Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel, by Julius Wellhausen, , at sacred-texts.com
"The Law came in between."—Vatke, p. 183.
p. 364 p. 365
Objections have been made to the general style of the proof on which Graf's hypothesis is based. It is said to be an illicit argument ex silentio to conclude from the fact that the priestly legislation is latent in Ezekiel, where it should be in operation, unknown where it should be known, that in his time it had not yet come into existence. But what would the objectors have? Do they expect to find positive statements of the non-existence of what had not yet come into being? Is it more rational, to deduce ex silentio, as they do, a positive proof that it did exist?—to say, that as there are no traces of the hierocracy in the times of the judges and the kings it must have originated in the most remote antiquity, with Moses? The problem would in this case still be the same, namely, to explain how it is that with and after the exile the hierocracy begins to come into practical activity. What the opponents of Graf's hypothesis call its argument ex silentio, is nothing more or less than the universally valid method of historical investigation.
The protest against the argument ex silentio takes another form. It is pointed out that laws are in many cases theories, and that it is no disproof of the existence of a theory that it has not got itself carried out into practice. Deuteronomy was really nothing more than a theory during the pre-exile period, but who would argue from this that it was not there at all? Though laws are not kept, this does not prove they are not there,—provided, that is to say, that there is sufficient proof of their existence on other grounds. But these other proofs of the existence of the Priestly Code are not to be found—not a trace of them. It is, moreover, rarely the case with laws that they are theory and nothing more: the possibility that a thing may be mere theory is not to be asserted generally, but only in particular cases. And even where law is
undoubtedly theory, the fact does not prevent us from fixing its position in history. Even legislative fancy always proceeds upon some definite presupposition or other; and these presuppositions, rather than the laws themselves, must guide the steps of historical criticism. 1
An argument which is the very opposite of this is also urged. The fact is insisted on that the laws of the Priestly Code are actually attested everywhere in the practice of the historical period; that there were always sacrifices and festivals, priests and purifications, and everything of the kind in early Israel. These statements must, though this seems scarcely possible, proceed on the assumption that on Graf's hypothesis the whole cultus was invented all at once by the Priestly Code, and only introduced after the exile. But the defenders of Graf's hypothesis do not go so far as to believe that the Israelite cultus entered the world of a sudden,—as little by Ezekiel or by Ezra as by Moses,—else why should they be accused of Darwinism by Zöckler and Delitzsch? They merely consider that the works of the law were done before the law, that there is a difference between traditional usage and formulated law, and that even where this difference appears to be only in form it yet has a material basis, being connected with the centralisation of the worship and the hierocracy which that centralisation called into existence. Here also the important point is not the matter, but the spirit which is behind it, and may everywhere be recognised as the spirit of the age at one period or another. 2
All these objections, meanwhile, labour under the same defect, namely, that they leave out of view that which is the real point at issue. The point is not to prove that the Mosaic law was not in force in the period before the exile. There are in the Pentateuch three strata of law and three strata of tradition, and the problem is to place them in their true historical order. So far as the Jehovist and Deuteronomy are concerned, the problem has found a solution which may be said to be accepted universally, and all that remains is to apply to the Priestly Code also the procedure by which the succession and the date of these two works has been determined—that procedure consisting in the comparison of them with the ascertained facts of Israelite history. 3
[paragraph continues] One would imagine that this could not be objected to. But objections have been raised; the procedure which, when applied to Deuteronomy, is called historico-critical method, is called, when applied to the Priestly Code, construction of history. But history, it is well known, has always to be constructed: the order, Priestly Code, Jehovist, Deuteronomy, is not a thing handed down by tradition or prescribed by the nature of the case, but a hypothesis as yet only a score of years old or thereby, the reasons for which were somewhat incomprehensible, so that people have forgotten them and begun to regard the hypothesis as something objective, partaking of the character of dogma. The question is whether one constructs well or ill. Count Baudissin thinks a grave warning necessary of a certain danger, that, namely, of an exaggerated application of logic: that the laws follow each other in a certain order logically, he says, does not prove that they appeared in the same order in history. But it is not for the sake of logical sequence that we consider the development which began with the prophets to have issued finally in the laws of cultus; and those who set out from "sound human reason" have generally forced the reverse process of this on the history, in spite of the traces which have come down to us, and which point the other way. 1
After laboriously collecting the data offered by the historical and prophetical books, we constructed a sketch of the Israelite history of worship; we then compared the Pentateuch with this sketch, and recognised that one element of the Pentateuch bore a definite relation to this phase of the history of worship, and another element of the Pentateuch to that phase of it. This is not putting logic in the place of historical investigation. The new doctrine of the irrationality of what exists is surely not to be pushed so far, as that we should regard the correspondence between an element of the law and a particular phase of the history as a reason for placing the two as far as possible asunder. At least this principle would have to be applied to the Jehovist and Deuteronomy too, and not to the Priestly Code only. What is right in the one case is fair in the other too; a little logic unfortunately is almost unavoidable.
Not everything that I have brought forward in the history of the
cultus and the tradition, is a proof of the hypothesis; there is much that serves merely to explain phenomena at the basis of the hypothesis, and cannot be used as proving it. This is a matter of course. My procedure has intentionally differed from that of Graf in this respect. He brought forward his arguments somewhat unconnectedly, not seeking to change the general view which prevailed of the history of Israel. For this reason he made no impression on the majority of those who study these subjects; they did not see into the root of the matter, they could still regard the system as unshaken, and the numerous attacks on details of it as unimportant. I differ from Graf chiefly in this, that I always go back to the centralisation of the cultus, and deduce from it the particular divergences. My whole position is contained in my first chapter: there I have placed in a clear light that which is of such importance for Israelite history, namely, the part taken by the prophetical party in the great metamorphosis of the worship, which by no means came about of itself. Again I attach much more weight than Graf did to the change of ruling ideas which runs parallel with the change in the institutions and usages of worship; this has been shown mostly in the second part of the present work. Almost more important to me than the phenomena themselves, are the presuppositions which lie behind them.
Not everything that we have hitherto discussed proves, or is meant to prove, Graf's hypothesis. On the other hand, however, there is abundance of evidence, which has not yet been noticed. To discuss it all in detail, would take another book: in this work only a selection can be with all brevity indicated, if the limits are not to be transgressed which are imposed by the essentially historical character of these prolegomena. In these discussions the Pro will as a rule naturally suggest itself in the refutation of the Contra.
1. Eberhard Schrader mentions, in his Introduction to the Old Testament, that Graf assigns the legislation of the middle books of the Pentateuch to the period after the exile; but he does not give the least idea of the arguments on which that position is built up, simply dismissing it with the remark, that "even critical analysis enters its veto" against it. Even critical analysis? How does it manage that? How can it prove that the one and sole cultus, worked out on every side to a great system,
the denaturalising of the sacrifices and festivals, the distinction between the priests and Levites, and the autonomous hierarchy, are older than the Deuteronomic reform? Schrader's meaning is perhaps, that while the signs collected by a comparison of the sources as bearing on the history of worship show the order of succession to be Jehovist, Deuteronomy, Priestly Code, other signs of a more formal and literary nature would show the Priestly Code to be entitled to the first place, or at any rate not the last, and that the latter kind of evidence is of as much force as the former. Were this so, the scales would be equally balanced, and the question would not admit of a decision. But this awkward situation would only occur if the arguments of a literary nature to be urged on that side really balanced those belonging to the substance of the case which plead for Graf's hypothesis. In discussing the composition of the Hexateuch, 1 I have shown, following in the steps of other scholars, that this is by no means the case; and for the sake of completeness I will here repeat the principal points of that discussion.
