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TYPOGRAPHIC SIGNS AND
J. Judean prophetic writer, circ. 800 B. C., in this type.
E. Ephraimite prophetic writer, circ. 750 B. C., in this type.
E?. JE and Rd, additions to E, harmonistic adjustments of JE and Deuteronomic expansions, 722–200 B. C., in this type, or smaller.
P8 Rp and R (sometimes Rd), additions to P or JEDP in the priestly style and sense, 450–200 B. C., in this type.
Ps.=Psalm; Dh=Historical Deuteronomist; Dp=Parenetic Deuteronomist,
Supplied material in [ ], displaced in
characteristic expressions in Part II. in “ ', word-plays in ”. Corrupt text is indicated by *, omitted legislative sections by * * * *, words lost or unintelligible by
Ch.=chapter, chh. chapters ; vs.=verse, vv. verses; f.=following verse, page or chapter ; ff. following verses, etc.; cf.=compare, ct.=
Sam.=Samaritan text, LXX.=Septuagint, Vulg.=Vulgate. Arts. I. II. III. IV.=my discussions of $ $ I. II. III. IV., in “ Journ. Bibl. Lit.” ix. 2-xii. 1 (1890-1893). 2. A. W.=Zeitschrift für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft; Comp.=Wellhausen's Composition des Hexateuch's, Berlin, 1889; Ex. u. Lev. and Nu. Dt. Jos.=Dillmann's commentaries on Ex.-Jos., Leipzig, 1880 and 1886. Hex.=Kuenen's Hexateuch, trans. Wicksteed, London, 1886. Jülicher's thesis, Quellen von Ex. i.-vii., Halle 1880, and his articles in Jahrb. f. prot. Theol. viii. are referred to as A and B. Other references explain themselves.
A natural division of the story of Israel exists between the end of Genesis, the history of the primitive and patriarchal period, and the beginning of Exodus, the history of Israel's birth and development as a nation. This division would seem to be even more clearly marked in the earliest form of the story than at present, for critics discover in Exodus the same structure as in Genesis. The same principal sources, J, E and P, marked by the same characteristics, are here woven together in the same manner as there, and apparently by the same hands. Now in P, the priestly lawbook, commonly regarded by critics as the latest source, and in E, the Ephraimite document, which we regard as later than J, there is at least an attempt to bridge over the chasm between the story of Israel as a family of 70 individuals, and as a nation. In P the genealogies (i. 1–6; vi. 14-27) are continued in unbroken line, giving in the case of Miriam, Aaron and Moses the third, in other cases the fourth (Gen. xv. 16) as that of the Exodus. In E (Gen. 1. 23) “the children of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees,” and this same Machir is the one who in Num. xxxii. 39ff. is represented as receiving from Moses at the end of the 40 years' wandering the land of Gilead, and making conquest of it. Hence the date given by P in xii. 41, of 430 years, which nearly all interpreters agree is to be reckoned from the migration of Abraham (Gen. xv. 15f.) presents a period too long, if anything, for the genealogies of either P or E. But these genealogical data, while apparently adding to the continuity and historical value of the story, in reality obscure the fact, which in J seems to have been left plain, that a great gulf exists between the folk
stories of Genesis, and the traditions of Exodus and the later books. Three generations, or four or five-160 years, or 200, or 430, are alike inadequate to account for the growth of a family of 12, or of 70 persons, even under favorable, instead of the extremely adverse circumstances of the Egyptian bondage, into a nation of myriads if not millions, such as all forms of the story of the Exodus represent. The reader need only be referred to Colenso's Pentateuch and Book of Joshua, Part I. for a demonstration of the utter futility of the attempt to make this transition. Nor is the difficulty met by the mere concession of possible textual inaccuracies in the numbers. Even were it possible to suppose that the many coincident footings of two complete censuses were the result of accidental textual corruption, the entire history in all its forms implies the transition from a family of a few score to a great nation (cf. Dt. xxvi. 5) in the interval between Joseph and the Exodus.*
The explanation of the discrepancy is simply that Israel's meagre recollections of the time before the Exodus wrapped in the form universally employed for the earliest traditions, the symbolism of the family, and the true method of approximating a historically conceivable unity of the prehistoric narrative with the semi-legendary traditions at the beginning of national history, is the method of the earliest document, J, which leaves a chasm of indefinite extent between the two periods, without any attempt, so far as now appears, to bridge it over. The earliest dim recollections of the people, of a time when, before the bondage of Egypt, a wave of Semitic migration had borne their ancestors upon its crest over and past this land of Canaan, to leave them stranded on the border of Egypt, were woven into narratives cast in the form of family relations, and these traditions of Abraham and
* The comparison of the increase of the 70 persons of Jacob's family to a nation of millions in four generations with the development of a nation of 65 millions from the“ Mayflower” company (Sic!) in about the same length of time, recently made by a noted Brooklyn preacher, based as it is on the ludicrous assumption that the Pilgrims from Leyden were the actual progenitors of the entire American people, well illustrates the fact that some modern minds have not advanced beyond the mythopæic stage.
Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and Judah, attached themselves to the shrines and sacred wells and trees of Canaan, when the people at last found themselves definitely in possession of the land where their fathers had been unable to secure a permanent foothold. The very fact that from the beginning of Exodus the traditions largely lose the character of family life and make at least the attempt to relate national history, shows that we are crossing the line between legend-lore, and tradition having a larger basis of historical recollection.
How long the period of sojourn in Goshen may have been, is matter for the widest conjecture. The most that we can say is, it was not long enough to obliterate from the recollection of the nomads who settled there the remembrance of their migration, nor of the relationship which existed between themselves and the other peoples of the Arabian desert, of the Hebrew or Abrahamic stock ; not long enough under the circumstances to make a very great difference with their numbers. find a real gain to our historical conception in falling back upon the simple, indefinite representation of the oldest narrative, that it was a long time, at the end of which Israel found itself a numerous people with cherished reminiscences of a long-lost liberty, restless under the heavy yoke of a Pharaoh, whose policy was to make them slaves instead of allies.
The story of the book of Exodus is the story of how Israel achieved independence and received a constitution. It corresponds to the story of the last quarter of the eighteenth century in our own history. The prophetic narrative JE rests here, as in Genesis, in both its parts, largely upon ancient poetic material, fragments of which are scattered throughout. Small bodies of primitive law (civil, criminal and religious of course undifferentiated) are also incorporated. The priestly lawbook P briefly sketches the history, to dwell at great length upon the ceremonial law, the mass of which is related as delivered at Sinai. Here the institution of the tabernacle, briefly mentioned in JE, is made the foundation of all the religious worship of the nation. The directions for its construction and furnishing, the inauguration of a priesthood and prescriptions for the ritual service occupy nearly all of the last fifteen chapters of Exodus, the whole of Leviticus (whose nucleus is an early body of priestly law (Pl), the so-called Heiligkeitsgesetz, or Law of Holiness, incorporated by P), and the first ten chapters of Numbers ; besides scattered chapters of ceremonial law introduced here and there in Numbers without historical connection. This great mass of ceremonial law, forming the body of P's work, is omitted from our present consideration as not germane to the Triple Tradition of the Exodus. Its remoyal shows that no such well-marked natural division exists in any of the sources at the end of Exodus as has been shown to exist at its beginning. The close of our present book of Exodus is marked by the completion of the Tabernacle and its sanctification by the descent of the Cloud. But the narrative of P2 goes on uninterruptedly to the tenth chapter of Numbers with the account of the directions for worship and inauguration of the cultus. In general it may be said that the primitive book of Exodus extended to the end of the stay at Sinai-Horeb, and the primitive Numbers began with the breaking camp for the journey from Sinai-Horeb to Canaan. It would be more correct, however, to consider Exodus i-xxiv, xxxii-xxxiv, and the narrative parts of Numbers and Deuteronomy as forming together the primitive Tradition of the Exodus. The Book of the Exodus thus formed would be somewhat smaller than the primitive Genesis, which we might call the Tradition of the Patriarchal period; when followed by the Story of the Conquest in Joshua and part of Judges, where the three sources are still found, the three together would form something like a trilogy of the sacred history.
In the present volume the story of the Exodus, from the bondage of Egypt to the death of Moses on the height of Pisgah overlooking the Promised Land, is the field of inquiry. The first subdivision of this story extends naturally to the end of the stay at Horeb-Sinai and includes four principal sections: § 1. The Bondage of Egypt; Ex. i-vi. $11. The Plagues; Ex. vii-xii. $ 111. From Egypt to Sinai; Ex. xiii-xix. $ iv. The Covenant at Sinai; Ex. xx-Num. x. The second subdivision