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Pentateuch definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PEN'TATEUCH, n. [Gr. five, and a book or composition.]
The first five books of the Old Testament.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: the first of three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures comprising the first five books of the Hebrew Bible considered as a unit [syn: Torah, Pentateuch, Laws]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English Penteteuke, from Late Latin Pentateuchus, from Greek Pentateuchos, from penta- + teuchos tool, vessel, book, from teuchein to make more at doughty Date: 15th century the first five books of Jewish and Christian Scriptures

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. the first five books of the Old Testament, traditionally ascribed to Moses. Derivatives: pentateuchal adj. Etymology: eccl.L pentateuchus f. eccl.Gk pentateukhos (as PENTA-, teukhos implement, book)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Pentateuch Pen"ta*teuch, n. [L. pentateuchus, Gr. ?; ? (see Penta-) + ? a tool, implement, a book, akin to ? to prepare, make ready, and perh. to E. text. See Five, and Text.] The first five books of the Old Testament, collectively; -- called also the Law of Moses, Book of the Law of Moses, etc.

Hitchcock Bible Dictionary

the five books of Moses

Easton's Bible Dictionary

the five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different character from the other books, and has a different author. It stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See JOSHUA.)

The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book, the "Law of Moses," the "Book of the Law of Moses," the "Book of Moses," or, as the Jews designate it, the "Torah" or "Law." That in its present form it "proceeds from a single author is proved by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the work.", Keil, Einl. i.d. A. T.

A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct the books of the Old Testament. By a process of "scientific study" they have discovered that the so-called historical books of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers, patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have no faith in this "higher criticism." It degrades the books of the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings, and the arguments on which its speculations are built are altogether untenable.

The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them briefly:

(1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the name of God (Ex. 17:14; 24:3, 4, 7; 32:7-10, 30-34; 34:27; Lev. 26:46; 27:34; Deut. 31:9, 24, 25).

(2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (comp. Josh. 8:31, 32; 1 Kings 2:3; Jer. 7:22; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 8:1; Mal. 4:4; Matt. 22:24; Acts 15:21).

(3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these books (Matt. 5:17, 18; 19:8; 22:31, 32; 23:2; Mark 10:9; 12:26; Luke 16:31; 20:37; 24:26, 27, 44; John 3:14; 5:45, 46, 47; 6:32, 49; 7:19, 22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to?

(4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses" was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of Joshua (Josh. 5:10, cf. 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2 Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19-22), and is referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 23:22; 2 Chr. 35:18; 1 Kings 9:25 ("three times in a year"); 2 Chr. 8:13. Similarly we might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in such a case. An examination of the following texts, 1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Dan. 9:11, 13, will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was known during all these centuries.

Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral traditions or written records and documents which he was divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called "anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See DEUTERONOMY.)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia




1. The Current Critical Scheme 2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme

(1) Astruc's Clue

(2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date

(3) Narrative Discrepancies

(4) Doublets

(5) The Laws

(6) The Argument from Style

(7) Props of the Development Hypothesis

3. The Answer to the Critical Analysis

(1) The Veto of Textual Criticism

(2) Astruc's Clue Tested

(3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined

(4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined

(5) The Critical Argument from the Laws

(6) The Argument from Style

(7) Perplexities of the Theory

(8) Signs of Unity

(9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis

4. The Evidence of Date

(1) The Narrative of Genesis

(2) Archaeology and Genesis

(3) The Legal Evidence of Genesis

(4) The Professedly Mosaic Character of the Legislation

(5) The Historical Situation Required by Pentateuch

(6) The Hierarchical Organization in Pentateuch

(7) The Legal Evidence of Pentateuch

(8) The Evidence of D

(9) Later Allusions

(10) Other Evidence

5. The Fundamental Improbabilities of the Critical Case

(1) The Moral and Psychological Issues

(2) The Historical Improbability

(3) The Divergence between the Laws and Post-exilic Practice

(4) The Testimony of Tradition

6. The Origin and Transmission of the Pentateuch


1. Style of Legislation

2. The Narrative

3. The Covenant

4. Order and Rhythm


1. Textual Criticism and History

2. Hebrew Methods of Expression

3. Personification and Genealogies

4. Literary Form

5. The Sacred Numbers

6. Habits of Thought

7. National Coloring

8. How Far the Pentateuch Is Trustworthy

(1) Contemporaneous Information

(2) Character of Our Informants

(3) Historical Genius of the People

(4) Good Faith of Deuteronomy

(5) Nature of the Events Recorded

(6) External Corroborations

9. The Pentateuch as Reasoned History


1. Hindu Law Books

2. Differences

3. Holiness

4. The Universal Aspect

5. The National Aspect


I. Title, Division, Contents

(Torah, "law" or "teaching").--It has recently been argued that the Hebrew word is really the Babylonian tertu, "divinely revealed law" (e.g. Sayce, Churchman, 1909, 728 ff), but such passages as Le 14:54-57; De 17:11 show that the legislator connected it with horah (from yarah), "to teach." Also called by the Jews chamishshah chumeshi torah, "the five-fifths of the law": ho nomos, "the Law." The word "Pentateuch" comes from pentateuchos, literally "5-volumed (book)." The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible, and forms the first division of the Jewish Canon, and the whole of the Samaritan Canon. The 5-fold division is certainly old, since it is earlier than the Septuagint or the Sam Pentateuch. How much older it may be is unknown. It has been thought that the 5-fold division of the Psalter is based on it.

The five books into which the Pentateuch is divided are respectively Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and the separate articles should be consulted for information as to their nomenclature.

The work opens with an account of the Creation, and passes to the story of the first human couple. The narrative is carried on partly by genealogies and partly by fuller accounts to Abraham. Then comes a history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the collateral lines of descendants being rapidly dismissed. The story of Joseph is told in detail, and Genesis closes with his death. The rest of the Pentateuch covers the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, their exodus and wanderings, the conquest of the trans-Jordanic lands and the fortunes of the people to the death of Moses. The four concluding books contain masses of legislation mingled with the narrative (for special contents, see articles on the several books).

II. Authorship, Composition, Date.

1. The Current Critical Scheme:

The view that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, with the exception of the concluding verses of Deuteronomy, was once held universally. It is still believed by the great mass of Jews and Christians, but in most universities of Northern Europe and North America other theories prevail. An application of what is called "higher" or "documentary criticism" (to distinguish it from lower or textual criticism) has led to the formation of a number of hypotheses. Some of these are very widely held, but unanimity has not been attained, and recent investigations have challenged even the conclusions that are most generally accepted. In the English-speaking countries the vast majority of the critics would regard Driver's, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament and Carpenter and Harford-Battersby's Hexateuch as fairly representative of their position, but on the Continent of Europe the numerous school that holds some such position is dwindling alike in numbers and influence, while even in Great Britain and America some of the ablest critics are beginning to show signs of being shaken in their allegiance to cardinal points of the higher-critical case. However, at the time of writing, these latter critics have not put forward any fresh formulation of their views, and accordingly the general positions of the works named may be taken as representing with certain qualifications the general critical theory. Some of the chief stadia in the development of this may be mentioned.

