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Rich and poor, good and bad, great and small, all men
there mingle with one another.^ There is, in fact, no
retribution after this life.^ The earth is called "land
of the living," in contrast with Sheol." Existence in
Sheol more nearl}^ resembles death than life, it is only
an apparent life; for the departed are rephaim, i.e.
shades;^ it is in a sense a state of perpetual sleep. ^

It is easy, in view of the above statements, to believe
that the prospect of the future life had no attraction for
the Israelites, that it could only fill them with pro-
found sadness. Death appeared to them without hope ; ^^
it was like the king of terrors ; ^^ it was desirable only
in extreme misfortune, and to put an end to it.^^ It
also follows from the above that faith in a future life
was without any value, and without any religious or
moral influence, becaues it did not involve the idea of


1 Ps. Ixxxviii. 12.

2 Job iii. 13, 17 ; xiv. 21 ; xvii. 16 ; Eccl. ix. 5 f., 10 ; Ps. vi. 5.

3 Ps. Ixxxviii. 5 ; Isa. xxxviii. 18.

^ 1 Sam. xxviii. 15 ff. ; Ezek. xxxii. 21 ; Job xiv. 22 ; xxvi. 5 ;
xxviii. 22. & Ezek. iii. 13-19 ; Ps. xlix. 10-14.

6 Eccl. ix. 5.

■^ Job xxviii. 13 ; Ps. xxvii. 13 ; Iii. 5 ; cxvi. 9 ; cxlii. 5 ; Isa. xxxviii.
11 ; liii. 8 ; Jer. xi. 19 ; Ezek. xxvi. 20 ; xxxii. 23, 32.

8 Job xxvi. 5 ; Ps. Ixxxviii. 10 ; Prov. ii. 18 ; ix. 18 ; xxi. 16 ; Isa.
xiv. 9 ; xxvi. 14, 19.

9 Job iii. 13 ; xiv. 12 ; Jer. li. 39, 57.

w 2 Sam. xiv. 14 ; Job vii. 7 ff. ; x. 20-22 ; xiv. 7-22 ; xvii. 11-16 ;
Isa. xxxviii. 1 ff., 10 ff.; Ps. cxvi. 3.

11 Job xviii. 14.

12 Job iii. 3-5, 21 ; vi. 8 f. ; xiv. 13 ; Isa. Ivii. 1 f.


a retribution beyond the tomb. God punishes the
wicked, not after death, but by death, by an unhappy
and premature death. ^ God blesses the righteous, not
with everlasting life, but with a long and happy earthly
existence. 2 The hope of having a numerous posterity,
and surviving in ones' children is a far fairer prospect
than that of the future life.^

We conclude from the above that it is equally
wrong to maintain that the Israelites did not believe in
a future life, or to attribute to them the hope of ever-
lasting life in the Christian sense, two errors into which
men have alternately fallen. If faith in eternal life,
and consequently in a judgment with everlasting re-
wards and penalties, had been disseminated in Israel it
would certainly have been introduced into the Penta-
teuch as a sanction for the law, and into the preaching
of the prophets as a stimulus to faithfulness. But
everywhere, even in the most recent legislative and
prophetical documents recourse is had only to temporal
promises and threats, to incite to good, or to deter from
evil. In Israel, in fact, faith in everlasting life was
not by any means what it has become through the gos-
pel ; it filled with terror and not with hope ; it could
not therefore under the old covenant play the part that
it does under the new. Moreover it should not be for-
gotten that in all the documents antedating the Exile,

1 Gen. vi. f.; xviii. f. ; xxxviii. 7 ; Lev. x. 1 ff. ; Num. xvi. ; 2 Sam.
xii. 13 f. ; Jer. xxxi. 30 ; Ezek. iii. 18, 20 ; xviii. ; xxxiii. 8 f ., 12 f. ;
Job xi. 20 ; xxiv. 19 ; etc.

