G. J Spurrell.

Notes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix online

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tion to additions made by the Redactor. Knobel * divides
the Pentateuch into the ' Grundschrift ' = P (in the time of
Saul), which was supplemented by the Jehovist, probably in
the last years of Hezekiah, by extracts from the nc'M idd
(cf. Josh. lo, 13. 2 Sam. i, 8), which was edited in the
Assyrian period, and partly corresponds to E, and from the
nin^ niDn^D ISD (Num. 21, 14), which was composed in the
time of Jehoshaphat, and partly corresponds to J. He also
added many Jehovistic passages of his own. Finally, in the
reign of Josiah, Deuteronomy was added, and Joshua, after
revision, and thus the present Hexateuch was produced.
Knobel's ■nc'^"l "I2D is really Hupfeld's second Elohist, while
Hupfeld's Jehovist is divided by Knobel into the "ISD

^ For details, see Holz., I.e., p. 59 f; Cornill, I.e., p. 24 f.
^ Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art Hirer Zusammensetzwig, 1853.
' Liber Geneseos Pe?itatetichiais, i860; Das erste Buck der Tho?'a,

* Kiirzgef. Handbuch, Num., Deut., Josh., 1861.


''■•^ r\)^n?D, and the Jehovist. Knobel also considers that the
prae-deuteronomic Redactor was the Jehovist. Kuenen's views
(i86i)^ — (i) Book of Origins, (ii) Ihvhist, (iii) Younger
Elohist — are similar. He does not admit a prae-deuteronomic
Redactor, but considers that the whole Pentateuch was edited
after the time of Deuteronomy, by one of the priests of
Jerusalem, shortly before the beginning of the Babylonian
captivity. Schrader's^ three documents are (P) ' The Annalist,'
who wrote when David was king of Judah ; (E) ' The Theo-
cratic Narrator,' a native of the northern kingdom, who
flourished about 975-950, after the division of the kingdom.
The ' Prophetic Narrator ' (J), also belonging to the northern
kingdom, in the time of Jeroboam, combined these two docu-
ments and augmented and expanded them with Jahvistic por-
tions. The Deuteronomist in the time of Josiah, c. 622 b. c,
wrote the greater part of Deuteronomy (chaps. 4, 44-28, 69),
and later, after the destruction of Jerusalem, added Deut. 1-4,
43 and 29-31, 13, and combined the whole with the rest of the
Pentateuch, and also revised the book of Joshua. Schrader
agrees with Knobel that the Jehovist was the Redactor of the
prae-deuteronomic Pentateuch.

Noldeke ^ treats the ' Grundschrift ' in a masterly manner.
He emphasises the fact that the Redactor of the Pentateuch
had the second Elohist and the Jehovist before him, not as two
distinct sources, but already combined into one document.

The results obtained by the researches of these scholars
were as follows : — The Pentateuch is composed of four
documents, P or PC, The Priests' Code ; E, the Second or
Younger Elohist; J, the Jehovist; and D, Deuteronomy.
E was usually regarded as earlier than J, and it was assumed
that P, J, E were worked up into one whole, before D was
added. Some (Knobel and Schrader) held that J was the

Onderzoek\ ^ De Wette's £m/.\ 1869.

Utitersuchungeti zur Kritik des A.T., 1869.


prae-deuteronomic Redactor, others thought that the Redactor
was a different person. Some maintained that D was the
Redactor of the Pentateuch, others that the Redactor was
a distinct person. This view of the origin of the Pentateuch
was, however, combated by Graf\ who, following the
opinion that had already been put forth by Reuss, George,
and Vatke ", independently of each other, propounded the
view that the so-called * Grundschrift ' was not the oldest
of the three documents, but the youngest. This was not,
however, the original form of Grafs hypothesis. He first
divided the ' Grundschrift ' into two parts, and proceeded
to show that the priestly or ritual laws, i.e. Ex. chaps. 25-31
and 35-40, all Leviticus, and the greater part of Numbers
were post-deuteronomic ; while the remainder of the ' Grund-
schrift ' was prae-deuteronomic and antecedent to the Jehovist,
i.e. the Jehovistic laws in Ex. chaps. 20-23. 13, 1-16. 34,
10-27, ^^d the Jehovistic narratives, are prae-deuteronomic.
Ezekiel is older than the ritual code and the laws in P. The
order of the documents, according to Graf, was, the Grund-
schrift (the prae-deuteronomic portion), the Jehovist, and the
Deuteronomist, the latter being the Redactor of the whole work.
After the Babylonian exile the Pentateuch was completed by
the addition of the post-deuteronomic portions by Ezra ^

Graf apparently ignored Hupfeld's second Elohist. When,
however, Riehm '' and Noldeke ^ had shown that this division
of the 'Grundschrift' was, on philological grounds, impossible,

^ Die geschichtlichen Bikher des Alten Test. (1866).

