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person from the creator of heaven and earth, a merely inferior God and mediator. He therefore here uses the two terms in connexion, in order that, in subsequent portions, when Jehovah or Elohim occurs alone, the reader may immediately recognize the truth that the one implies also the other.
The general character of these chapters requires the use of Jehovah. But, apart from this consideration, Elohim might have been used in particular places with equal propriety. It might have been said of God, as well as of the Lord God, “he had not caused it to rain upon the earth.” But, as this notice is preparatory to the account afterwards to be related of the establishment of Paradise, it represents God's affectionate care for man in preparing him a residence even before he was called into existence. The same principle explains the usage elsewhere.
It follows from what has been said, that the use of the two terms in combination must be limited to the author. Consequently, we do not find it in the language ascribed to the serpent and the woman, because it would be inconsistent with the nature of the temptation, and also with such a state of mind as would give it consideration.'
This view of the matter, as it accounts for the variable use of the names, destroys the hypothesis of particular documents, designated each by its own respective term.
Elohim has now appeared as Jehovah. This, therefore, becomes in the fourth chapter the predominant term. The other might, indeed, in most places have been used with propriety, but this is particularly appropriate, as the offerings of Cain and Abel were made to Jehovah. The use of Elohim in v. 25, “ for God hath appointed me another seed,” compared with that of Jehovah in v. 1, " I have gotten a man from the Lord,” where the subject is the same, requires no laboured exposition. The author implies that each term is equally expressive of the same Divine Being, “ the giver of every good gift.”
Both the writers before mentioned appear to be fanciful in assigning reasons for the difference in these two verses. Drechsler supposes that the choice of Elohim in v. 25, marks the opposition between God and man. “God replaces in the person of Seth, what Cain had attempted to destroy in that of Abel:" p. 86. Hengstenberg maintains that a different word from that used in the first verse marks the state of the mother's mind. “ At the first birth, her consciousness of the divine presence and being is particularly vivid. By inflicting punishment, God had shown himself to be Jehovah; as Jehovah also is he recognized in the benefit. In the birth of her first son, Eve discovers a dear pledge of his favour. At that of Seth, this feeling is not a little qualified. She merely recognizes a general divine influence; and the naturalness of the event does not, as on the first occasion, appear to her entirely in the back ground.” This inference, founded on such slight premises, will not be considered as receiving much support from the language of Leah, to which the author appeals, although he chooses to conclude that “the correctness of the exposition is consequently indubitable.” p. 320. He gives no references, but I presume he alludes to the language of xxix. 31–35, compared with that of xxx. 17, 20.
The indiscriminate application of a true theory, without a due regard to exceptions and limitations, by which every theory on such a subject must be modified, appears also in the remarks of one at least, if not both of these writers, on the next portion of the book of Genesis.
• In the whole account of the flood,' says Drechsler, • Elohim and Jehovah are both used, the former term, however, greatly preponderating. And this is very proper, as the subject relates to mankind in general, and not particularly to God's church. A second creation, as it were, is related, and the ninth chapter evidently refers to the first. Comp. ix. 1,7, with i. 22, 28; ix. 2, with i. 26 ; ix. 3, with i. 29, 30.' See p. 103.
This may be allowed to be natural and reasonable. But how does the author account for the exceptions to the use of Elohim?
In vi. 6, 7, Jehovah occurs. “It repented the Lord," — “ and the Lord said.” “Here God makes his determination, a determination which is founded on his merciful intention to redeem fallen man: therefore Jehovah is used.” p. 104. Extraordinary reason truly! The excision of the race of men then existing may, indeed, have been necessary to prepare the way for the accomplishment of this intention; but surely the determination to cut them off does not even intimate such an intention. “But the execution of the determination accords best with the general idea of the creator." Ibid. Elohim is consequently employed. On this theory, we might certainly expect to find Jehovah in vi. 22, where we read : “ according to all that God commanded Noah, so did. he.” In fact, this term does occur in vii. 5, “ that the Lord commanded him”; and here the author remarks, that “ the highly favoured Noah must exercise obedience, blind obedience enjoined by an absolute, positive law.* Therefore, Jehovah.” p. 105. But on this ground, vi. 22, and vii. 5, would both require Jehovah, since both are equally commands.
An outline of Hengstenberg's remarks must now be given. Gen. vi—ix. Ewald considers this portion of the book as of the highest importance, in its bearing on the theory of two documents, characterized by the use of Elohim and Jehovah.† It is therefore worthy of particular attention.
* “Blinden Gehorsam durch ein willkührliches, positives Gebot.” + Komp. der Genesis, p. 81.
'vi. 1-8 forms a sort of introduction, stating the cause of the divine judgments. With the exception of the phrase “sons of God,” Jehovah is invariably and frequently* employed. The subsequent narrative shows an abundant use of the term Elohim; though Jehovah is several times unexpectedly introduced, as in vii. 1, 5 and 16, immediately after Elohim, and in viii. 20, 21, ix. 26, immediately followed by it. Ewald takes no notice of this difficulty, and Sack's exposition is unsatisfactory.' p. 324-326.
“ It is the author's purpose to show how Elohim gradually became [manifested himself as] Jehovah. He has already taken the first step, and has the second in contemplation. The history of Abraham is pretty closely connected with the account of the flood; for in the intermediate portion the divine names occur but seldom, and the subjects are of such a character throughout as to make the use of Elohim inadmissible. If now the author, before entering on this new and important section of his work, wished, by the use of the divine names, to call his readers' attention to this point, that the being who had already been exhibited as Jehovah was still in a considerable degree Elohim, and that consequently new and more glorious discoveries and revelations were still to be unfolded, this must necessarily be done in the portion under consideration, in which the very frequent use of the divine names must prevent his purpose from being hid.
“ If the author had employed Elohim from the beginning, [of this portion,] one aspect of the truth would have remained concealed, namely this, that God was in a considerable degree already Jehovah, and displayed himself as such in the whole of this great occasion. He therefore in the introduction employs Jehovah frequently and with evident
* Only five times, including v. 5.
design. Consequently Elohim, which occurs so often in the subsequent representation, partly in reference to actions in connexion with which Jehovah had immediately before been made prominent, could not be misunderstood. The introduction shows that Elohim is not to be taken merely in the abstract, but that it implies this transition to Jehovah, who, in connexion with what follows, is still Elohim.” p. 327, 328.
Hengstenberg then proceeds to give reasons why the term Elohim, which occurs in vi. 2, 4, and also Jehovah, where it appears after vi. 8, should be considered as exceptions to the view just stated.
After an examination of the meaning of the phrase, “sons of God," in this place, which he shows cannot be explained of angels, but only in reference to truly religious men, he remarks, that they are called “sons of God' rather than of Jehovah, in contradistinction to the daughters of men, in accordance with ordinary usage, which employs the most general designation of the Supreme Being, when heaven and earth, God and man, are set in opposition to each other. Apart from this consideration, however, he thinks there is another reason in favour of the use of Elohim, as the dignity implied in the phrase "sons of Jehovah' would be too great for the existing developement of the divine purposes. Such a glory must be reserved for a subsequent age. See Deut. xiv. 1, 2. p. 332.*
•The commencement of the 7th chapter, vers. 1, 5, is the proper place to note the fact, that the same being who in some respects is still Elohim simply, is in other very weighty ones Jehovah; and thus the usage in vi. 1–8, is recalled to the reader's mind. We stand here on the very verge of the great catastrophe. The authority of Jehovah determines
* Drechsler has no difficulty on this point, as, in common with many Jewish and Christian writers, he understands the phrase in question of angels. p. 91–93.