ANALYSIS OF THE PENTATEUCH AND OF ITS CRITICISM
A general sketch, by way of analysis of the Pentateuch and of its criticism, may be helpful, if not to the student, yet to the general reader. For the materials of it I am indebted to Kleinert, Abriss der Einleitung zum Alten Testament. To this analysis I propose to add an enumeration of the passages, which Wellhausen designates as composing QP; and, lastly, a brief notice of some of the Lawsespecially in the ‘Priest-Code’which the Rabbis found necessary to modify, for the purpose of adapting them to the later circumstances of the people.
I. Analysis of the Pentateuch-Legislation
(according to Bertheau and others).
The Pentateuch-Legislation forms one connected whole, which consists of these three parts:
1. The fundamental Institutions of civil and religious life: Exodus 20-23; and Leviticus 18-20. Closely connected with these are the sections: Exodus 34:11- 26; 13:2-16; Numbers 33:51, &c. The (first) Exodus group of Laws (20-23) is based on the manifestation of Jehovah, as the Deliverer from Egyptian bondage; the Leviticus-group on that of Jehovah as the Holy One.
2. The Laws relating to Worship (the Sanctuary, priesthood, sacred observances and seasons), which constitute the main portion of the legislation between Exodus 25 and Numbers 19. They involve a detailed system of symbolism as regards objects, measurements, and numbers. Such notices as Leviticus 7:37, 38; 11:46, 47; 13:59; 14:54, 55; 15:32, 33, show, that the groups of Laws to which they are attached must have circulated as rubrics among the priesthood.
3. The Deuteronomic Laws, Deuteronomy 5-26, referring to the civic relations of the people. In part they reproduce the legislation of the middle books of the Pentateuchbut with the special object of making religion more matter of the heart, and of softening manners; while, in part, they are intended to adapt the former legislation to the settlement of the people in Canaan. This part of the Pentateuch was intended for popular instruction; it contains a sort of popular ‘constitution’; and lays special stress on one central sanctuary.
The legislation of the middle books is arranged in sections, grouped, especially, around the numbers 7 and 10; and, whereas in Deuteronomy it is generally Moses who is introduced as the speaker, in the middle books it is almost always God Who speaks.
II. Testimony of the Pentateuch itself as to its Authorship.
The Pentateuch ascribes its authorship to Moses. Here we note the following, as expressly attributed to him:
1. The Book of ‘The Covenant’ (Exo 34:10-26), in Exodus 24:4, 7; comp. 20:1.
2. ‘The Covenant’ (Exo 20:2-23:33), in Exodus 34:27.
3. The account of ‘the Journeys’ (Num 33:3-49), in Numbers 33:2.
4. The ‘Book’ concerning Amalek1
in Exodus 17:14.
1. Supposed to be referred to in Deuteronomy 25:17-19.
5. ‘The Book of the Law’ in Deuteronomy 31:9-11; 24-26.
6. ‘The Song’ of Moses (Deut 32) in Deuteronomy 21:22.
All these notices apply to particular sections of the Pentateuch, except Deuteronomy 31:9-11; 24-26, which may refer to the whole Law.
III. References to the Pentateuch in other parts of the Old Testament.
1. The Law [Thorah] of the Lord is referred to as in actual existence, and as well known: Psalm 12:6; 17:4; 18:22; 19:7; 37:31; and in Psalm 119; Amos 2:4; Hosea 4:6; 6:7; 8:1; Jeremiah 9:12; 11:2; 16:11; 18:18; 31:32; 44:10, 23; Zephaniah 3:4; and in the following passages in the historical books: 2 Samuel 22:23; 1 Kings 6:12 &c.; 9:4; 11:33; 2 Kings 10:31; 1 Chronicles 22:12; 2 Chronicles 15:3; 19:10; Ezra 7:10.
(The above are irrespective of verbal references, and allusions to notices and events in the Pentateuch.)
2ndly. There are references to the Pentateuch as written or a ‘book,’ in Psalm 40:7, 8; Hosea 8:12; Jeremiah 8:8; comp. 31:33. And in the historical books: Joshua 1:8; 8:31; 24:26; 2 Kings 11:12; 14:6; 22:8; 23:3, 21, 24; 2 Chronicles 17:9; Nehemiah 9:3.