2. It is asserted that the historical situation of Deuteronomy is based not only on the Jehovistic, but also on the Priestly narrative. Deuteronomy proper (chaps. xii.-xxvi.) contains scarcely any historical matter, but before Moses comes to the business in hand, we have two introductions, chap. v.-xi. and chap. i.-iv., to explain the situation in which he promulgates "this Torah" shortly before his death. We are in the Amorite kingdom, east of the Jordan, which has already been conquered. The forty years’ wanderings are about to close: the passage to the land of Canaan, for which this legislation is intended, is just approaching. Till this time, we hear in chapter v. 9, 10, the only law was that which is binding in all circumstances, and was therefore promulgated by God Himself from Horeb, the Law of the Ten Words on that occasion. The people deprecated any further direct revelation by Jehovah, and commissioned Moses to be their representative; and he accordingly betook himself to the sacred mount, stayed there forty days and forty nights, and received the two tables of the decalogue, and besides them the statutes and laws which now, forty years after, he is on the point of publishing, as they will come into force at the settlement. In the meantime the golden calf had been made down below; and when Moses descended from the mount, in his anger he broke the tables and destroyed the idol. Then he betook himself for
a second period of forty days and nights to the mount, pleaded for mercy for the people and for Aaron; and after he had made, according to divine command, two new tables and a wooden chest for them, Jehovah once more wrote down exactly what stood on the tables which were broken. On this occasion, it is remarked in x. 8 seq., the Levites received their appointment as priests.
This is evidently a reproduction of the Jehovistic narrative, Exod. xix. xx. xxiv. xxxii-xxxiv. The Priestly Code, on the contrary, is entirely ignored. Deuteronomy knows only two laws, the decalogue, which the people received, and the statutes and judgments which Moses received, at Mount Horeb. They were both given at the same time, one directly after the other: but only the decalogue had till now been made public. Where is the whole wilderness-legislation as given from the tabernacle? Is it not denying the very notion of its existence, that Moses only publishes the Torah at the passage into the Holy Land, because it has application and force for that land, and not for the wilderness? Apart from the fact that the Deuteronomist, according to chapter xii., knew nothing of a Mosaic central sanctuary, can he have read what we now read between Exodus xxiv. and xxxii.? He passes over all that is there inserted from the Priestly Code. Nöldeke finds, it is true, 1 a reminiscence of that code in the ark of acacia wood, Deut. x. 1. But the ark is here spoken of in a connection which answers exactly to that of the Jehovist (Exod. xxxii. xxxiii.), and is quite inconsistent with that, of the Priestly Code (Exod. xxv. seq.). It is only instituted after the erection of the golden calf, not at the very beginning of the divine revelation, as the foundation-stone of the theocracy. True, the ark is not mentioned in JE, Exod. xxxiii., as we now have it, but in the next Jehovistic piece (Num. x. 33) it suddenly appears, and there must have been some statement in the work as to how it came there. The tabernacle also appears ready set up in xxxiii. 7, without any foregoing account of its erection. The institution of the ark as well as the erection of the tabernacle must have been narrated between xxxiii. 6 and 7, and then omitted by the present editor of the Pentateuch from the necessity of paying some regard to Q, Exod. xxv.; that this is the case many other considerations also tend to prove. 2
That the Deuteronomist
found JE in a more complete form, before it was worked up with Q, than that in which we have it after the working up, is not such a difficult assumption that one should be driven into utter impossibilities in order to avoid it. For according to Nöldeke either the author of Deut. v.-xi. had before him the Pentateuch as it now is, and was enabled, very curiously, to sift out JE from it, or he used JE as an independent work, but read Q as well, only in such a way that his general view was in no way influenced by that of the priestly work, but on the contrary contradicts it entirely and yet unconsciously—since his work leaves no opening for a ritual legislation given side by side with the Decalogue, and that ritual legislation is the whole sum and substance of the Priestly Code. To such a dilemma are we to make up our minds, because one trait or another of the Deuteronomic narrative cannot be traced in JE as we now have it, and is preserved in Q? Does this amount, in the circumstances, to a proof that such traits were derived from that source? Must not some regard in fairness be paid to the ensemble of the question?
We may, further, remember in this connection Vatke's remark, that the wooden ark in Deut. x. 1, is by no means very similar to that of Exod. xxv., which, to judge by the analogy of the golden table and altar, must rather have been called a golden ark. It takes even more good will to regard the statement about Aaron's death and burial in Mosera and the induction of Eleazar in his place (Deut. x. 6, 7) as a reminiscence of Q (Num. xx. 22 seq.), where Aaron dies and is buried on Mount Hor. In JE also the priests Aaron and Eleazar stand by the side of Moses and Joshua (cf. Josh. xxiv. 33). The death and burial of Aaron are certainly no longer preserved in JE; but we cannot require of the editor of the Pentateuch that he should make a man die twice, once according to Q and once according to JE. And it must further be said that Deut. x. 6, 7 is an interpolation; for the following verses x. 8 seq., in which not only Aaron and Eleazar, but all the Levites are in possession of the priesthood, are the continuation of x. 5, and rest on Exod. xxxii. Here we are still in Horeb, not in Mosera.
The historical thread which runs through Deut. v. ix. x. may be traced further in chaps. i.-iv. After their departure from Horeb the
[paragraph continues] Israelites come straight to Kadesh Barnea, and from this point, being commanded to invade the hill-land of Judæa, they first send twelve spies to reconnoitre the country, guided thereto by their own prudence, but also with the approval of Moses. Caleb is one of the spies, but not Joshua. After penetrating as far as the brook Eshcol they return; and though they praise the goodness of the land, yet the people are so discouraged by their report, that they murmur and do not venture to advance. Jehovah is angry at this, and orders them to turn back to the wilderness, where they are to wander up and down till the old generation is extinct and a new one grown up. Seized with shame they advance after all, but are beaten and driven back. Now they retreat to the wilderness, where for many years they march up and down in the neighbourhood of Mount Seir, till at length, 38 years after the departure from Kadesh, they are commanded to advance towards the north, but to spare the brother-peoples of Moab and Ammon. They conquer the territory of the Amorite kings, Sihon of Heshbon and Og of Bashan. Moses assigns it to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, on condition that their army is to yield assistance in the remaining war. The continuous report comes to an end with the nomination of Joshua as future leader of the people.
