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The International

Theological Library



EDITORS' PREFACE

THEOLOGY has made great and rapid advances
in recent years. New lines of investigation have
been opened up, fresh light has been cast upon
many subjects of the deepest interest, and the historical
method has been applied with important results. This
has prepared the way for a Library of Theological
Science, and has created the demand for it. It has also
made it at once opportune and practicable now to se-
cure the services of specialists in the different depart-
ments of Theology, and to associate them in an enter-
prise which will furnish a record of Theological
inquiry up to date.

This Library is designed to cover the whole field of
Christian Theology. Each volume is to be complete
in itself, while, at the same time, it will form part of a
carefully planned whole. One of the Editors is to pre-
pare a volume of Theological Encyclopaedia which will
give the history and literature of each department, as
well as of Theology as a whole.



The International Theological Library

The Library is intended to form a series of Text-
Books for Students of Theology.

The Authors, therefore, aim at conciseness and com-
p:ictness of statement. At the same time, they have in
view that large and increasing class of students, in other
departments of inquiry, who desire to have a systematic
and thorough exposition of Theological Science. Tech-
nical matters will therefore be thrown into the form of
notes, and the text will be made as readable and attract-
ive as possible.

The Library is international and interconfessional. It
will be conducted in a catholic spirit, and in the
interests of Theology as a science.

Its aim will be to give full and impartial statements
both of the results of Theological Science and of the
questions which are still at issue in the different
departments.

The Authors will be scholars of recognized reputation
in the several branches of study assigned to them. They
will be associated with each other and with the Editors
in the effort to provide a series of volumes which may
adequatel}^ represent the present condition of investi-
gation, and indicate the way for further progress.

Charles A. Briggs
Stewart D. F. Salmond



The International Theological Lii;RARv



ARRANGEMENT OF VOLUMES AND AUTHORS

THEOLOGICAL ENCYCLOP/EDI A. By CHARLES A. Briggs, D.D.,
j).Litt., Professor of Theological Encyclopaedia and Symbolics, Union
Theological Seminary, New York.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTA-
MENT. By S. R. Drivi:r, D.l)., D.Litt., Regius Professor of Plebrew
and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. \_J\cvised and Enlarged Edition.

CANON AND TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. By FRANCIS
Crawford Burkitt, M.A., Norrisian Professor of Divinity, University

of Cambridge,

OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY. By Henry PRESERVED SMITH, D.D.,
sometime Professor of Biblical History, Amherst College, Mass.

{Now Ready.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. By

Francis Brov.n, D.D., LL. 1)., D.Litt., Professor of Hebrew, Union
Theological Seminary, New York.

THEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. By A. B. DAVIDSON,
D.D., LL.D., sometime Professor of Hebrew, New College, Edinburgh.

\_No7v Ready.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTA-
MENT. By Rev. James Moffatt, B.D., Minister United Free Church,
Dundonald, Scotland.

CANON AND TEXT OF THE N EW TESTAM ENT. By CASPAR Rene
Gregory, D.D., LL.D., Professor of New Testament Exegesis in the
University of Leipzig. [^N'o'w Ready.

THE LIFE OF CHRIST. By WiLLiAM Sanday, D.D., LL.D., Lady
Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

A HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE APOSTOLIC AGE. By

Arthur C. McGiffert, D.D., Professor of Church History, Union Theo-
L >gical Seminary, New York. [AVti/ Ready.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. By

I' RANK C. Porter, D.D., Professor of Biblical Theology, Yale University,
New Haven, Conn.

THEOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. By George B STEVENS,
D.D., sometime Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale University, New
Haven, Conn. \N(no Ready.

BIBLICAL ARCH>EOLOGY. By G. BUCHANAN Gray, D.D., Professor
of Plebrew, Mansfield College, Oxford.

THE ANCIENT CATHOLIC CHURCH. By Robert Rainy, D.D.,
LL.D., sometime Principal of New College, Edinburgh. \^Xaw Ready.

THE EARLY LATIN CHURCH. By CHARLES BiGG, D.D., Regius Pro-
fessor of Church History, University of Oxford.



The International Theological Library



THE. LATER LATIN CHURCH. By E. \V. Watson, M.A., Professor
of Churcli History, King's College, London.

