Prolegomena to the History of Israel
Julius Wellhausen

Part 7 out of 13

l In Balaam's view of the happy future of Israel (Numbers xxiii.
seq.), the monarchy is spoken of as one of Israel's chief
blessings. Generally (xxiii. 21): "Jehovah his God is with
him, and the shout of a king is among them." With reference to
Saul (xxiv. 7): "And his king triumphs over Agag. and his
kingdom shall be exalted." To David (xxiv. 17): "I see him,
though not now; I behold him, though not nigh: there rises (ZRX)
a star out of Jacob and a rod out of Israel, and smites in pieces
the temples of Moab and the skull of all the sons of Seth: and Edom
also becomes a conquest." According to Deuteronomy xxxiii. 4, 5,
the monarchy and the Torah are the two great gifts of God's grace
to Israel.

The position taken up in the version of 1 Samuel vii. viii. x. 17
seq. xii., presents the greatest possible contrast to this way
of thinking. There, the erection of the monarchy only forms a
worse stage of backsliding from Jehovah. There can be no progress
beyond the Mosaic ideal; the greater the departure from it the
greater the declension. The capital sin of placing a human ruler
on the throne of Jehovah makes even the period of the judges
appear not quite black. Dark as the colours are with which that
period is generally painted, it held fast to the original form of
the theocracy, and so appears somewhat brighter: at last indeed,
to heighten the contrast, it is represented as a splendid age.
Under the rule of Samuel, everything was as it should be. Should
we ask, _how_ were things then? what was exactly the nature of
the theocratic constitution? we receive, it is true, no
satisfactory answer to the question. We might draw conclusions
with regard to the body from the head: but what sort of an idea
can we form of the position of Samuel? As he appears in these
chapters, we entirely fail to dispose of him in any of the
categories applicable to the subject; he is not a judge, not
a priest, not a prophet,--if at least we use these words with
their true historical meaning. He is a second Moses? Yes, but
that does not tell us much. So much only is clear, that the
theocracy is arranged on quite a different footing from the
kingdoms of this world, and that it amounts to a falling away
into heathenism when the Israelites place a king at their head
like other nations, and he keeps courtiers and ministers, officers
and soldiers, horses and chariots. It is accordingly a spiritual
community: the spiritual character of the regent places this
beyond doubt. Samuel admonishes the people to give up idolatry;
he presides at the great day of repentance at Mizpeh, which forms
an epoch in the sacred history; and Jehovah can refuse nothing to
his prayers and cries (xii. 1 7). "God forbid," he says in
taking leave of them (xii. 23), "that I should cease to pray for
you and teach you the good way." Such is his position: and the
citizens of the theocracy have the corresponding duty of
cultivating the worship of Jehovah, and not withdrawing themselves
from the guidance of the representative of Deity. They do not
need to trouble themselves about means for warding off the attacks
of their enemies; if they fast and pray, and give up their sins,
Jehovah hurls back the foe with His thunder and lightning, and so
long as they are pious He will not allow their land to be
invaded. All the expenses are then naturally superfluous by
which a people usually safeguards it own existence. That this
view is unhistorical is self-evident; and that it contradicts the
genuine tradition we have seen. The ancient Israelites did not
build a church first of all: what they built first was a house
to live in, and they rejoiced not a little when they got it
happily roofed over (xi. 15). But we have still to add, in
conclusion, that the idea here before us can only have arisen in
an age which had no knowledge of Israel as a people and a state,
and which had no experience of the real conditions of existence in
these forms; in other words. It is the offspring of exilic or
post-exilic Judaism. At that time the nation was transformed into
a religious community, whose members were at liberty to
concentrate themselves on what they held to be the great business
of life, worship and religiousness, because the Chaldeans or the
Persians had relieved them of all care for worldly concerns. At
that time, accordingly, the theocracy _existed_, and it is from
that time that it is transported in an idealised form to early
times. The material basis on which the theocracy rested in fact,
namely, the foreign domination, is put out of sight, and it is
counted heathenism in the old Israelites that they cared for the
external conditions of their national existence, that they are a
people in the full sense of the word, and seek to maintain
themselves as such with the weapons which are found necessary in
the work-a-day world. It naturally never came into the heads of
these epigoni to conceive that the political organisation and
centralisation which the monarchy called into being provided the
basis for the organisation and centralisation of the worship, and
that their church was merely a spiritualised survival of the
nation. What is added to Moses is taken away from the monarchy.

One more point has to be noticed. The chapters vii. viii. x. 17
seq. xii. betray a close relationship with Judges xix.-xxi.,
not only by their general tendency, but by a geographical
detail in which the two passages agree. It is only here that
Mizpeh, near Jerusalem, occurs as the place of meeting of all
Israel; we find no further mention of the place in the whole
period of the judges and the kings. Only after the destruction
of Jerusalem is it mentioned, and there as the centre of the new
Jewish community instituted by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah xl. seq.) as
the substitute of the old capital. It appears once more, and in a
similar character, in I Maccabees iii. 46 seq. at a time when the
temple of Jerusalem was in the hands of the Syrians, and the Jews
could not get to it. The Mizpeh of Judges xx., 1Samuel vii. 10,
is probably the same as that of Jeremiah xl. seq., and intended to
be, like these, in place of Jerusalem, the only legitimate
sanctuary, which, however, did not exist at that early time.
This is a further proof of the post-Deuteronomic and Jewish origin
of these narratives, but at the same time an indication that, with
every inclination to the views of the Priestly Code, the writer
yet had not that code before him. For in that work the projection
of Jerusalem into the period before Solomon is carried out in
quite a different way: the tabernacle renders Mizpeh superfluous.
It has also to be remarked that the rite of pouring out water
(1Samuel vii.) is foreign to the Priestly Code.

VII.II.3. The relation of Saul to Samuel is a subject which lends
itself readily to general views, and the development of the
tradition is visible in it in other particulars besides those we
have mentioned. Taking the view of 1Samuel vii. viii. xii. as
the lower limit, the narrative nearest in character is the story
about Samuel contained in an insertion in chap. xiii. After Saul
is made king at Gilgal by the levy with which he relieved Jabesh,
he selects from it a body of men who camp with him and Jonathan
at Gibeah and the neighbouring Michmash: and Jonathan, by killing
the officer at Gibeah, gives the signal for battle with the old
enemy of his race. The Philistines advance, and take up a position
to the north of Gibeah, with only a deep valley between them and
the Israelites. But Saul, we hear all at once, xiii. 7 (cf. ver. 4)
was yet in Gilgal, and waited seven days for Samuel, according
to the set time the latter had appointed; but Samuel did not come,
and the warriors began to scatter. As he was himself offering the
sacrifice without which no campaign could be commenced, Samuel
arrived, and at once opened upon him. Saul defended his act
with great force: the people were scattering, and Samuel had not
come at the appointed time, and as the Philistines had advanced
close up to Gibeah, he had found it impossible to delay longer,
and had offered the sacrifice in order to advance against them.
To all this Samuel's only answer was:
"Thou hast done foolishly; if thou hadst kept the commandment of
Jehovah, He would have established thy kingdom for ever, but
now thy kingdom shall not continue; Jehovah has sought Him a man
after His own heart, and appointed him to be ruler over His people,
because thou hast not kept that which Jehovah commanded thee."
So he said, and walked off; but Saul went with the army from Gilgal
to Gibeah. At Gibeah, the following verse (xiii. 16) goes on,
abode Saul and Jonathan, and their men, when the Philistines
encamped in Michmash.

The change of place distinctly shows the whole passage about the
meeting of the king with the prophet at Gilgal (xiii. 7-15) to be
an insertion by a later hand. At the beginning of the narrative
Saul is at Gibeah (ver. 2, 3), and the Philistines seek him
there, and halt before the place because they meet with
resistance. All at once, at ver. 7, it is assumed without being
stated, that Saul had stayed at Gilgal since he was chosen king
till now, and had only now advanced from there against the
Philistines who were waiting for him before Gibeah. Verse 16,
however, gives us the impression that Saul had been posted at
Gibeah with his men for some time, when the Philistines took up
their camp over against them. Only in this way is justice done
to the contrasted participle of state (_sedentes_) and inchoative
perfect (_castrametati sunt_). And in the sequel the triumphant
continuation of the story, especially in chap. xiv., shows no
indication that the ominous scene in Gilgal weighed on the mind of
Saul, or of the people, or of the historian.

According to xiii. 7-15, Saul is to wait seven days for Samuel at
Gilgal. Here there is a reference to x. 8, where the seer says
to the future king, "Thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal, and
I will come after thee there to offer sacrifices; seven days
shalt thou tarry till I come and show thee what thou shalt do."
This verse is condemned by other arguments than its connection
with xii. 7-15. Samuel's object at this point, according to x.
I-7, is to overcome the reluctance of the Benjamite who had gone
forth to seek his asses, to undertake the high calling announced
to him, and to inspire him with faith and confidence,--not to give
him unintelligible directions as to what he is to do first when he
has actually become king, and how long he has to wait for the
seer at Gilgal. The schoolmaster tone of x. 8 is particularly
out of place after the preceding words of ver. 7, that, when the
three signs have come to pass, Saul is to do what his hand finds,
because God is with him. This is surely giving him perfect
freedom of action, and for the reason that God's Spirit is working
in him, which "bloweth where it listeth," and suffers no
interference from any authority. /1/
1. It is also clear that the writer of x. 8, xiii. 7-15 cannot
possibly have found Samuel in Gilgal in chap. xi. before making
him go there in chap. xiii. We have already seen xi. 12-14 to
be a later addition; the name of Samuel must be interpolated
in xi.7, too. In fact in xi. 15 the people, i.e., the army,
acts quite of itself even in our present text. Hence it follows
also, that x. 8, xiii. 7-15 are older than vii. viii. x. 17 seq.

This insertion is based on an older account of the breach between
Samuel and Saul in 1Samuel xv. Here also the matter of dispute is
a sacrifice, and Gilgal is the scene; and this alone serves to
explain how Gilgal is adhered to in xiii. 7-15 in spite of all
impossibility, as being the right and necessary place for the
occurrence. Jehovah, by the mouth of Samuel, commands the king
to devote the Amalekites to destruction because of an act of
treachery they had committed against Israel in ancient times,
and to spare no living thing. Saul accordingly makes war on the
Amalekites and defeats them; but he does not carry out the
proscription entirely, as he spares the best of their cattle and
their king Agag, whom he takes prisoner. At Gilgal, where the
victory is celebrated before Jehovah, he is called to account for
this by Samuel, and states that he intended the booty for a
sacrifice to Jehovah. His statement, however, makes no
impression. "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to
hearken than the fat of rams: behold, rebellion is as the sin
of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim.
Because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, He also hath
rejected thee."
The king acknowledges his guilt, and tries to pacify Samuel;
but the latter turns from him in anger, and when Saul lays
hold of him, his mantle tears.
"Jehovah hath torn the kingdom of Israel from thee this day,
and given it to one better than thee; and the Truthful One of
Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He
should repent."
Yet at Saul's entreaty that he would at least not refuse
to honour him before the people, Samuel takes part in the
sacrifice, and even begins it by hewing Agag in pieces before
Jehovah. Then they part, never to see each other again; but
Samuel mourns for Saul, that Jehovah had repented of having made
him king over Israel. There is another narrative intimately
connected with this one in subject and treatment, thought and
expression, namely, that of the witch of Endor. When Saul, shortly
before the battle in which he fell, surveyed the hostile army, he
was seized with anxiety and terror. He inquired of Jehovah, but
received no answer, neither by dreams, nor by the ephod, nor by
prophets. In his extremity he was driven into the arms of a
black art which he had formerly persecuted and sought to
extirpate. By night and in disguise, with two companions, he
sought out a woman at Endor who practiced the raising of the dead,
and after reassuring her with regard to the mortal danger
connected with the practice of her art, he bade her call up
Samuel. She, on seeing the spirit ascending, at once perceives
that the man he had come up to converse with is the king himself;
she cries out loud, but allows herself to be reassured, and
describes the appearance of the dead person. Saul does not see
him, only hears him speak.
"Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? Jehovah doeth to
thee as He spake by me: He rends the kingdom out of thy hand,
and gives it to another, because thou obeyedst not the voice of
Jehovah, nor executedst His fierce wrath upon Amalek; to-morrow
shalt thou and thy sons be with me, and Jehovah also shall deliver
the host of Israel into the hands of the Philistines."
At these words Saul falls all his length on the ground. He had
eaten nothing all the day before and all night; he is with
difficulty induced to take some food: then he rises up with his
men to go and meet his fate (1 Samuel xxviii. 3-25).

