Genesis

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jen´e-sis:

Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of "birth", "creation", "cause", "beginning", "source" and "origin") is the first book of the Torah, the first book of the Tanakh and also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. As Jewish tradition considers it to have been written by Moses, it is sometimes also called The First Book of Moses.

In Hebrew, it is called בראשית (B'reshit or Bərêšîth), after the first word of the text in Hebrew (meaning "in the beginning"). This is in line with the pattern of naming the other four books of the Pentateuch.


Contents

Introduction

Genesis begins with a description of God's creation of the world, Adam and Eve and their banishment from the Garden of Eden, the story of Cain and Abel, and the story of Noah and the great flood.

Chapter twelve begins with the call of Abram (later Abraham) and his then barren wife Sarai (later Sarah) from Ur (probably in Babylonia) to Canaan (Palestine). It contains the record of Abraham's acceptance by God, and of God's promise to him that through his offspring all people on earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). It records the doings of the first of his descendants, Isaac, and Jacob (known as Israel), and their families. It ends with Jacob's descendants, the Israelites, in Egypt, in favour with the Pharaoh.

Genesis contains the historical presupposition and basis of the national religious ideas and institutions of Israel, and serves as an introduction to its history, laws, and customs. It is the composition of a writer, who has recounted the traditions of the Israelites, combining them into a uniform work, while preserving the textual and formal peculiarities incident to their difference in origin and mode of transmission.

Authorship

Genesis as a completed book makes no claims about its authorship; it is an article of Orthodox Jewish faith that the book was dictated, in its entirety, by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The author of this book was Moses. Under divine guidance he may indeed have been led to make use of materials already existing in primeval documents, or even of traditions in a trustworthy form that had come down to his time, purifying them from all that was unworthy; but the hand of Moses is clearly seen throughout in its composition.

The five books of Moses were collectively called the Pentateuch, a word of Greek origin meaning “the five-fold book.” The Jews called them the Torah, i.e., “the law.” It is probable that the division of the Torah into five books proceeded from the Greek translators of the Old Testament. The names by which these several books are generally known are Greek.

The first book of the Pentateuch (q.v.) is called by the Jews Bereshith, i.e., “in the beginning”, because this is the first word of the book. It is generally known among Christians by the name of Genesis, i.e., “creation” or “generation,” being the name given to it in the Septuagint as designating its character, because it gives an account of the origin of all things. It contains, according to the usual computation, the history of about two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine years.

Genesis is divided into two principal parts. The first part (Genesis 1 - 11) gives a general history of mankind down to the time of the Dispersion. The second part presents the early history of Israel down to the death and burial of Joseph (Genesis 12 - 50).

There are five principal persons brought in succession under our notice in this book, and around these persons the history of the successive periods is grouped, viz., Adam (Genesis 1 - 3), Noah (Genesis 4 - 9), Abraham (Genesis 10 - 25:18), Isaac (Genesis 25:19 - 35:29), and Jacob (Genesis 36 - 50).

In this book we have several prophecies concerning Christ (Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4; Genesis 28:14; Genesis 49:10).

Use of the literal reading to date creation

Based on the genealogies in Genesis and later parts of the Bible, both religious Jews and Christians have independently worked backwards to estimate the time of the Creation of the world. This approach suggests Creation was around the beginning of the 4th millennium BC. This dating is based on an entirely literal reading of the creation account: that the six days in which God created the heavens and the earth were 24-hour days, that Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden existed, and that a complete trace of events from Creation to a historically verifiable date is listed in the Biblical account.

Literal versus allegorical interpretations

Genesis begins with a creation narrative, or narratives. Because a literal reading of Genesis can be seen to conflict with widely accepted scientific theories such as the Big Bang and common descent, Some believers view the creation narratives presented in Genesis as an allegory; however the non-literal view of creation did not begin with Darwin, but rather predated him by hundreds of years.

Those who believe that the first eleven chapters are literal argue that the style of writing shares a literary style with other biblical writing often considered to be historical in nature and the text nowhere indicates that it is meant as anything other than a literal account. Such analyses, along with a strong tradition of Biblical inerrancy, has led a significant number of religious and scientific individuals and organisations to reject man´s theoretical accounts of the origin of life and the universe in favour of Young-Earth creationism or YEC.

There are also growing number of Christians and Jews who argue that the beginning ‎of ‎Genesis is not an account of the physical creation of the world; but, in keeping with ‎how they think ‎ancient Hebrews would have viewed this text, believe it is an account of God's ‎‎dissemination of order on a physical plane that was there before the narrative begins. ‎‎Some even decry all attempt at interpreting the text as anything other than a bestowment of ‎‎order on the physical universe. This interpretation has largely arisen from many in the ‎‎Christian and Jewish faith who wish to rationalize a literal interpretation of the narrative with modern scientific thought. Saint Augustine took this view in The Literal Meaning of Genesis, but strongly rejected the suggestion that it represented an allegory; he took, instead, the position that in the Bible, "light" is continually used to mean order, enlightenment, or a higher plane of existence, and that similarly, "day" means an indeterminate interval of time defined by some central paradigm, as in the expression "dawn of a new day". From this point of view, he could reject as irrelevant the question of what was meant by the first three "days of Creation", when the sun and moon were not created until the fourth day, in favor of a "literal" interpretation that the universe was created all at once and then progressed from chaos through a "day when light was created", with light meaning understanding, order, etc. rather than electromagnetic radiation, followed by "a day when heaven was created", etc.

Christian views

There are numerous references to Genesis in the New Testament. These references assume an authoritative nature for Genesis. While none of these references explicitly state an author for Genesis there are several places which attribute the books of the law (Torah) to Moses (Mark 12:19, Mark 12:26; Luke 24:27).

The author of the gospel of John uses language similar to that in Genesis 1 when personifying the speech of God as the eternal Logos (Greek: λογος "reason", "word", "speech"), that is the origin of all things "with God", and "was God", and "became flesh and tabernacled among us". Many Christians interpret this as an example of apostolic teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Christ; it is primarily on the strength of John's testimony that Christians ascribe personality to the creative speech of God, and identify that personality with Jesus (Hebrews 1:2,3, Colossians 1:16-17 are among other Biblical sources for the belief).

In addition to references to Genesis in the New Testament, Christian theologians (from the earliest Patristics to modern-day writers) have endlessly interpreted and debated the stories and images in Genesis, using a myriad of methods and theological perspectives. In fact, the interpretation of the first three books of Genesis remains a hotly contended issue among Christians today.

Main themes

  • God created the world. God has called all objects and living beings into existence by his word.
  • The universe when created was, in the judgment of God, good. Genesis expresses an optimistic satisfaction and pleasure in the world.
  • God as a personal being, referred to in anthropomorphic and anthropopathic terms. God may appear and speak to mankind.
  • Genesis gives no philosophically rigorous definition of God; its description is a practical and historical one. God is treated exclusively with reference to his dealings with the world and with man.
  • Humankind is the crown of Creation, and has been made in God's image.
  • All people are descended from Adam and Eve; this expresses the unity of the whole human race.
  • The Earth possesses for man a certain moral grandeur; man must include God's creatures in the respect that it demands in general, by not exploiting them for his own selfish uses.
  • God is presented as being the sole creator of nature, and as existing outside of it and beyond it.
  • Some historians believe Genesis to be a more recent example of monotheistic belief than Zoroastrianism, interpreting the commandment "have no other gods before me" as an artifact of early henotheism among the Jews -- i.e., as evidence that the Hebrews were not to worship the gods of other peoples, but only their own tribal god. On the other hand, Genesis, in its present form, purports to give a record of beliefs prior to any surviving religious texts, describing the worship of other gods and local deities as a gradual development among the nations, who departed from original monotheism.
  • God created an eternal, unbreakable covenant with all mankind at the time of Noah; this is known as the Noachide Covenant. This universal concern with all mankind is paralleled by a second covenant made to the descendants of Abraham in particular, through his son Isaac, in which their descendants will be chosen to have a special destiny.
  • The Jewish people are chosen to be in a special covenant with God; God says to Abraham "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you; and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed". God often repeats the promise that Abraham's descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the seashore.

The article on Biblical cosmology discusses the Bible's view of the cosmos, much of which derives from descriptions in Genesis.

Summary

Creation

The creation narrative in Genesis can be split into two sections - the first section starts with an account of the Creation of the universe by God, which occurs in six days, the second section is more human-oriented, and less concerned with explaining how the Earth, its creatures and its features came to exist as they are today.

Within the first chapter, in an order as written in the Bible: On the first day, God created heaven and Earth. God then created light. On the second day, God created the firmament of heaven. On the third day, God caused the appearence of dry land and then created plant life. On the forth day, he created the Sun, moon, and the stars. On the fifth day, God made marine life and winged-animals. On the sixth day, God created land animals before creating man.

Chapter two mentions the seventh day of creation, the Sabbath, where God rested and sanctified the day. The seventh day is generally not regarded as a day inside the context of biblical creationism.

Some may wonder whether it was this chapter of the Hebrew Bible that gives us our seven-day week, and may further speculate about the importance of the number seven. However, research into the origin of the week tells us that it was widely spread throughout the ancient world, so widely that apart from claims such as Genesis, its origins cannot be determined with certainty.

The second section of the creation narrative explains that the earth was lifeless, how God brought moisture to the soil and how man was formed from the dust (Adam translates from Hebrew to mean 'Red Earth').

Adam and Eve

God formed Adam out of earth ("adamah"), and set him in the Garden of Eden, to watch over it. Adam is allowed to eat of all the fruit within it, except that of the "Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil." God then brings all the animals to Adam (Genesis 2:19). In Genesis 2:18, God says he will make a helper for Adam, singular, and then creates the animals. In Genesis 2:20, Adam studies all the animals and names them. He does not find his helpmate and notices that all the other animals have helpmates for them (the male and female). When Adam realizes this, God then puts him into a deep sleep, takes a rib from his side, and from it forms a woman (called later "Eve"), to be his companion (his helpmate).