THC GREEK AND ORI ENTAL CH U RCH ES. By W. F. Adeney.D.D.,
Principal of Independent College, Manchester.

TJH.E REFORMATION. By T. M. LiNDSAY, D.D., Principal of the United
Free College, Glasgow. [.? vols. Now Ready.

CHRISTIANITY IN LATIN COUNTRIES SINCE TH€ COUNCIL OF

TRENT. By PAUL Sabatier, D. Litt.

6YM60LICS. By Charles A. Briggs, D.U., D.Litt., Professor of
Theological Encyclopaedia and Symbolics, Union Theological Seminary^
New York.

HISTORY OF CHfilSTIAN DOCTRINE. By G. P. FisiiER, D.D.,
LL.D., Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Yale University, New Haven,
Conn. \_Revised and Enla7'ged Edition.

CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS. By A. V. G. Allen, D.D., Professor of
Ecclesiastical History, Protestant Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge,
Mass. ^N'ow Ready.

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. By ROBERT Flint, D.D., LL.D., some-
time Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh.

THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS. By George F. Moore, D.D., LL.D.,

Professor in Plarvard University.

APOLOGETICS. By A. B. Bruce, D.D., sometime Professor of New
Testament Exegesis, Free Church College, Glasgow.

\Revised and Enlai'ged Edition.

THE DOCTRINE OFGOD. By WiLLiAM N. Clarke, D.D., Professor
of Systematic Theology, Plamilton Theological Seminary.

THE DOCTRINE OF MAN. By WiLLL\M P. Patersox, D.D., Professor
of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. By H. R. MACKINTOSH, Ph.D., Professor
of Systematic Theology, New College, Edinburgh.

THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SALVATION. By George B. STE-
VENS, D.D., sometime Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale University.

\Now Ready.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. By WiLLiAM Adams

Brown, D.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological
Seminary, New York.

CHRISTIAN ETHICS. By Newman Smyth, D.D., Pastor of Congrega-
tional Church, New Haven. {Revised and Enlarged Edition.

THE CHRISTIAN PASTOR AND THE WORKING CHURCH. By

Washington Gladden, D.D., Pastor of Congregational Church, Columbus,
Ohio. {iVow Ready.

THE CHRISTIAN PREACHER. lAut/ior to be announced later.

RABBINICAL LITERATURE. By S. ScHECHTER, M.A., President of
the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City.



Jibe international ZbcolOQlcnl Xlbcar^,



EDITED BY

CHARLES A. BRIGGS, D.D.,

Edward Robinsott Professor of Biblical Theology^ Union Theological
Seminary , Seiu York ;

AND

STEWART D. F. S ALMOND, D.D.,

Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testavteut Exegesis,
Free Church College, Aberdeen.



L An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament
By Prof. S. R. DRIVER, D.D.



International Theological Library.

AN INTBODUCTION

TO THS

LITEEATUEB OF THE
OLD TESTAMENT.






* FEB 3 19



3. R. BEIVER, D.D.,



HUB PBOrWBBOB OJT HEBREW, AND CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXJO»»
rOKKKKLY nCLLOW Of »EW COLLCOK, OXTOKD.



TIIIRTEEXTH EDITION
Revised and Enlarged.



NEW YORK

CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS

10C8



1.7^1



PREFACE.



The aim of the present volume is to furnish an account, at once
descriptive and historical, of the Literature of the Old Testament.
It is »tOt, I ought perhaps to explain, an Introduction to the
Theology^ or to the History^ or even to the Study^ of the Old
Testament : in any of these cases, the treatment and contents
would both have been very different. It is an Introduction to
the Literature of the Old Testament ; and what I conceived this
to include was an account of the contents and structure of the
several books, together with such an indication of their general
character and aim as I could find room for in the space at my
disposal.* [xiii] The treatment of the material has been deter-
mined oy the character of the different books. The contents of
the prophetical and poetical books, for instance, which are
less generally known than the history, properly so called, have
been stated more fully than those of the historical books : the
legislative parts of the Pentateuch have also been described with
tolerable fulness. A comparative study of the writings of the Old
Testament is indispensable, if their relation to one another is
to be rightly apprehended : accordingly the literary and other
characteristics which connect, or distinguish, as the case may be,
particular groups of writings have been indicated with some care.
Distinctive types of style prevail in different parts of the Old
Testament ; and as these — apart from the interest independently
attaching to them — have frequently a bearing upon questions
of date or authorship, or throw light upon the influences under

' • The Theology of the Old Testament forms the subject of a separate
▼olume in the present series, which has been entrusted to the competent
hands of Professor A. B. Davidson, of the New College, Edinburgh.



