Prolegomena to the History of Israel
Julius Wellhausen

Part 2 out of 13

the innocent who are pursued by the avenger of blood; when he
provides for the priests of the suppressed sanctuaries,
recommending the provincials to take them along with them on their
sacrificial pilgrimages, and giving them the right to officiate in
the temple at Jerusalem just like the hereditarily permanent
clergy there. In other respects also the dominance of the same
point of view is seen: for example, it is chiefly from regard to
it that the old ordinances and customs relating to the religious
dues and the festivals are set forth in the form which they must
henceforth assume. A law so living, which stands at every point
in immediate contact with reality, which is at war with
traditionary custom, and which proceeds with constant reference to
the demands of practical life, is no mere velleity, no mere cobweb
of an idle brain, but has as certainly arisen out of historical
occasions as it is designed to operate powerfully on the course of
the subsequent history. A judgment pronounced in accordance with
the facts can therefore assign to it an historical place only
within that movement of reformation which was brought to a
victorious issue by King Josiah.

I.II.3. It is often supposed that the Priestly Code is somewhat
indifferent to the question of the one sanctuary, neither
permitting multiplicity of sacrificial centres nor laying stress
upon the unity, and that on account of this attitude it must be
assigned to an earlier date than Deuteronomy. /1/

1. De Wette, in the fifth place of his Habilitationsschrift ueber
das Deuteronomium (Jena, 1805): "De hoc unico cultus sacri loco...
priores libri nihil omnino habent. De sacrificiis tantum unice
ante tabernaculum conventus offerendis lex quaedam extat.
Sed in legibus de diebus festis, de primitiis et decimis,
tam saepe repetitis, nihil omnino monitum est de loco unico,
ubi celebrari et offerri debeant " (Opusc. Theol, p. 163-165).

Such an idea is, to say the least, in the highest degree superficial.
The assumption that worship is restricted to one single centre
runs everywhere throughout the entire document. To appeal specially,
in proof of the restriction, to Leviticus xvii. or Josh xxii., is
to indicate a complete failure to apprehend the whole tenor
of Exodus xxv.-Leviticus ix. Before so much as a single regulation
having reference to the matter of worship can be given (such is
the meaning of the large section referred to), the one rightful place
wherein to engage in it must be specified. The tabernacle is
not narrative merely, but, like all the narratives in that book,
law as well; it expresses the legal unity of the worship as
an historical fact, which, from the very beginning, ever since
the exodus, has held good in Israel. One God one sanctuary,
that is the idea. With the ordinances of the tabernacle, which form
the sum of the divine revelation on Sinai, the theocracy was founded;
where the one is, there is the other. The description of it, therefore,
stands at the head of the Priestly Code, just as that of the temple
stands at the head of the legislation in Ezekiel. It is the basis
and indispensable foundation, without which all else would merely
float in the air: first must the seat of the Divine Presence on
earth be given before the sacred community can come into life and
the cultus into force. Is it supposes that the tabernacle
tolerates other sanctuaries besides itself? Why then the
encampment of the twelve tribes around it, which has no military,
but a purely religious significance, and derives its whole meaning
from its sacred centre? Whence this concentration of all Israel
into one great congregation [ QHL, (DH ], without its like anywhere
else in the Old Testament? On the contrary, there is no other
place besides this at which God dwells and suffers Himself to be
seen; no place but this alone where man can draw near to Him and
seek His face with offerings and gifts. This view is the axiom
that underlies the whole ritual legislation of the middle part of
the Pentateuch. It is indicated with special clearness by the
LPNY (HL MW(D (before the tabernacle), introduced at every turn
in the ordinances for sacrifice.

What then are we to infer from this as to the historical place of
the Priestly Code, if it be judged necessary to assign it such a
place at all? By all the laws of logic it can no more belong to
the first period than Deuteronomy does. But is it older or
younger than Deuteronomy? In that book the unity of the cultus is
COMMANDED, in the Priestly Code it is PRESUPPOSED. Everywhere it
is tacitly assumed as a fundamental postulate, but nowhere does it
find actual expression; /1/ it is nothing new, but quite a thing

1. Except in Leviticus xvii.; but the small body of legislation
contained in Leviticus xvii-xxvi is the transition from Deuteronomy
to the Priestly Code.

of course. What follows from this for the question before us?
To my thinking, this:--that the Priestly Code rests
upon the result which is only the aim of Deuteronomy. The latter
is in the midst of movement and conflict: it clearly speaks out
its reforming intention, its opposition to the traditional "what we
do here this day;" the former stands outside of and above the
struggle,--the end has been reached and made a secure possession.
On the basis of the Priestly Code no reformation would ever have
taken place, no Josiah would ever have observed from it that the
actual condition of affairs was perverse and required to be set
right; it proceeds as if everything had been for long in the best
of order. It is only in Deuteronomy, moreover, that one sees to
the root of the matter, and recognises its connection with the
anxiety for a strict monotheism and for the elimination from the
worship of the popular heathenish elements, and thus with a deep
and really worthy aim; in the Priestly Code the reason of the
appointments, in themselves by no means rational, rests upon their
own legitimacy, just as everything that is actual ordinarily seems
natural and in no need of explanation. Nowhere does it become
apparent that the abolition of the Bamoth and Asherim and memorial
stones is the real object contemplated; these institutions are
now almost unknown, and what is really only intelligible as a
negative and polemical ordinance is regarded as full of meaning in

The idea as idea is older than the idea as history. In
Deuteronomy it appears in its native colours, comes forward with
its aggressive challenge to do battle with the actual. One step
indeed is taken towards investing it with an historical character,
in so far as it is put into the mouth of Moses; but the beginning
thus made keeps within modest limits. Moses only lays down the
law; for its execution he makes no provision as regards his own
time, nor does he demand it for the immediate future. Rather it is
represented as not destined to come into force until the people
shall have concluded the conquest of the country and secured a
settled peace. We have already found reason to surmise that the
reference to "menuha" is intended to defer the date when the Law
shall come into force to the days of David and Solomon (1Kings
viii.16). This is all the more probable inasmuch as there is
required for its fulfilment "the place which Jehovah shall choose,"
by which only the capital of Judah can be meant. Deuteronomy,
therefore, knows nothing of the principle that what ought to be
must actually have been from the beginning. Until the building of
Solomon's temple the unity of worship according to it had,
properly speaking, never had any existence; and, moreover, it is
easy to read between the lines that even after that date it was
more a pious wish than a practical demand. The Priestly Code, on
the other hand, is unable to think of religion without the one
sanctuary, and cannot for a moment imagine Israel without it,
carrying its actual existence back to the very beginning of the
theocracy, and, in accordance with this, completely altering the
ancient history. The temple, the focus to which the worship was
concentrated, and which in reality was not built until Solomon's
time, is by this document regarded as so indispensable, even for
the troubled days of the wanderings before the settlement, that it
is made portable, and in the form of a tabernacle set up in the
very beginning of things. For the truth is, that the tabernacle
is the copy, not the prototype, of the temple at Jerusalem. The
resemblance of the two is indeed unmistakable, /1/

1. In Wisdom of Solomon ix. 8 the temple is called MIMHMA SKHNHS
HAGIAS. Josephus (Antiquities iii. 6,1) says of the tabernacle,

but it is not said in 1Kings vi. that Solomon made use of the old
pattern and ordered his Tyrian workmen to follow it. The posteriority
of the Mosaic structure comes into clearer light from the two following
considerations brought forward by Graf (p. 60 seq.). In the first
place, in the description of the tabernacle mention is repeatedly
made of its south, north, and west side, without any preceding rubric
as to a definite and constantly uniform orientation; the latter is
tacitly taken for granted, being borrowed from that of the temple,
which was a fixed building, and did not change its site. In the
second place, the brazen altar is, strictly speaking, described as
an altar of wood merely plated with brass,--for a fireplace of
very large size, upon which a strong fire continually burns, a
perfectly absurd construction, which is only to be accounted for
by the wish to make the brazen altar which Solomon cast (1Kings
xvi. 14) transportable, by changing its interior into wood. The
main point, however, is this, that the tabernacle of the Priestly
Code in its essential meaning is not a mere provisional shelter for
the ark on the march, but the sole legitimate sanctuary for the
community of the twelve tribes prior to the days of Solomon, and
so in fact a projection of the later temple. How modest, one might
almost say how awkwardly bashful, is the Deuteronomic reference
to the future place which Jehovah is to choose when compared with
this calm matter-of-fact assumption that the necessary centre of
unity of worship was given from the first! In the one case we
have, so to speak, only the idea as it exists in the mind of the
lawgiver, but making no claim to be realised till a much later
date; in the other, the Mosaic idea has acquired also a Mosaic
embodiment, with which it entered the world at the very first.

By the same simple historical method which carries the central
sanctuary back into the period before Solomon does the Priestly
author abolish the other places of worship. His forty-eight
Levitical cities are for the most part demonstrably a
metamorphosis of the old Bamoth to meet the exigencies of the time.
The altar which the tribes eastward of Jordan build (Josh. xxii.)
is erected with no intention that it should be used, but merely in
commemoration of something. Even the pre-Mosaic period is rendered
orthodox in the same fashion. The patriarchs, having no
tabernacle, have no worship at all; according to the Priestly
Code they build no altars, bring no offerings, and scrupulously
abstain from everything by which they might in any way encroach
on the privilege of the one true sanctuary. This manner of shaping
the patriarchal history is only the extreme consequence of the
effort to carry out with uniformity in history the semper
ubique et ab omnibus of the legal unity of worship.

Thus in Deuteronomy the institution is only in its birth-throes,
and has still to struggle for the victory against the praxis of
the present, but in the Priestly Code claims immemorial legitimacy
and strives to bring the past into conformity with itself,
obviously because it already dominates the present; the carrying
back of the new into the olden time always takes place at a later
date than the ushering into existence of the new itself.
Deuteronomy has its position in the very midst of the historical
crisis, and still stands in a close relation with the older period
of worship, the conditions of which it can contest, but is unable
to ignore, and still less to deny. But, on the other hand, the
Priestly Code is hindered by no survival to present times of the
older usage from projecting an image of antiquity such as it must
have been; unhampered by visible relics or living tradition of an
older state, it can idealise the past to its heart's content. Its
place, then, is after Deuteronomy, and in the third post-exilian
period of the history of the cultus, in which, on the one hand,
the unity of the sanctuary was an established fact, contested by
no one and impugned by nothing, and in which, on the other hand,
the natural connection between the present and the past had been so
severed by the exile that there was no obstacle to prevent an
artificial and ideal repristination of the latter.


The reverse of this is what is usually held. In Deuteronomy, it
is considered, there occur clear references to the period of the
kings; but the Priestly Code, with its historical
presuppositions, does not fit in with any situation belonging to
that time, and is therefore older. When the cultus rests upon the
temple of Solomon as its foundation, as in Ezekiel, then every one
recognises the later date; but when it is based upon the
tabernacle, the case is regarded as quite different. The great
antiquity of the priestly legislation is proved by relegating it
to an historical sphere, created by itself out of its own legal
premisses, but which is nowhere to be found within, and therefore
must have preceded actual history. Thus (so to speak) it holds
itself up in the air by its own waistband.

