Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 77 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
BOOK.. OE now generally admitted that the words " and the judgments " (which are missing in c. 1 b) have been inserted is xxiv. 3a by the redactor to whom the present position of the " judgments " is due.' The majority of critics, therefore, adopt Kuenen's conjecture that the " judgments " were originally delivered by Moses on the borders of Moab, and that when D`s revised version of Ex. xxi.-xxiii. aas combined with JE, the older code was placed alongside of E's other legislation at Horeb. The third group of laws (xxii. 18-28, xxiii. 1-9) appears to have been added somewhat later than the bulk of xxi.-xxiii. Some of the regulations are couched in hypothetical form, but their contents are of a different character to the " judgments," e.g. xxii. 25 f., xxiii. 4 f.; others, again, are of a similar nature, but differ in form, e.g. xxii. 18 f. Lastly, xxii. 20-24, xxiii. 1-3 set forth a number of moral injunctions affecting the individual, which cannot have found place in a civil code. At the same tithe, these additions must for the most part be prior to D, since many of them are included in Deut. xii.-xxvi., though there are traces of Deuteronomic revision. Now it is obvious that the results obtained by the foregoing analysis of J and E have an important bearing on the history of the remaining section of E's legislation, viz. the Decalogue (q.v.), Ex. xx. 1-17 (e--Deut. v. 6-21). At present the " Ten Words" stand in the forefront of E's collection of laws, and it is evident that they were already found, in that position by the author of Deuteronomy, who treated them as the sole basis of the covenant at Horeb. The evidence, however. afforded (a) by the parallel version of Deuteronomy and (b) ay the literary analysis of J and E not only fails to support this tradition, but excites the gravest suspicions as to the originality both of the form and of the position in which the Decalogue now appears. For when compared with Ex. xx. 1-17 the parallel version of Deut. v. 6 if. is found to exhibit. a number of variations, and, in particular, assigns an entirely different reason for the observance of the Sabbath. But these variations are practically limited to the explanatory comments attached to the 2nd, 4th, 5th and loth commandments; and the majority of critics are now agreed that these comments were added at a later date, and that all the commandments, like the 1st and the 6th to the 9th, were originally expressed in the form of a single short sentence. This view is confirmed by the fact that the additions, or comments, bear, for the most part, a close resemblance to the style of D. They can scarcely, however, have been transferred from Deuteronomy to Exodus (or vice versa), owing to the variations between the two versions: we must rather regard them as the work of a Deuteronomic redactor. But the expansion and revision of the Decalogue were not limited to the Deuteronomic school. Literary traces of J and E in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and loth commandments point to earlier activity on the part of RJE, while the addition of v. 11, which bases the observance of the Sabbath on P 's narrative of the Creation (Gen. ii. 1-3), can only be ascribed to a priestly writer: its absence from Deut. v. 6 if. is otherwise inexplicable. Thus the Decalogue, as given in Exodus, would seem to have passed through at least three stages before it assumed its present form. But even in its original form it could hardly have formed part of E's Horeb legislation; for (a) both J and E have preserved a different collection of laws (or " words ") inscribed by Moses, which are definitely set forth as the basis of the covenant at Sinai-Horeb (Ex. xxxiv. To, xxiv. 3 f.), and (b) the further legislation of E in ch. xx.—xxiii: affords close parallels to all the commandments (except the 7th and the loth.), and a comparison of the two leaves no doubt as to which is the more primitive. Hence we can only conclude that the Decalogue, in its original short form, came into existence during the period after the completion of E, but before the promulgation of. Deuteronomy. Its present position is, doubtless, to be ascribed to a redactor who was influenced by the same conception as the author of Deuteronomy. This redactor, however, did not limit the Horeb covenant to the Decalogue, but retained E's legislation alongside of it. The insertion of the Decalogue, or rather the point of view which prompted its insertion, naturally involved certain consequential changes of the existing text. The most important of these, viz. the harmonistic additions to ch. xxxiv., by means of which J's version of the covenant was represented as a renewal of the Decalogue, has already been discussed; other passages which show traces of similar revision are xxiv. 12-15a, i8b, and xxxiv. 