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MAY 8 1913

Pentateuchal Studies





Author of





London: Elliot Stock, 7 Paternoster Row, E. C.



Registered at Stationers' Hall, London, England

Printed in the United States of Amerieu
Published October, 1912



The Reverend Professor G. Frederick Wright, D.D., LL. D.
in gratitude for constant help and friendship


This book is a sequel to my " Essays in Pentateuchal
Criticism." Of the studies it contains, Nos. 16 and 17 ap-
peared in the Princeton Theological Reviezv for 1907, the
majority are reprinted from the Bibliotheca Sacra, while No.
23 was read before the Victoria Institute and has already been
published in the Journal of its Transactions. My best thanks
are due to the editors of the two periodicals and to the Coun-
cil of the Institute for the kind permission to include the
various contributions in the present volume. I am also in-
debted to Drs. Driver and Gordon for leave to republish their

A large group of these studies is concerned with the text-
ual criticism of the Divine appellations in Genesis, and the
larger question of which it forms part, the textual criticism
of the Pentateuch. In order that the position with regard to
these may be properly appreciated, some words of introduc-
tion are necessary.

In the year 1753 Astruc pubHshed the little book in which
was first propounded the theory that a division of Genesis
into earlier documents might be effected on the basis of the
alternation of the Divine appellations aided by other criteria.
This became the starting-point of the work that, in the course
of the last one hundred and sixty years, has given us the
present documentary theory of the Pentateuch, which at the
beginning of the year 1908 was held by almost every Hebrew
professor of note in the Protestant universities of Northern
Europe and America. The alternation of the Divine appella-
tions was regarded as so important and so certain a basis
for the Pentateuchal analvsis, that, e.g.. Dr. Driver, in the

vi Pcntatcnchal Studies

eighth edition of his " Introduction to the Literature of the
Old Testament" (p. 21), reprints a passage from the earUer
editions in which he balances the cumulative evidence of all
the other criteria throughout the entire Pentateuch against
the occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in two passages of
P in the Massoretic text of Genesis, being obviously unable
to conceive a P that used the Tetragrammaton in Genesis. It
would be easy to cite numerous dicta from other leading
critics to the same effect. Indeed, the three main documents
that were supposed to be represented in Genesis (J, E, and P)
all owed their very names to the clue, P having long been
called the (first) Elohist. The theory was regarded as in-
vulnerable, and is still so treated in many new popular books.
Nevertheless, a point of view was possible from which it
is seen to be utterly untenable, and a number of writers have
reached it independently. In the year 1903 J. Lepsius printed
a series of articles in the Reich Christ i in which he drew at-
tention to the fact that the LXX does not always confirm the
received Hebrew (Massoretic) text of Genesis in regard to
the Divine appellations ; in the same year J. Dahse published
an independent study in the Archiv fi'ir Rcligionszi'issensch'aft ;
and in 1904 a paper from the pen of H. A. Redpath appeared
in the American Journal of Theology. At the time these
studies, which were quite independent of one another and
drew different inferences from the facts, were not much no-
ticed, though Dahse's article has influenced some Roman
Catholic scholars ; but in 1908 J. Wellhausen, the leader of
the documentary theorists, admitted to Dahse that he had
put his finger on a sore point of the theory, and has now
given permission for this statement to be published. While
they differed among themselves on other matters, all three
writers were at one in opposing the theory, and none of the

Preface vii

three at that time extended the appHcation of scientific text-
ual criticism to the other supposed criteria, though Lepsius
made a number of arbitrary changes in the text.

The matter attracted fresh attention in 1908, when Eerd-
mans, Kuenen's pupil and successor in the Leyden chair,
published the first part of his "Alttestamentliche Studien."
Therein he severed his connection with the documentary the-
ory which he had previously supported. He mentioned the
existence of Septuagintal variants, and placed some reliance
on the argument, but he showed acquaintance with only a
small portion of the existing variants, and contributed no
adequate discussion even of these. It is of course true that
the oldest existing MS. of the LXX is many centuries earlier
than any Hebrew MS. of Genesis, but that fact is not suffi-
cient by itself to establish the importance or legitimacy of
the textual method.

