Page images

By the greatness of thine arm they are as still as a stone;
Till thy people pass over, O Yahweh,
Till the people pass over which thou hast 12purchased.

Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine in17

The place, O Yahweh, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in,

The sanctuary, 0 Yahweh, which thy hands have established. 18 Yahweh shall reign for ever and ever. 19 (Rp) 13 For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his

horsemen into the sea, aud Yahweh brought again the waters of the sea upon

them ; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.* 20 (E) 14 And Miriam 15the prophetess, the lesister of Aaron,

took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out 21 after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, t

17Sing ye to Yahweh, for he hath triumphed gloriously ; The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

2. Chh. xv. 22–xvii. 7. THE DIVINE SUPPLY OF FOOD AND



Arrived at Marah the bitter waters are sweetened by a healing branch. A statute and ordinance is given. At Elim the people find a pleasant oasis ; xv. 22–27. In the wilderness of Sin manna and quails are provided in response to the murmurs of the people ; ch. xvi. They come to Rephidim, where the rod of Moses brings water from the rock. The place is called Massah and Meribah from the murmuring and “ striving ” of the people ; xvii. 1-7.

The present subsection affords the most difficult problems hitherto met in the analysis. Indications of the triplicity of sources are as positive as ever, and are accompanied by equally positive evidence of displacement of

12 Is, 11 : 11. 1314 : 29. 14, Sam. 18 : 6-8 ; Jud. 4 : 4. 15Nu. 12 : 2. 062 : 4. 17vs. I.

*Vs. 19 may be attributed to the redactor (probably Rp) who incorporated the psalm.

It resembles in style xiv. 29, and may thus indicate the date of incorporation. † 1. e. sang responsively with the women

ren. LXX. and Vulg. (quibus praecinebat) seem to have had here the feminine pronoun, to which R has given the masculine form for the sake of connecting with vv. Iff.


in vs.

[ocr errors]

material by Rp. But here the reconstruction of the sources is less easy, perhaps for the reason that so much displacement has occurred. Thus in 1-7 we appear to be at Rephidim, and such appears also to be the case xvii.

8. But meanwhile, in 5f., Moses and the people have “ passed on” and come to Horeb. Here we indeed find them encamped in xviii. 5; but this is in direct contradiction with xix. if., which relates their subsequent arrival there. Moreover, the incident of xvii. 1-7, which by vv. I and 8 is located at Rephidim and by vv. 5f. at Horeb, is unequivocally stated in vs. 7 to have taken place at Massah-Meribah. We naturally infer that at least Massah and Meribah are duplicate names for the same locality ; but Dt. vi. 16; ix. 22 ; xxxiii. 8 (?) treat them as two different localities, marked by different events. But, most remarkable of all, in Num. xx. 1-13 we find another story of how Israel “strove with Moses' in consequence of thirst for water, how Moses thereupon under divine direction “smote the rock with his rod," and the waters gushed out, and so this place also was called “ Meribah ” for the same reason as that of Ex. xvii. The rabbinic legend, to which Paul alludes in i Cor. x. Iff., of a spiritual following rock that followed them,” and of which

they all drank,” may be accounted for as an attempt to explain this phenomenon of a smitten rock of Meribah, from which Israel drank at the begining of the desert wandering in Ex. xvii., followed by an identical experience with the same rock at the end of the journey (Num. xx. 1-13). But while the literary phenomenon may account for the legend, the legend does not account for the literary phenomenon. It only serves to show that the rabbis were not blind to the extraordinary parallelism of the narratives. As to the duplicate, xvii. 2=xvii. 3, Wellhausen remarks : (Comp. p. 81): “It is in spite of myself that I recognize traces of a double source in xvii. 2–7. For it were much to be desired if it were possible to attribute this narrative to the one, and Num. xx. 2ff. to the other source of the Jehovist." As the matter stands it cannot be maintained that the phenomena call for no explanation.

Ch. xv. 22-27 might be uniform in structure were it not for vv. 25b, 26, where a beginning is made of relating how Moses (?) enacted statute and an ordinance" and put Israel to the test.

