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It has been supposed that the idea of the pre-exist-
ence of the soul is discoverable in certain passages of
the Old Testament; 2 this is not the case.^ It is found
only in an apocryphal book.* The older account of
creation teaches the contrary; according to it man's
body was first formed and the soul was afterward im-
parted to it. 5 And, according to document C, God
created man in his own image,^ i.e. body and soul at
the same time, and established the law of reproduction
for man as well as for animals. ^ Adam is thus enabled
to beget a son in his own image, ^ body and soul.


The accounts of creation themselves emphasize the
exceptional dignity of man. In the older of these
accounts we see God giving especial care to the crea-
tion of human beings.^ The way in which he breathes
the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam seems to
establish a peculiar relation between his life and that
of man. We have seen above that the Old Testament
sometimes puts men and animals into the same category,
applying to them indiscriminately the designation "all
flesh," and attributing to both the nephesJi and the
ruach; this account, on the contrary, establishes an

1 xxiii. 16. 2 1 Sam, ii. 6 ; Job i. 21 ; Ps. cxxxix. 15.

3 De Wette, § 115, Archeologie ; von Colin, Theologie, § 40 ; Oehler,
§ 70 ; Schultz, IT. pp. 250 ff. 4 ^jg^ yjij^ jg f^

5 Gen. ii. 7. e Qen. i. 26 f. ^ Gen. i. 22, 28.*

« Gen. V. 3. 9 Gen. ii. 7, 21 f.


essential distinction between them, exalting man far
above the animals and all other created things. God,
after the creation of man, planted the garden of Eden,
that he might till and tend it.^ It is man also for whom
the animals were created, and they were brought to him
that he might give them names. ^ In the chapters that
immediately follow, the animal and the vegetable king-
dom are both made subject to man.^ But among the
animals, man finds no helpmeet for him.^ Then God
creates woman, taking her from man, in order that she
may be a help like him.^

Man and woman, then, occupy an exceptional and
peculiarly exalted position in the work of creation ; all
else is only for them, for their use. However, in con-
formity to the universal sentiment of antiquity, the
position of man is even more exalted than that of
woman. Woman was created only for the sake of man,
to be a help to him,^ and she is taken from him. All
this indicates a kind of inferiority, a kind of depend-
ence of woman over against man. The distance that
separates the one from the other, however, should not
be exaggerated. In v. 24 of our narrative, we see that
man must place above all other ties those that unite
him to his wife, and that after their union they form
one flesh. At the same time, therefore, with the su-
premacy of man and the subordination of woman, their
equality in certain respects is also recognized.

The account of creation in document C,^ dating from
a time when Israelitish thought was further developed,
presents the same ideas, but in a new form and with a

1 Gen. ii. 8-15. 2 Qen. ii. 19 f. ^ Gen. iii. 21 ; iv. 3 f.

4 Gen. ii. 20. & Gen. ii. 21-23. « Gen. ii. 18, 20, 7 Gen. i.


more philosophic cast. Here the first human pair is
not created until after all the rest. This, no doubt, is
meant to indicate that, to the thought of the author,
man is the end and crown of the work of creation, that
he is its lord and master, and that he should not appear
upon the scene until all else is ready and can be placed
at his service. As soon as man is created he is called
to rule over all other terrestrial creatures; the plants
also, it is said, are to serve him for food.i The expres-
sion in V. 26, "And God said: Let us make man,"
indicates a special determination, and as it were a solemn
act on the part of God. This creative act is therefore
not like the others introduced by the simple expression :
"God said." Verses 26 f. declare, besides, that God
created man in his own image and after his own like-
ness. It is clear that this account emphasizes and
specifies the peculiar dignity of man and his superiority
over the rest of creation. Here, however, there is no
trace of inequality between woman and man. They
are both formed by the same creative act; they are both
like God. Besides this difference between documents
A and C, it should be noted that, according to the
former, man did not originally resemble God, and was
not intended to be like him ; on the contrary, he became
guilty and brought upon himself the ills of life by wish-
ing to become like God, and like him to know how to
distinguish between good and evil.^ The older docu-
ment does not, therefore, attribute to man so exalted
a dignity as the other.

In precisely what consists the image of God in man?
Theology has read many things into this expression.
1 Gen. i. 28 f . 2 gee Gen. ui. and § 19.


