Prolegomena to the History of Israel
Julius Wellhausen

Part 9 out of 13

in JE they are inseparably associated. The popular religious
book preserved to us in the Jehovistic Genesis, not corrected
to any great extent, though certainly to some extent, tells how
the ancestors and representatives of Israel founded the old popular
worship at the principal sites at which it was kept up. The law
of the legitimate cultus of Jerusalem, as it lies before us in the
Priestly Code, reforms and destroys the old popular worship on
the basis of Mosaic, i.e., prophetical ideas. The tabernacle
does not harmonize with the sanctuaries of Hebron, Beersheba,
Shechem, Kadesh, Mahanaim, Lahai-Roi, Bethel; the patriarchs live
at Hebron only because they are to be buried there, not to
entertain the Deity under the oak of Mamre and to build an altar
there. The heretical mac,c,ebas, trees and wells, disappear, and
with them the objectionable customs: that God should have
summoned Abraham to offer up to Him his only son is an idea the
Priestly Code could not possibly entertain. The whole material
of the legend is subordinated to legislative designs: the
modifying influence of the law on the narrative is everywhere

The attitude of Judaism to the old legend is on the whole negative,
but it added some new elements. While the patriarchs are not
allowed to sacrifice, only to slaughter, they have, on the other
hand, the Sabbath /1/ and circumcision. In this they are like

I The Sabbath is not a Mosaic institution according to the Priestly
Code. But it is presupposed in Exodus xvi., and according to Genesis
ii. 3, it was in force from the beginning of the world. With the
old Israelites the Sabbath was much less important in relation to
worship than the festivals: in Judaism the opposite was the case.

the Jews in Babylon, who were deprived of the national cultus, and
replaced it with these two symbols of religious membership and
union, which were independent of the temple of Jerusalem. In the
exile, after the cessation of the service of the altar, the Sabbath
and circumcision attained that significance as symbols--in the
genuine old meaning of the Greek word--as practical symbols of
Judaism, which they retain to the present day. The emphasis is
noteworthy with which the Priestly Code always insists on the
fact that the patriarchs sojourned in a strange land, that they
were _Gerim_. If we also consider that Abraham is said to have
migrated into Palestine from Ur, from Chaldaea, it is hardly possible
to reject the idea that the circumstances of the exile had some
influence in moulding the priestly form of the patriarchal
legend. In spite of all the efforts of the historian, and all the
archaic appearance of his work, it may in that case still be the
fact that the surroundings of the narrator found positive
expression in his description of the patriarchal times.


In the Jehovistic history-book Genesis is a most
important part, and occupies at least a half of the whole work:
in the Priestly Code, Genesis quite disappears in comparison with
the later books. Only with the Mosaic legislation does this work
arrive at its own ground, and it at once stifles the narrative
under a mass of legislative matter. Here also there is a thin
historical thread running parallel to the Jehovist, but we constantly
lose sight of it from the repeated interruptions made by extensive
ritual laws and statistical statements.

"These last four books of Moses have been made quite unreadable by
a most melancholy, most incomprehensible, revision. The course of
the history is everywhere interrupted by the insertion of
innumerable laws, with regard to the greater part of which it is
impossible to see any reason for their being inserted where they
are." The dislocation of the narrative by these monstrous growths
of legislative matter is not, as Goethe thinks, to be imputed to
the editor; it is the work of the unedited Priestly Code itself,
and is certainly intolerable; nor can it be original; the
literary form of the work at once shows this. It is still
possible to trace how the legal matter forces its way into the
narrative, and once there spreads itself and takes up more and
more room. In the Jehovist, one form of the tradition may still
be discerned, according to which the Israelites on crossing the
Red Sea at once proceeded towards Kadesh, without making the detour
to Sinai. We only get to Sinai in Exodus xix., but in Exodus
xvii. we are already at Massah and Meribah, ie., on the ground
of Kadesh. That is the scene of the story of Moses striking water
out of the rock with his staff: there the fight with the Amalekites
took place--they lived there and not at Sinai--there also the visit
of Jethro, which requires a locality at some distance from his home
(at Sinai), a place where the people had not merely a temporary
encampment, but their permanent seat of justice. /1/

1. Kadesh is also called Meribah, the seat of justice, or Meribath
Kadesh, the seat of justice at the holy spring. Meribah is in
its meaning the same as Midian.

Hence the narratives which are told before the arrival at Sinai are
repeated after the departure from it, because the locality is the
same before and after, namely, the wilderness of Kadesh, the true
scene of the Mosaic history. The institution of judges and elders
concludes the narrative before the great Sinai section, and begins
the narrative after it (Ex. xviii., Numbers xi ). The story of
the manna and the quails occurs not only in Exodus xvi., but also
in Numbers xi; and the rocky spring called forth by Moses at
Massah and Meribah is both in Exodus xvii. and Numbers xx. In
other words, the Israelites arrived at Kadesh, the original object
of their wanderings, not after the digression to Sinai but
immediately after the Exodus, and they spent there the forty
years of their residence in the wilderness. Kadesh is also the
original scene of the legislation. "There He made them statute and
judgment, and there He proved them," we read in a poetical
fragment, before the Sinai section (Exodus xv. 25), which is now
placed in the narrative of the healing of the waters at Marah, but
stands there quite isolated and without bearing on its context.
The curious conjunction of judgment and trial points unmistakably
to Massah and Meribah (ie., judgment and trial-place), that is, to
Kadesh, as the place spoken of. But the legislation at the seat of
judgment at Kadesh is not represented as a single act in which
Moses promulgates to the Israelites once for all a complete and
comprehensive body of laws; it goes on for forty years, and
consists in the dispensation of justice at the sanctuary, which he
begins and the priests and judges carry on after him according to
the pattern he set. This is the idea in the extremely
instructive narrative in Exodus xviii., of which Kadesh is the
scene. And in this way the Torah has its place in the historical
narrative, not in virtue of its matter as the contents of a code,
but from its form as constituting the professional activity of
Moses. It is in the history not as a result, as the sum of the
laws and usages binding on Israel, but as a process; it is shown
how it originated, how the foundation was laid for the living
institution of that Torah which still exists and is in force in

The true and original significance of Sinai is quite independent
of the legislation. It was the seat of the Deity, the sacred
mountain, doubtless not only for the Israelites, but generally
for all the Hebrew and Cainite (Kenite) tribes of the surrounding
region. The priesthood of Moses and his successors was derived
from the priesthood there: there Jehovah appeared to him in the
burning bush when he was keeping the sheep of the priest of Midian,
from there He sent him to Egypt. There, to the Israelites, Jehovah
still dwelt long after they had settled in Palestine; in the song
of Deborah He is summoned to come from Sinai to succour His
oppressed people and to place Himself at the head of His
warriors. According to the view of the poet of Deuteronomy xxxiii.
the Israelites did not go to Jehovah to Sinai, but the converse;
He came to them from Sinai to Kadesh: "Jehovah came from Sinai
and shone from Seir unto them; He lightened from Mount Paran and
came to Meribath Kadesh." /1/

1. We do not know where Sinai was situated, and the Bible is
scarcely at one on the subject. Only dilettanti care much for
controversy on the matter. The Midian of Exodus ii. tells us
most: it is probably Madian on the Arabic shore of the Ked sea.
In our passage Sinai seems to be S.E. of Edom; the way from
Sinai to Kadesh is by Seir and Paran.

But it is not difficult to see how it came to be thought more seemly
that the Israelites should undertake the journey to Jehovah. This
was at first put in the form that they appeared there before the
face of Jehovah to worship Him and offer Him a sacrifice (Exodus
iii. 12), and at their departure they received the ark instead
of Jehovah Himself, who continued to dwell on Sinai (Exodus
xxxiii.); for the ark represents Jehovah, that constitutes its
significance, and not the tables of the law, which were not in it
at first. It was a further step to make Sinai the scene of the
solemn inauguration of the historical relation between Jehovah and
Israel. This was done under the poetic impulse to represent the
constituting of the people of Jehovah as a dramatic act on an
exalted stage. What in the older tradition was a process which
went on quietly and slowly, occupied completely the whole period
of Moses, and was at the beginning just such as it still continued
to be, was now, for the sake of solemnity and vividness,
compressed into a striking scene of inauguration. If this were
done, the covenant between Jehovah and Israel must receive a
positive (as well as a negative) character, that is to say,
Jehovah Himself must announce to the people the basis and the
conditions of it. Thus the necessity arose to communicate in
this place the contents of the fundamental laws, and so the matter
of the legislation made its way into the historical narrative.
But that it did not belong originally to this place we see from
the confusion which obtains even in the Jehovistic Sinai section
(Exodus xix.-xxiv., xxxii.-xxxiv.). The small bodies of laws
which are here communicated may in themselves be old enough,
but they are forced into the narrative. It is only of what is
relatively the most recent corpus, the Decalogue (in E), that
this cannot be asserted.

As the Jehovistic work was originally a pure history-book, so
Deuteronomy, when it was first discovered, was a pure law-book.

1. Chapters xii.-xxvii. The two historical introductions, chapter
i.-iv. and chapter v.-xi. were added later, as well as the
appendices, chapter xxviii. seq.

These two works, the historical and legal, were at first quite
independent of each other; only afterwards were they conjoined,
perhaps that the new law might share in the popularity of the old
people's book, and at the same time infuse into it its own spirit.
It made it the easier to do this, that, as we have just seen, a
piece of law had already been taken up into the Jehovistic
history-book. To the Decalogue, at the beginning of the period of
the forty years, was now added Deuteronomy at the close of that
period. The situation--of which the law itself knows nothing--is
very well chosen, not only because Moses is entitled when making
his testament to anticipate the future and make a law for the time
to come, but also because, the law being placed at the close of
his life, the thread of the narrative is not further interrupted,
the law being simply inserted between the Pentateuch and the Book
of Joshua. This combination of Deuteronomy with the Jehovist was
the beginning of the combination of narrative and law; and the
fact that this precedent was before the author of the Priestly
Code explains how, though his concern was with the Torah alone,
he yet went to work from the very outset and comprised in his work
the history of the creation, as if it also belonged to the Torah.
This manner of setting forth the Torah in the form of a history
book is not in the least involved in the nature of the case; on
the contrary, it introduces the greatest amount of awkwardness.
How it came about can only be explained in the way above
described; an antecedent process of the same nature in literary
history led the way and made the suggestion. /2/

2. That the author of the Priestly Code had before him the
combination of the Sinai legislation of the Jehovist and
Deuteronomy is shown further by the circumstance that he has both
a legislation at Mount Sinai and a legislation in the Arboth Moah,
and in addition to these one in the wilderness of Sinai.