After attention had been drawn by earlier writers to various signs of post-Mosaic date and extraordinary perplexities in the Pentateuch, the first real step toward what its advocates have, till within the last few years, called "the modern position" was taken by J. Astruc (1753). He propounded what Carpenter terms "the clue to the documents," i.e. the difference of the divine appellations in Genesis as a test of authorship. On this view the word 'Elohim ("God") is characteristic of one principal source and the Tetragrammaton, i.e. the divine name YHWH represented by the "LORD" or "GOD" of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), shows the presence of another. Despite occasional warnings, this clue was followed in the main for 150 years. It forms the starting-point of the whole current critical development, but the most recent investigations have successfully proved that it is unreliable (see below, 3, (2)) Astruc was followed by Eichhorn (1780), who made a more thorough examination of Genesis, indicating numerous differences of style, representation, etc.

Geddes (1792) and Vater (1802-1805) extended the method applied to Genesis to the other books of the Pentateuch.

In 1798 Ilgen distinguished two Elohists in Genesis, but this view did not find followers for some time. The next step of fundamental importance was the assignment of the bulk of Deuteronomy to the 7th century BC. This was due to De Wette (1806). Hupfeld (1853) again distinguished a second Elohist, and this has been accepted by most critics. Thus, there are four main documents at least: D (the bulk of Deuteronomy), two Elohists (P and E) and one document (Jahwist) that uses the Tetragrammaton in Genesis. From 1822 (Bleek) a series of writers maintained that the Book of Joshua was compounded from the same documents as the Pentateuch (see HEXATEUCH).

Two other developments call for notice:

(1) there has been a tendency to subdivide these documents further, regarding them as the work of schools rather than of individuals, and resolving them into different strata (P1, Secondary Priestly Writers, P3, etc., J1, Later additions to J, etc., or in the notation of other writers Jj Je, etc.);

(2) a particular scheme of dating has found wide acceptance. In the first period of the critical development it was assumed that the principal Elohist was the earliest document.

A succession of writers of whom Reuss, Graf, Kuenen and Wellhausen are the most prominent have, however, maintained that this is not the first but the last in point of time and should be referred to the exile or later. On this view theory is in outline as follows: J and E (so called from their respective divine appellations)--on the relative dates of which opinions differ--were composed probably during the early monarchy and subsequently combined by a redactor (Rje) into a single document JE. In the 7th century D, the bulk of Deuteronomy, was composed. It was published in the 18th year of Josiah's reign. Later it was combined with JE into JED by a redactor (Rjed). P or Priestly Code the last of all (originally the first Elohist, now the Priestly Code) incorporated an earlier code of uncertain date which consists in the main of most of Le 17:1-26:46 and is known as the Law of Holiness (H or Ph). P itself is largely postexilic. Ultimately it was joined with JED by a priestly redactor (Rp) into substantially our present Pentateuch. As already stated, theory is subject to many minor variations. Moreover, it is admitted that not all its portions are equally well supported. The division of JE into J and E is regarded as less certain than the separation of Pentateuch. Again, there are variations in the analysis, differences of opinion as to the exact dating of the documents, and so forth. Yet the view just sketched has been held by a very numerous and influential school during recent years, nor is it altogether fair to lay stress on minor divergences of opinion. It is in the abstract conceivable that the main positions might be true, and that yet the data were inadequate to enable all the minor details to be determined with certainty.


This theory will hereafter be discussed at length for two reasons:

(1) while it is now constantly losing ground, it is still more widely held than any other; and

(2) so much of the modern literature on the Old Testament has been written from this standpoint that no intelligent use can be made of the most ordinary books of reference without some acquaintance with it.

Before 1908 the conservative opposition to the dominant theory had exhibited two separate tendencies. One school of conservatives rejected the scheme in toto; the other accepted the analysis with certain modifications, but sought to throw back the dating of the documents. In both these respects it had points of contact with dissentient critics (e.g. Delitzsch, Dillmann, Baudissin, Kittel, Strack, Van Hoonacker), who sought to save for conservatism any spars they could from the general wreckage. The former school of thought was most prominently represented by the late W.H. Green, and J.

Raven's Old Testament Introduction may be regarded as a typical modern presentation of their view; the latter especially by Robertson and Orr. The scheme put forward by the last named has found many adherents. He refuses to regard J and E as two separate documents, holding that we should rather think (as in the case of the parallel Psalms) of two recensions of one document marked by the use of different divine appellations. The critical P he treats as the work of a supplemented, and thinks it never had an independent existence, while he considers the whole Pentateuch as early. He holds that the work was done by "original composers, working with a common aim, and toward a common end, in contrast with the idea of late irresponsible redactors, combining, altering, manipulating, enlarging at pleasure" (POT, 375).

While these were the views held among Old Testament critics, a separate opposition had been growing up among archaeologists. This was of course utilized to the utmost by the conservatives of both wings. In some ways archaeology undoubtedly has confirmed the traditional view as against the critical (see ARCHAEOLOGY AND CRITICISM); but a candid survey leads to the belief that it has not yet dealt a mortal blow, and here again it must be remembered that the critics may justly plead that they must not be judged on mistakes that they made in their earlier investigations or on refutations of the more uncertain portions of their theory, but rather on the main completed result. It may indeed be said with confidence that there are certain topics to which archaeology can never supply any conclusive answer. If it be the case that the Pentateuch contains hopelessly contradictory laws, no archaeological discovery can make them anything else; if the numbers of the Israelites are original and impossible, archaeology cannot make them possible. It is fair and right to lay stress on the instances in which archaeology has confirmed the Bible as against the critics; it is neither fair nor right to speak as if archaeology had done what it never purported to do and never could effect.

