is Genesis, or is it not. ex 
plicable on a theory of purely human invention ? Reply, 
as has just been said, will be easier after a prior question 
ihas been considered. That prior question is, whether 
Genesis is historical. Is Genesis history or legend, fact 
or myth, narrative or allegory, plain prose or imaginative 
poetry ? 

The question as to the historical character of Genesis is 
mot unimportant in itself, and is indispensable to our in 
quiry. Of late years the earlier chapters of Genesis have 
been studiously represented by some, 1 as little better than 
a collection of folk-lore, comparable with the legendary 
tales of classical antiquity, and therefore as little more 
veracious than the stories of Romulus and Veii, of 
Cadmus and the /^t? nyXijidSea) A%(,\f}os. Some, too, 2 
have found in the Biblical narratives of the origins of 
things nothing but myths, the speculative and vain 

1 Conspicuously by Ewalcl. 
2 Like Bauer, Vatke, Schultz, and Goklziher. 

II.] Genesis and Tradition. 41 

attempts of primitive man to explain the problem of his 
being, whence he came, and whither he was going. 
Origen, again, the great theologian of Alexandria, 
agrees with Jacob Behmen, the Lusatian shoemaker and 
theosophist, in regarding Genesis, not as the narrative of 
actual occurrence, but as needing to be interpreted in a 
spiritual sense. Others, again, 1 have preferred to see in 
the earlier chapters of Genesis a great primeval epic, 
true to life, if unsubstantiated by fact. In the face of 
such conclusions, it becomes, then, an important question, 
whether Genesis is historical. 

I do not delay to insist that, whether the narratives of 
Genesis are veracious or not, they have the air of veracity. 
This vraisemblance must come up for consideration later 
on. At present I simply desire to state fairly and fully 
certain suggestive facts, which make for the historical 
character of these early Biblical annals. The evidence 
about to be adduced argues for the truth and therefore 
incidentally, as will be seen later on, for the Divine 
origin of those pre-Abrahamic traditions which have 
appeared to many legendary, if not wholly mythical. 
Indeed, as this Lecture proceeds, reason will be seen for 
believing that the primitive history of man as given in 
Genesis, rests by no means upon unsupported testimony, 
but upon the concurrent voice of many nations at many 
times. It will be seen to be matter of fact that nume 
rous pagan traditions so minutely coincide with, as to 
corroborate strongly, the Old Testament account of the 
world s infancy. 

As a matter of fact, the pre-Abrahamic narratives of 
Genesis relate to four distinct periods of time, namely, 

r Like Herder, Eichhorn, and De Wette, to whom some prominent English 
names might be added. 

42 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

the Creation, the Deluge, and the centuries which pre 
ceded and those which followed the Flood. Now, upon 
inquiry, it is found that the remembrance of all these 
four periods has been carefully preserved by many 
nations of men, more or less distinctly, doubtless, but in 
a very striking manner notwithstanding. Notable resem 
blances occur in the primitive traditions of east and 
west, of north and south. Some of this concurrent testi 
mony has been long known ; some is of recent discovery ; 
and additional facts, in all probability, remain to be col 
lected. Nevertheless, whencesoever obtained, the evi 
dence is remarkable, whether it comes from America or 
Polynesia, Scandinavia or Hindostan. 

Let, however, one caution be uttered before proceed 
ing. Should any of the parallels presented appear slight 
or fanciful, let it be remembered that no single instance 
affects any other instance. We are not dealing with a 
chain of examples, so to speak, which wholly breaks if any 
single link gives way ; we are rather forging a cable of 
many cords, in which any strand may snap without 
perceptibly affecting the tenacity of the rest. 

In this Lecture, therefore, I propose, FIRST, to illus 
trate the similarity existing between the traditions of the 
Genesis, and those extant in the several ethnic religions ; 
and, SECONDLY, to draw some important conclusions from 
that similarity. 

Facts often belie presumptions, and however ap 
parently improbable, perhaps the most widely attested 
of human traditions is that of a great catastrophe " by 
which the world that then was being overflowed with 
water perished." The tradition of a universal flood 
presents so excellent an example of a corroborative 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 43 

tradition that I swerve from the strictly chronological 
order, and present this diluvian evidence to begin with. 
As Lenormant has well said, in his notable work on the 
Origins of History, z " the tradition of the Deluge is the 
universal tradition par excellence ; " and if he goes on to 
say that it " would be too much to assert that it is found 
amongst all peoples," he straightway adds that " it is re 
produced in all the great races of humanity save one, the 
black race." Now, conceding frankly that in some cases 
apologists have mistaken mere popular recollections of 
local floods for traditional relics of the great primeval 
deluge, still the concurrence of testimony is at once so 
great and so minute, as to throw strong emphasis upon 
the Biblical narrative. Unmistakable references to the 
Deluge have been found in the extant remains of the 
Babylonians and the races of India the Egyptians, the 
Phoenicians and the Syrians, the Greeks, the Etruscans, 
and the Romans, the Celts, the Scandinavians, and the 
Lithuanians, the native tribes of North America, and the 
inhabitants of America south of the isthmus of Panama, 
the Chinese, the Japanese,and the natives of Borneo, and 
even amongst the savages of Polynesia. It was on such 
evidence that Canon Rawlinson declared in his Historical 
Illustrations of the Old Testament, that it constituted an 
array of exact coincidences, which cannot possibly be 
the result of chance, and of which I see no plausible 
account that can be given except it is the harmony of 
truth." 2 A similar opinion has been expressed by the 
eminent philologist, Adolphe Pictet, who writes : " It is 

1 Origines de P Histoire, Paris, 1880, vol. i. p. 382. 

- The Historical Evidence of the Truth of the Scripture Records stated 
anew, ivith special reference to the Doubts and Discoveries of Modern Times. 
Bampton Lectures for 1859, London, 1859, p. 65. 

44 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

known that the remembrance of a formidable flood has 
been preserved among so many people of the Old 
World and the New, with the same essential features of 
a destruction of the human race, and of one family or a 
single couple saved from the disaster in a boat and 
re-peopling the earth, that it is impossible to explain 
such an agreement except by admitting a primitive 
tradition founded upon an actual fact." I The ques 
tion to be illustrated, be it observed, is not one of 
geology nor of theology, nor of exegesis, but of trans 
mitted tradition. 

I proceed, then, to the illustration of this universal 
tradition of a Deluge. 

I commence with Ancient Babylon, Babylon the great, 
the empire of Nimrod the hunter, Sargon the lawgiver, 
and Nebuchadnezzar le grand nwnarque. The evidence 
of a deluge in the extant remains of Babylonia is 
distinct. There are two versions of the tradition. 

One is that of Berossus, the historian of Babylon, who 
lived some three centuries before the birth of Christ, 
fragments only of whose writings have been preserved 
to us in Josephus, Eusebius, and others. Wrote Berossus, 
as is recorded by Alexander Polyhistor : 

" After the death of Ardates, his son Xisuthrus " (said by Berossus 
to be the tenth king of the Chaldeans) "reigned eighteen sari. In 
his time happened a great deluge, the history of which is thus de 
scribed. The deity Cronos appeared to him in a vision, and 
warned him that upon the fifteenth day of the month Dsesius, there 
would be a flood, by which mankind would be destroyed. He, 
therefore, enjoined him to write a history of the beginning, 
procedure and conclusion of all things, and to bury it in the city of 
the sun at Sippara ; and to build a vessel, and take with him into 

1 Les Origines Indo-Europtennes on les Aryas Primitifs, Essai de 
Palcontologic Lingtdstique, 2nd edit., Paris, 1886, vol. iii. p. 362. 

II.] Traditions of Dehige. 45 

it his friends, and relatives, and to convey on board everything 
necessary to sustain life, together with all the different animals, 
both birds and quadrupeds, and trust himself fearlessly to the 
deep. Having asked the deity whither he was to sail, he was 
answered to the Gods, upon which he offered up a prayer for the 
good of mankind. He then obeyed the Divine admonition, and 
built a vessel five stadia in length and two in breadth. Into this 
he put everything which he had prepared, and last of all conveyed 
into it his wife, his children, and his friends. After the flood had 
been upon the earth, and was in time abated, Xisuthrus sent out 
birds from the vessel, which, not finding any food, nor any place 
whereon they might rest their feet, returned to him again. After 
an interval of some days, he sent them forth a second time ; and 
they now returned with their feet tinged with mud. He made a 
trial a third time with these birds ; but they returned to him no 
more ; from whence he judged that the surface of the earth had 
appeared above the waters. He, therefore, made an opening in 
the vessel, and upon looking out found that it was stranded upon 
the side of some mountain, upon which he immediately quitted it 
with his wife, his daughter and his pilot. Xisuthrus then paid his 
adoration to the earth ; and having constructed an altar, offered 
sacrifices to the gods, and with those who had come out of the 
vessel with him, disappeared." T 

It is unnecessary to continue the extract, further than 
to state that Berossus goes on to describe how the vessel 
was stranded in Armenia, and how some part of it 
remained to his day in the Corcyrean mountains of 
Armenia, the people habitually scraping off the bitumen, 
with which it was covered, to make amulets. The 
resemblances to the Biblical story are striking the 
command to construct the ship, in order to escape a 
general inundation, the introduction of all sorts of 
animals into the vessel, the despatch of the birds, the 
second despatch, and the third, and the reference to 
the bitumen with which the surface was smeared. The 

1 Cory, The Ancient Fragments, containing ivhat Remains of the Writings 
of Sanchoniatho, Berossus, Abydcnus, Klegasthenes, and Mancilio, &c. 
1828, p. 21. Cory also gives renderings of Berossus from Abydenus and 

46 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

divergences from the Biblical story are equally sugges 

This narrative of Berossus was, however, of so late a 
date, that, although apparently derived from independent 
sources, it was possible for some to maintain that it had 
been in some way borrowed from the Jews. A recent 
discovery has emphasized the probability of the inde 
pendent origin of the account. Berossus was, we know, 
the keeper of the Babylonian archives, and a few years 
ago, a tablet of burnt clay, inscribed with cuneiform 
characters, the eleventh of a series of historical tablets, 
was exhumed at Nineveh, from the buried palace of 
Assurbanipal, the great Sardanapalus of the Greeks. 
This tablet also presents, in a form much more ancient 
than that of Berossus, the account of a general deluge. 
In the view of the late George Smith, who discovered 
and translated these interesting tablets, their age may be 
fairly placed at two thousand years before the Christian 
era, a date which Professor Sayce also thinks pro 
bable. 1 This ancient story of the deluge forms part of 
a great Assyrian epic. Isdhubar, or Gisdhubar the 
name is uncertain the hero of this epic (identified by 
George Smith with Nimrod, and rightly in all probability, 
according to Professor Sayce), 2 afflicted with leprosy, 
goes to consult the patriarch Hasisadra, who, having 
been spared in the deluge, has received his apotheosis. 
Amongst other things, Isdhubar asks the patriarch for 
an account of the events which won him immortality. 
Notwithstanding that the response of the patriarch has 
not been perfectly preserved, and that there are lamen- 

1 Sayce, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by 
the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians , Hibbert Lectures for 1887, p. 847. 

2 Ib. p. 8. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 47 

table gaps in the narrative, to say nothing of the 
difficulties of interpretation, the following details, amongst 
others, are indisputable. A command was divinely given 
to build a ship ; the reason for this command is stated 
to have been the sin of the world ; the ship was in 
tended to save the seed of life ; beasts of the field entered 
the ship ; the ship was pitched without and within with 
bitumen ; food was taken into the ship ; on the bursting 
forth of the flood, all people were destroyed ; after a while 
a window was opened in the ship ; the ship was brought 
to rest upon a mountain ; a dove was sent forth and 
returned ; a swallow was despatched, which also re 
turned ; a raven was next allowed to go, " it did eat, it 
swam, it wandered away, it did not return ; " an altar was 
built and a sacrifice offered ; " the gods collected at its 
savour ; " finally, a covenant was made that the deluge 
should not happen again. So many coincidences be 
tween the Biblical and this Ninevite account may well 
arrest attention. 1 

From the ancient Babylonian Empire let us pass to 
the ancient Empire of Egypt. Doubts have sometimes 
been expressed as to whether a universal deluge was not 
wholly unknown in the Nile Valley. But there are 
good reasons for doubting these doubts. Thus Edouard 
Naville has published an interesting inscription from the 
tomb of Seti the First at Thebes, 2 which shows conclu 
sively that, whether the Egyptians had or had not 
reminiscences of the deluge, they certainly had pre- 

1 Compare The Chaldean Account of Genesis, by George Smith, London, 
1876, pp. 263-289 ; the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archccology, 
vol. ii. 1873, PP 213-234; vol. iii. pp. 530-596; vol. iv. pp. 49-83, 
129-131, and 363, 364 ; and Records of the Past, vol. vii. pp. 133-149. 

2 Compare Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archeology , vol. iv. pp. 
I 19) and Records of the Past, vol. vi. pp. 103-112. 

4 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

served in their annals a remembrance of a total destruc 
tion of mankind by the gods. " The account," too, as 
Faber has said, " given by Plutarch, of the Egyptian 
Osiris, affords some grounds for imagining that he is the 
same person as the Scriptural Noah. He is said to have 
been a husbandman, a legislator, and a jealous advocate 
for the worship of the gods. Typhon conspired against 
him, and by a stratagem prevailed upon him to enter an 
ark, the top of which was immediately closed by his 
perfidious enemy. In this situation he floated down the 
Nile into the sea. The day in which he entered the 
ark was the seventeenth of the month Athyr, when the 
sun passes through the sign Scorpio." J Now, as Faber 
goes on to say, " with regard to this account, it may be 
observed that Typhon, according to Plutarch, is merely 
a mythological person, expressive of the ocean ; and 
consequently the tradition signifies nothing more than 
that the character denominated Osiris was in danger 
from the sea ; and that he escaped by entering an ark." 
Faber adds, " It is not a little remarkable that the day 
on which this took place precisely agrees with that of 
Noah s embarcation, previous to the commencement of 
the deluge." The evidence, if not quite convincing, is 
suggestive. Lucian, if he be the author of the De Dea 
Syriaca, also associates a tradition of the deluge with the 
Egyptian Hierapolis. 

From Egypt let us journey to India. Four versions of 
the deluge are found in the ancient literature of India, 
namely, in the Satapatha Brahmana, part of the White 
Yajur-Veda, the oldest version of the four in the great 
epic of the Mahabharata, the next oldest version in 

1 Hone Mosaiccc, Bampton Lectures for 1801, vol. i. pp. 134-136 ; 
compare Bryant, A New System, or an Analysis of Antient Mythology, 
1807, vol. iii. pp. 44, 182, 183. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge, 49 

the Bhagavata Purana, 1 a poem of more recent date 
still, and in the Matsya Purana, 2 a fabulous poem for 
which .the story of the deluge forms the framework. 
The two last versions may be passed by, because of their 
late date, and mature extravagance. The version from 
the Mahabharata I give in the summary of Monier 
Williams, 3 which runs 

" Manu, the Hindu Noah, is represented as conciliating 

the favour of the Supreme Being by his austerities in an age of 
universal depravity. A fish, which was an incarnation of Brahma 
appeared to him whilst engaged in penance on the margin of the 
river, and accosting him, craved protection from the larger fish. 
Manu complied and placed him in a glass vessel. Having outgrown 
this, he requested to be taken to a more roomy receptacle. Manu 
then placed him in a lake. Still the fish grew, till the lake, though 
three leagues long, could not contain him. He next asked to be 
taken to the Ganges ; but even the Ganges was soon too small, and 
the fish was finally transferred to the ocean. Here he continued 
to expand, till at last, addressing Manu, he warned him of the 
coming deluge. Manu, however, was to be preserved by the help 
of the fish, who commanded him to build a ship and go on board, 
not with his own wife and children, but with the Seven Rishis or 
patriarchs ; and not with pairs of animals, but with the seeds of 
all existing things. The flood came : Manu went on board, and 
fastened the ship, as directed, to a horn in the fish s head. He was 
thus drawn along." 

The remainder of the narrative Professor Williams 

1 Compare Burnouf, Le Bhagavata, on Histoire Poetique de Krishna, 
Paris, 1867, vol. iii. p. 191 ; Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts on the Origin 
and History of the People of India, their Religion and Institutions, Collected, 
translated, and illustrated, 2nd edit., London, 1872, vol. i. pp. 208-209. 

~ Analysed by H. H. Wilson, in his Vishnu Purana, a System of Hindu 
^Mythology and Tradition, Translated from the original Sanskrit, and illus 
trated by Notes, London, 1864, vol. i. pp. Ixxx-lxxxiii ; compare Muir, 
Original Sanskrit Texts, vol. i. pp. 203-207. 

3 Indian Wisdom, or Examples of the Religious, Philosophical, and 
Ethical Doctrines of the Hindus, 3rd edit., London, 1876, pp. 394~395 > 
comp. Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i. pp. 196-203. 

50 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

presents in a metrical rendering which he claims to be 
nearly literal : 

"Along the ocean in that stately ship was borne the lord of men, 

and through 
The dancing, tumbling billows, and its roaring waters ; and the 

Tossed to and fro by violent winds, rested on the surface of the 

Staggering and trembling like a drunken woman. Land was seen 

no more, 

Nor far horizon, nor the space between ; for everywhere around 
Spread the wild waste of waters, reeking atmosphere, and boundless 

And now when all the world was deluged, nought appeared above 

the waves 

But Manu and the seven sages, and the fish that drew the bark. 
Unwearied thus for years on years the fish propelled the ship 


The heaped-up waters, till at length it bore the vessel to the peak 
Of Himavan ; then, softly smiling, thus the fish addressed the 

Haste now to bind thy ship to this high crag. Know me the Lord 

of all, 

The great creator Brahma, mightier than all might omnipotent. 
By me in fish-like shape hast thou been saved in dire emergency. 
From Manu all creation, gods, Asuras, men, must be produced ; 
By him the world must be created that which moves and moveth 

not. " 

However, the oldest and simplest form of the tradi 
tion is that found in the Veda, 1 written certainly not 
later than a thousand years before Christ. The follow 
ing translation is from Muir : 

" In the morning they brought to Manu water for washing, as 
men are in the habit of bringing it to wash with the hands. As he 
was thus washing, a fish came into his hands, (which spake to him), 
* Preserve me ; I shall save thee. (Manu inquired), From what 

1 Compare Weber, Indische Studien, Berlin, 1850, vol. i. p. 161 ; Muir, 
Original Sanskrit Texts, vol. i. pp. 181-220; Sacred Books of the East : , 
vol. xii. pp. 216-219. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 51 

wilt thou save me ? (The fish replied), A flood shall sweep away 
all these creatures : from it will I rescue thee. (Maim asked) 
How (shall) thy preservation be effected ? The fish said : So long 
as we are small, we are in great peril, for fish devours fish ; thou shalt 
preserve me first in a jar. When I grow too large for the jar, then 
thou shalt dig a trench, and preserve me in that. When 1 grow 
too large for the trench, then thou shalt carry me away to the 
ocean. I shall then be beyond the reach of danger. Straightway 
he became a large fish ; for he waxes to the utmost. (He said), 
Now in such and such a year, then the flood will come ; thou 
shalt, therefore, construct a ship, and resort to me ; thou shalt em 
bark in the ship when the flood rises, and I shall deliver thee from 
it. Having thus preserved the fish, Manu carried him away to the 
sea. Then in the same year, which the fish had enjoined, he con 
structed a ship and resorted to him. When the flood rose, Manu 
embarked in the ship. The fish swam towards him. He fastened 
the cables of the ship to the fish s horn. By this means he passed 
over this northern mountain [Himavat or Himalaya]. The fish 
said, I have delivered thee : fasten the ship to a tree. But lest 
the waters should cut thee off whilst thou art on this mountain, as 
much as the water subsides, so much shalt thou descend after it. 
He accordingly descended after it, as much (as it subsided). 
Wherefore also this, viz., Manu s descent is (the name) of the 
northern mountain. Now the flood had swept away all these crea 
tures ; so Manu alone was left here. Desirous of offspring, he lived 
worshipping and toiling in arduous religions rites. Among these 
he also sacrificed with the paka offering. He cast clarified butter, 
thickened milk, whey, and curds as an oblation into the waters. 
Thence in a year a woman was produced. She rose," &c., &c. 

Nor is it undesirable to add that, in the version of the 
Bhagavata Purana, express reference is made to seven 
days. " In seven days, says Bhagavata, the Supreme 
God, to Satyavrata, the three worlds shall be submerged 
by the ocean of destruction." * " In yet seven days, 
said Jehovah to Noah, and I will cause it to rain upon 
the earth." 

Summarizing, therefore, the characteristics of this 
Indian tradition, they are as follows : First, the person 

1 Compare Pictet, Les Origines Il^doE^tropcennes^ 2nd edit. p. 368. 

52 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

saved from the waters is the first monarch, the divine chief 
of the present epoch of the world. Second, the salvation 
of Manu is achieved by divine interposition. Third, the 
deity appears to Manu tinder the form of a fish. Fourth, 
Manu is rescued by a ship. Fifth, Manu saves with 
him the seven Rishis, and also the seeds of all useful 
plants. Sixth, once saved Manu proceeds to the regene 
ration of all things. 1 Although in this Indian tradition 
there are variations peculiarly Aryan, the resemblance to 
Genesis is significant. 

From India let us turn to Ancient Iran modern 
Persia another branch of the great Aryan race, which 
scattered itself abroad from its home in Central Asia. 
A tradition of the destruction of all men is given in the 
Zend Avesta, the great legacy of Zoroaster, the sacred 
book of the Magi, the Bible of the Parsis. According 
to the Vendidad, most probably written not less than 
a thousand years before the Christian era, 2 Yima, the 

1 Compare Burnouf, Bhagavata Purana, vol. iii. preface, xxxiv.-xlvii. 

~ Says Dosabhai Framji Karaka, in his History of the Parsis, including 
their Manners, Customs, Religion and Present Position, London, 1884, vol. ii. 
pp. 147, 148: "Mr. Karsheclji Rastamji Kama, a well-known Oriental 
scholar among the Parsis, has on the authority of Greek and Jewish writers, 
and on that of the cuneiform inscriptions, very clearly shown in his Zar- 
thosht Nama (i.e., Life of Zoroaster), that Zoroaster lived at least 1300 years, 
before Christ. Before the light of new scholarship fell upon the point, it 
was the accepted belief among the learned that Zoroaster flourished in the 
sixth century before Christ. The mistake arose from the fact that they took 
the Kayanian king Gushtasp, in whose reign the prophet flourished, to be 
the same as Darius Hystaspes, the well-known king of the later Achse- 
menian dynasty, who lived about B.C. 521. Not only did the two kings belong 
to different dynasties, but the latest researches have shown that a period of 
more than 800 years intervened between them. This fact affixes as the earliest 
possible date to the reign of Gushtasp, and in consequence to the birth of 
Zoroaster also, the year B.C. 1300." That Zoroaster was thus a possible 
contemporary of Moses, Haug, Windischmann, and Spiegel also agree : see 
Uaug s Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsis, 
edited and enlarged by E. W. West, 3rd edit., London, 1884, pp. 298,299 ; 
Windischmann, Zoroastr. Studien, Berlin, 1863, p. 67 ; Spiegel, Eranische 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 53 

first man, the first king, and the founder of civilization, 
is advised by Ahura, the Good Spirit and Creator of all, 
on the approach of a dire winter which is to destroy 
every living creature, to build an enclosure in which to 
preserve the seeds of all animals and plants. 

" And Ahura Mazda spake unto Yima saying : 

u O fair Yima, son of Vivanghat ! upon the material world the 
fatal winters are going to fall, that shall bring the fierce, foul frost : 
upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, that 
shall make snowflakes fall thick, even an aredui deep on the highest 
tops of mountains. 

" And all the three sorts of beasts shall perish, those that live in 
the wilderness, and those that live on the tops of the mountains, and 
those that live in the bosom of the dale, under the shelter of 

"Before that winter, those fields would bear plenty of grass for 
cattle ; now with floods that stream, with snows that melt, it will 
seem a happy land in the world, the land wherein footprints of 
sheep may still be seen. 

" Therefore make thee a Vara (enclosure) long as a riding-ground 
on every side of the square, and thither bring the seeds of sheep 
and oxen, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red blazing fires. 

" Therefore make thee a Vara, long as a riding-ground on every 
side of the square, to be an abode for men ; a Vara, long as a 
riding-ground on every side of the square, to be a fold for flocks. 

" Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men, and women, of the 
greatest, best, and finest kinds, on this earth ; thither thou shalt 
bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best, and 
finest kinds on this earth. 

" Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of tree, of the 
greatest, best, and finest kinds on this earth; thither thou shalt 
bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the fullest of food and the 
sweetest of odour. All those seeds thou shalt bring, two of every 

Altcrthiimsktmde, Leipsic, 1871, vol. i. pp. 668-683. Professor Harlez, 
however, still advocates the later date for Zoroaster ; see his Avesta, Livrc 
Sacre du Zoroastrianismc, 2nd edit., Paris, 1881, Introduction, pp. xviii- 
xxiii, and cxcii-ccvii. As against both views, Darmesteter considers 
Zoroaster to have been a wholly mythical personage ; see his Ormazd et 
Ahriman, Icurs Ongines, et leur Histoirc, Paris, 1877, and the Sacred Books 
of the East, vol. iv. 1880, Introduction, p. Ixxxvi. 

54 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay 
in the Vara." 

In due course the Vara was sealed, a door having been 
made and a window "self-shining within." In this 
instance, as so frequently happens in these ancient tradi 
tions, there appears to be some confusion of the tradition 
of Eden with that of the Flood ; nevertheless two 
additional facts deserve notice. On the one hand, the 
word translated " frosts " is said by some commentators 
to signify " rains," 2 in which case the destruction of all 
things would have been by water, not cold. On the 
other hand, the command was given to Yima to build 
"when six hundred winters" had passed over him. 3 
According to Genesis, Noah was six hundred years old 
when the Flood broke. 

In China 4 also, and in Japan, in Siam, amongst the 
Tartars, 5 and amongst the Dyaks of Borneo, 6 a parallel 
tradition has been preserved. To these Asiatic traditions 
may be added the Phrygian story of King Naumakos, 
identified by some with Enoch. This king was fabled 
to have reached an age of more than three hundred 
years, to have foretold the Flood, and to have prayed 
and wept for his people, so clearly did he see the coming 
destruction. Very curious, too, as showing how deep a 
root this tradition had taken in the country, is the fact 
that so late as the time of Septimius Severus, about the 

1 Sacred Books of the East, vol. iv. pp. 15-21. 
- Ib. p. 17, note. 

3 Ib. vol. iv. p. 14. 

4 Faber, Hone Mosaiccc, vol. i. pp. 147, 148 : Gainet, La Bible sans la 
Bible, 2nd edit., 1871, Bar-le-Duc, vol. i. pp. 189, 190. 

3 Japanese, Siamese, and Tartar legends are given in Gainet, vol. i. 
PP- I93> J 94- 

6 Trans, of Soc. of Bibl. Arc/iaol., vol. ii. p. 265. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 55 

second century of our era, a medal was struck at 
Apamaea commemorating the Flood. The city is known 
to have been formerly called Kibotos, or the Ark, and it 
is also well known that the coins of cities frequently 
exhibited in that age some leading feature of their 
mythological history. The medal in question represents 
a kind of square vessel floating in the water. Through 
an opening in the vessel are seen two persons, a man 
and a woman. Upon the top of this chest, or ark, a 
bird is perched, whilst another flies towards it carrying a 
small branch of a tree between its feet. In front of the 
vessel the same pair are represented as having quitted 
their ship for dry land. Singularly enough, too, on 
some specimens of this medal the letters Nfl or Nf2E 
have been found. Can such a medal celebrate more 
events than one ? J 

Passing from Asia to Europe, traditions of a universal 
deluge are found amongst the Greeks and Romans, the 
Scandinavians, the Celts and the Lithuanians in fact, 
among all the great Aryan tribes which have peopled 

The Greek diluvian legend, which passed to Rome, 
exists in two forms. There is the legend of Ogyges, 
whose very name is derived from a word signifying 
flood, and there is the well-known legend of Deukalion. 
In the time of Ogyges, a mythical personage, " qui se 
perd dans la unit des ages" as Lenormant says after 
Pictet, the whole country of Bceotia was invaded by a 
deluge, the waters of which, rising to heaven, destroyed 
all men but the king and a few companions who escaped 

1 Cardinal Wiseman, Lectures on Science and Religion, 6th edit., Lon 
don, 1849, v l- n - PP- II 7~ I2 4; comp. Bryant, Antient Mythology^ vol. 
iii. pp. 47-49. 

56 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

in a ship. In this instance, it is true, we see an exempli 
fication of the common law of traditions, that they 
become localized, as has happened, for example, when 
the primitive Eden has been identified with Japan and 
Mexico, with Denmark and Sicily. If, however, some 
are inclined to think that this Boeotian legend is simply 
a vague reminiscence of some local flood, the same cannot 
be said of the legend of Deukalion and Pyrrha, so 
favourite a story with the ancient writers, with Pindar 
and Ovid, Apollodorus and Lucian. 

" The generation and the present race of men," says Lucian, 
" were not the first ; for all those of that former generation 
perished. But these are of a second race ; which increased from 
a single person, named Deukalion, to its present multitude. Con 
cerning those men, they relate the following tale. Being of a 
violent and ferocious temper, they were guilty of every sort of 
lawlessness. They neither regarded the obligation of oaths, nor 
the rights of hospitality, nor the prayers of the suppliant ; where 
fore a great calamity befel them. The earth suddenly poured forth 
a vast body of water ; heavy torrents of rain descended ; the 
rivers overflowed their banks ; and the sea arose above its ordinary 
level ; until the whole world was inundated, and all that were in it 
perished. In the midst of the general destruction, Deukalion 
alone was left to another generation, on account of his extraordi 
nary wisdom and piety. Now his preservation was thus effected. 
He caused his sons and their wives to enter a large ark which he 
had provided. But, while he was embarking, swine and horses 
and lions and serpents, and all other animals that live upon the 
face of the earth, came to him in pairs, These he took in with 
him ; and they injured him not ; but, on the contrary, the greatest 
harmony subsisted between them through the influence of the 
deity. Thus they all sailed together in an ark, so long as the 
waters prevailed. Such is the narrative of the Greeks." * 

Lucian goes on to say that the Syrians of Hierapolis 
believed the flood to have been swallowed up by a large 

1 Quoted from Faber, The Origin of Pagan Idolatry, ascertained from 
Historical Testimony and Circumstantial Evidence, London, 1816, vol. ii. 
pp. no, III ; compare Bryant, Antient Mythology, vol. iii. pp. 27-29. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 57 

chasm in their country, that they had erected a temple 
over this chasm, and that they held annually a festival 
in remembrance of the cessation of the deluge. Let 
another significant detail be added. " It was maintained 
by mythologists," writes Plutarch, " that Deukalion sent 
a dove out of the ark ; which, when it returned to him, 
showed that the storm was not yet abated ; but when 
he saw it no more, he concluded that the sky was serene 
again." * 

The Celtic Druids, also, so unique and yet so conser 
vative in their rites and doctrines, had their diluvian 
legend. 2 According to their bardic hymns, the profligacy 
of mankind had provoked the Supreme to send a pesti 
lential wind upon the earth. A pure poison descended ; 
every blast was death. At this time, the patriarch, 
distinguished for his integrity, was shut up, together 
with his seven select companions, in the floating island, 
or sacred enclosure, with the strong door. Here the just 
ones were safe from injury. Presently a tempest of fire 
arose. It split the earth asunder to the great deep. The 
lake Llion burst its bounds ; the waves of the sea lifted 
themselves on high, round the borders of Britain ; the 
rain poured down from heaven ; and the water covered 
the earth. But that water was a lustration, to purify 
the polluted globe, to render it meet for the renewal ot 
life, and to wash away the contagion of its former 
inhabitants into the chasms of the abyss. The flood, 
which swept away from the surface of the earth the 
expiring remains of the patriarch s contemporaries, 

1 Quoted by Faber, The Origin of Pagan Idolatry , &c., vol. ii. p. in. 

~ Compare Davies, Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, Lon 
don, 1809, p. 226 ; Faber, ib. vol. ii. pp. 130-136; Rhys, Lectures on the 
Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by Celtic Heathendom, 
London, 1888, pp. 649-668, 670. 

58 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

raised his vessel, or inclosure, on high from the ground, 
bore it safe upon the summit of the waves, and proved 
to him and his associates the water of life and reno 

Simply mentioning a diluvian tradition, to some ex 
tent parallel to the preceding, in the great Scandinavian 
epic, the Edda, z and another tradition extant amongst 
the ancient Lithuanians, 2 which, by the way, calls atten 
tion to the rainbow, we may further advance from the 
Eastern to the Western Hemisphere, where again reminis 
cences of a deluge are frequent. Diluvian traditions 
have been met with, in fact, in North America, in South 
America, and in the isthmus of Panama. Indeed, as 
D Eichthal has said, legends of a universal flood are 
" spread throughout the New World from one pole, so 
to speak, to the other ; " 3 and, as Ball has said, " a 
general belief in a deluge is widely spread among 
American races, and can hardly be attributed to Chris 
tian teaching." 4 To give a few instances. The legend 
in existence among the Cherokees reminds us of the 
story in the Mahabharata, except that a dog renders 
the same service to his master that the fish did to 

" This dog," writes Schoolcraft, "was very pertinacious in visit 
ing the banks of a river for several days, where he stood gazing at 
the water and howling piteously. Being sharply spoken to by his 
master and ordered home, he revealed the coming evil. He con 
cluded his prediction by saying that the escape of his master and 

1 Pictet, Les Origin es Indo-Europcennes, 2nd edit. vol. ii. p. 372. 
- Hanusch, Die Wissenschaft des Slaivischen My tints, Lemberg, 1842, 
p. 234. 

3 Etude sur les Origines Bonddkiques dc la Civilisation Americaine, 
Paris, 1865, part i. p. 65. 

4 Nadaillac, Prehistoric America, translated by D Anvers, and edited 
by W. H. Ball, London, 1885, p. 525. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 59 

family from drowning depended on throwing him into the water ; 
that to escape drowning himself, he must take a boat and put in it 
all he wished to save ; that it would then rain hard a long time, 
and a great overflowing of the land would take place. By obeying 
this prediction the man and his family were saved, and from them 
the earth was again peopled." I 

The diluvian tradition of the Quiches ran as 
follows : 

" Thus by the will of the Heart of Heaven the waters were 
swollen and a great flood came upon the manikins of wood. For 
they did not think nor speak of the Creator who had created them, 
and who had caused their birth. They were drowned, and a thick 
resin fell from heaven. . . . 

" Because they had not thought of their Mother and Father, the 
Heart of Heaven, whose name is Hurakan, therefore the face of 
the earth grew dark and a pouring rain commenced, raining by 
day, raining by night. 

" Then all sorts of beings, little and great, gathered together to 
abuse the men to their faces ; and all spoke, their mill-stones, 
their plates, their cups, their dogs, their hens. 

"Said the dogs and hens, Very badly have you treated us, and 
you have bitten us. Now we bite you in turn. 

" Said the mill-stones, Very much were we tormented by you, 
and daily, daily, night and day, it was squeak, squeak, screech, 
screech, for your sake. Now yourselves shall feel our strength, and 
we will grind your flesh, and make meal of your bodies, said the 

" And the cups and dishes said, Pain and misery you gave us, 
smoking our tops and sides, cooking us over the fire, burning and 
hurting us as if we had no feeling. Now it is your turn, and you 
shall burn, said the cups, insultingly. 

" Then ran the men hither and thither in despair. They climbed 
to the roofs of the houses, but the houses crumbled under their feet ; 
they tried to mount to the tops of the trees, but the trees hurled 
them far from them ; they sought refuge in the caverns, but the 
caverns shut before them. 

" Thus was accomplished the ruin of this race, destined to be 
destroyed and overthrown ; thus were they given over to destruc- 

1 Notes on the Iroqitois, or, Contributions to American History, An It- 
quitics, and General Etlmology, Albany, 1847, pp. 358, 359. 

60 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

tion and contempt. And it is said that their posterity are those 
little monkeys who live in the woods." x 

Again, concerning the Mexicans, Alexander von 
Humboldt writes : 

" Of the different nations that inhabit Mexico the following had 
paintings resembling the deluge, viz., the Aztecs, the Miztecs, the 
Zapotecs, the Tlascaltecs, and the Mechoacans. The Noah, 
Xisuthrus, or Manu of these nations is called Coxcox, Teo 
Cipactli or Tezpi. He saved himself with his wife Xochiquetzatl 
in a bark, or, according to other traditions, on a raft. The painting 
represents Coxcox in the midst of the water waiting for the bark. 
The mountain, the summit of which rises above the waters, is the 
peak of Colhuacan, the Ararat of the Mexicans. At the foot of 
the mountain are the heads of Coxcox and his wife." 2 

Of the Mechoacan tradition of a deluge Von Hum 
boldt writes : 

"Coxcox, whom they call Tezpi, embarked in a spacious acalli 
with his wife, his children, several animals and grain. When the 
Great Spirit ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi sent out from his 
bark a vulture, the zopiloti or vidlur aura. This bird did not 
return on account of the carcases, with which the earth was strewed. 
Tezpi sent out other birds, one of which, the humming-bird, alone 
returned, holding in its beak a branch clad with leaves. Tezpi, 
seeing that fresh verdure covered the soil, quitted his bark near the 
mountain of Colhuacan." 

According to Herrera, the Peruvians had a tradition 
that all men perished in a deluge, " except six who were 
saved in a float, from whom descended the inhabitants 
of that country." 3 

1 Brinton, Myths of the New World, a Treati on the Symbolism and 
Mythology of the Races of America, 2nd edit., New York, 1876, pp. 223, 

- Researches concerning the Institutions and Monuments of the Ancient 
Inhabitants of Mexico, translated by Helen Maria Williams, 2 vols., 
London, 1814, pp. 226, 227. 

3 History of America, translated by Stevens, London, 1725, 1726, 
vol. iii. p. 250. 

II.] Traditions of Deluge. 61 

For yet further illustration of the diluvian traditions 
of the Western world, let the quaint chant of the 
Lenni-Lenape be cited : 

" Long ago," they sang, " came the powerful serpent when men had 

become evil. 

The strong serpent was the foe of the beings, and they became em 
broiled, hating each other. 

Then they fought and despoiled each other, and were not peaceful. 
Then the strong serpent resolved all men and women to destroy 


The black serpent monster brought the snake water rushing. 
The wide waters rushing wide to the hills, everywhere spreading, 

everywhere destroying. 
At the island of the turtle was Manabozho, of men and beings the 

Being born creeping, at turtle land he is ready to move and 

Men and beings all go forth on the flood of waters, moving afloat 

every way, seeking the back of the turtle. 
The monsters of the sea were many, and destroyed some of 

Then the daughter of a spirit helped them in a boat, and all joined, 

saying, Come, help, 

Manabozho, of all beings, of men and turtles, the Grandfather. 
All together, on the turtle then, the men then, all together. 
Much frightened, Manabozho prayed to the turtle that he would 

make all well again. 
Then the waters ran off, it was dry on mountain and plain, and the 

great evil went elsewhere by the path of the cave." 1 

Similar traditions were preserved by the Nicaraguans, 
the Brazilians, and the Cubans. Indeed, even so anti 
pathetic a critic as Mr. Brinton confesses that " there 
are no more common heirlooms " than flood traditions 
that in these traditions " the person saved is always 
the first man," and that " the American nations, among 
whom a distinct and well-authenticated myth of the 
deluge was found, are as follows Athapascas, Iroquois, 

1 Paraphrase given in Emerson, Indian Myths, Boston, 1884, p. 352. 

62 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

Cherokees, Chikasaws, Cuddos, Natchez, Dakotas, 
Apaches, Navajos, Mandans, Pueblo Indians, Aztecs, 
Miztecs, Zapotecs, Tlascalans, Mechoacans, Toltecs, 
Natonas, Mayas, Quiches, Haitians, natives of Darien 
and Popoyan, Muyscas, Ouichmas, Tuppinambas, Acha- 
guas, Araucanians, and doubtless others." * Nor should 
we omit the fact that the " Popul Vuh," the sacred book 
of the people of Guatemala, concerning which Max 
Miiller writes one of his interesting essays in the first 
volume of his CJiips front a German Workshop, knows 
of a first race of men who were destroyed by water. 

Even in the many islands of the Pacific references to 
a deluge have been discovered. Thus the Fijians say 
that after the islands had been peopled by the first man 
and woman, a great rain took place by which they were 
finally submerged, but that, before the highest places 
were covered by the waters, two large double canoes 
made their appearance. In one of them was Rokoru, 
the god of carpenters, in the other, Rokolu, his head 
workman, who picked up some of the people and kept 
them on board until the waters had subsided, after which, 
eight in number, they were again landed on the island. 
Diluvian traditions have also been preserved in other 
places in Polynesia. 2 

Here the sketch of deluge traditions, which if recorded 
fully would fill a large volume, may cease. The sketch 
is complete enough for the argument. Witnesses have 
been summoned from all quarters of the globe, there 
scarcely being a people or a corner of the earth which 
does not furnish some corroboration of the historical 

1 Myths of Uie New World, p. 226 ; compare pp. 213-228. 

2 Waitz, Anthropologie der Natui-volker, vol. vi., Die Volkerder Sudsee, 
Leipsic, 1872, pp. 270-273. 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions. 63 

character of this great event. "The deluge was the 
grand epocha of every ancient kingdom ; . . . the re 
newal of the world ; the new birth of mankind ; and 
the ultimate of Gentile history." x Even the variations 
of the legends point the more surely to an unvarying, 
and very ancient, historical nucleus. As M. Pictet has 
so w r ell said, 

" If the different legends are compared with each other, or with the 
narrative of the Genesis, they are found to be too divergent to admit 
the fact of their being borrowed by one people from another, and, 
on the other hand, too concordant to associate them with the 
hypothesis of several local deluges. In them all, the place of the 
event is changed, and the names of the man saved from the waters 
vary, or they simply signify the ancient mythical renovation of 
each particular race ; but also, in them all, the destruction is uni 
versal, and one single man or a single couple escapes in a ship, 
with or without animals, so as to recommence life on the earth." - 

Indeed it would seem that chronology itself has some 
curious testimony to offer, for there are some grounds 
for saying that the date assigned in the Genesis to the 
Flood varies but slightly from the approximate dates of 
the Indian Deluge and the Chinese. 3 

This diluvian evidence is, to say the least, striking. 
For the moment I refrain from drawing the inferences 
which such a series of facts warrant, and content myself 
with calling attention to the remarkable character of the 
facts themselves. 

I have thus considered the world-wide traditions of a 
universal deluge at some length. Desiring to illustrate 
that corroboration of Genesis which may be found in 
ethnic tradition, I have primarily selected a crucial and 

1 Bryant, Antient Mythology, vol. i. pp. xxxvii., xxxviii. 

2 Les Origines Indo-Europccnnes, vol. iii. p. 386. 

3 Gainet, La Bible sans la Bible, vol. i. pp. 208, 209. 

64 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

indubitable instance. But it is necessary now to add 
that the instance given is far from exceptional. Similar 
corroboration is found in the ethnic religions of other 
portions of the primitive Biblical history. There is 
scarcely an incident in the earlier chapters of Genesis 
which does not exist in some legend or other in some 
heathen faith. That the world was created in six days, 
that man was formed of the dust of the ground, that 
woman was moulded from man, that humanity has 
sprung from a single pair, that the primitive beliefs of 
men were monotheistic, all may be found in the records 
of heathendom as well as of Christianity ; there are 
corroborative traditions concerning a primeval paradise, 
concerning its location, concerning the fall of our first 
parents, concerning the serpent as the origin of evil, 
and concerning a promised deliverer from the effects of 
sin ; there are also corroborative traditions relative to 
Cain and Abel, to the intermarriage of the sons of God 
and the daughters of men, to the primitive giants, to 
the longevity of the patriarchs, and even to the number of 
the patriarchs from the Creation to the Deluge, whilst the 
long list of corroborative traditions is brought to a close 
with the numerous legends extant concerning Babel 
and the confusion of tongues. It is unnecessary for 
my purpose to illustrate all these coincidences by lengthy 
extracts from the extant records ; but, seeing that the 
argument is to some extent cumulative, and that the 
inductions I am about to draw are generalizations from 
many particulars, I shall serve the end in view by a 
rapid enumeration of results. Being about to pass as 
soon as possible to the conclusions suggested by such 
community of evidence, I simply outline the testimony 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions, 65 

Allow me to remark, however, before proceeding, that 
variations in traditions should cause little surprise. 
Traditions only become stereotyped by committal to 
writing ; and the literary phase is by no means an early 
stage in the transmission of religions. On any thought 
ful consideration of the circumstances under which 
legends are handed on from generation to generation, 
imaginative versions, renderings which are romantic, 
exaggerated, localized, and personal, will be expected to 
be the rule ; it will be anticipated, that occurrences of 
remote lands and ancient men will become associated 
with places nearer home and with names revered and 
familiar. Indeed, with all the human failings of the 
custodians of legendary lore, the mode of transmission 
from mouth to ear, and from father to son, is liable in 
the extreme to introduce embellishment and error. The 
story-teller has many a temptation not to restrict him 
self to the naked truth. Bon-mots are apt to be attri 
buted to many authors, doing service from age to age. 
Great deeds are wont to be ascribed to many heroes of 
diverse climes. Love of self, or family, or country, leads 
to the appropriation of exploits which are not our own ; 
and the instinct to regard our own village as the hub of 
the universe, our own time as the centre of history, our 
own achievements as the pink of excellence, our own 
perils as the crater of all catastrophe, is, to use a euphe 
mism, human. How human it is to slightly colour plain 
facts, to appropriate to a country what pertains to the 
race, and to array simple truth in the gaudy garb of 
allegory ! How prone is the tutored as well as the 
savage man to tell stories, and to varnish them ! In 
face of the mode of transmission of ethnic legends our 
surprise may well be reserved for the coincidences 


66 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

rather than the dissimilarities which appear. However, 
it is for the coincidences, for such coincidences as 
point to a common origin, that we are at present in 

"And the earth was waste and void; and darkness 
was upon tJie face of the deep, and tJie Spirit of God was 
brooding over the face of the waters" So runs Genesis. 
According to the Biblical account the earth was a chaos, 
a desert ; darkness was on the face of ocean ; and the 
creative Spirit hovered like a bird over the aqueous 
waste. What say the ethnic traditions ? Says Ancient 
Egypt, " There was originally a boundless darkness in 
the great abyss ; but water and an intelligent ethereal 
Spirit acted by Divine power in chaos." J Says Ancient 
Chaldea, " There was a time in which there existed 
nothing but darkness and an abyss of waters;" 2 and, 
in another place, " When the upper region was not yet 
called heaven, and the lower region was not yet called 
earth, and the abyss had not opened its arms, then the 
chaos of waters gave birth to them all, and the waters 
were gathered to one place ; " 3 or, as George Smith 
translated the same passage, " When above was not 
raised the heavens, and below on the earth a plant had 
not grown up, the abyss also had not broken open their 
boundaries, the chaos Tiamat (the sea), was the pro 
ducing mother of all of them." 4 Says Ancient Phoe 
nicia, " The beginning of all things was a dark and windy 
air, or a breeze of dark air, and a chaos turbid and 

1 Faber, Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. i. p. 228. 

2 Cory, Ancient Fragments, p. 22. 

3 Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archccology, vol. v. p. 426 ; 
Records of the Past, vol. ix. p. 117. 

4 Chaldean Genesis, p. 62 ; compare Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 143. 

II.] Ot/ter Primitive Traditions. 67 

dark as Erebos." z Says Ancient India, " This universe 
was formerly waters, fluid." 2 Says Ancient Japan, " In 
the beginning of the opening of all things, a chaos 
floated, as fishes swim in the waters for pleasure." 3 
Says Ancient Scandinavia, " At the beginning of time, 
when nothing was as yet formed, neither shore nor sea, 
nor foundations beneath ; when the earth was nowhere 
to be found below, nor the heavens above, all was one 
vast abyss without plant or verdure." 4 Says Ancient 
Greece : 

" First chaos was, next ample-bosomed earth. 

From chaos, Erebos, and ebon Night : " 5 

a sentiment more fully expanded by Orpheus, in whose 
view, " In the beginning was created the ether : Chaos, 
and gloomy night, the first of all things, enveloped it on 
every side : nevertheless, there was a being, incompre 
hensible, supreme, and pre-existing, the creator of the 
ether itself, as of whatsoever is under the ether." 6 Says 
Ancient Rome : 

" Ante, mare et tellus et quod tegit omnia celum 
Unus erat toto Naturae vultus in orbe 
Ouem dixere chaos, rudis indigestaque moles ; 
Nee quidquam, nisi pondus iners ; congestaque eodem 
Non bene jimctarum discordia semina rerum." 7 

1 Sanchoniathon, as preserved by Eusebius, Pmparatio Evangelica, lib. 
i. c. x. Sanchoniathon obtained all his knowledge apparently from some 
very ancient records preserved in an ancient temple. 

2 Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i. p. 52. 

3 Faber, Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. i. p. 249 ; compare Bousquet, 
Le Japon de nos Jours, Paris, 1877, vol. ii. pp. 66, 67, and Reed, Japan, 
its History, Traditions, and Religion, London, 1880, vol. i. pp. 26, 27. 

4 Edda, fab. i. see, e.g., Mallet s Northern Antiquities, London, 1770, 
reprinted in Bonn s Antiquarian Library. 

5 Hesiod, Theoonia,v. 116, Elton s Translation, London, 1809; com 
pare Aristophanes, Aves, line 694. 

6 Suidas, Lexicon, under "Orpheus," vide Cambridge edition, 1785. 

7 Ovid, Metamorphoseoti) series i. lines 5-9- 

68 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

Says the Red-skin of North America, " The great Spirit, 
the raven, the personification of the black and windy 
heaven of dark nights, long brooded over an obscure 
and smoking chaos." * Could similarity even of expres 
sion go farther ? 

" Thus the heavens and the earth were finished." The 
Biblical order of creation is light, the firmament, seas, 
dry land and plants, sun, moon, and stars, reptiles, 
fishes, birds, the higher animals and man. Upon this 
question of the order of creation ethnic tradition has 
evidence to offer. Thus the ancient Egyptians used 
to sing in their hymns to Osiris, " He has made this 
world by his hands, its waters, its atmosphere, its 
vegetation, all its beasts, all its flying things, all its fish, 
all its reptiles, and its quadrupeds ; " 2 where, although 
man is omitted, the order is suggestive. According 
to the cosmogony of the Bundehish, a collection of 
fragments in Pehlevi relating to the myths and legends 
of the Mazdayasnan tradition, the Parsis believe that 
the order of creation was the heavens, and the world 
of light, including the sun, the moon, and the stars, 
the waters, the earth, the trees, the animals, man. 3 
Again, George Smith shows cause for saying that, 
despite the great gaps in the creation tablets discovered 
at Nineveh, these tablets followed almost identically 
the order of creation given in Genesis.4 Yet again, 
according to the Laws of Manu, one of the sacred books 

1 Reville, Les Religions des Peoples Non-dvilises, Paris, 1883, vol. i. p. 


2 Chabas, " Hymne a Osiris," Revue Archcologique, 1857, vol. xiv. pp. 

73, 74- 

3 Du Perron, Zend-Avesta, Ouvrage de Zoroastre, Paris, 1771, vol. ii. 

P- 348. 

4 Chaldean Genesis^ pp. 72-76 ; compare Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 


n.] Other Primitive Traditions. 69 

-of India, the order of creation was the self-existent, 
the waters, the heavens and the earth. 1 In the 
cosmogony of the Popul Vuh, of Central America, 
the order is dawn, Huracan, whose signs are lightning 
and thunder, the earth with its mountains and plains 
and water-courses, stags and birds, man. 2 And yet 
again, in the painted records of the Indian tribe of the 
Lenni-Lenape we may read : 

" At the first there were great waters above all the land, 
And above the waters were thick clouds, and there was God 

the Creator. 

He created vast waters, great lands, and much air and heaven ; 
He created the sun, the moon and stars ; 
He caused them all to move well ; 
By His power He made the winds to blow, purifying, and the 

deep waters to run off ; 

All was made bright, and the islands were brought into being. 
Then again God the Creator made the great spirits ; 
He made also the first beings, angels and souls, 
Then made he a man being, the father of men ; 
He gave him the first mother, the mother of the early born. 
Fishes gave he him, turtles, beasts and birds." 3 

It is further noteworthy, in this connection, that the 
Parsis expressly attribute the creation to six periods 
six very prolonged periods, of time ; 4 that the Etruscans 
believed that five millenniums preceded the formation 
of man which itself occupied a sixth millennium ; 5 and 
that the ancient Mexicans had preserved the remem 
brance of a creation by the great god Ketzalkohuatl 
in seven days. 6 

1 Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxv. pp. 1-5. 

2 Gainet, La Bibk sans la Bible, vol. i. pp. 147-149. 

^ Paraphrase from Emerson, Indian Myths, pp. 395-397. 

4 Du Perron, Zend-Avesta, vol. ii. p. 348. 

5 Suidas, Lexicon, article Tvporjvia. 

6 D Anselme, Monde Pa icn, vol. ii. p. 441, quoted by Gainet, La Bible 
sans la Bible, vol. i. p. 73. 

70 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT.. 

"And the Lord God formed man from the dust of 
the ground." A similar tradition is world-wide, being 
found in Phoenicia, 1 Libya, 2 Egypt, 3 Greece,4 Borneo,s 
Peru, 6 the native tribes of America/ Madagascar, 8 
Tahiti. 9 As said the Mandans of North America,. 
" the great Spirit formed two figures of clay which he 
dried and animated with the breath of his mouth, the 
first man and the first woman," a turn of phrase which- 
reminds one of Ovid s fresh earth : 

" Guam satus Japeto, mixtam fluvialibus undis, 
Finxit in effigiem moderantum cuncta deorum." 

" And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the 
man, and he slept ; and he took one of his ribs and closed 
up the flesh instead thereof, and the rib which the Lord 
God had taken from the man, made he a woman" 
The nations of New Zealand say the same, that 
" the first woman was made out of one of man s ribs ; 
and their general term for bone is hevee or, as Professor 
Lee gives it, iwi a sound bearing a singular resemblance 
to the Hebrew name of our first mother." I0 The same 
legend is found amongst the Polynesians of the Union 
Group, who tell how the first man " made the head, 
body, arms and legs all of earth, then took a rib from 
his right side, and thrust it inside of the earth model ;, 

1 Sanchoniatko, edit. Orelli, Leipsic, 1826, p. 18. 

2 Philosophumena, lib. v. cap. vii. 

3 Chabas, Etudes sur I" 1 Antiqiiitc Historiqite, p. 87* 

4 Ovid, Metamorph. i. 

5 Gainet, La Bible sans la Bible, vol. i. p. 131. 

Lenormant, Les Origines de P Histoirc, vol. i .p. 40. 

7 Emerson, Indian l\lyths, p. 117 ; Brinton, MytJis of New World, pp.. 
238, 239. 

8 Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, New York, 1883, p. 1 5- 

9 Lenormant, Les Origines de V Histoire vol. i. p. 40. 

10 Shepheard, Traditions of Eden, London, 1871, p. 73. 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions. 71 

when suddenly the earth became alive and up started 
a woman on her feet ; he called her Ivi (pronounced 
Evee) or rib ; he took her to be his wife, and from them 
sprang the race of men." * In Ancient Babylonia, too, a 
similar belief prevailed as to the creation of woman 
" from the loins of the man." 2 

"And the Lord God planted a gar den eastward in Eden, 
and there he put the man whom he had formed? Here, 
again, we touch a tradition which may be not inappro 
priately termed universal. A primitive state of Edenic 
felicity is one of the fondest memories of man, preserved 
by nearly all religions. 3 Thus the Egyptian looked 
back with tenderness to the days of the God Ra, which 
inaugurated human history. 4 The Brahman speaks with 
affection of the bright age of Krita, when " righteousness 
was perennial," when " the earth was watered by streams 
of milk and honey," when " men died when they desired, 
suffered few annoyances, were free from disease, ac 
complished all their objects and endured no oppression," 
when " they had an intuitive perception of all duties," 
and when, alas, " this felicity blinded them." 5 Of a land of 
Heden,the Magians knew, and of a primeval time of great 
innocence and happiness. 6 Scandinavia had its Asgard 

1 Turner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia, London, 1861, p. 526 ; compare 
Ellis, Polynesian Researches, London, 1829, vol. ii. p. 28, and Max Muller, 
Introduction to Science of Religion, London, 1873, pp. 302-304. 

2 Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 395. 

3 Compare Ewald, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 3rd edit. 1874, vol. i. pp. 
366-378 ; Maury, Histoire des Religions de la Grece, Paris, 1857, vol. i. p. 
371 ; Renan, Histoire des Langues Semitiques, 4th edit. 1863, Paris, pp. 
484-486 ; Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, Bonn, 1847, vol. i. pp. 528- 
529 ; Burnouf, BJiagavata Purana, vol. iii. preface, pp. xlviii-xlix. 

4 Lenormant, Les Origines de V Histoire, vol. i. p. 58. 

5 Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i. pp. 145,147 ; Gainet, La Bible sans la 
Bible, vol. i. p. 85 ; Lenormant, Les Origines de V Histoire, vol. i. p. 59- 

6 Shepheard, Traditions of Eden, p. 49 ; Faber, Horn Mosaics, vol. i.p. 72. 

72 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

and its Golden Age. 1 Greece, too, had its Golden Age 
exempt from care and sorrow, as Hesiod sang, when man 
led the life of the gods, and old age was unknown. 2 Nor 
did the Aztec priests ever chant more regretfully than 
when they sang of Tulan, the cradle of their race, the 
land of riches and plenty ; of Tulan where the sun rises ; 
of Tulan in the land of shades ; of Tulan where the sun 
reposes and where God dwells of Tulan, that is to 
say, their Paradise Lost, and Tulan their Paradise 
Regained. 3 Even the location of Eden and its four 
rivers are known to very diverse ethnic faiths. 4 

" Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the 
field ivJiich the Lord God Jiad made, and Jie said unto the 
woman, hath God said &c. ? In the serpent as the 
origin of evil we again touch a universal tradition. I do 
not forget that much of ophiolatry is explicable on 
natural grounds, the serpent being at once so formidable 
and so uncanny ; nor do I forget, as Max Miiller has 
reminded us, that " there is an Aryan, there is a Semitic, 
there is a Turanian, there is an African serpent," just 
as I would bear in mind Max M tiller s appended 
caution when he asks " who but an evolutionist would 
dare to say that all these conceptions came from one and 
the same original source, that they are all held together 
by one traditional chain ? " 5 But I am not now calling 

1 Edda, Fab. vii. ; compare, e.g., Mallet, Northern Antiquities. 

2 Hesiod, Opera et Dies, bk. i. line 108 ; compare Plato, Opera Omnia, 
edit. Stallbaum, vol. ix. p. 194. 

3 Brinton, Myths of the New World, pp. 90, 91. 

4 Compare Brinton, ib. pp. 87-92 ; Smith, Sacred Annals, or Researches 
into the History and Religions of Mankind, vol. i. Patriarchal Age, Lon 
don, 1859, 2nd edit. p. 156; Warren, Paradise Found, the Cradle of the 
Human Race at the North Pole, a Study of the Prehistoric World, Boston, 
1885, much of part iv. 

5 Academy, 1874, p. 548 ; compare Deane, The Worship of the Serpent 
traced throughout the World, London, 1833. 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions. 73 

attention to serpent worship as such, in which the 
serpent is approached quite as frequently as a beneficent 
as a maleficent deity ; I am only concerned with tradi 
tions of the serpent as the source of moral evil. Tradi 
tions of this character are found in many ethnic faiths. 
If the dragon Tiamat who plays a part in the Babylonian 
narrative of the Fall of Man be not a serpent, 1 the 
Babylonians nevertheless certainly did know of a great 
serpent who was " the enemy of the gods." 2 " We read, 
too, in the bilingual lists " of Babylonia, " of the evil 
serpent, the serpent of darkness. " 3 So the Phoe 
nicians told of Ophion. the serpent deity, who was pre 
cipitated by Cronos into Tartarus with his companions. 4 
The ancient Egyptians again had a serpent Apap, who 
fought against the sun and whom Horus pierced. 5 In 
the religion of Zoroaster, also, the evil principle, under 
the form of a serpent, is thrust down to earth after 
endeavouring to corrupt heaven, is fought against by 
Mithra, and will one day be vanquished, chained for 
three thousand years, and finally burnt up in molten 
metal. 6 Legends, in which a serpent is the symbol of 
the evil spirit, are also found in Scandinavia and amongst 
the American Aztecs. A few details of the Scandina 
vian legend are worth reciting. According to the Edda, 
Loki, the evil being, is possessed of great personal beauty, 
and of a malignant and inconstant nature, surpassing 

1 Smith, Chaldean Genesis, pp. 87-92 ; compare Lenormant, Origincs 
e^f., vol. i. p. 100, note 2. 

- Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, vol. ii. plate v. 1. 39 c > ^> 
and plate 24, quoted by Lenormant, //>. p. 100, 

3 Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 283. 

4 Origen, Adv. Cclsum, vi. 303. 

5 Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, 2nd edit., 
London, 1878, vol. iii. p. 155. 

6 Du Perron, Zend-Avesta, vol. ii. 351. 

74 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

all creatures in the depth of his cunning and in the 
artfulness of his perfidy. Two of his children, born of 
a demon styled the messenger of ill, are death and an 
immense serpent. " The universal Father despatched cer 
tain of the gods to bring those children to him. When 
they were come, he threw the serpent down to the bottom 
of the ocean. But there the monster waxed so large that 
he wound himself round the whole of the earth. Death 
meanwhile was precipitated into Hela. Here she pos 
sesses vast apartments, strongly built and fenced with 
grates of iron. Her hall is grief; her table, famine; 
hunger, her knife ; delay, her servant ; faintness, her 
porch ; sickness and pain, her bed ; and her tent, cursing 
and howling." Significantly enough also, in this con 
nection, the deliverances wrought by the great heroes 
of mythology are often over a serpent. Recall, for 
instance, the legends of Thor who bruises the head of a 
serpent with his hammer, of Krishna who tramples a 
serpent beneath his feet, of Mithra and his combat with 
a serpent, of Hercules and the Python, Apollo and the 
snake, Horus and Apap. In this instance, again, our 
thesis is strongly illustrated. 

" A nd ivhen the woman saw that the tree was good for 
food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the 
tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the 
fruit thereof, and did eat ; and she gave also unto her 
husband with her, and he did eat" This story of the 
Fall is another universal tradition. For example, pic 
torial representations which can refer to nothing but the 
first temptation abound. Thus an ancient Babylonian 
cylinder, which has been reproduced by Layard, George 
Smith, and others, and which may be seen in the 
British Museum, shows two people, a man and a woman, 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions. 75 

seated right and left of a tree, from which hang two- 
large fruits, whilst by the side of the woman a serpent 
stands, and erect. The representation is rude, but even 
so competent an authority as the great Assyriologist, 
Friedrich Delitzsch, avows in his edition of the "Chal 
dean Genesis," that it can bear no other interpretation. 1 
Similarly the central tablet of a large sculpture in the 
temple of Osiris at Phylae, " at once tells its own story 
as, beyond a rational doubt, an Egyptian delineation of 
the temptation and fall of our first parents ; every par 
ticular is here depicted to the life ; the man, the woman, 
the serpent, the tree, the forbidden fruit, the fruit, being 
not on the tree, but in the hands of the man and woman, 
and the basilisk being here again erect." 2 Once more, 
a bas-relief in the wall of the Villa Albani, at Rome, 
of pre-Christian times, depicts a man and a woman, 
nude, standing at the foot of a tree with fruit, around 
the trunk of which a serpent is twined. So readily 
did this bas-relief lend itself to express the episode in 
Genesis, that, as a matter of fact, the early Christians 
simply reproduced it in painting and sculpture, for their 
own purposes of illustration. 3 India has, apparently, a 
similar representation, for in a cave-temple of Southern 
India, upon a sculptured column, a human pair appear 
at the foot of a tree, from the branches of which a serpent 

J Layard, Worship of Mithra, 1847, plate xvi. No. 4; Smith, Chaldean 
Genesis, p. 91 ; Vigouroux, La Bible ct les Decouvertes Modernes, 3rd edit., 
Paris. iSSi, vol. i. p. 201. 

- Forster, 77/6 One Primeval Language, part ii. The Monuments oj 
Egypt, and their Vestiges of Patriarchal Tradition, London, 1852 : p. 185, 
compare Le Cham ef V Adam Egyptiens, by E. Lefebure, in Trans, of Soc. 
of Biblical Archccology, vol. ix. part i. 1887, pp. 176, 177. 

3 Panofiver, Annales de Plnstitnt Archeologique, quoted by Lenormant,. 
Origines, vol. i. p. 92. 

j6 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

offers fruit in his mouth. 1 The Mexicans, again, accord 
ing to Alexander von Humboldt, picture a similar scene 
upon their monuments. Legendary traditions of the 
Fall also occur in plenty. The Zend Avesta tells how 
41 Yima, the first man, lost his awful kingly glory by con 
flict with the snake." 2 The Phoenicians had a parallel 
tradition. 3 The prose Edda, of the ancient Scandina 
vians, speaks of the golden age when all was pure, but 
which ended with the arrival of woman. 4 Who can avoid 
associating with the Fall of Genesis the Greek tradi 
tions of Pandora, and of the Garden of Golden Apples 
kept by the Hesperides and the dragon ? 5 The Thibe 
tan Buddhists tell of the lapse of man from a state of 
felicity by eating of a plant " white and sweet as sugar," 
which caused him to become conscious of his nakedness 
and of a sudden ferment introduced into his body. 6 So 
too the Malagasy describe the first man as free from 
bodily appetites, and surrounded by delicious fruit which 
he was strictly forbidden to eat, but as falling from his 
state of blessedness, when his great enemy came to him 
painting in glowing colours the sweetness of the apple, 
and the lusciousness of the date, and the succulence of 
the orange.7 And yet again, traditions are abundant con- 

1 Higgins, Anacalypsis ; an Enquiry into t!ic Origin of Languages, 
Nations, and Religions, London, 1829, vol. i. p. 404. 

- Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxiii. pp. 294, 295 ; compare Lenormant, 
Histoire Ancienne de P Orient, 9th edit. vol. v<. Paris, 1887, p. 398. 

3 Renan, Mcmoires de PAcademie des Inscriptions, nouvelle series, vol. 
xxiii. 2nd part, p. 259. 

4 Mallet, Northern Antiquities, translated by Bishop Percy, London, 
1847, p. 409. 

5 Preller, Griechische Mythologie, 3rd edit., 1872, Berlin ; vol. i. p. 439 ; 
compare (lainet, La BH h sans la Bible, vol. i. p. 87 ; and Montfaucon, 
L Antiquite Expliquee, Paris, 1722, vol. i. 

6 Bertram!, Diction,iaire des Religions, article " Religion Thibetain 

7 Baring-Gould, Legends of the Patriarchs and Prophets, London, 1872, 
P- 31- 

II.] OtJicr Primitive Traditions. 77 

cerning the Tree of Life. A Tree of Life was known to 
many peoples. 1 Such a tree appears on Assyrian and 
Egyptian monuments and coffins. 2 The Sabaeans had 
a tree of life which they sagely called " the tree which 
shades." 3 Sometimes the representations of this tree 
are conventional and sometimes specific. 4 When they 
are specific they are manifestly sketches of the Asclepias 
acida, the plant from which is obtained the sacred Soma 
of the early Aryans of India, and the sacred Huoma of 
the ancient Iranians " le breakage cTimmortalitc " the 
holy juice, a drink of which makes men immortal on the 
day of resurrection. s " We sacrifice," repeats the Parsi 
priest, " unto the enlivening Huoma [the sacred juice 
personified], who makes the world grow ; we sacrifice 
unto Huoma, who keeps death far away." 6 Nor is it 
without interest to notice that the ancient name of 
Babylon, Tin-tir-ki, signifies apparently, " the place of 
the tree of life." 7 

Passing on to other pre- Abrahamic traditions, there are 
many interesting legends concerning the number of the 
patriarchs. According to Genesis there were in all ten 
patriarchs from the Creation to the Flood. Now this 
number of ten mythical ancestors occurs in various 

Compare the very interesting chapter on "The Central Tree," in 
Warren, Paradise Found. 

~ Schrader, Semitismus und Babylonisiims, in the Jahrbiicher fiir Protes 
tant. Theologic, 1875, vol. i. pp. 124, 125. Compare Le Cham ct I* Adam 
Egyptiens, by Lefebure, in Trans, of Soc. of Biblical Arc/neology, vol. ix. 
pp. 178-180. 

3 Norberg, Codex Nasanmis, Liber Adami appellatus, Syriace transscrip- 
tus, . . . latineque redditus, 3 vols., 1815-6, vol. Hi. p. 68. 

4 See Botta, Monuments de Ninive, 1847-1850, vol. ii. p. 150 ; Layard,. 
Monuments of Nineveh, plates 6, 7, 8, 9, 39, 44, &c. 

5 Sacred Books of the East, vol. iv. p. Ixix. and p. 72. 

6 //>., vol. xxiii. p. 20. 

7 Lenormant, Origin es, vol. i. p. 76, note 6. 

78 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

ancient monuments. Thus, in Ancient Chaldea, nine 
kings are said to have reigned before Xisuthrus, who, 
according to the Chaldean legend, was saved from the 
Flood. 1 So too the Assyrians believed that ten genera 
tions of heroes had preceded the foundation of Nineveh. 2 
According to the ancient Iranian tradition, Gayomard, 
the first man, was succeeded by the Paradhata dynasty, 
that is, the dynasty of the kings of yore, nine in number. 3 
In India, Brahma and the nine Brahmaditras are 
honoured as those " who are the origin of the families who 
have peopled the world." 4 The Egyptians taught that 
ten deities reigned before man. 5 The Chinese speak of 
ten emperors who inaugurated historic times, their names 
being, as far as their significance is concerned, singularly 
like the biblical names. 6 Similarly, the Tyrians reckoned 
ten kings, and the Sibylline Books ten ages, between the 
Creation and the Deluge ; whilst Orientals frequently 
speak of ten Solimans, or first kings, as having reigned 
in the world. 

Further, it is interesting to note that traditions are 
numerous, not only as to the number of the early 
patriarchs, but as to their longevity. Thus, in a re 
markable passage, especially remarkable, if it is borne 
in mind that he was citing authors much better known 
to his readers than to us, Josephus, who had been 
speaking, on the authority of Genesis, of the great 

1 The list is given by four ancient authors, viz., Julius Africanus, Abyde- 
nus, Berossus, and Apollodorus ; see Gainet, La Bible sans la Bible, vol. i. 
p. 95. - Abydenus, as preserved by Eusebius. 

3 Spiegel, Bran. Alterthumsktmde, vol. i. pp. 508 and 580 ; Sacred 
Books of the East, vol. iv. p. 220, note 3. 

4 Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxv. p. 14 ; Burnouf, Bhagavata Purana, 
vol. i. p. 212. 

5 Bonnetty, Chou-King, preface, p. 13. 

6 Gainet, La Bible sans la Bible, vol. i. p. 96. 

II.] Other Primitive Traditions. 79 

age to which primitive man attained, goes on to say, 
" All those persons, whether Greeks or Barbarians, 
who have written on the subject of antiquity, agree with 
me in this point. For Manetho, who wrote an account of 
the Egyptians, and Berossus, who compiled a narrative 
of the affairs of Chaldea, and Mochus, and Hestiseus, 
and Jerome the Egyptian, who were the authors of 
different histories of Phoenicia all these bear witness 
to my veracity. Hesiod likewise, and Hecateus, and 
Hellanicus, and Acusilaus, and Ephorus, and Nicolaus, 
relate that the ancients lived a thousand years." I 

Yet again, just as ethnic tradition has preserved the 
memory of the ten patriarchs prior to the Flood, it has 
.also preserved some memory of the triad of patriarchs 
after the Flood. That all the generations of men have 
sprung from three ancestors is a conviction preserved 
in other religious records besides the Bible. Thus the 
Egyptians divided men into " the Amou, of yellow colour, 
inhabiting Asia ; and the Tama hou or Ta hennou, of 
white colour, spread through the islands and upon the 
northern coasts of the Mediterranean, as well as in a por 
tion of Libya two races corresponding exactly to the 
families of Shem and Japheth in the Biblical narrative ; 
then the Na hasiou, that is, the negroes of Africa." 2 The 
Sabans traced mankind to Schoum, Yamin, and Japhet.3 
According to the Hindu mythologists (who have appa 
rently generalized from an individual instance), at every 
renovation of the world, the same three heroes appear 

1 Antiq. JitcL, bk. i. ch. 3; compare Eusebius, Praparatio Evangelica, 
bk. ix. cap. 13 ; Pliny, Hist. Natur., bk. vii. ch. 48, 49 ; and Horace, 
Carmina, bk. i. ode 3. 

2 Lenormant, Origines, vol. i. pp. 201, 202 ; compare Le Chain et 
FAdani Egyptians, by Lefebure, in Transactions of Soc. of Biblical Archceo- 
logy, vol. ix. pp. 167-181. 

3 Norberg, Codex Nasaraus, vol. i. p. 96. 

8o Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

Shama, Cama, and Pra- (or Lord) Japati, words which 
pronounced native fashion, like the Sabsean names just 
given, resemble the Hebrew forms of Shem, Ham, and 
Japheth. z Ancient Persia knew Airya, Tura, and 
Sairima, who became the ancestors of Iran, Turan, and 
Assyria,, and Western Asia. 2 Again, in the fragments of 
Berossus, we are told that books of the Chaldeans speak 
of three half-divine brothers, who reigned almost imme 
diately after the Deluge, viz., Cronos, Titan, and Prome 
theus " audax Japeti genus " ; unfortunately, for these 
interesting identifications, the Assyrian originals of these 
familiar Greek names are not known, although Moses of 
Khorene, who says he borrows from Berossus, gives the 
names as Zerovan, Titan, and Japedosthe. The Sibylline 
oracles also give the names as Cronos, Titan, and 
Japetos. 3 

With one other instance of corroboration, this series 
of illustrative parallels may close. In Babel and the 
Confusion of Tongues, we touch another ethnic tradition 
widely preserved. For example, Josephus cites a 
declaration from one of the Sibyls to the following 
effect : " When all men spake one common language, 
some of them built a most lofty tower, as if with an 
intention of scaling heaven ; but the gods, sending a 
violent wind, overthrew it, and gave a different mode of 
speaking to each person ; for which reason the city was 
called Babylon." 4 Eusebius has preserved an analogous 
story as told by the Armenian Abydenus, who wrote : 

1 Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. p. 262, and vol. viii. p. 255. 

2 Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxiii. p. 62, note 2; compare Harlez, 
Avesta, p. 505, note 2. 

3 Lenormant, Origines, vol. ii. pp. 205-212 ; compare Pietet, Les Ori- 
gines Indo-Europlennes^ 2nd edit. vol. iii. pp. 379-380. 

4 Antiq. Judieorwii, lib. i. cap. iv. 

II.] OtJier Primitive Traditions. 8 1 

"They say that the first inhabitants of the earth, glorying 
in their own strength and despising the gods, undertook 
to raise a tower whose top should reach the sky, in the 
place in which Babylon now stands ; but when it ap 
proached the heaven, the winds assisted the gods, and 
overthrew the work upon its contrivers, and its ruins 
are said to be still at Babylon ; and the gods introduced 
a diversity of tongues among men, who till that time 
had all spoken the same language ; and a war arose 
between Cronos and Titan ; the place in which they 
built the tower is now called Babylon on account of the 
confusion of tongues, for confusion is by the Hebrews 
called Babel." z A parallel story was told by Eupolemus, 
the historian. He wrote that " the city of Babylon 
owes its foundation to those who were saved from the 
catastrophe of the Deluge ; they were the giants, and 
they built the tower which is noticed in history ; but 
the tower being overthrown by the interposition of God, 
the giants were scattered over all the earth." 2 One 
of the Assyrian tablets, now in the British Museum, 
unfortunately a mere fragment, seems to have a record 
of the same event. 3 A tradition of a high tower, 
whence the workmen were scattered wide, appears to 
exist in Fiji.4 A parallel tradition has been found in 
Mexico.5 Yet other parallels have been met with 
amongst the Hindus, the Lithuanians, and the in 
habitants of Central Africa. 6 

1 Cory, Ancient Fragments, p. 48. 

2 Bryant, Antient Mythology, vol. iv. p. 103. 

3 Smith, Chaldean Genesis, pp. 160-166 ; Transactions of Society of 
Biblical Archeology, vol. v. pp. 305-312; Records of the Past, vol. vii. 
p. 129; Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 406. 

4 Shepheard, Traditions of Eden, p. 72. 

5 Humboldt, Researches, vol. i. p. 96. 

6 Bible Myths, p. 36. 


82 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

Here the illustration of the point before us, namely, 
of the similarity between the traditions of the primitive 
ages recorded in Genesis and those which are extant in 
the ethnic religions, may close. The evidence has been 
by no means exhausted. I might have called attention 
to the ethnic preservation of the name of Adam. I 
might have dwelt upon the legendary location of Eden. 
I might have presented the various ethnic solutions of 
the cherubic guardians of the gate of Paradise. I have 
made no reference to the corroboration, given in ethnic 
tradition, of the death of Abel. I have passed by the 
legendary lore concerning the primitive giants. I have 
also refrained from giving various suggestive reminis 
cences of the flaming sword which kept the way of 
the Tree of Life. Is it not evident that the earlier 
chapters of Genesis record events which are also found 
petrified, often almost beyond recognition, in the myth 
ologies of the world ? " The cosmogony and mythology 
. . of all nations are evidently primitive history altered 
by oral tradition, transformed by the imagination and 
symbolized." * From illustration I now turn to applica 
tion. Having sufficiently shown the similarity existing 
to a greater or less extent between the Biblical and 
ethnic records of primitive times, I now proceed to 
draw some important conclusions from that similarity. 

The first inference which the above facts seem to 
warrant is this that the earlier chapters of Genesis 
contain primeval traditions, meaning by primeval those 
early traditions of the race which date from a time 
prior to the dispersion from the central home. 

In supporting such an inference, happily, there is no 

1 Biart, Les Antiques, Histoire, Mccurs, Cotttumes, Paris, 1885, p. 72. 

II.] Inferences. 83 

need to decide between the rival theories, now so warmly 
advocated, concerning the origin of myths. It is only 
with one small section of these stories of the beginnings 
of things of men, of sun and moon and stars, of 
animals, of death, of the " great globe itself," that we 
are in any way concerned. Whether many of these 
mythical stories have originated in a disease of language, 
as Max Miiller affirms ; or whether they are really the 
metaphysics of savages, as Mr. Lang thinks, it is un 
necessary to discuss. All that is required by the argu 
ment of these Lectures is, to remind mythologists that 
some traditions as to the earlier history of our race are 
universal to man. There are, so to speak, primitive 
rocks in human traditions as well as strata of later 
origin. M. Darmesteter has clearly shown that in the 
religion of the Magi, for example, some beliefs are due 
to the ancestral Aryan race, and some are peculiar to 
the Iranian offshoot. 1 What is true of Mazdeism is 
true of all religions whatever ; they possess generic as 
well as specific traditions. As M. Pictet says, "There 
are traditions of historical times preserved by means of 
the recital of epics ; there are indigenous mythical 
traditions, the spontaneous products of the imagination 
when interpreting in its own fashion nature and its 
phenomena ; and besides both these, there are traditions 
of a more remote past, mounting to the very origin of 
the human race, but obscured and altered in more than 

1 Ormazd et Ahri/nan, p. 4, and Sacred Books of the East^ vol. iv. p. 
Ivii. : " The Mazdean belief, therefore, is composed of two different strata ; 
the one contains all the gods, myths, and ideas which were already in 
existence during the Indo-Iranian period, whatever changes they may 
have undergone during the actual Iranian periods ; the other comprises 
the gods, myths, and ideas which were only developed after the separation 
of the two religions." 

84 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

one sense." J Nor is the importance of these early 
traditions to be judged by their number. Being primi 
tive traditions, fragments of antediluvian theology, 
pages of antediluvian history, they have an incalculable 
interest and importance. It is true, alas, that priests 
and poets have all too frequently added colour rebus 
gestis addiderunt qnemdain colorem ; still, notwith 
standing this imaginative process, the bare facts are 
visible beneath, upon careful comparison. In short, in 
view of the multitudinous fragments dispersed in many 
lands, the conclusion is inevitable that some of the 
religious traditions extant are lovingly cherished re 
mains of a primitive system of belief, heirlooms, more 
or less decayed, from the days when the race occupied 
a common home and held a common faith. The evi 
dence in the preceding pages, outlined as it has been 
rather than fully presented, points to the existence 
of a primitive tradition. Of that tradition, the opening 
chapters of the Genesis at least present one form. 

But the evidence warrants a further conclusion The 
primitive traditions preserved in Genesis are original. 

For whence is derived the similarity of tradition in 
Genesis and in the ethnic faiths, some scanty illustration 
of which has been given in the preceding pages ? Four 
hypotheses are conceivable. First, the traditions in 
Genesis would of course resemble the ethnic traditions if 
they had been actually drawn therefrom. Or, secondly, 
the similarity would be explicable, if, as was maintained 
in Gale s well-known Court of the Gentiles? the several 

1 Lcs Origincs Indo-Europtennes> 2nd edit. vol. iii. p. 360. 

- Court of the Gentiles, or a Discourse Touching the Original of Human 
Literature, both Philology and Philosophy, from the Scriptures and fcwis). 
Church, 1st edit., Oxford, 1669. 