Later, starting in Genesis 3:1, Eve was convinced by a talking serpent (Satan) to eat of the forbidden fruit. Although many think that she questioned the serpent wisely, a quick study of the scripture reveals otherwise. First, when Eve answers, starting in Genesis 3:2, she incorrectly quotes God. God told Adam he could freely eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden (Genesis 2:16); Eve says "we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden", ignoring the freedom they had. In Genesis 3:3, she adds to what God said: "neither shall ye touch it", which God never told Adam. The second thing to note is that Adam is with Eve the whole time (Genesis 3:6, "her husband with her"), including when she misquotes God's words, and does nothing about it (which is why he is ultimately blamed for the sin and not Eve). This turning from God is also considered the original sin in traditional Christian interpretation. As punishment, the ground is cursed, Adam and Eve become mortal (because they no longer have access to the Tree Of Life), and they are driven out of the garden. The entrance to the garden is then guarded by cherubim with a flaming sword. And Adam and Eve do not even have any idea that man's punishment for eating the forbidden fruit will escalate, worsen, and accelerate all throughout the future.

Adam and Eve initially have two sons, Cain and Abel. There is a Chiastic structure in the first few verses relating Cain to Abel. Cain grows envious of the favor found by his brother before God, and slays him. The first murder is that of a brother. Cain is sentenced to wander over the earth as a fugitive. He finally settles in the land of Nod.

From Adam to Noah

Cain, the son of Adam, builds the first known city in the Bible and calls it after the name of his son, Enoch (Genesis 4:17). Further down the line of genealogy, Lamech takes two wives (Genesis 4:19). Lamech's sons are the first dwellers in tents and owners of herds (Genesis 4:20, Jabal is called the "father of such as dwell in tents"), and they are the earliest inventors of musical instruments (Genesis 4:21) and workers in brass and iron (Genesis 4:22). These descendants of Cain know nothing about God (Genesis 4:16).

Another son of Adam, Seth, has in the meantime been born to Adam and Eve in place of the slain Abel (Genesis 4:25). Seth's descendants never lose thought of God (Genesis 4:26). The tenth in regular descent is Noah (Genesis 5:1-29). Adam and Eve also have other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4). In line with most of the other biblical characters born before the flood whose ages are provided, Adam lived until the age of 930 (Genesis 5:5).

Chapter 5 provides a genealogy of descendants of Adam till Noah:

Noah and the great flood

In Genesis chapter 6, verse 2, the sons of God (the men who turned back to God after the original fall), took daughters of men (women who were in rebellion against God) to be their wives. Then, in Genesis 6:3, the Lord said; "My spirit shall not put up with humans for these lengths of time, for they are mortal flesh. In the future, humans shall live no more than 120 years." The Nephilim were giants, either physically or from their accomplishments, who can be compared to the rock stars, movie stars or millionaires of our day. Then, one day, God looked down on the earth and was very displeased. He saw that the beautiful world He made was filled with violence and hate, and that it was people who made the earth so evil. God decides to cleanse the world with a flood and start again. God selects one man's family, the family of Noah, to survive the flood, as Noah's family is still perfect genetically (Genesis 6:9). God commands him to build a large ark, since the work of destruction is to be accomplished by means of a great flood. Noah obeys the command, entering the ark together with his family. Into this ark they bring a mating pair of each kind of animal and bird on Earth. Water bursts out of the ground and falls from the sky, and the world is flooded, destroying all living beings (just of the land, no reference to water animals) and saves those in the ark. When it has subsided, Noah's family leaves the ark, and God enters into a covenant with Noah and all his descendants, the entire human race. Noah plants a vineyard (ix. 20) and drinks of the produce. When, in a fit of intoxication, Noah is shamefully treated by his son Ham, he curses the latter in the person of Ham's son Canaan, while his sons Shem and Japheth are blessed.

Chapter 10 reviews the peoples descended from Japheth, Ham, and Shem. The dispersion of humanity into separate races and nations is described in the story of the Tower of Babel. Humanity is dispersed by a "confusion of tongues," which God brought about when men attempted to build a tower that should reach up to heaven (xi. 1-9). A genealogy is given of Shem's descendants.


Abram and Sarai

Terah, who lives at Ur of the Chaldees, has three sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran's son is Lot. Nahor is married to Milcah, and Abram to Sarai, who has no children. God directs Abram to leave his home. Abram obeys, emigrating with his entire household and Lot, his brother's son, to the land of Canaan. Here God appears to him and promises that the land shall become the property of his descendants.

Abram is forced by a famine to leave the country and go to Egypt. The King of Egypt takes possession of the beautiful Sarai (whom Abram has misleadingly represented as his sister; she was in fact his half-sister). God smites the King with a disease, which the King recognizes as a sign from God; the King returns Sarai to Abram. Abram returns to Canaan, and separates from Lot in order to put an end to disputes about pasturage. He gives Lot the valley of the Jordan near Sodom. God again appears to Abram, and promises to him the whole country.


Abram and Melchizedek

Lot is taken prisoner by invading kings from the East during a war between Amraphel, King of Shinar, and Bera, King of Sodom, with their respective allies. Abram pursues the victors with his armed retainers. Returning with his warband after rescuing Lot and his clan, Abram is met by Melchizedek, the king and high priest of Salem (Jerusalem), who blesses him, and in return Abram gives him a tithe of his booty, refusing his share of the same. After this exploit God again appears to Abram and promises him protection, a rich reward, and numerous progeny. These descendants will pass four hundred years in servitude in a strange land; but after God has judged their oppressors they shall leave the land of their affliction, and the fourth generation shall return to Canaan.


Hagar and Ishmael

Sarai is childless, so Sarai and Abram decide that they will produce an heir for Abram through his Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar. Abram takes her as a concubine and has a child with her, Ishmael. God again appears to Abram, and enters into a personal covenant with him securing Abram's future: God promises him a numerous progeny, changes his name to "Abraham" and that of Sarai to "Sarah," and institutes the circumcision of all males as an eternal sign of the covenant.


Sodom and Gomorrah

God sends Abraham three angels, whom Abraham receives hospitably. They announce to him that he will have a son within a year, although he and his wife are already very old. Abraham also hears that God's messengers intend to execute judgment upon the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, whereupon he intercedes for the sinners, and endeavors to have their fate set aside. Two of the messengers go to Sodom, where they are hospitably received by Lot. The men of the city wish to have sexual relations with them. Having thus shown that they have deserved their fate, Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed by fire-and-brimstone.

Only Lot and his two daughters are saved. Lot's incestuous relationship with his daughters, which resulted in the births of Ammon and Moab, is also described.

Abraham journeys to Gerar, the country of Abimelech. Here once again he represents Sarah as his sister, and Abimelech plans to gain possession of her. He desists on being warned by God.


The Birth of Isaac

At last the long-expected son is born, and receives the name of "Isaac" (Itzhak: "will laugh" in Hebrew). At Sarah's insistence Ishmael together with his mother Hagar is driven out of the house. They also have a great future promised to them by God. Abraham, during the banquet that he gives in honor of Isaac's birth, enters into a covenant with Abimelech, who confirms his right to the well Beer-Sheba.


The near sacrifice of Isaac

Now that Abraham seems to have all his desires fulfilled, having even provided for the future of his son, God subjects him to the greatest trial of his faith by demanding Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham obeys; but, as he is about to lay the knife upon his son, God restrains him, promising him numberless descendants. On the death of Sarah, Abraham acquires Machpelah for a family tomb. Then he sends his servant to Mesopotamia, Nahor's home, to find among his relations a wife for Isaac; and Rebekah, Nahor's granddaughter, is chosen. Other children are born to Abraham by another wife, Keturah, among whose descendants are the Midianites; and he dies in a prosperous old age.


Esau and Jacob

After being married for twenty years Rebekah has twins by Isaac: Esau, who becomes a hunter, and Jacob (Ya'akov: "will follow"), who becomes a herdsman. Jacob persuades Esau to sell him his birthright, for which the latter does not care; notwithstanding this bargain, God appears to Isaac and repeats the promises given to Abraham. His wife, whom he represents as his sister, is endangered in the country of the Philistines, but King Abimelech himself averts disaster. In spite of the hostility of Abimelech's people, Isaac is fortunate in all his undertakings in that country, especially in digging wells. God appears to him at Beer-Sheba, encourages him, and promises him blessings and numerous descendants; and Abimelech enters into a covenant with him at the same place. Esau marries Canaanite women, to the regret of his parents.

Rebekah persuades Jacob to dress himself as Esau, and thus obtain from his blinded by old age father the blessing intended for Esau. To escape his brother's vengeance, Jacob is sent to relations in Haran, being charged by Isaac to find a wife there. On the way God appears to him at night, promising protection and aid for himself and the land for his numerous descendants. Arrived at Haran, Jacob hires himself to Laban, his mother's brother, on condition that, after having served for seven years as a herdsman, he shall have for wife the younger daughter, Rachel, with whom he is in love. At the end of this period Laban gives him the elder daughter, Leah; Jacob therefore serves another seven years for Rachel, and after that six years more for cattle. In the meantime Leah bears him Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; by Rachel's maid Bilhah he has Dan and Naphtali; by Zilpah, Leah's maid, Gad and Asher; then, by Leah again, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah; and finally, by Rachel, Joseph. He also acquires much wealth in flocks.


Jacob wrestles with God

In fear of Laban, Jacob flees with his family, and soon becomes reconciled with Laban. On approaching his home he is in fear of Esau, to whom he sends presents. While sleeping, a being (variously regarded as God, an angel, or a man), appears to Jacob and wrestles with him. The mysterious one pleads to be released before daybreak, but Jacob refuses to release the being until he agrees and announces to Jacob that he shall bear the name "Israel," which means "one who wrestled with God" and is freed.

The meeting with Esau proves a friendly one, and the brothers separate reconciled. Jacob settles at Shechem. His sons Simeon and Levi take vengeance on the city of Shechem, whose prince has raped their sister Dinah. On the road from Bethel, Rachel gives birth to a son, Benjamin, and dies.