I.III.1. It may, however, seem as if hitherto it had only been
asserted that the tabernacle rests on an historical fiction.
In truth it is proved; but yet it may be well to add some things
which have indeed been said long before now, but never as yet
properly laid to heart. The subject of discussion, be it
premised, is the tabernacle of the Priestly Code; for some kind
of tent for the ark there may well have been: in fact, tents were
in Palestine the earliest dwellings of idols (Hos. ix.6), and only
afterwards gave place to fixed houses; and even the Jehovistic
tradition (although not J) knows of a sacred tent /1/

1. It is never, however, employed for legislative purposes,
but is simply a shelter for the ark; it stands without the camp,
as the oldest sanctuaries were wont to do outside the cities.
It is kept by Joshua as aedituus, who sleeps in it, as did Samuel
the aedituus for Eli.

in connection with the Mosaic camp, and outside it, just as the older
high places generally had open sites without the city. The question
before us has reference exclusively to the particular tent which,
according to Exodus xxv. seq., was erected at the command of God
as the basis of the theocracy, the pre-Solomonic central sanctuary,
which also in outward details was the prototype of the temple.
At the outset its very possibility is doubtful. Very strange is the
contrast between this splendid structure, on which the costliest
material is lavished and wrought in the most advanced style of
Oriental art, and the soil on which it rises, in the wilderness
amongst the native Hebrew nomad tribes, who are represented as
having got it ready offhand, and without external help. The
incompatibility has long been noticed, and gave rise to doubts as
early as the time of Voltaire. These may, however, be left to
themselves; suffice it that Hebrew tradition, even from the time
of the judges and the first kings, for which the Mosaic tabernacle
was strictly speaking intended, knows nothing at all about it.

It appears a bold thing to say so when one sees how much many a
modern author who knows how to make a skilful use of the Book of
Chronicles has to tell about the tabernacle. For in 2 Chron. i.3
seq. we are told that Solomon celebrated his accession to the
throne with a great sacrificial feast at Gibeon, because the
tabernacle and the brazen altar of Moses were there. In like
manner in 1Chron. xxi.29 it is said that David offered sacrifice
indeed on the threshing-floor of Araunah, but that Jehovah's
dwelling-place and the legitimate altar were at that time at
Gibeon; and further (xvi. 39), that Zadok, the legitimate high
priest, officiated there. From these data the Rabbins first, and
in recent times Keil and Movers especially, have constructed a
systematic history of the tabernacle down to the building of the
temple. Under David and Solomon, as long as the ark was on Mount
Zion, the tabernacle was at Gibeon, as is also shown by the fact
that (2Samuel xxi.6, 9) offerings were sacrificed to Jehovah there.
Before that it was at Nob, where ephod and shewbread (1Samuel xxi.)
are mentioned, and still earlier, from Joshua's time onward, it was
at Shiloh. But these were only its permanent sites, apart from
which it was temporarily set up now here, now there, saving by
its rapidity of movement--one might almost say ubiquity--the
unity of the cultus, notwithstanding the variety and great
distances of the places at which that cultus was celebrated. In
every case in which a manifestation of Jehovah and an offering to
Him are spoken of, the tabernacle must be tacitly understood. /1/

1. Josh. xxiv. 24, 33 (LXX): after the death of Joshua and Eleazar,
)EN )EAUTOIS. After J. Buxtorf and Sal. van Til (Ugol., Thes. viii.),
this theory has been, worked out specially by Movers. See, on the other
hand, De Wette, Beitraege, p. 108 seq., and Vatke, ut supra, p. 316, note.

The dogmatic character of this way of making history, and the absurd
consequences to which it leads, need not in the meantime be insisted on;
what is of greatest importance is that the point from which it starts
is in the last degree insecure; for the statement of Chronicles that
Solomon offered the offering of his accession upon the altar of
the tabernacle at Gibeon is in contradiction with that of the older
parallel narrative of 1Kings iii.1-4. The latter not only is
silent about the Mosaic tabernacle, which is alleged to have stood
at Gibeon, but expressly says that Solomon offered upon a high
place (as such), and excuses him for this on the plea that at that
time no house to the name of Jehovah had as yet been built. That
the Chronicler draws from this narrative is certain on general
grounds, and is shown particularly by this, that he designates
the tabernacle at Gibeon by the name of Bamah--a contradictio in
adjecto which is only to be explained by the desire to give an
authentic interpretation of "the great Bamah at Gibeon" in 1Kings
iii. Here, as elsewhere, he brings the history into agreement
with the Law: the young and pious Solomon can have offered his
sacrifice only at the legal place which therefore must be that
high place at Gibeon. Along with 2 Chron. i.3 seq. also fall the
two other statements (1Chron. xvi.39, xxi.29 both of which are
dependent on that leading passage, as is clear revealed by the
recurring phrase "the Bamah of Gibeon." The tabernacle does not
elsewhere occur in Chronicles; it has not yet brought its
consequences with it, and not yet permeated the historical view of
the author. He would certainly have experienced some embarrassment
at the question whether it had previously stood at Nob, for he
lays stress upon the connection between the legitimate sanctuary
and the legitimate Zadok-Eleazar priestly family, which it is
indeed possible to assume for Shiloh, but not for Nob. /1/

1. Of the priests at Nob, Abiathar alone escaped the massacre
(1Samuel. xxii.); Gad therefore was not one of them.

The fact that Chronicles represents the Israelite history in accordance
with the Priestly Code has had the effect of causing its view
of the history to be involuntarily taken as fundamental, but ought much
rather to have caused it to be left altogether out of account where
the object to ascertain what was the real and genuine tradition.
The Books of Judges and Samuel make mention indeed of many sanctuaries,
but never among them of the tabernacle, the most important of all.
For the single passage where the name Ohel Moed occurs (1Samuel
ii.22 is badly attested, and from its contents open to suspicion. /2/

2. The passage does not occur in the LXX, and everywhere else in
1Samueli-iii the sanctuary of Shiloh is called hekal, that is to say,
certainly not a tent.

Of the existence of the ark of Jehovah there certainly are distinct traces
towards the end of the period of the judges (compare 1Samuel iv.-vi.)
But is the ark a guarantee of the existence of the tabernacle?
On the contrary its whole history down to the period of its being deposited
in the temple of Solomon is a proof that it was regarded as quite
independent of any tent specially consecrated for its reception.
But this abolishes the notion of the Mosaic tabernacle; for
according to the law, the two things belong necessarily to each
other; the one cannot exist without the other; both are of
equally great importance. The tabernacle must everywhere
accompany the symbol of its presence; the darkness of the holy
of holies is at the same time the life-element of the ark; only
under compulsion of necessity, and even then not except under the
covering of the curtains, does it leave its lodging during a
march, only to return to it again as soon as the new halting-place
is reached. But according to 1Samuel iv. seq., on the other hand,
it is only the ark that goes to the campaign; it alone falls into
the hands of the Philistines. Even in chap. v., where the symbol
of Jehovah is placed in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod, not a word
is said of the tabernacle or of the altar which is necessarily
connected with it; and chap. vi. is equally silent, although
here the enemy plainly gives back the whole of his sacred spoil.
It is assumed that the housing of the ark was left behind at
Shiloh. Very likely; but that was not the Mosaic tabernacle, the
inseparable companion of the ark. In fact, the narrator speaks of
a permanent house at Shiloh with doors and doorposts; that
possibly may be an anachronism /1/ (yet why ?) ;

1. Compare similar passages in Josh. vi.19, 24, ix.27, where the very
anachronism shows that the idea of the tabernacle was unknown
to the narrator. That, moreover. a permanent house did actually exist
then at Shiloh follows from the circumstance that Jeremiah (vii. 12)
speaks of its ruins. For he could not regard any other than a
pre-Solomonic sanctuary as preceding that of Jerusalem; and
besides, there is not the faintest trace of a more important temple
having arisen at Shiloh within the period of the kings.

but so much at least may be inferred from it that he had not any idea
of the tabernacle, which, however, would have had to go with the ark
to the field. If on this one occasion only an illegal exception
to the Law was made, why in that case was not the ark, at least after
its surrender, again restored to the lodging from which, strictly
speaking, it ought never to have been separated at all? Instead of
this it is brought to Bethshemesh, where it causes disaster,
because the people show curiosity about it. Thence it comes to
Kirjathjearim, where it stays for many years in the house of a
private person. From here David causes it to be brought to
Jerusalem,-- one naturally supposes, if one thinks in the lines of
the view given in the Pentateuch and in Chronicles, in order that
it may be at last restored to the tabernacle, to be simultaneously
brought to Jerusalem. But no thought of this, however obvious it
may seem, occurs to the king. In the first instance, his
intention is to have the ark beside himself in the citadel; but he
is terrified out of this, and, at a loss where else to put it, he
at last places it in the house of one of his principal people,
Obed-Edom of Gath. Had he known anything about the tabernacle, had
he had any suspicion that it was standing empty at Gibeon, in the
immediate neighbourhood, he would have been relieved of all
difficulty. But inasmuch as the ark brings blessing to the house
of Obed-Edom,--the ark, be it remembered, in the house of a soldier
and a Philistine, yet bringing down, not wrath, but blessing,--/1/

1. The Chronicle has good reason for making him a Levite. But Gath
without any qualifying epithet, and particularly in connection with David,
is the Philistine Gath, and Obed-Edom belongs to the bodyquard, which
consisted chiefly of foreigners and Philistines. His name,
moreover, is hardly Israelite.

the king is thereby encouraged to persevere after all with his original
proposal, and establish it upon his citadel. And this he does in a tent
he had caused to be made for it (2Samuel vi.17), which tent of David
in Zion continued to be its lodging until the temple was built.
Some mention of the tabernacle, had it existed, would have been
inevitable when the temple took its place. That it did not serve
as the model of the temple has already been said; but it might
have been expected at least that in the account of the building of
the new sanctuary some word might have escaped about the
whereabouts of the old. And this expectation seems to be realised
in 1Kings viii.4, which says that when the temple was finished
there were brought into it, besides the ark, the Ohel Moed and all
the sacred vessels that were therein. Interpreters hesitate as to
whether they ought to understand by the Ohel Moed the tent of the
ark upon Zion, to which alone reference has been made in the
preceding narrative (1Kings i.39, ii.28-30), or whether it is the
Mosaic tent, which, according to Chronicles, was standing at
Gibeon, but of which the Book of Kings tells nothing, and also
knows nothing (iii.2-4). It is probable that the author of viii.4
mixed up both together; but we have to face the following
alternative. Either the statement belongs to the original context
of the narrative in which it occurs, and in that case the Ohel Moed
can only be the tent on Mount Zion, or the Ohel Moed of 1Kings
viii.4 is the Mosaic tabernacle which was removed from Gibeon into
Solomon's temple, and in that case the allegation has no
connection with its context, and does not hang together with the
premisses which that furnishes; in other words, it is the
interpolation of a later hand. The former alternative, though
possible, is improbable, for the name Ohel Moed occurs absolutely
nowhere in the Books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings (apart from the
interpolation in 1Samuel ii.22b), and particularly it is not used
to denote David's tent upon Mount Zion; and, moreover, that tent
had received too little of the consecration of antiquity, and
according to 2Samuel vii. was too insignificant and provisional to
be thought worthy of preservation in the temple. But if the Ohel
Moed is here (what it everywhere else is) the tabernacle, as is
indicated also by the sacred vessels, then the verse is, as has
been said, an interpolation. The motive for such a thing is easily
understood; the same difficulty as that with which we set out
must have made it natural for any Jew who started from the ideas
of the Pentateuch to look for the tabernacle here, and, if he did
not find it, to introduce it. Yet even the interpolation does not
remove the difficulties. Where is the Mosaic altar of
burnt-offering? It was quite as important and holy as the
tabernacle itself; even in Chronicles it is invariably mentioned
expressly in connection with it, and did not deserve to be
permitted to go to ruin at Gibeon, which, from another point of
view, would also have been extremely dangerous to the unity of
the sacrificial worship. Further, if the sacred vessels were
transferred from the tabernacle to the temple, why then was it
that Solomon, according to 1Kings vii., cast a completely new
set? /1/

1. The brazen altar cast by Solomon (1Kings viii.64;
2Kings xvi.14, 15) is not now found in the inventory of the temple
furniture in 1Kings vii.; but originally it cannot have been
absent, for it is the most important article. It has therefore
been struck out in order to avoid collision with the brazen altar
of Moses. The deletion is the negative counterpart to the
interpolation of the tabernacle in 1Kings viii.4.