II.] Inferences. 85 

ethnic faiths obtained their traditions from Genesis. 
Or, thirdly, the manifest likeness might be attributed to 
like ways of thinking, similar traditions having spon 
taneously arisen in different quarters because of " the 
natural tendencies of the human mind in its evolution 
from a savage state." z Or a fourth possible theory 
remains, that the resemblance is due to the fact of a 
common inheritance, the Genesis handing on from age 
to age traditions which the ethnic religions have also 
preserved with more or less admixture. 

Now let any one carefully examine the facts pre 
viously collated, and ask which of these four hypotheses 
is most congruous with those facts. It will be straight 
way found impossible to show the dependence of 
Genesis upon any of the ethnic faiths, even upon those 
of Egypt or Babylon, for the narratives of Genesis are 
so much more full, so much more ordered, and so much 
less extravagant ; no comparison of the ethnic religions 
could render superfluous the guidance of Genesis in 
the arrangement of the primitive traditions them 
selves ; no possible eclecticism could have constructed 
the Genesis from the records, whether literary or 
monumental, of any ethnic faith known to us. Genesis 
does give some clues to the unravelling of the ethnic 
mythologies ; the heathen mythologies in no way ex 
plain Genesis. In a word, the first hypothesis of the 
origination of the traditions of Genesis from extraneous 
ancient religions is out of court, as is generally con 

Nor do the facts of the case afford reason to believe 
that the ethnic faiths have borrowed their early tradi- 

1 Nadaillac, Prehistoric America, p. 531. 

86 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

tions from Genesis. One fact alone negatives the pro 
bability of any such dependence of heathen upon 
Jewish Scriptures. Let the fact be weighed. The 
traditions common to Genesis and heathenism end at 
the Dispersion? Now how is it that the religions of 
India and China, America and Ancient Europe, know of 
Adam and Noah, and know nothing of Abraham and 
Jacob ? If the Arabian religions are exceptions, they 
are exceptions which point the moral ; since none would 
deny either the intimacy which existed between the 
sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac, or the partial 
dependence of Mahomet on Christian sources. That 
the entire Genesis as such was known to the founders 
of the extra-Christian religions of Europe, Asia, Africa, 
America, and the islands of the Pacific, who would 
venture to affirm ? The second hypothesis, which would 
derive the ethnic traditions from Genesis is also out of 

The third hypothesis scarcely merits reference. That 
remote peoples might hit upon similar explanations of 
common natural phenomena, inventing parallel sun- 
myths and serpent-myths and birth-myths, is within the 
range of possibility ; but consider the subject matter of 
these universal and primitive traditions ! Is it within 
the range of credibility that different peoples, without 
contact, by the exercise of the common human faculties, 
should invent such detailed myths as those of the deluge, 
and the tree of life, and the creation of woman, and the 
number of the patriarchs, and the triad of founders of 
the post-Noachian race? Without contact, even the 

1 Compare Ebrard, Apologetics, or the Scientific Vindication of Chris 
tianity, translated by Rev. John Macpherson, vol. iii. pp. 321, 322. 
Edinburgh, 1887. 

II.] Inferences. 87 

wonderful mind of man, with its similarity of functions 
in Malay and Negro, Mongol and Caucasian, is surely 
incapable of inventing, in form so largely identical, the 
world-wide traditions of a flood and of the salvation of 
one family. The mind of man might just as well be 
credited with spontaneously imagining, in many quar 
ters, the historical circumstances of the landing of the 
Puritans on Plymouth rock. More or less distorted 
versions of some original story known to all the early 
races of man these diluvian legends may be ; but, re 
membering their resemblances as well as their differences, 
spontaneous and distinct births of the mind of man they 
cannot be. 

The only remaining hypothesis is the fourth, and to 
this the opinion of experts steadily inclines. All re 
ligions, it is seen, may be traced back to a compara 
tively small number of stocks ; and if there are still 
religions, the genesis of which is as yet not understood, 
the belief grows in their ultimate derivation from some 
older and perverted faith. Now when these several 
primary religions are carefully compared, they are each 
seen to consist of two very different classes of facts, 
those which are individual and those which are com 
mon. Of those features which are common, some are 
undoubtedly due to the common nature of man ; but 
as clearly some can alone be explained by a common 
inheritance. All religions of any antiquity bear witness 
to a few common traditions handed down, with more or 
less divergence, from a very remote past. Examine 
where we will, and the leading religions of the world 
testify to the existence of some primary and common 
traditions. In plain speech, the early races of man, 
wherever they wandered from their original Asiatic home, 

88 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

took with them the primeval traditions of their ancestors, 
modifying these traditions more or less in the lapse of 
time and by the method of oral transmission. Thus, 
wherever man went, he carried with him the stories of a 
Paradise, and a Fall, and the early consequences of the 
Fall. It was not that one ancient religion borrowed 
these universal traditions from another, but that to each 
early religion these traditions were original. Ham did 
not learn of Japheth, or Japheth of Shem, but the 
descendants of each branch of the Noachian family took 
the traditions of their common family into their diverse 
and distant homes. In a word, the traditions of 
Genesis, which are common to the ethnic faiths, are 

Yet a further inference respects age The traditions 
preserved in Genesis are of tJie JiigJiest antiquity. So 
much follows from the preceding conclusion ; for, if 
original, they are necessarily ancient. At least these 
traditions are long prior to Moses, seeing that they have 
been preserved, with more or less distortion, in religions 
with which, as far as our knowledge goes, Moses and 
the earlier Jews never came into contact. And even 
supposing that Moses utilized materials in his writings 
which he had obtained either from earlier writings or 
from oral tradition, Moses, or his successors, could not 
have been the channel by which these traditions 
became known in India and Iran, Scandinavia and 

And yet another inference is The primitive tradi 
tions preserved in Genesis are pure. 

Not without great cogency this unadulterated character 
of the early traditions of Genesis might be inferred from 
their simplicity and rationality. There is a truthfulness 

II.] Inferences. 89 

and a credibility about these early Biblical narra 
tives, which not even rare literary genius seems able to 
impart. Nor does their veraciousness lessen upon 
comparison. There is an air of truth about the Biblical 
story of the Flood which there is not about the North 
American or the Indian story. Often the legends 
of heathenism appear to be a grotesque masquerade 
of the beliefs ascribed in Genesis to the Patriarchal 

Further, the veracity of these early Biblical tradi 
tions follows upon careful scientific and theological in 
quiry, a branch of proof which will be presented later 

But, further still, a third method remains for de 
monstrating the purity of these early traditions, a 
method which, although a little recondite, is very sug 
gestive. Do not the manifest misconceptions of 
Heathenism emphasize strongly the purity of the 
Biblical traditions from Adam to Shem ? 

This point of the comparative purity of the early 
narratives of Genesis repays illustration. A few in 
stances shall be given, which doubtless might be very 
largely multiplied. 

One good illustrative instance is found in the narrative 
of Creation. According to the Hebrew form of the 
tradition, the earth was without form and void (thohu 
wabhohii), where thohu and bhohu are archaic forms even 
to Biblical Hebrew. Now in Babylonian and Assyrian 
the original meaning of bhohu has manifestly become 
lost, and instead of "chaos" we find a "goddess of 
chaos," Bahu the wife of Hea. In fact, the Mesopota- 
mian religions, in ignorance, made a divine personage 
of what was originally apparently a mere name ex- 

90 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

pressive of disorganization and disorder. 1 Who will 
contend that Baku the goddess is of earlier date than 
bJiohu, chaos ? 

Parallel instances abound. The Assyrian goddess 
Tihavti, also pronounced Tihamti, the goddess of the 
sea, would appear to have arisen from a misconception 
of the antique word ttthom preserved in Hebrew and 
translated the " deep " ; " and darkness was upon the 
face of the deep." Similarly the Babylonian " Tiamat 
or Tiavat, is the fhom or deep of the Old Testa 
ment." 2 Again, according to one of the fragments of 
the Phoenician cosmogony, which have reached us under 
the name of Sanchoniathon, we read that of the god 
Colpias and of his spouse Baau was born the first 
human pair, Protogonos and ^Eon, this ^Eon having 
discovered the eating of the fruit of the tree. 3 Now 
here the names Protogonos and ^Eon, which are Greek, 
are very probably renderings of Adam Oadmun (a com 
mon name for the first man), and of Chavah (Eve, the 
first woman). Yet more curiously, as Bochart pointed 
out long ago, in the god Colpias we seem to have a 
transliteration of Oolpiach (the voice of the breath), 
with some confusion of " the voice of the Lord God," 
and of the " breath of God " which moved on the 
face of the waters, just as in the goddess Baau we cer 
tainly have a transliteration of the ancient name for 
chaos. Have we not possibly in this legend a miscon 
ception of the primary narrative which has been pre- 

1 Compare Vigouroux, La Bible et les Dccouvertes Modern cs, vol. i. 
p. 175 ; and Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 151. "She," the goddess Bahu, 
" seems to have been the Bohu of Genesis," ib. pp. 262, 263. " Bau, or 
Bahu, is the bohit of the Old Testament, the Baau of Phoenician 
mythology," ib. p. 375. 

2 Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 374. 3 Edit. Orelli, p. 14. 

II.] Inferences. 91 

served purely in the second verse of the first chapter of 
Genesis ? 

Similarly, are not the various ethnic traditions, so 
common, which make man autochthonous and an 
drogynous, misconceptions of the simpler version given 
in Genesis ? Thus, as we have seen, the religions are 
numerous which regard man as sprung in some fantastic 
way from the soil ; but have we not possibly in these 
often ludicrous statements the product of human 
imagination working upon the phrase, possibly perplex 
ing enough if taken apart from its context, " And the 
Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground " ? 
And is it not allowable to see in those ethnic extra 
vagances, which represent the first pair as first created 
in physical union and as subsequently disparted, the 
working also of perplexed imagination upon the 
primary tradition as to the creation of woman, pre 
served purely in Genesis, a tradition naturally incredible 
to the heathen mind, and therefore calling for some sort 
of speculative explanation ? 

Here is another suggestive example of this variety of 
misconception. Receiving from tradition the name of 
Ararat, the Babylonians tried to find an etymology for 
it, and built thereupon a mythology. Of course they 
framed a wrong etymology. As M. Lenormant has 
pointed out, " the lexicographic documents of the library 
palatine of Nineveh show us that the Assyro-Babylonians 
sometimes called the Ayrarad of Armenia Urtu, whence 
we must conclude that by a mistaken etymology they 
decomposed Urartu or Arartu into ar-Urtu, the mountain 
of Ourtou." x Surely the name of Ararat must be prior 
to its mistaken interpretation. 

1 Les Origincs dc V Histoirc, vol. ii. p. 38. 

92 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

Again, is it not probable that the Indian Meru, the 
Mazdean Airyana-Vaedja, and the numerous ethnic 
conceptions of a golden age now lost, are mythological 
distortions of the Biblical Eden ? And, amidst all the 
extravagances and mythical accretions of the Vishnu 
Purana, 1 is there not ground for seeing in the river 
divided into four streams and in the tree which gives 
life and immortality to all who drink thereof, reminis 
cences sure, if faint, of a primitive tradition preserved 
in purer form in Genesis ? The very name of Paradise 
was retained by Persian monarchs for their enclosed 
parks or gardens, as Xenophon has told us. 2 

Or again, who can resist the impression of a distortion 
of a tradition preserved more purely in Genesis when he 
reads the Brahman myth concerning King Nahusha, 3 
who moved through the sky in a celestial car, acquired 
the sovereignty of three worlds, was hurled from heaven 
because of his overweening pride, and was changed into 
a serpent ? The very name Nahusha is apparently a 
simple transference of the word translated " serpent " 
(iiacJiasJi) in the first verse of the third chapter of 
Genesis. There is even some ground for tracing back 
the name of the god Dionysos to the same primary 

Further, does not a common confusion in ethnic 
religions afford an additional series of instances of mis 
conceptions, and accentuate the purity of the traditions 
preserved in Genesis ? As a matter of fact the stories of 
Adam and Noah, or, to speak more accurately, of the 
first man of pre-diluvian and the first man of post- 

1 Vishnu Purana, translated by Wilson, pp. 166-171. 
- Hellenica, iv. I, 15 ; Cyrop<rdia, i. 3, 14. 
3 Muir, Sanskrit Texts, i. pp. 307-316. 

II.] Inferences. 93 

diluvian times, and the stories of the Creation and of 
the Deluge, the first beginning of historic times and the 
second beginning, are so frequently confounded in the 
religion of heathendom, as to point strongly to the 
impure character of ethnic tradition. The fact of their 
confusion is so commonly acknowledged that instances 
need not be cited. Faber called attention to the fact 
again and again in his famous work on Idolatry, and 
Lenormant has done the same in his Origines. Possibly 
a couple of modern testimonies from writers who cer 
tainly do not write in the Christian interest, may have 
large weight. Says Mr. Brinton, concerning what he is 
pleased to call the deluge-myt/ts of Asia and America, 
" It has been a peculiarity of the latter (and he shows 
afterwards of the former as well) that in them the person 
saved is always the first man : this, though not without 
exception, is certainly the general rule : but these first 
men were usually the highest deities known to their 
nations, the only creators of the world, and the guardians 
of the race," J and, a little later on in his book, he speaks 
of " the intimate connection that once existed between 
the myths of the deluge and those of the creation." 2 
M. Reville makes a similar remark in his recent History 
of Religions 2 

And yet again, is not the common heathen representa 
tion of the world as originating in a world-egg probably 
another misconception of the primitive tradition, a mis 
conception, however, not seen in Genesis? "Black-winged 
night produced an aerial egg," sang the Orphic poet ; 
and this mundane egg, at once the source and the fitting 

1 Myths of the Neiu World, p. 217. 

- //>., p. 2 2O. 

* Histoirc dcs Religions, Paris, 1883, vol. i. p. 353. 

94 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. 

symbol of the universe, has been celebrated by other 
priests and poets in many climes. But the thought 
arises as to whether the idea of this generative egg has 
not sprung from a misunderstanding of the primitive 
tradition of creation. At any rate, in the version of 
this ancient tradition given in Genesis, it is said, that 
when " the earth was waste and void," and when " dark 
ness was upon the face of the deep," the " spirit of God 
moved upon the face of the waters," where the word 
moved, more accurately rendered, would be " was brood 
ing upon," as a hen does over an egg. Has this figura 
tive description of the creative activity of God, handed 
scrupulously down from a very high antiquity, become 
so misapprehended in the course of time as to give rise 
to these numerous legends of a world-egg ? The ques 
tion is at least suggestive. 

And yet again, do not the various exaggerations in 
heathen lands of the longevity of the early races of men 
point to an original fact, the remembrance of which, again, 
has been preserved purely in Genesis ? The Babylonian 
tradition made its antediluvian kings to have lived from 
ten thousand to sixty-eight thousand years apiece ; J and 
the Egyptians and the Greeks and other nations spoke 
of long-lived giants as their earliest ancestry. In such 
legends have we not another instance of the mythical 
tendency working upon early traditions, which have 
become, in the course of time and in the absence of 
written records, partly forgotten, and, therefore, largely 
misconceived ? 

Have we not, too, in the several instances of the 
heathen association in worship of women and serpents, 

1 Vigouroux, La Bible, &c., vol. i. pp. 211-217. 

II.] Inferences. 95 

as in the case of the Epirote woman who was made 
priestess over the sacred wood of serpents, and in 
the case of the grove at Lavinium with its cave and 
great serpent ministered to by young girls, and in the 
African dedication of their most beautiful maidens to 
the worship of serpents, have we not in such instances 
an outgrowth of the narrative told in pure form in 
Genesis ? 

And, not to continue further these suggestive instances 
of misconception, which might be almost indefinitely 
increased, have we not in the notion, which has prevailed 
widely both in the Eastern Hemisphere and the West, 
of four successive ages in the history of man, symbolized 
by the metals, gold, silver, brass, and iron, ages during 
which mankind steadily degenerated from a state of 
peace and holiness to one of violence and wickedness, 
another example of the distortion of an original tradi 
tion given purely in Genesis ? Genesis also knows 
of a golden age of Eden, and a silver antediluvian age, 
and a brass antediluvian age, and an iron post-diluvian 
age, in each of which an augmenting degeneration is 
manifested. The legend of the four ages may have 
sprung from the primitive history of the race, as purely 
recorded in Genesis ; the narrative of Genesis can 
scarcely have originated in the ethnic tradition of 
successive ages of degeneration. Surely altogether 
these manifest distortions of the primary traditions 
accentuate the purity of the form they have in Genesis. 

A final inference remains. If the contents of the first 
twelve chapters of Genesis are traditions concerning the 
human race, at once primitive, original, ancient, and pure, 
they must be historical. The conclusion is inevitable. 
These chapters contain history, not legend, narrative, 

96 Genesis and Tradition. [LECT. II. 

not allegory, prose, not poetry. Such a conclusion is 
no unimportant contribution to our subsequent discussion, 
as will be seen presently. Such a conclusion turns the 
edge of much modern criticism, and provides solid 
ground for a reasoned belief in Divine inspiration. 




IN our inductive study of the Divine origin of the 
Law, one branch of preliminary evidence has been 
sufficiently investigated in the preceding Lecture 
Ethnic traditions of many kinds, as we have seen, cor 
roborate the view that Genesis records facts and not 
fictions. Another branch of. preliminary evidence now 
calls for examination. 

In this Lecture we are still concerned with the his 
torical character of Genesis. On the side of the argu 
ment for historicity many traditions of religious antiquity 
have presented themselves as cogent and yet independent 
witnesses. Another series of independent witnesses is 
to be now arraigned. The crucial question is to be 
tested, whether coincidences also exist between the nar 
ratives of Genesis and the conclusions of Science. 

We are to ask whether or not the independent re 
searches of scientists and exegetes mutually support each 
other. We are to inquire whether the historical charac 
ter of Genesis is substantiated in any degree by the 
discoveries of science. In a word, do Genesis and 
Science agree or differ? 

That Genesis is not a science handbook may be con- 

ioo Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

ceded at once. As a recent writer has said : "The first 
chapter of Genesis is not a geological treatise ; it is 
absolutely valueless in a geological discussion." * A 
manual of Science must be ordered, reasoned, technical,, 
complete, and, being science and not literature, is 
addressed to students of science as such, not to man as- 
man. Genesis, beyond a question, is no systematized nor 
scholastic, specialistic nor balanced, text-book upon any 
branch of knowledge, physical, mental, social, or religious. 
Neither in form nor contents, neither in method nor 
audience, is Genesis a scientific manual. Genesis is 
literature, not science. It addresses itself to the world,, 
and not to a class. Genesis has all the naturalness, the 
freedom, the picturesqueness, the apparent disorder, the 
ready intelligibility of popular annals. Genesis, whilst 
not itself systematized, is like a piece of nature, from 
which the scientific mind may extract a system if it will.. 
It would be a gross misnomer to call Genesis in any 
sense a manual of science. 

But, by conceding on the spot that Genesis does not 
contain scientific knowledge of any kind expressed in 
scientific language, the whole problem of the relations of 
Genesis and Science is not solved. For example, it is 
only the shallowest dogmatism when the writer pre 
viously quoted goes on to say, not only that the first 
chapter of Genesis is valueless in geological discussion, 
but that it " has no authority whatever, save as represent 
ing what the Jews borrowed from the Babylonians, and 
as preserving for us an early cosmology to be compared 
with those prevailing among other early peoples sufii- 

1 Howorth, The Mammoth and tJic Flood ^ an Attempt to Confront tlic 
Theory of Uniformity with tlie facts of Recent Geology, London, 1887, 
preface, p. ix. 

III.] Unity of the Race. 101 

ciently cultivated to have been inquisitive about such 
things." J Quite another question besides the scientific 
value of Genesis arises. Is it possible that Genesis, 
literary and popular as it is in its form, affirms, upon 
men and things, certain definite conclusions, which have 
themselves only been reached in quite recent years by 
the methods of science ? Is there any reasonable ground 
for saying that, centuries before the birth of Science, 
Genesis asserted precise views upon the origins of 
things, views which to-day are the most treasured, 
because the hardest won, conclusions of scientific re 
search ? In short, are Genesis and Science at one upon 
many points ? For if they are, such startling anticipa 
tion of modern results, is a noteworthy feature in deciding 
the position of the Jewish Law in the literatures of the 

In this Lecture, FIRST, it will be made clear that 
Genesis and Science do show remarkable coincidences ; 
and SECOND, the conclusions (inferrible from such coinci 
dences] as to the historicity of Genesis will be summarised. 

One concurrence of opinion between Genesis and Science 
is seen in their identical views upon the original unity of 
the human race. 

Genesis very distinctly asserts that the entire human 
race, all the numerous progeny of Shem and Ham and 
Japheth, has sprung from a single parental pair. "And 
the man called his wife s name Eve ; because she was 
the mother of all living." Notwithstanding apparently 
irreconcilable differences of form and colour, all the 

1 Howorth, Mammoth and the Flood, preface, p., i.\. 

IO2 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

varieties of mankind, according to the teaching of 
Genesis, are descendants of the first man and the first 
woman. Now what says anthropology ? Does it 
declare for monogeny or for polygeny ? 

The answer is tolerably definite. A little after this 
nineteenth century had broken, Baron Cuvier, the 
greatest naturalist of his day, expressed himself with 
decision upon the problem of race. " We are fully 
warranted," he wrote, "in concluding, both from the 
comparison of man with inferior animals, so far as the 
inferiority will allow of such comparison, and beyond 
that, by comparing him with himself, that the great 
family of mankind loudly proclaim a descent, at some 
period or other, from one common origin." Nor has 
later inquiry weakened the force of this deliberate 
scientific opinion that God " hath made of one blood all 
nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth." 
A few decades later Dr. Prichard, the father of modern 
ethnology, published his splendid work entitled Researches 
into the Physical History of Mankind? showing by a very 
careful and exhaustive examination of the physical 
characteristics of the races of man, their common descent. 
True, it has become fashionable to shelve biological and 
anthropological works written prior to the publication 
of Darwin s epoch-making book upon the Origin of 
Species, as if all scientific knowledge of man and men 
dated from the year 1859; but, notwithstanding this 
common prejudice, Dr. Prichard s researches are con 
fessedly to-day a rich mine of useful observation. ]\L 
Ouatrefages, too, one of the most prominent comparative 
anatomists of the time, has also, in wide and justly 

1 Researches into the Physical History of Mankind, 5 vols., vol. i. 4th 
edit., London, 1861. 

III.] Unity of the Race. 103 

esteemed investigations, shown good ground for believing 
in the primitive unity of the race. 1 Besides, Darwinian 
speculations have rather accentuated than otherwise the 
theory of primitive unity, and, as Dr. E. B. Tylor has 
pointed out, Darwin himself presents, in his Descent of 
Man, " as distinctly a monogenist argument as those of 
Blumenbach, Prichard, or Ouatrefages." 2 

Nor is it easy to see how Science could arrive at any 
other conclusion. The facts which have been collated 
are irresistible. There are all the facts, as convincing as 
varied, afforded by minute inspection of the known races 
of men their skin, their hair, their skulls, their forms. 
There are all the facts associated with the known history 
of the races of men, rendering a common ancestral home 
highly probable. Then, too, there is a mental unity in 
man. Differ as races, as well as individuals, may in mental 
power, there is the same psychological classification for 
all ; there is, in all races, the same senses, the same intel 
lect, the same affections, the same instincts, the same 
volitional and ethical faculties, the same religious sense. 
All races apparently are susceptible of amelioration by 
Christianity. 3 Circassian and Negro and Mongol, the 
philosophic Hindu and the barbarian Fuegian, the de 
graded Hottentot and the civilized Englishman, all 
possess, it would seem, the same list of mental faculties, 
including capacity for religion. Nay, dig skulls from 
the most ancient repositories available, and there is no 
average diminution of nerve power, it would seem, upon 

1 Unite de F Espcce Hiiniaine, Paris, 1 86 1 ; compare Histoire Generale des 
Races Humaines, Introduction, Questions Generates, Paris, 1887, especially 
chapter ii. 

- Rncyclopccdia Britatinica, 9th edit. vol. ii. p. 114. 

3 Compare a suggestive little book by S. R. Pattison, Gospel Ethnology > 
London, 1887. 

IO4 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

measurement. Yet again, the members of the human 
race do not become sterile by intermarriage, as animals 
of what we are compelled to call different species do ; 
nay, the several races of men illustrate forcibly the well- 
known law, that when individuals marry of different 
varieties, the offspring tends in a very few generations to 
become at once more prolific and better endowed, men 
tally and physically, than their parents. In this question 
of intermarriage the American continent has shown a 
magnificent, a prolonged, and a conclusive experiment, 
an experiment extending over four centuries ; all races of 
the Eastern Hemisphere have mingled with all races of 
the Western Hemisphere, without any interference with 
the fecundity or endowments of the offspring. Yet again, 
closer investigation has diminished the mysteriousness of 
the black colour of the Negro, that one physical fact 
which seemed to argue for a plurality of origin for the 
human family. Livingstone met Negroes of a coffee- 
colour. The Bicharis, of Shemitic and not a Hamitic 
birth, are as sable as Negroes. Some East Indians com 
bine with features of a purely Aryan type the pronounced 
tint of Africa. Indeed, such acknowleged facts are now 
seen to be readily explicable. Colour is due to a pig 
ment secreted in the skin by nature. But animal secre 
tions of all kinds are known to be peculiarly influenced 
by circumstances. The very name of Melanism has 
had to be framed for a by no means uncommon disorder 
in which the skin becomes black. Brown Norway rats 
have bee/i seen in zoological collections in the process of 
turning black. The Jews, again, as has often been re 
marked, are a proof of the impermanence of facial colour. 
Indubitably descended from a common stock, restricted 
by all their laws from intermarriage with Gentiles, yet 

ill.] Unity of Language. 105 

scattered over the face of the globe, they are white in 
England, brown in Italy, olive in Syria, coffee-coloured 
in Arabia, and almost black in Abyssinia. 

In short, anthropology finds in all the races of men 
the same anatomical structure, the same mean duration 
of life, the same disposition to disease, the same disposi 
tion to diseases which only attack man, the same mean 
temperature of the body, the same mean movement of 
the pulse, the same period of pregnancy. Such is the 
evidence, in fact, that even Dr. Tylor, whose whole bias 
and deliverances are against the Biblical standpoint, is 
constrained to say, that " on the whole, it may be 
asserted that the doctrine of the unity of mankind now 
stands on a firmer basis than in previous ages," and, though 
he goes on to say, " it would be premature to judge how 
far the problem of the origin of races may be capable of 
exact solution," he immediately adds, "but the experi 
ence of the last few years countenances Mr. Darwin s 
prophecy, that before long the dispute between the 
monogenists and polygenists will die a silent and unob 
served death." x 

What, then, Genesis narrates as history, concerning 
the derivation of the human race from a single pair, 
Science declares, many decades of centuries afterwards, 
as inference. 

A second noteworthy concurrence of Biblical and scien 
tific opinion is seen in identical views upon the original 
unity of human speech. 

From anthropology let us turn to philology. 

By a scene as unmistakable as vivid the writer of 
Genesis stakes his veracity on the unity of human 

1 Encyclopedia Britannica, Qth edit. vol. ii. art. "Anthropology." 

io6 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

language as well as of human descent. According to his 
pictorial view, the families of men originally spoke one 
common speech, which, however, ultimately became 
confused and diverse after a precise turning-point in 
the primitive history. At Babel arose confusion ; from 
Babel radiated emigration. 

Now what has modern philology, reasoning according 
to its own methods and from its own data, to say con 
cerning the primary unity of language ? When the 
tribunal of Science has, according to its inductive 
method, stripped the author of Genesis of his claim as 
an inspired writer, " may he," to use the phrase of Max 
Miiller, take, before that rigorous tribunal, " the modest 
title of a quiet observer " ? 

A few decades ago it would have been difficult for 
Science to reply either way ; and even at the present 
moment, in face of the vast subject-matter of philology 
and also in face of the languages still wholly or largely 
unstudied, some modesty of expression best harmonizes 
with scientific calm and absence of bias. Nevertheless, 
it is not too much to say that every step of late has been 
towards the demonstration of the primary oneness of 
speech. Any summary, however brief and untechnical, 
of the line of recent linguistic discovery emphasizes the 
high probability of this primary oneness. 

Comparative philologists are now no more perplexed 
before the numerous varieties of speech than compara 
tive biologists are before the many varieties of life. For 
the same reason in both cases. Comparison has dis 
closed the type under the instance, the genus under the 
species ; the individual examples under examination 
have ceased to be individual ; they have become indi 
viduals which have been gathered into a great classifica- 

ill.] Unity of Language. 107 

tion. System has grown under the ardent prosecution 
of observation, and law out of the inchoate. Stage 
by stage the generalizing process has been pushed to- 
higher issues. In single languages Science has seen 
varieties of speech, in varieties genera, in genera branches, 
and in branches families. A small number of families 
are now understood to embrace the entire realm of 
spoken utterance. Every advance, therefore, in classifi 
cation has been an advance to unity. 

Further, the advance to unity has not stopped at the 
few ultimate families. It was much for the earnest band 
of comparative philologists to bring within the bonds of 
an indubitable relationship languages as remote in 
appearance, in age, and in position, as Sanskrit and 
English, Italian and Celtic, Greek and Scythian. It 
was also much to add to the demonstration of the 
existence of the great Aryan family, represented by 
such opposite languages as the dialects of the peoples 
ruled over by the Queen of England and the Empress 
of India, that of the great Shemitic and Turanian 
families. But more still has been done towards the 
proof of the primeval unity of all languages. The great 
Aryan family is seen to consist of all sorts of compounds 
made of roots and inflections (themselves transformed 
roots) : the great Shemitic family is also seen to consist 
of all sorts of compounds of roots and inflections (them 
selves transformed roots) ; whereas the great Turanian 
family is seen to consist of roots agglutinated together. 
Thus all three families point back to a time when 
language consisted of nothing but what are called 
" roots," that is to say, intelligible sounds used to ex 
press thoughts. It is on such evidence that Max Miiller, 
having put the question, " Can we reconcile with the 

io8 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

three distinct forms of speech the radical, the termina- 
tional, and the inflectional the admission of one 
common origin of human language," says, " I answer 
decidedly, Yes." The decomposition of all speech into 
these elements, which men call roots, emphasizes strongly 
the primary unity of language. An identical law of 
composition seems to point to community of origin. 

Further, philological research suggests yet another 
step towards the primeval unity of language. All 
languages are referrible, it has just been said, to a few 
great families ; these families, it has also been said, point, 
by their common structure from roots, to their being 
descendants, more or less remote, from one and the same 
parent ; further, the roots themselves apparently belong 
to one and the same original language. Here come in 
voluminous recent researches as fascinating as recondite. 
The Englishman, the Frenchman, the Greek, and the 
Hindu make themselves understood by their fellows by 
their use of verbal roots which they have inherited from 
the language which became the sacred Sanskrit ; the 
Arab dragoman of to-day, not above baksheesh, speaks 
with roots employed by Ishmael ; John Chinaman con 
verses by the aid of roots which were not new in the 
days of Confucius. All this is sufficiently interesting. 
But there is matter of profounder interest yet. Indian 
and Englishman, Frenchman and Arab, Greek and 
Chinee, all draw apparently upon the same original stock 
of verbal roots which have passed from father to son, 
and from dynasty to dynasty, and from people to people, 
and from age to age, and from hemisphere to hemi 
sphere. The coin, so to speak, which bears to-day the 
impress of every nation under the sun, has simply been 
again and again new minted ; its metal has been handed 

in.] Ethnography. 109 

down from a far-distant past when humanity had but 
one home. The very controversies of philology point 
the same moral. Theories antagonistic to the primary 
unity of language, and theories which preferred a sort of 
animal origin for human speech, are now remembered 
simply as the vanquished in past battles. To-day the 
opinion is almost universal among philologists that 
primitive man, settled in his original Asiatic home r 
possessed one parent language, rude it may be as well 
as rudimentary, but none the less the origin of all the 
dialects of the world, simple or elaborate, savage or 
civilized. Indeed, one of the most brilliant chapters in 
Max Muller s latest work, the Science of Thought,. 
traces the entire speech of man to about a hundred and 
twenty roots, or mother ideas. " All that we admire, all 
on which we pride ourselves, our thoughts, whether 
poetical, philosophical, or religious, our whole literature, 
our whole intellectual life, is built up with about one 
hundred and twenty-one bricks." " The Science of 
Language startled the world some years ago with the 
announcement that it could reduce the 250,000 words,, 
now filling an English dictionary, to about 1,000 roots ; 
the Science of Thought goes beyond this, and assures us 
that every thought that ever crossed the mind of man 
can be traced back to about one hundred and twenty- 
one simple concepts." I 

Again, then, what Genesis states as history, science 
maintains as inference. 

From philology let us turn to ethnography. A tJiird 
noteivortliy concurrence in Biblical and scientific opinion 
concerns the Genealogy of Races. 

1 Science of Thought, 1887, PP- 4 I > 4*9 5 compare the entire chapter, 
PP- 330-4I9- 

no Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

In fact, the tenth chapter of Genesis, which claims to 
give a careful and minute description of the original dis 
persion of mankind, narrating at once the birth, the 
growth, and the spread of the primitive nations, their 
ancestry, their habitat, and their migrations, is an indis 
creet audacity if it be not naked truth. For the whole 
chapter provides a series of tests of historicity as un 
exceptionable as crucial. The historian who wrote for 
immediate recognition might so far presume upon igno 
rance and credulity as to give a speculative view of the 
journeying of the Noachidae from their central home ; 
but time and inquiry could not fail, in the long run, 
to render his statements suspect if they were not 

Now what says the modern science of man to the 
contents of this ethnographic Register of Genesis ? It 
declares this Book of the Generations of Noah at once 
a document of a very high antiquity and an authentic 
record of the affiliation of peoples. To use the phrase 
of Canon Rawlinson, these " Toldoth Beni NoaJi .... 
have extorted the admiration of modern ethnologists 
who continually find in it anticipations of their greatest 
discoveries." T 

Not that this tenth chapter of Genesis* is without its 
difficulties. There are difficulties in what it says, 
difficulties of interpretation ; and there are difficulties 
in what it does not say, difficulties in omission. With 
respect to the former there are points not clear even 
now, after the persistent efforts of recent inquirers. 
With respect to the latter, the table does not itself 
pretend to be complete. Thus Japheth is said to have 

1 The Historical Evidence of the Truths of the Scripture Records Stated 
Anew, London, 1859, lecture ii., compare note 75. 

IIL] Ethnography. 1 1 1 

had seven sons ; whereas the line of two alone, Corner 
and Javan, is pursued ; and whereas, as history teaches us, 
great and important nations were derived from Magog 
and Madai and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. To 
Ham, again, five sons are ascribed, but the descendants 
of four only are given, Phut being passed over. Shem, 
yet again, is said to have had five sons, but the children 
of Arphaxad and Aram are alone given. Further, it 
is manifest that the whole migrations of men are not 
named, for we hear nothing of the peopling of Eastern 
Asia, Central and Southern Africa, America and 
Australasia. Let these difficulties be frankly admitted. 
But the point of real emphasis is, not whether there 
are facts in this ethnological chapter which are beyond 
comprehension, but whether there are facts which are 
manifestly historical. That there are, an inductive 
investigation demonstrates. Possibly, too, the difficul 
ties themselves which appear insoluble are really con 
sequences of the great age of the document itself 
which has been manifestly laid under contribution by 
the author of Genesis. 

For this chapter bears evidence to its own high 
antiquity. There would seem to be no reference 
therein, in the original portion of the chapter, to a 
time posterior to the days of Abraham. For example, 
this register has very little to say about the tribes of 
Japheth who, towards the close of the pre-Christian era, 
attained to the first eminence ; whereas this register 
has very much to say about those Hamitic nations, the 
Egyptians and the Canaanites, the first founders of 
great empires, who so early achieved historic eminence. 
The Canaanites too, at the time of writing, were in 
undisputed possession of Canaan, and were not spread 

1 1 2 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

abroad ; J thus the chapter would appear to antedate 
the great Hittite conquest, of which we have recently 
heard much. Nor had the Philistines 2 (who are men 
tioned in what looks very like a later addition to the 
text, made not improbably by Ezra, the writer of 
the Chronicles) concluded their migration from the 
Casluhim. Does not the mention, again, of Resen, 
otherwise unknown, as "a great city" indicate a time 
anterior to the great kings who ruled at Asshur and 
Calah ? 3 Nor is it without weight that Tyre, a fortified 
city in the days of Joshua, and a city of considerable 
importance in the days of David and Solomon, 4 is not 
so much as noticed. On the other hand, Sodom and 
Gomorrah 5 are spoken of as familiar and existent 
landmarks. The Kittim, 6 again, apparently the inhabi 
tants of Cyprus, who were assuredly Phoenician in the 
days of Solomon, and therefore Shemite, are assigned 
to Japheth, as is Tarshish also, the well-known 
Phoenician Tartessus. The conspicuous omission, too, 
of the ancestry of the Edomites and Moabites and 

1 Gen. x. 18. 

~ Gen. x. 14 ; compare I Chron. i. 12. " I think it manifest, that the 
Casluhim and the Caphtorim, mingled together, occupied the district, 
which lies between the delta of the Nile and the southern extremity of 
Palestine. This appears from the circumstance of the Philistine being 
said in one place to have come out from the Casluhim, and in another to 
be the remnant of the land of Caphtor (Gen. x. 14 : Jerem. xlvii. 4). Now 
the Philistim, in the clays of Abraham, were just beginning to penetrate 
into the country, which from them was afterwards called Palestine, or 
Pallisthan ; and they clearly entered it from the south-west ; because at 
that period even Beer-Sheba was not in the land of the Philistine, though 
at length, as they gradually spread themselves northward up the coast, 
it became a town in their most southerly province (Gen. xxi. 31-34). " 
Faber, Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 456. 

^ Gen. x. 12. 

4 Josh. xix. 29 ; 2 Sam. v. II ; and I and 2 Kings frequently. 

s Gen. x. 19. 6 // ., x. 4. 

III.] Ethnography. 113 

Ammonites and Ishmaelites would appear to imply that 
the table was written before the days of Ishmael and 
Esau, and even Lot. Further and the fact has 
peculiar weight from his elaborate study of Javan 
and his sons, M. Lenormant, in his great work, infers 
that this ethnographical table belongs to a time, when 
the Dorians had not entered upon the scene of history, 
when only yEolians were to be found on the Greek 
continent, when the Carians (who lost their domination 
of the ^Egean before the Trojan war) were unknown, 
a date at least as remote as the Exodus. 1 Lenormant, 
it is true, expressly guards himself from seeming by 
such an admission to imply anything concerning the 
date of Genesis as a whole, this table being, in his view, 
simply a very early document used by a late writer ; 
" the writer, who desired to make an ethnogeny would 
by preference follow the most ancient documents to 
which it was possible to remount." But we are not, 
in our inductive examination, at present concerned with 
the date of the whole of Genesis, but simply with the 
date of this tenth chapter ; and it is, from our present 
standpoint, a highly significant fact that the latest and 
best investigator of the difficult details of this chapter, 
himself an advocate of the post-Mosaic authorship of 
Genesis, should find in this register of races a document 
possibly older than Moses. For many strong reasons, 
in fine, it may be said with confidence, that this ethno 
graphical table is an heirloom from a remote antiquity, 
very probably coming to us from within a century or 
so of the days of Abraham. It is difficult to see how 
the high antiquity of this table can be disputed. 

1 Les Origines de T Histoire, vol. iii. pp. 179, 180. Lenormant s whole 
examination of this chapter, occupying more than 500 pages of his great 
work deserve, and will repay, careful study. 


U4 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

Has, then, this ancient genealogical monument the 
venerableness of truth as well as of age ? This tabular 
tree of races so full of singular theories and of 
singular explicitness, so full, be it added, of singular 
daring if it be not true, is it historical or imaginative ? 
Does this table heighten the repute of its author for 
veracity, or environ him with suspicion ? -The con 
siderations of a few facts in these " Generations of the 
Sons of Noah," the commonplaces of modern research, 
may aid decision. 

Thus, this summary history of the sons of Noah 
places the first home of the human race, after the Flood, 
eastwards of the plain of Shinar, that is to say, east 
wards of the great alluvial tract through which pass 
the renowned rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris. What 
says comparative philology concerning the primeval 
home of man ? As far as it is able to decide, philology 
places the original centre from which the race radiated 
just in such a spot. According to large consent, the 
steppes of Central Asia were the birth-place of human 
speech. To such a spot the primary Indo-European 
languages may be traced. To such a spot equally may 
the earliest Shemitic speech be referred. And, most 
probably, to such a spot may the Turanian languages 
also be attributed. The conclusion is so largely recog 
nized, after the able advocacy of such scholars as 
Lassen,Burnouf, Ewald, Renan,Obry,D Eckstein, Senart, 
Maspero, and Lenormant, that it is needless to delay 
upon it. 1 As Sir Henry Rawlinson has said, " Ethno 
graphy pronounces that we should be led to fix the 

1 Compare Renan, De rOrlgine du Langage, cap. xi. ; 5th edit., Paris, 
1875, PP- 219-236 ; and especially, Obry, Le Berceau de FEspece Humaine 
selon les Indiens, ks Perses et les Hebreux, Amiens, 1858. 

III.] Ethnography. 115 

plains of Shinar as a common centre from which the 
various lines of migration radiated." x 

Again, the Biblical narrative divides all the races 
of mankind into three primary races. Of this triple 
division modern ethnology also knows something. 
Cuvier spoke of Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian ; 
Prichard, according to skull formation, of Oval, Pyra 
midal, and Prognathous ; Latham of Atlantidse, Jape- 
tidae, and Mongolidse ; Max Muller of Aryan, Semitic, 
and Turanian ; whilst Hamilton Smith speaks of 
Bearded, Beardless, and Woolly Type. Nearly a 
hundred years ago Sir William Jones wrote his con 
clusions as follows : " First, that the various languages 
of the world are traceable to three primitive ones : 
that these are essentially different in their construction 
from each other ; but that all the languages of Asia 
and of the world finally resolve themselves into these. 
Second, that the several nations of mankind are, in 
a similar manner, found to have descended from three 
distinct races, or families. And, thirdly, that there is 
ample reason for believing that those several tribes 
of mankind, and those several primitive languages, are 
clearly traced to, and are found to have emanated 
from, Ancient Iran an important district, and which 
is geographically the same as that described in the 
Scriptures as the plains of Shinar." 2 Despite the 
eccentric opinion of Professor Sayce, 3 it is possible to 
say that a century of further investigation has simply 

1 Journal of Royal Asiatic Society , vol. xi. part ii. p. 232. 

2 Origin of Families and Nations, vol. iii. pp. 34, 53, 178, 1 86. 

3 Introduction to the Science of Language, vol. ii. p. 323, London, 1880 : 
"The attempt made in the infancy of linguistic science to reduce these 
groups to a mystical triad has long since been abandoned by the scientific 

Ii6 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

emphasized the conclusions of Sir William Jones. 
From the days of this pioneer of comparative philology 
the triple division has ruled. 

Yet another point deserves notice. The Genesis table 
places a Shemitic population in Assyria and Elam, and 
a Cushite, a Hamitic, population in Babylon. Can these 
unexpected statements be true ? Here again modern 
inquiry is on the side of Genesis. That the Assyrians 
were Shemites, allied in language, physical constitution, 
manners, and customs, with the Tyrians and Phoeni 
cians and Israelites has been long held ; and recent 
monumental discovery has entirely confirmed the con 
clusion. " We now possess," says Canon Rawlinson, in 
his great work on the Oriental Monarchies, " in the 
engraved slabs, the clay tablets, the cylinders, and the 
bricks, exhumed from the ruins of the great Assyrian 
cities, copious documentary evidence of the character of 
the Assyrian language, and (so far as language is a 
proof) of the ethnic character of the race. It appears 
to be doubted by none who have examined the evidence 
that the language of these records is Shemitic. How 
ever imperfect the acquaintance our best Oriental 
archaeologists have as yet obtained with this ancient and 
difficult form of speech, its connection with the Syriac, 
the later Babylonian, the Hebrew, and the Arabic does 
not seem to admit of a doubt." * To-day, also, this con 
sanguinity of the languages of Assyria and Palestine 
seems likely to throw large light upon the Hebrew of 
the Old Testament, ancient Assyrian in the hands of 
Delitzsch the Younger being a more fertile field of study 
than modern Arabic in the hands of Ewald. 2 

1 Five Great Monarchies, 2nd edit., 1870, Second Monarchy, chap. iii. 

2 Compare The Hebrew Language Viewed in the Light of Assyrian 
Research, by Frederic Delitzsch, London, 1883. 

III.] Ethnography. 1 1 7 

In this instance scientific archaeology has but em 
phasized the popular conviction that the Assyrians were 
Shemites, allied in language and origin to the Hebrews. 
But what shall be said about the Babylonians ? Are 
they not allied to the Assyrians ? Are they not Shemites, 
too? Certainly many great men have so thought 
Baron Bunsen, in his PJiilosopJiy of Universal History* 
regards the fact of the Aramaean origin of the Baby 
lonians as completely established, thus making the 
Babylonians closely akin to the Assyrians. A similar 
impression has been fostered in the popular mind by the 
vulgarization, as the French say, of Cyclopaedias and 
Historical Compends. But the Biblical statement is 
precise : " And Cush begat Nimrod . . . and the begin 
ning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, 
and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." According to this 
genealogy the early Babylonians would be Hamites, 
not Shemites Ethiopians, not Aramaeans cousins- 
german of the Egyptians and Abyssinians, not of the 
Syrians and Phoenicians. Here, then, there is a decided 
conflict of opinion. As a matter of fact, however, the 
recent discoveries of records in stone and clay have 
given the solution of the difference of view. Both 
parties are right. The Babylonian language in the time 
of Nebuchadnezzar was indubitably Shemitic ; the 
language of Lower Mesopotamia at the date of the first 
establishment of a Chaldean kingdom was as indubit 
ably Hamitic. Such is the testimony of the Inscriptions. 
It is also the testimony of tradition, when carefully 
weighed. Let the words of Canon Rawlinson be again 
cited. " The conclusions," he says, " recommended to 
us by the consentient primitive traditions of so many 

1 Vol. i. p. 193. 

n8 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

races, have lately received most important and unex 
pected confirmation from the results of linguistic 
research. After the most remarkable of the Mesopo- 
tamian mounds had yielded their treasures and supplied 
the historical student with numerous and copious docu 
ments bearing upon the history of the great Assyrian 
and Babylonian Empires, it was determined to explore 
Chaldaea Proper, where mounds of less pretension, 
but still of considerable height, marked the sites 
of a number of ancient cities. The excavations were 
eminently successful. Among their other unexpected 
results luas the discovery, in the most ancient remains, of 
a new form of speech, differing greatly from the later 
Babylonian language. ... In grammatical structure 
this ancient tongue resembles dialects of the Turanian 
family, but its vocabulary has been pronounced to be 
decidedly Cushite or Ethiopian." T Thus the Cushite or 
Hamite origin of the ancient Babylonians seems demon 
strated ; and Egypt and Babylon, the great pioneers 
in civilization, the founders, apparently, of alphabetic 
writing, astronomy, history, chronology, architecture, 
plastic art, sculpture, and navigation, were, as Genesis 
says, twin sisters of Hamite birth. 

Yet again, the several members attributed by this 
chapter to the Japhetic race, forestall by fifty centuries a 
great philological discovery, that concerning the affinity 
of such languages as Greek and Celtic, Gothic and 
Scythian. If philology declares such opposite languages 
to be of one great family, Genesis does the same, and 

1 Five Great Monarchies, First Monarchy, chap, iii., the whole chapter 
should be read ; compare, Sayce, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of 
Religion, as illustrated by the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians, Hibbert 
Lectures for 1887, p. 5. 

III.] Ethnography. 1 1 9 

Genesis did not get its view from philology. Let the 
descendants of Japheth, the members of the great 
Japhetic family, be attentively considered. 1 Amongst 
those descendants are the sons of Gomer, the Gimirrai 
of the cuneiform tablets, the Cimmerians of the Odyssey 
the sons of Magog, generally understood to be the 
Scythians the sons of Madai, or the Medes the sons 
of Javan, identical with the Greek IdFoves, or lonians 
and the sons of Tiras, or the ancestors of those mari 
time Tyrrheni, who have left their marks so perceptibly 
on the coasts of the Mediterranean, to say nothing of 
the sons of Tubal and Meshech, peoples already extinct 
in the days of Ezekiel. 2 Now to class, as Genesis does, 
all these peoples as members of one Japhetic family is 
as astonishing as the philological classification of Celtic, 
Gothic, Scythian, Median, Greek, and Tuscan under one 
great Aryan family. 

Then, passing from the Japhetic to the Hamite list, 3 
it is not without its strong interest to see that such 
widely-separated peoples as the Ethiopians, the sons of 
Cush, and the Egyptians, the son of Mizraim, and the 
Copts, the sons of Phut, and the several Canaanite 
peoples, the sons of Canaan, are attributed to a common 
ancestor. In this instance, again, modern linguistic and 
ethnographical inquiry generally have no objections to 
take. The cuneiform monuments and other lines of proof 
have established the fact that the primary Babylonians, 
and the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Egypt, and 
the Hittite, the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgashite, 
the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the 
Zemarite, and the Hamathite, in short, all the several 
tribes of Canaan, some of whom, like the Hittites, sub- 

1 Gen. x. 2. - Ezek. xxxii. 26, 27. 3 Gen. x. 6. 

I2O Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

sequently became great peoples, are descended from 

And, finally, passing on to the Shemitic list, 1 however 
surprising at first sight it may be to find in close associ 
ation of descent the children of Asshur and Elam and 
Eber, the Assyrians, that is to say, and the Hebrews, and 
the inhabitants of Elymais, this affiliation of peoples 
has also been borne out by recent inquiry ; the con 
nection, for example, of Hebrew with Assyrian having 
been but recently verified by Orientalists. 

What, then, Genesis narrates as history, concerning 
the genealogy of races, Science, many centuries after 
wards, declares quite independently as inference. 

A Jornth noteworthy conciirrence of Biblical and scien 
tific opinion concerns the theological meivs advocated by 

To some, doubtless, it will seem strange to put Genesis 
into such an antithesis, and for two opposite reasons. 
Some will say Theology is not Science ; let this class of 
objectors remain content with the assurance that, in 
strict regard for the limits of an inductive argument 
such as these lectures contain, nothing in theology shall 
be deemed to be science which is not fact, or legitimate 
inference from fact. Others will express surprise that 
Genesis, which is part of the data of Theology as 
generally understood, should be put in contrast with 
Theology, the whole which contains the part ; for how 
can the part be opposed to the whole ? Let such 
objectors be good enough to bear in mind that, at the 
present juncture, revealed religion as such is not in 
question. For the moment we are not concerned with 

* Gen. x. 21, &c. 

III.] TJieology. 121 

the revealed character of any part of Genesis, although 
valid grounds for belief in that revealed character will 
appear later on. For the moment the position to be 
emphasized and illustrated is simply this that the 
theological statements of Genesis are substantiated by 
the common facts of the religious life of man. Genesis 
-and the religious life of mankind are at one, it is 
believed, in their several statements concerning God and 
man and their relations. 

Let the point to be considered be otherwise stated. 

On the one hand, Genesis confronts its readers with 
certain pronounced deliverances of a religious kind. 
That these deliverances are presented in a historical, and 
not in a philosophical, setting, does not make them less 
religious. Quite characteristically Genesis contains 
teaching about God and His relations with man, but 
enforces this teaching, not by the demonstrations of 
argument, not by elaborate logical processes, not in any 
abstract way indeed, but by a concrete method all its 
own, by a historical narrative of facts concerning the 
Divine dealings. We are taught therein that God is, 
and that He is supremely interested in man, by being 
informed what God does. Therein the doctrine of God 
is not deduced from admitted principles, but forms the 
background of lives exceptionally influenced by Deity. 
Genesis narrates, it does not speculate ; it is history, 
riot philosophy ; it presents life in God by a record of 
God in life. This being so, the question straightway 
arises, whether its historical statements concerning the 
supernatural side of human life are credible ? Are its 
theological utterances an additional proof of its 
historicity ? 

On the other hand, man is not wholly dependent upon 

122 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

the Bible, and certainly is not dependent upon Genesis, 
for his religious convictions. Common exercise of the 
faculties of observation and reason suggest the existence 
of a world beyond sense and of a personality beyond 
self. Face to face with the facts of life men have arrived 
at beliefs which transcend those facts. Prayer and 
worship, the sense of dependence, and the devout mind, 
indeed, the entire religious attitude, so peculiarly human, 
have found their rationale in convictions concerning 
God and the soul, concerning present duty and a future 
life. In short, religion is natural to man, and religion is 
the outcome of convictions concerning the supernatural 
natural to man. Even an agnostic would confess that it 
requires a philosophical training to make an agnostic. It 
is as human to pray as to sing. Awe in the presence of 
the infinite is as universal as laughter. " The invisible 
things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even His eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are 
without excuse, because that when they knew God, they 
glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful." Do 
these natural religious convictions of men countenance 
or contradict the religious atmosphere and history of 
Genesis ? 

On the one hand, as has just been said, Genesis 
assumes the truth of certain religious facts, which con 
stitute its theological postulates everywhere ; and, on 
the other hand, as we have also seen, the natural reason 
declares for certain religious conclusions at which it has 
independently arrived, putting them forth as its axioms 
everywhere. Now do Genesis and Natural Religion hold 
any religious convictions in common ? Does the reason 
accept after argument religious beliefs which Genesis 

III.] Theology. 123 

assumes as facts ? The question is worth asking. As 
has been already remarked, the testimony of Genesis 
upon various anthropological, ethnographic, and philo 
logical matters, closely harmonizes with the results 
attained by modern science upon those matters ; does 
the testimony of Genesis upon theological matters also 
coincide with the deliverances of modern theological 
science, expressly restricting the term for the moment to 
theological science which does not assume the revealed 
character of Scripture ? 

To ask the question is a long way towards a reply. 
Many have found the sole aim and interest of Genesis 
in its religious atmosphere, which has seemed to them 
peculiarly native to man as man. They have possibly 
not regarded the first chapter of Genesis as historical, 
and yet have eulogized its religious background. These 
advocates of the religious, but not the scientific impor 
tance of Genesis, may be cited as unimpeachable 
witnesses. They are as numerous as unbiassed. There 
is a very wide agreement amongst them in saying that 
the common reason of man rather substantiates than 
otherwise the theological assumptions of Genesis. 

Let a few instructive examples of parallel religious 
teaching in Genesis and in religious philosophy be 

Note, then, that Genesis teaches, or, to speak more 
accurately, assumes the unity of Deity. The elaborate 
Theistic Argument, in which the existence of one God 
is inferred from the contemplation of man and of the 
visible universe an argument which many have attacked, 
but which settles more surely into its place as a great 
beacon in the seas of thought the more the waves of 
passing winds rock it also gives rational grounds for a 

124 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

belief in Monotheism. Here, then, there is a striking 
consensus of belief. Both Genesis and Reason declare 
for a First Cause of all things, a Person, a Spirit, eternal, 
self-existent, infinite in intelligence, feeling, and will, 
free, of whose freedom all other freedom is but an 
image, the supreme Truth, the supreme Beauty, the 
supreme Good, the supreme Holiness. Man asks, and 
must ask, what the Psalmist so pertinently expresses, 
" He who planted the ear, shall He not hear, He who 
hath formed the eye, shall He not see ? " As said 
Jacobi, in one of his flashes of insight, giving utterance 
to the common sentiment of the profounder thinker, 
" My watchword and that of my reason, is not I, but 
one who is more than I, better that? I, one who is entirely 
different from what I am, I mean God I neither am, 
nor care to be, if He is not." 

Genesis declares for the creation of the visible universe. 
Nor has the reason of man ever been able to rest for 
long either in the idea of a universe without beginning, 
an endless cycle, or in a universe self-evolving, an 
endless progress, chaos becoming order without cause. 

Genesis describes the constant Divine occupation with 
the concerns of man, testifying, by incident after inci 
dent, to a ceaseless moral government of us by God, 
and to an unrelaxing providence which cares for us in 
all relations, physical, individual, social, and religious. 
The providential and rectoral sides of life and history 
are equally insisted on by Natural Religion. " No 
sooner does one epoch in the history of the world come 
to an end than a new creative day dawns, the words 
Met light be are spoken anew by the Divine creative 
word." * The preservation of the world does not argue 

1 Martensen, Christian Dogmatics, Eng. trans., Edinburgh, 1871, p. 122. 

in.] Theology. 125 

the cessation of the Divine working. The only diffe 
rence between creation and preservation is this: Crea 
tion implies a new Divine resolve as well as a Divine 
working. Conservation means a continuance of the 
Divine working, upon the same resolve. 

Genesis has, too, an historical explanation to offer of 
the existence of evil in our midst. It traces evil to an 
express act of disobedience, necessitating Divine dis 
approval, and causing, therefore, in the providential, 
and, as we must believe, wise arrangement of things, a 
great moral disturbance, subtle and far-reaching. The 
theory, so to speak, of Genesis, concerning the introduc 
tion of evil into human history, deserves explicit mention. 
Man had been created in fellowship with God. In his 
primitive state, and so long as that state lasted, man 
was, by the gift of God, and by the influx of Divine life, 
immortal. Spiritual intercourse between man and his 
Maker being unbroken, deathlessness resulted, and, in 
addition to incapability of death, the flow of Divine life 
into man maintained a harmonious interaction of both 
sides of human nature, of body and spirit. Further, 
besides immortality and moral balance, the continuity 
of Divine intercourse imparted that superhuman life by 
means of which the natural man becomes the spiritual 
man. All this is taught under the form of history in 
Genesis. Further, according to Genesis, the Divine 
regenerating life ceased to flow immediately upon an 
act, not less shameful because so trivial, of human dis 
obedience. Immediately, consequently, mortality ensued, 
disturbance of moral balance ensued, and the loss of 
sonship ensued. Not only so, not only were the origin 
ally disobedient thus involved, but Genesis also insists, 
in pictorial form, that the posterity as well as the parents 

126 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

suffered ; and that the Divine regenerating life in conse 
quence of the disobedience, no longer flowing as at first, the 
race degenerated, death reigning in man s body, passion 
ruling in man s mind, and man becoming his own selfish 
and self-centred master. Now, what have the facts of 
life rationally interpreted to say to this clear, if terrible, 
history ? Is not a widespread disturbance of things 
more and more evident ? Has not man evidence of 
faculties, once possessed, but now largely lost ? Does 
not restored contact with God counteract the frightful 
effects which have become embodied in human nature ? 
Is it not evident that heredity affects the moral as well 
as the physical structure ? In short, does not the reason 
of man, when frankly confronting the facts of life, 
compel belief in a moral ideal, which is, alas ! no longer 
realized, and, in a moral defection, which propagates 
itself from generation to generation, and from age to 
age, and which is only effectively counteracted by those 
who consciously live in restored contact with Deity ! 
Natural Religion has its collections of the multiform 
facts of the moral life, and its facts and inferences cor 
respond suggestively with the moral postulates of 
Genesis concerning the original state, the sin, and the 
sinful degeneration of man. 

Genesis also points, in a historical manner, to a 
possible restoration of humanity, and a possible neutra 
lization of the disastrous effects of the first act of 
disobedience. Detailed remark upon this primary 
evangel would be out of place here it will follow, 
however, later on but the question is timely, whether 
the facts of the common religious life of man do not 
point to a similar method of restoration. What hope 
can there be of an eradication of death, of a rectification 

III.] Creation. 127 

of the moral disturbance, or a restoration of the Divine 
Spirit, except by a renewed flow of that Divine life into 
man, the cessation of which gave preponderance to the 
animal side of man s nature ? Must not man s salvation 
depend on the restored solidarity of man and God ? 
So much the religious mind can see outside of revela 
tion proper ; though silence is the only possible attitude 
when the anima natnraliter Christiana, as Tertullian 
put it, is asked whether such a restored flow of Divine 
energy can be looked for. As to whether God is able 
upon any grounds to reimpart to man the spiritual life 
He felt it necessary to withhold, the religious nature as 
such can say nothing definite. 

The illustration is slight, but sufficient. The more 
carefully the matter is considered, however, in the light 
of this bare illustration, the more evident it will 
become that, apart from express revelation, man has 
some knowledge of God. The point insisted on is this : 
formulate that knowledge with what accuracy and 
fulness we can, and it will be found to harmonize closely 
with the historical presentments of Genesis. 

Again, therefore, what Genesis narrates as fact, the 
reason of man, acting legitimately upon the common 
religious data of life, teaches, after laborious processes, 
by inference. 

A fiftJi noteworthy concurrence between tJie teaching of 
Genesis and Science appears in their common views upon 
the generations of the heavens and the earth. 

Should it seem strange to many to cite the narrative 
of the Creation in such a connection, it certainly were 
not surprising. Has it not been this very story, which, 
in the advance of physical researches, has seemed to 

128 Genesis and Science. [LECT, 

be irrecoverably discredited? Upon reading this ancient 
cosmogony, has it not often seemed to the man of 
science that he must either surrender his science or his 
faith ? How often, too, the religious man has had to- 
front the discomposing dilemma that the Bible and 
Geology could not both be correct. All this is true,, 
and is not forgotten. But a mediating word may be 
said. Perhaps there has been truth on both sides, which 
will become evident as the scientist gains a little more 
theology, and the theologian gains a little more science. 
Is there not something to be said from the side of 
Science, when rightly guarded and understood, for the 
Scriptural view of the origin of this mundane system of 
things ? 

Certainly very different views have been held upon 
this Biblical cosmogony. Some have regarded the first 
chapter of Genesis as a legend, that is to say as the 
description of what was originally an actual fact, but 
which, as necessarily as naturally, has become altered^ 
possibly beyond recognition, in its transmission from 
generation to generation. Others have thought the 
story a myth, a popular and purely imaginative explana 
tion of effects at once manifest and unintelligible. A 
third, and much more numerous class have thought this 
cosmogony historical, though they have differed much 
in their estimate of what this history actually conveyed. 
Thus, there have been the so-called Traditionalists, the 
favourite position with those who know little but 
theology : they claim that this creation narrative is 
historical in the most literal sense, the universe and the 
solar system having been created in six ordinary literal 
days. Then there are the so-called Restitutionalists, 
who confine the Scriptural account of the six days to- 

III.] Creation. 129 

this present late phase of the earth s history, and who 
find in the two opening verses of the chapter sufficient 
margin for all the preceding formations, deposited 
through myriads of years, and catalogued surely to-day 
by geological science. According to this theory, sup 
ported by many names deserving of the profoundest 
respect, the Mosaic six days record the restitution of 
a preceding creation which had been many times pre 
viously disorganized and overwhelmed ; in a sentence, 
the genesis is a palingenesis. Both these schools of 
interpreters, be it observed, are really literalists, being 
advocates from different standpoints of the actual 
literality of the six days. A third class, the Visionists, 
also maintain the literal character of the days men 
tioned, but offer an entirely different explanation from 
either of the other two classes. In their view the days 
do not refer to the express days of creation, but to the 
actual days of the revelation of the creation ; in six 
successive days, it is thought, a Divine knowledge was 
imparted, by vision, of things necessarily beyond human 
cognizance. Yet a fourth class, the Epochists^ reject 
altogether the literal interpretation of the days assigned ; 
they regard the days as epochs ; they so regard them, 
sometimes on Scriptural grounds, and sometimes on 
grounds that are scientific, and sometimes for reasons 
both of Scripture and Science. These are the several 
views of this cosmogony of Genesis, very generally 
stated. The diversities under each class are naturally 
numerous. If an attempt is made to steer clear 
amongst these many hypotheses, it shall be because of 
the intrinsic importance to our inquiry of the question 
at stake. 

There are two points to be considered, namely, first, 


130 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

What does the Genesis itself say concerning the Creation? 
and secondly, How does what Genesis says harmonize 
with what Science says ? Let us regard each point in 

In examining the relations between Genesis and 
Science, especially as regards the creation of all things, 
nothing is more necessary, and at the same time nothing 
is so rare, as to inquire with exactness what the 
testimony of Genesis is. Here the frequent oversight 
must not be permitted. Let the precise words of 
Genesis be carefully ascertained. In ascertaining these 
words the method to be pursued is purely grammatical. 
Neither scientists nor theologians can proceed to com 
parison until they have valid ground for thinking they 
know exactly what Genesis says. As a matter of fact, 
the Biblical story reaches us in Hebrew, and its inter 
pretation is a matter of language ; and, beyond a doubt, 
there is great gain in knowing just what the laws of 
language permit this story in its details to mean. When 
the linguistic interpretation is secure, much else will 
be suggested in the way of interpretation. Further, 
Hebrew is better known than Babylonian, and the 
Genesis creation tablet, so to speak, should be at least 
as interesting as the Assyrian, which was the talk of 
the civilized world a short while ago. Besides, a little 
Hebrew would have saved many a sorry sight of recent 
controversy ! 

One postulate has been laid down, namely, that in 
asking just what the Biblical narrative of Creation says, 
we are to be guided simply by the laws of Hebrew. 
Let a second postulate follow. It is, that in seeking the 
meaning of the ancient words, we should choose those 
which are the most elementary and concrete, those 

III.] Creation. 131 

which accord best both with very ancient narrative and 
with very undeveloped civilization. If the Hebrew says 
nothing else than that " great long things " were created 
in the seas, we are not to import into the translation 
later and more developed ideas such as sea-monsters, 
or even whales, to say nothing of ichthyosauri. If the 
Hebrew says nothing about a firmament, a solid sky, 
the idea is not to be imported into the text. Every 
thing in the structure of the narrative points to the 
very high antiquity of the account we have. It contains 
words which are not used in Biblical Hebrew, except as 
express quotation, and it manifestly belongs to a very 
early date in the history of man. This being so, let the 
natural implication be frankly acknowledged. Secondary 
and tertiary strata of meaning only become attached to 
words in the process of time. It is an error to read 
into ancient monuments ideas not current in the days 
when they were written. What we have in this chapter 
is simple conceptions, elementary knowledge, concrete 
.and not abstract words, a phase of language which a 
few hours in the nursery will interpret better than years 
in the study of the philosopher. The postulate is im 
portant, as will appear presently on several occasions ; 
and the postulate is warranted, as the previous lecture 
has shown us, for this tradition in its original form is 
older than Moses, nay, is older than the dispersion, 
seeing that its contents, often its very expressions, have 
spread across the world with the races of men. 

Read in the light of these two postulates, What is the 
Creation story of Genesis ? Instinct with life, athrob 
with energy, with its own simple power and thrilling 
beauty of expression, one wishes it could be read some 
how by us as if it were a newly-discovered page from 

132 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

some stone or papyrus just unearthed. What, exege- 
tically regarded, and judging purely by the laws of lan 
guage, is the story of the creation in Genesis ? 

The Biblical narrative of Creation begins with a general 
statement concerning the activity of God and the rudi 
mentary condition of the earth, a statement as notable 
for its reticence as for its actual contents. It runs as 
follows : In tJie beginning or, more literally, at tlie Jiead 
(of His deeds) God created the heaven and the earth. 
Here two points especially deserve close attention. On 
the one hand, the word translated " create " does not 
mean, as is so often said, "made out of nothing"; such a 
conception is wholly foreign to the Biblical circle of ideas ; 
but the word does imply express Divine interposition ; 
the word is never used of human activity ; and further, 
such Divine activity as the word connotes is of the rarest 
occurrence; in this Creation narrative, for example, the 
word is only used three times here, and at the intro 
duction of animal life, and at the introduction of man. 
This usage of the word translated " create " is one 
noteworthy feature. A second is that " heaven and 
earth " is an inclusive phrase, apparently, for the entire 
universe. " Heaven " in Hebrew is used, it is true, for 
the sky primarily, the place of the clouds, and the stars, 
but it is also frequently employed, with the latitude so 
familiar in most languages, for the dwelling-place of 
Deity, that mysterious and supersensuous world which 
mortal eye cannot see. In short, this opening verse calls 
attention to two facts, viz., that all being originated in 
God, and that this mundane sphere was not the first 
creation of God. 

This generalized statement having been made concern 
ing the Divine activity, a further preliminary remark is 

III.] Creation. 133 

made upon the initial state of the planet we inhabit. 
And the common copulative " and," there is no close 
connection between the previous statement and this, for 
though the Hebrew has a method of representing close 
consecution, that method is not employed for a sentence 
or two The earth was waste and void, the words trans 
lated " waste and void " being archaic words even in 
Biblical Hebrew, and being relics very possibly of some 
language prior to Hebrew. Nor was the earth, in the 
rudimentary state, simply devoid of structure and inhabi 
tant, it was also devoid of light, darkness was upon the 
face of the ocean, where the word translated " ocean," is 
another antique word, signifying a wild rush and roar of 

The sentences, exegetically regarded, thus far con 
sidered, are purely introductory. They describe, as has 
been said, the Divine Originator of all things, and the 
raw state of the terrestrial globe. Only now begins the 
narrative of Creation proper. We are no longer dealing 
the Hebrew copulative conjunction shows this clearly 
with somewhat disjointed remarks. From this state 
ment on, the entire story is welded by th at Semitic 
peculiarity and beauty, the consecutive waw into one 
magnificent narration, which moves as rapidly as grandly 
from its first incident to its last. 

And the spirit of God hovered upon the face of the 
waters. By the waters more is meant than seas, it would 
seem ; for, a little later on, seas and clouds, which both 
form parts of the waters, are separated. And God said, 
Let there be light. A nd light was. A nd God saw the light 
that it was good ; and God divided between the light 
and the darkness ; and God called to the light, (Thou 
arf] Day, and to the darkness He called, (Thou art) Night. 

134 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

And there was dusk (gloaming would be the exact render 
ing) and there was dawn, one day. At present, be it 
remembered, we are simply dealing with philological 
interpretation. Linguistically regarded, these words 
imply, first, that Deity acted upon the waste and empty 
earth ; secondly, that God evolved light ; thirdly, that this 
light was periodic, and formed a contrast with the dark 
ness ; and fourthly, that this union of the time of light 
and the time of darkness of the duration of the light 
and darkness nothing whatever is said formed one 
day, one cosmogonic day ; what was meant by a day 
was a period of darkness succeeded by a period of 

And God said, Let there be an expanse all the erro 
neous associations of the word "firmament," suggested by 
a Greek and a Latin word and not by the word of the 
Hebrew text, should be carefully avoided in the midst of 
the waters (the circumambient waters); and let it divide 
between the waters and the waters. And God made the 
expanse, and divided between the waters which were under 
the expanse and the waters which were above tJie expanse, 
and it was so. And God called to the expanse, (Thou art) 
Heaven. A nd there was dusk and there was dawn, a second 
day. Thus, during the second alternation of darkness and 
light, the great air space was formed around the earth, 
and the clouds and the sea were formed. If the heavens 
only are named, that is because the earth and the sea 
are only definitively distinguished next day. 

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be 
gathered together into one place, and let the dry land 
appear ; and it was so. A nd God called to the dry land, 
(Thou art) Earth, and to the gathering together of the 
waters He called, ( TJwu art] Sea. A nd God saw that if 

III.] Creation. 135 

was good. A nd God said, Let the earth grow green with 
greenness herbage seeding seed, fruit tree making fruit 
after its kind, the seed of which is in the fruit, upon the 
earth. And it was so. And the earth produced vegeta 
tion (literally greenness], herbage seeding seed after its kind 
and tree making fruit which has its seed in it after its 
kind ; and God saw that it was good. A nd there was 
dusk and tliere was dawn, a third day. On this third day,, 
that is to say, the separation became determinate between 
dry land and sea, whereupon the dry land sprouted 
vegetation of two kinds, plants with seed and plants 
with fruit, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms as would be 
said to-day. 

And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of 
heaven to divide between the day and the nig] it ; and let 
them be for signs and seasons and days and years. And 
let them be for lights in the expanse of heaven to give light 
upon the earth: and it was so. And God made the two 
great lights, the great light into the ruler of the day and 
the little light into the ruler of the night, and the stars. 
And God appointed them to give light upon the earth. 
And there was dusk and there was daivn, a fourth day. 
Let the exact words be carefully observed, as remark 
able for their silence as their speech. 

And God said, Let the waters swarm wit/i swarms, with 
living breathing- things* and let flying things fly upon the 
earth upon the face of the expanse of heaven. And God 
created the great long things the word used, applied, e.g. y 
to crocodiles and serpents, means no more and every 
living breathing thing which roams, witJi which the waters 
swarmed after their kind, and every winged flying tiling 
after its kind ; and God saw that it was good. A nd God 
blessed them, saying, Fructify, and multiply, and fill the 

136 Genesis and Science, [LECT. 

"waters in the seas, and let the flying tiling multiply in the 
earth ; and tJiere was dnsk and there was dawn, a fifth 
day. Thus, upon this fifth day, animal life first appears, 
and that in the seas and the atmosphere. 

And God said, Let the earth produce living breathing 
tilings after their kind, the brute and the roaming thing, 
and the living thing of the eartJi after its kind ; and it 
was so ; and God made the living tJiing of the earth after 
its kind, and the brute thing after its kind, and everything 
"which roams upon the ground after its kind ; and God 
saw that it was good. Elementary zoological classifi 
cation doubtless, but not inefficient! And God said, 
Let us make Adam after our image, according to our like 
ness. . . . A nd God created the man in His image ; in 
tlie Divine likeness He created him ; male and female He 
created them. . . . And there "was dusk and there was 
dawn, a sixth day. 

Such is the narrative, simple, naive, effective, touching. 
Is it fact or fiction, history or poetry, truth or imagina 
tion ? Ethnic religions would lead us to reply, as we 
have seen fact, history, truth. What says physical 
science ? 

Perhaps, however, before the question is examined in 
the light of Science, it may be well to emphasize one 
other philological fact. Again and again, this narration 
has mentioned "days" one day, a second day, and so 
on. What is the exact significance of this word day, the 
significance, that is to say, upon purely linguistic data. 
The query is worth considering ; for here again, many 
prepossessions may vanish. W 7 hat then does the word 
translated " day " mean in Hebrew? Exegetical con 
siderations compel a sure, if somewhat complicated, reply. 
As a matter of fact, " day " is used in a variety of senses, 

III.] Creation. 137 

the word manifestly possessing considerable latitude of 
meaning. Even in this Creation narrative itself the word 
has more meanings than one. The word, indeed, is used 
in this Creation story in five different senses. First, the 
pre-solar periodic light is called day : (( And God called 
to the light, (Thou art) Day." Second, the alternation of 
the cosmic darkness and the cosmic light is called Day ; 
" and there was dusk and there was dawn, one day." 
Third, day means a day of twenty-four hours, as when 
we read of the heavenly lights that they are to be for 
seasons and days and years. Fourthly, the word is used 
for the light part of the twenty-four hours day, as when 
we are told that " the great light is to rule the day." 
Fifthly, the whole time of creation is called a day in the 
fourth verse of the next chapter, where it is said, " these 
are the generations of the heaven and the earth when 
they were created, in the day that the Lord made earth 
and heaven." All this points to a fluid use of the word 
day, a use which requires the exact significance to be 
decided by the context. And this fluid use is manifest 
throughout the Old Testament, which speaks of " the day" 
of wrath, and " the day " of salvation, and " the day " of 
judgment, and " the day " of redemption. Do sticklers 
for literalism regard these days as of twenty-four hours ? 
The fact is that what is called a day is one alternation 
of darkness and light, whatever its length. " As in the 
growth of the plant we distinguish the germinating, the 
leafing, the flowering, and the seeding processes, as so 
many organic phases which might be called the days of 
the plant s history, without reference to the length of 
time allotted to each, so we have here the day of the 
cosmic light, the day of the heavens, the day of the earth, 
the day of the solar light, the day of the lower animals, 

138 Genesis and Science. [ LECT - 

the day of the mammals and man ; which are really the 
great phases of God s creation." x 

In comparing the teaching of Genesis and Science 
upon the origin of the earth and man, it will facilitate 
inquiry to remember that this Biblical Creation story 
stands or falls by nine points. Firstly, Genesis avers that 
our present earth once existed without structure or in 
habitants. Secondly, the first stage of the elaboration of 
our present planet was the appearance of light (but not 
the light of the sun), which produced alternate night and 
day. Thirdly, in further elaboration of our earth, the 
atmosphere was formed. Fourthly arose the differentia 
tion into earth and sea, the earth straightway producing 
vegetation, and this growth of vegetation preceding the 
appearance either of animal life or of sun and moon. 
Fifthly, sun and moon are made to superintend day and 
night, summer and winter, month and year. Sixthly, 
animal life began to swarm in the waters and in the air. 
Seventhly, cattle and wild beasts at length roam upon 
the earth. Eighthly, and almost contemporaneously, 
man is made. Ninthly, creation, the express and excep 
tional interposition of Deity, is restricted, as the lan 
guage employed shows, to the original creation of the 
earth, to the creation of the primary types of animal life 
insect and fish and bird, small and great and to the 
creation of man. Here, then, are so many crucial 
instances for examination. What has Science to say to- 
these several points ? 

Taking the last point first, and working backwards, is 
it not a fact that a large agreement is arising upon the 
mysteriousness, the unintelligibility, to scientific methods, 

1 Guyot, Creation, or, TJie Biblical Cosmogony in the LigJit of l\fcdcn< 
Science, Edinburgh, 1883, p. 53. 

III.] Creation. 139 

of these three events, viz., the birth of things, the origin 
of life, and the genesis of man ? Does not the theory 
of a thoroughgoing evolution begin to lose its charm 
under the stress of the study of facts ? Of course there 
is a spell about a conception of the universe at once so 
homogeneous, simple, and comprehensive, which arranges 
beneath one law the minutest molecular change and the 
progress of constellations, the slow accretion of a flint 
and the complicated conditions under which a civilized 
society advances. But fascination is one thing and proof 
is another. That there is a process of development of 
some kind or other in the history of the universe, on 
many grounds one is fain to believe ; but that the hypo 
thetical primary atoms simply by growing long enough 
became a planet and life and man, calls for evidence. 
And that any evolution of force can coalesce into life, 
evidence is not forthcoming. Life comes from life, with 
out life no life, says Science in its almost universally 
accepted law of Biogenesis. Further, man comes from 
man, says Science mostly, regarding the Darwinian 
theory of human descent as hypothesis, and nothing but 
hypothesis. Similarly, Science finds itself unable to 
explain in any way the origin of the primary atoms it 
postulates. Now is it not remarkable that the three 
cardinal facts, the existence of which Science finds it 
impossible to explain, viz., the primary existence of 
matter and life and man, are just the three facts in mun 
dane history in which Genesis sees an express Divine 
interference ? God works ever in creation, Genesis says, 
but He expressly intervened on the birth of the earth 
and the birth of animal life and the birth of man. 

Again, despite the diversity of view as to the antiquity 
of man, is not Science also agreed that man belongs to 

140 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

the latest comers upon this earth ? Primary rocks, 
geologists tell us, know nothing of man ; nor do Second 
ary ; nor do Tertiary. Traces of man first appear in 
Post-tertiary formations. In other words, man belongs 
to the modern period of the geological record, and to 
that period alone. As Sir J. W. Dawson well says : 
u The day when the first man stood erect upon the earth 
and gazed upon a world which had been shaped for him 
by the preceding periods of the creative work, was the 
definite beginning of the Modern Period in Geology : if 
that day could be fixed in the world s calendar, on reach 
ing it the geologist might lay down his hammer, and 
yield the field to the antiquarian and the historian." * 
That man makes a period all his own, that man gives his 
name to a period, that the Recent is the Human Period, 
these are the commonplaces of every geological hand 
book. That man " is the end towards which all the 
animal creation has tended, from the first appearance of 
the Palaeozoic fishes," to use the words of Agassiz, in his 
Principles of Zoology, is universally accepted. An attempt 
is even being made to show that the difficulty of the 
co-existence of the remains of man and of extinct 
animals like the Mammoth has a ready solution ; for 
pre-historic is simply pre-diluvian man. 2 

Yet again, Science finds no fault with the succession of 
life, as rapidly and broadly sketched in Genesis. On the 
fifth day of creation we read of swarms of living 
things in seas and of flying things in the air, as well 
as of marine animals ; and on the sixth clay we read 

1 Fossil Men and their Modern Representatives, An Attempt to Illustrate 
the Character an4 Condition of Pre-historic Men, ~v., 2nd edit., 1883, 
p. i. 

- Howorth, 77/6 Mammoth and the Flood ; compare Warren, Paradise 
Found, the Cradle of the Hninati Itacc at the North Pole. 

