« PreviousContinue »
verbally identical with the preceding, only turning specifications into history by changing “Thou shalt make to and he made." In justice to P2 it should be added that the testimony of the LXX. proves that this final straw of tediousness belongs to some other, but kindred hand (P) of the period but shortly preceding the LXX. version (200 B. c.). After the erection of the Tabernacle and its dedication, by the incoming of the cloud and the “glory," (Ex. xl. 34-38), Moses receives elaborate directions for the priestly ceremonial, including the various kinds of sacrifice, consecration of the priests, Aaron and his sons, the law of clean and unclean meats, of impurity, of leprosy, atonement; Lev. i-xvi. Hereafter comes a body of laws semi-civil, semi-ecclesiastical, similar in character and style to the legislation of Ezekiel, and partaking of the quasi-prophetic character of Deuteronomy. This primitive code, Lev. xviixxvi., forms the real nucleus of Pa's work. It is usually designated H (Heiligkeitsgesetz " Law of Holiness "); but with Kuenen we employ the sign Pl. Lev. xxvii. gives the law of things sanctified. Num. i–x. 10 contains the account of the census preparatory to the consecration of the Levites, together with the duties of the latter, the law of defilement, of trespass, of the ordeal of the water of jealousy, of the Nazirite vow, and Aaronic blessing, the offerings of the 12 princes of the congregation (a passage of 6 verses repeated 12 times over in identical terms), dedication of the altar, candlestick, and Levites (Aaron and his sons wave the 22,000 Levites before Yahweh, Num. viii. 21), observance of the second passover, appearance of the cloud upon the Tabernacle for journeying and encampment, and construction of the silver trumpets. All this mass of priestly ordinances is of interest only to the specialist, and has no practical relation to the story. accordingly omitted, although the older portion of it really constitutes the substance of Pa's work. A large part, however, is from P3. We confine ourselves to the mere framework of P’s narrative, and to the earlier sources, from whose graphic story this skeleton of history is derived. Of this narrative of P2 there is in $ IV. but the trace above mentioned in Ex. xx. II ;
the brief account of the appearance of the cloud and Shekinah on Sinai, and Moses' ascent, xxiv. 16-18a ; his descent, xxxi. 18; and a trace in xxxii. 15, added to by P2 in xxxiv. 29–35. Of the story of the people's apostasy there is, as we should expect, no trace in P.
Much more copious is the narrative of E, although a large part of the material seems to be improperly placed at this point (chiefly The “ Book of Judgments," chh. xxi, 1-xxiii. 9); and the rest has suffered alteration of the order. After the account of the utterance from the mount of the Ten Words, the divine Voice addressing the people, the latter withdraw in terror, entreating Moses to go near and hear what more God will say ; XX. I-21. Moses approaches, and is directed to return to the people with the promise of God's special favor if they are obedient to the law. The people promise obedience, and Moses so reports to God; xix. 3b-8. Yahweh bids him come up into the mount and remain there with him. God will give him the tables of stone on which he has written the Ten Words, and will teach him “laws and commandments.” Moses and Joshua accordingly ascend the mount, leaving Aaron and Hur in charge of the people, and remain there 40 days; xxiv. 12-15, 18b. In the meantime the people, impatient at the delay, prevail upon Aaron to make a golden calf “to go before them ” as a representation of Yahweh, who “ brought them up out of the land of Egypt.” On the morrow they are engaged in festivities ; xxxii. 1-6. The same day God delivers to Moses the tables of stone, of divine workmanship, and Moses turns to descend the mount with Joshua. Approaching the foot, Joshua observes the clamor, which he interprets as war, but Moses discerns to be singing. Arrived in view of the proceedings in the camp, Moses in wrath dashes the tables in pieces, grinds the calf to powder, and makes the people drink water mixed with its dust. Не. reproaches Aaron, who makes a lame excuse ; xxxi. 18b ; xxxii. 15 in part, 16–24. On the morrow Moses goes up to make atonement, and pleads with Yahweh to forgive the people.. Yahweh grants a suspension of punishment, but dismisses the people from his presence, granting angelic guidance, but pre
dicting a day of visitation ; xxxii. 30–34. On hearing these evil tidings the people mourn, and strip themselves of their ornaments ; xxxiii.
4, 6. [Yahweh observes the repentance of the people, and provides a substitute for the covenant already broken before its ratification. Of the ornaments stripped off in penitence Moses shall prepare a Tent of Meeting for worship and intercourse with Yahweh, but “ without the camp.” For the ordering of this worship Yahweh furnishes a new code of ritual law followed by promises in case of obedience. These Words of the Covenant Moses is to write and deposit in an ark of shittim-wood in the Tent of Meeting.] The Words of the Covenant consist of (five ?) ritual laws concerning, I. Mode of worship : altars, sacrifices and the like ; II. Sabbaths; weekly and yearly ; III. Feasts : of Unleavened bread, of Harvest, and of Ingathering ; IV. Sacred things to be presented in offering ; firstlings and first fruits ; V. Abominable things to be avoided. It is substantially the same code which in Ex, xxxiv. 10–27 (1) is called “ The Words of the Covenant, the Ten Words ; -26; xxiii, 10-19. This is followed by (five ?) promises : Yahweh is sending his angel before the people to bring them into the promised land. Obedience to his command will ensure ; I. the help of Yahweh against all adversaries ; II. a blessing upon the bread and water of the people and continual health ; III. fruitfulness and long life ; IV. the hornet to go before Israel and gradually drive out the Amorite from the land ; V. possession of the land in its ideal extent ; xxiii. 20–33. (31b-33=Rd). This (second) covenant between Yahweh and the people is immediately ratified with solemn ceremonies, in which Moses acts as hierophant, and "young men as priests; xxiv. 3-8. [Moses deposits the Book of the Covenant as directed in the ark of God in the Tent of Meeting.) At this juncture Jethro appears, , bringing the wife and sons of Moses, and is hospitably received. On learning of the providence of God with the people he celebrates a sacrificial feast with Moses, Aaron,* and the elders of Israel “ before God”; xviii. 1-12 for the most part.