As from the literary point of view, so also from the historical,
the Moses of the Jehovist appears more original than the Moses of
the Priestly Code. To prove this is, it is true, the aim of the
entire present work: yet it will not on that account be thought
out of place if we take advantage of this convenient opportunity
for a brief sketch and criticism of the conflicting historical views
of Moses and his work in the two main sources of the Pentateuch.
According to the Priestly Code Moses is a religious founder and
legislator, as we are accustomed to think of him. He receives and
promulgates the Torah, /1/ perhaps not as a book--though, when we

1. The law might accordingly be called Moses, as with the Ethiopians
the Psalter is called David,

come to think of it, we can hardly represent the transaction to
ourselves in any other way--but certainly fixed and finished as
an elaborate and minutely organised system, which comprises the
sacred constitution of the congregation for all time to come.
The whole significance of Moses consists in the office of messenger
which he holds as mediator of the law; what else he does is of no
importance. That the law is given once for all is the great event
of the time, not that the people of Israel begins to appear on the
stage of the world. The people is there for the sake of the law,
not the law for the sake of the people. With the Jehovist, on the
contrary, Moses' work consists in this, that he delivers his
people from the Egyptians and cares for it in every way in the
wilderness. In the prelude scene from his youth, when he smites
the Egyptian and seeks to adjust the dispute of his brethren
(Exodus ii. 11 seq.), his whole history is prefigured. His care
for the Israelites embraces both catering for their sustenance,
and making and preserving peace and order among them (Numbers xi.).
The Torah is but a part of his activity, and proceeds from his
more general office as the guardian of the young people, who has,
as it were, to teach the fledgling to fly (Numbers xi. xii.).
According to Exodus xviii. his Torah is nothing but a giving of
counsel, a finding the way out of complications and difficulties
which had actually arisen. Individuals bring their different
cases before him; he pronounces judgment or gives advice, and in
so doing teaches the people the way they should go. Thus he is
the beginner of the teaching of Jehovah which lives on after him
in priest and prophet. Here all is life and movement: as Jehovah
Himself, so the man of God, is working in a medium which is alive;
is working practically, by no means theoretically, in history,
not in literature. His work and activity may be told in a
narrative, but the contents of it are more than a system, and are
not to be reduced to a compendium; it is not done and finished off,
it is the beginning of a series of infinite activities. In the
Priestly Code the work of Moses lies before us clearly defined
and rounded off; one living a thousand years after knows it as
well as one who saw it with his eyes. It is detached from its
originator and from his age: lifeless itself, it has driven the
life out of Moses and out of the people, nay, out of the very
Deity. This precipitate of history, appearing as law at the
beginning of the history, stifles and kills the history itself.
Which of the two views is the more historical, we can accordingly
be at no loss to decide. It may be added that in the older Hebrew
literature the founding of the nation and not the giving of the
law is regarded as the theocratic creative act of Jehovah. The
very notion of the law is absent: only covenants are spoken of,
in which the representatives of the people undertake solemn
obligations to do or leave undone something which is described
in general terms.

Another point of difference must be mentioned here, though indeed
it is a matter which has been before us more than once already.
That which is in the Priestly Code the subject-matter of the
Torah of Moses, namely, the institution of the cultus, the
Jehovist traces to the practice of the patriarchs--one more result
of the difference between law and legend. The Moses of the
Priestly Code conflicts not only with the future, but with the
past; he comes into collision with history on every side. That
view is manifestly the only natural one according to which the
worship is not specifically Israelite, not a thing instituted by
Moses in obedience to a sudden command of the Deity, but an
ancestral tradition. But at the time when the Priestly Code was
drawn up the worship was certainly the one thing that made Israel
Israel. In it the church, the one congregation of worship, takes
the place of the people even in the Mosaic age--sorely against
history, but characteristically for the author's point of view.

Now even such authorities as Bleek, Hupfeld, and Knobel have been
misled by the appearance of historical reality which the Priestly
Code creates by its learned art here as well as in the history
of the patriarchs. They have regarded the multiplicity of
numbers and names, the minute technical descriptions, the strict
keeping up of the scenery of camp-life, as so many signs of
authentic objectivity. Noldeke made an end of this critical
position once for all, but Colenso is properly entitled to the
credit of having first torn the web asunder. /1/

1. See Kuenen in the Theol. Tijdschrift, 1870, p. 393-401.

The boldness with which numbers and names are stated, and the
preciseness of the details about indifferent matters of furniture,
do not prove them to be reliable: they are not drawn from
contemporary records, but are the fruit solely of late Jewish
fancy, a fancy which, it is well known, does not design nor
sketch, but counts and constructs, and produces nothing more than
barren plans. Without repeating the description of the tabernacle
in Exodus xxv. word for word, it is difficult to give an idea how
circumstantial it is; we must go to the source to satisfy
ourselves what the narrator can do in this line. One would imagine
that he was giving specifications to measurers for estimates, or
that he was writing for carpet-makers and upholsterers; but they
could not proceed upon his information, for the incredibly matter-
of-fact statements are fancy all the same, as was shown in chapter
i. The description of the tabernacle is supplemented in the Book
of Numbers by that of the camp; the former being the centre, this
is the circle drawn about it, and consists of an outer ring, the
twelve secular tribes, a middle ring, the Levites, and an innermost
one, the sons of Aaron: a mathematical demonstration of the
theocracy in the wilderness. The two first chapters contain the
census of the twelve tribes, and their allocation in four quarters,
nothing but names and numbers. To this first census chapter xxxiv.
adds another at the close of the forty years, in which the various
detailed figures are different, but the total is about the same.
This total, 600,000 warriors, comes from the older tradition, but
is proved to be quite worthless by the fact that in a really
authentic document the levy of Israel in the time of Deborah is
stated to be 40,000 strong. Still, the Priestly Code is entitled
to the credit of having made the total a little less round, and of
having broken it up into artificial component parts. The muster of
the people is followed in Numbers iii. iv. by the dedication of
the tribe of Levi to the sanctuary, in compensation for the
firstborn males of the Israelites who up to that time had not been
sacrificed nor yet redeemed. There are 22,273 firstborn males to
be provided for, and there are 22,000 male Levites above a month
old. The 273 extra firstborn males are specially redeemed at five
shekels a head. What accuracy! But what of the fact that a people
of at least two millions has only 22,273 firstborn males, or say
50,000 firstborn of both sexes? This gives an average of forty
children to every woman, for the firstborn in the sense of the law
is that which first opens the womb. The continuation of Numbers iii.
iv. is in chapter viii. As the Levites are an offering of firstlings
to the sanctuary on the part of the people, which, however, is not
to be sacrificed but made over to the priests, the characteristic
rite of this sort of sacred due has to be gone through with them,
namely, an act imitating that of throwing into the flame of the altar
(Aristeas 31,1. 5). To think of Moses and Aaron heaving the 22,000
men! Not less striking as an example of this kind of fiction is the
story of Numbers xxxi. Twelve thousand Israelites, a thousand from
each tribe, take the field against Midian, extirpate without any
fighting--at least nothing is anywhere said of this important
point--the whole people, slay all the men and a part of the women,
take captive the unmarried girls, and suffer themselves no loss
whatever. The latter point is asserted very definitely.
"The captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds came to
Moses, and said to him, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men
of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one of us."
Of the immeasurable booty of men and cattle Jehovah assigns half
to those who took the field and took part in the battle, the other
half to the congregation; and the former are to give the 500th
part to the priests, the latter the 50th part to the Levites. The
execution of this order is especially reported as follows:
"The booty which the men of war had taken was 675,000 sheep, 72,000
beeves, 61,000 asses, and 32,000 women that had not lain by man.
And the half which was the portion of them that went out to war
was 337,500 sheep, and Jehovah's tribute of the sheep was 675;
36,000 beeves, tribute to Jehovah 72; 30,500 asses, tribute to
Jehovah 61; 16,000 persons, tribute to Jehovah 32. And Moses
gave the tribute to Jehovah to Eleazar the priest. But the other
half, which Moses divided to the children of Israel, the half due
to the congregation, was 337,500 sheep, 36,000 beeves, 30,500 asses,
16,000 persons, and of the children of Israel's half Moses took one
of fifty and gave them to the Levites."
The calculation of the contribution to Jehovah was quite
easy for Moses, as the 500th part of the half is equivalent to
the 1000th part of the whole; he had only to leave off the
thousands from the first totals. In conclusion, the captains
brought offerings to Jehovah of golden dishes, chains, bracelets,
rings, and earrings, altogether 16,750 shekels weight, as
atonement for their souls
"But that was only the gold which the captains had taken as booty,
for the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself."
We may perhaps be allowed to speculate as to the relation between
these 16,750 shekels which in this passage the captains alone offer
to the tabernacle OF THE GOLD ORNAMENTS OF THE MIDIANITES, and the
1700 shekels which in Judges viii. the whole people dedicate OF THE
GOLD ORNAMENTS OF THE MIDIANITES to set up an image in Ophra.

It is less easy to account on the theory of pure fiction for the
numerous names sometimes arranged together like a catalogue than
for reported circumstances and numbers. There can certainly be
no doubt that the forty places which are mentioned in the list of
encampments in the wanderings, really existed in the region the
Israelites are reported to have traversed. But he who is
satisfied with this as evidence that we have before us here a
historical document of primitive antiquity, will never be
disturbed by criticism. Was it such a difficult matter to find
out forty definite stations in the wilderness for the forty
years of the wanderings? Even if the elements of the composition
are not fictitious, that is far from proving the composition
itself to be authentic. And in the case of lists of the names of
persons, the elements are often of an extremely doubtful nature;
and here it is well to keep in view the principle of Vatke (op.
cit. p. 675) that no confidence is to be placed in subjects devoid
of predicates, and that persons are not to be taken for real who
have nothing to do. The dozens of names in Numbers i. vii. x.
are almost all made to the same pattern, and have no similarity
whatever to the names genuinely old. The fact that the name of
Jehovah does not enter into their composition only shows that the
composer was not forgetful of his religio-historical theory.

By its taste for barren names and numbers and technical
descriptions, the Priestly Code comes to stand on the same line
with the Chronicles and the other literature of Judaism which
labours at an artificial revival of the old tradition [VI.I.2
VI.III.2., VI.III.3. ad fin.]. Of a piece with this tendency is
an indescribable pedantry, belonging to the very being of the
author of the Priestly Code. He has a very passion for classifying
and drawing plans; if he has once dissected a genus into different
species, we get all the species named to us one by one every
time he has occasion to mention the genus. The subsuming use of
the prepositions Lamed and Beth is characteristic of him. He
selects a long-drawn expression wherever he can; he does not weary
of repeating for the hundredth time what is a matter of course
(Numbers viii.), he hates pronouns and all abbreviating substitutes.
What is interesting is passed over, what is of no importance is
described with minuteness, his exhaustive clearness is such as
with its numerous details to confuse our apprehension of what is
in itself perfectly clear. This is what used to be described
in the phraseology of historical criticism as epic breadth. /1/

1. Riehm, p. 292. "The style is quiet, simple, free from all
rhetorical and poetical ornament, and the expression in speaking
of similar objects has an epic uniformity. Impressive as many
pieces are, just from their unassuming simplicity and
objectivity, there is nowhere any apparent effort to produce
effect or to raise the interest of the reader by the resources of
literary art." For an opposite opinion compare Lichtenberg,
Werke, ii. 162.

VIII.III.2. Having thus attempted to describe the general contrast
of the Priestly Code and the Jehovist in the Mosaic period, it
remains for us to compare the several stories in the two works.
The Exodus from Egypt is everywhere regarded as the commencement
of Israelite history. In the Priestly Code it is made the epoch
of an era (Exodus xii. 2), which is afterwards dated from, not only
in years but even in months and days. It is unquestionable that
this precise style of dating only came into use among the Hebrews
at a very late period. *We find in the historical books only one
statement of the month in which an event took place (1Kings vi.
38), and in that case the day is not given. To the prophetic
writers dates were of some importance, and the growth of the
practice may to some extent be traced with them. Amos first came
forward "two years before the earthquake." /2/

2. Agh. xv. 11, 17: when al-Walid b. al-Mughira was dead, the
Arabs dated after his death to the year of the elephant, which
thereafter was made an epoch. According to others they reckoned
nine years after the death of Hisham b. al-Mughira, to the time
when they built the Caaba, and then they dated from the building
of the Caaba. Comp. the 'Am al Ramada and the 'Am al Ru'af.

The most precise date in Isaiah is "the year in which king Uzziah
died." Numbers of years are first found in Jeremiah, "the thirteenth
year of king Josiah," and a few more instances. All at once there was
a change: Haggai and Zechariah, prophets who grew up in the Babylonian
exile, always give dates, not only the year and month, but the day of
the month as well. In the Priestly Code this precise reckoning,
which the Jews obviously learned from the Chaldeans, is in use
from the age of Moses onwards.