III.] Creation. 141 

of the brute creation and wild beasts as created 
just prior to man. The geological order of appear 
ance is the same, the swarms of invertebrate animals, 
the swarms of fish, then huge reptiles, then mam 
mals, then man. As says Dr. Arnold Guyot, " The 
fifth and sixth days offer no difficulties, for they 
unfold the successive creation of the various tribes of 
animals which people the water, the air, and the land, 
in the precise order indicated by geology." 1 In fact, 
the coincidences between the Biblical and Geological 
records are most marked, and have been admirably sum 
marized by Principal Dawson as follows : " First, accord 
ing to both records, the causes which at present regulate 
the distribution of light, heat, and moisture, and of land 
and water, were during the whole of this period much 
the same as at present. . . . The Bible affirms that all 
the earth s physical features were perfected on the fourth 
day, and immediately before the creation of animals. 
Second, both records show the existence of vegetation 
during this period. . . . Third, both records inform us 
that reptiles and birds were the higher and leading forms 
of animals and that all the lower forms of animals 
co-existed with them. In both we have especial 
notice of the gigantic Saurian reptiles of the latter 
part of the period. . . . Fourth, it accords with both 
records that the work of creation in this period was 
gradually progressive ; species after species was locally 
introduced, extended itself, and after having served its 
purpose, gradually became extinct. . . . Fifth, in both 
records the time between the creation of the first animals 

1 Guyot, Creation, or, The Biblical Cosmology in the Light of Modern 
Science, pp. 95-121. 

142 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

and the introduction of the mammalia as a dominant 
class forms a well-marked period." I 

Yet again, in passing behind the phenomena of the 
fifth day, to the great cosmic changes attributed to the 
first four days, if the geological record fails us, and if the 
method of the origination of the earth is rather inferen 
tial than evidential, nevertheless, on the comparison of 
the hypotheses of science with the narrative of Genesis 
concerning the first four days, striking coincidences 
appear. For example, Genesis speaks of some ordering 
of the solar system upon the fourth day which was of 
great and permanent influence. What says Science? 
As a matter of fact, Science distinctly declares, as we 
have already seen, that from the time of the introduction 
of animals, " land, sea, atmosphere, summer and winter, 
day and night all the great inorganic conditions affect 
ing animal life have existed as at present. . . . The 
fourth day, then, in geological language, marks the com 
plete introduction of existing causes in inorganic nature, 
and we henceforth find no more creative interference, 
except in the domain of organization ; this accords admir 
ably with the deductions of modern geology." 2 Thus 
Genesis and Science are agreed that just prior to the 
appearance of animal life, sun and moon and stars, and 
all the phenomena dependent thereupon, have been in 
full force. If Science cannot say whether the final adjust 
ment of the solar system immediately preceded the intro 
duction of animals, it can say clearly that since that 
introduction the solar system has remained in the same 
condition. Is not this one of those undesigned coin- 

1 T/ic Origin of the World according to Revelation and Science, London, 
3rd edit., 1884, pp, 219, 220. 

2 //>., p. 202. 

in.] Creation. 143 

cidences which suggest the truth of the narrative in 
Genesis ? 

And yet again, according to the dominant nebular 
hypothesis of the origin of our planet, a very remarkable 
series of coincidences appears. Genesis knew nothing 
of Laplace, and Laplace had little esteem for Genesis ; 
yet, notwithstanding, the famous theory of Laplace 
renders singularly intelligible to modern readers the 
otherwise almost unintelligible words of Genesis. Genesis 
speaks of a world without structure and inhabitant ; 
Genesis gives the first stage in the evolution of this void 
world as the appearance of light ; Genesis perceives the 
second stage in the evolution of our present earth in 
the formation of an atmosphere ; and Genesis announces 
as the third stage in the advancing evolution the appear 
ance of dry land and seas. To append clear conceptions 
to these several stages in mundane history is difficult in 
the extreme, and if it is no longer so difficult, this is 
largely because of the solar theory of Laplace, his 
" magnificent nebular hypothesis, which explains the 
formation of the whole solar system by the condensation 
of a revolving mass of gaseous matter." If Genesis 
begins with an earth waste and void, Laplace begins with 
his nascent nebulous planet thrown off, upon contraction, 
from the gigantic nebulous solar mass. If Genesis 
advances to the birth of light, Laplace advances to his 
incandescent period, when the earth was a sort of sun, 
a fiery, fused, mineral mass, surrounded by a luminous 
atmosphere. If Genesis proceeds to the formation of an 
aerial space, the nebular hypothesis proceeds to argue 
for the disappearance of the luminous envelope upon 
the cooling of the heated globe, and therefore for the 
formation of our modern atmosphere. Further, if 

144 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

Genesis speaks of the calling forth of dry land and seas,, 
the nebular theory also goes on to assume disturbances 
of the solidifying crust of the earth, resulting in the 
settling of the seas and the elevation of the land. In 
short, Genesis puts the order of development chaos, 
light, atmosphere, land and sea ; and Laplace and his 
followers put the order nebula, photosphere, atmosphere, 
land and sea. Speculation as all this is on the part of 
the student of the cosmical relations of our planet, it is 
also profoundly interesting. 

With a few words upon one other point, this series of 
parallels between Genesis and Science may end. That 
point is the primary advent of plant-life, a great diffi 
culty in the way of this interpretation in the view of 
some. According to Genesis, the advent of vegetation 
preceded the final settlement of the solar system, and 
thus belongs to so remote a time as to be beyond the 
observation of the geologist, at least so it would seem. 
In reference to this first appearance of vegetation, it will 
suffice for the purpose of these lectures to give a quota 
tion from the discoverer of the earliest forms of life in 
the rocky structure of the globe. Says Sir J. W. 
Dawson : " The oldest geological formations are of 
marine origin, and contain remains of marine animals, 
with those of plants, supposed to be allied to the exist 
ing algae or seaweeds. Geology cannot, however, assure 
us either that no land plants existed contemporaneously 
with these earliest animals, or that no land flora pre 
ceded them. These oldest fossiliferous rocks may mark 
the commencement of animal life, but they testify 
nothing as to the existence or non-existence of a 
previous period of vegetation alone. Further, the rocks 
which contain the oldest remains of life exist, as far as 

ill.] Creation. 145 

yet known, in a condition so highly metamorphic as 
almost to preclude the possibility of their containing any 
distinguishable vegetable fossils ; yet they contain vast 
deposits of carbon in the form of graphite, and if this, 
like more modern coaly matter, was accumulated by 
vegetable growth, it must indicate an exuberance of 
plants in these earliest geological periods, but of plants 
as yet altogether unknown to us. It is possible, there 
fore, that in these Eozoic rocks we may have remnants 
of the formations of the third Mosaic day." x Surely 
the absence of our knowledge of the earliest gymnos- 
perms and angiosperms is sufficiently explained. 

What, then, it may once more be said, Genesis 
narrates as history concerning the order of creation. 
Science, the geological science almost born in this nine 
teenth century, declares as inference. 2 

Again, then, is not the conclusion inevitable, upon the 
inductive method, that these opening chapters of Genesis 
contain history, not legend ; narrative, not allegory ; 
prose, not poetry ; fact, and not fiction ? A series of 
tests has been applied to this book of the origins of the 

1 The Origin of the World, pp. 192, 193. 

2 Those who may desire to read further on this rapidly spreading har 
mony of Genesis and Geology may read with profit : Dawson, The Origin 
of the World according to Revelation and Science, 3rd edit., 1884; Guyot, 
Creation, or, The Biblical Cosmogony in the Light of Modern Science, 1883 ; 
and especially Camille Flammarion, Le Monde avant la Creation de 
fHomme, Origines de la Terre, Origines de la Vie, Origines de FHumanite, 
1886 (with remarkable illustrations). Other noteworthy books are : 
P. "VV. Grant, The Bible Record of Creation True for Every Age f 
1877; Tayler Lewis, The Six Days of Creation, or, The Scriptural 
Cosmology, with the Ancient Idea of Time Worlds, &<r., 1879 ; Reusch, 
Nature and the Bible, 1886 ; Reynolds, The Supernatural in Nature, a 

Verification by the Free Use of Science, 1878; and Ritchie, The Creation , 
The Earths Formation on Dynamical Principles in accordance with, 
tJie Mosaic Record and the Latest Scientific Discoveries, 5th edit., 1874. 


146 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

earth and man, and the book has stood the tests 
marvellously. On the evidence of several sciences, are 
we not in a position to say that, whatever be the source 
of the information it contains, the information itself is 
true ? In short, wherever it is possible to compare the 
testimony of Genesis with the testimony of Science, the 
result shows that Genesis is historical. 

But a further question arises, Whence has Genesis 
obtained this true information concerning the unity of 
the race, and the unity of language, and the descent of 
man, and the origin of the heavens and the earth, and 
the Divine relations of mundane things ? Whence came 
the secular and religious knowledge of Genesis ? 

An adequate cause is suggested by Genesis itself. 
The contents of Genesis take the form of a history, and, 
as far as we are able to test, are actually historical ; 
historical knowledge is preserved by testimony, which, 
as handed on from age to age, is called tradition ; a line 
of persons, peculiarly interested in religion and the 
religious aspect of things, is constantly kept before the 
reader s eye as he moves on from the days of Adam to 
those of Joseph. It thus appears highly probable that 
the historical contents of Genesis were traditions handed 
on from father to son, and from age to age, in the line 
of Seth. The unity of the race, the fact of a primeval 
language, the genealogy of men, the record of Divine 
revelations, and the story of Creation, would appear 
to be ancestral traditions carefully and reverentially 

Be it added, too, that the purity of this historical 
testimony would be very intelligibly preserved, if the 
tradition of Genesis as to the great age of the early 
patriarchs be true ; nor can such tradition be simply 

III.] Creation. 147 

laughed out of court, at least, not by the inductive 
inquirer. 1 Parallel traditions of longevity, as we have 
seen in the last lecture, have been preserved in many 
quarters, and must have apparently some element of truth 
at their base. Further, the physical inheritance of these 
long-lived patriarchs was bequeathed from a good stock, 
upon which the effects of a sinful career was of the 
slightest. Disease, decay, a poor vital record, speedily 
followed, doubtless, upon the disarrangement produced 
by sin ; the shortening of life told speedily, as the bodily 
constitution became vitiated from generation to genera 
tion ; but this righteous line was just that in which the 
vitiating effect was least. If simplicity and purity of life 
raise the average of years to-day, especially when that 
simplicity and purity are characteristic of several genera 
tions, is it altogether foolish to believe that the same 
causes produced the same effects at the beginning of 
human history? At any rate, the truth of the record 
given by Genesis would be fully accounted for by a 
transmission from father to son in the godly line. 

Nor is it altogether improbable that some of these 
cherished traditions of the Sethite and Shemite families 
may have been committed to writing. As has been 
seen, the Genealogical Table of the descendants of Noah 
is, it would appear, as early in date as the days of 
Abraham. Very probably this table was preserved in 
writing. There would be no insuperable difficulty in 
.believing that the author of Genesis, whoever he was, 
employed for his work earlier records extant in his day. 

Genesis, then, is historical. It is historical because it 

1 Compare Bunsen, Egypt s Place in Universal History , vol. iii. p. 340* 
Bunsen calls a belief in the longevity of the " antidiluvian patriarchs as well 
-as Noah and Shem " "an infatuation " a " purely childish delusion " 
a great cause of " doubt and unbelief." 

148 Genesis and Science. [LECT. 

is based on a series of reliable traditions of primitive 
history ; and it is also historical apparently because it 
embodies some of those traditions as they were com 
mitted by early historians to writing. So much seems 
probable. But the whole problem of the case has not 
yet been faced. Genesis, in the course of its narrative 
shown already to be .largely historical tells of sundry 
Divine interpositions in human affairs. Are these inter 
positions facts, too ? This inquiry is not yet prepared to 
enter upon the vital question as a whole. But one 
weighty fact may be emphasized at this point. That 
fact concerns the Creation narrative. Whence came that 
narrative ? From tradition, it may be said. Well and 
good. Adam handed it on, perhaps, or Enoch, or Noah. 
So much seems highly probable. But a further question 
straightway arises. How came the original teller of the 
narrative by his story ? The narrative has too many 
points in common with the conclusions of modern science 
to be the offspring of imagination, whether poetical or 
myth-making ; whence, then, came the story ? To ask 
the question, is it not to answer it ? Does not the 
ironical verse in Job immediately come into mind 
" Doubtless thou knowest, for thou wast then born ! " 
Whence came this narrative of Creation ? 

The fact is that, if this narrative has any truth what 
ever, preceding as its events all do the creation of man, 
the narrative must be an instance of Divine revelation. 
Only Divine revelation could inform concerning such 
pre-historic, because pre-human, events. As we shall see 
later on, the Old Testament has much to say about Divine 
"revelations concerning/?//?/;^ events which were made to 
prophets in vision. Have we not in this Creation story, 
which harmonizes so strikingly with many conclusions 

III.] Creation. 149 

of physical and theological science, a Divine revelation 
concerning a past event made to some patriarch in 
vision ? If Adam, or Enoch, or another, was the human 
source of the narrative, was there not also a Divine 
source, a vision of God disclosing the past, as visions 
subsequently disclosed the future by Divine condescen 
sion ? Let the question be weighed by the inductive 
inquirer. It deserves thought. If one instance of 
Divine Revelation be proved, other instances are not 





IN the two preceding lectures the historical character 
of Genesis, so important a feature in any doctrine 
of the inspiration of the Old Testament, has been 
illustrated. The next question that arises, in any induc 
tive examination of the Books of the Law, is By wJwm 
and at wliat time was Genesis written ? Is Genesis part 
of the oldest literature of the world, as many say, or 
does it belong, as some contend, to a date much more 
modern ? 

It is true that, from the vantage ground already 
attained, this question as to the authorship of Genesis 
might be not unfairly shunted. For if Genesis is his 
torical, one of two conclusions follows. It is historical, 
because it is compounded of narratives, written or oral, 
contemporary in origin with the events narrated ; this 
might be one conclusion but such a conclusion would 
straightway deal a death-blow to many modern critical 
theories. Or else, if the theory be maintained that 
Genesis was written late in the evolution of Judaism, 
then, seeing that Genesis is historical, and so remarkably 
historical, nothing but the supernatural assistance of the 
writer can explain its accuracy to fact. In other words, 

154 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECl\ 

seeing that Genesis is historical, a true record of actual 
events, the book must be due to contemporary know 
ledge handed down from father to son without flaw, 
or else it must be due to express revelation. No 
effort of the historical imagination, apart from super 
natural assistance, could so resuscitate the past without 
materials bequeathed by the past. Indeed, this question 
of the historical character of Genesis, a character which 
is strengthened from year to year by every fresh inquiry, 
should be frankly faced by the advocates of the late date 
of the Law. This historical character has, in fact, impli 
cations which annihilate the evolutionary theory of the 
origin of the Pentateuch. The following inquiries can 
not be long shelved. If Genesis is a veracious record of 
the origin of our race, whence comes this truthfulness ? 
Does it come from traditions carefully preserved and 
transmitted ? Does it come from traditions stereotyped 
in memory or in writing ? Does it come from specific 
revelation ? In short, if the historical character of 
Genesis be denied as it consistently is by Colenso and 
Kuenen and others the facts adduced in the two 
previous lectures must be reckoned with : if the his 
torical character of Genesis be asserted, then the later 
the date assigned to its composition, the greater is the 
evidence for supernatural revelation. 

Nevertheless, although the dilemma is certainly for 
midable, that the original sources of Genesis are either 
contemporary or divine, it would be scarcely prudent to 
ignore the trend of much of the literary criticism of the 
Pentateuch for the last hundred years. The wise in 
quirer answers his opponent s case as well as states his 
own. It is advisable, therefore, to ask, in the light of 
modern research, when and how Genesis was written ? 

IV.] History of Criticism. 155 

To propose the question is to plunge headlong into one 
of the fiercest eddies of modern controversy. 

Until recently, doubts upon either the date or the 
authorship of Genesis were rare. Genesis, it was com 
monly said, was the first book of Moses, and Moses 
died in the fifteenth century before Christ. So the 
traditional view, as it is called, was wont to express 
itself. To-day, however, side by side with this tradi 
tional view, which has been handed down from Jew to 
Christian, and from Romanist to Protestant, another 
view is largely advocated, which denies the Mosaic 
authorship of Genesis. This later view must be care 
fully, and of course inductively, examined. 

The problem, then, which is to be investigated in 
this Lecture is this What conclusions concerning the 
date and authorship of Genesis are warranted by the 
facts which Genesis itself presents ? 

The solution of the problem proposed is not as 
simple as at first sight appears. Let the inquirer 
take up a good book upon any branch of Biblical 
Criticism, and he will find much that is apparently irre 
levant and possibly unintelligible. A prior knowledge 
is lacking. The inquirer is like a man who opens a 
book in an unknown tongue. Indeed many prominent 
Biblical critics themselves, acutely sensible, even proud, 
of their succession to an inheritance of critical tradition, 
hold themselves absolved from stating, for beginners, the 
entire evidence for their conclusions. It is with the tyro 
in the " Higher Criticism " very much as it is with the 
tyro in modern Biology. The student of recent bio 
logical theory finds it indispensable to take a survey of 

156 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

the effects produced by the publication thirty years ago 
of Darwin s Origin of Species, if he would understand 
his science intelligently ; for he finds again and again 
that Darwin s conclusions, as reasoned as revolutionary, 
are rather assumed than argued in modern works upon 
the evolution of life. Similarly the student of modern 
Biblical Criticism soon learns that he cannot proceed 
securely, before he too has taken a survey of the recent 
history of his science. To understand the last step in 
any movement you must understand the last step but 
one. The study of causes is as necessary to the 
pathologist of mind as of body. Such a book, for inv 
stance, as Dr. Kuenen s Religion of Israel, or such an 
article as Dr. Wellhausen s article on "Israel" in the 
current edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica cannot 
but appear to the English reader a tissue of baseless 
assumptions, unless he has previously acquainted him 
self with the course of recent criticism upon the Penta 
teuch. In short, an intelligent appreciation of tJie positions 
of modern Biblical critics can only follow an intelligent 
appreciation of the recent history of Biblical Criticism. 

Let a summary view be therefore presented of the 
<l Higher Criticism " of Genesis, nay, of the entire Penta 
teuch, for in a paragraph or so it will become apparent 
how impossible it is to dissever the course of critical 
inquiry into the authorship of Genesis from the course 
of critical inquiry into the Pentateuch as a whole. The 
comfort is that, although the circuit travelled seems wide, 
every step taken will be a step to the solution of wider 
problems than those of Genesis. Let the reader prepare 
himself therefore, if he would vindicate his position as 
an inductive inquirer, for a little difficult reading for a 
few pages, remembering, for his encouragement, that 

IV.] History of Criticism. 157 

these pages will facilitate, indeed are indispensable to, 
subsequent progress. 

Happily, in order to place oneself upon that altitude 
from which a survey of the criticism of the Pentateuch 
is possible, it is unnecessary to regard the views of men 
like Aben-Ezra, 1 the learned Jew of Toledo ; Carlstadt, 2 
the famous opponent of Luther ; Maes,3 the Belgian 
commentator ; Hobbes,4 our English philosopher ; 
Peyrerius,5 the author of the theory of the Pre- Adamites ; 
or Spinoza, 6 or Le Clerc,7 who, with a few others, prior 
to the middle of the last century, promulgated doubts, 
rather sentimental than exegetical, as to the Mosaic 
authorship of the whole or parts of the Genesis. The 
so-called " HigJier Criticism" " a name new to no 
Humanist," as Eichhorn 8 so well says " a sense and 
measure of the harmonious and the contradictory," as 
Hupfeld 9 defines it that criticism which deals on in 
ternal evidence with the date and authorship of the 
Books of Scripture, is a little more tJian a hundred years 

The critical movement, which has led of late to an 
entire reconstruction by some scholars of the Old 
Testament, dates from tJie year 1753, when a book I0 
was published anonymously at Brussels and at Paris, 

1 Aben-Ezra, Commentary on the Pentatettch, Lucca, 1152. 

2 De Scripturis Canonicis, Wittenberg, 1521. 

3 Josufe Imperatoris Historia, illnstrata atque explicata, Antwerp, 1574. 

4 Leviathan, London, 1651, chap, xxxiii. 

5 Systema TheoL ex Prccadamitaruni Hypothesi, 1655, lib. iv. c. I, 2. 

6 Tractatus Theologico-politicus, Hamburg, 1670, cap. vii. 

7 Sentimens de quclques tlieologiens de Hollande sur Vhistoire critique du 
V. T., Amsterdam, 1685. 

8 Einleitung in das A. T., Gottingen, 1823, vol. i. p. vii. 

9 Die Quellender Genesis, Berlin, 1853, p. I. 

10 Conjectures sur les mfanoires originaux, dont il paroit que Mo ise s^est 
servi poiir composer le livrede la Genese. A German translation was pub 
lished at Frankfort in 1783. 

158 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

but really written by one Jean Astruc, a French phy- 
sican and a Roman Catholic. Astruc was impressed, 
as Augustine I had been before him, with the ordered 
and apparently discriminating use of the Divine Names 
in Genesis. How deliberate this usage is even the 
English reader may see, who takes the trouble to 
observe how the word " God " will occur in passage 
after passage of the English version, whilst in con 
tiguous passages the word " Lord " is exclusively used. 
Concentrating attention upon this ostensibly deliberate 
usage of the Divine names, Astruc made an analysis 
of Genesis. Astruc thought he had valid grounds for 
the conjecture (he only put his views forward as con 
jectures) that Moses had compiled Genesis from two 
principal documents, characterized respectively by the 
employment of the Hebrew words Elohim and Jehovah 
for God, and at the same time for the further con 
jecture that Moses obtained additional materials for 
his book from nine smaller memoirs still extant in 
his day, various pedigrees and poems inserted in 
Genesis giving him this idea. It is only fair to add 
that, by these conjectures of his, Astruc assuredly did 
not dream of becoming the founder of a school of 
marked revolutionary tendency, just as he assuredly 
had no thought of extending his analysis to the other 
books of the Pentateuch. This FIRST PHASE in the 
history of modern Pentateuch criticism dealt, and 
meant to deal, solely with Genesis. 

In Belgium and in France Astruc s book attracted 
little notice. In Germany this suggested method of 
analysis fell into prepared soil. There the age of criti 
cism was already born. There Rationalism which, with 

1 De Genesi ad Litter am, lib. viii. c. II. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 159 

all its faults, is, on its good side, a legitimate request for 
evidence was in the air. There, too, the appetite for 
literary criticism had been whetted by the birth of the 
new historical method, which regarded history as a 
sphere for accuracy and the minutest truthfulness, rather 
than for rhetorical display. This new historical school, 
which preferred fact to style, was doing a marvellous 
thing. It was replacing, in classical story, legend by 
history, and was reconstructing not without shock 
important sections of the past of the world. And in 
this historical reconstruction literary (or the " higher ") 
criticism was playing a large part By the careful com 
parison of passage with passage, and of narrative with 
narrative, by alert watchfulness for any forms of incon 
sistency however slight, by rigorous search for ana 
chronisms, by cultivated sense of tone and expression, 
by searching study, in short, of all varieties of what is 
not inappropriately termed internal evidence, of all evi 
dence, that is, that bears upon the date and credibility 
of extant records, supposed to be contemporaneous, or 
nearly so, with the events they record, by such methods 
profane history was being largely remodelled. Was it 
not probable that, by similar critical devices, sacred 
history might be re-shaped as well as profane ? At 
least, so men in Germany were beginning, under the 
influence of Lessing, to inquire. Into such an atmo 
sphere Astruc s book fell ; and, as any piece of wood or 
stone will initiate crystallization in a solution just about 
to crystallize, so Astruc s Conjectures became the nucleus 
around which the criticism of the Biblical records took 
palpable shape. 

In the new criticism Eichhorn led the way. 1 Eichhorn 

1 Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 4th edit., 1823, vol. iii. pp. 106- 

160 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT, 

saw, however, clearly that, valuable as was the critical 
principle of the Divine names, such a principle alone 
could not furnish all the critical aids he desired. " It 
is an acknowledged impossibility, in fact, to found a 
rational theory of separable documents on the use of 
the Divine names as they now appear in the Genesis." I 
Eichhorn therefore combined Astruc s suggestion with 
the critical methods already used in classical history, 
and, collaterally with the analytical test of the Divine 
names, employed careful examination of diction, style, 
and general contents. According to Eichhorn s view, 
after the application of this composite method of 
analysis, Genesis and the opening chapters of Exodus 
were a compilation of two documents, the one of which 
was characterized by the use of the word Elohim for 
the name of Deity (and by other critical marks), and the 
other of which was characterized by the use of the word 
Jehovah for the Divine name (as well as by other critical 
marks). Eichhorn also saw reason to believe that some 
portions of Genesis, such as the fourteenth chapter (which 
treats of the Battle of the Kings, and introduces another 
name for Deity God Most High) were interpolations 
in the two leading documents. 2 Such was Eichhorn s 
theory, which at present I am only stating. 

Several critics of note speedily declared for this theory, 
and it was fully elaborately by men like M6ller,3 Bauer,4 
Gramberg,5 and Stahelin, 6 who, whilst exhibiting many 

1 Bissell, The Pentateuch^ its Origin and Structure, p. 57. 

2 See the analysis in Appendix I. 

3 Ueber die Verschiedenheit des Styls der beyden Haupturkunden der 
Genesis , Gottingen, 1792. 

4 Rntwurf einer histor-kritischen Einleitung in die Schriften des A. T., 
Nurnberg, 1806. 

s Libri Geneseos secunduiu fontes rite dignoscendos athivibratio nova, 
Leipsic, 1828. 
6 Kritische UntersucJmngen iiber die Genesis, Basel, 1830. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 161 

minor differences, showed also a substantial agreement 
as it was probable they would, seeing that they started 
from the same premises. In this first phase, then, of the 
criticism of the Pentateuch the Earlier Documentary 
phase, as it is often called, the phase of the Urkunden- 
Hypothese, as the Germans say the Genesis was regarded 
as a compilation from two original sources, together 
with a few interpolations ; although one writer of this 
school, Ilgen, 1 declared for three original sources, a view 
which was revived later on as we shall see. Of course 
side by side with this earlier form of the Compilation 
Theory of authorship, there were those who contended, 
and contended ably, for the Mosaic authorship of the 
whole of the book in question. Further, an extreme 
radical section of critics followed out the minor analysis 
of Astruc, and declared Genesis to be a compilation, 
long after the time of Moses, not from two original 
sources, but from many fragments of various dates. 2 
This Fragmentary Hypothesis was, however, speedily 
abandoned in face of the striking unity visible in 

But this first phase of the Higher Criticism of the 
Pentateuch soon merged into a SECOND PHASE. The 
Compilation Theory of the authorship of Genesis be 
came a New-Edition Theory. With the temerity of 
discoverers, critics speedily desired to apply their new 
analytical method, not to Genesis only and the opening 
chapters of Exodus (where the distinctive employment 

1 Die Urknnden des Jerusalem- Tempelarchivs in Hirer Urgestalt^ 
Leipsic, 1798. 

2 Compare Hasse, Aussichten zu kilnftigen Aufkldrungen iiber das Alte 
Testament in Briefen, Jena, 1785 ; J. S. Vater, Commentar it. die Pentat. y 
vol. iii., Halle, 1802-1805 ; and A. T. Hartmann, Hist.-krit. Forschungen 
ii. Bi Idling, Zeitalter und Plunder 5 Biicher Moses, Rostock, 1831. 


1 62 TJie Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

of the Divine names is patent to every careful reader), 
but to the remainder of the Pentateuch as well (where 
this distinctive use of the Divine names no longer 
obtains). This enlargement of application was greatly due 
to De Wette, 1 who called attention to the individuality 2 
of Deuteronomy, and to what he was pleased to regard 
as the unhistorical character of the other four books of 
the Pentateuch, a character which pointed, as he thought, 
to a later author than Moses. It was also due to Ewald, 
who maintained that the two documents, the Elohim 
record and the Jehovah record, were traceable, if not by 
the peculiar usage of the Divine names, at least by 
phrase and style and plan, throughout the whole five 
books of the Pentateuch. This extension of view to the 
entire Pentateuch nay, to the Hexateuch, to use the 
word which has been coined to represent the five books 
of Moses and the Book of Joshua was one prominent 
characteristic of this second phase. Another charac 
teristic was the separation of Deuteronomy from the 
other books. Yet a third feature was, that, almost as a 
matter of course after the change of general view, the 
theory of compilation passed into a theory of editorship. 
The author of the Pentateuch was no longer supposed 
to have combined, almost mechanically, two original 
documents known to him, but he was now credited with 
having before him an original writing, that of the Elohist 
(who preferred the name Eiohim for the Deity), and 
with supplementing that primary text, wherever he felt 
so disposed, by materials of his own, whether derived 

1 Dissertatio Critica, qua Deuteronomium a prioribus Pentateuchi libris 
diversum, Jena, 1805; and Beitriige zur Einleitung in s A. T., Halle, 
1806 ; and Kritik der Mosaischen Geschickte, 1807. 

2 Composition der Genesis kritisch untersticht, Brunswick, 1823 ; and 
Theologische Sttidien und Kritiken^ 1831. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 163 

from tradition or from other records with which he was 
familiar. Thus the Earlier Documentary Theory of the 
composition of Genesis became a Supplementary Theory, 
a more organic and fascinating theory of the origination 
of the Pentateuch by editorial additions to earlier 
writings. Stated generally, in short, this Theory of 
Supplementing (Erganzung~Hypothese> as the Germans 
say), took the following form : according to it the 
original sources of the whole Pentateuch as well as 
Genesis were two, an Elohistic record (in which a few 
yet more ancient fragments were embedded), and the 
Book of Deuteronomy, these two original sources having 
been largely added to by a subsequent writer, the 
Jehovist, who at once edited and supplemented the 
whole from Genesis to Numbers. Perhaps I should add 
that, to some advocates of the theory, the Jehovist and 
the writer of Deuteronomy were one and the same per 
son. 1 Such was the theory of authorship advocated, 
with many minor differences, especially as to the dates 
of the component parts, by De Wette, 2 Bleek,3 and 
Tuch,4 to mention the more important writers only. As 
regards the age of the component parts, the age of the 
Elohist, the writer who preferred the name Elohim for 
God, was placed at the earliest in the time of the Judges, 
opinions varying ; whereas the age of the Jehovist, the 
writer who preferred the name Jehovah for God, was 
necessarily placed somewhat later, Bleek says in David s 
days, and Tuch says some time between the reigns of 
Solomon and Uzziah. In this second phase, then, of the 

1 E.g,, Stahelin. 

- Bcitrdge zur Einlcitung in s A. T., Halle, 1806. 

3 Einlcitung in die Hciligc Schrift, 1st part, Einlcitung in das Alte 
Testament, Berlin, 1860. 

4 Tuch, Kotumentar ilber die Genesis , Halle, 1838. 

1 64 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT, 

Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch, Textual Criticism 
being the Lower Criticism, and Historical and Literary 
Criticism the Higher the Pentateuch was regarded as 
consisting of one main story, which had been re-written 
and completed by a later writer, himself either the author 
or the adapter of the Book of Deuteronomy ; moreover,, 
this main narrative the Original Story, as Colenso 
named it, the Grundschrift, as the Germans say a con 
nected account of the entire epoch from the origin of the 
world to the conquest of Canaan, was traceable, it was 
thought, not by the comparatively coarse test of the 
Divine names, but by those more subtle critical methods 
which distinguish between variations of style, diversities 
of plan, differences of aim, divergent modes of presen 
tation, recondite inconsistencies of statement, minute 
peculiarities of diction, latent psychological assump 
tions, axiomatic theological predilections, in short, by 
all those critical methods which a cultured and sensitive 
criticism can detect, or imagine. 1 

However, this second phase of Pentateuch analysis 
was destined to give way to a THIRD PHASE. As the 
Compilation Theory of authorship had been displaced 
by the Revised-Edition Theory, so this New-Edition 
Theory, in the turn of the wheel of criticism, was itself 
to disappear before a More Elaborate Compilation Theory. 
This new form of the composite theory followed upon 
the publication by Hupfeld in 1853 of his Sources of 
Genesis and MetJwd of tJieir Composition? In this 
book, instead of speaking of two authors of the Genesis, 
an original Elohistic writer and an accomplished Jeho- 

1 See Appendix I. 

- Die Qnellen der Genesis und die Art Hirer Zusammcnsetzung, Berlin ; 


IV.] History of Criticism. 165 

vistic editor, as had been maintained by his immediate 
predecessors in criticism, Hupfeld declared for three 
writers and an editor besides, being compelled, as he 
believed, to distinguish in the Genesis three independent 
sources an Elohist, who preferred the name Elohim 
for God ; a Jehovist, who preferred the name Jehovah 
for God ; and a second Elohist, who also had a preference 
for Elohim in describing the Deity. At the same time, 
Hupfeld maintained that no one of these three writers 
had anything to do with the others, but that a fourth, 
a much later writer, who also knew and utilized for his 
purpose the Book of Deuteronomy, combined these 
various records into one consecutive whole, using, how 
ever, a large editorial liberty of alteration. Many later 
critics have accepted these views of Hupfeld s with one 
important amendment. According to the rejoinder of 
Noldeke, 1 which has largely commended itself to those 
who start from the same principles, the second Elohist 
does not form an independent section of the whole, but 
only exists in extracts embodied by the Jehovist in his 
own writing. Thus, in this third phase, the Pentateuch 
was still regarded as compiled from two original 
sources, the one being characterized by a preference 
for the name of Elohim for God, and the other 
being characterized by a preference for the name 
Jehovah ; this latter writer, however, incorporating into 
his narrative various extracts from another writer known 
to him, who showed a preference for the name Elohim ; 
and, at the same time, it was thought, that these two 
original sources, together with the Book of Deuteronomy 
which had come from an independent pen, had under 
gone careful combination and revision at the hands of 
1 Untersuckungen zur Kritik des Alien Testaments, Kiel, 1869. 

1 66 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

a later writer. Such is the Later Documentary Theory,, 
as it has been called, which has been substantially, 
though with minor variations, advocated by such leading 
exegetes as Ewald, 1 Knobel, 2 Dillmann,3 Vaihinger, 4 
Schrader,s and Samuel Davidson. 6 According to this 
third phase, in its latest and most mature form, the 
Pentateuch (or rather the Hexateuch) was the work of 
a late editor himself the author of Deuteronomy say 
some who, speaking generally, used for his own pur 
poses the previous work of an Elohist, a priest writing 
about the time of David \vho also employed the work 
of the Jehovist, an Ephraimite, a man of prophetical 
leanings, writing two centuries later, that is to say, about 
the year 800 B.C. who adopted as well the Book of 
Deuteronomy, written a little before the reign of Josiah, 
this editor himself (supposing him not to have been the 
Deuteronomist) of course writing at a later date than 
the seventh century before Christ. The theory is 
elaborate and not without precision. What facts it has 
for its basis we shall see presently.? 

Attention is sometimes called to the great unity of 
conviction that distinguishes the advocates of the com 
posite theory of the authorship of the Law, as if it were 
something wonderful that men who start from the same 
premises should reach similar conclusions. Surely the 

1 Gescliichte des Volkes Israel, 3rd edit., Gottingen, 1864, vol. i., translated 
under the title, The History of Israel to the Death of Moses, London, 1867. 

2 Die Biicher Nunieri, Deuteronomiuin und Josua, Kritik des Pentateuch 
und Josua, Leipsic, 1861. 

3 Die Genesis, 4th edit., Leipsic, 1882. 

4 Article " Pentateuch " in Herzog, Real-Encyklopddie, 1st edit. vol. xi. 
pp. 292-368, Gotha, 1852. 

5 De Wette, LcJirlnicJi der hist.-krit. Einleitung, bcarbeitct i on If 
Schrader, Berlin, 1869, pp. 232-325. 

6 Introduction to Old Testament, vol. i., London, 1862. 

7 Compare Appendix I. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 167 

wonder is to an inductive inquirer at least that after 
a century of criticism a larger unanimity should not be 
apparent. Three phases in the decomposition of the 
Pentateuch have already passed under brief review. A 
FOURTH PHASE follows. It shows a great change of 
view. As has been well, if sharply, said, " Experiments 
without number have been made of running the dis 
secting knife through the Pentateuch ; and each fresh 
operator has pronounced, with the utmost positiveness, 
upon the various age of its several portions, &c. ; and 
now everything has been thrown into a fresh jumble 
again ; everything must be reconstructed on a new 
basis." J 

This fourth phase, singularly enough, accepts the 
main lines of the analysis just sketched remaining 
still a More Elaborate Compilation Theory but marks 
a gigantic revolution of opinion, nevertheless. The 
revolution of view concerns the date at which the writer 
wrote who prefers the name Elohim for the Deity. From 
being thought the earliest writer of all, who lived not 
later than the times of Solomon, the Elohist becomes in 
this new theory the latest writer of all, and contemporary 
with Ezekiel. Nor is this view without prominent 
advocates. Dr. Robertson Smith has described this 
theory as " the growing conviction of an overwhelming 
weight of the most earnest and sober scholarship." 2 
Similarly Dr. Kuenen has dubbed this theory " the 
received view of European critical Scholarship." 3 If the 
words are hasty, as a reaction in opinion is beginning to 
show, nevertheless it should be said that this theory 

1 Presbyterian Review, 1882, p. 109. 

- Old Testament in the Jezvish Chttrch, Edinburgh, 1881, p. 216. 
3 An Historico- Critical Inquiry into the Origin and Couiposition of the 
Hexateuch, translated by Philip H. Wicksteed, London, 1886, p. xl. 

1 68 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

commends itself to such leaders in Biblical Science as 
Reuss, 1 Graf, 2 Kuenen,^ Duhm,4 Schultz,5 and Well- 
hausen, 6 and as Kalisch,7 and Colenso, 8 and Renan 9 (in 
their later writings). Of the quiet inculcation of this 
theory in general terms by Reuss, of its more accurate 
formulation by Popper I0 and Graf, of its independent 
discovery and skilful advocacy by Kayser IJ and by 
Kuenen, and of its masterly and novel presentation by 
Julius Wellhausen, I need not speak. 12 In its essential 
features, and in the form which is most prominent 
to-day, this critical theory " the growing conviction of 
an overwhelming weight of the most earnest and sober 

I L Histoire Sainte et la Loi, Paris, 1879. " The venerable Strasburg 
professor showed himself, in his admirable introduction to this work," says 
Kuenen, "to be not so much a distinguished convert to the Grafian hypothesis 
as its real author. ... In the lecture-room of Strasburg, then, we might 
look, in no small measure, for the ultimate source of Graf s and Kayser s 
inspiration, and Reuss had the satisfaction of seeing the views he had 
enunciated in his youth taken up and elaborated by his distinguished pupils, 
and commanding ever-increasing assent as he incorporated them, matured 
and consolidated, into the works of his old age " (Hexatench, pp. xxxiv., 
xxx v). 

- Die Geschichtlichen Biicher des A. T., Leipsic, 1866. 

3 Religion of Israel : Hexateuch. 

4 Die Theologie der Propheten ah Gnmdlage fiir die innere Entivicke- 
lungsgeschichte der hraelitischen Religion, Bonn, 1875. 

5 Alttestainentliche T/ieologie, Die Offenbaritngsreligion anf Hirer vor- 
christlichen Entwickelungsstnfe, 3rd edit., 1885. 

6 Die Composition des HexateucJis, published in 1877, and reprinted in 
Skizzen und Vorarbeiten, 2nd part, Berlin, 1885 ; Geschichte Israels, vol. i., 
Berlin, 1878, 2nd edit., 1883, translated under the title of The History of 
Israel, Edinburgh, 1885. 

7 A Historical and Critical Commentary on tJie Old Testament, Leviticus, 
London, 1867. 

8 The Pentateuch, part vi., London, 1872. 

9 Histoire du Peuple d Israel, vol. i., Paris, 1887. 

10 Die biblische Bericht iiber die Stiftslmtte, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte 
der Composition tind Diaske^le des Pentateuch, Leipsic, 1862. 

II Das Vorexilische Buck der Urgeschic/ite und seine Eriveitcrungen, 
Strasburg, 1874. 

12 A good outline of the history of this theory may be found in Kuenen, 
The HexatencJi, Introduction. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 169 

scholarship " is, that the oldest part of the Pentateuch 
(which, we are told, has certainly an ancient air) is the 
chapters of Exodus containing the Ten Commandments 
and the Judgments which follow (that is to say, the 
twentieth chapter to the twenty-third, and also the 
thirty-fourth) ; that the Jehovist comes next, seeing that 
he wrote in the period subsequent to the division of the 
kingdom of Solomon, thus committing to fixed writing 
what had previously circulated orally and had manifestly 
been subject to frequent change ; that the Deuteronomic 
laws and revision subsequently followed, towards the 
end of the seventh century B.C. ; that then certain 
chapters of Leviticus, from the seventh to the twenty- 
third, were written, most probably by Ezekiel ; that later 
still lived the priestly Elohist, who composed the 
"" Priests Code," as it has been technically called, con 
sisting of the laws of the Pentateuch not included by 
the Jehovist in his work, together with their historical 
setting, and a preface giving the history of the creative 
days ; and that, lastly, the entire work was completed 
by an editor, and put into circulation, about the year 
444 B.C. According to this fourth phase of the decom 
position of the Pentateuch, speaking briefly, the final 
result was produced at the close of the Babylonian 
Exile by a compilation from three sources, these sources 
being a Jehovist document of a prophetic tendency 
written before Deuteronomy, of Deuteronomy written 
about the time of Josiah, and of the Priestly Code, the 
Elohistic document, written soon after the Exile. 

Such is the theory, both detailed and guarded, which 
all Biblical students are being called upon to accept or 
reject " the growing conviction of an overwhelming 
weight of the most earnest and sober scholarship " as 

170 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

we are bidden believe. Nor do its advocates shrink 
from the consequences of their theory. Rather has its 
revolutionary and evolutional character itself a charm, 
"supporting" as Kalisch says, "the philosophical ideas" 
dominant at present in many quarters. Darwinism has 
its fascination to some theological as well as some 
biological minds. It was to be expected, in fact,, 
that attempts would be made to trace a purely 
naturalistic evolution of religious ideas and institu 
tions amongst the ancient Israelites ; just as it was 
to be expected that an ingenuity of accommodation 
should be brought to bear in making such attempts. In 
fact, such attempts should be as welcome as inevitable.. 
A theory cannot be disproved until its most able pre 
sentation be disproved. It remains to be seen whether 
the prepossession in favour of a naturalistic evolution 
has not placed a false accent upon the Biblical facts. 
For the consequences of this evolutionary theory are 
clear. On this theory, as is avowed, Sinai and its events 
are myths, or, at best, legends told a thousand years 
after the occurrence of the events they eftcrust ; the 
Tabernacle, with its Court and Holy Place and Holiest, 
is pure fiction, an imaginative sanctuary made on the 
rough-and-ready method of halving the dimensions 
of the Temple of Solomon, itself a study from the 
Phoenician ; and the entire narrative of the Books of 
the Law, is, so to speak, a religious novel, written for 
ecclesiastical purposes, and based upon the slenderest 
modicum of fact. All this is clearly acknowledged. 
" At one stroke," as has been said by one of its advo 
cates, " the Mosaic period is wiped out." J Even 
Colenso, cautious as he usually was in expression, 

1 Duhm, Die Theologie der Proplidcu, p. 18. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 171 

ventured to say that " perhaps the most important result 
of the criticism of the Pentateuch is this, that it strikes 
a death-blow at the whole system of priestcraft, which 
has mainly been based upon the notion that the 
Levitical laws . . . were really of Mosaic, or rather of 
Divine origin." I Quite consciously the alternative is 
placed before the world by this fourth phase of the 
critical decomposition of the Law, that either the theory 
it advocates must be disproven, or the Old Testament 
must be reconstructed. As Reuss says, "The entire 
history of the Israelites, civil, political, literary, and 
religious, depends on the answer which will be given to 
the question whether these books (of the Pentateuch) 
belong to the first beginnings of the nation as the 
primary base of its life and of its social and spiritual 
development, or whether they are the fruit of a labour 
of centuries, to which twenty generations have minis 
tered, and which have only been completed at the hour 
in which this development has been stopped and the 
productive sap has been exhausted." 2 Truly the ques 
tion at issue is capital ; for when " the name of Moses 5> 
is used either as speaker or hearer, it is simply em 
ployed, we are told, " by the anonymous writer, as 
Merlin, Solomon, and Ossian" 3 are employed in " other 
literatures." 4 

Assured as the results of this fourth phase are repre 
sented as being, it is of some interest to notice that there 
are clear signs of entrance upon a FIFTH PHASE. In a 
work published posthumously, a M. D Eichthal, remark - 

1 TJic Pentateuch and the Book of foslnia, part vi. pp. 631, 635, 637. 

2 L Histoire Sainte et la Lot, p. 13. 

3 Russell Martineau, article on the "Legislation of the Pentateuch in 
The Theological Review for 1872. 

4 Compare Appendices I. and II. 

172 77/6 Authors kip of Genesis. [LECT. 

ing that a rigorous criticism of Deuteronomy has not 
been made as yet, but that it has been too commonly 
assumed that Deuteronomy is an original work, homo 
geneous and well knit in all its parts, lays claim to the 
honour of showing, by the critical methods which have 
issued in the four preceding phases, that Deuteronomy 
has been composed as the remaining books of the Law 
are declared to have been composed. Deuteronomy also 
is said to be a compilation from various sources by an 
accomplished editor. As D Eichthal says, " The fifth 
book of the Pentateuch is a complex of documents, all 
or almost all of previous date, reconciled, cut up, par 
celled out, mixed with more or less art and care, in order 
to serve the purpose the editor had in view." z Further, 
M. D Eichthal contends that the date of Deuteronomy 
has been placed much too early, and that it too belongs 
to the epoch after the Babylonian Exile, to the fifth 
century before Christ, or the fourth, and not to the 
seventh. All this might seem of little importance, were 
it not that M. Maurice Vernes, who has popularized the 
views of Graf, Kuenen, and Wellhausen in France, as 
efficiently as Robertson Smith has popularized them in 
the English-speaking countries, has given in his adhesion 
to this view of Deuteronomy, in a remarkable tractate. 2 
M. Vernes accepts the two views, first, of the composite 
character of Deuteronomy, and second, of its Post- 
Exilic date ; and, at the same time, M. Vernes recon 
structs the Grafian hypothesis accordingly. Adhering 
strictly to the Grafian view of the succession of docu 
ments, M. Vernes still maintains the order of composition 

1 Melanges de Critique Bibliqiie, Paris, 1886. 

2 Une Nouvelle Hypotliese sur la Co))i position et VOriginedit Deuttrononic, 
Exameii dcs Vucs de M. G. D 1 Eichthal^ par Maurice Vernes, Directeur 
Adjoint a 1 Ecole cles Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne), Paris, 1887. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 173 

to be the Jehovistic source, Deuteronomy, the Priests 
Code ; but believing now as he does, that Deuteronomy 
is a product of the age of Ezra, and not of the age of 
Josiah, he asserts that the whole Pentateuch could not 
have existed at an earlier date than the fourth century. 
In his view Deuteronomy is Post-Exilic, say of the fifth 
century, and the Priests Code (and of course the entire 
Pentateuch) is Post-Exilic, and later in date than 
Deuteronomy. Further, M. Vernes does not stop here. 
He proceeds to inquire whether even the Jehovistic 
document, regarded by the Grafian theory as prior in 
date to the time of Josiah, can be regarded as of an 
earlier date than the Exile, and replies in the negative. 
His words are as follows : " And if I were asked, Have 
you decisive reasons for affirming that at least the 
nucleus of the Jehovistic and prophetic document had 
been composed before the Exile, I should venture to 
reply humbly and quite in a whisper : I have not. That 
is, indeed, what I am coming to, viz., at no longer recog 
nizing in the Jehovistic-prophetic document, although I 
hold it as of more ancient date than Deuteronomy, and 
than the Elohistic-priestly document, a work bearing the 
specific characters of the times anterior to the destruction 
of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans." Let the words be 
weighed. They are an indirect testimony to tJie Jiomo- 
geneousness of the Pentateuch. One may disagree entirely 
with M. Vernes as to the dates he assigns to the con 
stituent portions of the Law, and thank him nevertheless 
for his expressed conviction that the Jehovist and 
Elohist and Deuteronomist do not belong to diverse 
centuries, nor present different standpoints. It is not 
an advocate, be it remembered, of the traditional stand 
point, but an advocate of the most anti-traditional theory 

174 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

yet proposed, who writes : " When there is seen (in the 
Pentateuch) documents of three distinct epochs, the 
monuments of three different and incompatible spirits, 
each of which has made a civilization in its likeness, of 
the epoch of Isaiah and Hezekiah, of the epoch of 
Josiah, and of the epoch of Ezra, I contest it formally." I 
The position is suggestive. Nor does the suggestiveness 
lessen when M. Vernes continues : 

" In drawing up its lines, as criticism has done, in multiplying 
its divisions, in establishing its fundamental contradictions, in wish 
ing to remake the history of a religious evolution as complex as 
long by means of documents extracted conjecturally from a final 
combination into which they have entered, criticism and our re 
mark does not specially apply here to the school of Graf appears 
to us to have fallen into the contrary fault to that into which 
traditional opinion has fallen. The latter has ignored too readily 
the divergences of the text and the incompatibility of the diverse 
assertions they contain ; convinced of the unity of inspiration of 
such a work as the Hexateuch, it has thought it expedient to seek 
that unity even in details. The critical schools, in their turn, 
present us with a conception of the Hexateuch, which compels 
disquietude, because we see therein, not an effort directed to a 
precise end, but a series of attempts of opposite tendency, and 
because the definitive reunion of these divergent and contra 
dictory works into a single code rather affords us a lumber-room 
than a legislation." 

And M. Vernes continues in golden words : 

" It is necessary at this point to carefully represent the thought 
which has guided the last editors of the first six books of the Bible. 
Are they virtuosos, doing the work of dilettantism, more sensitive 
to the unsuitability of permitting the loss of an original feature 
of an ancient chronicle, of an unusual text of common law, than 
to that of leading the reader astray by the multiplicity of versions 
of the same fact and especially by their disagreement ? Assuredly 
not. They are historians and lawyers, desirous of giving their 
contemporaries a book in which they may find at once the holy 
history of their early past, and the Law, the authority of 

1 Une Nouvelle Hypotliese, pp. 50, 51. 

IV.] History of Criticism. 175 

they recognize ? However great may be the differences between 
the Oriental and Occidental genius. I should never admit that the 
last editors of the Mosaic Law had introduced into their works 
considerable fragments of the Jehovistic document or of Deuter 
onomy if they had recognized therein a spirit sensibly different 
from that of the Elohistic-^r \Q?>\\j Document, which saw the light 
last. These documents were, in their eyes, different versions of the 
great facts of the past, concurrent editions of the legislation of the 
present, which, by reason of their gravity, their eloquence, the 
varied information they contained, deserved to be preserved side 
by side. . . . All this would be readily intelligible if the last 
redaction of the Pentateuch and Joshua belongs to the third century, 
and if the principal documents which entered into its composition 
date from the times immediately preceding. All this would be 
intelligible with difficulty if the three great constituent documents 
represent three phases, eminently distinct, of the religious and 
social evolution of the ancient Jews." 

The extract is long, but it is worthy of careful con 
sideration. The eloquent protest is notable. It has a 
weight far beyond what M. Vernes himself realizes. It 
destroys his own references to date. This appeal from 
pedantry to common-sense should ring the death-knell of 
the theory, which is " the growing conviction of an over 
whelming weight of the most earnest and sober scholar 
ship." Extremes seem about to meet. The course of 
the literary criticism of the last hundred years seems 
about to complete its cycle, and to return with a surer 
conviction than ever to the traditional belief concerning 
the Pentateuch. Let the arguments concerning the 
composition of the Five Books of the Law once confine 
themselves to the evidence as to their date, on tlie prior 
assurance of their practical contemporaneousness, and the 
Pentateuch will come forth from the fires of recent 
criticism, as the Gospel of John has done, a little dross 
of human thought possibly consumed, but purer gold. 
The fifth phase of the history of the criticism of the 
Pentateuch would speedily enter upon a sixth in which the 

176 The AutJiorsJiip of Genesis. [LECT. 

contemporaneous character of the contents of the Law, 
and therefore its Mosaic origin, will be maintained. 

But it is time to pass from the survey of the history 
of recent criticism upon the Genesis and the Law, 
instructive as that history is, to the criticism of criticism. 
Proceeding then, in the next place, to the criticism of the 
results of criticism, and, more especially, to the criticism 
of critical views upon the Genesis seeing that it is 
desirable for many reasons \vhich will appear as we pro 
ceed, to confine attention at present to Genesis two 
cardinal questions call for investigation. As the previous 
history of criticism has shown us, it is now necessary to 
ask, on the one hand, what evidence Genesis itself affords 
of the DATE of its composition ; it is also needful to ask,, 
on the other hand, what evidence does Genesis itself offer 
two questions answered, a third will present itself, viz., 
what THEORY of the date and authorship of Genesis 
seems to be most in harmony with the facts of the case. To 
these three crucial questions I advance. 

FIRST, then, must we, upon an examination of the 
evidence forthcoming in Genesis, necessarily declare for 
the post-Mosaic authorship of Genesis ? To the Law 
and to the Testimony. 

In entering upon this question, it is encouraging to 
read in the pages of the most scholarly advocate of the 
post-Mosaic date of Genesis that " the date ... is a 
task beset with no small difficulties." " The facts," con 
tinues Dr. Kuenen, " we have to go upon are compara 
tively few and are often ambiguous ; and sometimes, too, 
it is doubtful whether the evidence refers to the original 
narratives themselves or to the more or less modified 

IV.] Its Date. 177 

form in which they have come down to us." " We must 
therefore," this eminent Dutchman goes on to say, " be 
content, when the circumstances require it, with a more 
or less vague result." z All this means that Dr. Kuenen 
finds it exceedingly difficult to support from Genesis 
his particular evolutionary theory of the origin of the 

The fact is, that the evidence advanced for the late 
date of Genesis, from Genesis itself, is of the scantiest. 
Professedly the evidence for the post-Mosaic date is of 
three kinds, viz., anachronisms (or evidence as to the 
possession of knowledge impossible in the days of 
Moses) ; anatropisms^ to coin a parallel word (or evidence 
as to the possession of knowledge impossible in the 
location of Moses) ; and romancings (or evidence of un- 
historical, and, therefore, non-contemporary, contents). 
Let each class of evidence be reviewed. 

On the principle that a book must have been written 
later than any circumstances that it records that Genesis, 
for example, was written posterior to the death of 
Joseph the evidence of anachronisms, if such there be, 
is crucial. The more important of these anachronisms 
is as follows ; they have been repeated again and again, 
as the stock instances, since Le Clerc wrote his Prole 
gomena to the Old Testament ; and Le Clerc borrowed 
from Aben Ezra. 

One supposed anachronism is this. In the twelfth 
chapter of Genesis and the sixth verse, it is said that 
"Abram passed through the land into the place of 
Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh ; and the Canaanitc was 
then in the land" Now these last words imply, it is 
said, that at the date of writing, the Canaanite was not 

p. 227. 

1 78 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

then in the land, and this being so, the date of the com 
position of Genesis would be subsequent to the conquest 
of Canaan. But will the instance bear the strain put 
upon it? Is there not another explanation of the phrase 
at least as natural ? Is not the statement a mere state 
ment of fact without ulterior or prior reference of any 
kind ? The Lord appears to Abram, and notwithstanding 
the fact that " the Canaanite was then in the land," 
promises this very Canaanitish land to his posterity : 
" unto thy seed will I give this land." As Dillmann 
well says, " The observation is made with reference to 
the promise in the next verse ; the land, the possession 
of which God promises to the descendants of Abram, was 
not a land which nobody owned, the Canaanites dwelt 
there, but these Canaanites, according to the Divine 
plan, were afterwards to bow the neck to the seed of 
Abram." x Nay, is not the cited phrase a peculiarly 
Mosaic phrase ? Moses knew all too well that the 
Canaanite dwelt in the land was it not the Canaanite 
who kept Israel from Canaan and supposing Moses to 
have written this book, there would have been a peculiar 
appropriateness, a characteristic touch of realism, if in 
recording the narrative of the promise to Abram, Moses 
had inscribed such a sentence, to remind his followers 
that what did not stagger the faith of Abram should not 
stagger theirs. The Canaanite was in the land when 
the promise was made ; if the Canaanite was still in the 
land, it did not make the promise vain. At least this 
instance is too slight to build the theory of a post- 
Mosaic date upon. 

A second apparent anachronism is like to the preceding. 
In the thirteenth chapter of Genesis and the seventh 
1 Die Genesis, 4th edit., Leipsic, 1882, pp. 210, 211. 

IV.] Its Date. 179 

verse we read : " And there was a strife between the 
herdsmen of Abram s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot s 
cattle. And t/ie Canaanite and tJie Perizzite dwelled 
then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there 
be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and be 
tween my herdsmen and thy herdsmen." Here, again, 
the allusion to the Canaanite and the Perizzite has been 
supposed to point to a later time than Moses, seeing 
that it was only subsequent to the days of the great 
leader of the Exodus that the Canaanite and the 
Perizzite ceased to be in the land. But is not the infer 
ence far-fetched ? Is there not a much more natural 
explanation of the allusion ? Friendly nomads in 
a land of enemies cannot live at strife. Does not 
the introduction of the Canaanite and the Perizzite 
give peculiar force to Abraham s pacific appeal to his 
nephew ? With the Canaanite and Perizzite in the 
land, how suicidal would be the policy which made 
antagonists of allies ! Neither is this passage con 

A third instance of anachronism often quoted is this. 
"And these are the kings," we read in the thirty-sixth 
chapter of Genesis and the thirty-first verse, " that 
reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any 
king over the children of Israel" The natural inference 
is, it is said, that Genesis was written after "there 
reigned a king over the children of Israel," that is to say, 
not prior to the days of Saul. Have we not, in this 
allusion to a king, it has been asked, " a note of time 
which betrays a date subsequent to the introduction of 
monarchy in Israel " ? x The point is strong, but I am by 
no means sure it is as strong as at first sight it looks. 

1 Marcus Dodds, Genesis, Edinburgh, 1882, p. 152. 

3 So The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

It cannot be shown, for example, that any of the Edomite 
kings mentioned belong to a later time than Moses a 
conclusive argument if it could be shown. But there is 
another reason which may make one pause before as 
cribing this verse to a post-Mosaic date. Is it possible 
that we are reading a later technicality into earlier times ? 
Modern historians are wont to speak of Saul as the first 
king of Israel. Is this Biblical language ? Is this not 
to read into a flexible Hebrew term our later notions of 
kingship ? Certainly Moses does not hesitate to call 
himself, or, if the turn of expression be challenged, 
certainly the author of Deuteronomy did not hesitate to 
put into the mouth of Moses the name of a king in 
Israel. " Moses commanded us a law, an inheritance for 
the assembly of Jacob, and he was king in Jeshurun" * 
Balaam, too, says of Israel, not improbably with reference 
to the leadership of Moses, " The Lord his God is with 
him, and tlie shout of a king is among them." 2 Accord 
ing to the Old Testament conception, therefore, it would 
appear that Moses was the first king of Israel, king 
meaning no more than leader or ruler. According to 
the earlier Old Testament conception, it would appear 
that the king was a judge, 3 the judge was a king, 4 and 
a ruler might be called either judge or king. At least, if 
we assume that a judge was often called a king, several 
parallel passages in Judges, which have given the com 
mentators much trouble, become clear at once. I refer 
to the frequent phrase " in those days there was no king 
in Israel," every man doing that which was right in his 
own eyes,5 phrases which are not necessarily anachro- 

1 Deut. xxxiii. 5. 2 Numb, xxiii. 21. 

3 i Sam. viii. 5, 20. 4 lb. ii. 10 ; Judges ix. 6, 15, 16. 

5 Ib.. xvii. 6 ; xviii. I ; xix. I ; xxi. 25. 

IV.] Its Date. 181 

nisms, but which contrast the political state of Israel, 
not with its future, but with its past, not with the days 
of kings to come, but with the days of judges who had 
done their work and died. If, too, this more flexible use 
of the word "king" (as equivalent to political head) be 
Scriptural, another perplexing passage immediately 
becomes clear, namely, the passage where Moses com 
mands every king to write and read diligently a copy of 
the Law, 1 a passage which seems an anachronism if four 
hundred years were to pass before a king was appointed, 
but at once pertinent and impressive if Moses understood, 
by king any subsequent leader like himself. In which 
connection, it is significant that, on the appointment of 
Joshua to leadership, instructions are given him con 
cerning the keeping of the Law, this book of the Law, 
which Joshua must copy if he is to meditate therein day 
and night. 2 Further, whether the above explanation 
appear probable or not, some have thought that there 
are good grounds for regarding the entire passage as an 
interpolation. 3 That a subsequent reviser of the early 
Law did make a few explanatory and supplementary 
additions has been long recognized, and the phrase 
before us may certainly be such an interpolation. It is 
evident that the passage is perfectly intelligible if the 
phrase in question be read as a later insertion. 

Other anachronisms supposed to militate against the 
Mosaic authorship of Genesis are found in those passages 
which mention the city of Hebron. Thus we read 
" How Abraham removed his tent, and came to dwell in 
the plain of Mamre, which is Hebron, and built there 

1 Deut xvii. 14-20. 2 Josh. i. 58. 

3 Kennicott, Remarks on Select Passages of the Old Testament, p. 

1 82 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

an altar unto the Lord." 1 Now in the Book of Joshua it 
is distinctly said that " the name of Hebron before-time 
was Kirjath-Arba (that is, the city of Arba), which Arba 
was the greatest among the Anakim." 2 Here then, it is 
contended, there is definite evidence of a post-Mosaic 
author, seeing that neither in the time of Abraham, nor 
in that of Moses, was the name of Hebron known. But 
is not the leverage in this name Hebron small for so 
long a leap ? If there is revision anywhere, surely this 
word points to the modernizing of a reviser. Let the 
facts of the case be carefully weighed. This name 
Hebron occurs in three passages in Genesis, and in each 
instance the name is a superfluity, the meaning being 
perfectly clear and complete, if the clause contain 
ing the name be altogether omitted. If Hebrew had 
known the modern use of brackets, when additions were 
made to the primary text, would not brackets have been 
used in these three passages ? Let us see how the three 
passages look so written. The above-cited text would 
run thus : " Abraham removed his tent, and came and 
dwelt in the plain of Mamre [which is Hebron], and 
built there an altar to the Lord." The second passage 
would run : " And Sarah died in Kirjath-Arba [the same 
is Hebron] in the land of Canaan." 3 And the third 
would run, in the similar fashion, " And Jacob came unto 
Isaac his father to Mamre, to Kirjath-Arba [the same is 
Hebron], where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. "4 Are 
not these allusions to Hebron manifest interpolations of 
a later hand ? In this instance, then, the evidence is 
rather of a post-Mosaic revision than of a post-Mosaic 

1 Gen. xiii. 18. 2 Josh. xiv. 15 ; xv. 13. 

3 Gen. xxiii. 2. 4 2b. xxxv. 27. 

IV.] Its Date. 183 

authorship of Genesis. The distinction will rise again 

Yet another anachronism is found where we read that 
" Abraham pursued " Chedorlaomer and the confederate 
kings " as far as Dan " ; x inasmuch as in Judges we also 
read, " and they (the Danites), called the name of the 
city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was 
born unto Israel ; howbeit, the name of the city was 
Laish at the first." 2 Now, if the Dan of Abraham be 
the same as the Dan of the Danites, there seems here 
also to be the handiwork of a writer who wrote subse 
quently to the time of the Judges. But the evidence is 
not conclusive, seeing that there seems to be some doubt 
as to the original reading. Further, copyists, to say 
nothing of revisers, have been known to modernize 
names : and the probability of a later revision has 
just been pointed out. May not a reviser have sub 
stituted the familiar Dan for the obsolete Lais ? 

Attention has also been called, as an instance of 
another anachronism, to the use of the word " prophet " 
in the verse, " Now, therefore, restore the man his wife, 
for he is a prophet," 3 whereas, in Samuel, the name 
prophet is apparently described as a newly introduced 
term.4 The explanation of the matter is not quite 
clear. But whatever be the meaning of the statement 
in Samuel and very various meanings have been attri 
buted thereto it is evident that the word prophet occurs 
constantly in the Pentateuch in the sense assigned to 
it.s Indeed, so conclusive is the evidence, that some 

1 Gen. xiv. 14. 2 Juclg. xviii. 29. 

3 Gen. xx. 7. 4 i Sam. ix. 9. 

5 Exod. vii. i ; Numb. xi. 27, 29; Deut. xiii. I, 3, 5; xviii. 18. 

1 84 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

have doubted the authenticity of the passage (manifestly 
a parenthesis) in Samuel. 

Yet another anachronism has been found, in the view 
of some, where Joseph tells Pharaoh s chief butler that 
he was stolen "out of the land of the Hebrews;" 1 
whereas the land of Canaan was not yet " the land of 
the Hebrews." The contention is against the evidence. 
Was it, or was it not, a matter of fact that Abraham, 
and Isaac, and Jacob, were known to their contem 
poraries as Hebrews ? There can be no doubt about 
the reply. Abraham was known as " Abram the 
Hebreiu" 2 and Potiphar s wife complains to her servants 
that her husband had " brought in a Hebrew " 3 to mock 
the Egyptian, and the chief butler calls Joseph a Hebrew 
to the face of his master.4 It is unnecessary to trouble 
ourselves with the difficult question of the etymology 
of the term " Hebrew ; " the Biblical usage is sufficient 

An additional anachronism, sometimes cited, has been 
found in the verse which tells how Abraham was bidden 
get with Isaac into " the land of Moriah," the mountain 
of Moriah only receiving its name at the building of the 
Temple of Solomon. The identity of the Moriah of 
Abraham s faith with the Moriah of the Temple is ex 
ceedingly doubtful, and quite as doubtful is the reading 
" land of Moriah! However, this point will require dis 
cussion later on, when it is necessary to inquire whether 
the reading Mount of Jehovah (or Moriah) is defensible 
in pre-Mosaic times. 

Reviewing all this evidence as to anachronism, is it not 
manifestly too weak to bear the strain it is called upon 

1 Gen. xl. 15; compare xxxix. 14, 17, and xli. 12. - //>. xiv. 13. 

3 //;. xxxix. 14. 4 //>. xli. 12. 

IV.] Its Date. 185 

to bear ? Of the several instances put forth as de 
monstrating the post-Mosaic date of Genesis, crucial 
instances as they are supposed to be, some are wholly 
inconclusive, whilst the remainder appear to point 
rather to the work of a reviser than of an author later 
than Moses. 

And here let the probability of a later revision be 
emphasized. For the high probability of a later revision 
of the Law has been long acknowledged, not on the 
demands of any critical theory, but because of ancient 
evidence. Ezra, for example, has been credited again 
and again with rendering the ancient Book of the Law 
more intelligible to his contemporaries. " It is generally 
received," says Bishop Cosin, 1 " that after the return of 
the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, all the Books 
of Scripture having been revised by Ezra (then their 
priest and leader), . . . were by him, and the prophets 
of God that lived with him, consigned and delivered 
over to all posterity." The learned bishop so wrote on 
the authority of Jerome and Theodoret ; he might have 
added extracts from Tertullian, Irenseus, Clement of 
Alexandria, and Chrysostom. 2 Indeed, the evidence is 
conclusive, that in the early belief of the Christian 
Church, as well as in the tradition of the Jews, 3 Ezra 
restored, corrected, and edited the entire sacred records 
of his day, including the Law. Even the words of the 
Old Testament themselves receive almost a more suit- 

1 A Scholastical History of the Canon of Holy Scripture, London, 1672, 

P- 13- 

2 Hieronymus, Contra Helveticum, cap. i. 7 ; Theodoret, Pnrfatio, in 
Cant. ; Tertullian, De Habitn Mnliebri, cap. iii. ; Irenoeus, Adversns 
Hareses, iii. 23 ; Clemens Alex., Stroinata, i. ; Chrysostom, Ho/n. viii. in 
Epistolam ad Hebr&os. 

3 Prideaux, The Old and New Testaments Connected, 6c., 5th edit. 1718, 
vol. i. pp. 270-272. 

1 86 The AutJiorsliip of Genesis. [LECT. 

able, as well as a fuller meaning, if this tradition of a 
revision be thought probable. Such a tradition, in fact, 
gives added weight to such words as these, which call 
Ezra " a ready scribe in the Law of Moses," which re 
present him as having " prepared his heart to seek the 
law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel 
statutes and judgments," which describe the mission of 
Ezra to be the teaching " the law of his God to such as 
knew it not." x Ezra, for some peculiar and personal act, 
was worthy of the title, given him by the heathen 
Artaxerxes, " the scribe of the law of the God of 
heaven." 2 How this conception of Ezra had laid hold 
of pre-Christian Judaism is seen in the Book of Esdras, 
where we read of Ezra praying, " If I have found grace 
before thee, send the Holy Spirit into me, and I will 
write all that hath taken place in the world since the 
beginning, which were written in thy law, that men may 
find a path, and that they who would live in the later 
days may live ; " 3 and where we find Ezra named " the 
scribe of the knowledge of the Most High for ever." 4 
Such a tradition points to the current belief that Ezra 
was an inspired interpreter and not a mechanical copyist 
of the Law. 

On the whole, therefore, one is entitled to say that the 
evidence for anachronisms is altogether too frail for so 
elaborate a structure of theory as has been built thereon. 
On the other hand, when the counter-evidence as to 
knowledge manifestly contemporaneous is considered, 
this foundation of apparent anachronisms will show 
itself as friable as frail. 

A further class of evidence, supposed to negative the 

1 Ezra vii. 6, 10, II, 12, 21, 25. ~ Ib. vii. 12, 21 ; compare v. 6. 

3 Ib. xiv. 22. 4 Ib. xiv. 50. 

IV.] Its Date. 1 8,7 

possibility of the Mosaic authorship of Genesis, is 
thought to be found in phrases which imply that Gene 
sis was written after the Israelites had entered Canaan, 
anatropismSy as I have ventured to call them. The 
entire geographical standpoint of the writer, some con 
tend, is that of a resident in Canaan. The proof lies, 
as far as Genesis is concerned, in two words, only the 
Hebrew words for West and South. When the Israelite 
wished to say " west," he said " seawards " (yam} ; and 
when he wished to say " south," he said " towards the 
desert " (neg-eb}^ Now, in Egypt, " seawards " was 
" north," and not "west ; " and at Sinai " seawards " was 
not " west," but " south." The turn of phrase, it is con 
tended, cannot therefore have originated either in Egypt 
or during the Wanderings in the Wilderness ; in short, as 
Reuss puts the matter, the turn of phrase "betrays a 
Palestinian pen." Or such phrase " betrays a Palestinian 
origin," it might suffice to reply ; and only the exi 
gences of a theory stand in the way of acknowledging 
that the origin of the phrase lay with Abraham, or one 
of his immediate descendants. To Abraham, after his 
migration, seawards was west, and desert-wards was 
south. Even if these same designations lingered in use 
long after this original meaning ceased to hold, this is 
only what happens in all languages when we employ a 
useful or common word. We do not always adhere to, 
or even think, of its etymology. When one says 
" lunatic " he does not necessarily mean " influenced by 
the moon ;" nor when one says " candidate " is he straight 
way to be understood to mean " dressed in white ; " nor 
when one says "jovial " does he naturally intend " born 

1 Reuss, L 1 Histoire Sainte et la Lot, pp. 134, 135 ; Robertson Smith, 
Old Testament in Jewish Church, p. 323 ; Diilmann, Numeri, p. 594. 

1 88 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

beneath the planet Jupiter." Neither when an Anglo- 
Indian talks at Calcutta about the Orientals, is it self- 
evident that he cannot possibly mean the Turks, say, 
seeing that they are to the west and not to the east of 
him. Etymologically, I believe, east-wind is ice-wind, 
and west-wind is wind of the home of the sun, and 
south-wind is sun-wind ; but when I use these words, 
to-day, whether here or at the antipodes, I certainly do 
not think of " ice " when I say " east," nor of " sun " 
when I say "south," nor of the "home of the sun" 
when I say " west." Similarly, supposing the Patriarchs, 
when resident in Canaan, to have coined these words, 
using them with precision for a while, a time would, 
nevertheless, undoubtedly arrive, when the terms pre 
cisely coined at first would come to be used for their 
practical rather than their etymological value. Often, 
from this tendency of language, etymologists are pedantic 
rather than practical guides to the use of speech, and 
shallow rather than sound guides, let me add, to the 
criticism of speech. The above reply, however, does not 
commend itself to Dr. Robertson Smith, who says, " The 
answer attempted to this (that Negeb is South), is that 
the Hebrews might have adopted their phrases in patri 
archal times, and never have given them up in the 
ensuing four hundred and thirty years, but that is 
nonsense." I am not quite sure which of the two state 
ments is said to be " nonsense," whether, that is to say, 
it is nonsense to affirm that the patriarchs coined the 
term Negeb, or whether it is said to be " nonsense " that 
the descendants of the patriarchs did not surrender this 
term during their four hundred and thirty years in Egypt ; 
if the former is meant, the opinion so forcibly described 
is only " nonsense " on a foregone conclusion ; and, if 

IV.] Its Date. 189 

the latter is meant, the opinion controverted is only 
" nonsense " on a gratuitous assumption. So far as 
Genesis, at least, is concerned, with which book alone 
I am dealing at present, the entire argument as to geo 
graphical standpoint, anatropisms, is worthless. 

Upon the remaining branch of evidence relied upon for 
proving that Genesis could not have been written by 
Moses, viz., romancings^ or the fictitious character of its 
contents, little more need be said, after the conclusions 
arrived at in the two preceding Lectures. Seeing that 
Genesis is palpably unhistorical, this argument runs, 
Genesis cannot have originated in contemporary know 
ledge or in early and therefore reliable tradition. This 
unhistorical vein is a favourite one with Colenso, who 
" thinks he has proved abundantly that the statements 
in the first eleven chapters of Genesis whatever value 
they may have, whatever lessons may be drawn from 
them cannot be regarded as historically true, being 
contradicted in their literal sense again and again by the 
certain facts of modern science ; " I in fact, as Colenso 
has said in another place, " the two main conclusions for 
which he has contended are the facts of the non-Mosaic 
authorship of Genesis and the unhistorical character of a 
great portion of its contents." Kuenen, too, regards 
Genesis as utterly unhistorical, and therefore as neces 
sarily committed to writing centuries after Moses and 
Joshua. 2 Similar quotations could readily be multiplied. 
As a matter of fact, however, little examination of a 
destructive kind has been bestowed upon the narratives 
of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and as for the 

1 The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua, part iv. p. vii. ; and part v. 
P- 305- 

2 Hexateucli) p. 42. 

190 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

pre-Abrahamic chapters of Genesis, science, as we have 
already seen, has had to learn caution in pronouncing 
them unhistorical, easy as it has seemed to some to 
signalize the contradictions of Science and Scripture upon 
the Creation, the Deluge, the Confusion of Tongues, et 
hoc genus omne Jiistoriarum. The unhistorical character 
of Genesis is one of those common assertions more 
easily made than proved. 

A definite reply therefore can now be given to the first 
of the critical questions proposed concerning Genesis, 
viz., as to the evidence Genesis itself affords as to the 
date of its composition. This question, as we have 
seen, really resolves itself into another as to what 
evidence Genesis itself affords antagonistic to the tra 
ditional belief (of its having been written by Moses). 
Three branches of evidence to a post-Mosaic date have 
been proposed. But on close inductive examina 
tion the first branch has shown itself inconclusive, the 
second, irrelevant, and the third, superficial. Thus no 
solid ground has been discovered as yet for a belief in 
the post-Mosaic date. This negative evidence will be 
supplemented a little later on in this Lecture by positive 
evidence associating Genesis with Moses. 

Having thus dealt with one great critical question 
concerning Genesis, I now pass to a SECOND. What 
evidence does Genesis itself proffer upon its simple or com 
posite authorship ? Was it apparently written by one 
hand ? And if written by one hand, to judge by internal 
evidence, was it wholly original, or did its author 
employ for his purpose oral or written records known 
to him ? 

The data relied upon as showing more hands than one 

IV.] Its Composite Character. 191 

in the composition of Genesis may be arranged in 
several classes ? 

First comes the well-known fact of the singular usage 
of tJie Divine names already alluded to more than once. 
The fact is unquestionable. The inference also appears 
unquestionable. A law manifestly underlies the em 
ployment of the terms Elohim and Jehovah, which seems 
to point to more than one author. The evidence will be 
resumed presently. 

Side by side with this distinctive usage of the Divine 
names comes, secondly r , a manifest difference of style, so 
marked indeed as to argue variety of mind. On the one 
hand, we have a writer, the Elohist, whose style is sim 
plicity itself, clear but often diffuse, neither laboured nor 
embellished, free from the art of the writer or the orator, 
rich in repetition, given to technicalities, circumstantial, 
frigid, yet with great fulness of expression at command, 
wont to emphasize a minute and consistent chronology, 
utilizing apparently various ancient genealogies, 1 and 
statistical summaries, 2 and written traditions, whose 
religious standpoint is everywhere pronounced, but 
non-Levitical. On the other hand, we have a writer, the 
Jehovist, who is pointed and terse, smooth yet spirited, 
ornate and rhetorical, even brilliant, revelling in colour, 
who is fond of the derivation of names, 3 who likes to in 
tensify the milder language of the Elohist, who shows 
great skill in narrative (as in the stories of Paradise, the 
Fall, Cain and Abel, and the Confusion of Tongues), who 
delights in indicating the religious and moral implications 
of events, who possesses much more pronounced convic 
tions than the Elohist upon the nature and history of 

1 E.g., xi. 10, &c. ; xxxv. 22, &c. 

- E.g., x. ; xxv. 12, &c. ; xxxvi. 

3 .&, ii. 7, 23 ; iii. 20 ; iv. I, 16, 25 ; v. 29 j ix. 27 ; x. 25 j 

xi. 9. 

The Authors] lip of Genesis. [LECT. 

man, and upon the nature and history of revelation, nay, 
who does not shrink from many anthropomorphic 
expressions * never found in the Elohist, and who 
occupies everywhere a more fearless and developed 
religious position, scrupulously pointing out, wherever 
possible, the links of connection between the pre- 
Levitical worship and the more elaborate cultus of later 
days. Note, in illustration of the diversity of manner of 
the two writers, a few marked instances. It is the 
Elohist who likes the frequent phrase, " after his kind," 
and who indulges in such formulas as " Noah, and his 
sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him." It is 
the Elohist who tabulates the command, " And of every 
living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring 
into the ark ; of fowls after their kind, and of cattle 
after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth 
after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee : " 
and it is the Elohist who afterwards informs us, " in the 
self-same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and 
Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah s wife, and the 
three wives of his sons with them, into the ark, they, 
and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after 
their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth 
after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird 
of every sort ; and they went in unto Noah into the ark, 
two and two of every kind : " and it is the Elohist who 
tells us yet again how the command to leave the ark ran, 
" Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, 
and thy sons wives with thee ; bring forth with thee 
every living thing that is with thee., of all flesh, of fowl, 
and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth 

1 E.g., the whole narrative of the Fall ; v. 29 ; viii. 20-22 ; ix, 18-27 J 
xii. 2, 3; xviii. 17-19. 

IV.] Its Composite Character. 193 

upon the earth : " and who goes on to say, " And Noah 
went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons 
wives with him, every beast, every creeping thing, and 
every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth after 
their kinds, went forth out of the ark." Thus the Elohist. 
Now contrast with all this lawyer-like circumlocution the 
terse phrase of the Jehovist, who is content to say, 
" Come thou and all thy house into the ark." Here is 
another remarkable diversity of manner : the Elohistic 
sections of Genesis never refer in any way to the blessing 
of Abraham, which forms so frequent a subject of the 
Jehovistic sections. Further, as instancing the rudi 
mentary religious position of the Elohist, observe that 
he certainly has a sense of sin and of its evil conse 
quences, as when he speaks of the antediluvian earth as 
" corrupt before God and filled with violence," * and 
when he also speaks of the determination of God to 
destroy this corrupt earth ; but how much stronger are 
the statements of the Jehovist, who writes the narrative 
of the Fall, with its curses upon the serpent, the woman 
and the man, who pens the story of Cain with its curse, 
and who recites the drunkenness of Noah, also with its 
curse. Yet again, it is the Jehovist only who has any 
thing to say about sacrifices ; 2 and it is the Jehovist 
who lays stress on the numbers seven 3 and forty,4 a 
stress which reappears in the subsequent books of the 
Pentateuch. It is scarcely dubitable that Genesis docs 
show traces of at least two hands, differing both in 
style and standpoint. 

Further, in the third place, this difference of style and 

1 Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; xxiv. 7; xxviii. 14. 