^ Reuss, in a lecture in 1834, and afterwards in the article Jiuien-
thiun, in Ersch and Gruber, Eticyc, 1850; Vatke, in Die Religion des
A. T. nach den Kanon. Biichern entwickelt, i. 1835 ; and George,
Die dlteren jiidischen Feste mit einer Kritik der Gesetzgehung des
Pent., 1835.

3 Cf. Holz., I.e., p. 65.

* Sttidien und Krit., 1868, pp. 350-379.

= Untersticlmngen ztir Kritik des A.T., Kiel, 1869.


Graf modified his view, and assigned the whole of the
* Grundschrift' to the post-exilic period \ The reasons
alleged by Graf and his followers in support of this view
are, that the history contained in the books of Judges, and
Samuel, and to some extent in the books of Kings, is in
contradiction to the laws usually regarded as Mosaic ; and
that these laws themselves were quite unknown at the period
to which they are supposed to belong. Further, that the
prophets of the eighth and seventh centuries are unacquainted
with the Mosaic code.

Graf's views are accepted by Kuenen, Wellhausen, Budde,
Cornill, and many other scholars ^. Further researches and
investigations have led to a practical agreement among most
scholars that the Pentateuch consists of four documents,
J, E, D, and P ^. J is the earliest document and E slightly
later. These two sources were united by a Jehovistic Redactor
into JE *. This work contains mostly historical matter and
a few laws (Ex. chaps. 20-23. 24). It is the opinion of many
scholars that J and E, before they were combined into one
whole, went through several editions, being revised and
modified. These are distinguished as J \ J 2, J ^, and E ^ E ^.
D, at the time of Josiah, contained Deut. 12-26, it passed
through several editions, and was finally combined with JE
by the Deuteronomist, who also revised JE himself. This
revision affected Genesis least ; it is more evident in Exodus
and Numbers, and most clearly seen in Joshua. Entirely
distinct from this combination of JE and D, after Ezekiel,

^ In Merx, Archivfiir Wissensch. Erforschung des A.T., i. 466-477.

2 Cf. Holz., I.e., p. 66f.

^ The group of laws in Lev. chaps. 17-26 are usually designated 'the
Law of Holiness' (H) ; cf. Dr., Introd., p. 43 f., and the authorities
cited there, and Holz., I.e., p. 406 f.

* The document J is called the Jahwist, and the document E, the
Elohist. The work formed by the combination of the two is designated
the Jehovist; cf. Holz., I.e., p. 71 f.; Dr., Introd., p. 12.


during and after the exile, another work was composed,
containing some historical matter, but chiefly legislation.
This was the Priests' Code (P or P C), which seems to have
been composed gradually (P\ P^, etc.) in the school of the
priests. This was combined, probably by Ezra, w'th J, E, and
D; and became, about 444 e.g., the recognised law book of
the community \