3rdly. There are references to the Law as specifically that of Moses in Malachi 4:4; Daniel 9:11, 13; and in the historical books: Joshua 1:7; 8:31; 22:5; 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6; 18:6, 12; 2 Chronicles 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; 35:12; Ezra 3:2; 6:18; 7:6; Nehemiah 8:1, 14.
(The Commandments, as commanded by the ProphetsEzra 9:11are distinguished from the Law of Moses in 2 Kings 17:13; Zechariah 7:12; comp. Daniel 9:10, 11; that of the Pentateuch being specifically designated as ‘the Law,’ Nehemiah 10:34.)
IV. Testimony of Tradition Concerning the Pentateuch.
1. The earliest testimony of the Synagogue and the Church is to the effect, that Moses wrote the whole Pentateuch, with the exception of the last eight verses, which were added by Joshua. So in Babha B.14b. According to Josephus2
2. Ant. book 4.8.48.
the last eight verses are also Mosaic. According to Ber. 12b; Meg. 22a; Taan. 27a, the division into Parashahs and verses is also due to Moses.
3. De Vita Mosis, 3.39.
2. The later Judæo-Christian tradition is thus expressed by Tertullian:4
‘Hierosolymis Babylonica expugnatione deletis omne instrumentum Judaicæ literaturæ per Esdram constat restauratum esse.’5
4. De Hab. Mulieb. 3.
5. Comp. 4 Esdr. 14:18 &c.
V. Modern Orthodox View.
The whole Pentateuch, with the exception of the closing section, was written by Moses. This closing section is variously defined as commencing at Deuteronomy 31:1; Deuteronomy 31:24; Deuteronomy 32:44; Deuteronomy 32:48; and Deuteronomy 33:1. The view just described is supported by the following arguments:
1. That it is that of the Synagogue and of the New Testament.
2. That it is borne out by the references in the Old Testament which we have already quoted.
3. That the Pentateuch has a unique literary character of its own, differing from that of the other books in the Old Testament.
4. That the historical notices, as also the subsequent books, of the Old Testament necessarily presuppose the existence of the Pentateuch.
5. That the account in the four last books of the Pentateuch gives the impression of having been written by an eye-witness, and that Genesis could not have been composed posterior to these books.
6. That the theory which treats the Pentateuch as consisting of different documents, dating from different periods, is unproved, unsatisfactory, and open to many objections, and leaves room for every variety of differing opinions, thus showing its unreliableness.
(The difference in the use of the Names of God, and other supposed marks of different authorship are explained as intentional. At the same time, many writers on the orthodox side have admitted the existence of later glosses in the Pentateuch.)
VI. General Objections of Negative Criticism to the
Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch.
1. Moses appears in the Pentateuch as belonging to a period of history that is past; his character is discussed, and his death related.6
6. Comp. here Exodus 6:26, 27; 11:3; Deuteronomy 33:4; Numbers 12:3, 6; Deuteronomy 34.
2. Not only the pre-Mosaic, but the Mosaic history is told not in a regular manner, but incompletely, and not always clearly, while large periods of it are altogether omitted.
3. There are in the Pentateuch twofold relations of the same events, contradictions, and also narratives which expressly refer to other sources.
4. From the geographical point of view, the notices are such as to show that the Pentateuch dates after the settlement in Canaan; while, from the historic point of view, there are references to the time of Moses as one already past, and to events and names which imply a later date.
5. The legislation of the Pentateuch is not only exclusively adapted to the settlement in Canaan, but seems to imply a lengthened development following upon the latter.
These and similar objections have, it is hoped, been sufficiently met in Lectures 7 and 8, or, at least, principles have been laid down which are of easy application to such objections; while reasons have been adduced which render the theory of a late composition of the Pentateuch untenable.
VII. Analysis of the supposed Structure of the Pentateuch.
The modem (more or less negative) School of Critics, to which frequent reference has been made, supposes the Pentateuch to embody, besides certain ancient pieces, three great, and some subsidiary, documentsthe whole having been afterwards ‘redacted’ into one work.
