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due to the unfaithfulness of the priests of Shiloh. He is the most radical of Puritans, a democrat profoundly sympathizing with the people, though impatient with their folly and weakness, an advocate of spirituality in religion and liberty in the state, jealous of foreign influence to the degree of narrowness and arrogance in his ideal of the kingdom of God, in all things a prophet of the prophets and a Hebrew of the Hebrews.
This Puritan morality and democratic jealousy of caste appear throughout. The covenant at Horeb is a voluntary compact. God pronounces the moral law “and all the people answered with one voice and said, All that Yahweh hath spoken we will do." Prosperity or adversity follow then in regular succession according as the people serve Yahweh only and keep his covenant, or forget his covenant and “worship strange gods." Repentance is invariably followed by rescue, but the writer takes extraordinary pains to guard against an abuse of the priestly idea of divine favor, smoothing the face of Yahweh' or appeasing his just indignation by anything short of deep mourning' and practical change. Any doctrine of forgiveness savoring of laxity in this respect is repeatedly and emphatically denied, the very language of J seeming sometimes to be criticised. In Num. xxiii. 19 we have :
“God is not a man that he should lie
Neither the son of man that he should repent." In Ex. xxiii. 20 the 'angel of God'" will not forgive your transgression nor your sin, for my Name is in him." Jos, xxiv. 19 declares Yahweh himself implacable, and even Saul's prayer for forgiveness, I Sam. xv. 24f., is met by Samuel with
“ The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent
For he is not a man that he should repent.”
Space forbids the further multiplication of instances: the hatred of idolatry (including teraphim and divination (?), tolerated by J ; but not including pillars'); the living faith in a present God of righteousness;—but every student of the great Ephraimite prophets of the eighth century will recognize at once their characteristic features.
The prophetic type of religious thought of E, with all its spirituality and moral purity might easily tend without its priestly counterpoise to Pharisaism and legalistic morality. But as compared with J it marks an advance in the sphere of religious thought, and sheds new light upon that deep current of pure and spiritual ethical religion, the product of the prophetism of Ephraim, which was soon to flow side by side with the more priestly religious thought of Judah. The first outcome of their amalgamation was the Deuteronomic reformation ; later the same prophetic "spirit and power" blaze out in the "greater Elijah "; ultimately the priestly and the prophetic type are blended in the doctrine of Jesus. In view of this advance in religious character we need scarcely regret the literary inferiority of E to J, nor the very limited use which can be made of its material in supplementation of the historical data of J. The author's tendenz so dominates the story that while material nearly as trustworthy and valuable as J's seems sometimes to have been at his command, his story can scarcely be. called more than an adaptation of practically the same data in much less credible form to his theory of the theocracy. The stories of the boyhood of his prophetic heroes (Isaac), Joseph, Moses, (Joshua), Samuel, David are unique and characteristic, but what these add to the history of J has more of literary and religious, than of historical value.
We can afford to pass. lightly over the character, purposes and doctrine of the Priestly Law-book, for the following reasons: 1. that its character is stamped upon its face, so that only wilful blindness can ignore it ; 2, that it has been repeatedly characterized in practically the same terms by all competent critics from Nöldeke down ; 3. that in “ The Genesis of Genesis” we have already described it substantially as it now appears. Nevertheless the new type marks so wide a departure from either of its predecessors that we cannot refrain from a few words of description.
In P the practise of E of subordinating the history to a theory of the divine government is carried to a much greater extreme; here, however, the hierocracy takes the place of the
theocracy. The high priest succeeds the theocratic ‘judge,' or 'prophet,' and in the requirement of God, the general principles of morality are scarcely more than a matter of course, compared with the written ordinances of the priesthood and the ceremonial law. The work of P is a HISTORY OF THE RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS OF ISRAEL, THE PRIEST-NATION.
We are not here concerned with the ceremonial law, which together with the “ inheritances in the land ” is the matter of principal import to P, and hence need only compare the artificial skeleton of history he employs as a frame for his code, with its parallels in J and E. It is clear at the first glance that the process of reduction to theory, a theory moreover of divine rule by systematic miraculous intervention, has here reached its climax.
