« PreviousContinue »
as Yahweh had spoken.” There can be no question of the affinity of these passages. But it does not appear why, after Moses was commanded in iv. 17 to do the signs with his rod, or the rod of God,” Aaron should now be the agent, and Aaron's rod the means. Neither is it apparent why a totally different series of wonders, or plagues, should appear side by side with these whose purpose is different, (a punishment of the land) the actors in which, and phraseology of which are totally unlike, and in which Moses, so far from being in need of a spokesman to Pharaoh, conducts long negotiations without the assistance of Aaron. It does not appear why the rod which was changed to a reptile” in vs. 9 should be spoken of as changed to a serpent in vs. 15 and iv. 3ff. nor why, in the stories of the contest of Aaron and the magicians, the invariable formula is “ Pharaoh's heart was hardened as Yahweh had spoken " (cf. vii. 3) ; whereas in the series characterized by Moses alone as Yahweh's ambassador, we have invariably “ Pharaoh's heart was heavy” (R. V. “stubborn ').
But passing now to vv. 14-25 we ask first, Who smote the river ? In vs. 19 Aaron is commanded to “ stretch out his rod over the waters of Egypt,” and it is naturally inferred that vs. 20 relates that Aaron (though not bidden) smote the river with his rod.” But in xvii. 5 Yahweh says to Moses “ Take thy rod wherewith thou smotest the river.” Still again vs. 25 explicitly states that Yahweh smote the river,” and vs. 17 makes confusion worse confounded by putting into the mouth of Yahweh the extraordinary utterance ; Behold I will smite with the rod that is in my hand upon the waters of the river.”
But now let it simply be recognized that there is a series of narratives in which every “sign" is worked by Moses with his rod, as iv. 17 requires, and as we actually find to be the case in the passages above assigned to E, just as in those characterized by the presence of the sorcerers they are worked by Aaron with his rod : and that there is still a third, in which neither Aaron nor Moses works the signs and no rod whatever appears, but Yahweh himself acts, as is explicitly required by vs. 25 and by every one of the announcements of Moses of what Yahweh will do, and this difficulty, together with a whole series of similar ones, vanishes. This supposition is again borne out by the series of passages already assigned to J. In both J and E we find in fact a regular type, almost as invariable as that of P. In E it is very brief, and appeals to the eye only : “And Yahweh said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand (or mite with the rod ") . . . and oses stretched forth his hand (smote with the rod), and But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not let them go." In J it is more elaborate, and involves
the cycle of changes in the effect on Pharaoh already described. It appeals almost exclusively to the ear, the scene being depicted almost wholly in dialogue : Yahweh says to Moses, “ Go in unto Pharaoh and say unto him, Thus saith Yahweh, Let my people go that they may serve me. And if thou refuse, behold I will smite . . . (description of the plague then follows, with prediction of its unexampled severity and appointment of a specified time for its appearance). Where the immunity of Israel is not otherwise implied it is distinctly expressed, “ And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen” or the like. Description of the occurrence of the plague follows, exactly as foretold, and the three different kinds of effects upon Pharaoh in regular rotation, as above described. The fullest form (four times) is that wherein Pharaoh calls for Moses and says, “ Intreat · for me, and Moses went out from Pharaoh and intreated Yahweh (or spread forth his hands to Yahweh) and the ... ceased, and when Pharaoh saw ... he made his heart heavy and did not let them go.” Among the characteristic features not already mentioned is the emphasis which is laid upon the unique severity of the plague (“ very grievous “ such as had never been "); its thoroughness, and its equally complete removal (“ there remained not one,” “not any green thing," locust,” etc.), in contrast with the complete immunity of the land of Goshen. In J moreover Yahweh is always the agent (not Moses as in E) and operates by natural causes, winds, etc. instead of the rod. The fixing of a time in advance for the plague and for its removal is also a natural characteristic of the narrative where Moses simply announces in advance what Yahweh will do. Pharaoh's audience chamber appears to be the scene of these negotiations, as the open air is the necessary scene of E's majestic pantomime with the rod. Other characteristics of style and language may readily be discovered from the references.
In the passage vii. 17-25 the observance of the references (e. g., vs. 16 to v. 3, xvii. 5 to vs. 17) and of the consistent standpoint of each writer makes it easy to assign every clause of the confused whole, with practical certainty to its respective source (See Art. II, pp. 179ff.). 'One singular result is that whereas there appears to be not more than a single word or so lacking to any one, and even that single word capable of being supplied with certainty from the context, yet the miracle in J (who has already related the changing of water to blood, for a sign to the people), does not seem to have been a changing of water to blood at all, but only a destruction of life in the river (cf. xii. 12 P, the judgments executed against the gods of Egypt, and Is. I. 2). In viii. 1-ix. 12 there is no trace of E, and with the radically different types of J and
P in mind the reader will have no difficulty in personally verifying the analysis. Attention, however, should be given to the marginal notes of the R. V. (“ heavy,” and “strong ”) especially in vii. 9, 13f.; viii. 15, 32, and ix. 7, 12.