The year 1908 saw the beginning of a new critical development which makes it very difficult to speak positively of modern critical views. Kuenen has been mentioned as one of the ablest and most eminent of those who brought the Graf-Wellhausen theory into prominence. In that year B.D. Eerdmans, his pupil and successor at Leyden, began the publication of a series of Old Testament studies in which he renounces his allegiance to the line of critics that had extended from Astruc to the publications of our own day, and entered on a series of investigations that were intended to set forth a new critical view. As his labors are not yet complete, it is impossible to present any account of his scheme; but the volumes already published justify certain remarks. Eerdmans has perhaps not converted any member of the Wellhausen school, but he has made many realize that their own scheme is not the only one possible. Thus while a few years ago we were constantly assured that the "main results" of Old Testament criticism were unalterably settled, recent writers adopt a very different tone: e.g. Sellin (1910) says, "We stand in a time of fermentation and transition, and in what follows we present our own opinion merely as the hypothesis which appears to us to be the best founded" (Einleitung, 18). By general consent Eerdmans' work contains a number of isolated shrewd remarks to which criticism will have to attend in the future; but it also contains many observations that are demonstrably unsound (for examples see BS, 1909, 744-48; 1910, 549-51). His own reconstruction is in many respects so faulty and blurred that it does not seem likely that it will ever secure a large following in its present form. On the other hand he appears to have succeeded in inducing a large number of students in various parts of the world to think along new lines and in this way may exercise a very potent influence on the future course of Old Testament study. His arguments show increasingly numerous signs of his having been influenced by the publications of conservative writers, and it seems certain that criticism will ultimately be driven to recognize the essential soundness of the conservative position. In 1912 Dahse (TMH, I) began the publication of a series of volumes attacking the Wellhausen school on textual grounds and propounding a new pericope hypothesis. In his view many phenomena are due to the influence of the pericopes of the synagogue service or the form of the text and not to the causes generally assigned.

2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme:

The examination of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must now be undertaken, and attention must first be directed to the evidence which is adduced in its support. Why should it be held that the Pentateuch is composed mainly of excerpts from certain documents designated as J and E and P and D? Why is it believed that these documents are of very late date, in one case subsequent to the exile?

(1) Astruc's Clue.

It has been said above that Astruc propounded the use of the divine appellations in Genesis as a clue to the dissection of that book. This is based on Ex 6:3, `And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as 'El Shadday (God Almighty); but by my name YHWH I was not known to them.' In numerous passages of Genesis this name is represented as known, e.g. 4:26, where we read of men beginning to call on it in the days of Enosh. The discrepancy here is very obvious, and in the view of the Astruc school can be satisfactorily removed by postulating different sources. This clue, of course, fails after Ex 6:3, but other difficulties are found, and moreover the sources already distinguished in Genesis are, it is claimed, marked by separate styles and other characteristics which enable them to be identified when they occur in the narrative of the later books.


(2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date.

Close inspection of the Pentateuch shows that it contains a number of passages which, it is alleged, could not have proceeded from the pen of Moses in their present form. Probably the most familiar instance is the account of the death of Moses (De 34). Other examples are to be found in seeming allusions to post-Mosaic events, e.g. in Ge 22 we hear of the Mount of the Lord in the land of Moriah; this apparently refers to the Temple Hill, which, however, would not have been so designated before Solomon. So too the list of kings who reigned over Edom "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel" (36:31) presumes the existence of the monarchy. The Canaanites who are referred to as being "then in the land" (Ge 12:6; 13:7) did not disappear till the time of Solomon, and, accordingly, if this expression means "then still" it cannot antedate his reign. De 3:11 (Og's bedstead) comes unnaturally from one who had vanquished Og but a few weeks previously, while Nu 21:14 (the King James Version) contains a reference to "the book of the Wars of the Lord" which would hardly have been quoted in this way by a contemporary. Ex 16:35 refers to the cessation of the manna after the death of Moses. These passages, and more like them, are cited to disprove Mosaic authorship; but the main weight of the critical argument does not rest on them.

(3) Narrative Discrepancies.

While the divine appellations form the starting-point, they do not even in Genesis constitute the sole test of different documents. On the contrary, there are other narrative discrepancies, antinomies, differences of style, duplicate narratives, etc., adduced to support the critical theory. We must now glance at some of these.

In Ge 21:14 f Ishmael is a boy who can be carried on his mother's shoulder, but from a comparison of 16:3,16; 17, it appears that he must have been 14 when Isaac was born, and, since weaning sometimes occurs at the age of 3 in the East, may have been even as old as 17 when this incident happened. Again, "We all remember the scene (Ge 27) in which Isaac in extreme old age blesses his sons; we picture him as lying on his deathbed. Do we, however, all realize that according to the chronology of the Book of Genesis he must have been thus lying on his deathbed for eighty years (compare 25:26; 26:34; 35:28)? Yet we can only diminish this period by extending proportionately the interval between Esau marrying his Hittite wives (26:34) and Rebekah's suggestion to Isaac to send Jacob away, lest he should follow his brother's example (27:46); which, from the nature of the case, will not admit of any but slight extension. Keil, however, does so extend it, reducing the period of Isaac's final illness by 43 years, and is conscious of no incongruity in supposing that Rebekah, 30 years after Esau had taken his Hittite wives, should express her fear that Jacob, then aged 77, will do the same" (Driver, Contemporary Review, LVII, 221).

An important instance occurs in Numbers. According to 33:38, Aaron died on the 1st day of the 5th month. From De 1:3 it appears that 6 months later Moses delivered his speech in the plains of Moab. Into those 6 months are compressed one month's mourning for Aaron, the Arad campaign, the wandering round by the Red Sea, the campaigns against Sihon and Og, the missions to Balaam and the whole episode of his prophecies, the painful occurrences of Nu 25, the second census, the appointment of Joshua, the expedition against Midian, besides other events. It is clearly impossible to fit all these into the time.

Other discrepancies are of the most formidable character. Aaron dies now at Mt. Hor (Nu 20:28; 33:38), now at Moserah (De 10:6). According to De 1; 2:1,14, the children of Israel left Kadesh-barnea in the 3rd year and never subsequently returned to it, while in Nu they apparently remain there till the journey to Mt. Hor, where Aaron dies in the 40th year. The Tent of Meeting perhaps

provides some of the most perplexing of the discrepancies, for while according to the well-known scheme of Ex 25 ff and many other passages, it was a large and heavy erection standing in the midst of the camp, Ex 33:7-11 provides us with another Tent of Meeting that stood outside the camp at a distance and could be carried by Moses alone. The verbs used are frequentative, denoting a regular practice, and it is impossible to suppose that after receiving the commands for the Tent of Meeting Moses could have instituted a quite different tent of the same name. Joseph again is sold, now by Ishmaelites (Ge 37:27,28; 39:1), anon by Midianites (31:28a,36). Sometimes he is imprisoned in one place, sometimes apparently in another. The story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram in Nu 16 is equally full of difficulty. The enormous numbers of the Israelites given in Nu 1-4, etc., are in conflict with passages that regard them as very few.

(4) Doublets.