The present writer's attention was first drawn to the sub-
ject by a notice of Dr. Redpath's paper, and in January, 1909,
he published in the Bibliotheca Sacra an article which has
since been incorporated in the first chapter of " Essays in
Pentateuchal Criticism." This led to a discussion in the
Expository Times and elsewhere, and, in the issue, a large
measure of support has been secured among conservative
scholars in England and America for the application of text-
ual criticism to the Divine appellations. Lias, Wright, Tisdall,
Kyle, Reeve, Griffith Thomas, and Griffiths having all given
in their adhesion. Meanwhile Professor Schlogl (who had
been working at the subject independently) had adopted the
method in Austria, and he has been followed by Professor
Weiss in the same country. In Holland Dr. Troelstra has
recently given it the weight of his support in " De Naam
Gods in den Pentateuch," which is shortly to appear in Eng-

viii PciitatCHcIial Studies

lish dress, and in other publicatjons and lectures. There are
thus a rapidly increasing number of scholars in different
countries who have come to the conclusion that the methods
of the last one hundred and sixty years are indefensible, and
the results attained by their adoption worthless.

So much for those who either had never been publicly com-
mitted to the documentary theory, or else had found reason
to reverse their attitude. What has been the answer of the
followers of Astruc? Nobody has been found to produce a
reply to the facts and arguments alleged, but when they have
had occasion to express themselves in public, the official ad-
herents of the school have adopted one or other of four
courses, each and all of which indicate that they are unable
to defend their theory against the attacks of the textual critics.

The first course is that of frankly admitting that the the-
ory is in danger. Naturally the exact wording of the ad-
missions varies with each individual. As already stated,
Wellhausen himself has written to Dahse describing the text-
ual evidence regarding the Divine appellations as a "sore
point " (u'uiider Pimkt) of the theory. Professor E. Sellin,
of Rostock, whose mind has been influenced by other con-
siderations as well, goes so far as to say : " It will be seen
that we stand in a time of fermentation and transition, and
in what follows we present our own opinion merely as the
hypothesis that seems to us to be the best founded." Simi-
larly Professors Toy and H. P. Smith, who had suffered for
their belief in the higher criticism when they thought it true,
have now made the important admissions that are cited on
pages 132 f. To realize what a change this implies, the words
that Professor W. Robertson Smith wrote in 1889 should be
recalled : " The first conditions of an effective comparison
of Hebrew religion, as a whole, with the religion of the other

Preface ix

Semites, were lacking so long as the historical order of the
Old Testament documents,, and especially of the documents
of which the Pentateuch is made up, was unascertained or
wrongly apprehended; but thanks to the labours of a series
of scholars (of whom it is sufficient to name Kuenen and
Wellhausen, as the men whose acumen and research have
carried this enquiry to a point where nothing of vital import-
ance for the historical study of the Old Testament religion
still remains uncertain)," etc. (Religion of the Semites,
preface). To-day Wellhausen is shaken. Teaching that is
subversive of the whole theory is given at Kuenen's old uni-
versity, and the most candid minds among its supporters real-
ize that a reexamination of the whole textual and historical
field is essential.

Unhappily, few of the higher critics are as candid as those
just cited, and hence it becomes necessary to note other atti-
tudes. The second main line of conduct is tO' ignore the facts
and argum.ents altogether, simply repeating the old exploded
theories, and striving to keep the public in ignorance of the
results of recent research. This has been followed, e.g., by
Mr. W. E. Addis, who contributed to the Rcviezv of Theology
and Philosophy a notice of my " Essays " that proceeded on
these lines. As evidence of inability to meet the conservative
case, this is of course second only to a direct admission.

A third method — that of Professor Barton and others —
is exemplified in the second of these studies. It consists of
sneering about faith. It is said that Wellhausen once com-
pared his own teaching with that of some of his followers in
the words, " I knew the Old Testament was a fraud, but I
never dreamt, as these Scotch fellows do, of making God a
party to the fraud." Now the view of textual criticism is
that the Old Testament is not a fraud, but has undergone

X Pentatcuchal Studies

the ordinary vicissitudes of a MS. tradition, and must be sub-
jected to the same scientific processes as all other writings
that have passed through a similar experience. In view of
what is said on pages 13-18, it is unnecessary to deal further
with the question of faith ; but the method of sneering be-
trays not less clearly than the other methods the inability of
the documentary theorists to answer the textual case.