A. The supposed very ancient (partly Mosaic) pieces and fragments in the Pentateuch are stated to be the following:
- The Decalogue, Exodus 20:1-17. 2.
- The substance of the song, Exodus 15.
- A number of legislative and dogmatic utterances, and remains of ancient popular poems.
- The main body of ritual laws: Leviticus 1-7; 11-17; Numbers 19.
- The sketch of the tabernacle, Exodus 25-31.
- Diverse fragments of popular books, chiefly biographical.
- The ‘Book of the Covenant,’ Exodus 21-23.
- The law about the Amalekites in Deuteronomy 25:17-19.
- The main body of the Laws in Leviticus 18-20.
- The basis of Deuteronomy 33:
B. But the main body of the Pentateuch is supposed to consist of the following three documents:
1. The work of the Elohist, also called the ‘1st Elohist,’ ‘the original document,’ ‘the Book of the Origins,’ ‘the Annalist,’ &c. This document is supposed to embrace the main body of ritual laws (all Leviticus), and a continuous historical narrative, from Genesis 1 to Deuteronomy 34, although scanty in extent and details. The historical narrative marks three stages. In the first, God is designated as Elohim; in the second, as El Shaddai; and only from the Exodus onwards as Jahveh. Corresponding to these are three stages of the Covenant: that of peace with the world; of promise to the fathers; and of the Law with Israel. No ritual observances appear enjoined previously to the Legislation on Mount Sinai, although the principal epochs are marked by theocratic institutions. The style and conception of the work are easily distinguishable: in older times, simple and reverent; in Mosaic times, priestly. The legislation is carried out almost upon a systemhence, frequently of an abstract character. The genealogies are marked by a regard for special numbers.
(The widest differences prevail as to the date of the historical and the ritual portions of this work, and whether they are due to one or two authors; as also which of the two is the older. On these points details would be here out of place. We only remark that opinions differ as to the date of the composition of one or another part of the work, the differences being so great as to vary from the time of Saul to that after the Exile.)
2. The work of ‘the Jehovist’; or the ‘Supplementer’; the ‘fourth’ or else ‘fifth narrator’; the ‘prophetic narrator,’ &c. In this document the name Jahveh appears from the first. An observance of Theocratic ordinances is said to be assumed in it as from the first; the style is vivid; the views expressed concerning the nature of man and revelation are of a developed characterin short, the book is declared to bear the prophetic impress. According to some, these Jehovist portions do not form part of an independent work, but are only intended to supplement the work of the Elohist; while, according to others, the work of the Jehovist was an independent and original composition. Some also hold that the work was mainly a compilation from materials already existing. The work is described as mainly historical, and containing the oldest civil laws and old national hymns. It was composed after the separation of Judah and Israel (between 975 and 775 B.C.), and by a Judæan.
3. The work of the Deuteronomist, variously dated from the time of the Judges to that of Manasseh or of Josiah. The writer is supposed to have known the work of the Jehovist. To these three must be added:
C. Certain subsidiary documents in the Pentateuch:
1. ‘The Book of the Wars of Jehovah’ (Num 21:14). According to some this was a very ancient collection of war- and popular poems; according to others, a larger historical work which the Jehovist incorporated into his own book.
2. ‘The Younger Elohist,’ or the ‘third,’ or else the ‘theocratic narrator,’ whose work is supposed to comprise those parts of Genesis which accord with the original Elohist in the use of the name Elohim, but have not any of the other peculiarities of this writer, as well as some other portions in the other books of the Pentateuch. According to some, the author was an Ephraimite. Certain critics place its composition in the time of Hezekiah, and suppose that it formed a kind of basis for the labours of the Jehovist.
3. According to some critics, the ritual portions in the book of Ezekiel (40-48) form the basis of the ritual legislation in the work of the Elohist, especially in that part of it beginning with Leviticus 17.