IV PREFACE

which particular books (or parts of books) were composed, 1
have been at pains to illustrate them as fully as space permitted.
Especial care has been bestowed upon the lists of expressions
characteristic of different writers. It was impossible to avoid
altogether the introduction of Hebrew words ; nor indeed, as the
needs of Hebrew students could not with fairness be entirely
neglected, was it even desirable to do so ; but an endeavour has
been made, by translation, to make the manner in which they are
used intelligible to the English reader.

Completeness has not been attainable. Sometimes, indeed,
the grounds for a conclusion have been stated with approximate
completeness ; but generally it has been found impossible to
mention more than the more salient or important ones. This
is especially the case in the analysis of the Hexateuch. A full
statement and discussion of the grounds for this belongs to a
Commentary. Very often, however, it is believed, when the
relation of different passages to each other has been pointed out
briefly, a comparative study by the reader will suggest to him
additional grounds for the conclusion indicated. A word should
also be said on the method followed. A strict inductive method
would have required a given conclusion to be preceded by an
[xiv] enumeration of all the facts upon which it depends. This
would have been impossible within the limits at the writer's
disposal, as well as tedious. The method pursued has thus often
been to assume (on grounds not fully stated, but which have
satisfied the author) the conclusion to be established, and to point
to particular salient facts, which exemplify it or presuppose its truth.
The argument in the majority of cases is cumulative — a species of
argument which is often both the strongest and also the most
difficult to exhaust within reasonable compass.

In the critical study of the Old Testament, there is an im-
portant distinction, which should be kept in mind. It is that of
degrees of probability. The probability of a conclusion depends
upon the nature of the grounds on which it rests ; and some
conclusions reached by critics of the Old Testament are for this
reason more probable than others : the facts at our disposal
being in the former case more numerous and decisive than in
the latter. It is necessary to call attention to this difference,
because writers who seek to maintain the traditional view of the
structure of the Old Testament sometimes point to conclusions



PREFACE ?

which, from the nature of the case, are uncertain, or are pro-
pounded avowedly as provisional, with the view of discrediting
all, as though they rested upon a similar foundation. But this is
very far from being the case. It has been no part of my object
to represent conclusions as more certain than is authorized by
the facts upon which they depend ; and I have striven (as I hope
successfully) to convey to the reader the differences in this
respect of which I am sensible myself. Where the premises
satisfy me, I have expressed myself without hesitation or doubt •
where the data do not justify (so far as I can judge) a confident
conclusion, I have indicated this by some qualifying phrase. I
desire what I have just said to be applied in particular to the
analysis of the Hexateuch. That the " Priests' Code " formed
a clearly defined document, distinct from the rest of the Hexa-
teuch, appears to me to be more than sufficiently established by
a multitude of convergent indications; and 1 have nowhere
signified any doubt on this conclusion. On the other hand, in
the remainder of the narrative of Gen. -Numbers and of Joshua,
though there are facts which satisfy me that this also is not
homogeneous, I believe that the analysis (from the nature of
[xv] the criteria on which it depends) is frequently uncertain,*
and will, perhaps, always continue so. Accordingly, as regards
" JE," as I have more than once remarked, I do not desire to
3ay equal stress upon all the particulars of the analysis, or to
be supposed to hold that the line of demarcation between its
component parts is at every point as clear and certain as it is
between P and other parts of the Hexateuch.

Another point necessary to be borne in mind is that many
results can only be approximate. Even where there is no ques-
tion of the author, we can sometimes determine the date within
only comparatively wide limits {e.g. Nahum) ; and even where
the limits are narrower, there may jtill be room for difference of
opinion, on account of the different aspects of a passage which
most strongly impress different critics {e.g. in some of the
acknowledged prophecies of Isaiah). Elsewhere, again, grounds
may exist sufficient to justify the negative conclusion, that a
writing does not belong to a particular age or author, but not

• See pp. i6, 17, 19, 39, ii6f., &c. The same admission is constantly
made by Wellhausen, Kuenen, and other critics : see, for instance, p. xi of
the edition of Genesis by Kautzsch and Socin, mentioned below, p. 14 «.