This same narrative, with the addition of some scattered particulars in the Book of Deuteronomy, 1 will serve perfectly well as a thread to understand JE. What, on the contrary, is peculiar to the Priestly Code is passed over in deep silence, and from Exod. xxxiv. Deuteronomy takes us at once to Num. x. While not a few of the narratives which Deuteronomy repeats or alludes to, occur only in JE and not in Q, the converse does not occur at all. And in those narratives which are found both in JE and in Q, Deuteronomy follows, in every case in which there is a distinct divergence, the version of JE. The spies are sent out from Kadesh, not from the wilderness of Paran; they only reach Hebron, not the neighbourhood of Hamath; Caleb is one of them, and not Joshua. The rebels of Numbers xvi. are the Reubenites Dathan and Abiram, not Korah and the Levites. After the settlement in the
land east of Jordan the people have to do with Moab and Ammon, not with Midian: Balaam is connected with the former, not with the latter. The same of Baal-peor: Deut. iv. 3 agrees with JE (Num. xxv. 1-5), not with Q (Num. xxv. 6 seq.). Things being so, we cannot, with Nöldeke, see in the number of the spies (Deut. i. 23) an unmistakable sign of the influence of Q (Num. xiii. 2). Had the author read the narrative as it is now before us in Num. xiii. xiv., it would be impossible to understand how, as we have seen, the Jehovist version alone made any impression on him. He must, accordingly, have known Q as a separate work, but it is a bold step to argue from such a small particular to the use of a source which everywhere else is entirely without influence and unknown, especially as the priority of this source is by no means established on independent grounds, but is to be proved by this alleged use of it. lf there were a palpable difference between JE and Q in this point, if we could say that in Q there were twelve spies sent out, and in JE; three, the case would be different; but in Num. xiii. the beginning of the narrative of JE has been removed and that of Q put in place of it, so that we do not know how the narrative of JE began, and what number, if any, was given in it. In such a state of matters the only reasonable course is to supply what is lacking in JE from Deuteronomy, which generally follows the Jehovist alone, and to conclude that the spies were twelve in number in this source also.
The instance in which the proof would be strongest that Deuteronomy was acquainted with the narrative of the Priestly Code, is x. 22. For the seventy souls which make up the whole of Israel at the immigration into Egypt, are not mentioned in JE, and there is no gap that we are aware of in the Jehovist tradition at this point. But they are by no means in conflict with that tradition, and even should we not take Deut. x. 22 for a proof that the seventy souls found a place in it also, yet it must at least be acknowledged, that that passage is by no means sufficient to break down the evidence that the priestly legislation has the legislation of Deuteronomy for its starting-point. 1
3. As a further objection to Graf's hypothesis, the Deuteronomistic revision of the Hexateuch is brought into the field. That revision appears most clearly, it is said, in those parts which follow the Deuteronomic Torah and point back to it. It used to be taken for granted that it extends over the Priestly portions as well as the Jehovistic; but since the occasion arose to look into this point, it is found that it is not so. The traces which Nöldeke brings together on the point are trifling, and besides this do not stand the test. He says that the Deuteronomistic account of the death of Moses (Deut. xxxii. 48 seq., xxxiv. 1 seq.) cannot be regarded as anything else than an amplification of the account of the main stem (Q), which is preserved almost in the same words. But Deut. xxxiv. 1b-7 contains nothing of Q and xxxii. 48-52 has not undergone Deuteronomistic revision. He also refers to Josh. ix. 27: "Joshua made the Gibeonites at that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of Jehovah even unto this day, in the place which He should choose." The second part of this sentence, he says, is a Deuteronomistic addition to the first, which belongs to the Priestly narrative. But Nöldeke himself acknowledges that the Deuteronomistically-revised verses ix. 22 seq. are not the continuation of the priestly version 15c, 17-21, but of the Jehovistic version 15ab, 16; and between verse 16 and verse 22 there is nothing wanting but the circumstance referred to in verse 26. The phrase hewer of wood and drawer of water is not enough to warrant us to separate verse 27 from 22-26; the phrase occurs not only in verse 21 but also in JE verse 23. The words for the congregation do certainly point to the Priestly Code, but are balanced by the words which follow, for the altar of Jehovah, which is according to the Jehovistic view. The original statement is undoubtedly that the Gibeonites are assigned to the altar or the house of Jehovah. But according to Ezek. xliv. the hierodulic services in the temple were not to be undertaken by foreigners, but by Levites; hence in the Priestly Code the servants of the altar appear as servants of the congregation. From this it results that למזבח is to be preferred in verse 27 to לעדה ו, the latter being a later correction. As such it
affords a proof that the last revision of the Hexateuch proceeded from the Priestly Code, and not from Deuteronomy. As for Josh. xviii. 3-10, where Nöldeke sees in the account of the division of the land another instance of Deuteronomistic addition, I have already indicated my opinion, . The piece is Jehovistic, and if the view were to be found in the Priestly Code at all, that Joshua first allotted their territory to Judah and Ephraim, and then, a good while after, to the other seven tribes, that source must have derived such a view from JE, where alone it has its roots. 1 And lastly, Nöldeke considers Josh. xxii. to speak quite decidedly for his view; but in the narrative of the Priestly Code, xxii. 9-34, to which the verses 1-8 do not belong, there is no sign of Deuteronomistic revision to be found. 2
There is a more serious difficulty only in the case of the short chapter, Josh. xx., of which the kernel belongs to the Priestly Code, though it contains all sorts of additions which savour strongly of the Deuteronomistic revision. Kayser declares these awkward accretions to be glosses of quite a late period. This may seem to be pure tendency-criticism; but it is reinforced by the confirmation of the Septuagint, which did not find any of those alleged Deuteronomistic additions where they now are. 3
But were it the case that some probable traces of Deuteronomistic revision were actually to be found in the Priestly Code, we must still ask for an explanation of the disproportionately greater frequency of such traces in JE. Why, for example, are there none of them in the mass of laws of the middle books of the Hexateuch? This is undoubtedly and everywhere the fact, and this must dispose us a priori to attach less weight to isolated instances to the contrary: the more so, as Joshua xx. shows that the later retouchings of the canonical text often imitate the tone of the Deuteronomist.
1. I have said that in the לעדה ו of Josh. ix. 27, we have the addition of a final priestly revision. Such a revision must be assumed to have taken place, if the Priestly Code is younger than Deuteronomy. But the assumption of its existence does not depend on deduction merely: Kuenen argued for it inductively, even before he became a supporter of Graf's hypothesis. 1 This may be best demonstrated by examining the chapters Lev. xvii.-xxvi. At present they are incorporated in the Priestly Code, having undergone a revision with that view, which in some places adds little, in others a good deal. Viewed, however, as they originally were, they form a work of a peculiar character by themselves, a work pervaded by a somewhat affected religious hortatory tone, which harmonises but little with the Priestly Code. The author worked largely from earlier authorities, which explains, for example, how chap. xviii. and chap. xx. both find a place in his production. Lev. xvii.-xxvi is incomparably instructive for the knowledge it affords of literary relationships: it is a perfect compendium of the literary history of the Pentateuch. 2
As with Deuteronomy, so with this legislation; it is clear that it goes back to the Jehovistic legislation of Sinai (Exod. xx.-xxiii.) as its source. It also bears to have been given on Mount Sinai (xxv. 1, xxvi. 46). It is addressed to the people, and is popular in its contents, which are chiefly of a civic and moral character. It is meant only for the promised land and for settled life, not for the wilderness as well. The festivals are three in number, and have not quite parted with their
character as feasts of harvest. Among the sacrifices the sin-offering and the trespass-offering are wanting. The legislation does deal with the cultus to a disproportionate extent, but the directions about it do not go into technical details, and are always addressed to the people. Even in those directions which concern the priests the people are addressed, and the priests are spoken of in the third person. Nor are palpable points of contact wanting. Lev. xix. 2-8, 9-18, may be regarded as counterparts of the first and second tables of the decalogue. The precept, "Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty," xix. 15, is a development of that in Exod. xxiii. 3, and a number of other precepts in Lev. xix. could stand with equal appropriateness in Exod. xxii. 17 seq. The directions in Lev. xxii. 27-29 are similar to those of Exod. xxii. 29, xxiii. 18, 19. In the same way those of Lev. xxiv. 15-22 are based both in contents and form on Exod. xxi. 12. 1 In xxiv. 22 we notice a polemical reference to Exod. xxi. 20 seq., 26 seq. In xxv. 1-7 the whole of the expressions of Exod. xxiii. 10, 11 are repeated. In xx. 24, we have the Jehovistic phrase, "a land flowing with milk and honey."