Comparing with this original the copy in xiii. 7-15, we are
struck, in the first place, with the placing of the rupture so
much earlier. Scarcely is Saul made king when he is deposed, on
the spot, at Gilgal. And for what reason? Samuel has fixed, in
a purely arbitrary fashion, the time he is to wait, and Saul waits,
and makes arrangements for departure only when the time has run out,
although the need is pressing; and for this he is rejected! It is
clear that Samuel has from the first felt towards him as a
legitimate prince feels to a usurper; he has arranged so as to
find an occasion to show unmistakably where they both stand.
Strictly speaking he did not find the occasion, Saul having
observed the appointed time; but the opinion is present, though
unexpressed, that the king was not entitled to sacrifice, either
before the expiry of the seven days or at any time: his sacrificing
is regarded as sacrilege. And thus the autonomous theocracy stands
all at once before our eyes, which no one thought of before Ezekiel.
We are reminded of the stories of Joash and Uzziah in the Chronicles.
The incidents in 1Samuel xv. xxviii. are similar, but the spirit
of the narrative is different and more antique. The rejection does
not come here with such mad haste, and we do not get the impression
that Samuel is glad of the opportunity to wash his hands of the
king. On the contrary, he honours him before the people, he
mourns that Jehovah has rejected him; and Saul, who never again
sees him alive, turns to him dead in the hour of his extremity,
and does not regard him as his implacable enemy. Again, in the
former case the king's offence is that he has too low an estimate
of the sacredness of sacrifice, and fails to regard the altar as
unapproachable to the laity: while in the latter case he is
reproached with attaching. to sacrifice far too high a value. In
the former case, in fine, the Deity and the representative of the
Deity act with absolute caprice, confront men stiffly with
commands of incredible smallness, and challenge them to opposition;
in the latter, the conduct of Samuel is not (supposing it to have
been the custom to devote enemies to destruction) unintelligible,
nor his demeanour devoid of natural spirit; he appeals not to an
irresponsible position, but to the manifest truth that obedience
is better than the fat of rams.

Not that chapters xv. and xxviii. belong to the original growth of
the tradition. In the case of xxviii. 3-25 it is easy to show
the insertion: the thread of xxviii. 1, 2, coming from chapter
xxvii. is continued at xxix. 1. According to xxviii. 4 the
Philistines have advanced as far as Shunem in Jezreel; in xxix. 1
they are only at Aphek in Sharon, and they do not go on to
Jezreel till xxix. 11. To prove an insertion in the case of
chap. xv. we might point to the fact that there is a direct
connection between xiv. 52 and xvi. 14; but this must be proved
somewhat circumstantially. Let it suffice, then, to say that in
the preceding narrative of Saul's history, the war with the
Amalekites appears in quite a different light (ix. 1-X. 16, xi. xiii.
xiv.; cf. also Numbers xxiv. 7). The occasion of it, according to
xiv. 48, lay in the needs of the time, and the object was the
very practical one of "saving Israel out of the hands of them
that spoiled them." There is nothing here to suggest that the
campaign was undertaken in consequence of a religious command,
to punish the Amalekites for an offence over which long ages had
passed, and information about which could only be gathered from
historical books dealing with the age of Moses. Both the
narratives, chap. xv. as well as chap. xxviii, are preludes of
events afterwards to happen. At chap. xvi. David appears upon
the scene; he is thenceforth the principal person of the story,
and thrusts Saul on one side. Chapter xv. is the prophetic
introduction to this change. The fact had been handed down that
Saul was chosen by Jehovah to be king. How was it possible that in
spite of this his rule had no continuance? Jehovah, who as a rule
does not change His mind, was mistaken in him; and Samuel, who
called the king, had now to his great sorrow to pronounce the
sentence of rejection against him. The occasion on which he does
this is evidently historical, namely, the festival of victory
at Gilgal, at which the captured leader of the Amalekites was
offered up as the principal victim. The sacrifice of Agag being
quite repugnant to later custom, it was sought to account for it
by saying that Saul spared the king, but Jehovah required his
death, and caused him to be hewn in pieces at the altar by
Samuel. The rest could easily be spun out of this; it is
superfluous to discuss how. Chapter xxviii., again, is related to
chap. xv. as the second step to the first. No proof is wanted to
show that this is the prophetic shadow cast before the fall of
Saul in his last fight with the Philistines. His turning to the
witch to call up to him the departed Samuel suggests in the most
powerful way his condition of God-forsakenness since Samuel
turned away from him. And, to conclude-the general colouring of
the hostile relation between Saul and Samuel is borrowed from the
actual relations which must have come to subsist between the
prophets and the kings, particularly in the kingdom of Samaria (I
Kings xiv. 7). In their treatment of this relation our
narratives manifestly take up the prophetic position; and the
doctrinal ideas of which they are made the vehicles clearly
show them to be prophetic conceptions.

VII.II.4. David is the first hero of Judah whom we meet with;
and he at once throws all others into the shade. His acts are
narrated to us in two detailed and connected works which are
mutually complementary. The first of these is contained in 1Samuel
xiv. 52-2 Sam viii 18, and in it we are circumstantially informed
how David rose to the throne. There follows his principal achievement
as king, the humiliation of the Philistines and the foundation of
Jerusalem, the work concluding with a short notice of other
remarkable circumstances. This narrative is preserved to us
complete, only not in the earliest form, but with many
interruptions and alterations. The second work, 2Samuel ix.-2Kings
ii. is mutilated at its commencement, but otherwise almost
completely intact, if 2Samuel xxi.-xxiv. be removed. It tells
chiefly of the occurrences at the court of Jerusalem in the later
years of the king, and carefully traces the steps by which
Solomon, whose birth, with its attendant circumstances, is
narrated at the outset, reached the throne over the heads of his
brothers Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah, who stood before him. Both
works are marked by an essentially historical character. The
treatment is much more detailed, while not nearly so poetical as
in the history of Saul (1Samuel ix. seq.). There are no
exaggerations, such as xiv. 46 seq. The second is the better
work of the two, and frequently affords us a glance into the very
heart of events, showing us the natural occasions and human motives
which gave rise to the different actions. The point of view is,
however, the narrow one of Jerusalem; for example, the real
reasons of the revolt of the men of Judah under Absalom are
scarcely even hinted at. The leading sentiment of the writer,
there can be no doubt, is enthusiasm for David, but his weaknesses
are not concealed; the relations prevailing at his court, far from
edifying as they are, are faithfully reported, and the palace
intrigue which placed Solomon upon the throne is narrated with a
naivete which is almost malicious. The first work (1Samuel xvi.-
2Samuel viii.) gives a less circumstantial narrative, but follows
the thread of events not less conscientiously, and is based on
information little inferior to that of the second. The author's
partisanship is more noticeable, as he follows the style of a
biographer, and makes David the hero of the history from his very
first appearance, although king Saul is the ruling and motive power
in it. But Judaistic leanings were unavoidable, and they have
not gone so far as to transform the facts, nor indeed operated
in a different way or to a greater degree here than local
interest in the tribal hero, which is always the earliest motive
for narration, has done in other cases. This praise applies to
1Samuel xvi. seq., however, only so far as its original form goes.
It is different with the insertions, here very numerous, which
have crept into the older connection, or replaced a genuine piece
of the old story with a newer edition of it. In these the
tendency to idealise the founder of the dynasty of Judah has
worked creatively, and here we find rich materials for the history
of the tradition, in the rude style in which alone it is possible
as yet to construct that history. The beginning of the first work
especially is overgrown with later legendary formations.

David, known as a man of courage and prudence, and of a skilful
tongue, and recommended, moreover, by his skill on the harp, came
to the king's court and became his armour-bearer (xvi. 14-23).
He so approved himself in the war with the Philistines that Saul
advanced him step after step, and gave him his daughter in
marriage (xviii. 6 seq.). But the success and fame of the man of
Judah filled Saul with jealousy, and in one of his fits of frenzy
(to which x. 10 also shows him to have been subject) he threw his
javelin at David, who was seeking to drive away the evil spirit
by his playing (xix. 8-10). David agreed with Jonathan that it
was advisable for him to absent himself, but this only confirmed
the king's suspicions, which prompted him to destroy the priests
of Nob, because their head had provided David with food and
consulted the oracle for him (xxi 2-7, xxii. 6-23). The fugitive
himself Saul failed to lay hands on; he gathered round him his
own family and other desperate men, and became their leader in
the wilderness of Judah (xxii. 1-5, xxiii. 1-13, xxv. 2 seq.).
To escape the repeated persecutions of Saul, he at length passed
over to the country of the Philistines, and received the town of
Ziklag in Judah as a fief from the hands of the prince Achish
(xxvii. 1 seq.).

Such is the beginning of the history of David according to the
simple thread of the old narrative. The first accretion we
notice is the legend of the encounter of the shepherd boy with
Goliath (xvii. 1-xviii. 5), which is involved in contradiction
both with what goes before and with what follows it. According to
xvi. 14-23, David, when he first came in contact with Saul, was no
raw lad, ignorant of the arts of war, but "a mighty valiant man,
skilful in speech, and of a goodly presence;" and according to
xviii. 6 the women sang at the victorious return of the army,
"Saul has slain his thousands of the Philistines, and David his
tens of thousands," so that the latter was the leader of Israel
beside the king, and a proved and well-known man. Evidently
something of a different nature must originally have stood
between xvi. 23 and xviii. 6. Now the fate of the story of
Goliath (xvii. 1-xviii. 5) involves that of the story of the
anointing of David (xvi. 1-13), which is dependent on it
(xvi. 12, xvii. 42); and, as we have already decided that chapter
xv. is a secondary production, xiv. 52 joins on at once to xvi. 14.
In xviii. 6 seq., where we are told of the origin of Saul's
jealousy, several of the worst additions and interruptions are
wanting in the LXX, especially the first throwing of the javelin
(xviii. 9-11) and the betrothal to Merab (xviii. 17-19).
The insertions are most varied and confusing in the account of
the outbreak of the hostility of Saul and of David's flight
(chapters xix. xx). Chapter xix. 1-7, a pointless and artificial
passage, betrays its later origin by its acquaintance with chapter
xvii.; xviii. 29a (LXX) is continued at xix. 8. After Saul's
spear-cast David takes flight for the first time, but at verse 11
he is still at home, and makes his escape the second time with the
aid of feminine artifice, going to Samuel at Ramah, but to appear
in chap. xx. at Gibeah as before. The king remarks his absence
from table; Jonathan assures him of his father's favour, which,
however, David doubts, though he has no distinct evidence to the
contrary. When quite certain of the deadly hatred of the king,
David takes flight in earnest; in chapter xxi. seq. we find him
at Nob on his way to Judah, but at xxi. 10 he goes away afresh
from the face of Saul. It is evident that in reality and in the
original narrative the flight took place only once, and that it
must from the first have been directed to the place of refuge,
i.e., to Judah. This is enough to dispose of xix. 11-24: the
twentieth chapter is impossible in the connection, at least in
its present form, and in chapter xxi. verses 8-10 and 11-16 must
be left out. In the section which deals with the freebooter life
of David, chaps. xxiii-xxvii., considerable pieces have been added;
xxvii. 7-12 of course is one; but also the encounters of David with
his pursuers. There are two versions: the one, xxvi. 1-25, is
placed before chapter xxvii. on account of verse 19; the other,
xxiii. 14-xxiv. 22, is placed before chapter xxv. to avoid too near
a contact. There is a good deal of verbal coincidence between the
two, and we are entitled to regard the shorter and more pointed
version (chapter xxvi.) as the basis. But the sequence (xxvi. 25,
xxvii. 1) shows beyond a doubt that chapter xxvi. does not belong
to the original tradition. The process of inserting the additions
naturally was not completed without all sorts of editorial changes
in the older materials, e.g., xvi. 14.