1-6. The confusion introduced into the legislation by later additions, with the consequent displacement of earlier material, has not been without effect on the narratives belonging to the different sources. Hence the sequence of events after the completion of the covenant on Sinai-Horeb is not always easy to trace, though indications are not wanting in both J and E of the probable course of the history. The two main incidents that precede the departure of the children of Israel from the mountain (Num. x. 29 ff.) are (I) the sin of the people, and (2) the intercession of Moses, of both of which a double account has been preserved. ' The present text of xxiv. 12 also has probably been transposed in accordance with the view that the " judgment " formed part of the covenant, cf. Deut. v. 31. Originally the latter part of the verse must have run, " That I may give thee the tables of stone which I have written, and may teach thee the law and the commandment." For further details see Bacon, Triple Tradition of Exodus, pp. i i.1 f., 132. f. (I) The Sin of the People.—According to J (xxxii. 25-29) the people, during the absence of Moses, break loose," i.e. mutiny. Their behaviour excites the anger of Moses on his return, and in response to his appeal the sons of Levi arm themselves and slay a large number of the people: as a reward for their services they are bidden to consecrate themselves to Yahweh. The fragmentary form of the narrative—we miss especially a fuller account of the " breaking loose "—is doubtless due to the latter editor, who substituted the story of the golden calf (xxxii. i-6, 15-24, 35), according to which the sin of the people consisted in direct violation of the 2nd commandment. At the instigation of the people Aaron makes a molten calf out of the golden ornaments brought from Egypt ; Moses and Joshua, on their return to the camp, find the people holding festival in honour of the occasion; Moses in his anger breaks the tables of the covenant which he is carrying: he then demolishes the golden calf, and ad-ministers a severe rebuke to Aaron. The punishment of the people is briefly recorded in v. 35. This latter narrative, which is obviously inconsistent with the story of J, shows unmistakable traces of E. In its present form, however, it can hardly be original, but must have been revised in accordance with the later Deuteronomic conception which represented the sin committed by the people as a breach of the 2nd commandment. Possibly vv. 7-14 are also to be treated as a Deuteronomic,expansion (cf. Deut. ix. 12-14). Though they show clear traces of J, it is extremely difficult to fit them into that narrative in view of Moses' action in vv. 25-29 and of his intercession in ch. xxxiii. ; in any case, vv. 8 and 13 must be regarded as redactional. (2) Moses' Intercession: The time for departure from the Sacred Mount had now arrived, and Moses is accordingly bidden to lead the people to the promised land. Yahweh himself refuses to accompany Israel owing to their disobedience, but in response to Moses' passionate appeal finally consents to let his presence go with them. The account of Moses' intercession has been preserved in J, though the narrative has undergone considerable dislocation. The true sequence of the narrative appears to be as follows: Moses is commanded to lead the people to Canaan (xxxiii. 1-3); he pleads that he is unequal to the task (Num. xi. loc, I I, 12, 14, 15), and, presumably, asks for assistance, which is promised (omitted). Moses then asks for a fuller knowledge of Yahweh and his ways (xxxiii. 12, 13) : this request also is granted (v. 17), and he is emboldened to pray that he may see the glory of Yahweh; Yahweh replies that his prayer can only be granted in part, for " man shall not see me and live "; a partial revelation is then vouchsafed to Moses (xxxiii. 18-23, xxxiv. 6-8) : finally, Moses beseeches Yahweh to go in the midst of his people, and is assured that Yahweh's presence shall accompany them (xxxiv. 9, xxxiii. 14-16). The passage from Numbers xi., which is here included, is obviously out of place in its present context (the story of the quails), and supplies in part the necessary antecedent to Ex. xxxiii. 12, 13; the passage is now separated from Ex. xxxiii. by Ex. xxxiv. (J), which has been wrongly transferred to the close of the Horeb-Sinai incidents (see above), and by the priestly legislation of Ex. xxxv.–xl., Leviticus and Num. i.–x.; but originally it must have stood in close connexion with that chapter. A similar displacement has taken place with regard to Ex. xxxiv. 6-9, which clearly forms the sequel to xxxiii. 17-23. The latter passage, how-ever, can hardly represent the conclusion of the interview, which is found more naturally in xxxiii. 14-16. E's account of Moses' intercession seems to have been retained, in part, in xxxii. 30-34, but the passage has probably been revised by a later hand; in any case its position before instead of after the dismissal would seem to be redactional. It is a plausible conjecture that the original narratives of J and E also contained directions for the construction of an ark,' as a substitute for the personal presence of Yahweh, and also for the erection of a " tent of meeting " outside the camp, and that these commands were omitted by RP in favour of the more elaborate instructions given in ch. xxv.–xxix. (P). The subsequent narrative of J (Num. X. 33-36, xiv. 44) implies an account of the making of the ark, while the remarkable description in Ex. xxxiii. 