The fourth method is the most regrettable of all. It con-
sists of the deliberate misrepresentation of facts, and is prac-
tised by Doctors Skinner, Briggs, and Driver. Numbers 8-11
of this series (which should be read consecutively) are con-
cerned with it. and the reader who will be at the pains of
studying these carefully and impartially will inevitably reach
the conclusion that not one of these men is a whit better able
to meet the case set up than Wellhausen himself. Accusations
of direct deceit are not to be made lightly ; but when they
become necessary they should be made so plainly that no
doubt can be possible as to the issues raised. Every impartial
and clear-headed man of the world will be able to see that
No. 11 must have been immediately followed by proceedings
for libel if any one of the three men concerned had been in
a position to vindicate his honor in the witness-box without
committing direct perjury, and a perusal of No. 10 will help
to show how impossible this was. Beyond all doubt Astruc's
theory is in extremis when it has to be buttressed by the
means here revealed.

It may, however, be asked how far the establishment of the
textual method will go towards the annihilation of the dom-
inant theories. The answer must be dictated by a number of
different considerations. There are, as already stated, numer-
ous admissions in the work of influential critical writers as
to the im])ortance of the Divine appellations. .Attemjits may

Preface * xi

now be made to belittle this clue, but every reader of any crit-
ical analysis of Genesis knows that it is repeatedly invoked to
effect a division. Moreover, it is impossible to apply textual
criticism to the Divine appellations and yet to refuse to apply
it throughout the Pentateuch. Nobody can say, " Here is an
old document: I will treat some 340 words of it in the same
way as I should any other ancient document, but I will not
extend this treatment to any other word of it." Either the
received Hebrew text must be accepted through thick and
thin, or a scientific critical text must be constructed through-
out. A number of instances of what is likely to happen in the
latter case are to be found in these Studies. I understand
from Dahse, who has been working at the story of Joseph
and the passages treated by me as glosses in No. 8, that he
has reached independently results that are practically iden-
tical with mine. His full discussion will appear in " Text-
kritische Materialien zur Hexateuchfrage I.," which is now
in the press and will probably be published at about the same
time as the present volume. The range of agreement between
us appears to be extensive, but, at the time of writing, com-
plete proofs are not available. I have, however, seen the first
112 pages, and am able to say that the work will prove to be
one of the most important contributions to the criticism of
the Pentateuch that have come from Germany for many years.
The instalment now in the press is limited to Genesis, and
will presumably, therefore, not treat of many matters outside
it. On the other hand, I am glad to observe that Cornill (Zur
Einleitung in das Alte Testament (1912), p. 22) has now in-
dependently taken the view of the text of Ezekiel xxxvii. 22
and 24 which is set out on page 162.

While the textual criticism of the Pentateuch looms large
in the present volume, a number of studies are also concerned

xii Pentateitchal Studies

with various phases of its historical interpretation, especially
with the Graf-Wellhausen theory of the history. And here
the plight of the higher critical school is seen to be not less
desperate. In my " Essays " and elsewhere I have shown that
the reconstruction of the history of Israel rests primarily on
the inability of Wellhausen and his followers to distinguish
between a cairn and a house once they had applied the term
" sanctuary " to each of these separate and dissimilar objects.
Apparently I have so far influenced Dr. Driver that, in his
note on Exodus xxi. 6 (see ijifra, p. 148), he expressly points
out that the door cannot be that of the " sanctuary " and goes
on to call this view " out of the question " — I suppose because
he has at last realized that dubbing a stone or mound a
" sanctuary " will not give it a door. The letter of Decem-
ber 7, 1911, on page 150 appears to hold to this, but on May
1, 1912, he wrote a Foreword commending Dr. AIcNeile's vol-
ume on "Deuteronomy : Its Place in Revelation." In this
book the interpretation that is " out of the question " is put
forward as unquestionable for the benefit of " those who are
unacquainted with Hebrew or who lack the time or oppor-
tunity to study commentaries " (including presumably Dr.
Driver's own commentary on Exodus). It will be seen that
when a writer of Dr. Driver's standing is reduced to arguing
(infra, pp. 150 f.) that he does not believe the only explana-
tions he puts before his readers, and subsequently to com-
mending views that he regards as " out of the question," the
end is not far off.