2 E.g.^Ib. iv. 3, 4; viii. 20, 21. 3 E.g., Ib. vii. 2, 3, 4, 10 ; viii. 10, 12. 
4 E.g., Ib. vii. 4, 12, 17 ; viii. 6. 


194 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

of standpoint extends to the usus loquendi : Elohist and 
Jehovist each has his peculiarities of phrase and vo 
cabulary his favourite words, and his characteristic 
turns. It is difficult, it is true, to convey the force of 
this linguistic evidence to those who know no Hebrew ; 
nevertheless, a few instances in point may give a little 
faint insight into the conclusive nature of the evidence. 
In comparing, for example, the Elohistic and Jehovistic 
narratives of the Creation, the following peculiarities are 
found. The Elohist speaks of " the living thing of the 
^earth," I and the Jehovist of " the living thing of the 
field." 2 The Elohist speaks of " grass " and " herb " 
and " tree," 3 and the Jehovist speaks of " plant." 4 The 
Elohist speaks of " the herb (or green thing) of the 
earth," and the Jehovist of " the herb of the field." 
The Elohist affects the term " earth," and the Jehovist 
prefers the term " soil." Again, so simple and frequent 
a copulative as " also " is found ninety-two times in 
Jehovistic passages, and only once in Elohistic ; and so 
common an adverb as " now " is found thirty-five times 
in Jehovistic passages, and only once in passages that 
are Elohistic. Further, the lengthened form of the 
Hebrew personal pronoun for the first person singular 
occurs fifty-four times in Jehovistic sections, and but 
once in the Elohistic ; indeed, it is a characteristic of the 
Jehovist to have a predilection for this pronoun. A 
parallel instance occurs with the Hebrew personal pro 
noun for the third person singular, which is found one 
hundred and twenty-eight times in the Jehovist, and but 
three times in the Elohist. Elohistic sections always 
call Mesopotamia Padan-Aram, and Jehovistic sections 
always call the same country Aram-Naharaim. Where- 

1 Gen. i. 24. 2 Ib. ii. 19 ; iii. I, 14. 3 Ib. i. n, 12. 4 lit. \\. 6 ; iii. 18. 

IV.] Its Composite Character. 195 

as the Elohistic sections always write of "giving" or 
"establishing", Jehovistic sections always write of 
" cutting " a covenant. The distinctive Hebrew idiom 
which associates the indicative and infinitive (for ex 
ample, dying thou shalt die, or thou shalt surely die) is 
employed by the Jehovist thirty-eight times and by the 
Elohist but once. The Jehovist is fond of the phrase 
" I pray," which the Elohist never uses. The Jehovist 
has also a preference for the name of Israel as a personal 
name for Jacob, whereas the name Israel is never found 
in Elohistic sections. The Jehovist, too, has a love for 
telling us the exact time of day when an event happened 
whether in the " morning," at " noon," in the " after 
noon," in the " evening," or at " night," whether at 
" daybreak" or at "sunset," whether in the "cool" or 
the " heat " of the day, a peculiarity of style which 
nowhere occurs in the Elohistic sections. The Jehovist, 
again, finds great attraction in lively and picturesque 
phrases. " Thus it is only in the non-Elohistic portions 
of Genesis that we meet with such expressions as lift 
up the eyes and see, 5 lift up the feet and go, * lift up 
the voice and weep, * fall upon the neck and weep, 

* do mercy to, mercy and truth, be kindled to, * find 
favour in the eyes of, see the face of, * go to meet, 
4 rise to meet, run to meet, * sin, swear, steal, 

* smite, slay, fear, * hate, comfort, embrace, * kiss, 
and even love. ... If Abraham loves Isaac, so, too, 
does Isaac * love Rebekah, love Esau, love savoury 
meat, and Rebekah loves Jacob, Jacob loves Rachel, 
Israel loves Joseph, Shechem loves Dinah." 1 It 

1 Colenso, The Pentateuch and Book of Jos/ma Critically Examined, 
part v. p. 34 : compare part v. pp. 18-57, from which the above numerical 
statements have been drawn. 

196 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

is upon such evidence that Kuenen has said (and most 
justly as regards Genesis, with which alone we are at 
present concerned) : " The narratives differ so widely in 
respect (of linguistic evidence) that without reference to 
their contents, and where, from the nature of the case, 
these contents can give us no help, we are still able to 
place the diversity of authorship above the reach of 
doubt by merely noting the divergences of form." I 

Yet another class of evidence, &fourtJi> has been fre 
quently cited in favour of the composite character of 
Genesis. Two accounts of the same event are often found 
side by side, it has been said, and mutually contradictory. 
But only a superficial criticism can thus speak. Indeed, 
the very existence of apparent contradictions should 
suggest a pause before deciding hastily ; for is not every 
instance of contradiction a reflection upon the judgment 
and the artistic skill of the editor, whoever he was, who, 
nevertheless produced, from a variety of materials, this 
very remarkable unity, the Book of Genesis ? Surely to 
condemn so remarkable a compiler of permitting self- 
evident contradictions to appear in his work, should be 
the last and not the first resource of the critic. By the 
nature of the case the critic is bound to search for a 
possible reconciliation. What, to the superficial observer, 
may appear contradiction, may cease to be contradiction 
to the observer who is more patient and profound. In- 
solentior lectio potior est ea quce nil insoliti continetur. 
Of these irreconcilable accounts in Genesis a great deal 
too much has been made ; at least, so any inductive 
inquirer will say. 

For example, confident assertions have been made as 
to the contradictions to be found in the Elohistic and 

1 ffexatettch, p. 41. 

IV.] Its Coitiposite Character. 197 

Jehovistic accounts of the Creation. *- There is not one 
which does not vanish on a closer inspection. Critics 
should consider how improbable it is that any editor of 
divergent accounts would insert them side by side. No 
legend is so dear to a writer as his own reputation for 
consistency. As a matter of fact, there is not a state 
ment in the second chapter of Genesis 2 which is not 
perfectly harmonious with the statements of the first 
chapter, and which may not have been written with 
perfect intelligence by a writer who had the contents of 
the first chapter before him. If a hasty reader infers 
from the first chapter that man and woman were created 
together, the fault lies, not with the second chapter 
which states that the woman was created from the man, 
but with the hasty reader, who forms an opinion as to 
time without data. If a commentator interprets the 
statement, "And out of the ground the Lord God 
formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the 
air ; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would 
call them," to mean, that man was created before birds 
and beasts, the interpretation certainly does contradict 
the statements of the first chapter, but the originator of 
the contradiction is not the compiler of Genesis. 

However, the point is crucial, and must be carefully 
considered. Kuenen and Reuss, for instance, summari 
zing the contentions of their predecessors, have both 
given carefully prepared lists of these contradictory 
accounts. 3 These lists it is desirable to examine. 

We are said to have in Genesis, two contradictory 
accounts of tJie origin of the name Beersheba. According 

1 Gen. i.-ii. 3. 2 ///. ii. 4, &c. 

3 Kuenen, Hexateuch, pp. 38-40 ; Reuss, L? Histoirc Sainte ct la Loi, pp. 

198 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

to the one account, 1 the well to which the name Beer- 
sheba, or " well of swearing," was given, was dug by 
Abraham, and received its name because there Abra 
ham and Abimelech made a covenant with an oath. In 
the second account, 2 the origin of the name Beersheba 
is attributed to an occurrence precisely similar, in which 
Isaac and Abimelech are concerned. But let the two 
accounts be carefully read. It will be seen that they 
are not contradictory ; indeed tJie second account expressly 
refers to tJie first. Beersheba was not a modern city, 
so to speak, but a place of wells, and the wells made by 
Abraham had been destroyed by Abimelech, and thus 
the name had lapsed. Isaac re-digs the wells, renews 
the covenant with Abimelech, and re-names the place. 
The testimony is express : " And Isaac digged again 
the wells of water which they had digged in the days of 
Abraham his father ; for the Philistines," Abimelech 
was their king, " had stopped them after the death of 
Abraham ; and he called their names after the names by 
which his father had called them." 3 

Again, we are said to have two different accounts of 
tJie origin of tJie name BetJiel. According to one the 
name was given by Jacob to the spot where God 
appeared to him, in the vision of the ghostly ladder, as 
he fled to Padan-Aram ; 4 according to the other the 
name was given by Jacob to the same spot, when he 
returned from Padan-Aram. 5 But here also the narra 
tive expressly negatives any contradiction, as the context 
shows clearly. TJie story of tJie second visit names tJie 
first. " And God said unto Jacob," while he was in 
Padan-Aram, " Arise and go up to Bethel and dwell 

1 Gen. xxi. 31. - Ib. xxvi. 31-33- 3 Ib. xxvi. 18. 

4 Ib. xxviii. 19. 5 Ib. xxxv. 14, 15. 

iv.] Its Composite Character. 199 

there " then Bethel was already known as such to 
Jacob. "So Jacob came to ... Bethel, and he built 
there an altar, and called the place El-Bethel ; because 
there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the 
face of his brother." The passage might even read, " So 
Jacob came ... to Bethel, and he had built there an 
altar, and had called the place El-Bethel ; because there 
God had appeared unto him, when he fled from the face 
of his brother." The act of obedience is followed by 
a further Divine revelation. " And God appeared unto 
Jacob again, as he came out of Padan-Aram and blessed 
him. . . . And Jacob set up a pillar" additional 
apparently to the altar " in the place where he talked 
with him, a pillar of stone ; and he poured a drink offer 
ing thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob 
called the name of the place where God spoke to him, 
Bethel." Surely the contradiction lies not in finding in 
these two accounts two Divine revelations at the same 
spot, but two divergent accounts of the same event. 
The circumstances in each instance are as diverse as the 

Again, we are said to have tzvo divergent accounts of 
tJie origin of the name Israel* But in this case also it 
is a superficial criticism which erects a solemn confirma 
tion of the name given on an earlier occasion into a 
manifest contradiction of that earlier name. 

Yet again, \VQ are said to have two contradictory 
accounts of the names of Esau s wives , a statement which 
one wonders how Dr. Kuenen can repeat, after the fully 
satisfactory explanation of the apparent diversity which 
has been long known. Undoubtedly, in this instance, 
there is a difficulty which is not easy of solution, but it 

1 Gen. xxxii. 24-32 and xxxv. 10. 

2oo The Author sJtip of Genesis. [LECT. 

is not the difficulty to which Dr. Kuenen refers. The 
difficulty is this. On the first mention of these wives, 1 
Esau, we are told, married a daughter of Beeri, the 
Hittite, named Judith, and a daughter of Elon the 
Hittite, named Basemath, to whom he subsequently 
added Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael and the sister 
of Nebajoth. 2 Afterwards, however, when these wives 
are mentioned, the daughter of Elon is called Adah, 
and the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebajoth 
is called Basemath, whilst the third wife is described as 
Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah, the daughter (the 
Samaritan and Septuagint Versions read " son " 3 ) of 
Zibeon the Hivite. 4 Thus the real difficulty is that 
Basemath appears as the daughter of Elon in the one 
case and of Ishmael in the other, which seems to point 
to some copyist s transposition. The other differences of 
statement vanish on examination. Anah would seem to 
have obtained the name of Been, or " man of the well," 
because he found the hot springs in the wilderness, as 
he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. 5 Further, if Anah, 
or Beeri, is called a Hittite in one place, 6 and a Hivite 
in another,7 this is explained by the fact that " Hittite " 
is often used in a wide sense for Canaanite, and thus 
includes " Hivite," Hittite being the generic name for 
the specific Hivite. 8 That the names of the wives should 
vary should cause little surprise, seeing how common it 
is in the East to change names on important occasions, 
marriage included. 9 

1 Gen. xxvi. 34. ~ Ib. xxviii. 9. 

3 " Son " is manifestly correct : see Ib. xxxvi. 24, 25. 

4 Ib. xxxvi. 2, 3. s //;. xxxvi. 24 (Revised Version). 
6 //;. xxvi. 34. 7 Ib. xxxvi. 2. 

8 I Kings x. 29 ; 2 Kings vii. 6 ; Josh. i. 4 ; Gen. xxvii. 46, and xlviii. I. 

9 Ranke, UntersiicJmngen uber den PentatciicJi, aits dcm Gcbicte der 
ho hern Kritik, Erlangen, 1834, vol. i. p. 

IV.] Its Composite Character. 201 

Yet again, there are said to be tiuo divergent accounts 
of Esau s settlement in Seir, which, according to one 
passage it is said, took place during Jacob s sojourn in 
Mesopotamia, 1 and according to another passage took 
place after his return therefrom. 2 But is not this to read 
into the second passage a meaning it does not necessarily 
contain, seeing that not a word is said there as to this 
being Esau s first settlement in Seir ? May not nomads 
return to an old camping-ground ? 

And yet again there are said to be tvvo incompatible 
accounts of the sale of Joseph into slavery, one account 
describing Joseph as sold to the Ishmaelites, 3 and another 
account asserting that he was sold to Midianites. But 
Ishmaelite is a synonym for Arab, and Midianites are a 
tribe of Arabs. One would have thought that a single 
reading of the verse concerned would have silenced the 
objection; for what does the verse say: "Then there 
passed by Midianite merchantmen ; and they drew and 
lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the 
Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver." 4 If the original 
writer of the passage saw no difficulty in calling 
Midianites Ishmaelites, of what weight is modern 
punctiliousness ? 

The supposed contradictions cited are all Dr. Kuenen s 
" absolutely irrefragable proofs . . . of diverse renderings 
of a single tradition." It is on the strength of these 
contradictions that he thinks it " very probable that 
certain other narratives, which strongly resemble each 
other, must also be regarded as doublets, that is, as 
diverse renderings of a single tradition, or as variations 
of a single theme." With these probabilities we need 

1 Gen. xxxii. 3. ~ 2b. xxxvi. 8. 

3 II). xxxvii. 25, 27. 4 //;. xxxvii. 28. 

202 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

not concern ourselves here. If the " absolutely irrefrag 
able proofs " show themselves so questionable, there is 
no need to busy ourselves with the readily adaptable 
instances. By the very form of Dr. Kuenen s expression 
it is manifest that these probable doublets are capable 
of a different classification. So much for Dr. Kuenen s 

Nor needs much be said about the additional instances 
of incompatible traditions given by Dr. Reuss. Observe 
the cardinal law of all just criticism, and never regard 
an eminent author as inconsistent until after the 
most patient inquiry, and Dr. Reuss s instances melt 
away. The solid pillars of his argument fade like an 
unsubstantial vision. Let his most carefully elaborated 
example of various renderings of one fundamental legend 
serve as an instance. To do Dr. Reuss no injustice I 
translate his words : 

" In Gen. xii. we read," Reuss says, "that the patriarch," Abra 
ham, " compelled by dearth to emigrate to Egypt, advised his wife 
to call herself his sister, because he feared being killed on her 
account, the Egyptians desiring to carry her off because of her 
beauty. Indeed, hardly arrived in Egypt, Sarah, considered as 
unmarried, was led into the harem of Pharaoh. But he, punished 
by heaven for having carried off a married woman, restores her to 
her husband, and begs him to depart from the country. This same 
story," Reuss continues, " is told again in two other places." 

CHAP. xx. CHAP. xxvi. 

Abraham sojourns at Gerar. Isaac sojourns at Gerar. 

Fearing death, because of his Fearing death, because of his 
wife, he makes her pass as wife, he makes her pass as 
his sister. his sister. 

The king Abimelech carries her The king Abimelech discovers 
of, but warned by God of the the truth, and reproves Isaac, 
true condition of Sarah, he 
restores her to her husband. 

IV.] Its Composite Character, 203 

Afterwards, Abraham makes an Afterwards, Isaac makes an 
alliance with Abimelech and alliance with Abimelech and 
his general Pikol (xxi. 22.) his general Pikol (xxvi. 26.) 

" This alliance," Reuss goes on to say, " is made near a well, the 
possession of which had been a subject of dispute (chap. xxi. 28, &c.). 
Abraham gives to the Philistines seven lambs and keeps the well. 
Hence the name Beersheba (well of the seven or of the oath). 
There is the same history in chap. xxvi. 31 ; only this time it is 
Isaac who makes an alliance with Abimelech, and the place receives 
its name on this occasion as if it had not done so previously." 1 

So writes Reuss. His statement is eminently artistic. 
It accentuates the points of agreement in the several 
accounts, and conceals those of divergence. But it is a 
perfectly gratuitous assumption that Abraham s half- 
truth to Pharaoh should not have been subsequently 
repeated to Abimelech. At least, whoever wrote Genesis 
in its final form, allowed both instances of deceit to 
stand. Upon the assumption that the incident in 
Philistia is but a legendary variation of what happened 
in Egypt, it is unnecessary to say anything ; does Dr. 
Reuss think that the several writers he argues for, re 
garded the incident as praiseworthy that they vary it so 
as to repeat it ? But the parallel between Abraham and 
Isaac requires more consideration. Here again the plain 
fact that the editor of the Genesis allowed the two 
narratives to appear in all their manifest resemblance 
rather argues for their truth than their manufacture 
(or at least the literary construction of one). Then, the 
differences in the two narratives call for recognition as 


well as their resemblances ; and possibly the best reply 
to Reuss s insinuation would be a careful reading of the 
two chapters concerned, side by side, the twentieth and 
the twenty-sixth, close attention being given to the 

1 L? Histoirc Saint et la Loi, pp. 40, 41. 


The AutJwrship of Genesis. 


different setting in the two accounts, to the variant 
colouring, and to the numerous contrasts. These diver 
gences more make for the truth of the two accounts than 
the resemblances make for the fictitiousness of one. For 
mark the following details which, after the manner of 
Reuss, are presented in tabular form : 

CHAP. xx. 

For a reason not stated, Abra 
ham goes to Gerar. 

Fearing death, because of the 
beauty of his wife, Abraham, 
by express arrangement with 
Sarah, passes her off as his 


Abimelech places Sarah in his 

Straightway a sickness falls up 
on Abimelech and his house. 

Straightway, too, a vision from 
God is sent to Abimelech, 
disclosing the relationship of 
Abraham and Sarah. 

Abimelech expostulates on the 
ground that he himself might 
have been led into sin. 

Abraham excuses himself on the 
ground that he had told an 

CHAP. xxvi. 

Because of famine, Isaac goes 
to Gerar. 

Fearing death, because of the 
beauty of his wife, Isaac, 
without any arrangement 
with Rebekah, and without 
her knowledge apparently, 
passes her off as his sister. 

Isaac and Rebekah live to 

No parallel. 

After some time Abimelech 
(another man apparently 
the title being the Philistine 
equivalent of the Egyptian 
Pharaoh) sees Isaac and 
Rebekah so behaving that 
their relationship is inferred 
by him. 

Abimelech expostulates on the 
ground that some of his 
people might have been led 
into sin. 

Isaac has no reason to offer. 

Abraham also excuses himself Isaac nowhere, implies that 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 205 

on the ground of a compact Rebekah had given assent to, 
with Sarah, or even knew his subterfuge. 

Abimelech propitiates Abraham No parallel, 
with gifts. 

And propitiates Sarah. No parallel. 

Abraham prays for the removal No parallel, 
of Abimelech s sickness. 

Some time after Abimelech and Some time after Abimelech and 
Phichol (titles equivalent to Phichol and Ahuzzath (titles 
King and General) make a equivalent to King and 
covenant with Abraham. General and Counsellor] make 

a covenant with Isaac. 

The covenant is ratified by gifts The covenant is ratified by eat- 
of sheep and oxen and seven ing and drinking, 
ewe lambs. 

Does not such a tabulation show that Dr. Reuss has 
been as artistic in the omission of some of the circum 
stances of the two cases in question, as in the antithetic 
use of other circumstances ? 

Summarizing, therefore, the evidence adduced for the 
composite authorship of Genesis, it may be said, first , 
that the use of the Divine names assuredly does point to 
a duality of authorship ; second^ that the manifest diffe 
rences of style also unmistakably point to at least two 
hands ; third, that the very phraseology employed as 
manifestly indicates more writers than one ; whereas, 
fourth^ no valid ground has been seen for speaking of 
twofold and mutually contradictory versions of the same 

To the solution of the problem of the authorship of 
Genesis, implied by such inferences as well as by other 
data, let us now proceed. 

THIRDLY, then, What theory as to the date and author- 

206 The AutJiorsJiip of Genesis. [LECT. 

ship of Genesis seems best to Jiarmonize with all the facts 
of the case ? In asking such a question, we approach 
the goal of this consideration of the authorship of 

Let the three conclusions already reached be borne in 
mind. One conclusion was that, in Genesis itself, no 
sure ground has been discovered for declaring the Mosaic 
authorship impossible. In fact, as the contents declare, 
Genesis could not have been written much earlier than 
Moses, and no valid reasons have been found in Genesis 
itself for believing that it must have been written much 
later. A second conclusion arrived at concerned the 
mode of the composition of this Book of Origins. 
From the data afforded by the Book itself, the work of at 
least two hands has become evident, an Elohist and a 
Jehovist. For, besides the methodical employment of 
the names of Elohim and Jehovah for the Deity, other 
data declare for at least a duality of authorship, viz., the 
great differences of style characteristic of the sections 
where the name Elohim alone occurs as contrasted with 
those sections in which the name Jehovah is prominent, 
a difference of style so radical as to argue diversity of 
historical and theological standpoint as well as variation 
in vocabulary and diction. A third conclusion attained 
was that, notwithstanding the fact that evidence has 
accumulated for a duality of authorship, no irrefragable 
instances have been forthcoming of contradictions in the 
annals of these two historians of primitive times. Pro 
ceeding upon these three conclusions, the great question 
now is, how the relation existing between these two 
authors is to be expressed. Is it possible, by the use of 
critical methods, to look in, so to speak, upon the author 
who virtually gave final form to Genesis, as he is writing 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 207 

his book, and to ascertain, with some approach to 
certainty, the mode in which he composed ? 

As a matter of fact a fourth conclusion has been 
reached in the previous inquiry, and it will clear the way 
to recall, at this point, this fourth conclusion also. Good 
grounds have been seen for believing-, that here and there 
Genesis has been touched up so to speak, modernized, by 
a later reviser or revisers, occasional elucidations having 
been introduced into the text, where expressions were 
liable to be either ill-conceived or misunderstood. There 
are frequent instances of these illustrative interpolations 
in Genesis. Amongst them are, it would seem, the 
following : " And Abram moved his tent and came and 
dwelt by the oaks of Mamre [which are in Hebron ], and 
built there an altar unto the Lord ; " x " The king of 
Bela [the same is Zoar\ ; " 2 " All these joined together 
in the vale of Siddim [the same is the Salt Sea] ; " 3 
" And they returned, and came to En-Mishpat [the same 
is Kadesh] ; " 4 " the vale of Shaveh [the same is the 
King s Dale] ; " 5 " Wherefore the well was called Beer- 
lahai-roi [behold, it is between Kadesh andBered] ; " 6 "And 
Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh 
[as it is said to this day, in the Mount of the Lord it shall 
be seen] ; " 7 " And Sarah died in Kirjath-Arba [the same 
is Hebron] ; " 8 "And after this Abraham buried Sarah 
his wife, in the cave in the field of Machpelah before 
Mamre [the same is Hebron], in the land of Canaan ; " 9 
" And Rachel died and was buried in the way of Ephrath 
[the same is Bethlehem] ; " I0 " And when the inhabitants 

1 Gen. xiii. 18. 2 li>. xiv. 2. 3 //;. xiv. 3. 

* //;. xiv. 7. s 2b. xiv. 17. 6 //;. xvi. 14. 

7 Ib. xxii. 14. Here probably the whole verse is an interpolation, as 
will appear a few pages on. 

8 Il>. xxiii. 2. 9 Ib. xxiii, 19. 10 Ib. xxxv. 19. 

208 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the 
floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning 
to the Egyptians, wherefore the name of it was called 
Abel-Mizraim \which is beyond Jordan]" I If it is some 
what uncertain whether the additions in chapter xiv. 
are, or are not, by the author of Genesis himself, do not 
the rest suggest, upon their face, that they are the 
elucidations of a reviser ? Nevertheless, if this be so, 
the work of this reviser whether Samuel or Ezra, 
whether some prophet or priest, whether some school of 
prophets or assembly of priests was apparently of a 
very circumscribed kind. All the data available point 
to a revision as conservative as respectful. Such a re 
vision need not complicate our present inquiry. The 
problem before us is whilst acknowledging that some 
conservative revision of the text of Genesis may have 
been instituted subsequently to gain what light we can 
upon the manner of the composition of Genesis. 

Is not the clue at once to the method of composition 
and to the composer himself, to be found in the use of the 
Divine Names ? That is to say, is there not a perfectly 
clear statement as to the origin and date of the first use 
of the name Jehovah ? Is not this statement fully sup 
ported by all the collateral evidence accessible ? Was 
not Jehovah, as a Divine Name, first given to Moses ? In 
short, is not Moses the Jehovist, and did he not utilize 
for his own specific end, the pre-existing writing of the 
Elohist ? At any rate, let us ask, what light Genesis 
throws upon so interesting an hypothesis. 

First, then, travelling for a moment into the book 
which follows Genesis, the origin of tJie name Jehovah 
is indubitably associated with Moses. The statement of 

1 Gen. 1. ii. 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 209 

Exodus is categorical. Jehovah was the name given to 
Moses at the Luminous Bush, as his credential to the 
Israelites : " And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I 
come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, 
The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you ; and 
they shall say unto me, What is his name ? what shall I 
say unto them ? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT 
I AM, and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children 
of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said 
moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the 
children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the 
God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob 
hath sent me unto you ; this is my name for ever, and 
this is my memorial unto all generations." x And this 
name Jehovah is also explicitly declared to be a new 
name : " And God spake unto Moses and said unto him, 
I am Jehovah, and I appeared unto Abraham and Isaac 
and unto Jacob as El Shaddai (God Almighty), but by 
my name Jehovah was I not known to them." 2 The 
assertion is unmistakable. Further, the assertion is 
borne out by inquiry. Though there are many doubts 
as to the exact pronunciation of the Sacred Tetra 
grammaton ///F//", evidence against the Mosaic origin 
of the sacred name is of the slightest. As so careful 
an investigator as Canon Driver has said, " No ground 
appears at present to exist for questioning either the 
purely Israelitish origin of the Tetragrammaton, or the 
explanation of its meaning which is given in Exod. 
iii. 14." 3 Seeing then that the name of Jehovah was 
associated at the first with Moses, is it not probable that 

1 Exod. iii. 15-18. - II . vi. 2, 3. 

~ Studio, Biblica, Oxford, 1885, " Essay on the Origin and Nature of 
the Tetragrammaton," p. 19. 


2io The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

Moses is the author of the Jehovistic sections of Genesis ? 
Is it not highly probable, that whilst freely using pre 
existing materials (as Luke confesses to have done in 
writing his Gospel), Moses has employed this Divine 
Name which was first revealed to himself, and employed 
this new name, as deliberately as artistically, in order to 
expressly connect the various Jehovistic sections, which 
he had penned, with himself as author ? Is not the 
use of the word Jehovah in Genesis a sort of Mosaic 
signature ? 

In this connection, therefore observe, secondly, that 
there is a very remarkable precision in the use of the name 
EloJiim and some other Divine names in the earlier 
Jehovistic sections of Genesis. The fact has not been 
observed as fully as it merits. A careful consideration, 
it is true, of context and style and phraseology led 
Hupfeld, years ago, to see that, whilst the name Elohim 
always stands alone in the Elohistic sections, in the 
Jehovistic sections the name Jehovah is the predominant 
but not the exclusive name employed, Elohim being 
occasionally used as well. This fact of usage led Hup 
feld to speak of a second Elohistic writer. A less 
superficial examination of the use of Elohim, however, 
in Jehovistic sections might have suggested another con 
clusion. The name Elohim, it would appear, only 
occurs in Jehovistic sections under special circum 
stances, these circumstances falling under two laws 
Thus Elohim is used either to avoid the anachronism of 
implying that the name Jehovah was known in pre- 
Mosaic days (an avoidance peculiarly evident in the 
earlier chapters of Genesis), or else to suggest, without 
possibility of mistake, that the Elohim of patriarchal 
days was the Jehovah known to the Israelites of the 

iv.] Theory of Authorship* 211 

Exodus that, as said in so many words, Jehovah was 
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of 
Jacob. As instances of the former usage (to avoid 
anachronism) let the following passages be weighed. 
All critics who believe in the composite authorship of 
Genesis, 1 agree that the third chapter was written by the 
Jehovist. But observe the usage. The name of Jehovah 
certainly occurs there again and again, but always in 
narrative, never in dialogue. The serpent uses the name 
Elohim for Deity, and never Jehovah : " Yea, hath 
Elohim said," the serpent asks, " Ye shall not eat of 
every tree of the garden ? " Eve, too, is made by the 
author equally discriminative, for she say s in reply 
"Elohim/ not Jehovah, "hath said." And the serpent 
continues, "Ye shall not surely die, for Elohim doth 
know." Similarly, in another Jehovistic section, it is 
Elohim, concerning whom Eve says, " Elohim hath 
appointed me another son instead of Abel." 2 Again, 
in another Jehovistic section, we are told that " the 
sons of Elohim " associated with the daughters of men. 3 
In yet another Jehovistic section, it is Elohim who is 
regarded as " enlarging Japheth." 4 Another instructive 
instance occurs later on, in a passage, which from its use 
of the word Jehovah, has given many critics trouble, 
where we read, " And when Abram was ninety years old 
and nine, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said unto 
him," not I am Jehovah, " but I am God Almighty " 
[El Shaddai].s Similarly, it is El Roi, God of Light, 
which, in another Jehovistic passage, Hagar calls Jehovah 
who appeared to her at the fountain in the wilderness. 6 
Contrast, too, Eve s mode of speech, in another 

1 Compare Appendix I. 2 Gen. iv. 25. 3 //>. vi. 2, 4. 

4 Ib. ix. 27. s //,. X vii. i. 6 //;. xvi. 13. 

212 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

Jehovistic section, concerning Seth, " Elohim hath ap 
pointed me another seed instead of Abel," with the 
writer s subsequent comment, " Then began men to call 
upon the name of Jehovah." I To the Jehovist, then, 
apparently, both the names for Deity, Jehovah and 
Elohim, are known ; he freely uses both in his own com 
ments, with a strong preference for the name Jehovah ; 
but he takes special pains, it would seem, for many 
chapters in his narrative, to avoid putting the name 
Jehovah into the mouths of the Patriarchal subjects of 
his narrative, 

Elohim, then, is sometimes used by the Jehovist to 
avoid seeming to imply that the name Jehovah was 
known in Patriarchal times, although in the same 
sections he employs his favourite name Jehovah in 
describing events of Patriarchal times. But the Jehovist 
on occasion also used the name Elohim and other 
Divine names, it would seem, to expressly declare the 
identity of Jehovah and Elohim, to expressly associate 
the Elohim of pre-Mosaic times with the Jehovah of 
Mosaic times. Observe, for instance, the frequent use of 
the phrase Jehovah Elohim in the second and third 
chapters. As a transition from the Elohistic narrative 
of Creation to the Jehovistic narrative, lest it should 
seem that Elohim is one God and Jehovah another, 
the Jehovist blends the two names. The transition is 
striking. The last Elohistic verse reads, "And Elohim 
blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in 
it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created 
to make." The first Jehovistic verse runs, "These are 
the generations of the heaven and the earth when they 
were created, in the clay that Jehovah Elohim made the 

1 Gen. iv. 25, 26. 

iv.] Theory of Authorship. 213 

earth and the heaven ; " the Jehovist adding the name 
Elohim to Jehovah lest confusion should arise. In the 
blessing of Noah another instructive instance arises, in a 
Jehovistic passage, where we read, " Blessed be Jehovah, 
the God of Shem." z Observe, too, how at Salem, 2 El- 
Elyon is called Jehovah, God Most High ; how at 
Hagar s well, 3 El-Roi, the visible God, is called Jehovah ; 
and how at Beersheba, 4 El-Olam, the Everlasting God, 
is called Jehovah. Further, Jehovah is named the 
Elohim of Abraham,5 and the Elohim of Lot, 6 and the 
Elohim of Isaac,7 and the Elohim of Jacob. 8 The 
Jehovist seems to put himself to some trouble to show 
that the same God, who afterwards revealed His new 
name of Jehovah, had nevertheless been the Divine 
Guide and Inspirer of the earlier Patriarchs. 

Would not such a prevision of usage be eminently 
characteristic of the man to whom the new name was 
first revealed ? 

Thirdly, in further evidence at once of the revelation 
of the name Jehovah to Moses, and of the probable 
Mosaic origin of the use of this name, mark the exclusion 
of the name Jehovah from the list of personal names in 
Genesis. Names compounded with Elohim are frequent, 
names compounded with Jehovah are wholly absent. 
As Colenso says to whom are due many parallel 
numerical calculations, and who is, as an advocate of 
the non-Mosaic authorship, an unexceptionable witness 
Genesis gives us 112 names in all ; among them eight 
are compounded with El (Mahalaleel, Ishmael, Adbeel, 
Israel, Jemuel, Jahleel, Malchiel, Jahzeel) ; but not one 

1 Gen. ix. 26. - //;. xv. 23. 3 //,. X vi. 12. 

4 //>. xxi. 33. s //,. xv . 27, c. 6 Gen. xix. 13. 

7 // . xxvi. 2, &c. 8 Ib. xxxi. 3, &c. 

214 The Author sJiip of Genesis. [LECT. 

of these 112 names is compounded with Jehovah. 1 In 
fact, during the time described by the Pentateuch, the 
use of Jehovah for naming is of the rarest, whereas, in 
the days of David, the case was very different, for three 
of the sons of David, and his nephew, wear names com 
pounded with Jehovah (Adonijah, Shephatiah, Jedidiah, 
and Jonadab), and, at the same time, we read of two 
Jonathans, and two Benaiahs, of Jehoiada and Jehosha- 
phat, and Uriah, 2 all names compounded with Jehovah. 
In such a fact, then, as the omission in Genesis of the 
the name Jehovah from the names of persons, another 
strong evidence is found for the Mosaic authorship of 
Jehovistic passages. Such exclusion w r as not found 
for any long time after the death of Moses. 3 

And, fourthly , there is good ground for saying that 
tJie name Jehovah is exchided front the names of places in 
Genesis. The state of the evidence is this. The names 
of places are derived from Elohim in Genesis ; it is 
doubtful whether they are ever derived from Jehovah. 
Thus we read of Bethel, 4 and of El-Elohe Israel,5 but 
not of any House of Jehovah or Place of Jehovah. The 
two apparent exceptions are found in the narrative of 
the Trial of Abraham s Faith, which took place in " the 
land of Moriah," 6 a spot subsequently named by 

1 Colenso, Pentateuch, part vii., appendix, p. 137 ; cf. part ii. pp. 

2 2 Sam. iii. 4 ; xii. 25 ; xiii. 3 ; xv. 27 ; xx. 23, 24 ; xxiii. 30, 32, 39. 

3 If difficulty seems to arise because of the name of Moses mother, let 
it be borne in mind that change of name was not unfrequent, especially 
with women. As the name of Hoshea was altered by Moses into Joshua 
(Numb. xiii. 16), so it is not improbable that, by a similar process, the 
name of the mother of the Hebrew leader became Jochebed. At least 
it would be perilous in the extreme to argue from this one name alone that 
the name of Jehovah was known at the birth of the mother of Moses. 

4 Gen. xxviii. 19. 5 Ib. xxxiii. 20. 6 Ib. xxii. 2 and 14. 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 215 

Abraham, in memory of the wondrous Divine inter 
ference, " Jehovah-Jireh." Both these names, Moriah 
and Jehovah-Jireh are, many think, equally compounded 
with Jehovah. Concerning the etymology of Moriah, 
and even the accuracy of the reading, grave doubts have 
been expressed, 1 and with good reason. It certainly does 
seem extremely unlikely that this should be the only 
instance in Genesis where any name of place or person 
is compounded with Jehovah, especially remembering 
that the name Jehovah is distinctly stated in Exodus to 
have been first revealed to Moses. Further, if the name 
be a compound of Jehovah, the mountain cannot have 
received its name until after the event pourtrayed. As 
for the name Jehovah-Jireh, and indeed the verse where 
it occurs, is not this verse, too, an interpolation of some 
later reviser ? At least so the facts of the case seem to 
imply. For read the narrative carefully, and what do we 
find ? Here also, as elsewhere in Genesis, there seems a 
strong desire not to introduce the name Jehovah, lest it 
appear an anachronism. " And it came to pass," we 
read, that " Elohim did try Abraham." " And (Abraham) 
went unto the place Elohim had told him," the narrative 
continues. " My son, Elohim will provide himself a 
lamb," Abraham explains to Isaac, using the very word 
which subsequently occurs in Jehovah-Jireh, the Hebrew 
reading Elohim JiREH. " And they came to the place 
which EloJiim had told him of." Thus far all through 
the story the name Jehovah is carefully kept out. Then 
appears the name Jehovah for the first time in the 
phrase, which is so characteristic of the Old Testament, 
the "angel of Jehovah," manifestly inserted for the 
purpose of deliberately associating this Divine ap- 

1 Compare Colenso, Pentateuch, part ii. pp. 240-247. 

216 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

pearance with all the other appearances of that exalted, 
that Divine messenger, the mysterious angel of Jehovah. 
But even this angel of Jehovah is not represented as 
using the name Jehovah to Abraham, for he says, " I 
know that thou fearest EloJiivir All through the 
narrative, therefore, there seems to be a scrupulous care 
bestowed not to attribute to Abraham any knowledge of 
the name Jehovah. Then follows the verse we are es 
pecially occupied with, " And Abraham called the name 
of that place Jehovah -Jireh " (Abraham s words to 
Isaac were, be it remembered, Elohim JireJi) ; " and it 
is said to this day, In the Mount of Jehovah it shall be 
seen," or " he shall appear," whichever rendering be pre 
ferred. Is there not here a reference to some proverb 
concerning Moriah, the Temple mountain ? Is there 
not here therefore an interpolation of some date pos 
terior to the building of Solomon s Temple, an interpo 
lation expressly made to associate the altar of the 
Moriah of Solomon with the altar of the Moriah of 
Abraham ? If the answer be affirmative, the explana 
tion of the form Jehovah-Jireh is simple. After the 
days of Moses Jehovah and Elohim are used as 
synonyms for the Deity. Abraham said, " Elohim 
Jireh," meaning " God will provide." The reviser said 
Jehovah-Jireh, meaning just " God will provide," and no 
more. In short, Moses used the names for Deity with 
great precision : in after times the Jews used the names 
Jehovah and Elohim as interchangeable names for Deity, 
without thinking about etymological differences, any 
more than the Englishman means by God simply the 
Good Being, limiting his attention to but one Divine 
attribute. Does not, then, this remarkable precision in 
the use of the name Jehovah point to Moses as the 

iv.] Theory of Authorship. 217 

author of the Jehovistic section ? As is confessed by 
all parties, the distinctive use of Elohim and Jehovah 
ends with the revelation of the name Jehovah quite 
early in Exodus. There is great care before the sixth 
chapter of Exodus to avoid implying that Jehovah as 
such was known before the incident of the Burning Bush ; 
after that incident the names Elohim and Jehovah are 
used without any such scrupulous care ; is there not 
therefore reason to doubt whether any other Hebrew 
besides Moses had so tense a grasp upon the exact 
moment when the name was made known ? Surely the 
evidence is not without force. The name Jehovah was 
first revealed to Moses. Therefore the Jehovistic sec 
tions of Genesis could not have been written before 
Moses. But further, is it not also certain, that these 
Jehovistic sections could not have been written much 
after, seeing that Jehovah and Elohim speedily became 
as interchangeable names in Hebrew for Deity as God 
and Lord are with us, of very different etymology 
though the words be ? 

Fifthly, amongst other evidence of the Mosaic author 
ship of the Jehovistic sections, let it be borne in mind, 
that all tJie characteristics of tJie JeJiovist, as previously 
catalogued, would, as far as we know Moses, admirably 
suit him. For what, by common consent, are the idio 
syncrasies of this writer who strongly prefers the name 
Jehovah for God ? Are they not these that he has a 
large skill in the use of words ; that he shows everywhere 
a depth of tone due as ever to a depth of sympathy and 
experience ; that he displays a genius in utilizing all 
events for moral and religious ends ; that he has very 
pronounced convictions upon the nature and history and 
Divine relationship of man ; that he almost punctiliously 

218 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

emphasizes wherever possible the links of connection 
between the pre-Levitical and the Levitical worship, 
that he even has somewhat of self-assertion, and is fond 
of the pronoun " I " ? Supposing, for the moment, that 
the Five Books of Moses were Mosaic, would they not 
be a vivid commentary upon the above character-sketch 
of the critics ? Does not Deuteronomy disclose a 
singular gift of addressing popular audiences ? Does 
not the whole career of the great Hebrew leader testify 
to largeness of view, to strength of conviction, to grip 
upon moral and religious principle, to profound know 
ledge of men, to wide and keen personal experience, 
even to occasional self-obtrusion ? 

Three points of similarity between Moses and the 
Jehovist are worth dwelling upon for a sentence or two. 

One point is the fearless exposure by both of human 
weakness. Moses even tells the truth to and of his 
people ; no attribute is more characteristic : follow the 
narrative of the Exodus and the Wanderings, and the 
great leader is seen to as ruthlessly expose as to punish 
fault ; with a strong sense of redemption, he has also a 
strong sense of sin. Now note this same feature in the 
Jehovist of Genesis. It is he who " gives us all the 
darkest parts of the histories of individual life," as 
Colenso observes ; it is he who writes of the drunkenness 
of Noah, the cowardice of Abraham, the greed of Lot, 
the incest of Lot and his daughters, the partiality of 
Isaac, the selfishness, the duplicity, the fear of Jacob, 
the dishonour of Dinah, the hatred of the brethren of 
Joseph, &c., &c. * 

Another point of similarity is the great knowledge of 
Egypt. The acquaintance of the Jehovist with Egyptian 

1 Pentateuch, part v. pp. 39, 40. 

IV.] Theory of Author ship. 219 

life and manners and customs and polity has often been 
remarked, as well by Egyptologists as Biblical critics. 
Says Brugsch, 1 in his admirable History of Egypt under 
the Pharaohs, " the account in Holy Scripture of the 
elevation of Joseph of his life at court, of the recep 
tion of his father and brothers in Egypt with all their 
belongings, is in complete accordance with the manners 
and customs, as also with the place and time." In short, 
the study of the ancient Egyptian monuments shows 
that the narratives of the sojourn of Abraham and 
Joseph in Egypt disclose a very intimate acquaintance 
with manners and customs, which only an eye-witness 
could pen, so local are the descriptions, so subtle the 
touches, so characteristic the incidents. Were Moses the 
Jehovist, this rather striking point of similarity would 
be readily explained. 

A third point, also readily explicable on the theory 
that Moses was the Jehovist, is this : the acquaintance 
the Jehovist shows with certain technicalities of the 
Levitical law. This Levitical knowledge of the Jehovist 
is absolutely ignored by Wellhausen and his school, 
according to whose theory it is the Elohist in Genesis 
who should show familiarity with the Levitical system, 
which he nowhere does, only mentioning religious ritual 
of any kind in one passage, and that a ritual wholly 
foreign to Leviticus. 2 As a matter of fact, it is the 

1 London, 1879, vol. i. pp. 264-271. The details given by Brugsch are 
worth reading. Compare, also, Kellogg, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses in 
Egypt, New York, 1887. Perhaps, however, the most convincing proof of 
familiarity, on the part of the writer of Genesis, with Egyptian manners 
and customs is afforded by reading such careful comparisons of the History 
of Joseph with the facts exhumed by Egyptologists, as is found in Heng- 
stenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses, translated from the German, 
Edinburgh, 1845, PP- 2I ~73 ( a book not yet obsolete), and in Ebers, 
^E^ypten und die Bilcher Moses, Leipsic, 1868, pp. 261-353. 

- Gen. xxxiv. 14. 

220 The AutJiorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

Non-Elohistic and not the Elohistic sections of Genesis 
which show intimacy with the Levitical Law. The 
Priests Code in Genesis (to use the phrase of Well- 
hausen) does not know, the Jehovistic document does 
know, the Levitical Law. If the cases in point are not 
numerous, they are decisive. For example, it is in the 
Jehovist, and not the Elohist, that we find the Levitical 
technicality for a " burnt-offering." * Again, it is in the 
Jehovist alone that the Levitical technicality "clean," as 
applied to animals, occurs. 2 Yet again, it is in the 
Jehovist alone that we find the term " plague," used in 
Leviticus for leprosy, applied to the judgment of God 
upon Pharaoh. 3 Again, it is the Jehovist who uses 
frequently the well-known and characteristic Levitical 
words translated " righteous " and " righteousness " 4 ; 
and it is the Jehovist who uses the striking word used in 
connection with righteousness, "counted," a word also 
largely used in Leviticus. s Note, too, the quite Levitical 
use of the word sacrifice (zevacli) in reference to Jacob. 6 
On the theory, then, that Leviticus is due to the time of 
the Exile, it is necessary to explain how the above tech 
nicalities became known to the Non-Elohistic writer, 
whilst the Elohistic or Priestly writer is silent concern 
ing them. On the theory, on the other hand, that Moses 
wrote the Law as such, Moses and the Jehovist would 
be closely identified. 

On the whole, therefore, seeing that the evidence as to 
the late date of the composition of Genesis has failed, it 

1 Gen. viii. 20 ; xxii. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13. - lb. vii. 2, 20. 

3 Ib. xii. 17 ; compare Lev. xiii., xiv. 

4 Gen. vii. I ; xviii. 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 ; xx. 4 ; xv. 6 ; xviii. 19 ; xxx. 33. 

5 Ib. xv. 6; xxxi. 15; xxxviii. 15; 1. 20; compare Lev. vii. 18 ;. 
xvii. 4 ; xxv. 27, 31, 50, 52 ; xxvii. 18, 23. 

6 Gen. xxxi. 54 ; compare Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, pp. 479, 480. 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 221 

may be said that Moses himself wrote the Jehovistic 
sections of Genesis. 

But if Moses was the Jehovist, who was the Elokist ? 
One fact concerning the Elohistic Narrative seems 
clear, on an inductive study of the available data the 
Elohistic sections were written earlier than the Jeho 
vistic. The evidence is as follows : First, it is the 
Jehovist who supplements the Elohist, and not conversely. 
For compare the genealogies of the two documents. 
The Elohist " gives only the lineal ancestors of Abraham 
(v. i, &c., xi. 10, &c.), and his descendants by Ishmael 
(xxv. 12, &c.), and Isaac, viz., Edom (xxxvi. 9, &c.), and 
Israel (xlvi. 8, &c.) ; whereas the Jehovist gives in 
addition to the line from Adam through Kain (iv. 16, 
&c.), and the seventy nations sprung from Noah (x.) 
the collateral races claiming kindred with Edom and 
Israel, viz., Moab and Ammon, descended from Lot 
(xix. 30-38), twelve tribes from Nahor (xxii. 20-24), 
sixteen from Keturah (xxv. 1-6)." So far Colenso, 1 
who adds, " since these last were manifestly intended to 
supplement the former notices, this fact implies that E 
(the Elohist) wrote before J (the Jehovist)." Or consider 
the Jehovistic interpolation in the " book of the genera 
tions of the seed of Adam, and other interpolations. 
" The fact that Gen. v. 29 (J) occurs in the midst of E 
(v. 1-28, 30-32) and vii. i6 b (J) after i3-:6 a (E), and 
vii. 20-22 (J) after v. 14-19 (E) andxi. 28 (J or D) after 
v. 27 (E) in all which instances J is unintelligible without 
the data of E, whereas there are no similar instances of 
the contrary relation existing between E and J tends 
to show that J wrote merely to supplement E." 2 Or 

1 The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua, part vii., appendix, p. 129. 

2 II, . p. 129. . 

222 The Authorship of Genesis. [LECT. 

weigh the latent references of the Jehovistic document 
to the Elohistic. "In Gen. 1. 12 J refers distinctly to 
xlix. 29-31 (E), in which passage only does Jacob charge 
his sons about his burial, which they carry out in 1. 13 
(E), without which verse the whole story limps, since 
there is no other account of the actual burial of Jacob." x 
Again, in Gen. xlvii. 30 " (J) their burial place 
refers loosely to the notices in E about the cave of 
Machpelah having been acquired as a burial-place by 
Abraham (xxiii. &c.)." Here, again, although the final 
conclusions of Colenso are not accepted, some of the 
facts which he so industriously marshalled may be 
utilized. This variety of evidence, of which only a few 
examples have been given, seems to prove conclusively 
the priority of the Elohistic sections. 

Secondly, as has just been shown, and as a fuller 
examination would strongly emphasize, the religious 
position of the Elohistic writer in Genesis is much less 
differentiated than that of the JeJiovist. All the words, 
and their implications, of the Elohist point to the pre- 
Sinaitic period ; many of the words, and their implica 
tions, of the Jehovist point to the post-Sinaitic period. 

Summarizing, then, what has been said in this Lecture, 
our inductive examination of the authorship of Genesis 
has led us to the following conclusions : 

Eirstly : Genesis shows manifest traces of a post- 
Mosaic revision of its contents, a revision, however, of 
a very respectful and conservative nature. 

Secondly : Genesis received its substantial form from 
a writer who distinctly prefers the name of Jehovah for 
the Supreme Being. 

1 The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua, part vii., appendix, p. 130. 

IV.] Theory of Authorship. 223 

Thirdly : This Jehovistic writer, in composing his 
work, utilized the pre-existing materials which had been 
got together by a previous writer who preferred the 
name Elohim for Deity. 

Fourthly : This Elohistic writer very probably laid 
earlier sources, both oral and written, under contribution. 

Fifthly : There is strong reason for believing that 
Moses himself was the Jehovistic writer. 

And, sixthly : If any one should feel inclined to say 
that the Elohistic writing was also the work of Moses, 
I should see no insuperable objections to the statement 
in the facts manifested in Genesis itself, with one proviso. 
If Moses were the Elohist as well, he must have penned 
his Elohistic document at a sufficient time before the 
events at Sinai to account for the change of literary 
style, as well as of religious standpoint. 






ENESIS, then, is not myth, nor legend, nor 
romance, but history ; and history committed as a 
whole to writing not later than the days of Moses. So 
the preceding inquiry entitles us to affirm. Straightway 
a further question arises. If Genesis is historical, if, that 
is to say, Genesis presents a true narrative of the subjects 
with which it deals, and may therefore be regarded as 
an unimpeachable authority upon those subjects, if 
Genesis affords fully reliable information upon the Fall 
and the Deluge, the migrations of Abraham and the life- 
stories of Isaac and Jacob, a further question imme 
diately arises, whether Genesis is also a first-class 
authority when it treats, as it certainly professes to treat, 
of Divine revelations to man. This further question is 
vital. Genesis claims to be a veracious record of the 
early founders of Israel, and its claims have been sus 
tained upon inquiry; but interwoven with this 
biographical element there is a distinctive supernatural 
dement ; is this woof of revelation as strong as the warp 
of history? In other words, seeing that Genesis may 
be regarded as a veracious chronicle of the common 
life of its day, may it also be regarded as a veracious 

228 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

record of words and events transcending the sphere of 
human intellect and ability ? Can a human chronicle 
of Divine interference be credited 1 Is it possible to 
accept the statements of Genesis as facts, not only when 
they present the non-miraculous data of men and 
peoples, which are the usual materials of the historian, 
but also, and as surely, when they concern professed 
Divine deeds and declared Divine revelations ? The 
question is of supreme importance in any inductive 
inquiry into the place and purport of the Old Testament. 
But this important question is not quite ripe for dis 
cussion. As has been seen in the preceding Lecture, 
it is impossible, in the face of the problems raised by 
the " Higher Criticism," to make any solid investigation 
into the Lazv as REVELATION until we have first 
investigated the Law as FACT. The question as to the 
Divine origin of the Law is complicated by extant 
theories as to its human origin. Some progress, however, 
has been made in the needful preliminary study of the 
Law as Fact, especially as regards the Book of Genesis. 
Indeed, it was desirable, for several reasons, to confine 
attention to Genesis for a while. Genesis shows a unity 
of plan not visible in the four later books of the Law. 
Genesis is more manifestly the product of one casting, 
the later books showing a very different mode of com 
position. Genesis presents, too, a usage of the Divine 
names of high analytic value, which wholly fails us early 
in Exodus ; consequently the analysis of Genesis has a 
certainty all its own. Genesis, again, crucial test though 
it be of all critical processes, has been much neglected 
by critics of late, a hasty analysis of Genesis having 
been accepted, on the exigencies of a theory which has 
left Genesis out of sight, whereas, as a matter of 

V.] Rival Theories. 229 

fact, the data offered by Genesis should have ren 
dered this theory itself suspect For such reasons, 
Genesis has been selected for the first critical essay. 
And progress has been facilitated by this prior inquiry. 
The main conclusions arrived at that Genesis is his 
torical, and that Genesis was probably written by Moses 
are of great value in our inquiry. Of so high a value 
are they that it would be possible to proceed at 
once to the consideration of the Divine element in 
Genesis. Nevertheless a preferable order of discussion 
is, to complete the survey of the Higher Criticism of 
Genesis by a survey of the Higher Criticism of the 
remaining books of the Law. For, that survey taken, 
it will be possible to make a great stride, and to treat, 
not of the Divine element in Genesis only, but of the 
Divine element in the entire Law. The time spent will 
be time saved. 

A re, then, the four subsequent books of the Law, as 
well as Genesis, first, historical^ and, second, of Mosaic 
origin ? 

The questions are not two, but one, it will soon appear. 
If Exodus and the succeeding books are historical, they 
must from the nature of their contents have been written 
contemporaneously with the events they record, that is to 
say, during the lifetime of Moses ; and, on the other hand, 
if these books were written by Moses, there would be 
little reason, from an inductive standpoint, for regarding 
them as other than historical. 

The question before us therefore in this Lecture is, 

The starting-point of this new branch of our inductive 

230 Authorship of the Laiv. [LECT. 

inquiry is this. There is a remarkable unity of plan 
and purpose in the several Books of the Law. Upon 
this striking unity all are agreed. Critics of all schools 
sound the praises of the order and march of these books, 
speaking enthusiastically of their exquisite literary 
finish, of the studied progress of their narrative, of their 
strict observance of the unities of place and time and 
person. But critics are not agreed as to the explanation 
of this unity. They have reached no unanimous opinion 
as to how this singleness of purpose, this oneness of plan, 
this harmony of style, have been attained. Critics are 
divided as to whether this acknowledged unity is a pro 
duct of art or of fact. Is the written result, the beauty 
and force of which all confess, due to genius which 
simulates history, or to history which baffles genius ? 
This is the question at issue. 

Two theories of the origin of the four later books of 
the Pentateuch are in the field at the moment. These 
theories may be not inappropriately called the JOURNAL 

According to the Journal Theory, Exodus, Leviticus, 
Numbers, and Deuteronomy confessedly but divisions 
made for convenience of one continuous book were 
written down in the days of Moses, as the events 
successively occurred, Moses kept a journal, in fact ; 
and Genesis was deliberately penned as a suitable intro 
duction to this journal. According to the Evolution 
Theory the entire five books nay, the entire six books, 
for Joshua is included, and we hear again and again of 
the Hexateuch instead of the Pentateuch were written 
at intervals during centuries, the final symmetry being 
imparted by an editor, who, with great skill, made a 
homogeneous blend of materials not a little heteroge- 

V.] Rival Theories. 231 

neous. Thus, on the Journal Theory, the unity of the 
Law is due to the actual consecution of the facts 
narrated ; whereas on the Evolution Theory that unity 
is due to the literary skill of the editor who gave to the 
Law its final form. 

On the one hand, then, the homogeneity of the Books 
of the Law is ascribed, by the Journal Theory, to their 
contemporaneousness with the events recorded. Moses, 
or some scribe of his, kept a journal. In this view, in 
addition to serving his own day by his splendid initia 
tives, Moses (for it is immaterial whether Moses himself 
wrote the Law or whether a scribe wrote it at his com 
mand) served all after-times by preserving an accurate 
record of his age. What happened in Egypt was 
written in Egypt ; what happened at Sinai was written 
at Sinai ; what happened in the steppes of Moab was 
written in Moab. Further, this journal had, so to 
speak, a preface and an epilogue. The preface, our 
present Genesis, was a history of the Divine dealings 
with men from the Creation to the death of Joseph, com 
piled, like the Gospel of Luke, from the records, whether 
oral or written, of " eye-witnesses and ministers of the 
word." The epilogue, our present Deuteronomy (with 
the exception of a few verses at the close narrating the 
death of Moses), was a report of the final addresses 
made by Moses to Israel immediately prior to his 
ascent of Pisgah. This Journal Theory is so simple 
that it requires but few words in exposition, however 
many it may need in defence. 

On the other hand, however, the homogeneity of the 
Books of the Law is ascribed, by the Evolution Theory, 
in a directly opposite manner, not to literal fact, but to 
literary faculty. The very lateness of their date rendered 

232 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

their several authors the more free to employ what 
literary faculty they had, with such success, as one of 
the greatest advocates of the theory avows, that art has 
" actually been successful, with its movable tabernacle, 
its wandering camp, and other archaic details," in 
" concealing the true date of composition." T In fact, 
according to this Evolutionary Theory, as was stated in 
the preceding Lecture, the present Pentateuch consists 
of three main portions, viz., the separate work of a 
Jehovistic writer, say of the time of Uzziah (who utilized 
earlier materials, written and oral), the work of the Deu- 
teronomist, say of the time of Josiah (who also utilized 
some earlier materials), and the work of an Elohist, 
who wrote after the Exile (and who also utilized various 
writings of others), these three main portions being 
harmonized and blended by an accomplished editor, 
who of course completed his work after the return from 
Exile. On this theory the Law is really a fiction, 
founded on fact, small in amount, be it added, and 
legendary in character a sort of religious novel. 

It is desirable to state this theory at a little more 

The general outline of this Evolutionary Theory runs 
as follows. The children of Israel once resided in 
Egypt, and were polytheists. They had previously 
been fetichists, and worshipped trees and stones. The 
first step to a purer faith was taken when Moses, who 
was possibly a monotheist, during a period of wandering 
in the Sinaitic desert, called the tribal god by the name 
of Jahveh, or Jehovah, and imparted the Ten Words or 
the Ten Commandments (in some rudimentary form of 
words which became the nucleus of the present Deca- 

1 Wellhausen, History of Israel , pp. 9, 10. 

v.] Rival Theories. 233 

logue), thus " connecting the religious idea with the 
moral life of the nation." It was in the days of the 
Judges largely mythical as the extant accounts evi 
dently are, when the tribes had ceased to be nomads 
and had become agriculturists that the second step in 
religious advance was taken. This ensued upon the rise 
of that astonishing type of character, the prophetic, 
which exercised such gigantic influence upon the entire 
subsequent history of Israel. To tribes disjointed and 
antagonistic, fighting to the death with the Canaanitish 
aborigines, the prophets gave the cohesion of monarchy. 
They also established monotheism ; for, by gradual 
steps, and reiterated teaching during centuries, they 
succeeded in erecting Jehovah who had been since the 
days of Moses simply what Chemosh was to the Moab- 
ites, the patron god of the tribe into the one supreme 
and only God. The further development of the religion 
of Israel was the result of the contest of the prophetical 
with the ecclesiastical order, prophets and priests, in the 
fell struggle for existence, furthering the survival of the 
fittest. Indeed, the Pentateuch, or rather the Hexa- 
teuch, was the product of both the prophetic and the 
priestly party in the struggle for power ; for neither in 
the days of David nor of Solomon was there, it is said, 
any trace either of the elaborate ritual known as 
Mosaism, or of sacred books embodying that system. 
It was in the reign of Hezekiah that the prophetic 
party, the party of pure religion, set themselves to 
formulate their desires, to ascribe them to Moses, to 
commit them to writing, and to place them in the 
Temple, where they were soon after found by the high 
priest, Hilkiah, as we find a letter which has been 
dropped into our letter-box. This prophetic pro- 

234 Authorship of the Laiv. [LECT. 

gramme for the most part a rhetorical expansion of 
two principles, namely, no God but Jehovah, and no 
worship apart from the Temple constitutes the larger 
portion of the Book of Deuteronomy which, read to the 
king, gave the initiative to Josiah s reformation. Thus 
commenced, the Evolution theorists maintain, the mo 
mentous epoch of subjection to the written law. Not 
that the snake of idolatry was more than scotched, for 
the worship of Baal and Ashera continued until the 
days of the Exile ; the formulation of Deuteronomy (in 
its earliest form) was simply the first draft of that 
method of attack which finally proved victorious. This 
first draft was still further elaborated by Ezekiel during 
the dreary days by the river Chebar, when, fully assured 
in his own mind of the certainty of speedy return, he 
drew up " a complete plan for the organization of the 
new Israel," giving, in the first place, a minute descrip 
tion of a new temple ; appending, in the second place, a 
series of detailed precepts concerning religious worship, 
the staff of ministrants and the rights and obligations of 
the prince ; and regulating, thirdly, the division of the 
land. In thus giving utterance to his scheme for the 
future, Ezekiel, himself a priest as well as a prophet, 
commenced the committal to writing of the priestly 
tradition, which had been accumulating for many years. 
The priests in Babylonia, the kernel and flower of the 
Jewish nation, followed in his footsteps. A first essay 
in legislation (remains of which have been preserved to 
us in Leviticus xxiii.-xxvi.) was speedily followed by 
others, until a complete system at length arose, set in a 
historical frame and presented as a restoration of the 
remote and glorious past. The two leading details of 
this system were, that the tabernacle, a convenient fie- 

v.] Rival Theories. 235 

tion, occupied the central position of a fictitious camp, 
and was the only legitimate place of sacrifice ; and that 
a sharp line of demarcation was everywhere drawn 
between priests and Levites, and consequently between 
their status and immunities. What wonder, then, it is 
asked by the Evolutionary theorists, if on the return of 
the exiles, the ecclesiastical party having an overwhelming 
advantage in social position and organization, the first 
duty assumed was to rebuild the temple ? What won 
der that the hierarchy thenceforth monopolized the first 
place in the annals of Judaism ? And when Ezra took 
his stand with fourteen priests upon his lofty platform, 
on that memorable first day of the seventh month, and 
read the priestly ordinances of this deftly manufactured 
Book of the Law absolutely for the first time to the 
assembled and enthusiastic multitude, what wonder if 
the legalism which had been sown like a grain of mus 
tard-seed in the days of Hezekiah, sprouted into a tree 
that could shelter a nation ? But not even yet was the 
work of the priesthood complete. The book from which 
Ezra read cannot have fully met, say the Evolutionary 
theorists, the state of affairs which he found around 
him, nor could it have been introduced with effect 
without the co-operation of the priesthood. An under 
standing must be arrived at with this ecclesiastical 
interest, its wishes and advantage must be taken into 
account, modifications must be made as circumstances 
required, and, in a word, such measures must be framed 
and placed on record as were indispensable to the suc 
cess of the undertaking. This Ezra did at his leisure, 
and somewhere between the years 458 and 444 B.C., it is 
said, completed his final redaction of the law. Emen 
dations were made by later hands, but no alterations of 

236 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

moment. With the recension of Ezra the fabric of 
so-called Mosaism may be regarded as practically com 
pleted ; thenceforward it was current, substantially under 
the form of the present Pentateuch, as the Jewish rule 
of faith and life. Thenceforth Judaism stood before the 
eyes of the world like its own temple : Moses had first 
imparted its idea ; Samuel and David and Solomon had 
endowed that idea with a local habitation and a name ; 
Hezekiah and Josiah restored its buried glories ; by the 
rivers of Babylon it had formed the subject of Ezekiel s 
dreams, and fired the priesthood with enthusiasm ; it 
was rebuilt with more than pristine magnificence in the 
days of Nehemiah and Ezra, becoming the centre of a 
people s hopes and the spring of a people s joys ; every 
change throughout its chequered course had been an 
enlargement, and every period of oblivion a night of 
growth ; and the splendid structure at length complete, 
if embellishment and restoration may be undertaken at 
intervals, of vital alteration there will be no trace, for 
letter has usurped the place of spirit, the written of the 
oral word, the scribe of the prophet, the Aaronic priest 
of the priesthood open to every son of the nation. 1 

In short, according to the Evolution Theory of the 
Origin of the Pentateuch, that remarkable book, how 
ever apparently one, is really the natural, if slow, out 
growth of the religious instincts of the Jewish nation, a 
survival of the fittest, a final victor in a bitter and pro 
longed struggle for existence. The rubric of Judaism 
would, on this theory, resemble that of the Vatican, 
being really the product of the religious conflicts of 

1 This outline has been abridged from Kuenen s Religion of Israel ; 
upon all the minuter details here presented possibly all Evolutionary 
theorists might not be r.greed. 

v.] Journal Theory. 237 

centuries. According to this theory, Sinai and its 
Divine Voice are inventions ; the Tabernacle, and its 
propitiatory, and cherubim, are inventions ; the associa 
tion with Moses of any portion of the so-called Mosaic 
legislation, with the single exceptions of a wavering pre 
dilection for monotheism and the germinal moral code 
which subsequently grew into the Decalogue, is the pious 
fraud of prophets, the pious fraud of priests. 

Such is the Evolution Theory, broadly stated. 

It is between these two theories, the one of which 
makes the Book of the Law largely a Journal, and the 
other of which makes the Law largely a Fiction written 
in the interests of a tendency, and between these two 
theories alone, that the great critical conflict of the 
present day lies. Less prominent divergences of opinion 
may be prudently, therefore, omitted from view, whilst 
attention is concentrated upon the two leading issues. 

What is the evidence for the JOURNAL THEORY ? 

Evidence in favour of the Journal Theory appears in 
certain direct statements of the Books under examination. 
At very different times in the course of the narrative 
Moses is described, directly or indirectly, as committing 
part of his life-story to writing. These express refer 
ences to a committal to writing have a cumulative cha 
racter. Thus, almost at the outset of his career as 
leader, after the discomfiture of Amalek, we read of 
Moses writing, by Divine command, his experience of 
the notable event " in a book : " " And the Lord said 
unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book " (the 
Hebrew reads " in the book "). * Again, on arrival at 
Sinai Moses perpetuates the covenant by inserting its 

1 Exod. xvii. 14. 

238 AutJiorship of the Law. [LECT. 

details in a book : " And Moses wrote all the words of 
the Lord," I these words including, at least, the Ten 
Commandments of the twentieth chapter, and the addi 
tional statutes contained in the three following chapters. 
Yet again, after the long years of wandering, the fact is 
signalized that Moses made a written record of the 
various halting-places of the sojourn in the wilderness : 
" And Moses wrote their goings out according to their 
journeys by the commandment of the Lord." 2 And yet 
again, just before his death, Moses is said to have given 
permanent form to his parting words of reminiscence 
and prospect by writing them in a book, which is ex 
pressly called " the book of the Law," and which he 
explicitly commanded should be carefully preserved : 
" And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of 
writing the words of this law in a book, until they were 
finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bear 
the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this 
book of the law, and put it by (or in) the side of the ark 
of the covenant of the Lord your God," &c. 3 In view 
of such a series of statements, is it wholly unreasonable 
to regard Moses, as the Journal theorists do, as having 
written again and again in one book, rather than in 
many, especially remembering that a book exists which 
contains, amongst other things, all the details cited ? 

Further, the apparent method of the composition from 
Exodus to Deuteronomy largely favours the Journal 
Theory. This method of composition can be best shown 
by contrast. In Genesis, be it repeated, we have a book 
apart, moulded, so to speak, " at one flow " (as the 
Germans say), showing an elaborate plan formed from 
the beginning and steadfastly adhered to ; whereas in 

1 Exod. xxiv. 3-7. ~ Numb, xxxiii. 2-49. 3 Dent. xxxi. 24-26. 

V.] Journal Theory. 239 

the remaining four books quite another mode of writing 
is visible. 

Let this contrast between the plan of Genesis and the 
absence of plan in the subsequent books be emphasized. 
After an introduction, giving the exquisite account of 
the seven creative days, 1 Genesis is clearly I was going 
to sxy frigidly divided into ten sections. Indeed, the 
author goes out of his way, and repeats the history of 
Creation from another standpoint, in order to complete 
the tale of ten sections, this number irresistibly reminding 
us of the Ten Commandments and the Law of Tithe. 
These ten sections run as follows. The " generations," 
or originesy of the Heaven and the Earth are given ; 2 
then succeed the generations of Adam, 3 the generations 
of Noah, 4 the generations of the sons of Noah,5 the 
generations of Shem, 6 the generations of Terah,7 the 
generations of Ishmael, 8 the generations of Isaac, 9 the 
generations of Esau, 10 and the generations of Jacob. 11 
These ten sections it is next to impossible to miss, for 
they all commence with the identical formula, " These 
are the generations of." The arrangement is evident, 
and suggests a plan formed prior to writing. 

Now compare with this set and inflexible framework 
of composition the easy and unstudied flow of Exodus 
and the books that follow. In them there is no ad 
herence to a mechanical arrangement. The bones can 
not be seen. Growth takes place according to an inver 
tebrate pattern. The completed skeleton, so to speak, 
is not subsequently clothed with the flesh of fact and 
figure, but member is added to member by a process of 

1 Gen. i.-ii. 3. - Ib. ii. 4-iv. 26. 3 Ib. v. i-vi. 8. 

4 Ib. vi. g-ix. 29. s //;. x . !_ x i. 9. 6 //,. x i. 10-26. 

7 Ib. xi. 27-xxv. II. 8 //;. xxv. !2-l8. 9 Ib. xxv. IQ-XXXV. 29. 

10 Ib. xxxvi. i-xxxvii. I. IJ Ib. xxxvii. 2-1. 26. 

240 Authorship of the Laiv. [LECT. 

continuous accretion. The style of writing is that, not 
of the balanced history, but of the flexible journal. In 
evidence of this diary-method of construction, let the 
observant reader note the entire arrangement of material 
from the beginning, or nearly the beginning, of Exodus 
to the close of Deuteronomy. Certainly, supposing 
these books to have been written in journal fashion, 
they could not have been more vivid or less prescient 
Event follows event with no order but that of time. 
Commands given at one moment are completed soon 
afterwards. If the narrative is often inexplicable with 
out knowledge of what has gone before, it is never 
inexplicable for the want of information which is given 
subsequently ; although occasionally, it is true, what one 
day brings another day explains. Everywhere the ob 
jective order of events appears ; nowhere the subjective 
order of author. If a Divine injunction is given in one 
spot and at one juncture, its record appears in the story 
of that place and hour. These books, in fact, are no 
more divisible than a journal. Exodus is not all history : 
Leviticus is not all law ; Numbers has as much legisla 
tion as census ; Deuteronomy repeats quite as much of 
the events of the Wilderness as of its laws. The charac 
teristics of a diary appear everywhere. Everywhere law 
and life, revelation and history, are fused. As we read 
we are made eye-witnesses of the events in Egypt, law 
being already interwoven with narrative in the first in 
stitution of the Passover. 1 From Egypt we pass to 
Sinai, the covenant at Sinai being described in full 
detail, as well as the injunctions given at Sinai concern 
ing the future priesthood and the future place of worship. 2 
On the breach of the covenant, by the rebellion and 

1 Exod. xii.-xiii. 1 6. ~ Ib. xix. i-xxxi. 18. 

V.] Journal Theory. 241 

idolatry of the people, the covenant is mercifully re 
newed ; T and then, in strict accord with the injunctions 
previously given, the Tabernacle and its furniture, the 
Priesthood and its attire, are prepared for actual service. 2 
Here there occurs a strong point for the Journal Theory. 
What author writing, after the event, would have in 
serted the minute and tautologous repetition of the 
injunctions previously given concerning the Tabernacle 
and its ministrants, which is found in these last chapters 
of Exodus ? Then immediately follow although our 
modern division of books somewhat conceals the imme- 
diateness the laws of the several sacrifices spoken by 
Jehovah from the newly-erected Mercy-seat. 3 After an 
interval, in which the ceremonial of the consecration of 
the priesthood is both ordained and executed (the record 
of the consecration of the Tabernacle had been given 
at the close of Exodus), a variety of supplementary laws, 
also announced by Jehovah from the recently constructed 
Mercy-seat, is catalogued from chapter to chapter to the 
close of Leviticus. Then, after all these laws, ceremonial, 
constitutional, civil, and criminal, have been announced 
by Jehovah at Sinai, whether in the Mount of Vision or 
from the Propitiatory of the Tabernacle, preparations 
are next made, we read, for the departure from the scene 
of so much express revelation ; the tribes are grouped ; 4 
a few additional laws are given ; 5 the offerings of the 
princes at the Dedication of the Tabernacle are described 
(as an after-thought, so to speak) ; 6 yet again additional 
laws are appended concerning the holy lamps ; 7 the 
Levites are solemnly set apart for their duties ; 8 and the 

1 Exod. xxxii. i-xxxiv. 35. - 2b. xxxv. i-xl. 38. 3 Lev. i-vii. 38. 

4 Numb. i-iv. 29. s //,. v . i- v i. 27. 6 Ib. vii. 1-89. 

7 Ib. viii. i-viii. 4. 8 Ib. iiiv. 5-26. 


242 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

feast of the Passover is renewed. 1 If all this is not the 
order of fact, it is the order of very clumsy writing. At 
length the departure from Sinai to Moab takes place, 
and the several events which happened in the steppes of 
Moab are chronologically recorded. 2 Various supple 
mentary laws are still given from time to time to meet 
new emergencies, the rebellion of Korah, for example, 
giving rise to new laws concerning the priesthood, 3 the 
injunctions concerning the partition of the Land of 
Promise generating the laws as to the cities of refuge,4 
" the incident as to the daughters of Zelophehad origina 
ting a new law of female inheritance.5 Again passing 
on, still in the strict order of events, to the last month 
of the fortieth year of the Exodus, three successive fare 
well addresses of Moses are recorded, 6 and the last is 
heard of the great leader his resignation of headship/ 
his swan-song, 8 the announcement of his death, 9 his 
dying blessing, 10 whilst as a brief epilogue to the entire 
preceding narrative, a subsequent hand, perhaps Joshua s, 
perhaps Samuel s, perhaps Ezra s, has completed the 
autobiography by the shortest and most colourless state 
ment of the death of Moses. 11 From beginning to end 
of these four books, numerous circumstantial details, the 
subtlest transitions, the most improbable if not the most 
natural characterizations of time, the frankest freedom 
and the most transparent ease, all give point to the 
Journal Theory. As has been said, possibly the best 
argument for the Journal Theory would be a consecu 
tive and attentive reading (at one sitting say, or two), 

1 Numb. ix. 1-14. 2 // . x. n-xxxvi. 13. 3 Ib. xviii. i-xix. 22. 

4 Ib. xxxv. 9-34. s Ib. xxxvi. 1-15. 

6 Deut. i. 3~iv. 43 ; iv. 44~xxvi. 19 ; xxvii. i-xxx. 20. 

7 //;. xxxi. 1-15. 8 Ib. xxxi. i6-xxxii. 47. 9 //,. X xxii. 48-52. 
10 Ib. xxxiii. 1-29. IX Ib. xxxiv. I-I2. 

V.j Journal Theory. 243 

from the beginning of Exodus to the close of Deute 
ronomy. By such a reading the most lively impres 
sion of unity and contemporaneousness is produced, 
which no pedantry can destroy. Facts may so read ; 
romance never. The evidence which can destroy this 
impression of veracity must be sure indeed. The art 
that can conceal such art is itself miraculous. Not Defoe, 
Cervantes, or Swift, has produced anything parallel. 
The Passage of the Red Sea is told in as straightforward 
and naked a manner as the journeying from Elim to 
Rephidim. The Ten Plagues are recorded without a 
note of exclamation. Divine commands or appearances 
seem no more to the author than the most common 
place occurrences of the march. On the supposition 
that a contemporary was writing what his eyes had seen 
and his ears had heard, this matter-of-fact, this photo 
graphic, narration is intelligible. If these Books be 
imaginative, the product of the genius of long subsequent 
days, they stand alone in the literature of the world for 
fictitious naturalness and ideal reality. To tell such 
marvels in so non-marvelling a manner seems impossible 
unless the marvels be true. 1 In this instance also the 
Bible itself is the best reply to attacks upon the Bible. 

Further, this Journal Theory does not appear less 
reasonable upon minute examination. Examine, for 
instance, tJie laivs concerning tlie Passover. Had these 
laws been written centuries after the Flight from Egypt, 
in the priestly interest, as the Evolutionary Theory 
maintains, we should have expected that the Paschal 
injunctions, attributed to a long-distant past in order 
that they might awaken the reverence so readily 
aroused by antiquity, would have been compact, clear, 

1 Compare Rogers, Superhuman Origin of the Bible, &<:., Lecture VI. 

244 Authorship of the Laiu. [LECT. 

readily intelligible, of the easiest possible application, 
as simple in statement as evident in design. But what 
are the facts of the case ? These laws, as they actually 
appear, have no air whatever of being afterthoughts 
late customs, set in a frame of antique history, for a 
partisan purpose. These laws assuredly have an air 
of being pages from a journal. When these Passover 
laws first appear, they are manifestly adapted to the 
peculiar condition of an enslaved people, on the eve 
of liberation. 1 " And the Lord spake unto Moses and 
Aaron in the land of Egypt saying" so the passage 
runs ; and all its details befit the land of Egypt, and 
only the land of Egypt. The lamb is slain by the 
householder, and not by a priest (as was the case later) ; 
the blood was sprinkled on the lintels of the houses, 
and not on an altar (as was also subsequently the case) ; 
the flesh was eaten with loins girt for the march, and 
staff in hand ; the very bread baked cannot be leavened, 
because the kneading-troughs are bound up with the 
clothes, ready for hasty departure. Such is the first 
mention of the Passover. A few months pass, accord 
ing to the narrative, and we meet with the Passover 
injunctions again. At Sinai instructions are given- 
concerning the set feasts which are to be observed in 
the Wilderness, and amongst these Festal Seasons the 
Passover appears. 2 In this later reference the earlier 
commands are evidently assumed to be known, indeed, 
it is enough to name the Passover without further refer 
ence; nevertheless, the entire environment being altered, 
some changes of detail are made ; thus the Passover 
is the beginning of a seven days festival, the first day 
of this Paschal Feast being ordered to be a holy con- 

1 Exod. xii. 2 Lev. xxiii. 4-8. 

V.] Journal Theory. 245 

vocation, in which no servile work should be done, and 
the seven days being days in which offerings should 
be presented by fire. Yet a few months later, whilst 
the Israelites are still sojourning at Sinai, we again 
come across the Passover, which was kept -" according 
to all that the Lord commanded Moses." Here again 
a further commandment is given to meet the needs of 
a special case which had arisen ; for, at this first Pass 
over after leaving Egypt, a disability, a legal disability 
(which, by the way, implied the previous announcement 
of uncleanness caused by contact with the dead) T stood 
in the way of the celebration of the Passover by a few 
men, to whom permission was given to celebrate the 
feast at a later date. 2 Still reading on in the narrative, 
and reaching the events which took place whilst the 
camp was pitched in the plains of Moab, the injunctions 
concerning the Passover are a third time renewed, 
whilst minuter instructions for the offerings by fire, 
mentioned in general terms before, are now delivered. 3 
Still reading on, it appears that when the Israelites 
are about to cross the Jordan, and Moses is reiterating 
the various Divine laws in the popular hearing, once 
more, in this fortieth year of the Wanderings, injunc 
tions are given concerning the Passover, largely similar 
to what had preceded, it is true, and yet differing in 
one notable particular. 4 Thenceforth the Passover was 
to be slain and eaten, not in any house or tent, as at 
first ; or by all the people in the immediate proximity 
of the Tabernacle, as during the years of Wanderings ; 
but only " in the place which the Lord thy God shall 
choose to put his name in," a well-understood euphemism 

r Numb. v. 2 ; compare Lev. xxii. 5. - Ib. ix. 1-14. 

3 Ib. xxviii. 16-25. 4 Deut. xvi. 1-8. 

246 Authorship of the Lazv. [LECT. 

for the Altar of Burnt-offering in the Tabernacle, the 
location of which beyond Jordan was not as yet known ; 
in other words, the Passover was not to be observed 
by all the people, but only by those who could con 
veniently attend the Tabernacle. Does not such a 
series of commands, so carefully adjusted to their 
environment, bear their truth upon their face ? Are 
they not manifestly beyond the invention of any later 
writers whatever? Do they not support strongly the 
Journal Theory ? For, mark tJie alternative. If the 
Evolution Theory be true, then, according to the pre 
dominant form of that theory, the first statement in 
Exodus as to the origin of the Passover was written 
amongst the last of all the accounts * ; further, the 
brief statement in Leviticus, which assumes the state 
ment in Exodus, was written, a little earlier, by Ezekiel ; 
the statements in Numbers, with their supplementary 
laws, were written at the same time as the Exodus 
passage ; and, finally, the Deuteronomic version was 
written before the Exodus version, before the Leviticus 
version, and before the Numbers versions. No theory 
can stand before such a series of contradictions. Let 
any reader carefully compare these several versions of 
the Paschal Laws, and he will speedily come to the 
conclusion, without requiring much further evidence, 
that there is little to be said, after all, for the Evolu 
tionary Theory, and much for the Journal Theory. 
On the Journal Theory every variation in command 
is clear ; on the Evolution Theory these several varia 
tions produce confusion worse confounded. 

So much for positive evidence in favour of the 
Journal Theory. 

1 See Appendix II. 

V.] Journal Theory. 247 

Now let us turn to the rebutting evidence. How 
hard bestead the Evolution Theory is, when con 
fronted with the Journal Theory, let an extract 
from one of the most prominent of the Evolution 
theorists show. Says Dr. Reuss, in his great work 
on the Bible, evidently impressed by the strength 
of the Journal Theory : " If the history of the Exodus 
has been written by Moses himself, and if the legal 
code, which is framed in this history, has been drawn 
up by him, we must necessarily admit that we have 
in all this the Journal of the Prophet, as that theory 
alone will explain the incoherence of the matters 
treated therein, and the absence of all systematic order 
in the innumerable articles of laws, throughout con 
nected with certain localities, or with certain epochs 
of sojourn in the wilderness." And Dr. Reuss goes 
on to say his words are noteworthy " The idea of 
a journal is especially supported by two facts, without 
strain. If the narrative is detached from what belongs 
to the legislation strictly so-called, an almost continuous 
story is obtained of the life of Moses from his birth 
to his death, in an order which may be called chrono 
logical, and often determined by precise dates. On the 
other hand, the numerous repetitions and contradictions 
in the legislative part lose whatever they have in their 
actual form which embarrasses us ; for it would be 
possible to admit that in a space of time of some 
length, many an injunction may have been repeatedly 
inculcated, or even changed according to the necessities 
of the moment, or because of a more exact apprecia 
tion of the means of execution." J The points are well 
put. The wonder is that their cogency did not lead 
Dr. Reuss to reconsider his position. 