Though proceeding from the same root, these offshoots are by no
means of the same nature, nor do they all belong to the same
stage of the process. Some of them are popular legends and
unconscious fictions. Of this nature is the story of Michal, who
takes the part of her husband against her father, lets him down in
the evening with a rope through the window, detains the spies for a
time by saying that David is sick, and then shows them the
household god which she has arranged on the bed and covered with
the counterpane (xix. 11-17). The scenes in which Saul and David
meet are of a somewhat different colour, yet we notice that the
conviction that the latter is the king of the future does not
interfere with the recognition of the former as the king _de facto_
and the anointed of Jehovah; Saul too appears not wicked, but
blinded. The secondary version (xxiii. 14 seq.) contains (not
to speak of the distinctly later insertion between verse 15 and
19), in addition to the touching features of the story, a
good-natured jest, telling how the two played hide-and-seek round a
hill, which took its name from the circumstance. These stories
present certain marks which serve to fix their date in the history
of the religion: one is, that the image in David's house is
spoken of quite simply; another, the expression in xxvi. 19,
"If Jehovah have stirred thee up against me, let Him accept an
offering, but if it be men, cursed be they before Jehovah,
because they have driven me out this day from the fellowship in
the land of Jehovah, and obliged me to serve other gods."
It is perhaps not by mere chance that this speech is wanting in
the parallel version, and that there is added in place of it a
formal act of recognition which Saul pays at the end to his
destined successor. As for the story of Goliath, it is also quite
artless, but its religious colouring is much more marked. The
speech with which David goes to meet the giant is characteristic on
this side (xvii. 4 seq.):
"Thou comest to me with a sword and with a spear, but I come unto thee
in the name of Jehovah of hosts, whom thou hast defied. This day will
He deliver thee into mine hand, that all the earth may know that there
is a God in Israel, and that this assembly (hqhl = Israel) may know that
Jehovah saveth not with sword and spear, for the battle is His."
This approaches to the religious language of the post-Deuteronomic
time. According to 2Samuel xxi. 19, Goliath of Gath, whose
spear-shaft was as thick as a weaver's beam, /1/ fought in the

1. This expression occurs in I Samuel xvii., and shows this legend
to be dependent on 2Samuel xxi. xxiii., a collection of anecdotes
about heroes from the Philistine wars of David in the genuine short
popular style. Cf., on 1Chronicles xii., supra, p. 173.

wars, not in Saul's time, but in that of his successor, and was
killed, not by a shepherd boy but by a warrior of Bethlehem
named Elhanan.

The theme of David and Jonathan has no doubt a historical basis,
but for us it is found only in second-hand versions. The story
of the farewell (chapter xx.) must be placed in this category.
Yet it appears to point back to an earlier basis, and the earlier
story may very possibly have belonged to the connection of the
original work. For the shooting of the arrow could only have a
meaning if it was impossible for the two friends to have an
interview. But as the story goes, they come together and speak
out freely what they have in their hearts, and so the dumb
signal is not only superfluous, but unintelligible and
meaningless. But if the most characteristic trait of the whole
story does not fit into it as it now stands, that is just saying
that the story has not come down to us in its true form.
Originally Jonathan only discharged the arrow, and called to his
boy where it lay; and David, hid in the neighbourhood of the
shooting range, heard in the call to the boy the preconcerted
signal. In calling that the arrow was nearer him or beyond him,
Jonathan was apparently telling the boy, but in reality telling
his friend, to come towards him or go farther away from him. The
latter was the case, and if so, the friends could not enter into
conversation; the tearful farewell then disappears, and the
sentimental speeches spoken before it in the same style, in which
Jonathan virtually admits that his father is right, and yet
decidedly espouses David's cause, disregarding the fact that David
will deprive him of his inheritance. /2/

2. Only in one direction does he set limits to his self-denial:
he makes the future king solemnly promise to spare his family.
Here manifests itself an interest belonging to the time of the
narrator. The oriental custom according to which the new ruler
extirpates the preceding dynasty, was not systematically carried
out by David, and a special exception was made in favour of a son
left by Jonathan. "All my father's house," says Meribaal (2Samuel
xix. 28), "were dead men before my lord the king yet thou didst set
me at thy table: what right have I therefore yet to complain unto
the king (even about injustice)?" Now this son of Jonathan was the
ancestor of a Jerusalem family which flourished till after the exile.
Older traits in 1Samuel xx. are the importance attached to the new
moon, the family sacrifice at Bethlehem, perhaps the stone )BN )CL
which appears to have implied something inconsistent with later
orthodoxy, the name being in two passages so singularly corrupted.

Chapter xviii. 6 seq. manifests tendency in a bad sense, even
apart from the additions of the Masoretic text. Here Saul's
enmity against David is carried back to the very beginning of
their relations together, and even his friendship is represented
as dissembled hatred. All the honours with which the king covers
his armour-bearer are interpreted as practices to get rid of him.
He makes him his son-in-law in order to expose him to deadly
danger in his efforts to procure the hundred foreskins of the
Philistines which were the price of the daughter. The connection
cannot dispense with xviii. 6 seq, but at the same time it is
beyond doubt that the venomous way of interpreting the facts is a
mark of later revision. For Saul here practices his perfidies
with the cognisance of his servants, who must therefore have been
well aware of his disposition towards David; but the old narrator
proceeds on the opposite assumption, that his hatred appeared all
at once, and that David had been held by all up to that time to
be one of the king's favourite servants: cf. xxi. 2-xxii. 14
seq., not to speak of chapter xx. And this alone agrees with the
nature of Saul as it is everywhere described to us.

It is a characteristic circumstance that the corruption of the
tradition is greatest in those narratives in which Samuel enters
into the history of David. There are two insertions of this
kind. According to xix. 18-24 David flees to the old man at
Ramah, where the school of the prophets is; Saul sends messengers
to take him, but these, when they come near Samuel and see him in
command of a troop of ecstatic enthusiasts, are seized by the
frenzy like the rest. The second set of messengers whom Saul
sends, and the third, fare no better; and Saul has at last to
come himself. But he also is drawn into the vortex, tears off his
clothes and dances before Samuel and David, the only
self-possessed spectators of the bacchantic company, till he falls
down; and he lies naked as he is a whole day and a whole night
upon the ground--whence the proverb, "Is Saul also among the
prophets?" But that David when he fled, fled in earnest and went
in the direction of Judah, instead of amusing himself by going
first towards the north, is perfectly evident, as much so as that
it is a serious abuse of the spirit of prophecy to make it serve
ends which are foreign to its nature, and turn it into a mere
instrument for the personal safety of David, who had no need
whatever to wait for Saul at Ramah to play him a trick
there. The narrative, which is unknown to the author of xv. 35,
arose out of the proverb which is quoted in it, but this receives
elsewhere (x. 12) a much more worthy interpretation. We can
scarcely avoid the suspicion that what we have before us here is
a pious caricature; the point can be nothing but Samuel's and
David's enjoyment of the disgrace of the naked king. For the
general history of the tradition the most interesting
circumstance is that Samuel has here become the head of a school
of prophets and the leader of their exercises. In the original
view of the matter (chaps. ix. x.) he appears alone and
independent, and has nothing to do with the companies of the
ecstatics, the Nebiim. He is a _Roeh_ or seer, not a _Nabi_ or
prophet. True, it is asserted in the gloss, ix. 9, that the two
words mean the same thing, that what is now called _Nabi_ was
formerly called _Roeh_. But that is scarcely quite correct. The
author of ix. x. knows the name _Nabi_ very well too, but he
never applies it to Samuel; he only uses it, in the plural, of
the troops of Jehovah--intoxicated dervishes. He gives it quite
a different meaning from _Roeh_, and also quite a different meaning
from that in which Isaiah and Jeremiah use the word _Nabi_. /1/

1 As the words are used in 1Samuel i.Y., Isaiah and Jeremiah would
rather be called Roeh; and this is the justification of the
gloss, ix. 9.
We cannot doubt that these distinctions rest on a historical basis,
and only gradually melted away in later times: so that Samuel
the seer need not be degraded into one of the flagellants.

David's flight to Samuel presupposes some previous relation to
him, and xix. 18 seq. seems to point back to xvi. 1-13. In
this piece David's career begins with his being anointed king in
Saul's place at Jehovah's command, when a mere shepherd boy, who
was not even counted in the family he belonged to. But in the
sequel no one knows anything about this. Even in the story of
Goliath (which in other respects harmonizes better with xvi. 1-13
than any other piece) the older brothers, here three, not seven,
know nothing of the anointing of the youngest, although they were
present and heard their own claims discussed (xvii. 28). In the
stories of David's persecution also, chapter xxiv. xxvi., Saul
alone is the sacred person, the anointed of Jehovah, not David.
A belief that David is chosen for high things by God is quite a
different matter from an anointing which has already taken place
in fact. And if consequent and antecedent be inseparable,
we must remember how, according to xv. 35, Samuel not only
withdraws himself from Saul till his death, but also feels grieved
for him till his death. It is a harsh transition from xv. 35:
"Samuel came no more to see Saul till the day of his death,
because he mourned over him," to xvi. 1:
"and Jehovah spake to him, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul,
seeing I have rejected him?"
But it appears clearly that the appointment of the successor
was connected with, and a consequence of, the deposition of the

The anointing of David by Samuel is at the same time the set-off
to the anointing of Saul by Samuel. This is clearly seen on
comparing x. 6, xi. 6, "and the Spirit of God leapt upon Saul,"
with xvi. 13, 14, "and the Spirit of Jehovah leapt upon David,
and it departed from Saul." In the former case the inspiration is
a momentary foaming over, in the latter (the leaping
notwithstanding) it is a permanent property; and this difference
alone leaves no doubt as to where the original is to be looked
for, and where the imitation. Saul alone, according to the old
tradition, was made king in a divine, i.e. an overpowering and
ideal manner: David was made king in a tedious human way, and
after many intermediate stages. Of Saul alone was it originally
told that the sudden outbreak of the spirit with which he,
unelected as he was, summoned the levy of Israel, placed himself
at its head, defeated the Ammonites, and became king, was quietly
prepared by an old seer, who pointed out to him his great
calling, and filled him with confidence in himself by secretly
anointing him in the name of Jehovah. All that was known of David
was how by his own energy he raised himself from a soldier to be
the leader of a band, from that to be the vassal prince, under the
Philistines, of Ziklag and Judah, and from a vassal prince to be
the independent and powerful king of Israel. He also was anointed,
not, however, beforehand by God, but after his elevation, by the
elders of Judah and Israel. But this human origin and this
inferiority in point of divine consecration to a predecessor
whose kingdom, as it turned out, Jehovah had not made to stand,
was found by a later age to be unworthy of him: he must at least
have received his anointing from Samuel as well as Saul. And this
was accordingly made good by the legend (xvi. 1-13). It is a
step further on this downward path that in the Judaistic version
(x. 17 seq.) all mention is omitted of the anointing of Saul.

We return to Samuel. The Books of Samuel take their name from
him, and he is a figure of great importance, if not for the history
itself, yet for the history of the tradition, the progress of
which may be measured by the change of view about his person.
In the views taken about him we may distinguish four stages.
Originally (ix. 1-x. 16) he is simply a seer, but at the same
time a patriotic Israelite, who feels deeply the need of his
country, and uses his authority as seer to suggest to the ear and
to the mind of one whom he recognises as fit for the purpose, his
destination to be Israel's deliverer and leader. This relation
between seer and warrior must be held fast and regarded as
historical if Samuel is to mean anything at all. Similar instances
are those of Deborah and Barak in earlier times, and later, that
of Elisha and Hazael, and still more, that of Elisha and Jehu.
Samuel's greatness consists in this, that he rouses to activity
the man who comes after him, and is greater than he: after
kindling the light which now burns in its full brightness, he
himself disappears. But his meteoric appearance and disappearance
excited wonder, and this in early times produced a story of his
youth, in which, while still a boy, he predicts the ruin of
pre-monarchical Israel (1Samuel i.-iii.). After he has done this,
darkness closes completely around him. Even in chapter iv. he
has completely disappeared, and when we meet him again he is an
old man. On the other side the circumstance that we hear nothing
more of the seer after his meeting with Saul, caused it to be
believed that a rupture very soon took place between the two.