Joseph the dreamer

Joseph, Jacob's favorite son, is hated by his brothers on account of his dreams prognosticating his future dominion, and on the advice of Judah is secretly sold to a caravan of Ishmaelitic merchants going to Egypt. His brothers tell their father that a wild animal has devoured Joseph. Joseph, carried to Egypt, is there sold as a slave to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials. He gains his master's confidence; but when the latter's wife, unable to seduce him, accuses him falsely, he is cast into prison (xxxix.). Here he correctly interprets the dreams of two of his fellow prisoners, the king's butler and baker. When Pharaoh is troubled by dreams that no one is able to interpret, the butler draws attention to Joseph. The latter is thereupon brought before Pharaoh, whose dreams he interprets to mean that seven years of abundance will be followed by seven years of famine. He advises the king to make provision accordingly, and is empowered to take the necessary steps, being appointed second in the kingdom. Joseph marries Asenath, the daughter of the priest Poti-pherah, by whom he has two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who were blessed by Israel, Ephraim with Israel's right hand, Manassah with Israel's left. (xli.).

When the famine comes it is felt even in Canaan; and Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain. The brothers appear before Joseph, who recognizes them, but does not reveal himself. After having proved them on this and on a second journey, and they having shown themselves so fearful and penitent that Judah even offers himself as a slave, Joseph reveals his identity, forgives his brothers the wrong they did him, and promises to settle in Egypt both them and his father (xlii.-xlv.). Jacob brings his whole family, numbering 66 persons, to Egypt, this making, inclusive of Joseph and his sons and himself, 70 persons. Pharaoh receives them amicably and assigns to them the land of Goshen (xlvi.-xlvii.). When Jacob feels the approach of death he sends for Joseph and his sons, and receives Ephraim and Manasseh among his own sons (xlviii.). Then he calls his sons to his bedside and reveals their future to them (xlix.). Jacob dies, and is solemnly interred in the family tomb at Machpelah. Joseph lives to see his great-grandchildren, and on his death-bed he exhorts his brethren, if God should remember them and lead them out of the country, to take his bones with them. The book ends with Joseph's remains being put "in a coffin in Egypt." This, however, does not imply that his family was unfaithful to his wishes, but rather this burial is only temporary. Obviously, they could not have left him unburied for the reaminder of their stay in Egypt. They do, in fact, take his bones with them on their journey and bury him at Shechem, a plot of ground already owned by their family (Joshua 24:32).


I. General Data

1. The Name

The first book of Moses is named by the Jews from the first word, namely, בּראשׁית, berē'shīth, i.e. “in the beginning” (compare the Βρησιθ, Brēsith of Origen). In the Septuagint it is called Γένεσις, Génesis, because it recounts the beginnings of the world and of mankind. This name has passed over into the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 AD) (Liber Genesis). As a matter of fact the name is based only on the beginning of the book.

2. Survey of Contents

The book reports to us the story of the creation of the world and of the first human beings (Genesis 1); of paradise and the fall (Genesis 2 f); of mankind down to the Deluge (Genesis 4 f; compare Genesis 4, Cain and Abel); of the Deluge itself (Genesis 6 through 9); of mankind down to the age of the Patriarchs (Genesis 10:1 through Genesis 11:26; compare Genesis 11:1, the building of the tower of Babel); of Abraham and his house (Genesis 11:27 through Genesis 25:18); of Isaac and his house (Genesis 25:19 through Genesis 37:2); of Jacob and of Joseph (Genesis 37:2-50:26). In other words, the Book of Genesis treats of the history of the kingdom of God on earth from the time of the creation of the world down to the beginning of Israel's sojourn in Egypt and to the death of Joseph; and it treats of these subjects in such a way that it narrates in the 1st part (Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 11:26) the history of mankind; and in the 2nd part (Genesis 11:27 through Genesis 50:26) the history of families; and this latter part is at the same time the beginning of the history of the chosen people, which history itself begins with Exodus 1. Though the introduction, Genesis 1-11, with its universal character, includes all mankind in the promise given at the beginning of the history of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), it is from the outset distinctly declared that God, even if He did originally set apart one man and his family (Genesis 12 through 50), and after that a single nation (Exodus 1ff), nevertheless intends that this particularistic development of the plan of salvation is eventually to include all mankind. The manner in which salvation is developed historically is particularistic, but its purposes are universal.

3. Connection with Succeeding Books

By the statements just made it has already been indicated in what close connection Genesis stands with the subsequent books of the sacred Scriptures. The history of the chosen people, which begins with Ex 1ff, at the very outset and with a clear purpose, refers back to the history as found in Genesis (compare Exodus 1:1-6, Exodus 1:8 with Genesis 46:27; Genesis 50:24; and see Exodus, I, 3), although hundreds of years had clasped between these events; which years are ignored, because they were in their details of no importance for the religious history of the people of God. But to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 the promise had been given, not only that he was to be the father of a mighty nation that would recognize him as their founder, and the earliest history of which is reported in Exodus and the following books of the Pentateuch, but also that the Holy Land had been promised him. In this respect, the Book of Joshua, which gives the story of the capture of this land, is also a continuation of the historical development begun in Genesis. The blessing of God pronounced over Abraham, however, continued to be efficacious also in the later times among the people who had descended from him. In this way Genesis is an introduction to all of the books of the Old Testament that follow it, which in any way have to do with the fate of this people, and originated in its midst as the result of the special relation between God and this people. But in so far as this blessing of God was to extend to all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:3), the promises given can be entirely fulfilled only in Christ, and can expand only in the work and success of Christian missions and in the blessings that are found within Christianity. Accordingly, this book treats first of beginnings and origins, in which, as in a kernel, the entire development of the kingdom of God down to its consummation is contained (compare VI below).


II. Composition of Genesis in General

1. Unity of the Biblical Text

(1) The tōledhōth

The fact that Genesis is characterized by a far-reaching and uniform scheme has, at least in outline, been already indicated (see I, 2 and 3). This impression is confirmed when we examine matters a little more closely and study the plan and structure of the book. After the grand introitus, which reports the creation of the world (1:1-2:3) there follows in the form of 10 pericopes the historical unfolding of that which God has created, which pericopes properly in each case bear the name tōledhōth, or “generations.” For this word never signifies creation or generation as an act, but always the history of what has already been created or begotten, the history of generations; so that for this reason, Genesis 2:4, where mention is made of the tōledhōth of heaven and of earth, cannot possibly be a superscription that has found its way here from Genesis 1:1. It is here, as it is in all cases, the superscription to what follows, and it admirably leads over from the history of creation of the heavens and the earth in Gen 1 to the continuation of this subject in the next chapter. The claim of the critics, that the redactor had at this place taken only the superscription from his source P (the priestly narrator, to whom 1 through Genesis 2:3 is ascribed), but that the section of P to which this superscription originally belonged had been suppressed, is all the more monstrous a supposition as Genesis 2:4 throughout suits what follows.

Only on the ground of this correct explanation of the term tōledhōth can the fact be finally and fully explained, that the tōledhōth of Terah contain also the history of Abraham and of Lot; the tōledhōth of Isaac contain the history of Jacob and Esau; the tōledhōth of Jacob contain the history of Joseph and his brethren. The ten tōledhōth are the following: I, Genesis 2:4-4:26, the tōledhōth of the heavens and the earth; II, 5:1 through 6:8, the tōledhōth of Adam; III, 6:9 through 9:29, the tōledhōth of Noah; IV, 10:1 through 11:9, the tōledhōth of the sons of Noah; V, 11:10-26, the tōledhōth of the sons of Shem; VI, 11:27 through 25:11, the tōledhōth of Terah; VII, Genesis 25:12-18, the tōledhōth of Ishmael; VIII, 25:19 through 35:29, the tōledhōth of Isaac; IX, 36:1 through 37:1, the tōledhōth of Esau (the fact that Genesis 36:9, in addition to the instance in Genesis 36:1, contains the word tōledhōth a second time, is of no importance whatever for our discussion at this stage, as the entire chapter under any circumstances treats in some way of the history of the generations of Esau; see III, Genesis 2:9); X, 37:2 through 50:26, the tōledhōth of Jacob. In each instance this superscription covers everything that follows down to the next superscription.

The number 10 is here evidently not an accidental matter. In the articles Exodus, Leviticus, Day Of Atonement, also in Ezekiel, it has been shown what role the typical numbers 4, 7, 10 and 12 play in the structure of the whole books and of the individual pericopes. (In the New Testament we meet with the same phenomenon, particularly in the Apocalypse of John; but compare also in Matthew's Gospel the 3 X 14 generations in Matthew 1:1, the 7 parables in Matthew 13:1, the 7 woes in Matthew 23:13.) In the same way the entire Book of Lev naturally falls into 10 pericopes (compare Leviticus, II, 2, 1), and Lev 19 contains 10 groups, each of 4 (possibly also of 5) commandments; compare possibly also Leviticus 18:6-18; Leviticus 20:9-18; see Leviticus, II, 2, 21, VI. Further, the number 10, with a greater or less degree of certainty, can be regarded as the basis for the construction of the pericopes: Exodus 1:8-7:7; 7:8-13:16 (10 plagues); 13:17-18:27 (see Exodus, II, 2:1-3); the Decalogue (Exodus 20:1); the first Book of the Covenant (21:1 through 23:13; Exodus 23:14-19), and the whole pericope 19:1 through 24:18a, as also 32:1 through 35:3 (see Exodus, II, 2, 4, 6). In the Book of Genesis itself compare further the 10 members from Shem to Abraham (11:11-26), as also the pericopes 25:19 through 35:29; 37:2 through 50:26 (see III, 2, 8, 10 below), and the 10 nations in Genesis 15:19. And just as in the cases cited, in almost every instance, there is to be found a further division into 5 X 2 or 2 X 5 (compare, e.g. the two tables of the Decalogue); thus, too, in the Book of Genesis in each case, 5 of the 10 pericopes are more closely combined, since I-V (tōledhōth of Shem inclusive) stand in a more distant, and VI-X (treating of the tōledhōth of Terah, or the history of Abraham) in a closer connection with the kingdom of God; and in so far, too, as the first series of tōledhōth bring into the foreground more facts and events, but the second series more individuals and persons. Possibly in this case, we can further unite 2 tōledhōth; at any rate I and II (the primitive age), III and IV (Noah and his sons), VII and VIII (Ishmael and Isaac), IX and X (Esau and Jacob) can be thus grouped.