Yet Lev. xvii.-xxvi. only takes its starting-point from the Jehovistic legislation, and modifies it very considerably, somewhat in the manner of Deuteronomy. There is a demonstrable affinity with Deuteronomy both in the ideas and in the expressions. Common to both is the care for the poor and the undefended: to both humanity is a main object of legislation. "If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him; he shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" (xix. 34).
Lev. xvii. seq. attaches great importance to unity of worship. It is still a demand, not a presupposition (xvii. 8 seq., xix. 30, xxvi. 2); the motive of it is to guard against heathen influences and to secure the establishment of a monotheism without images. 2 This is quite recognisable, and forms an important point of contact with Deuteronomy. The same contact may be observed in the prohibition of certain observances
of mourning (xix. 27 seq.), the calculation of Pentecost from the beginning of barley harvest (xxiii. 15), the seven days' duration of the feast of tabernacles, and the cheerful sacrificial feasts which are to accompany its observance. Add to this a similarity by no means slight in the colour of the language, e.g., in xviii. 1-5, 24-30, xix. 33-37, xx. 22 seq., xxv. 35 seq. Some of the phrases may be mentioned. "When ye are come into the land that I shall give you." "Ye shall rejoice before Jehovah." "I am Jehovah that brought you up out of the land of Egypt." "Ye shall keep my commandments and statutes and laws, to do them."
But the legislation we have here is further advanced than Deuteronomy. In the festivals the joint sacrifice of the congregation is already prominent (xxiii. 9-22). The priests are not the Levites, but the sons and brothers of Aaron, their income has grown materially, their separate holiness has reached a higher point. Stricter demands are also made on the laity for personal holiness, especially as regards continence from the sins of the flesh, and the marriage of relatives (Lev. xviii. xx.). Marriage with an uncle's wife is forbidden (xviii. 14, xx. 20), whereas in Deuteronomy it is still legal. The work dates from a time when exile was a familiar idea: xviii. 26 seq.: "Ye shall keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of those abominations; for the men that were in the land before you did these things, and the land vomited them out. Take care that the land spue not you out also as it spued out the nations that were before you." Similarly xx. 23 seq.: and in a legislative work such utterances prove more than they would in a prophecy. Now as our section departs from Deuteronomy, it approaches to Ezekiel. This is its closest relationship, and that to which attention has been most drawn. It appears in the peculiar fusion of cultus and morality, in the notion of holiness, in a somewhat materialistic sense, as the great requirement of religion, and in the fact that the demand of holiness is made to rest on the residence of the people near the sanctuary and in the holy land. 1 But the affinity is still more striking in the language: many unusual phrases, and even whole sentences, from Ezekiel, are repeated in Lev. xvii. seq. 2 The 10th of the 7th month is in Lev. xxv. 9 as in Ezekiel, new-year's day, not, as in the
[paragraph continues] Priestly Code, the great day of atonement. This led Graf to regard Ezekiel himself as the author of this collection of laws in Leviticus; and Colenso and Kayser followed him. But this is out of the question; notwithstanding the numerous points of contact both in linguistic and material respects, the agreement is by no means complete. Ezekiel knows no seed of Aaron, and no wine at the sacrifices (Lev. xxiii. 13); his festival legislation shows considerable differences, and in spirit is more akin to the Priestly Code. And if he were the author he would have said something about the proper place in the cultus of the Levites and of the prince.
The corpus in question, which Klostermann called, not inappropriately, the Law of Holiness, inclines from Ezekiel towards the Priestly Code: in such pieces as xvii. xxi. xxii. it takes some closeness of attention to see the differences from the latter, though in fact they are not inconsiderable. It stands between the two, somewhat nearer, no doubt, to Ezekiel. How are we to regard this fact? Jehovist, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, are a historical series; Ezekiel, Law of Holiness, Priestly Code, must also be taken as historical steps, and this in such a way as to explain at the same time the dependence of the Law of Holiness on the Jehovist and on Deuteronomy. To assume that Ezekiel, having the Pentateuch in all other respects as we have it, had a great liking for this piece of it, and made it his model in the foundation of his style of thought and expression—such an assumption does not free us from the necessity of seeking the historical order, and of assigning his natural place in that order to Ezekiel; we cannot argue on such a mere chance. Now the question is not a complicated one, whether in the Law of Holiness we are passing from the Priestly Code to Ezekiel or from Ezekiel to the Priestly Code. The Law of Holiness underwent a last revision, which represents, not the views of Ezekiel, but those of the Priestly Code, and by means of which it is incorporated in that code. This revision has not been equally incisive in all parts. Some of its corrections and supplements are very considerable, e.g., xxiii. 1-8, 23-38; xxiv. 1-14, 23. Some of them are quite unimportant, e.g., the importation of the Ohel Moed (instead of the Mikdash or the Mishkan), xvii. 4, 6, 9, xix. 21 seq.; the trespass-offering, xix. 21 seq.; the Kodesh Kodashim, xxi. 22. Only in xxv. 8 seq. is the elimination of the additions difficult. But the fact that the last edition of the Law of Holiness proceeds from the Priestly Code, is universally acknowledged.
[paragraph continues] Its importance for the literary history of Israel cannot be over-estimated. 1
2. The concluding oration, Lev. xxvi. 3-46, calls for special consideration. Earlier scholars silently assumed that this piece belonged to Lev. xvii. 1-XXVI. 2; but many critics, Nöldeke for example, now regard it as an interpolation in Leviticus of a piece which from its character should be elsewhere. At any rate the oration is composed with special reference to what precedes it. If it is not taken as a peroration, such as Exod. xxiii. 30-33, Deut. xxviii., its position in such a part of the Priestly Code is quite incomprehensible. It has, moreover, a palpable connection with the laws in xvii.-xxv. The land, and agriculture, have here the same significance for religion as in chaps. xix. xxiii. xxv.; the threat of vomiting out (xviii. 25 seq., xx. 22) is repeated here more circumstantially; the only statute actually named is that of the fallow of the seventh year (xxvi. 34, xxv. 1-7). The piece begins with the expression, which is so characteristic of the author of chapter xvii. seq. "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them," and the same phrase recurs, with slight alteration, in vers. 15 and 43. The conclusion, verse 46, is, "These are the statutes and judgments and laws which Jehovah gave, to regulate the relation between Him and Israel on Mount Sinai, by Moses." This is obviously the subscription of a preceding corpus of statutes and judgments, such as we have in, xvii. 1-xxvi. 2. Mount Sinai is mentioned also in xxv. 1 as the place of revelation.