2 Ex. XX. 12 ; Lev. xviii. 5 ; Deut. iv. 1, 40 ; v. 33 ; vi. 2, 24 ; viii.
1 ; xi. 8 f . ; xxx. 15-20 ; xxxii. 47 ; Amos v. 4, 6, 14 ; Hab. ii. 4 ; Ezek.
xviii. 9, 17, 19, 21 f., 27 f. ; xx. 11 ; xxxiii. 14 ff. ; etc.

3 Gen. xii. 2 f . ; xv. 2 ff. ; xvii. 4 ; xxvi. 3 f. ; xxviii. 14.


this faith appears as a simple popular belief, and no-
where as an integral part of the religion of Israel.

The attempt has, however, been made to find a more
or less evangelical hope of everlasting life, if not in
all the Israelites, at least in some choice spirits. But
if it existed it must have shown itself in the prophets,
the elite of the nation. Now we have seen that, on the
contrary, it is wanting in the teaching of the proph-
ets. Let us, however, examine the passages in which
this statement is believed to find support.

One of the principal is Job xix. 25-27. But in this
book there is no lack of passages declaring that man, in
spite of his righteousness, retains no hope after death. ^
More than this, the entire book is incomprehensible
if the author believed in the everlasting felicity of the \
righteous. The problem that is there discussed would, j
in fact, have found in this faith a natural solution, and
would have completely lost the tragical character Avith
which he has invested it.^ What then is the meaning
of the passage in question ? It is partially explained by
xvi. 19-22, where Job, foreseeing that the number of
his years approaches its end, expresses the hope that
God will be his advocate, and vindicate him against
his accusing friends. The same idea is expressed xix.
25-27, but in language much more enthusiastic. Job
there repeats that after his death God will be his aven-
ger, his defender, to vindicate him against the unjust
accusations that his friends direct against him. He
" is convinced that in spite of appearances God will in

1 vii. 6 f. ; X. 20 f. ; xiv. ; xvii. 13 ff.

2 Comp. Reuss, Philosophie, p. 22 ; Gesch., § 238 ; Schultz, II. pp.
329 ff.


the end publicly recognize his innocence, and if he does
not do so before his death, he will at least do so after-
ward. . . . He sees beforehand this vindication, his
heart leaps with agitation in view of this prospect."^

It is also maintained that in some passages of Prov-
erbs, everlasting felicity is promised to the righteous.
The most important of these passages are xiv. 32 and
XV. 24. In the former we read that, " The just findeth
a refuge even in his death," and in the latter that "for
the wise the path of life leadeth upward, that he may
shun the abode of the dead which is below." Oehler
does not think it possible to find here the hope of ever-
lasting life, because there is no indication that the life,
which in certain passages of Proverbs is represented as
the reward of wisdom, is life beyond the tomb.^ He
thinks that, in the first of these passages, the author
speaks perhaps either of the confidence of the righteous
in extreme danger, or of the hope that animates him, in
the face of death, touching the future of his posterity
(such as Jacob expresses. Gen. xlix. 18), or touching
his own memory (in the sense of Prov. x. 7, which says
that the memory of the righteous is a blessing). He
holds that in the second passage there is reference only
to a long and blissful earthly life, secured by divine
protection.^ It should, moreover, be observed that,
according to the version of the Seventy, the former of
these passages speaks of the confidence that the right-
eous may have in his virtue, not of that which he may
have at the time of death. This proves that the first
translators did not find in it the hope of everlasting
felicity. On the latter passage, which says of the wise
2 ii. 21 f. ; iii. 16 ; x. 30 ; etc. 3 § 243.