(2) Further Indication of Unity

In addition to the systematic scheme so transparent in the entire Biblical text of the Book of Genesis, irrespective of any division into literary sources, it is to be noticed further, that in exactly the same way the history of those generations that were rejected from any connection with the kingdom of God is narrated before the history of those that remained in the kingdom of God and continued its development. Cain's history (Genesis 4:17) in Jahwist (Jahwist) stands before the history of Seth (Genesis 4:25 f J; Genesis 5:3 P); Japheth's and Ham's genealogy (Genesis 10:1 P; Genesis 10:8 P and J) before that of Shem (Genesis 10:21 J and P), although Ham was the youngest of the three sons of Noah (Genesis 9:24); the further history of Lot (Genesis 19:29 P and J) and of Ishmael's genealogy (Genesis 25:12 P and J) before that of Isaac (Genesis 25:19 P and J and E); Esau's descendants (Genesis 36:1 R and P) before the tōledhōth of Jacob (Genesis 37:2 P and J and E).

In favor of the unity of the Biblical text we can also mention the fact that the Book of Genesis as a whole, irrespective of all sources, and in view of the history that begins with Exodus 1ff, has a unique character, so that e.g. the intimate communion with God, of the kind which is reported in the beginning of this Book of Genesis (compare, e.g. Genesis 3:8; Genesis 7:16; Genesis 11:5 J; Genesis 17:1, Genesis 17:22; Genesis 35:9, Genesis 35:13 P; Genesis 18:1; Genesis 32:31 J), afterward ceases; and that in Exodus, on the other hand, many more miracles are reported than in the Book of Genesis (see Exodus, III, 2); that Genesis contains rather the history of mankind and of families, while Exodus contains that of the nation (see I, 2 above); that it is only in Exodus that the law is given, while in the history of the period of the patriarchs we find only promises of the Divine grace; that all the different sources ignore the time that elapses between the close of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus; and further, that nowhere else is found anything like the number of references to the names of persons or things as are contained in Genesis (compare, e.g. Genesis 2:23; Genesis 3:20; Genesis 4:1, Genesis 4:25, etc., in J; Genesis 17:5, Genesis 17:15, Genesis 17:17-20, etc., in P; Genesis 21:9, Genesis 21:17, Genesis 21:31, etc., in E; Genesis 21:6; Genesis 27:36, etc., in J and E; Genesis 28:19, etc., in R; Genesis 49:8, Genesis 49:16, Genesis 49:19, etc., in the blessing of Jacob); that the changing of the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah from Genesis 17:5, Genesis 17:15 goes on through all the sources, while before this it is not found in any source. Finally, we would draw attention to the psychologically finely drawn portraits of Biblical persons in Genesis. The fact that the personal pronoun hū' and the noun na‛ar are used of both masculine and feminine genders is characteristic of Genesis in common with all the books of the Pentateuch, without any difference in this regard being found in the different documents, which fact, as all those cited by us in number 1 above, militates against the division of this book into different sources. Let us now examine more closely the reason assigned for the division into different sources.

2. Rejection of the Documentary Theory

(1) In General

(A) Statement of Theory

Old Testament scholars of the most divergent tendencies are almost unanimous in dividing the Biblical text of Genesis into the sources the Priestly Code (P), Jahwist and Elohist, namely Priestly Codex, Jahwist, and Elohist. To P are attributed the following greater and connected parts: 1:1-2:4a; 5; a part of the story of the Deluge in chapters 6-9; Genesis 11:10; 17; 23; Genesis 25:12; Genesis 35:22 ff; the most of 36. As examples of the parts assigned to J we mention 2:4b-4:26; the rest of the story of the Deluge in chapters 6-9; Genesis 11:1; 12 f; 16; 18 f, with the exception of a few verses, which are ascribed to P; chapter 24 and others. Connected parts belonging to the Elohist (E) are claimed to begin with chapters 20 and 21 (with the exception of a number of verses which are attributed to P or J or R), and it is thought that, beginning with chapter 22, E is frequently found in the history of Jacob and of Joseph (Genesis 25:19-50:26), in part, however, interwoven with J (details will be found under III, in each case under 2). This documentary theory has hitherto been antagonized only by a few individuals, such as Klostermann, Lepsius, Eerdmans, Orr, Wiener, and the author of the present article.

(B) Reasons Assigned for Divisions

As is well known, theory of separation of certain books of the Old Testament into different sources began originally with the Book of Genesis. The use made of the two names of God, namely Yahweh (Jehovah) and Elohim, caused Astruc to conclude that two principal sources had been used in the composition of the book, although other data were also used in vindication of theory; and since the days of Ilgen the conviction gained ground that there was a second Elohist (now called E), in contradistinction to the first (now called the Priestly Code (P), to whom, e.g., Gen 1 is ascribed). This second Elohist, it was claimed, also made use of the name Elohim, as did the first, but in other respects he shows greater similarity to the Jahwist. These sources were eventually traced through the entire Pentateuch and into later books, and for this reason are discussed in detail in the article Pentateuch. In this article we must confine ourselves to the Book of Genesis, and limit the discussion to some leading points. In addition to the names for God (see under 2), it is claimed that certain contradictions and duplicate accounts of the same matters compel us to accept different sources. Among these duplicates are found, e.g., Genesis 1:1 through 2:4a the Priestly Code (P), and Genesis 2:4 ff J, containing two stories of creation; Genesis 12:9 J; Genesis 20:1 E; Genesis 26:1 J; with the narrative of how Sarah and Rebekah, the wives of the two patriarchs, were endangered; chapters 15 J and 17 the Priestly Code (P), with a double account of how God concluded His covenant with Abraham; Genesis 21:22 E and Genesis 26:12 J, the stories of Abimelech; chapters 16 J and 21 E, the Hagar episodes; Genesis 28:10 J and E and Genesis 35:1 E and the Priestly Code (P), the narratives concerning Bethel, and in the history of Joseph the mention made of the Midianites E, and of the Ishmaelites J, who took Joseph to Egypt (Genesis 37:25; Genesis 39:1); the intervention of Reuben E, or Judah J, for Joseph, etc. In addition a peculiar style, as also distinct theological views, is claimed for each of these sources. Thus there found in P a great deal of statistical and systematic material, as in Genesis 5:1; Genesis 11:10; Genesis 25:12; Genesis 36:6 (the genealogies of Adam, Shem, Ishmael, Esau); P is said to show a certain preference for fixed schemes and for repetitions in his narratives. He rejects all sacrifices earlier than the Mosaic period, because according to this source the Lord did not reveal himself as Yahweh previous to Exodus 6:1. Again, it is claimed that the Elohist (E) describes God as speaking to men from heaven, or through a dream, and through an angel, while according to J Yahweh is said to have conversed with mankind personally. In regard to the peculiarities of language used by the different sources, it is impossible in this place to enumerate the different expressions, and we must refer for this subject to the different Introductions to the Old Testament, and to the commentaries and other literature. A few examples are to be found under (c) below, in connection with the discussion of the critical hypothesis. Finally, as another reason for the division of Genesis into different sources, it is claimed that the different parts of the sources, when taken together, can be united into a smooth and connected story. The documents, it is said, have in many cases been taken over word for word and have been united and interwoven in an entirely external manner, so that it is still possible to separate them and often to do this even down to parts of a sentence or to the very words.

(C) Examination of the Documentary Theory

(i) Style and Peculiarities of Language

It is self-evident that certain expressions will be repeated in historical, in legal, and in other sections similar in content; but this is not enough to prove that there have been different sources. Whenever J brings genealogies or accounts that are no less systematic than those of P (compare Genesis 4:17; Genesis 10:8; Genesis 22:20-24); or accounts and repetitions occur in the story of the Deluge (Genesis 7:2,Genesis 7:7; or Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:12, Genesis 7:17; Genesis 8:6; or Genesis 7:4; Genesis 8:8, Genesis 8:10, Genesis 8:12), this is not enough to make the division into sources plausible. In reference to the linguistic peculiarities, it must be noted that the data cited to prove this point seldom agree. Thus, e.g. the verb bārā', “create,” in Genesis 1:1 is used to prove that this was written by the Priestly Code (P), but the word is found also in Genesis 6:7 in J. The same is the case with the word rekhūsh, “possession,” which in Genesis 12:5; Genesis 13:6; Genesis 36:7 is regarded as characteristic of the Priestly Code (P), but in Genesis 14:11 f,16, 21 is found in an unknown source, and in Genesis 15:14 in J. In Genesis 12:5; Genesis 13:12; Genesis 16:3; Genesis 17:8 it is said that 'erec kena‛an, “land of Canaan,” is a proof that this was written by P; but in chapters 42; 44 f; 47; 50 we find this expression in Jahwist and Elohist, in Numbers 32:32 in J (R) ; compare also Numbers 33:40 (PR) where Numbers 21:1-3 (JE) is quoted; shiphḥāh, “maid servant,” is claimed as a characteristic word of J in contrast to E (compare Numbers 16:1); but in Numbers 16:3; Numbers 29:24, Numbers 29:29 we find this word not only in P but in Numbers 20:14; Numbers 30:4, Numbers 30:7, 18; in E Mīn, “kind,” is counted among the marks of P (compare e.g. Numbers 1:11), but in Deuteronomy 14:13, Deuteronomy 14:14, Deuteronomy 14:18 we find it in Deuteronomy; rather remarkably, too, in the latest find on the Deluge made by Hilprext and by him ascribed to 2100 BC. Compare on this subject my book, Wider den Bann der Quellenscheidung, and Orr, POT, chapter vii, section vi, and chapter x, section i; perhaps, too, the Concordance of Mandelkern under the different words. Even in the cases when the characteristic peculiarities claimed for the sources are correct, if the problem before us consisted only in the discovery of special words and expressions in the different sources, then by an analogous process, we could dissect and sever almost any modern work of literature. Particularly as far as the pieces are concerned, which are assigned to the Priestly Code (P), it must be stated that Genesis 1 and 23 are, as far as style and language are concerned, different throughout. Genesis 1 is entirely unique in the entire Old Testament. Genesis 23 has been copied directly from life, which is pictured with exceptional fidelity, and for this reason cannot be claimed for any special source. The fact that the story of the introduction of circumcision in Gen 17 in many particulars shows similarities to the terminology of the law is entirely natural: The same is true when the chronological accounts refer one date to another and when they show a certain typical character, as is, e.g., the case also in the chronological parts of any modern history of Israel. On the other hand, the method of P in its narratives, both in matter and in form, becomes similar to that of Jahwist and Elohist, just as soon as we have to deal with larger sections; compare Genesis 28:1; Genesis 35:9; Genesis 47:5, and all the more in Exodus and Numbers.