The old ones were costly enough, in part even costlier than the new, and,
moreover, had been consecrated by long use. It is clear that
in Solomon's time neither tabernacle, nor holy vessels, nor brazen altar
of Moses had any existence.

But if there was no tabernacle in the time of the last judges and
first kings, as little was it in existence during the whole of the
previous period. This is seen from 2Samuel vii., a section with
whose historicity we have here nothing to do, but which at all
events reflects the view of a pre-exilian author. It is there told
that David, after he had obtained rest from all his enemies,
contemplated building a worthy home for the ark, and expressed his
determination to the prophet Nathan in the words, "I dwell in a
house of cedar, and the ark of God within curtains." According to
vi.17, he can only mean the tent which he had set up, that is to
say, not the Mosaic tabernacle, which, moreover, according to the
description of Exodus xxv. seq., could not appropriately be
contrasted with a timber erection, still less be regarded as a
mean structure or unworthy of the Deity, for in point of
magnificence it at least competed with the temple of Solomon.
Nathan at first approves of the king's intention, but afterwards
discountenances it, saying that at present God does not wish to
have anything different from that which He has hitherto had. "I
have dwelt in no house since the day that I brought the children
of Israel out of Egypt, but have wandered about under tent and
covering." Nathan also, of course, has not in his eye the Mosaic
tabernacle as the present lodging of the ark, but David's tent upon
Zion. Now he does not say that the ark has formerly been always
in the tabernacle, and that its present harbourage is therefore in
the highest degree unlawful, but, on the contrary, that the present
state of matters is the right one,--that until now the ark has
invariably been housed under an equally simple and unpretentious
roof. As David's tent does not date back to the Exodus, Nathan is
necessarily speaking of changing tents and dwellings; the reading
of the parallel passage in 1Chron. xvii.5, therefore, correctly
interprets the sense. There could be no more fundamental
contradiction to the representation contained in the Pentateuch
than that embodied in these words: the ark has not as its
correlate a single definite sacred tent of state, but is quite
indifferent to the shelter it enjoys--has frequently changed its
abode, but never had any particularly fine one. Such has been
the state of matters since the time of Moses.

Such is the position of affairs as regards the tabernacle; if it
is determined that the age of the Priestly Code is to hang by
these threads, I have no objection. The representation of the
tabernacle arose out of the temple of Solomon as its root, in
dependence on the sacred ark, for which there is early testimony,
and which in the time of David, and also before it, was sheltered
by a tent. From the temple it derives at once its inner character
and its central importance for the cultus as well as its external

I.III.2. A peculiar point of view is taken up by Theodor Noldeke. He
grants the premisses that the tabernacle is a fiction, of which the
object is to give pre-existence to the temple and to the unity of
worship, but he denies the conclusion that in that case the
Priestly Code presuppose; the unity of worship as already
existing in its day, and therefore is late, than Deuteronomy.
In his Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments (p. 127 seq.)
he says:--

"A strong tendency towards unity of worship MUST have arisen as
soon as Solomon's temple was built. Over against the splendid
sanctuary with its imageless worship at the centre of the kingdom
of Judah, the older holy places MUST ever have shrunk farther into
the background, and that not merely in the eyes of the people,
but quite specially also in those of the better classes and of
those whose spiritual advancement was greatest (compare Amos iv.
4,viii.14). If even Hezekiah carried out the unification in Judah
with tolerable thoroughness, the effort after it MUST surely have
been of very early date; for the determination violently to
suppress old sacred usages would not have been easily made, unless
this had been long previously demanded by theory. The priests at
Jerusalem MUST very specially at an early date have arrived at
the conception that their temple with the sacred ark and the great
altar was the one true place of worship, and an author has clothed
this very laudable effort on behalf of the purity of religion in
the form of a law, which certainly in its strictness was quite
impracticable (ILeviticus xvii.4 seq.), and which, therefore, was
modified later by the Deuteronomist with a view to practice."

What MUST have happened is of less consequence to know than what
actually took place. Noldeke relies solely upon the statement of
2Kings xviii.4, 22, that Hezekiah abolished the high places and
altars of Jehovah, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, "Before this
altar shall ye worship in Jerusalem." With reference to that
statement doubts have already been raised above. How startling
was the effect produced at a later date by the similar ordinance
of Josiah! Is it likely then that the other, although the
earlier, should have passed off so quietly and have left so little
mark that the reinforcement of it, after an interval of seventy
or eighty years, is not in the least brought into connection with
it, but in every respect figures as a new first step upon a path
until then absolutely untrodden? Note too how casual is the
allusion to a matter which is elsewhere the chief and most favoured
theme of the Book of Kings! And there is besides all this the
serious difficulty, also already referred to above, that the man
from whom Hezekiah must, from the nature of the case, have received
the impulse to his reformatory movement, the prophet Isaiah, in
one of his latest discourses expressly insists on a cleansing
merely of the local sanctuaries from molten and graven images,
that is to say, does not desire their complete removal. So much at
least is certain that, if the alleged fact at present under
discussion amounts to anything at all /1/

1. Little importance is to be attached to 2Kings xviii.22.
The narrative of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem is not a contemporary
one, as appears generally from the entirely indefinite character of
the statements about the sudden withdrawal of the Assyrians and its causes,
and particularly from xix.7, 36, 37. For in this passage the meaning
certainly is that Sennacherib was assassinated soon after the unsuccessful
expedition of 701, but in point of fact he actually reigned until
684 or 681 (Smith, Assyrian Eponym Canon, pp. 90, 170). Thus the
narrator writes not twenty years merely after the event, but so
long after it as to make possible the elision of those twenty
years: probably he is already under the influence of
Deuteronomy. 2Kings xviii.4 is certainly of greater weight than
2Kings xviii.22. But although highly authentic statements have
been preserved to us in the epitome of the Book of Kings, they
have all, nevertheless, been subjected not merely to the
selection, but also to the revision of the Deuteronomic redactor,
and it may very well be that the author thought himself
justified in giving his subject a generalised treatment, according
to which the cleansing (of the temple at Jerusalem in the first
instance) from idols, urged by Isaiah and carried out by
Hezekiah, was changed into an abolition of the Bamoth with their
Macceboth and Asherim. It is well known how indifferent later
writers are to distinctions of time and degree in the heresy of
unlawful worship; they always go at once to the completed
product. But in actual experience the reformation was doubtless
accomplished step by step. At first we have in Hosea and Isaiah
the polemic directed against molten and graven images, then in
Jeremiah that against wood and stone, i.e., against Macceboth and
Asherim; the movement originated with the prophets, and the chief,
or rather the only, weight is to be attached to their authentic

Hezekiah only made a feeble and wholly ineffectual attempt in this
direction, and by no means "carried out the unification in Judah with
tolerable thoroughness." At the same time, one might concede even
this last point, and yet not give any ground for the theory at
which Noldeke wishes to arrive.

For his assumption is that the effort after unity had its old and
original seat precisely in the priestly circles of Jerusalem. If
the Priestly Code is older than Deuteronomy, then of course the
prophetic agitation for reform of worship in which Deuteronomy had
its origin must have been only the repetition of an older
priestly movement in the same direction. But of the latter we
hear not a single word, while we can follow the course of the
former fairly well from its beginnings in thought down to its
issue in a practical result. It was Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah who
introduced the movement against the old popular worship of the high
places; in doing so they are not in the least actuated by a
deep-rooted preference for the temple of Jerusalem, but by ethical
motives, which manifest themselves in them for the first time in
history, and which we can see springing up in them before our very
eyes: their utterances, though historically occasioned by the
sanctuaries of northern Israel, are quite general, and are directed
against the cultus as a whole. Of the influence of a point of view
even remotely akin to the priestly position that worship in this
or that special place is of more value than anywhere else, and on
that account alone deserves to be preserved, no trace is to be
found in them; their polemic is a purely prophetic one, i.e.,
individual, "theopneust" in the sense that it is independent of all
traditional and preconceived human opinions. But the subsequent
development is dependent upon this absolutely original
commencement, and has its issue, not in the Priestly Code, but in
Deuteronomy, a book that, with all reasonable regard for the
priests (though not more for those of Jerusalem than for the
others), still does not belie its prophetic origin, and above all
things is absolutely free from all and every hierocratic
tendency. And finally, it was Deuteronomy that brought about the
historical result of Josiah's reformation. Thus the whole
historical movement now under our consideration, so far as it was
effective and thereby has come to our knowledge, is in its origin
and essence prophetic, even if latterly it may have been aided by
priestly influences; and it not merely can, but must be
understood from itself. Any older or independent contemporary
priestly movement in the same direction remained at least entirely
without result, and so also has left no witnesses to itself.
Perhaps it occurs to us that the priests of Jerusalem must after
all have been the first to catch sight of the goal, the attainment
of which afterwards brought so great advantage to themselves, but
it does not appear that they were so clever beforehand as we are
after the event. At least there are no other grounds for the
hypothesis of a long previously latent tendency towards
centralisation on the part of the Jerusalem priesthood beyond the
presumption that the Priestiy Code must chronologically precede,
not Deuteronomy merely, but also the prophets. For the sake of
this presumption there is constructed a purely abstract (and as
such perfectly irrefragable) possibility that furnishes a door of
escape from the historical probability, which nevertheless it is
impossible to evade.

How absolutely unknown the Priestly Code continued to be even
down to the middle of the exile can be seen from the Books of
Kings, which cannot have received their present shape earlier than
the death of Nebuchadnezzar. The redactor, who cites the
Deuteronomic law and constantly forms his judgment in accordance
with it, considered (as we have learned from 1Kings iii.2) that
the Bamoth were permissible prior to the building of Solomon's
temple; the tabernacle therefore did not exist for him. Jeremiah,
who flourished about a generation earlier, is equally ignorant of
it, but--on account of the ark, though not necessarily in
agreement with traditional opinion--regards the house of God at
Shiloh (whose ruins, it would seem, were at that time still
visible) as the forerunner of the temple of Jerusalem, and in this
he is followed by the anonymous prophecy of 1Samuel ii.27-36, the
comparatively recent date of which appears from the language
(ii.33), and from the circumstance that it anticipates the
following threatening in iii. In all these writers, and still more
in the case of the Deuteronomist himself, who in xii. actually
makes the unity of the cultus dependent on the previous choice of
Jerusalem, it is an exceedingly remarkable thing that, if the
Priestly Code had been then already a long time in existence,
they should have been ignorant of a book so important and so
profound in its practical bearings. In ancient Hebrew literature
such an oversight could not be made so easily as, in similar
circumstances, with the literature of the present day. And how
comes it to pass that in the Book of Chronicles, dating from the
third century, the Priestly Code suddenly ceases to be, to all
outward seeming, dead, but asserts its influence everywhere over
the narrative in only too active and unmistakable a way? To
these difficulties Noldeke is unreasonably indifferent. He seems
to be of the opinion that the post-exilian time would not have
ventured to take in hand so thoroughgoing an alteration, or rather
reconstruction, of tradition as is implied in antedating the temple
of Solomon by means of the tabernacle. /1/

1. Jahrb. fuer prot. Theol., i. p. 352: "And now let me ask whether
a document of this kind presenting, as it does, a picture of the
history, land distribution, and sacrificial rites of Israel, as a whole,
which in so many particulars departs from the actual truth, can belong
to a time in which Israel clung to what was traditional with such timid

But it is, on the contrary, precisely the mark which distinguished
the post-exile writers that they treat in the freest possible manner,
in accordance with their own ideas, the institutions of the bygone
past, with which their time was no longer connected by any living
bond. For what reason does Chronicles stand in the canon at all,
if not in order to teach us this?

