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the Mosaic legislation, and the absence of its marked influence upon all civil and social life. It fails to explain the silence respecting it that prevails in the period of the Judges, when the legislation must have been comparatively fresh, and the time scarcely admitted of much spiritual development. It fails to explain the fact that the Judges themselves violated the Mosaic injunctions—as Gideon in making an ephod. And it fails to explain many parts of David's and Solomon's conduct in ecclesiastical matters. In short, the Mosaic laws were systematically violated in the conduct of the people and their rulers. The most pious themselves did not hesitate to act in opposition to them. Jewish hard-heartedness and indocility do not go the length of accounting for these phenomena. Nor can we suppose that the law in its fulness did not exist till the captivity. The present Pentateuch had appeared before ; and important parts of the legislation had been reduced to writing prior to the existence of the whole work; but they were little read or known, vague tradition and dim remembrance supplying the place of a good acquaintance with Mosaic institutions. Yet the essential ideas of Jehovism gave a new and noble impulse to the nation's heart, stimulating the God-consciousness of the best souls, and furnishing a divine fulcrum by which alone the moral elevation of the nation could be effected. It was the incorruptible seed cast into an ungenial soil and germinating feebly, but still unchoked, bearing life and light to men.

The preceding discussions shew that we do not suppose the present Pentateuch to have received its form from Ezra, as Nicolas recently argues. It is impossible to assign it so late a date. His peculiar view of Jehovism and Elohism brings him to the conclusion that an epoch in which the old opposition of Jehovism and Elohism had entirely disappeared-in which the two parallel currents had reunited, and the divisions which filled the whole history of Israel from Moses till the final period of monarchy were at length effaced and had even fallen into profound forgetfulness, --such an epoch is necessary to the very conception of reuniting in the same collection writings so diverse as the Elohistic and Jehovistic documents. That time did not arrive before the return from captivity.”

The method in which this critic puts Elohists and Jehovists in antagonism to one another during the history of the nation from Moses till the Babylonian captivity, appears to us totally incorrect. One would suppose from his view, that Elohism and Jehovism were two religions pervaded by different kinds of monotheism ; and that the adherents of the two were

· Etudes critiques sur la Bible, ancien Testament, p. 84 et seqq. 2 Ibid. p. 85.

animated all along by mutual hostility, so that each party persecuted the other when it got the superiority. But there was no such antagonism. The Mosaic worship and ritual were only the development of Elohism. The one merged into the other, for which it prepared the way. All the diversities and contradictions existing between the Elohist and Jehovist documents should not be viewed as involving the personal rivalries and disputes of religious parties in the nation. The Israelites were either addicted to the worship of one God, or inclined to idolatry. The former included both Elohists and Jehovists without any sharp distinction in their respective faiths. Indeed Elohism existed in the nation's traditions oral and written, rather than in living representatives at the time and after the Elohists wrote.

It is useless to appeal to the Jewish traditions respecting Ezra restoring the Pentateuch. They are exaggerations of his laudable efforts in the department of ecclesiastical reform. That the sacred books of the nation formed an object of his care, that he made one or more collections and otherwise improved their condition may be properly allowed, without proceeding the length of holding that he put together the documents now composing the Pentateuch.

The difficulty which Nicolas finds in supposing that Deuteronomy could have been associated with books comparatively ancient, towards the last time of monarchy, or universally accepted as a sacred document of Mosaism, does not seem great. The Jehovist did not long precede the Deuteronomist. The narrative in 2 Kings xxii. 8, etc., clearly implies the existence of the book; and the reign of Manasseh when it was first written, with the succeeding one of Amon, agrees with the fact of its being almost unknown and unchallenged

an authentic Mosaic production. The discovery of the book of the law by Hilkiah in the temple, its public recognition by Josiah the king, and the respect paid to it as a guide in reforming the worship of God, agree with the fact of its recent origin, without the necessity of a long period giving its sanction so to speak to the book, before it could be judged worthy of a place beside the writings of Moses and the prophets. The arguments of Mons. Nicolas therefore, appear less weighty than he thinks. His opinion is certainly preferable to that of Simon; for it represents Ezra as only putting old documents in a new order, without introducing any modification into their contents. He was simply their collector; not their redactor or author in whole or in part, as Simon supposed.


1 Etudes critiques sur la Bible, ancien Testament, p. 87.

Equally incorrect with Nicolas's estimate of the time when the present Pentateuch first appeared is his notion of the redactor, whom he reduces almost to a non-entity. It is not necessary to suppose that he should either have done a great deal when he united the leading documents, as Nicolas thinks he ought and would as editor; or that he should have merely put them side by side without addition, omission, or modification, because they had a sacred character in his eyes, as well as those of his contemporaries. The redactor was not so remote from the Jehovist as to be deterred by this character of sacredness. Nor could the feeling in question have hindered any pious Hebrew from modifying and otherwise freely handling the documents, till after the captivity. Mons. Nicolas, like some other critics, thinks unduly of numerous documents Elohistic and Jehovistic; without sufficiently considering or allowing for oral traditions and legends that formed their source, and which they scarcely exhausted.