Against the claim that P had an independent existence, we must mention the fact of the unevenness of the narratives, which, by the side of the fuller accounts in Genesis 1; 17 and 23, of the genealogies and the story of the Deluge, would, according to the critics, have reported only a few disrupted notices about the patriarchs; compare for this in the story of Abraham, Genesis 11:27, Genesis 11:31 f; Genesis 12:4 f; Genesis 13:6 11b, 12a; Genesis 16:1, Genesis 16:3, Genesis 16:15 f; Genesis 19:29; Genesis 21:1, Genesis 21:2-5; Genesis 25:7-11; and in its later parts P would become still more incomprehensible on the assumption of the critics (see III below). No author could have written thus; at any rate he would not have been used by anybody, nor would there have been such care evinced in preserving his writings.

(ii) Alleged Connection of Matter

The claim that the different sources, as they have been separated by critics, constitute a compact and connected whole is absolutely the work of imagination, and is in conflict with the facts in almost every instance. This hypothesis cannot be consistently applied, even in the case of the characteristic examples cited to prove the correctness of the documentary theory, such as the story of the Deluge (see III, 2, in each case under (2)).

(iii) the Biblico-Theological Data

The different Biblical and theological data, which are said to be characteristic in proof of the separation into sources, are also misleading. Thus God in J communes with mankind only in the beginning (Gen 2 f; 16ff; Genesis 11:5; 18 f), but not afterward. In the beginning He does this also, according to the Priestly Code (P), whose conception of God, it is generally claimed, was entirely transcendental (compare Genesis 17:1, Genesis 17:22; Genesis 35:9, Genesis 35:13). The mediatorship of the Angel of Yahweh is found not only in E, (Genesis 21:17, 'Ĕlōhīm), but also in J (Genesis 16:7, Genesis 16:9-11). In Genesis 22:11 in E, the angel of Yahweh (not of the 'Ĕlōhīm) calls from heaven; theophanies in the night or during sleep are found also in J (compare Genesis 15:12; Genesis 26:24; Genesis 28:13-16; Genesis 32:27). In the case of the Priestly Code (P), the cult theory, according to which it is claimed that this source does not mention any sacrifices before Exodus 6:1, is untenable. If it is a fact that theocracy, as it were, really began only in Exodus 6, then it would be impossible that P would contain anything of the cults before Ex 6; but we have in P the introduction of the circumcision in Gen 17; of the Sabbath in Genesis 2:1; and the prohibition against eating blood in Genesis 9:1; and in addition the drink offerings mentioned in Genesis 35:14, which verse stands between Genesis 35:13 and Genesis 35:15, and, ascribed to the Priestly Code (P), is only in the interests of this theory attributed to the redactor. If then theory here outlined is not tenable as far as P is concerned, it would, on the other hand, be all the more remarkable that in the story of the Deluge the distinction between the clean and the unclean (Genesis 7:2, Genesis 7:8) is found in J, as also the savor of the sacrifice, with the term rēaḥ ha-nīḥōaḥ, which occurs so often in P (compare Genesis 8:21 with Numbers 15:3, Numbers 15:7, Numbers 15:10, Numbers 15:13 f, 24; Numbers 18:17); that the sacrifices are mentioned in Genesis 8:20, and the number 7 in connection with the animals and days in Genesis 7:4; Genesis 8:8, Genesis 8:10, Genesis 8:12 (compare in the Priestly Code (P), e.g. Leviticus 8:33; Leviticus 13:5 f, 21, 26 f, 31, 33, 10, 54; Leviticus 14:8 f, 38 f; Leviticus 14:7, Leviticus 14:51; Leviticus 16:14 f; Numbers 28:11; Numbers 29:8, etc.); further, that the emphasis is laid on the 40 days in [[Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:12, Genesis 7:17; Genesis 8:6 (compare in the Priestly Code (P), Exodus 24:1-8; Leviticus 12:2-4; Numbers 13:25; Numbers 14:34), all of which are ascribed, not as we should expect, to the Levitical the Priestly Code (P), but to the prophetical J. The document the Priestly Code (P), which, according to a large number of critics, was written during the Exile (see e.g. Leviticus, III, 1, or Ezekiel II, 2) in a most surprising manner, instead of giving prominence to the person of the high priest, would then have declared that kings were to be the greatest blessings to come to the seed of Abraham (Genesis 17:6, Genesis 17:16); and while, on the critical assumption, we should have the right to expect the author to favor particularistic tendencies, he, by bringing in the history of all mankind in Gen 1 through 11, and in the extension of circumcision to strangers (Genesis 17:12, Genesis 17:23), would have displayed a phenomenal universality. The strongest counter-argument against all such minor and incorrect data of a Biblical and a theological character will always be found in the uniform religious and ethical spirit and world of thought that pervade all these sources, as also in the unity in the accounts of the different patriarchs, who are pictured in such a masterly, psychological and consistent manner, and who could never be the result of an accidental working together and interweaving of different and independent sources (see III below).

(iv) Duplicates

In regard to what is to be thought of the different duplicates and contradictions, see below under III, 2, in each case under (2).

(v) Manner in Which the Sources Are Worked Together

But it is also impossible that these sources could have been worked together in the manner in which the critics claim that this was done. The more arbitrarily and carelessly the redactors are thought to have gone to work in many places in removing contradictions, the more incomprehensible it becomes that they at other places report faithfully such contradictions and permit these to stand side by side, or, rather, have placed them thus. And even if they are thought not to have smoothed over the difficulties anywhere, and out of reverence for their sources, not to have omitted or changed any of these reports, we certainly would have a right to think that even if they would have perchance placed side by side narratives with such enormous contradictions as there are claimed to be, e.g. in the story of the Deluge in P and J, they certainly would not have woven these together. If, notwithstanding, they still did this without harmonizing them, why are we asked to believe that at other places they omitted matters of the greatest importance (see III, 2, 3)? Further, J and E would have worked their materials together so closely at different places that a separation between the two would be an impossibility, something that is acknowledged as a fact by many Old Testament students; yet, notwithstanding, the contradictions, e.g. in the history of Joseph, have been allowed to stand side by side in consecutive verses, or have even intentionally been placed thus (compare, e.g. Genesis 37:25). Then, too, it is in the nature of things unthinkable that three originally independent sources for the history of Israel should have constituted separate currents down to the period after Moses, and that they could yet be dovetailed, often sentence by sentence, in the manner claimed by the critics. In conclusion, the entire hypothesis suffers shipwreck through those passages which combine the peculiarities of the different sources, as e.g. in Genesis 20:18, which on the one hand constitutes the necessary conclusion to the preceding story from E (compare Genesis 20:17), and on the other hand contains the name Yahweh; or in Genesis 22:14, which contains the real purpose of the story of the sacrificing of Isaac from E, but throughout also shows the characteristic marks of J; or in Genesis 39:1, where the so-called private person into whose house Joseph has been brought, according to J, is more exactly described as the chief of the body-guard, as this is done by E, in Genesis 40:2, Genesis 40:4. And when the critics in this passage appeal to the help of the redactor (editor), this is evidently only an ill-concealed example of a “begging of the question.” In chapter 34, and especially in chapter 14, we have a considerable number of larger sections that contain the characteristics of two or even all three sources, and which accordingly furnish ample evidence for protesting against the whole documentary theory.