In other directions a sounder view of the history of Israel
is undoubtedly making progress. A perusal of the last vol-
ume published by Professor Eerdmans (Das Buch Leviticus)
reveals the gratifying fact that he has independently reached
many of the conclusions set out in No. 20, and it may be

Preface xiii

hoped that further study will reduce the differences between
us. Moreover, a new tendency to give a hearing to the views
of conservative scholars is becoming evident in many quarters
where the critical theories were formerly accepted as unques-
tionable. It is now certain that the documentary and evolu-
tionary theories are mortally wounded.

I cannot close this preface without a word of gratitude for
the services rendered to the conservative case by Dr. G. Fred-
erick Wright, to whom this book is dedicated. But for his
courage and steadfastness of purpose against all odds through-
out many years when the outlook must have seemed nearly
hopeless, conservatism would not now occupy its present fa-
vorable position.

Harold M. Wiener.
9 Or.D Square,

Lincoln's Inn, W. C.

11 September 1912.



I. Some Aspects of the Conservative Task in Penta-


II. Textual Criticism, History, and Faith 13

III. The Dating of Genesis xxii. 19

IV. The Age of Isaac 22

V. The Post-Mosaica of Genesis 2G

VI. The Answer of Textual Criticism to the Higher

Criticism of the Story of Joseph (I) 29

VII. The Answer of Textual Criticism to the Higher

Criticism of the Story of Joseph (II) 39

VIII. The Swansong of the Wellhausen School 49

IX. The Higher Critical Quandary (I) : A Correspon-
dence with Drs. Briggs and Driver 90

X. The Higher Critical Quandary (II) : A Correspon-
dence with Dr. Gordon 114

XI. Some Aspects of the Conservative Task in Penta-

TEUCHAL Criticism (II) 124

XII. Dr. Driver on Exodus 143

XIII. The Negeb in Exodus 152

XIV. The " King " of Deuteronomy xvii. 14-20 157

XV. Deuteronomy xxxiii. 4 : " Moses commanded us a

law " 169

XVI. The Laws of Deuteronomy and the Arguments

from Silence 170

XVII. Deuteronomy and the Argument from Style 195

XVIII. The Altar of Joshua xxii 225

XIX. The " Priests " of Exodus xix 230

xvi Pentateuchal Studies


XX. Peiests and Levites : The Fourth Chapter of Well-

hausen's Prolegomena 281

Priests and Levites in tlie Priestly Code 233

Priests and Levites in ttie Otlier Portions of

the Pentateucli 248

Priests and Levites from Moses to Malaclii 257

Ezekiel 277

Conclusion 281

XXI. The High Priest 287

XXIL The Fifth Chapter of Wellhausen's Prolegomena 290

XXIII. The Legislations of Israel and Babylonia 306

Index I. (Texts) 339

Index II. (Subjects) 347

Pentateuchal Studies


[From the Bihliotlieca Sacra, January, 1911.]

The necessity for meeting a large number of detailed
arguments in the course of the great critical controversy as
to the origin of the Pentateuch cannot be held to afford any
justification for neglecting to take some general view of the
task that confronts those who hold conservative opinions.
Indeed, reflection shows rather that the efforts which have to
be made for the purpose of grappling with individual diffi-
culties must never be dissevered from the general principles
by the aid of which alone success can be obtained: and the
circumstance that many conservatives devote their labors to
processes which are scarcely likely to prove more profitable
than plowing the sands tends to emphasize the desirability of
considering the lines along which our work should proceed.

It is a condition precedent of all conservative work that the
conservative writer should know the higher critical case a
great deal better than any critic does. That may sound
paradoxical and difficult: it is really the simplest thing in the
world. For the conservative must know not merely the
strength of the critical case, but also its weaknesses ; and these
appear never even to be suspected by the critics. But unless
he knows the critical case thoroughly, knows it in its seem-
ing strength, he will never be able to detect its weaknesses.

