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Israel has come with God subsequently to the apostacy of ch. xxxii., and previous to the departure from Horeb. (Cf. vs. 12 and note the position of Aaron.)
In ch. xix. we have beneath a surface appearance of unity the usual incongruities and contradictions. The most striking phenomenon is perhaps the addition of vv. 2off., which carry us back to the first preliminaries in preparation for the theophany, when in the preceding verses the whole had not only been arranged for three days past already, but the theophany had actually begun. In this new arrangement Moses and Aaron are to “come up to the top of the mount (previously, vv. 9, 17, 19 it had been arranged that Moses should stand below with the peoplc, while God addressed him from the mount in their hearing) the
“priests ” are to sanctify themselves (the whole people had already done ..so for three days), and most of all must elaborate precautions be taken
against the curiosity of the people, which would impel them to break through unto Yahweh to gaze." Yet previously not only had these precautions already been taken, as Moses indeed ventures to remind Yahweh (vs. 23 ; cf. 12f.), but, so far from the people's manifesting a desire to “ break through to gaze," it had been necessary to overcome their terror and lead them out of the camp toward the foot of the mount (vv. 16f.). After all it does not appear that these second directions were carried out. Moses and Aaron do not go up, but the theophany proceeds in ch. xx. according to the former plan with Moses below, xx. Iff., joining directly upon xix. 19, as if nothing whatever had intervened. Remarkable as is this interruption, it is by no means the only incongruity of ch. xix. The repetitions and inversions of order in vv. If., and the reiteration of vs. 86 in gb are a slight matter ; but the ascents and descents of the mountain which the present text requires of Moses-quite needlessly--are something prodigious. In vs. 3a Moses first ascends. But already in 3b he is below again ; for while a forced interpretation of Yahweh's “ calling to him out of the mountain ” might be made to show that Moses was himself on the mountain, vs. 7 “ Moses came and told (not came down as in vv. 14, 25; xxxii. 1. 15 etc.), shows that the sense in which we should naturally understand the expression is the true one.
8 Moses ascends again, or rather in 9ff., is again at the summit, descends in vs. 14, ascends in vs. 20, and again descends in vs. 25, not to ascend again, however, as directed in vs. 24. In vs. 8 the people promise to do all that Yahweh hath spoken ” but have not yet received commandment to do anything. Vs. 13b directs that When the yobel soundeth loud, these (emphatic) shall come up to the mount.” It is the last we hear of the yobel (the “trumpet is quite a different matter) and
who these may be we have no means whatever of knowing. After vs. 25 the connection is suddenly broken (see note in loc.).
Fortunately there is no lack of linguistic and stylistic peculiarities which accompany the contrasting representations, and suggest of themselves documentary analysis as the true explanation of the phenomena. Thus we observe that the series of passages in which the theophany is addressed to the people, Moses standing at the foot of the mount, and being there addressed by “a voice,” has regularly Elohim. That on the contrary in which the people are repelled, Moses and Aaron invited to the top of the mount, and the priests sanctified to come near,” has invariably “ Yahweh.” But furthermore we observe that in this “ Yahwistic” series the mount is invariably called “ Sinai” (vv. II, 18, 20), as subsequently appears to be the case in all J sections (cf, xxxiv. 2, 4), instead of " Horeb,” as in E. The expressions “ Yahweh came down” (Gen. xi. 5; xviii. 21; Ex. xxxiv. 5 etc.), the smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace " (Gen. xv. 17 ; xix. 28) “ break forth” (J passim) “ the top of the mount (Ex. 'xxxiv. 2) are all found exclusively in J. In this document alone have we “ priests" (iv. 14 cf. xix. 22 etc., xxiv. 5) tle” (vs. 13; see above, p. 86, and cf. xxxiv. 3), the “yobel” (Jos. vi. 5) and theophanies in fire (Gen. xv. 17 ; Ex. iii. 2). All things considered we need have no hesitation in attributing vv. II-13, 18, 20–25 to the J document. The difficulty of the chapter arises from the fact that there are passages connected with the Elohistic series which also have · Yahweh.” It becomes necessary to decide according to mode of thought rather than by expression merely. The fundamental distinction between the two representations seems to be that in the Yahwistic series the curiosity of the people is guarded against, and they themselves are restricted to what appeals to the eye at a distance, only Moses, Aaron and“ the priests ” coming near; whereas in the Elohistic the people are brought near in spite of their fears, and addressed by the “ voice.” In accordance with this the direction to the people to wash their garments and sanctify themselves in vv. 10, 14f. ; in contrast with vs. 22 where this becomes the duty of the priests.” That we are making no mistake in thus assigning vv. 10, 14f., to E in spite of a single “ Yahweh " in vs. 10 appear at once from a comparison of their language with Gen. xxxv. 2 (E). But further, we have in vs. 9 the precise definition of this Elohistic representation. Yahweh will address Moses, and the people are to hear while he speaks (cf. vs. 19 and xx. iff.). Vv. 9f., 14-17, 19 appear thus to be a unit. We have but to connect these verses with their sequel xx. iff., and the Elohistic fragment, vs. 3a, to find E's narrative of the giving of the law complete, characteristic and
unbroken, save for the accidental dittograph ob=8b. Here we have the explanation of the exceptional “ Yahweh of vv. gf. The first clause in each verse,
And Yahweh said unto Moses is a redactional resumption (cf. vs. 24a) necessitated by the interruption of foreign material.