(vi) Criticism Carried to Extremes

All the difficulties that have been mentioned grow into enormous proportions when we take into consideration the following facts: To operate with the three sources J, E and P seems to be rather an easy process; but if we accept the principles that underlie this separation into sources, it is an impossibility to limit ourselves to these three sources, as a goodly number of Old Testament scholars would like to do, as Strack, Kittel, Oettli, Dillmann, Driver. The stories of the danger that attended the wives of the Patriarchs, as these are found in Genesis 12:9 and in Genesis 26:1, are ascribed to J, and the story as found in Genesis 20:1 to E. But evidently two sources are not enough in these cases, seeing that similar stories are always regarded as a proof that there have been different authors. Accordingly, we must claim three authors, unless it should turn out that these three stories have an altogether different signification, in which case they report three actual occurrences and may have been reported by one and the same author. The same use is made of the laughter in connection with the name Isaac in Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:12; Genesis 21:6, namely, to substantiate the claim for three sources, P and J and E. But since Genesis 21:9 E; Genesis 26:8 J also contain references to this, and as in Genesis 21:6 JE, in addition to the passage cited above, there is also a second reference of this kind, then, in consistency, the critics would be compelled to accept six sources instead of three (Sievers accepts at least 5, Gunkel 4); or all of these references point to one and the same author who took pleasure in repeating such references. As a consequence, in some critical circles scholars have reached the conclusion that there are also such further sources as J1 and Later additions to J, as also E1 and Later additions to E (compare Budde, Baudissin, Cornill, Holzinger, Kautzsch, Kuënen, Sellin). But Sievers has already discovered five subordinate sources of J, six of the Priestly Code (P), and three of E, making a total of fourteen independent sources that he thinks can yet be separated accurately (not taking into consideration some remnants of J, E and P that can no longer be distinguished from others). Gunkel believes that the narratives in Genesis were originally independent and separate stories, which can to a great extent yet be distinguished in their original form. But if J and E and P from this standpoint are no longer authors but are themselves, in fact, reduced to the rank of collectors and editors, then it is absurd to speak any more of distinct linguistic peculiarities, or of certain theological ideas, or of intentional uses made of certain names of God in J and E and the Priestly Code (P), not to say anything of the connection between these sources, except perhaps in rare cases. Here the foundations of the documentary theory have been undermined by the critics themselves, without Sievers or Gunkel or the other less radical scholars intending to do such a thing. The manner in which these sources are said to have been worked together naturally becomes meaningless in view of such hypotheses. The modern methods of dividing between the sources, if consistently applied, will end in splitting the Biblical text into atoms; and this result, toward which the development of Old Testament criticism is inevitably leading, will some day cause a sane reaction; for through these methods scholars have deprived themselves of the possibility of explaining the blessed influence which these Scriptures, so accidentally compiled according to their view, have achieved through thousands of years. The success of the Bible text, regarded merely from a historical point of view, becomes for the critic a riddle that defies all solutions, even if all dogmatical considerations are ignored.

(2) In View of the Names for God

(A) Error of Hypothesis in Principle

The names of God, Yahweh and Elohim, constituted for Astruc the starting-point for the division of Genesis into different sources (see (1) above). Two chief sources, based on the two names for God, could perhaps as a theory and in themselves be regarded as acceptable. If we add that in Exodus 6:1, in the Priestly Code (P), we are told that God had not revealed Himself before the days of Moses by the name of Yahweh, but only as “God Almighty,” it seems to be the correct thing to separate the text, which reports concerning the times before Moses and which in parts contains the name Yahweh, into two sources, one with Yahweh and the other with Elohim. But just as soon as we conclude that the use made of the two names of God proves that there were three and not two sources, as is done from Genesis 20 on, the conclusive ground for the division falls away. The second Elohist (E), whom Ilgen was the first to propose (see (1) above), in principle and a priori discredits the whole hypothesis. This new source from the very outset covers all the passages that cannot be ascribed to the Yahweh or the Elohist portions; whatever portions contain the name Elohim, as P does, and which nevertheless are prophetical in character after the manner of J, and accordingly cannot be made to fit in either the Jahwistic or the Elohistic source, seek a refuge in this third source. Even before we have done as much as look at the text, we can say that according to this method everything can be proved. And when critics go so far as to divide J and E and P into many subparts, it becomes all the more impossible to make the names for God a basis for this division into sources. Consistently we could perhaps in this case separate a Yahweh source, an Elohim source, a ha-'Ĕlōhīm source, an 'Ēl Shadday source, an 'Ădhōnāy source, a Mal'akh Yahweh source, a Mal'akh 'Ĕlōhīm source, etc., but unfortunately these characteristics of the sources come into conflict in a thousand cases with the others that are claimed to prove that there are different sources in the Book of Genesis.

(B) False Basis of Hypothesis

But the basis of the whole hypothesis itself, namely, Exodus 6:1 P; is falsely regarded as such. If Yahweh had really been unknown before the days of Moses, as Exodus 6:1 P is claimed to prove, how could J then, in so important and decisive a point in the history of the religious development of Israel, have told such an entirely different story? Or if, on the other hand, Yahweh was already known before the time of Moses, as we must conclude according to J, how was it possible for P all at once to invent a new view? This is all the more incredible since it is this author and none other who already makes use of the word Yahweh in the composition of the name of the mother of Moses, namely Jochebed (compare Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59). In addition, we do not find at all in Exodus 6:1 that God had before this revealed Himself as 'Ĕlōhīm, but as 'Ēl Shadday, so that this would be a reason for claiming not an 'Ĕlōhīm but an 'Ēl Shadday source for P on the basis of this passage (compare Genesis 17:1; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 48:3 P - Genesis 43:14 E! compare also Genesis 49:25 in the blessing of Jacob). Finally, it is not at all possible to separate Exodus 6:1 P from that which immediately precedes, which is taken from JE and employs the name Yahweh; for according to the text of P we do not know who Moses and who Aaron really were, and yet these two are in Exodus 6:1 regarded as well-known persons. The new revelation of God in Exodus 6:1 (P) by the side of Exodus 3:1 (JE and E) is also entirely defensible and rests on a good foundation; for Moses after the failure of Ex 5 needed such a renewed encouragement (see Exodus II, 2, 1). If this is the case, then the revelation of the name of YHWH in Exodus 6:1 cannot mean that that name had before this not been known at all, but means that it had only been relatively unknown, i.e. that in the fullest and most perfect sense God became known only as YHWH, while before this He had revealed His character only from certain sides, but especially as to His Almighty Power.

(C) Improbability That Distinction of Divine Names Is Without Significance

In view of the importance which among oriental nations is assigned to names, it is absolutely unthinkable that the two names Yahweh and Elohim had originally been used without any reference to their different meanings. The almost total omission of the name Yahweh in later times or the substitution of the name Elohim for it in Psalms 42 through 83 is doubtless based in part on the reluctance which gradually arose in Israel to use the name at all; but this cannot be shown as probable for older times, in which it is claimed that E was written. In the case of P the rule, according to which the name Elohim is said to have been used for the pre-Mosaic period, and the reason for the omission of Yahweh would have been an entirely different one. Then, too, it would be entirely inexplicable why J should have avoided the use of the name Elohim. The word Elohim is connected with a root that signifies “to fear,” and characterizes God from the side of His power, as this is, e.g., seen at once in Gen 1. Yahweh is splendidly interpreted in Exodus 3:14; and the word is connected with the archaic form hāwāh for hāyāh, “to be,” and the word characterizes God as the being who at all times continues to be the God of the Covenant, and who, according to Genesis 2:4-3:24, can manifestly be none other than the Creator of the universe in Gen 1:1 through 2:3, even if from Gen 12 on He, for the time being, enters into a special relation to Abraham, his family and his people, and by the use of the combined names Yahweh-Elohim is declared to be identical with the God who created the world, as e.g. this is also done in the section Exodus 7:8 through 13:16, where, in the 10 plagues, Yahweh's omnipotent power is revealed (compare Exodus, II, 2, 2); and in Exodus 9:30 it is charged against-Pharaoh and his courtiers, that they did not yet fear Yahweh-Elohim, i.e. the God of the Covenant, who at the same time is the God of the universe (compare also 1 Kings 18:21, 1 Kings 18:37, 1 Kings 18:39; Jonah 4:6).

(D) Real Purpose in Use of Names for God

But now it is further possible to show clearly, in connection with a number of passages, that the different names for God are in Genesis selected with a perfect consciousness of the difference in their meanings, and that accordingly the choice of these names does not justify the division of the book into various sources.

(i) Decreasing Use of YHWH

The fact that the tōledhōth of Terah, of Isaac, and of Jacob begin with the name YHWH but end without this name. In the history of Abraham are to be noted the following passages: Genesis 12:1, Genesis 12:4, Genesis 12:7, Genesis 12:8, Genesis 12:17; Genesis 13:4, Genesis 13:10, Genesis 13:13, Genesis 13:14, Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:22; Genesis 15:1, Genesis 15:2, Genesis 15:8; Genesis 16:2, Genesis 16:5-7, Genesis 16:9, Genesis 16:10, Genesis 16:11, Genesis 16:13; Genesis 17:1; in the history of Isaac: Genesis 25:21, Genesis 25:22, Genesis 25:23; Genesis 26:2, Genesis 26:12, Genesis 26:22, Genesis 26:24, Genesis 26:25, Genesis 26:28, Genesis 26:29; and in the tōledhōth of Jacob Genesis 38:7, Genesis 38:10; Genesis 39:2, Genesis 39:3, Genesis 39:5. In these passages the beginnings are regularly made with the name Yahweh, although with decreasing frequency before the name Elohim is used, and notwithstanding that in all these sections certain selections from P and E must also be considered in addition to J. Beginning with Genesis 12, in which the story of the selection of Abraham is narrated, we accordingly find emphasized, at the commencement of the history of each patriarch, this fact that it is Yahweh, the God of the Covenant, who is determining these things. Beginning with Genesis 40 and down to about Exodus 2 we find the opposite to be the case, although J is strongly represented in this section, and we no longer find the name Yahweh (except in one passage in the blessing of Jacob, which passage has been taken from another source, and hence is of no value for the distinction of the sources J, E and P; this is the remarkable passage Genesis 49:18). In the same way the story of Abraham (Genesis 25:1-11) closes without mention being made of the name of Yahweh, which name is otherwise found in all of these histories, except in Gen 23 (see below). The tōledhōth of Isaac, too, use the name Yahweh for the last time in Genesis 32:10; and from this passage down to Genesis 37:2 the name is not found. It is accordingly clear that in the history of the patriarchs there is a gradual decrease in the number of times in which the name Yahweh occurs, and in each case the decrease is more marked; and this is most noticeable and clearest in the history of Joseph, manifestly in order to make all the more prominent the fact that the revelation of God, beginning with Exodus 3:1, is that of Yahweh. These facts alone make the division of this text into three sources J, E and P impossible.

