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previously existing accounts, by some compiler, who collected the documents into one whole, without making any alteration in the distinct narrations. The undoubted marks of unity, both of plan and object, which the book exhibits, are inconsistent with this theory; unless indeed it be limited by very important modifications. It is evidently the intention of the whole book, with the exception of those introductory portions which precede the history of Abraham, to give an account of the people of God, from their origin to their settlement in Egypt. In doing this, the writer, in the progress of his work, continually alludes to what had been before stated, sometimes in similar and sometimes in the very same language; and this language in several instances is peculiar to the book, and in others evidently original in it. Doubtless, as I have before said, he availed himself of documents and other sources of information previously existing, and, agreeably to Hebrew usage, he retained the very phraseology of these documents so far as was consistent with his one object; but, in doing this, he adapted these sources of information to his purpose, modifying their language as the necessity of the case might require. In this respect, the work is analogous in some measure to the books of Samuel and of Kings.
5. I come now to consider another supposed indication of the documentary or fragmentary character of the book of Genesis, the use of the divine names, to which not a few writers have appealed with unbounded confidence. For this reason, and in account of the interest and importance of the subject, the reader will bear with me, if I should be more diffuse than heretofore. The subject is important, and deserves careful consideration.
It is hardly possible to read the book of Genesis attentively without observing that the Deity is therein designated by different names, and that these names are used in a very
remarkable manner. Sometimes the term God (Elohim,) occurs, sometimes Lord, (Jehovah,) and sometimes both are united. In i. 1–ii. 3, God is invariably used; in ii. 4-iii. 24, Lord God, except in iii. 1, 3, 5, where the speaker is a different person from the author; in iv. except v. 25, where Eve is introduced speaking, Lord alone. The facts in relation to this point, which a careful perusal of the whole book exhibits, plainly show, that these terms are frequently employed in such a manner as could not have been the result of chance, or of a mere intention to relieve the mind of the reader by an agreeable variety. To ascertain the ground on which the sacred writer has ordinarily employed one or other of these words in denoting the Supreme Being, is therefore an inquiry of no little interest, and in its connexions and results it is one of great importance.
The following table, which shows the usage throughout the book of Genesis, will enable the reader to form some judgment on the question, whether the use of these terms is incidental, or has a view to any particular design. It is founded on tables given by Drechsler, p. 5—7, in his work on the unity and genuineness of Genesis.* He continues the list to Exodus xxiv. inclusive, and gives others, showing the usage in Judges and 2 Samuel, (p. 3–5,) from which it ap
* Die Einheit und Aechtheit der Genesis, von Dr. Moritz DrechsLER; Hamburg, 1838, 8vo. This volume has an intimate connexion with another, published by the author in the preceding year, in which he attacks the literary character of certain late writers in the province of Old Testament criticism, particularly Von Bohlen and Vatke. It is entitled “Die Unwissenschaftlichkeit im Gebiete der Alttestamentlichen Kritik, belegt aus den Schriften neuerer Kritiker, besonders der Herren Von Bohlen und Vatke.” Some notice of this book may be seen in the New York Review, No. III, January, 1838.-Drechsler remarks that the list of places in which the divine names occur as given by Ewald, in his work on the composition of Genesis, is not altogether to be relied on. Some inaccuracies and omissions in his own I have corrected and supplied in the following table.
pears that the Lord, 7177 is much the most frequently employed. The combined term, Lord God, which Drechsler gives in the same columns with Lord and God, is here separated from both the others. It occurs only in the following texts: Gen. ii. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22; iii. 1, 8 twice, 9, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23; ix. 26; xv. 2, 8. In xxiv. 3, 7, 12, 27, and 42, both terms do indeed appear, but only one is used as a name of the Deity, the other being connected with what follows, as, “the Lord, God of my master Abraham," as in xxvii. 20, “the Lord, thy God.” Comp. xxviii. 21. All these places belong to that class in which the term Lord is employed. With the exception therefore of one place in the 9th chapter and two in the 15th, the connected use of the two terms is confined to the 2d and 3d chapters.