4. Some critics speak of a Deuteronomer (in distinction to the Deuteronomist), who completed the work in the spirit and style of the Deuteronomist, but at a later time and under different circumstances, adding Deuteronomy 34:10-12; 29:21-27; 30:1-10; 31:24-29; perhaps also 28:28-37 and 49-57, as well as the address, Deuteronomy 1-4.
D. Finally we have the Redaction of the whole work.There had been a preliminary redaction by the Jehovist. According to some, the final redaction of the Pentateuch was made by the Deuteronomist, while others regard it as posterior to Deuteronomy, and variously place it in the time of Josiah (Ewald); shortly before the Exile (Kuenen); under Ezra (Bertheau); or after Ezra (Graf, Kayser). In this redaction the plan of the Elohist is supposed to have been followed, and extended to the whole Pentateuch.
VIII. The Document QP according to Wellhausen.
This document is said to consist of the following sections and verses in the Pentateuch:7
Genesis 1:1-2:4a; 5 (omitting ver 29); 6:9-22; 7:11-8:5 (omitting 7:12, 16b, 17, 22, 23, 8:2b); 8:13-19; 9:1-17, 28, 29; 10:1-7, 20, 22, 23, 31, 32; 11:10-32 (omitting ver 29); 12:4b, 5; 13:6, 11b, 12; 19:29; 11:30; 16:3, 15,16; chap 17; 21:2b-5; chap 23; 25:7-17 (omitting 11a), 19, 20, 26b; 26:34, 35; 27:46-28:9; 29:24, 29 (??); 31:18 (beginning with ‘and all his goods’); 35:9-15 (omitting the word ‘again’ in ver 9), 22b-29; 36:6-8; 36:40 to the words ‘these are the generations of Jacob’ in 37:2; 46:6, 7 (probably also 8-27); 47:5-11 (omitting 6b), 27b, 28; 48:3-6 (perhaps 7); chap 49: (ver 28?) 29-33; 50:12, 13. Exodus 1:1-5, 7 (omitting the words ‘multiplied and waxed’), 13, 14b, and the first half of 14a; 2:23 (beginning at ‘the children of Israel sighed’)-25; 6:2-7:13, 19, 20a, 21b, 22, 23; 8:1-3, 11b-15; 9:8-12; 12:1-20, 28, 37a, 40, 41; 12:43-13:2, 20; 14:1, 2 and in 4 the words ‘and they did so,’ 8b, 9 (omitting the word ‘all ‘ before ‘the horses,’ and ending with ‘and his army’), 10 (containing, however, only the words ‘and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord’), 15 (omitting the words ‘Wherefore criest thou unto me?’), 28 (??); 16:1-3, 9-13a, 16b-18a, 22-26, 31 35a; 17:1 (omitting the words ‘there was no water for the people to drink’); 19:1 (a supplementation), 2a; 24:15, from ‘and a cloud covered the mount’ to the words ‘Moses went into the midst of the cloud’ in 18; 25:1-31:17, 18 (?); 34:29-32, 33-35 (?); chaps 35-40. All Leviticus. Numbers 1:1-10:8; 13:1-17a, 21, 25, 26a and first half of b, 32 to ‘and all the people that we saw in it,’ &c.; 14:1a, 2a, 5-7, 10, 26, 27, 28, 29 (?), 34-36; chap 15; 16:1, 2 (in part), 8-11, 16-22, 35; 17:1-20:1a, 2, 3b, 6, 12 (probably), 22-29; 21:4 (the beginning), 10, 11 (?); 25:6-31; 32:16-19 (leaving out the word ‘ready-armed’ in 17), 24, 28-33; chaps 33-36. Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1a, 7a (?), 8, 9. Joshua 4:19; 5:10-12; 9:17-21, 15b; 13:15-33 (secondarily); 18:1 (inserted here); 14:1-5 (3 secondarily); chap 15: (excepting 13-19 and some other things); 16:4-8; 17:1-4, 7, 9 (leaving out the words ‘these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh’); 18:11-25; chap 19: (leaving out 47, 49, 50, also the enumeration of the names of cities and perhaps other parts); chap 20 (the Deuteronomic additions to it are very late); 21:1-42; 22:9-34.