that the path of life leads upward in contrast with Sheol
which is below, Reuss remarks that " the ascent of the
first line is suggested by the descent of the second," so
that " it is not necessary to think here of immortality." ^
Finally the attempt has been made to find the hope
of everlasting felicity in some psalms. It would not
be surprising if this were the case, since these psalms
may date from a time when such a hope really existed
among the Jews. The first of the passages brought
forward is Ps. xvi. 10 f. : " Thou wilt not abandon my
soul to the abode of the dead ; thou wilt not permit thy
well-beloved to see the pit. Thou wilt make known to
me the path of life ; there is fulness of joy before thee,
there are delights at thy right hand forever." But,
frankly, we, with many exegetes, see here only the hope
of being delivered from danger of death, and of tasting
the delights of communion with God, which for the
psalmist is the highest good.^ As for the expression
"forever," it should not be pressed to the extent of
finding in it everlasting duration, since expressions of
this kind in the Old Testament often have only a very
restricted and relative signification. Another passage
that should be taken into account is Ps. xlix. 15, where
we read: "God will save my soul from the abode of
death, for he will take me," which perhaps means he
will take me, like Enoch, to himself. Many exe-
getes, however, deny that in this passage there is refer-
ence to the hope of everlasting life. Reuss, in favor
of this opinion, brings forward a number of considera-
tions that have weight. In any case, the text, consid-
ered in itself, might, like others of the same kind,
1 Reuss, I J. 2^.2.


mean that God will save the psalmist from death.
But when the context is considered, when it becomes
apparent that verse 15 is contrasted with the verses
preceding, which say of those who perish that they are
placed in the abode of the dead, and that death makes
them his pasture,^ — this would lead us to think that
there is here reference to a salvation beyond the tomb.
It remains to consider Ps. Ixxiii. 24-26. Here also in
contrast with the wicked, who are overthrown, destroyed,
annihilated by a sudden end,^ the psalmist hopes that
he will be exalted to glory, and have God for his
portion forever, when even his flesh and his heart are
decayed. In this, as in the preceding passage, the
author aspires to be united with God, to obtain glory
and felicity forever; consequently he expresses some
hope of obtaining this favor. But none of these pas-
sages expresses a full and complete confidence in ever-
lasting salvation.

The first and the only canonical passage in which such
a hope is confidently asserted is Dan. xii. 2 f., where we
read : " Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth
will awake, some to everlasting life, and others to shame,
to everlasting disgrace. Those who have had under-
standing will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those Avho have taught the multitude righteousness,
will shine like the stars for ever and ever." Here the
idea of everlasting life is expressed with all the clear-
ness to be desired, and with it the idea of the resurrec-
tion of the dead, of a future retribution, of everlasting
punishments for the wicked, and eternal felicity for
the righteous. It should, however, be noticed that
1 vv. 7-14. 2 ^^,. 16 ff.


there is no reference in Daniel to a universal resurrec-
tion. A part only of those who sleep will awake. It
is probable that to the mind of the author, the favor of
a resurrection is reserved for the Jews only.^ Faith in
the resurrection of the dead is also expressed in the
second book of Maccabees, ^ where we see that prayers
for the dead early begin to be united with this faith. ^

The question has been much discussed, through what
foreign influence the Jews attained to the idea of the
resurrection of the dead; but this discussion has not
issued in perfectly reliable results.* For biblical theol-
ogy it is more interesting to show that the germs of
this doctrine exist in some prophetical passages, and
that it may have arisen in the midst of Judaism with-
out foreign influence. The prophets had always fore-
told the destruction, the death of Israel, as a punishment
for their sins.^ But they could not admit their com-
plete annihilation. Hence the frequently expressed
idea of a remnant that will abide after the divine judg-
ment and penalties, and form a new people of God, in
a new era. This restoration is by several prophets
represented as a resurrection of the destroyed people.^
Now the idea of collective resurrection could easily lead
to that of individual resurrection, which seems to break
forth, Isa. xxvi. 19.

The germs of this doctrine, which we have just shown

1 Hitzig and Reuss, i.l.

2 vii. 9, 11, 14, 23, 29, 36 ; xii. 43 ff.; xiv. 46. 8 xii. 43 ff.
* Nicolas, pp. 325 ff.

5Hos. vi. 5; ix. 6; xiii. 1; Isa. i. 4-9; Mic. iii. 12; Deut. xxx.
15 ff. ; Jer. iv. ; Ezek. xxxiii. 11 ; Lam. ii. 17.

