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THE ELOHISTIC AND JEHOVISTIC PSALMS CONSIDERED, WITH SPECIAL
REFERENCE TO THE REMARKS OF REV. J. J. S. PEROWNE AND
1. We have seen in the body of this volume (302), that the Elohist abstains altogether from using the name Jehovah during the whole of Genesis, and only employs it after he has introduced it as revealed supernaturally to Moses in E.vi.2–7. The Second Elohist--whether a different writer from the Jehovist, or the Jehovist himself, as we believe, in the first stage of his literary labour- likewise abstains from using the name Jehovah throughout the Book of Genesis. The Jehovist, in those Jehovistic passages, which appear to have been first written by him *--that is, as we suppose, after he had already written those ascribed to the Second Elohistuses the name Jehovah, but not very freely; and the Second Jehovist uses it once. But in his later additions the Jehovist uses the name “Jehovah' habitually, and in his latest almost exclusively, as the Personal Name for the Deity.
2. This is, of course, quite in accordance with our view as to the later introduction of the name Jehovah. We suppose that, when the first supplementary insertions were made, this Name was not common in the mouth of the people at large; and the writer therefore naturally adhered to the example which he had before him of the Elohist, his predecessor, in abstaining wholly from the employ. ment of it in the inconsiderable additions made by him at this time to the Book of Genesis. When the next series of interpolations was made, after a further lapse of ten or fifteen years, the name was becoming more familiar; and, accordingly, it drops
* Among these we reckon the remarkable passage G.xxi.33, where he records that Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Jehovah, El Everlasting,'-an expression for the Divine Being, which occurs nowhere else in the Pentateuch, and reads almost as a formula of a transition from the older name (Elohim) to the new (Jehovab); and xliii.14, xlix. 25 where he uses the old name 'El Shaddai,' which occurs only with the Elohist elsewhere in tho whole Bible, except Ez.x.5, though 'Shaddai' is used occasionally, but very rarely, except in the Book of Job.
occasionally from the writer's pen. Once more, in still later years, he takes in hand the manuscript, with the purpose of making some further important additions ; and now the name is so fully recognised as the Great Name of Israel's God, that he decides to break through altogether the plan of the original writer, and sets the origin of the Name Jehovah far back in the earliest ages. Hence he first inserts G.11.4b-iii.24, in which he couples Jehovah’ twenty times with · Elohim,' to show that the Being spoken of under each name is one and the same; then in G.ir he drops · Elohim,' and henceforward habitually uses 'Jehovah' as the Proper Name of the Deity.
3. It is observable also that in the passages ascribed to the Elohist and Second Elohist we never find any phrase such as · Elohim of Abraham,' • Elohim of Isaac,'
Elohim of my (thy, his, your, their) father,' 'thy Elohim,' except in the promise xvii,8 (E), “I will be their Elohim,'-all which phrases seem to belong to a time, when Jehovah' had been recognised as the name of the national Deity of Israel, and when it was desired to show that this same “Jehovah' had been the Stay and Strength of their fathers of old in the days of their sojournings. And this, indeed, was substantially true. The Being, the 'Living God,'— whom any of their pious forefathers served, in whom any of them trusted—was the same then as novthe 'El Everlasting '—'the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever'—by whaterer Name He might be called among men.
4. But the phenomenon here observed, of the Name ‘Jehovah' being gradually used by the Jehovist with greater frequency as time progressed with him, is exactly the same as that which we have noticed in Part II with respect to the Book of Psalms. It was there shown that in those Psalms, which from internal eridence appear to be of the oldest date, “Jehovah' is not used at all, or is used very sparingly, 'Elohim' being almost constantly employed : while in the later Psalms • Jehovah' is used with much greater frequency, and at last almost exclusively. The difficulty in treating this question arose, we found, from our great uncertainty as to the age of most of the Psalms, the Titles being generally untrustworthy, and the internal evidence not sufficiently decisive to fix the date of their composition.