2 Pentateiichal Studies

He must be perfectly acquainted with the arguments he is to
refute if he is to have any chance of showing others exactly
where they go off the rails.

Another matter to be borne in mind is that a style of apol-
ogetics at present much in vogue is much more likely to
damage our position than to improve it. I refer to the too
frequent efforts to disprove the higher critical case by citing
against one another the divergent opinions of different writers.
" Here is a problem : Professor A says the solution is X, Pro-
fessor B that it is Y: therefore there is no problem." Stated
in this way, the logic is a trifle weak: but unfortunately it
will be found far too frequently on our side. No doubt in
many cases something that presents no difficulties has been
magnified into a problem ; but in others there is a genuine
question to be faced and answered, and in such cases this
style of apologetics is worse than useless. The apologist may
insist as he will : he may produce the most plausible of argu-
ments: but the first time the student is confronted with the
bed-rock difficulty in the text the conservative arguments will
vanish into thin air and the solution of either Professor A or
Professor B will make a fresh convert. The true method is
to show that the solution of the problem is neither X nor Y,
but Z : and then there is a probability that every fresh student
who has to consider this text and the explanations suggef.ted
will be inclined towards the conservative case — finding that
here at any rate none of the critical theories will hold water,
while conservatism can remove the difficulty. The truth will
ultimately stand by its own inherent strength and not through
the divisions of its opponents. Our task is, above all things,

But here perhaps somebody may interpose with two objec-
tions. In the first place, it may be said that it is notoriously

Pcntateuchal Criticism 3

extremely difficult to get any critic to read conservative work.
That is unfortunately true ; but there are two answers. There
exists a large body of men who are not professional critics
though they have been influenced (and in some cases trained)
by those who are: and many of these while regarding the
critical position as probably correct are quite willing to listen
to argument. The opinions of these men must in time react
on the critics themselves. The second answer is, that even in
the case of the most inveterate critics steady persistence is
apt in the long run to have its usual effect and to compel re-
luctant attention. For these reasons the conservatives should
not allow themselves to be daunted, but should work away
steadily until in the slow but inevitable course of events their
arguments win recognition.

Then there is another great objection. When the critical
case has been demolished, the critics will still continue to be-
lieve and teach it. This may sound far-fetched : actual exper-
ience of the critics has, however, convinced me that it is only
too true.

'A man couvinced against bis will
Is of the same opinion still.'

In such cases the critics should, where possible, be induced
to publish their revised views in the full confidence that these
will have on their readers the effect that conservatives desire.
An eminent critic on receivmg the article in the Bibliotheca
Sacra for January, 190!;»,i wrote to me, saying in eft'ect that
he was too prejudiced to be affected in his views by the text-
ual uncertainty of the Divine appellations in Genesis. Nothing
would serve our purpose better than that he should publish
something on those lines and expound it carefully to his
pupils. " This theory was framed to account for certain
* Essays In Pentateuchal Criticism, pp. 4-56.

4 Pentatcuchal Studies

facts: those facts are now displaced: but, as I am prejudiced,
I say that the theory is true in spite of all facts to the con-
trary." ^ I myself have had too much experience of correspond-
ing with hig-her critics, and have found them too unable to
answer my points, to have any doubt of the unsoundness of
their position ; and, that being so, the work of getting our ar-
guments grasped may take time, but must ultimately succeed.
A minor difficulty lies in the tendency of the critics to regard
every point made by the conservatives as a " detail." The
higher critical case is of course made up of a mass of details ;
but, of these, some (as, for instance, Astruc's clue, and the
blunders made by Wellhausen as the result of his inability to
discriminate between a house and an altar) possess greater
importance than others. It is amusing to see how in the eyes
of higher critics on the defensive, that which but yesterday
was a cardinal point in their case suddenly shrinks to a detail.
But what is less amusing is the obvious reluctance to consider
the ramifications of the " detail," and frankly to jettison ar-
guments and hypotheses that have become untenable. We

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