But when Noldeke excuses the ignorance with regard to the
tabernacle on the plea that it is a mere creature of the brain, /2/

1. Unters., p. 130: "It must always be remembered that the author
in his statements, as in his laws, does not depict actual relations,
but in the first instance his own theories and ideals. Hence the
glorification of the tabernacle," &c. &c.

he for the moment forgets that there underlies this creation the very
real idea of unity of worship, for the sake of which it would
surely have been very welcome, to the Deuteronomist, for example,
even as a mere idea. It is only the embodiment of the tabernacle
that is fancy; the idea of it springs from the ground of history,
and it is by its idea that it is to be apprehended. And when
Noldeke finally urges in this connection as a plea for the
priority of the Priestly Code that, in spite of the limitation of
sacrifice to a single locality, it nevertheless maintains the old
provision that every act of killing must be a sacrifice, while
Deuteronomy, going a step farther, departs from this, here also his
argument breaks down.

For we read in Leviticus xvii., "What man soever there be of the house
of Israel that killeth an ox or sheep or goat in the camp, or out
of the camp, and bringeth it not to the door of the tabernacle, to
offer them as an offering unto the Lord before the tabernacle of
the Lord, blood shall be imputed unto that man: he hath shed
blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people: to the
end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices which
they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them to
the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle, to the priest, and offer
them for peace-offerings unto the Lord....And they shall no more
offer sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a
The intention of this prescription is simply and solely
to secure the exclusive legitimation of the one lawful place of
sacrifice; it is only for this, obviously, that the profane
slaughtering outside of Jerusalem, which Deuteronomy had
permitted, is forbidden. Plainly the common man did not quite
understand the newly drawn and previously quite unknown
distinction between the religious and the profane act, and when he
slaughtered at home (as he was entitled to do), he in doing so
still observed, half-unconsciously perhaps, the old sacred
sacrificial ritual. From this arose the danger of a multiplicity
of altars again furtively creeping in, and such a danger is met,
in an utterly impracticable way indeed, in Leviticus xvii. And it is
worth noticing how much this law, which, for the rest, is based
upon the Book of Deuteronomy, has grown in the narrowness of its
legitimistic mode of viewing things. Deuteronomy thoroughly
recognises that offerings, even though offered outside of
Jerusalem, are still offered to Jehovah; for the author of Leviticus
xvii. this is an impossible Idea, and he regards such offerings
simply as made to devils. /1/

1. With reference to these rural demons, compare my note in
Vakidi's Maghazi (Berlin, 1882), p. 113. It is somewhat similar,
though not quite the same thing, when the Moslems say that the old
Arabs dedicated their worship to the Jinns; and other instances
may be compared in which divinities have been degraded to demons.

I refuse to believe that any such thing could have been possible
for one who lived before the Deuteronomic reformation, or even
under the old conditions that were in existence immediately
before the exile.

Leviticus xvii., moreover, belongs confessedly to a peculiar little
collection of laws, which has indeed been taken up into the
Priestly Code, but which in many respects disagrees with it, and
particularly in respect of this prohibition of profane
slaughterings. With reference to the Priestly Code as a whole,
Noldeke's assertion is quite off the mark. The code, on the
contrary, already allows slaughter without sacrifice in the
precepts of Noah, which are valid not merely for all the world,
but also for the Jews. Farther on this permission is not
expressly repeated indeed, but it is regarded as a thing of
course. This alone can account for the fact that the
thank-offering is treated so entirely as a subordinate affair and
the sacrificial meal almost ignored, while in Leviticus vii.22-27
rules are even given for procedure in the slaughter of such animals
as are not sacrificed. /2/

2. That Leviticus vii.22-27 is not a repetition of the old and fuller
regulations about the thank-offering, but an appendix containing
new ones relating to slaughtering, is clear from "the beast of
which men offer an offering unto the Lord" (ver. 25), and "in all
your dwellings" (ver. z6), as well as from the praxis of Judaism.

Here accordingly is another instance of what we have already so often
observed: what is brought forward in Deuteronomy as an innovation
is assumed in the Priestly Code to be an ancient custom dating
as far back as to Noah. And therefore the latter code is a growth
of the soil that has been prepared by means of the former.


With the Hebrews, as with the whole ancient world, sacrifice
constituted the main part of worship. The question is whether
their worship did not also in this most important respect pass
through a history the stages of which are reflected in the
Pentateuch. From the results already reached this must be
regarded at the outset as probable, but the sources of information
accessible to us seem hardly sufficient to enable us actually to
follow the process, or even so much as definitely to fix its two

II.I.1. The Priestly Code alone occupies itself much with the
subject; it gives a minute classification of the various kinds of
offerings, and a description of the procedure to be followed in the
case of each. In this way it furnishes also the normative scheme
for modern accounts of the matter, into which all the other casual
notices of the Old Testament on the subject must be made to fit as
best they can. This point accordingly presents us with an
important feature by which the character of the book can be
determined. In it the sacrificial ritual is a constituent, and
indeed a very essential element, of the Mosaic legislation: that
ritual is not represented as ancient use handed down to the
Israelites by living practice from ancestral times: it was Moses
who gave them the theory of it--a very elaborate one too--and
he himself received his instruction from God (Exodus xxv. seq.;
Leviticus i. seq.). An altogether disproportionate emphasis is
accordingly laid upon the technique of sacrifice corresponding to
the theory, alike upon the when, the where, and the by whom, and
also in a very special manner upon the how. It is from these that
the sacrifice obtains its specific value; one could almost suppose
that even if it were offered to another God, it would by means of
the legitimate rite alone be at once made essentially Jehovistic.
The cultus of Israel is essentially distinguished from all others
by its form, the distinctive and constitutive mark of the holy
community. With it the theocracy begins and it with the
theocracy; the latter is nothing more than the institution for the
purpose of carrying on the cultus after the manner ordained by
God. For this reason also the ritual, which appears to concern the
priests only, finds its place in a law-book intended for the whole
community; in order to participate in the life of the theocracy,
all must of course, have clear knowledge of its essential nature,
and in this the theory of sacrifice holds a first place.

The Jehovistic portion of the Pentateuch also knows of no other
kind of divine worship besides the sacrificial, and does not attach
to it less importance than the Priestly Code. But we do not find
many traces of the view that the sacrificial system of Israel is
distinguished from all others by a special form revealed to Moses,
which makes it the [sic] alone legitimate. Sacrifice is
sacrifice: when offered to Baal, it is heathenish; when offered
to Jehovah, it is Israelite. In the Book of the Covenant and in
both Decalogues it is enjoined before everything to serve no other
God besides Jehovah, but also at the proper season to offer
firstlings and gifts to Him. Negative determinations, for the most
part directed against one heathenish peculiarity or another, occur
but there are no positive ordinances relating to the ritual. How
one is to set about offering sacrifice is taken for granted as
already known, and nowhere figures as an affair for the
legislation, which, on the contrary, occupies itself with quite
other things. What the Book of the Covenant and the Decalogue
leave still perhaps doubtful becomes abundantly clear from the
Jehovistic narrative. The narrative has much more to say about
sacrifice than the incorporated law books, and this may be
regarded as characteristic; in the Priestly Code it is quite the
other way. But what is specially important is that, according to
the Jehovistic history, the praxis of sacrifice, and that too of
the regular and God-pleasing sort, extends far beyond the Mosaic
legislation, and, strictly speaking, is as old as the world
itself. A sacrificial feast which the Hebrews wish to celebrate in
the wilderness is the occasion of the Exodus; Moses already
builds an altar at Rephidim (Exodus xvii.), and, still before the
ratification of the covenant on Sinai, a solemn meal in the
presence of Jehovah is set on foot on occasion of Jethro's visit
(Exodus xviii.). But the custom is much older still; it was
known and practiced by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Noah, the
father of all mankind, built the first altar after the Flood, and
long before him Cain and Abel sacrificed in the same way as was
usual in Palestine thousands of years afterwards. Balaam the
Aramaean understands just as well as any Israelite how to offer
sacrifices to Jehovah that do not fail of their effect. All this
brings out, with as much clearness as could be desired, that
sacrifice is a very ancient and quite universal mode of honouring
the Deity, and that Israelite sacrifice is distinguished not by
the manner in which, but by the being to whom, it is offered, in
being offered to the God of Israel. According to this
representation of the matter, Moses left the procedure in
sacrifice, as he left the procedure in prayer, to be regulated by
the traditional praxis; if there was any definite origination of
the cultus of Israel, the patriarchs must be thought of, but even
they were not the discoverers of the ritual; they were merely
the founders of those holy places at which the Israelites
dedicated gifts to Jehovah, a usage which was common to the whole
world. The contrast with the Priestly Code is extremely
striking, for it is well known that the latter work makes mention
of no sacrificial act prior to the time of Moses, neither in
Genesis nor in Exodus, although from the time of Noah slaughtering
is permitted. The offering of a sacrifice of sheep and oxen as the
occasion of the exodus is omitted, and in place of the sacrifice of
the firstlings we have the paschal lamb, which is slaughtered and
eaten without altar, without priest, and not in the presence of
Jehovah. /1/

1. With regard to sacrifice, Deuteronomy still occupies the same
standpoint as JE.

The belief that the cultus goes back to pre-Mosaic usage is
unquestionably more natural than the belief that it is the main
element of the Sinaitic legislation; the thought would be a
strange one that God should suddenly have revealed, or Moses
discovered and introduced, the proper sacrificial ritual. At the
same time this does not necessitate the conclusion that the
Priestly Code is later than the Jehovist. Nor does this follow
from the very elaborately-developed technique of the agenda, for
elaborate ritual may have existed in the great sanctuaries at a
very early period,--though that, indeed, would not prove it to be
genuinely Mosaic. On the other hand, it is certainly a
consideration deserving of great weight that the representation of
the exclusive legitimacy of so definite a sacrificial ritual,
treated in the Priestly Code as the only possible one in Israel,
is one which can have arisen only as a consequence of the
centralisation of the cultus at Jerusalem. Yet by urging this the
decision of the question at present before us would only be
referred back to the result already arrived at in the preceding
chapter, and it is much to be desired that it should be solved
independently, so as not to throw too much weight upon a single

II.I.2. In this case also the elements of a decision can only be
obtained from the historical documents dating from the pre-exilic
time,--the Books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings on the one hand, and
the writings of the prophets on the other. As regards those of the
first class, they represent the cultus and sacrifice on all
occasions as occupying a large place in the life of the nation and
of the individual. But, although it would be wrong to say that
absolutely no weight is attached to the RITE, it is certainly not
the fact that the main stress is laid upon it; the antithesis is
not between RITE and NON-RITE, but between sacrifice TO JEHOVAH and
sacrifice TO STRANGE GODS, the reverse of what we find in the
Priestly Code. Alongside of splendid sacrifices, such as those of
the kings, presumably offered in accordance with all the rules of
priestly skill, there occur others also of the simplest and most
primitive type, as, for example, those of Saul (1Samuel xiv.35) and
Elisha (1Kings xix.2I); both kinds are proper if only they be
dedicated to the proper deity. Apart from the exilian redaction of
the Book of Kings, which reckons the cultus outside of Jerusalem as
heretical, it is nowhere represented that a sacrifice could be
dedicated to the God of Israel, and yet be illegitimate. Naaman
(2Kings v. 17), it is to be supposed, followed his native Syrian
ritual, but this does not in the least impair the acceptability of
his offering. For reasons easily explained, it is seldom that an
occasion arises to describe the ritual, but when such a description
is given it is only with violence that it can be forced into
accordance with the formula of the law. Most striking of all is
the procedure of Gideon in Judges vi.19-21, in which it is manifest
that the procedure still usual at Ophrah in the time of the
narrator is also set forth. Gideon boils a he-goat and bakes in
the ashes cakes of unleavened bread, places upon the bread the
flesh in a basket and the broth in a pot, and then the meal thus
prepared is burnt in the altar flame. It is possible that
instances may have also occurred in which the rule of the
Pentateuch is followed, but the important point is that the
distinction between legitimate and heretical is altogether wanting.
When the Book of Chronicles is compared the difference is at once