7. The letters a and b indicate the first or the second half of a verse. Comp. for this analysis Jahrb. fur Deutsche Theol., 1876; Strack, in Herzog's Encykl., vol. 11 p. 457; and Hoffmann in the Magazin fur d. Wissensch. d. Judenth., 1879, p. 4.
(In this analysis no notice has been taken of Ri.e. the Redactor, to whom certain connecting words or verses are attributednotably these five: in Genesis 35:9 the word ‘again’; Exodus 16:6-8, 36; 20:11; in Joshua 9:27 the words ‘for the congregation and’; and Joshua 16:9.
The reader will now, in some measure, understand what was meant when, in the text of these Lectures, the Pentateuch, as reconstructed by Wellhausen, was described as the most curiously tesselated, or rather mosaic, piece of workmanship; and when it was asserted that there exists no parallel instance of any such composition; nay, that, from a literary point of view, such construction of it seems incredible.)
IX. Later Rabbinic Modifications and Adaptations of
Specific Laws, especially in the ‘Priest-Code.’
These modifications and adaptations are (at least in part) here enumerated, chiefly because they afford presumptive evidence that what we know as the Mosaic Legislation could not have been of late date, since, in many points, it was so little adapted to the circumstances of later times, that the Rabbinic Law had to introduce modifications and additions to render the old Mosaic Law practicable. Generally, also, the reader may be interested in having placed before him some of these Rabbinic adaptations of the Mosaic Law. Not to speak of the original sources in the Talmud and Midrashim, as well as in dogmatic works, from which our knowledge must here be derived, even such literature of the subject as is generally accessible to the student is scattered over many tractates, brochures, and articles, or else incidentally treated in books on kindred subjects, so that a full apparatus criticus would be very difficult. But the following may be mentioned as most easily accessible: Saalschütz, d. Mos. Recht; Hamburger’s Real-Encyklopædie; and, in reference to certain points bearing on the criticism of the Pentateuch, the Articles by Hoffmann in the Magazin für d. Wissensch. d. Judenthums (as regards the Sacrificial Laws, vol. 4., 1877, pp. 1-17; 62-76; 125-141; 210-218; as regards the Law of Witnesses, vol. 5. pp. 1-14; and as regards the theory of Wellhausen and of his school, vol. 6, 1879, pp. 1-19; 90-114; 219-237; vol. 7, 1880, pp. 137-156; 237-254); and especially D. Castelli, La Legge, 1884. To the latter I am here especially indebted, although my standpoint is the opposite of his; and I have followed the lead of Castelli in the brief and general review, which was all that could be attempted in this place.
1. The ‘Priest-Code.’ In the text of these Lectures the view has been expressed that the Mosaic arrangements must have been prospective, and that at the time of their introduction, the services of the Tabernacle could not have been regularly carried out. On the opposite theory of the introduction of the Priest-Code at the time of Ezra, and for the purposes of the priesthood, we would have expected detailed arrangements. But, as a matter of fact, such are not found in the Priest-Code, while they are supplemented at a later period. Thus, as regards the sacrificial function of the High-Priest, no distinction is apparently made between him and ordinary priests, and only the services of the Day of Atonement are assigned to him in Leviticus 16:2, 3, whereas, in Rabbinic Law, he had, besides other functions, the precedence of officiating every other day in the Sanctuary (Yom. 14a). Similarly, the Pentateuch is silent about the order and succession of the various priestly families in the ministry of the Sanctuary. We remember that this was only fixed by the arrangement of the priesthood into twenty-four courses in the time of David, while tradition ascribes to Moses an arrangement into eight or else sixteen ‘courses,’ which relieved each other every week. But it seems incredible that, if the Priest-Code had dated from the time of Ezra, it would not have contained some such arrangement.
Again, it militates against the supposed later origin of the Pentateuch, that whereas Leviticus 21:7 forbids the marriage of a priest, among others, with one who is generally designated as ‘profane,’ the Talmud explains this, quite in the spirit of the times of Ezra and later, as one who was the offspring of an unlawful marriage by a priest, adding prohibition of marriage with a proselyte, one who had been a slave, had previously contracted an unlawful marriage, or been divorced, according to the provisions of the law of Levitate. Of all this the Priest-Code says nothing, although we would certainly have expected it on the theory in controversy.