XXI. What testimony does the New Testament give regarding the Mosaic composition of the Pentateuch ?

The words of the Pharisees are (Matt. xix. 7), “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away ?” referring to Deut. xxiv. 1. Mark xii. 19, is parallel.

“And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept” (Mark x. 3–5).

“ Have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham,” etc., etc. (Mark xii. 26.) IIere the allusion is to Exodus iii. 6, which was not written by Moses, as we suppose.

“ Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them ... And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke xvi. 29-31).

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses," etc., etc. (Luke xxiv. 27-44). Nothing in these words necessitates the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.

“We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write” (John i. 45).

1 Etudes critiques sur la Bible, p. 69 et seqq.

Christ affirms that Moses wrote of him (John v. 46, 47). Here the allusion is mainly to Deut. xviii. 15-18. But all the Messianic types and promises are included—the Messianic bearing of the whole Pentateuch. In the same place the Redeemer speaks of Moses's writings.

“Did not Moses give you the law,” etc. (John vii. 19).

“ Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned” (John viïi. 5).

“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you” (Acts iii. 22).

. “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that

preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day (Acts xv. 21).

“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say

should come” (Acts xxvi. 22).

" He (Paul) expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets” (Acts xxviii. 23).

A more difficult passage is that in the Epistle to the Romans x. 5,—“For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them," where the original is in Lev. xviii. 5. Here it certainly seems to be stated that Moses wrote Leviticus, or at least the eighteenth chapter.

· But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart” (2 Cor. iii. 15).

“Of which tribe (Judah) Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood” (Heb. vii. 14).

The phrase book of Moses (Mark xü. 26) does not imply that he wrote all in the book so called ; nor does it necessarily presuppose his writing any part of it. It may only mean the book relating to him. Yet it must be confessed that the natural explanation is, “the book written by Moses.” In other places there is no peculiar difficulty, although quotations from all books of the Pentateuch occur in the New Testament. It is either said, God says to Moses (Rom. ix. 15), or, Moses says (Rom. x. 19), or, Moses wrote to us, the quotation being from Deuteronomy, as in Mark xii. 19; Luke xx. 28.

What then must be said of Rom. x. 5, where Leviticus is assigned to Mosaic authorship? What of Mark xii. 26, where Christ seems to identify Exodus with Moses's authorship ? What of John v. 46, 47, and of Matt. xix. 7, where Christ also

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refers to Deuteronomy as Moses's writing? The single passage quoted from Leviticus, not to speak of those in Exodus and Deuteronomy, is sufficient to shake the belief of a superficial reader in the post-Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch. When however it is stated in the New Testament that Moses wrote 80 and so, it does not necessarily follow that he actually penned what is imputed to him, or the whole book from which a single passage is cited. To judge properly of the question, various considerations should be taken into account.

First. The true method of proceeding is to determine the authorship of the Old Testament books irrespectively of the New Testament, in the first instance. The higher criticism must decide the question independently. What evidence do the books themselves furnish of their age and authorship? Here the various internal phenomena of language, style, manner, structure, must be carefully weighed—every particular, in short, that contributes to the formation of a just conclusion. Judged in this way, solely by internal evidence, the Pentateuch was not written by Moses. No book of it came from his pen. Criticism arrives at that result before any other part of the Old Testament or the New is examined. What then are we to say of New Testament passages which speak of Moses writing the Pentateuch in whole or in part ?

Secondly. Christ and his apostles did not come into the world to instruct the Jews in criticism. Faith in Christ does not limit critical investigation. The reply of Witsius to this statement, though sanctioned by Hävernick and Keil, is insufficient. That theologian, though allowing that they were not teachers of criticism, avers that they were teachers of truth, and did not suffer themselves to be imposed on by prevailing ignorance or the cunning of the rulers. They did not come into the world to

. foster vulgar errors, and support them by their authority.! Very true ; but the point in debate is, was it a fostering of vulgar error, or supporting of it by their authority, to abstain from shewing the Jews that Moses did not write the whole Pentateuch ? Did they allow themselves to be imposed on by prevailing ignorance because they were silent on the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible? Was it a part of their mission as teachers of truth to prove that the Pentateuch did not proceed from Moses? We deny that it was.

In discussing a delicate point like the present, we might 1 Enimvero non fuere Christus et apostoli critices doctores, quales se haberi postulant, qui hodie sibi regnum litterarum in quavis vindicant scientia; fuerunt tamen doctores veritatis, neque passi sunt sibi per communem ignorantiam aut procerum astum imponi. Non certe in mundum venere, ut vulgares errores foverent, suaque auctoritate munirent, nec per Judaeos solum sed et populos unice a se pendentes longe lateque spargerent." Miscellan. Sacr. i. p. 117.

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