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It is now some eight years since I undertook a typographical exhibit of the sources of the Hexateuch. The work, at first planned to present the sources, from Genesis to Joshua, was found too voluminous and reduced for “The Genesis of Genesis,” (Student Pub. Co., Hartford, Ct., 1892) to include only Genesis and the first twenty chapters of Exodus. Even this was found to be too long, and the material prepared on the first half of Exodus remained over. At the same time the series of critical discussions on Genesis published in Hebraica, Oct., 1890, and subsequently, was continued by a similar series in the Journal of Biblical Literature (vols. ix-xii.—1890–1893) on “ JE in the middle Books of the Pentateuch.” The surprisingly cordial welcome accorded me by critics at home and abroad, and the excellent account given by the publisher, have suggested a new volume, independent indeed of the “Genesis of Genesis,” but of similar form and character, continuing the analysis to the end of the Pentateuch. We reach thus, with the death of Moses, a convenient stopping-place, though by no means the conclusion of the documents. The period between this event and the death of Joseph, includes the whole Story of the Exodus in its three great divisions, Deliverance from the Bondage of Egypt, Constitution of the Nation, and Wandering in the Wilderness. If occasion serve, the analysis of the three sources may be continued throughout the book of Joshua, and of the two older through Judges and part of Samuel down to the founding of the monarchy, under the title, “ The Conquest of Canaan."
For the present only the Triple Tradition of the Exodus, a three-fold account of Israel's beginnings as a nation, engages our attention ; and herein is not included that mass of ritual law
which forms the bulk of the Priests' Code, nor the code of Deuteronomy.
Neither is susceptible of analysis beyond a division into earlier and later elements of the same documents P1, P2, P3, D, Dp, Dh, and from the nature of the material the codes are easily detachable from the narrative. The present volume concerns itself therefore not with the Law, but the Story of Israel from the death of Joseph to the death of Moses.
Part I. of “The Genesis of Genesis ” devoted to explaining the nature of the higher criticism in its two branches of source analysis and historical criticism, vindicating its right in the field of sacred literature, and exhibiting its general results in the Hexateuch. What was said there it is the less needful to repeat, for the reason ihat the intervening years have witnessed the appearance of several works in English, admirably presenting these same results, among which I need here mention only Canon S. F. Driver's “Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament," Scribners, New York, 1891, and Mr. W. G. Addis' “ Documents of the Hexateuch," Putnams, New York, 1893.
Neither do we need to add to the manifold and still unrefuted refutation of the Rabbinic tradition of Mosaic authorship. The ground is cleared; the facts are in evidence which show the extrication of sources in Genesis to be no illusion nor impossibility ; the presupposition must now be that they are also extricable in the further course of the same composite narrative. Indeed the concessions of the most extreme defenders of tradition as to the earlier portions of Genesis, and the more important admissions of the school represented by Principal Cave, that the results of the documentary analysis are to be accepted in the main up to Ex. vi., decidedly alter the conditions of the controversy. The burden of proof henceforth should rest upon those who admit that the Pentateuch is analyzable in part, but wish to draw the line at Gen. xii., or at Ex. vi., or at some other arbitrary point.
This disposition on the part of the supporters of tradition to come as far as Astruc, who in 1753 gave forth his theory in the title of his book, “ Conjectures sur les Mémoires originaux dont