VI PREFACE

definite enough to fix positively the age to which it does belong,
except within broad and general limits. In all such cases we
must be content with approximate results.

It is in the endeavour to reach definite conclusions upon the
basis either of imperfect data^ or of indications reasonably sus-
ceptible of divergent interpretations, that the principal disagree-
ments between critics have their origin. Language is sometimes
used implying that critics are in a state of internecine conflict
with one another, or that their conclusions are " in a condition
of perpetual flux."* Such statements are not in accordance
with the facts. There is a large area on which the data are
clear : here, accordingly, critics are agreed, and their conclusions
are not likely to be ever reversed. And this area includes many
of the most important results which criticism has reached. There
is an area beyond this, where the data are complicated or am-
biguous ; and here it is not more than natural that independent
judges should differ. Perhaps future study may reduce this
margin of uncertainty. I make no claim to have admitted into
the present volume only those conclusions on which all critics
are agreed ; for naturally [xvi] I have followed the guidance of
my own judgment as to what was probable or not ; but where
alternative views appeared to me to be tenable, or where the
opinion towards which I inclined only partially satisfied me, I
have been careful to indicate this to the reader. I have, more-
over, made it my aim to avoid speculation upon slight and
doubtful data ; or, at least, if I have been unable absolutely to
avoid it, I have stated distinctly of what nature the data are.

Polemical references, with very few exceptions, I have avoided.
It must not, however, be thought that, because I do not more
frequently discuss divergent opinions, I am therefore unacquainted
with them. I have been especially careful to acquaint myself
with the views of Keil, and of other writers on the traditional
side. I have also constantly, both before and since writing the
present volume, followed closely the course of archaeological
research ; and I am aware of no instance in which its results are
opposed to the conclusions which I have expressed. Upon no

• It may not be superfluous to remark that both the principles and the
results of the critical study of the Old Testament are often seriously mis-
represented, especially on the part of writers opposed to it, including even
such as might from their position be supposed to be well informed.



PREFACE vii

occasion have I adopted what may be termed a critical as
opposed to a conservative position, without weighing fully tht*
arguments advanced in support of the latter, and satisfying
myself that they were untenable.

Naturally a work like the present is founded largely on the
labours of previous scholars. Since Gesenius, in the early years
of this century, inaugurated a new epoch in the study of Hebrew,
there has been a succession of scholars, of the highest and most
varied ability, who have been fascinated by the literature ol
ancient Israel, and have dedicated their lives to its elucidation.
Each has contributed of his best : and those who come after
stand upon the vantage-ground won for them by their pre-
decessors. In exegesis and textual criticism, not less than in
literary criticism, there has been a steady advance.* The his-
torical significance of different parts of the Old Testament — the
aim and drift of individual prophecies, for instance, or the
relation to one another of parallel groups of laws — has been far
more carefully observed than was formerly the case. While in
fairness to myself I think it right to state that my volume
embodies the results of much independent work, — for I accept
conclusions, not on the authority of the critic who affirms them,
but because I have satisfied myself, by personal study, that the
grounds alleged in their support are adequate, — I desire at the
same time to acknowledge gratefully my [xvii] indebtedness to
those who have preceded me, and facilitated my labours. The
references will generally indicate who the authorities are that
have been principally of service to me ; naturally they vary in
different parts of the Old Testament.

It does not fall within the scope of the present volume to
deal with either the Theology or the History of the Old Testa-
ment, as such : nevertheless a few words may be permitted on
them here.

It is impossible to doubt that the main conclusions of critics
with reference to the authorship of the books of the Old Testa-
ment rest upon reasonings the cogency of which cannot be

• The progress in the two former may be measured approximately by the
Revised Version, or (in some respects, more adequately) by the notes in the
** Variorum Bible " of Eyre & Spottiswoode. See also the translation and
notes (Beilagen, pp. 1-98) in Kautzsch's Du Heilig* Stkrijt tU$ AT.a
(below, p. 3).