If Lev. xxvi. is incontestably intended to form the conclusion of chaps. xvii.-xxv., it would be natural to suppose that the author of that collection was also the author of the oration. Nöldeke thinks, however, that the language differs too much from that of xvii.-xxv. Yet he is obliged to acknowledge several resemblances, and these not unimportant; while some of the differences which he adduces (Bamoth, Gillulim, Hammanim, xxvi. 30) are really examples of similarity. Rare and original words may be found in the preceding chapters also. It may
be that in chap. xxvi they are more frequent in proportion: yet this does not entitle us to say that the language generally is very original. On the contrary, it is everywhere characterised by borrowed expressions. So much of linguistic difference as actually remains is sufficiently accounted for by the difference of subject: first come laws in a dry matter-of-fact style, then prophecy in a poetical pathetic style. The idiosyncrasy of the writer has no scope in the former case, from the nature of the materials, some of which had already assumed their form before he made use of them. In the latter case he can express himself freely; and it is fair that this should not be overlooked.
The arguments brought forward by Nöldeke against the probability that Lev. xxvi. belongs to chaps. xvii.-xxv. and is not merely tacked on to them, disappear completely on a closer comparison of the literary character of the two pieces. Chap. xxvi. reminds us most strongly of Ezekiel's style, both in thought and language. The most significant passage is Lev. xxvi. 39. The threat has been uttered that Israel is to be destroyed as a people, and that the remnant which escapes the destroying sword of the enemy is to be carried into exile, to sink under the weight of past calamity and present affliction. Then the speech goes on: "And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ land; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away. Then they will confess their own sin and the sin of their fathers." In Ezekiel, this confession actually occurs in the mouth of one of his fellow-exiles: they say (xxxiii. 10), "Our transgressions and our sins are heavy upon us, and we pine away in them, and cannot live." In the same strain the prophet says (xxiv. 23) that in his dull sorrow for the death of his wife he will be an emblem of the people: "ye shall not mourn nor weep, but ye shall pine away in your iniquities."
Nor are the other traits wanting in the oration which, as we say, accompanied the Ezekielic colouring of the preceding chapters. We do not expect to find traces of the influence of the Jehovist legislation (further than that Exod. xxiii. 20 seq. formed the model both for Deut. xxviii. and Lev. xxvi.); but to make up for this we find very distinct marks of the influence of the prophets, the older prophets too, as Amos (verse 31). We can as little conceive the existence of the Book of Ezekiel as of this chapter without the prophetic literature having preceded it and laid the foundation for it.
As for the relation to Deuteronomy, the resemblance of Lev. xxvi.
to Deut. xxviii. is very great, in the arrangement as well as in the ideas. True, there are not many verbal coincidences, but the few which do occur are important. The expressions of xxvi. 16 occur nowhere in the Old Testament but in Deut. xxviii. 22, 65: similarly ראשנים with the meaning it has in verse 45 only occurs in Deut. xix. 14 and in the later literature (Isaiah lxi. 6). The metaphor of the uncircumcised heart (verse 41) only occurs in one other passage in the law, in Deuteronomy; the other instances of it are in prophecy, of contemporary or later date (Jer. iv. 4, ix. 24, 25, Ezek. xliv. 7, 9). There are several more reminiscences of Jeremiah, most of them, however, not very distinct. We may remark on the relation between Jer. xvi. 18 in one respect to verse 30, and in another to verse 18 of our chapter. Here the sin is punished sevenfold, in Jeremiah double. The same is said in Isa. xl. 2, lx. 7; and our chapter has also in common with this prophet the remarkable use of רעה (with sin or trespass as object). Did not the chapter stand in Leviticus, it would, doubtless, be held to be a reproduction, some small part of it of the older prophecies, the most of it of those of Jeremiah and Ezekiel: Lev. xxvi. 34 is actually quoted in 2 Chron. xxxvi 22 as a word of the prophet Jeremiah.
Lev. xxvi. has points of contact, finally, with the Priestly Code, in פרה ורבה, הקים ברית, התודה, אבי, (never אבכי), in the excessive use of the accusative participle and avoidance of verbal suffixes, and in its preferring the colourless נתן to verbs of more special meaning.
The only reason for the attempt to separate Lev. xxvi. from xvii.-xxv. lies in the fact, that the exilic or post-exilic origin of this hortatory and denunciatory oration is too plain to be mistaken. To us, this circumstance can only prove that it belongs to xvii.-xxv., providing a weighty confirmation of the opinion we have already formed on other grounds as to the period which produced these laws. "If ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me, then I will also walk contrary to you in fury; and I will chastise you seven times for your sins. Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons and daughters, and I will destroy your high places, and cast down your sun-pillars' and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and 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 your enemies who settle therein shall be astonished at it; and I will scatter you
among the peoples, and will draw out the sword after you, and your land shall be desolate and your cities ruins. Then shall the land pay her sabbaths all the years of the desolation when you are in your enemies’ land: even then shall the land rest and pay her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall make up the celebration of the sabbaths which it did not celebrate as long as you dwelt in it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies, and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them, and they shall flee as fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another as it were before a sword when none pursueth, and there shall be no stopping in the flight before your enemies. And ye shall lose yourselves among the peoples, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands, and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away. And they shall confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in regard to their unfaithfulness which they committed against me, and that because they have walked contrary to me, I also walk contrary to them, and bring them into the land of their enemies. Then their uncircumcised heart is humbled, and then they pay their penalty, and I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham, and I remember the land. The land also, left by them, pays its sabbaths, while she lieth without inhabitant and waste, and they themselves pay the penalty of their iniquity because, even because, they despised my judgments, and their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I have not rejected them, neither have I abhorred them to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am Jehovah their God. And I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the peoples, that I might be their God: I am Jehovah" (xxvi. 27-45).
These words undoubtedly cannot have been written before the Babylonian exile. It is said that the Assyrian exile will explain the passage: but where is there any similarity between the oration before us and the old genuine Isaiah? In Ezekiel's day such thoughts, feelings, and expressions as we have here can be shown to have prevailed: but it would be difficult to show that the fall of Samaria gave rise to such
depression at Jerusalem: and Lev. xxvi. was not written outside Jerusalem, for it presupposes unity of worship. The Jews are addressed here, as in Deut. xxix., xxx., and they had no such lively feeling of solidarity with the deported Israelites as to think of them in connection with such threats. I even think it certain that the writer lived either towards the end of the Babylonian exile or after it, since at the close of the oration he turns his eyes to the restoration. In such prophets as Jeremiah and Ezekiel there is a meaning in such forecasting of the joyful future but here it contradicts both the historical position and the object of the threats, and appears to be explained most naturally as the result of an accident, i.e., of actuality. That in a comparison of Lev. xxvi. with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the former cannot claim priority, appears distinctly from the comparative use of the phrase uncircumcised heart. That phrase originates in Jeremiah (iv. 4, ix. 24 seq.), but in Lev. xxvi. it is used as a well-known set term. In the same way the phrase pine away in their iniquity is repeated by Ezekiel as he heard it in the mouth of the people. He is its originator in literature; in Lev. xxvi. it is borrowed. 1
The criticism of Lev. xvii. seq. leads us to the result, that a collection of laws which took form during the period of the exile was received into the Priestly Code, and there clothed with fresh life. We need not then tremble at Schrader's threatening us with "critical analysis," and Graf's hypothesis will not be thereby overturned.
3. Two or three further important traces of the final priestly revision of the Hexateuch may here find mention. In the story of the flood the verses vii. 6-9 are an editorial addition, with the object of removing a contradiction between JE and Q; it shares the ideas and speaks the language of the Priestly Code. In the title of Deuteronomy the verse, "It came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh (עשתי) month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel according to all that Jehovah had given him in commandment
unto them" (i. 3) is shown by the most undoubted signs to belong to the Priestly Code, and is intended to incorporate Deuteronomy in that work. We have already shown that the Priestly Code in the Book of Joshua is simply a filling-up of the Jehovistic-Deuteronomistic narrative.