In the first place it has distinguished between the image
of God and his likeness. This is a serious error. Though
in V. 26 there is reference to the image and the likeness
of God, in v. 27 it is only the former to which refer-
ence is made, which seems to indicate that the two
terms are synonymous. The use of both in v. 26 is
probably only an illustration of the law of parallelism,
which plays an important part in the elevated style of
Hebrew literature. According to Oehler the second
term serves only to reinforce the first ;^ others find this
sole difference between the two, that the first is concrete
and the second abstract.^

In early Protestant theology the image of God in man
was the state of moral perfection that was lost by the
fall. This is incorrect; the document that mentions the
fall does not speak of this image, and vice versa. Ac-
cording to document C, which alone speaks of it, this
image is preserved despite the corruption that causes
the deluge.^ If we allow ourselves to be guided by the
context, we see that the resemblance of man to God
consists chiefly in dominion over all things, and espe-
cially over the animals. For it is said: "Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness, and let him rule
over the fish of the sea, over the birds of heaven,
over the beasts, over all the earth, and over all the rep-
tiles that crawl on the earth." Ps. viii. also makes
this superiority of man, that allies him to divinity, con-
sist in dominion over all the works of God, and espe-
cially over the animals.* Havernick,^ Oehler,^ and

1 § 68. 2 Schultz, II. pp. 257 f. ; Hofmann, Schriftbeiveis, I.
p. 287. 3 Gen. ix. 6 ; comp. v. 3.

4 vv. 6-9. 5 Theologie, p. 96. « § 68.


Schultz,^ however, combat the idea that the resem-
blance of man to God consists in such dominion, be-
cause, they say, it is only the consequence of the
superiority of man, and not this superiority itself. This
distinction is very just ; but was it made by the author
of document C, or by that of Ps. viii. ? Nothing
indicates that this is the case or renders such a sup-
position tenable. We have seen, on the contrary,
that the early Israelites were little inclined to subtle

It is easy to understand why, in Israel, the superior-
ity of man and his resemblance to God were made to
consist, above all, in ruling ability. Be it remembered
that of all the attributes of God, that which the Old
Testament extols most persistently is his controlling
might. It is, therefore, at once simple and natural that,
in speaking of the resemblance of man to God, it should
be made to consist in the divine perfection par excel-
lence, the feature of divinity from the Israelitish stand-
point most characteristic of it ; in other words, that there
should be attributed to man as the mark of his superi-
ority the ability to rule like God, the supreme ruler.
But though the most salient attribute of God was taken
as a point of comparison, this does not mean that the
divine perfections in general did not find subordinate
consideration. This also, from the standpoint of the
Old Testament, is very natural. We have seen that the
Israelites pictured to themselves God in the human
form. Hence they would necessarily think that, in
creating man, God exactly copied himself, that he cre-
ated him exactly in his own image. And since they

1 II. p. 257.


certainly gave God a body, and did not regard him as
a pure spirit, they probably thought that man resembled
God, and God man, both corporeally and spiritually.^

It is therefore a false interpretation of Gen. i. 26,
that claims to find in it the assertion of the moral per-
fection of man. What ought to have made this clear is
the fact that after the fall and the corruption of morals
that appears at the time of the deluge, document C con-
tinues to predicate of man resemblance to God.^ Gen.
i. 31, it is true, implies the thought that man was
created good; but he is simply regarded as good in the
same sense as the other creatures; i,e. inasmuch as, by
the creative act, he has received the corporeal and spir-
itual qualities necessary for the realization of the idea
of man. 3 There is no reference in this passage to moral

What we have just said does not amount to a denial
that the moral supremacy of man is taught in the Old
Testament. It only shows that the classic passages
quoted in favor of the doctrine of the moral perfection
of man leave his moral nature entirely in the back-
ground. But having once established this, we abide by
the assertion that the Old Testament insists on our
moral dignity. Only, instead of seeking the proof of
this assertion in an expression that in reality does not
contain it, and that occurs only twice in a single doc-
ument in the entire literature of the Hebrews, we be-

1 Comp. Schoeberlein, Schaff-Herzog's Cyclopedia^ art. Image of
God; Reuss, Hist. Sainte, L p. 282.

2 Gen. V. 3 ; ix. 6.

3 Schultz, n. p. 262 ; MtUler, Christian Doctrine of /Sin, II. pp.


lieve that we find it taught in this literature as a whole.
Not that it is often explicitly asserted; it is rather
everywhere taken for granted. What is implied by
the fundamental idea of the religion of Israel, the cov-
enant of God with man ? What is presupposed by the
legal regime, which gives man the choice between good
and evil, blessing and cursing, life and death ? Doubt-
less it is something different from that which tradi-
tional theology claims to find in the Hebrew canon
touching the moral dignity of man, a state of original
but temporary perfection which was soon totally for-
feited. But the principal fault of this theology is that
it has found in the Bible precisely what it does not con-
tain and has not been able to discover what is clearly
taught therein. We must, however, devote a special
chapter to the further discussion of the great subject of
the fall, to which we have here alluded.