We are apparently on the verge of hearing how this was done ; what the statute and ordinance was ; what the manner, and what the result of the testing. But vs. 26 leads us nowhere. The thread of narrative taken up in 25b is ravelled out into a cluster of didactic generalities, and leaves us in doubt even as to the subject of the verbs in 25b. Is it Moses ? or is it Yahweh?

But it is ch. xvi. which furnishes the most remarkable anomalies. In


vv. 6-8 Moses and Aaron deliver to the people a message from Yahweh. Afterwards, vv. uif., Moses receives the message he has just communicated, the terms being identical. Vv. 13f. relate how in response to the murmuring of the people Yahweh sent manna and quails. We pass over for the present the singularity of the fact that in this case also, as in xvii. 1-7, we have a duplicate of the story in Num. xi. There again we are informed of how Israel murmured for the flesh-pots of Egypt and complained of the manna, which in a digression is minutely described as if something hitherto unheard of, and of how Yahweh sent quails, which proved a curse to the greedy and complaining people. Such duplication we have found to be rather the rule than the exception in the Pentateuch. But we are led to expect that the murmuring of the people here, to which the manna and the quails are the divine response, will be visited with punishment of some kind. But no. Vs. 13a relates, “ And at even the quails came up and covered the camp.” That is absolutely all we hear about them. No one pays any attention to them. It is not even stated that any one discovered them, much less used them for food ; and, instead of punishment for the murmurings, we hear nothing further save a description of the wonderful gift of manna and what was done with it.

The question repeatedly suggests itself in the latter part of ch. xvi. What was

the thing which Yahweh commanded”? According to vs. 16 it is the manner in which the bread is to be gathered. According to vv. 23ff. it is the Sabbath. According to vs. 32 “ This is the thing which Yahweh hath commanded, Let an omerful of it be kept,” etc. Vv. I7f. attempt apparently an explanation of the two conflicting statements of vs. 16, a), “ gather each according to his eating ” i. e., various amounts; 6), “ an omer a head," i. e., each the same amount. But the miraculous readjustment of quantity does not remove the literary disagreement. According to vs. 21 the consistency of the manna is such that it melts like hoar frost (cf. vs. 14) with the warmth of the sun. According to vs. 23 it is baked and boiled. An undeniable anachronism appears in vv. 9, 33 where the expression “ before Yahweh " presupposes the place of Yahweh's presence or manifestation, i. e., the sanctuary of the Tabernacle. That the author presupposes the giving of the Tables of Stone and the erection of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, which in our Pentateuch are not related until chh. xxxv. ff., is made an absolute certainty by vs. 34, where, pursuant to the command of vs. 33, Aaron lays up a pot of manna before the Testimony.” Vs. 10 contains besides the reference to the “ cloud” (anachronistic in P2 before Sinai) a similar anachronism.*

* For the reading mishkan "tabernacle " instead of midbar “wilderness” see note in loc. “The glory of Yahweh appearing in the cloud” is a charac

Finally, w. 22–30 certainly convey the impression that the people have already received the law of the Sabbath.

From these extraordinary phenomena three things are at once apparent with regard to ch. xvi. 10. The story is composite. 2o. One of the elements is P, which alone contains any reference to “the Testimony.” (See refs.) 30. The priestly element is displaced, and belongs after the end of Exodus. We may conjecture with a very high degree of probability what the original position of P's narrative was, by comparing its description of the murmuring, vs. 3, of the manna, v. 14, 31, and especially the unfinished introduction of the quails in conjunction with the manna, vv. 11-13, with the narrative of J in Num. xi. 4-9, 13, 18-23, 31-35 (cf. especially vs. 31 with Ex. x. 13, 19; xiv. 21). The dependence is here unmistakable. The narrative of Numbers certainly did not derive its story of the quails (the manna is here quite incidental) from that of Exodus; but that of Exodus does derive its account from Num. xi ; the writer being so much occupied with the manna, as to leave the quails (which he even speaks of as the quails ") literally suspended in mid-air. As therefore the P narrative of Ex. xvi. cannot possibly have been related originally until after the erection of the Tabernacle it must almost certainly have come from the same connection as its model, Num. xi.

