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had given inheritance to the tribes of Reuben and Gad (Num. xxxii.) he gathered together the princes and tribes of Israel (Dt. xxxiii. 5) and pronounced upon the people tribe by tribe such a blessing as that which in the mouth of Jacob (Gen. xlix.) concludes the first epoch of the sacred history, the patriarchal period, and that other which in the mouth of Deborah (Jud. v.) seems to mark the close of the Conquest of Canaan ; Dt. xxxiii. This “Blessing of Moses” shows a similar structure to the “Blessing of Jacob," Gen. xlix., and even an unmistakable dependence upon it; perhaps also upon the Song of Balaam, Num, xxiv. Ascending to the top of Pisgah Moses beholds the land he is forbidden to enter, dies there and is buried “in the valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor”; Dt. xxxiv. I ab, 4, 6a.
Dt. 1. iff ; x. 6f. ch. xxvii.
THE ITINERARY, AND THE SECOND Law.
The opening sentence of Deuteronomy is in such confusion as to be unintelligible. Vs. 3 is intended to connect the book with the scheme of dates of P2, though it not only has no connection with the Priestly Lawbook but is constantly found in irreconcilable contradiction with it. In addition it is entirely excluded by Num. xxvii. 12-23, which leaves no room for a further legislation between it and the story of Moses' death. We
may therefore strike out vs. 3 as inserted by Rp. Vv. 4 and 5 again bear a precisely analogous relation to JE. The words are doubly superfluous between vs. 3 and iv. 44-49, looking past both introductions, chh. 1.-iv., and v.-xi., to Deuteronomy as a whole. Preceded by vs. Ia they form the link by which Rd unites Deuteronomy to the prophetic " history JE. The address which follows in vv. 6ff. (Dh) begins, however, much too abruptly to have come from the same hand, and, from its character cannot have been intended to follow, but only to replace, the narrative of JE. The opening words of vs. I as far as “ beyond Jordan in the wilderness” are appropriate enough, and connect well enough with vs. 4 ; but what can be made of ib and 2 ? Suph " is not probably the Red Sea, as some of the versions make it. May we perhaps identify it with “ Suphah,” mentioned in the song quoted by E in Num. xxi. 14? But what of “Paran at the northern extremity of the Gulf of Akaba or somewhat further west, the place from which the wilderness of that ilk named ? What of “ Tophel,” some tive miles north of Bozrah in Edom, southeast of the Dead Sea ? What is it of which the scene is laid “between Paran and Tophel”? These words would well describe the extent of the isthmus between the Gulf of Akaba and the Dead Sea; but what have they to do with the “plains of Moab ” opposite Jericho, the scene of Deuteronomy? What, if anything, can be located - between Paran and Tophel and Laban (Num. xxxiii. 20, Libuah") and Hazeroth (Num. xi. 35) and Di-zahab”? If the latter places mentioned define the locality, is it not superfluous to mention the former, as if one should say, between Jerusalem and Damascus, and Capernaum and Bethsaida and Chorazin ? But what, above all, is the pertinence of vs. 2, giving the number of days' journey from Horeb to Kadesh ? What connection has this with the location of Moses' address opposite Jericho ? It is 40 years since Israel went from Horeb to Kadesh, and since the journey was made thither they have come by an almost opposite course to Shittim, as far from Kadesh by the route they have come as Damascus itself. The only answer that can be given to the question is simply, there is no connection. The latter part of Dt. i. 1, and vs. 2 is an erratic fragment. The phenomenon, however, has a parallel in x. 6f. That the relation, or lack of relation, to Dh in which the latter is given may be clearly seen, we will present the context. 10 “At that time Yahweh said unto me, Hew thee-two tables of
stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and 2 make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words
that were on the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put 3 them in the ark. So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two
tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having 4
the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which Yahweh spake unto
you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: 5 and Yahweh gave
them unto me. And I turned and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made ; and there 6 they be, as Yahweh commanded me.—And the children of
Israel journeyed from Beeroth Benejaakan to Moserah :
there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his 7 son ministered in the priest's office in his stead. From thence
they journeyed unto Gudgodah ; and from Gudgodah to Jot8 bathah, a land of brooks of water.—At that time Yahweh
separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of Yahweh,
to stand before Yahweh to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. Wherefore Levi hath no portion nor inheritance
9 with his brethren ; Yahweh is his inheritance, according as Yahweh thy God spake unto him. And I stayed in the mount, as at the first 10 time, forty days and forty nights: and Yahweh hearkened unto me that time also ; Yahweh would not destroy thee. And Yahweh said il unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people ; and they shall go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.”