This belief we meet with at the second stage of the tradition which
is represented by the prophetical narratives recorded in chaps.
xvi. and xxviii. It arose out of the inconsistency involved in
the fact that Jehovah did not afterwards confirm in his reign the
man whom He had chosen to be king, but overthrew his dynasty.
Thus it becomes necessary that Samuel, who anointed Saul, should
afterwards sorrowfully reject him. Even here he appears no longer
as the simple seer, but as a prophet in the style of Elijah and
Elisha who regards the Lord's anointed as his own handiwork, and
lays on him despotic commands (xv. 1), though according to x. 7
he had expressly left him to be guided by his own inspiration.

The transition from the second to the third stage is easy. Here
Samuel, after withdrawing the unction from Saul, at once transfers
it to David, and sets him up against his rejected predecessor as
being now de jure king by the grace of God. The respect with
v.hich he is regarded has meanwhile increased still further;
when he comes to Bethlehem the elders tremble at his approach
(xvi. 4 seq.); and in xix. 18 seq. he has a magical power over men.
Up to this stage, however, he has always been regarded as
intellectually the author of the monarchy. It is reserved for the
last (exilian or post-exilian) stage of the development of the
tradition to place him in the opposite position of one who resists
to the uttermost the desire of the people to have a king. Here
pre-monarchical Israel is advanced to a theocracy, and Samuel is
the head of the theocracy, which accounts for the feelings aroused
in him by their demand.

The modern judgment has been prejudiced in Saul's favour by
Samuel's curse, and to David's disadvantage by Samuel's blessing;
the picture of the one has not suffered from the blackening so
much as that of the other from the glorification. /1/

1. The efforts of later writers to glorify David are at their worst
in their account of his last testament (1Kings ii. 1-12). Even
the language betrays this piece as a post-Deuteronomic insertion
(v. 2-4); the contents are borrowed from the succeeding narrative.
But in the narrative Solomon's conduct towards Adonijah, Abiathar,
Joab, and Shimei is not dictated by any means by the testament,
but by other considerations; and it is the declared object of the
narrator to show how Solomon's throne was established by the
removal of the elements of danger. Nor do the acute calculations
of the weak old king agree very well with the general impression
given of him at this time by 1Kings i. ii.

Some critics, who are unencumbered either by prejudice or by
knowledge of the subject, regard Saul as the antagonist and David
as the creature of the clerical lust of rule, of which they see
the embodiment in Samuel. But this view gives Samuel a powerful
position over against the king such as he cannot have possessed
unless he had broad ground under his feet and an influence well and
extensively organised. Did he find support in the Nebiim? These
were only then rising into view out of an irregular enthusiasm
which was not yet confined to any definite circle or school; and
besides, the old tradition speaks of a close connection between
them and the king, but not between them and the seer. The belief
that the latter was the founder and president of their guild is
based on the worthless anachronistic anecdote, 1Samuel xix. 18
seq. Or was Samuel in conspiracy with the priests against Saul?
This is inferred from 1Samuel xxi.-xxii. where Abimelech of Nob
provides David with bread on his wanderings, and expiates this
offence with his own death and that of the whole race of Eli. But
in the first place these priests have no connection with Samuel.
In the second place there is nothing to make it probable that they
had an understanding with David, or were acquainted with his
ambitious plans if he had then begun to cherish them. In the third
place, it is positively certain that they represented no distinct
power in the state as against the king, but on the contrary were
entirely the creatures of his smile or frown; on the occurrence
of a faint suspicion they were put to death to a man without a dog
barking to remonstrate. The liberal view we are discussing of
Samuel's relation to Saul and David is based on the erroneous
assumption that Samuel had the hierocracy to rest on in his acts
of opposition to the monarchy. But the student who carries back the
hierocracy to these early times has still to learn the very
elements of what is necessary to a true historical appreciation of
Hebrew antiquity.


It is in the Book of Kings that the last revision works most
unrestrictedly. Here also chronological and religious elements
combine to the building up of the framework, and we begin with
examining the chronological system.

From the exodus from Egypt to the beginning of the building of
the temple was a period of 430 years; and from the latter to the
destruction of Jerusalem, a period, according to the numbers of
the kings of Judah, of 430 years, or reckoning the exile, of 480
years, as before. In Chronicles, the succession from Azariah ben
Ahimaaz, who was, according to the correct reading, the first to
officiate in the temple of Solomon, to Jozadak, who was carried
away in the captivity, consists of eleven high priests; thus,
reckoning the exile, we have again twelve generations of 40 years
each. The detailed figures which compose the total are here more
complicated, which is no doubt partly due to the fact that some
of them are dates which the reviser found given. Yet in this
instance also the number 40 is the basis of calculation, as we see
in the reigns of the kings of Judah. From the division of the
kingdom to the destruction of Samaria in the 6th year of Hezekiah,
the numbers are as follows: Rehoboam and Abijam, 20; Asa, 41;
Jehoshaphat, Joram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, 40; Joash, 40; Amaziah and
Uzziah, 81; Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, 38. From the destruction of
Samaria to the last date in Kings (2Kings xxv. 27), Hezekiah,
Manasseh, Amon, have 80; Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin,
79 1/4. Let him believe who can that it is a mere chance that the
figures 41 + 81 + 38 make up exactly 40 + 80 + 40.

The series of the kings of Israel is in point of chronology
dependent on the series of Judah. According to the numbers of the
latter, 393 years elapsed from the division of the kingdom to the
Babylonian captivity; and if we assume with Ezekiel (iv. 4) that
Samaria fell 150 years earlier than Judah, 243 years remain for
the duration of the northern kingdom. The figures given amount in
fact to 242 years. These 150 Israelite years, from the
destruction of Samaria to the destruction of Jerusalem, exceed, it
is true, by 17 the sum of the parallel years of Judah; and the
Israelite years from 1 Jeroboam to 9 Hosea fall short of the years
in Judah from 1 Rehoboam to 6 Hezekiah by about the same number.
This shows that no effort was made at first to synchronise the
individual reigns in the two series. The 242 years of the
northern kingdom are divided, by the epoch of 1 Jehu, into 98 and
144. If we take them at 240, the half of 480, the 98 must be
changed into 96, which then agree with the contemporary 96 Jewish
years. The deduction must be made at the reign of Baasha. Then
we get the following play of figures: Jeroboam 22, Nadab 2,
Baasha 22, Elah 2, Omri 12, Ahab 22, Ahaziah 2, Joram 12. That is
to say, the eight kings have together 96 years, the first four and
the last four 48 each. Two have the average number 12; the other
6 consists of three pairs of father and son; and the twice 12
years belonging to each pair are divided so that the father gets
12 + 10, and the son 12 - 10, obviously because the father was
considered much more important than the son. /1/

1. Numbers of the kings of Judah from Solomon : 37+ 17+ 3 + 41 + 25
+ 8 + 1 + 6 + 40 + 29 + 52 + 16 + 29 + 55 + 2 + 31 + 11 + 11=430 years.
Jehoahaz and Jechoiachin are not counted; if they are included and a
year allowed for them, we must say 36 for Solomon. Numbers of the
kings of Israel from 1 Jeroboam: 22 + 2 + 24 +2+ 12 + 22 + 2+ 12 + 28 +
17 + 16 + 41 + 1 + 10 + 2 + 20 + 9. The artificial relations of the
numbers, as explained above, were communicated to me by Ernst Krey.
On the point that the synchronisms do not belong to the original
arrangement, see Jahrb. fur Deutsche Theol., 1875, p. 607 seq.
The correct view of Ezekiel iv. was first published by Bernhard Duhm
(Theol. dir Proph., p. 253). The number 390, given in the Massoretic
text in verse 5 for the duration of the captivity of the northern
Israelites, is impossible. For Ezekiel cannot mean that they have
been 350 years in exile already, and on the other hand he cannot
reckon the remaining period of their punishment at more than 40 years,
because 40 years is his calculation of the period of exile of
Judah, and the restitution of Israel and that of Judah are in his
view to take place at the same time; and indeed that of Egypt as well,
obviously because brought about by the same cause (xxix. 1 1-16),
the fall of the Chaldeans, which may be expected to take place in
40 years. The number 390 has got into verse 5 by mistake from verse 9,
where it is used of a quite different subject, not the years of the
exile, but the days of the last siege of Jerusalem. The gloss verse
13 rests on a similar confusion. The Septuagint correctly gives
for the Israelite exile the number of 150 years, or 190, according
as the last 40 years in which their punishment continued, along
with that of Judah, were included or omitted. It may be remarked
that 390 = 240 + 150. Compare further Robertson Smith, in the
Journal of Philologie, vol x., p. 209-213.

The great period thus marked off and artificially divided into
subperiods, is surveyed and appraised at every important epoch in
sermon-like discourses. These are much more frequent in Kings
than in Judges and Samuel. It makes no difference whether the
writer speaks in his own person, or by the mouth of another; in
reviews of the past he speaks himself, 2Kings xvii.; in
anticipations of the future he makes another speak (1Kings viii.
ix.). A few examples must be cited to show what we mean.

The great epoch of the work is the building of the temple. On this
occasion Solomon makes a great dedicatory oration, in which he
entreats Jehovah to hear from heaven the prayer of those who shall
seek Him in this place. He concludes as follows:
"If they sin against Thee (for there is no man that sinneth not)
and Thou be angry with them and deliver them to be carried away
captive into the land of the enemy, far or near, if they then
bethink themselves and make supplication to Thee, saying, We have
sinned and have done perversely and are guilty, and so return unto
Thee with all their heart and all their soul in the land of the
enemies which led them away captive, and pray unto Thee toward
their land which Thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which
Thou hast chosen, and the house which Thou hast built for Thy name,
then hear Thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and
maintain their cause, and forgive thy people their
unfaithfulness, and give them compassion before them that carried
them away captive, that they may have compassion upon them. For
they be Thy people and Thine inheritance, which Thou broughtest
forth out of Egypt from the midst of the furnace of iron, and
didst separate them to Thyself from among all the people of the
earth, as Thou spakest by Moses thy servant."
What Jehovah answered to this we learn in chapter ix.
"I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication which thou hast made
before me; I have hallowed this house, to put my name there for ever,
and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. If thou wilt
walk before me, as did David thy father, in integrity of heart
and in uprightness, to do all that I have commanded thee, and wilt
keep my statutes and my judgments, I will establish the throne of
thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father,
saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.
But if YE or YOUR CHILDREN turn away from me, and will not keep
my statutes and my judgments which I have set before you, but
worship other gods, then will I cut off Israel out of the land
which I have given them, and this house which I have hallowed for
my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel shall be a
proverb and a byword among all people, and this house a ruin.
And when they ask: Why hath Jehovah done thus to this land and
to this house? the answer shall be: Because they forsook Jehovah
their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of
Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped
them and served them."

The division of the kingdom is also a very marked era in the
history. It is introduced by a prophecy of Abijah to the first
"Behold, I rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will
give ten tribes to thee; but he shall have one tribe for my servant
David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen;
because he has forsaken me, and worshipped Astarte of Sidon, and
Chemosh of Moab, and Milcom of Ammon, and has not walked in my ways
to do that which is right in my eyes, my statutes, and my judgments,
like David his father. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto
all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do what is
right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments as David
my servant did, that I will be with thee and build thee a sure house
as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. And I will
for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever."