The impression derived from the historical books is confirmed by
the prophets. It is true that in their polemic against confounding
worship with religion they reveal the fact that in their day the
cultus was carried on with the utmost zeal and splendour, and was
held in the highest estimation. But this estimation does not rest
upon the opinion that the cultus, as regards its matter, goes back
to Moses or to Jehovah Himself, gives to the theocracy its
distinctive character, and even constitutes the supernatural
priesthood of Israel among the nations, but simply upon the belief
that Jehovah must be honoured by His dependents, just as other
gods are by their subjects, by means of offerings and gifts as
being the natural and (like prayer) universally current
expressions of religious homage. The larger the quantity, and the
finer the quality, so much the better; but that the merit arising
from the presentation depends upon strict observance of etiquette
regarded as Jehovah's law is not suggested. Thus it is that the
prophets are able to ask whether then Jehovah has commanded His
people to tax their energies with such exertions? the fact
presupposed being that no such command exists, and that no one
knows anything at all about a ritual Torah. Amos, the leader of
the chorus, says (iv.4 seq.),
"Come to Bethel to sin, to Gilgal to sin yet more, and bring your
sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days, for so ye
like, ye children of Israel."
In passing sentence of rejection upon the value of the cultus he
is in opposition to the faith of his time; but if the opinion had
been a current one that precisely the cultus was what Jehovah had
instituted in Israel, he would not have been able to say, "For so
ye like." "Ye," not Jehovah; it is an idle and arbitrary worship.
He expresses himself still more clearly in v.21 seq.
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I smell not on your holy days;
though ye offer me burnt-offerings and your gifts, I will not accept
them; neither do I regard your thank-offerings of fatted calves.
Away from me with the noise of thy songs, the melody of thy viols
I will not hear; but let judgment roll on like waters, and
righteousness like a mighty stream. Did ye offer unto me
sacrifices and gifts in the wilderness the forty years, O house
of Israel?"
In asking this last question Amos has not the slightest fear
of raising any controversy; on the contrary, he is following
the generally received belief. His polemic is directed against
the praxis of his contemporaries, but here he rests it upon a
theoretical foundation in which they are at one with him,--on
this, namely, that the sacrificial worship is not of Mosaic origin.
Lastly, if ii.4 be genuine, it teaches the same lesson. By the
Law of Jehovah which the people of Judah have despised it is
impossible that Amos can have understood anything in the remotest
degree resembling a ritual legislation. Are we to take it then
that he formed his own special private notion of the Torah? How in
that case would it have been possible for him to make himself
understood by the people, or to exercise influence over them? Of
all unlikely suppositions, at all events it is the least likely
that the herdsman of Tekoah, under the influence of prophetic
tradition (which in fact he so earnestly disclaims), should have
taken the Torah for something quite different from what it actually

Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah are in agreement with Amos. The first
mentioned complains bitterly (iv.6 seq.) that the priests
cultivate the system of sacrifices instead of the Torah. The
Torah, committed by Jehovah to their order, lays it on them as
their vocation to diffuse the knowledge of God in Israel,--the
knowledge that He seeks truthfulness and love, justice and
considerateness, and no gifts; but they, on the contrary, in a
spirit of base self-seeking, foster the tendency of the nation
towards cultus, in their superstitions over-estimate of which lies
their sin and their ruin.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; ye yourselves
(ye priests!) reject knowledge, and I too will reject you
that ye shall not be priests unto me; seeing ye have forgotten
the law of your God, so will I also forget you. The more they are,
the more they sin against me; their glory they barter for shame.
They eat the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their
From this we see how idle it is to believe that the prophets
opposed "the Law;" they defend the priestly Torah, which, however,
has nothing to do with cultus, but only with justice and morality.
In another passage (viii.11 seq.) we read,
"Ephraim has built for himself many altars, to sin; the altars
are there for him, to sin. How many soever my instructions
(torothai) may be, they are counted those of a stranger."
This text has had the unmerited misfortune of having been forced
to do service as a proof that Hosea knew of copious writings
similar in contents to our Pentateuch. All that can be drawn
from the contrast "instead of following my instructions they offer
sacrifice" (for that is the meaning of the passage) is that the prophet
had never once dreamed of the possibility of cultus being made
the subject of Jehovah's directions. In Isaiah's discourses
the well-known passage of the first chapter belongs to this connection:
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?
saith the Lord. I am weary with the burnt-offerings of rams
and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of bullocks
and of lambs and of he-goats. When ye come to look upon my face,
who hath required this at your hands?--to trample my courts!"
This expression has long been a source of trouble, and certainly
the prophet could not possibly have uttered it if the sacrificial
worship had, according to any tradition whatever, passed for being
specifically Mosaic. Isaiah uses the word Torah to denote not
the priestly but the prophetical instruction (i.10, ii.3, v.24,
viii.16, 20, xxx.9); as both have a common source and Jehovah is
the proper instructor (xxx.20), this is easily explicable, and is
moreover full of instruction as regards the idea involved;
the contents of the Priestly Code fit badly in with the Torah of i.10.
Lastly, Micah's answer to the people's question, how a return of
the favour of an angry God is to be secured, is of conspicuous
significance (vi.6 seq.):
"Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings with calves of a year old?
Is the Lord pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of
rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
the fruit of my body as atonement for my soul?--It hath been
told thee, O man, what is good, and what Jehovah requireth of thee.
Nay, it is to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly
before thy God."
Although the blunt statement of the contrast between cultus
and religion is peculiarly prophetic, Micah can still take
his stand upon this, "It hath been told thee, O man, what Jehovah
requires." It is no new matter, but a thing well known,
that sacrifices are not what the Torah of the Lord contains.

That we have not inferred too much from these utterances of the
older prophets is clear from the way in which they are taken up
and carried on by Jeremiah, who lived shortly before the
Babylonian exile. Just as in vi.19 seq. he opposes the Torah to
the cultus, so in vii.11 seq. he thus expresses himself:
"Add your burnt-offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh!
For I said nought unto your fathers, and commanded them nought,
in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning
burnt-offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them:
hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my
people, and walk ye in the way that I shall always teach you, that
it may be well with you."
The view indeed, that the prophets (who, from the connection,
are the ever-living voice to which Israel is to hearken) are
the proper soul of the theocracy, the organ by which Jehovah
influences and rules it, has no claim to immemorial antiquity.
But no stress lies upon the positive element here;
enough that at all events Jeremiah is unacquainted with the Mosaic
legislation as it is contained in the Priestly Code. His ignoring
of it is not intentional, for he is far from hating the cultus
(xvii.26). But, as priest and prophet, staying continually in
the temple at Jerusalem, he must have known it, if it had existed
and actually been codified. The fact is one which it is difficult
to get over.

Thus the historical witnesses, particularly the prophets, decide
the matter in favour of the Jehovistic tradition. According to the
universal opinion of the pre-exilic period, the cultus is indeed of
very old and (to the people) very sacred usage, but not a Mosaic
institution; the ritual is not the main thing in it, and is in no
sense the subject with which the Torah deals. /1/

1. That the priests were not mere teachers of law and morals,
but also gave ritual instruction (e.g, regarding cleanness
and uncleanness), is of course not denied by this. All that is
asserted is that in pre-exilian antiquity the priests' own praxis
(at the altar) never constituted the contents of the Torah,
but that their Torah always consisted of instructions to the laity.
The distinction is easily intelligible to those who choose
to understand it.

In other words, no trace can be found of acquaintance
with the Priestly Code, but, on the other hand, very clear
indications of ignorance of its contents.

II.I.3. In this matter the transition from the pre-exilic to the
post-exilic period is effected, not by Deuteronomy, but by
Ezekiel the priest in prophet's mantle, who was one of the first to
be carried into exile. He stands in striking contrast with his
elder contemporary Jeremiah. In the picture of Israel's future
which he drew in B.C. 573 (chaps. xl.-xlviii.), in which
fantastic hopes are indeed built upon Jehovah, but no impossible
demand made of man, the temple and cultus hold a central place.
Whence this sudden change? Perhaps because now the Priestly Code
has suddenly awakened to life after its long trance, and become
the inspiration of Ezekiel? The explanation is certainly not to
be sought in any such occurrence, but simply in the historical
circumstances. So long as the sacrificial worship remained in
actual use, it was zealously carried on, but people did not
concern themselves with it theoretically, and had not the least
occasion for reducing it to a code. But once the temple was in
ruins, the cultus at an end, its PERSONNEL out of employment, it is
easy to understand how the sacred praxis should have become a
matter of theory and writing, so that it might not altogether
perish, and how an exiled priest should have begun to paint the
picture of it as he carried it in his memory, and to publish it as
a programme for the future restoration of the theocracy. Nor is
there any difficulty if arrangements, which as long as they
were actually in force were simply regarded as natural, were seen
after their abolition in a transfiguring light, and from the study
devoted to them gained artificially a still higher value. These
historical conditions supplied by the exile sufffice to make clear
the transition from Jeremiah to Ezekiel, and the genesis of Ezekiel
xl.-xlviii. The co-operation of the Priestly Code is here not
merely unnecessary, it would be absolutely disconcerting.
Ezekiel's departure from the ritual of the Pentateuch cannot be
explained as intentional alterations of the original; they are
too casual and insignificant. The prophet, moreover, has the
rights of authorship as regards the end of his book as well as for
the rest of it; he has also his right to his picture of the future
as the earlier prophets had to theirs. And finally, let its due
weight be given to the simple fact that an exiled priest saw
occasion to draft such a sketch of the temple worship. What need
would there have been for it, if the realised picture,
corresponding completely to his views, had actually existed, and,
being already written in a book, wholly obviated any danger lest
the cultus should become extinct through the mere fact of its
temporary cessation?

Here again a way of escape is open by assuming a lifeless
existence of the law down to Ezra's time. But if this is done it
is unallowable to date that existence, not from Moses, but from
some other intermediate point in the history of Israel. Moreover,
the assumption of a codification either as preceding all praxis,
or as alongside and independent of it, is precisely in the case of
sacrificial ritual one of enormous difficulty, for it is obvious
that such a codification can only be the final result of an old
and highly developed use, and not the invention of an idle brain.
This consideration also makes retreat into the theory of an
illegal praxis impossible, and renders the legitimacy of the
actually subsisting indisputable.


At all times, then, the sacrificial worship of Israel existed, and
had great importance attached to it, but in the earlier period it
rested upon custom, inherited from the fathers, in the post-exilian
on the law of Jehovah, given through Moses. At first it was naive,
and what was chiefly considered was the quantity and quality of
the gifts; afterwards it became legal,--the scrupulous fulfilment
of the law, that is, of the prescribed ritual, was what was looked
to before everything. Was there then, apart from this, strictly
speaking, no material difference? To answer this question our
researches must be carried further afield, after some preliminary
observations have been made in order to fix our position.

II.II.1. In the Pentateuch the sacrificial ritual is indeed copiously
described, but nowhere in the Old Testament is its significance
formally explained; this is treated as on the whole self-evident
and familiar to every one. The general notion of a sacrifice is
in the Priestly Code that of _qorban_, in the rest of the Old
Testament that of _minha_, /1/ ie., "gift;"

1. Genesis iv. 3-5, Numbers xvi. 15; 1Samuel ii. 17, 29, xxvi. 19;
Isaiah i. 13; Malachi i. 10-13, ii. 12, 13, iii. 3, 4.
In the Priestly Code _minha_ is exclusively a terminus technicus
for the meal-offering. The general name in the LXX and in the
New Testament is DWRON (Matthew v. 23-24, viii. 4, xv. 5,
xxiii. 18, 19). Compare Spencer, "De ratione et origine
sacrificiorum" (De Legibus Hebraeorum ritualibus, iii.2), by far
the best thing that has ever been written on the subject.

the corresponding verbs are _haqrib_ and _haggish_, i.e.,
"to bring near." Both nouns and both verbs are used originally
for the offering of a present to the king (or the nobles) to do
him homage, to make him gracious, to support a petition
(Judges iii. 17 seq.; 1Samuel x. 27; 1Kings v. 1
[A.V. iv.21]), and from this are employed with reference to the
highest King (Malachi i.8).