In the Jehovist the ostensible occasion of the Exodus is a festival
which the children of Israel desire to hold in honour of their God
in the wilderness. In the Priestly Code this occasion
disappears; there can be no pre-Mosaic festivals. But with this
the reason falls away for which Jehovah kills the firstborn of the
Egyptians, He does it because the king of Egypt is keeping from Him
the firstborn of the Israelites, which ought to be offered to Him
at the festival; for the celebration in question is the sacrificial
festival of the first-fruits of cattle in spring. In the older
tradition the festival is the first thing; it explains the circumstances
of the Exodus and the time of year at which it took place: in the
later one the relation is reversed--the killing of the firstborn of
the Egyptians leads to the sacrifice of the firstborn of Israel,
the Exodus in spring is followed by the festival in spring as its
consequence. The Priestly Code follows this younger tradition,
and deviates from the original account still more widely in the
view it gives of the passover. It obliterates completely the
connection between the passover and the sacrifice of the
firstborn, and represents it not as a giving of thanks to Jehovah
for having slain the firstborn of Egypt, but as instituted at the
moment of the Exodus to induce Jehovah to spare the firstborn of
Israel. How all this is to be understood and judged of we have
discussed more at large in the chapter on the festivals (III.I.1.,

As to the accounts given in the two sources of the crossing of the
Red Sea, all we can say is that that of the Jehovist (J) is the
more complicated. According to him the sea is dried up by a
strong wind, and the Egyptians succeed at first in crossing it,
and encounter the Hebrews on the eastern shore during he night.
"But in the morning watch Jehovah turned, in the pillar of fire
and of the cloud, against the host of the Egyptian, and overthrew
the host of the Egyptian, and hindered the wheels of his chariot
and caused him to drive heavily. Then the Egyptian said: I will
flee before Israel, for Jehovah fighteth for them against Egypt.
But the sea turned back towards morning to its ordinary level,
and the Egyptians fled against it, and Jehovah shook them into
the midst of the sea" (Exodus xiv. 24, 25, 27).
According to the Priestly Code /1/ the waves meet over the pursuers,

1. And the younger tradition generally: also according to the
song Exodus xv., which apart from the beginning, which is old,
is a psalm in the manner of the Psalms and has no similarity
with the historical songs, Judges v., 2Samuel i., Numbers xxi.

before they reach the further shore; the idea is much simpler,
but poorer in incidental features.

The miracle of the manna (Exodus xvi.) is taken advantage of
in the Priestly Code as a very suitable occasion for urging on
the people a strict sanctification of the Sabbath: none falls
on the seventh day, but what is gathered on the sixth keeps two
days, while at other times it requires to be eaten quite fresh.
This pursuit of a legal object destroys the story and obscures
its original meaning, as no one can help seeing. Nor is it any
sign of originality, rather of senility, that in the Priestly Code
the manna is not eaten raw, but boiled and baked.

At Mount Sinai Moses receives, according to the Priestly Code,
the revelation of--the model of the tabernacle, and he follows
the pattern thus presented to him in the construction, down below,
of the real tabernacle. All further revelation takes place, even
in Moses' time, as far as possible in the tabernacle (Exodus xxv.
22). Even Sinai must not stand any longer than necessary by the
side of the one legitimate seat of Deity. /1/

1. Compare, however, Jahrbb.fur Deutsche Theologie, 1877, p. 453,
note 1.

The tables of the law, it appears, are silently presupposed
without being mentioned beforehand, it being of course assumed
that the readers would know all about them from the old tradition.
The outside of the ark, however, is furnished in the most extravagant
style, and with a splendour which other descriptions of the chest
of acacia-wood are far from suggesting. The ark in the Priestly Code
differs indeed in every way from the appearance of it in 1Kings
vii. 23 seq. We are reminded of the Haggada by the covering which
Moses has to put before his face, which is shining with the reflection
of the glory of Jehovah (Exodus xxxiv. 29-35), and by the making of
the brazen laver of the looking-glasses of the women who serve the
temple (Exodus xxxviii. 8, cf. Numbers xvii. 1, 9); these traits
do not, it is true, belong to the original contents of the Priestly
Code, but they belong to its circle.

From Sinai the old tradition takes us by this and that station,
mentioned by name, without delay to Kadesh. Here the chief part
of the forty years' sojourn in the wilderness is spent; this,
as we said before, is the true scene of all the stories that are
told about Moses. The Priestly Code takes us in this period, as
in the legend of the patriarchs, not to definite places, but up and
down in the wilderness of Sinai, in the wilderness of Paran, in
the wilderness of Sin. Kadesh is with evident intention thrust as
far as possible into the background--no doubt on account of the
high sanctity the place originally had as the encampment for
many years of the Israelites under Moses.

The spies are sent out according to the Jehovist from Kadesh,
according to the Priestly Code from the wilderness of Paran.
In the former authority they penetrate to Hebron, whence they
bring back with them fine grapes, but they find that the land
where these grow is not to be conquered. In the latter they
proceed without any difficulty throughout the whole of Palestine
to Lebanon, but have nothing to bring back with them, and advise
against attacking the land because they have not found it
particularly desirable, as if its advantages had been accessible
to faith alone and not to be discovered by unbelieving eyes, as
was actually the case in the time of Haggai and Zechariah, and at
the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. To the genuine Israelite of old,
however, the goodness of his beloved land was not a mere point of
faith which he could ever have doubted. In the former source, as
we judge from Deuteronomy i. 23, only the number of the spies was
given; in the latter all the twelve are named. In the former
Caleb is the only good spy, in the latter Caleb and Joshua. At
first probably neither the one nor the other belonged to this
story; but Caleb easily came to be named as an exception,
because he actually conquered the district from Kadesh to Hebron,
which the spies had declared it impossible to take, and which the
Israelites, alarmed by their account, had not ventured to attack.
Joshua, again, was added from the consideration that, according to
the principle enunciated by the Jehovist in Numbers xiv. 23, 24,
he must have shared the merit of Caleb, because he partook of the
same exceptional reward with him.

In the Jehovist Moses alone instructs the spies and receives their
report on their return; in the Priestly Code Moses and Aaron do
so. In the oldest source of the Jehovist (J) Aaron has not yet
made his appearance; in the Priestly Code Moses must not do any
public act without him. /1/

1. In the same way, in the former source Joshua always acts alone;
in the latter, he always has the priest Eleazar at his side.
Compare notes [in IV.III.2.]

Moses is still the moving spirit here as well as there, but Aaron
is the representative of the theocracy, and pains are taken to
secure that he shall never be absent where the representatives of
the theocracy are brought face to face with the community. The
desire to introduce the leader of the hierocracy, and with its
leader the hierocracy itself, into the Mosaic history, has borne
the most remarkable fruits in the so-called story of the rebellion
of the company of Korah. According to the Jehovistic tradition
the rebellion proceeds from the Reubenites, Dathan, and Abiram,
prominent members of the firstborn tribe of Israel, and is directed
version of the main-stock of the Priestly Code (Q), the author of
the agitation is Korah, a prince of the tribe of Judah, and he rebels
not only against Moses, but against MOSES AND AARON AS REPRESENTING
THE PRIESTHOOD. In a later addition, which, to judge from its style,
belongs likewise to the Priestly Code, but not to its original
contents, the Levite Korah appears at the head of a revolt of the
Levites against AARON AS HIGH PRIEST, and demands the equalisation
of the lower with the higher clergy. Starting from the Jehovistic
version, the historical basis of which is dimly discerned to be the
fall of Reuben from its old place at the head of the brother-tribes,
we have no difficulty in seeing how the second version arose out of
it. The people of the congregation, i.e., of the church, having once
come on the scene, the spiritual heads, Moses and Aaron, take the
place of the popular leader Moses, and the jealousy of the secular
grandees is now directed against the class of hereditary priests,
instead of against the extraordinary influence on the community of
a heaven-sent hero. All these changes are the natural outcome of
the importation of the hierocracy into Mosaic times. From the
second version we can go further and understand the origin of the
third. In the earlier version the princes of the tribe of Reuben
were forced to give way to a prince of the tribe of Judah. In
the progress of time Korah the prince of the tribe of Judah is
replaced by the eponymous head of a post-exilic Levitical family,
of the same name. The contest between clergy and aristocracy is
here transformed into a domestic strife between the higher and the
inferior clergy, which was no doubt raging in the time of the
narrator. Thus the three versions are developed, the origin and
collocation of which appears from every other point of view to be
an insoluble enigma. The one arises out of the other in the
direct line of descent: the metamorphoses took place under the
influence of great historical changes which are well known to us;
and in the light of Jewish history from Josiah downwards they
are by no means unintelligible. /1/

1 The details of the demonstration will be found in the Jahrbb.
fuer Deutsche Theologie, 1776, p. 572 seq., 1877, p. 454, note,
and in the Leyden Theol. Tijdschrift, 1878, p. 139 seq.

We come to the migration of the Israelites to the land east of the
Jordan. According to the Jehovist the neighbouring tribes place
obstacles in their way, and the land in which they desire to
settle has to be conquered with the sword. The Priestly Code tells
us as little of all this as in an earlier instance of the war with
Amalek; from all it says we should imagine that the Israelites went
straight to their mark and met with no difficulty in the region
in question; the land is ownerless, and the possession of it is
granted by Moses and Eleazar to the two tribes Reuben and Gad
(Numbers xxxii.). But that war may not be completely wanting
under Moses, we have afterwards the war with the Midianites, on
which we have already commented (Numbers xxxi.). There is not much
story about it, only numbers and directions; and in verse 27
there is a suspicion of 1Samuel xxx. 24, as if that passage were
the groundwork of the whole. The passage is extremely
interesting as showing us the views taken of war by the Jews of
the later time who had grown quite unaccustomed to it. The
occasion of the war also is noticeable; it is undertaken not for
the acquisition of territory, nor with any other practical
object, but only to take vengeance on the Midianites for having
seduced some of the Israelites to uncleanness.

The elders of Midian, so the story goes, went to the soothsayer
Balaam to ask his advice as to what should be done against the
Israelite invaders. He suggested a means by which the edge of
the invasion might be broken; the Midianites should give their
daughters to the Israelites for wives, and so deprive the holy
people of their strength, the secret of which lay in their
isolation from other peoples. The Midianites took Balaam's advice
and succeeded in entangling many of the Israelites with the
charms of their women; in consequence of which Jehovah visited
the faithless people with a severe plague. The narrative of the
Priestly Code up to this point has to be pieced together from Numbers
xxxi. 8, 16 and Joshua xiii. 22, and from what is implied in the
sequel of it; at this point the portion of it begins which is
preserved to us (Numbers xxv. 6 seq.), and we are told how the
plague was ultimately stayed. A certain man coolly brings a
Midianitish woman into the camp before the very eyes of Moses and
the weeping children of Israel: then the young hereditary priest
Phinehas takes a spear, transfixes the godless pair, and by this
zeal averts the anger of Jehovah. This narrative is based on the
Jehovistic one, which is also preserved to us only in part (Numbers
xxv. 1-5), about the backsliding of Israel in the camp of Shittim
to the service of Baal-Peor, to which they were seduced by the
daughters of Moab. In the Priestly Code the idolatry has quite
disappeared, all but some unconscious reminiscences, and no
sin is alleged but that of whoredom, which in the original story
merely led up to the main offence. This is done manifestly with
the idea that marriage with foreign women is in itself a falling
away from Jehovah, a breach of the covenant. This change was
extremely suitable to the circumstances of exilic and post-exilic
Judaism, for in these later days there was no immediate danger of
gross idolatry, but it took a good deal of trouble to prevent
heathenism from making its way into the midst of the people under
the friendly form of mixed marriages. The version of tbe
Priestly Code, however, mixes up with the Baal-Peor story of the
Jehovist the figure of Balaam, which is also borrowed from the
Jehovist but entirely transformed in the process. In the form
under which he appears in the early history he transgresses all
the ideas of the Priestly Code. An Aramaean seer, who is hired
for money and makes all sorts of heathen preparations to
prophesy, but who yet is not an impostor, but a true prophet as
much as any in Israel, who even stands in the most intimate
relations with Jehovah, though cherishing the intention of cursing
Jehovah's people--that is too much for exclusive Judaism. The
correction is effected by the simple device of connecting Balaam
with the following section, and making him the intellectual
instigator of the devilry of the Midianitish women; and in this
new form which he assumes in the Priestly Code he lives on in the
Haggada. The reason for changing the Moabites into Midianites
is not made clear; but the fact is undoubted that the Midianites
never lived in that part of the world.