In the opposite direction evidence of the older date of the Mosaic legislation comes to us from the later Rabbinic modification of the ancient law that ordered a sinning daughter of Aaron to be burnedand this, alike as regards the mode of her execution, and the cases to which the law applied. On the other hand, the same later spirit, as compared with the Priest-Code, appears in the permission of summary vengeance on priests who officiated in a state of Levitical defilement (Lev 22:2-9; comp. Sanh. 81b), Similarly, the early Mosaic code, which fixed the commencement of the Levitical ministry at thirty, and its termination at fifty, years of age (Num 4:3, 23, 30, 89see, however, Num 8:24), was already modified in 1 Chronicles 23:24, 27 (comp. Ezra 3:8), while the Talmud adds that the limitation to fifty years of age applied only to the wilderness-period, when the severe work of the transport of the Tabernacle required full strength (Chol. 24a). But these modifications seem utterly incompatible with the origination of the Priest-Code in the time of Ezra. Lastly, on this point, it is evident that if the Priest-Code had been of such late dateif, indeed, it had not been quite prospectiveit would have provided for all those priestly officials whose services were afterwards found requisite, and who, according to Rabbinic Law, formed a staff of hierarchic officers attached to the Temple.8
8. On the various Temple officials, see The Temple, its Ministry and Services.
From the priesthood we naturally pass to the provision made for its support. Here also the details and provisions found necessary in later legislation prove the early date and prospective character of the Pentateuch-legislation. Thus, whereas Numbers 18:12 assigns to the priesthood the first-fruits of the wheat, the later Law extends this to seven kinds of grain, to dates, and fruits, and pomegranates (Bikkur. 1.3). Similarly, the general statement that the first of the dough was to be offered to the Lord, is interpreted in the Mishnah as meaning that it was to be given to the priests (Chall. 2.5,7). And from the direction in Numbers 15:19, together with that in Deuteronomy 18:4, it was further inferred that firstfruits of everything were to be given to the priest before any other offering, or before any use was made of the produce. Indeed, strictness in this respect was one of the distinctive marks of the Pharisee. This was called the Terumah gedolah, the proportion of which was not fixed, but supposed to amount to at least one-sixtieth (Ter. 3.6; 4.3). On the other hand, the Talmud limits the provision of Leviticus 27:32, which seems to assign to the priesthood the tenth of the herds and flocks, by declaring that the proprietors were to make of these a sacrificial meal, in which the fat was to be burned on the altar, and the blood sprinkled, while only that part of them was to go to the priests which was theirs in votive offerings (Zebhach. 56b). Moreover, the Rabbis fixed, in connection with Deuteronomy 14:22-29, what was called a second tithe, of which a festive meal was to be made in Jerusalem every year, while every third year it was to be given to the poor (the poor’s tithe) (Rosh ha-Sh. 12b). And in connection with all this the Mishnah has those elaborate provisions collected in the tractate Demai, which fix the ordinances in reference to the produce, concerning which it is doubtful whether tithes had been given or not.
A slight consideration will convince that, if the priest-arrangements had originated in later times, some provision would have been made to secure that the High-priests should possess revenues larger than those of the common priests. This, especially in the period after Ezra, when the civil government mainly devolved upon them. Accordingly we find that the Talmud directs that, if the High-priest had not property of his own, the other priests were to contribute so much, that his income should exceed that of any single common priest. Similarly, the High-priest was to have precedence over every other priest in regard to the sacrifices and gifts offered in the Sanctuary. On the other hand, the Pentateuch makes no difference between the High-priest and common priests as regards property or revenues.
If we were to read the Pentateuch without fully entering into the symbolic meaning of sacrificial worship, we could only wonder at the absence of any mention of public prayer in its services. We can understand it from the standpoint of the Pentateuch, as the original Mosaic legislation, but not from that of later times, especially those which witnessed the institution of Synagogue-worship. Accordingly, the Rabbinic law fixed, not only certain times for prayer, but also introduced prayer in the services of the Temple.