Another portion of the critical argument is provided by doublets or duplicate narratives of the same event, e.g. Ge 16 and 21. These are particularly numerous in Genesis, but are not confined to that book. "Twice do quails appear in connection with the daily manna (Nu 11:4-6,31 ff; Ex 16:13) Twice does Moses draw water from the rock, when the strife of Israel begets the name Meribah (`strife') (Ex 17:1-7; Nu 20:1-13)" (Carpenter, Hexateuch, I, 30).

(5) The Laws.

Most stress is laid on the argument from the laws and their supposed historical setting. By far the most important portions of this are examined in SANCTUARY and PRIESTS AND LEVITES. These subjects form the two main pillars of the Graf-Wellhausen theory, and accordingly the articles in question must be read as supplementing the present article. An illustration may be taken from the slavery laws. It is claimed that Ex 21:1-6; De 15:12 ff permit a Hebrew to contract for life slavery after 6 years' service, but that Le 25:39-42 takes no notice of this law and enacts the totally different provision that Hebrews may remain in slavery only till the Year of Jubilee. While these different enactments might proceed from the same hand if properly coordinated, it is contended that this is not the case and that the legislator in Le ignores the legislator in Exodus and is in turn ignored by the legislator in Deuteronomy, who only knows the law of Exodus.

(6) The Argument from Style.

The argument from style is less easy to exemplify shortly, since it depends so largely on an immense mass of details. It is said that each of the sources has certain characteristic phrases which either occur nowhere else or only with very much less frequency. For instance in Ge 1, where 'Elohim is used throughout, we find the word "create," but this is not employed in 2:4b ff, where the Tetragrammaton occurs. Hence, it is argued that this word is peculiarly characteristic of P as contrasted with the other documents, and may be used to prove his presence in e.g. 5:1 f.

(7) Props of the Development Hypothesis.

While the main supports of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must be sought in the articles to which reference has been made, it is necessary to mention briefly some other phenomena to which some weight is attached. Jeremiah displays many close resemblances to Deuteronomy, and the framework of Kings is written in a style that has marked similarities to the same book. Ezekiel again has notable points of contact with P and especially with H; either he was acquainted with these portions of the Pentateuch or else he must have exercised considerable influence on those who composed them. Lastly the Chronicler is obviously acquainted with the completed Pentateuch. Accordingly, it is claimed that the literature provides a sort of external standard that confirms the historical stages which the different Pentateuchal sources are said to mark. Deuteronomy influences Jeremiah and the subsequent literature. It is argued that it would equally have influenced the earlier books, had it then existed. So too the completed Pentateuch should have influenced Kings as it did Chronicles, if it had been in existence when the earlier history was composed.

3. Answer to the Critical Analysis:

(1) The Veto of Textual Criticism.

The first great objection that may be made to the higher criticism is that it starts from the Massoretic text (MT) without investigation. This is not the only text that has come down to us, and in some instances it can be shown that alternative readings that have been preserved are superior to those of the Massoretic Text. A convincing example occurs in Ex 18. According to the Hebrew, Jethro comes to Moses and says "I, thy father-in-law .... am come," and subsequently Moses goes out to meet his father-in-law. The critics here postulate different sources, but some of the best authorities have preserved a reading which (allowing for ancient differences of orthography) supposes an alteration of a single letter. According to this reading the text told how one (or they) came to Moses and said "Behold thy father-in-law .... is come." As the result of this Moses went out and met Jethro. The vast improvement in the sense is self-evident. But in weighing the change other considerations must be borne in mind. Since this is the reading of some of the most ancient authorities, only two views are possible. Either the Massoretic Text has undergone a corruption of a single letter, or else a redactor made a most improbable cento of two documents which gave a narrative of the most doubtful sense. Fortunately this was followed by textual corruption of so happy a character as to remove the difficulty by the change of a single letter; and this corruption was so widespread that it was accepted as the genuine text by some of our best authorities. There can be little doubt which of these two cases is the more credible, and with the recognition of the textual solution the particular bit of the analysis that depends on this corruption falls to the ground. This instance illustrates one branch of textual criticism; there are others. Sometimes the narrative shows with certainty that in the transmission of the text transpositions have taken place; e.g. the identification of Kadesh shows that it was South of Hormah. Consequently, a march to compass Edom by way of the Red Sea would not bring the Israelites to Hormah. Here there is no reason to doubt that the events narrated are historically true, but there is grave reason to doubt that they happened in the present order of the narrative. Further, Deuteronomy gives an account that is parallel to certain passages of Numbers; and it confirms those passages, but places the events in a different order. Such difficulties may often be solved by simple transpositions, and when transpositions in the text of Nu are made under the guidance of Deuteronomy they have a very different probability from guesses that enjoy no such sanction. Another department of textual criticism deals with the removal of glosses, i.e. notes that have crept into the text. Here the ancient versions often help us, one or other omitting some words which may be proved from other sources to be a later addition. Thus in Ex 17:7 the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) did not know the expression, "and Meribah" (one word in Hebrew), and calls the place "Massah" simply. This is confirmed by the fact that Deuteronomy habitually calls the place Massah (6:16; 9:22; 33:8). The true Meribah was Kadesh (Nu 20) and a glossator has here added this by mistake (see further (4) below). Thus we can say that a scientific textual criticism often opposes a real veto to the higher critical analysis by showing that the arguments rest on late corruptions and by explaining the true origin of the difficulties on which the critics rely.

(2) Astruc's Clue Tested.

Astruc's clue must next be examined. The critical case breaks down with extraordinary frequency. No clean division can be effected, i.e. there are cases where the Massoretic Text of Genesis makes P or E use the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) or J Yahweh (Yahweh). In some of these cases the critics can suggest no reason; in others they are compelled to assume that the Massoretic Text is corrupt for no better reason than that it is in conflict with their theory. Again the exigencies of the theory frequently force the analyst to sunder verses or phrases that cannot be understood apart from their present contexts, e.g. in Ge 28:21 Carpenter assigns the words "and Yahweh will be my God" to J while giving the beginning and end of the verse to E; in Genesis 31, verse 3 goes to a redactor, though E actually refers to the statement of 31:3 in verse 5; in Genesis 32, verse 30 is torn from a J-context and given to E, thus leaving 32:31 (Jahwist) unintelligible. When textual criticism is applied, startling facts that entirely shatter the higher critical argument are suddenly revealed. The variants to the divine appellations in Genesis are very numerous, and in some instances the new readings are clearly superior to the Massoretic Text, even when they substitute 'Elohim for the Tetragrammaton. Thus, in 16:11, the explanation of the name Ishmael requires the word 'Elohim, as the name would otherwise have been Ishmayah, and one Hebrew MS, a recension of the Septuagint and the Old Latin do in fact preserve the reading 'Elohim. The full facts and arguments cannot be given here, but Professor Schlogl has made an exhaustive examination of the various texts from Ge 1:1 to Ex 3:12. Out of a total of 347 occurrences of one or both words in the Massoretic Text of that passage, there are variants in 196 instances. A very important and detailed discussion, too long to be summarized here will now be found in TMH, I. Wellhausen himself has admitted that the textual evidence constitutes a sore point of the documentary theory (Expository Times, XX, 563). Again in Ex 6:3, many of the best authorities read "I was not made known" instead of "I was not known" a difference of a single letter in Hebrew. But if this be right, there is comparative evidence to suggest that to the early mind a revelation of his name by a deity meant a great deal more than a mere knowledge of the name, and involved rather a pledge of his power. Lastly the analysis may be tested in yet another way by inquiring whether it fits in with the other data, and when it is discovered (see below 4, (1)) that it involves ascribing, e.g. a passage that cannot be later than the time of Abraham to the period of the kingdom, it becomes certain that the clue and the method are alike misleading (see further EPC, chapter i; Expository Times, XX, 378 f, 473-75, 563; TMH, I; PS, 49-142; BS, 1913, 145-74; A. Troelstra, The Name of God, NKZ, XXIV (1913), 119-48; The Expositor, 1913).