Having learned to know God and man according to
the conceptions current in Israel, we must now see what
God requires of man.

Jehovah is a God whose nature it is to be faithful to
his people ; but he requires in return that his people
shall also be faithful to him. Faithfulness to Jehovah
is the cardinal virtue in Israel. This appears every-
where in the Old Testament, in the historical, the
prophetical, the legal, and the didactic portions. Every-
where and in all the forms of language, the sacred
writers teach Israel that they are to serve their God,
that they are to serve him alone, and serve him in all


faithfulness. But how was this faithfuhiess conceived?
upon what sentiments was it to rest? and in what way
was it to be translated into life ?

The essential mark of faithfulness and the moral life
in Israel is obedience to God. The old covenant is the
regime of law ; God commands and man is to obey ; he
is to obey God even in the least details of life, since
the legislation of each of the documents of the Penta-
teuch undertakes the regulation of these details. The
people Israel, as regards Jehovah, occup}^ the position
of a subject toward his master, a son toward his father,
a wife toward her husband, a servant toward his mas-
ter or lord ; ^ now each of these positions implies chiefly
obedience toward God. The Old Testament knows no
morality but religious morality, according to which the
virtue of any act consists in the fulfilment of the will
of God. In Israel the moral life and the religious life
are indissolubly united.

The faithful fulfilment of the commands of God is
generally designated in the Old Testament by the term
righteousness,^ which we might render normalcy of con-
duct. The faithful Israelite is everywhere represented
as a righteous person. Since Israelitish piety was in
a way identified with the observance of the commands
of God, or righteousness, this last term is often synony-
mous with piety. In the Psalms especially the right-
eous are frequently contrasted with the wicked; they
are the pious men in Israel.

Israelitish virtue, righteousness, piety, since they
consisted essentially in the observance of the commands
of God, were very external ; first, because the law was
1 See § 4. 2 Deut. vi. 25 ; Ezek. xviii. 5-9 ; etc.


always composed largely of ritualistic regulations,
which indeed, in document C, completely predominate,
and, secondly, because this law was imposed from with-
out. Righteousness and morality in Israel are in great
measure simply legality. Moreover, the principal
motive to righteousness and faithfulness is external
and selfish ; viz. promises of earthly blessings in case of
faithfulness, and threats of earthly penalties in case of
unfaithfulness, as we shall see later.

Internal tendencies, however, the sentiments of the
heart, which shall result in faithfulness, are not lost
sight of. Deuteronomy, for example, requires that the
law of God be taken to heart, and that it remain in
the heart; 1 that God be sought and served with all the
heart and all the soul;^ and above all, that he be feared
and loved with all the heart and all the soul.^ Out-
side of this book the fear of God is often enjoined as the
fundamental principle of piety and the principal motive
to faithfulness, to righteousness.* This sentiment,
which dominates Israelitish piety and virtue, is, in fact,
of inferior value. It is found in intimate connection
with the idea that Jehovah is first of all a mighty God,
just and holy, who will not let evil go unpunished.
Hence the numerous threats of punishment, directed
against unfaithfulness, in the law and the prophets.
But, alongside of this sentiment, we find also in Deuter-
onomy — not however, it is true, in so many passages —

1 Ti. 6 ; xi. 18. 2 iy, 29 ; xxvi. 16 ; xxviii. 47; xxx. 2, 10.

Mv. 10; V. 29; vi. 2, 5, 13, 24; viii. 6; x. 12, 20; xi. 1, 13, 22;
xiii. 3 f. ; xiv. 23 ; xvii. 19 ; xix. 9 ; xxviii. 58 ; xxx. 6, 16, 20 ; xxxi.
12 f.