(ii) Reference to Approach of Man to God, and Departure from Him

The fact, further, that the approach of an individual to God or his departure from God could find its expression in the different uses made of the names of God is seen in the following. In connection with Ishmael and Lot the name Yahweh can be used only so long as these men stood in connection with the kingdom of God through their relation to Abraham (compare Genesis 16:7, Genesis 16:9, Genesis 16:10, Genesis 16:11, Genesis 16:13 and Genesis 13:10; Genesis 19:13 f, 16), but only the name Elohim can be used as soon as they sever this connection (compare Genesis 21:12, Genesis 21:17, Genesis 21:19, Genesis 21:20 and Genesis 19:29). On the other hand, Elohim is used in the beginning of the history of the Gentile Abimelech (Genesis 20:3, Genesis 20:6, Genesis 20:11, Genesis 20:13, Genesis 20:17; Genesis 21:22 f); while afterward, when he has come into closer relations to the patriarchs, the name Yahweh is substituted (Genesis 26:28, Genesis 26:29). A similar progress is found in separate narratives of the patriarchs themselves, since in Genesis 22:1 and chapter 28 the knowledge of Elohim is changed into that of Yahweh (compare Genesis 22:1, Genesis 22:3, Genesis 22:9 with Genesis 22:11, Genesis 22:14, Genesis 22:15, Genesis 22:16, and Genesis 28:12 with Genesis 28:13, Genesis 28:16).

(iii) Other Reasons

Elohim can, further, in many cases be explained on the basis of an implied or expressed contrast, generally over against men (compare Genesis 22:8, Genesis 22:12; in the second of these two passages the fear of God is placed in contrast to godlessness); Genesis 30:2; Genesis 31:50; Genesis 32:2 f; compare with Genesis 32:4 and Genesis 32:8; Genesis 32:29; Genesis 35:5; or on the basis of an accommodation to the standpoint of the person addressed, as in Genesis 3:1-5 (serpent); Genesis 20:3, Genesis 20:6, Genesis 20:11, Genesis 20:13, Genesis 20:17; Genesis 23:6; Genesis 39:9 (Gentiles); or on the basis of grammar, as in Genesis 23:6; Genesis 32:3; Genesis 28:17, Genesis 28:22; because the composition with the proper name Yahweh could never express the indefinite article (a prince of God, a camp of God, a Bethel or house of prayer); or finally in consequence of the connection with earlier passages (compare Genesis 5:1 with chapter 1; Genesis 21:2, Genesis 21:4; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 35:9 with chapter 17). A comparison of these passages shows that, of course, different reasons may have induced the author to select the name Elohim, e.g. Genesis 23:6; Genesis 28:12; Genesis 32:12.

(iv) Systematic Use in History of Abraham

That the names for God are systematically used is finally attested by the fact that in the history of Abraham, after the extensive use of the name Yahweh in its beginning (see above), this name is afterward found combined with a large number of other and different names; so that in each case it is YHWH of whom all further accounts speak, and yet the name of Yahweh is explained, supplemented and made clear for the consciousness of believers by the new appellations, while the full revelation of His being indeed begins only in Exodus 3 and Exodus 6:1, at which place the different rays of His character that appeared in earlier times are combined in one brilliant light. The facts in the case are the following. In the story of Abraham, with which an epoch of fundamental importance in the history of revelation begins, we find Yahweh alone in Genesis 12 f. With the exception of chapter 23, where a characteristic appellation of God is not found, and Genesis 25:1-11, where we can claim a decadence in the conception of the Divinity (concerning Genesis 23:6; Genesis 25:11; see above, the name of Yahweh is retained in all of these stories, as these have been marked out (III, 2, 6); but beginning with chapter 14 they do not at all use any longer only one name for God. We here cite only those passages where, in each ease, for the first time a new name for God is added, namely, Genesis 14:18, 'Ēl ‛Elyōn; Genesis 14:19, Creator of heaven and of earth; Genesis 15:2, 'Ădhōnāy; Genesis 16:7, the Angel of YHWH; Genesis 16:13, the God that seeth; Genesis 17:1, 'Ēl Shadday; Genesis 17:3, 'Ĕlōhīm; Genesis 17:18, ha-'Ĕlōhīm; chapters 18 f, special relation to the three men (compare Genesis 18:2 and Genesis 19:1); Genesis 18:25, the Judge of the whole earth; Genesis 20:13, 'Ĕlōhīm constructed as a plural; Genesis 21:17, the Angel of God; Genesis 24:3, the God of heaven and the God of the earth; Genesis 24:12, the God of Abraham.

(E) Scantiness of the Materials for Proof

If we add, finally, that to prove the hypothesis we are limited to the meager materials found in Genesis 1:1 through Exodus 6:1 if; that in this comparatively small number of chapters Genesis 40 to Exodus 2 cannot be utilized in this discussion (see above under (d); that all those passages, in which J and E are inseparably united must be ignored in this discussion; that all other passages in which J and E are often and rapidly interchanged from the very outset are suspiciously akin to begging the question; that Genesis 20:18, which with its “Yahweh” is ascribed to R, is absolutely needed as the conclusion of the preceding Elohim story; that in Genesis 21:33 with its “Yahweh” (Yahweh) in the Jahwist (Jahwist), on the other hand, the opening Elohim story from E, which is necessary for an explanation of the dwelling of Abraham in the south country, precedes; that the angel of Yahweh (Genesis 22:11) is found in E; that Genesis 2:4 through Genesis 3:24 from J has besides Yahweh the name Elohim, and in Genesis 3:1-5 only Elohim (see above); that in Genesis 17:1; Genesis 21:1 P Yahweh is found; that Genesis 5:29, which is ascribed to J, is surrounded by portions of the Priestly Code (P), and contains the name Yahweh, and would be a torso, but in connection with chapter 5 the Priestly Code (P), in reality is in its proper place, as is the intervening remark (Genesis 5:24 P); that, on the other hand, in Genesis 4:25; Genesis 6:2, Genesis 6:4; Genesis 7:9; Genesis 9:27; Genesis 39:9 Elohim is found - in view of all these facts it is impossible to see how a greater confusion than this could result from the hypothesis of a division of the sources on the basis of the use made of the names of God. And then, too, it is from the very outset an impossibility, that in the Book of Genesis alone such an arbitrary selection of the names for God should have been made and nowhere else.

(F) Self-Disintegration of the Critical Position

The modern critics, leaving out of consideration entirely their further dissection of the text, themselves destroy the foundation upon which this hypothesis was originally constructed, when Sievers demands for Gen 1 (from P) an original YHWH Elohim in the place of the Elohim now found there; and when others in Gen 18 f J claim an original Elohim; and when in 17:1 through 21:1 the name YHWH is said to have been intentionally selected by P.

'(G) Different Uses in the Septuagint'

Naturally it is not possible to discuss all the pertinent passages at this place. Even if, in many cases, it is doubtful what the reasons were for the selection of the names for God, and even if these reasons cannot be determined with our present helps, we must probably, nevertheless, not forget that the Septuagint in its translation of Genesis in 49 passages, according to Eerdman's reckoning, and still more according to Wiener's, departs from the use of the names for God from the Hebrew original. Accordingly, then, a division of Genesis into different sources on the basis of the different names for God cannot be carried out, and the argument from this use, instead of proving the documentary theory, has been utilized against it.

III. The Structure of the Individual Pericopes

In this division of the article, there is always to be found (under 1) a consideration of the unity of the Biblical text and (under 2) the rejection of the customary division into different sources.

The conviction of the unity of the text of Genesis and of the impossibility of dividing it according to different sources is strongly confirmed and strengthened by the examination of the different pericopes. Here, too, we find the division on the basis of the typical numbers 4, 7, 10, 12. It is true that in certain cases we should be able to divide in a different way; but at times the intention of the author to divide according to these numbers practically compels acceptance on our part, so that it would be almost impossible to ignore this matter without detriment, especially since we were compelled to accept the same fact in connection with the articles Exodus (II); Leviticus (II, 2); Day Of Atonement (I, 2, 1), and also Ezekiel (I, 2, 2). But more important than these numbers, concerning the importance or unimportance of which there could possibly be some controversy, are the fundamental religious and ethical ideas which run through and control the larger pericopes of the tōledhōth of Terah, Isaac and Jacob in such a way that it is impossible to regard this as merely the work of a redactor, and we are compelled to consider the book as the product of a single writer.

1. The Structure of the Prooemium (Genesis 1 Through Genesis 2:3)

The structure of the proemium (Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:3) is generally ascribed to P. Following the introduction (Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:2; creation of chaos), we have the creation of the seven days with the Sabbath as a conclusion. The first and the second three days correspond to each other (1st day, the light; 4th day, the lights; 2nd day, the air and water by the separation of the waters above and the waters below; 5th day, the animals of the air and of the water; 3rd day, the dry land and the vegetation; 6th day, the land animals and man; compare also in this connection that there are two works on each day). We find Exodus also divided according to the number seven (see Exodus, II, 1; compare also Exodus 24:18b through 31:18; see Exodus, II, 2, 5, where we have also the sevenfold reference to the Sabbath idea in Exodus, and that, too, repeatedly at the close of different sections, just as we find this here in Genesis); and in Lev compare chapters 23; 25; 27; see Leviticus, II, 2, 2; the VIII, IX, and appendix; and in Genesis 4:17 J; Genesis 5:1-24 P; Genesis 6:9 through Genesis 9:29; Genesis 36:1 through Genesis 37:1 (see under 2, 1, 2, 3, 1).

2. Structure of the Ten Toledhoth

The ten tōledhōth are found in Genesis 2:4 through Genesis 50:26.

(1) The tōledhōth of the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 2:4 Through Genesis 4:26)

(1) The Biblical Text

(a) Genesis 2:4-25, Paradise and the first human beings;

(b) Genesis 3:1-24, the Fall;

(c) Genesis 4:1-16, Cain and Abel;

(d) Genesis 4:17-26, the Cainites, in seven members (see under 1 above) and Seth. The number 4 appears also in Genesis 5:1 through Genesis 6:8 (see under 2); Genesis 10:1 through Genesis 11:9 (see under 4); and especially Genesis 11:27 through Genesis 25:11 (under 6). Evidently (a) and (b), (c) and (d) are still more closely connected.