(3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined.

Septuagintal manuscripts are providing very illuminating material for dealing with the chronological difficulties. It is well known that the Septuagint became corrupt and passed through various recensions (see SEPTUAGINT). The original text has not yet been reconstructed, but as the result of the great variety of recensions it happens that our various manuscripts present a wealth of alternative readings. Some of these show an intrinsic superiority to the corresponding readings of the Massoretic Text. Take the case of Ishmael's age. We have seen (above, 2, (3)) that although in Ge 21:14 f he is a boy who can be carried by his mother even after the weaning of Isaac, his father, according to 16:3,16, was 86 years old at the time of his birth, and, according to Genesis 17, 100 years old when Isaac was born. In 17:25 we find that Ishmael is already 13 a year before Isaac's birth. Now we are familiar with marginal notes that set forth a system of chronology in many printed English Bibles. In this case the Septuagintal variants suggest that something similar is responsible for the difficulty of our Hebrew. Two manuscripts, apparently representing a recension, omit the words, "after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan" in 16:3, and again, 16:16, while in 17:25 there is a variant making Ishmael only 3 years old. If these readings are correct it is easy to see how the difficulty arose. The narrative originally contained mere round numbers, like 100 years old, and these were not intended to be taken literally. A commentator constructed a scheme of chronology which was embodied in marginal notes. Then these crept into the text and such numbers as were in conflict with them were thought to be corrupt and underwent alteration. Thus the 3-year-old Ishmael became 13.

The same manuscripts that present us with the variants in Ge 16 have also preserved a suggestive reading in 35:28, one of the passages that are responsible for the inference that according to the text of Genesis Isaac lay on his deathbed for 80 years (see above, 2, (3)). According to this Isaac was not 180, but 150 years old when he died. It is easy to see that this is a round number, not to be taken literally, but this is not the only source of the difficulty. In 27:41, Esau, according to English Versions of the Bible, states "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob." This is a perfectly possible rendering of the Hebrew, but the Septuagint translated the text differently, and its rendering, while grammatically correct, has the double advantage of avoiding Isaac's long lingering on a deathbed and of presenting Esau's hatred and ferocity far more vividly. It renders, "May the days of mourning for my father approach that I may slay my brother Jacob." Subsequent translators preferred the milder version, but doubtless the Septuagint has truly apprehended the real sense of the narrative. If we read the chapter with this modification, we see Isaac as an old man, not knowing when he may die, performing the equivalent of making his will. It puts no strain on our credulity to suppose that he may have lived 20 or 30 years longer. Such episodes occur constantly in everyday experience. As to the calculations based on Ge 25:26 and 26:34, the numbers used are 60 and 40, which, as is well known, were frequently employed by the ancient Hebrews, not as mathematical expressions, but simply to denote unknown or unspecified periods.


The other chronological difficulty cited above (namely, that there is not room between the date of Aaron's death and the address by Moses in the plains of Moab for all the events assigned to this period by Numbers) is met partly by a reading preserved by the Peshitta and partly by a series of transpositions. In Nu 33:38 Peshitta reads "first" for "fifth" as the month of Aaron's death, thus recognizing a longer period for the subsequent events. The transpositions, however, which are largely due to the evidence of Deuteronomy, solve the most formidable and varied difficulties; e.g. a southerly march from Kadesh no longer conducts the Israelites to Arad in the north, the name Hormah is no longer used (Nu 14:45) before it is explained (Nu 21:3), there is no longer an account directly contradicting De and making the Israelites spend 38 years at Kadesh immediately after receiving a divine command to turn "tomorrow" (Nu 14:25). A full discussion is impossible here and will be found in EPC, 114-38. The order of the narrative that emerges as probably original is as follows: Nu 12; 20:1,14-21; 21:1-3; 13; 14; 16-18; 20:2-13,12; 21:4b-9, then some missing vs, bringing the Israelites to the head of the Gulf of Akabah and narrating the turn northward from Elath and Ezion-geber, then 20:22b-29; 21:4a, and some lost words telling of the arrival at the station before Oboth. In Nu 33:40 is a gloss that is missing in Lagarde's Septuagint, and 33:36b-37a should probably come earlier in the chapter than they do at present.

Another example of transposition is afforded by Ex 33:7-11, the passage relating to the Tent of Meeting which is at present out of place (see above 2, (3)). It is supposed that this is E's idea of the Tabernacle, but that, unlike the Priestly Code , he places it outside the camp and makes Joshua its priest. This latter view is discussed and refuted in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 3, where it is shown that Ex 33:7 should be rendered "And Moses used to take a (or, the) tent and pitch it for himself," etc. As to theory that this is E's account of the Tabernacle, Ex 18 has been overlooked. This chapter belongs to the same E but refers to the end of the period spent at Horeb, i.e. it is later than 33:7-11. In 18:13-16 we find Moses sitting with all the people standing about him because they came to require of God; i.e. the business which according to Ex 33 was transacted in solitude outside the camp was performed within the camp in the midst of the people at a later period. This agrees with the Priestly Code , e.g. Nu 27. If now we look at the other available clues, it appears that Ex 33:11 seems to introduce Joshua for the first time. The passage should therefore precede 17:8-15; 24:13; 32:17, where he is already known. Again, if Ex 18 refers to the closing scenes at Horeb (as it clearly does), Ex 24:14 providing for the temporary transaction of judicial business reads very strangely. It ought to be preceded by some statement of the ordinary course in normal times when Moses was not absent from the camp. Ex 33:7 ff provides such a statement. The only earlier place to which it can be assigned is after 13:22, but there it fits the context marvelously, for the statements as to the pillar of cloud in 33:9 f attach naturally to those in 13:21 f. With this change all the difficulties disappear. Immediately after leaving Egypt Moses began the practice of carrying a tent outside the camp and trying cases there. This lasted till the construction of the Tabernacle. "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee" (Ex 25:22). After its erection the earlier tent was disused, and the court sat at the door of the Tabernacle in the center of the camp (see, further, EPC, 93-102, 106 f) .