1 L? Histoire Sainte et la Loi, pp. 126-128. 

248 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

However, it is but fair to Dr. Reuss to say that 
he has simply mentioned the Journal Theory, as he 
says, lest "he should appear to recognize therein any 
probative force." And it is also but fair to Dr. Reuss 
to state upon what evidence he has the temerity to 
assert that "the hypothesis of a Journal explains 
nothing at all and itself has no value." All the details, 
which in Dr. Reuss s view make against the Journal 
Theory shall be given. These details are of the 

How, for example, on the Journal Theory, asks Dr. 
Reuss, can the immense lacuna of thirty-eight years 
be explained in the narrative, all the facts detailed 
being concerned with the first two years and the last 
few months of the Exodus ? But how is this lacuna 
to be explained on the Evolutionary Theory ? By a 
lack of invention ? By the comparative unimportance, 
in the view of the writer, of these intermediate years ? 
If the latter explanation is given, it equally applies 
to the Journal Theory. Moses suppressed the events 
of those thirty-eight years because of their comparative 
unimportance, from his point of view. Be it remem 
bered also that the date of Miriam s death is uncertain. 1 

Then Dr. Reuss objects to the Journal Theory, that, 
in the beginning of the Journal, reference is made to 
what happened years afterwards. The point is crucial. 
But the instances cited in proof are not conclusive. 
First, the remark is cited, from the first description of the 
fall of manna, that " the children of Israel did eat the 
manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited ; 
they did eat the manna, until they came unto the 
borders of the land of Canaan." 2 But who, who has 

1 Numb. xx. i. 2 Exod. xvi. 35. 

V.] Joiirnal Theory. 249 

not a theory to support, will fail, on a close perusal 
of the context, to see in this remark what we have 
seen in Genesis more than once a later interpolation, 
whether made by Moses himself or by another ? 
A second instance of anachronism cited concerns 
the census, which is only made at the first chapter 
of Numbers, whereas its result is known at the close 
of Exodus. 1 But what then ? The number of the 
people is inferred in the Exodus from the quantity 
of silver subscribed and actually employed for the 
construction of the Tabernacle. Further, should 
surprise be expressed that the numbers given at that 
time and at the more deliberate census, taken later, are 
the same, let it be remembered, first, that but a few 
months intervened, according to the narrative, between 
the two numberings for tax and for war ; and, second, 
that the earlier census for tax was probably utilized for 
the later military census. Another instance of ana 
chronism is seen by Dr. Reuss, in the command to the 
priests to sanctify themselves at Sinai, before a priest 
hood had been appointed ; 2 but is it not a gratuitous 
assumption that the Israelites had no priests either in 
Egypt or on leaving Egypt ? A parallel instance is 
cited by Dr. Reuss where a tent is spoken of as the 
place of the manifestation of the Divine Glory before the 
Tabernacle was built ; 3 but, according to the statement 
of Exodus, as a matter of fact, prior to the more 
elaborate Tabernacle, there was a temporary tent, a 
tabernacle, erected, not within the encampment as the 
official place of worship was, but afar from the camp, 
without the camp, this temporary tabernacle being the 

1 Exod. xxxviii. 26. 2 //>. xix. 22. 

~ Ib. xxxiii. 7; compare with xxxv., xxxvii. 21, and xl. 2, 17. 

250 Authorship of the Laiu. [LECT. 

scene of Divine revelation : * is it not sheer caprice, or 
worse, to ignore this deliberate statement ? Yet again ? 
Dr. Reuss objects that the law of the Sabbath is sup 
posed to be known, prior to its actual promulgation ; 2 
but is the evidence for a Patriarchal observance of a 
Sabbath to be so quietly ignored ? Dr. Reuss also urges 
us to compare Exod. xl. 4 with Lev. xxiv. 4, and Numb, 
xiv. 36 with Numb. xiv. 29 and Deut. ii. 14, and we 
shall find further anachronisms. In these passages 
which Dr. Reuss simply mentions, I can see nothing 
relevant to the issue. 

Dr. Reuss s proofs, which, in his view, negative the 
Journal Theory, have been fully and carefully stated. If 
this is all the destructive evidence so acute a critic is 
able to adduce, such evidence cannot even outweigh his 
own statement of the case for the Journal Theory, 
Where Reuss has failed, who shall succeed ? 

Whether, therefore, the Biblical evidence for the 
Journal Theory, or the Biblical evidence thought to be 
against this theory, be examined, the theory itself has 
certainly much to commend it. 

But it is probable that the advocates of the Evolution 
Theory of the origin of the Books of the Law rely more 
upon their constructive than their destructive criticism. 
They consider their case so strong in itself, that they do 
not trouble themselves with the case of other people. If 
the attitude of mind is unwise, it is human. What, then, 
is the evidence advanced in favour of the EVOLUTIONARY 

The evidence mainly relied upon to-day by the advo 
cates of the Evolution Theory, " The received view of 

1 Exod. xxxiii. 7-11. ~ Ib. xvi. 26. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 251 

European critical scholarship," as Kuenen says, is of a 
historical and not a literary kind. Comparatively little 
is heard of divergencies in phraseology, seeming ana 
chronisms, dual or triple or multiple repetitions of 
narrative, apparent contradictions, and all the para 
phernalia of literary criticism, acquaintance with the 
method of which has been made in the last Lecture. 
The conflict concerning authorship has been transferred 
from the arena of literary to that of historical criticism. 
In this there is cause for thankfulness. The decisive 
battle-ground has been at length recognized. By the 
minutiae of literary criticism, the most uncertain of 
weapons, no sure issue was likely to be reached. 
Wellhausen was quite right when he said, pungently 
enough it is true and in a different figure, that, in all this 
by-play of literary criticism, " the firemen never came 
near the spot where the conflagration raged." And 
Wellhausen was also right when he added, that " it is 
only within the region of religious antiquities and 
dominant religious ideas that the controversy can be 
brought to a definite issue." * A revolution in method 
has taken place. From the minor and inconclusive 
questions as to literary expression and style and method, 
critics have turned of late to the more serious and decisive 
questions as to the Revealed or Evolutionary character of 
the Law itself. From form they have turned to matter ; 
from style to contents ; from mode to fact. In this 
there is, as has been said, cause for congratulation. As 
there is ground for rejoicing when opponents move from 
outworks of miracle and prophecy and chronology and 
history, and plant their storming ladders against the 
character and claims of Jesus, the impregnable fortress 

1 Prolegomena to the History of Israel, p. 12. 

252 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

of the Christian faith ; so there is reason for thankful 
ness when the engines of criticism are removed from 
subordinate lines of defence, and are turned upon the 
Moral and Ceremonial Law, the supreme pre-Christian 
testimony to a Divine interest in human affairs. No 
critic of Christian convictions will do other than rejoice 
that the true point of attack and defence has become 
more evident of recent years. The facts of the Jewish 
history are more than their literary dress. 

This revolution in method was effected by the publi 
cation of Wellhausen s Prolegomena to the History of 
Israel, " the first complete and sustained argument," says 
Robertson Smith, " which took up the question in its 
historical bearings ; " x " the crowning fight in the long 
campaign," 2 says Kuenen. The several positions of 
Wellhausen, the acknowledged apostle of the Evolution 
Theory of the authorship of the Pentateuch, it is 
desirable to examine. Wellhausen does not, it is true, 
and it is to be lamented, handle in any direct way the 
evidence for the revealed character of the Law (he does 
not concern himself in any way with the arguments 
which will appear in the next Lecture), nevertheless he 
does attack, from the historical side, and with much 
skill, the problem of the evolutionary character of the 
Law. At any rate, no Old Testament study can have 
at the present moment any pretension to completeness 
which leaves Wellhausen out of view. 

Wellhausen s positions are as follows : " I start," he 
says, " from the comparison of the three constituents of 
the Pentateuch the Priestly Code, Deuteronomy, and 
the work of the Jehovist ;" for " it is admitted," he con 
tinues (he is referring, of course, only to the admissions 

1 Wellhausen, Prolegomena^ p. viii. ~ Hexateuch, p. xxxix. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 253 

of those who deny the Mosaic authorship of the Law) 
" that the three constituent elements are separated from 
each other by wide intervals." It will be remembered 
that the existence of these three strata in the Pentateuch, 
in the belief of many scholars, was made evident in the 
historical survey of Old Testament Criticism, given in 
the last Lecture. Assuming, then, the existence of these 
three constituents, or strata the Priestly Code (Elohist), 
Deuteronomy, and the work of the Jehovist, Wellhausen 
proceeds to inquire in what order they were written. 
This is the problem he desires to solve, the relative order 
of the component parts of what to-day we call the Five 
Books of the Law. 

The solution of this problem is attempted by Well 
hausen by means of a twofold method of comparison. 
On the one hand, the three constituents themselves are 
compared, with a view to showing that the order dis 
closed is always and invariably Jehovist, Deuteronomist, 
and Priests Code (Elohist). On the other hand, the 
three constituents are individually compared with the 
writings of contemporary prophets and historians, with 
a view to showing that the legal contents of Deute 
ronomy are known at the time of Josiah, and not earlier, 
whereas the legal contents of the Priestly Code are 
known after the Exile, but not earlier. By means of 
this twofold method namely, a comparison of the three 
constituents with each other, and a comparison of each 
with an independent standard, Wellhausen claims to 
have demonstrated the unhistorical character of the 
Law. The Law, so long called "of Moses," in his con 
tention, really consists, not of a contemporaneous and 
consistent whole, but of three constituents of very 
different dates, the latest having been written a thousand 

254 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

years after the death of Moses ; these constituents being, 
first, the work of the Jehovist (a simple history, embody 
ing earlier records scarcely separable to-day, and written 
" in the period of the kings and prophets which preceded 
the dissolution of the two Israelite kingdoms by the 
Assyrians ") ; secondly, Deuteronomy (an independent 
law-book, composed about the time of Josiah) ; and, 
thirdly, the work of the Elohist (called the Priestly 
Code, because written in the interests of the priesthood, 
itself a complete product like the work of the Jehovist, 
showing at least the hand of the Elohist and of a later 
editor, the whole of this Priests Code having been 
written not earlier than the closing years of the Babylonian 

If these contentions are correct, it is manifest that 
they will demand an entire reconstruction of the Old 
Testament, and will have a considerable influence upon 
the formulation of any doctrine of the Inspiration of 
the Old Testament. 

But are these contentions, so radical and so revolu 
tionary, really warranted by the facts ? This is an 
inductive inquiry, and as such is to be conducted with 
out fear or favour, without fear of great names or favour 
of popular theories ; the sole concern being with those 
conclusions which the facts of the case appear to warrant. 
Now is it true that nothing is known of the Priestly 
Code and its characteristic contents, until after the 
Exile ? Is it true that, prior to the Exile, there is no 
evidence either of a Levitical Tabernacle or of a Temple 
constructed upon the model of the Levitical Tabernacle? 
Is it true that the Levitical sacrifices as such, at once so 
rounded in ritual and so complete in function, are not to 
be met with before the Exile, their technique being as 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 255 

unknown as their atoning idea ? The critical contest 
has been transferred from the language to the theology 
of the Old Testament ; and upon that theological ground 
the battle must be fought. Is it, therefore, contrary to 
the facts available that the Law was revealed to Moses ? 
This is the real point at issue. If this main contention 
be shown to be inconsistent with the facts of the Old 
Testament, minor curiosities of exegesis and minor 
theological theories may be left out of sight. Whether, 
for example, the several Feasts of Judaism were evolved 
from Harvest Festivals, or whether the sacrificial cultus 
of later days was a purely natural evolution from patri 
archal and universal usage, being largely affected by 
the political centralization of worship at Jerusalem, both 
of which theories Wellhausen holds, are points compara 
tively unimportant in our inquiry. The important point 
is, whether the Law said to be divinely given to Moses was 
so given, or whether the Law vvas only given at intervals 
during a tJiousand years. 

Did then the Laiv, the Levitical Law, the Law proper, 
the Law concerning the sacred Tabernacle and its minis- 
trants, services, and festivals what Wellhausen calls 
the Priestly Code come by Moses or by Ezra ? Reply is 
not uncertain. One branch of evidence settles the ques 
tion. From the days of Moses onwards, the Books of the 
Old Testament bear witness to the prior existence of the 
Ceremonial Laws, the so-called Priestly Code (supposed 
by the Evolutionary theorists to have first taken form in 
the days of the Exile). The evidence is fairly full, and 
entirely conclusive. Let the evidence be outlined. 

In the Book of Joshua we are certainly confronted by 
the entire Levitical system. At the outset of the book, 
Moses being said to be dead, Joshua is appointed by 

256 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

Jehovah as leader, in words as weighty as memorable. 
" Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do 
according to all the law which Moses my servant com 
manded thee ; turn not from it to the right hand or to 
the left, that thou mayest have good success whitherso 
ever thou goest." And the injunction continues : "This 
book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but 
thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou 
mayest observe to do according to all that is written 
therein." * How much more is meant by this Book of 
the Law than the Ten Commandments (which the Evolu 
tionary theorists concede to be the Law of Moses), the 
subsequent narrative shows. Joshua is said to " have 
read all the words of the Law, the blessing and the curse, 
according to all that is written in the Book of the Law ; 
there was not a word of all that Moses commanded 
which Joshua read not." 2 Can all this be nothing but 
a laboured reference to the Ten Commandments ? 
Further, this Book of Joshua, as a matter of fact, 
manifests an unmistakeable familiarity with significant 
details of the Levitical legislation, supposed by the 
Evolutionary theorists to belong to the age of the 
Babylonian Exile. Wherein, for example, lay the stress 
and point of the ceremonial at the passage of the Jordan ? 
Was it not in the presence of the ark " the ark of the 
covenant," " the ark of the testimony," " the ark of Jeho 
vah," phrases so familiar in the so-called Priestly Code, 
and in the presence of the priestly attendants of the ark, 
who performed their religious functions in true Levitical 
fashion ? 3 In such a scene, in fact, are we not " en 
pleine Leviticisme"? to use the phrase of Reuss. And 

1 Josh. i. 7, 8 ; compare vers. i-n. 

2 //;. viii. 34, 35. 3 //;. iii. and iv. 

v.] Evolutionary Theory. 257 

are we not also " in full Leviticism " at the environment 
of Jericho, with its priests and ark and rams horns ? * 
And a little later on, a noteworthy technicality, occurring 
in connection with the destruction of Jericho, recalls a 
characteristic formula of the so-called Priestly Code : 
" The city shall be devoted," we re^, or should read, 
" the city shall be cherem." What is the signification of 
this cJierem ? A thing was cherem which was sacrificed, 
given to God, made the Lord s portion, " devoted " to 
Divine uses, whether of destruction or consecration. 
" Every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord," says 
the Priests Code. 2 " No devoted thing that a man shall 
devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, whether of man 
or beast or of the field of his possession, shall be sold or 
redeemed : . . . none devoted which shall be devoted of 
men, shall be ransomed, he shall surely be put to death," 
the same passage continues. And the same technicality 
is known to Deuteronomy : " Of the cities of these 
peoples, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an 
inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, 
but thou shalt devote them, the Hittite and the Amorite, 
the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the 
Jebusite." 3 Similarly Jericho was to be "devoted," 
sacrificed, presented as a whole burnt-offering before 
Jehovah, and the technicality plunges us into full Levi- 
ticism.4 Further, it was in the personal appropriation of 
what had been " devoted," in other words it was in the 
utilization for his own selfish ends of what had been 
wholly given to God, that Achan s sin consisted. s If it 
was a small matter to appropriate spoil, it was a glaring 
offence to appropriate spoil consecrated to Divine pur- 

1 Josh. vi. 2 Lev. xxvii. 28, 29. 3 Deut. xx. 16, 17. 

4 Compare Appendix II. 5 Josh. vii. 


258 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

poses. By express statement the trespass committed by 
Achan was in the devoted thing : " Achan . . . took of the 
devoted thing " (unfortunately translated accursed in the 
Authorized Version). What follows ? Does not this 
that the Book of Joshua knows a characteristic techni 
cality of the so-called Priestly Code ? Nay, will not the 
Evolutionary theorists see that, in this Jehovistic section 
written, as they say, not later than the eighth century B.C., 
a characteristic technicality of the Priestly Code appears, 
written, they suppose, in the fifth century ? Another 
suggestive instance of deliberate reference in Joshua to 
the prior existence of the so-called Priestly Code, an 
instance none the less conclusive that it is somewhat 
subtle, occurs in connection w r ith the division of the land 
by the great warrior-leader when he was " old and 
stricken in years." " Only unto the tribe of Levi," we 
read, " he gave none inheritance." * Why ? " The 
offerings of the Lord, the God of Israel, made by fire, 
are his inheritance, as he spake unto him ; " a fact also 
expressed thus : " The Lord God of Israel was their 
inheritance, as he said unto them ; " 2 and also thus : " the 
priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance." 3 Now when 
did Jehovah say that the offerings by fire, and He him 
self, and His priesthood, were the inheritance of Levi ? 
Is not the reference manifestly the agreement in senti 
ment even extends to the words used to the words in 
Deuteronomy : " The priests, the Levites, and all the 
tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance with 
Israel, they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by 
fire, and his inheritance, and they shall have no inherit 
ance among their brethren, the Lord is their inheritance, 
as he hath spoken unto them" + Joshua thus refers to 

1 Josh. xiii. 14. - Il>. xiii. 33. 3 2b. xviii. 7. 4 Deut. xviii. I, 2. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 259 

Deuteronomy. But, as the closing words of the passage 
show, Deuteronomy in turn refers to a prior Divine 
utterance. Where, then, is this prior utterance made ? 
Does not Deuteronomy clearly refer back to Numbers : 
" And the Lord spake unto Aaron, and I, behold, have 
given thee the charge of mine heave-offerings, even all 
the hallowed things of the children of Israel, unto thee 
have I given them, by reason of the anointing, and to thy 
sons, as a due for ever ; this shall be thine of the most 
holy things, reserved from the fire ; every oblation of 
theirs, even every meal-offering of theirs, and every sin- 
offering of theirs, and every trespass-offering of theirs, 
which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for 
thee and thy sons. ... I have given them unto thee, 
and to thy sons and thy daughters with thee, as a due 
for ever ; " and the passage goes on to include amongst 
these dues all firstfruits, " the fat of the oil, and the fat 
of the vintage, and of the corn," and all things " devoted," 
and all the first-born, or their commutation money, and 
all the tithe. 1 Joshua then refers back to Deuteronomy, 
and Deuteronomy to Numbers. But, further, who will re 
gard this passage in Numbers as self-explanatory ? Is not 
this passage manifestly a rapid summary of many details, 
injunctions concerning which are only to be gathered 
from a large part of Leviticus, its laws of offerings and 
its hints as to manipulation ? Have we not, then, in such 
a series of related passages, one of those test cases which 
substantiate so marvellously the traditional theory of 
the authorship of the Hexateuch ? On the traditional 
theory all is clear ; Joshua refers to the earlier Deute 
ronomy, Deuteronomy quotes an earlier passage in 
Numbers, Numbers implies the yet earlier laws em- 

1 Numb, xviii. 8-32. 

260 Authorsliip of the Law. [LECT. 

bodied in Leviticus. But, on the Evolutionary theory, 
what shall be said ? A passage in Joshua, written, as 
the theory contends, 1 not later than the eighth century 
before Christ, is only explicable by a passage in Deute 
ronomy written in the seventh century, as the theory 
also contends, and this seventh-century passage in turn 
is only explicable by a passage written by the Elohist 
in the fifth century, summarizing many other passages 
written in the fifth century. After such an instance, surely 
it is scarcely needful to add further examples from the 
Book of Joshua, although they abound. The Book of 
Joshua shows us the splendid dawn of the Mosaic Era 
still unclouded. And the close connection between the 
Book of Joshua and the five preceding books of the 
Old Testament, the Evolutionary theorists themselves 
allow. So Law-like indeed is the Book of Joshua that 
the Evolutionary theorists of the origin of the Old 
Testament, contrary to the entire traditional evidence, 
and on theoretical grounds, have asserted that this book 
is but a sixth book of the Law, the last book of the 
Hexateuch as they like to express themselves, receiving 
its main composition and its final form from a writer who 
flourished after the Babylonian Exile. Thus, in his 
attempts to show " discrepancy between the traditional 
view of the Pentateuch and the plain statements of the 
historical books and the prophets," Professor Robertson 
Smith says explicitly : " I exclude the Book of Joshua." 
For why ? " Because it in all its parts hangs closely 
together with the Pentateuch/ 2 an exclusion which 
looks singularly like shelving, from the exigency of 
theory, an awkward series of facts, which renders the 

1 Compare Appendix II. 

- Old Testament in Jewish Church, p. 218. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 261 

theory suspect. Further, let any careful critic investi 
gate scientifically and inductively, that is to say fully, 
dispassionately, and without bias, the literary and 
historical character of the Book of Joshua, and he will 
soon be constrained to acknowledge that such a book 
could never have been written, without miracle, at the 
late date the Evolutionary theorists assign to it. A true 
literary instinct will see that such episodes, for example, 
as that of the Gibeonite ambassadors with their old sacks 
and old wine bottles, 1 and such minutiae as the names 
of the kings of Canaan 2 (both supposed to be part of 
the Jehovistic writings), or such details as the cities of 
Judah, 3 and the cities of the other tribes,4 supposed to be 
part of the Priestly Code, could not have been invented 
or even compiled in any other age than that of Joshua 
himself; that, in short, they bear on their face the 
clearest evidence of synchronism with the times of which 
they speak. The Book of Joshua, as the Evolutionary 
theorists confess and the admission will one day bear 
unexpected fruit cannot be cited in illustration of the 
" discrepancy between the traditional view of the Penta 
teuch and the plain statements of the Historical Books." 
But while the Levitical tone of much of the Book of 
Joshua is not denied only the attractiveness of the 
Evolutionary Theory, however, concealing the import 
ance of the admission the Book of Judges and the 
later historical and prophetical books are said to be 
absolutely silent as to the existence of the Levitical 
Law. " The leaders of the nation," it has been categori 
cally said of the days of the Judges, " divinely appointed 
deliverers like Gideon and Jephthah, who were zealous 
in Jehovah s cause, were as far from the Pentateuchal 

1 Josh. ix. 3-15. - Ib. xii. 9-24. 3 //,. xv . 20-62. 4 Ib. xviii.-xxi. 

262 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

standard of righteousness as the mass of the people, . . . 
the whole religion of the times of the Judges was 
Levitically false." J So it has been alleged. But this 
being an inductive inquiry, we ask, where, and what, 
is the evidence for such a statement ? The evidence 
proffered is of three kinds. 2 First, it is said, " breaches 
of the Law were not confined to times of rebellion 
against Jehovah." Secondly, it is asserted, the "divinely 
chosen leaders knew not the Law," seeing that they 
sacrificed at other places than the central sanctuary. 
Thirdly, it is also said, that at " Shiloh itself, the central 
sanctuary, the ritual observed was not according to the 
Levitical Law." The relevance of this evidence is not 
apparent. That the days of the Judges, when compared 
with the Levitical legislation, were days of irregular 
religious performance, the Book of Judges itself declares 
beyond dispute; but that the Levitical legislation was 
knoivn, though poorly practised, this same book also 
places beyond dispute. It is possible that over some 
advocates of the traditional theory of authorship, who 
have over-hastily regarded the Levitical ceremonial as 
constantly practised in all its details when once the 
Law was given, the Evolutionary Theorists find victory 
easy; but we are no more concerned with the Traditional 
than the Evolutionary theory as such. What we are 
asking is, What theory the facts of the case appear to 
warrant ? And what the facts appear to warrant is, that 
in the days of the Judges the Levitical legislation was 
well known, but largely ignored. 

That the Levitical legislation was largely ignored, let 
the summary the book itself gives of its times be witness : 
" And the children of Israel did that which was evil in 

1 Old Testament in Jewish Church, pp. 220, 225. 2 Ib. pp. 255-258. 

V.] Evolutionary TJieory. 263 

the sight of the Lord, and served the Baalim ; and they 
forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, which brought 
them out of the land of Egypt. . . . And the anger of 
the Lord was kindled against Israel. . . . Whithersoever 
they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them 
for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had 
sworn unto them," it would solve much to ask iv/iere? 
"And the Lord raised up judges. . . . And yet they 
hearkened not unto their judges; they turned aside 
quickly out of the way wherein their fathers walked, 
obeying the commandments of the Lord." x 

On the other hand scanty as is the evidence on the 
one side as on the other that the Levitical legislation, 
in other words, that the so-called Priestly Code was 
known, the following facts conclusively show. Note the 
Nazirite vow of Samson. For how is this vow of 
Samson, who was to be nezir eloJiim consecrated, sepa 
rated, to God from his birth, intelligible apart from the 
Levitical legislation belonging to the supposed Priestly 
Code of Ezra s day, be it observed. It was the Priestly 
Code which had ordained as a Divine command: "Speak 
unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, when 
either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow 
of a Nazirite (of a nazir, or consecrated man), to conse 
crate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from 
wine and strong drink ; he shall drink no fermented 
wine, or fermented strong drink, neither shall he drink 
any liquor of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried ; all 
the days of his Naziriteship (or consecration), there 
shall no razor come upon his head ; until the days be 
fulfilled in the which he separateth himself unto the 

1 Judg. ii. 10-23. The whole passage should be carefully read and 

264 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

Lord, he shall be holy," &c., &c. * Manoah s wife, 
again, after her husband has offered a sacrifice under 
conditions which are not strictly Levitical, uses never 
theless a technicality for the sacrifice, not found as such 
in pre-Mosaic times, but occurring frequently in the 
Levitical legislation ; for, with perfect Levitical exactness 
Manoah s wife speaks of " a burnt-offering and a meal- 
offering." 2 In this connection, too, attention may be 
fittingly called to another sacrificial technicality, where 
we read that "All the children of Israel, and all the 
people went up, and came unto Beth-el, and wept, and 
sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until 
even ; and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings 
before the Lord " ; 3 " peace-offering " is a technicality 
peculiarly Levitical. Again, let the injunction to 
Manoah s wife to " eat not any unclean thing " 4 be 
observed, for the idea of uncleanness of food is another 
notion peculiarly Levitical. And yet again, does not 
the expression of Micah, " Now know I that the Lord 
will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest," 
imply a knowledge of an express Levitical priesthood, 
a limited priesthood, a feature so eminently character 
istic of the Levitical legislation ? s On the whole, 
therefore, as far as the Book of Judges is concerned 
whilst it should be frankly admitted by both sides in 

1 Numb. vi. 1-2 1. 

2 Olah umznc/ia/i,]udg. xiii. 23 ; compare, e.g., Exod. xxx. 9 ; Lev. xxiii. 
37 ; Josh. xxii. 23. Mine hah, it is true, does occur in Genesis, in the 
narrative of Abel s sacrifice, but there the usage is distinctly different to 
the usage here, and there, too, as the Evolution theorists allege, we have 
the product of a writer of the fifth century before Christ. 

3 Judg. xx. 26 and xxi. 4; compare Lev. iii. I, &c. 

4 Judg. xiii. 4; compare Lev. xi., &c. The injunctions of Deut. xiv. are 
manifestly reiterations of Lev. xi. 

5 Judg. xvii. 13. 

v.] Evolutionary Theory. 265 

this controversy that decisive evidence either way is of 
the slightest what evidence there is, is not in favour of 
the Evolutionary Theory. 

Fatiguing as is the examination of these numerous 
quotations, their importance should neutralize their 
tedium. These quotations really afford the best possible 
means of testing any theory of the authorship of the 
Books of the Law. Indeed, if these quotations have 
weight, they preclude the necessity of minute examina 
tion of any hypothesis which contradicts them, however 
fascinating, brilliant, or recommended. Two main 
theories, be it remembered, are before us for adjudica 
tion. The one regards the several Books of the Law as 
substantially contemporaneous and uniform ; the other 
regards these books as heterogeneous in composition, 
and widely divergent as to date of constituents. It is 
this latter theory which we are at present investigating, 
the theory which has been named for convenience, the 
Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of the Pentateuch. 
And this Evolutionary Theory we are examining rather 
indirectly than directly. We are submitting the theory 
to the crucial test of Old Testament quotation. Large 
parts of the Pentateuch, according to this Evolutionary 
Theory, especially the legal portions of the Book, were 
not written until the days of Ezra, or a little before, 
so it is said. Manifestly therefore the important question 
is, whether there is any evidence of quotation from the 
legal portions of the Pentateuch, thus attributed to the 
days of Ezra, in books written before Ezra s days. If 
characteristic features of supposed post-Exilic laws are 
quoted in pre-Exilic books, the date assigned by the 
Evolutionary Theorists to the Priest s Code must be 
incorrect. As for the theory itself, it will be time 

266 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

enough to examine its several points, when it has come 
unscathed through this furnace of trial. If the Evolu 
tionary Theory cannot stand this test, it would be time 
wasted to trouble oneself with the theory further. 
From the Book of Judges, therefore the evidence of 
which, if it be of any weight, makes against the Evolu 
tionary Theory we now advance to the remaining 
pre-Exilic books. 

Passing, then, to the history of the times of Samuel, 
Saul, and David, here and there very distinct evidence 
is afforded of the prior knowledge of characteristic por 
tions of the Law, attributed by the Evolutionary 
Theorists to the days of the Babylonian Exile or later. 
There do exist, it is true, in the Books of Samuel and of 
Kings, many abuses of the Law as judged by a strict 
Levitical standard, but the question is whether forgetful- 
ness of the Law necessarily argues non-existence. The 
facts of the case can alone decide. Irregular, for exam 
ple, when judged by the Levitical standard, as is the 
cultus at Shiloh, 1 it is, notwithstanding, difficult to see 
how such a worship originated, unless as a perversion of 
a ritual once Levitical. Three hundred years of de 
generation from the days of Moses might well, in such 
times as those of the Judges, have wrought many a 
change of procedure. The wonder is that the cultus at 
Shiloh remained at all, not that it survived in an altered 
form. A religion which has ceased to be enthusiastic 
has entered upon decadence. It should cause little 
surprise, therefore, that illegal irregularities occur in the 
affecting story of Hannah and her infant son, whereas 
any touches whatever of a purely legal kind, character 
istic of the so-called Priestly Code, should straightway 

1 i Sam. i. 24. 

v.] Evolutionary Theory. 267 

fix our attention. Now the salient features of the 
ceremonial at Shiloh are decidedly Levitical. There is 
an acknowledged centre of religious life ; there is an 
acknowledged chief priest, of the family of Aaron ; 
Hannah s thank-offering observes the legal form, and 
consisting as it did of a bullock of three years old (for 
so the true reading appears to be) shows how the grate 
ful recipient of blessings could find an outlet for special 
thankfulness in a large, but still legal, gift, in a valuable 
bullock rather than in almost valueless doves. If the 
fatty portions of this thank-offering should have been 
presented, according to the Levitical form, by fire, by 
omitting this legality the sons of Eli are expressly stated 
to " sin " J : " They knew not the Lord, nor the due of 
the priests from the people," 2 where the word " knew " 
is manifestly equivalent to " did not heed." The whole 
context implies that there were legal dues which they 
might demand, whereas by preference they made claims 
which were illegal. Indeed, wherein lay the " sin " of 
these young priests ? Was it not in causing the people 
to " abhor " the offering of the Lord ? And how came 
the people to abhor the divine offering ? Was it not 
because in demanding part of the festal offering after it 
zuas cooked, these venal priests were contravening a 
familiar command of the Levitical law, which only per 
mitted a share in the offering, the wave breast and the 
heave-shoulder, before it was returned to the sacri- 
ficer that he might make merry with his friends ? The 
anxiety, too, shown by the sacrificer that the fat should 
be burnt, pointed to the great characteristic in the ritual 
procedure with peace-offerings, ordained in Leviticus, 
according to which, not the entire animal was burnt, but 

1 i Sam. ii. 17. ~ Ib. ii. 12. 

268 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

only the separable portions of fat. 1 Was not little 
Samuel s ephod, again, an express imitation of the 
Levitical ephod for the priesthood ? And does not the 
reference to the women " who did service at the door 
of the tent of meeting " 2 recall the cursory reference 
in the so-called Elohistic, and therefore by supposition 
the last written, portion of Exodus, 3 to " the women 
which assembled to minister at the door of the tent of 
meeting," and who gave their brass mirrors to make the 
Brazen Laver for the Court of the Tabernacle ? When, 
too, the official duties of Eli are said to be " to offer 
upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod 
before me," 4 all this strictly harmonizes with the pro 
visions of the Levitical legislation, according to which 
only the priest could wear an ephod,5 or offer sacrifice, 6 
in both functions acting as the deputy of the high priest/ 
and according to which only the high priest could burn 
incense. 8 The phrase, again, " the offerings of the 
children of Israel made by fire " 9 is peculiarly Levitical. 
Lastly, this long list of Leviticisms in the Hannah 
episode may be brought to a close by noting that there 
also occurs there the express Levitical technicality for 
the Tabernacle the Tabernacle of Assembly the 
Tent of Meeting the ohel mo*ed the Fixed Tent, 
So strong an evidence of the prior existence of the legal 
portions of Exodus and Leviticus is this Fixed Tent, 
that Wellhausen Ix feels it necessary to discredit the verse 

1 i Sam. ii. 22. 

2 Compare Lev. iii. and vii. 11-36, and Scriptural Doctrine of Sacri 
fice, p. 78. 

3 Exod. xxxix. 8. 4 i Sam. ii. 18. 5 Lev. vii. 1-8. 

6 Script^lral Doctrine of Sacrifice, p. 70. 

7 Il>. pp. 93-95. 8 Exod. xxx. 7, 8, 34-38. 9 I Sam. ii. 28. 

10 i Sam. ii. 23 : compare Exod. xxix. 18, 25, 41, and frequently in 
Leviticus. IJ Wellhausen, History of Israel, transl., p. 41. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 269 

by saying that " from its contents it is suspicious." But 
are all the previous Leviticisms we have discovered to be 
adjudged " suspicious " too ? Will they not rather render 
the theory of Wellhausen suspicious ? The whole ritual 
of Shiloh, despite aberration from Levitical orthodoxy, 
is so manifestly dependent upon the Levitical legislation, 
that it is difficult to believe that the former preceded 
the latter by centuries. So cogent is the evidence, that, 
to rebut it, the Evolutionary theorists will have to treat 
this part of the First Book of Samuel as they treat the 
Book of Joshua ; they will have to maintain that the 
First Book of Samuel too was written in the days of 

Further, throughout the Books of Samuel, evidences 
are frequent of a knowledge of the provisions of the 
Law. Thus, in the revelation to young Samuel, it is 
said that the iniquity of Eli s house shall not be " atoned 
with blood-sacrifice nor bloodless sacrifice for ever," * 
where in the words " atone " and " blood and bloodless 
sacrifice" eminently Levitical technicalities are em 
ployed, the former being the express Levitical term for 
the forgiveness of sin, 2 and the latter being compounded 
of two express Levitical terms for the two legal classes 
of sacrifices, bloodless and bloody. 3 Again, in the 
phrase " the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Hosts 
which dwelleth between the cherubim," 4 who can refuse 
to see a reference to the ark of Exodus, with its mercy- 
seat and overshadowing cloud and attendant angels ; 5 
and such a reference would argue a prior existence of 

1 I Sam. iii. 14. 

2 Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, pp. 482, 486. 
s Ib. pp. 479, 480. 

4 i Sam. iv. 4. s Exod. xxxvii. 1-9. 

270 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

the so-called Priests Code? And who will hesitate, 
upon mature consideration, to associate the tres 
pass-offering (as/iawi), which the Philistines returned 
of with the ark, 1 with the peculiarly Levitical sacrifice 
restitution, though, be it remembered, this technicality 
only occurs in what is called the Priestly Code ? Let, 
too, the strictly Levitical usage of the words " burnt- 
offerings and festal offerings," 2 in the same Philistine 
episode, be remarked ; the kine of the cart, which car 
ried the ark back, were offered as a burnt-offering, and 
subsequently, in their adoration and joy, festal offerings 
were offered by the men of Beth-Shemesh. Indeed this 
exact adherence to Levitical terminology is characteristic 
of the First Book of Samuel, witness such phrases as 
these : " sacrificed sacrifices of peace-offerings " (more 
literally " slaughtered peace-offerings " 3 ), " burnt-offer 
ings and festal offerings," 4 " the fat of rams," 5 in all 
which we see a ritualistic language evidently moulded 
on the terminology of the so-called Priestly Code. 
When, too, after the Battle of Bethaven, it is said that 
the people sinned against Jehovah "in that they eat 
with the blood," it is an important query to ask where 
the statute lies which determined this sin. It does not 
lie in the first draft of statutes which alone are 
regarded by the Evolutionary theorists as Mosaic in 
origin if not in writing ; but the statute is found in both 
Deuteronomy and Leviticus; the former written, say these 
theorists, in the days of Josiah, and the latter in those 
of Ezra, neither of which dates helps us much in account- 

i Sam. vi. 3, 4 ; compare Lev. v. 6, &c. ~ I Sam. vi. 3, 14. 

3 /. xi. 15 ; compare Lev. xvii. 5. 

4 i Sam. xv. 22 ; compare Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, p. 480. 
s i Sam. xv. 22. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 271 

ing for what is attributed to the days of Saul. 1 Again, 
when we read of "the shew-bread that was taken from 
before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was 
taken away," is there no reference to the " shew-bread " 
of Exodus, and to the " bread " of Leviticus, " set in two 
rows, six in a row, upon the pure table before the Lord 
. . . every Sabbath set in order continually," "holy 
bread " as Abimelech calls this bread, " most holy " as 
Leviticus describes it ? 2 Surely the evidence is con 
clusive : the First Book of Samuel displays a somewhat 
minute acquaintance with the characteristic terminology 
of the Priests Code. 

The Second Book of Samuel shows a similar minute 
acquaintance with the Levitical system, This its sixth, 
seventh, and last chapters are sufficient to prove. Let 
the last chapter be considered. Much difficulty, for 
example, of a moral and religious kind has been made 
by many because of the severity of the punishment 
visited upon David for his census. But wherein lay the 
sin of the census ? Was it not that the census was taken 
for the glory of man and not for the praise of God ? 
Nay, does not the sin of David really resolve itself into 
a dereliction of Levitical duty ? An express command 
had been given concerning every act of numbering, 
which David sinned in ignoring. " And the Lord spake 
unto Moses," runs the Priests Code, " saying, When thou 
takest the sum of the children of Israel, according to 
those that are numbered of them, then shall they give 
every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when 
thou numbered them, that there \*z no plague among them 

1 i Sam. xiv. 32-34 ; compare Lev. iii. iy, vii. 26, xvii. 10, xix. 26 ; Deut. 
xii. 16, 23, 24. 
- i Sam. xxi. 1-7 ; compare Exocl. xxv. 30 ; Lev. xxiv. 5-9. 

272 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

when tJwu numberest them" * If such a command was 
known to David, a command which constituted the 
people the servants of a heavenly, not the soldiers of an 
earthly king, then David sinned against light. How 
speedy his own sense of wrong-doing was is manifest. 
Unless such a command was given prior to David s time, 
this incident of the census must remain a serious problem 
for all who know of it. If such a command was 
known at that time, part of the Priestly Code was also 

In the face of such evidence as has been produced, is 
it not the merest superficiality to declare that the Books 
of Samuel know nothing of the Levitical laws ? 2 

Further, that the Levitical system played a large part 
in moulding the life of the Jewish nation long prior to 
the days of Ezra, one would have thought that the 
Psalms of David afforded sufficient evidence. Taking, 
for instance, those Psalms expressly ascribed to David, 
there is abundant proof of the existence of just such 
an ecclesiastical system as is depicted in the so-called 
Priestly Code of the Evolutionary theorists. Whole 
pages might be filled with the minute features of the 
Law which are incessantly appearing, whilst undesigned 
coincidences innumerable suggest that the Levitical 
Law was at once the source and the stimulus of all the 
genuine religious life of the people. The Tabernacle 
of Jehovah, with its ministrants, sacrifices, and feasts, 
forms the unvarying background for all the play of 
spiritual emotion, with this result, that what is the 
express testimony of the Nineteenth Psalm may be 
taken as the latent testimony of the entire Davidic 

1 Exod. xxx. 11-16. 

2 Robertson Smith, Old Testament in Jewish Church, pp. 258-262, 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 273 

cycle : " The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the 
soul ; the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise 
the simple ; the statutes of Jehovah are right, rejoicing 
the heart ; the commandment of Jehovah is pure, en 
lightening the eyes ; the judgments of Jehovah are true, 
righteous altogether : more to be desired are they than 
gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey 
and the droppings of the honey-comb ; moreover, thy 
servant is enlightened by them, and in keeping of them 
there is great reward." The Fortieth Psalm alludes to 
burnt-offerings and sin-offerings, and indeed employs the 
common sacrificial classification which was framed, at an 
early date apparently, to summarize the whole round of 
Levitical offerings (bloody and bloodless offerings). In 
the Fiftieth Psalm, with dramatic force, Jehovah is 
represented as commanding His angels " to gather His 
beloved those that have made a covenant by blood- 
sacrifice." A similar technicality occurs in the Twenty- 
seventh Psalm, where David tells how, when he has 
come to the one legal place of sacrifice and worship, he 
will offer "jn His TABERNACLE jubilant thank-offerings "; 
whilst in the picturesque liturgy contained in the 
Twentieth Psalm, David puts into the mouth of the 
congregation led by the Levites the expressive prayer : 
" Jehovah hear thee in the day of distress, the name of 
the God of Jacob defend thee, send thee help from the 
holy place, and uphold thee out of Zion, remember all 
thy bloodless offerings, and regard thy BURNT-OFFERINGS 
AS FAT," a phrase with a history which plunges us at once 
into the regulations of the Priestly Code. Or analyse 
the Fifty-first Psalm, and the same result follows. As 
surely as it paints a vivid remorse, it also calls up a 
picture of the Levitical salvation, and, it may be added, 


274 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

of that soteriology alone. There is a sense of outlawry 
throughout such as only the Law could create. The sin 
bemoaned is no error bishgagah^ or without deliberate 
intent^ which a sin-offering might expiate, but wilful, 
egregious, violent, presumptuous, and beyond the atone 
ment of the constituted Levitical sacrifices. For so awful 
a sin no sacrificial atonement was provided ; from so 
great a sinner no sacrifice whatever was acceptable. A 
clean heart is a Divine gift to be implored, not a ritual 
exculpation to be purchased. The Psalmist knows 
himself an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and 
therefore, " Create in me a clean heart, O God," is 
his significant prayer. " Thou delightest not in blood 
sacrifice " in such cases as mine ; " restore unto me 
the joy of Thy salvation." Yet is there no hopeless 
ness. The writer looks through rites to doctrines. He 
believes in a possible Divine detergent ; and as faith in 
almighty compassion grows stronger, he is able to rejoice 
an that renewal of favour which can once more transform 
iburnt-offerings and holocausts into righteous sacrifices. 
To a close student of the Levitical plan of salvation, in 
short, this gem of the Penitential Psalms is as luminous 
from what is latent as from what appears. And let this 
further fact be attentively considered. In the so-called 
Priests Code there is a somewhat minute terminology 
for the Tabernacle and its several divisions. In the 
Psalms expressly ascribed to David, and discredited by 
no internal evidence, that terminology is repeated again 
and again. If the Priests Code speaks of bayith or 
House of God, okelor Tabernacle, mishkan or Habitation, 
miqdash or Sanctuary, and that in various combinations, 
the Davidic Psalms employ the same technicalities at 
sundry times and in divers manners. The divisions 

V.] Evohitionary Theory. 275 

of the Tabernacle, so characteristic of the Priests Code, 
are also reproduced, and David recognizes his place in 
the "great congregation? the restriction of his sacrifice 
to the " altar of burnt-offering? and the nearer revelation 
of Deity confined to the Holy Place, or, as he says, with 
more accuracy still, to the " Holy Places" In short, the 
references in the Psalms to those parts of the Pentateuch 
regarded by the Evolutionary theorists as of the latest 
date are numberless. 

What, then, do the Evolutionary theorists make of 
this testimony of the Davidic Psalms to the prior 
existence of their so-called Priests Code? It is in 
structive to observe what their procedure is. Two 
courses are open. They may surrender either their 
theory or the Davidic authorship of the Psalms ex 
pressly ascribed to David. They prefer to relinquish 
the Davidic authorship, and to say that no single Psalm 
in the Psalter is of David s time, nay, that the probability 
is that these profoundly Davidic Psalms are all later in 
date than the Babylonian Exile. Is not this an astound 
ing conclusion to arrive at on theoretical grounds ? For, 
be it remembered that the superscriptions of the Psalms, 
many of which attribute certain Psalms to David, un 
like the analytical headings of our Authorized Version, 
which are intentionally so printed as to show that they 
form no part of the original text, are part and parcel of 
the primary Hebrew text. Is not the temerity great 
which thus desires to emendate an original text ? Is 
not the temerity remarkable, for example, which would 
put aside altogether the superscription of the Fifty-first 
Psalm, because, forsooth, its sense of sin is " contrary 
to the naivete of antiquity." Surely, to the end of 
time, sanctified and cultured common-sense, which is 

276 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

truest criticism, as it reads that penitential. outcry, will 
picture the suppliant king, alone in that most terrible, 
if most blessed, of all solitudes, alone with God, and 
will also picture him, as thought grows calmer, and con 
science more potent, as the touching parable of the 
ewe-lamb and his own passionate condemnation of 
wrong-doing are more and more self-appropriated, 
telling his hard-won experience of sin and shame and 
contrition and forgiveness to his harp, and through his 
harp to the world. A theory is hard bestead which 
requires so to accommodate facts. 

Let the foregoing examination of the testimony of the 
historical books of the Old Testament suffice for our 
purpose. Two conclusions have appeared in process. 
One conclusion is that the Evolutionary Theory is con 
tradicted by a manifest fact. According to this theory 
the larger part of the legal portions of the Pentateuch 
was not written until the time of the Babylonian Exile, 
whereas, as a matter of fact the characteristic terminology 
of these legal portions is found in Joshua, Judges, the 
Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings, centuries 
prior to the date of the Exile. A second conclusion is, 
that the exigencies of the Evolutionary Theory neces 
sitate a large change of opinion concerning the books 
of Scripture. The Evolutionary Theory makes great 
demands upon its advocates. It requires, for example, 
the denial of the Davidic authorship of the Psalms 
attributed by the original Hebrew text to David ; it also 
requires belief in the unhistorical character of Joshua ; 
it also requires the acceptance of the view that the 
ascription of Deuteronomy to Moses by Deuteronomy 
itself, is a literary expedient ; it requires, in short, belief 
in the complicity of the holy men of old in a series 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 277 

of pious frauds in authorship extending from the days 
of Moses to those of Ezra. A theory should have the 
most certain proof which calls for such changes of view. 

From a comparison of the Historical Books with the 
Levitical Legislation, let us now pass to a comparison 
of the Prophetical Books proper with the same Priestly 
Code. For the Prophets prior to Ezra know nothing, 
say the Evolutionary theorists, of the Priestly Code. 

" The account of prophecy given by the prophets 
themselves involves," we are told, " a whole theory of 
religion." But " the theory," we are also told, " moves in 
an altogether different plane from the Levitical ordi 
nances, and in no sense can it be viewed as a spiritual 
commentary on them." I Further, those who maintain 
the traditional theory as to the date of the Levitical 
legislation are determined to do so, the same writer says, 
" at any cost," seeing that " the prophets before Ezekiel 
have no concern with the law of ritual." In short, so 
far from the Prophets continuing the work of the Law, 
as has been commonly held, the Evolutionary contention 
is that " the Law continues the work of the prophets." 
" Great part of the Law was not yet known to the pro 
phets as God s word." 2 

The contention is startling. But is it true ? Is it 
true that the Prophets did not know the Levitical legis 
lation, did not know that part of the Law which has 
been called, by the Evolutionary theorists, the Priest s 
Code ? Let a careful and inductive study of the writings 
of the prophets decide. 

The problem is this, to inquire whether the pro 
phetical writers prior to the Exilian period show any 
acquaintance whatever with the Levitical legislation. 
1 Old Testament in Jewish Church, p. 285. 2 //>., pp. 288-306. 

278 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

The reply is not doubtful. Isaiah certainly knew 
the Levitical legislation and Deuteronomy ; so did 
Jeremiah ; so did Zephaniah, Haggai, and Micah ; so 
did Amos and Hosea. 

The works of the two last, of Amos and Hosea, shall 
be selected for close examination. They shall be 
selected because of their acknowledged early dates. By 
common consent both flourished before the time assigned 
by the Evolutionary theorists to Deuteronomy, to say 
nothing of the time of the so-called Priests Code. 
Amos lived in the eighth century before Christ, accord 
ing to his own statement in the days of Jeroboam the 
Second of Israel, the contemporary of Uzziah of Judah ; 
in other words, Amos lived more than a century before 
Josiah, in whose reign Deuteronomy is supposed to have 
been written, and about two centuries before the Exile, 
when those parts of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, 
which form the so-called Priestly Code, are supposed to 
have been written. Hosea belonged to the same age. 
Further, both Amos and Hosea concern themselves with 
the affairs of the Northern Kingdom, where confessedly 
adherence to the Levitical Law had ceased with the dis 
ruption at the death of Solomon. If these two 
prophets show any acquaintance whatever with the 
Levitical legislation as found in the Priests Code, the 
positions of the Evolutionary theorists fall to the 

That Amos knew the Levitical legislation is certain. 
Amos addressed himself to the condition of religious 
affairs in Northern Israel. There, it is true, during the 
days of the Divided Empire, " Jehovah was worshipped 
in many sanctuaries, and in forms full of irregularity 
from the standpoint of the Pentateuch ; " there, it is also 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 279 

true, " were images of Jehovah under the form of a calf 
or steer in Bethel and Dan, and probably elsewhere ; " 
but there, it is not true, that " these sanctuaries and their 
worship were viewed " by the prophet Amos " as the 
fixed and normal provision for the maintenance of living 
relations between Israel and Jehovah." * Does not the 
prophet Amos, taking his firm stand upon the Divine 
origin of the Levitical legislation, persistently represent 
the ritual of Dan and Bethel and Gilgal as wilful sin 
which must meet in due time with woful and merited 
punishment ? " Hear ye and testify against the House of 
Jacob, saith the Lord God, the God of Hosts," runs the 
Divine message to him, says Amos ; " for in the days that 
I shall visit the transgression of Israel upon him, I will 
also visit the altars of Bethel, 2 and the horns of the 
altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground." And this 
message to Israel is otherwise expressed by Amos thus : 
" Bethel shall become vanity," 3 and thus " the high- 
places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of 
Israel shall be laid waste ; " 4 and thus " I saw the Lord 
standing upon the altar, and he said, Smite the chapiters 
that the thresholds may shake ; and break them in 
pieces on the head of all of them." 5 Does all this 
sound like Divine toleration of the altars of Bethel? 
Does it not imply as pronounced a Divine anger against 
these illegal altars in the days of Jeroboam the Second 
as in the days of Jeroboam the First ? What recogni 
tion is there here of these northern sanctuaries as the 
legal " provision for the maintenance of living relations 
between Israel and Jehovah " ? These northern sanc 
tuaries are, in the view of Amos, glaring instances of 

1 Old Testament in Jewish Church, pp. 225, 226. 

2 Amos iii. 13, 14. 3 //>. v. 5. 4 // . vii. 9. 5 Amos ix. I. 

280 Authorship of the Laiv. [LECT. 

rebellion against the Lord, and are denounced ac 

The fact is that Amos makes even popular acquaint 
ance with the Levitical legislation the ground of his 
appeals to the Ten Tribes. The prophet desires to 
convince the subjects of the Northern Kingdom that 
they sin against light because they sin against known law. 
The following passage is an excellent illustration of this 
method of appeal. " Come to Bethel, and transgress," 
the passage reads in the Revised Version ; " to Gilgal, 
and multiply transgression ; and bring your sacrifices 
every morning, and your tithes every three days : and 
offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is 
leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings and publish 
them ; for this liketh you, O House of Israel, saith the 
Lord." * Yet more closely rendered, the passage would 
run thus : " Go to Bethel, sin at Gilgal, multiply sin ; 
and bring your festal offerings every morning, your 
tithes every three days ; and offer by fire a thank- 
offering with leaven, and proclaim the freewill offerings 
(you make), publish them abroad, for this are ye fond of 
doing, O ye children of Israel." Of course the passage 
is ironical. But the significant feature of the irony is 
it turns upon the contrast between tJie habitual worship of 
the Northern Kingdom and the provisions of the Levitical 
legislation , assumed to be commonly known. To worship 
at Gilgal or Bethel is sin, to the prophet, because the 
worship contravenes the Levitical legislation : festal 
offerings are unwelcome, not in themselves, but because 
they are presented in a manner which is contrary to the 
Levitical legislation : tithes, in themselves good, are 
abuses when offered differently to the instructions of the 

1 Amos iv. 4 5. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 281 

Levitical legislation : thank-offerings and voluntary 
offerings, also in themselves good, are really wicked 
because offered, in the one case with leaven, and in the 
other case with publicity, both details of mode contrary to 
express commands of the Levitical legislation. Suppose 
the relative provisions of the Levitical legislation to be 
familiarly known, and the rebuke is as pertinent as strik 
ing : suppose those provisions to be neither born nor 
thought of, and the edge of the reproof is blunt. It is 
necessary to read between the lines of the denunciation 
to see its full force, and it is the Levitical legislation 
which alone enables us to read between the lines. A 
sound paraphrase would run somewhat as follows : " Go 
have received the express Divine injunction to worsJiip at 
that one altar alone where the Lord hath set His narne. *- 
[In this instance the command, a knowledge of which 
is implied, is given in Deuteronomy, but the date as 
cribed by the Evolutionary theorists to Deuteronomy 
is posterior to Amos.] "BRING YOUR FESTAL OFFER 
INGS EVERY MORNING," and slay for your oivn festive 
njoyment at an idolatrous altar tJie beasts wliicJi sJiould 
form the daily burnt-offering at the altar of Jehovah. 2 
[Here the injunction, a knowledge of which is implied, 
is part of the so-called Priests Code.] "YOUR TITHES 
AFTER THREE DAYS." Jehovah has bidden you give tithes 
,every three years, but you, in tJie unl tallowed profusion of 
your idolatrous reverence, and in your eagerness to sin, 
bring your tithes after tliree days? [Here again the 
latent command which gives point is Deuteronomic, but, 

1 Deut. xii. 26, 27. 

- Exod. xxix. 38-43 ; Lev. vii. 1-4 ; Numb, xxviii. 2-8. 

3 Deut. xx vi. 12. 

282 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

by hypothesis, posterior to Amos.] " AND OFFER BY 
transgression of the express commands, on the one hand, to 
put all leaven aivay from bloodless sacrifice? and, on the 
other hand, to place altogetJier in the background leavened 
bread when a thank-offering was made. 2 [The laws con 
cerning leaven are peculiarly Levitical, being mentioned, 
it is true, in Deuteronomy, 3 but only in connection with 
the Passover.] And those voluntary offerings which you 
need not give unless you like, but whicJi when given 
receive their value very largely from their secrecy and 
free will, give them ostentatiously to your idols : " PUBLISH 
HOUSE OF ISRAEL." [The mention of freewill offer 
ings Amos gives here the technical term for such is 
only met with (in the Pentateuch) in Deuteronomy, 
in the chapters in Leviticus attributed by the Evolu 
tionary theorists to Ezekiel, and in the Priests Code.] 
In this passage, then, a careful exposition finds a whole 
string of references to the legal portions of the Books 
of the Law, Deuteronomic references before Deute 
ronomy was written (if the Evolutionary theorists are 
correct in their dates), Ezekielic references before 
Ezekiel, Levitical references a couple of centuries before 
the Priests Code was framed. That Deuteronomy and 
the Priests Code existed in the time of Amos, whatever 
the Evolutionary theorists say, is thus evident. 

A similar conclusion follows upon the examination 
of another crucial passage in Amos. " I hate," Amos 
represents Jehovah as saying, " I despise your feasts, 
and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies : yea, 
though ye offer me your burnt-offerings and your meal- 

1 Lev. ii. 11. 2 Ib. vii. 12. 3 Deut. xvi. 3, 4. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 283 

offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I regard 
the peace-offerings of your fatlings (or possibly fatted 
calves). . . . Did ye bring me bloody and bloodless 
sacrifices (the whole round of sacrifice, that is) in the 
wilderness forty years, O House of Israel ? Now ye 
shall take up Siccuth, your king, and Chiun, your 
images, the star of your god which ye made for your 
selves, and I will cause you to go into captivity beyond 
Damascus, saith Jehovah, the God of Hosts is his 
name." * Now if there are many difficulties in the inter 
pretation of the local references in the latter part of 
this passage, these difficulties do not in any way inter 
fere with the interpretation of the facts which concern 
us. Amos uses here a series of technicalities which 
belong to the legal system of the Pentateuch. That 
legal system was not written even in outline in the days 
of Amos, say the Evolutionary theorists, and yet Amos 
is acquainted with these unwritten laws. The Evolu 
tionary theorists cannot, therefore, but be wrong in 
their contention. The whole terminology of this pas 
sage is Levitical. Let the facts of the case decide. The 
Hebrew word for " feast " cannot be regarded as decisive, 
seeing that it occurs in what are called the Jehovistic 
sections of the Pentateuch ; but other words are decisive. 
The Hebrew term, translated " solemn assembly," a rare 
term, is only found, in the Books of the Law, in Deute 
ronomy, in the chapters of Leviticus ascribed to Ezekiel, 
and in a part of Numbers attributed to the Priests Code. 2 
Further, the Hebrew words for " burnt-offerings," 
" meal-offerings," " peace-offerings," " blood-sacrifices," 
" bloodless-sacrifices," are all legal terms (of which the 

1 Amos v. 21-27. 

2 Compare Lev. xxiii. 36 ; Numb. xxix. 35 ; Deut. xvi. 8. 

284 Authorship of the Laiv. [LECT. 

term translated " meal-offering" and "bloodless-offering" 
is never found in Deuteronomy, is never found from the 
beginning of Exodus to the close of Numbers in Jeho- 
vistic sections, is only found twice in the parts of 
Leviticus ascribed by the Evolutionists to Ezekiel, and 
is found in the so-called Priests Code more than ninety 
times). Further, does not the meaning of the passage 
bear out the idea of a previous knowledge by Amos of 
the Levitical system ? For what does the passage con 
vey ? Is not its gist this a declaration that the day of 
atonement was past ? The round of sacrifice had been 
instituted in the mercy of God, and borne with for forty 
years in the Wilderness, despite the stubbornness of the 
people ; there had been great long-suffering ever since ; 
but the idolatry and disobedience of Israel had been so 
persistent that Divine punishment was at length, after 
centuries of forbearance, about to fall ; the sinful nation 
were now about to go into captivity, carrying their 
favourite, but helpless gods with them. The religious 
life of the Wilderness, which Israel would not have, 
henceforth it should not have. Does not the whole 
point of the appeal turn upon the near withdrawal, 
because of the long misuse, of the privileges conferred 
upon Israel by the Levitical system ? The Ten Tribes 
have deliberately preferred idolatry to the law of 
Jehovah ; the idolatry, says Amos, shall receive its due 
meed of Divine displeasure, and the law of Jehovah 
shall no longer be a possible mode of worship. At least, 
such an interpretation of this difficult passage does no 
strain to text or context. 

That Amos, therefore, had a tolerable acquaintance 
with the Levitical legislation seems evident after the 
preceding examination ; and Hosea, it would appear, 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 285 

had a like knowledge. The task of Hosea, who also 
addressed himself to the Northern Kingdom, was, it is 
true, rather to denounce the actual idolatry of Israel 
than to emphasize the ideal cultus which Israel had 
neglected. " Israel is joined to idols, let him .alone," 
was the burden of his message. Those who forsook 
Jehovah for idols, it was his mission to proclaim, should 
lose their idols at Jehovah s hand. "The children of 
Israel shall abide many days without king, and without 
prince, and without blood-sacrifice, and without pillar, 
and without ephod, and without teraphim," I the agents 
and instruments of idolatry (not the agents and instru 
ments of a lawful worship, as some expositors have very 
superficially declared). Nevertheless, even in the state 
ment of the impending doom of idolatrous Israel, Hosea 
uses terms which are Levitical ; for Hosea declares the 
Divine determination to " cause all " the " mirth " of 
Israel "to cease, her feasts, her new moons, and her 
sabbaths and her set times," 2 where all the terms used 
are technicalities of the Levitical legislation, and where 
the term translated "set times" is the word so frequently 
employed for the Tabernacle, the " set tent." 

Again, according to Hosea, the front of Israel s 
offending is that they " have transgressed the covenant 
of Jehovah and rebelled against his law." 3 What is this 
Law of Jehovah ? The question grows yet more weighty 
when another passage of Hosea s is considered, where he 
writes : " Because Ephraim hath multiplied altars to 
sin," says Jehovah, "altars have been unto him to sin : 
I wrote for him the ten thousand tilings of my laiv, but 
they are counted as a strange thing : as for the blood- 
sacrifices of My offerings, they sacrifice flesh and eat 

1 Hosea iv. 17. " lb. ii. I. 3 Ib. viii, I. 

286 Aiithorship of the Law. [LECT. 

it, but Jehovah accepteth them not ; now will he remem 
ber their iniquity and visit their sins ; they shall return 
to Egypt." x Are we not in such words again, to use 
Reuss s phrase, en pleine Leviticisme ? For what law has 
Jehovah written of " ten thousand precepts " other than 
the complete Levitical law ? Would it not be an im 
possible exaggeration to speak of the Ten Command 
ments and the precepts of the twenty-first to the 
twenty-third chapters of Exodus (which, according to the 
Evolutionary theorists, alone existed in Hosea s days), 
as the " ten thousand precepts " of the Law ? Even if 
the word which is rightly translated " law " be translated 
"instruction," as the Evolutionary theorists have felt 
themselves constrained to demand, contrary to the whole 
traditional evidence of meaning and usage, where, upon 
this view, were " the ten thousand " precepts of Jehovah s 
" instruction " WRITTEN for Israel s guidance ? Must 
not the reference be to the legal portions of the Penta 
teuch, including the Priests Code ? Further, did not 
Israel s "sin " in the multiplication of altars lie in the 
contravention of the Levitical commands as to the cen 
tralization of ritual ? Further, with respect to the 
Divine objection that "as for thy blood-sacrifices of My 
offerings," the Children of Israel "sacrifice flesh and eat 
it," does not the force of the criticism lie here, that the 
common practice of idolaters was to slay all their sacri 
fices in the groves and eat them, whereas the practice 
enjoined by the Levitical Lav/ was to slay and offer in 
worship of Jehovah, and only exceptionally to eat, the 
burnt-offerings being wholly given to God, the sin and 
trespass offerings being wholly given to God and His 
priests, and the exceptional festal offerings being them- 

1 Hosea viii. 11-14. 

V.] Evolutionary Theory. 287 

selves also first given to God and then partially con 
sumed by the offerers ? Further, is there no emphasis 
placed upon the return to Egypt ? Is not the stress of 
the reference this ; that Israel having come forth from 
Egypt with the Divine help that they might receive the 
sacrificial religion given at Sinai, Israel shall be sent 
back, by Divine arrangement, to a parallel Egyptian 
bondage, because Israel has exchanged that Sinaitic 
worship for the altars of Bethel ? Surely, if the prior 
existence of the Levitical Law be not conceded, the 
entire passage is robbed of its significance. 

Or let another passage of Hosea s be examined. 
"Ephraim shall return," Hosea says, "to Egypt, and they 
shall eat unclean food in Assyria : they shall not pour 
out wine to Jehovah, neither shall their blood-sacrifices 
be pleasing to Him ; (their blood-sacrifices) shall be 
unto them as the bread of mourners ; all that eat thereof 
shall be polluted ; for their bread shall be for themselves ; 
it shall not come into the House of Jehovah. What will 
ye do in the day of the set time, and in the day of the 
feast of Jehovah ? " x Here again we have Levitical 
terminology throughout. This is evident on the most 
superficial reading. For instance, where apart from the 
so-called Priests Code in Leviticus, and apart from 
Deuteronomy, will any explanation be found of the 
common legal terms, " unclean," " unclean food " ? A 
reference to the related page of a Hebrew Concordance 
would show once for all that the Evolutionary theorists 
cannot be correct here. It is true that the term is met 
with in Ezekiel, but surely no Evolutionist even will 
think that Hosea wrote subsequently to Ezekiel. Again, 
what explanation which is not due to the so-called 

1 Hosea ix. 3-5. 

288 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

Priests Code, can be given of the curious expression 
that the sacrifices of Israel are as " the food," the 
"polluted" food of mourners, food that should not " come 
into the House of Jehovah " ? Is not the only tenable 
meaning of the words this, that the offerings of Israel 
shall be unto Jehovah as the offerings of those who 
mourn the dead, and who are, by their proximity to 
death, unclean, and as such cut off from religious 
privileges? The Priests Code enables us to give a 
meaning to the singular phraseology as forcible as clear. 
According to the Levitical legislation the bread of the 
mourner, and the mourner himself, and his whole en 
vironment were polluted, and therefore interdicted from 
approach to God or use in Divine worship ; " whosoever 
toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and 
purgeth not from sin, defileth the dwelling-place of 
Jehovah, and that soul shall be cut off from Israel ; his 
uncleanness is yet upon him ; " I " the soul that eateth 
of the flesh . . . that pertains unto Jehovah, having his 
uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off 
from his people." 2 This is the usage from which Hosea 
derives his figure of speech. The punishment of Israel 
shall be, that " in the day of set time and in the day of 
the feast of Jehovah " when Jehovah would usually be 
approached in joyous offerings, then Israel shall be 
debarred from entrance into the courts of the Lord s 
House, the reason of this prohibition being that Israel is 
" unclean " in the eyes of Jehovah, unclean from associa 
tion with sin and death. If this interpretation be 
correct, conclusive proof is given that Hosea was 
familiar with the so-called Priests Code, that part of the 
Pentateuch ascribed by the Evolutionary theorists to a 

1 Numb. xix. 11-20. 2 Lev. vii. 20. 

V.] Conclusion. 289 

date a couple of centuries later than Hosea. There are 
also other Levitical references in Hosea, as to the Feast 
of Tabernacles, 1 and to the legal technicalities, "ransom" 
and "redeem." 2 

Surely the evidence from prophecy is conclusive. 
For, on the testimony of Amos and Hosea, it has been 
shown that the Levitical legislation, supposed by the 
Evolutionary theorists to have been outlined in the 
days of Josiah, and matured in those of the Babylonian 
Exile, was certainly known at an earlier date. Nor is 
it needful for our purpose to accumulate instances from 
other Old Testament writers, that the Prophetical parts 
of the Old Testament written prior to the Exile show 
familiar acquaintance with the legislation formulated in 
Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, although such instances 
are very numerous. From the evidence already given, 
it seems certain that characteristic details of that part 
of the Pentateuch called the Priests Code were known 
in Israel and Judah long prior to the Exile. 

The conclusion arrived at, therefore, after this critical 
examination of the Evolutionary Theory, is this that, 
taken on its own ground, and judged according to its 
own methods, this theory falls to pieces. A series of 
crucial instances has shown that the Evolutionary Theory 
of the origin of the Pentateuch fails to account for the 
facts presented by the Old Testament. 

Thus, after an inductive and patient inquiry into the 
facts, which alone should decide the questions of author 
ship and date at issue, we are entitled to affirm that the 
Journal Theory, in spite of attack, still holds its ground 
There is, as has been seen, strong positive evidence in 

1 Hosea xii. 9. a //;. xiii. 15. 


290 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

its favour. At the same time the evidence advanced for 
the rival theory loses its cohesion on close investigation. 
Hence, we infer that the Pentateuch, as it itself affirms, 
and as the Jewish and Christian Churches have ever 
affirmed, was written during the lifetime of Moses. 

And immediately the conclusion as to the probable 
Mosaic authorship has been reached, a host of minute 
touches, which cannot but proceed, it would appear, from 
a contemporary writer, come crowding upon the atten 
tion of the inquirer. Surely the details of the Taber 
nacle must have emanated from an eye-witness. Fiction 
would be stranger than fact if so circumstantial and 
detailed a structure was imagined and not described. 
That the Temple might be the basis of an imaginary 
Tabernacle is conceivable so long as generalities only 
are regarded, but that all the variety of adaptation 
actually narrated should have been pure imagination 
passes the bounds of what conception can frame. 
Should the general plan of the Tabernacle, with its 
divisions into Court, and Holy Place, and Holiest, not 
have verisimilitude, a sense of truthfulness grows as the 
minute character of the descriptions given are con 
sidered. Not only have we exact dimensions, but 
colours, shapes, materials, ornaments, articles of furniture, 
are exactly described. We have, so to speak, full 
working plans. We can reproduce the rods upon which 
the curtains of the Court hung, and the rings by which 
they were suspended. We can draw accurately the 
copper uprights with their silver-plated capitals and 
their copper sockets, their brass pegs and their taut 
ropes, even to the specific peculiarities of these uprights 
when adapted to stand at the corners. Four express 
and diverse coverings, to some extent incapable of being 

v.] Conclusion. 291 

utilized elsewhere, and at other times, are explicitly 
named and described. Every piece of tapestry, every 
column, every species of ornament, every method of 
juncture, every variation of material, is most carefully 
recorded, after the manner of an eye-witness. There is 
not an utensil employed which is not delineated with 
sufficient accuracy for its reproduction. The names of 
the workmen employed are given. Most careful arrange 
ments are made for transport. Every part of the sacred 
structure is expressly made to be movable : the tent 
could be readily taken to pieces and readily reconstructed ; 
every utensil, from the ark to the laver, had rings and 
poles to facilitate its carriage. If all these details were 
imagined by a writer of the Exile, the realism of the 
most realistic of modern novels is outdone. The same 
line of observation might be illustrated from the details 
given of the priesthood and of the ritual enjoined for sacri 
fice. There is no hint anywhere of its being impossible 
for any member of the congregation to offer sacrifice at 
the door of the Tabernacle. The priests are always 
Aaron and his sons. It is Moses and Aaron to whom 
all the Divine commands are given. Breaches in obser 
vance, and their lamentable consequences, are ascribed 
to Naclab and Abihu by name. It is possible for 
Aaron and his sons to go rapidly without the camp. 
Certain sacrifices are ordered to be eaten by " all the 
males among the children of Aaron." The points of 
priestly ritual at the altar will not suit the altar of burnt- 
offering in its later form in Solomon s Temple. And so 
on, and so on. When realism has inspired another 
Zenophon to write such an Anabasis, with materials 
purely imaginative, it has worked a miracle. 

Undoubtedly there is much that is attractive in 

292 Authorship of the Law. [LECT. 

the Evolutionary Theory of the Pentateuch ; it so har 
monizes with much of modern thought. Then, too, the 
genius of its advocates has given to the theory an added 
charm. So has its boldness. What, but the truth of 
their case, one naturally asks, could lead men and 
scholars, so to run counter to cherished convictions as to 
affirm that Moses occupies a position inferior to Solon 
that the references of Jesus to Moses and his words 
are extravagant that the statements of Paul as to the 
origin and influence of the Law .but display the credulity 
of their age that the use of the names of Moses and 
Aaron as the recipients of a Divine revelation resolves 
itself into a not unparalleled literary trick that the 
Law and the Mishna virtually belong to the same epoch 
that the Divine operation in Israelitish history is 
simply an instance of the ordinary action of Providence 
misinterpreted and that the salient features of Old 
Testament history illustrate nothing more than a natural 
evolution, unless it be that they also illustrate the myth- 
making propensities of man. Such being some of the 
affirmations which the Evolutionary theorist is compelled 
to make, it seems difficult to understand that he should 
make them except from the most assured and well- 
grounded belief that they are truth. Let it also be 
frankly allowed that the Evolutionary theorists have 
taught us much. They have enabled all students of the 
Old Testament to see that the prophets played a larger 
and more prominent part than has commonly been 
suspected in the religious life of Israel, indeed, that the 
influence of the prophets was as great as their heroism 
and singleness of purpose. They have opened the way 
to a more realistic presentation of Jewish history, its 
intellectual conflicts, its carnal victories, the ceaseless 

V.] Conclusion. 293 

battle between the good and the bad, the religious and 
the formalistic, the liberal and the conservative, and the 
ultimate success of the right, and the true, and the free. 
These theorists have brought to light many an archaeo 
logical detail ; they have solved many an exegetical 
enigma. They have laid all students of Scripture under 
deep obligation, by their patient, and long-continued, 
and minute investigation. Last, and not least, they 
have been instrumental in recalling attention to the Old 
Testament, which it was becoming a fashion to treat as 
unimportant. Honour, therefore, to whom honour is 
due. But they have conferred benefit by their incidental 
labours, not by their main theory. They have appealed 
to the " higher criticism," and the probability is that the 
futility of their great hypothesis will be demonstrated 
on their own ground. The Mosaic authorship of the 
Pentateuch has much besides tradition to stand on. 
Indeed, let the claims of the Journal Theory of author 
ship and of the Evolutionary Theory be carefully 
weighed, and it is highly probable that the preponderance 
of evidence will be found on the side of the Journal 





THE goal of our inductive inquiry into the Books of 
the Law lies before us. Hitherto our investiga 
tions, inevitable if long, have been preliminary. They 
have but prepared the way for examining whether or 
not the Pentateuch may be regarded as a revelation 
from God, and if it may be so regarded, in what sense 
and by what right. Not that the contents of this Lec 
ture have not their own probative force, even if the 
Lecture stood alone. The Divine side of the Penta 
teuch very largely speaks for itself. Nevertheless there 
is a manifest advantage in following the course laid 
down. That the Five Books of the Law are, in a very 
real sense, a revelation from God, is a conclusion more 
certainly attainable after the preceding discussion. 

For convenience, let the previous lines of our inquiry 
be rapidly retraced. The question presented at the 
outset for examination was the Divine Origin of the 
Law. We set ourselves to inquire, by inductive process, 
whether the first Five Books of the Old Testament 
were the product of human art, or of Divine revelation, 
or of both. But on the threshold of this important, this 
decisive, study, we were met by the problem, whether 

The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

the Book of Genesis and the four subsequent books 
narrated fact or fiction, whether, as we should say to 
day, they formed a history of religion or a religious 
story. That these Books of the Law are really history, 
fact and not fiction, a fourfold line of induction has led 
us to infer. First, the collateral testimony of ethnic 
tradition has shown the historicity of the earlier, and, as 
many have thought, the more imaginative chapters of 
Genesis. Secondly, the collateral and highly significant 
testimony of science has emphasized the historical truth 
of the same earlier chapters. Thirdly, strong grounds 
have been seen for believing that Genesis was of high 
antiquity, having been penned not later than the days 
of Moses by an author who had access to, and utilized 
wisely, reliable sources of history. And, fourthly, ex 
cellent grounds have also been seen for believing that, 
although all his writings were very probably slightly 
re-touched by later hands, Moses himself \vas the re 
sponsible composer, not simply of Genesis, but of the 
five books commonly associated with his name. More 
briefly compressing these four reasons into two the 
historicity of the Law, and therefore its veracity appears, 
first from the truth of its contents, and, second, from its 
large contemporaneousness with the events described. 

Of course, corroborations of so antique a record are 
only to be expected here and there ; nevertheless we 
have seen that, wherever there are points of contact 
between the accounts of the Pentateuch and profane 
history or physical science, the truth of these accounts 
is confirmed in a very remarkable manner. These 
ancient books have shown themselves eminently reliable 
in matters of common knowledge. Modern research 
has afforded an altogether unexceptionable testimony to 

VI.] The Divine Origin of tJie Law. 299 

the minute and detailed truth of these early sacred 

If the Books of the Law are credible as HISTORY, are 
they also credible as a HISTORY OF REVELATION? 
This is the crucial question which now confronts us. By 
revelation is meant the supernatural communication of 
truth, in other words, knowledge of Divine and human 
tJ tings divinely imparted. 

On the mere statement of the question some, from 
speculative bias, will refuse to advance further. Reve 
lation, as so defined, supernatural revelation, is im 
possible, they will say. Revelation, in the sense of a 
flash of natural insight, or in the sense of the initiation 
of the tyro into truth by the expert, or revelation in 
any sense which does not postulate supernatural inter 
position, of this they will concede both the possibility 
and the need. But supernatural revelation, revelation 
which is miraculous, revelation which presupposes the 
intervention of Deity in mundane affairs, they will 
hold themselves excused a priori from inquiring into. 

Even a priori it would surely be legitimate to reply 
that the Theist he who is not a Theist must be 
approached in a different manner to that adopted in 
these Lectures must believe that revelation is, first, 
within the power of God to bestow, and, secondly, within 
the faculty of man to receive. Upon the former point 
there can be little doubt : God, being God, can surely 
reveal Himself if He will. Nor can there be much doubt 
upon the latter point. Surely man, being man, and 
being able to receive truth from his fellow-men, can also 
receive truth from the Creator of men, who, knowing 
what is in man, can adapt this Divine teaching to human 
faculties of reception. Further, as a citizen of two 

300 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

worlds, of the material world and the spiritual, man 
possesses, by his very organization, the needful faculties 
for receiving impressions from both worlds. 1 

Such a reply might be made a priori. But from the 
standpoint assumed, it is unnecessary to examine philo 
sophical objections either against miracles in general, or 
against that specific form of miracle which is called 
revelation. The Inductive Method does not admit 
axiomatic statements as to possibility or impossibility. 
This is an inductive inquiry. It is characteristic of the 
inductive method that speculation may supply provisional 
hypotheses, but nothing more. Now so long as the 
impossibility of revelation is regarded as a working 
hypothesis to be still further tested, reason is found 
rather for continuing than ceasing inquiry. Our proper 
task is to ask, not whether revelation is abstractly 
possible, but whether revelation has actually occurred. 
For us the question is a question of fact, not of specula 
tion. If evidence is forthcoming of the fact of revela 
tion, speculative difficulties will have to shift for 
themselves as best they can. To the King of Siam, as 
the story goes, ice was an impossibility, for ice was an 
incredibility ; he could argue learnedly upon the folly of 
believing in the solidification of water ; but show the 
king ice, or give him reliable testimony of the existence 
of ice, and his speculative difficulties rapidly adjusted or 
despatched themselves. Similarly, not a bad method of 
dealing with speculative difficulties concerning the 
reality of a supernatural revelation, is to produce such 
revelation, to produce truth which it is manifestly be 
yond the faculties of man as such to attain. If it can 

1 Compare Macaire, Introduction a la Thcologie Ort/wdoxe, tradiiit par 
Rttsse, Paris, 1857, pp. 53-63. 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Laiv. 301 

be shown that revelations have actually been given, 
practical men will leave speculation as to the possibility 
or impossibility of revelation to afford gymnastic exer 
cise for philosophers and debating clubs. One instance 
of supernatural revelation has been seen in the narrative 
of Creation, as has been shown at length in the Third 

That God has verily revealed Himself to man again 
and again, and in increasing measure, is the express 
testimony of the Books of the Law. Those books 
abound with phrases like these : " Jehovah said unto 
Abraham," " Jehovah said unto Moses," " And Jehovah 
said unto Aaron," "And Jehovah called unto Moses, 
and said unto him," "And Jehovah said unto Moses and 
unto Aaron," " And Jehovah said unto Moses and unto 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest." In these books 
God is said to reveal Himself in history, and in law, and 
in life, and is also said to accredit His revelations by 
miracle. The cardinal question, therefore, is, whether 
these assertions are true. Can these putative revelations 
be explained by natural causes ? Is it supererogatory to 
appeal to a Divine interposition to explain these special 
providences in history ? Are these apparently super 
natural miracles really but a high power of the naturally 
wonderful ? These masses of laws, individual, social, 
political, religious, expressly attributed to a Divine 
origin, do they intelligibly emanate from an origin that 
is human ? These seeming predictions, are they nothing 
but the forecasts of genius or the intuitions of superior 
human knowledge? These doctrines concerning God 
and man and their relations, put forward as Divinely 
given, are they after all the manufacture of diplomatic, 
or possibly philosophic, priests, palming off their own 

302 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

creations for their own ends as the thoughts of God ? 
Such are some of the questions which must inevitably 
arise in the face of the evident claims of the Law, and 
which must be resolved in the light of the facts of the 

In this Lecture, then, an inductive inquiry is to be in 
OF THE LAW, and the question of questions is to be 
asked, whether, judging from our knowledge of the limits 
of human knowledge, it was within the capacity of man as 
such to write these five books, popularly, at least, ascribed 
to Moses. 

Have we, then, any evidence in the Pentateuch that 
its contents are wholly or partly beyond the capacity of 
man to compose ? The following considerations may 
guide our judgment. 