That the Priestly Code consists of elements of two kinds, first of an independent stem, the Book of the Four Covenants (Q), and second, of innumerable additions and supplements which attach themselves principally to the Book of the Four Covenants, but not to it alone, and indeed to the whole of the Hexateuch—this assertion has not, strange to say, met with the opposition which might have been expected. Ryssel has even seen in the twofold nature of the Priestly Code a means to maintain the position of the Book of the Four Covenants before the exile: he sacrifices the additions, and places the necessary interval between them and the main body of the work. He thinks the close affinity between the two parts is sufficiently explained by the supposition that they both issued from the same circle, that of the priesthood of Jerusalem. Were it the case that the temple of Jerusalem was as autonomous and as solely legitimate in the days of Solomon as in those of the foreign domination, that the priests had as much to say under Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Josiah as after the exile, if it were allowable to represent them according as it suits one's views, and not according to the historical evidence, if, in short, there were no Israelite history at all, such an explanation might be allowed to stand. The secondary part of the Priestly Code of necessity draws the primary part with it. The similarity in matter and in form, the perfect agreement in tendencies and ideas, in expressions and ways of putting things, all compel us to think that the whole, if not a literary, is yet a historical, unity.
It has lately been the fashion to regard the language of the Priestly Code as an insuperable barrier to the destructive efforts of tendency criticism. But it is unfortunate that this veto of language is left as destitute of detailed proof, by Delitzsch, Riehm, and Dillmann, as the veto of critical analysis by Schrader; and we cannot be called upon to show proof against a contention which is unsupported by evidence. But I take advantage of the opportunity to communicate some detached observations, which I may perhaps remark did not occur to me in
connection with the investigation of the Pentateuch, but on a quite different occasion. In the passage 2 Sam. vi. 12 I was exceedingly struck with לעמת, and not less with ברא in the two passages Isa. iv. 5, Amos iv. 13, and while following out the distribution of these two words I came on the traces of similar phenomena.
The language of the pre-exilic historical books is in general much akin to that of the Jehovistic work; that of the Priestly Code, on the contrary, is quite different. It is common enough to interpret this fact, as if the latter belonged to an earlier period. But not to mention that in that case the Code must have been entirely without influence on the history of the language, it agrees ill with this view, that on going back to the oldest documents preserved to us of the historical literature of the Hebrews we find the difference increasing rather than diminishing. Take Judges v. and 2 Sam. i.; the poetical pieces in JE may be compared with them, but in Q there is nothing like them. And on the other hand, it is in the narratives which were introduced very late into the history, such as Judges xix.-xxi.; 1 Sam. vii. viii. x. 17 seq. xii.; 1 Kings xiii., and the apocryphal additions in 1 Kings vi.-viii. that we recognise most readily some linguistic approximation to the Priestly Code. And as in the historical so also in the prophetical literature. The speech of Amos, Isaiah, Micah, answers on the whole to that of the Jehovist, not to that of the priestly author.
Deuteronomy and the Book of Jeremiah first agree with the Priestly Code in certain important expressions. In Ezekiel such expressions are much more numerous, and the agreement is by no means with Lev. xvii.-xxvi. alone. 1 In the subsequent post-exilic prophets down to Malachi the points of contact are limited to details, but do not cease to occur; they occur also in the Psalms and in Ecclesiastes. Reminiscences of the Priestly Code are found nowhere but in the Chronicles and some of the Psalms. For that Amos iv. 11 is borrowed from Gen. xix. 29 is not a whit more clear than that the original of Amos i. 2 must be sought in Joel iv. 19 [iii. 16].
The Priestly Code maintains its isolated literary character as against the later literature also. This is the result partly of the use of a number of technical terms, partly of the incessant repetition of the same formulæ,
and of its great poverty of language. But if we neglect what is due to the stiff and hard idiosyncrasy of the author, it is undoubtedly the case that he makes use of a whole series of characteristic expressions which are not found before the exile, but gradually emerge and come into use after it. The fact is not even denied, it is merely put aside. To show what weight is due to it we may find room here for a short statement of the interesting points for the history of language to be found in Gen. i.
Gen. i. 1, ראשית means in the older Hebrew, not the commencement of a process which goes forward in time, but the first (and generally the best) part of a thing. In the sense of a beginning in time, as the contrary to אחרית, it is first found in a passage of Deut., xi. 12; then in the titles in the Book of Jeremiah, xxvi. 1, xxvii. 1, xxviii. 1, xlix. 34, and in Isa. xlvi. 10, and lastly in the Hagiographa, Job viii. 7, xlii. 12; Pr. xvii. 14; Eccles. vii. 8. In Gen. x. 10 ראשית ממלכתו has a different meaning from that in Jer. xxvi. 1 in the one it is the principal part of the kingdom; in the other it is the beginning of the reign. In the beginning was in the early time, if absolute, בָראשנה, בַתּחלה; if relative, בתחלת תחלת. 1
We have already spoken of the word ברא, a word remarkable for its specific theological import. Apart from Amos iv. 13 and Isa. iv. 5 it is first found outside the Priestly Code in the Deuteronomist in Exod. xxxiv. 10, Num. xvi. 30 (?), Deut. iv. 32, and in the Book of Jeremiah, xxxi. 22: then in Ezek. xxi. 35, xxviii. 13, 15; Mal. ii. 10; in Psalms li. 12, lxxxix. 13, 48, cii. 19, civ. 30, cxlviii. 5; Eccles. xii. 1. It occurs, however, most frequently, 20 times in fact, in Isa. xl.-lxvi.; and curiously enough, never in Job, where we should expect to find it. It has nothing to do with בֵרֵא (cut down wood) and בריא (fat). 2
Gen. i. 2, תהו ובהו occurs also in Jeremiah iv. 23; Isa. xxxiv. 11. תהו alone is not so rare, but it also occurs, Isaiah xxix. 21 excepted, only in the later literature Deut. xxxii. 10; 1 Sam. xii. 21; Isa. xxiv. 10, xl. 17, 23, xli. 29, xliv. 9, xlv. 18 seq., xlix. 4, lix. 4; Job vi. 18, xii. 24, xxvi. 7; Ps. cvii. 40. The verb רחף (brood), which is common in Aramaic, only recurs in a single passage in the Old Testament, and that a late one, Deut. xxxii. 11. Yet the possibility must be conceded that there was no occasion for its more frequent employment.
Gen. i. 4, הבדיל and נבדל (divide and divide one's self), common in the Priestly Code, is first used by Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomist (Deut. iv. 41, x. 8, xix. 7, xxix. 10; 1 Kings viii. 53), then by Ezekiel (xxii. 26, xxxix. 14, xlii. 10) and the author of Isa. xl. seq. (lvi. 3, lix. 2). It is most used by the writer of Chronicles, (1 Chron. xii. 8, xxiii. 13, xxv. 1; 2 Chron. xxv. 10; Ezra vi. 21, viii. 24, ix. 1, x. 8, 11, 16; Neh. x. 2, 29, xiii. 3). On יום אחד Gen. i. 5 compare Josephus, Antiq. I. i. 1: "That now would be the first day, but Moses says one day; I could give the reason of this here, but as I have promised (in the Introduction) to give such reasons for everything in a separate work, I shall defer the exposition till then." The Rabbis also, in Genesis Rabba, feel the difficulty of the expression, which, however, has its parallel in the אחד לחדש, which belongs to the later way of speaking. In Syriac the ordinary expression is חד בשבא; hence in the New Testament μία σαββάτων for the first day of the week.