6 Hos. vi. 1-3 ; xiii. 14 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 1-14 ; Isa. xxvi. 18 f. ; Ixv.


to have existed in tlie teaching of the prophets, appear
to have been developed especially during the sore perse-
cutions that were directed against the Jews by Antio-
chus Epiphanes ; this, in fact, is the epoch at which it
presents itself to us in the book of Daniel. "The
feverish expectation of the end, a hatred of oppression
that was not satisfied by the prospect of a temporal and
fleeting vengeance, above all the conviction that eter-
nal righteousness could not allow the countless victims
who died for their God and their faith, to fall un-
rewarded, all these causes finally gave rise to the belief
in the resurrection of the dead, and a judgment beyond
the tomb."^ This belief, then, appears as a product of
messianic hopes, and faith in divine justice.'^

Along with the doctrine of the resurrection of the
dead, which arose and was developed among the Pales-
tinian Jews, we see the doctrine of the immortality of
the soul take shape among the Jews of Alexandria.
It appears for the first time in one of our apocr3^phal
books, viz. in Wisdom. The author seems to have
been forced to emphasize this thought by epicureanism,
which denied the future life, and had for a device : Let
us eat and drink for to-morrow we shall die.^ Accord-
ing to this book souls pre-exist,* and are confined in the
body as in a prison ; ^ God in creating man in his own
image, created him to be imperishable, immortal,^ as
he did all other things ; ^ he did not make death, and he
finds no pleasure in seeing the living perish ; ^ death

1 Reuss, Apocalypse, p. 8.

2 Reuss, Theol. Chret., I. pp. 76 f. ; Nicolas, pp. 355 ff. ; Seinecke,
Gesch. des Volkes Israel, pp. 144 f. ; [Montefiore, Lectures, p. 456].

8 ii. 1-20. * viii. 19 f. & ix. 15. e n £3. "^ i. 14. » i. 13.


entered the world through the envy of the devil, ^ but
righteousness is not subject to death ;2 observance of
the divine ordinances gives assurance of immortality,
and immortality assimilates to God;^ the souls of the
righteous are in the hands of God, — fools only can
believe that they die, — their hope is immortal; after
having passed through the crucible of trial, they shine,
they judge the nations, they govern the peoples ; * thus
the righteous will live forever.^ The wicked seem to
be condemned to death, to annihilation.^ On the other
hand, however, there are signs of a belief that they
also live forever, and that they even know the lot of
the righteous.^ For, "in the language of our author,
the term dead already has the figurative signification in
which we find it used in the New Testament, viz. that
of damnation, the absolute want of felicity."^ These
ideas are still further developed by Philo, from whose
writings it clearly appears that they were borrowed
from Plato.9

Once more, in conclusion, we notice the difference
that in the beginning existed between the doctrine of
the resurrection of the dead and that of the immortality
of the soul, since confounded in Christian dogmatics.
The doctrine of the resurrection, which is more espe-
cially Jewish and theological, started from the idea that
God is able to restore the dead to life.^^ The more phil-
osophical doctrine of the immortality of the soul, which'

1 ii. 24. 2 i. 15. 3 yi. 18 f . ; viii. 17 ; xv. 3.

* iii.1-9. s V. 15 f. 6 i. 15 f.. ni, io_i9 ; iv. 19 ; v. 14.

"^ V. 1-13. 8 Reuss, PMlosophie, p. 510.

9 Nicolas, pp. 318 ff. ; comp. Haag, pp. 421 f. ; von Colin, § 108;
[Knenen, Beligion of Israel, HI. pp. 196 ff.].
10 See 2 Mace. yii. 23 ; comp. Nicolas, p. 327.



sprang from the school of Plato, reckoned immortality
among the attributes of the soul. According to it the
soul, being imperishable by nature, cannot die, does not
need to be revived, recreated, to attain to everlasting
life. By death it is delivered from the prison of the
body; it flees to the celestial regions, and naturally
partakes of life everlasting. The Greek doctrine of
immortality is therefore absolutely independent of the
Jewish doctrine of the resurrection. They were at
first two separate currents, starting from two different
sources. But the Christian teachers, nourished at the
same time by Jewish theology and Greek philosophy,
united the two currents, combined the two doctrines.