There remains the seemingly Yahwistic passage 3b (from “ and Yahweh ”)–8 which implies (vs. 7) that its true position was after the commandments of God had been uttered to Moses ; if, however, we turn to the LXX. we discover that in their text the passage was throughout Elohistic, “Yahweh appearing first in vs. 9. The representation of a covenant made viva voce by the whole people belongs to E's mode of conception (cf. vs. 8 with xxiv. 3 and Jos. xxiv. 16ff.), and other expressions of E occur (see refs.). Yet vv. 4f. have a strongly Deuteronomic style and seem to show the work of Rd. To assume with critics generally under such conditions that vv. 3–8 are the pure composition of Rd is unjustifiable. The motive for addition is lacking. We shall see that an appropriate position for the substance of the passage is not lacking in the document with whose representation it is in affinity.
With the removal of this self-consistent, complete and characteristic story of E, in which not a single essential word is missing, we find the Yahwistic story which remains behind almost equally intact. A single displacement has occurred (see note on vv. II-13) and the sequel does not yet appear (it has been incorporated in ch. xxiv.). But the narrative has neither incongruities nor inconsistencies ; it agrees perfectly in style, language, theological standpoint, and historical conception with J. Only in vv. If. (regular formula of itinerary) does the narrative of P come into conjunction with JE, occasioning some slight confusion (see note in loc.); and in vs. 23 the removal of vv. II-13 from after 24a (to“ priests ”) has occasioned a curious redactional interpolation. With even a very slight acquaintance with the general style, language, theological prepossessions, and historical conceptions of J, E and P, and a moderately careful observance of the local difference in point of view, the reader can easily verify for himself the analysis of ch. xix.
(E)—12Then came 13 Amalek, and fought with Israel in 8 Rephidim. And Moses said unto 14 Joshua, Choose us out 9 men, and go out, fight with Amalek : to-morrow I will stand on the 15top of the hill with the 16rod of God in mine hand.
14Ct. Nu. 13 : 8, 16.
15 Nu. 14 : 40.
12 Dt. 25: 17ff. 13 Nu. 13 : 29 ; 14: 40-44 ; 21: 1-3. 164 : 17, 20; 7:20 etc.
10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with
Amalek : and 17Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top 11 of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses 18 held
his hand, that Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, 12 Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they
took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon ; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side,
and the other on the other side ; and his hands were steady 13 until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited 14 Amalek and his people 19with the edge of the sword.
Yahweh said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a. book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua : that I will
utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under 15 heaven. 20 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of 16 it Yahweh-nissi : and he said, Yahweh hath sworn : Yahweh
will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.-* 18 -Now+ 'Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law,
heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his 2–3 people, how that Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt. And
Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, ?after he had sent her away, and her two sons ; of which—the name of the
one was Gershom ; ®for he said, I have been a sojourner in a 4 strange land : and the name of the other was Eliezer; for
he said, 4 The God of my father was my help and delivered me 5 from the sword of Pharaoh :—* and Jethro, Moses' father-in-law,
29Gen. 34 : 26 ; Nu. 21:24.
20Gen. 33: 20; 35:7. 13:1.
1724 : 14. 189 : 22f.; 10: 12f. 2Ct. 4: 20ff. 32:22. 43: 6.
* In vs. 16 translate with margin (R. V.) “ There is a hand upon the standard (nes) of Yahweh.” Vs. 15 gives the name of the shrine whose ætiology is here related, as Yahweh-nissi Yahweh my standard. Hence the true reading in vs. 16 must be nes, “ standard” (cf. Num. xxi. 8), not kes, “ throne" the text. N and K in Hebrew are often indistinguishable.
† For the original position of ch. xviii. see Analysis p. 94 and cf. Art. III.
| The harmonistic clauses, “ the priest of Midian,” and “after he had sent her away” require no further explanation than a reference to the notes on Ex. iii. I and iv, 20. The rest of vv. 1b-4 is probably composed of material from E's parallel to ii. 15ff. So far in J Moses has but one son and Zipporah accompanies him to Egypt. In introducing the section vv. 5ff., which represent
came with his sons and his wife unto Moses Sinto the wilderness where he was encamped, at the mount of God : and he said 6 unto Moses, I thy father-in-law Jethro am come unto thee, (J) and thy wife, and her two sons with her. ®And Moses 7 went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came * into the tent. [...] (E) And Moses told his father-in-law all that Yahweh had 8 done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the 'travail that had come upon them by the way, and how Yahweh delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the 9 goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel, in that he had (J) delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. And 10 Jethro said, Blessed be Yahweh, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh ; who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that it Yahweh is greater than all gods : yea, in the thing (E) wherein they 'dealt proudly against them. And 12 Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God : and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to 10eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God. 11 And 13 it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people : and the people stood about Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses' father-in-law saw 14 all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand about thee from morning unto even ? And Moses said unto his father-in-law, Because the people 15 come unto me 12to inquire of God: when they have a matter, 16
7 Nu. 20:14.
921 : 14
10 Gen. 31 :
Gen, 18:2 ; 19:1; 43: 27. 54. 1124 : 14. 1221:6; 22:8f; vs. 19.
Jethro bringing Moses' wife to him with her two sons, Rje is obliged to add this supplementary and harmonistic material by way of explanation. The original story, vv. 5ff., indicates that the account of Moses' marriage and of the birth of his two sons had been given long since.
* Read with LXX. “ And he brought them.” Cf. Gen. xliii. 27.