Gen. i. 6, רקיע (firmament) is found, outside the Priestly Code, only in Ezek. (i. 22-26, x. 1), and in still later writers; Ps. xix. 2, cl. 1; Dan. xii. 3; cf. Job xxxviii. 18. 1 Gen. i. 10 ימים (the sea, singular, see i. 22; Lev. xi. 9, 10), is rare in older times, and belongs to lofty poetical language; it is, on the contrary, frequent in Ezekiel (ten times), and in the Psalms (seven times); and occurs besides in Job vi. 3; Neh.
ix. 6; Jon. ii. 4; Dan. xi. 45. Gen. i. 11 מין (kind), a very peculiar word, especially in the form Jeminehu, is found outside of this chapter and Lev. xiv., Gen. vi. 20, vii. 14, only in Deut. xiv. and Ezek. xlvii. 10.
Gen. i. 26, דמות (likeness, verses 1, 3) does not occur in the earlier literature. It first appears in 2 Kings xvi. 10, in a post-Deuteronomic passage, for the writer is that of chapter xi. seq., xxi. seq. Then in Ezekiel (15 times), Isa. xiii. 4, xl. 18; 2 Chron. iv. 3; Ps. lxviii. 5. It is a borrowed word from Aramaic; and the corresponding verb only came into use in the period when Aramaic began to find its way in.
Gen. i. 27 זָכָר (male) is in earlier times זָכוּר; for this is the vocalization in Exod. xxiii. 17, xxxiv. 23; Deut. xvi. 16, xx. 13; and if it is right in these passages, as we cannot doubt it is, it must be introduced in Exod. xxxiv. 19; Deut. xv. 19; 1 Kings xi. 15 seq. as well. In the Priestly Code זָכָר occurs with great frequency, and elsewhere only in the later literature, Deut. iv. 16; Jer. xx. 15, xxx. 6; Ezek. xvi. 17; Isa. lxvi. 7; Mal. i. 14; Judges xxi. 11, 12; 2 Chron. xxxi. 16; Ezra viii. As for נקבה (female), matters are even worse. Outside the Priestly Code it is only found in Jeremiah (xxxi. 22) and the Deuteronomist (iv. 16). The Jehovist, it is well known, always says איש, ואשה even of the lower animals: the editor of the Hexateuch, on the contrary, always follows the usage of the Priestly Code.
Gen. i. 28 חיח הרמשת attracts attention by the omission of the article with the substantive and its being merely prefixed to the following adjective; as if one should say in Greek, ἀνὴρ ὁ ἀγαθός instead of ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός. In the same way i. 21 יום הששי, and ii. 3 יום השביעו. In Arabic there are some analogies for this, but on seeking one in Hebrew we have to come down to the period when it was usual to say כנסת הגדולה, כבש and רדה are Aramaisms. In כבשוה we find the only verbal suffix in Gen. i. Instead we have always the forms אתם אתו; this is so in the Priestly Code generally. In the Jehovistic main work, in J, these substitutes with את are only used sometimes and for special reasons: it may be generally asserted that they are more used the later we come down. Parallel with this is the use of אנכי in J and אני in the Priestly Code; the latter form grows always more frequent in later times.
These remarks carry us beyond Gen. i.; for the Priestly Code generally I am now able to refer to F. Giesebrecht's essay on the criticism of the Hexateuch. Such words as קרבן, עצם, לעמת, עשתי are each,
by itself, strong arguments for assuming a late date for the production of the Priestly Code. We cannot believe that such everyday words should never have come into use in the other literature before the exile, if they were in existence. They cannot be counted technical terms: קרבן used in Hebrew for sacrifice and offering is simply as if an English writer should say priere instead of worship. In such comparisons of the vocabulary we have, however, to consider first the working up and revision which has been at work in every part of the books of the Bible, and secondly the caprice of the writers in apparent trifles, such as אנכי and אני, especially outside the Pentateuch. These two agencies have so dislocated the original facts in this matter, that in general we can only deal in proportions, and must be content with showing that a word occurs say 3 times in the other literature and 27 times in an equal extent of the later. 1
2. The study of the history of language is still at a very elementary stage in Hebrew. In that which pertains to the lexicographer it would do well to include in its scope the proper names of the Old Testament; when it would probably appear that not only Parnach (Num. xxxiv. 25) but also composite names such as Peda-zur, Peda-el, Nathana-el, Pazi-el, Eli-asaph, point less to the Mosaic than to the Persian period, and have their analogies in the Chronicles. On the other hand, the prepositions and particles would have to be examined the use of the prepositions Beth and Lamed in the Priestly Code is very peculiar. That would lead further, to syntax; or better still, to rhetoric and style—a difficult and little cultivated field of study, but one of great importance and lending itself readily to comparative treatment. This treatment yields the most far-reaching results in the case of those parallels which have an undoubted and direct relation to each other. The dependence of the Priestly Code on the Jehovist cannot be more strikingly demonstrated than by comparing its צדיק בדרתיו, Gen. vi. 9, with the צדיק בדור הזה, of Gen. vii. 1 (JE.). The plural דרות is quite on a line with the מינום, and the עמי הארץ, of the Rabbis, and the σπέρματα of Gal. iii. 15; it does not
denote the successive generations, but contemporaries, the contemporaneous individuals of one and the same generation.
From words we are brought back to things again by noting that the age of the word depends in many cases on the introduction of the thing. The name בתר in the Song of Songs, for example, presupposes the cultivation of the malobathron in Syria and Palestine. The Priestly Code enumerates colours, stuffs, goldsmiths’ work and jewels, which nowhere occur in the older literature: along with the Book of Ezekiel it is the principal quarry in the Old Testament for the history of art; and this is the less likely to be due to chance, as the geographical horizon of the two works is also the same. There is also some contact in this respect, though to a less degree, between the Priestly Code and Isa. xl.-lxvi., and this must doubtless receive a historical explanation in the circumstances of the Babylonian age. 1
366:1 Cf. p. 50, 149 seq. 161 seq. 254 seq. This is the reason why the strata of the tradition require to be compared as carefully as those of the law.
366:2 Comp. p. 76 seq. 103 seq.
366:3 The method is stated in the introduction (1 seq.): and special pains are taken to bring it out distinctly in the first chapter, that about the place of worship.
367:1 And it would not be surprising when we consider the whole character of the polemic against Graf's hypothesis, if the next objection should be the very opposite of the above, viz. that it is not able to construct the history.
369:1 Jahrb. Deutsche Theol., 1876, p. 392 seq., 531 seq.; 1877, p. 407 seq.
370:1 Jahrbb. für prot. Theologie, 1875, p. 350.
370:2 Without the ark there is no use of the tabernacle, and the distinction in Exod. xxxiii. which is treated as one of importance, between the representation (Mal’ak) of p. 371 Jehovah and Jehovah Himself, has no meaning. By making an image the Israelites showed that they could not do without a sensible representation of the Deity, and Jehovah therefore gave them the ark instead of the calf.