The gift must not be unseasonably or awkwardly thrust upon the
recipient, not when the king's anger is at white heat, and not by
one the sight of whom he hates.

With respect to the matter of it, the idea of a sacrifice is in
itself indifferent, if the thing offered only have value of some
sort, and is the property of the offerer. Under _qorban_ and _minha_
is included also that which the Greeks called _anathema_. The sacred
dues which at a later date fall to the priest were without doubt
originally ordinary offerings, and amongst these are found even
wool and flax (Deut. xviii. 4; Hos. ii. 7, 11 [A.V. 5, 9] ).
But it is quite in harmony with the naivete of antiquity that as
to man so also to God that which is eatable is by preference
offered; in this there was the additional advantage, that what God
had caused to grow was thus rendered back to Him. In doing this,
the regular form observed is that a meal is prepared in honour of
the Deity, of which man partakes as God's guest. Offering without
any qualifying expression always means a meat or drink offering.
On this account the altar is called a table, on this account also
salt goes along with flesh, oil with meal and bread, and wine with
both; and thus also are we to explain why the flesh, according to
rule, is put upon the altar in pieces and (in the earlier period)
boiled, the corn ground or baked. Hence also the name "bread of
Jehovah" for the offering (Leviticus xxi.22). It is of course true
that "in his offering the enlightened Hebrew saw no banquet to
Jehovah:" but we hardly think of taking the enlightened Protestant
as a standard for the original character of Protestantism.

The manner in which the portions pertaining to God are conveyed to
Him varies. The most primitive is the simple "setting in order"
[ (RK, struere] and "pouring out" [#pk, fundere) in the case of the
shewbread and drink offerings; to this a simple eating and
drinking would correspond. But the most usual is burning, or, as
the Hebrews express it, "making a savour" (HQ+YR), to which
corresponds the more delicate form of enjoyment, that of smelling.
Originally, however, it is God Himself who consumes what the flame
consumes. In any case the burning is a means of conveying the
offering, not, as one might perhaps be disposed to infer from the
"sweet savour" (RYX HNYXX Genesis viii.21), a means of preparing it.
For in ancient times the Hebrews did not roast the flesh, but
boiled it; in what is demonstrably the oldest ritual (Judges
vi. 19), the sacrifice also is delivered to the altar flame boiled;
and, moreover, not the flesh only but also the bread and the meal
are burnt.

As regards the distinction between bloodless and bloody
offerings, the latter, it is well known, are preferred in the Old
Testament, but, strictly speaking, the former also have the same
value and the same efficacy. The incense-offering is represented
as a means of propitiation (Leviticus xvi., Numbers xvii. 12
[A.V. xvi. 47] ), so also are the ten thousands of rivers of oil
figuring between the thousands of rams and the human sacrifice in
Micah vi. That the cereal offering is never anything but an
accompaniment of the animal sacrifice is a rule which does not hold,
either in the case of the shewbread or in that of the high priest's
daily minxa (Leviticus vi. 13 [A.V. 20]; Nehemiahx.35). Only the
drink-offering has no independent position, and was not in any way
the importance it had among the Greeks.

When a sacrifice is killed, the offering consists not of the blood
but of the eatable portions of the flesh. Only these can be
designated as the "bread of Jehovah," and, moreover, only the
eatable domestic animals can be presented. At the same time,
however, it is true that in the case of the bloody offerings a new
motive ultimately came to be associated with the original idea of
the gift. The life of which the blood was regarded as the
substance (2Samuel xxiii.17) had for the ancient Semites something
mysterious and divine about it; they felt a certain religious
scruple about destroying it. With them flesh was an uncommon
luxury, and they ate it with quite different feelings from those
with which they partook of fruits or of milk. Thus the act of
killing was not so indifferent or merely preparatory a step as
for example the cleansing and preparing of corn; on the contrary,
the pouring out of blood was ventured upon only in such a way as
to give it back to the Deity, the source of life. In this way, not
by any means every meal indeed, but every slaughtering, came to
be a sacrifice. What was primarily aimed at in it was a mere
restoration of His own to the Deity, but there readily resulted a
combination with the idea of sacrifice, whereby the latter was
itself modified in a peculiar manner. The atoning efficacy of the
gift began to be ascribed mainly to the blood and to the
vicarious value of the life taken away. The outpouring and
sprinkling of blood was in all sacrifices a rite of conspicuous
importance, and even the act of slaughtering in the case of some,
and these the most valued, a holy act.

II.II.2. The features presented by the various literary sources
harmonise with the foregoing sketch. But the Priestly Code
exhibits some peculiarities by which it is distinguished from the
pre-exilian remains in matters sacrificial.

In the first place, it is characterised in the case of bloodless
offerings by a certain refinement of the material. Thus in the
meal-offerings it will have SLT (simila) not QMX (far). In the
whole pre-exilian literature the former is mentioned only three
times altogether, but never in connection with sacrifice, where,
on the contrary, the ordinary meal is used (Judges vi. 19; 1Samuel
i. 24). That this is no mere accident appears on the one hand from
the fact that in the later literature, from Ezekiel onwards, QMX as
sacrificial meal entirely disappears, and SLT invariably take its
place; on the other hand, from this that the LXX (or the Hebrew
text from which that version was taken) is offended by the
illegality of the material in 1Samuel i. 24, and alters the reading
so as to bring it to conformity with the Law. /1/

1. Ezekiel xvi. 13, 19, xlvi. 14; I Chronicles ix. 29, xxiii. 22;
Ecclus. xxxv.2, xxxviii. 11, xxxix. 32; Isaiah i. 13 (LXX); lxvi. 3 (LXX).
In the Priestly Code slt occurs more than forty times.

So also a striking preference is shown for incense. With every
meal-offering incense is offered upon the altar; in the inner sanctuary
a special mixture of spices is employed, the accurately given recipe
for which is not to be followed for private purposes. The offering
of incense is the privilege of the higher priesthood; in the
ritual of the great Day of Atonement, the sole one in which Aaron
must discharge the duties in person, it occupies a conspicuous
place. It has an altogether dangerous sanctity; Aaron's own sons
died for not having made use of the proper fire. It is the cause
of death and destruction to the Levites of Korah's company who are
not entitled to use it, while immediately afterwards, in the hands
of the legitimate high priest, it becomes the means of appeasing
the anger of Jehovah, and of staying the plague. Now of this
offering, thus invested with such a halo of sanctity, the older
literature of the Jewish Canon, down to Jeremiah and Zephaniah,
knows absolutely nothing. The verb Q++R there used invariably
and exclusively of the BURNING of fat or meal, and thereby making
to God a sweet-smelling savour; it is never used to denote the
OFFERING OF INCENSE, and the substantive Q+RT as a sacrificial
term has the quite general signification of that which is burnt on
the altar. /2/

2. The verb is used in _piel_ by the older writers, in _hiphil_
by the Priestly Code (Chronicles), and promiscuously in both forms
during the transition period by the author of the Books of Kings.
This is the case, at least, where the forms can with certainty be
distinguished, namely, in the perfect, imperative, and infinitive;
the distinction between YQ+R and YQ+YR, MQ+R and MQ+YR rests,
as is well known, upon no secure tradition. Compare, for example,
_qatter jaqtirun_, 1Samuel ii. 16; the transcribers and punctuators
under the influence of the Pentateuch preferred the hiphil. In the
Priestly Code (Chronicles) HQ+YR has both meanings alongside of
each other, but when used without a qualifying phrase it generally
means incensing, and when consuming a sacrifice is intended HMZBXH
is usually added, "on the altar," that is, the place on which the
incense-offering strictly so called was NOT offered. The substantive
Q+RT in the sense of "an offering of incense" in which
it occurs exclusively and very frequently in the Priestly
Code, is first found in Ezekiel (viii. 11, xvi. 18, xxiii. 41) and
often afterwards in Chronicles, but in the rest of the Old
Testament only in Proverbs xxvii. 9, but there in a profane sense.
Elsewhere never, not even in passages so late as 1Samuel ii.28; Psalms
lxvi. 15, cxli. 2. In authors of a certainly pre-exilian date tbe
word occurs only twice, both times in a perfectly general sense.
Isaiah i. 13: "Bring me no more oblations; it is an abominable
incense to me." Deuteronomy xxxiii. 10: "The Levites shall put incense
(i.e.,the fat of thank-offerings) before thee, and whole
burnt-offerings upon thine altar." The name LBNT (frankincense)
first occurs in Jeremiah (vi. 20, xvii. 26, xli. 5); elsewhere only
in the Priestly Code (nine times), in Isaiah xl.-lxvi. (three
times), in Chronicles and Nehemiah (three times), and in Canticles
(three times). Compare Zephaniah iii. 10; 1Kings ix. 25.

In enumerations where the prophets exhaust everything pertaining to
sacred gifts and liturgic performances, in which, for the sake
of lengthening the catalogue, they do not shrink from repetitions even,
there is not any mention of incense-offerings, neither in Amos
(iv. 4 seq., v. 21 seq.) nor in Isaiah (i. 11 seq.) nor in Micah
(vi. 6 seq.). Shall we suppose that they all of them forget this
subject by mere accident, or that they conspired to ignore it?
If it had really existed, and been of so great consequence, surely
one of them at least would not have failed to speak of it.
The Jehovistic section of the Hexateuch is equally silent, so also
the historical books, except Chronicles, and so the rest of the prophets,
down to Jeremiah, who (vi.20) selects incense as the example of a rare
and far-fetched offering: "To what purpose cometh there to me incense
from Sheba, and the precious cane from a far country?"
Thenceforward it is mentioned in Ezekiel, in Isaiah (xl.-lxvi.),
in Nehemiah, and in Chronicles; the references are continuous. The
introduction of incense is a natural result of increased luxury;
one is tempted to conjecture that its use must have first crept
into the Jehovah worship as an innovation from a more
luxuriously-developed foreign cultus. But the importance which it
has attained in the ritual legislation of the Pentateuch is
manifest above all from this, that it has led to the invention of a
peculiar new and highly sacred piece of furniture, namely, the
golden altar in the inner tabernacle, which is unknown to history,
and which is foreign even to the kernel of the Priestly Code

We expect to find the altar of incense in Exodus xxv.-xxix., but
find it instead as an appendix at the beginning of Exodus xxx. Why
not until now? why thus separated from the other furnishings of
the inner sanctuary? and not only so, but even after the
ordinances relating to the adornment of the priests, and the
inauguration of the divine service? The reason why the author of
chaps. xxv.-xxix. is thus silent about the altar of incense in
the passage in which the furniture of the tabernacle, consisting of
ark, table, and candlestick, is described, is, that he does not
know of it. There is no other possibility; for he cannot have
forgotten it. /1/

1. There is a peculiar perversity in meeting the objection by
alleging other singularities in the ordinance as for example, that
the vessels of the tabernacle are appointed (chap. xxv.) before
the tabernacle itself (chap. xxvi.). This last is no
eccentricity; the order in commanding is first the end, and then
the means; but in obeying, the order is reversed. In like manner,
it is not at all surprising if subsidiary implements, such as
benches for slaughtering. or basins for washing, which have no
importance for the cultus, properly so called, should be either
passed over altogether, or merely brought in as an appendix. The
case is not at all parallel with the omission of the most important
utensil of the sanctuary from the very passage to which it
necessarily belongs.