Notice, in the FIRST place, that the legal injunctions of 
the Pentateuch are distinctly made in the interests of 
religion. For the present, be it strictly observed, at 
tention is drawn, not to the entire Books of the Law, 
but to the Law in the narrower sense of the legal 
system contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and 

This religious aim of the Old Testament Law is a 
feature as unique as striking. Believing with Burke that 
" religion is the basis of civil society," lawgivers have 
often utilized the religious tendencies of man for public 
ends, citing in their codes the religious rewards of good 
citizenship, and the religious punishments, tremendous 
as lasting, of citizenship that was bad. But in the 
Jewish Law another fact appears. Instead of religion 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Laiv. 303 

being made subservient to the ends of law, law is made 
subservient to the ends of religion. The distinction 
between the sacred and the secular is deliberately 
abolished by making the secular sacred. Right rela 
tions are established between man and man by estab 
lishing right relations between man and God. Jehovah, 
as the supreme ruler and judge of Israel, is the maker 
and executor of Israel s laws. For instance, it is upon 
the Divine landlordship that the laws of land ultimately 
rest ; it is upon the Divine claims upon human fealty 
that the laws concerning offences against the person are 
based ; upon the kingship of Jehovah the laws of taxa 
tion as well as of ritual repose. The rights of the indi 
vidual, whether prince or peasant, sprang, in this code, 
from his relationship to Deity. Liberty, equality, fra 
ternity, were at once secured, and guarded, by the 
covenant between the Jew and Jehovah. " I am Jehovah 
thy God," was the pledge of privilege, the test of 
obedience, and the sting of penalty. Crime and sin 
were identical. The modern distinction between the 
morally and the legally permissible was unknown. Nor 
was it possible under such a law to say that the king or 
the priest could do no wrong, for king and priest were 
to be judged, not by their exalted relation to the people 
they ruled, but by their humble relation to the Divine 
King, whose vicegerents they were. Being sin against 
God as well as against man, adultery, for example, was 
visited as severely as murder. In fact, all offences are 
estimated in this Law rather as transgressions against 

o o 

God than as wrongs to man. 

" I am Jehovah, thy God," this is the one governing 
principle which underlay all the equity of the Law. " I 
am Jehovah, thy God," THEREFORE "thou shalt love 

304 The Divine Origin of tlie Law. [LECT. 

Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy 
might, and with all thy strength." " I am Jehovah, thy 
God," THEREFORE " thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself." Throughout the Law, the ultimate sanction to 
which appeal is made is, not utility, nor the rights of 
the individual, nor the rights of the community, but the 
obedience due to the Divine King of the Jewish nation. 
In this theocratic form of government, so different 
from the social experiments of government by the one 
or the few or the many, there is certainly a suggestive 
theory of society. Does it not also bear the stamp of 
the Divine ? Does not the explanation of its origin 
given by the Law appear intelligible ? Is such a view 
of rule, as happy as uncommon, adapted as it was both 
to correct the most subtle idiosyncrasy and to evoke the 
most splendid energy, eliciting, as it was fitted to do, 
the best in the one or the few or the many who rule, 
whilst neutralizing the worst, is such a theory of govern 
ment to be attributed to human genius ? Must not such 
an inspiration concerning the Divine relations of men 
be Divine ? One cannot but inquire as to the primary 
source of this theocratic idea, and when this Divine 
government is expressly attributed to a Divine revela 
tion, the assertion is certainly very intelligible. Are we 
not dealing with truth when we read, " In the third 
month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out 
of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the 
wilderness of Sinai. . . . And there Israel camped be 
fore the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and 
Jehovah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, 
Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the 
children of Israel ; Ye have seen what I did unto the 
Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle s wings, and 

vi.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 305 

brought you unto Myself. Now, therefore, if ye will 
obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye 
shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people ; 
for all the earth is mine ; and ye shall be unto Me a 
kingdom of priests and a holy nation ? " z 

Then, SECONDLY, notice, botJi in general and in detail, 
tJie didactic, the theological significance of the legal injunc 
tions of the Pentateuch. 

For assuredly much of this Jewish code was rather 
ideal and educational than repressive. This is note 
worthy. Injunctions were expressly framed therein, for 
the guidance of the best and not the worst of the nation. 
These laws had the making of saints in view, quite as 
much as the deterrence of criminals. All acknowledge 
that it is the function of law to be a terror to evil-doers, 
but it was upon the minutely conscientious that this 
Levitical Law pressed most heavily. This characteristic 
is not common in legal codes. Usually the least number 
of laws compatible with social morality and the general 
welfare are placed upon statute books ; but in this 
Mosaic legislation very numerous laws appear, the sole 
end of which is the production of a very high state of 
personal and national righteousness. This law did 
deter ; it did punish ; it did take account of wrong 
doing ; but its pre-eminent purpose was to teach to 
teach ethics, to teach religion. Its didactic value was 
supreme, deepening the consciousness of sin, educating 
in holiness, instructing the immoral to be moral, moving 
the moral to be saintly. Besides, many of the injunc 
tions commanded therein could not be as widely kept as 
known, the end of their promulgation being answered 

1 Exocl. xix. 1-6. 

306 TJie Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

apparently by their being known. In short, the great 
end of the Law, using the word in the narrower sense as 
equivalent to the legal system of the Pentateuch, was to 
present a standard of goodness so exalted as to be holi 
ness. This educational value, so striking as well as 
unusual, makes this Law a high-water mark to which the 
tide of life only very occasionally rises. 

This ideal, this didactic, this theological, this doctrinal 
value of the legal injunctions of the Pentateuch is, in 
fact, the rock upon which so much of modern criticism 
splits. It is shortsightedness, or worse, to ignore this 
intention to instruct. The great question is not, as 
some have thought, how the Tabernacle and Sacrifices 
and Festivals and Priesthood came to be, whether by 
gradual evolution or by sudden appointment, this is 
but a subordinate question ; the real question is, how 
these sacred places, and rites, and persons, and seasons, 
came to be full of a profound religious meaning. For 
example, in treating of the curious festal seasons of 
Judaism, its Passover, and Pentecost, and Great Day of 
Atonement and Merry Feast of Tabernacles, it is a very 
superficial explanation which thinks all said, when 
they are declared to be an outcome, in the course 
of time, of ancient agricultural festivals ; the one thing 
needful to be shown is how these agricultural festivals, if 
such they were, came to be so transformed that they had 
their own splendid eloquence and influence for the 
religious life ; what it is really necessary to explain is 
how Passover and Pentecost and Day of Atonement and 
Feast of Tabernacles became to the religiously-minded 
the Feast of Justification, the Feast of Consecration, 
the Feast of Absolution, and the Feast of the Joy of the 
Reconciled (to use modern terms for ancient facts), 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 307 

" made year by year continually." Again, let who will 
examine recondite archaeological questions as to the 
relations of priests and Levites ; such inquiries will have 
an archaeological interest : but the vital question con 
cerning the priesthood is how it came to be the channel 
of great religious privileges ; the pressing question 
concerning the priesthood is its mediatorial functions. 
Is there not indeed, about this preceptive character of 
the Law, that which suggests most strongly the truth of 
its claim to supernatural origin ? 

This didactic element may be dwelt upon with advan 

It cannot be denied, and should not be ignored, 
that this Law assumes to be the authoritative text-book 
for its age, for the preacher, the teacher, and the moralist 
as well as the judge. And very fittingly. Tested by 
the grand purpose of all true religion the adaptability 
to evoke, cultivate, and satisfy the spiritual cravings of 
mankind the Sinaitic legislation has no superior but 
Christianity. Truths of deep religious import it was 
fitted to convey effectually to fishermen, herdsmen, and 
shepherds. Awe was inspired thereby without despair, 
and trust without presumption. A beneficent religious 
ideal was notably realized. By means of the splendid 
and varied cultus which the Law enjoined, under tre 
mendous sanctions, those perplexing contrasts of the 
spiritual mind, the bewildering contrasts of time and 
eternity, death and immortality, Divine anger and recon 
ciliation, human lust and aspiration, sin and Divine 
salvation, the unacceptable sacrifice of the sinful, and the 
acceptable offerings of the saved, were taught so as to 
enter readily into common thought, and to tinge per 
ceptibly common experience. This law of many cere- 

308 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

monies was, in fact, the basis of a theology as well as of 
a cultus. Indeed, if the great things for man to know 
are the existence of the supernatural world, the sinful 
state of man, his incapacity of self-restoration, the possi 
bility of forgiveness by God, and of the renewed life 
through the Spirit, if the great things for man to do 
are to fear, to repent, to revere, to forsake evil, to cleave 
to good, to live in purity and charity, and to die in hope, 
then must this Levitical Law be regarded as astonish 
ingly, as miraculously complete in the knowledge and 
the faculty it was capable of imparting. This Law pour- 
trayed a religion of a high type. If at first sight the 
multitudinous rites enjoined seemed, disastrously for 
its influence and claims, to blend a debasing materialism 
with an exalted conception of Deity, nearer vision shows 
the carnal to have a latent significance, wine and oil, 
blood and flesh, flour and incense, unleavened bread and 
firstfruits, running water and the ashes of a slaughtered 
heifer, being but the body of a soul of fine religious 
import, convincing of sin, and assuring of forgiveness, 
objectifying self-surrender, and conveying a holy joy of 
fellowship, now justifying an individual, and now sancti 
fying a nation. Doubtless, to the cursory modern inquirer, 
the constant round of sacrifices, daily, weekly, monthly, 
festal, appears simply appalling ; that priests should be 
butchers, and an altar shambles, is foreign to all our 
ideas of religion ; how seemingly subversive of all refine 
ment ! Yet survey more closely, and it is as if a thrilling 
landscape has suddenly burst, by steady vision, from 
rolling mist and dense darkness. God is seen, and man, 
in bright light and blessed relationship. 

So much appears on a superficial examination even. 
But let this didactic aspect of the Law be viewed a little 

VI.] TJie Divine Origin of the Law. 309 

more closely. Let four points, for instance, be esti 

First, let the teaching of the Law concerning the 
Supreme Being be observed. 

That teaching is as remarkable for what it does not 
say as for what it says. There is no pictorializing, there 
is no idolizing of Deity. Neither is there any philosophic 
pretence of defining the Infinite and Absolute. The 
Mosaic Law is as free from the temerity of philosophic 
speculation as from the vice of idolatrous portraiture. 
That God cannot be depicted by " any graven image," 
or by " the likeness of any form that is in heaven above, 
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters 
under the earth," is an axiom everywhere. At the same 
time the name Jehovah, synchronous with the Law, lifts 
the Supreme Being into a Transcendent sphere, where 
human speculation, limited to the sphere of the mutable, 
cannot follow. Nevertheless, according to the Law, 
Deity, who may not be imaged, does personally reveal 
Himself, and that in two ways, by His self-description 
and by His deeds, both of which methods, notable as 
well for their silence as their utterance, repay attention. 

For consider the " Great Name," to use the term of the 
Law, under which the Divine Being describes Himself at 
the Burning Bush, Jehovah (as we must still say in 
English, lest we sacrifice rich association to pedantry) 
that unique name, that eloquent name, that silent name, 
has it ever been approached in the literature of the world 
for fulness, for majesty, for simplicity ? And consider 
further. Over against the pregnant words said to have 
been spoken by God to Moses in the Desert of Midian 
stand the equally pregnant words subsequently spoken 
to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, as, with bowed head 

310 The Divine Origin of the Laic. [LECT. 

and bared feet, Moses stood, with the tables of stone in 
his hand, whilst "Jehovah descended in the cloud," and 
" stood with him there," and " proclaimed the name of 
Jehovah." Let the magnificent words be weighed ; they 
are as wonderful in thought as in expression : " And 
Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, 
Jehovah, a God full of compassion and gracious, slow to 
anger, and plenteous in mercy and truth, keeping mercy 
for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgres 
sion, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty, 
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and 
upon the children s children, upon the third and upon the 
fourth generation." Are not the words so tender, yet 
so severe divine, as they claim to be ? When parallel 
words, as faithful as true, are produced from any writer 
who has not breathed an atmosphere where they are 
known, it will be time enough to defend their super 
natural origin. What ethnic faith is able to match this 
miraculous utterance, asserting so fully, and so concisely 
that God is, that God is one, that God transcends time 
and space, that God is merciful, that God is gracious, 
that God is long-suffering, that God is true, that God is 
just, that God is good, that God is holy, that God is holy, 
just, and good, despite of, nay. because of, His unsparing 
visitation of wrong-doing with penalty ! 

And add to this revelation by names and attributes 
the constant self-revelation of God by His acts. Accord 
ing to the Books of the Law, the Divine Character, 
incapable of exact and adequate representation to man? 
is manifested, notwithstanding, by a continuous series of 
Divine deeds. Again and again, national prosperity or 
national misfortune are made to be declarative of the 
Eternal Mind. What are Sinai and the Red Sea, 

VI. The Divine Origin of the Law. 311 

Marah and Rephidim, the sedition of Miriam and the 
rebellion of Korah, but so many revelations of the nature 
of Deity ? In short, the pathway through the wilderness, 
with its pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, was 
meant to be a significant series of Divine Self-revelations, 
a striking course of religious object lessons. That 
Jehovah was good in will (holy and righteous), and good 
in thought (wise and true), and good in feeling (just and 
merciful), the incidents of the long march from Egypt to 
Canaan body forth more excellently than words. 

Now that all this self-revelation of God, in names and 
in acts, is mere human thinking and imagining, who that 
possesses at once seriousness of mind, knowledge of 
human nature, and acquaintance with other religious 
systems, will be able to believe ? 

Secondly, let the teaching of the Law concerning the 
unfitness of man to approach the Most High be also 

How clearly human sinfulness is taught in the Law ! 
How much of the enjoined ceremonial is inexplicable, 
except upon this postulate ! Everywhere it is taught 
that man has no RIGHT of approach to God. This fact, 
indeed, which underlies symbol after symbol, and injunc 
tion upon injunction, is not a little remarkable. For, be 
it remembered, the religious cultus announced at Sinai 
was expressly addressed, not to man as man, but to man 
as Israelite, to a people, that is to say, who had been 
admitted into the closest intimacy with Deity. In the 
beautiful words of Exodus, Jehovah had " made a cove 
nant " with these children of Israel. Their tribes had 
heard Divine words, which said, " Now, therefore, if ye 
will keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar 
treasure unto Me among all people ; for all the earth is 

312 The Divine Origin of the Law, [LECI. 

Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and 
a holy nation." Nevertheless, despite this elect relation, 
again and again, by reiterated injunctions, by the 
greatest variety of symbols, by all the studied associa 
tions of days specially sacred in the calendar, and of 
days memorable for those common events of birth and 
marriage and death, of home-coming or of change of 
abode, the sinfulness of this kingdom of priests and of this 
holy nation, the sinfulness of this covenant people, of 
their ministers, and their laity, of their altars and their 
houses, was unmistakably taught. The Israelites were 
placed upon terms of Divine friendship, only as they 
recognized, at many times and in many ways, that the 
attitude of God towards them was one of the purest 
mercy. In the very act of admission into the Holy 
Presence, attention was always carefully bestowed upon 
reminding these recipients of favour of their desert of a 
very different welcome. This inculcation of sinfulness 
was expressly associated with all phases of life, and with 
all occasions of worship, and with all grades of minis- 
trants, with birth and marriage and death, as has been 
just said, with the beginning of the year, and with its 
course and close, with all the sentiments of the 
religious life, with prayer and with thankfulness, with 
unconscious error and with deliberate reconsecration, 
with all sorts and conditions of men, with priests as well 
as with Levites, with prophet and judge and king as 
well as with the common citizen. The detail of cere 
monial designed to impress upon the mind this state 
of unholiness, this unfitness to approach the Majesty 
on high, is very large, and need not be touched upon 
here at any length. A few prominent instances only 
shall be given. Every priest needed special purification 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 313 

for office. Every holy spot be it even the Holiest 
beneath the wings of the cherubim and under the brood 
ing mist of the Shekinah required purification too. 
Sabbath and New Moon, Passover and Pentecost, and 
Feast of Tabernacles, as well as the annual Great Day 
of Atonement, had their specific ritual to remind the 
nation and the individual of sin. The sacrifices of conse 
cration and of religious rejoicing, as well as the sacrifices 
for sin and trespass, had their ceremonial emphasizing 
the sinfulness of the worshipper. In fact, let any one 
observe how prominent a place the need of " atonement," 
to use the legal phrase, the need of the " covering of 
sin," occupies in the Sinaitic ritual, and he will straight 
way perceive how the unworthiness of man to approach 
Deity was emphasized in this ancient religion. To arouse, 
to deepen, to express, this sense of human sinfulness, 
half the so-called ceremonial law was devoted. 

Whence originated this wonderful insight, as true as 
deep, into the nature of man ? Can man, who resents 
this view of things mostly, have originated it ? Are 
these profound, and profoundly unwelcome, views of the 
natural and of the spiritual man, of purely human 
origin ? 

Thirdly, let the teaching of the Law concerning the 
forgiveness of sins be also weighed. For nothing 
characterizes, nothing differentiates, more the Levitical 
Law than its tenets concerning the fact and the method 
of atonement, to use the technicality which originated 
with the Law, and without a comprehension of which the 
Law is unintelligible. 

And, primarily, as to the fact of " atonement." What 
was this " atonement," which so frequently recurs in the 
Law ? To speak exactly, what did this Law itself mean 

314 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT 

by this common technicality therein " atonement" ? 
Etymologically considered atonement was "covering," 
and usage shows that by " covering " was meant " the 
covering of transgression." To atone was to spread a 
covering over sin so that it ceased to arouse the Divine 
wrath. If we probe this ancient Hebrew figure, to atone 
" was to throw, so to speak, a veil over sin, so dazzling 
that the veil and not the sin was visible. The figure 
which the New Testament uses when it speaks of the 
new robe, the Old Testament uses when it speaks of 
atonement. When an atonement was made under the 
Law, it was as though the Divine eye, which had been 
kindled at the sight of foulness and sin, was quieted by 
the garment thrown around it ; or, to use a figure much 
too modern, yet equally appropriate, it was as if the 
sinner, who had been exposed to the lightning of the 
Divine wrath, had been suddenly wrapped round and 
insulated." J Perhaps, however, it is sufficient for the 
immediate purpose to remember, that the invariable 
effect ascribed in the Law to this " atonement " is re 
storation to the covenant relation which had been 
imperilled by transgression, is, in brief, the forgiveness 
of sins. 

Then, in the next place, as to the method of atone 
ment. Atonement, this reconciliation with Jehovah, 
this forgiveness of sins, was wrought by " blood." The 
blood of bullocks, and sheep, and goats " covered " 
sin. And this method of atonement was expressly ex 
plained in the Law, in a pregnant message, professedly 
sent by Jehovah, through Moses, to Aaron, and to his 
sons, and to the Israelites generally. The more impor 
tant part of this message ran as follows : " And 

1 Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifce, pp. 482-486. 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Laiv. 3 1 5 

whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of 
the strangers that sojourn among them, that eateth 
any manner of blood, I will set my face against that 
soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among 
his people." For why ? " For the life of the flesh is in 
the blood, and I (Jehovah) have given it (the blood) to 
you upon the altar to be an atonement for your lives ; 
for the blood atones by the life." The passage is re 
markable. Its express statement is that the blood of 
animals, slain in sacrifice, has been appointed by the 
Deity as a means of covering sin, because the blood 
is the life of the animal sacrificed. Four truths, in 
fact, emerge : viz., first, that the sacrifices of the Law 
covered sin ; secondly, that this covering only pertained 
to animal sacrifices ; thirdly, that covering so attached to 
animal sacrifices because of the effusion of blood which 
was part of the ceremonial of their presentation ; and, 
fourthly, that blood was thus efficacious, by the Divine 
will, because the blood represented the life of the animal 
poured forth. Such is the legal view of atonement. 
This view is characteristic of the Law. It is peculiar to 
the Law. Other religions know of the presentation of 
animals in sacrifice, and even the presentation of human 
offerings, sometimes even the presentation of the fruit 
of the body for the sin of the soul, but this heathen 
presentation, however costly, simply represents the idea 
of cost, it does not proceed upon a definite idea of a 
substituted life. Blood as blood covers sin in the Law : 
blood as cost is supposed to cover sin in heathendom. 
Obedience to a Divine command is the merit of Old 
Testament sacrifices of life ; obedience to a human 
instinct is the supposed merit of the heathen sacrifices 
of life. In the Hebrew faith it is God who gives dignity 

316 The Divine Origin of the Lazv. [LECT. 

to the sacrifice presented in atonement ; in heathen 
faiths it is the intrinsic value of the sacrifice itself which 
is supposed to be of worth. The blood offered is as the 
blood of Passover in the Law ; in other religions it is as 
the blood of personal sacrifice. To put the difference 
sharply : in heathendom atonement is supposed to be 
more or less according as the offering is more or less ; 
in the Hebrew code it is not the actual, but the ideal 
value of the blood shed which works forgiveness. Com 
pare the sentiments which prompt immolation at the 
great Indian festival of Jagganath with the sentiments 
which would be evoked by the great Day of Atonement, 
and the difference receives striking illustration. The 
Law knew the idea of cost, and utilized it largely 
in worship, but, with minute consistency, did not admit 
the idea of cost into its idea of atonement. Thus 
whereas burnt-offerings might consist of many victims, 
the sin-offering, which was pre-eminently the offering 
of atonement, might never consist of more animals 
than one, and that the same comparatively costless 
sacrifice for rich as well as poor. 

Now whence came this Old Testament idea of atone 
ment ? The question is vital. Is it enough to say, 
that " the life of which the blood was regarded as the 
substance had for the ancient Semites something 
mysterious and divine about it ; they felt a certain 
religious scruple about destroying it, ... the pouring 
out of blood was ventured upon only in such a way 
as to give it back to Deity ; what was primarily aimed 
at was a mere restoration of His own to Deity " ? x 
Is not this idea as to restoring to God His own a pure 
imagination ? Is there any evidence whatever for 

1 Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, translated, p. 63. 

VI.] The Divine Origin of tlie Laiv. 317 

saying that the Semites as such (of whom it is the 
fashion to say we know a good deal more than we do), 
knew ought of the Levitical idea of atonement ? Or 
is there any evidence whatever for saying that the 
effusion of animal blood was regarded as restoring to 
God the life which was His own ? Besides, this 
explanation is altogether beside the mark. What 
requires to be accounted for is, how the blood of 
animals came to be regarded as a means of atonement, 
as a means of the forgiveness of sin, as a means of 
restoration to Divine favour. As a matter of fact, there 
is no evidence that blood was regarded from early 
times as peculiarly sacred. The sanctity of blood 
began with the giving of the injunctions concerning 
the Passover. The sanctity of blood, the interpreta 
tion of blood as life, the association of blood and life 
with atonement, are contemporaneous with the giving of 
the Law to Moses. The fact is, that, whoever will fairly 
confront what the Law says concerning the covering of 
sin by the blood of beasts, and will divest his mind of 
prepossessions, will find the readiest explanation of this 
singular rite in the express words of the Law : " I 
(JEHOVAH) have given it (blood) to you to be an atone 
ment for your souls." Surely, both the legal idea of 
atonement, and its method, are wholly mysterious 
viewed alone, and only intelligible as interpreted by 
Christianity, are, in short, Divine revelations approved 
by Divine revelation. But we must return to this point 
presently. At the moment it is enough to accentuate 
the method of atonement enjoined, and its manifest truth 
as evidenced by the results worked, both objective 
method and subjective results emphasizing the probable 
Divine origin of the Mosaic soteriology. 

3 1 8 The Divine Origin of the Laiu. [LECT. 

And, fourthly, let the teaching of the Law concerning 
the entire religious life of the covenant people be also 
carefully estimated. 

The fact is that the complicated and protracted ritual 
of the Law, at first sight so materialistic as well as so 
onerous, was, after all, a splendid provision for the 
deepest religious needs of man ; and it would even 
appear that this Law has also about it a splendid unity 
as well as a marked completeness. There was a 
massiveness and rotundity about this Levitical worship 
and law which grows upon one the more closely it is 
studied. In that sacrificial constitution were pourtrayed 
for any man who believed in God, and in the possibility 
of His revealing Himself, all the essentials of true 
religion. As the pious Jew regarded, though it were but 
in thought, the sacred structure of the Tabernacle or 
Temple, the eye whispered to the soul that God Most 
High dwelt in the midst of his nation, and might be 
approached in worship. As his attention was engrossed 
by the gorgeous vestments and busy ministrations of 
priests and Levites, he would recognize a divinely 
appointed organization, by whose mediation and inter 
cession Divine worship might be beneficially and 
innocuously conducted. In the performance of the 
rites of purification, the truth was palpable, that those 
hereditary taints and personal faults which might 
intelligibly hinder approach to God if the spiritual 
sense was alert, might be neutralized. At the same 
time, the divinely arranged series of animal and blood 
less gifts would deliver the messages with which they 
were divinely laden, the welcome and inspiriting 
messages of the forgiveness of sins and a possibility 
of uninterrupted, or only momentarily interrupted, 

vi.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 3 1 9 

fellowship with God. In the sin-offering he recognized 
the divinely arranged instrument for obtaining forgive 
ness for sins of weakness and ignorance ; in the 
trespass-offering, a fitting retribution for frauds against 
God or man : the burnt-offering was an aid to con 
secration, the peace - offering a channel of communion 
with God. In short, the Levitical injunctions brought 
into prominence those consolatory and instructive 
truths of the Divine nearness and approachableness, 
of human sin in its stupendous effects upon the phy 
sical nature and the conscience, together with the 
possibility of atonement, of forgiveness and of restora 
tion to Divine favour. The Jew who could devoutly 
say, " I believe in Jehovah, maker of heaven and earth," 
could, by virtue of the Law, add to his creed the 
further articles, " I believe in the Shechinah, in the 
Tabernacle, and in the priesthood, in the communion 
of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life of re 
conciliation " no inconsiderable spiritual equipment. 
Must not He who made the lock of the human heart 
have made this key also which so fits its many 
wards ? x 

The question must be fairly faced, Whence came all 
this remarkable insight into the religious needs of 
man, all this remarkable satisfaction of those needs ? 
A religion is often best judged by its noblest products, 
and under this religious system of the Law the beautiful 
blossom of spiritual desire bore, in men like David, 
Isaiah, and Daniel, the rich fruits of holy content and 
aspiration. Nor can the spiritual character of such men 
be accounted for apart from the Law ; the Law is the 
postulate everywhere in their spiritual character ; they 

1 Compare The Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, pp. 108, 109. 

320 The Divine Origin of the Lau 1 . [LECT. 

breathe its air, they have fed upon its fulness. Upon 
such a religious system, indeed, the Hundred and 
Nineteenth Psalm is not too lofty a panegyric, the 
Lamentation of Jeremiah is not too bitter an elegy. 
Complicated this system was, but exquisitely impressive ; 
gorgeous, but appropriate ; bloody, but merciful. 
Further, whilst its general purport was patent to the 
simplest, express Divine explanations having been given 
of its more prominent features, there was, as is evi 
dent upon close consideration of its provisions, food for 
the lifelong meditation of the wisest and greatest. This 
Law evoked the religious sense and appeased it ; and, 
better still, in appeasing, stimulated, importing at once 
an ever-widening content and an ever-enlarging aspira 
tion. This Law both gave truth and made experience. 
On the one hand, it imparted truth. It could convince 
of the love and holiness of God, of the heinousness and 
ruin of transgression, of the forgiveness of sins, of the 
satisfaction of the cravings after a Divine life ; above all, 
it could convince of the possibility of an entire life of 
reconciliation and fellowship with God. On the other 
hand, this Law gave birth to experience. It could 
transform knowledge into personal conviction, effecting 
in man a sense of sin, an assurance of reconciliation, 
a growth in goodness, and each in increasing measure. 
Further, it was no small element in the value of this 
Law that, as we shall see presently, it prepared the way 
for a more spiritual and reasonable religion of the 

Thus, the Law, discloses itself as, at once, a profound 
recognition of the religious needs of men, and a splen 
did response to those needs. Everywhere therein are 
emphasized man s need of redemption from sin, the 

VI, ] The Divine Origin of the Law. 321 

Divine willingness to save, and the reality of redemp 
tion. Everywhere therein the self-surrender of man to 
God is declared to be acceptable to Jehovah, ^o long as 
the Divine method of atonement by sacrificial blood is 
recognized. The practical value of this religious system 
was immense how measureless let such a Psalm as the 
hundred and nineteenth testify, with its hundred and 
seventy-six verses in praise of this Law of Jehovah, 
which is described as a fitting guide of youth, an object 
of great delight, a mine of wonders, as the rule of the 
free and the song of the exile, as sweeter than honey 
and better than riches, as life, light, and health, as 
pleasant to meditate on in this world, and as pleasant to 
hope for in fuller measure in the world to come. 

Once more the question is irresistible, Whence came 
this Law ? Is it in harmony with human experience to 
say that the natural genius of any one man, or of any 
number of men, even with the element of time thrown 
in, these men elaborating their purely human faith 
throughout centuries, could have evolved this excep 
tional knowledge, not only of the ways of man, but of 
the ways of God, knowledge which approved itself in 
strong spiritual conviction ? Surely knowledge of God 
must originate with God : surely knowledge of man in 
his Divine relations must also originate with God. 
Further, the astonishing collection of civil and religious 
precepts called the Law, is expressly stated to be of 
supernatural origin ; the God of Israel is expressly said 
to have constructed as well as communicated this elabo 
rate code for the entire government of life. Can this 
Law which so conspicuously advocates religious as well 
as civil morality, be itself an egregious instance of 
literary dishonesty ? Did the writers of the Law de- 


322 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

liberately lie when they ascribed to Divine authorship 
what they knew to be of purely human composition ? 
Could, or would, priests have framed such a law in the 
ecclesiastical interest, as some have maintained ? Could, 
or would, priests, or even prophets, of their own motion 
simply, have elaborated such a law in the religious inte- 
test, as others have supposed ? Could the Jewish people 
have produced such a law if they would, or would they 
if they could, as Henry Rogers would have said ? If 
the full assimilation of such a law is beyond the faculty 
of man, is its origination purely human ? If, as an 
apostle afterwards said, this law was " a yoke which 
neither they nor their fathers could bear," was it in 
human nature that this law their fathers could frame ? 
Is not the more intelligible explanation of the origin of 
the Law given in the words " Jehovah spake " ? 

So much appears on the examination of the Law 
itself; but, THIRDLY, in further support of the super 
natural origin of the Law, notice the kind of evolutionary 
process this Legal Code illustrates . 

Here two points call for consideration, namely, the 
relation between the Law and the religion which pre 
ceded it, and the relation between the Law and the 
religion which followed it. In other words, it is neces 
sary to inquire, whether the Law is a natural or super 
natural successor of the religion of Jacob and Joseph, 
and also to inquire whether the Law is a natural or 
supernatural forerunner of the religion of Jesus. Have 
we, or have we not, in the several grades of Biblical 
religion, instances of a purely natural development, or 
instances of a development which discloses at intervals 
a supernatural intervention ? 

vi.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 323 

Is then the Law, upon comparison of its specific 
features with those of the religion of the Patriarchs, a 
natural growth from what preceded it, or is the Law a 
conspicuous instance of Divine interposition ? Is the 
Law a stage in a naturalistic evolution, or is it a stage 
in a developing purpose of revelation ? The answer is 
not difficult if we compare the pre-Sinaitic religion of 
the Israelites with the Sinaitic. The Law can neither be 
explained by a purely human enlargement of the faith 
of the Patriarchs, nor by a purely human compounding 
of the faith of the Patriarchs with the only other religious 
system which might be in question, the religion of 
Egypt. The evidence is clear. As surely as the Law 
designates itself a revelation, the facts available declare 
it to be a revelation. 

Thus, judging by the evidence available, it would 
appear that the earlier and later faiths of the sons ot 
Abraham differed in authority, in complexity, in cen 
tralization, in fulness of doctrine, and in practical value. 
The Sinaitic laws are more explicitly attributed to 
Divine origin than the details of the pre-Mosaic faith ; 
and, throughout, the Sinaitic laws are stated to be a 
product of the mind not of Moses, but of Jehovah. So, 
too, it is evident that the Sinaitic worship was an ad 
vance upon its lineal predecessor in complexity ; for 
hereditary priests have taken the place of the father of 
the family or tribe, all the varied ceremonial of the Court, 
the Holy Place, and the Holiest has superseded the 
very elementary worship of earlier times. Then, in the 
Levitical laws, the localization of worship is most mani 
fest. Further, there is a clearness and a fulness about 
the doctrinal implications of the Law conspicuously 
absent from the earlier forms of worship. And, of 

324 The Divine Origin of the Lazu. [LECT. 

course, a more developed and authoritative theology being 
always followed by large effects in practical life, all these 
differences culminated in large diversity of practice. 
Now, manifestly, of these five points of difference, the 
crucial point for our problem, as to the natural or super 
natural origin of the Law, is the enlarged doctrinal 
significance. Greater complexity might be of human 
origination ; so might centralization ; the practical value 
of the religion would follow upon its doctrinal value ; so 
would its authority. Is there, then, evidence in the 
doctrinal teaching of the Law, as contrasted with that 
of the earlier patriarchal faith, that the Law was of 
Divine origin ? 

Assuredly. The evidence is large. The evidence is 
clear. The evidence grows upon one the more it is con 
sidered. The Patriarchal Age prepared the way for the 
religion of Sinai, but these two phases of the Old 
Testament Faith are marked by such subtle links of 
connection, the agreements and the differences are so 
unexpected, that natural growth is no sufficient cause 
why the earlier faith became the later. That designing 
priests, as one school of evolutionists have said, or that 
earnest prophets, as another school have thought, might 
desire to palm off their individual contrivances, whether 
ambitious or fanatical, as the daily practice of great men 
and of a revered antiquity, would be nothing wonderful ; 
the wonder would be that such men should have palmed 
off such practices. Things which the shallowest could 
see to be favourable to their designs are omitted ; things 
that no amount of ingenuity can show to be otherwise 
than prejudicial are inserted. Intellectual might is af 
firmed in one breath to deny it in the next. The desire 
is, we are told, to constitute the Temple the one legiti- 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Laiv. 325 

mate place of service ; to this end these priests, or 
prophets, represent the patriarchs as worshipping when 
and where they would. These inventors of a faith 
wished to surround the Altar of Burnt-offering with the 
halo of an exceptional Divine presence ; to this end they 
describe Abraham and Isaac and Jacob as erecting altars 
at their own will with signal success. These leaders of 
a new age aimed at usurping the sole priestly dignity ; 
they depict therefore every father of a family, in the old 
revered times, as the priest of his household, every 
prince as the priest of his tribe. Their prominent 
purpose was, it is said, to hold in subjection by a 
varied and magnificent and imperative ritual ; that pur 
pose, however, they do not pretend to have been familiar 
to their greatest ancestors, who knew but one kind of 
sacrifice available at any time and for the expression of 
any religious emotion. In fact, on the theory of a 
purely natural evolution, it is a problem indeed to ac 
count for the fact that the religion of Jacob merges into 
the religion of Joshua. On the theory that the sacred 
narratives themselves speak truly of a Divine revelation 
to Moses, the problem immediately vanishes. 

Let one fact, out of very many, be carefully weighed ? 
That one fact is the stress laid in the Law upon atone 
ment. The patriarchal worship knew nothing of atone 
ment. There is not a single reference in Genesis, direct 
or indirect, whether by express statement, by ritual, or 
by any mention of an express manipulation of the blood 
of the sacrificial victims presented, to the Levitical idea 
of atonement. Yet this idea underlies the entire subse 
quent life and thought of the Old Testament. Whence 
came the idea ? After our previous exposition, is not its 
Divine origin the most probable explanation of its 

326 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

entrance into human thought and experience ? And let 
the Patriarchal doctrines of God, of man, of sin, of 
salvation, and of the Church be compared with the 
Mosaic doctrines of the same subjects, and it will appear 
that we have more than natural growth : we have super 
natural addition, we have new revelation. The origin 
of the Law is only explicable upon Divine imparting. 
No purely natural process could transform the faith of 
the Patriarchs into the faith of Moses. 

Nor can the Law be explained as a natural growth 
from the earlier Patriarchal faith, as modified by a resi 
dence in Egypt. Mosaism is not an eclectic compound of 
the faith of the children of Abraham and that of the 
subjects of the Pharaohs. The influence of Egypt upon 
the religion of Moses used, it is true, to be a favourite 
theme of discourse with many, but the theme has now 
been definitely abandoned. It is sufficient proof to 
quote the words of one of the most prominent of the 
Evolutionary theorists upon the origin of the religion of 
Israel. Says Dr. Kuenen, after describing this explana 
tion of Sinai by the Nile as "a hypothesis now anti 
quated," " Amongst students of Israelite religion, there 
is not, as far as I know, a single one who derives Yah- 
wism [the religion of Israel] from Egypt. The docu 
ments which form the basis of their studies favour the 
idea that Yahwism was roused from its slumbers by the 
Egyptian religion, and was made conscious of its own 
characteristics by its conflict with it, rather than that it 
sprang out of a faith from which it is seen to be radically 
different." And Dr. Kuenen goes on to quote ap 
provingly the opinion of one of the greatest Egyp 
tologists of the day, Le Page Renouf, who has categori 
cally written : " It may be confidently asserted that 

VL] The Divine Origin of the Law. 327 

neither Hebrews nor Greeks borrowed any of their ideas 
from Egypt ; " adding, " I have looked through a number 
of works professing to discover Egyptian influences in 
Hebrew institutions, but have not even found anything 
worth controverting." x If Renan 2 desires to revive 
this now exploded theory of Egyptian influence once 
again, it will be time enough to consider his views, when 
he has settled his account with Kuenen and Renouf and 
those who think with them. The Laws of Sinai are 
confessedly no product of the Residence in Egypt ; but 
such a confession does not make the natural origin of 
" Jahwism " any the more credible. 

When, therefore, the question is asked, upon a com 
parison of the Patriarchal and Mosaic faiths, whence 
came the latter, whether by natural growth or super 
natural revelation, the answer may surely be made by 
those who have studied the facts of the case by a rigid 
process of induction, that the Law was, as it claims to be, 
the gift of Jehovah to Moses, and forms part of that 
developing plan of revelation recorded in the Bible. 

And this comparative argument for successive Divine 
interpositions in revelation, gathers irresistible force when 
the Sinaitic dispensation is compared with the Christian. 
If there are those who still, after the preceding dis 
cussion, see in the Law nothing incompatible with a 
skilful and ingenious adaptation, nothing more than an 
imaginary code written with a bias, it will scarcely be 
maintained by any one that these clever priests or earnest 
prophets of the captivity, whose inspiration be it re 
membered is, by hypothesis, but a human inspiration, 

1 Kuenen, National Religions and Universal Religions, Hibbert Lecture 
for 1882, pp. 58-61. 

- Histoire dn Peiiple d" 1 Israel. 

328 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

not only harmonized the past with their aims, but 
adroitly forecast the future. Yet a miraculous continuity 
undoubtedly exists between the Law and the Gospel. 
From the Law alone the Gospel could not be inferred : 
from the Gospel alone the Law could not be inferred : 
but, on comparison of the Law with the Gospel, a con 
tinuity, which demonstrates a far-reaching Divine de 
sign, undoubtedly discloses itself. As the immature 
picture of the artist has its subtle links of connection 
with his maturest work, this foretelling that and that 
dignifying this with apotheosis, so the teaching of Christ 
and His apostles bestows the crown of immortality upon 
Mosaism. Nor are the witnesses to continuity difficult 
to array. They consist of all those elements of law and 
ritual, the likenesses amidst unlikenesses so indicative 
of a common author, which must have remained totally 
inexplicable had not Christianity appeared. 

Let the general facts of the case be borne in mind. Very 
much of the meaning of the Law lay bare to the intelli 
gence of the spiritually minded Jew ; he knew that this 
elaborate religious constitution was symbolic ; he also 
knew that so much of the significance of the symbols 
employed was disclosed as conveyed certain truths of the 
highest importance in eliciting and developing a truly 
spiritual life ; he even recognized in these symbols a 
series of sacraments, which by the mercy of God became, 
as a matter of experience, the channels of many a religious 
blessing ; but there still remained many things unsolved ; 
there still remained many perplexing and eluding 
principles and details, displaying a very visible relation 
ship he would confess, but very like the medley of a 
cipher the key of which he did not hold. Wherever he 
looked there was discernible, for example, a most ap- 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 329 

palling insufficiency in these rites. To recapitulate the 
prominent rites alone : the Tabernacle was called the 
dwelling-place of Jehovah, it was in bare fact a structure 
of wood and skin ornamented ; the priesthood were to be 
regarded as the peculiarly holy servants of Deity, as a 
matter of fact too frequently their righteousness was 
imputed and their service official ; or, thinking of the 
purifications and sacrifices, what power had water to 
palliate the curse, what efficiency lay in animal blood to 
atone sin ? Such reflections must have presented 
amazing difficulties to the thoughtful, unless the hope 
grew strong that all these things were " shadows of 
coming blessings," cnclai ra>v fjue\\ovrwv dyadwv, as the 
author of the Epistle to the Hebrews expresses it. Only 
with the certainties of the New Testament do the 
difficulties of the Old vanish. Immediately the Jewish 
and the Christian faiths are compared, these ancient 
stumbling-blocks are the very things which prove most 
conclusively the fact of a common source. The priest 
hood has its rationale in the " Priest for ever " ; the 
Tabernacle in the Incarnation ; atonement by blood 
has its ground in Calvary ; the non-dissected feast, in the 
great Paschal Lamb ; the Passover in the feeding upon 
the crucified Jesus ; the Feast of Ingathering in the dis 
pensation of the Spirit ; the Feast of Tabernacles in the 
rejoicing of the saints through Christ. Christ is every 
where the missing key. The Divine foreknowledge 
supplies the unifying idea which underlies type and 

In short, there is a predictive element about the Law 
which shows its leading features to have been divinely 
revealed. The Law is not explicable alone ; the Gospel 
is not explicable alone : the Law has many features only 

330 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

adequately explained by the Gospel ; the Gospel has 
many features only adequately explained by the Law : 
in other words, the Law is a prophecy of the Gospel, and 
the Gospel is a fulfilment of the Law. What follows ? 
Even supposing the faculties of man capable of producing 
the Law, the pre-established harmony, so to speak, which 
exists between the Law and the Gospel, it is beyond the 
faculties of man as such to have invented. The Law 
cannot be an afterthought of Christianity ; Christianity 
is no mere natural development of the Law ; there are, 
however, points in. both which only their similarity of 
origin can explain ; whether the Law be revealed, or 
whether the Gospel be revealed, these common features 
are immediately seen to result from a Divine pre-arrange - 
ment. In so far as the Law is explained by the Gospel, 
in so far, that is to say, as the Law has a typical, a 
prophetical, a predictive element, proof positive is given 
of the Divine origin of the Law. 

" To those who rightly understand," said Augustine, 
" the Old Testament is a prophecy of the New." The 
thought is just. This thought an attempt is now being 
made to illustrate. For note this characteristic of pro 
phecy No prophecy is absolutely clear in itself; were 
it so, it might be alleged that the prophecy wrought 
its own fulfilment ; but a prophecy only becomes per 
fectly lucid on comparison with its fulfilment At 
least, these are the principles partial unintelligibility 
when delivered, complete intelligibility on fulfilment 
which underlay the prophecy of the Old Testament, the 
initial latency of which subsequently shows the more 
conclusively the Divine source from which the prophecy 

If the induction appear abstract, it well repays atten- 

VI.] TJie Divine Origin of the Law. 331 

tion. It may be stated as follows : The Old Testament 
has truth of its own to convey to the times in which it 
was written it seems intelligible ; it has also much 
other truth, the importance of which only the times sub 
sequent to its composition can disclose it is really partly 
unintelligible ; but once those later times have come, 
the latent truth coming into the light of day becomes 
wholly intelligible, and, as a consequence, it then be 
comes manifest to all who attend to the matter, that 
none but the Spirit of God can have originated the truth, 
once latent, but now disclosed. 

An illustration may make the point clearer. That 
illustration shall be drawn from the preparation of the 
earth for man. All through the geological ages there 
has been a manifest adaptation between the flora and 
fauna of the globe and its atmosphere and climate. 
Detail is needless, seeing that this adaptation between 
geological life and its environment is one of the common 
places of science. But all through the geological ages 
another process has been going on. There has been a 
sort of prophecy of a coming time written in the chang 
ing crust of the earth. Soil, for example, has been 
steadily forming, with what purpose ? Coal and lime 
and minerals of many kinds and forms have been 
building themselves up, shall we say, aimlessly ? A vast 
evolution has been progressing, to what end ? As yet, 
and prior to a later stage of the life-history of our planet, 
the prophecy, if such it be, is largely unintelligible. At 
length the epoch of man arrives, and all is clear. The 
problem is solved ; the prophecy has become intelligible. 
This soil of ages is for man to plough ; the lime of ages 
is for him to calcine; the coal of ages is for him to burn ; 
the evolution of ages has had for its end to provide man, 

332 The Divine Origin of the Lazv. [LECT. 

for instance, with the barley and oats and millet and 
wheat and maize and rice, which only appear with man, 
upon which he feeds, and without which he would die ; 
the progress of humanity would have been impossible, 
we see, but for this long preparation for his advent. 
Manifestly man s advent upon the globe has been fore 
seen, and, at the same time, most thoughtfully pre 
arranged for. What follows ? Does not this, that past 
ages are, so to speak, a prophecy of the coming of man, 
if unintelligible for a time, yet wholly intelligible, most 
lucidly intelligible, when the prophecy has passed into 
fulfilment ? And does not this, that the prophecy itself 
is written with a Divine finger ? Similarly the Law is a 
prophecy of the Gospel ; and, again, the Law as a pro 
phecy is only fully intelligible upon the entrance of the 
Gospel ; and yet again, both Law and Gospel, with their 
very subtle links of connection, have originated in the 
Divine Mind. 

As a matter of fact, this prophetic, this typical, element 
was latent everywhere in the Law. At least, so com 
parison with Christianity clearly shows. Fulfilment and 
antitype have made the meaning of prophecy and type 
evident. In the Law, as \ve can see to-day, the seed, so 
to speak, of the Divine purpose in revelation had reached 
its leafage, and naturally possessed its own characteristic 
beauties and significance, not the least of which was the 
promise in this spring-tide of a glorious summer yet to 
come. Or, to use another figure, in the Law the Divine 
revelation had reached its youth, this youth again being 
full of its own riches and purpose, one important portion 
of which was its promise of a riper day to follow. The 
complete evidence in the Law for this promise, this 
prophecy, of a future flowering, of a future virile 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Lazu, 333 

stage, would require a minute examination of the entire 
range of injunctions catalogued in the books of Moses ; 
such a survey cannot, of course, be attempted here. A 
brief outline of the kind of evidence may, however, be 

The large evidence available must be examined as 
follows : First, the characteristic features of the Law, in 
general and in detail, must be carefully catalogued and 
classified. Secondly, the characteristic features of the 
Christianity of the New Testament must also be care 
fully catalogued and classified. Thirdly, a comparison 
must be instituted between the two sets of charac 

Upon such a comparison some highly important con 
clusions appear. 

One conclusion is that both Law and Gospel teach 
very much the same religious truths. To select a few 
salient examples only. Both teach that the Deity desires 
to be approached in human worship. Both teach that, 
in such approach on the part of man, two conditions 
must be observed, the one condition being a recognition 
of the revealed method of atonement, and the other 
being a willinghood to draw nigh to the throne of the 
Heavenly Grace. Both teach that access to God is to be 
gained through the mediation of a priesthood. Both 
teach that near access to God is reserved for certain 
select souls. Both teach that God delights in that ser 
vice of His worshippers which most conclusively illus 
trates their readiness to surrender themselves wholly to 
Him. In short, both teach first, the Divine accessibility; 
secondly, by mediation ; thirdly, upon atonement ; 
fourthly, and upon voluntary self-surrender ; fifthly, of 
a priesthood. 

334 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

But this conclusion straightway leads to another. 
Law and Gospel teach these truths in a very different 
fashion. In the Law, the Divine accessibility is taught 
by a visible Tabernacle of material construction ; in the 
Gospel, it is taught by the Incarnation of God in Christ. 
In the Law, mediation pertains to a hereditary and very 
fallible high-priest ; in the Gospel, it pertains to the one 
sinless High-priest for ever. In the Law, atonement is 
by the blood of bulls, and of goats, and of lambs ; in the 
Gospel, atonement is by the blood of the Incarnate Word 
of God. In the Law, priesthood pertains to an hereditary 
class, whose worship is official and ritualistic ; in the 
Gospel, priesthood pertains to a regenerate class, whose 
worship is spontaneous and real. In the Law, surrender 
of the soul to God found expression in a ceaseless round 
of ceremonial acts ; in the Gospel, it finds expression in 
a devout performance of all the manifold duties of life 
personal, social, civil, and religious. In a word, whereas 
the Law taught by symbol, the Gospel teaches without 

Whereupon yet another conclusion discloses itself. 
The Law gives us types, and the Gospel antitypes, to use 
a technicality as concise as useful. By a type is meant 
the symbolical presentation of a truth ; by an antitype 
is meant the presentation of the same truth as a matter 
of fact and not a matter of symbol. 

And upon this yet another conclusion follows. It is 
beyond our human faculties to invent types, prior to the 
appearance of their antitypes. Types are prophetic 
symbols ; at least, types are seen to be prophetic symbols, 
when once their antitypes appear. Symbols only be 
come types when they have this element of prophecy, 
inadequately representing a truth by symbol which the 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 335 

future alone will adequately reveal. To take an instance. 
The Jew believed in atonement by the blood of beasts ; 
Why ? Certainly not from knowledge of the tragedy of 
Calvary. Why then ? Is it easy to say ? This much 
is evident : this method of atonement might arouse him 
to think out many a piece of inconsequent reasoning ; it 
might suggest some possible solution of his intellectual 
difficulties in the far future ; it might even tell a mystic 
and eluding tale to the imaginative and spiritually 
minded ; but what express statements had the Jew upon 
the many perplexing details of this ritual of blood ? That 
is to say, the Jew, who had any faith at all in the Divine 
origin of the Mosaic worship, might, as he presented his 
blood-sacrifice, rest, with priceless advantage, upon the 
words, " I have given it to you on the altar to make an 
atonement for your souls," he might put his trust in the 
Divine Wisdom, though that Wisdom spake for a while 
in parables ; but what more did he, or could he, know ? 
That blood was symbolic he might infer from the 
Divine command ; that the symbol would be explained 
in the future he might also infer from the same reason ; 
but of the exact ground of the symbol, of fa&fundamen- 
tum relationis, he could in his day know nothing clearly. 
When once, however, the symbol has passed into the 
actual exhibition of the truth symbolized, when prophecy 
has merged into fulfilment, when type has given place 
to antitype, when the Law has received its complement in 
the Gospel, then it is as clear as day why the symbol, the 
prophecy, the type was given. After the death of Christ, 
it is possible to find a Divine preparation for that fact, its 
significance, and its necessity, in the blood of the ancient 
sacrifices. So it is ever. Type is inexplicable indeed, 
is scarcely known as type until the antitype appears. 

The Divine Origin of the Law [LECT. 

But if this is so, a further inference is inevitable. If 
types have no meaning apart from antitypes, and if types 
and antitypes are separated by centuries, then the very 
existence of types argues their supernatural origin. The 
course of reasoning is this : the Law, as judged by the 
Gospel, is full of types ; types are predictive symbols, 1 
but prediction is impossible unless the thing predicted is 
known ; now knowledge of the thing predicted, in the 
long interval between Law and Gospel, was not within 
the reach of the faculties of man as such ; such pre 
dictive knowledge is superhuman. The conclusion is 
that all the injunctions of the Law which are typical, 
are of Divine origin. The conclusion can only be avoided 
by denying that any relations whatever of type and 
antitype are to be found in Law and Gospel. 

This typical character of so many of the injunctions of 
the Law has been too frequently ignored of late, especi 
ally by those we have called the Evolutionary theorists. 
These theorists have been too ready to assume the 
impossibility, or at least the improbability of a Divine 
revelation. Too frequently their objection to the 
Mosaic origin of the Law has arisen from initial objec 
tion to the supernatural. But the question as to whether 
there is any pre-established harmony between the Law 
and the Gospel, cannot be shirked by inductive inquirers. 
If there are any types whatever in the Law, the super 
natural origin of those types is proved. Types using 
the word as previously defined cannot but be of Divine 

One series of instances, then, of genuine revelation, 
one series of examples of truth beyond the power of man 

1 Compare The Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice, pp. 392-405. 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 337 

to impart, has been discovered. The Law, using the 
word in its narrower sense of the code given to Israel in 
the Wilderness, was a series of revelations. 

FOURTHLY, notice that the Law is only part of a long- 
continued series of revelations. The Law did not stand 
alone ; it was no isolated message from the heavens, 
which preserved both before and after a most rigid 
silence. That the Law was veritable revelation, Divine 
knowledge divinely imparted, we have seen ; but the fact, 
the reality, of revelation once proven by the phenomena 
displayed by this Sinaitic Code, the veracity of the 
Pentateuch having been demonstrated in this particular, 
the truth of many other revelations in the same record 
is rendered highly probable. Now Genesis records many 
specific revelations, besides the narrative of Creation, 
immediately derived from a Divine source. There are 
revelations of God to Adam, and Noah, and Abraham, 
and Isaac, and Jacob, to mention only the more pro 
minent instances. The narrative of these revelations is 
closely interwoven in a narrative which, wherever tested, 
has approved itself historical and thus reliable. If the 
narrative of common events has shown itself eminently 
veracious, there would be little reason to distrust the 
veracity of the narrative when it dealt with uncommon 
events, but for one consideration, the initial improba 
bility of Divine interference in human affairs. The 
witness, who so testifies to natural things within his 
cognizance that his testimony is regarded as unimpeach 
able, might be trusted when he testifies to supernatural 
things within his experience, were not the fact of any 
Divine revelation altogether improbable. But the 
reality of Divine revelation has been demonstrated. The 


338 The Divine Origin of the Law. [LECT. 

Sinaitic Code, as well as the narrative of Creation, is 
Divine knowledge divinely imparted. Philosophical 
objections to the possibility of revelation are neu 
tralized by the actual existence of indisputable reve 
lations. What follows ? Does not this ? That the 
reality of revelation once shown, the testimony of 
Genesis, which has maintained its credit for truthful 
ness, wherever tested, compels us to see a long series 
of Divine interpositions in human affairs. Seeing that 
the Sinaitic Law is Divine in origin, as our investigation 
has shown, no initial objection to revelation can now 
warrant us in setting aside the actual statements of 
Genesis. Historical in common things, Genesis must 
now be regarded as historical in things uncommon and 

FIFTHLY, notice that these Divine revelations recorded 
in the Pentateuch, like all the revelations recorded in the 
Bible, are represented as substantiated by miracles. 

The point has its importance. There is, it is true, in 
the record, no prodigality of miracles ; nevertheless, 
according to the common Biblical law, there are marked 
demonstrations of miraculous power at certain crises in 
the religious development of man. The Bible has noth 
ing to say of a continuous exhibition of miracle through 
out the times it depicts ; but it certainly does call atten 
tion to a massing of miracles at precise epochs of 
revelation. Miracles in the Law, as in the Bible 
generally, first, are sparingly distributed, and, second, 
make their appearance in order to accredit certain special 
instruments of Divine revelation to man. This restric 
tion of miracles to epochs in revelation, when they were 
the credentials, so to speak, of ambassadors extraordinary 

VI.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 339 

from the King of kings, is seen in the days of the Patri 
archs, in those of Moses, in those of Samuel, in those of 
Elijah, in those of Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Daniel, and 
in the days of Jesus and His apostles. 

These two considerations, viz., that Scripture miracles 
are rare, and that they are employed to accredit special 
Divine messengers, might possibly have been worthy the 
attention of Mr. Matthew Arnold. " Suppose," he has 
said, " I could change the pen with which I write this 
into a pen-wiper, I should not thus make what I write any 
the truer or more convincing." x The sentiment is a mere 
truism. But had Mr. Matthew Arnold claimed to have 
been a special Divine messenger the case would have 
been otherwise. 

Quite consonantly, therefore, with the customary law of 
revelation, Moses is said to be endowed with miraculous 
power. As a chosen ambassador from God to man, 
Moses received the Divine credentials of miracle. Very 
fitly, surely. What can be credentials of the supernatural 
but the supernatural ? The miracles accredit the reve 
lation : the revelation demonstrates the Divine, and not 
the diabolic, origin of the miracle. 

The Books of the Law being, then, records of Reve 
lations, as well as of much else, being records, that is to 
say, of much Divine knowledge divinely imparted, notice, 
therefore, SIXTHLY, tJiat human knoivledge of revelation 
implies inspiration. 

The discussion is not yet sufficiently advanced for the 
full treatment of this fertile distinction. Even here, 
however, before closing the consideration of the Divine 
origin of the Law, a few remarks may be fittingly 

1 Literature and Dogma, 4th edit., p. 128. 

34O The Divine Origin of tJie Law. [LECT. 

made, in anticipation of a more elaborate consideration 
later on. 

Inspiration is a well understood term for the influence 
exerted upon man by the Holy Ghost. Further, the 
gifts of the Spirit being various, so the varieties of in 
spiration are various. Even, as associated with reve 
lation, or the Divine impartation of truth to men, there 
are varieties of inspiration. Thus there is an inspiration 
which assists in the making of character, revelations being 
necessarily given by means of holy men, and holiness 
being a gift of the Spirit of Holiness. Then there is an 
inspiration of intelligence , man being incapable of receiv 
ing revelations except as he is divinely fitted for such 
reception, objective revelation demanding subjective 
inspiration.. Then, too, there is an inspiration of author 
ship, the impulse to write the record of the Divine 
revelations being itself of Divine origin. 

All this, it is hoped, will become clearer later on. But 
even now, it is suggested, after the series of facts 
already considered, that the following conclusions are war 
ranted. In the first place, Divine revelations cannot be 
delivered to man by anybody. Secondly, the receptivity 
for revelation implies a long training by the Holy Spirit. 
Thirdly, all revelations further imply an immediate in 
spiration by means of which the faculties of man are 
expanded to receive what is divinely taught. And 
fourthly, if it is part of the Divine design that any reve 
lation be committed to writing, written revelation implies 
another form of inspiration, prompting to the permanent 
embodiment in a faithful record. In short, revelation as 
such implies inspiration an inspiration of character, 
an inspiration of understanding, and an inspiration of 

vi.] The Divine Origin of the Law. 341 

LASTLY, notice that, there being, as has been seen, very 
good reasons for associating the authorship of the entire 
Books of the Law with Moses, and Moses being evi 
dently inspired, in character, in receptivity, and in 
authorship there is a very real sense in which the entire 
Pentateuch may be called inspired, and therefore Divine in 
origin. In this instance, at any rate, a holy man wrote 
as he was moved by the Holy Ghost and thus became 
an inspired organ of revelation. This conclusion is of 
the highest interest. It cannot be fully expanded here. 
Presently it will call for, and repay, the closest atten 





WHEN speaking of the Sacred Books of the Old 
Covenant, our Lord described them, evidently 
in terms familiar to His hearers, as " the Law and the 
Prophets," I and once as " the Law and the Prophets and 
the Psalms." 2 A parallel phrase occurs in the Apocrypha, 
where, mention is made of " the Law and the Prophets 
and the Rest of the Books." 3 It thus appears that 
where we say, briefly, " the Old Testament," the Jews 
were accustomed to speak, with more circumlocution, of 
" the Law and the Prophets," or of " the Law and the 
Prophets and the Psalms," or the Psalms being but 
the first section of a series of writings of " the Law 
and the Prophets and the Writings (or the Holy 
Writings)." Indeed, a similar series of designations is 
found in the modern Hebrew Bible, where even to-day, 
no single word appearing such as our word Bible or 
Testament, the title-page runs, "The Law and the 
Prophets and the Writings." This triple division of the 
Old Testament into Law and Prophets and Hagio- 
grapha is acknowledged by scholars to be the ancient 

1 Matt. xi. 13, xxii. 40 ; Acts xiii. 15, &c. 

2 Luke xxiv. 44. s Ecclus., Prologue. 

346 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

Of course the Law, in this ancient mode of describing 
the contents of the Old Testament, consisted of the 
Five Book constituting the present Pentateuch. As for 
the Prophets, they were divided into two sections, the 
Earlier Prophets and the Later. The Earlier Prophets, 
let the reader of the English Bible observe, consisted of 
the Historical Books of our Old Testament of Joshua, 
Judges, First and Second Samuel, and First and Second 
Kings. The Later Prophets consisted of the Prophetical 
Books proper of our Old Testament, three of which are 
ascribed to the so-called Greater Prophets (Isaiah, Jere 
miah, and Ezekiel), and twelve to the so-called Minor 
Prophets, those prophets whose writings are extant in 
our Bibles from Daniel to Malachi, the Book of Daniel 
itself, however, belonging to the Holy Writings and not 
to the Prophets. The Writings, or Holy Writings or 
Hagiographa, as they have come to be called included 
the remaining books of our Old Testament, but arranged 
differently, the order running, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the 
five Rolls (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, 
Esther, kept in separate rolls, because they were pub 
licly read in the synagogues on certain feast days by 
the later Jews), Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and First and 
Second Chronicles. 

Of these three divisions of the Old Testament the 
first has now been sufficiently considered. By a strictly 
inductive method, the veracity of the Five Books of 
the Law, their veracity both as history and revelation, 
has been shown to be highly probable. The Divine 
Origin of the Law, and therefore its [inspiration, has 
approved itself the only hypothesis really explanatory 
of the facts. 

From the Books of the Law we now pass to the 

VII.] The Divine Origin of Prophecy. 347 

Books of the Prophets, using the word in the larger 
sense just explained, by the Books of the Prophets 
being meant the second great division of the Old 

Respecting these Prophetical Books, two lines of 
inquiry must be prosecuted. Before it is possible to 
frame any solid conclusions upon the inspiration of 
these books, it is necessary to be assured both as to 
their historicity and as to their supernatural character. 
Possibly, however, after our previous inquiry into the 
inspiration of the Law, little needs be said upon the 
question of method. The method of search into the 
Inspiration of the Prophets is identical with that already 
employed for ascertaining the nature of the Inspiration 
of the Law. 

Happily the general historical veracity of these Earlier 
and Later Prophets has not been challenged in the 
same manner as the historicity of the Law has been. If 
some have said, " Revelation is impossible, therefore I 
cannot accept the historical character of these pro 
phets " ; few, if any, have said, " The historical character 
of these prophetical books is unsustained, therefore I can 
not believe that they contain revelation." We may pass 
therefore at once to the crucial question, whether these 
Earlier and Later Prophets are, in any degree, credible 
records of Divine Revelation, of Divine knowledge, that 
is, divinely imparted. 

In this Lecture, then, FIRST, the Divine Origin of 
Prophecy, and, SECONDLY, the Inspiration of the Books of 
the Prop/iets, as well as of the Prophets themselves, will 
be examined. 

That Prophecy and Law are the two prominent 

34$ The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

features of the Religion of Israel, existing side by side, 
and exerting reciprocal influence, all are agreed. 

Now what was Prophecy ? What was its nature ? 
What was its course ? More definitely still, what, 
according to the Old Testament writers themselves, 
were the characteristics and history of Old Testament 
prophecy ? 

What the Old Testament has to say about the ap 
pearance of prophecy in the sphere of history is as 
follows : 

For a time, it is said, the prophetical gift was pos 
sessed and exercised by isolated individuals at rare 
intervals. Abraham is called a prophet. 1 So is 
Moses. 2 Miriam was, we are told, a prophetess. 3 
Moses anticipated that prophets would arise from time 
to time.4 In the days of the Judges, Deborah is called 
a prophetess.s Again, in the same epoch, when the 
children of Israel were harassed by the Midianites, a 
prophet is said to have been sent to them, in response to 
their cry for Divine help. 6 So, too, in the extreme age 
of Eli, a man of God, a prophet apparently, foretold the 
violent death of Hophni and Phinehas : 7 

From the days of Samuel, however, the rare prophetic 
gift is represented as becoming continuous, or nearly so. 
At that time, it would seem, the prophets became 
organized into a distinct religious order, existing side by 
side with the priestly and the ruling orders. 8 Samuel, 
seeing the advantage of association, founded what came 
to be called " schools " of the prophets, these schools 
naturally giving power, status, and permanence to the 

1 Gen. xx. 7. 2 Deut. xviii. 15. 3 Exod. xv. 20. 

4 Deut. xiii. I ; xviii. 20. 5 Juclg. iv. 4. 6 //>. vi. 7-10 

7 I Sam. ii. 27-36. 8 Jer. xviii. 18 ; Ezek. vii. 26. 

VII.] Nature of Prophecy. 349 

prophetical career. The original school was at Ramah. 1 
Subsequently similar institutions are read of at Bethel 
and Jericho, and Gilgal, and at other places near the 
Jordan. 2 How long these " schools " survived we do not 
know. But we read of them expressly in the days of 
Samuel, in the days of Elijah, and in those of Elisha ; 
indeed, a phrase in Amos, 3 when Amos describes himself 
as " no prophet, neither one of the sons of the prophets," 
would seem to imply the continued existence of these 
"schools," at least as late as the days of King Amaziah, 
The purpose of these schools was educational. They 
obeyed a sort of monastic rule, and exerted a sort of 
monastic influence. Into these " schools " were gathered 
suitable young men, known as " sons of the prophets," 
who were trained, under the guidance of their elders, for 
their specific work, sometimes numbering fifty, a hun 
dred, and even four hundred.4 The head of these schools 
was an " anointed " prophet,^ who became at once leader 
and teacher, and who was technically called now Father, 6 
and now Master.7 Under the guidance of this head, 
these " sons " studied amongst other things, it would 
seem, how and what to teach orally, spoken addresses 
being given by prophets on new moons and sabbaths ; 8 
they also, it would appear, studied sacred music.9 It 
was from these " schools " apparently that the more 
prominent prophets passed out to their public duties, 
although the instance of Amos, just quoted, shows that, 
occasionally, conspicuous prophetic gift was bestowed 
outside the " schools." Of course the existence of these 
" schools " demonstrates that there were many prophets 

1 I Sam. xix. 19, 20. 2 2 Kings ii. 3, 5 ; iv. 38 ; vi. i. 3 Amos vii. 14. 
4 I Kings xviii. 4 ; xxii. 6 ; 2 Kings ii. 1 6. 5 I Kings xix. 1 6. 

6 I Sam. x. 12. ? 2 Kings ii. 3. 8 //;. iv. 23 ; vi. 32. 

9 Exod. xv. 20; Judg. iv. 4, v. 1-30 ; I Sam. x. 5 ; 2 Kings iii. 15. 

350 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

whose names have not descended to us, men who lighted 
the lamp of truth in a dark age, and who, having served 
their generation, passed away without record. To some 
prophets a more lasting fame was given. Their names 
have come down to us, immortalized in some cases by 
their deeds, like Samuel and Elijah, and in some cases 
by their writings, like Isaiah and Ezekiel. The practice 
of writing prophecies commenced with Hosea, whose 
ministry lasted nearly sixty years, from the days of Uzziah 
to those of Hezekiah. Contemporary with the earlier 
or later days of Hosea to take the more probable dates 
when the several prophets flourished were Amos and 
Joel and Jonah in the Northern Kingdom, and Isaiah 
and Micah and Nahum in the Southern Kingdom. A 
little later in order of time came Habakkuk, and Jere 
miah, and Zephaniah, and Ezekiel, and Daniel, all more 
or less associated with the great epoch of the captivity 
of Judah. Then the prophetic message was taken up 
by the prophets of the Return, Haggai and Zechariah, 
the splendid era of open vision closing with Malachi, 
after whose death there was a lapse of several cen 
turies before the prophetic mantle fell on John the 
Baptist, the great forerunner of the antitype of all 

This rapid sketch of the course of prophecy in the 
Old Testament will suffice for the purpose in view. 
The evidence available shows us one long chain of 
prophets, if not from the days of Moses, at least from 
the days of Samuel until the close of the Old Testa 
ment canon. 

The next question that arises is as to the nature of 
prophecy. What, according to the Old Testament, 
was the nature of this prophetic gift ? What were the 

VII.] Nature of Prophecy. 351 

functions, therefore, of_ these religious leaders called. 

prophets ? Does prophecy of the Old Testament type 
occur only in the history of Judaism, or is it common 
to mankind ? We are not concerned, be it observed, 
with popular conceptions or misconceptions of pro 
phecy ; but, as pursuing an inductive inquiry into the 
contents of the Old Testament, we are simply dealing 
with the data afforded by the Old Testament. What, 
then, according to the Old Testament, was the differentia 
of prophecy ? Prophecy was, of course, religious utter 
ance (which was occasionally committed to writing) : 
the question is, utterance of what kind ? 

Happily there is little diversity of view as to the 
Old Testament conception of prophecy. Biblical in 
terpreters, while differing widely as to the etymology 
of the Hebrew word translated prophet, are largely 
agreed upon its actual meaning. In fact, Biblical usage 
makes the significance clear. The -nabhi f tke- prophet, 
was the medium, the spokesman, the interpreter, the 
ambassador, between God and man the inspired 
messenger who, having heard words from God, transmits 
those words to man. The utterance of the prophet was 
an inspired, a revealed utterance. 

A few instances of the employment of the word 
" prophet " will make this meaning quite evident. Here 
is one. When Moses pleaded his slow tongue as a reason 
for shrinking from the mission to Pharaoh, Jehovah 
encourages him by saying, " (Aaron) shall be thy 
prophet (nab/ii) unto the people, and it shall come to 
pass that he shall be to thee A MOUTH, and thou shalt 
be to him AS GOD ; " * by nabhi is meant, then, the 
mouth of God ; Moses should be as the Divine source, 

1 Exod. iv. 10-17. 

352 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

and Aaron as the human channel of revelation. Here 
is another instance : " I will raise them up," we read in 
Deuteronomy, " a prophet from among their brethren 
like unto thee, and will put MY WORDS in his MOUTH, 


In the Psalms, again, where we read, Touch not mine 
anointed ones (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and do my 
prophets no harm," 2 the patriarchs, it is evident, are 
called Jehovah s prophets, being the select media of 
Divine communications to men. Parallel instances 
abound. Throughout the Bible the prophet is the Divine 
messenger, who, having been told the mind of God, 
declares that mind to his people. This idea the other 
names given to prophets illustrate. It is as the 
messenger of heaven that the prophet is called now the 
" disciple " 3 of Jehovah (as eager to catch the faintest 
word of his Master that he may repeat it to others), 
and now Jehovah s " servant " 4 (the confidential steward, 
armed with plenary authority), and now the " seer " 5 
(from his open vision of Deity), and now the " man of 
God " 6 (from his Divine relationship), and now the 
" man of the Spirit " 7 (as inspired by the Spirit). In; 
short, the prophet, according to the Old Testament) 
view, was a Barnabas, a u/o? Tra^a/cX^Veo)?, " a man 
endowed with the gifts of the Paraclete." Further, 
because the prophet was regarded, as Augustine ex 
pressed it, as an " enunciator verborum Dei hominibus," 
the Seventy Translators of the Hebrew text into 
Greek, rendered the word nabhi by TT/OO^TT;?, the 
7rpo(?JT??9 being an interpreter, so to speak one who 
speaks for another one who makes intelligible words 

1 Deut. xviii. 18. 2 Psa. cv. 15. 3 Isa. 1. 4. 4 Hosea iii. 7. 

5 i Sam. ix. 9. 6 Ib. ii. 27 ; ix. 6-8, 10. 7 Hosea ix. 7. 

VII.] Nature of Prophecy. 353 

spoken in an unknown tongue. Further still, from this 
Greek word, by direct transference into our English 
speech, comes the word prophet. The prophet, that is 
to say meaning by prophet what the Jews meant by 
nabJii is, according to the Old Testament conception, 
one who utters to man the Word of God, the human 
exponent of Divine revelation. 

The prophet, then according to the Old Testament 
view of his function interpreted to man revelations 
he personally received from God. Prophecy was not 
divination, but revelation. Soothsaying rested uponj 
human presentiment ; prophecy followed upon Divine 
inspiration. The prophet was conscious of being an, 
organ of Divine communications. The words he spake 
he knew to be Divine words. His messages did not 
originate in natural facts, but in supernatural gifts. 
The prophet was a herald who announced the royal will 
of heaven. In a word, prophecy was revelation, Divine 
knowledge divinely imparted. At least, such is the 
conception everywhere current in the Old Testament. 

The same view of prophecy, as revelation, follows 
upon an examination of the functions ascribed in the 
Old Testament to the prophet. It was as men who 
were inspired of God to declare revelations that the 
prophets were everywhere represented as exerting their 
wide and mighty influence. The prophets were the 
national annalists, but this they were as Divine 
historians, as the recipients of Divine guidance in the 
emphasizing of the Divine side of human history. The 
prophets, again, were the custodians of the national 
morals ; but this, again, they were as inspired preachers 
of righteousness; for when they reproved or commended 
king or rulers, priests or laity, their Divine relationship 


354 T ne Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

was the ground of their praise or censure. The pro 
phets were also exponents and upholders of the Law of 
Moses, decrying ritualistic observance, and demanding 
the obedience of the whole man, body, soul, and spirit ; 
but they always relied, as a reason for earnest appeal 
and scathing denunciation, not on the revealed character 
of the Law, a revelation of the past, but on specific 
revelations in the present, granted to them personally. 
The prophetical order always claimed to be more than 
an order of lawyers interpreting an ancient code ; they 
claimed, by virtue of their intimacy with Deity, to be 
an order of lawgivers, who made authoritative renderings 
of the code they advocated. So, too, the entire force of 
their proclamation concerning events about to happen 
to men and cities and nations, was consequent upon 
the fact of their Divine relationship. Further, it was as 
accredited channels of new revelation that the prophets 
declared the advent of a gracious future deliverer, who 
should palliate the curse of sin, and establish a kingdom 
of righteousness. Whether the prophets served as 1 
preachers or pastors, as moralists or judges, as poets or 
historians, as guides of the present or heralds of the 
future, the ground of their activity, however trivial or 
magnificent, however local or large, however fugitive or 
lasting, is ever ascribed, in the Old Testament, to the , 
specific relation in which they stood to Jehovah, i 
Jehovah inspired them both to understand and to utter 
His revealed will. 

Prophecy^ then, was divine in origin. The prophet 
spake the word of God. It was knowledge divinely 
imparted, whether of the past, the present, or the future, 
which the prophets communicated to their age, and 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 355 

through their age to all time. This is the invariable 
view in the Old Testament. There prophecy is unique ; 
prophecy is miraculous ; prophecy is supernatural ; 
prophecy shows Divine interposition for the good of 

Is this position warranted? This is the next question 
which must be asked in any inductive inquiry. Is it 
true as Peter said, that " no prophecy ever was brought 
by the will of man ; but men spake from God being 
moved by the Holy Ghost"? Is PROPHECY DIVINE 
OR HUMAN IN ORIGINATION? What conclusion does 
a rigorous inductive examination of the related phe 
nomena suggest ? 

Can Old Testament prophecy be explained on im 
personal evolutionary principles ; or is prophecy a fact 
which renders a merely natural evolution of things an 
inadequate theory of the universe ? This is the im 
portant problem which must now be investigated in the 
light of the evidence available. 

Is, tJien, the Old Testament conception of Prophecy as tJie 
.human utterance of revelation ivarranted? 

Now, in \h.e first place, notice that what was seen in the 
case of the Law is equally seen in the instance of Prophecy. 
The predominant interest of prophecy is religious. Only 
secondarily was the aim of prophecy political, moral, or 
social ; primarily, its aim was religious. The constant 
endeavour of the prophets was to put man in right 
relations with God, assured that right relations with 
man would necessarily follow. With every prophet the 
paramount, the supreme endeavour of his life was to 
bring the spirit of each of his hearers into the closest 
contact with the Spirit of God. Has not this religious 

356 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

import of prophecy some weight in determining its 
natural or supernatural origin ? Is it so very human 
to accentuate strongly, nay, supremely, the Divine 
relations of man, " seeking first the kingdom of God 
and His righteousness/ under the firmest possible con 
viction that all other good things will be added thereto? 
Surely there is something to be said for the supra- 
mundane source of so supramundane a life. Does man 
turn to God except when God turns to man ? When 
the human soul trembles towards a fixed point in the 
heavens, may we not assume that God is the pole which 
attracts ? It seems an invariable law that man is only 
full of God as God is full of man. Thus the religions 
bent of prophecy seems to imply its supernatural source. 

The Divine origin of prophecy, it has just been said,, 
is suggested by the crowning purpose of prophecy, of 
bringing man into close and conscious fellowship with 
God. However, it shall not be forgotten that this 
religious interest is not in itself sufficient proof, to some 
modern inquirers, of the supernatural character of pro 
phecy. Some modern inquirers, with what consistency 
I do not stay to examine, accept the religious trend of 
prophecy, but deny its supernatural source. Thus a 
noteworthy recent book upon the Prophets of the Old 
Testament maintains strongly and strenuously this re 
ligious interest, " the high moral and religious character 
attained by the prophets," but sees no ground whatever 
for believing that " Israelitish prophecy was a super 
natural phenomenon, derived from Divine inspiration." T 
" Prophecy is," according to this view, " a phenomenon, 

1 Kuenen, The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, an Historical and 
Critical Inquiry, translated from the Dutch by Adam Milroy, with 
an Introduction by J. Muir, London, 1877, Introduction pp. xxxvii,. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 357 

yea, one of the most important and remarkable phe 
nomena in the history of religion, but just on that 
account a human phenomenon, proceeding from Israel, 
directed to Israel." From the religious bent of pro 
phecy, which suggests, let us, therefore, pass to its pre 
dictive aspect, which demonstrates, its Divine origin. 

Secondly, then, observe that the Divine origin of prophecy 
is conclusively shown by its predictive character. 

Of course, as Old Testament students are now agreed, 
Old Testament prophecy is not entirely prediction. If, 
for many years, the value of the Old Testament in our 
modern life was all too seriously minimized by the wide 
acceptance of the view, to which Bishop Butler gave 
expression when he said that " prophecy is the history of 
events before they come to pass ; " that limitation of 
view which is perilous to-day is of another nature. 
Prophecy is revelation, as we have seen Divine know 
ledge divinely imparted ; and if formerly mischief lay 
in so identifying prophecy with prediction as to ignore 
other forms of revelation which were equally prophecy, 
the danger now is of an opposite kind ; the present 
error is in so excluding prediction from prophecy as to 
ignore that revelation may be of the future as well as of 
the present and past. Amongst other ends, prophecy 
frequently predicts, so it appears ; certainly prophecy 
claims to predict as well as to preach. Prophecy pre 
tends to a value beyond its significance at the moment. 
At the moment it may have comforted, warned, guided ; 
but at the moment it was often largely unintelligible, 
because it was expressly predictive at least so the evi 
dence seems to declare. When the prophets preached, 
they frequently predicted. What follows ? Does not 

358 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

this ? That, whereas prediction before fulfilment may 
have a hortatory value (as when Isaiah spake to Ahab 
of the "Virgin who would bear," a prophecy which,, 
although unintelligible, yet had its hortatory value for 
Ahab), prediction after fulfilment has a value that is 
evidential (as when Matthew regards the same prophecy 
as fulfilled in Jesus). To preach is human, but to 
predict is Divine. For preaching, for exhortation, the 
common faculties of man may suffice ; prediction 
demands Divine co-operation with human faculties. 
Human faculties, as such, are confessedly incapable of 
repeatedly forecasting future events. Coincidence or 
chance might account for an isolated harmony of fore 
cast and fact. But if it is true that Old Testament 
prophets are in the habit of predicting, their prophecies 
must partake more of Divine enlightenment than 
human gift. 

Old Testament Prophecy must, then, be Divine in 
origin if it habitually predicts. Is this predictive 
element made out ? The question is a question of fact. 
The problem is a historical problem. Whether or not 
Old Testament Prophecy blends a capacity for pre 
diction with its capability of preaching, is peculiarly a 
matter of evidence, and therefore peculiarly a subject for 
inductive investigation. Dogma is here out of place, 
whether it be a dogmatic prepossession for or against 
prediction. The motto of the inductive inquirer is that 
of Horace, who was 

" Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri." 

Our sole concern is with those conclusions which the facts 
critically weighed appear to warrant. Fulfilled or not 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 359 

fulfilled ? this is the question for our inquiry. If fulfil 
ment followed upon prophecy which undertook to 
predict, the prophecy must have been supernatural ; on 
the other hand, as Dr. Kuenen has said with perfect 
justice, " unfulfilled predictions can never be derived 
from supernatural revelation." J 

This, then, is the cardinal question to the careful con 
sideration of which all energies must be now bent DOES 
PROPHECY ? Dr. Kuenen and his school answer in the 
negative. Orthodox exegetes answer in the affirmative. 
To which side do the facts critically weighed compel the 
inductive inquirer to incline ? 

The facts of the Old Testament relative to prediction 
will be best studied under two heads, viz., first, the pre 
dictive prophecies which are not Messianic that is to say, 
which have no reference to the future Prophet, Priest, 
and King who, born of Judah, was to be of universal 
import ; and, secondly, those predictions which are 
Messianic, and do refer more or less directly to the 
coming Emmanuel. 

First, then, Does tJie Old Testament afford indubitable 
instances of non-Messianic predictions, of sucJi predictions , 
that is to say, as mnst be supernatural in origin ? It is 
manifest that predictions which are supernatural in 
source must obey two conditions. On the one hand, the 
prediction mnst be prediction, that is to say, the prediction 
must actually precede its fulfilment ; as Dr. Kuenen, 
who does not conceal his belief that every prediction in 

1 Kuenen, The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, an Historical and 
Critical Inquiry, translated from the Dutch by Adam Milroy, London, 
1877, p. 97. 