5. In fact in the whole Book of Psalms there were only two, as it seemed to us, which could with a certain degree of confidence be assigned to the age of David. Others might, and probably did, belong to it. But the evidence in their case was not conclusive; and it was felt to be unsafe to found any argument upon it. Only with respect to Ps.lx and Ps.lxviii it seemed to us impossible to assign any other age for their composition than the middle part of David's life. And, of these two Psalms, Ps.lx contained • Elohim' exclusively (E.5,J.0), and Ps.lxvii contained * Elohim'thirty-one times, and 'Adonai' seven times, but Jehovah'only four times. We argued that here was a strong indication--especially in the last grand Psalm, written apparently for some great public occasion, and in fact, as is generally supposed, for that of the bringing-up of the Ark in David's time to the Tabernacle on Mount Zion-that the name 'Jehovah' was not in common popular use at the time when these Psalms were written. It seemed impossible that Psalms exhibiting
such phenomena could have been composed by any pious writer, if the case had been otherwise in the age in which they lived, i.e. if the Name .Jehovah' had been fully recognised in their days and habitually employed—at least, by devout and earnest men, such as the writer (or writers) of these Psalms must have been as the One True Name of the God of Israel.
6. I see no reason whatever at present to abandon the above position: rather, I am strongly confirmed in the conviction that the argument in question is sound, and will bear investigation. It is true that my position on this point has been violently assailed--and somewhat ungenerously, as it seems to me, by some, who were better able than others to appreciate the labour which has been spent by me on this enquiry, and the honest effort which I have made to search after the truth. In Part II I have gone fully into the question with respect to each of these two Psalms, and have not only given at length the reasons for my own views, but have set before the reader those also of HUPFELD, EWALD, OLSHAUSEN, and HENGSTENBERG, the writers whose opinions on the subject it seemed at that time most necessary to consider. I have nothing to change in that portion of my Work, and nothing to withdraw or alter, except on one point of no importance, as noted below. But some additional comments have since come into my hands from writers entitled to respect, and I think it right to submit them here to the reader's consideration, with my own remarks upon them.
7. The Rev. J. J. S. PRROWNE writes generally upon this subject as follows, Psalms I.p.lxxxiv:
'No probable explanation of this phenomenon has yet been given. Ewald supposes that the collector of the Second Book purposely changed the name throughout all these Psalms from Jehovah to Elohim, influenced, perhaps, by the same sort of superstitious feeling, which prevents the modern Jews from uttering the sacred Name Jehovah. But there is no foundation for such an hypothesis, nor is it consistent with the fact that the later Psalms have by preference the name Jehovah.*
• The attempts of HENGSTENBERG and others, and recently of some English critics, (among others, of most of my opponents, Ed.] to show that the two names are always used with reference to their distinct meaning,—Jehovah' as the covenantGod of Israel, • Elohim' as God, the creator and governor of the world,-must be regarded as equally unsatisfactory. One fact entirely overthrows it, viz. that the same Psalm appears both in a Jehovistic and Elohistic recension.
“Bishop COLENSO's theory is the most extravagant of all. As, according to him, Samuel introduced the name Jehovah, so this name is first found in the later Psalms of David,' and in those portions of the Pentateuch which are later than Samuel, the Elohistic Psalms being earlier than the Jehovistic sections of the
Pentateuch.s. But all the facts are against such a theory. The Psalms of the First Book, (which he scarcely notices,") are by the consent of all critics the earliest in the collection, and these are Jehovistic. Many of David's later Psalms (as liela,liii, &c.) are Elohistic, many of his earlier Jehovistic. Other Psalms of the age of Hezekiah, (or at the earliest of Jehoshaphat), as xlvi-xlviii,s and Psalms confessedly of the period of the Exile, are Elohistic. How impossible it is to contend that Elohim is a mark of antiquity in a Psalm, Jehovah of a more recent date! This has been well argued by Prof. HAROLD BROWNB (now Bishop of ELY) in his Reply to Bishop COLENSO.10 His criticisms, both on the Psalms and on the Pentateuch, are, I rejoice to find, on many important points, confirmatory of my own.'
8. To the above I reply as follows.
(1) I have not stated that the name Jehovah is' first found in the later Psalms of David': on the contrary, it is found four times in lxviii, which I maintain to be a Psalm out of the fourteenth year of David's reign, and earlier than lx, which does not contain Jehovah at all. What I have maintained may be stated thusThere is not a single Psalm containing 'Jehovah' predominantly, which can be shown from internal evidence to be certainly older than Ps.lxviii.
(2) Nor havo I said that Jehovah is ‘first found in those portions of the Pentateuch which are later than Samuel'; for I have argued that Samuel used it himself in the later portions of the Elohistic narrative.