We pass over a series of prophecies in a similar strain which occur
regularly at the changes of dynasty in the northern kingdom, and
cite only the concluding words which accompany the fall of the
kingdom of the ten tribes (2Kings xvii.). This fall came about
"because the children of Israel sinned against Jehovah their God,
which brought them up out of the land of Egypt, and feared other
gods, and walked in the statutes of the heathen whom they had
driven out, and in the innovations of the kings of Israel; and
because the children of Israel imputed to Jehovah their God things
which are not so, and built them high places in all their cities,
from the tower of the watchman to the fenced city; and they set up
pillars and Asheras on every high hill and under every green tree,
and there they sacrificed in all the high places, as did the people
whom Jehovah had driven out before them: and wrought wicked things
to provoke Jehovah to anger, and served the abominations which
Jehovah had forbidden. Yet Jehovah testified to them by all the
prophets and seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep
my commandments and my statutes according to all the torah which
I commanded your fathers, and which I sent unto you by my servants
the prophets; but they would not hear, but hardened their necks
like their fathers, that they did not believe in Jehovah their
God; and they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He
made with their fathers, and His testimonies with which He warned
them, and they followed vanity and became vain, and went after
the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom Jehovah
had charged them that they should not do like them. And they
left all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made them
molten images and an Asherah, and worshipped the whole host of
heaven, and served Baal; and they caused their children to pass
through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold
themselves to do evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke Him to
anger. And Jehovah was very wroth with Israel, and removed them
out of His sight; there was none left but the men of Judah only.
But they of Judah also kept not the commandment of their God, but
walked in the manner of Israel: and Jehovah rejected the whole
race of Israel, and humbled them, and delivered them unto the hand
of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight."
No special concluding discourse is given for Judah, but that for
Israel applies to Judah as well. This we see both directly from
the last words of the passage cited, and from the circumstance
that two very characteristic abominations in the foregoing catalogue,
the worship of the host of heaven and the sacrifice of children,
were introduced, according to the testimony of the prophets, which
alone can determine the point, not in the eighth but only in the
seventh century, under Manasseh, and accordingly are not
chargeable on Israel, but only on Judah.

The water accumulates, so to speak, at these gathering places of
the more important historical epochs: but from these reservoirs
it finds its way in smaller channels on all sides. /1/ The first

1. Such additions as MCWT YHWH, 1Kings xviii. 18 [LXX has
correctly YHWH, without MCWT] (ZBW BRYTK [LXX correctly (ZBW
without BRYTK] and more extensive ones, as 1Kings xviii. 31, 32a;
2Samuel vii. 2b [)#R NQR) WGW''] ) I do not
reckon because they proceed from various periods, and are mostly
younger than the Deuteronomic revision, and belong rather to textual
than to literary criticism. It is certainly in itself very important
to detect and remove these re-touchings. The whole old tradition
is covered with them.

question asked with regard to each ruler is, what position he took
up to the pure religion--whether he did what was right or what was
evil in the sight of Jehovah. Even in the case of those who only
reigned a week, this question receives an answer. In general it
has to be stated that they did evil. All except David and Hezekiah
and Josiah, were defective, says Jesus Sirach (xlix. 4),--not quite
accurately perhaps, but yet truly in so far as there is always some
objection even to the good kings. But the sin here reproved is no
longer, at least not principally, the worship of strange gods; it
is the perverted worship of Jehovah. A more special standard, and
therefore a stricter one, is now employed, and we know the reason
of this: the temple having once been built in the place which Jehovah
has chosen for Himself, the kindly naturalness hitherto belonging to
His worship comes to an end (Deuteronomy xii. 8): and in particular
the prohibition of the bamoth comes into force (1Kings iii. 2).
That these continued to exist is the special sin of the period,
a sin widespread and persistent. It is aggravated by the fact,
that with the bamoth all kinds of unlawful abuses crept into the
worship of Jehovah, Maccebas and Asheras, evergreen trees, and
prostitutes of both sexes. Israel, continually compared with Judah
in the matter, is further charged with a second great sin, the sin
of Jeroboam, i.e., the golden calves at Bethel and at Dan. The
religious estimate combines with the chronological facts to form
that scheme in which every single reign of the kings of Israel
and Judah is uniformly framed. Sometimes the frame is well filled
in with interesting matter, but in not a few cases historical matter
is almost entirely absent. The scheme appears most nakedly in such
chapters as 1Kings xv. xvi., 2Kings xiii. xiv. xv.

That this redaction of our book is essentially uniform with that
of the two historical books which precede it, requires no proof.
Only it has here a warmer and more lively tone, and a much
closer relation to the facts. In consequence of this we find it
much easier to determine the point of view from which it proceeds.
The mere fact that the narrative extends to the destruction of
Jerusalem, nay, to the death of the captive king Jehoiachin, shows
that we must place the date of the work not earlier than the
Babylonian exile, and, indeed, the second part of the exile.
The chronology reckons the exile in the period of 480 years, giving
50 years to it; and this would bring us still lower down; but it
is open to us to assume that this is a later modification, which
has not further affected the general character of the work. /1/

1. Krey surmises that the last date mentioned, the liberation from
prison of, Jehoiachin in the 37th year after his accession to the
throne, was originally intended to form the lower limit of the
chronology, especially as the periods of 40 years under which, as
we have seen, the Jewish figures naturally fall, come exactly to
this date. But if this be the case, we cannot regard the 4th or
5th year of Solomon as the era started from, for then there is no
room for the 36 or 37 remaining years of Solomon's reign. But such
a starting-point is entirely unnatural; Solomon's 40 years
cannot be torn up in this way: if we are to make a division at
all in that period, it must be at the disruption of the monarchy,
the natural point of departure for the series of kings of Israel
and of Judah. It deserves remark, that the 37 years of Jehoiachin,
at the close of the older mode of calculation, which perhaps only
tried to bring out generations of 40 years, but also perhaps a
period of 500 years from David (40+40+20+ 41+40+40+81 + 38+ 80 + 79
1/4), answer to the 37 years of Solomon at the beginning of the
method now carried through. That a process of alteration and
improvement of the chronology was busily carried on in later
times, we see from the added svnchronisms of the kings of Israel
and Judah, from the uncertain statements in the Book of Judges,
some of them parallel with each other (e.g., the interregna and
minor judges, and the threefold counting of the time of the
Philistines) and even from the variants of the LXX.

The writer looks back on the time of the kings as a period past
and closed, on which judgment has already been declared. Even at
the consecration of the temple the thought of its destruction is
not to be restrained; and throughout the book the ruin of the nation
and its two kingdoms is present to the writer's mind. This is the
light in which the work is to be read; it shows why the catastrophe
was unavoidable. It was so because of unfaithfulness to Jehovah,
because of the utterly perverted tendency obstinately followed
by the people in spite of the Torah of Jehovah and His prophets.
The narrative becomes, as it were, a great confession--of sins of
the exiled nation looking back on its history. Not only the
existing generation, but the whole previous historical development
is condemned--a fashion which we meet with first in Jeremiah (ii.
1 seq., iv. 3), who was actually confronted with the question as
to the cause of the calamity. /2/

1. The fall of Samaria suggested similar reflections to the earlier
prophets with reference to the northern kingdom, but their views
are, as a rule (Amos v., Isaiah ix.), not nearly so radical nor so
far-fetched. Hosea does certainly trace the guilt of the present
up to the commencement, but he exemplifies the principle (like Micah,
chapter vi.) chiefly from the early history of Jacob and Moses: as for
the really historical period he belongs to it too much himself to survey
it from so high a point of view. In this also he is a precursor of
later writers, that he regards the human monarchy as one of the
great evils of Israel: he certainly had very great occasion for
this in the circumstances of the time he lived in.

Ezekiel carried out this negative criticism of the past to greater
lengths, with particular reference to the abominations of the older
worship (chapter xvi., xx., xxiii.); and it is also to be found in
Isaiah xl.-xlvi. (xlii. 24, xliii. 27), though here it is
supplemented by a positive and greatly more suggestive view;
we find it also in Deuteronomy xxviii.-xxx., and in Leviticus xxvi.
The whole of the past is regarded as one enormous sin, which is to
be expiated in the exile (Jeremiah xxxii. 30; Ezekiel xviii. 2,
xxxiii. 10; Isaiah xl. 1); the duration of the punishment is even
calculated from that of the sin (Leviticus xxvi. 34). The same
attitude towards old times is continued after the return
(Zechariah viii. 13 seq., ix. 7 seq.; Nehemiah ix. 7 seq.).

The treatment is naturally from a Judaean point of view. Outside
of Jerusalem the worship of Jehovah is heretical, so that the
political revolt of the Northern Israelites was at the same time
an ecclesiastical schism. Yet they are not excluded in
consequence from community with the people of God, as in the
Chronicles: the old traditions are not thrown so completely
overboard as yet: only after the destruction of Samaria by the
Assyrians does Judah continue the history alone. Almost the same
reverence is paid to David and his house as to the city and the
temple. His house has the promise of eternal continuance, with
regard to which the writer likes to make use of the words of
Jeremiah xxxiii. 17. The book closes, doubtless not by chance,
with the liberation from prison of the Davidide Jehoiachin; this
is the earnest of greater things yet in store. In the words of
Abijah to Jeroboam, also, when he says that the humiliation of
the house of David and the revolt from it of the ten tribes will
not last for ever, we see the Messianic hope appear, which, as we
learn from Haggai and Zechariah, largely occupied the minds of
the Jews at the time of the exile and after it.

In the case of the books of Judges and Samuel it is not perhaps
possible to decide with perfect certainty what was the norm
applied by the last reviser in forming his estimates of the past.
In the Books of Kings there can be no doubt on this point. The
writer deals not only in indefinite references to the will of
Jehovah, which Israel ought to obey, but resists; he speaks now
and again (1Kings ii. 3, 2Kings xiv. 6, xvii. 37) of the written
Torah in which the judgments and statutes of Jehovah are contained,
a difference which indicates, one must allow, a historical feeling.
Now the code which is implicitly regarded as the standard is that
the discovery of which under Josiah is circumstantially narrated
in 2Kings xxii. xxiii., viz., Deuteronomy. We are led to this
conclusion, it is allowed on all hands, both by the phraseology
of the reviser and by the spirit of his judgments. He condemns
those sins specially against which Deuteronomy and the reformation
of King Josiah were directed. And the one verbal quotation made
from the book of the Torah is from Deuteronomy (2Kings xiv. 6;
Deuteronomy xxiv. 16). On the other hand, there are clear signs
that the author of the revision was not acquainted with the
Priestly Code. Nowhere is any distinction drawn between priests
and Levites; the sons of Aaron are never mentioned. The idea of
a central sanctuary before Solomon is contradicted by 1Kings iii.
2. In one section only, a section which has been greatly exposed
to corrections and interpolations of all kinds, namely, the
description of the temple and its consecration, 1Kings vi.-viii.,
do we meet with signs of the influence of the Priestly Code,
especially in the Massoretic text; in the Septuagint this is not
so much the case. The most important example of this has already
been investigated, p. 43, 44.

If, accordingly, we are fully justified in calling the revision
Deuteronomistic, this means no more than that it came into
existence under the influence of Deuteronomy, which pervaded the
whole century of the exile. The difference between
Deuteronomistic and Deuteronomic is one not of time only but of
matter as well: /1/ Deuteronomy itself has not yet come to regard

1. Post-deuteronomic, but still from the time of the kings, are
1Samuel ii. 27 seq.; 2Samuel vii, 1 seq.; 2Kings xviii. 13, 17
seq., xix. 1 seq.; chaps. xi. xii. xxi. xxiii.

the cultus in this way as the chief end of Israel, and is much
closer to the realism of the actual life of the people. A
difference in detail which allows of easy demonstration is
connected with the mode of dating. The last reviser distinguishes
the months not by their old Hebrew names, Zif, Bul, Ethanim, but
by numbers, commencing with spring as the beginning of the year.
In this he differs not only from his older sources (1Kings vi.
37, 38, viii. 2), but also from Deuteronomy.

VII.III.2. This revision is, as we expect to find, alien to the
materials it found to work on, so that it does violence to them.
They have been altered in particular by a very one-sided selection,
which is determined by certain religious views. In these views an
interest in the prophets mingles with the interest in worship. It
is not meant that the selection is due entirely to the last
reviser, though it is thoroughly according to his taste; others
had probably worked before him in this direction. But for us it
is neither possible nor important to distinguish the different
steps in the process of sifting through which the traditions of
the time of the kings had to pass.