Some other points must be indicated more briefly. In Nu 16 important Septuagintal variants remove the main difficulties by substituting "company of Korah" for "dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram" in two verses (see EPC, 143-46). Similarly in the Joseph-story the perplexities have arisen through corruptions of verses which may still be corrected by the versional evidence (PS, 29-48). There is evidence to show that the numbers of the Israelites are probably due to textual corruption (EPC, 155-69). Further, there are numerous passages where careful examination has led critics themselves to hold that particular verses are later notes. In this way they dispose of De 10:6 f (Aaron's death, etc.), the references to the Israelirish kingdom (Ge 36:31) and the Canaanites as being "then" in the land (Ge 12:6; 13:7), the bedstead of Og (De 3:11) and other passages. In Ge 22, "the land of Moriah" is unknown to the versions which present the most diverse readings, of which "the land of the Amorite" is perhaps the most probable; while in 22:14 the Septuagint, reading the same Hebrew consonants as Massoretic Text, translates "In the Mount the Lord was seen." This probably refers to a view that God manifested Himself especially in the mountains (compare 1Ki 20:23,28) and has no reference whatever to the Temple Hill. The Massoretic pointing is presumably due to a desire to avoid what seemed to be an anthropomorphism (see further PS, 19-21) . Again, in Nu 21:14, the Septuagint knows nothing of "a book of the Wars of Yahweh" (see Field, Hexapla, at the place). It is difficult to tell what the original reading was, especially as the succeeding words are corrupt in the Hebrew, but it appears that no genitive followed wars" and it is doubtful if there was any reference to a "book of wars."

(4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined.

The foregoing sections show that the documentary theory often depends on phenomena that were absent from the original Pentateuch. We are now to examine arguments that rest on other foundations. The doublets have been cited, but when we examine the instances more carefully, some curious facts emerge. Ge 16 and 21 are, to all appearance, narratives of different events; so are Ex 17:1-7 and Nu 20:1-13 (the drawing of water from rocks). In the latter case the critics after rejecting this divide the passages into 5 different stories, two going to J, two to E and one to Pentateuch. If the latter also had a Rephidimnarrative (compare Nu 33:14 P), there were 6 tales. In any case both J and E tell two stories each. It is impossible to assign any cogency to the argument that the author of the Pentateuch could not have told two such narratives, if not merely the redactor of the Pentateuch but also J and E could do so. The facts as to the manna stories are similar. As to the flights of quails, it is known that these do in fact occur every year, and the Pentateuch places them at almost exactly a year's interval (see EPC, 104 f, 109 f).

(5) The Critical Argument from the Laws.

The legal arguments are due to a variety of misconceptions, the washing out of the historical background and the state of the text. Reference must be made to the separate articles (especially SANCTUARY; PRIESTS AND LEVITES). As the slave laws were cited, it may be explained that in ancient Israel as in other communities slavery could arise or slaves be acquired in many ways: e.g. birth, purchase (Ge 14:14; 17:12, etc.), gift (Ge 20:14), capture in war (Ge 14:21; 34:29), kidnapping (Joseph). The law of Exodus and Deuteronomy applies only to Hebrew slaves acquired by purchase, not to slaves acquired in any other way, and least of all to those who in the eye of the law were not true slaves. Le 25 has nothing to do with Hebrew slaves. It is concerned merely with free Israelites who become insolvent. "If thy brother be waxed poor with thee, and sell himself" it begins (25:39). Nobody who was already a slave could wax poor and sell himself. The law then provides that these insolvent freemen were not to be treated as slaves. In fact, they were a class of free bondsmen, i.e. they were full citizens who were compelled to perform certain duties. A similar class of free bondsmen existed in ancient Rome and were called nexi. The Egyptians who sold themselves to Pharaoh and became serfs afford another though less apt parallel In all ancient societies insolvency led to some limitations of freedom, but while in some full slavery ensued, in others a sharp distinction was drawn between the slave and the insolvent freeman (see further SBL, 5-11 ).

(6) The Argument from Style.

Just as this argument is too detailed to be set out in a work like the present, so the answer cannot be given with any degree of fullness. It may be said generally that the argument too frequently neglects differences of subject-matter and other sufficient reasons (such as considerations of euphony and slight variations of meaning) which often provide far more natural reasons for the phenomena observed. Again, the versions suggest that the Biblical text has been heavily glossed. Thus in many passages where the frequent recurrence of certain words and phrases is supposed to attest the presence of the Priestly Code , versional evidence seems to show that the expressions in question have been introduced by glossators, and when they are removed the narrative remains unaffected in meaning, but terser and more vigorous and greatly improved as a vehicle of expression. To take a simple instance in Ge 23:1, "And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years: .... the years of the fife of Sarah," the italicized words were missing in the Septuagint. When they are removed the meaning is unaltered, but the form of expression is far superior. They are obviously mere marginal note. Again the critical method is perpetually breaking down. It constantly occurs that redactors have to be called in to remove from a passage attributed to some source expressions that are supposed to be characteristic of another source, and this is habitually done on no other ground than that theory requires it. One instance muse be given. It is claimed that the word "create" is a P-word. It occurs several times in Ge 1:1-2:4 a and 3 times in Ge 5:1,2, but in 6:7 it is found in a J-passage, and some critics therefore assign it to a redactor. Yet J undoubtedly uses the word in Nu 16:30 and D in De 4:32. On the other hand, P does not use the word exclusively, even in Ge 1-2:4, the word "make" being employed in 1:7,25,26,31; 2:2, while in 2:3 both words are combined. Yet all these passages are given unhesitatingly to P.

(7) Perplexities of the Theory.