360 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

the Old Testament was written post eventum? yet rightly 
says, " it must be proved that the prediction actually 
preceded the event." 2 On the other hand, the prediction 
must not itself produce the fulfilment^ as when the witches 
in Macbeth produced the murder of Duncan. The 
point was admirably expressed by Professor Briggs, 
when he wrote, " The peril to prediction is in efforts on 
the part of false prophets and impostors to realize it." 
But, as a matter of fact, to avoid this danger, Old 
Testament prophecies are largely unintelligible prior to 
their fulfilment As the same capable writer goes on to 
say, " The clue is a secret clue, often so carefully hidden 
that centuries of study have not found it ; prophecy is 
its own interpreter, and it is often designed by the 
infinite mind that its solution should remain unknown 
until the event itself occurred ; like the predictive 
dreams of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, they need a 
Joseph or a Daniel to find the golden thread to guide 
through their labyrinthine mysteries." 3 These, then, it 
is clear, are the two necessary conditions of prediction 
indubitably supernatural the prediction must be clean 
and the fulfilment must be distinct. It is evident that 
if these conditions are anywhere observed in Old 
Testament prophecy, the superhuman origin of Old 
Testament prophecy is demonstrated. Predictions of 
such a kind are wholly beyond the powers of man, of 

1 Prophets and Propki^y in Israel, p. 388: "It is evident," he says, 
concerning prediction, "that the accounts embraced in our investigation 
date all, without exception, from the period when the prophetical predic 
tions, with which they make us acquainted, had been fulfilled." 

2 Ib. p. 277. 

3 Briggs, Messianic Prophecy, the Prediction of the Fulfilment of 
Redemption through the Messiah, a Critical Study of the Messianic Passages 
of the Old Testament in the Order of their Development, Edinburgh, 1886, 
P- 49- 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 361 

such human acts or states, for example, as we call fore 
cast, anticipation, insight, foresight, augury (whichever 
word be preferred to express that pseudo-prediction 
which is possible to man). The problem is, bearing 
these two conditions in mind, to inquire whether the 
prophetical data of the Old Testament afford indubitable 
instances of supernatural prediction. 

A good illustration of such Divine prophecying is seen 
in IsaiaJis Oracle of the Fall of Babylon ; or, as the 
prophet prefers to say, " Utterance concerning the 
Desert of the Sea." z In this connection a little careful 
attention bestowed upon this Isaianic prophecy will be 
richly repaid. 

In the manner of a spectator who is actually witness 
ing the scenes he describes, Isaiah depicts a series of 
visions, with three of which only we need concern 

This is the first vision. " As storms in the south 
approach it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. 
A hard vision is made known to me ; the spoiler spoileth 
and the devastator devastates. Go up, Elam ! surround, 
Media ! To all their sighing will I put an end/ So 
the prophecy of the future fall of Babylon opens. Isaiah 
sees the devastating advance of the Medo-Persian army 
against the fated city. The vision is " hard." Like a 
wind from the Arabian steppes the allied battalions are 
seen to move irresistibly onwards. The path of the 
inarch is strewn with the fiercest horrors of war. The 
tender-hearted onlooker sickens at what he sees. " There 
fore my loins," he writes, " are filled with cramp ; pangs 
have taken hold upon me as the pangs of a travailing 
woman ; I am bent so that I cannot hear ; I am dis- 

1 Isa. xxi. 

362 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

mayed so that I cannot see. My heart beats fitfully ; 
horror hath affrighted me ; the twilight I love hath been 
turned for me into trembling." Thus, by describing not 
so much what he saw as the effect upon himself of what 
he saw, the prophet predicts that Babylon is to fall by a 
coalition between the Medes and the Persians, whose 
victorious progress shall be terrible. A century and 
more afterwards the prediction was fulfilled in the 
coalition against the Babylonian Empire of Darius the 
Mede and Cyrus the Persian. 

The vision fades, and another vision follows. The 
scene has changed from the plains around Babylon to a 
banqueting hall within its walls. With a few rapid 
strokes Isaiah places before our view that wild night of 
idolatrous revelry, when, in bravado, Belshazzar gave a 
feast to a thousand of his lords, and when the finger of 
a hidden arm wrote, in letters of fire, its Mene, Tekel, 
Upharsin. Revelry he paints within, danger. without. 
Hence the seemingly contradictory statements. " They 
cover the table, they set the watch, they eat, they drink ; 
arise, ye princes ! anoint the shield ! " The lines may 
be filled in. With the prophet we can see the watch set 
without, the tables groaning within, the feast advancing, 
the vessels of the temple of Solomon resplendent ; with 
the prophet we can hear the sudden cry that the hostile 
armies are within the city, the noisy rush to arms of the 
half-drunken princes. So accurate is the description that 
it might have been written after rather than before the 
event ; or, to speak quite correctly, vague and unintelli 
gible as the words read apart from any knowledge of 
the fulfilment, the clue once obtained, they are as perti 
nent as vivid. Isaiah foretells the famous episode in 
Daniel ; Daniel fills out the famous prophecy of Isaiah. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 363 

Again the vision changes. The panic of the surprised 
revellers vanishes. Now the words of a guard upon the 
wall of Babylon are heard. " For thus saith the Lord 
unto me, Go set a spy, let him declare what he seeth." 
The spy announces the steady and persistent advance 
of the hostile army, battalions of horse, battalions of 
asses, battalions of camels, these last being adjuncts of 
the Persian army expressly mentioned by Herodotus. 
" And he saw a line of riders, an alliance of horsemen, a 
line of asses, a line of camels, and he listened intently* 
with much listening ; and he cried, A Lion. Upon the 
watch-tower, my lord, I stand continually by day, and 
in my ward I keep my stand all the nights, and behold 
there cometh a line of riders, an alliance of horsemen." 
It is the Medo-Persian army, an alliance of horsemen, 
which the warder sees as it advances silently, stealthily, 
beneath the lion-banner of Cyrus, towards the breach 
in the wall. Still the watchman keeps his place. With 
dramatic force we are left to imagine the secret entrance 
through the river-bed, the hurried rush to arms, the 
shock of the collision, the hasty capitulation, the 
treachery of the princes, the slaughter of Belshazzar, the 
shout of victory, the applause at coronation. "And he 
lifted up his voice and said, Fallen, Fallen is Babylon, 
and all the graven images of her gods are broken unto 
the ground." By the will of Jehovah, and the instru 
mentality of Cyrus, the idols of the Queen of the Desert 
are shown wanting. 

In this " utterance " a good example is seen of Old 
Testament prophecy. From the circumstances of the 
case the prophecy cannot have wrought its own ful 
filment. Nor could the fulfilment have suggested the 
prophecy ; for Isaiah, who wrote the series of visions, pre- 

364 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

ceded Belshazzar by considerably more than a hundred 
years. It is true that a few commentators have ex 
pressly denied the Isaianic authorship, but inasmuch as 
their sole reason for such denial is an a priori disbelief 
in the possibility of prediction, their speculative opinion 
does not call for consideration in an inductive inquiry 
such as this. Indeed that we have here genuine and not 
simulated prediction, the characteristics of this utterance 
emphasize. It is not easy, indeed, to understand, the 
prophecy being such as it is, how such a description 
could have been given after the actual event of the fall 
of the great idolatrous city. Let the brevity, the vague 
ness, the generalization, the lack of detail be remem 
bered, and at the same time let there be borne in mind, 
the singular reticence of the prophecy, and the great 
difficulties in comprehending the precise meaning of the 
words used, apparent to every reader of the original. 
If this prophecy be really the verbal photograph of a 
series of visions, the phraseology is intelligible. On the 
other hand, it is scarcely conceivable that any one who 
knew the exact historical details, as, for example, they 
were known to Daniel, could have expressed himself in 
such a manner. A comparison of the narrative of 
Daniel with this " utterance " of Isaiah s, ought to set 
the question of prediction, real or pretended, for ever at 
rest. Childhood can no more succeed manhood than 
this prophecy post-date the actual fall of Babylon. 
Style, atmosphere, contents, all substantiate the view 
that we have here visions written prior to their fulfil 
ment : style, atmosphere, contents, all belie the theory 
that these visions were ideal representations written 
subsequently to the event described. But prediction 
must be supernatural in source. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 365 

Of such demonstrative instances of supernatural pre 
diction the Old Testament is full. From Genesis to 
Malachi there are numerous instances of supernatural 
prediction, meaning by supernatural prediction, predic 
tion which neither causes nor is caused by its fulfilment 
A few instances so important is the induction shall 
be given, some of which relate to the History of Israel, 
and some to the History of Other Nations. 

There are predictions concerning Israel of singular 

For example, there is the general prophecy that per 
sistent national defection will infallibly be punished by 
siege, captivity, and dispersion. This prophecy occurs in 
several forms, with more or less explicitness. In 
Leviticus it runs as follows a few verses only are given 
from a long and significant passage : * " And if ye will 
not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary to 
Me ; then I will walk contrary to you in fury. . . . And 
I will make your cities a waste, and will bring your 
sanctuaries into desolation, and I will not smell the 
savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land 
into desolation. . . . And you will I scatter among the 
nations." The entire passage deserves to be read, 
depicting as it does, in remarkable language, the death 
of many in exile, the survival of a few, their repentance, 
and their subsequent return home. If, as our previous 
inquiry entitles us to affirm, Moses wrote this chapter, 
there is here a clear instance of prediction, and predic 
tion of a supernatural order. However, should any 
Evolutionary theorist be inclined to insist that this 
chapter is a clear instance of prophecy after the event, 
this Book of Leviticus having been written after the 

1 Lev. xxvi. 27-45. 

366 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

Exile had actually taken place, in that case he shall be 
confronted with a parallel prediction to be found in 
Deuteronomy, and written, as even the Evolutionary 
theorist allows, in the days of Josiah. In no less vivid 
and certainly in no less predictive words, Deuteronomy 
says again selecting but a few verses out of many : * 
" The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou 
shalt set over thee, unto a nation which thou hast not 
known, thou nor thy fathers ; and there thou shalt serve 
other gods, wood and stone. . . . Thou shalt beget 
sons and daughters, but they shall not be thine ; for 
they shall go into captivity. . . . The Lord shall bring 
a nation against thee from far, a nation whose tongue 
thou shalt not understand. . . . And he shall besiege 
thee in all thy gates, until the high and fenced walls 
come down." Is not this a manifest instance of super 
natural prediction ? Some, it is true, have found a 
difficulty in the mention of a king centuries before the 
establishment of monarchy in Israel, but this difficulty 
is as nothing in comparison with the difficulty of pre 
dicting this punishment by captivity. In this instance, 
too, neither can the prophecy have produced its ful 
filment, nor can the fulfilment have suggested the pro 

As evident an instance of prediction is seen in the 
forecast of tlie Captivity of EpJiraim. The subjugation 
and deportation of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria 
is one of the best attested facts in Jewish history, and 
took place in the reigns of Hoshea of Israel and 
Hezekiah of Judah. Now this captivity of the Ten 
Tribes was clearly foretold by Isaiah in the preceding 
reigns of Ahaz of Judah and Pekah of Israel. " And 

1 Deut. xxviii. 36-68. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 367 

the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, . . . The 
Lord will bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and 
upon thy father s house, days that have not come, from 
the day that Ephraim departed from Judah ; even the 
king of Assyria. . . . The riches of Damascus and the 
spoil of Samaria shall be carried away before the king of 
Assyria." I Moreover, Isaiah predicts the time within 
which this dismay of Israel shall occur : " For the head 
of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is 
Rezin, and within three score and five years shall 
Ephraim be broken, and be no more a nation." 2 Is not 
the evidence complete ? Further, so troublesome does 
Dr. Kuenen find this actual statement of date, that he 
thinks it needful to say, without any satisfactory reason, 
that " the announcement " of time is " an addition by a 
later hand." 3 In this connection, again, it is desirable 
to observe that Hosea had uttered a similar prediction 
in a higher style of address, when, in a time certainly 
prior to the Assyrian captivity he had written : " Set the 
trumpet to thy mouth. As an eagle he cometh against 
the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed 
My covenant and trespassed against My law. They 
shall cry unto Me, My God, we Israel know Thee. 
. . . He hath cast off thy calf, O Samaria. . . . Israel is 
swallowed up. . . . For they are gone up to Assyria, 
a wild ass alone by himself;" 4 and in another place 
he had written, " Israel shall return to Egypt " (i.e. t 
to bondage as in the old days in Egypt) "and they 
shall eat unclean things in Assyria." 5 Here again the 
the canons of supernatural prediction are observed. 

1 Isa. vii., viii. - //;. vii. 7-9. 

3 The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel^ p. 167. 

4 Hosea viii. 5 //;. ix. 3. 

368 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

Another series of predictions, which, if made out 
must be supernatural, gathers around the Captivity of 
Judah. As all allow, this, the more famous Exile, did 
not take place till the beginning of the sixth century 
before Christ. Predictions, however, of this exile of 
Judah occur distinctly before that date, even a century 
before. Let, for example, the words of the Lord that 
came to Micah the Morasthite, in the days of Jotham, 
Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, be witness. 
" Therefore," says Micah, " Zion shall be ploughed as a 
field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the moun 
tain of the House as the high places of a forest " ; r a 
prophecy which Micah proceeds to make more definitive 
by saying that "Babylon " 2 will be the place of exile. 
Dr. Kuenen finds this reference to Babylon so perplexing 
that, first, he considers the reading doubtful, a common 
resource with perplexed commentators, and next, he 
thinks that, if the reading be correct, Micah mentions 
Babylon as an Assyrian city, whither Israel had gone 
into captivity.s But the point is, that, even if the 
explanation were in any degree permissible (which is 
doubtful in the extreme), ZiON, and not Israel, is 
associated with Babylon. The same captivity of Judah 
is clearly announced by Micah s great contemporary, 
Isaiah, who " saw " visions in " the days of Uzziah, 
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. "4 As a 
specimen only of the predictions of Isaiah upon this 
captivity, let his well-known Parable of the Vineyard 5 
be cited, " Therefore My people go into captivity without 
knowing : and their glory will be famished men and 

1 Micah iii. 12. - Ib. iv. 10. 

3 The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, p. 164. 

4 Isa. i. i. s Ib. v. 13, 14. 

Vll.] Examination of Prophecy. 369 

their multitude men parched with thirst ; therefore the 
grave opens its jaws wide, and stretches open her mouth 
wide indeed, and the glory (of Jerusalem the whole 
parable concerns Jerusalem) descends, and its tumult 
and noise, and those who rejoice within it." Or, if the 
captivity thus mentioned be regarded as nothing but the 
captivity of death a very doubtful interpretation, let 
the entire passage concerning Ariel, the Hearth of God, 
as terrible in prediction as magnificent in language, be 
carefully read. As samples of this remarkable prophecy 
let the following verses be taken : " Woe to Ariel, Ariel, 
the city where David encamped ! Add ye year to year ; 
let the feasts come round ; then will I distress Ariel, and 
there shall be mourning and lamentation ; yet she shall 
be unto me as Ariel : and I will camp against thee round 
about, and will lay siege against thee with a fort, and I 
will raise siege works against thee : and thou shalt be 
brought down." x Again, as part of the evidence is 
this additional fact : in the Historical Books of the Old 
Testament, a prediction of the deportation of the Jews 
to Babylon is expressly attributed to Isaiah ; 2 which 
attribution, be it observed, is to Dr. Kuenen a fact so 
startling that he declares categorically Isaiah cannot be 
considered responsible for it " it cannot be assigned to 
Isaiah " why, he does not say. 

From Isaiah let us pass on to days nearer the 
great catastrophe. Naturally enough predictions of this 
coming disaster increase as the time of the Exile draws 
near ; they become very frequent indeed in the utterances 
of Jeremiah, growing in intensity, deepening in clear 
ness, swelling in fulness, as the fate of Judah approaches. 

1 Isa. xxix. 1-3. - 2 Kings xx. 14-17 ; compare Isa. xxxix. 1-8. 

3 The Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, pp. 170, 171. 


370 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

" Lo I will bring," writes Jeremiah in the name of the 
Lord, almost in the words of Deuteronomy, " a nation 
upon you from far, O House of Israel ; it is a mighty 
nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language 
thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 
. . . And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy 
bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat. 
. . . they shall beat down thy fenced cities, wherein 
thou trustest, with the sword." * In another place, 
Jeremiah describes how the fate of Ephraim shall over 
take Judah. " And," says Jehovah, " I will cast you out 
of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even 
the whole seed of Ephraim." 2 " Say thou unto the 
king," Jeremiah writes in another prediction, " and to 
the queen-mother, Humble yourselves, sit down ; for your 
head-tires are come down, even your beautiful crown : 
the cities of the South are shut up, and there is none to 
open them : Judah is carried away captive, all of it ; 
it is wholly carried away captive." 3 Yet again, to 
show how inflexible is the Divine purpose, Jeremiah 
adds, a little later on, the terrible passage, " Thus 
said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel 
stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward 
this people ; cast them out of my sight, and let 
them go forth : and it shall come to pass, when they say 
unto thee, Whither shall we go forth ? then thou shalt 
tell them, thus saith the Lord : Such as are for death, to 
death ; and such as are for the sword, to the sword ; 
and such as are for the famine, to the famine ; such 
as are for captivity, to captivity." 4 Yet again, a 
little later, when Nebuchadnezzar has declared war, and 
Jeremiah is consulted as to the issue, " Then said 

1 Jer. v. 15-17. ~ Ib. vii. 15. 3 Ib. xiii. 18-20. Ib. xv. 1-4. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 371 

Jeremiah " unto these messengers, " Thus saith the Lord, 

the God of Israel, Behold, I will turn back the weapons 

of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight 

against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans 

which besiege you without the walls, and I will gather 

them into the midst of this city. . . . And afterward, 

saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah, king of Judah, 

and his servants, and the people, even such as are left in 

this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from 

the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of 

Babylon." r Yet a little later follow predictions, on the 

one hand, concerning Shallum, " For thus saith the Lord 

touching Shallum, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, 

which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went 

forth out of this place, He shall not return thither any 

more ; but in the place whither they have led him 

captive, there shall he die, and he shall see this land no 

more ; " 2 and, on the other hand, concerning Jehoiakim 

" Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim, 

the son of Josiah, king of Judah, they shall not lament 

for him, saying, Ah, my brother ! or, Ah, sister ! they 

shall not lament for him, saying, Ah, lord ! or, Ah, his 

glory. He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, 

drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem." 3 

In short, the prophecies of Jeremiah must be wholly 

dismembered, if their predictions of the captivity of 

Judah be not veracious, and therefore supernatural. It 

is true that Dr. Kuenen hints that these prophecies were 

collected together into one book after the events referred 

to. But surely a theory is weak indeed that is compelled 

to question the bona fides of Jeremiah ! Who will 

believe that we have in this long series of prophecies, 

1 Jer. xxi. i-io. 2 Ib. xxii. n. 3 //>. xxiii. 18. 

372 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

with dates as precise as their statements are clear, simply 
a succession of " pious frauds " (if their motive could in 
that case be pious), claiming to be predictive, but proving 
themselves, when critically judged, descriptions, in the 
form of predictions, of events already past ? 

Another prediction, which was revelation, Divine 

knowledge divinely imparted, concerns the Return of 

Judah from Exile. Jeremiah expressly foretold the 

return from Babylon, an event which he certainly did 

not live to see. " Therefore, behold the days come, saith 

the Lord, that it shall no more be said, As the Lord 

liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the 

land of Egypt ; but, As the Lord liveth, that brought 

up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and 

from all the countries whither he had driven them ; and 

I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto 

their fathers." I Again, in another prophecy, having 

mentioned the name of Nebuchadnezzar, and "the 

astonishment and hissing and perpetual desolations " he 

will work, Jeremiah adds : " These nations shall serve the 

king of Babylon seventy years," 2 a prediction which he 

subsequently expands in words like these : " Thus saith 

the Lord, Behold I will turn again the captivity of Jacob s 

tents, and have compassion on his dwelling-places ; 

and the city shall be builded upon her own mound, 

and the temple shall be inhabited after the manner 

thereof; and out of them shall proceed thanksgiving 

and the voice of them that make merry : and I will 

multiply them and they shall not be few ; I will also 

glorify them, and they shall not be small." 3 To which 

prediction Jeremiah adds yet another : " For thus saith 

the Lord, Like as I have brought all this great evil upon 

1 Jer. xvi. 14, 15. a Ib xxv. n. 3 Ib. xxx. 18-20. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 373 

this people, so will I bring them all the good I have 
promised them : and fields shall be bought in this 
land, whereof ye say, It is desolate, without man or 
beast, it is given into the hands of the Chaldeans : men 
shall buy fields for money, and subscribe the deeds, and 
seal them, and call witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, 
and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of 
Judah, and in the cities of the hill country, and in 
the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South ; 
for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord." z 
Have we not here supernatural prediction, neither in 
fluenced by nor influencing the fulfilment ? 

And these supernatural predictions concerning the 
children of Israel may be fittingly closed they cannot 
be here examined at length, such an examination would 
require a large volume with the prediction as remarkable 
as manifest, concerning the four great empires which would 
have relations with Judah in the days subsequent to the 
deportation from Jerusalem. In the visions of the night 
Nebuchadnezzar, so Daniel describes, saw a great image. 2 
Its head was gold ; its breast, silver ; its thighs, brass ; 
its legs, iron ; its feet, iron and clay mingled. Struck 
by a stone, the image crumbled away. This stone made 
without hands, became a great mountain, and filled the 
earth ; whereas the iron and the clay and the brass, the 
silver and the gold, became as the chaff of the summer 
threshing-floors. Such was the dream. Its interpreta 
tion, according to Daniel, was as follows. The dream 
represented symbolically the course of the great empires 
of the world, from the Babylonian Empire onwards, 
and at the same time the course of the divinely founded 
Kingdom of the God of Heaven, which, itself eternal, 

1 Jer. xxxii. 42-44. - Daniel ii. 

374 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

should ultimately break in pieces the kingdoms of the 
world. The head of gold, said Daniel, was the Baby 
lonian kingdom, this was to be succeeded by an inferior 
kingdom, of silver, so to speak ; and this in turn by a 
kingdom of brass, destined to be the forerunner of a 
kingdom of iron ; during the sway of this iron empire 
the everlasting kingdom of the God of heaven should be 
established. The course of history declares this pre 
diction to be exactly true to fact. The Babylonian 
Empire merged into the Medo-Persian ; the Medo- 
Persian became absorbed in the Graeco-Macedonian ; 
upon the ruins of the Graeco-Macedonian dominion that 
of Rome was built. In other words, the kingdom of 
Nebuchadnezzar became, first, that of Darius and Cyrus, 
then that of Alexander, and then that of Augustus. So, 
too, it was in the days of this fourth empire that the 
kingdom of God in Christ was founded, and if this divine, 
but unobserved stone is to become a great mountain and 
fill the earth, the expression is by no means unintelligible 
in the light of history. The divine stone grows. Reg- 
num crucis gignit in regnum glories. Now even if the 
Book of Daniel were written in the days of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, as some have thought, mainly because of 
their antecedent disbelief in the possibility of super 
natural prediction, surely there is supernatural predic 
tion here, prediction prior, and not subsequent to, the 
events described. 

Predictions also abound concerning the history of heathen 
peoples. The evidence is altogether too full to be treated 
here at length, but a few crucial instances of supernatural 
prediction shall be given. 

One prediction concerning Babylon^ as true as pictu 
resque, has been examined. Let another be considered. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 375 

" The Burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz 
did see." x The following are the leading features of 
this " utterance " as given in the actual words of Isaiah. 
"The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a 
great people ! The noise of a tumult of the kingdoms 
of the nations gathered together ! The Lord of Hosts 
mustereth the host for the battle." Armies, says Isaiah, 
are to come against Babylon. " They come," Isaiah 
continues, " from a far country. . . . Howl ye ; for the 
day of Jehovah is at hand ; a destruction from Shaddai 
shall it come." The destructive armies will come from 
far. " Behold I will stir up the Medes against them. 
. . . And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of 
the Chaldean s pride, shall be as when God overthrew 
Sodom and Gomorrah." Surely a remarkable precision 
of prediction. Isaiah depicts the downfall of mighty 
Babylon, and its subsequent desolation. To turn the 
edge of this evidence, it is true, some have said, largely 
on the ground of the accurate minuteness of the pre 
diction, that this chapter, like the latter half of the same 
book, was, as a matter of fact, written in Babylon during 
the Exile. The evidence is slight indeed for so late a 
date. But supposing the later date to be conceded for 
the moment, have we not supernatural prediction in this 
chapter all the same ? Let us read on. " It shall never 
be inhabited," says Isaiah of Babylon ; " neither shall it 
be dwelt in from generation to generation, neither shall 
the Arab pitch tent there ; neither shall shepherds make 
their flocks to lie down there ; but wild beasts of the 
desert shall lie there ; and their houses shall be full of 
doleful creatures, and ostriches shall dwell there, and he- 
goats shall dance there, and howling creatures shall 

1 Isa. xiii. 

376 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

answer in the castles and jackals in the pleasant palaces." 
Is not this the picture of the site of Babylon drawn by 
all modern travellers ? Is not this supernatural predic 
tion ? Was it so evident to any exile even in Babylon, 
that " the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chal 
dean s pride," should speedily become a horrible desola 
tion, echoing to the dismal shriek of the jackal ? 

And the evidence thus adduced of supernatural pre 
diction is strengthened, when the more detailed prophecy 
of Jeremiah is taken into account, written as it was a 
century after Isaiah s, but still some years prior to the 
actual ruin of the great Mesopotamian city. " The word 
that the Lord spake concerning Babylon, concerning the, 
land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet. 
Declare ye among the nations and publish, and set up 
a standard ; publish and conceal not ; say, Babylon is 
taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is broken down ; 
her images are put to shame, her idols are broken down : 
for out of the north there cometh up a nation against 
her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall 
dwell therein ; they are fled, they are gone, both man 
and beast" * Then follow minuter details. " Flee out of 
the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the 
Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks : for, 
lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon 
an assembly of great nations from the north country ; 
and they shall set themselves in array against her ; from 
thence she shall be taken ; their arrows shall be as of a 
mighty man that maketh childless, and that returneth 
not in vain." Further, says Jeremiah, this disaster will 
be but the prelude of greater woes to follow. " Behold, 
she shall be the hindermost of the nations, a wilderness, 

1 Jer. 1. 

VIL] Examination of Prophecy. 377 

a dry land, and a desert : because of the wrath of the 
Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly 
desolate ; every one that goeth by Babylon shall be 
astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. . . . How is the 
hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken ! 
How is Babylon become a desolation among the nations ! " 
Then, almost in the words of Isaiah, Jeremiah adds : 
" Therefore the wild beasts of the desert, with the howl 
ing creatures, shall dwell there, and the ostriches shall 
dwell therein ; and it shall be no more inhabited for 
ever ; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to 
generation : as when God overthrew Sodom and Go 
morrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord ; 
so shall no man dwell there, neither shall any son of 
man sojourn therein." Is not this revealed prophecy ? 

From Babylon let us pass to Nineveh^ the twin empire 
of the Mesopotamian oasis. Assyria occupies a large 
place in the predictions of Jonah, Isaiah, Nahum, and 
Zephaniah. For our present purpose the prophecy 
of Nahum may suffice, itself wholly an utterance con 
cerning Nineveh. The doom of this great city is pro 
claimed, writes Nahum, and the chariots and horses and 
ornaments so fresh in the remembrance of the Jews 
from Sennacherib s recent invasion, will soon pass into 
nothingness. With magnificent eloquence, indeed, 
Nahum describes the imminent destruction of the 
splendid city. " The Lord is good," he writes, " a 
stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them 
that put their trust in Him. But with an overrunning 
flood the Lord will make a full end of the place " of 
Nineveh, " and will pursue His enemies into darkness." 
And Nahum continues : " What do ye imagine against 
Jehovah ? He will make a full end ; affliction shall not 

378 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

rise up the second time. For though they be like 
tangled thorns, and be drenched as it were in their 
drink, they shall be devoured utterly as stubble fully 
dry. . . . Jehovah hath given commandment concerning 
thee that no more of thy name be sown." Of this utter 
destruction of Nineveh, Nahum speaks again and again. 
" He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face ; 
keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, 
fortify thy power mightily : the shield of his mighty men 
is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet ; the chariots 
flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the 
spears are shaken terribly." And again, Nineveh " is 
empty and void and waste." And again, " And it shall 
come to pass that all they that look upon thee shall flee 
from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste." The very 
method of destruction is also foretold. " Behold thy 
people in the midst of thee are women ; the gates of thy 
land are set wide open unto thine enemies ; the fire hath 
devoured thy bars ; draw thee water for the siege ; 
strengthen thy fortresses ; go into the clay, and tread 
the mortar, lay hold of the brick-mould ; then shall the 
fire devour thee ; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall 
devour thee like the cankerworm." " There is no assuag 
ing of thy hurt," the prophecy ends, " thy wound is 
grievous : all that hear the bruits of thee clap the hands 
over thee." In such brilliant language Nahum foretold 
the utter destruction of Nineveh by fire and siege. What 
says the archaeologist ? Has he the same opinion ? " It 
is evident," says Layard, " from the ruins that Khor- 
sabad and Nimroud " (parts of Nineveh) " were sacked 
and set on fire." - As for the utter desolation of the 
once splendid city, she was no sooner taken by the allied 

1 Compare Nineveh and Babylon, London, 1853. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 379 

Medes and Persians than she vanished from history. 
Even garrulous Herodotus, 1 who visited the spot within 
two centuries of the destruction of the city, has no more 
to say of her than this : " The Tigris was the river upon 
which Nineveh formerly stood." Zephaniah s Words 
have been fulfilled to the letter : Jehovah " will make 
Nineveh a desolation, and dry like the wilderness : and 
herds shall lie down in the midst of her, all beasts of 
every kind ; both the pelican and the porcupine shall 
lodge in the chapiters thereof ; their voice shall sing in 
the windows ; drought shall be in the thresholds ; for 
he hath laid bare the cedar work : this is the joyous city 
that dwelt carelessly, and said in her heart, I am, and 
there is none else beside me : how is she become a deso 
lation, a place for beasts to lie down." 2 Is not this also 
supernatural prediction ? 

Concerning Tyre again there are two notable predic 
tions. One, by Isaiah,3 foretells that Tyre would be 
humbled by Assyria, that it would be " forgotten for 
seventy years according to the days of one king," and 
that subsequently it would recover for a while, " playing 
the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the 
face of the earth." This prediction exactly accords with 
the punishment which was inflicted upon Tyre by 
Nebuchadnezzar, the dynasty of Nebuchadnezzar lasting 
seventy years from the days of the siege, just as this 
prediction is also correct in saying that the great 
merchant city would afterwards recover for a while its 
former glory. Isaiah s words are unmistakable. " The 
utterance concerning Tyre : Howl, ye ships of Tarshish, 
for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering 
in. ... Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of 

1 Bk. i. 193. - Zeph. ii. 13-15. 3 Isa. xxiii. 

380 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

ancient days ? Who hath purposed this against Tyre, 
that giveth crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose 
traffickers are the honourable of the earth ? The Lord 
of Hosts hath purposed it to profane the pride of all 
glory, to bring into contempt all the honourable of the 
earth." Afterwards the Divine purpose of humiliating 
Tyre is further described. " Behold the land of the 
Chaldeans ; this people was not ; the Assyrian hath 
founded it for them that dwelt in the wilderness ; they 
set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces 
thereof; he made Tyre a ruin." And the prediction 
extends to details of time as well as of destroyer. "And 
it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be 
forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one 
king. . . . And it shall come to pass after the end of 
seventy years that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she 
shall return to her hire, and shall play the harlot with 
all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the 
earth." A prediction sufficiently remarkable ! A second 
prediction concerns the ultimate destruction of Tyre, 
and was uttered by Ezekiel, 1 in order to abase the proud 
looks of this Mistress of the Seas when Jerusalem was 
brought low by the invader. These are the words of 
Ezekiel : " The word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 
Son of man, because that Tyre hath said against Jeru 
salem, Aha, she is broken that was the gate of peoples. 
. . . Therefore thus saith the Lord God : Behold I am 
against thee, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to 
come up against thee, as the sea causeth the waves to 
come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre, 
and break down her towers : I will also scrape her soil 
from her, and make her a bare rock. She shall be a 

1 Ezek. xxvi. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 381 

place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea ; 
for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God : and she shall 
become a spoil to the nations." Some centuries passed 
before the fulfilment ; but the mouth of Jehovah had 
spoken. At length nation after nation did come against 
this city of merchant princes. Alexander the Great 
threw himself against her walls ; so did the Saracen 
armies, in the seventh century of our era, under the 
Caliph Omar, when the true decadence of Tyre com 
menced ; five centuries later, after the capture of Ptole- 
mais by the Mahometans, the Christian colony of Tyre 
left the ancient site ; and to-day a few inhabitants, 
Turks and Christians, live on the deserted spot by 
fishing. Again and again Tyre has " become a spoil 
to the nations." Tyre is a " place for the spreading of 
nets." Is not this supernatural prediction ? 

The predictions concerning Edom tell the same tale 
of Divine knowledge divinely imparted. For what says 
Isaiah ? " Behold (My sword) shall come down upon 
Edom, and upon the people of My ban, to judgment. 
. . . The Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great 
slaughter in the land of Edom. . . . From generation 
to generation it shall lie waste ; none shall pass through 
it for ever and ever. But the pelican and the porcupine 
shall possess it ; and the bittern and the raven shall 
dwell therein ; and He shall stretch over it the line 
of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. . . . And 
thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and thistles 
in the fortresses thereof. . . . And the wild beasts of the 
desert shall meet with the howling creatures, and the 
he-goat shall cry to his fellow ; yea, the night monster 
shall settle there, and shall find her a place of rest. 
There shall the arrowsnake make her nest, and lay, and 

382 TJie Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

hatch, and gather under her shadow ; yea, there shall the 
kites be gathered, every one with his mate." J And what 
says Ezekiel ? " Thus saith the Lord God : Because 
that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by 
taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and re 
venged himself upon them ; therefore thus saith the 
Lord, I will stretch out Mine hand upon Edom, and 
will cut off man and beast from it : and I will make it 
desolate from Teman ; even unto Dedan shall they fall 
by the sword." 2 And what says Amos ? " Thus saith 
the Lord : For three transgressions of Edom, yea, for 
four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; 
because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and 
corrupted his compassions, and his anger did tear per 
petually, and he kept his wrath for ever : I will send a 
fire upon Teman, and it shall devour the palaces of 
Bozrah." 3 And what is the testimony of modern tra 
vellers ? The ruins of Petra, the capital of ancient 
Edom, have been one of the remarkable re-discoveries 
of this century, having been found by Burckhardt in 
1812, when he penetrated thither disguised as a Mus 
sulman pilgrim. In a country of utter desolation stand 
these monumental, if deserted, rock-temples and tombs, 
eloquent of Divine vengeance. In these Idumaean 
palaces the serpent crawls. The place is a prey to 
anarchy and brigandage ; and the traveller who ven 
tures thither must do so with a strong escort. " This 
region, prosperous for so long, offers only the sad 
picture of desolation and abandonment." 4 Well may 
Isaiah add to his remarkable prediction, " Seek ye out 
of the book of Jehovah, and read." In Bozrah, the 

1 Isa. xxxiv. ~ Ezek. xxv. 12-14. 3 Amos ii. n, 12. 

4 Guerin, La Terre Sainle, Paris, 1884, vol. ii. p. 314. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 383 

" strong " city, as the name implies, seemingly as lasting 
as the rocks from which its temple and palaces were 
hewn, the handwriting of God may be easily read. 

Other instructive instances of supernatural prediction 
concern Philistia, 1 and Ammon, 2 and Moab,3 and 
Elam,4 but passing these by, after simply mentioning 
them, let one additional example suffice for the induc 
tion upon which we are engaged. Egypt was frequently 
the subject of prediction. Indeed a minute study of 
the prophetical references to Egypt would richly repay 
the inquirer. Here two of these allusions only shall 
be adduced. One occurs in Isaiah,5 and many years 
before any such event had taken place, speaks to the 
existence of a strong Jewish element in Egypt. " And 
the land of Judah shall become a terror unto Egypt ; 
every one that maketh mention thereof, to him shall 
they turn in fear, because of the purpose of the Lord 
of hosts, which He purposeth against it. In that day 
there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak 
the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of 
Hosts ; one shall be called the city of destruction " (or 
" of the sun," as some read). " In that day shall there 
be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of 
Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord." 
Surely there is here a remarkable historical fact forecast. 
After the Babylonian Exile many Jews, as is well known, 
settled in Egypt, and especially in the newly founded 
city of Alexandria, opening synagogues, maintaining 
worship, and, at length, to satisfy their religious needs, 
undertaking the translation of the Hebrew Old Testa- 

1 Zeph. ii. 4-7 ; Ezek. xxv. 15-17. 
- Jer. xlix. 1-6 ; Amos i. 13-15 ; Zeph. ii. S-ii. 

5 Isa. xv. ; Jer. xlviii. ; Ezek. xxv. 8-1 1 ; Amos ii. 1-3 ; Zeph. ii. 8-1 1. 
4 Jer. xlix. 34-39. 5 Isa. xix. 

384 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

ment into Greek. The presence, the importance, 
the influence of the Jewish element in later Egyp 
tian history are indubitable, and should be regarded in 
connection with this prophecy of Isaiah s. The other 
prediction which shall be cited occurs in Ezekiel, who 
wrote, " In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the 
twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came 
unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against 
Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and 
against all Egypt ; speak and say, Thus saith the Lord 
God, Behold I am against thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, 
which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have 
made it for myself. . . . Therefore thus saith the Lord 
God : Behold I will bring a sword upon thee, and will 
cut off from thee man and beast . . . Therefore, behold 
I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will 
make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, 
from Migdol to Syene and even unto the border of 
Ethiopia : no foot of man shall pass through it, neither 
shall it be inhabited fifty years." I But, as Ezekiel goes 
on to point out, the treatment of Egypt shall not be as 
the treatment of Babylon and Assyria, and the variation 
is noteworthy. " For thus saith the Lord God : At the 
end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the 
peoples whither they were scattered : and I will bring 
again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to 
return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their 
birth ; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall 
be the basest of the kingdoms ; neither shall it any 
more lift up above the nations ; and I will diminish 
them, that they shall no more rule over the nations." 

1 Ezek. xxix. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 385 

Could there be a better description of that fair, but 
down-trodden land of the Nile, which has successively 
tempted the rapacity of Persians and Macedonians, of 
Greeks and Romans, of Arabs and Turks ? " It shall 
be the basest of kingdoms ; neither shall it any more 
lift up above the nations." Verily, as Ezekiel said at 
another time : " The pride of her power hath come 
down." I Is not this supernatural prediction ? 

A superficial and rapid survey only has thus been 
taken of the very fruitful and wide field of Old Testa 
ment prophecy concerning Israel and the several 
nations which came more or less in contact with Israel. 
In process the conviction has become pronounced as to 
the supernatural origin of these predictions. What the 
prophets themselves declared concerning the actual 
source of their utterances, an inductive examination has 
fully borne out. A study of the facts has corroborated the 
veracity of these prophetical writers. And, as a matter 
of fact, the corroboration would become stronger as our 
examination of the evidence became more full. Has 
not the Divine origin of much prophecy become clear ? 

Possibly, however, delaying upon this branch of evi 
dence a little longer, it may not be unadvisable to 
present a little of the evidence for the Divine origin 
of prophecy in another manner. Let the predictions 
of some single prophet be examined, Jeremiah, for 
example. Jeremiah is selected for two reasons. On 
the one hand, his more prominent predictions have 
been carefully catalogued by one of the most cultured 
and liberal scholars of this century, the saintly Tholuck 
of Halle. On the other hand, this catalogue of Tholuck s 
has been criticized, formally and at length, by the most 

1 Ezek. xxx. 6. 

386 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

thoroughgoing and able advocate of the purely natural 
origin of Old Testament prophecy, the scholarly 
Kuenen of Leyden, a name tolerably familiar by this 
time to readers of these Lectures. Able advocacy on 
both sides singularly aids an inductive decision. The 
very form Dr. Kuenen s criticisms have been compelled 
to take has its own great suggestiveness for the 
inductive inquirer. 

First, 1 as Dr. Tholuck has pointed out, Jeremiah, at 
the commencement of his prophetic career, threatened 
his people with the appearance of an " enemy from the 
north." 2 This northern enemy, as the issue showed, 
was the Chaldeans. Here, then, is an instance of super 
natural prediction. The prophecy did not bring the 
Chaldeans, and the Chaldeans did not cause the pro 
phecy. Now what has Dr. Kuenen to say ? He thinks 
it improbable that we possess the prophecies of Jere 
miah in the form in which they were originally written. 
Originally Jeremiah might, he thinks, have meant some 
other people by the people from the north, although, 
for pious reasons, when he committed his prophecies to 
writing, he " so formulated " his " warnings " that they 
could be applied to the actual position of his country 
men, confronted by the hosts of Nebuchadnezzar. In 
short, Dr. Kuenen thinks that Jeremiah altered the 
record from a benevolent purpose, the end apparently 
being thought to sanctify the means. Let Dr. Kuenen s 
exact words be quoted : 

" Now it is certainly possible" he says, " in the abstract, that 
Jeremiah could . . . reproduce literally what he had said in pre 
ceding years ; but it is, at the same time, exceedingly improbable 

1 The order adopted is ours. 

2 Jer. i. 14 ; iv. 6, 7 ; v. 15-17 ; vi. I, 22. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy, 387 

that he was in a condition to do so. And, besides, such a verbal 
reproduction would have been superfluoiis, nay, utterly at variance 
with the object which he had in view. He wished, by the public 
reading of his prophecies in the temple, to bring the Judeans to 
repentance ; but then the exhortations and warnings must be so 
formulated that they would admit of being applied to the position 
in which his countrymen were at the time. The book-roll written 
by Baruch might indeed reproduce faithfully the main contents of 
the earlier addresses, but not the references to place and time 
which they embraced ; Jeremiah might, nay must, omit these. 
Regarded from this point of view, the predictions concerning the 
enemy out of the north lose the miraculous character which 
Tholuck seems to regard as constituting their chief value." x 

The inductive inquirer who has made himself familiar 
with Jeremiah will pause before accepting such a view. 

Secondly, Jeremiah mentions in his early addresses, 
says Dr. Tholuck, a judgment which the Egyptian 
should execute in the apostate kingdom of Judah. 2 
This prophecy was fulfilled about twenty years later, 
when Pharaoh Necho defeated and slew Josiah in the 
valley of Megiddo and subjugated his kingdom. What 
has Dr. Kuenen to say to neutralize this instance of 
manifestly supernatural prediction ? Again he calls the 
veracity of Jeremiah in question. " That single utter 
ance," says Dr. Kuenen, " concerning Egypt, on which 
Tholuck lays stress, assumes another aspect, as soon as 
we consider that it was committed to writing in the 
fourth year after the battle of Megiddo." 3 In fact, Dr. 
Kuenen seems to believe concerning prophecy what 
Hume averred concerning miracle that it is less likely 
that prophecy should be true than that testimony 
should be false. Dr. Kuerten impugns the honesty of 
Jeremiah. Should not Dr. Kuenen be requested to 

1 Prophets and Prophecy in Israel, pp. 303, 304. 

2 Jer. ii. 14-17. 3 Prophets and Prophecy, p. 304. 

388 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

reconsider Paley s great defence of the supernatural ? 
Is there not " satisfactory evidence " that Jeremiah, 
professing to be an original witness of supernatural 
prediction, " passed his life in labour, danger, and 
suffering, voluntarily undergone in attestation" of the 
accounts which he delivered, and solely in consequence 
of his belief of such prediction ? Is it less likely that 
prophecy should be true than that such testimony as 
Jeremiah s should be false ? 

Thirdly continuing the instances of Dr. Tholuck 
"in the fourth year of Jehoiakim Necho was defeated 
at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar ; shortly before and 
after that important event, which was very soon fol 
lowed by the subjection of Judah to the Chaldeans, 
Jeremiah announced, in the most unambiguous terms, 
the desolation of Jerusalem, of the Temple, and of all 
Judea." * " Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord, that it shall no more be called Topheth, nor 
the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of 
Slaughter ; for they shall bury in Topheth, because 
there shall be no place else. And the carcases of this 
people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and 
for the beasts of the earth ; and none shall fray them 
away. Then will I cause to cease from the cities of 
Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice 
of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the 
bridegroom, and the voice of the bride ; for the land 
shall become a waste." 2 Concerning this prediction Dr. 
Kuenen says nothing expressly. 

Fourthly, Tholuck instances the prediction as to the 
duration of the Exile. " Therefore thus saith the Lord 
of hosts : Because ye have not heard My words, behold, 

1 Prophets and Prophecy , p. 300. - Jer. vii. 32-34. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 389 

I will send and take all the families of the north, saith 
the Lord, and I will send unto Nebuchadnezzar the 
king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them 
against this land. . . . And this whole land shall be a 
desolation, and an astonishment, and these nations shall 
serve the king of Babylon seventy years." J " For thus 
saith the Lord, after seventy years be accomplished for 
Babylon, I will visit you, and perform My good word 
toward you, in causing you to return to this place." 5 
Again, what has Dr. Kuenen 3 to say to this remarkable 
forecast, so well attested by the issue ? He raises three 
objections. The first objection is that, if Jeremiah meant 
an exact time by the " seventy years " of his earlier pre 
diction, he would not have given the same time eleven 
years later : an objection which would be fatal if there 
was any ground for saying that Jeremiah dated the 
seventy years from the year of his prophecy ; but for 
this there is no evidence whatever ; in each prediction, 
earlier and later, Jeremiah foretells the duration of 
captivity in Babylon " shall serve the king of Babylon 
seventy years " ; the seventy years are to be dated, not 
from either of the diverse years when the prophecy 
concerning them was uttered, but from the actual com 
mencement of the captivity, an event posterior to both 
prophecies. The second objection taken by Dr. Kuenen 
is that the text of the second prediction is doubtful, as 
to which objection it is fair to remark that the text is 
only considered doubtftil by those to whom its contents 
are unwelcome. The third objection taken is that if 
Jeremiah did predict the duration of the captivity as 
seventy years, he predicted wrongly, seeing that the 

1 Jer. xxv. 9-11. 2 Ib. xxix. 10. 

3 Prophets and Prophecy, pp. 309-315. 

390 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

exile was not exactly seventy years ; concerning which 
objection all that it is necessary to say is, that the case 
of literal fulfilment has been conceded by all inquirers, 
except those who have an a priori and philosophical 
objection to supernatural prophecy. To these objections 
Dr. Kuenen adds another : " By its moral influence," 
he says, "Jeremiah s prophecy of Israel s restoration, 
effected, or at least powerfully promoted, that restora 
tion itself." But the point which calls for explanation 
is this, not that the captivity lasted seventy years, but 
that Jeremiah knew that it would last seventy years 
not that Jeremiah s prediction had some small influence 
in closing the captivity, but that Jeremiah knew when, 
by his influence, that captivity would close. Surely Dr. 
Kuenen s objections fall to the ground as far as the 
testimony of the facts themselves goes. 

Fifthly continuing Dr. Tholuck s instances of pre 
diction in Jeremiah comes the prediction concerning 
Jehoiakim. Baruch had written, from dictation, the 
prophecies uttered by Jeremiah, and the roll of writing 
had been brought under the notice of Jehoiakim, read 
in his hearing by command, and then angrily burnt by 
the king. Subsequently by Divine order the prophecies 
were re-written, and this second roll was presented to 
the king, with a most solemn warning : " Therefore 
thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of 
Judah : He shall have none to sit upon the throne of 
David ; and his dead body shall be cast out in the day 
to the heat, and in the night <o the frost." * Seven 
years afterwards, as Dr. Tholuck reminds us, Jehoiakim 
" fell into the hands of the Chaldeans, and died a 
miserable death." Is not this manifestly supernatural 

1 Jer. xxxvi. 27-32. 

VII.] Examination of Prophecy. 391 

prediction ? Dr. Kuenen s reply is, that there is no 
evidence as to this falling into the hands of the Chal 
deans. " This is nowhere related, and was not once 
predicted by Jeremiah ; he had, in fact, only announced 
that Jehoiakim should have no honourable burial, or, as 
it is elsewhere expressed, that he should be buried with 
the burial of an ass, dragged forth, and cast far without 
the gates of Jerusalem. " * So far the reply to Dr. 
Tholuck seems warranted. But we are concerned with 
Jeremiah rather than Tholuck. Dr. Kuenen says con 
cerning this ignominious death of Jehoiakim " that this 
actually happened may be assumed as probable." But 
if there was this ignominious casting forth of the dead 
body of the king of Judah, is not this supernatural 
prediction ? 

Sixthly, Jehoiakim was succeeded by his son Jehoia- 
chin, who was assisted in the government by his mother. 
To them the prophet brings this word of Jehovah : " Say 
thou to the king and to the queen-mother, Humble your 
selves, sit down ; for your head-tires are come down, 
even your beautiful crown ; the cities of the South are 
shut up, and there is none to open them ; Judah is 
carried away captive, all of it ; it is wholly carried away 
captive. Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come 
from the north ; where is the flock that was given thee, 
thy beautiful flock ? What wilt thou say, when he shall 
visit thee ? " 2 Mow, as Dr. Tholuck reminds us, after a 
reign of three months the young prince and his mother 
were transported to Babylon. Is not this again manifest 
prediction ? No, says Dr. Kuenen, the prophecy " does 
not require to be explained on supernatural principles." 
" The prophet could easily foresee that (Jehoiakim s) 

1 Prophets and Prophecy, pp. 305, 306. 2 Jer. xiii. 18-21. 

39 2 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

consort and his son would suffer the fate which would 
have been assigned to (Jehoiakim) if death had not 
intervened." 1 But why so ? Was captivity the only, or 
probable, alternative ? Might not the two have been 
slaughtered, to save all further trouble to the Chaldeans ? 

Yet, again, seventhly, Tholuck instances the singular 
meeting between Jeremiah and Hananiah the Gibeonite. 
Upon Hananiah s denial of the approaching victory of 
Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah was divinely commanded to 
visit Hananiah, and say : " Hear now, Hananiah ; the 
Lord hath not sent thee ; but thou makest this people 
to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, 
I will send thee away from off the face of the earth : 
this year thou shalt die, because thou hast spoken 
rebellion against the Lord." And the narrative adds : 
" So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the 
seventh month." 2 What says Dr. Kuenen to this? 
"No one will certainly ascribe decisive weight to this 
narrative." Why ? " Many a threatening of the wrath 
of Deity, such as we find there, has been ratified by the 
issue in as striking a manner, either because it produced 
a deep impression upon the imagination of him whom 
it concerned, or by accident, as it is called." Further, 
Dr. Kuenen goes on to say, " We do not know whether 
the death of Hananiah in that year was in fact foretold 
in terms so unambiguous." * In this instance again 
Dr. Kuenen rather prefers to think the testimony 
of Jeremiah false than think supernatural prediction 

Tholuck instances, eighthly, Jeremiah s prediction of 
the Fall of Babylon, 4 already noticed. Here, again, the 

1 Prophets and Prophecy > p. 306. 2 Jer. xxviii. 15-17. 

3 Prophets and Prophecy r , pp. 304, 305. 4 Jer. 1., li. 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 393 

prophecy is so remarkable, and is so demonstrably 
supernatural, that Dr. Kuenen sees no way out of it 
except by denying that Jeremiah wrote the prophecy at 
all. The prophecy must, he thinks, be ascribed to a 
younger prophet, who wrote after Babylon had fallen. 1 
But is not this adapting facts to theory, rather than 
shaping theory upon facts ? 

Lastly, Tholuck calls attention to the exact fulfilment 
of Jeremiah s prediction concerning the manner and 
consequences of the defeat by Nebuchadnezzar of the 
troops of Zedekiah, when Jerusalem should be taken, 
the Temple burned, and the surviving population de 
ported to Babylon. All this again Dr. Kuenen regards 
as certainly not supernatural prediction. It is simply, 
he thinks, an instance of the clearness of view of Jere 
miah. "Jeremiah saw things as they really were, while 
the opposite party yielded to all kinds of illusion ;" and, 
as Dr. Kuenen goes on to say, " we willingly give Jere 
miah the credit which is due to him on that account ; 
but it is impossible for us to see the proof of the Divine 
origin of his expectations in the fact that they are 
realized ; " an opinion surely as individual as singular. 
Must not the inductive inquirer, when he sees a life like 
Jeremiah s, claiming at once to be inspired by God, and 
accredited by very numerous unmistakable fulfilments 
of the predictions made in the Divine name, hold a 
distinctly contrary opinion, and say, "that it is impossible 
for him to see anything else but the proof of the Divine 
origin of Jeremiah s expectations in the fact that they 
are constantly realized " ? 2 

Surely, then, an inductive inquiry into the phenomena 

1 Prophets and Prophecy, pp. 308, 309. 2 Ib. pp. 306-308. 

394 TJie Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

presented by the Biblical Prophecies which are not 
Messianic shows the Divine origin of such prophecy. 
A similar origin, as will now be seen, is suggested by an 
inductive examination of the facts of Messianic Pro 

Upon the threshold, however, of this examination of 
facts as grave as fascinating, let a general principle be 
recalled, which has already engaged our attention once 
in the course of this inquiry, a general principle having 
reference indeed to all facts which concern any evolu 
tionary process. The principle is this (it may be stated 
in a variety of ways), that enlargement of vision is 
often change of view ; that what seems to be the main 
purpose of any fact, or series of facts, at one moment, 
may appear insignificant on a wider survey ; that conclu 
sions apparently warranted at one time may require to 
be amended upon a more inclusive look ; that the reason 
of one phase of growth may not be the predominant 
ground of a later and more developed phase. A few 
simple instances may illustrate the principle. Thus the 
purpose of childhood studied in itself is one thing, 
whereas as regarded in relation to the whole life of man 
it is quite another. The end of a palm-tree may be at 
one moment to grow foliage and at another to grow 
fruit. Regard the Carboniferous Age in itself, and its 
raison d etre may seem to be its flora and fauna, the 
movement of its seas and the roar of its forests ; but, 
regarded from the standpoint of the present geological 
epoch, its end may rather be thought to be the provision 
of coal-fields for man. Indeed, the whole wide range 
of growth might afford instances in point. Every 
thing which has a life-history fulfils at least a double 
end ; it has relations with its own time, and as part 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 395 

of a scheme of things, it has relation to the times to 

This principle of a twofold relationship also holds in 
prophecy ; and, for many reasons, it is desirable to bear 
the fact in mind. Every prophecy fulfils a twofold 
purpose ; it has a purpose which is immediate, and ? 
purpose which is "prospective. What has been seen t< 
obtain in types, which after all are but a variety of pro* 
phecy, obtains with prophecy most strictly regarded ; it 
is at once a message to its own age, and a demonstration 
to the times which follow. 

It is of the highest moment, at the present juncture 
of our inquiry, to remember that prophecy, Divine 
knowledge divinely imparted, may have a twofold signi 
ficance in the intention of its Divine Imparter. Before 
fulfilment, a prophecy may awaken expectancy : after 
fulfilment, a prophecy may afford proof. For instance, 
before the actual event, the prophecy of the Fall of 
Babylon might serve to fan the dying confidence of the 
Jewish exiles ; after the event, this same prophecy might 
demonstrate, not to Jews only, but to all peoples, the 
reality of revelation. 

Further, like all prophecy, Messianic prophecy, or 
prophecy concerning the person and work of the coming 
redeemer, may also be viewed from two sides. Prior to 
fulfilment, the aim of Messianic prophecy was, it is 
manifest, to preserve among the Jewish nation, through 
out its chequered history, a forward look to a coming 
day. After fulfilment, the effect of the same prophecy 
is, it is equally manifest, to disclose to all, who care to 
consider the evidence, a very remarkable series of Divine 
revelations, " spoken at sundry times and in divers 
manners/ It is, of course, with this demonstrative value 

396 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

of Messianic prophecy that any inductive inquirer into 
the claims of the Old Testament is specially concerned. 
If, naturally, there is much interest in treating "the 
Messianic ideal of the Old Testament by itself and for 
itself," as has been so ably done by Professor Briggs, in 
his Messianic Prophecy? still this is not the task before 
us now. For us there is a paramount interest in inquir 
ing whether what are intelligibly called the Messianic 
Prophecies of the Old Testament and the several cir 
cumstances of the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, 
are related to each other as prediction and fulfilment. 
For if they are, if what the Old Testament has to say 
about a coming Deliverer is unquestionably fulfilled in 
what the New Testament has to say about a Deliverer 
who has come, then another demonstration will have 
been given, and that of a very conclusive kind, of the 
reality of supernatural revelation. 

Now ours is an inductive examination, and when we 
come to investigate the Old Testament records induc 
tively for the Messianic prophecies overflow the Pro 
phetical Books as such, and it will not complicate our 
inquiry to regard the entire Old Testament at once in 
this Messianic respect it is seen, as a matter of fact, 
that there is a very remarkable series of predictions, 
apparently belonging to a cycle of purpose all their 
own, and promising in no measured terms a remarkable 
future deliverance of an ever-widening and ever-deepen 
ing kind, a spiritual deliverance, a deliverance super 
natural as well as extraordinary. If at first sight many 
of these prophecies appear to be local, temporary, and 

1 Messianic Prophecy , the Prediction of the Fulfilment of Redemption 
through the Messiah ; a Critical Study of the Messianic Passages of the 
Old Testament in the Order of their Development, Edinburgh, 1866. 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 397 

transient in their reference, further inquiry shows that 
should their realization be found in any common per 
sonage or ordinary event, then these prophecies appear 
singularly extravagant. Indeed, what Bishop Lowth 
says of the Second Psalm applies to most of these 
prophecies, " If on the first reading of the Psalm we 
consider the character of David in the literal sense, the 
composition appears sufficiently perspicuous, and abun 
dantly illustrated by facts from the sacred history : 
through the whole, indeed, there is an unusual fervour of 
language, a brilliancy of metaphor ; and sometimes the 
.diction is uncommonly elevated, as if to intimate that 
something of a more sublime and important nature lay 
concealed within ; if, in consequence of this indication, 
we turn our minds to contemplate the internal sense, 
and apply the same passages to an allegorical David, a 
meaning not only more sublime, but even more per 
spicuous rises to view." I So is it often in the Old 
Testament. Local fulfilment appears all too slight. 
The thoughts are carried on to a great coming Deliver 
ance, although, as studied in the Old Testament alone, 
that future deliverance, whilst displaying some sort of 
order in development, shows also features not without 
apparent contradiction. 

However, What are the facts of the case ? For it is 
with facts we are concerned. The development of con 
ception in the Old Testament, concerning the deliver 
ance for which men should hope, ran somewhat as 
follows : 

The predictions are at first of a great coming deliver 
ance. No sooner did sin enter into the world, upon 
subtle diabolical temptation, than a promise is made to 

1 Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews, vol. i. lecture xi. 

398 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

Eve s offspring of successful conflict with Satan, in the 
memorable words to the serpent, "And I will put 
enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy 
seed and her seed ; he shall bruise thy head, and thou 
shalt bruise his heel." T In this prophecy, be it observed, 
the future deliverance promised is associated with the 
seed of the woman. Many centuries pass away, and at 
length this First Evangel becomes a promise to Abra 
ham of deliverance through Isaac, in whose " seed all 
the nations of the earth shall be blessed." 2 Two gene 
rations more, and the promise of blessing through 
Isaac becomes a promise of world-wide dominion to a 
prince who should come of Judah s loins ; " the sceptre," 
said dying Jacob, " shall not depart from Judah, nor the 
ruler s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh come." 3 
Thus the Patriarchal Age closes in such a way as to 
keep the eyes of the sons of Jacob intent upon a coming 
Deliverer, a son of Eve, a son of Abraham, a son, a 
prince of the house of Judah. All these are facts suffi 
ciently curious : 

Following on down the stream of time, the gaze is 
still forward, but the Messianic prediction of Moses* 
days assumes a different character. Moses foretells 
the advent of a prophet like himself. " And Jehovah 
said unto me, I will raise them up a prophet from 
among their brethren, like unto thee ; and I will put 
My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them 
all that I shall command him. And it shall come to 
pass that whosoever will not hearken unto My words 
which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of 
him." 4 Thus the expectation of Israel is concentrated 
upon prophecy ; and the future deliverance is associated 

~ 11. xxii. 15-18. 3 2b. xlix. 10. 4 Deut. xviii. 18, 19. 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 399 

with a second Moses, a great prophet, whose words 
should be particularly Divine, and therefore peculiarly 
divisive, permanently winnowing because uniquely 
authoritative. If at first sight this looks like a promise 
of a prophetical order, further regard opens much diffi 
culty in such an interpretation : 

Four centuries pass, and a development of the older 
prince idea takes place. In recognition of the earnest 
desire of David to build a temple to Jehovah, the 
promise is divinely made to David, by means of 
Nathan, that the Davidic house shall know no end. 
" Moreover," said Nathan to David, " the Lord telleth 
thee that the Lord will make thee a house : when thy 
days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, 
I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out 
of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom ; he 
shall build a house for My name, and I will establish 
the throne of his kingdom for ever, . . . and thine 
house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever 
before thee : thy throne shall be established for ever." T 
Here, again, if first thoughts seem to point to fulfilment 
in Solomon, second thoughts suggest difficulty, either 
in expression or in fact, in so speedy an execution o r 
the promise. Still the forward glance is fostered : 

This idea of the Kingly Messiah appears again and 
again in the Psalms. A few illustrative instances may 
suffice. In one Psalm David represents a Divine utter 
ance made by Jehovah to the coming Messianic king, 
whom David recognizes as his lord, though his son. 

" The Lord saith unto my lord, Sit thou at my right hand, 
Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 

2 Sam. vii. 12-16. 

400 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

The Lord shall stretch forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion. 

Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 

Thy people are freewill offerings in the day of thy power : 

In holy attire, from the womb of the morning, 

Thy youth are to thee as dew. 

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, 

Thou art a priest for ever, 

After the manner of Melchizedek : 

The Lord at thy right hand 

Hath stricken through kings in the day of his wrath. 

He shall judge among the nations, 

The places are full of dead bodies ; 

He hath stricken through the head in a wide land. 

He shall drink of the brook in the way : 

Therefore shall he lift up the head." r 

In which beautiful as well as remarkable utterance the 
future deliverance is associated with a descendant of 
David s, a great king, and therefore a royal priest. In 
the Second Psalm again the same idea appears of a great 
future deliverer, of royal blood, nay, of Divine relation 
ship, the appointed king of Zion, Jehovah s anointed, 
who shall have the ends of the earth for his possession. 
A similar idea is expressed as forcibly as touchingly in 
the Seventy-second Psalm : 

Further, this kingly character of the future redeemer 
several of the prophets develop, especially the prophets 
prior to Isaiah. They speak with eagerness of a noble 
scion of David s line, who should be at once a universal 
ruler and a universal blessing, approving himself for all 
time great David s greater son. Thus Hosea tells how, 
after a period of great trouble and humiliation, " the 
children of Israel will return, and seek the Lord their 
God, and David their king, and will come with fear unto 
the Lord and to His goodness in the latter days." 2 

1 Psa. ex. s Hosea iii. 5. 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 401 

And Amos writes, how, after the severe visitation of the 
Divine displeasure upon the chosen people, Jehovah 
declares that " in that day " He will " raise up the 
tabernacle of David which is fallen." * Micah, again, 
after a circumstantial prediction of woe, gives a circum 
stantial prediction of blessing. " But thou, Bethlehem- 
Ephratah, which art little to be among the families of 
Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that 
is to be ruler in Israel ; whose goings forth are from 
of old, from ancient days." 2 

Isaiah, again, who introduces quite other ideas of the 
future deliverer, has much to say about the Coming 
King and the Coming Kingdom. What David said 
vaguely, Isaiah states clearly. But Isaiah also intro 
duces apparently contradictory conceptions. The coming 
deliverer, in his view, is to be a son of David, and of 
royal lineage, but, at the same time, is to be of Divine 
birth. Not only so, but although the kingdom was his 
birthright, this universal kingdom was also to be won 
by exceptional suffering. The Prince of Peace is, in 
his view, the Mighty God, and the Suffering Servant. 
To the features of the regal and Divine Messiah, Isaiah 
adds another of the Messiah who suffers vicariously for 
human sin. 3 

Such are the principal facts of a Messianic kind 
which meet the inductive inquirer. No attempt has 
been made to treat of them exhaustively. A few 
suggestive data have alone been collated. More was 
unnecessary. The facts are well known, and can be 
readily examined at length in specialistic treatises. All 

1 Amos ix. 11-13. ~ Micah v. 2. 

3 Compare Scriptural Doctrine of Sacrifice , pp. 210, 211. 


4O2 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

that was needful was to point out the salient features of 
these Messianic prophecies. But, even thus slightly 
viewed, it is evident that, considered apart from all New 
Testament conceptions, the facts adduced present wholly 
unsolved problems. The problems suggested are many; 
the solutions are distant. Nevertheless, one conclusion 
soon shows itself as valid as inevitable. That conclu 
sion is that, as has been previously said, a forward look 
was cultivated throughout the Old Testament times by 
this series of predictions, these predictions ceaselessly 
insisting that man never is, but is always to be blest, 
whilst, at the same time, hope in the future, if anywhere, 
is the only valid lesson of ideals which are constantly 
disappointed. Where in the seed of Eve, or the seed 
of Abraham, or the seed of Judah, or the seed of David 
is this coming Deliverer to be found ? Does Moses 
satisfy the conditions of the promise, or Joshua, or 
Solomon, or Hezekiah ? Nor are the difficulties personal 
only. There are difficulties of conception also. Side by 
side with this primary conception of a future deliverer, 
are the predictions that the deliverance is to be by a 
prophet, nay, by a priest, nay, by one of Divine birth. 
Yet again, together with the seemingly incompatible 
ideas of prophecy, kingship, priesthood, human birth, 
and Divine person, there comes in the further statement 
that the future deliverer will " pour out his soul unto 
death " " be numbered with transgressors " " bear the 
sin of many " " prolong his days " only when he hath 
" made his soul a trespass-offering." Certainly the 
facts have their interest, but to the inductive inquirer 
into the Old Testament only, they cannot but be pro 
foundly mysterious. Where is the key which can open 
this lock cf many wards ? 

VII.] Messianic Prophecies. 403 

The perplexities of types vanish on the appearance 
of their antitypes. The problems of prophecies dis 
appear on the advent of their fulfilments. Is there a 
great deliverer known to men, who can bring harmony 
out of apparent contradiction, and simplicity of view 
out of the bafflingly complex ? To ask the question is 
a long way towards its answer. 

As a matter of fact, which no serious inquirer can 
ignore, the unsolved problems of the Old Testament 
Messianic predictions receive a satisfactory solution in 
the New Testament Messiah. In Jesus of Nazareth 
there really appears a great deliverer, the greatest of 
prophets, the royal priest, the universal king, who, at 
once Son of David and Son of God, establishes an 
everlasting rule, not by right alone, but actually by 
vicarious suffering unto death. Jesus is the master-key 
which unlocks all the complicated wards of Old Testa 
ment prophecy. To use another figure, Jesus is the 
pure light in which all the colours of Old Testament 
prophecy may be found upon analysis. No inductive 
inquirer will overlook the striking fact. In Jesus the 
prophecies of the Old Testament concerning a coming 
deliverance not without numerous difficulties and 
many apparent contradictions so long as they are viewed 
simply in themselves find at once fulfilment, ratification, 
and explanation. On the advent of this Redeemer, the 
forecasts of redemption receive their necessary supple 
menting. In this instance, too, fulfilment has made 
forecast more intelligible. 

But if this be so if the Messianic prophecies of the 
Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus another conclusion 
also follows. These Messianic prophecies are demon 
stratively supernatural revelations, Divine knowledge 

404 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

divinely imparted. No other conclusion accords with 
the facts which have been cited. Prediction can only 
emanate from knowledge of the fulfilment ; fulfilment 
can only emanate from knowledge of the prediction. 
Further, when the Messianic prophecies were uttered, 
the advent of Jesus was in the far future, and was 
unknown as such to the prophetic authors. And yet 
again, no mere human study of the Old Testament 
prophecies could have produced such fulfilment as is 
evident in the life and death of Jesus. The fulfilment 
cannot have suggested the prophecies, and the prophe 
cies cannot have suggested the fulfilment. In other 
words, such prediction as this can only emanate from 
superhuman knowledge of the fulfilment ; just as such 
fulfilment as this can only emanate from superhuman 
knowledge of the prediction. In short, the inductive 
inquirer, in face of the facts of Old Testament Messianic 
prophecy, is compelled to ask three questions first, can 
the prophets themselves have originated such predic 
tions ? second, could any mere man, upon the study 
of these predictions, have compassed their fulfilment, 
adducing credible evidence of his Divine as well as 
human birth, dying for men, convincing men that he had 
so died, establishing a world-wide kingdom, personating 
at once a great king, a great prophet, and a great 
priest ? third, do not such predictions and such fulfil 
ment inevitably point to a Divine knowledge of both 
divinely imparted in a word, to revelation ? Was not 
Jesus able to fulfil the prophecies because He first 
planned them ? 

Thus far then, in this lecture, the Divine origin of 
Prophecy has been inductively considered, many grounds 

VII.] The Prophetical Books. 405 

having disclosed themselves for believing that the Old 
Testament representation of prophecy as revelation is 
absolutely correct. Especially have the many and 
striking phenomena of prediction pointed to the 
supernatural origin of prophecy. Now, for a little while, 
the Divine relations of the Prophetical Books which 
chronicle this supernatural prophecy call to be con 

The Divine origin of prophecy, then, as has been 
seen, follows from the demonstrable Divine relations of 
the prophets. From the Divine relations of the prophets 
also follow the Divine relations of the Books of the 
Prophets. As the Inspiration of Moses is the pledge of 
the Inspiration of the Books of Moses, so the Inspiration 
of the Prophets is the guarantee of the Inspiration of 
the Books of the Prophets. The point scarcely needs 
lengthy consideration. 

Indeed, so far as the so-called Proplietce Posteriores 
are concerned, there is little difficulty. That Isaiah, and 
Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the several minor prophets, as 
inspired men, wrote inspired books, is manifest. The 
prophet, as has been seen, was an organ of Divine reve 
lation, and, as such, had been peculiarly fitted for his 
career by a life of Divine communion and by many 
specific hours when the Divine message became indubit 
able ; manifestly when such an inspired man committed 
to writing his communications from heaven, the literary 
product was an inspired product. Of this collection of 
prophetical writings Peter s sentiment is evidently just 
that " no prophecy ever was brought by the will of man, 
but men spake from God being moved by the Holy 

So much is clear concerning the Prophctce Posteriores 

406 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

the Books of the Greater and the Minor Prophets. If 
there is revelation anywhere, Divine knowledge divinely 
imparted, it is in these books. If there is inspiration 
anywhere, Divine equipment, that is to say, for the trans 
mission of revelation, it is also evidently in these books. 
These Later Prophets are very largely prediction, in 
other words, supernatural revelation concerning the 
future made available for mankind by supernatural 

But what shall be said of the PropJietce Priores ? Are 
they also revelation ? Are they also inspired ? Almost 
wholly history as these Earlier Prophets are, is this 
history to be regarded as in any sense supernatural ? 

It would seem so. These Historical Books of the Old 
Testament, which form the so-called PropJietce Priores 
are, it would appear, more than common annals. Rather 
are they a Divine interpretation of human history. They 
apparently embody an element of revelation. They 
are, it seems, the product of inspired men. Neither was 
anything in them, " ever brought by the will of man, but 
men wrote being moved by the Holy Ghost." These 
Earlier Prophets were written, there is reason for saying, 
by prophets, by men, that is, who were at once chosen 
instruments of revelation and chosen vessels of inspira 
tion. At least the inductive inquirer is confronted with 
considerable evidence of the prophetical authorship of 
these Historical Books, and of course, when satisfied as 
to the trend of the evidence, the inductive inquirer will 
not shrink from the implications of the evidence. 

The evidence for the prophetical authorship of these 
books may be arranged under four heads : 

First : There is the evidence of the name. These 
books were called " Prophets " apparently as early as the 

VII.] The Prophetical Books. 407 

days of Ezra. The only tangible explanation of the 
name is found in a belief on the part of Ezra, and the 
Jews of his day, that these books, these historical books, 
owe their existence to the prophets. 

Secondly : These books, especially the books of 
Samuel and Kings, show a most intimate acquaintance 
with the sayings and doings of the prophets. Many 
prophetic conversations are minutely recorded, as are 
many strictly personal acts of the prophets. The. 
numerous chapters upon the careers of Samuel andi 
Elijah and Isaiah are good instances. 

Thirdly : Certain portions of the history of Israel are 
expressly said to be due to certain prophets, whose 
names are mentioned. The evidence is noteworthy. 
Thus the history of David is attributed to three prophets, 
Samuel, Nathan, and Gad : " Now the acts of David 
the king, first and last, behold they are written in the 
words of Samuel the seer, and in the words of Nathan 
the prophet, and in the words of Gad the seer ; with all 
his reign and might, and the times that went over him,, 
and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the 
countries." ^ Similarly the annals of Solomon s reign 
are ascribed to Nathan, Ahijah, and Iddo the prophets :: 
" Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are 
they not written in the words of Nathan the prophet, 
and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the 
vision of Iddo the seer, the vision against Jeroboam the 
seer of Nebat." 2 Similarly the story of the reign of 
Rehoboam is associated with Shemaiah and Iddo, the 
prophets : " Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, 
are they not written in the words of Shemaiah the 
prophet and Iddo the seer for a register." 3 The history 

1 I Chron. xxix. 29, 30. - 2 Chron. ix. 29. 3 //>. xii. 15 

408 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

of Abijah, again, is coupled with the name of Iddo : 
" And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and 
his words, are written in the commentary (Midrash) of 
the prophet Iddo." * Further, Jehu the prophet is said 
to have written the annals of Jehoshaphat : " And the 
rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold they 
are written in the words of Jehu the son of Hanani, 
which [the rest of the acts] 2 was transmitted in the book 
of the kings of Israel." 3 Yet again, the narrative of 
Uzziah s reign is put down to Isaiah : " Now the rest of 
the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah, the prophet, 
the son of Amoz, write" ;4 just as the narrative of the 
reign of Hezekiah is also said to have been told by 
Isaiah : " Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his 
goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah 
the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings 
of Judah and Israeli s At least these various express 
references to prophetic authorship show that in the days 
of Ezra it was commonly believed that the several 
prophets mentioned by name were the writers of the 
national annals of their day ; and at least these annals 
were the materials from which the Books of Samuel and 
Kings were composed. 

But, fourthly : There is good reason for believing that 
the extant Books of Samuel and Kings are these very 
products themselves of the pens of Samuel, Nathan, Gad, 
Ahijah, Iddo, Shemaiah, Jehu, and Isaiah. 

For mark the facts of the case. We have two parallel 
accounts of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the one 

1 2 Chron. xiii. 22. 

- Compare 2 Chron. xxvi. 22 and Bertheau, Die Backer der Chronik, 
Leipsic, 1873, pp. xxix and 337. 
3 2 Chron. xx. 34. 4 Ib. xxvi. 22. 5 Ib. xxxii. 32 

VII.] The Prophetical Books. 409 

manifestly written prior to the Captivity, and the other 
as manifestly written subsequently, the so-called Books 
of Kings and Chronicles. Into the diverse aims of these 
books, and into the minute questions of their date and 
authorship, we need not enter. But one peculiarity of 
the books calls for mention. Again and again, as we 
have already seen, Chronicles refers to a collateral series 
of documents as containing " the rest of the acts " of the 
kings, of whose history Chronicles consists. Now are 
there data for identifying this earlier series of docu 
ments ? There surely are such data. For instance, 
Chronicles frequently refers (for supplementary matter 
not contained in itself) to the earlier authority mani 
festly well known to the audience to which Chronicles 
appeals as " T/ie Book of tlie Kings of JitdaJi and 
Israel" : " And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, 
lo, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah 
and Israel " ; x or, again, "And the rest of the acts of 
Amaziah, first and last, behold they are written in the 
Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel " ; 2 or, again, 
" And the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, 
and his ways, lo, they are written in the Book of the 
Kings of Israel and Judah " ; 3 or, again, " And the rest 
of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they 
are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and 
Israel " ; 4 or, again, " And the rest of the acts of Josiah, 
and his goodness according to what was written in the 
law of the Lord, and his acts, first and last, behold they 
are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and 
Judah " ; 5 or, again, " And the rest of the acts of 
Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that 

1 2 Chron. xvi. n. 2 Ib. xxv. 26. 3 Ib. xxvii. 7. 

4 Ib- xxviii. 26. 5 Ib, xxxv. 27. 

4 J o Tlie Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

which was found in him, behold they are written in the 
Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah." J Once a well- 
known collateral authority is referred to as the " Acts of 
the Kings of Israel." " And the rest of the acts of 
Manasseh, and his prayer unto his gods, and the words 
of the seers that spake to him in the name of the Lord 
God of Israel, lo, they are in the Acts of the Kings of 
Israel" 2 However here, though the expression is 
peculiar, there is no valid reason for saying that " the 
Acts of the Kings of Israel " is a different book from 
" the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah." Of course 
the "Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah "might 
contain the "Acts of the Kings of Israel." The Book 
of Chronicles for both Chronicles and Kings now 
extant in two books were originally one book refers 
then to a collateral authority which it names the Book 
of the Kings of Israel and Judah ; just as the fact need 
only be named the Book of Kings again and again 
refers to supplementary histories, which it names the 
" Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah " and 
the " Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel." Is 
not the "Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah" to 
which Chronicles refers, the Book of the Kings of our 
present Bibles? The only objection which has been 
taken to such a view is, as Canon Rawlinson says, that it 
" is contradicted ... by the fact that Kings often 
does not contain the information for which the writer of 
Chronicles refers his readers to the work in question" ; 3 
an objection fatal if true. But there is good ground for 
doubting its truth. " The Book of Kings contains," 

1 2 Chron. xxxvi. 8. 2 Ib. xxxiii. 18. 

3 The Holy Bible with an Explanatory and Critical Commentary by 
Bishops and other Clergy of the Anglican Church^ vol. iii., London, 1873, 
p. 1 60. 

VII.] The Prophetical Books. 411 

says Canon Rawlinson, " no account of the sons of 
Joash, or of the * burdens uttered against him, which 
were written in the Commentary of the Book of Kings." 
True, but the Commentary of the Book of Kings is not 
necessarily the Book of Kings ; as the Canon has him 
self said, " the word used, Midrash, occurs but twice in 
the whole of the Old Testament, both times in Chroni 
cles. It is common, however in Rabbinical Hebrew, 
wJiere it always has the meaning of something like an 
exposition or interpretation, not of a primary work" 
Surely ignorance as to what this commentary or 
midrash was, is no ground for identifying the " Com 
mentary of the Book of Kings" with "the Book of 
Kings." "Nor does { the Book of Kings/" continues 
the Canon, " contain any record of the prayer of 
Manasseh, or the places wherein he built high places 
and set up groves and graven images, which were 
recorded in the sayings of the seers." The Canon refers 
to a passage in Chronicles, which runs thus in the 
Revised Version : " Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, 
and his prayers unto his God, and the words of the seers 
that spake to him in the name of the Lord, the God of 
Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the 
Kings of Israel. His prayer also, and how God was 
intreated of him, and all his sins and his trespass, and the 
places wherein he built high places, and set up the 
Asherim and the graven images, before he humbled 
himself; behold, they are written in the Jiistory oj 
Hozai" But has not a series of mistranslations been 
made here which have misled both the Canon and the 
Revisers ? According to the Hebrew" his prayer unto his 
God" might equally be " his prayer to his gods " ; and 
" how God was intreated of him " might, much more 

412 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. 

literally, be " and how incense was offered for him." 
Such renderings, too, harmonize most accurately, on the 
one hand, with the references to Manasseh s sins and 
trespass, and, on the other hand, with the accentuation 
of " the Lord the God of Israel " in whose name the 
seers expostulated with the king. Further, by the words 
translated "the history of Hozai" the Hebrew means no 
more than " the words of the seers (or the prophets)."" 
Now, as a matter of fact, when we turn to the Book of 
Kings, just what is told us concerning Manasseh x is his 
doing after the abomination of the heathen, his build 
ing of the high places, his making an Asherah, his 
setting up the graven image in the house of the Lord, 
and the speaking of the Lord in expostulation by His 
servants the prophets. There is therefore every reason 
for saying that the Books of the Kings of Israel and 
Judah referred to so frequently in Chronicles is just our 
Books of the Kings. 

But if so, then our Book of Kings is expressly asso 
ciated with the Order of Prophets* 

The evidence is as follows : As has just been seen in 
reference to Manasseh, " the Acts of the Kings of Israel " 
(part apparently of the Book of Kings) is also called, it 
would seem, " the words of the seers " 2 (oddly trans 
lated " the history of Hozai)." Further, the words of 
the prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, are expressly stated 
to form part of the Book of the Kings of Israel. 3 Yet 
again, the narratives of Uzziah s and Hezekiah s reigns 
in the Book of Kings are ascribed to Isaiah by name, as 
we have seen. These " words of Jehu," then, and these 
" words of Isaiah " are separate sections of the Book of 
Kings. And observe further, Chronicles refers again 

1 2 Kings, xxi. ~ 2 Chron. xxxiii. 18. 3 Ib. xx. 34 (Hebrew). 