4 Gen. xxii. 12 ; 1 Sam. xii. 24 ; Job i. 1, 8 ; ii. 3 ; Eccl. xii. 15 ; etc.


the sentiment of love in God. In the Old Testament,
in general, there is more frequent reference to the
holiness and the righteousness of God than to his love,
and the Israelites are more frequently exhorted therein
to fear Jehovah than to love him. The idea formed
of God and the sentiments felt toward him are indeed
closely related to one another. In some passages be-
sides these in Deuteronomy, and even in one place in
document A, love to God is expressly represented as
a fundamental sentiment of piety. ^ This sentiment
doubtless existed in Israel more generally than at first
appears, and it was the same with gratitude toward
God. The Israelites always referred to God the bless-
ings that they enjoyed, and expressed to him their
gratitude for them. This appears even in the song of
Deborah, Jud. v., and in that which celebrates the de-
liverance from Egyptian slavery, Ex. xv. We see it
later in the numerous psalms of thanksgiving that date
from all periods of the history of Israel. A people that
always celebrated thus the blessings of God and sang
his praises experienced a high degree of gratitude
toward God and love for him. It is the sentiment of
gratitude to which document A so early appeals to in-
duce Israel faithfully to observe the covenant and the
law of God. 2 But Deuteronomy most of all seeks to
awaken this sentiment, a sentiment which shall result
in faithfulness toward God, through the remembrance
of his blessings,^ and his love,* the source of his bless-

1 Ex. XX. 6 ; Isa. Ivi. 6 ; Iviii. 14 ; Dan. ix. 5 ; Ps. xviii. 1 ; xxxi. 23 ;
xxxvii. 4 ; xcvii. 10 ; cxlv. 20. 2 Ex. xix. 4 ff. ; xx. 2 ff.

3 i. 31 ; iv. 32 ff. ; vi. 20 ff. ; viii. 6 ff. ; x. 20 ff. ; xi. 1 ff. ; xxix. 2 ff.,
9 ff. * iv. 37 ; vii. 8 ; x. 15 ; xxiii. 5.


ings. It is the same with the legal fragment, Lev.
xvii. -xxvi. These laws often add to the other motives
for faithfulness this, that the commands which are to
be fulfilled come from Jehovah, i Sometimes the more
complete formula is : " I am Jehovah your God. " 2 This,
without doubt, means that these laws emanate from
the true God who can oversee the fulfilment of them,
and render to each one according to his works. But
the expression "your God " may also imply the idea that
Jehovah is the master, the lord, the ruler of Israel, and
has the right to command his people and require of them
obedience. 3 Finally, it may signify this: I am your
benefactor, your protector, and your saviour; you owe
me faithful obedience out of gratitude for the blessings
that I have granted you, and especially for deliverance
from Egyptian slavery, that first and peculiarly remark-
able blessing.^

If love for God and gratitude to him should produce
obedience toward God, love for one's neighbor should
result in the faithful fulfilment of one's duties toward
that neighbor. Such love is also enjoined in the Old
Testament, but more rarely.^ It may be presupposed in
many cases like love to God himself. Yet it is more
correct to say that the Hebrew, who emphasizes the
absolute sovereignty of God and represents rules of con-
duct as emanating directly from him, generally leaves
in the background secondary motives to faithfulness,

1 Lev. xviii. 5 f., 21 ; xix. 12, 14, 16, 28, 30, 32, 37 ; xx. 8 ; xxi. 12 ;
xxii. 2 f. ; viii. 30 f . ; xxvi. 2.

2 Lev. xviii. 4, 30 ; xix. 2 f ., 10, 25, 31, 34, 36 ; etc.

3 Lev. XXV. 55. 4 Lev. xix. 36 f. ; xxii. 32 f. ; xxv. 38.

5 Lev. xix. 18, 34 ; Deut. x. 19 ; Hos. iv. 1 ; Mic. vi. 8 ; Zecli. vii.
9 ; Prov. x. 12 : xvi. 6.


and brings to the front only this prime reason, that God
has spoken, and man owes him obedience, in all things.
From the Israelitish point of view man should fulfil
his duties to his neighbor, as all others, because God
commands it. It appears from the foregoing that
knowledge of God and faith in God are essential ele-
ments of piety, of the moral and religious life of Israel.
It was, of course, necessary to have a knowledge of the
holiness, the righteousness, and the judgments of God,
as well as of his love and his blessings, and it was
necessary to believe, in order to be moved to fear and
love for God, to gratitude to him, and in consequence
to the faithful fulfilment of his will. Knowledge of
God is often presupposed, but frequently also enjoined
in the Old Testament, as an essential qualification of
the true Israelite.^ It is the same with faith in God.^
Unbelief is strongly censured and severely punished.^

§ 16. WORSHIP.

The fact most deserving attention is the strict cen-
tralization of worship, which was attained in our period
and which is the fundamental doctrine of Deuteronomy.