The perplexities of the critical hypothesis are very striking, but a detailed discussion is impossible here. Much material will, however, be found in POT and Eerd. A few general statements may be made. The critical analysis repeatedly divides a straightforward narrative into two sets of fragments, neither of which will make sense without the other. A man will go to sleep in one document and wake in another, or a subject will belong to one source and the predicate to another. No intelligible account can be given of the proceedings of the redactors who one moment slavishly preserve their sources and at another cut them about without any necessity, who now rewrite their material and now leave it untouched. Even in the ranks of the Wellhausen critics chapters will be assigned by one writer to the post-exilic period and by another to the earliest sources (e.g. Ge 14, pre-Mosaic in the main according to Sellin (1910), post-exilic according to others), and the advent of Eerdmans and Dahse has greatly increased the perplexity. Clue after clue, both stylistic and material, is put forward, to be abandoned silently at some later stage. Circular arguments are extremely common: it is first alleged that some phenomenon is characteristic of a particular source; then passages are referred to that source for no other reason than the presence of that phenomenon; lastly these passages are cited to prove that the phenomenon in question distinguishes the source. Again theory is compelled to feed on itself; for J, E, the Priestly Code , etc., we have schools of J's, E's, etc., subsisting side by side for centuries, using the same material, employing the same ideas, yet remaining separate in minute stylistic points. This becomes impossible when viewed in the light of the evidences of pre-Mosaic date in parts of Genesis (see below 4, (1) to (3)).

(8) Signs of Unity.

It is often possible to produce very convincing internal evidence of the unity of what the critics sunder. A strong instance of this is to be found when one considers the characters portrayed. The character of Abraham or Laban, Jacob or Moses is essentially unitary. There is but one Abraham, and this would not be so if we really had a cento of different documents representing the results of the labor of various schools during different centuries. Again, there are sometimes literary marks of unity, e.g. in Nu 16, the effect of rising anger is given to the dialogue by the repetition of "Ye take too much upon you" (16:3,7), followed by the repetition of "Is it a small thing that" (16:9,13). This must be the work of a single literary artist (see further SBL, 37 f).

(9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis.

When we turn to the supposed props of the development hypothesis we see that there is nothing conclusive in the critical argument. Jeremiah and the subsequent literature certainly exhibit the influence of Deuteronomy, but a Book of the Law was admittedly found in Josiah's reign and had lain unread for at any rate some considerable time. Some of its requirements had been in actual operation, e.g. in Naboth's case, while others had become a dead letter. The circumstances of its discovery, the belief in its undoubted Mosaic authenticity and the subsequent course of history led to its greatly influencing contemporary and later writers, but that really proves nothing. Ezekiel again was steeped in priestly ideas, but it is shown in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 5b, how this may be explained. Lastly, Chronicles certainly knows the whole Pentateuch, but as certainly misinterprets it (see PRIESTS AND LEVITES). On the other hand the Pentateuch itself always represents portions of the legislation as being intended to reach the people only through the priestly teaching, and this fully accounts for P's lack of influence on the earlier literature. As to the differences of style within the Pentateuch itself, something is said in III, below. Hence, this branch of the critical argument really proves nothing, for the phenomena are susceptible of more than one explanation.

4. The Evidence of Date:

(1) The Narrative of Genesis.

Entirely different lines of argument are provided by the abundant internal evidences of date. In Ge 10:19, we read the phrase "as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim" in a definition of boundary. Such language could only have originated when the places named actually existed. One does not define boundaries by reference to towns that are purely mythical or have been overthrown many centuries previously. The consistent tradition is that these towns were destroyed in the lifetime of Abraham, and the passage therefore cannot be later than his age. But the critics assign it to a late stratum of J, i.e. to a period at least 1,000 years too late. This suggests several comments. First, it may reasonably be asked whether much reliance can be placed on a method which after a century and a half of the closest investigation does not permit its exponents to arrive at results that are correct to within 1,000 years. Secondly, it shows clearly that in the composition of the Pentateuch very old materials were incorporated in their original language. Of the historical importance of this fact more will be said in IV; in this connection we must observe that it throws fresh light on expressions that point to the presence, in Genesis of sources composed in Palestine, e.g. "the sea" for "the West" indicates the probability of a Palestinian source, but once it is proved that we have materials as old as the time of Abraham such expressions do not argue post-Mosaic, but rather pre-Mosaic authorship. Thirdly, the passage demolishes theory of schools of J's, etc. It cannot seriously be maintained that there was a school of J's writing a particular style marked by the most delicate and subjective criteria subsisting continuously for some 10 or 12 centuries from the time of Abraham onward, side by side with other writers with whom its members never exchanged terms of even such common occurrence as "handmaid."

Ge 10:19 is not the only passage of this kind. In 2:14 we read of the Hiddekel (Tigris) as flowing East of Assur, though there is an alternative reading "in front of." If the translation "east" be correct, the passage must antedate the 13th century BC, for Assur, the ancient capital, which was on the west bank of the Tigris, was abandoned at about that date for Kalkhi on the East.

(2) Archaeology and Genesis.

Closely connected with the foregoing are cases where Genesis has preserved information that is true of a very early time only. Thus in 10:22 Elam figures as a son of Shem. The historical Elam was, however, an Aryan people. Recently inscriptions have been discovered which show that in very early times Elam really was inhabited by Semites. "The fact," writes Driver, at the place, "is not one which the writer of this verse is likely to have known." This contention falls to the ground when we find that only three verses off we have material that goes back at least as far as the time of Abraham. After all, the presumption is that the writer stated the fact because he knew it, not in spite of his not knowing it; and that knowledge must be due to the same cause as the noteworthy language of Ge 10:19, i.e. to early date.

This is merely one example of the confirmations of little touches in Genesis that are constantly being provided by archaeology. For the detailed facts see the separate articles, e.g. AMRAPHEL; JERUSALEM, and compare IV, below.

From the point of view of the critical question we note

(a) that such accuracy is a natural mark of authentic early documents, and

(b) that in view of the arguments already adduced and of the legal evidence to be considered, the most reasonable explanation is to be found in a theory of contemporary authorship.

(3) The Legal Evidence of Genesis.

The legal evidence is perhaps more convincing, for here no theory of late authorship can be devised to evade the natural inference. Correct information as to early names, geography, etc., might be the result of researches by an exilic writer in a Babylonian library; but early customs that are confirmed by the universal experience of primitive societies, and that point to a stage of development which had long been passed in the Babylonia even of Abraham's day, can be due to but one cause--genuine early sources. The narratives of Genesis are certainly not the work of comparative sociologists. Two instances may be cited. The law of homicide shows us two stages that are known to be earlier than the stage attested by Ex 21:12 ff. In the story of Cain we have one stage; in Ge 9:6, which does not yet recognize any distinction between murder and other forms of homicide, we have the other.

Our other example shall be the unlimited power of life and death possessed by the head of the family (Ge 38:24; 42:37, etc.), which has not yet been limited in any way by the jurisdiction of the courts as in Exodus-Deuteronomy. In both cases comparative historical jurisprudence confirms the Bible account against the critical, which would make e.g. Ge 9:6 post-exilic, while assigning Ex 21 to a much earlier period. (On the whole subject see further OP, 135 ff.)

(4) The Professedly Mosaic Character of the Legislation.