Kuenen, in 1885^, published the results of his investigation
of the structure of the Hexateuch. J and E, according to
Kuenen, were both written in the northern kingdom, J about
the end of the ninth or beginning of the eighth century b. c. ;
E in the middle of the eighth century. J and E were
subjected to several revisions, and in the process were consi-
derably augmented and modified, and c. 600 b.c. (after Deute-
ronomy) were united into one document JE. In this work,
Ex. chaps. 20-23 occupied the place now taken by Deute-
ronomy. The original Deuteronomy (D ^), i. e. Deut. chaps.
5-26. 28. 31, 9-13, was written in Josiah's reign, c. 622 b.c.
and later, in the beginning of the Babylonian exile, Deut. 1-4,
40. chaps. 29 f. and 31, 1-8 (D^) were added to D\ During
the exile, the Deuteronomist (D ^) worked up D^ and JE
into one document, and revised the whole work, especially
Joshua. The priestly and ritual portions of the Pentateuch
(P) were all composed after Deuteronomy. Firstly P \ i. e.
a collection of laws — a large portion of which is preserved in
Lev. chaps. 1 7-26, and in numerous fragments in the rest of the
Pentateuch^. This part of P was revised and arranged with re-
ference to Ezekiel and shortly before the end of the Babylonian
exile. All the other portions of the so-called 'Grundschrift,'
from Gen. chap, i — Josh. chap. 21, belong to P^ which was
gradually completed between 500-475 b. c. in Babylon. This
P ^ had already been welded together with P ^, and in 444 b.c.

Cf. Di., N.D.J., p. 598. ^ Onderzoek"^ ■= Hexateuch.

Kuenen 's P^ = H (Law of Holiness), see p. xxiii.


(in the assembly described in Neh. chaps. 8-10) was brought
into use by Ezra as the recognised law book of the com-
munity. Later, this law book was augmented by all sorts of
new laws, which were not known to Ezra (e.g. Ex. 29, 38-42.
Lev. 6, 1-6. Num. 28, 1-6. Ex. 30, 11-16. Lev. 27, 32 f.),
and c. 400 B. c. P ^ + P '^ were welded together with JE + D.
This composite work was probably subjected to a continuous
criticism at the hands of the scribes until the third century B.C.

The Dates of the Codes.

The dates of the codes J and E are variously assigned by
different scholars, and on this depends the question whether
E is younger than J, or vice versa. Those who assign the
priority to E are Schrader, E, 975-950 b.c, J, 825-800 b.c. ;
Reuss, J, 850-800 B.C., E, perhaps a little earlier ; Dillmann,
E, 900-850 B.C., so Kittel and Riehm; Dillmann, J, about
750 B.C., Kittel, 830-800 B.C., Riehm, c. 850 b.c; Well-
hausen, Kuenen, and Stade put J first, 850-800 b. c, and
E about 750 B. c.^

The Three Documents J, E, and P.

The three codes J, E, and P are distinguished one from
the other, not only by a difference, more or less distincdy
marked, in their contents, but also by a peculiar usage of
language. P, which has been largely employed in the com-
position of Genesis, can be more clearly separated from
J and E, than these from one another, the points of de-
marcation between them being less clearly defined than in
the case of P.

The Document J.

This document J — the supplemental document of the
Ergdnzungshypothese (cf. p. xix) — may be designated, as

Cf. Holz., I.e., pp. 165 f. and 215 f.; Dr., Introd.^ p. 116.


distinguished from P, the Prophetic Narrative. In the
account of the family of Noah, the deluge, and in the table
of nations, it is in substance closely akin to P, also in the
portion of Genesis containing the history of Abraham it has
several narratives in common with P (e.g. the separation of
Lot and Abraham ; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha ;
the story of Dinah; also cf. 47, i-ii. 29 ff. and 49, 29 ff.),
but elsewhere in the history of the patriarchs, and in that
of Joseph and Jacob, it is more closely connected with E,
so much so, that from chap. 27 onwards, most of the
narratives in J have their complete parallels in E.

In the sections in J which have their corresponding passages
in E, the difference in style and contents is often clearly
marked, e.g. in the two reports of the Abimelech story in
chap. 20 and chap. 26, and of Hagar and Ishmael etc.; in
other parallel passages the two narratives are practically alike,
so that R could easily weld together the two accounts. On
the other hand there is much that occurs in J with no corre-
sponding account in E, e. g. the visit of the angels to Lot and
Abraham ; the origin of the nations of Moab and Ammon ;
the Hst of Nahor's descendants; Isaac in Philistia; the
story of Dinah, of Judah and Tamar, etc. J and E are both
independent documents, but the striking similarity between
a great portion of their contents, would seem to indicate
that J and E were closely connected with one another \

The main difference, however, between J and E, is that
the narratives in J are marked by a peculiar literary style.
E is full of details, often of no importance ; J is distinguished
by a fondness for picturesque description, by breadth and
variety of ideas, and by the polished and artistic finish of his