Judaism is, in some respects, the reverse of prophet-
ism as it appears in its most illustrious representatives.
The latter attributes the greatest importance to the
moral life and law, and subordinates to them all the ex-
ternal practices of religion. After the Exile, on the
contrary, a capital importance was attributed to the
purely ritualistic Levitical laws and external worship.
It is no longer the spirit and the life that play the
principal part as in the prophets, but form and cere-
mony. Compared with prophetical spiritualism, Juda-
ism represents the formalistic tendency. This is the
reason why we shall speak of Levitism and all that is
connected therewith, before speaking of the moral life.

Ezekiel marks the first decisive step towards the
triumph of Levitism. In most of his discourses, it is
true, the prophetical spirit is still felt. But there is a


part of his book, beginning with chapter xL, that has
not its like in any earlier prophet. This portion de-
scribes the restoration of Israel from the Levitical point
of view. Instead of making the essence of piety and
the hope for the salvation of Israel the conversion of
the heart, the knowledge of God, the practice of the
duties of justice and charity, the prophet here bases the
grandest expectations upon the priesthood and external
worship. Ezekiel was at once a priest and a prophet ;
so also his book is the expression both of prophetism
and Levitism.

The fragment. Lev. xvii. -xxvi., which perhaps origi-
nated with Ezekiel or one of his disciples, also indi-
cates a two-fold current. In chapters xviii. -xx. moral
laws predominate. In the other chapters, on the con-
trary, are found almost only ritualistic laws.

The prophets who arose after the Exile, and who by
the way were few in number, were all partly influ-
enced by the Levitical spirit. Haggai gives his atten-
tion almost exclusively to the restoration of the temple. ^
He attributes unusual importance to the part of the
high-priest Joshua.^ In Zechariah the same preposses-
sions recur.3 But the Levitical tendency manifests
itself especially in Malachi. He calls the priest a
messenger or angel of Jehovah.* The first and greatest
breach of loyalty that he notices is the presentation of
unclean victims.^ Conversion and faithfulness toward
God in his eyes amount to the regular payment of

This tendency issues in document C, whose legisla-

1 i. f. 2 i, 1^ 12 ; ii. 2, 4. 3 iii. i_8 ; iv. 1 ff., 14 ; vi. 9 ff.

4 ii. 7 ; comp. Eccl. v. 6. s i. 6.-14. ^ m 7_io,


tion has for its sole object the regulation, to the least
details, of all that relates to the sanctuary, the priest-
hood, sacrifices, Levitical purity, religious feasts, offer-
ings, the hierarchical division of the priesthood and
the people.^ Even the historical setting of this docu-
ment betrays a Levitical tendency. With the account
of creation is connected the institution of the Sabbath;^
with that of the deluge, the prohibition against eating
blood; 3 with that of the covenant made with Abraham,
the practice of circumcision ; * with that of the exodus
from Eg3^pt, the institution of the passover.^ Other
narratives of this document are intended to glorify the
priesthood, or inculcate the strict observance of the
ceremonial laws.^ Thus Wellhausen could say that in
this document the essential thing is that the sacrifices
be offered according to the regulations: at the lawful
place, at the lawful time, by the lawful persons, and
according to lawful procedure.'^ Reuss has said less
justly that the important thing is not the purit}^ of the
heart, but that of the body and of dishes.^

This legislation Ezra and Nehemiah sought to apply,
to realize in practical life. Their reform affects chiefly
the external side of religion ; they give the greatest
care to the re-establishment of worship, and the strict
observance of all the Levitical usages.^ The Chroni-
cles everywhere take for granted that the legislation of

1 Ex. xxv.-xxxi. 17 ; xxxv.-xl. ; Lev. i. -xvi. ; xxvii. ; Num. i.-x. ;
XV. ; xviii. f. ; xxviii. -xxx. ; xxxv. ^ Gen. ii. 2 f.

3 Gen. ix. 4. ^ Qgn. xvii. 9 ff. & Ex. xii. 1 ff.

6 Lev. X. 1 ff. ; Num. xv. 32 ff. ; xvi. 1 ff. ; xvii. 1 ff.

' History, p. 424. « Gesch., § 379.