In the Book of Numbers the narrative sections, which are in the
style and colour of the Priestly Code, have more and more the
character of mere additions and editorial supplements to a
connection which was already there and had a different origin.
The independent main stock of the Priestly Code, the Book of the
Four Covenants, or the Book of Origins (Q), more and more gives way
to later additions, and ceases altogether, it appears, at the
death of Moses. It is at least nowhere to be traced in the first
half of the Book of Joshua, and so we cannot reckon as part of it
those extensive sections of the second half, belonging to the
Priestly Code, which treat of the division of the land. Without a
preceding history of the conquest these sections are quite in the
air; they cannot be taken as telling a continuous story of
their own, but presuppose the Jehovistic-Deuteronomic work. In
spite of distaste to war and to records of war (1Chronicles xxii.
8, xxviii. 3), an independent work like the Book of the Four Covenants
could not possibly have passed over the wars of Joshua in silence.

A comparison of the different accounts of the entry of the
Israelite tribes into the occupation of the conquered land may
close this discussion. The Priestly Code, agreeing in this with
the Deuteronomistic revision, represents the whole of Canaan as
having been made a _tabula rasa_, and then, masterless and denuded
of population, submitted to the lot. First the tribe of Judah
receives its lot, then Manasseh and Ephraim, then the two tribes
which attached themselves to Ephraim and Judah, Benjamin and
Simeon, and lastly the five northern tribes, Zebulon, Issachar,
Asher, Naphtali, Dan.
"These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua
ben Nun, and the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel
divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before Jehovah at
the door of the tabernacle."

According to the Jehovist, Judah and Joseph appear to have had
their territory allocated to them at Gilgal (xiv. 6), and not by
lot, and to have entered into occupation of it from there. A good
while afterwards the land remaining over is divided by lot among
the seven small tribes still unprovided for, from Shiloh, or
perhaps originally from Shechem (xviii. 2-10). Joshua alone
casts the lot and gives instructions; Eleazar the priest does not
act with him. Even here the general principle of the Priestly
Code, which knows no differences among the tribes, is somewhat
limited; but it is much more decidedly contradicted by
the important chapter, Judges i.

The chapter is, in fact, not a continuation of the Book of Joshua
at all, but a parallel to it, which, while it presupposes the
conquest of the east-Jordan lands, does not speak of the
west-Jordan lands as conquered, but tells the story of the
conquest, and that in a manner somewhat differing from the other
source. From Gilgal, where the "Angel of Jehovah" first set up
his tent, the tribes march out one by one to conquer their "lot"
by fighting; first Judah, then Joseph. We hear only of these two,
and with regard to Joseph we only hear of the very beginning of
the conquest of his land. There is no mention of Joshua; nor
would his figure as commander-general of Israel suit the view here
given of the situation; though it would very well admit of him as
leader of his tribe. The incompleteness of the conquest is
acknowledged unreservedly; the Canaanites lived on quietly in the
cities of the plain, and not till the period of the monarchy,
when Israel had grown strong, were they subdued and made tributary.
This chapter, as well as the main stem of the Book of Judges,
corresponds to the Jehovistic stratum of the tradition, to which
also passages in Joshua, of an identical or similar import, may
be added without hesitation. The Angel of Jehovah is enough to tell
us this. The difference which exists between it and the
Jehovistic main version in the Book of Joshua is to be explained
for the most part by the fact that the latter is of Ephraimite origin,
and in consequence ascribes the conquest of the whole land to the
hero of Ephraim or of Joseph, while Judges i. leans more to the tribe
of Judah. Moreover, we find in the Book of Joshua itself the remnant
of a version (ix. 4-7, 12-14) in which, just as in Judges i., the
actors are the "men of Israel," who "ask counsel of the mouth of
Jehovah," while elsewhere Joshua alone has anything to say, being
the successor of Moses, and drawing his decisions from no source
but the authority of his own spirit. And finally, we have to consider
Exodus xxiii., 20 seq., where also there is a correspondence with
Judges i., in the fact that not Joshua but the Angel of Jehovah
(Judges v. 23) is the leader of Israel, and that the promised land
is not conquered all at once but gradually, in the process of time.

Judges i. presents certain anachronisms, and is partly made up of
anecdotes, but these should not prevent us from acknowledging that
the general view given in this chapter of the process of the
conquest, is, when judged by what we know of the subsequent
period of Israel, incomparably more historical than that in the
Book of Joshua, where the whole thing is done at once with
systematic thoroughness, the whole land being first denuded of its
inhabitants, and then divided by lot among the different tribes.
The latter view may have come about partly from a literal
interpretation of "lot" (Judges xviii. 1), an expression which
properly applies to the farm of a family but is here used for the
territory of a tribe. It was also favoured no doubt by the
tendency to compress a long development into its first great act;
and as this tendency is carried out with the greatest
thoroughness in the Priestly Code, that document stands furthest
from the origin of the tradition. /1/ The same conclusion is led up

1. In the Deuteronomistic revision (Joshua xxi, 43-45) there is
still a trace of hesitation, a certain difficulty in parting with
the old view altogether (Deuteronomy vii. 22; Judg. iii. 1, 2);
and besides the motives for the change are much plainer here:
the Canaanites are extirpated to guard against the infection of the
new settlers with their idolatary.

to by the circumstance that the tribe of Joseph is never mentioned,
one of the two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, being always spoken of
instead, and that these two tribes are almost put out of sight by
Judah. And yet Joshua, the leader of Ephraim, is leader here also
of all Israel, having been preserved from the old original tradition,
which was Ephraimitic.

It involves no contradiction that, in comparing the versions of the
tradition, we should decline the historical standard in the case
of the legend of the origins of mankind and of the legend of the
patriarchs, while we employ it to a certain extent for the epic
period of Moses and Joshua. The epic tradition certainly
contains elements which cannot be explained on any other
hypothesis than that there are historical facts underlying them;
its source is in the period it deals with, while the patriarchal
legend has no connection whatever with the times of the
patriarchs. /1/ This justifies the difference of treatment.

1. Some isolated statements there are here also to which the
historical standard may be applied. We may call it a more
accurate representation that Hebron was inhabited in the time of
Abraham by the, Canaanites and Perizzites, than that the Hittites
dwelt there at that time. The latter, according to 2Samuel
xxiv. 6 (Bleek, Einleitung, 4th edition, pp. 228, 597), dwelt in
Coele-Syria, and according to 2Kings vii. 6, in the neihbourhood
of the Aramaeans of Damascus. The statement that the Israelites
received from Pharaoh because they were shepherds the pasture-land
of Goshen on the north-east frontier of Egypt and there dwelt by
themselves, is to be preferred to the statement that they were
settled among the Egyptians in the best part of the land,

Our last result is still the same: whether tried by the standard of
poetry or by that of history, the Priestly Code stands both in
value and in time far below the Jehovist.

VIII.III.3. In rough strokes I have sought to place before the
reader's view the contrast between the beginning and the end of
the tradition of the Hexateuch. It would not be impossible to trace
the inner development of the tradition in the intermediate stages
between the two extremities. To do this we should have to make
use of the more delicate results of the process of source-sifting,
and to call to our aid the hints, not numerous indeed, but
important, which are to be found in Deuteronomy and in the
historical and prophetical books, especially Hosea. It would
appear that legend from its very nature causes those who deal with
it to strike out variations, that it cannot be represented
objectively at all. Even at the first act of reducing it to
writing the discolouring influences are at work, without any
violence being done to the meaning which dwells in the matter.
We can trace first of all the influence on the tradition of that
specific prophetism which we are able to follow from Amos onwards.
This is least traceable in the old main source of the Jehovist,
in J; and yet it is remarkable that the Asheras never occur in
the worship of the patriarchs. The second Jehovistic source, E,
breathes the air of the prophets much more markedly, and shows a
more advanced and thorough-going religiosity. Significant in this
view are the introduction of Abraham as a Nabi, Jacob's burying the
teraphim, the view taken of the macceba at Shechem (Jos. xxiv.
27), and above all the story of the golden calf. The Deity
appears less primitive than in J, and does not approach men in
bodily form, but calls to them from heaven, or appears to them in
dreams. The religious element has become more refined, but at the
same time more energetic, and has laid hold even of elements
heterogeneous to itself, producing on occasion such strange
mixtures as that in Genesis xxxi. 10-13. Then the law comes in
and leavens the Jehovistic narrative, first the Deuteronomic (in
Genesis even, and then quite strongly in Exodus and Joshua), while
last of all, in the Priestly Code, under the influence of the
legislation of the post-exile restoration, there is brought about
a complete metamorphosis of the old tradition. The law is the key
to the understanding even of the narrative of the Priestly Code.
All the distinctive peculiarities of the work are connected with
the influence of the law: everywhere we hear the voice of theory,
rule, judgment. What was said above of the cultus may be
repeated word for word of the legend: in the early time it may
be likened to the green tree which grows out of the ground as it
will and can; at a later time it is dry wood that is cut and made
to a pattern with compass and square. It is an extraordinary
objection to this when it is said that the post-exile period had
no genius for productions such as the tabernacle or the chronology.
It certainly was not an original age, but the matter was all there
in writing, and did not require to be invented. What great genius
was needed to transform the temple into a portable tent? What sort
of creative power is that which brings forth nothing but numbers
and names? In connection with such an age there can be no question
at least of youthful freshness. With infinitely greater justice
may it be maintained that such theoretical modelling and adaptation
of the legend as is practiced in the Priestly Code, could only gain
an entrance when the legend had died away from the memory and
the heart of the people, and was dead at the root.

The history of the pre-historic and the epic tradition thus passed
through the same stages as that of the historic; and in this
parallel the Priestly Code answers both as a whole, and in every
detail, to the Chronicles. The connecting link between old and
new, between Israel and Judaism, is everywhere Deuteronomy.

The Antar-romance says of itself, that it had attained an age of
670 years, 400 years of which it had spent in the age of ignorance
(i.e. old Arabic heathenism), and the other 270 in Islam. The
historical books of the Bible might say something similar, if
they were personified, and their life considered to begin with
the reduction to writing of the oldest kernel of the tradition and
to close with the last great revision. The time of ignorance
would extend to the appearance of "the book," which, it is true,
did not in the Old Testament come down from heaven all at once
like the Koran, but came into existence during a longer period,
and passed through various phases.


"The Law came in between."--VATKE, p. 183.