372:1 Appointment of judges and wardens שומרים = peace-officials, who, according to xx. 9, are in war replaced by the captains), i. 9-18, Taberah, Massah, Kibroth Taavah (ix. 22), Dathan and Abiram (xi. 6), Balaam (xxiii. 5), Baal-peor (iv. 3). Only the Jehovist narrative of Numbers xii. seems to be nowhere referred to. In Deut. i. 9-18 the scene is still at Horeb, but this passage shows acquaintance with Num. xi. and uses both versions for a new and somewhat different one.
373:1 Nöldeke frequently argues from such numbers as 12 and 70, as if they only occurred in Q. But that is not the case. As Q in the beginning of Genesis has groups of 10, JE has groups of 7; 12 and 40 occur in JE as frequently as in Q, and 70 not less frequently. It is therefore surprising to find the story of the 12 springs of water and the 70 palm-trees of Elim ascribed to Q for no other reason than because of the 12 and the 70. Not even the statements of the age of the patriarchs—except so far as they serve the chronological system—are a certain mark of Q: compare Gen. xxxi. 18, xxxvii. 2, xli. 26, l. 26; Deut. xxxiv. 7; Josh. xxiv. 29. Only the names of the 12 spies and the 70 souls are incontestably the property of the Priestly Code, but it is by no means difficult to show (especially in Gen. xlvi. 8-27) that they are far less original than the figures. The numbers are round numbers, and in fact do not admit of such a recital of the items of which they are made up.
375:1 Jahrbb. für Deutsche Theol., 1876, p. 596 seq.
375:2 Joh. Hollenberg in Stud. und Krit., 1874, p. 462 seq.
375:3 Aug. Kayser, Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichte Israels (Strassburg, 1874), p. 147, seq.; Joh. Hollenberg, der Character der Alex. Uebersetzung des B. Josua (Programm des Gymn. zu Mörs, 1876), p. 15.
376:1 Historisch-Kritisch Onderzoek I. (Leyden, 1861), p. 165; the reviser of the Pentateuch must be sought in the same circles in which the Book of Origins (Q) arose and was gradually extended and modified, i.e., among the priests of Jerusalem, p. 194; it is generally thought that the Deuteronomist is the reviser of the whole Book of Joshua, but his hand is not to be traced everywhere,—not, for example, in the priestly sections; the last reviser is to be distinguished from the Deuteronomist. In certain narratives of Numbers and Joshua, Kuenen detected very considerable additions by the last reviser, and the results of his investigation have now been published in the first part of the second edition of his great isagogic work (Leyden, 1885).
376:2 Compare Jahrbb. für Deutsche Theol., 1877, p. 422-444, especially on the elimination of the additions of the reviser. In the present discussion I shall not take these into account. In chapter xxiii., for example, I only take account of verses 9-22, 39-44, in chapter xxiv. only of vers. 15-22.
377:1 Compare xxiv. 15 seq. with Exod. xxii. 27 (xxi. 17); xxiv. 18 with Exod. xxi. 28 seq.; xxiv. 19, 20 with Exod. xxi. 33, 34; xxiv. 21 with Exod. xxi. 28 seq.
377:2 xvii. 7 (cf. 2 Chron. xi. 15), xviii. 21, xix. 4, 19, 26, 29, 31, xx. 2 seq. 6, xxvi. 1, 30. With regard to the date we have to note the stern prohibition of the service of Moloch. On Lev. xvii. see above, p. 376.
378:1 On Lev. xxii. 24, 25, compare Kuenen's Hibbert Lectures.
378:2 Compare Colenso, Pentateuch and Joshua, vi. p. 3-23. Kayser, op. cit. p. 177-179. Smend on Ezekiel, p. xxv.
380:1 L. Horst, in his discussion on Lev. xvii.-xxxi, and Ezekiel (Colmar, 1881), has strikingly shown that the mechanical style of criticism in which Dillmann even surpasses his predecessor Knobel, is not equal to the problem presented by the Law of Holiness. He goes on, however, to an attempt to save, by modifying it, the old Strassburg view of Ezekiel's authorship; and as Kuenen justly remarks, he makes ship-wreck on Lev. xxvi. (Theol. Tijdschr. 1882, p. 646). Cf. p. 384 note.
384:1 Horst tries to find a place for Lev. xxvi. in the last years of king Zedekiah (op. cit. p. 65, 66), but in this he is merely working out his theory that the author was the youthful Ezekiel; and the theory is sufficiently condemned if it leads to this consequence. Delitzsch (Zeitschr. für Kirchl. Wissench. 1880, p. 619) thinks it a piece of impertinence in me to read out of Ezekiel xxxiii. what that passage says. On Deut. x. 16, xxx. 6, and generally on the color Hieremianus in Deuteronomy, see Jahrb. für D. Theol., 1877, p. 464.
386:1 Especially noticeable is פאת נגב תימנה in Ezekiel and the Priestly Code. In the latter Negeb, even when it refers to the actual Negeb, yet is used as denoting south (Num. xxxiv. 3, xxv. 2-4), i.e., it has completely lost its original meaning.
387:1 The vocalisation בֵראשית is very curious: we should expect בָראשׁית. It has been attempted to do justice to it by translating: "In the beginning, when God created heaven and earth—but the earth was without form and void, and darkness lay upon the deep, and the spirit of God brooded over the water—then God spake: Let there be light." But this translation is desperate, and certainly not that followed by the punctuators, for the Jewish tradition (Septuagint, Aquila, Onkelos) is unanimous in translating: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." In Aramaic, on the contrary, such adverbs take, as is well known, the form of the status constructus. Cf. רבת Psalm lxvv. 10, cxx. 6.
387:2 I do not speak of the use of Elohim and the application of the names of God in the Priestly Code: the matter is not yet clear to me. Very curious is תשם, Lev. xxiv. 11.
388:1 It does not mean, as is generally assumed, that which is beaten out thin, is stretched out. For, firstly, the heaven is never considered to be made of sheet-metal; secondly, the meaning in question only belongs to the Piel, and the substantive derived from it is רֵקֻּעק. The Kal, with which רקיע must be connected, is found in Isa. xiii. 5, xliv. 24; Ps. cxxxvi. 6. It is generally translated spread out, but quite unwarrantably. Parallel with it are יסד and כזנן (compare Ps. xxiv. 2 with cxxxvi. 6); the Septuagint translates in all three passages with στερεοῦν, and accordingly renders רקיע with στερέωμα (firmamentum). This rendering, which alone is supported by tradition, and which is very satisfactory, is confirmed by the Syriac, where the verb רקע is frequent in the sense of fortify.
390:1 Too much importance must not be attached to Aramaisms: even when they admit of clear demonstration they prove little while occurring merely in single instances. We early find remarkable phenomena, such as נדר for נזר (hence נזיר = vovens), נטר for נצר (Amos i. 11, ימר for ימרפ?), comp. Arabic lata for laisa, Sur. 38, 2. Hudh. 84, 1. And yet such an Aramaism as נת שּנתה in Num. xv. 27, or even קרבן, is very remarkable.
391:1 On Canticles cf. Schürer's Theol. Lit. Z., 1879, p. 31. It also, by the names of plants and similar details mentioned in it, is an important source for the history of external civilisation. In Isa. liv. 11, read with the Sept. נפךְ instead of the meaningless פוךְ, and אדניך instead of אבניך.