VII.] The Prophetical Books. 413 

and again, as we have seen, to Kings for supplementary 
matter ; it does so concerning Asa, and Joash, and 
Amaziah, and Jotham, and Ahaz, and Josiah, and Jehoia- 
kim. But for supplementary matter concerning Solo 
mon Chronicles refers to the words of Nathan and 
AhijaJi and Iddo, the prophets, and concerning Reho- 
boam to the words of Shemaiah and Iddo, and concern 
ing Ahijah to the words of Iddo, and concerning Jehosha- 
phat to the words of Jehu > and so on. But the Books 
of Kings contain just these supplementary matters ; in 
fact, precisely what is ascribed to the words of the 
prophets is found in the extant Book of Kings. The 
more detailed the examination the more evident is the 
fact Now how came Chronicles to mention the " words 
of prophets" and omit the customary reference to the 
" Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel," unless the 
" words of the prophets " and the " Books of the Kings 
of Judah and of Israel " were one and the same ? A 
most satisfactory explanation, in short, of the peculiar 
mode of reference of Chronicles to the supplementary 
historical source would surely be, that, in the view of 
the Chronicler, the " Book of Kings" and the " words 
of the prophets " were identical. " The words " of 
Nathan and Ahijah and Iddo and Shemaiah were other 
sections of the Book of Kings. At any rate, the col 
lateral authorities quoted by the Chronicler as the 
"Book of Kings" and the "words" of the several 
prophets named, exactly make up the Book of Kings as 
known to us. In fine, it is extremely probable that the 
Book of Kings, as we possess it, emanated from Nathan 
and Ahijah and Iddo and Shemaiah and Jehu and 
Isaiah from the prophetical order, that is to say. 

Further, if the two Books of Kings, known in ancient 

414 The Divine Origin of Prophecy. [LECT. vil. 

time as the Book of Kings, emanated from these 
prophets, then the Books of Samuel are, by parity of 
reasoning, most probably the product of Samuel and 
Nathan and Gad ; and Joshua and Judges are also the 
works of Samuel, as ancient tradition said. That 
Joshua and Judges most distinctly show prophetical 
handiwork, the contents of these books are evidence 
enough. The same great lessons concerning the rela 
tions of Israel and Jehovah which are the burden of 
prophetic speech and writing in Samuel and Kings are 
the great lessons of Joshua and Judges. Throughout 
these Prophetce Priores, in fact, the same great religious 
lessons are taught, in all lights and with endless illus 
tration, those lessons being two mainly that national 
misfortune resulted from national wrong-doing, and that 
national prosperity followed upon national obedience to 
the Law of Jehovah. 1 

Several lines of evidence thus converge to deepen the 
impression that the entire Prophetical Books of the Old 
Testament, earlier as well as Later, Historical as well as 
Predictive, emanated from the order of prophets are 
instinct, that is to say, with the inspiration of men ex 
ceptionally moved by God. 

1 Compare Scriptttral Doctrine of Sacrifice, pp. 179-188. 





TWO great sections of the Old Testament, the Law 
and the Prophets, have now been inductively con 
sidered, with what fulness the limits of our space would 
permit. The third section remains, the so-called Writings 
(or Graphia), Holy Writings (or Hagiographa). These 
Holy Writings consist, be it remembered, of certain 
Poetical Books (the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Book of 
Job, the Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes), 
and of certain Historical Books (the Chronicles, and the 
Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, to which may be appended 
Ruth and Esther). Then, in addition to these poetical 
and historical books, these Holy Writings also contain 
it has always been a great problem why one prophetico- 
historical book, the Book of Daniel. 

All these books deserve and will repay the most care 
ful and minute investigation. Their consideration has, 
too, doubtless many discoveries in store for the inquirer 
who is at once scientific, thoroughgoing, and respectful, 
nay, for many generations of inquirers. For it would be 
idle to regard the past exegetical studies of these books, 
notably of the Psalms and Chronicles, as otherwise 


41 8 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

than preparatory. In fact, there is much need for life 
long devotion to such Biblical studies. Problems 
abound, concerning text, concerning interpretation, con 
cerning authorship, concerning date, concerning purpose, 
and it can scarcely be said as yet that these branches of 
inquiry have been entered upon in a satisfactory spirit. 
" By particular persons attending to, comparing, and 
pursuing intimations scattered up and down," as Bishop 
Butler said of the Bible generally, there are, "in the con 
tinuance of learning and liberty," many things in these 
Holy Writings to be learnt, many difficulties to be 
removed, many enigmas to be solved. May the explorers 
be many, their methods competent, their tools fit, their 
attitude reverent as free, their perseverance prolonged as 
patient ! 

However, so far as the present inquiry is concerned, 
lengthy examination of these Holy Writings is not 
called for. One important principle, itself an induction 
from very extensive data, alone requires statement 
This principle formulated, it will be seen that these 
Holy Writings supply no additional facts of importance 
in framing a doctrine of the Inspiration of the Old 
Testament. As far as the Book of Daniel is concerned, 
it is virtually one of the Prophetical Books ; that is to 
say, it presents us with the same kind of data that they 
do ; and as for the remainder of the Holy Writings, they 
all come beneath the principle of which we are speaking. 
The principle in question may be thus expressed. The 
Books of the Law, as has been seen, present us with a 
record of the progress of Divine revelation from Adam 
to Moses : the Books of the Prophets, again, present us 
with a record of Divine revelation from Moses to Malachi ; 
whereas the Holy Writings f resent us with a record, not of 

VIII.] Old Testament Inspiration. 419 

revelation, but of the assimilation of revelation. It was 
a true perception which led the first compilers of the Old 
Testament Canon to put these Hagiographa in a cate 
gory apart. Just because these books do not confront 
us with objective revelation they are invaluable. Their 
preciousness, their pricelessness, lies in their subjective 
qualities. These books mirror life in God. They rather 
reflect man as influenced by what he knows of Deity 
than God as moved by what He knows of man. They 
portray religion, not revelation ; the Divine side of 
human life, not the human side of Divine life. Compare, 
for example, the Psalter with Isaiah. Both are poetry, 
and poetry of a very exalted kind ; but the Psalter 
is lyric, Isaiah is didactic. Isaiah describes objective 
revelation ; its key-note is everywhere, " Thus saith 
the Lord : " the Psalter depicts subjective experience ; 
its constant undertone is " Thy law is a lamp unto my 
feet, and a light unto my path." Further, if Isaiah 
details experience, it is in order to emphasize revelation ; 
if the Psalter dwells upon revelation, it is to accentuate 
experience. Even the Messianic references of the 
Psalter do not seem to be new revelation, but the 
reiteration, after assimilation, of revelations already 
received. Or contrast the Prophecies of Jeremiah with 
the Book of Lamentations. Both proceed from the same 
writer. Both deal with the same distressing epoch. 
Both utter the same wail of woe. But Jeremiah is 
revelation : Lamentations is experience. " The word 
which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord," is the subject 
matter of Jeremiah : " Is it nothing to you all ye that 
pass by ? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like 
unto my sorrow," is the subject-matter of Lamentations. 
Or consider the historical books of the Hagiographa, 

420 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

idyllic Ruth, Oriental Esther, pragmatic Ezra. They are 
simply annals. They lack the didactic, the prophetic 
element. They recount history for its own sake, not for 
the sake of its Divine lessons. They rather show us 
man s interest in the ways of God than God s interest 
in the ways of man. In illustration, let the Books of 
Kings and of Chronicles be read side by side. In 
Chronicles we manifestly have the work of the historian ; 
in Kings the work of the prophet The same charac 
teristic of revelation assimilated appears throughout 
the Hagiographa. These Holy Writings paint a picture 
of the holy life, both individual and national, consequent 
upon a knowledge of the Divine revelation in Law and 
Prophets. Revelation is the theme of Law and Prophets ; 
Holiness, resulting from revelation, is the theme of 
the Holy Writings. 

After the express statement of such a principle that 
the Holy Writings show us not so much revelation as 
revelation assimilated it is possible to pass straightway 
to the consideration of the Inspiration of the Old Testa 

The main problem which has occupied our attention 
all through these lectures is, whether a Divine as well as 
human origin must be sought for the Old Testament 
Of the human origin it has not been necessary to speak 
at length. What is written in human speech, and 
according to human laws of composition, must have 
emanated from human minds and hands. The human 
origin of the Old Testament has been taken for granted. 
But the question of questions which has engrossed us 
from first to last has been, whether human causes suffice 
to explain the existence of the Old Testament in other 

VIIL] Old Testament Inspiration. 421 

words, whether a Divine cause must not be postulated 
for the production of this complex, this rare, this unique 
book, whether, in short, Divine co-operation with man is 
not the only adequate explanation of the existence of 
the Old Testament 

As our inquiry has progressed, supernatural causes for 
the data afforded by the Old Testament have had to be 
insisted on again and again. It has become more and 
more evident that without Divine assistance the Old 
Testament could never have been produced. When 
Moses and the prophets and the saints wrote the several 
books of the Old Testament, they did so as fellow- 
workers with Deity. 

Thus, it was by Divine co-operation with man, as we 
have seen, that the Books of the Law were produced. 
The Books of the Law require the postulation of super 
natural as well as natural causes. These books record 
revelations ; they record many revelations ; they record 
a series, an ordered series of revelations. From the 
narrative of Creation, supernatural in source, they pass on 
to the Divine self-disclosures to Adam, and Noah, and 
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, which ultimately merge 
into the fuller revelations vouchsafed to Moses at the 
Burning Bush, in Egypt, and in the Wilderness. These 
Divine communications to man are interwoven, we have 
seen, with the very structure of the books of the Law, 
and demand the postulation of a Divine co-operation 
with man for the production of these books. No revela 
tion, no Law ; no God, no revelation : this is the attitude 
the inductive inquirer is compelled by the data of the 
Old Testament to assume. 

A similar result has followed from our study of the 
Books of the Prophets. All prophecy, such as we have 

422 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

met with, demands a supernatural cause. Such prophecy 
can only accrue upon Divine co-operation with man. 
The prophets represented themselves as peculiarly the 
confidants, and, therefore, the messengers, of Deity ; and 
our entire examination of their position has strengthened 
our conviction of the truthfulness of these speakers for 
God. No revelation, no Books of the Prophets ; no God, 
no revelation : this again is the attitude which the facts 
of the case compel the inductive inquirer to assume. 

And a conclusion to some extent similar results from 
the brief epitome given of the mode of production of 
the Holy Writings. Not even they could have been 
produced without the Divine co-operation. For it is as 
manifest that there could be no assimilation of revelation 
without revelation, as it is manifest that there could 
be no revelation without Divine condescension. These 
Holy Writings are a record of a holy experience, either 
individual or social ; but this holy experience is neces 
sarily based upon Divine knowledge divinely imparted, 
and thus calls for belief in a supernatural cause for its 
production. Nay more, as will become more evident 
presently, the very assimilation of revelation cannot 
take place without Divine co-operation. Again, there 
fore, the inductive inquirer arrives at the result : No 
revelation, no Holy Writings ; no God, no revelation. 

From Divine co-operation, therefore, with man sum 
marizing all that has gone before the Old Testament has 
come. Without Divine influence the Old Testament 
could not have been written. But Divine co-operation 
with man, is just what is meant by Inspiration. Our 
previous inquiries may thus be compactly expressed by 
saying that this Sacred Book has been written by Inspira 
tion of God. 

Vlll.] Old Testament Inspiration. 423 

When we speak, therefore, of the Inspiration of the 
Old Testament, what we mean is that the Old Testa 
ment has been written by man with Divine aid. The 
conclusion is sufficiently important. It divides sharply 
between the Old Testament and many other books of 
high literary rank ; nay, it divides sharply between this 
and many other Sacred Books. 

But can this Inspiration of the Old Testament be probed 
further, by the light of the facts educed by our previous 
investigation ? Divine co-operation with man is of many 
kinds. The Bible itself speaks of many kinds. Thus, 
there is an inspiration, a co-operation of God with man, 
which originates life : 

" The Spirit of God hath made me, 
And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life." 

There is an inspiration, a co-operation of God with man, 
which sustains life : " And the Lord said, My spirit shall 
not rule in man for ever ; in their going astray they are 
flesh." 2 There is an inspiration which imparts excel 
lence to intellect, even infusing exceptional skill in 
artistic handicraft, as is said of Bezaleel ("And the 
Lord spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by 
name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the 
tribe of Judah ; and I have filled him with the Spirit of 
God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in know 
ledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise 
cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in 
brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving 
of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship" 3 ), and 
conferring exceptional prowess in leadership, as is said 

1 Job xxxiii. 4. 2 Gen. vi. 3. 3 Exod. xxxi. 1-5. 

4 2 4 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

of Othniel, and Gideon, and Jephthah, and Samson. 1 
There is an inspiration which endows with the gift of 
ethnic prophecy, as is expressly said of Balaam. 2 There 
is an inspiration which shows itself in the practical 
wisdom, the teaching aptitude, the visions, the miracles, 
the predictions of the Old Testament prophets. There 
is an inspiration which imparts the characteristic ele 
ments of the Christian consciousness the sense of 
adoption into the Divine family (" The Spirit Himself 
beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of 
God" 3 ), perception of the import of Jesus ("No man can 
say, Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit " 4), grasp of 
supernatural truth (" And I will pray the Father, and He 
shall give you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, whom 
the world cannot receive " 5), availing prayer (" The 
Spirit also helpeth our infirmity ; for we know not how 
to pray as we ought ; but the Spirit Himself maketh 
intercession for us " 6 ), and holiness of life (" through 
sanctification of the Spirit " ?). There is an inspiration, 
further, which blends masses of individuals who possess 
the Christian consciousness into one great social organ 
ism, bestowing upon each member his special gift (with 
a view to the welfare of the whole), giving to each com 
munity its specific genius (also with a view to the welfare 
of the whole), imparting to each age its peculiar spirit 
(also with a view to the welfare of the whole). 8 In short, 
Inspiration, the co-operation of the Spirit of God with 
the spirit of man, assumes many forms, at one time 
vitalizing natural gifts and at another vitalizing gifts 

1 Judg. iii. IO ; vi. 16 ; xi. 29 ; xiii. 25. 2 Numb. xxiv. 2. 

3 Rom. viii. 15-17. 4 I Cor. xii. 3. 

5 John xiv. 16, 17 ; xv. 26 ; xvi. 13. 6 Rom. viii. 26. 

7 2 Thess. ii. 13. 8 I Cor. xii.; Ephes. iv. 4-16. 

VIII.] Old Testament Inspiration. 425 

that are spiritual, now endowing individuals with new 
powers, and now raising communities to loftier ability. 
The life, the influence, the inspiration, the potency, 
whichever name be preferred for the co-operation of the 
Divine Spirit with the human spirit, has many functions. 
The genus has many species. Of these functions, 
amongst these species, is the inspiration which resulted 
in the production of the Old Testament. Is it possible to 
define tJiis Biblical inspiration more exactly ? can we find 
the differentia which may distinguish the Inspiration 
which resulted in tJie Old Testament from other varieties 
of Inspiration ? 

Our previous investigations lead us to infer that in- ! f 
spiration of various kinds was at work to produce the Old \ 
Testament ; and it will best conduce to clearness of view 
if these several kinds of inspiration be considered in 
due order. TJius, FIRST, tJiere is tJie inspiration, the co 
operation of the Spirit of God with the spirit of man, 
which resulted in the assimilation of revelation HAGIO- 
there is tJie inspiration, the co-operation of the Divine 
with the human spirit, which resulted in the apprehension 
and communication of revelation PROPHETIC INSPIRA 
TION as it may be called. THIRDLY, there is the in 
spiration which prompts to commit to writing what was 
known of God and Divine things, and which guides 
during committal, thus concerning itself both with the 
" impnlsus ad scribendum " and with the " assistentia in 
scribendo" as the older theologians would have said 
LASTLY, there is the inspiration of the collectors rather 
than the authors CANONIC INSPIRATION. Let each of 
these grades of inspiration be considered in order. 

426 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

Divine co-operation with man which issued in the assimi 
lation of revelation. If the line of thought be a little 
recondite, it is not a little important. 

All knowledge implies two things object and subject 
something to know and some one to know. The sub 
jective faculty of knowing is as necessary to knowledge 
as the objective fact to be known. It is but an instance 
of this universal truth to say that all knowledge of God 
also implies two things object and subject ; there must 
be a God to be known, and a human capacity to know 
God. There can be no human knowledge of God, with 
out, on the one hand, the objective fact (God), and the 
subjective faculty (the religious sense). Even God can 
not reveal Himself to man unless He has first endowed 
man with a perceptive faculty for the supernatural. 
Only spirit can apprehend spirit. If man be not made 
in the image of God, God must remain to him for ever 
unknown and unknowable. As has been as pertinently 
as bluntly said, " If man were not constitutionally 
religious " endowed with a faculty, let us say, for know 
ing God " the grossest ignorance could not have 
brought him to the consciousness of God ; all the 
ignorance in the world could not have prevailed upon 
man to believe in God, had he not been organized to 
that effect ; the animals are ignorant enough, and yet 
they have never arrived at a knowledge of God." * The 
sentiment is just. The anthropoid ape may imitate the 
attitude, but not the act of prayer. 

This prior need of a faculty for knowing God before 
God can be known, will repay further examination. 

1 Frohschammer, Das Chrislcnthum und die Moderne Natur-Wissen- 
schaft, Vienna, 1868, p. 316. 

Vlli.] Hagiographic Inspiration. 427 

Man has been so constituted that he may have know 
ledge of the Divine. This knowledge may, undoubtedly, 
vary considerably, from birth and from culture. Indeed 
some men seem to have a genius in spiritual things as 
some have genius, native faculty and native power of 
acquisition, in natural things. The same fact of man s 
capacity for religion may be expressed otherwise by 
saying that men have, though in very different degree, 
an intuitive knowledge of the supersensuous. 

The validity of this term intuitive will probably require 
a few words. If there has been a large hesitation in 
confessing to the existence of this intuitive knowledge of 
the supensensuous, perhaps the real source of that hesi 
tation was a lack of careful definition. By intuitive is 
not meant innate. Locke, acute, lucid, and conclusive 
as was his polemic against innate ideas, did not settle 
the question concerning intuition. The non-existence in 
man of innate ideas may be demonstrated, and, notwith 
standing, the actuality of intuitions not be touched. 
That no knowledge as such is born in us or with us most 
are agreed. Long discussion has produced comparative 
unanimity upon the non-existence of innate ideas 
amongst psychologists of all schools. But although no 
knowledge is innate, given to us in our mental consti 
tution, something is given to us : faculties of various 
kinds are given to us, and amongst these faculties, these 
abilities to know, these forms of thought, these moulds 
of ideas, are intuitive faculties. To have intuitions is 
part of the birthright of man, because he has intuitive 
faculties. Intuitions are the product of the intuitive 

Intuition, as its etymology implies, is an analogous 
act to vision. The eye sees, it does not reason ; it 

428 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

affords, as we say, intuitions, not arguments ; its know 
ledge is immediate, not indirect; it supplies percepts, not 
concepts ; images, not ideas. If the eye be questioned as 
to the authority of its deliverances, it repeats them. Its 
ultimate appeal is to itself, not to any prior or subse 
quent conclusion. If the eye is an instrument for gam 
ing much abstract knowledge, all such abstract know 
ledge follows from the action of the intellect upon the 
intuitions given by the eye. First comes that which is 
intuitive ; afterwards that which is abstract. What is 
true of the eye applies to every sense. All our know 
ledge of the external world is primarily intuitive, the 
immediate declarations of our senses, which mirror, so to 
speak, what is presented to them. Further, what is true 
of the senses, is true of some other mental attributes 
of ours, which it is common to call senses too, inner 
senses, spiritual senses. Personal existence, for ex 
ample, is an intuitive, not a reasoned truth. That I do 
see a tree is the only proof possible that I see a tree ; so, 
that I do exist is the only possible proof of my actual 
existence. No intuitive knowledge can advance in 
demonstration of its right to be any other than the 
woman s reason. 

Intuitive knowledge being then immediate know 
ledge, perceptive knowledge, knowledge that is simply 
an image of some object presented to the outward or 
inward senses, the question arises whether, as man is 
endowed with eyesight to see, hearing to hear, and touch 
to feel (not to recapitulate all the senses), and as man has 
been gifted with intellectual organs which can discrimi 
nate and identify (not to recapitulate all his intellectual 
capacities), and as man has also been equipped for his 
destiny with a direct consciousness of self (not to recapi- 

VIII.] Hagiogrqphic Inspiration. 429 

tulate all the varieties of mental intuition), the question 
arises, whether man has not been made in addition with 
a faculty for apprehending the Divine. When the ex 
ternal world comes in contact with the senses, they 
image that external world ; upon this all are agreed. 
Further, let the internal mental world present itself to 
our organs of introspection, and they again reflect that 
internal world ; upon this also there is a general agree 
ment. The additional question is, whether, when the 
spiritual world approaches the human spirit, that spirit 
has not also the capacity of mirroring, of consciously 
mirroring, that external world. To world-conscious 
ness, as the Germans say, in its many phases, and self- 
consciousness in its many phases, does not man add 
God-consciousness in its many phases ? Be it observed 
that the question is, not whether man can find God, but 
whether God can find man. The question is, whether, 
if the Spirit of God touch the spirit of man, man has 
any means of perceiving the supernatural contact. It 
is understood that the eye, except it be diseased, does 
not see unless there is something to see : it is also 
understood that the mind does not perceive self unless 
there is a self to be perceived ; carrying on the great 
law, that in every act of perception there are given at 
once the person perceiving and the thing perceived, may 
it not also be understood that there is a spiritual, as 
well as a sensuous and rational intuition, an intuition in 
which are given in one indissoluble act both a spirit 
known and a spirit knowing ? When God draws near 
to man, cannot man perceive the Divine proximity? 
Does not the soul of man vibrate consciously at the 
impact of Deity ? Is our knowledge of God so bounded 
by the reasoning processes of the intellect, that we can 

43 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

only attain to thoughts of God not to God Himself? 
Or is man so constituted that, on the approach of the 
supersensuous world, the supersensuous may be felt to 
be near ? As the brute knows his master, however 
feeble its faculty of expressing its knowledge, may not 
man know his Divine Father and Lord ? All human 
knowledge is immediate or mediate, direct or indirect, 
intuitive or reasoned, seen or inferred, felt or argued, 
experimental or intellectual, apprehended or compre 
hended, perceived or conceived, beheld or demonstrated 
to apply many names to the two great divisions of 
human knowledge ; is there not an immediate, a direct, 
an intuitive, a seen, a felt, an experimental, an appre 
hended, a perceived, a beheld, knowledge of God ? Is 
not the constitution of human nature such that, as it 
naturally grows up into a consciousness of self, and of 
the external world, being capable of reflecting objects 
presented both to mind and sense, it also naturally de- 
velopes a consciousness of the Divine when the Divine 
draws near ? When God approaches man, can man feel 
that God is at hand ? 

Surely the clear and precise statement of the question 
makes an affirmative reply easy. As Mulford has said 
in his suggestive Republic of God, " The being of God is 
the precedent and postulate of the thought of God ; " 
and again, " From the beginning, and with the growth 
of the human consciousness, there is the consciousness 
of the being of God, and of a relation to God ; " and 
again, " Man is conscious of the being of the eternal 
world, and lives and acts in this consciousness ; " and 
again, " We cannot deduce the being of God from the 
existence of the world, nor the eternal from the temporal, 
nor the infinite from the finite, and yet the temporal has 

VIII.] Hagiographic Inspiration. 431 

its ground in the eternal, and the finite in the infinite. . . . 
The knowledge of God comes through experience." 
Surely the reality of this intuitive knowledge of God is 
attested by individual experience. God finds us before 
we search for Him. We feel, before we reason, the fact 
of His Being. Surely, too, the reality of this intuitive 
knowledge is rendered certain by the Argumentum a 
consensu gentium. As said Epicurus in his work on the 
Nature of the Gods, "What nation is there, or what kind 
of men, who have not, previous to being taught, a certain 
impression of the gods ? " As said Cicero in his Tus- 
culan Disputations, " There is no nation so barbarous, no 
man so savage, as that some apprehension of the gods 
has not tinctured his mind." It is matter of fact that 
prayer is as universal as taste. 

The fact of this intuitive knowledge of the super 
natural has never been more consistently or more beau 
tifully expressed than by Augustine in his many 
writings. " God is at the centre of the heart (intimus 
cordi}" he says in his De Mnsica. " Although removed 
from God by its affections," Augustine says in his De 
Trinitate, " the soul always feels the attraction of the 
Divine Being by a sort of occult memory (per quamdam 
occultam memoriavi} ; " " We have a sort of notion of the 
Supreme Good by impression (impressa notio ipsius boni)" 
In his Liber de Utilitate Credendi he says, " All have a 
sort of internal consciousness of God (interior nescio quid 
conscientia] ." This is always Augustine s view. Be 
cause God touches the soul, and because the soul thus 
becomes conscious of God, the soul, in his view, lives, 
knows, wills, and is restless. His phrases are singularly 
apt : the soul has a sort of " reminiscence " of God, a 
sort of " sense " of God, a sort of " consciousness " of 

43 2 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

God. Was not Augustine right ? To Descartes axiom, 
" Cogito, ergo sum" should we not add another, " Denm 
seiitio, ergo ego et Deus sumus " ? Cannot man as man 
say with Tauler, " I possess a power in my soul which is 
susceptible of God ; I am as sure as I live that nothing 
is so near to me as God : God is nearer to me than I am 
to myself"? Cannot man as man say with John Wessel, 
" As no place is so dark as not to receive some degree 
of light from a sunbeam, so no rational soul is without 
some sort of indwelling knowledge of God " ? " This is 
the crowning guilt of men," wrote Tertullian, surely in 
wisdom, " that they will not recognize One, of whom 
they cannot possibly be ignorant Would you have the 
proof from the works of His hands, so numerous and so 
great, which both contain you and sustain you, which 
minister at once to your enjoyment and strike you with 
awe ? Or would you rather have it from the testimony of 
tlie soul itself ? Though under the oppressive bondage 
of the body, though led astray by depraving customs, 
though enervated by lusts and passions, though in 
slavery to false gods, yet, whenever the soul comes to 
itself, as out of a surfeit, or a sleep, or a sickness, and 
attains to something of its natural soundness, it speaks 
of God. . . . O noble testimony of the soul by nature 
Christian (anima naturaliter Christiana}" 

There is, then, in man a spiritual sense, so to speak, 
whence intuitive knowledge of the supersensuous is 
received. But before applying this truth to the elucida 
tion of the doctrine of Inspiration, let a few characteris 
tics of this intuitive faculty, this spiritual sense, be stated. 
Possibly such enumeration may remove some of the 
difficulties necessarily attaching to the acceptance of 
such spiritual vision. 

VIII.] Hagiographic Inspiration. 433 

Observe, then, that this intuition of the Divine, like 
all intuition, belongs, as has been pointed out, to the 
realm of perception, sense, feeling, apprehension, not to 
the realm of conception, reasoning, intellect, comprehen 
sion. We have innate faculty of spiritual sight ; we 
have not innate spiritual knowledge. " As soon as man 
becomes conscious of himself as distinct from all other 
things and persons, he at the same time becomes con 
scious of a higher self ; a power without which he feels 
that neither he nor anything else would have life or 
reality ; this is the first sense of the Godhead, the sensus 
numinis as it has been called ; for it is a sensus, an im 
mediate perception ; not the result of reasoning or of 
generalizing, but an intuition as irresistible as the im 
pressions of our senses. In receiving it we are passive ; 
at least as passive as in receiving from above the image 
of the sun, or any other sensible impression." r There 
is, therefore, something indeterminate about the intui 
tions afforded us by this spiritual sense. They are im- 
pressions which have not attained to expression. It is 
the intellectual faculties which, bringing their discrimi 
nation, their analysis, their synthesis, to bear, can give 
to these or to any intuitions adequate embodiment in 
words. Who can define exactly the more voluminous 
impressions received by the eye and the ear, an undula 
ting landscape or orchestral music ? Who can define 
self ? And who shall adequately describe that massive 
impression which the devout soul feels when God is 
present with his spirit in prayer ? Only a long process 
of intellectual culture can fit us to communicate our 
intuitions to others. To say that I feel is easy ; to say 
what I feel is extremely difficult Apprehension be- 

1 Max M tiller, Science of Language, 2nd series, p. 145. 

434 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

comes comprehension only after many a year of study 
and conflict. So it is with all intuitions. It is especially 
so with the intuitions of the spiritual sense. Further, it 
is with intuition of the Divine as it is with intuition of 
the natural. Receptivity varies with emotional state. 
Love clarifies our impressions ; hatred confuses them. 
That men should sometimes interpret their spiritual 
intuitions very differently only follows the analogy of all 

Further, observe, that, like all our senses, external and 
internal, the spiritual sense may become blurred and 
dulled by misuse. Muscles which are not used become 
flaccid. Eyes, for which there is no need, become sight 
less. The parasitic sense which lives upon the labour of 
another sense, dwindles. So, too, he who ignores the 
sense of God, finds that sense less and less impressive : 
he who puts that sense into an improperly subordinate 
place stunts it. The prominent attributes of the human 
spirit are two, self-consciousness and self-determination.. 
These attributes in a healthy state are subordinated to 
the God-consciousness. But let there be either an 
exaggerated self-consciousness (which is selfishness), or 
let there be a misdirected self-determination (which is 
sin), and in either case, the spiritual vision suffers. As 
said Theophilus, a bishop of Antioch in the second cen 
tury of our era, in his Ad Autolycum : " If thou sayest, 
show me thy God, I answer, show me first thy man, and 
I will show thee my God. Show me first whether the 
eyes of thy soul see, and the ears of thy heart hear ; for, 
as the eyes of the body perceive earthly things, light 
and darkness, white and black, beauty and deformity, so 
the ears of the heart and the eyes of the soul can per 
ceive God. God is seen by those who can see Him 

VIIL] Hagiograpkic Inspiration. 435 

when they open the eyes of their soul. All men have 
eyes, but the eyes of some are blinded, that they can 
not see the light of the sun. But the sun does not cease 
to shine because they are blind ; they should ascribe it 
to their blindness that they cannot see. Thus is it with 
thee, O man ! The eyes of thy soul are darkened by 
sin, even by thy sinful actions. Like a bright mirror, 
man must have a pure soul. If there be any rust on the 
mirror, man cannot see the reflection of his countenance 
in it ; likewise, if there be sin in man, he cannot see 
God. Therefore, first examine thyself whether thou be 
not an adulterer, fornicator, thief, robber, &c. ; for thy 
crimes will prevent thee from perceiving God." A 
similar opinion was expressed by Gregory of Nazianzum, 
in his Orations, when he said, " Rise from thy low con 
dition by thy conversation ; by purity of heart unite 
thyself to the pure ; would thou become a theologian, 
then keep the commandments of God, and walk accord 
ing to His precepts, for the act is the first step to know 
ledge." Bectti mnndo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. 
Who shall say how much of the darkened intuition of 
heathenism is due to pride and immorality, to selfishness 
and sin, continued through generations ? 

And yet further, observe that, like all the faculties 
which afford intuitions, the faculty which apprehends 
God may become finer and more skilled by suitable 
training. If Christian apprehension of God is superior 
to heathen knowledge of the all-pervading Spirit, the 
fact is no more anomalous than the more precise vision 
of the draughtsman, and the more delicate ear of the 
musician. Drill the touch of the dyer or the tongue of 
the tea-taster by constant practice, and hand and taste 
become daily surer and more sensitive. Cultivate intro- 

436 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

spection by introspection, and the philosophical capacity 
of self-analysis becomes daily more minute, accurate, 
and full. Similarly strengthen the consciousness of 
God by attention to the God-consciousness, and Divine 
intuitions will become ever clearer and more significant. 
Wise thought upon God will be of slow birth, and will 
be to some extent dependent upon intellectual power ; 
it will also be largely dependent upon strong sense 
of God ; and strong sense of God is dependent upon 
spiritual exercise. The real relation between thoughts 
and intuitions of the supersensuous is the relation which 
exists between all intuitions and thoughts. Intuitions 
are the materials of thought, and the more vivid the 
intuitions, the better the materials ; thought is the struc 
ture, which must rely much for its solidity, however, upon 
the quality of the materials. 

Further, from what has been said, it follows that the 
course of the journey from the relative blindness and 
ignorance of nature to clearer and more intense vision 
of God is evident. Clear vision of God depends on two 
things upon God who is seen, the clearness of His self- 
revelation ; and also upon the eye that sees, its clearness, 
its absence of distortion, its penetration. The Divine 
condition depends upon the Will of God. The human 
condition depends upon the will of man. Spiritual 
exercise will strengthen spiritual vision. The inner 
eye which has been weakened by misuse must be for 
tified by use. Two great lines of spiritual exercise 
especially must be deliberately entered upon. They 
are both modes of accentuating the spiritual nature by 
exercising it. Self must be subordinated, and the 
moral law must be observed. On the one hand, self- 
crucifixion, and, on the other hand, obedience, will 

VIIL] Hagiographic Inspiration. 437 

purify the spiritual vision. Every moral law observed, 
every act of love to God or man, is a rung in the 
ladder which climbs to nearer view of the heavenlier 
world. As Abbe Gratry has said, as tersely as wisely, 
in his Connaissance de Dieu, " There is an initiation 
which embraces all ; it is to die to oneself that we may 
live to God." An excellent illustration of the point is 
seen in the history of the Dispensations, the great Divine 
education of man : it is Law, obedience, which prepares 
for Gospel, and it is the Gospel, the Christian life 
where the supreme virtue is love whilst we still see 
in a mirror confusedly, which prepares us for the perfect 
state of vision face to face. As said Augustine, in his 
Soliloquia^ " The look of the soul is (intuitive) reason ; 
but every eye which looks does not see ; right and true 
looking is virtue. Yes, true reason, right reason is 
virtue/ This is one side of the vision of God ; that 
vision becomes clearer and stronger as the vision itself, 
the organ of spiritual sight, is appropriately trained. 
The other side, as has been previously said, is con 
sequent upon the object seen, and therefore, conse 
quent upon the will of the Divine object of spiritual 
vision : a truth which may well recall another remark 
able passage from Augustine : " I have loved Thee late, 
thou Beauty, so old and yet so new ! I have loved Thee 
late ! Thou wert in myself : I was outside myself. I was 
seeking Thee outside myself. Throwing myself into 
these beauties created by Thee, I was losing in them 
my proper beauty. Thou hast conquered my dulness ; 
Thou hast shined ; Thou hast lightened ; and Thou 
hast triumphed over my blindness. Thou hast touched 
me ; I have touched Thee ; and my heart now knows 
no desire but the stability there is in Thee." 

43 S Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

Three truths then have emerged. 

First, man has a spiritual sense, an inner eye, which 
can give him intuitions of the supernatural world. 

Second, these spiritual intuitions are, on the one hand, 
conditional upon the proximity and the nature of the 
supernatural objects presented to the spiritual sense. 

Third, these spiritual intuitions are, on the other hand, 
conditional upon the character of the organ of vision, 
which may be improved by use, as it may be injured by 

Applying these three truths to the question of Old 
Testament Inspiration, three further truths emerge : 

First, the Books of the Old Testament were written, 
as their contents demonstrate, by men whose spiritual 
sense, whose apprehension of the religious, whose vision 
of the invisible, was most acute and full. This being 
so, and the spiritual sense as such having no contents. 

Second, the products of this manifest spiritual sense, 
of this rare apprehension of the Divine side of things, 
must be largely due to the Divine object of vision. The 
Holy Spirit must have presented to the view of these 
Old Testament writers phases of the Eternal Mind. In 
other words, these Old Testament writers must have had 
revelations of God, as we know they had. But this im 
parting of revelation, this co-operation of the Spirit of 
God with the spirit of man, is one form of Inspiration. 

Third, the products of this spiritual sense of the Old 
Testament writers must also be due to the quality and 
culture of their organ of spiritual vision. Seeing the 
Divine, they had desired to see the Divine. They 
surrendered themselves to become " holy men of God." 
They purified their spiritual vision by obedience, and 
prayer, and large love. But this culture of the 

VIII.] Prophetic Inspiration. 439 

spiritual sense was ever dependent upon the presence 
of God. Neither the spiritual eye nor the natural eye 
can be exercised by imaginary objects. It was by the 
Divine co-operation with the efforts of these men that 
they became holy and more holy. And this culture 
of the spiritual sense, this co-operation of the Holy 
Spirit with man, is another form of Inspiration. 

Hagiographic Inspiration, therefore, which underlies 
every book of the Old Testament has two forms ; it is a 
co-operation of the Holy Spirit with the spirit of man in 
the maturing of spiritual character ; and it is also a 
co-operation of the Holy Spirit with the spirit of man in 
the assimilating of revelation. 

From Hagiographic Inspiration, possessed by all the 
Old Testament writers, let us pass, SECONDLY, to PRO 
PHETIC INSPIRATION, possessed by many, enabling 
them to be the media of Divine revelation. Having 
analysed, as far as the available data permit, the con 
sciousness of the inspired man who lives, moves, and 
has his being in what has been revealed to him of 
God by the instrumentality of others, we are now to 
analyse, according to the available data, the conscious 
ness of the inspired man who was divinely selected to 
be the organ of revelation. 

Two great characteristics, the one negative, and the 
other positive, of the consciousness of the Old Testa 
ment prophet, have come before us in the preceding 
Lecture ; and it is desirable to recall them. 

On the one hand, the prophetic utterance was not the 
outcome of the natural faculties of the prophet. The 
prophetic word was not the product of personal reflec 
tion ; it was not the outcome of past experience ; it was 

44 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

not the flower of preliminary education. The speech of 
a man of good natural parts, however cultivated, was not 
of itself prophecy. Sometimes prophetic speech was 
eloquent ; occasionally it was the highest oratory ; 
mostly it was poetic ; often it was poetry of the first 
rank ; but neither eloquence, nor oratory, nor poetry, 
were of the essence of prophecy. Prophecy was more 
than the outcome of imagination, however lofty ; it was 
more than the outcome of insight, however keen ; it was 
more even than the natural outcome of the profoundest 
religious sense. Prophecy flowed from no natural or 
acquired talents as such. The prophets are agreed in 
saying that the gift they exercised was not to be attri 
buted to natural parts. Indeed those who pretend to 
prophesy on the strength of natural gifts are declared by 
Ezekiel to be, ipso facto, false prophets : "And the word 
of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, prophesy 
against the prophets of Israel that prophesy out of tlieir 
own hearts, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of 
their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord, Woe 
unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit, and 
have seen nothing J Jeremiah utters a similar sentiment 
when he says : " Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken 
not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto 
you ; they teach you vanity ; they speak a vision of their 
own hearts" 2 On the one hand, then, prophecy is not 
the effect of natural parts, native or acquired. 

On the other hand, the prophetic message was 
always declared to be the word of God expressly 
revealed to the speaker. What the prophet spake, he 
spake, he said, as the organ of Deity. The prophets 
always preface their messages by formulas like these : 

1 Ezek. xiii. 1-3. - Jer. xxiii. 16. 

VIII.] Prophetic Inspiration. 441 

" The word which came from the Lord ; " " The word 
of the Lord which came ; " " The word of the Lord 
came to me;" "Thus saith the Lord ;" "Thus saith 
the Lord God ; " " The Lord said unto me ; " " Hear ye 
now what the Lord saith ; " " The utterance of the word 
of the Lord." Upon this Divine origin of their words 
all the prophets insist. Says Isaiah : " The Lord God 
hath given me the tongue of them that are taught, that 
I should know how to speak a word in season to him 
that is weary ; He wakeneth morning by morning ; He 
wakeneth mine ear to hear as they that are taught. 
The Lord God hath opened mine ear." x Says Jeremiah: 
" Then said I, Lord God ! behold I cannot speak, for I 
am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am 
a child ; for on whatsoever errand I shall send thee, thou 
shalt go, and whatsoever I shall command thee thou 
shalt speak. Then the Lord put forth His hand, and 
touched my mouth ; and the Lord said unto me, Behold 
I have put My words in thy mouth." 2 Says Ezekiel : 
" I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, 
Thus saith the Lord God." 3 The prophets spake 
this is their constant testimony, and it has approved 
itself credible in our preceding investigation not their 
own mind, but the mind of God. 

Revelations, then, Divine knowledge divinely im 
parted, were made to the prophets. Is it possible to 
say how ? 

In the Old Testament there are four modes in which 
Divine communications are made to men by angels, by 
dreams, by trance, and by visions. With the first mode, 
as when angels appeared to Abraham, we are not con 
cerned. The three remaining modes, often confused, 

1 Isa. 1. 4, 5. - Jer. i. 6-9. 3 Ezek. iii. 27. 

442 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

require to be carefully distinguished. The dream was 
not the trance, and the trance was not the vision. Nor 
are vision and dream the same, although popular speech 
often leads to their identification. 

The dream requires little consideration here. It was 
by this means that Divine communications were made 
to those who were not personally prepared to receive 
communications of a higher kind. The dreams of 
Pharaoh and the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar are good 
cases in point, in these instances requiring specific inter 
preters. But sometimes the dreamers of dreams were 
their own Josephs or Daniels, and a low type of pro 
phetic activity is spoken of again and again as the 
dreaming of dreams. This inferiority of the dreamer 
one passage makes very clear. It is in connection with 
the rebellion of Miriam and Aaron against Moses. The 
ground of rebellion was a conviction that they were 
prophets equally with Moses. " Hath the Lord spoken 
only by Moses ? Hath He not also spoken by us ? " 
The Divine intervention settles the matter. Aaron and 
Miriam may be such inferior prophets as see dreams, 
but Moses is a prophet of a very different kind. "And 
the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, 
and unto Miriam, Come out ye three to the tent of 
meeting. . . . And He said, Hear now My words : if 
there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will make 
Myself known unto him in an appearance by night, 1 I 
will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is 
not so : with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even 
manifestly, and not in riddles." 2 The dream was not 

1 Translated " vision " in the Authorized and Revised Versions, but this 
is misleading. The technical word "vision" should be reserved for the 
true prophetic vision, as in Isa. i. I : " The Vision of Isaiah, which he saw." 

2 Numb. xii. 1-8. 

VIII.] Prophetic Inspiration. 443 

the mode in which the Divine revelations were made to 
the Old Testament prophets. 

The trance or ecstasy was of a different nature to the 
dream. The accompaniments of the trance show this 
clearly. Daniel was entranced, for instance, and in his 
case the accompaniments of this mental state are seen 
in distinct, if pronounced, form. Daniel falls into a deep 
sleep, he tells us : " And it came to pass, when I, even I, 
Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought understanding ; 
and, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of 
a man. . . . Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into 
a deep sleep with my face toward the ground ; but he 
touched me, and set me where I had stood. And he 
said, Behold, I will make thee know." Further, after 
the Divine communication was ended, Daniel speaks of 
the great prostration under which he suffered : " And I, 
Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days ; then I rose 
up, and did the king s business : and I was astonished 
at the vision, but there was none to make it under 
stood." x A somewhat parallel description is given by 
Balaam of the state of trance : " And (Balaam) took up 
his parable and said, 

Balaam the son of Beor saith : 
And the man whose eye is opened saith : 
He saith, who heareth the words of God, 
Who seeth the sight of the Almighty, 
Falling down, and having his eyes open." 2 

It was in a trance (" ecstasy fell upon him ") that Peter 
received his commission concerning the Gentiles. 3 So, 
too, it was in a trance apparently that Paul was caught 
into the third heaven, and heard unutterable things,4 not 

1 Dan. viii. 15-19, 27. - Numb. xxiv. 3, 4. 

3 Acts x. 10. 4 2 Cor. xii. i. 

444 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

knowing whether he was in or out of the body. In this 
state of trance, then, the bodily senses were lulled as in 
profound sleep, whilst the inner eye, the spiritual sense, 
the faculty of spiritual intuition, was excited to the 
greatest alertness. Now undoubtedly this state of 
trance, or ecstasy, in which at once the body is quieted 
and the soul is aroused by Divine inspiration, plays a 
large part in the life of the Old Testament prophets. 
When, for example so the facts of the case seem to 
imply the communication to be made was wholly dis 
associated from the ordinary life and thought of the 
prophet, when the revelation, so to speak, had no point 
of attachment in the existing consciousness of the pro 
phet, then recourse was had to the ecstatic state, the 
state in which one is carried out of oneself, the state in 
which, to use Paul s phrase, one knows not whether one 
is in or out of the body, the state of trance. Thus the 
revelations made to Daniel are wholly unintelligible to 
him ; they form apparently no part of a series of revela 
tions, the earlier phases of which he knew ; they are out 
of continuity with his previous thoughts, and therefore 
they are made in trance. Similarly the vision of Isaiah, 
at his call to the prophetical office, when, in a 
dim haze, he saw the mysterious cloud-skirts of the 
Almighty, and heard the song of the seraphim, seems 
to have been given in trance ; this revelation also 
was a breach in the continuity of consciousness. Simi 
larly, again, the vision of Ezekiel, at his call to the 
prophetical career, when he saw the sapphire throne 
girt by its rainbow, from which went forth the mon 
strous figure, seemingly composed of four living forms, 
moving upon mystic wheels, sparkling as with gold, 
marching straight forward with a noise of wings, like 

VIII.] Prophetic Inspiration. 445 

the roar of waters, like the rush of a host, this vision, 
which had no continuity with the previous life of 
Ezekiel, seems to have been given in trance. The 
trance undoubtedly formed part of the prophetic ex 
perience. In such trance the bodily functions being 
palsied, so to speak, and the senses dead, the Inspiration 
of God quickened the spiritual sense into abnormal 
activity, so that the prophets verily saw the revelations 
presented to them. 

But there was a yet higher state in which revelations 
were received by the prophets, the state of the prophetic 
vision. In this more exalted spiritual state, without 
trance, without coma, the inner eye, the spiritual sense, 
received such quickening that it directly apprehended 
the Divine revelation presented. In " vision " the 
prophet retained all his faculties in perfect balance, but 
as the keen gaze of thought may make the natural eye 
dead to the outer world, so, by the inspiration of the 
Spirit of God, the spirit of man was so accentuated as 
to be wholly engrossed with the revelation presented. 
The human spirit was vitalized to think the thoughts of 
God. It was, as had been said of Moses, as if the ear 
of the prophet, being more sensitive than the ear of 
ordinary men, could distinguish clearly, amidst the 
sounds of earth and above the hum of life, a deeper, a 
fuller, a more magnetic sound, the very voice of Deity 
as God spake to him " mouth to mouth." As, in those 
rare moments of loving fellowship, when sympathy 
makes words unnecessary, and when unison of feeling, 
born of close relationship, makes one soul understand 
the other, as it were, by instinct ; so, but much more 
adequately, the heart of the prophet being in entire 
sympathy with God and His revelations, and the Divine 

446 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

influence streaming forth upon the prophet, without 
words the thought of God became the thought of man. 
Or, as in the rarer moments of prayer, when the sense of 
a great Presence grows upon us, doubts are solved by 
Divine help, and our pathway becomes clear because 
of Divine guidance ; so, as the inspiration of the 
Almighty fell upon the prophet, his own thoughts were 
deliberately put aside for Divine thoughts, and his own 
ways for the Divine ways. This prophetic state which, 
to judge from the large number of prophecies which 
seem to have been spoken to the prophets, as it were by 
a familiar Divine friend and guide, was the commoner 
as well as the more exalted mode of revelation was 
spiritual intuition at its highest power, vision. As vision, 
the prophets themselves always describe this mode of 
revelation. Their words are peculiarly noteworthy. 
This is how they expressed themselves : " The vision of 
Isaiah, which he saw ; " " The words of Amos, which he 
saw; " " The vision of Obadiah ; " " The utterance which 
Habakkuk the prophet did see" Without the inter 
vention of trance, with the intelligence fully alert, the 
prophets frequently saw, so to speak, the revelations of 
God. When God desired to reveal aught of Himself, 
the intuitive faculty of the prophet was so inspired by 
the Holy Spirit, that the prophet saw with God, became 
consentient with Deity. It was not that, in these hours 
of revelation, the prophets were altogether passive ; they 
were more than lyres upon which God could play ; they 
were more than pipes through which God might speak ; 
these figures of speech of the older theologians are 
wholly inadequate to represent the prophetic mode of 
revelation : they were more than phonographs (if the 
term may be allowed) in which the words of God were 

VIII.] Prophetic Inspiration. 447 

mechanically preserved for subsequent reproduction ; 
they were men, made in the image of Deity, restored by 
Divine inspiration to the image of Deity, who, with in 
telligence and insight clarified by holiness, heard once 
more the "voice of God walking in the garden towards 
the time of the breeze." They were silent, but from 
reverence, not stupor; they were passive, but from choice, 
not lassitude ; they were receptive, not involuntarily, 
but from strong desire ; they saw, not by clairvoyance, 
but by the inspiration of God. There was no break in 
the consciousness of the prophet ; he did not live a sort 
of dual life, now in the body, and now out of the body ; 
but, whilst living his life, just as he may have had 
memorable hours of intercourse with man or woman 
when he had learnt much whilst he had been much 
moved ; so the prophet had hours, signal hours, of inter 
course with God when he had learnt much whilst he had 
been divinely inspired. In these hours, by means of 
a co-operation of the Holy Spirit with his spirit, the 
prophet saw things he could never have seen of himself, 
and heard words which no acumen of his would have 
enabled him to hear. Miraculously exalted in spirit, his 
spirit became the medium for apprehending and com 
municating thoughts and plans and purposes of the 
Supreme Spirit. Vision, then, prophetic vision, was a 
sort of internal intuition wrought by inspiration. The 
subject, being inspired, perceived as object the revela 
tion of God. Upon this brief outline of the more 
exalted and the more common prophetic state words 
thrown out, as Matthew Arnold would have said, at a 
difficult theme the whole of the Books of the Prophets 
are comments. 

Prophetic Inspiration, then, which implies the previous 

44$ Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

reception of Hagiographic Inspiration, had two forms 
tJie ecstatic form, and tJie conscious form ; in the ecstatic 
form which was the rarer, as well as the less exalted, the 
ordinary faculties vvere rendered unconscious ^ and the 
spiritual sense was divinely quickened to receive revela 
tions ; in the conscious form, there was no break in the 
conscious life, but liere, too, whilst the ordinary mental 
functions continued^ the spiritual sense was divinely 
quickened to receive revelations. 

Thus far, then, the Divine co-operation with the spirit 
of man which enabled the several writers of the Old 
Testament to be recipients and promulgators of the 
revelations from above, has been dealt with. But these 
several human media of revelation might have re 
mained satisfied with declaring to their own age 
what they knew, and might not have thought of or 
desired the immortality of letters. Isaiah, for instance, 
like Elijah, might have spoken and not written his 
messages from heaven. It might have been enough for 
Solomon to instruct his own times in wisdom. Moses, 
without permanently embodying his revelations in 
writing, might have committed the Law to faithful men 
who would have been able in turn to teach others. 
Therefore, THIRDLY, there was a TRANSCRIPTIVE 
INSPIRATION, which worked upon the autliors of the 
several books of the Old Testament, tJiat is, there ^vas a 
co-operation of the Spirit of God with man, prompting 
the literary preservation of their contributions in the 
sphere of religion, and at the same time superintending 
that committal so that its record should be at once 
faithful and adequate. 

Two points arise here : first, the inspired act of 

VIII.] Transcriptive Inspiration. 449 

committal to writing ; second, the superintendence which 
imparted adequacy and faithfulness. 

Sometimes, as we have seen, the committal to writing 
was in obedience to an express command. Thus Moses 
was instructed to write the circumstances of the dis 
comfiture of Amalek " in the book " as " a memorial," 
an injunction which, given on other occasions also, he 
interpreted to mean that he should write a history of 
the memorable dealings of God with men, and especially 
with the Jewish nation, a history which only closed with 
his relinquishment of leadership : " And it came to 
pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the 
words of this Law in a book, until they were finished, 
that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the 
ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this 
book of the Law, and put it by the side of the 
ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may 
be there for a witness against thee." r Jeremiah was 
also expressly commanded to write his prophecies : 
" And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim 
the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came 
to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Take thee a roll of 
a book, and write therein the words that I have spoken 
unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against 
all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from 
the days of Josiah, even unto this day ;" 2 a command 
ment which Jeremiah fulfilled by dictation to Baruch, 
as Baruch himself said, " He (Jeremiah) pronounced all 
these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them 
with ink in the book." 3 Further, when the roll of 
prophecies was destroyed in the anger of Jehoiakim, 
a Divine order was issued a second time to write all 

1 Ueut. xxxi. 24-26. - Jer. xxxvi. I, 2. 3 Ib. xxxvi. 18. 


450 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

the prophecies of Jeremiah in a book. " Then the 
word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that the 
king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch 
wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thou again 
another roll, and write in it all the former words that 
were in the first roll. . . . Then took Jeremiah another 
roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of 
Neriah ; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah 
all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of 
Judah had burned in the fire : and there were added 
besides unto them many like words" x 

To how many others of the writers of the Old 
Testament a similar express command was given to 
pen their thoughts and prophecies, it is impossible 
to say. Nor is it necessary to say. The issue shows 
that, as the several prophets wrote, in personal ignorance 
of the fact, successive parts of a developing scheme 
of revelation, " the spirits of the prophets being subject 
to the prophets " and yet at the same time being " borne 
along " by the Holy Ghost ; so they and the other 
writers of the Old Testament, while apparently obeying 
their own impulses and fulfilling their own ends, were 
nevertheless divinely constrained to write. Not seldom, 
secondary agents, whose purview is definite but limited, 
find themselves instruments in the hand of Him whose 
plan is universal and eternal. He who utilized the free 
volition of a Nebuchadnezzar and a Cyrus, to say 
nothing of a Moses and an Elijah, to do His bidding, 
undoubtedly moved the several Old Testament writers, 
in perfect freedom yet with sure effect, to put into 
writing the things they had seen or felt or heard. 
That the Inspiration of the Almighty was not con- 

1 Jer. xxxvi. 27-32. 

VIII.] Transcriptive Inspiration. 451 

sciously felt as such would not show that the several 
writers were not inspired ; for the co-operation of 
the Holy Spirit with us is so often unconscious, 
being subsequently evident by the results produced. 
How often, like Jacob, do we exclaim, as we start 
awake, " Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew 
it not " ! It is not necessary to the reality of Transcrip 
tive Inspiration that its subjects should have been 
conscious thereof. Indeed the supernatural impulse to 
write would be the more conclusively shown by their 

The important fact for our inquiry is that the reality of 
this Transcriptive Inspiration is shown by its results. 
The unity of the Old Testament which it secured is 
sufficient proof. 

The unity of the Old Testament is a common theme 
of religious writers, and it is as warranted as common. 
The authors of these several books were men of very 
different ages, extending over more than a thousand 
years ; they were also men of very different ranks 
prophets, and priests, and kings rustics and courtiers 
soldiers and civilians some working in privacy and 
some in the blaze of public life. Now these writers 
themselves could not possibly know, as we know, their 
place and purpose in history. " To them it was re 
vealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us, they 
ministered the things, which now have been announced." 
With diligence they wrought at their own square of the 
great pattern of the Divine purpose, weaving their own 
threads, and balancing their own colours, not knowing 
the effect, nor even the law, of the whole. With faithful 
ness they served their day and generation, ignorant of 
the specific niche they were to fill in the great structure 

45 2 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

the Master-builder was erecting. But it is evident to us 
that these many and diverse writers form a unity ; and 
that they were instruments in unfolding a revelation 
which was ever growing, despite its " many parts " and 
its " many modes " as the author to the Epistle to the 
Hebrews says, into one great whole and one beneficent 
method. There is a plan about this Old Testament, 
a plan which becomes more evident with more study, 
which we to-day can scarcely fail to understand, a plan 
to show the merciful ways of God to sinful man in a 
manner which is best suited to human needs, a plan, 
nevertheless, not evident to the several writers them 
selves. They were but agents in a vast work which was 
unintelligible to them. In short, the plan is Divine. 
Design is apparent everywhere the Messianic pro 
phecies are sufficient evidence and the design is such 
that it points to a Divine Designer. Without Transcrip- 
tive Inspiration, without the co-operation of the Holy 
Spirit in suggesting directly or indirectly the committal 
of the several Old Testament books to writing, the plan 
of God to give to man a record of the Divine dealings > 
addressed not to a class but to man as man, could not 
have been carried out. The conclusion is an inference 
from the Divine Plan, and the Divine Plan is an in 
duction from the whole facts of the case. 

Further, the aim of the Divine revelations, namely, to 
reveal to men the Divine Self and the Divine purposes of 
grace, would have been impracticable, if the record of 
these revelations had been distorted. As then a form 
of Divine Inspiration was given to enable men to receive 
and assimilate the several revelations made ; so, unless 
the Divine purpose was to be thwarted by its instru 
ments, unless the Divine message was to fail because 

VIII.] Canonic Inspiration. 453 

of its bearers, there must also be a Divine Inspiration 
which rendered the records of revelation received or 
assimilated adequate to their purpose. However clear 
the revelation, it would be valueless if its record was 
turbid. The Divine nature and aims would not be dis 
closed if they were wrongly delivered. He who inspired, 
therefore, that He might reveal, must add to Hagio- 
graphic and Prophetic Inspiration Inspiration that was 
Transcriptive. So much, again, the nature of the case 
leads us to infer. 

But, further, our previous inquiry has shown us, as a 
matter of fact, that the record is reliable. As a matter 
of fact, human ignorance and limitation do not so pre 
dominate in this record of revelation as to render the 
record untrustworthy. All our study of the Law has 
shown faithfulness in transcription ; all our study of the 
Prophets, again, has shown faithfulness in transcription ; 
the very existence of the Holy Writings demonstrates, 
by the reality of the experience they record, the veracity 
of the revelations upon which the experience is based. 
Indeed, tests of many kinds have shown that it is not 
open to any to reject the revelations of the Old Testa 
ment on the ground that the revelations may have be 
come irrecognizable by the mode of their transcription. 
But this unperverted transmission of revelation is a 
supernatural effect, and points to a Transcriptive In 

Lastly , to the several forms of Inspiration already con 
sidered must be added CANONIC INSPIRATION, that co 
operation of the Holy Spirit with the spirit of man which 
resulted in the collection of the several books of the Old 
Testament into one canon. 

454 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. 

How this collection into one sacred book was brought 
about extant facts do not allow us to determine. We 
know that Moses set an example of an authoritative canon 
in his Five Books of the Law. There is good reason 
also for saying that the Schools of the Prophets, 
following the Mosaic example, constituted themselves 
the guardians of the several prophetical writings, which 
they preserved to form a steadily increasing whole, until 
the open vision of prophecy ceased. But who first 
made the collection of Law and Prophets and Holy 
Writings we know not, although the tradition has much 
in its favour which attributed to Ezra and his con 
temporaries this labour of combination. Nor is the 
knowledge of the actual framers of the Old Testament 
canon very important. To know who were the Divine 
instruments in this invaluable work is comparatively 
unimportant. What it is important to know is that 
these agents in construction were really unconsciously 
guided by a Divine architect. The reality of Canonic 
Inspiration is shown by the same line of argument as the 
reality of Transcriptive Inspiration. It follow from the 
manifest unity of the Old Testament, a unity which 
grows ever more sure with every attack. It is easy to 
object to the Books of Esther, or Solomon s Song, or 
Ecclesiastes, having a place in the canon, but such 
objection soon shows that it has proceeded from 
narrowness of view, a narrowness parallel to that which 
prompted Luther to call the Epistle of James, "a right 
strawy epistle." The Bible is a book for man as man. 
It is neither a treatise of theology, nor a manual of 
science ; a handbook of law, nor a collection of sermons. 
Sermons are for an age : a law code would soon need 
lawyers for its interpretation ; theology is for the 

VII I. J Canonic Inspiration. 455 

theologian ; science is for the scientist. But the Bible is 
not the book of an age or of a class. It appeals to all, 
and like the greatest of whom the Bible speaks, the 
common people hear it gladly. As has been well 
said : " The testimony of Church history and of general 
Christian experience to the profitableness and divinity of 
the disputed books is of greater weight than the personal 
impressions of the few who criticize it." 1 

IN FINE, the Old Testament is, on the one hand, a record 
of revelation ; and, on the other hand, an inspired re 
cord of revelation. 

Revelation is Divine knowledge divinely imparted, and 
these Old Testament Scriptures are a record of a course 
of revelation. 

Inspiration is a co-operation of the Holy Ghost with the 
spirit of man, guaranteeing the reliableness of the record. 
As a matter of fact this inspiration, a noteworthy part of the 
Providential Government of the universe with a view to its 
salvation, shows several grades. Inspiration is a general 
term applicable to any co-operation of the Holy Spirit with 
the spirit of man, and the Inspiration of the writers and 
collectors of the Bible shows four forms of that co-operation. 
First, there is Hagiographic Inspiration, enabling the 
assimilation of revelation. Next, tJiere is Prophetic In 
spiration, enabling the prophet to perceive and express 
without distortion the revelations presented to him. Next, 
tJiere is Transcriptive Inspiration, which moves the writers 
to write. And lastly, there is Canonic Inspiration, that 
co-operation of the Holy Ghost which prompted the forma 
tion of the Canon. 

1 Strong, Systematic Theology, a Compendium and Commonplace Book 
designed for the use of Theological Students, Rochester, U. S. A., 1886. 

456 Old Testament Inspiration. [LECT. vni. 

This being so, of course the authority of these Old 
Testament records depends, on the one hand, on the 
co-operation which has enabled fallible and weak men 
to become tJie media of revelation ; and, on the other 
I land, on the nature of tJie revelations vouchsafed. In 
spiration guarantees the substantial truth of the record. 
As a record the record is infallible so far as it is true ; it 
is substantially true, because it is inspired. Revelation 
guarantees the truth of the facts recorded. So far as the 
facts recorded are a guide in matters of faith and practice, 
they must be an infallible guide. 

With one explanatory word, this investigation may 
end. If it has been said that the record is substan 
tially true, the ground for this statement is that this 
substantial truth has been borne out in the course of 
this inductive inquiry. That the record is absolutely 
devoid of mistakes we do not know ; the record is a 
human record of the Divine ; but that the record is sub 
stantially true, is veracious, trustworthy, and historical, 
our whole inquiry has shown. It has also shown the need 
of tJie greatest caution before errors are attributed to the 
Old Testament. A great many pseudo-facts are abroad 
concerning the Old Testament, which call for the most 
painstaking and patient verification or disproof before iJiey 
are repeated. As said the Psalmist : " The sum of Thy 
word is truth? 






Typical instances of the Four Phases of Pentateuch Criticism 
are here represented. 

The First Phase (see pages 159-161) is represented by its first 
and greatest advocate, Eichhorn, whose views are extracted from 
his Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 4th edition, 1823. 

The Second Phase (see pages 161-164) is represented by Tuch, 
Cowmen tar ilber die Genesis, 1838. 

The Third Phase (see pages 164-166) is represented by Schrader, 
who still cleaves to this form of analysis, which he has most ably 
expressed and advocated. His views were stated in the eighth 
edition of De Wette s Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Berlin, 
1869, which Schrader edited. 

The Fourth Phase (see pages 167-169) has been given from 
Wellhausen, Die Komposition des Hexateuchs, published in the 
2ist volume of the Jahrbilcher fur Deutsche Theologie, 1876, and 
since reprinted in his Skizzen und Vorarbeitcn, part ii. Berlin, 

NOTE. Roman numerals stand for chapters; Arabic numerals 
for verses ; a after a verse signifies its first half, and b its second 
half. Chapters are only represented in different type when th e 
entire chapter is attributed to Jehovist or Younger Elohist. 




[Rojnan type signifies Elohist, a writer 
prior to Moses ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, Moses; italic signifies inter 
polations from other ancient sources.] 


[Roman type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
in time of Saul ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, who wrote in time of Solo 


II. i-3,^-25. 



V. 1-28, 29, 30-32. 

VI. 1-2,3,4,5-8, 9-22. 


II. i-3,4-25. 



V. i-29a, 29b, 30-3: 

VI. 1-8, 9-22. 

VII. 1-10, 11-16 (except last VII. 1-10, ii-i6a, 16b, 17-24, 
three words), 16 (last three 

words), 17, 1 8, 19 (?), 20-22, 
23, 24. 

VIII. 1-19, 20-22, 

IX. 1-17, 18-27, 28, 29. 

XI. 1-9, 10-32. 




VIII. 1-19,20-22. 

IX. i-i7,18-27, 28,29. 

X. (wrought up by later hand), 

XI. 1-9, 10-32. 

XII. 1-4, 5,6,7, 8a, 8b-20. 

XIII. 1-17, 1 8. 


, XVI. 




[Roman type signifies the Annalistic Nar 
rator (Elohist) who wrote in time of j 
David ; italic signifies the Theocratic j 
Narrator (Younger Elohist) who wrote 
soon after the death of Solomon; claren 
don signifies the Prophetic Narrator 
(Jehovist) who wrote in early days of 


>man type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
after the Exile ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovistic document (a compound of 
Jehovist and Younger or Second Elo 
hist of other writers) written after the 
Division of the Kingdom.] 


II. i-4a, 4b-25. 


IV. 1-22, 3; &*(?), 25, 26. 

v. 1-28, 29,30-32. 

VI. 1-3 (i being revised by 
Prophetic Narrator) 4-8, 


VII. 1-5,6-9,10, ii,12, 13-16, 

17, 18-22, 23, 24. 

VIII. i, 2 a, 2b, 3a, 3b-5, 6-12, 
i3a, 13b, 14-19, 20-22. 

IX. 1-17, 18-27, 28, 29. 

X. 1-7, 8-12, 13-183L, 18b, 19, 

20, 21, 22-24, 25, 26-32. 

xi. 1-9, 10-32. 

XII. l-4a, 4b, 5, tfa. 6b, 7, 8 
("and Hai on the east "), 8 
(the rest of the verse), 9 } 

XIII. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7a, 7b, 8, 
.9, 10 (except "before the 
Lord destroyed Sodom and 
Gomorrah, as the garden of 
the Lord," which is Jeho 
vistic), lla, ub, 12 (except 
" and pitched his tent to 
ward Sodom," added by 
Younger Elohist), 13-17, 
ISa, 18b. 

XIV. 1-24 ("Jehovah" in verse 
22 added by Jehovist). 


XVI. ia,lb,2, 3, 4-14, 15, 1-6 


II. i-4a, 4b-25. 



V. 1-28, 29, 30-32. 

VI. 1-8, 9-22. 

VII. 1-10, 11-24 (except 12, 
i6b (last clause), 17, 22-23, 

which are Jehovistic). 

VIII. i, 2a, 2b, 3-5, 6-12, 13- 
19, 20-22. 

IX. 1-17, 18-27, 28, 29. 

X. 1-7, 8-19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 

24-30, 31, 32. 

XI. 1-9, 10-28, 29, 30-32. 

XII. l-4a,4b, 5,6-20. 

XIII. 1-5, 6, 7-lla, lib, 12, 



XVI. 1,2,3,4-14, 15, 16. 




[Roman type signifies Elohist, a writer 
prior to Moses ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, Moses; italic signifies inter 
polations from other ancient sources.] 



XIX. 1-28, 29-38. 

XX. 1-17, 18. 

XXI. 1, 2-32, 33, 34. 

XXII. 1-10,11-19, 20-24. 


XXV. 1-6, 7- 1 1, 12-18, 19,20, 

XXVI. 1-33, 34, 35- 


XXVIII. 1-9, 10-22 (parts of 
12, 17, 18-22, being Elo- 


XXX. i-i3,14-16, i7-2oa,20b, 
2i-24a, 24b-43. 

XXXI. 1, 2, 3, 4-48, 49, 50-54- 


XXXIII. (18-20, possibly an in 

XXXIV. (perhaps, however, an 


\_Rouiaii type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
in time of Saul ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, who wrote in time of Solo 



XIX. 1-28, 29, 30-38. 

XX. 1-17, 18. 

XXI. 1, 2-32, 33-34. 

XXII. i-i3,14-18, 19-24- 


xxv. 1-20,21-23,24-34. 

XXVI. 1-33, 34, 35- 

XXVII. 1-45,46. 

XXVIII. 1-12, 13-16, i7-2ia, 
21b, 22. 

XXIX. (31-35 doubtful). 

XXX. 1-13, 14-16, i7-24a, 

XXXI. 1-3, 4-48, 49, 50-54. 

XXXII. 1-12, 13, 14, 15-32 (?), 






[Roman type signifies the Annalistic Nar 
rator (Elohist) who wrote in time of 
David ; italic signifies the Theocratic 
Narrator (Younger Elohist) who wrote 
soon after the death of Solomon; claren 
don signifies the Prophetic Narrator 
(Jehovist) who wrote in early days of 


[Roman type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
after the Exile ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovistic document (a compound of 
Jehovist and Younger or Second Elo 
hist of other writers) written after the 
Division of the Kingdom.] 

XVII. (in verse i Elohim j 
changed into Jehovah by 


XIX. (verse 29 is Elohist). 

XX. (verse 18 is Jehovist). 

XXI. la, ib-s, 6-32, 33, 34. 

XXII. 1-13 (m verse n Elohim 
changed into Jehovah by 
Jehovist), 14-18, 19, 20-24. 


XXV. 1-6, 7-20, 21-26a, 26b, 

XXVI. 1-5, 6, 7-31, 32, 33*, 

XXVII. 1-45, 46. 

XXVIII. 1-9, 10, 11, 12, 13-16, 
17, 18, 19, 20-22. 


XXX. 1-5, 6 , 7, 8 (?), 9, 10- 
13 (?), 14-16, 17-20*, 20b, 
21-24*, 25b, 26, 27, 28, 
29, 30 (revised by Jehovist), 

XXXI. 1, 2, 3, 4-17*, i;b, 18, 
19-47, 48-50, 51-54. 

XXXII. 1-9, 10-13, 14-32, 
33 (?). 

XXXIII. 1-17, 1 8, 19,20. 




XIX. (verse 29 is Elohist). 


XXI. 1, 2a, 2b-s, 6-34. 



XXV. 1-6, 7-1 la, lib, 12-17, 
18, i9,2o,21-26a, 26b,27- 

XXVI. 1-33,34,35- 

XXVII. 1-45, 46. 

XXVIII. 1-9, 10-22. 

XXIX. 1-23, 24 (?), 25-28, 

29 (?), 30-35. 

XXXI. (except verse 18 from 
" and all his goods which he 
had gotten "). 







[Roman type signifies Elohist, a writer 
prior to Moses ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, Moses ; italic signifies inter 
polations from other ancient sources.] 


[Roman type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
in time of Saul ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovist, who wrote in time of Solo 








XLVII. 1-27, 28-31. 


XLIX. 1-28, 29-33 (possibly 

1-27 are interpolations). 
L. 1-11,12, 13,14, 15-26. 



XXXVII. 1 (?), 2-36. 


XXXIX. 1-5, 6-20, 21-23. 














Roman type signifies the Annalistic Nar 
rator (Elohist) who wrote in time of 
David ; italic signifies the Theocratic 
Narrator (Younger Elohist) who wrote 
soon after the death of Solomon ; claren 
don signifies the Prophetic Narrator 
(Jehovist) who wrote in early days of 


[Roman type signifies Elohist, who wrote 
after the Exile ; clarendon signifies 
Jehovistic document (a compound of 
Jehovist and Younger or Second Elo 
hist of other writers) written after the 
Division of the Kingdom.] 

XXXV. 1-5, 6a, 6b-8, Qa, 9b, 
io-i$,16-21,22, 23-29. 

XXXVI. (verses 40-43 doubtful). 

XXXVII. i, 2a, 2b-22, 23-27, 
2Sa, 28b, 29, 30, 31-35, 36. 


XL. l-3si, 3b, 4, 5a, 5b, 6-23. 

XLI. 1-40, 41, 42-48, 49. 



XLIV. (mostly). 

XLV. (revised by Jehovist). 

XLVI. 1-5&, 5b-27 (verses 15 
and 20 interpolated), 28-34. 

XLVII. 1-6, 7-10, ii ("in the 
best of the land," inserted by 
Jehovist), 12-26, 27 (" in the 
country of Goshen," Jeho 
vist), 28, 29-31. 

XLVI 1 1. 1, 2,3-6,7,5-22. 

XLIX. la, lb-28a, 28b-33. 

L. 1-11, 12, 13, 14-26 (revised 
by Jehovist). 

XXXV. 1-8, 9-15 ("again" in 
verse 9 added by Reviser), 
16-22a, 22b-29. 

XXXVI. 1-5, 6-8, 9-39,40-43- 

XXXVII. 1, 2 ("These are the 
generations of Jacob "), 2- 









XLVI. 1-5, 6, 7, 8-27 (less cer 
tain), 28-34. 

XLVII. 1-4, 5-6a, 6b, 7-11, 
12-27a, 27b, 28. 

XLVI II. 1,2,3-6, 7(?), 8-22. 
XLIX. 1-27, 28 (?), 29-33. 

L. 1-11, 12, 13, 14-26. 



WELLHAUSEN, as has been seen, finds three sources of these 
books, viz., the writing he calls the Priestly Code, that which he 
calls Jehovistic (the joint product of the Jehovist and second 
Elohist of older writers), and Deuteronomy. 

Of course, the Deuteronomist occupies a place apart from the 
present analysis. 

Concerning the two remaining sources, a few points should be 
held in mind. 

As regards the Jehovistic document, the only legislation it is 
supposed to contain is Exod. xx.-xxiii. 

As regards the Priestly Code, it wholly belongs, in this view, to 
a date subsequent to Ezekiel. A small part of its laws, Lev. xvii.- 
xxvi., is supposed to belong to the time between the flourishing of 
Ezekiel and the writing of the entire code ; and it is therefore 
regarded as a little earlier in date than the whole. With this ex 
ception the Priestly Code belongs to the time after the Exile : it is 
Post-exilic. This Priestly Code is mainly a legal code, and con 
tains, speaking generally, the great body of laws found in the 
latter part of Exodus (after chap, xxiv.), the whole of Leviticus, and 
the first ten chapters of Numbers. To these laws, however, some 
historical matter has been added. The laws have been illustrated, 
so to speak, by historical notices based upon the contents of the 
Jehovistic document very largely, but expressly accommodated to 
support the aims of this Priestly Code. But compare pages 167- 
169 and 252-254 of this book. 

CODE ARE ALONE GIVEN ; the remainder, of course, belongs to the 
Tehovistic document. 

i . The numbers in brackets after each chapter show the number 
of verses in each chapter. 



2. The letters a or b after a number stand for the first or second 
half of a verse. 




i. (22) 1-5, 7 (except " and multiplied, waxed 

mighty"), 13, 14 (except "in mortar and 

in brick and in all manner of service in 

the field ; all their service "). 

ii. (25) 

23 (from " and the children of Israel 

sighed"), 24, 25. 

vi. (30) 


vii. (25) 

1-13, 19, 20#, i\b (latter half), 22, 23. 

viii. (32) 

1-3, 11^-15. 

ix. (35) 


xii. (51) 

1-2 1, 28, 37^, 40, 41, 43-5 1. 

xiii. (22) 

1 , 2, 2O. 

xiv. (31) 

r, 2, 4 (" and they did so "), 8, 9 (except 

" all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, 

and his horsemen, and his army "), 10 

(from "and they were sore afraid"), 15 

(except " wherefore criest thou unto 

Me "), 28 (very doubtfully). 

xvi. (36) 

1-3 [6-8 inserted by the Redactor], 9-1 30, 

16^-180, 22-26, 31-35^. 

xvii. (16) 

i (to " in Rephidim"). 

xix. (25) 

i ("the same day came they into the 

wilderness of Sinai "), 2#. 

xx. (26) 

[11 inserted by Redactor.] 


15 (" and a cloud covered the mount ")-i8 

(to "gat him up into the mount ") 

XXV. } 


All, except possibly the last verse of 

xxxi. J 

ehap. xxxi. 

xxxiv. (35) 

29-32, 33-35 (35 being doubtful). 

XXXV. 1 




xl. J 





i. ) 

x. J 

All, except verses 29-36 of chap. x. 

xiii. (33) 

1-170, 21, 25, 26 (except the last clause), 32 

(to " eateth up the inhabitants thereof"). 

4 68 





xiv. (45) 


la, 2a, 5-7, 10, 26, 27, 28 (doubtful), 34~3 6 - 


xvi. (50) 

i and 2 (partly), 8-11, 16-22, 35. 

xvii. ) 


xix. J 

xx. (29) 
xxi. (35) 
xxv. (18) 

la, 2, 30, 6, 12, 22-29. 
4, 10, ii (doubtful). 

xx vi. ] 
t0 . 



xxxii. (42) 

16-19, 24, 28-33; 

xxxiii. } 


xxxvi. J 



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28 1st Tune. 

. 7 7.7 7.7 7. 

G. ELVEY, Mus. Doc. 

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] 1 f 

_^-_j_4_|| j-_j || _j H- 

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iii i ; i 



flDOUUt Zkm. 77.77.77. 


/ A GIVE thanks to Him who made 
^ Morning light and evening shade ; 
Source and Giver of all good, 
Nightly sleep and daily food ; 
Quickener of our wearied powers ; 
Guard of our unconscious hours. 

/ 2 give thanks to nature s King, 
Who made every breathing thing : 
His, our warm and sentient frame, 
His, the mind s immortal flame. 
O, how close the ties that bind 
Spirits to the Eternal Mind ! 


f 3 give thanks with heart and lip, 
For we are His workmanship, 
And all creatures are His care : 
Not a bird that cleaves the air 
Falls unnoticed ; but who can 
Speak the Father s love to man ? 

/ 4 give thanks to Him who came 
dim In a mortal, suffering frame 
Temple of the Deity 
Came, for rebel man to die ; 
In the path Himself has trod, 
/ Leading back His saints to God. Amen, 




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Congregational Cfwrcf) 


"The selection is characterized by excellent taste throughout, and the revised harmonies to 
some of the older melodies are distinguished by good judgment, as might be expected, considering 
in whose charge this matter has been placed. It is one of the best collections of tunes for general 
use in evangelical congregations which has been compiled : far superior to the former works of 
the same kind, issued under the like authority. The old melodies are good ; the new ones, fur 
nished by such composers as Barnby, Brown, Borthwick, Bunnett, Calkin, Frost, Elliott, Elvey, 
Foster, Hiles, Hopkins, Leslie, Macfarren, W. H. Monk, Prout, Stainer, and others, speak for 
themselves. " The Musical Times. 

The work is a fine collection of hymn tunes, and in the printing it has been arranged that 
ymn and tune sometimes a choice of a couple of tunes shall appear at one opening. The old 
favourites are here favourites which the Church, with all its varying creeds and phases of thought, 
will not willingly let die ; also a large number of copyright tunes obtained from various sources ; 
and a further number of tunes specially composed for the volume by the musical editor himself, 
and by Mr. Barnby, Mr. J. Booth, Mr. J. Bowcher, Dr. Bunnett, Dr. C. J. Frost, Mr. Minshall, 
Mr. E. Prout, Dr. Stainer, and others. The book is a specimen of clean and clear printing. " 
Musical Opinion. 

" The book contains the richest treasures of our psalmody. . . . If we were to select one section 
of the book for special praise it would be the second, entitled The Lord Jesus Christ, which is 
as beautiful as it is full. ... As to the music, we have the judgment of an accomplished choir 
master. . . . We have his report before us, in a distinct judgment on each separate tune, and the 
general result is very satisfactory. . . . On his recommendation the book will be at once adopted 
by the church of which he is the able choirmaster." The Congregational Review. 

" This volume is a perfect treasure-house of noble and solemn music. . . . The closest scrutiny 
which is not jaundiced can find little or nothing that falls short of what an ideal hymnal should 
be. ... Noble words are married to fit music. The Congregational Hymnal is sure to make its 
way." Sheffield and Rotherhain Independent. 

" The hymns have been selected with great judgment and discretion, and include some of the 
best compositions in the language. The tone of the hymns is distinctly catholic. . . . The selec 
tion of tunes will not disappoint those who desire to retain the old, nor those who wish occasionally 
to sing a new song." The Halifax and District Congregational Magazine. 

" It is unquestionably a rich mine of sacred song. . . . The fruits of it ought to be seen in days 
to come in the improvement of our congregational worship, and the enrichment of our -spiritual 
life." The Manchester, Salford and District Congregational Magazine. 

" A first glance shows that it will prove one of the finest collections of church music that has 
been given to any church." Christian World. 

" The wisdom of the Congregational Union in intrusting the preparation of the new Hymnal 
to one sole editor has been amply justified by the masterly manner in which Mr. Barrett has 
executed the difficult task committed to him. . . . The book has evidently been edited with a 
practical view to use in public worship, and with a success which merits cordial appreciation." 
Nonconformist (Notice of Hymns). 

" The editors have produced one of the best collections of psalmody most suited to the 
churches published hitherto. No nobler tribute could have been found in this Jubilee year than 
this presentation of a work which is characterized by so high a standard of excellence." Leeds 

The following opinions have been expressed in letters to the Editor : " I consider the Con 
gregational Church Hymnal worthy to take rank with the best existing Hymnals."/. Barnby. 
"As far as I can judge from careful perusal, I should say, without hesitation, that it possesses all 
the musical qualifications necessary to make it of permanent value and interest. "John Stainer. 
" I consider the volume as a whole decidedly one of the best collections of psalmody that I have 
met with." Ebenezcr Prout. " I have found it to be, upon the whole, one of the very best, if not 
the very best, of modern hymnals recently published." A. Galloway , one of the Editors of the 
new Scottish Hymnal.