The culminating point of the whole book is the building of the
temple; almost all that is told about Solomon has reference to
it. This at once indicates to us the point of view; it is one
which dominates all Judaistic history: the history is that of
the temple rather than of the kingdom. The fortunes of the
sanctuary and its treasures, the institution and arrangements of
the kings with reference to worship--we are kept _au courant_ about
these, but about hardly anything else. The few detailed
narratives given (2Kings xi seq. xvi. xxii. seq.) have the
temple for their scene, and turn on the temple. Only in
<2Kings?> xviii. seq. does the prophetical interest

As for the kingdom of Israel, the statements about the cultus of
that state are very scanty and for the most part rather vague.
Here the prophetical narratives come to the front, generally such
as are told from the prophetic point of view, or at least tell of
the public appearances and acts of the prophets. Here and there
we are told of occasions on which the Northern kingdom came in
contact with Judah; here the Jewish feeling appears which dictated
the selection. What is merely historical, purely secular, is
communicated only in the scantiest measure: often there is
nothing but the names and succession of the kings. We learn
hardly anything about King Omri, the founder of the town of
Samaria and re-founder of the kingdom, who seems to have reduced
Judah also to the position of a dependent ally, nor do we learn
more about Jeroboam II., the last great ruler of Israel; while
the conflict with the Assyrians and the fall of Samaria are
despatched in a couple of verses which tell us scarcely anything
at all. Sometimes a brilliant breaks in on the surrounding night
(2Kings ix. x.), but after it we grope in the dark again. Only
so much of the old tradition has been preserved as those of a
later age held to be of religious value: it has lost its original
centre of gravity, and assumed an attitude which it certainly had
not at first. It may have been the case in Judah that the temple
was of more importance than the kingdom, but there can be no
doubt that the history of Israel was not entirely, not even
principally, the history of prophecy. The losses we have to
deplore must have affected the Israelitish tradition most

The damage done by the revision by its _positive_ meddling with
the materials as found in the sources, is not so irreparable; yet
it is considerable enough. The change of colour which was effected
may be best seen and characterised in the far-reaching
observations which introduce the Israelite series of kings;
"Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the
house of David; if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house
of Jehovah at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn
again to their rightful lord, and they will kill me, and become
subject again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took
counsel and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, Cease to
go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought
thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel
and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; for the
people went as one man, even unto Dan. And he made temples of
high places, and took priests from the midst of the people which
were not of the house of Levi; whomsoever he would he installed
as priest of the high places " (1Kings xii. 26-30, xiii. 33).
The perversion is scarcely so great as in Chronicles, but the
anachronism is sufficiently glaring in the mode of view
discernible in these reflections of Jeroboam, who appears to feel
that the Ephraimite kingdom was illegitimate in its origin and
could only be kept separate from the south by artificial means.
The blessing of Jacob and the blessing of Moses show us what the
sentiment of Northern Israel actually was. In the former Joseph
is called the crowned of his brethren, in the second we read
"His first-born bullock, full of majesty (the king), has the horns
of a buffalo, with which he thrusts down the peoples; these are the
ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh."
Whence came the charm of the name of Ephraim but from its being the
royal tribe, and the most distinguished representative of the proud
name of Israel? Of Judah we read in the same chapter, "Hear,
Jehovah, the voice of Judah, and bring him back to his people."
There can be no doubt what the people is to which Judah belongs:
we cannot but agree with Graf, that this tribe is here regarded as
the alienated member, and its reunion with the greater kingdom
spoken of as the desire of Judah itself, and this is not so
remarkable when we reflect that the part belongs to the whole
and not the whole to the part. Only by long experience did Judah
learn the blessing of a settled dynasty, and Ephraim the curse of
perpetual changes on the throne.

Judah's power of attraction for the inhabitants of the Northern
Kingdom is thought to lie in the cultus of the Solomonic temple;
and Jeroboam is said to have tried to meet this by creating new
sanctuaries, a new form of the worship of Jehovah, and a new order
of priesthood. The features in which the Samaritan worship
differed from the Jewish pattern are represented as intentional
innovations of the first king, in whose sin posterity persisted.
But in making Bethel and Dan temples of the kingdom--that he set up
high places, is a statement which need not be considered--Jeroboam
did nothing more than Solomon had done before him; only he had
firmer ground under his feet than Solomon, Bethel and Dan being
old sanctuaries, which Jerusalem was not. The golden calves,
again, which he set up, differed in their gold but not in their
object from the ephods and idols of other kinds which were
everywhere to be found in the older "houses of God"; e.g. from
the brazen serpent at Jerusalem. /l/

1. "Although Jeroboam had lived in Egypt, it would he wrong to say
that he brought animal worship with him from that country, as
wrong as to regard Aaron's golden calf as a copy of Apis. The
peculiarity of the animal-worship of Egypt, and of its
bull-worship in particular, was that sanctity was attributed to
_living_ animals." Vatke, p. 398. Egyptian gods cannot help
against Egypt, Exodus xxxii. 4; 1Kings xii. 28.

Even Eichhorn remarked with force and point, that though Elijah
and Elisha protested against the imported worship of Baal of Tyre,
they were the actual champions of the Jehovah of Bethel and Dan,
and did not think of protesting against His pictorial
representation; even Amos makes no such protest, Hosea is the
first who does so. As for the non-Levitical priests whom the king
is said to have installed, all that is necessary has been said on
this subject above (p. 138 seq.).

A remarkable criticism on this estimate of the Samaritan worship
follows immediately afterwards in the avowal that that of Judah
was not different at the time, at any rate not better. In the
report of Rehoboam's reign we read (1Kings xiv. 22 seq.):
"They of Judah also set up high places and pillars on every high
hill, and under every green tree, and whoredom at sacred places
was practiced in the land."
This state of things continued to exist, with some fluctuations,
till near the time of the exile. If then the standard according
to which Samaria is judged never attained to reality in Judah
either, it never existed in ancient Israel at all. We know the
standard is the book of the law of Josiah: but we see how the
facts were not merely judged, but also framed, in accordance
with it.

One more instance is worthy of mention in this connection. King
Solomon, we are told, had, besides the daughter of Pharaoh, many
foreign wives, from Moab, Ammon, and other peoples, intermarriage
with whom Jehovah had forbidden (Deuteronomy xvii 17). And when he was
old, they seduced him to the worship of their gods, and he
erected on the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem high places for
Chemosh of Moab, and for Milcom of Ammon, and for the gods of his
other wives. As a punishment for this Jehovah announced to him
that his kingdom should be torn from him after his death and given
to his servant, and also raised up adversaries to him, in Hadad
the Edomite, who freed Edom, and in the Syrian Rezon teen Eliadah,
who made Damascus independent. And by the prophet Abijah of
Shiloh, he caused the Ephraimite Jeroboam, who then had the
supervision of the forced labour of the house of Joseph in the
fortification of the city of David, to be nominated as the future
king of the ten tribes. So we read in 1Kings xi. But Edom, and,
as it appears, Damascus as well, broke away from the kingdom of
David immediately after his death (xi. 2I seq., 25); and the
fortification of the citadel, in which Jeroboam was employed when
incited to revolt by Abijah, though it falls somewhat later, yet
belongs to the first half of Solomon's reign, since it is
connected with the rest of his buildings (ix. 15, 24). Now
Solomon cannot have been punished by anticipation, in his youth,
for an offence which he only committed in his old age, and the
moral connected with these events is contradicted by chronology
and cannot possibly be ascribed to the original narrator. The
Deuteronomistic revision betrays itself, in fact, in every word
of xi. 1-13. To the original tradition belongs only the mention
of the many wives--without the reprobation attached to it,--and
the statement about the building of the altars of Chemosh and
Milcom and perhaps Astarte, on the Mount of Olives, where they
stood till the time of Josiah (2Kings xxiii. 13). The connection
of the two events, in the relation of cause and effect, belongs to
the last editor, as well as the general statement that the king
erected altars of the gods of all the nationalities represented by
his wives.

In the Books of Kings, it is true, the tradition is not
systematically translated into the mode of view of the Law, as
is the case in Chronicles. What reminds us most strongly of
Chronicles is the introduction from time to time of a prophet who
expresses himself in the spirit of Deuteronomy and in the
language of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and then disappears. /l/

1. Cf. Kuenen, Profeten onder Israel (1875), ii. p. 143; English
translation (1877), p 398. One of these Deuteronomistic prophecies
is cited above, p. 275. They are in part anonymous, e.g, 2Kings
x. 30, xxi. 10 seq, in part connected with old names, e.g 1Kings
xvi. 1 seq. In many instances no doubt the reviser found
flints in his sources and worked them out in his own style; thus,
1Kings xiv. 7 seq., xxi 21 seq. 2Kings ix. 7 seq. In these
passages the Deuteronomistic ideas and the phraseology of
Jeremiah and Ezekiel are distinctly present [ HNNY MBY) R(h ], but
detached expressions of an original type also occur,--which, it is
true, are then constantly repeated, e.g. (CWN W(ZWB. Names,
too, like Jehu ben Hanani, are certainly not fictitious: we are
not so far advanced as in Chronicles. Cf. 1Samuel ii. 27 seq.;
2Samuel vii. 1 seq.

In this way the Law is introduced into the history in a living
way; the prophets keep it effective and see it applied, according
to the principle stated, 2Kings xvii. 13, which is founded on
Jeremiah vii. 25; Deuteronomy xviii. 18:
"Jehovah testified to them by all the prophets and seers saying,
Turn ye from your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes,
according to all the Torah which I commanded your fathers and which
I sent unto you by my servants the prophets."
The most unblushing example of this kind, a piece which, for historical
worthlessness may compare with Judges xix.-xxi. or 1Samuel vii. seq.,
or even stands a step lower, is 1Kings xiii. A man of God from Judah
here denounces the altar of Bethel, at which King Jeroboam is in the
act of offering sacrifice, in these terms:
"O altar, altar, behold a son shall be born to the house of David,
Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the
high places, that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be
burned upon thee."
And to guarantee the truth of this prophecy, to be fulfilled three
hundred years afterwards, he gives the sign that the altar shall
burst asunder, and the ashes of the sacrifice upon it be poured
out--which at once takes place. This legend, however, does not
really belong to the Deuteronomist, but is a still later
addition, as is easily to be seen from the fact that the sentence
xii. 31 is only completed at xiii. 34. It deserves remark that
in the two verses which introduce the thirteenth chapter, xii. 32
seq., the feast of tabernacles is fixed, in accordance with the
Priestly Code, as the 15th of the 7th month.

VII.III.3. In this case also we are able to discern considerable
shades and gradations in the sources the reviser had at command.
In the Books of Kings for the first time we meet with a series of
short notices which arrest attention, in the surroundings they are
in, by their brevity and directness of statement and the terseness
of their form, and have the semblance of contemporary records. In
spite of their looseness of arrangement these form the real basis
of our connected knowledge of the period; and the religious
chronological framework is regularly filled in with them (e.g.
1Kings xiv.-xvi.); their loose connection and neutral tone made
it specially easy for later editors to interweave with them
additions of their own, as has actually been done to no small
extent. /1/

1. The passage discussed above, 1Kings xi. 1 seq., gives a good
example of this; we at once pick out the terse )z ybnh wgw'' from
the barren diffuseness surrounding it.