God, 61,738 or 38 i. 1, 2, 3, 4 twice, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10 twice, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 twice, 22, 24, 25 twice,
26, 27 twice, 28 twice, 29, 31. ii. 2, 3 twice. iii. 1, 3, 5. iv. 25. v. 1 twice, 22, 24 twice. vi. 2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 22. vii. 9, 16, viii. 1 twice, 15. ix. 1, 6, 8, 12, 16, 17, 27.
xiv. 18, 19, 20, 22.
* Our English Translation and Cranmer's Bible have “God”; but the original is Lord, 7777, and this is followed in the Geneva version.
xvii. 1, 3, 9, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23. xviii. 1, 13, 14, 17, 19 twice, 20, 22,
26, 33. xix. 13 twice, 14, 16, 24 twice, 27. xix. 29 twice. xx. 18.
XX. 3, 6, 11, 13, 17 twice. xxi. 1 twice, 33.
xxi. 2, 4, 6, 12, 17 thrice, 19, 20,
22, 23, 33. xxii. 11, 14 twice, 15, 16.
xxii. 1, 3, 8, 9, 12,
mighty prince.) xxiv. 1, 3, 7, 12, 21, 26, 27 twice,
31, 35, 40, 42, 44, 48 iwice, 50,
51, 52, 56. xxv. 21 twice, 22, 23. xxvi. 2, 12, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29. xxvii. 7, 20, 27.
xxvii. 28. xxviii. 13 twice, 16, 21.
xxviii. 3, 4, 12, 17, 19, (house of
God; Eng. Tr. Bethel,) 20, 22. xxix. 31, 32, 33, 35. XXX. 24, 27, 30.
xxx. 2, 6, 8, (wrestlings of God,)
17, 18, 20, 22 twice, 23. xxxi. 3, 49.
xxxi. 7, 9, 11, 13, 16 twice, 24,
42, 50. xxxii. 10, (Eng. Tr. 9.) . xxxii. 2, 3, 29, 31, (Eng. Tr. 1, 2,
28, 30.) xxxiii. 5, 10, 11, 20. xxxv. 1 twice, 3, 5, 7 twice, 9, 10,
11 twice, 13, 15.
xlvi. 2, 3. xlix. 18.
xlviii. 3, 9, 11, 15, 20, 21.
It is presumed that no one can carefully examine the usage exhibited in this table, without a disposition to consider, whether it be attributable to chance, or to some definite and assignable cause.
In assisting the reader to form a judgment on this point, I shall freely avail myself of the valuable labours of DrechsLER and HENGSTENBERG,* occasionally, however, suggesting doubts of the certainty of the results to which they have arrived. For the history of the subject I am indebted entirely to the last mentioned author.
The first reference to the different use of the divine names in Genesis occurs in TERTULLIAN, in his treatise against Hermogenes, cap. 3, Tom. II. p. 61, edit. Semler, (p. 234, edit. Rigalt.) It was observed also by Augustin, de Genesi ad literam, viii. 11. edit. Bened. Tom. III. p. 176; and also by Chrysostom, in his 14th Homily on Genesis, Opp. Tom. II. p. 119, Franc. (edit. Paris. 1636, p. 136; edit. Bened. Tom. IV. p. 108.) The two former writers ascribe the difference to design, but fruitlessly endeavour to account for it by considering the meaning of xugios, or dominus. The latter imagines them to be equivalent in meaning, and used indifferently.
Among the Jewish writers of the middle ages, RABBI JEHUDAH HallEVIof the 12th century, the author of the book Cosri, is distinguished for the striking and profound thoughts which he developes on this point.
“The plural form of the word Elohim," says this writer, "is illustrated by regarding it as opposed to idolators, who, personifying the powers of nature, apply the singular to each one, and the plural to all combined, without keeping in view
* The treatise of Hengstenberg may be found in his book before mentioned, vol. I. p. 181–414. It is entitled, “the divine names in the Pentateuch, die Gottesnamen im Pentateuch."
+ R. J. the Levite. See Wolf, Tom. IV. p. 1022, No. 25.