Objections have been made to the general style of the proof on
which Graf's hypothesis is based. It is said to be an illicit
argument _ex silentio_ to conclude from the fact that the priestly
legislation is latent in Ezekiel, where it should be in operation,
unknown where it should be known, that in his time it had not yet
come into existence. But what would the objectors have? Do they
expect to find positive statements of the non-existence of what
had not yet come into being? Is it more rational, to deduce _ex
silentio_, as they do, a positive proof that it did exist?-_to say,
that as there are no traces of the hierocracy in the times of the
judges and the kings it must have originated in the most remote
antiquity, with Moses? The problem would in this case still be
the same, namely, to explain how it is that with and after the
exile the hierocracy begins to come into practical activity.
What the opponents of Graf's hypothesis call its argument _ex
silentio_, is nothing more or less than the universally valid
method of historical investigation.

The protest against the argument _ex silentio_ takes another form.
It is pointed out that laws are in many cases theories, and that
it is no disproof of the existence of a theory that it has not
got itself carried out into practice. Deuteronomy was really
nothing more than a theory during the pre-exile period, but who
would argue from this that it was not there at all? Though laws
are not kept, this does not prove they are not there,--provided,
that is to say, that there is sufficient proof of their existence
on other grounds. But these other proofs of the existence of the
Priestly Code are not to be found--not a trace of them. It is,
moreover, rarely the case with laws that they are theory and
nothing more: the possibility that a thing may be mere theory
is not to be asserted generally, but only in particular cases.
And even where law is undoubtedly theory, the fact does not
prevent us from fixing its position in history. Even legislative
fancy always proceeds upon some definite presupposition or other;
and these presuppositions, rather than the laws themselves, must
guide the steps of historical criticism. /1/

1. Cf. . This is
the reason why the strata of the tradition require to be compared as
carefully as those of the law.

An argument which is the very opposite of this is also urged.
The fact is insisted on that the laws of the Priestly Code are
actually attested everywhere in the practice of the historical
period; that there were always sacrifices and festivals, priests
and purifications, and everything of the kind in early Israel.
These statements must, though this seems scarcely possible,
proceed on the assumption that on Graf's hypothesis the whole
cultus was invented all at once by the Priestly Code, and only
introduced after the exile. But the defenders of Graf's
hypothesis do not go so far as to believe that the Israelite cultus
entered the world of a sudden,--as little by Ezekiel or by Ezra
as by Moses,--else why should they be accused of Darwinism by
Zoeckler and Delitzsch? They merely consider that the works of
the law were done before the law, that there is a difference
between traditional usage and formulated law, and that even where
this difference appears to be only in form it yet has a material
basis, being connected with the centralisation of the worship and
the hierocracy which that centralisation called into existence.
Here also the important point is not the matter, but the spirit
which is behind it, and may everywhere be recognised as the
spirit of the age at one period or another. /2/

2. Comp.

All these objections, meanwhile, labour under the same defect,
namely, that they leave out of view that which is the real point
at issue. The point is not to prove that the Mosaic law was not
in force in the period before the exile. There are in the
Pentateuch three strata of law and three strata of tradition, and
the problem is to place them in their true historical order. So
far as the Jehovist and Deuteronomy are concerned, the problem
has found a solution which may be said to be accepted
universally, and all that remains is to apply to the Priestly Code
also the procedure by which the succession and the date of these
two works has been determined--that procedure consisting in the
comparison of them with the ascertained facts of Israelite
history. /3/

3. The method is stated in the introduction: and special pains are
taken to bring it out distinctly in the first chapter, that about
the place of worship.

One would imagine that this could not be objected to. But
objections have been raised; the procedure which, when applied to
Deuteronomy, is called historico-critical method, is called, when
applied to the Priestly Code, construction of history. But
history, it is well known, has always to be constructed: the
order, Priestly Code, Jehovist, Deuteronomy, is not a thing
handed down by tradition or prescribed by the nature of the case,
but a hypothesis as yet only a score of years old or thereby, the
reasons for which were somewhat incomprehensible, so that people
have forgotten them and begun to regard the hypothesis as
something objective, partaking of the character of dogma. The
question is whether one constructs well or ill. Count Baudissin
thinks a grave warning necessary of a certain danger, that,
namely, of an exaggerated application of logic: that the laws
follow each other in a certain order logically, he says, does not
prove that they appeared in the same order in history. But it is
not for the sake of logical sequence that we consider the
development which began with the prophets to have issued finally
in the laws of cultus; and those who set out from "sound human
reason" have generally forced the reverse process of this on the
history, in spite of the traces which have come down to us, and
which point the other way. /1/

1. And it would not be surprising when we consider the whole
character of the polemic against Graf's hypothesis, if the next
objection should be the very opposite of the above, viz. that it
is not able to construct the history.

After laboriously collecting the data offered by the historical
and prophetical books, we constructed a sketch of the Israelite
history of worship; we then compared the Pentateuch with this
sketch, and recognised that one element of the Pentateuch bore
a definite relation to this phase of the history of worship, and
another element of the Pentateuch to that phase of it. This is not
putting logic in the place of historical investigation. The new
doctrine of the irrationality of what exists is surely not to be
pushed so far, as that we should regard the correspondence between
an element of the law and a particular phase of the history as a
reason for placing the two as far as possible asunder. At least
this principle would have to be applied to the Jehovist and
Deuteronomy too, and not to the Priestly Code only. What is
right in the one case is fair in the other too; a little logic
unfortunately is almost unavoidable.

Not everything that I have brought forward in the history of the
cultus and the tradition, is a proof of the hypothesis; there is
much that serves merely to explain phenomena at the basis of the
hypothesis, and cannot be used as proving it. This is a matter
of course. My procedure has intentionally differed from that of
Graf in this respect. He brought forward his arguments somewhat
unconnectedly, not seeking to change the general view which prevailed
of the history of Israel. For this reason he made no impression
on the majority of those who study these subjects; they did not see
into the root of the matter, they could still regard the system
as unshaken, and the numerous attacks on details of it as
unimportant. I differ from Graf chiefly in this, that I always
go back to the centralisation of the cultus, and deduce from it the
particular divergences. My whole position is contained in my
first chapter: there I have placed in a clear light that which is
of such importance for Israelite history, namely, the part taken
by the prophetical party in the great metamorphosis of the
worship, which by no means came about of itself. Again I attach
much more weight than Graf did to the change of ruling ideas which
runs parallel with the change in the institutions and usages of
worship; this has been shown mostly in the second part of the
present work. Almost more important to me than the phenomena
themselves, are the presuppositions which lie behind them.

Not everything that we have hitherto discussed proves, or is meant
to prove, Graf's hypothesis. On the other hand, however, there is
abundance of evidence, which has not yet been noticed. To discuss
it all in detail, would take another book: in this work only a
selection can be with all brevity indicated, if the limits are
not to be transgressed which are imposed by the essentially
historical character of these prolegomena. In these discussions
the Pro will as a rule naturally suggest itself in the refutation
of the Contra.


IX.I.1. Eberhard Schrader mentions, in his Introduction to the Old
Testament, that Graf assigns the legislation of the middle books
of the Pentateuch to the period after the exile; but he does not
give the least idea of the arguments on which that position is
built up, simply dismissing it with the remark, that "even
critical analysis enters its veto" against it. Even critical
analysis? How does it manage that? How can it prove that the
one and sole cultus, worked out on every side to a great system,
the denaturalising of the sacrifices and festivals, the distinction
between the priests and Levites, and the autonomous hierarchy, are
older than the Deuteronomic reform? Schrader's meaning is
perhaps, that while the signs collected by a comparison of the
sources as bearing on the history of worship show the order of
succession to be Jehovist, Deuteronomy, Priestly Code, other
signs of a more formal and literary nature would show the Priestly
Code to be entitled to the first place, or at any rate not the
last, and that the latter kind of evidence is of as much force as
the former. Were this so, the scales would be equally balanced,
and the question would not admit of a decision. But this awkward
situation would only occur if the arguments of a literary nature
to be urged on that side really balanced those belonging to the
substance of the case which plead for Graf's hypothesis. In
discussing the composition of the Hexateuch, /1/

1. Jahrb. Deutsche Theol., 1876, p. 392 seq, 531 seq; 1877,
p. 407 seq.

I have shown, following in the steps of other scholars, that this
is by no means the case; and for the sake of completeness I will
here repeat the principal points of that discussion.

IX.I.2. It is asserted that the historical situation of Deuteronomy
is based not only on the Jehovistic, but also on the Priestly
narrative. Deuteronomy proper (chaps. xii.-xxvi.) contains
scarcely any historical matter, but before Moses comes to the
business in hand, we have two introductions, chapter v.-xi. and
chapter i.-iv., to explain the situation in which he promulgates
"this Torah" shortly before his death. We are in the Amorite
kingdom, east of the Jordan, which has already been conquered.
The forty years' wanderings are about to close: the passage to
the land of Canaan, for which this legislation is intended, is
just approaching. Till this time, we hear in chapter v. 9, 10,
the only law was that which is binding in all circumstances, and
was therefore promulgated by God Himself from Horeb, the Law of
the Ten Words on that occasion. The people deprecated any
further direct revelation by Jehovah, and commissioned Moses to
be their representative; and he accordingly betook himself to the
sacred mount, stayed there forty days and forty nights, and
received the two tables of the decalogue, and besides them the
statutes and laws which now, forty years after, he is on the
point of publishing, as they will come into force at the
settlement. In the meantime the golden calf had been made down
below; and when Moses descended from the mount, in his anger he
broke the tables and destroyed the idol. Then he betook himself
for a second period of forty days and nights to the mount, pleaded
for mercy for the people and for Aaron; and after he had made,
according to divine command, two new tables and a wooden chest
for them, Jehovah once more wrote down exactly what stood on the
tables which were broken. On this occasion, it is remarked in x.
8 seq., the Levites received their appointment as priests.

This is evidently a reproduction of the Jehovistic narrative,
Exodus xix. xx. xxiv. xxxii-xxxiv. The Priestly Code, on the
contrary, is entirely ignored. Deuteronomy knows only two
laws, the decalogue, which the people received, and the statutes
and judgments which Moses received, at Mount Horeb. They were
both given at the same time, one directly after the other: but
only the decalogue had till now been made public. Where is the
whole wilderness-legislation as given from the tabernacle? Is
it not denying the very notion of its existence, that Moses only
publishes the Torah at the passage into the Holy Land, because it
has application and force for that land, and not for the
wilderness? Apart from the fact that the Deuteronomist,
according to chapter xii., knew nothing of a Mosaic central
sanctuary, can he have read what we now read between Exodus xxiv.
and xxxii.? He passes over all that is there inserted from the
Priestly Code. Noldeke finds, it is true, /1 /

1. Jahrbb. fuer prot. Theologie, 1875, p. 350.

a reminiscence of that code in the ark of acacia wood, Deuteronomy
x. 1. But the ark is here spoken of in a connection which answers
exactly to that of the Jehovist (Exod xxxii. xxxiii.), and is
quite inconsistent with that, of the Priestly Code (Exodus xxv.
seq.). It is only instituted after the erection of the golden
calf, not at the very beginning of the divine revelation, as the
foundation-stone of the theocracy. True, the ark is not mentioned
in JE, Exodus xxxiii., as we now have it, but in the next
Jehovistic piece (Numbers x. 33) it suddenly appears, and there
must have been some statement in the work as to how it came there.
The tabernacle also appears ready set up in xxxiii. 7, without
any foregoing account of its erection. The institution of the
ark as well as the erection of the tabernacle must have been
narrated between xxxiii. 6 and 7, and then omitted by the present
editor of the Pentateuch from the necessity of paying some regard
to Q, Exodus xxv.; that this is the case many other
considerations also tend to prove. /2/

2. Without the ark there is no use of the tabernacle, and the
distinction in Exodus xxxiii. which is treated as one of
importance, between the representation (Mal'ak) of Jehovah and
Jehovah Himself, has no meaning. By making an image the Israelites
showed that they could not do without a sensible representation of
the Deity, and Jehovah therefore gave them the ark instead of the calf.