' The question as to which document is dependent on the other, is
discussed in Holz., 1. c, p. 215 ff. Up to the time of Wellhausen, the
general opinion was that K was the older document ; so Schrader and
Noldeke. But Wellhausen and the followers of Graf regard J as older
than E ; cf. p. xxv.


narratives. Many passages of J, which we possess in their
full form (chap. 2 f. ii, 1-9; cf. 18 f. 24. 43 f.), are master-
pieces of narrative art, with which only a few out of E can
be compared (chap. 22). 'His touch is singularly light, with
a few strokes he paints a scene which, before he has finished,
is impressed indelibly upon his reader's memory. In ease
and grace his narratives are unsurpassed ; everything is told
with the precise amount of detail that is required; the
narrative never lingers and the reader's interest is sustained
to the end ^' The dialogues, which are frequent in J, are
another noticeable feature of the document (Gen. chaps.
18 f. 24. 43 f.).

The standpoint of J is prophetical. Many of his longer
narratives abound in acute and instructive reflections, and in
moral and religious truths. 'He deals with the problem
of the origin of sin and evil in the world, and follows its
growth (Gen. 2-4. 6, 1-8); he notices the evil condition
of man's heart even after the Flood (8, 2 1); traces the develop-
ment of heathen feeling and heathen manners (11, i ff. 9, 22 ff.

19, I ff. 31 ff.), and emphasises strongly the want of faith
and disobedience visible even in the Israel of Moses' days
(Ex. 16, 4-5. 25-30. 17, 2-7. 14, II f. chaps. 32-34. Num.
II. 14. 25, I ff . Deut. 31, 16-22). He shows, in opposition to
this, how God works for the purpose of counteracting the ruin
incident to man, partly by punishing, partly by choosing and
educating, first Israel's forefathers to live as godlike men,
and finally Israel itself to become the holy people of God.
He represents Abraham's migration into Canaan as the result
of a divine call and promise (Gen. 12, 1-3. 24, 7, contrast

20, 13 and Josh. 24, 3 in E); expresses clearly the aim and
object of this call (18, 18 f.); exhibits in strong contrast
to human sin the divine mercy, long-suffering and faithfulness
(Gen. 6, 8. 8, 21 f. 18, 24 ff. Ex. 32-34); recognises the

Driver, Introd., p. 112.


universal significance of Israel in the midst of the nations
of the world (Gen. 12, 2 f. 27. 29. Ex. 4, 22 f. 19, 5 f. Num.
24, 9); declares in classical words the final end of Israel's
education (Num. 11, 29, cf. Ex. 19, 5 f.); and formulates
under the term belief \!i\Q spirit in which man should respond
to the revealing work of God (Gen. 15, 6. Ex. 4, i. 5. 8 f. 31.
14, 31. 19, 9, cf. Num. 14, II. 20, 12, and Deut. i, 32. 9, 23).
And in order to illustrate the divine purposes of grace, as
manifested in history, he introduces at points (fixed by
tradition), prophetic glances into the future (Gen. 3, 15. 5, 29.
8, 21. 9, 25-27. 12, 2 f . 18, 18 f. 28, 14. Num. 24, 17 f.),
as he also loves to point to the character of the nations or
tribes as foreshadowed in their beginnings (Gen. 9, 22 ff.
16, 12. 19, 31 ff. 25, 25 ff. 34, 25 ff. 35, 22, cf. 49, 9ff-)^-'
Other characteristic features of J are, that he often in his
narratives describes certain events as due to human and
natural causes, whereas E assigns similar events to super-
natural causes (e.g. Gen. 30, 14-16, contrast 30, i7f. ;
30, 28-43, contrast 31, 4 ff. Ex. 10, 13. 19. and 14, 21, etc.).
J, too, in his representations of the Deity is more anthropo-
morphic than E ; God appears in visible form to Abraham
(Gen. chap. 18 f.), meets Moses (Ex. 4, 24, cf. Gen. 16, 7),
comes down (Gen. ii, 5. 7. Ex. 3, 8. 19, 11, etc.), is jealous
of men (Gen. 6, 3. 11, 6), repents (Gen. 6, 6), grieves (Gen.
6, 6), swears (Gen. 24, 7. Num. 11, 12, etc.), is angry
(Ex. 4, 14. 32, 10. 12), shuts the door of the Ark (Gen. 7, 16),
smells the sweet savour (Gen. 8, 21). Like E, J is fond of
describing the consecration of the various sanctuaries in
Palestine (Bethel, Gen. 12, 8. 28, 13-16; Shechem, 12, 6 f . ;
Beer-lahai-roi, 16, 14; Beersheba, 21, 33. 26, 23. 28, 10;
j\Iamre-Hebron, 13, 18. 18, i, etc.)^, but he expressly states