What then was Rp's motive for inserting it here? Not a priori considerations like the convenience of Israel's being supplied with food from the beginning of the wilderness journey, or not these alone; for Rp allows small weight to such ; but the existence at this point of another manna story. We have in fact seen abundant reason for believing ch. xvi. composite ; and, since the manna-quail story of Num. xi. is certainly J's, and (Wellhausen to the contrary notwithstanding) certainly in its original position, we should naturally incline to E. Kuenen, Jülicher and others, it is true, would attribute the dislocations, incongruities, etc. of Ex xvi. purely to P3 or Rp on a basis of P2. But if the narrative was originally a uniform production of P2, whose standpoint is doctrinally the same as that of P3 and Rp, why should the latter so unmercifully mutilate it? The arguments of Wellhausen (Comp. pp. 323ff.) for a JE element here, in reply to Kuenen, are unanswerable. But there is something still more decisive which Wellhausen has not observed. Dt. viii. 2f., 16 prove beyond a doubt that JE had a narrative of the manna which contained the etymology Ex. xvi. 15, and understood the intention of the divine gift to have been “to prove thee. . . . whether thou teristic expression of P, e.go, Num. xvi. 42 ; xx. 6; but of course subsequently to the occupation of the tabernacle by the cloud, Ex. xl. 34ff., which in P, first appears on Sinai.

wouldest keep his commandments or no.” (Dt. viii. 2 ; see also vv. 3 and 16, and cf. with these Ex. xvi. 4, “ that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no ”; and xv. 25b, “ There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them ").

We have now found at last the true sequel to the isolated verse xv. 25b. Eliminate the foreign element, xv. 26f. ; xvi. 1-3, and it follows in xvi. 4. The references show that this “ proving of Israel” (as of Abraham in Gen. xxii.) is a characteristic trait in E, unknown elsewhere; and the strong probability is that the place indicated by“ there ”in xv. 25b. was originally Massah, “the place of proving.The location had of course to be obliterated when the parallel account of J (Massah from Israel's “ tempting," or proving ” Yahweh) was taken up in ch. xvii.

It follows from the disconnection of xv. 25b (E) with the preceding, that vv. 22-25a, which are of course totally foreign to the style and purpose of P2, are from the other JE source, J. This corresponds in fact with the style, language and references of the Marah story, where Moses (not Moses and Aaron, P2, and not Elohim, E) leads Israel on into the desert. Here also the three days' journey,” so often spoken of to Pharaoh is accomplished, the ætiological interest is displayed, and the wonders of Yahweh are accomplished, not by the rod, but by natural

Vs. 27 also, which separates vs. 25b from its true connection with xvi. 4, and which has the same interests, language and style as vv. 22-25a, must be from the same source, J. Vs. 26, as we have already seen, merely aims to patch up an ending for the truncated vs. 25b, and must be redactional (Rd). Vs. I of ch. xvi. is the regular formula of P2, unmistakably genuine and in place. From the singular recurrence of “ the Red Sea " as a station between Elim and the wilderness of Sin " in Num. xxxiii. 1of. we may perhaps gather that P2 once read here, “ And they journeyed from the Red Sea,” which Rp would of course alter to “ Elim,” to agree with the preceding. It is also probable that Marah and Elim had no place in E, for, ceteris paribus, this writer would naturally relate first after the beginning of the wilderness journey, how Israel was supplied with food and water in the desert (see below).

Ch. xvi., from vs. 2 on, has been hitherto one of the most perplexing battle-grounds of criticism. We can only hope to reach a satisfactory analysis by holding firmly to the clew afforded by the reference in Deut. viii. 3, 16.

From Deuteronomy, then, which knows nothing of P, we learn that in JE the manna was given to “prove ” Israel by humbling them through hunger to a daily dependence upon a food which their fathers “ knew not.” We have seen that the reference of these statements is unmistak



« PreviousContinue »