7-8 (P) *And Yahweh spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a wonder for
you : then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it 10 down before Pharaoh, that it become a serpent. And Moses and
Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so, as Yahweh had
commanded : and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and 11 before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also
called for the wise men and the sorcerers : and they also, the magi12 cians of Egypt, did in like manner with their enchantments. For
they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents : 13 but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. 6 And Pharaoh's heart
was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as Yahweh had
spoken. 14 (J) And Yahweh said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart
is estubborn, he refuseth to let the people go [...] 15 (E) Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning ; lo, he goeth
out unto the water ; and thou shalt stand 'by the river's
brink to meet him ; and 8the rod which was turned to a serpent 16 (J) shalt thou take in thine hand.* And thou shalt say
unto him, Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, hath osent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that
they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, 17 hitherto thou hast not hearkened. Thus saith Yah
72 : 3
4Cf.4: 1-9 ; vv. 19, 22 ; 8 ; 5-7 ; 9-8-12, etc. 5Ct. vs. 14; 8: 15, 32; 9: 7, 34 etc. 15, 32 ; 9: 7, 34 etc.
84 : 3, (17 LXX.); ct. vv. 9-12. 93 : 18; 5: 3, 5ff. * In Art II. p. 179 the last clause of vs. 15 is not rejected. In view however of the preponderance of evidence for J in iv. Iff. the general verdict of critics attributing the clause to Rje as preparatory to vs. 17b may be accepted; or we may consider that an original" and the rod which I gave thee,” or the like, has been harmonistically altered to the present form. The assumption of such an addition or alteration is justified by the fact that the LXX. insert the same designation“ which was turned to a serpent” in iv. 17, where it certainly is not genuine.
weh, In this thou shalt know that I am Yahweh (E) behold, I will smite [ ] 1l with the rod that is in minet hand upon the waters which are in the river, and 12they (J) shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the 18. river shall die, and the river shall stink; 18and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink water from the river. (P) 14 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy 19, rod, and stretch out thine hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their ponds of water, that they may become blood ; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as Yahweh 20. (E) commanded ; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
(J) 16 And the fish that was in the river died; and the 21 river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink water (P) from the river : and the blood was throughout all the land of Egypt. 17 And the magicians of Egypt did in like manner with 22: their enchantments : and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he (E) hearkened not unto them; as Yahweh had spoken. And 23: Pharaoh turned and 18went into his house, neither did he lay (J) even this to heart. And all the Egyptians digged 24 round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. And seven 25
10 Vs. 25. 1117 : 5. 12Cf. 4: 9. Is. 50: 2.
17 Vs. 11; 8:7, 18 etc.
13Vs. 21. 18Vs. 15.
14 Vs. 9 : 8 ; 5, 16 etc. 164: 21, 30.
* After vs. 15 we are driven to supply, “ And thou shalt smite " (one word in Hebrew) which requires the reading “thine " instead of “mine” in vs. 17b. The union of J in which Yahweh smites the river (vs. 25) with E in which Moses smites it with his rod (xvii. 5) has compelled Rje to omit the word above referred to, and make the necessary change of one letter in the possessive pronoun. A comparison of vv. 17, and 20, vs. 25 and xvii. 5 shows that the change has really taken place as thus assumed. The second clause of vs. 17 is possibly redactional, though the question is indifferent to the analysis (See Art. II.)
days were fulfilled, after that 'Yahweh had smitten
the river. 8 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, Go in unto Phar
aoh, and say unto him, 'Thus saith Yahweh, Let my 2 people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse
to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders 3 with frogs: and the river shall swarm with frogs,
which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house
of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine 4 ovens, and into thy ?kneading-troughs : and the frogs
shall come up both upon thee, and upon thy people, 5 (P) and upon all thy servants. [...] 3 And Yahweh
said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with
thy rod over the rivers, over the streams, and over the pools, and 6 cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And Aaron
stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs 7 came up, and covered the land of Egypt. And the magicians did
in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs
upon the land of Egypt. 8
(J) [... ]"Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat Yahweh, that he take away the frogs
from me, and from my people; and I will let the 9 people go, that they may sacrifice unto Yahweh. And
Moses said unto Pharaoh, Have thou this glory over me: against what time shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, that the frogs be 19Vs. 172. 17 : 16 ; vs. 20 ; 9:
212 : 34. 3Cf. 7 : 19. 47• 22 etc.
2, 13, etc.
29 ; 9: 28ff.
* The appearance of Aaron here and in vv. 12 and 25; ix. 27; and x. 3, 8, 16 is certainly due to harmonistic interpolation. It will be observed that in all these cases Aaron is a pure figure-head, absolutely without a rôle. Though Moses and Aaron are represented as entering together, in all cases save vs. 12 and. x 8ff., Moses goes out alone; and in all that is said by Pharaoh or Moses the presence of Aaron is ignored (“ Intreat thou,” “ shall I intreat,"' “he said,” etc.). So in x. i Moses alone is bidden by Yahweh to go in to Pharaoh, and only Moses comes out, vs. 6, and Pharaoh's servants speak of the petition
" this man”; yet vs. za, connected with the certainly redactional vv. Ib, 2, has “ Moses and Aaron.” But in x. 24 Aaron is not even called.