VIII PREFACE

denied without denying the ordinary principles by which history
is judged and evidence estimated. Nor can it be doubted that
the same conclusions, upon any neutral field of investigation,
would have been accepted without hesitation by all conversant
with the subject : they are opposed in the present instance by
some theologians, only because they are supposed to conflict
with the requirements of the Christian faith. But the history of
astronomy, geology, and, more recently, of biology,* supplies a
warning that the conclusions which satisfy the common un-
biassed and unsophisticated reason of mankind prevail in the
end. The price at which alone the traditional view can be main-
tained is too high.t Were the difficulties which beset it isolated
or occasional, the case, it is true, would be different : it could
then, for instance, be reasonably argued that a fuller knowledge
of the times might afford the clue that would solve them. But
the phenomena which the traditional view fails to explain are too
numerous for such a solution to be admissible ; they recur so
systematically that some cause or causes, for which that view
makes no allowance, must be postulated to account for them.
The hypothesis of glosses and marginal additions is a superficial
remedy : the fundamental distinctions upon which the main con-
clusions of critics depend remain untouched, t

The truth, however, is that apprehensions of the character
[xviii] just indicated are unfounded. It is not the case that
critical conclusions, such as those expressed in the present
volume, are in conflict either with the Christian creeds or with
the articles of the Christian faith. Those conclusions affect
not the fact of revelation, but only its form. They help to
determine the stages through which it passed, the different
phases which it assumed, and the process by which the record
of it was built up. They do not touch either the authority or
the inspiration of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. They

• Comp. the luminous and able treatment of this subject, on its theologicaJ
side, by the late lamented Aubrey L, Moore in Science and the Faith (1S89),
esp. pp. xi-xlvii, and pp. 163-235.

+ Of course there are many points at which tradition is not affected by
criticism. I allude naturally to those in which the case is different.

X The same may be said of Bishop Ellicott's "rectified traditional view.**
The distinctions referred to, it ought to be understood, in works written in
defence of the traditional position, are, as a rule, very imperfectly statcu,
fven where tht-v are not ignored altogether.



PREFACE IX

imply no change in respect to the Divine attributes revealed in
the Old Testament ; no change in the lessons of human duty to
be derived from it ; no change as to the general position (apart
from the interpretation of particular passages) that the Old
Testament points forward prophetically to Christ.* That both
the religion of Israel itself, and the record of its history embodied
in the Old Testament, are the work of men whose hearts have
been touched, and minds illumined, in different degrees,! by
the Spirit of God, is manifest : | but the recognition of this truth
does not decide the question of the author by whom, or the date
at which, particular parts of the Old Testament were committed
to writing ; nor does it determine the precise literary character
of a given narrative or book. No part of the Bible, nor even
the Bible as a whole, is a logically articulated system of theology :
the Bible is a " library," showing how men variously gifted by the
Spirit of God cast the truth which they received into many dif-
ferent literary forms, as genius permitted or occasion demanded,
— into poetry of various kinds, sometimes national, sometimes
individual, sometimes even developing a truth in a form ap-
proaching that of the drama ; into prophetical [xix] discourses,
suggested mostly by some incident of the national life; into
proverbs, prompted by the observation of life and manners ; into
laws, prescribing rules for the civil and religious government of
the nation; into narratives, sometimes relating to a distant or
a nearer past, sometimes autobiographical ; and (to include the
New Testament) into letters, designed, in the first instance, to
meet the needs of particular churches or individuals. It is
probable that every form of literary composition known to the

• Comp. Prof. Sanday's words in The Oracles of God[\%^\), p. 7 — a volume
which, with its counsels of wisdom and sobriety, I would gladly, if I might,
adopt as the Preface to my own. See also the admirable work of Prot
A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Divine Library of the Old Testament.

t I say, in different degrees ; for no one would attribute to the authors of
some of the Proverbs, or of the Books of Esther or Ecclesiastes, the same
degree of spiritual perception displayed e.g. in Isa. 40-66, or in the Psalms.

X So, for instance, Riehm, himself a critic, speaking of the Pentateuch as
a record of revelation, remarks on the "immediate impression" of this
character which it makes, and continues : " Every one who so reads the
Pentateuch as to allow its contents to work upon his spirit, must recciye the



Online LibraryS. R. (Samuel Rolles) DriverAn introduction to the literature of the Old Testament (1908) → online text (page 1 of 68)