That the Deuteronomist found JE in a more complete form, before
it was worked up with Q, than that in which we have it after the
working up, is not such a difficult assumption that one should be
driven into utter impossibilities in order to avoid it. For
according to Noldeke either the author of Deuteronomy v.-xi. had
before him the Pentateuch as it now is, and was enabled, very
curiously, to sift out JE from it, or he used JE as an independent
work, but read Q as well, only in such a way that his general view
was in no way influenced by that of the priestly work, but on the
contrary contradicts it entirely and yet unconsciously--since his
work leaves no opening for a ritual legislation given side by side
with the Decalogue, and that ritual legislation is the whole sum
and substance of the Priestly Code. To such a dilemma are we to
make up our minds, because one trait or another of the Deuteronomic
narrative cannot be traced in JE as we now have it, and is preserved
in Q? Does this amount, in the circumstances, to a proof that such
traits were derived from that source? Must not some regard in fairness
be paid to the ensemble of the question ?

We may, further, remember in this connection Vatke's remark, that
the wooden ark in Deuteronomy x. 1, is by no means very similar to
that of Exodus xxv., which, to judge by the analogy of the
golden table and altar, must rather have been called a golden ark.
It takes even more good will to regard the statement about Aaron's
death and burial in Mosera and the induction of Eleazar in his
place (Deuteronomy x. 6, 7) as a reminiscence of Q (Numbers xx. 22
seq.), where Aaron dies and is buried on Mount Hor. In JE also
the priests Aaron and Eleazar stand by the side of Moses and
Joshua (cf. Joshua xxiv. 33). The death and burial of Aaron are
certainly no longer preserved in JE; but we cannot require of the
editor of the Pentateuch that he should make a man die twice, once
according to Q and once according to JE. And it must further be
said that Deuteronomy x. 6, 7 is an interpolation; for the following
verses x. 8 seq., in which not only Aaron and Eleazar, but all
the Levites are in possession of the priesthood, are the
continuation of x. 5, and rest on Exodus xxxii. Here we are still
in Horeb, not in Mosera.

The historical thread which runs through Deuteronomy v. ix. x. may
be traced further in chaps. i.-iv. After their departure from
Horeb the Israelites come straight to Kadesh Barnea, and from this
point, being commanded to invade the hill-land of Judaea, they first
send twelve spies to reconnoitre the country, guided thereto by
their own prudence, but also with the approval of Moses. Caleb is
one of the spies, but not Joshua. After penetrating as far as the
brook Eshcol they return; and though they praise the goodness of
the land, yet the people are so discouraged by their report, that
they murmur and do not venture to advance. Jehovah is angry at
this, and orders them to turn back to the wilderness, where they
are to wander up and down till the old generation is extinct and
a new one grown up. Seized with shame they advance after all,
but are beaten and driven back. Now they retreat to the wilderness,
where for many years they march up and down in the neighbourhood
of Mount Seir, till at length, 38 years after the departure from
Kadesh, they are commanded to advance towards the north, but to
spare the brother-peoples of Moab and Ammon. They conquer the
territory of the Amorite kings, Sihon of Heshbon and Og of
Bashan. Moses assigns it to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the
half-tribe of Manasseh, on condition that their army is to yield
assistance in the remaining war. The continuous report comes to an
end with the nomination of Joshua as future leader of the people.

This same narrative, with the addition of some scattered
particulars in the Book of Deuteronomy, /1/ will serve perfectly

1. Appointment of judges and wardens (#W+RYM = peace-officials,
who, according to xx. 9, are in war replaced by the captains),
i. 9-18, Taberah, Massah, Kibroth Taavah (ix. 22), Dathan and Abiram
(xi. 6), Balaam (xxiii. 5), Baal-peor (iv. 3). Only the
Jehovist narrative of Numbers xii. seems to be nowhere referred to.
In Deuteronomy i. 9-18 the scene is still at Horeb, but this passage
shows acquaintance with Numbers xi. and uses both versions for a
new and somewhat different one.

well as a thread to understand JE. What, on the contrary, is
peculiar to the Priestly Code is passed over in deep silence,
and from Exodus xxxiv. Deuteronomy takes us at once to Numbers x.
While not a few of the narratives which Deuteronomy repeats or
alludes to, occur only in JE and not in Q, the converse does not
occur at all. And in those narratives which are found both in JE
and in Q, Deuteronomy follows, in every case in which there is a
distinct divergence, the version of JE. The spies are sent out
from Kadesh, not from the wilderness of Paran; they only reach
Hebron, not the neighbourhood of Hamath; Caleb is one of them, and
not Joshua. The rebels of Numbers xvi. are the Reubenites Dathan
and Abiram, not Korah and the Levites. After the settlement in
the land east of Jordan the people have to do with Moab and Ammon,
not with Midian: Balaam is connected with the former, not with the
latter. The same of Baal-peor: Deuteronomy iv. 3 agrees with JE
(Numbers xxv. 1-5), not with Q (Numbers xxv. 6 seq.). Things being
so, we cannot, with Noldeke, see in the number of the spies (Deuteronomy
i. 23) an unmistakable sign of the influence of Q (Numbers xiii.
2). Had the author read the narrative as it is now before us in
Numbers xiii. xiv., it would be impossible to understand how, as we
have seen, the Jehovist version alone made any impression on him.
He must, accordingly, have known Q as a separate work, but it is a
bold step to argue from such a small particular to the use of a
source which everywhere else is entirely without influence and
unknown, especially as the priority of this source is by no
means established on independent grounds, but is to be proved by
this alleged use of it. lf there were a palpable difference
between JE and Q in this point, if we could say that in Q there
were twelve spies sent out, and in JE; three, the case would be
different; but in Numbers xiii. the beginning of the narrative of
JE has been removed and that of Q put in place of it, so that we
do not know how the narrative of JE began, and what number, if
any, was given in it. In such a state of matters the only
reasonable course is to supply what is lacking in JE from
Deuteronomy, which generally follows the Jehovist alone, and to
conclude that the spies were twelve in number in this source also.

The instance in which the proof would be strongest that Deuteronomy
was acquainted with the narrative of the Priestly Code, is x. 22.
For the seventy souls which make up the whole of Israel at the
immigration into Egypt, are not mentioned in JE, and there is no
gap that we are aware of in the Jehovist tradition at this point.
But they are by no means in conflict with that tradition, and
even should we not take Deuteronomy x. 22 for a proof that the
seventy souls found a place in it also, yet it must at least be
acknowledged, that that passage is by no means sufficient to
break down the evidence that the priestly legislation has the
legislation of Deuteronomy for its starting-point. /1/

1. Noldeke frequently argues from such numbers as 12 and 70, as
if they only occurred in Q. But that is not the case. As Q in
the beginning of Genesis has groups of 10, JE has groups of 7;
12 and 40 occur in JE as frequently as in Q, and 70 not less
frequently. It is therefore surprising to find the story of the
12 springs of water and the 70 palm-trees of Elim ascribed to Q
for no other reason than because of the 12 and the 70. Not even
the statements of the age of the patriarchs--except so far as they
serve the chronological system--are a certain mark of Q: compare
Genesis xxxi. 18, xxxvii. 2, xli. 26, l. 26; Deuteronomy xxxiv.
7; Joshua xxiv. 29. Only the names of the 12 spies and the 70
souls are incontestably the property of the Priestly Code, but
it is by no means diflicult to show (especially in Genesis xlvi.
8-27) that they are far less original than the figures. The
numbers are round numbers, and in fact do not admit of such a
recital of the items of which they are made up.

VIII.I.3. As a further objection to Graf's hypothesis, the
Deuteronomistic revision of the Hexateuch is brought into the
field. That revision appears most clearly, it is said, in those
parts which follow the Deuteronomic Torah and point back to it.
It used to be taken for granted that it extends over the Priestly
portions as well as the Jehovistic; but since the occasion arose
to look into this point, it is found that it is not so. The
traces which Noldeke brings together on the point are trifling,
and besides this do not stand the test. He says that the
Deuteronomistic account of the death of Moses (Deuteronomy xxxii. 48
seq., xxxiv. 1 seq.) cannot be regarded as anything else than an
amplification of the account of the main stem (Q), which is
preserved almost in the same words. But Deuteronomy xxxiv. 1b-7
contains nothing of Q and xxxii. 48-52 has not undergone
Deuteronomistic revision. He also refers to Josh. ix. 27:
"Joshua made the Gibeonites at that day hewers of wood and drawers
of water for the congregation and for the altar of Jehovah even
unto this day, in the place which He should choose."
The second part of this sentence, he says, is a Deuteronomistic
addition to the first, which belongs to the Priestly narrative.
But Noldeke himself acknowledges that the Deuteronomistically-revised
verses ix. 22 seq. are not the continuation of the priestly version
15c, 17-21, but of the Jehovistic version 15ab, 16; and between
verse 16 and verse 22 there is nothing wanting but the
circumstance referred to in verse 26. The phrase _hewer of wood
and drawer of water_ is not enough to warrant us to separate verse
27 from 22-26; the phrase occurs not only in verse 21 but also
in JE verse 23. The words FOR THE CONGREGATION do certainly
point to the Priestly Code, but are balanced by the words which
follow, FOR THE ALTAR OF JEHOVAH, which is according to the
Jehovistic view. The original statement is undoubtedly that the
Gibeonites are assigned to the altar or the house of Jehovah. But
according to Ezekiel xliv. the hierodulic services in the temple
were not to be undertaken by foreigners, but by Levites; hence
in the Priestly Code the servants of the altar appear as servants
of the congregation. From this it results that LMZBX is to be
preferred in verse 27 to L(DH W, the latter being a later
correction. As such it affords a proof that the last revision of
the Hexateuch proceeded from the Priestly Code, and not from Deuteronomy.
As for Joshua xviii. 3-10, where Noldeke sees in the account of the
division of the land another instance of Deuteronomistic addition,
I have already indicated my opinion, . The piece is
Jehovistic, and if the view were to be found in the Priestly Code
at all, that Joshua first allotted their territory to Judah and Ephraim,
and then, a good while after, to the other seven tribes, that source
must have derived such a view from JE, where alone it has its roots. /1/

1. Jahrbb. fur Deutsche Theol., 1876, p. 596 seq.

And lastly, Noldeke considers Josh. xxii. to speak quite decidedly
for his view; but in the narrative of the Priestly Code, xxii. 9-34,
to which the verses l-8 do not belong, there is no sign of
Deuteronomistic revision to be found. /2/

2. Joh. Hollenberg in Stud. und Krit., 1874, p. 462 seq.

There is a more serious difficulty only in the case of the short
chapter, Josh. xx., of which the kernel belongs to the Priestly
Code, though it contains all sorts of additions which savour
strongly of the Deuteronomistic revision. Kayser declares these
awkward accretions to be glosses of quite a late period. This may
seem to be pure tendency-criticism; but it is reinforced by the
confirmation of the Septuagint, which did not find any of those
alleged Deuteronomistic additions where they now are. /3/

3. Aug. Kayser, Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichtc Israels
(Strassburg, 1874), p. 147, seq.; Joh. Hollenberg, der
Charactcr der Alex. Uebersetzung des B. Josua (Programm des
Gymn. zu Moers, 1876), p. 15.