We are familiar with the story to which vv. 1-5, 8-11 refer in Ex. xxxii. and xxxiv.; for the separation of the tribe of Levi here referred to is that of Ex, xxxii. 25-29, referred to again in Dt. xxxiii. 8f.; the situation in vs. 10 shows this very clearly, even if we had not the second person (“thy God ') in vs. 9, and the characteristic “ at that time” of Dh (eleven times in chh. i.-iv.) in vv. I and 8, to show that the parenthesis must be closed after vs. 7, and not where the R. V. closes it after vs. 9. Into the connection of Moses' discourse, where he is reminding Israel of what occurred " at that time,” when they were in Horeb, breaks in, without any warning or occasion whatever, a section speaking of the children of Israel in the third person, which describes a part of the journey in the wilderness and the death of Aaron and investiture of his son Eleazar at Moserah! If there is any connection at all, it is the mere fact that vv. 6f. and 8f. both have something to do with the priests' office. One must be credulous indeed to suppose that the writer of the surrounding context (Dh) himself put it here, making nonsense of his own work. Whence then, is it and what ? It does not come from Dp, nor from the hand of P, nor is it likely to have been inserted after Deuteronomy came into union with P ; for nothing could be more flatly in contradiction with the plain statement of the priestly writer as to when and where and how the death of Aaron took place (cf. Num. xx. 22-29), and the usual harmonistic expedient of a double occurrence of the same event this time will not apply. Moreover the names of the stations, though similar to the corresponding list of Num. xxxiii. 30-33, which we know to be dependent upon P, are at the same time so different that it cannot possibly originate from the priestly element. But knowing as we do that E afforded an itinerary (cf. Num. xxi. 12ff.) drawn up in this form, a different form from P's; finding, as we do in Jos. xxiv. 33, that the death and burial of “ Eleazar the priest, the son of Aaron,” is subsequently related by E, who consequently must have related Aaron's death and the succession of Eleazar to “the priest's office,” and probably defined the place of Aaron's burial (cf. Dt. xxxiv. 6b ; Jos. xxiv. 30, 32, 33), the probability is very strong that Dt. x. 6f. is a fragment of this itinerary of E; and, since in i. ib, 2 a similar erratic block has been already found, and moreover there is good reason to think that x. 1-11 (Dh) belongs as a whole before i. 6ff. (Dh) it is further in the highest degree probable that the erratic fragment in i. ib, 2, containing only a list of names and the statement of the number of stations from Horeb to Kadesh is part of the same itinerary.
How could these erratic blocks of E get here at the beginning of Deuteronomy? I can suggest but one way, viz: that they always were here ; or at least were here before the present Deuteronomy with its envelopes was taken up into JED. If the primitive Deuteronomy of E was preceded, like our present Deuteronomy, by an itinerary recapitulating the wilderness wandering similar to Num. xxxiii., whether removed by Rje from after Num. xii., or originally in this position, the fragment in i. Ib, 2 might well be a remnant of it, describing the road from Horeb to Kadesh as passing “ between Paran and Tophel,” and leading to the stations Laban, Hazeroth and Di-zahab, Beeroth-bene-jaakan, Moserah, Gudgodah and Jotbatha. As Dt. i. 2 seems to conclude the account of the journey, we may perhaps assume that x. 6f. originally preceded it. Another fragment preserved by Rd. is xxv. 17-19, which as to content has no relation to Deuteronomy, but a close one with E.