And the phenomenon is repeated; the altar of incense occurs only
in certain portions of the Priestly Code, and is absent from
others where it could not possibly have been omitted, had it been
known. The rite of the most solemn atoning sacrifice takes place
in Leviticus iv. indeed on the golden altar, but in Exodus xxix.,
Leviticus viii., ix., without its use. A still more striking
circumstance is, that in passages where the holiest incense-offering
itself is spoken of, no trace can be discovered of the corresponding
altar. This is particularly the case in Leviticus xvi. To burn incense
in the sanctuary, Aaron takes a censer, fills it with coals from the
altar of burnt-offering (ver. 12, 18-20), and lays the incense
upon them in the adytum. Similarly in Leviticus x., Numbers xvi.,
xvii., incense is offered on censers, of which each priest
possesses one. The coals are taken from the altar of
burnt-offering (Numbers xvii. 11; [A.V. xvi. 46]), which is plated
with the censers of the Korahite Levites (xvii. 3, 4; [A.V.
xvi. 38, 39]); whoever takes fire from any other source, incurs
the penalty of death (Leviticus x. 1 seq.). The altar of incense is
everywhere unknown here; the altar of burnt-offering is the only
altar, and, moreover, is always called simply 'the altar', as for
example, even in Exodus xxvii., where it would have been specially
necessary to add the qualifying expression. Only in certain
later portions of the Priestly Code does the name altar of
burnt-offering occur, viz, in those passages which do recognise the
altar of incense. In this connection the command of Exodus xxvii.
as compared with the execution in Exodus xxxviii. is

The golden altar in the sanctuary is originally simply the
golden table; the variation of the expression has led to a
doubling of the thing. Ezekiel does not distinguish between the
table and the altar in the temple, but uses either expression
indifferently. For he says (xii.21 seq. ): "Before the adytum
stood what looked like an altar of wood, three cubits in height,
two cubits in length and breadth, and it had projecting corners,
and its frame and its walls were of wood; this is the table which
is before the Lord." In like manner he designates the service of
the priests in the inner sanctuary as table-service (xliv.16);
table is the name, altar the function. /1/

1. Malachi, on the other hand, designates the so-called altar
of burnt-offering as a table.

In 1Kings vii. 48, it is true that the golden altar and the golden
table are mentioned together. It seems strange, however, that in
this case the concluding summary mentions one piece of furniture
more-- and that piece one of so great importance--than the preceding
detailed description; for in the latter only the preparation of the
golden altar is spoken of, and nothing is said of the golden table
(vi. 20-22). As matters stand, nothing is less improbable than that
some later transcriber should have interpolated the golden table
in vii. 48, regarding it, in accordance with the Pentateuch, as
distinct from the golden altar, and therefore considering its
absence as an omission. From other considerations also, it is
clear that the text of the whole chapter is in many ways corrupt
and interpolated.

It is not to be wondered at if in the post-exilian temple there
existed both a golden altar and a golden table. We learn from
1Maccabees i. 21 seq., iv. 49, that both were carried off by
Antiochus Epiphanes, and renewed at the Feast of the Dedication.
But it causes no small surprise to find that at the destruction
of Jerusalem the Romans found and carried off table and candlestick
only. What can have become, in the meantime, of the golden altar
of incense? And it is further worth remarking that in the LXX the
passage Exodus xxxvii.25-29 is absent; that is to say, the altar
of incense is indeed commanded, but there is no word of its
execution. In these circumstances, finally, the vacillating
statement as to its position in Exodus xxx. 6, and the supposed
mistake of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, are important
and intelligible. Compare also 2Maccabees ii.5, where only the table,
but not the altar, is hidden by Jeremiah.

So much for the offering of incense and its altar. We may in
like manner venture to regard it as a kind of refinement, though
rather a refinement of idea, that the flesh of the sacrifice in the
Priestly Code is no longer boiled, but consigned to the altar
flames in its raw condition. Such was not the ancient custom, as
is seen, not only from the case of Gideon already cited (Judges
vi.), but also from the procedure at Shiloh, described in 1Samuel
ii., where the sons of Eli will not wait until the flesh of the
sacrifice has been boiled, and the altar pieces burnt, but demand
their share raw for roasting. The meal which the Deity shares
with men is prepared in the same way as for men. This naive
conception gave way before advancing culture, and that at a
comparatively early date. It is possible that another cause may
also have co-operated towards this result. The old method of
preparing flesh in general use among the people, at a later period
also, was by boiling. The word B#L (to seethe in water) occurs
with extreme frequency; CLH (to roast), on the other hand, only
in Exodus xii. 8, and Isaiah xliv. 16, 19. All sacrificial flesh
(B#LH) was boiled, and there was no other kind. /1/

1. Accordingly one must understand (#H also of boiling (Judges vi. 19).
Compare the boiling-houses of the temple still found in Ezekiel
xlvi. 20-24. In I Sam. i. 9 pronounce _beshela_ instead of _beshilo_,
and delete W)XRY #TH.

But among persons of the upper class roasting must also have come
into use at an early period. "Give flesh to roast for the priest;
for he will not take sodden flesh of thee, but raw," says the
servant of the sons of Eli in 1Samuel ii. 15. The fact that in the
interval the custom of boiling had gone generally somewhat out of
fashion may accordingly have also contributed to bring about the
abandonment of the old usage of offering the sacrificial portions
boiled. In any case this is the explanation of the circumstance
that the paschal lamb, which originally was boiled like all other
offerings, could, according to the express appointment of the
Priestly Code, be eaten roasted only. /2/

2. Compare the polemical ordinance of Exodus xii. 9 with Deuteronomy
xvi. 7.

The phenomenon that in the Law meal is by preference offered raw,
while in the earlier period, even as an adjunct of the burnt-offering,
it was presented baked, belongs to the same category. The latter
is the case in Judges vi. 19 at least, and the statement of 1Samuel
i. 24 is also to be understood in the same sense; the sacrificer
brings meal along with him in order to bake it into _maccah_ on the spot
(Ezekiel xlvi. 20). But he may bring along with him common, that is
leavened, cakes also (1Samuel x. 3), which seem originally by no
means to have been considered unfit to be offered as in Leviticus
ii. 11. For under this law of Leviticus ii. even the presentation of
the shewbread would be inexplicable, and moreover it is certain
that at first the loaves of the feast of weeks were offerings,
properly so called, and not merely dues to the priests.
According, to Amos iv. 5, leavened bread was made use of precisely
at a particularly solemn sacrifice, and a reminiscence of this
usage has been preserved even in Leviticus vii. 13, although of course
without any practical weight being attached to it. /1/

1. The loaves are passed over in silence in Leviticus vii. 29 seq.,
although it is in this very place that the matter of presenting
on the part of the offerer is most fully described. And when it
is said (vii. 12),
"If he offer it for a thanksgiving (Todah), then he shall offer
with it unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers
anointed with oil and fine flour (LXX), mingled with oil ;"
vii. 13, "[With] leavened cakes shall he offer as a gift with the
thank-offering of the Todah,"
the suspicion very readily occurs that verse 12 is an authentic
interpretation prefixed, to obviate beforehand the difficulty
presented by verse 13, and that similarly the first (l in verse 13
is also a later correction, which does not harmonise well by any
means with the second. Verse 13 connects itself better with
verse 11 than with verse 12.--Exod xxxiv. 25.

Moreover, massah also means, properly speaking, only the bread
that is prepared in haste and in the most primitive manner for
immediate use, and originally implies no contrast with leaven, but
simply with the more artificial and tedious manners of producing
ordinary bread /2/

2. Compare Genesis xviii. 6 with xix.3.

In the Priestly Code the materials are finer, but they are as
much as possible left in their raw condition; both are steps
in advance.

II.II.3. There is another and much more important difference in the
case of the animal sacrifice. Of this the older practice knows
only two kinds apart from extraordinary varieties, which may be
left out of account. These two are the burnt-offering (`Olah) and
the thank-offering (Shelem, Zebah, Zebah Shelamim). In the case of
the first the whole animal is offered on the altar; in the other
God receives, besides the blood, only an honorary portion, while
the rest of the flesh is eaten by the sacrificial guests. Now it
is worth noticing how seldom the burnt-offering occurs alone. It
is necessarily so in the case of human sacrifice (Genesis xxii. 2
seq.; Judges xi. 31; /1/ 2Kings iii. 27; Jeremiah xix.5);

3. It is probable that Jephthah expected a human creature and not an
animal to meet him from his house.

otherwise it is not usual (Genesis viii. 20; Numbers xxiii. 1 seq.;
Judges vi. 20, 26, xiii. 16, 23; 1Samuel vii. 9 seq.; 1Kings
iii. 4, xviii. 34,38); /1/ moreover, all the examples

1. In the above list of passages no notice is taken of the
_sacrificium juge_ of 2Kings xvi.15. The statement in 1Kings iii. 4
is perhaps to be taken along with iii. 15, but does not become at
all more credible on that account. Of course it is understood that
only those passages are cited here in which mention is made of
offerings actually made, and not merely general statements about
one or more kinds of offering. The latter could very well fix
attention upon the `Olah alone without thereby throwing any light
upon the question as to the actual practice.

just cited are extraordinary or mythical in their character, a
circumstance that may not affect the evidence of the existence of
the custom in itself, but is important as regards the statistics of
its frequency. As a rule, the `Olah occurs only in conjunction
with Zebahim, and when this is the case the latter are in the
majority and are always in the plural, while on the other hand
the first is frequently in the singular. /2/

1. Exodus x. 25, xviii. 12, xxiv. 5, xxxii. 6; Joshua viii. 31;
Judges xx. 26, xxi. 4; 1Samuel vi. 14 seq., x. 8, xiii. 9-12;
2Samuel vi. 17 seq., xxiv. 23-25, 1Kings iii. 15, viii. 63 seq.;
2Kings v. 17, x. 24, 25. The zeugma in Judges xx. 26, xxi.4 is
inconsistent with the older _usus loquendi_. The proper name
for the holocaust appears to be KLYL (Deuteronomy xxxiii. 10;
1Samuel vii.9) not (LH. It is impossible to decide whether
the sacrificial due in all sorts of Zebah was the same,
but most probably it was not. Probably the Shelamim are a
more solemn kind of sacrifice than the simple Zebah. The word 'fat'
is used in Genesis iv. 4; Exodus xxiii. 18 in a very general sense.
It is not quite clear what is meant by the blessing of the Zebah
in 1Samuel ix. 13; perhaps a kind of grace before meat.