These valuable notes commence even with Solomon, though here they
are largely mixed with anecdotic chaff. They are afterwards found
principally, almost exclusively, in the series of Judah. Several
precise dates point to something of the nature of annals, /2/

2. 5th of Rehoboam (1Kings xiv. 25); 23rd of Jehoash (2Kings xii,
6); 14th of Hezekiah (2Kings xviii. 13); 18th of Josiah (2Kings
xxii. 3); 4th and 5th of Solomon (1Kings vi. 37, 38). These
dates occur, it is true, partly in circumstantial Jewish
narratives, but these are intimately related to the brief notices
spoken of above, and appear to be based on them. It may be
surmised that such definite numbers, existing at one time in much
greater abundance, afforded the data for an approximate
calculation of the figures on which the systematic chronology is
built up. These single dates at any rate are not themselves
parts of the system. The same is true of the statements of the
age of the Jewish kings when they ascended the throne. These
also perhaps go back to the "Annals." The )Z is found 1Kings iii.
16, viii. 1, 12, ix. 11, xi. 7, xvi. 21, xxii. 50; 2Kings
viii. 22, xii. 18, xiv. 8, xv. 16, xvi. 5.

and with these the characteristic then might be thought to be
connected, which frequently introduces the short sentences, and
as it now stands is generally meaningless. In what circles these
records were made, we can scarcely even surmise. Could we be
certain that the reference to the royal temple of Judah, which is
a prevailing feature of them, is due not to selection at a later
time but to the interest of the first hands, we should be led to
think of the priesthood at Jerusalem. The loyalist, perfectly
official tone would agree very well with this theory, for the
sons of Zadok were, down to Josiah's time, nothing else than the
obedient servants of the successors of David, and regarded the
unconditional authority claimed by these kings over their
sanctuary as a matter of course (2Kings xvi. TO seq., xii. 18).
These notices, however, as we have them, are not drawn from the
documents themselves, but from a secondary compilation, perhaps
from the two sets of chronicles cited at the end of each reign of the
kings of Israel and those of Judah, from which at all events the
succession of the rulers appears to the drawn. These chronicles
are not to be identified, it is clear, with the original annals.
The _book_ of the annals must be distinguished from the Dibre-hajamim
themselves. Whether the chronicle of Israel_-hardly anything out
of which is communicated to us--was composed much earlier than the
chronicle of Judah (which seems to close with Jehoiachim), and
whether it and the chronicle of Solomon (1Kings xi. 41) are a
quite independent work, I am inclined to consider doubtful.

The excerpts from the annals are interrupted by more extensive
episodes which are interwoven with them, and are also embraced in
the Deuteronomistic scheme. Of these the Jewish ones are the
minority, the greater part are Samaritan, but they all belong to
a very limited period of time. I select the miraculous history
of Elijah as an example of these, to show the sentiment and the
change of sentiment in this instance also.

The prophet Elijah, from Tishbeh in Gilead, appears before King
Ahab of Samaria, and says,
"By the life of Jehovah the God of Israel, whom I serve, there
shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word."
The story begins abruptly; we require to know that Ahab, stirred
up by Jezebel, has been propagating in Israel the worship of the
Tyrian Baal, and has killed the prophets of Jehovah by hundreds:
this is the reason of the punishment which comes on him and his
land (xviii. 13, 22). Elijah vanishes as suddenly as he appeared.
We find him again at the brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan;
then in the land of Baal with a widow at Zarepta; while following
his fortunes we are made to feel in a simple and beautiful way
the severity of the famine. Ahab in the meantime had sent out
messengers to take him, and had required of every state to which
the vain search had extended, an oath that he was not to be found
there. Now, however, necessity obliged him to think of other
things; he had to go out himself with his minister Obadiah to
seek fodder for the still remaining war-horses (Amos vii. 1). In
this humiliating situation he all at once met the banished man.
He did not believe his eyes. "Is it thou, O troubler of Israel?"
"I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house!"
After this greeting Elijah challenged the king to institute a
contest between the 450 prophets of Baal, and him, the only
prophet of Jehovah left remaining. A trial by sacrifice took
place on Mount Carmel before the whole people. Each party was to
prepare a bullock and lay it on the altar without setting fire to
the wood; and the divinity who should answer by fire was the
true God. The prophets of Baal came first and sought after their
own manner to influence their deity. They shouted and leapt
wildly, wounded themselves with swords and lances till they were
covered with blood, and kept up their raving ecstasy from morning
till mid-day, and from mid-day till evening. During this time
Elijah looked at them and mocked them, saying, "Cry louder, for he
is a god; either he is talking, or he is somehow engaged, or he
is asleep and must be awaked." At last his turn came; he repaired
the altar of Jehovah, which was broken down, spread the pieces of
the sacrifice upon it, and, to make the miracle still more
miraculous, caused them to be flooded two or three times with
water. Then he prayed to Jehovah, and fire fell from heaven, and
consumed the sacrifice. The people, up to this point divided in
their mind, now took the side of the zealot for Jehovah, laid hold
of the prophets of Baal, and slaughtered them down below at the
brook. A great storm of rain at once came to refresh the land.

This triumph of Elijah was only a prelude. When Jezebel heard
what had happened she swore vengeance against him, and he fled for
his life to Beersheba in Judah, the sanctuary of Isaac. Wearied
to death he lay down under a juniper-bush in the wilderness, and
with the prayer, It is enough: now, O Jehovah, take away my
life, he fell asleep. Then he was strengthened with miraculous
food by a heavenly messenger, and bidden to go to Horeb, the
mount of God. He arrived there after a long journey, and withdrew
into a cave; a rushing wind sweeps past; the wind and the
earthquake and the lightning are the forerunners of Jehovah; and
after them He comes Himself in the low whispering that follows the
storm. His head covered, Elijah steps out of the cave and hears a
voice ask what ails him. Having poured out his heart, he receives
the divine consolation that his cause is by no means lost; that
the direst vengeance, the instruments of which he is himself to
summon to their task, is to go forth on all the worshippers of
Baal, and that those 7000 who have not bowed their knee to Baal
shall gain the day--"Thou shalt anoint Hazael to be King over
Damascus, and Jehu ben Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be
iiing over Israel, and Elisha ben Shaphat to be prophet in thy
room; and him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay,
and him that escapeth the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay."
The account of the execution of these commands by Elijah is at
present wanting; we shall soon see why it was omitted. The
conclusion of chapter xix. only tells us that he called Elisha
from the plough to follow him. Of the account of the judgment
which overtook the worshippers of Baal, this group of
narratives contains only the beginning, in chapter xxi. Ahab
wanted to have a vineyard which was situated beside his palace in
Jezreel, his favourite residence: but Naboth, the owner, was
unwilling to enter on a sale or an exchange. The king was angry,
yet thought he could do no more in the matter; but Jezebel of
Tyre had other notions of might and right and said to him,
"Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? be of good courage;
I will get thee the vineyard."
She wrote a letter to the authorities of the town, and got Naboth
put out of the way by means of corrupt judges. As Ahab was just
going to take possession of the vineyard which had fallen into his
hands, his enemy came upon him. The prophet Elijah, always on the
spot at the right moment, hurled the word at him,
"Hast thou killed and also taken possession? Behold, in the place
where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood also."
Here this story breaks off. What follows is not the true continuation.

The thread of the narrative xvii.-xix. xxi. is also broken off
here, without reaching its proper conclusion. The victory of
Jehovah over Baal, of the prophet over the king, is wanting; the
story of Naboth is, as we said, only the introduction to it. We
are sufficiently informed about the facts, but in form the
narratives do not answer to the announcement in chapter xix. and
xxi.; they are drawn from other sources. According to xix. 1 7
the Syrian wars ought to result in vengeance on the worshippers of
Baal, and specially on the idolatrous royal house; but in the
narrative of the wars (1Kings xx. xxii. 2Kings vii. ix. )
this point of view does not prevail. On the contrary, Ahab and
Joram there maintain themselves in a manly and honourable way
against the superior power of Damascus it is ONLY AFTER the
extirpation of Baal worship under Jehu that affairs took an
unfortunate turn, and Hazael, who brought about this change, was
not anointed by Elijah but by Elisha (2Kings viii. 7 seq.) /.l/

1. The same applies to Jehu (2Kings ix. 1 seq.). This is the
reason of the above remarked omission after 1Kings xix. 21: cf.
Thenius's commentary.

The massacre at Jezreel, too, which is predicted in the threat of
1Kings xxi. 19, would need to be told otherwise than in 2Kings ix.
x., to form a proper literary sequel to the story of Naboth.
According to 1Kings xxi. 19 the blood of Ahab is to be shed at
Jezreel; according to 2Kings ix. 25 his son's blood was shed there,
to avenge Naboth. It is true, the explanation is appended in xxi.
27-29, that, as the king took to heart the threats of Elijah,
Jehovah made a supplementary communication to the prophet that
the threat against Ahab's house would only be fulfilled in the
days of his son; but who does not see in this an attempt to
harmonise conflicting narratives? /2/ A whole series of

2 In spite of xxi. 27-29, an attempt is made at xxii. 38 to show
that the threat was fulfilled in Ahab himself. We are told that
Ahab was shot in his chariot and that his servants brought his
body from Ramoth-Gilead to bury it there. Then we read xxii. 38
"and they washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria, and the dogs
licked up his blood, and the harlots bathed in it, according to
the word of Jehovah."
Thus it is explained how the dogs were able to lick his blood in
Samaria, though it had had plenty of time to dry up after the
battle! The fact was unfortunately over-looked that according
to xxi. 19 the dogs were to lick the blood of Ahab not at Samaria
but at Jezreel, the place of Naboth. The verse xxii. 38 is an
interpolation which does credit to Jewish acuteness.

subordinate discrepancies might be mentioned, which prove that
2Kings ix. x. does not look back to the story of the murder of
Naboth as told in 1Kings xxi. According to ix. 25, 26, the dispute
was not about the vineyard, but about the field of Naboth, which
lay some distance from the town. His family was put to death
along with him, and on the following day, when Ahab rode out IN
COMPANY WITH JEHU and Ben Deker to take possession of the field,
the word of the prophet (not framed so specially against him
personally) met him: "Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of
Naboth and of his sons, and I will requite it in this plat."

With the help of these other accounts, among which there is a
considerable group of uniform character (1Kings xx. xxii. 2Kings
iii. vi. 24-xii. 20. ix. 1-x. 27) favourably distinguished
from the rest, we are placed in a position to criticise the history
of Elijah, and to reach a result which is very instructive for
the history of the tradition, namely that the influence of the
mighty prophet on his age has after all been appraised much too
highly. His reputation could not be what it is but for the wide
diffusion of Baal worship in Israel: and this is not a little
exaggerated. Anything like a suppression of the national religion
at the time of Elijah is quite out of the question, and there is
no truth in the statement that the prophets of Jehovah were entirely
extirpated at the time and Elijah alone left surviving. The
prophetic guilds at Bethel, Jericho, and Gilgal continued without
any interruption. In the Syrian wars prophets of Jehovah stand by
the side of Ahab; before his last campaign there are four hundred
of them collected in his capital, one of them at least long known
to the king as a prophet of evil, but left alive before and left
alive now, though he persisted in his disagreeable practices. Of
the sons whom Jezebel bore him, Ahab called one Ahaziah, i.e.
Jehovah holds, and another Jehoram, i.e. Jehovah is exalted: he
adhered to Jehovah as the god of Israel, though to please his wife
he founded at Samaria a temple and a cultus of the Syrian goddess.
This being so, Elijah's contest with Baal cannot have possessed
the importance attributed to it from the point of view of a later time.
In the group of popular narratives above referred to, there is no
trace of a religious commotion that tore Israel asunder: the whole
strength of the people is absorbed in the Syrian wars. The kings
are the prominent figures, and do well and according to their office
in battle: Elijah stands in the background. From several indications,
though from no direct statements, we learn of the high esteem which
Ahab enjoyed from friend and foe alike (xx. 3I, xxii. 32-34 seq.).
Joram also, and even Jezebel, are drawn not without sympathy (2Kings
vi. 30, ix. 31). We can scarcely say the same of Jehu, the murderer,
instigated by the prophets, of the house of Ahab (2Kings ix. 10).