* The reappearance of Aaron here in a passage necessarily subsequent (cf. vs. 16 and 23) to the story of the golden calf, as if in the same favor as ever, is one of the things which give color to the theory of Kuenen, Cornill and others,
On the morrow Jethro observes the inability of Moses to administer the entire government of the people, and counsels him “If God direct him so" to appoint judges and officers, himself only acting in the ultimate appeal in bringing the causes to God. After adopting this advice Moses takes leave of his father-in-law, who departs to his own land ; xviii, 13-27.
As a preliminary to the narrative introducing another and kindred institution the author relates the practise of Moses in regard to the sacred Tent, which he pitched “without the camp” and called “the Tent of Meeting." When Moses entered it the people stood in reverence. Within, the pillar of cloud descended in the sight of the people, “stood at the door of the Tent and [God] spake with Moses.” Joshua remained permanently in charge of the Tent; xxxiii. 7-11. [In response to Moses' complaint of too great burdens ? ] Yahweh instructs Moses to gather 70 elders of the people to the Tent of Meeting, where he will equip them with the prophetic spirit. Moses does so, and the 70 men fall into the prophetic ecstasy when the spirit rests upon them. Two, however, who were of the 70 but had not gone out, “prophesy ” in the camp. When this is reported to Moses in the Tent Joshua is jealous, and would forbid them ; but Moses nobly desires only that all Yahweh's people might have the gift; Num. xi, 16., 24–30. Hereupon follows originally the story of the murmuring of Miriam and Aaron against Moses' " Cushite" wife ; Num. xii; and, after the departure from Horeb, the story of the conflict with Amalek ; Ex. xvii. 8-16. (See above Analysis 2 of S III.)
The narrative of J was interrupted in Ş III. at the point where preparation had just been made for Moses, Aaron and “the priests” to ascend Mount Sinai, every other living thing being barred away “lest Yahweh should break forth upon them.” In xxiv. I we resume the thread almost exactly at the point where
that in Ex. xxxii. we have mainly an E?, later than the deportation of Ephraim ; cf. xxxii. 34. Into this possible distinction of E2 from E, we do not care to enter. Ch. xviii. in any case belongs to the oldest portions of E. This older portion might also include xxiv. 11, which we are perhaps overbold in assigning to J. In that case it doubtless followed after xx. 1-21.
broken off. Here, in addition to Aaron and “the priests" (Nadab and Abihu), 70 elders are permitted to come up with Moses and partake of a covenant meal with God ; xxiv. if., 9
Thereafter Yahweh gives special instructions to Moses. He must be ready by the morning with two stone tables [and an ark of shittim-wood to contain them] and come up entirely alone, all the former precautions being taken against the intrusion of any living thing. Moses ascends in the morning, carrying the tables he has hewn out. Yahweh appears in a theophany and offers to make a Covenant. The “ Ten Words” of this covenant are the same, save for slight differences of form, with those of the second law of E. Moses remains 40 days on Mount Sinai, engaged in engraving them upon the stone tables ; xxxiv. 1-28, for the most part. Yahweh now bids Moses descend, because the people are in revolt. During his absence a mutiny has taken place in the camp ; xxxii. 7-14. Moses arrives at the gate of the camp, and, seeing the disorder, summons to his aid the tribe of Levi, who suppress the rebellion with the sword. For this act of loyalty to Yahweh they are rewarded with the priesthood, but “ Yahweh smote the people ;” xxxii. 25-29, 35a. Yahweh bids Moses, “ Depart, thou and the people which thou hast brought up" to the promised land ; but refuses to go among them because of their insubordination ; xxxiii. 1-3. Moses expostulates with Yahweh against his laying all the burden of the people upon his shoulders ; Num. xi. 10 in part, 11f., 14f. After long pleading Yahweh consents that his Presence shall precede the people and give them an abidingplace. As a signal token of his reconciliation he grants Moses the privilege of beholding his “glory." Moses is encouraged to ask the complete withdrawal of Yahweh's refusal to go “in the midst ” of Israel [Yahweh agrees to dwell without the camp and directs the preparation of the sacred Tent] ; Ex. xxxiii. 12–23; xxxiv. 6-9. Hobab, Moses' father-in-law, visits the camp ; Ex. xviii. 7-11, (traces).
All this material of J, E, and P has undergone successive readjustment by Rje, Rd, (who seems to have removed the Book of Judgments from the present position of Deuteronomy