It even show's his language (see refs.), though like xxvii. 1-8 expanded by Rd. It would seem to be a remnant of Moses' discourse.
It is not necessary after what has been said already in connection with the Book of Judgments, Ex. xxi. f., and in the general discussion of Deuteronomy as a whole, to point out that this book with its two introductions forms an independent work with a style eminently peculiar to itself, and having had a long and interesting history of its own (II Kings xxi. ff.) before its incorporation with JE. It is mainly for the following reasons that we conclude that originally the place now occupied by Deuteronomy was filled by a recapitulatory discourse of Moses similar to Jos. xxiv., which introduced as the Second Law, the Book of Judgments, Ex. xxi. f. :
1o. Deuteronomy itself presupposes the existence of such a tradition. It claims to present the commandments and teachings which Moses communicated to the people in the plains of Moab“ besides the covenant which Yahweh made with them at Horeb"; in fact the nucleus of this second law is the Book of Judgments, practically all of which is taken up by D in a revised form. 20. E itself looks forward to a deliverance of this kind in the “ torah and commandment” received by Moses, Ex. xxiv. 12-14, “ that thou mayest teach them to the people. 3o. The Book of Judgments is egregiously out of place where it now stands, interrupting the connection of the Book of the Covenant ; whereas its whole character as a law for settled agricultural life, a life of fields and vineyards, houses and lands, sanctuaries and altars, is such as to make it appropriate only when the people are about to enter, if not already entered, upon the possession of the land. 4°. At the close. of Joshua's career, and that of Samuel in E, and, in less degree, of Joseph's, the occasion is used for such a recapitulation as this of Yahweh's providential guidance, and an adjuration of the people to fidelity to him. We should expect the most important address of the kind to come at the farewell of Moses. 5°. We find fragments of the narrative of E at the beginning and end of Deuteronomy, which have no connection with the book itself. We have now to add : 6'. Dt. xxvii. is one of these fragments of E, unconnected with the work of D; and this chapter presupposes that Moses has just been communicating a torah which could be inscribed on great stones as a national inheritance.
In this instance we find the E material retouched and in a measure adapted to the context. But the position of the chapter is a very singular one.
In chh. xxviii. ff. we have an inculcation of obedience to the law just given, because Yahweh will bless obedience, but visit a disobedient nation with fearful curses. In fact the first 14 verses of ch. xxviii. alone comprise the blessing, whereas the 54 verses following scarcely suffice to describe the terrors of the curse ; and even so we do not reach the end, for in two more chapters, xxixf., the theme is resumed, and here it is even taken for granted that the curse and not the blessing will be Israel's portion, and a promise of return from exile is given on condition of repentance. In all this the preacher (Dp) is in his element. But ch. xxvii., which describes two different ceremonies for the ratification of the law, takes a different course, one which connects it with the history JE. What follows it is even rendered less effective by being separated from the matter to which it applies. In xxviii. 58, 61 ; xxix. 20f. ; xxx. 10 the law referred to is one written in a book. In ch. xxvii. it has just been communicated orally, and is to be written on stones at Shechem. Ch. xxvii. is therefore not preliminary to xxxi. 9-13; for if it were we should at least find it in the same connection, not before, but after the blessing and curse, which are the penalty clause of the law. It is a parallel to xxxi. 9-13; and its sequel in Jos. viii. 30-35 is parallel to xxxi. 24-30, where, moreover, (vs, 28), the elders and officers are not already before Moses, as in xxvii. 1, but have yet to be assembled. Finally xxvii. 1-8 belongs clearly to the history, more than to the law in itself considered, being connected on the one side with Ex. xx. 24 (cf. Dt. xxvii. 5f.) and on the other with Jos. viii. 30-35.