It is the fact, certainly, that the prophets' hatred of Baal
succeeded at last in overturning the dynasty of Omri. But in
what manner was this done? At a time when King Joram was
prevented by a wound he had received from being with his army in
the field, a messenger of Elisha went to the camp, called the
captain apart from a banquet at which he found him, to a secret
interview, and anointed him king. When Jehu returned to his
comrades at their wine, they asked him what that mad fellow had
wanted, and, his evasive answers failing to satisfy them, he told
them the truth. They at once raised him on an improvised throne,
and caused the trumpets to proclaim him king: they were quite
ready for such an exploit, not that they cared in the least for
"that mad fellow." Jehu justified their confidence by his
astounding mastery in treachery and bloodshed, but he placed his
reliance entirely on the resources of his own talent for murder.
He was not borne along by any general movement against the dynasty;
the people, which he despised (x. 9), stood motionless and horrified
at the sight of the crimes which came so quickly one after another;
even a hundred years afterwards the horror at the massacre of Jezreel
still lived (Hosea i. 4). The crown once gained, the reckless
player showed his gratitude to the fanatics, and sent the priests
and worshippers of Baal after the priests of Jehovah whom he had
slaughtered along with all belonging to the royal house (x. 11).
The manner in which he led them into the snare (x. 18 seq.) shows
that no one had thought before this of regarding him as the
champion of Jehovah; and even at this time his zeal was manifestly
only ostensible: he was not fighting for an idea (x. 15.
seq.). Thus we see that Baal did not bring about the fall of
the house of Ahab, but common treason; the zealots employed for
their purposes a most unholy instrument, which employed them in
turn as a holy instrument for its purposes; they did not
succeed in rousing the people to a storm against Baal, far from it.
The execution of Naboth seems to have excited greater indignation:
it was a crime against morals, not against religion. Even in the
history of Elijah the admission is made that this struggle
against Baal, in spite of his sacrificial victory on Carmel, was
in the end without result, and that only the judicial murder of
Naboth brought about a change in the popular sentiment. But
according to 2Kings ix. 25, this murder proved a momentous event,
not because it led, as we should expect, to a popular agitation,
but from the fortuitous circumstance that Jehu was a witness of the
never-to-be-forgotten scene between Ahab and Elijah, and seemed
therefore to the prophets to be a fit person to carry out his

It is certainly the case that the grand figure of Elijah could not
have been drawn as we have it except from the impression produced
by a real character. /1/ But it is too much torn away from the

1. The distance of the narrator is not so very great in point of
time from the events he deals with. He is a North-Israelite, as
the )#R LYHWDH of xix. 3 shows: this may also be gathered from
xix. 8 compared with Deuteronomy i. 2. A man of Judah could not
easily make so considerable a mistake about the distance, though
we have to remember that with this narrator the situation of
Horeb can scarcely have been that which we have long been
accustomed to assume. Another sign of antiquity is the way in
which Elijah is represented as combating Baal in Israel, and in
the land of Sidon associating with the worshippers of Baal on the
most friendly terms (Luke iv. 25 seq.).

historical position it belongs to, and is thereby magnified to
colossal proportions. It may be said of this class of narratives
generally, that the prophets are brought too much into the foreground
in them, as if they had been even in their lifetime the principal
force of Israelite history, and as if the influence which moved
them had ruled and pervaded their age as well. That was not the case;
in the eyes of their contemporaries they were completely overshadowed
by the kings; only to later generations did they become the principal
personages. They were important ideally, and influenced the future
rather than the present; but this was not enough, a real tangible
importance is attributed to them. In the time of Ahab and Jehu the
Nebiim were a widespread body, and organised in orders of their own,
but were not highly respected; the average of them were miserable
fellows, who ate out of the king's hand and were treated with disdain
by members of the leading classes. Amos of Tekoa, who, it is true,
belonged to a younger generation, felt it an insult to be counted
one of them. Elijah and Elisha rose certainly above the level of
their order; but the first, whose hands remained pure, while he no
doubt produced a great impression at the time by his fearless words,
effected nothing against the king, and quite failed to draw the
people over to his side: while Elisha, who did effect something,
made use of means which could not bear the light, and which attest
rather the weakness than the strength of prophecy in Israel.

VII.III.4. Let us conclude by summing up the results to which we
have been led by our eclectic pilgrimage through the historical
books. What in the common view appears to be the specific character
of Israelite history, and has chiefly led to its being called sacred
history, rests for the most part on a later re-painting of the
original picture. The discolouring influences begin early. I do
not reckon among these the entrance of mythical elements, such as
are not wanting even in the first beginnings to which we can trace
the course of the tradition, nor the inevitable local colour,
which is quite a different thing from tendency. I think only of
that uniform stamp impressed on the tradition by men who regarded
history exclusively from the point of view of their own
principles. Here we observe first a religious influence, which in
the Books of Samuel and Kings turns out to be the prophetical
one. The view appears to me erroneous that it is to the prophets
that the Hebrew people owe their history as a whole. The song,
Judges v., though perhaps the oldest historical monument in the Old
Testament, cannot be cited in support of that view, for even if it
were actually composed by Deborah, the seer stands in no connection
with the prophets. Least of all can the colleges of the B'ne Nebiim
at Gilgal and other places be regarded as nurseries of historic
tradition: the products which are to be traced to these circles
betray a somewhat narrow field of vision (2Kings ii., iv. 1-6, 23).
The prophets did not form the tradition at first, but came after,
shedding upon it their peculiar light. Their interest in history
was not so great that they felt it necessary to write it down;
they only infused their own spirit into it subsequently.

But the systematic recoining of the tradition was only effected
when a firmer stamp had become available than the free ideas of
the prophets, the will of God having been formulated in writing.
When this point was reached, no one could fail to see the
discrepancy between the ideal commencement, which was now sought
to be restored as it stood in the book, and the succeeding
development. The old books of the people, which spoke in the most
innocent way of the most objectionable practices and
institutions, had to be thoroughly remodelled according to the
Mosaic form, in order to make them valuable, digestible, and
edifying, for the new generation. A continuous revision of them
was made, not only in the Chronicles, at the beginning of the
Greek domination, but, as we have seen in this chapter, even in
the Babylonian exile. The style of the latter revision differed
from that of the former. In Chronicles the past is remodelled on
the basis of the law: transgressions take place now and then, but
as exceptions from the rule. In the Books of Judges, Samuel, and
Kings, the fact of the radical difference of the old practice from
the law is not disputed. In these works also the past is in some
cases remodelled on the basis of the ideal, but as a rule it is
simply condemned. That is one difference; another has to be
added which is of far greater importance. In the Chronicles the
pattern according to which the history of ancient Israel is
represented is the Pentateuch, i.e. the Priestly Code. In the
source of Chronicles, in the older historical books, the revision
does not proceed upon the basis of the Priestly Code, which indeed
is completely unknown to them, but on the basis of Deuteronomy.
Thus in the question of the order of sequence of the two great
bodies of laws, the history of the tradition leads us to the same
conclusion as the history of the cultus.


In the historical books the tradition is developed by means of
supplement and revision; double narratives occur here and there,
but not great parallel pieces of connected matter side by side.
In the Hexateuch additions and supplements have certainly taken
place on the most extensive scale, but the significant feature
is here that continuous narratives which can and must be understood
each by itself are woven together in a double or threefold cord.
Critics have shown a disposition, if not in principle yet in fact,
to take the independence of these so-called sources of the Hexateuch
as if it implied that in point of matter also each is a distinct
and independent source. But this is, even _a priori_, very
improbable. Even in the case of the prophets who received their
word from the Lord the later writer knows and founds upon the earlier
one. How much more must this be the case with narrators whose
express business is with the tradition? Criticism has not done
its work when it has completed the mechanical distribution; it
must aim further at bringing the different writings when thus
arranged into relation with each other, must seek to render them
intelligible as phases of a living process, and thus to make it
possible to trace a graduated development of the tradition.

The striking agreement of the different works, not only in
matter, but in their arrangement of the narratives, makes the
office of criticism as now described not less but more necessary.
There is no primitive legend, it is well known, so well knit as the
biblical one, and thus it is no wonder that it became the frame
for many others and infused into them some of its own colour.
This connection is common in its main features to all the sources
alike. The Priestly Code runs, as to its historical thread,
quite parallel to the Jehovist history. This alone made it
possible to interfuse the two writings as we now have them in the
Pentateuch. That this was not done altogether without violence
is less to be wondered at than that the violence which was done
is so small, and particularly that the structure of each writing
is left almost unimpaired. This can only be explained from the
intimate agreement of the two works in point of plan. When the
subject treated is not history but legends about pre-historic
times, the arrangement of the materials does not come with the
materials themselves, but must arise out of the plan of a
narrator: even the architecture of the generations, which forms
the scaffolding of Genesis, is not inseparably bound up with the
matters to be disposed of in it. From the mouth of the people
there comes nothing but the detached narratives, which may or may
not happen to have some bearing on each other: to weave them
together in a connected whole is the work of the poetical or
literary artist. Thus the agreement of the sources in the plan
of the narrative is not a matter of course, but a matter requiring
explanation, and only to be explained on the ground of the
literary dependence of one source on the other. The question how
this relation of dependence is to be defined is thus a much more
pressing one than is commonly assumed. /1/

1. The agreement extends not only to the thread of the narrative,
but also to particulars, and even to expressions. I do not speak
of _mabbul_ (flood), or _tebah_ (ark), but the following examples
have struck me:-In Q Genesis vi. 9, Noah is said to be _righteous
in his generations_, in J E vii. 1 he is _righteous in his generation_--
an unusual form of speech, which gave a vast amount of trouble to
the Rabbins and to Jerome. Similarly Q Genesis xvii. 21, _the son
whom Sarah shall bear at this set time next year_, and JE xviii. 14:
_at the same time I will come to thee again next year, and then
Sarah shall have a son_. In the same way Q Exodus vi. 12 vii. 1.
(Moses) _I am of uncircumcised lips_. (Jehovah) _See, I make thee
a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet_;
compared with JE iv. 10, 16. (Moses) _I am slow of speech, and of
a slow tongue_; (Jehovah) _Aaron shall be to thee instead of a mouth,
and thou shalt be to him instead of God_. Comp. Genesis xxvii. 46,
with xxv: 22.

This, however, is not the place to attempt a history of the
development of the Israelite legend. We are only to lay the
foundation for such a work, by comparing the narrative of the
Priestly Code with the Jehovistic one. In doing so we shall see
that Buttmann (Mythologus, i. p. 122 seq.) is right in asserting
against de Wette (Beitraege, ii.), that, the Jehovistic form of the
legend is the earlier of the two . /2/

2. The line indicated by Buttmann was first taken up again by
Th. Noldeke in his Essay on the main-stock of the Pentateuch,
which opened the way to a proper estimate of the narrative part
of the work.


VIII.I.1 The Bible begins with the account of the Priestly Code of the
creation of the world. In the beginning is chaos; darkness,
water, brooding spirit, which engenders life, and fertilises the
dead mass. The primal stuff contains in itself all beings, as yet
undistinguished: from it proceeds step by step the ordered
world; by a process of unmixing, first of all by separating out
the great elements. The chaotic primal gloom yields to the
contrast of light and darkness; the primal water is separated by
the vault of heaven into the heavenly water, out of which there
grows the world above the firmament which is withdrawn from our
gaze, and the water of the earth: the latter, a slimy mixture, is
divided into land and sea, whereupon the land at once puts on its
green attire. The elements thus brought into existence, light,
heaven, water, land, are then enlivened, pretty much in the order
in which they were created, with individual beings; to the light
correspond the lamps of the stars, fishes to the water, to the
heaven the birds of heaven, and the other creatures to the land.
The last act of creation is markedly emphasised. "And God said:
Let us make man after our likeness; and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over
the cattle, and over all the living creatures of the earth, and
over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God
created man after His own image, in the image of God created He
him, and He created them male and female. And God blessed them,
and said: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and
subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon
the face of the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given unto
you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the
earth, and every tree with seed-fruits: to you it shall be for
food: and to every beast of the earth and to every fowl of the
air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there
is life, I have given the green herb for meat. Thus the heavens
and the earth were made and all the host of them, and on the
seventh day God ended His work, and blessed the seventh day, and
hallowed it." (Genesis i. 1-ii. 4a).

It is commonly said that the aim of this narrative is a purely
religious one. The Israelite certainly does not deny himself in
it: the religious spirit with which it is penetrated even comes
at some points into conflict with the nature of its materials.
The notion of chaos is that of uncreated matter; here we find
the remarkable idea that it is created in the beginning by God.
Brooded over by the Spirit, it is further of a nature for development
to take place out of it, and the trait that the creation is
represented throughout as a separation of elements which in chaos
were mixed together, betrays even now the original design: but
in the Hebrew narrative the immanent Spirit has yielded to the
transcendent God, and the principle of evolution is put aside in
favour of the fiat of creation. Yet for all this the aim of the
narrator is not mainly a religious one. Had he only meant to say
that God made the world out of nothing, and made it good, he could
have said so in simpler words, and at the same time more distinctly.


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