' Di,, N.D.J., p. 629 ff., as translated in Dr., Introd., p. TI3.
- J (like E) explains the origin of the names Beer-lahai-roi, Beersheba,
Bethel, Penuel, 32, 30; Succoth, 33, 17 ; and Abel-Mizraim, 50, 17.


that the patriarchs, when worshipping at the sanctuaries,
^called upon the name of Jehovah' (Gen. 12, yf. 13, 18.
21, 33. 26, 5), to avoid any suspicion that the Holy places
were used for the purposes of idolatry.

The Language of J.
Proper Names.

J uses mn"" as the name of God; DM^J< is also used
in special cases, e.g. when he reflects upon the contrast
between the divine and human character (Gen. 32, 29. 31.
33, 10), also when a heathen is addressing an Israelite
(Judg. I, 7. Gen. 43, 29), or an Israelite a heathen (Gen.
20, 13. 40,8. 41, 16. 25. 28. 32). The serpent in Gen. 3, 2
also uses D''^7^?, and Abimelech miT in Gen. 26, 28 f.

J has for Mesopotamia Dnn: DIN ; P has DiN* pQ. i5^=youngest also
occurs in J, Gen. 43, 29. 44, 2. 23. 26.

T\'p))'^=-' an evil report,^ Gen. i8, 21. 19, 13.

Nip, in the phrase '^2 DK^ Nip p-!?y frequent in J, Gen. 11, 9.
16, 14. 19, 22. 25, 30, etc. The phrase nVT D'^'l Nip
only occurs in J, Gen. 4, 26. 12,8. 13,4. 21,33. 26,25.

nip in Hif'., only in J, Gen. 24, 12. 27, 20. nNlpi>, in the
phrase "2 T\\r\\h pi, only found in J, Gen. 18, 2. 19, i.

24, 17. 29, 13. 33, 4. '^pi? alone is common in J, but
is also found in the other sources.

m'^r in J is generally regarded as 'pasture land,' opposed to

riDlN arable land, Gen. 25, 27. 30, 16. 34, 7.
rn^n ib^y, Gen. 2, 5. 3, 18. Ex. 9, 25 in J = pNn it^y

in E, Ex. 10, 12. 15.
i\^^-—' language,' only in J, Gen. 11, i. 6. 7. 9. P uses

\\^b, Gen. 10, 5. 20. 31.
nnSK', J never uses n'O^ (E), Gen. 16, i. 5. 6. 24, 35. 30, 7.

9. 10. 12, etc. P also uses 'V.
5]V^n, found in J, Gen. 18, i6. 19, 28. 26, 8. Ex. 14, 24.


The Grammar of J.

There are no special peculiarities in the formation of
words. The ending p — which Di. cites — in the third and
second pers. masc. pi. imperf. is found in E, and frequently
in D.

J exhibits a preference for verbal suffixes, instead of using
n^? with suffixes. So Gen. 24, verbal suffixes fourteen times;
nN with suffix three times; Judg. i, verbal suffixes ten times ;
n^« with suffixes twice.

Peculiar constructions of verbs P?n and P^}, construed
with an ace, while E uses 7 with these verbs (in Pi'el) ; cf. Gen.
33, 4 with 29, 13. 31, 28. 32, I. 45, 15. 48, 10. «li^ = ^ call
any one, make him come, is construed with 7 not n^? in J, but
this is also found in E, D, and P.

The genitive expressed by 7 1l^^< is found in J, Gen. 29,
9. 40, 5. 47, 6b; but also in E, Gen. 31, 19. In J tDyo is
used with the genitive following, so Gen. 18, 4. 24, 17. 43, 2.

Online LibraryG. J SpurrellNotes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix → online text (page 2 of 35)