(3) Nor have I maintained that the Elohistic Psalms are earlier than the Jehovistic sections of the Pentateuch': for some of the Elohistic Psalms of Book II-i.e. Psalms in which 'Elohim’ is used predominantly-contain repeatedly * Jehovah,' (as I have shown above, note, p.281), and therefore might have been even written by the Jehovist himself.
(4) My 'theory' is this, that Elohistic Psalms, such as lx and livii, in which Jehovah occurs not at all, or occurs very rarely in comparison with 'Elohim,' cannot have been written at a time when Jehovah was universally recognised, as the most high and holy name of the God of Israel. I believe these Psalms to belong to the Davidic age. I conclude therefore that in that age the name 'Jehovah,' though it had been for some time used by some devout persons as the name of Israel's God, had not yet acquired universal currency. And I maintain that the facts' are not against such a theory,' while it accords thoroughly with the conclusions, to which I have been led by other perfectly distinct processes of reasoning.
(5) In my First Edition of Part II, I had examined on p.324,326–328, all the Psalms of Book I, which seemed to me to 'exhibit any signs of the time when they were composed.' I have subsequently with great care gone through all the Psalms of this Book again; and, in an Appendix to the later editions of Part II, I have made some additional remarks upon Psalms xvii,XXXV, XXXvi,xl. And I now
* It will be seen by any one, who has followed my reasoning with any attention, that Mr. PBROWNE has greatly mistaken and misstated my theory, as is shown also below.-Ed.
deliberately reassert my belief, that there is not one of the Psalms of this Book, which can be shown, from the internal evidence of its contents, to be older than Ps.lxviii. If Mr. PEROWNE will produce such a Jehovistic Psalm,-I say not out of Book I, but out of any one of the Five Books,—and will point out the decisive evidence of its greater antiquity, I shall gladly consider his reasoning, and modify, if necessary, my own present judgment accordingly.
(6) This general assertion, that all critics 'regard the Psalms of Book I as the earliest in the collection,' is obviously capable of different meanings. What it would seem to say-and what it should mean, to support Mr. PEROWNE's argument, -is, that all critics' of any note regard all the Psalms of Book I as older than any others in the whole collection. Yet Mr. PEROWNE cannot possibly mean this, since he himself says of xxii, on p.99, that although, 'according to the inscription this is one of David's Psalms' yet we know of no circumstances in his life to which it can possibly be referred,' and 'the most probable view of it is, that it was composed by one of the exiles during the Babylonish Captivity!' He says also of xxv and xxiv, on p.117, that they “probably both belong to the later period of the history—perhaps, to the time of the exile'; as to xxvii, he observes, p.128, • Hitzig thinks that Jeremiah, and EWALD suggests that Josiah, may have been the author of the Psalm '; and so as to xxxi, he writes, p.139, On the whole it reminds us more of some parts of Jeremiah than of any other of the O.T. writings ... Hence EWALD and HITZIG have concluded that the Psalm was written by Jeremiah'; and again as to xl he says, p.183, EWALD thinks that the prominence given to the 'roll of the book,' in v.7, is an indication that it was written about the time of Josiah's Reformation. Thus six, at least, of the Psalms of Book I are ascribed by eminent critics to a very late date, and three by Mr. PEROWNE himself to a time after the Captivity: and he must be well aware that many other Psalms of Book I are assigned by HUPFELD, EWALD, HITZIG, or OLSHAUSEN, to similar late dates. At any rate, the reader will see that the mere fact of a Psalm being found in Book I does not in any way prove that it is older in date than those of Book II.
9. Mr. PEROWNE's general statement, however, must be reduced to this, that there are some Psalms of Book I which are regarded by [? all or some) critics as
the earliest in the collection. If he would point out one such a Psalm, and state the decisive evidence which it affords of its own extreme antiquity, I should gladly, as I have said, examine with all due care that evidence, and admit, if convinced by it, that I am mistaken. But Mr. PEROWNE's statement will be reduced to still smaller dimensions when the reader considers the following series of remarks made by himself upon the Psalms of Book I.
Pg.i, “There is not much in the Psalm itself which helps us to assign it to any particular period of history,' p.2;
Ps.ii might be ascribed to the time of David, or Solomon, or Ahaz, perhaps to David, p.5;
Ps.iji, according to the Title, was composed by David, when he fled from his son Absalom; and there is nothing in the language of the Psalm to contradict this. True, there is no allusion to Absalom &c., p.11;