In the priestly narrative all natural relations and perspective of time and space are utterly lost from view. We are in the sphere of the purely marvellous. That this writer no longer has before his eyes a single remnant of historical realism and moves purely in an artificial, mechanical world of marvel, appears wherever the attempt is made to realize what his assertions imply. We need not repeat the familiar objections of Colenso, which almost invariably take effect against the representation of P only : the 200,000 male lambs of the first year required at every passover, as compared with the dearth of food and water, and the complaint of no flesh to eat ; the incredible wealth of material provided for the tabernacle ; the whole series of impossibilities involved in the enumerated millions of Israel ; above all the inconceivable war with Midian (Num. xxxi.). How little of a realistic conception the writer had before his mind appears when we ask ourselves such questions as the following : In P's account of the turning of water to blood, Ex. vii. 19-22, whence did the magicians obtain water, to “do in like manner with their enchantments”? How could an altar of acacia wood, overlaid with brass, of the pattern of Ex. xxvii. 1-8 support the heat (supposing the fuel obtainable) of the whole burnt offerings enjoined? The same astounding superiority to all the unities of historical narrative appear in P's story of the manna and quails in ch, xvi. compared with its relatively historical parallel in Num. xi., and in the ignoring of any opposition of the Canaanites to the appropriation of their land. This contrast between P and JE, especially J, it is important to draw for the sake of rescuing the historicity of the latter. It is fortunately not needful after what Kuenen has well designated “the pulverizing criticism " of Colenso, to perpetually reiterate the invidious task of exhibiting the unhistorical character of P; but it is needful to show by separation of the sources that we are not dependent upon this mere mechanical, late and artificial extract from JE, intended simply as a framework to the priestly law, for our knowledge of ancient Hebrew story.
It would be far from just to the post-exilic period to say that the religious ideals of P are those of that age. On the contrary there is much to show, that alongside of this rigid formalism of priestly legality and hierocracy something of the old Deuteronomic, and even the prophetic, type of thought continued to survive, at least among the hills of ancient Ephraim. But in the circles from which the Priestly Law-book comes to us the spirituality of ethical religion, and the idea of direct relations of man to God, seem to have died out. Still the appearance is in part deceptive. Israel has indeed become a priest-nation, and “the people of the book," but even if the spiritual, ethical monotheism of the prophets had died out among the people, the germ of its resurrection was safely enshrined in the literature so cherished. If we take the work of P, as we should, as throwing light upon the conditions of religious thought in Judea of the fifth century it should be borne in mind that this light is thrown only upon the outside, and that underneath this frozen surface is still moving the deep, still current of the religious consciousness of ancient Judah and Ephraim.
In passing now from our characterization of J, E and P to an enquiry into their history, we must of course begin with the sources, written and oral, employed in their make-up. But we need not delay with P, since the narrative parts of this document show no traces of any other source whatever than JE, though a possible trace of Babylonian influence may be indicated by its divergences from J's account of Creation and Flood. J is the real source for the critical historian, supplemented occasionally (as in Num. xxi., I Sam. iv.-vi., xv.) by E; but each of these appears to be based upon a primitive anthology, or collection of national ballad-lore, of its own ; adding to this material folk-tales of various kinds, and at least two very ancient written codes.
Already in “ The Genesis of Genesis” (p. 10–22, 61) it was pointed out that “the fountains of minstrelsy and ballad-lore yet flow copiously through the pages of J and E,” though not of P; and some phenomena accompanying the transition of historical tradition from minstrelsy to prose were described. Have we now the means of forming a rational conjecture as to the character and content of these most primitive sources ?
The only book cited by name in J is the Book of Jashar, from which we have extracts, in all cases songs of national interest, in Jos. x. 12f. (Battle of Gibeon), II Sam. i. 17-27 (David's elegy on Saul and Jonathan), and I Kgs. viii. 12  LXX (Solomon's Song of Dedication). Unfortunately the exact significance of the title Jashar ("the Upright"?) is unknown, but it is probable that it contains, as is so often the case, a play upon the name Israel, like the term Jeshurun. So far as it goes, therefore, this would confirm the indication of the extracts, that the book was a collection of national lyrics. This may seem a slender basis for conjecture, but it indicates that the collection was at least as late as the reign of Solomonvery likely of that reign ; that it covered in extent at least the entire period from the conquest to the building of the temple, and contained one, and probably two, if not more, authentic poems of David (add the Elegy of Abner, II Sam. iii. 33f.), looking with favor on Solomon's temple. When we consider the broadly national character of J's great poems, Blessings of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Balaam, Moses ; Songs of Lamech, Moses, Joshua, Deborah and Barak, David, Solomon; and the fragments of similar lyrics which form the nucleus of a large proportion