Coming now to the four concluding books of the Pentateuch, we must first observe that the legislation everywhere professes to be Mosaic. Perhaps this is not always fully realized. In critical editions of the text the rubrics and an occasional phrase are sometimes assigned to redactors, but the representation of Mosaic date is far too closely interwoven with the matter to be removed by such devices. If e.g. we take such a section as De 12, we shall find it full of such phrases as "for ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance" etc.; "When ye go over Jordan," "the place which the Lord shall choose" (the King James Version), etc. It is important to bear this in mind throughout the succeeding discussion.

(5) The Historical Situation required by Pentateuch.

What do we find if we ignore the Mosaic dress and seek to fit P into any other set of conditions, particularly those of the post-exilic period? The general historical situation gives a clear answer. The Israelites are represented as being so closely concentrated that they will always be able to keep the three pilgrimage festivals. One exception only is contemplated, namely, that ritual uncleanness or a journey may prevent an Israelite from keeping the Passover. Note that in that case he is most certainly to keep it one month later (Nu 9:10 f). How could this law have been enacted when the great majority of the people were in Babylonia, Egypt, etc., so that attendance at the temple was impossible for them on any occasion whatever? With this exception the entire Priestly Code always supposes that the whole people are at all times dwelling within easy reach of the religious center. How strongly this view is embedded in the code may be seen especially from Le 17, which provides that all domestic animals to be slaughtered for food must be brought to the door of the Tent of Meeting. Are we to suppose that somebody deliberately intended such legislation to apply when the Jews were scattered all over the civilized world, or even all over Canaan? If so, it means a total prohibition of animal food for all save the inhabitants of the capital.

In post-exilic days there was no more pressing danger for the religious leaders to combat than intermarriage, but this code, which is supposed to have been written for the express purpose of bringing about their action, goes out of its way to give a fictitious account of a war and incidentally to legalize some such unions (Nu 31:18). And this chapter also contains a law of booty. What could be more unsuitable? How and where were the Jews to make conquests and capture booty in the days of Ezra?

"Or again, pass to the last chapter of Nu and consider the historical setting. What is the complaint urged by the deputation that waits upon Moses? It is this: If heiresses `be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be added to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they shall belong.' What a pressing grievance for a legislator to consider and redress when tribes and tribal lots had long since ceased to exist for ever!" (OP, 121 f).

Perhaps the most informing of all the discrepancies between P and the post-exilic age is one that explains the freedom of the earlier prophets from its literary influence. According to the constant testimony of the Pentateuch, including the Priestly Code , portions of the law were to reach the people only through priestly teaching (Le 10:11; De 24:8; 33:10, etc.). Ezra on the other hand read portions of P to the whole people.

(6) The Hierarchical Organization in Pentateuch.

Much of what falls under this head is treated in PRIESTS AND LEVITES, sec. 2, (a), (b), and need not be repeated here. The following may be added: "Urim and Thummim were not used after the Exile. In lieu of the simple conditions--a small number of priests and a body of Levites--we find a developed hierarchy, priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim, sons of Solomon's servants. The code that ex hypothesi was forged to deal with this state of affairs has no acquaintance with them. The musical services of the temple are as much beyond its line of vision as the worship of the synagogue. Even such an organization as that betrayed by the reference in 1Sa 2:36 to the appointment by the high priest to positions carrying pecuniary emoluments is far beyond the primitive simplicity of P" (OP, 122).

(7) The Legal Evidence of the Pentateuch.

As this subject is technical we can only indicate the line of reasoning. Legal rules may be such as to enable the historical inquirer to say definitely that they belong to an early stage of society. Thus if we find elementary rules relating to the inheritance of a farmer who dies without leaving sons, we know that they cannot be long subsequent to the introduction of individual property in land, unless of course the law has been deliberately altered. It is an everyday occurrence for men to die without leaving sons, and the question What is to happen to their land in such cases must from the nature of the case be raised and settled before very long. When therefore we find such rules in Nu 27, etc., we know that they are either very old or else represent a deliberate change in the law. The latter is really out of the question, and we are driven back to their antiquity (see further OP, 124 ff). Again in Nu 35 we find an elaborate struggle to express a general principle which shall distinguish between two kinds of homicide. The earlier law had regarded all homicide as on the same level (Ge 9). Now, the human mind only reaches general principles through concrete cases, and other ancient legislations (e.g. the Icelandic) bear witness to the primitive character of the rules of Numbers. Thus, an expert like Dareate can say confidently that such rules as these are extremely archaic (see further SBL and OP, passim).

(8) The Evidence of Deuteronomist.

The following may be quoted: "Laws are never issued to regulate a state of things which has passed away ages before, and can by no possibility be revived. What are we to think, then, of a hypothesis which assigns the code of Deuteronomy to the reign of Josiah, or shortly before it, when its injunctions to exterminate the Canaanites (20:16-18) and the Amalekites (25:17-19), who had long since disappeared, would be as utterly out of date as a law in New Jersey at the present time offering a bounty for killing wolves and bears, or a royal proclamation in Great Britain ordering the expulsion of the Danes? A law contemplating foreign conquests (20:10-15) would have been absurd when the urgent question was whether Judah could maintain its own existence against the encroachments of Babylon and Egypt. A law discriminating against Ammon and Moab (23:3,4), in favor of Edom (23:7,8), had its warrant in the Mosaic period, but not in the time of the later kings. Jeremiah discriminates precisely the other way, promising a future restoration to Moab (48:47) and Ammon (49:6), which he denies to Edom (49:17,18), who is also to Joe (3:19), Obadiah, and Isaiah (63:1-6), the representative foe of the people of God. .... The allusions to Egypt imply familiarity with and recent residence in that land .... And how can a code belong to the time of Josiah, which, while it contemplates the possible selection of a king in the future (De 17:14 ), nowhere implies an actual regal government, but vests the supreme central authority in a judge and the priesthood (De 17:8-12; 19:17); which lays special stress on the requirements that the king must be a native and not a foreigner (De 17:15), when the undisputed line of succession had for ages been fixed in the family of David, and that he must not `cause the people to return to Egypt.' (De 17:16), as they seemed ready to do on every grievance in the days of Moses (Nu 14:4), but which no one ever dreamed of doing after they were fairly established in Canaan?" (Green, Moses and the Prophets, 63 f). This too may be supplemented by legal evidence (e.g. De 22:26 testifies to the undeveloped intellectual condition of the people). Of JE it is unnecessary to speak, for Ex 21 f are now widely regarded as Mosaic in critical circles. Wellhausen (Prolegomena (6), 392, note) now regards their main elements as pre-Mosaic Canaanitish law.

(9) Later Allusions.

These are of two kinds. Sometimes we have references to the laws, in other cases we

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