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INTRODUCTION. Our study of the Book of Genesis showed it to be, like all the historical books of the Bible, and like Oriental histories generally, a compilation. The fact is now generally conceded that the documents underlying it admit to a greater or less extent of extrication, though advocates of the traditional authorship necessarily limit the documents to a period earlier than Moses. It is our purpose to test the validity of this limitation, and, if the documentary analysis be found practicable in the later books, and the traditional account of authorship thus becomes untenable, to derive from the documents themselves an inductive theory of their origin, purpose, character, and relation to the progress of religious thought, i. e, of divine revelation.
A review of the three documents found to underlie the Book of Genesis, J, E, and P, reveals a very strong presumption in each case that they were continued at least to include the story of the conquest of Canaan. The document P, known as the Priestly Law-book, and generally assigned by critics to the fifth century B. C., is made up in Genesis of ten toledoth (approximately “ genealogies "), generally mere pedigrees, or tables of statistics of births, marriages and deaths, of the stock of Israel from Adam to Joseph. These extend to the collateral branches and follow an exact chronology (necessarily artificial) beginning from the Creation, of which the very days of the week are specified. At intervals this slender stream widens out to a broad pool, when the writer proceeds to give in incredibly minute detail the origin of Israel's religious institutions, among which the divine covenant to give them the land of Canaan occupies perhaps the foremost position. Thus the “Genealogy of the Heavens and the Earth" employs the story of Creation to trace to it the divine origin of the Sabbath ; a pedigree of ten generations introduces the “Genealogy of Noah,” which employs a version of the Flood-story to trace the origin of the Noachic covenant and law of blood-shed and meats ; a second ten-linked pedigree introduces the “Genealogy of Terah,” father of Abraham, signalized by the revelation of the name El-Shaddai, covenant of the Land to Abraham's seed, and institution of circumcision, ch. xvii., and by the acquisition of the first foothold in Canaan, the Cave of Machpelah, ch, xxiii. The subsequent genealogies only depart from the tabular form to record briefly how Jacob was sent by his parents to Mesopotamia to secure a wife of Abrahamic stock, unlike the Canaanite wives of Esau ; how God reiterated the covenant of the land to Isaac and Jacob, and how Joseph, having become governor of Egypt, brought his father and brethren thither with all their great wealth. P's story of the patriarchal age concludes with the blessing of the dying Israel, who charges his sons to bury him in the Cave of Machpelah with his fathers, and tells Joseph particularly, in blessing his sons as separate tribes, how El-Shaddai reiterated to him at Luz the blessing of Abraham and the covenant of the land, saying: “Behold I will make thee fruitful and multiply thee, and will make of thee a company of peoples ; and will give this land to thy seed for an everlasting possession." We are thus left looking forward for the redemption of this promise, and for the sequel to this beginning of an account of Israel's religious institutions.
It is conceivable that the narrative stopped short at this point. But in point of fact we find the story proceeding without a gap, first a table of the sons of Israel in Egypt, in the same peculiar style as heretofore, then, after a brief statement of the Egyptian oppression, a "Genealogy of the sons of Levi” introducing Aaron and Moses, and relating how :
“God spake unto Moses and said unto him, I am YAHWEH, and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob as El Shaddai, but by my name Yahweh, I was not known to them. But I established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan and I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage ; and I have remem
bered my covenant. I will rid you out of their bondage . . .and will bring you in unto the land concerning which I lifted up my hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and I will give it you for an heritage; I am Yahweh.”
The narrative then proceeds to relate the carrying out of this promise. Under the same rigid chronological and genealogical system we are told the story of the Plagues and Exodus, which serves to introduce the law of the Passover and Feast of Mazzoth. After a brief account of the miraculous passage of the Red Sea a table of wilderness stations begins, as a supplement for the genealogical chain, and carries on the chronology. On the fifteenth day of the third month (the sacred calendar has been enacted in connection with the Passover legislation) Israel comes to Sinai. Here is placed the revelation of the entire Priestly Law and the origin of all Israel's religious institutions connected with sacrifice, the priesthood, and the sanctuary. After an elaborate census of the people the journey is resumed " in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month," a brief account of the manna signalizing the march to the wilderness of Paran. A version of the spying out the land and murmuring of the people leads to the 40 years' wandering, to which attach, besides the incidents of the rebellion of Moses and Aaron at the rock of Meribah and the death of Aaron, only the story of the origin of the priestly castes (rod of Aaron), and a brief allusion to the plot of Balaam. Yahweh covenants the priesthood to the house of Phinehas. Then a
census is taken, preparatory to the distribution of the inheritances, accompanied by minute regulations of land-tenure. Moses gives to Reuben and Gad the land of Gilead, taken from Midian, and dies, committing his trust to Joshua. A few words tell how the latter sweeps the land of Canaan, and the final chapters of Joshua relate the allotment of the promised land to the tribes, minutely describing the boundaries “according to their inheritances.”
Were it possible to enumerate here the extraordinary peculiarities of style and language in which all the latter part of this narrative minutely agrees with the story of Genesis, which