They supplement each other like two corresponding halves; the
`Olah is, as the name implies, properly speaking, nothing more
than the part of a great offering that reaches the altar. One
might therefore designate as `Olah also that part of a single
animal which is consecrated to the Deity; this, however, is never
done; neither of the blood nor of the fat [Q+R] is the verb H(LH
used, but only of the pieces of the flesh, of which in the case of
the minor offering nothing was burnt. But the distinction is
merely one of degree; there is none in kind; a small Zebah,
enlarged and augmented, becomes an `Olah and Zebahim; out of a
certain number of slaughtered animals which are eaten by the
sacrificial company, one is devoted to God and wholly given to the
flames. For the rest, it must be borne in mind that as a rule it
is only great sacrificial feasts that the historical books take
occasion to mention, and that consequently the burnt-offering,
notwithstanding what has been said, comes before us with greater
prominence than can have been the average case in ordinary life.
Customarily, It is certain, none but thank-offerings were offered;
necessarily so if slaughtering could only be done beside the
altar. Where mention is made of a simple offering in the Books of
Samuel and Kings, that it is a thank-offering is matter of course.
1Samuel ii. 12 seq. is in this connection also particularly

From what has been said it results that according to the praxis of
the older period a meal was almost always connected with a
sacrifice. It was the rule that only blood and fat were laid upon
the altar, but the people ate the flesh; only in the case of very
great sacrificial feasts was a large animal (one or more) given to
Jehovah. Where a sacrifice took place, there was also eating and
drinking (Exodus xxxii. 6; Judges ix. 27; 2Samuel xv. 11 seq.;
Amos ii. 7); there was no offering without a meal, and no meal
without an offering (1Kings i. 9); at no important Bamah was
entertainment wholly wanting, such a LESXH as that in which Samuel
feasted Saul, or Jeremiah the Rechabites (1Samuel ix. 22; Jeremiah
xxxv. 2). To be merry, to eat and drink before Jehovah, is a usual
form of speech down to the period of Deuteronomy; even Ezekiel
calls the cultus on the high places an eating upon the mountains
(1Samuel ix. 13,19 seq ), and in Zechariah the pots in the temple
have a special sanctity (Zech. xiv. 20). By means of the meal in
presence of Jehovah is established a covenant fellowship on the one
hand between Him and the guests, and on the other hand between the
guests themselves reciprocally, which is essential for the idea of
sacrifice and gives their name to the Shelamim (compare Exodus
xviii. 12, xxiv. 11). In ordinary slaughterings this notion is not
strongly present, but in solemn sacrifices it was in full vigour.
It is God who invites, for the house is His; His also is the gift,
which must be brought to Him entire by the offerer before the
altar, and the greater portion of which He gives up to His guests
only affer that. Thus in a certain sense they eat at God's
table, and must accordingly propare or sanctify themselves for
it. /1/

1. In order to appear before Jehovah the guest adorns himself
with clothes and ornaments (Exodus iii. 22, xi. 2 seq.;
Hosea ii. 15 [A.V. 13]; Ezekiel xvi. 13; compare Koran, Sur. xx. 61),
sanctifies himself (Numbers xi. 18) and is sanctified (1Samuel xvi. 5;
Exodus xix. 10, 14). The sacrificial meal is regarded as Kodesh
(hallowed) for not only the priests, but all the sanctified persons
eat Kodesh (1Samuel xxi. 5 seq. On what is meant by sanctification
light is thrown by 1Samuel xxi. 5; 2Samuel xi. 2. Compare L) LPNW
XNP YB) ( Job xiii. 16; Leviticus vii. 20; Matthew xxii. 11-13). Jehovah
invites the armies of the nations to His sacrifice, for which
He delivers over to them some other nation, and calls the Medes,
to whom He gives Babylon over, His sanctified ones, that is,
His guests (Zephaniah i. 7 seq.; Jeremiah xlvi. 10; Ezekiel xxxix 17;
Isaiah xiii. 3).

Even on occasions that, to our way of thinking, seem highly unsuitable,
the meal is nevertheless not wanting (Judges xx. 26, xxi. 4;
1Sam xiii. 9-12). That perfect propriety was not always observed
might be taken for granted, and is proved by Isaiah xxviii. 8
even with regard to the temple of Jerusalem; "all tables are full
of vomit, there is no room." Hence also Eli's suspicion regarding
Hannah was a natural one, and by no means so startling as it appears.

How different from this picture is that suggested by the Priestly
Code! Here one no longer remarks that a meal accompanies every
sacrifice; eating before Jehovah, which even in Deuteronomy is
just the expression for sacrificing, nowhere occurs, or at all
events is no act of divine worship. Slaying and sacrificing are no
longer coincident, the thank-offering of which the breast and right
shoulder are to be consecrated is something different from the old
simple Zebah. But, precisely for this reason, it has lost its
former broad significance. The _mizbeah_, that is, the place where
the _zebahim_ are to be offered, has been transformed into a _mizbah
ha-'olah_. The burnt-offering has become quite independent and
comes everywhere into the foreground, the sacrifices which are
unconnected with a meal altogether predominate,--so much that, as
is well known, Theophrastus could declare there were no others
among the Jews, who in this way were differentiated from all
other nations. /1/ Where formerly a

1. Porphyry, De Abstin. ii.26. Compare Joseph., Contra Apion,

thank-offering which was eaten before Jehovah, and which might with
greater clearness be called a sacrificial meal, was prescribed, the
Priestly Code, as we shall afterwards see, has made out of it
simple dues to the priests, as, for example, in the case of the
first-born and of firstlings. Only in this point it still bears
involuntary testimony to the old custom by applying the names
_Todah, Neder, and Nedabah_, of which the last two in particular must
necessarily have a quite general meaning (Leviticus xxii. 18; Ezekiel
xlvi. 12), exclusively to the thank-offering, while _Milluim_ and
paschal sacrifice are merely subordinate varieties of it.

II.II.4. What the thank-offering has lost, the sin and trespass
offering have gained; the voluntary private offering which the
sacrificer ate in a joyful company at the holy place has given
way before the compulsory, of which he obtains no share, and from
which the character of the sacred meal has been altogether taken
away. The burnt-offering, it is true, still continues to be a
meal, if only a one-sided one, of which God alone partakes; but
in the case of the sin-offering everything is kept far out of sight
which could recall a meal, as, for example, the accompaniments of
meal and wine, oil and salt; of the flesh no portion reaches the
altar, it all goes as a fine to the priest. Now, of this kind of
sacrifice, which has an enormous importance in the Priestly Code,
not a single trace occurs in the rest of the Old Testament before
Ezekiel, neither in the Jehovist and Deuteronomist, nor in the
historical and prophetical books. /1/

1. How great is the difference in Deuteronomy xxi. 1-9; how very
remote the sacrificial idea!

`Olah and Zebah comprehend all animal sacrifices, `Olah and Minhah,
or Zebah and Minhah, all sacrifices whatsoever; nowhere is a special
kind of sacrifice for atonement met with (1Samuel iii. 14).
Hos. iv. 8 does indeed say: "They eat the sin of my people, and they
are greedy for its guilts," but the interpretation which will have it
that the priests are here reproached with in the first instance
themselves inducing the people to falsification of the sacred dues,
in order to make these up again with the produce of the sin and
trespass offerings, is either too subtle or too dull. /2/

2. The sin and guilt are the sacrificial worship generally as
carried on by the people (viii. 11; Amos iv. 4); in the entire
section the prophet is preparing the way for the here sharply
accentuated reproach against the priests that they neglect
the Torah and encourage the popular propensity to superstitious
and impure religious service. Besides, where is there any
reproach at all, according to the Pentateuch, in the first section
of iv. 8? And the second speaks of (WNM, not of )#MM.

It would be less unreasonable to co-ordinate with the similarly
named sin and trespass offering of the Pentateuch the five golden
mice, and the five golden emerods with which the Philistines send
back the ark, and which in 1Samuel vi. 3, 4, 8 are designated _asham_,
or, still better, the sin and trespass monies which, according to
2Kings xii. 17 [A.V. 16], fell to the share of the Jerusalem
priests. Only the fact is that even in the second passage the
_asham_ and _hattath_ are no sacrifices, but, more exactly to
render the original meaning of the words, mere fines, and in fact money
fines. On the other hand, the _hattath_ referred to in Micah vi. 7
has nothing to do with a due of the priests, but simply denotes
the guilt which eventually another takes upon himself. Even in
Isaiah liii. 10, a passage which is certainly late, _asham_ must not
be taken in the technical sense of the ritual legislation, but
simply (as in Micah) in the sense of guilt, borne by the innocent
for the guilty. For the explanation of this prophetic passage
Gramberg has rightly had recourse to the narrative of 2Samuel
xi. 1-14. "Upon Saul and upon his house lies blood-guiltiness, for
having slain the Gibeonites" is announced to David as the cause of
a three years' famine. When asked how it can be taken away, the
Gibeonites answer,
"It is not a matter of silver and gold to us with respect to Saul
and his house; let seven men of his family be delivered to us that
we may hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeah of Saul upon the
mountain of the Lord."
This was done; all the seven were hanged.

_A*sham_ and _hattath_ as offerings occur for the first time in
Ezekiel, and appear, not long before his day to have come into the
place of the earlier pecuniary fines (2Kings xii. 17 [16]), which
perhaps already also admitted of being paid in kind; probably in
the seventh century, which seems to have been very open to the
mystery of atonement and bloodshedding, and very fertile in the
introduction of new religious usages. /1/

1. Consider for example the prevalence of child sacrifice precisely
at this time, the introduction of incense, the new fashions which
King Manasseh brought in, and of which certainly much survived
that suited the temper of the period, and admitted of being conjoined
with the worship of Jehovah, or even seemed to enhance its dignity
and solemnity.

The sin and trespass offerings of the Pentateuch still bear traces
of their origin in fines and penalties; they are not gifts to God,
they are not even symbolical, they are simply mulcts payable to the
priests, partly of fixed commutation value (Leviticus v. 15). Apart
from the mechanical burning of the fat they have in common with
the sacrifice only the shedding of blood, originally a secondary
matter, which has here become the chief thing. This circumstance
is an additional proof of our thesis. The ritual of the simple
offering has three acts:
(1.) the presentation of the living animal before Jehovah,
and the laying on of hands as a token of manumission on the part
of the offerer;
(2.) the slaughtering and the sprinkling of the blood on the altar;
(3.) the real or seeming gift of the sacrificial portions to the Deity,
and the meal of the human guests.
In the case of the burnt-offering the meal in the third act disappears,
and the slaughtering in the second comes into prominence as significant
and sacred, inasmuch as (what is always expressly stated) it must
take place in the presence of Jehovah, at the north side of the altar.
In the case of the sin and trespass offering the third act is dropped
entirely, and accordingly the whole significance of the rite attaches
to the slaughtering, which of course also takes place before the altar,
and to the sprinkling of the blood, which has become peculiarly
developed here. It is obvious how the metamorphosis of the gift
and the meal into a bloody atonement advances and reaches its
acme in this last sacrificial act.

This ritual seems to betray its novelty even within the Priestly
Code itself by a certain vacillation. In the older corpus of law
(Leviticus xvii.-xxvi.) which has been taken into that document, all
sacrifices are still embraced under one or other of the two heads
ZBX and (LH (xvii. 8, xxii. 18, 21); there are no others. The _asham_
indeed occurs in xix. 21 seq., but, as is recognised, only in a
later addition; on the other hand,it is not demanded /1/ in

1. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the _asham_ here,
in the case of property unlawfully held, is simply the impost of
a fifth part of the value, and not the sacrifice of a ram, which
in Leviticus v. is required in addition. In Numbers v. also,
precisely this fifth part is called _asham_.

where it must have been according to Leviticus v. and Numbers v.
And even apart from Leviticus xvii.-xxvi there is on this point
no sort of agreement between the kernel of the Priestly Code
and the later additions, or "novels," so to speak. For one thing,
there is a difference as to the ritual of the most solemn sin-offering
between Exodus xxix., Leviticus ix. on the one hand, and Leviticus iv.
on the other; and what is still more serious, the trespass-offering
never occurs in the primary but only in the secondary passages,
Leviticus iv.-vii., xiv.; Numbers v.7, 8, vi. 1, xviii. 9. In the
latter, moreover, the distinction between _asham_ and _hattath_ is not
very clear, but only the intention to make it, perhaps because in
the old praxis there actually was a distinction between KSP XT)WT
and KSP )#M, and in Ezekiel between X+)T and )#M. /2/

2. The three sections, Leviticus iv. 1-35 (hattath), v.1-13
(hattath-asham), and v. 14-26 (asham), are essentially not
co-ordinate parts of one whole, but independent pieces proceeding
from the same school. For v. 1-13 is no continuation of or appendix
to iv. 27-35, but a quite independent treatment of the same material,
with important differences of form. The place of the systematic
generality of chap. iv. is here taken by the definite individual case,
and what is analogous to it; the ritual is given with less minuteness,
and the hierarchical subordination of ranks has no influence on
the classification of offences. In this section also _asham_ and
_hattath_ occur interchangeably as synonymous. In the third section
a ram as an _asham_ is prescribed (v. 17-19) for the very case in


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