But were it the case that some probable traces of Deuteronomistic
revision were actually to be found in the Priestly Code, we must
still ask for an explanation of the disproportionately greater
frequency of such traces in JE. Why, for example, are there none
of them in the mass of laws of the middle books of the Hexateuch?
This is undoubtedly and everywhere the fact, and this must
dispose us a priori to attach less weight to isolated instances to
the contrary: the more so, as Joshua xx. shows that the later
retouchings of the canonical text often imitate the tone of the


IX.II.1. I have said that in the L)DH W of Josh. ix. 27, we have
the addition of a final priestly revision. Such a revision must be
assumed to have taken place, if the Priestly Code is younger than
Deuteronomy. But the assumption of its existence does not depend
on deduction merely: Kuenen argued for it inductively, even
before he became a supporter of Graf's hypothesis. /1/

1. Historisch-Kritisch Onderzoek I. (Leyden, 1861), p. 165; the
reviser of the Pentateuch must be sought in the same circles in
which the Book of Origins (Q) arose and was gradually extended
and modified, i.e., among the priests of Jerusalem, p. 194; it is
generally thought that the Deuteronomist is the reviser of the
whole Book of Joshua, but his hand is not to be traced
everywhere,--not, for example, in the priestly sections; the last
reviser is to be distinguished from the Deuteronomist. In
certain narratives of Numbers and Joshua, Kuenen detected very
considerable additions by the last reviser, and the results of
his investigation have now been published in the first part of the
second edition of his great isagogic work (Leyden, 1885).

This may be best demonstrated by examining the chapters Leviticus
xvii.-xxvi. At present they are incorporated in the Priestly
Code, having undergone a revision with that view, which in some
places adds little, in others a good deal. Viewed, however, as
they originally were, they form a work of a peculiar character
by themselves, a work pervaded by a somewhat affected religious
hortatory tone, which harmonises but little with the Priestly
Code. The author worked largely from earlier authorities, which
explains, for example, how chapter xviii. and chapter xx. both
find a place in his production. Leviticus xvii.-xxvi is incomparably
instructive for the knowledge it affords of literary relationships:
it is a perfect compendium of the literary history of the Pentateuch. /2/

2. Compare Jahrbb. fur Deutsche Theol., 1877, p. 422-444,
especially on the elimination of the additions of the reviser.
In the present discussion I shall not take these into account.
In chapter xxiii., for example, I only take account of verses
9-22, 39-44, in chapter xxiv. only of vers. 15-22

As with Deuteronomy, so with this legislation; it is clear that
it goes back to the Jehovistic legislation of Sinai (Exodus
xx.-xxiii.) as its source. It also bears to have been given on
Mount Sinai (xxv. 1, xxvi. 46). It is addressed to the people,
and is popular in its contents, which are chiefly of a civic and
moral character. It is meant only for the promised land and for
settled life, not for the wilderness as well. The festivals are
three in number, and have not quite parted with their character
as feasts of harvest. Among the sacrifices the sin-offering and
the trespass-offering are wanting. The legislation does deal with
the cultus to a disproportionate extent, but the directions about
it do not go into technical details, and are always addressed to
the people. Even in those directions which concern the priests
the people are addressed, and the priests are spoken of in the
third person. Nor are palpable points of contact wanting. Leviticus
xix. 2-8, 9-18, may be regarded as counterparts of the first and
second tables of the decalogue. The precept, "Thou shalt not
respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty,"
xix. 15, is a development of that in Exodus xxiii. 3, and a number
of other precepts in Leviticus xix. could stand with equal
appropriateness in Exodus xxii. 17 seq. The directions in Leviticus
xxii. 27-29 are similar to those of Exodus xxii. 29, xxiii. 18, 19.
In the same way those of Leviticus xxiv. 15-22 are based both in
contents and form on Exodus xxi. 12. /1/

1. Compare xxiv. 15 seq. with Exodus xxii. 27 (xxi. 17); xxiv.
18 with Exodus xxi. 28 seq.; xxiv. 19, 20 with Exodus xxi. 33,
34; xxiv. 21 with Exodus xxi. 28 seq.

In xxiv. 22 we notice a polemical reference to Exodus xxi. 20
seq., 26 seq. In xxv. 1-7 the whole of the expressions of Exodus
xxiii. 10, 11 are repeated. In xx. 24, we have the Jehovistic
phrase, "a land flowing with milk and honey."

Yet Leviticus xvii.-xxvi. only takes its starting-point from the
Jehovistic legislation, and modifies it very considerably,
somewhat in the manner of Deuteronomy. There is a demonstrable
affinity with Deuteronomy both in the ideas and in the
expressions. Common to both is the care for the poor and the
undefended: to both humanity is a main object of legislation.
"If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex
him; he shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt
love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt"
(xix. 34).

Leviticus xvii. seq. attaches great importance to unity of worship.
It is still a demand, not a presupposition (xvii. 8 seq., xix. 30,
xxvi. 2); the motive of it is to guard against heathen influences
and to secure the establishment of a monotheism without images. /2/

2. xvii. 7 (cf. 2Chronicles xi. 15), xviii. 21, xix. 4, 19, 26,
29, 31, xx. 2 seq. 6, xxvi. 1, 30. With regard to the date we
have to note the stern prohibition of the service of Moloch. On
Lev, xvii. see above, p. 376.

This is quite recognisable, and forms an important point of
contact with Deuteronomy. The same contact may be observed in
the prohibition of certain observances of mourning (xix. 27 seq.),
the calculation of Pentecost from the beginning of barley harvest
(xxiii. 15), the seven days' duration of the feast of tabernacles,
and the cheerful sacrificial feasts which are to accompany its
observance. Add to this a similarity by no means slight in the
colour of the language, e.g., in xviii. 1-5, 24-30, xix. 33-37,
xx. 22 seq., xxv. 35 seq. Some of the phrases may be mentioned.
"When ye are come into the land that I shall give you." "Ye shall
rejoice before Jehovah." "I am Jehovah that brought you up out
of the land of Egypt." "Ye shall keep my commandments and statutes
and laws, to do them."

But the legislation we have here is further advanced than
Deuteronomy. In the festivals the joint sacrifice of the
congregation is already prominent (xxiii. 9-22). The priests
are not the Levites, but the sons and brothers of Aaron, their
income has grown materially, their separate holiness has reached a
higher point. Stricter demands are also made on the laity for
personal holiness, especially as regards continence from the sins
of the flesh, and the marriage of relatives (Leviticus xviii. xx.).
Marriage with an uncle's wife is forbidden (xviii. 14, xx. 20),
whereas in Deuteronomy it is still legal. The work dates from a
time when exile was a familiar idea: xviii. 26 seq.:
"Ye shall keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit
any of those abominations; for the men that were in the land before
you did these things, and the land vomited them out. Take care
that the land spue not you out also as it spued out the nations
that were before you."
Similarly xx. 23 seq.: and in a legislative work such utterances
prove more than they would in a prophecy. Now as our section
departs from Deuteronomy, it approaches to Ezekiel. This is its
closest relationship, and that to which attention has been most
drawn. It appears in the peculiar fusion of cultus and morality,
in the notion of holiness, in a somewhat materialistic sense, as
the great requirement of religion, and in the fact that the demand
of holiness is made to rest on the residence of the people near
the sanctuary and in the holy land. /1/

1. On Leviticus xxii. 24, 25, compare Kuenen's Hibbert Lectures.

But the affinity is still more striking in the language: many
unusual phrases, and even whole sentences, from Ezekiel, are
repeated in Leviticus xvii. seq. /2/

2. Compare Colenso, Pentateuch and Joshua, vi. p. 3-23. Kayser,
op. cit. p. 177- 179. Smend on Ezekiel, p. xxv.

The 10th of the 7th month is in Leviticus xxv. 9 as in Ezekiel,
new-year's day, not, as in the Priestly Code, the great day of
atonement. This led Graf to regard Ezekiel himself as the author
of this collection of laws in Leviticus; and Colenso and Kayser
followed him. But this is out of the question; notwithstanding
the numerous points of contact both in linguistic and material
respects, the agreement is by no means complete. Ezekiel knows
no seed of Aaron, and no wine at the sacrifices (Leviticus xxiii.
13); his festival legislation shows considerable differences,
and in spirit is more akin to the Priestly Code. And if he were
the author he would have said something about the proper place
in the cultus of the Levites and of the prince.

The corpus in question, which Klostermann called, not
inappropriately, the Law of Holiness, inclines from Ezekiel
towards the Priestly Code: in such pieces as xvii. xxi. xxii.
it takes some closeness of attention to see the differences from
the latter, though in fact they are not inconsiderable. It stands
between the two, somewhat nearer, no doubt, to Ezekiel. How are
we to regard this fact? Jehovist, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, are a
historical series; Ezekiel, Law of Holiness, Priestly Code, must
also be taken as historical steps, and this in such a way as to
explain at the same time the dependence of the Law of Holiness on
the Jehovist and on Deuteronomy. To assume that Ezekiel, having
the Pentateuch in all other respects as we have it, had a great
liking for this piece of it, and made it his model in the
foundation of his style of thought and expression--such an
assumption does not free us from the necessity of seeking the
historical order, and of assigning his natural place in that order
to Ezekiel; we cannot argue on such a mere chance. Now the
question is not a complicated one, whether in the Law of Holiness
we are passing from the Priestly Code to Ezekiel or from Ezekiel
to the Priestly Code. The Law of Holiness underwent a last
revision, which represents, not the views of Ezekiel, but those of
the Priestly Code, and by means of which it is incorporated in
that code. This revision has not been equally incisive in all
parts. Some of its corrections and supplements are very
considerable, e.g., xxiii. 1-8, 23-38; xxiv. 1-14, 23. Some
of them are quite unimportant, e.g., the importation of the Ohel
Moed (instead of the Mikdash or the Mishkan), xvii. 4, 6, 9, xix.
21 seq.; the trespass-offering, xix. 21 seq.; the Kodesh
Kodashim, xxi. 22. Only in xxv. 8 seq. is the elimination of
the additions difficult. But the fact that the last edition of
the Law of Holiness proceeds from the Priestly Code, is
universally acknowledged. Its importance for the literary history
of Israel cannot be over-estimated. /1/

1. L. Horst, in his discussion on Leviticus XVii,-XXYi, and Ezekiel
(Colmar, 1881), has strikingly shown that the mechanical style of
criticism in which Dillmann even surpasses his predecessor Knobel,
is not equal to the problem presented by the Law of Holiness. He
goes on, however, to an attempt to save, by modifying it, the old
Strassburg view of Ezekiel's authorship; and as Kuenen justly
remarks, he makes ship-wreck on Leviticus xxvi. (Theol. Tijdschr.
1882, p. 646). Cf. .

IX.II.2. The concluding oration, Leviticus xxvi. 3-46, calls for
special consideration. Earlier scholars silently assumed that this
piece belonged to Leviticus xvii. 1-XXVI. 2; but many critics,
Noldeke for example, now regard it as an interpolation in Leviticus
of a piece which from its character should be elsewhere. At any rate
the oration is composed with special reference to what precedes it.
If it is not taken as a peroration, such as Exodus xxiii. 30-33,
Deuteronomy xxviii., its position in such a part of the Priestly Code
is quite incomprehensible. It has, moreover, a palpable
connection with the laws in xvii.-xxv. The _land_, and _agriculture_,
have here the same significance for religion as in chaps. xix.
xxiii. xxv.; the threat of vomiting out (xviii. 25 seq., xx.
22) is repeated here more circumstantially; the only statute
actually named is that of the fallow of the seventh year (xxvi.
34, xxv. 1-7). The piece begins with the expression, which is so
characteristic of the author of chapter xvii. seq. "If ye walk
in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them," and the
same phrase recurs, with slight alteration, in vers. 15 and 43.
The conclusion, verse 46, is, "These are the statutes and
judgments and laws which Jehovah gave, to regulate the relation
between Him and Israel on Mount Sinai, by Moses." This is
obviously the subscription of a preceding corpus of statutes and
judgments, such as we have in, xvii. 1-xxvi. 2. Mount Sinai is
mentioned also in xxv. 1 as the place of revelation.