A somewhat similar development appears in the Rabbinic enlargement of the prohibition in Leviticus 22:8 into special directions how animals were to be slaughtered for human food (Chol. 27a; 32a). We mark similar enlargements, showing the alterations of later times as compared with the primitive arrangements of the Pentateuch, even in regard to the preparation of the incense, which, according to Exodus 30:34-38, was to consist of four ingredients, while the Talmud adds to these other seven perfumes, besides salt and other materials (Kerith. 6a; Jer. Yom. 41d). The preparation is said to have been a secret, hereditary in one family. The same inferences come to us when comparing the detailed rubrics concerning the mode of sacrificing, and the various rites at the festivals, with the very primitive and general directions of the Pentateuch. We mark in them what a later time required, when all these observances were carried into constant and universal practice. Even so simple an arrangement as that which regulated the annual Temple-tribute, had not been provided for, but was fixed by the Rabbinic law.
Evidence as to the later requirements of more detailed ordinances than those in the Pentateuch in regard to festive sacrificesand especially what was known as the chagigahmultiplies upon us as we compare the directions of the Rabbis with the provisions of the Mosaic Law. They indicate further need, due to the circumstances of later times. In any case, some more detailed provisions must have been made, if the Priest-Code had been of late origin. And beyond all this we may here refer to the rites in the admission of proselytes, to the details about what rendered an animal fit or unfit for sacrifices, and to other ritual questions, the difficulties of which would occur in later practice. Even as regards the supposed new institution, or at least transformation, of the festivals of the first and fifteenth day of the seventh month, we mark how entirely different, or at least how largely elaborated, they appear in Rabbinic traditionthat is, as actually observed in later times. The same might be predicated of the observances of the Day of Atonement. Norto extend our view beyond the Priest-Codedo we here require to remind ourselves of the similar transformation in regard to the Sabbatic law, while we might almost ask ourselves why there should not have been in the Priest-Code, if it were of later date, some allusion to such a festival as that of Esther (Purim), or any, however disguised, reference to the taking of Jerusalem by the enemy, which might have been introduced in some connection with the Day of Atonement.
Evidence in the same direction comes to us as we compare the principles laid down in the Mosaic legislation as to the dedication of animals, things, or persons to the Sanctuary, as also concerning vows, with those of later times, as explained in the traditional Law. The same remarks might be made in regard to the mode of trying a woman suspected of adultery; in regard to the directions given about phylacteries, and the fringes to be worn on the garments, the Sabbatic year, that of Jubilee, and other ordinances, in all of which the Rabbinic Law marks the practical requirements or questions arising in later times as compared with the simplicity of the earlier Mosaic Law.
2. Very partial as this review has necessarily been, it is hoped that it may effectually support the argument in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch legislation. And it might have been extended, to show that other portions of the Pentateuch also must have been of earlier date than recent criticism has assigned to them. Even Castelli admits the existence of such a difference between the Pentateuch legislation generally and that of tradition,10
and that the latter must, in many respects, be regarded as an adaptation of the ancient Law to later circumstances and to questions then arising.11
10. Castelli (La Legge, pp. 90, 91) marks retrogression upon the Bible in the multiplication and aggravation of observances and commandments; and progression in the mitigation of the primitive civil and criminal code. In truth, it is neither the one nor the otherbut evidence of the ancient date of the Pentateuch legislation, which was afterwards adapted both to new circumstances and new forms of thought.
But it may, I think, be most reasonably argued that such further development and conciliation would, in very many cases, not have been requisitethat the new wants would have been at least initially indicatedif the introduction and teaching of the Pentateuch had dated from the year 444, and if it had received so many further accretions after that period.12
11. By the side of this element there is that other of unceasing elaboration of the Law, with the view of preventing any possible breach of it, and, in fact, adding to its requirements, so as to ensure a perfect obedience of them.
12. For the criticism of the objections raised by Wellhausen from a comparative view of the contents of the Pentateuch, I can in this place only once more refer to the Articles of Hoffmann, previously mentioned.
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2006 JCR