7-11 (E) of Moses' practice in regard to the " tent of meeting " points no less clearly to some earlier statement as to the making of this tent. The history of Exodus in its original form doubtless concluded with the visit of Moses' father-in-law and the appointment of judges (ch. xviii.), the departure from the mountain and the battle with Amalck (xvii. 8-16). (c) The Construction of the Tabernacle and its Furniture (ch. xxv.–xxxi., xxxv.–xl.).—It has long been recognized that the elaborate description of the Tabernacle and its furniture, and the accompanying directions for the dress and consecration of the priests, contained in ch. xxv.–xxxi., have no claim to be regarded as an historical presentment of the Mosaic Tabernacle and its service. The language, style and contents of this section point unmistakably to the hand of P; and it is now generally admitted that these chapters form part of an ideal representation of the post-exilic ritual system, which has been transferred to the Mosaic age. According to this According to Deut. x. 1 f., which is in the main a verbal excerpt from Ex. xxxiv. i f., Yahweh ordered Moses to make an ark of acacia wood before he ascended the mountain.representation, Moses, on the seventh day after the conclusion of the covenant, was summoned to the top of the mountain, and there received i'nstructions with regard to (a) the furniture of the sanctuary, viz: the ark, the table and the lamp-stand (ch. xxv.) ; (b) the Tabernacle (ch. xxvi.) ; (c) the court of the Tabernacle and the altar of burnt-offering (ch. xxvii.); (d) the dress of the priests (ch. xxviii.); (e) the consecration of Aaron and his sons (xxix. 1-37); and (f) the daily burnt-offering (xxix. 38-42) : the section ends with a formal conclusion (xxix. 43-46). The two following chapters contain further instructions relative to the altar of incense (xxx. I-to), the payment of the half-shekel (i-16), the brazen laver (17-21), the anointing oil (22-33), the incense (34-38), the appointment of Bezaleel and Oholiab (xxxi. 1-1 1) and the observance of the Sabbath (t2=17). It is hardly doubtful, however, that these two chapters formed no part of P's original legislation, but were added by a later hand.' For (i) the altar of incense is here mentioned for the first time, and was apparently unknown to the author of ch. xxv.–xxix. Had he known of its existence, he could hardly have failed to include it with the rest of the Tabernacle furniture in ch. xxvi., and must have mentioned it at xxvi. 34 f., where the relative positions of the contents of the Tabernacle are defined: further, the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi. referred to in xxx. to) ignores this altar, and mentions only one altar (cf. " the altar," xxvii. I), viz. that of burnt-offering; (2) the command as to the half-shekel presupposes the census of Num. i., and appears to have been unknown in the time of Nehemiah (Nell, X. 32) (Heb. 33) ; (3) the instructions as to the brazen laver would naturally be expected alongside of those for the altar of burnt-offering in ch. xxvii.; (4) the following section relating to the anointing oil presupposes the altar of incense (v. 28), and further extends the ceremony of anointing to Aaron's sons, though, elsewhere, the ceremony is confined to Aaron (xxix. 7, Lev. viii. 12), cf. the title " anointed priest " applied to the high priest (Lev. iv. 3, &c.) (5) the directions for compounding the incense connect naturallyy with xxx. 1-to, while (6) the appointment of Bezaleel and Oholiah cannot be separated from the rest of ch. xxx.–xxxi. The concluding section on the Sabbath (xxxi. 12-17) shows marks of resemblance to H (Lev. xvii.–xxvi.), especially in vv. 12-14a, which appear to have been expanded, very possibly by the editor who inserted the passage. The continuation of P's narrative is given in xxxiv. 29-35, which describe Moses' return from the mount. The subsequent chapters (xxxv.–x1.), however, can hardly belong to the original stratum of P, if only because they presuppose ch. xxx., xxxi., and were probably added at a later stage than the latter chapters. They narrate how the commands of ch. xxv.–xxxi. were carried out, and practically repeat the earlier chapters verbatim, merely the tenses being changed, the most noticeable omissions being xxvii. 20 f. (oil for the lamps), xxviii. 3o (Urim and Thummim), xxix. 1-37 (the consecration of the priests, which recurs in Lev. viii.) and xxix. 38-42 (the daily burnt-offering). Apart from the omissions the most striking difference between the two sections is the variation in order, the different sections of ch. xxv.–xxxi. being here set forth in their natural sequence, The secondary character of these concluding chapters receives considerable confirmation from a comparison of the Septuagint text. For this version exhibits numerous cases of variation, both as regards order and contents, from the Hebrew text; moreover the translation, more particularly of many technical terms, differs from that of ch. xxv.–xxxi., and seems to be the work of different translators. Hence it is by no means improbable that the final recension of these chapters had not been completed when the Alexandrine version was made.
End of Article: BOOK
BONZE (from Japanese bonzo, probably a mispronuncia...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.