We have seen that, in ancient times, the Israelites
could rear altars and offer sacrifices in any place, that

1 Hos. iv. 1,6; v. 4 ; vi. 3, 6 ; Isa. xi. 9 ; xix. 21 ; lii. 6 ; Jer. ix.
24 ; xxii. 16 ; xxiv. 7 ; xxxi. 34 ; etc.

2 Gen. XV. 6 ; Hos. ii. 7 ; Mic. vii. 7 ; Xeli. i. 7 ; Zepli. iii. 12 ; Jer.
xiv. 22 ; xvii. 7 ; xxxix. 18 ; Isa. vii. 9 ; viii. 17 ; x. 20 ; xii. 2 ; xxv.
9 ; xxvi. 3 f., 8 ; xxviii. 16 ; xxx. 15, 18 ; xl. 31 ; xliii. 10 ; etc.

3 Num. XX. 7-12 ; Isa. xxx. 1 ff. ; xxxi. 1 ff. ; Jer. ii. 17-19, 36 f. ;
xvii. 5 f. ; Deut. i. 32 ff. ; ix. 23 ; 2 Kings vii. 14 ; Ps. Ixxxix. 18-
21, 31.


a multiplicity of places of worship was perfectly admis-
sible, but that, nevertheless, the ark of the covenant
was already a rallying-point and a means of religious
centralization for all Israel. What afterward contrib-
uted to such centralization was the erection of the
temple at Jerusalem. It is easy to understand that
this royal and central temple, with its stately worship,
would, little by little, eclipse all the other sanctuaries.
The worship of the high-places, however, continued yet
a long time, alongside of the worship at Jerusalem.
Other circumstances were necessary to produce in this
respect a radical reform. The event that unquestiona-
bly exercised the greatest influence in this direction
was the overthrow of the kingdom of the ten tribes.
From that moment the people Israel found themselves
reduced almost to the single tribe of Judah, surround-
ing Jerusalem and its temple. Moreover, the multi-
plicity of places of worship had given rise to a multi-
plicity of gods ; the high-places served not only for the
worship of Jehovah, they had become seats of idolatry. ^
This fact furnished a stronger reason for opposing the
worship of high-places. This is what Hezekiah under-
took to do. 2 Nothing indicates, however, that his
efforts were crowned with success. It was different
after the discovery of Deuteronomy, or the legal part
of it, which distinctly identifies the worship of high-
places with idolatry and for the first time requires a
strict centralization of worship.^

1 Jer. vii. 29 ff. ; xvii. 2 ; xix. 5 ; Ezek. vi. 8 ff., 13 ; xx. 28 ff. ; Lev.
xxvi. 30 ; 1 Kings xi. 7 ; xiv. 23 ; 2 Kings xvii. 9 ff . ; xviii. 4 ; xxi.
3 ff. ; xxiii. 5, 13. ^ 2 Kings xviii. 4.

3 Chap. xii. ; xiv. 22 ff. ; xv. 20 ; xvi. 2, 5 ft., 11, 15 ; xvii. 8 ff. ;
xviii. 6 : xxvi. 2.


This legislation led Josiah to proceed to the reform
of worship, an account of which is found 2 Kings xxiii.
It is this legislation also under the influence of which
the editor of the books of Kings, after having consci-
entiously recounted how, until the time of Hezekiah,
the most faithful kings offered sacrifices on the high-
places, feels the need of repeatedly expressing his regret
that it had been so.^ Idolatry, however, once more
uplifted its head after Josiah; for we read that his suc-
cessors did that which was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, '-^
which certainly means that they devoted themselves to
unlawful worship and to idolatry. Jeremiah and Eze-
kiel reproach Israel with their idolatry, past and pres-
ent, more than any of the other prophets. Lev. xvii.
also, which was written during or a little after the
Exile, reinforces the Deuteronomic legislation respect-
ing the centralization of worship. This chapter forbids
under pain of death, not only the offering of sacrifices,
but even the slaughtering of animals for ordinary use,
elsewhere than at the lawful sanctuary. Though regu-
lations of this sort favored Jewish Levitism beyond
measure, they were justified by the circumstances that
provoked them ; for they were directed against idolatry,
which seemed indestructible, and against which it was
necessary finally to take serious precautions and direct"
the most energetic measures.

The death-blow was not, however, given to idolatry
and the worship at the high-places until the grand
catastrophe of the Exile. Not until after the return
from captivity was the absolute centralization of wor-

1 1 Kings iii. 2 f. ; xv. 14 ; xxii. 44 ; 2 Kings xii. 3 ; xiv. 4 ; xv. 4,
35 ; xvi. 4. ? 2 Kings xxiii. 32, 37 ; xxiv. 9, 19.


ship put into practice in a decisive fashion among the
Jewish people. The circumstances were then peculiarly
favorable. The Jews, returned to their country, were
few in number; they were, therefore, able to cluster
more closely about Jerusalem and its restored temple.

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