9 Ezra iii. 3-7 ; vi. 16-22 ; viii. 15-36 ; x. 17 ff. ; Neh. viii. 14-18 ;


document C has been in force since the days of Moses,
and nothing appears to their author more worthy of
mention than details relating to Levitical worship, and
especially those that magnify the priesthood. Accord-
ing to these books God grants his special blessing
to those who observe the Levitical regulations, and
severely punishes those who transgress them.^

This Levitical and formalistic tendency only grew
with time, and it manifested itself in a thousand differ-
ent ways. Fasting, mourning, tears, sacritices, absti-
nence from unclean foods, observance of holidays, whose
number is always increasing, constantly take higher
and higher rank in Jewish piety. ^ Righteousness
largely consists in this purely external piety. ^ The
profanation of sacred things, a blow aimed at the Leviti-
cal regulations, — these are regarded as abominations.*
Even prayer takes a formalistic character.^ Thus Eccle-
siastes already feels the need of opposing vain repeti-
tions in prayer.^

Having thus, in a general way, described the devel-

1 1 Chron. vi. 31 ff., 48 ff., 54 ff. ; ix. 10-34 ; xiii. ; xv. f.; xxii. -xxvi. ;
xxviii. f.; 2 Chron. ii.-vii. ; viii. 12-16 ; xi. 13-17 ; xiii. 9-15 ; xvii. 7-9 ;
xix. 8-11 ; XX. 3, 21 f. ; xxiii. f. ; xxvi. 16-21 ; xxix. -xxxi. ; xxxv.

2 Ezra viii. 21, 23 ; x. 1, 9 ; Neh. i. 4 ; ix. 1 ; Esther iv. 3, 16 ; ix.
19-32 ; Dan. i. 5-16 ; ix. 3 ; x. 3, 12 ; Bar. i. 5, 10 ; Tob. i. 6-8, 10-12 ;
xii. 8 ; 1 Mace. ii. 32-38, 46 ; iii. 47 ; iv. 47-59 ; 2 Mace. i. 8 f., 18-36 ;
iii. 31-33; vi. 6-11; vii. ; viii. 26-28 ; xii. 31 f., 38, 43; xiii. 12, 23;
Judith iv. 9-15 ; viii. 6 ; ix. 1.

3 Tob. i. 2 f . ; xii. 8 f.

^ Ps. Ixxiv. 3 ff. ; Dan. v. ; vii. 25 f. ; viii. 11-14 ; ix. 27 ; xii. 11 ;
1 Maec. i. 15, 21-28, 37, 41-64 ; iii. 48-51 ; iv. 36 ff. ; vi. 7 ; 2 Mace,
iii. 18 ff. ; iv. 13-17 ; v. 15 f . ; vi. 1-7, 18 ff. ; xii. 39-42 ; xiii. 8 ; xv.
1-5, 18, 32 f. ; Judith iv. 2 f. ; viii. 21 ; ix. 8.

5 Dan. vi. 10 ; 2 Mace. iii. 19-21 ; 3 Mace. i. 18 ; ii. 1. e y. 1.


opment and the triumph of Levitisin, it is time to
consider in detail the result of this influence upon

I. The Sanctuary.

We have seen how, in the first two periods, the
multiplicity of places of worship which corresponds to
a natural and legitimate need of the religious senti-
ment, favored idolatry and necessitated the centraliza-
tion of worship, and how the way was prepared for this
change, and it was partially accomplished by the erec-
tion of the temple at Jerusalem, the overthrow of the
kingdom of the ten tribes, the discovery of Deuteron-
omy and the reform of Josiah, finally and especially by
the Babylonian captivity which forever put an end to
the constantly reviving idolatry of Israel.

In the documents of our period that give attention to
this question it is not thought necessary to defend the
centralization of worship against the worship of the high-
places, as does even Deuteronomy. Ezekiel represents
such centralization as a thing to be taken for granted. ^
It is the same with Haggai and Zechariah.^ Other
documents go farther. The centralization of worship
appears in them not only as an accomplished fact but
as something that has existed ever since Moses. This
appears even in chapters xvii. - xxvi. of Leviticus, and
especially in the legislation of document C. This doc-

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