If Leviticus xxvi. is incontestably intended to form the conclusion
of chaps. xvii.-xxv., it would be natural to suppose that the
author of that collection was also the author of the oration.
Noldeke thinks, however, that the language differs too much from
that of xvii.-xxv. Yet he is obliged to acknowledge several
resemblances, and these not unimportant; while some of the
differences which he adduces (Bamoth, Gillulim, Hammanim, xxvi.
30) are really examples of similarity. Rare and original words
may be found in the preceding chapters also. It may be that in
chapter xxvi they are more frequent in proportion: yet this does
not entitle us to say that the language generally is very original.
On the contrary, it is everywhere characterised by borrowed
expressions. So much of linguistic difference as actually remains
is sufficiently accounted for by the difference of subject: first
come laws in a dry matter-of-fact style, then prophecy in a
poetical pathetic style. The idiosyncrasy of the writer has no
scope in the former case, from the nature of the materials, some
of which had already assumed their form before he made use of them.
In the latter case he can express himself freely; and it is fair
that this should not be overlooked.

The arguments brought forward by Noldeke against the probability
that Leviticus xxvi. belongs to chaps. xvii.-xxv. and is not merely
tacked on to them, disappear completely on a closer comparison of
the literary character of the two pieces. Chapter xxvi. reminds
us most strongly of Ezekiel's style, both in thought and
language. The most significant passage is Leviticus xxvi. 39.
The threat has been uttered that Israel is to be destroyed as a
people, and that the remnant which escapes the destroying sword
of the enemy is to be carried into exile, to sink under the weight
of past calamity and present affliction. Then the speech goes
on: "And they that are left of you shall _pine away_ in their
iniquity in your enemies' land; and also in the iniquities of
their fathers shall they _pine away_. Then they will confess
their own sin and the sin of their fathers." In Ezekiel, this
confession actually occurs in the mouth of one of his
fellow-exiles: they say (xxxiii. 10), "Our transgressions
and our sins are heavy upon us, and we _pine away_ in them, and
cannot live." In the same strain the prophet says (xxiv. 23)
that in his dull sorrow for the death of his wife he will be an
emblem of the people: "ye shall not mourn nor weep, but ye shall
_pine away_ in your iniquities."

Nor are the other traits wanting in the oration which, as we say,
accompanied the Ezekielic colouring of the preceding chapters.
We do not expect to find traces of the influence of the Jehovist
legislation (further than that Exodus xxiii. 20 seq. formed the
model both for Deuteronomy xxviii. and Leviticus xxvi.); but to
make up for this we find very distinct marks of the influence of
the prophets, the older prophets too, as Amos (verse 31). We can
as little conceive the existence of the Book of Ezekiel as of this
chapter without the prophetic literature having preceded it and
laid the foundation for it.

As for the relation to Deuteronomy, the resemblance of Leviticus xxvi.
to Deuteronomy xxviii. is very great, in the arrangement as well as in
the ideas. True, there are not many verbal coincidences, but the
few which do occur are important. The expressions of xxvi. 16
occur nowhere in the Old Testament but in Deuteronomy xxviii. 22, 65:
similarly R)#YM with the meaning it has in verse 45 only occurs
in Deuteronomy xix. 14 and in the later literature (Isaiah lxi. 6).
The metaphor of the uncircumcised heart (verse 41) only occurs in
one other passage in the law, in Deuteronomy; the other instances
of it are in prophecy, of contemporary or later date (Jeremiah iv.
4, ix. 24, 25, Ezekiel xliv. 7, 9). There are several more
reminiscences of Jeremiah, most of them, however, not very
distinct. We may remark on the relation between Jeremiah xvi. 18
in one respect to verse 30, and in another to verse 18 of our
chapter. Here the sin is punished sevenfold, in Jeremiah double.
The same is said in Isaiah xl. 2, lx. 7; and our chapter has
also in common with this prophet the remarkable use of rtc,h (with
sin or trespass as object). Did not the chapter stand in
Leviticus, it would, doubtless, be held to be a reproduction, some
small part of it of the older prophecies, the most of it of those
of Jeremiah and Ezekiel: Leviticus xxvi. 34 is actually quoted in
2Chronicles xxxvi 22 as a word of the prophet Jeremiah.

Leviticus xxvi. has points of contact, finally, with the Priestly
Code, in PRH WRBH, HQYM BRYT, HTWDH, )NY, (never )NKY), in the
excessive use of the accusative participle and avoidance of verbal
suffixes, and in its preferring the colourless NTN to verbs of
more special meaning.

The only reason for the attempt to separate Leviticus xxvi. from
xvii.-xxv. lies in the fact, that the exilic or post-exilic origin
of this hortatory and denunciatory oration is too plain to be
mistaken. To us, this circumstance can only prove that it belongs
to xvii.-xxv., providing a weighty confirmation of the opinion we
have already formed on other grounds as to the period which produced
these laws.
"If ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me,
then I will also walk contrary to you in fury; and I will chastise you
seven times for your sins. Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons
and daughters, and I will destroy your high places, and cast down
your sun-pillars' and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of
your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your
cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries into desolation, and I
will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring
the land into desolation, and your enemies who settle therein
shall be astonished at it; and I will scatter you among the peoples,
and will draw out the sword after you, and your land shall be
desolate and your cities ruins. Then shall the land pay her
sabbaths all the years of the desolation when you are in your
enemies' land: even then shall the land rest and pay her
sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall make up the
celebration of the sabbaths which it did not celebrate as long as
you dwelt in it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will
send a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies,
and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them, and they shall
flee as fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when none
pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another as it were before
a sword when none pursueth, and there shall be no stopping in the
flight before your enemies. And ye shall lose yourselves among
the peoples, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And
they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in
your enemies' lands, and also in the iniquities of their fathers
shall they pine away. And they shall confess their iniquity
and the iniquity of their fathers in regard to their
unfaithfulness which they committed against me, and that because
they have walked contrary to me, I also walk contrary to them,
and bring them into the land of their enemies. Then their
uncircumcised heart is humbled, and then they pay their penalty,
and I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with
Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham, and I remember the land.
The land also, left by them, pays its sabbaths, while she lieth
without inhabitant and waste, and they themselves pay the penalty
of their iniquity because, even because, they despised my judgments,
and their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when
they be in the land of their enemies, I have not rejected them,
neither have I abhorred them to destroy them utterly, and to break
my covenant with them: for I am Jehovah their God. And I will for
their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors whom I brought
forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the peoples, that
I might be their God: I am Jehovah" (xxvi. 27-45).

These words undoubtedly cannot have been written before the
Babylonian exile. It is said that the Assyrian exile will explain
the passage: but where is there any similarity between the
oration before us and the old genuine Isaiah? In Ezekiel's day
such thoughts, feelings, and expressions as we have here can be
shown to have prevailed: but it would be difficult to show that
the fall of Samaria gave rise to such depression at Jerusalem:
and Leviticus xxvi. was not written outside Jerusalem, for it
presupposes unity of worship. The _Jews_ are addressed here, as
in Deuteronomy xxix., xxx., and they had no such lively feeling
of solidarity with the deported Israelites as to think of them
in connection with such threats. I even think it certain that
the writer lived either towards the end of the Babylonian exile
or after it, since at the close of the oration he turns his eyes
to the restoration. In such prophets as Jeremiah and Ezekiel
there is a meaning in such forecasting of the joyful future but
here it contradicts both the historical position and the object
of the threats, and appears to be explained most naturally as
the result of an accident, i.e., of actuality. That in a
comparison of Leviticus xxvi. with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the
former cannot claim priority, appears distinctly from the
comparative use of the phrase _uncircumised heart_. That phrase
originates in Jeremiah (iv. 4, ix. 24 seq.), but in Leviticus
xxvi. it is used as a well-known set term. In the same way the
phrase _pine away in their iniquity_ is repeated by Ezekiel as he
heard it in the mouth of the people. He is its originator in
literature; in Leviticus xxvi. it is borrowed. /1/

1. Horst tries to find a place for Leviticus xxvi. in the last
years of king Zedekiah (op. cit. p. 65, 66), but in this he is
merely working out his theory that the author was the youthful
Ezekiel; and the theory is sufficiently condemned if it leads
to this consequence. Delitzsch (Zeitschr. fur Kirchl. Wissench.
1880, p. 619) thinks it a piece of impertinence in me to read out
of Ezekiel xxxiii. what that passage says. On Deuteronomy x. 16,
xxx. 6, and generally on the color Hieremianus in Deuteronomy, see
Jahrb. fur D. Thhcol., 1877, p. 464.

The criticism of Leviticus xvii. seq. Ieads us to the result, that
a collection of laws which took form during the period of the exile
was received into the Priestly Code, and there clothed with fresh
life. We need not then tremble at Schrader's threatening us with
"critical analysis," and Graf's hypothesis will not be thereby

IX.II.3. Two or three further important traces of the final priestly
revision of the Hexateuch may here find mention. In the story
of the flood the verses vii. 6-9 are an editorial addition, with
the object of removing a contradiction between JE and Q; it
shares the ideas and speaks the language of the Priestly Code.
In the title of Deuteronomy the verse, "It came to pass in the
fortieth year, in the eleventh [(#TY] month, on the first day of
the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel according
to all that Jehovah had given him in commandment unto them" (i. 3)
is shown by the most undoubted signs to belong to the Priestly Code,
and is intended to incorporate Deuteronomy in that work. We have
already shown that the Priestly Code in the Book of Joshua is simply
a filling-up of the Jehovistic-Deuteronomistic narrative.

That the Priestly Code consists of elements of two kinds, first of
an independent stem, the Book of the Four Covenants (Q), and
second, of innumerable additions and supplements which attach
themselves principally to the Book of the Four Covenants, but not
to it alone, and indeed to the whole of the Hexateuch--this
assertion has not, strange to say, met with the opposition which
might have been expected. Ryssel has even seen in the twofold
nature of the Priestly Code a means to maintain the position of
the Book of the Four Covenants before the exile: he sacrifices
the additions, and places the necessary interval between them and
the main body of the work. He thinks the close affinity between
the two parts is sufficiently explained by the supposition that
they both issued from the same circle, that of the priesthood of
Jerusalem. Were it the case that the temple of Jerusalem was as
autonomous and as solely legitimate in the days of Solomon as in
those of the foreign domination, that the priests had as much to
say under Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Josiah as after the exile, if it
were allowable to represent them according as it suits one's views,
and not according to the historical evidence, if, in short, there
were no Israelite history at all, such an explanation might be
allowed to stand. The secondary part of the Priestly Code of
necessity draws the primary part with it. The similarity in
matter and in form, the perfect agreement in tendencies and ideas,
in expressions and ways of putting things, all compel us to think
that the whole, if not a literary, is yet a historical, unity.


It has lately been the fashion to regard the language of
the Priestly Code as an insuperable barrier to the destructive
efforts of tendency criticism. But it is unfortunate that this veto
of language is left as destitute of detailed proof, by Delitzsch,
Riehm, and Dillmann, as the veto of critical analysis by Schrader;
and we cannot be called upon to show proof against a contention
which is unsupported by evidence. But I take advantage of the
opportunity to communicate some detached observations, which I
may perhaps remark did not occur to me in connection with the
investigation of the Pentateuch, but on a quite different occasion.
In the passage 2Samuel vi. 12 I was exceedingly struck with L(MT,
and not less with BR) in the two passages Isaiah iv. 5, Amos iv. 13,
and while following out the distribution of these two words I came
on the traces of similar phenomena.


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