(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

(Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:4a P and Genesis 2:4b through Genesis 4:26 J)

Chapter 2 does not contain a new account of creation with a different order in the works of creation. This section speaks of animals and plants, not for their own sakes, but only on account of their connection with man. The creation of the woman is only a further development of Gen 1. While formerly the critics divided this section into Genesis 2:4 through Genesis 4:26 J, they now cut it up into J1 and J2 (see under II, 2, 1 (c) (because, they say, the tree of life is mentioned only in Genesis 2:9 and Genesis 3:23, while in Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:3 the Divine command is restricted to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But it is impossible to see why there should be a contradiction here, and just as little can we see why the two trees standing in the midst of the garden should not both have had their significance (compare Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:3). It is further asserted that a division of J is demanded by the fact that the one part of J knows of the Fall (Genesis 6:9), and the other does not know of such a break in the development of mankind (Genesis 4:17). But the civilization attained by the Cainites could certainly have passed over also to the Sethites (see also Genesis 6:2); and through Noah and his sons have been continued after the Deluge. Then, too, the fact that Cain built a city (Genesis 4:17), and the fact that he became a fugitive and a wanderer (Genesis 4:12), are not mutually exclusive; just as the beginnings made with agriculture (Genesis 4:12) are perfectly consistent with the second fact.

(2) The tōledhōth of Adam (Genesis 5:1 Through Genesis 6:8)

(1) The Biblical Text

(a) Genesis 5:1-24, seven generations from Adam to Lamech (see under 1, and Jude 1:14);

(b) Genesis 5:25-32, four generations from the oldest of men, Methuselah, down to the sons of Noah;

(c) Genesis 6:1-4, intermingling of the sons of God and the sons of men;

(d) Genesis 6:5-8, corruption of all mankind. Evidently at this place (a) and (b), (c) and (d) correspond with each other.


(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

(Genesis 5 P with the Exception of Genesis 5:29 (see II, 2, 2 (e)); Genesis 5:29; Genesis 6:1-8 J) Genesis 6:7 J presupposes chapter 1 P; as, on the other hand, the fact that the generations that, according to chapter 5 the Priestly Code (P), had in the meanwhile been born, die, presupposes the advent of sin, concerning which only J had reported in chapter 3. In the case of the Priestly Code (P), however, in Genesis 1:31 it is said that everything was very good.

(3) The tōledhōth of Noah (Genesis 6:9 Through 9:29)

(1) The Biblical Text

Seven sections (see 1 above) viz:

  • (a) Genesis 6:9-22, the building of the ark;
  • (b) Genesis 7:1-9, entering the ark;
  • (c) Genesis 7:10-24, the increase of the Flood;
  • (d) Genesis 8:1-14, the decrease of the Flood;
  • (e) Genesis 8:15-19, leaving the ark;
  • (f) Genesis 8:22 through Genesis 9:17, declaration of a covenant relation between God and Noah;
  • (g) Genesis 9:18-29, transfer of the Divine blessing upon Shem.

(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

(Genesis 7:1-5, Genesis 7:7-10, Genesis 7:12, Genesis 7:16, Genesis 7:17, Genesis 7:22 f; Genesis 8:2, Genesis 8:3, Genesis 8:6-12, Genesis 8:13, Genesis 8:20-22; Genesis 9:20-27 J, the Rest from P)

In all the sources are found the ideas that the Deluge was the punishment of God for sin; further, the deliverance of the righteous Noah and his wife and three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives; the deliverance of the different kinds of animals; the announcement of the covenant relations between God and mankind after the Deluge; the designation of the Deluge with the term mabbūl and of the ark with tēbhāh. In the Babylonian account, which without a doubt stands in some connection with the Biblical, are found certain measurements of the ark, which in the Bible are only in the Priestly Code (P), as also the story of the sending out of the birds when the flood was decreasing, and of the sacrifices of those who had been delivered, which in the Bible are said to be found only in J; and these facts are a very powerful argument against the division into sources. Further, the Priestly Code (P), in case the critics were right, would have contained nothing of the thanks of Noah for his deliverance, although he was a pious man; and in the case of J we should not be informed what kind of an ark it was into which Noah was directed to go (Genesis 7:1); nor how he can already in Genesis 8:20 build an altar, as he has not yet gone out of the ark; and, further, how the determination of Yahweh, that He would not again curse the earth but would bless it, can be a comfort to him, since only P has reported concerning the blessing (Genesis 9:1). Even if the distinction is not always clearly made between clean and unclean animals, and different numbers are found in the case of each (Genesis 6:19 f; Genesis 7:14-16 the Priestly Code (P), over against Genesis 7:2 f in J), yet this is to be regarded merely as a lack of exactness or, perhaps better, rather as a summary method of procedure. The difficulties are not even made any easier through the separation into sources, since in Genesis 7:8 f in J both numbers and the distinction between the two kinds of animals are used indiscriminately. Here, too, in J we find the name Elohim used. The next contradiction that is claimed, namely that the Deluge according to J lasted only 61 days, and is arranged in 40 days (Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:12, Genesis 7:17; Genesis 8:6) plus 3 X 7 = 21 days (Genesis 8:8, Genesis 8:10, Genesis 8:12), while in P it continues for 1 year and 11 days (Genesis 7:11, Genesis 7:24; Genesis 8:3-5, Genesis 8:14), is really a self-inflicted agony of the critics. The report of the Bible on the subject is perfectly clear. The rain descends for 40 days (Genesis 7:12 J); but as in addition also the fountains of the deep are broken up (Genesis 7:11 P), we find in this fact a reason for believing that they increased still more (Genesis 7:24 P and Genesis 7:17 J). The 40 days in Genesis 8:6 J cannot at all be identified with those mentioned in Genesis 7:17; for if this were the case the raven would have been sent out at a time when the waters had reached their highest stage, and even according to J the Deluge covered the entire world. In general see above, II, 2, 1 (c).

(4) The tōledhōth of the Sons of Noah (Genesis 10:1 Through Genesis 11:9)

(1) The Biblical Text

(a) Genesis 10:2-5, the Japhethites;

(b) Genesis 10:6-20, the Hamites;

(c) Genesis 10:21-32, the Shemites;

(d) Genesis 11:1-9, the Babylonian confusion of tongues. Evidently (a) to (c) is to be regarded as in contrast to (d) (compare also Genesis 11:1, Genesis 11:9 J in addition to Genesis 10:32 P).


(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

(Genesis 10:1-7, Genesis 10:20, Genesis 10:22 f, 31 f the Priestly Code (P), the Rest Belonging to J)

The distribution of Genesis 10 between P and J is actually ridiculous, since in this case J does not speak of Japheth at all, and the genealogy of the Hamites would connect directly with the Priestly Code (P), a phenomenon which must have been repeated in Genesis 10:24. The Jewish Midrash, in addition, and possibly correctly, counts 70 peoples (compare Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5; Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:25; Luke 10:1).

(5) The tōledhōth of Shem (Genesis 11:10-26)

10 generations (see under II, 1).

(6) The tōledhōth of Terah (Genesis 11:27 Through 25:11)

(1) The Biblical Text

After the introduction (Genesis 11:27-32), theme of the history of Abraham is given in Genesis 12:1-4 (Genesis 12:1, the promise of the holy land; Genesis 12:2, promise of many descendants; Genesis 12:3, announcement of the double influence of Abraham on the world; Genesis 12:4, the obedience of Abraham's faith in his trust upon the Divine promise). In contrast to the first three thoughts which characterize God's relation to Abraham, the fourth is placed, which emphasizes. Abraham's relation to God (see under (d)). But both thoughts give complete expression to the intimate communion between God and Abraham. On the basis of these representations, which run through the entire story and thus contribute materially to its unification, this section can also be divided, as one of these after the other comes into the foreground. These four parts (Genesis 12:4b through Genesis 14:24; Genesis 15:1 through Genesis 18:15; Genesis 18:16 through Genesis 21:34; Genesis 22:1 through Genesis 25:11) can each be divided again into four subdivisions, a scheme of division that is found also in Exodus 35:4 through Exodus 40:38; Leviticus 11-15; 16 (compare Exodus, II, 2, 7; Leviticus, II, 2, 2, III and IV; Day Of Atonement, I, 2, 1), and is suggested by Dt 12 through 26 (compare also my book, Wider den Bann der Quellenscheidung, the results of the investigation of which work are there reproduced without entering upon the details of the argument).

(a) Genesis 12:4b through 14:24, in which the reference to the promised land is placed in the foreground; see Genesis 12:1, and the passages and statements in parentheses in the following:

(b) Genesis 15:1 through Genesis 18:15, unfolding of the promise of descendants for Abraham by this announcement that he is to have a son of his own; compare Genesis 12:2 and what is placed in parentheses in the following: chapter 15, Yahweh's covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:2, Genesis 15:3 JE, 4 J, 5 E, 13, 14, 16, 18 J). The promise is not fulfilled through Eliezer, but only through an actual son (Genesis 15:3, Genesis 15:1); 16:1-16, Hagar gives birth to Ishmael as the son of Abraham. Hagar's son, too, namely Ishmael, is not the genuine heir, notwithstanding the connection between Genesis 16:10 and Genesis 12:2 (compare Genesis 17:18-20 P); chapter 17 the Priestly Code (P), promise of the birth of Isaac given to Abraham (17:2-17, Genesis 17:19, Genesis 17:21); Genesis 18:1-15, Sarah also hears that Isaac is promised (Genesis 18:10, Genesis 18:12-15).

(c) Genesis 18:16 through 21:34, the double influence of Abraham on the world; compare Genesis 12:3 and what is in parentheses in the following: 18:16 through 19:38, the pericope dealing with Sodom;

(d) Genesis 22:1 through 25:11ff, Abraham's faith at its culminating point; compare Genesis 12:4 and what is in parentheses in the following:

  • (i) 22:1-19, the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:12 E, 16, 18 R);
  • (ii) chapter 23, purchase of the place to bury the dead, which act was the result of his faith in the promised land;
  • (iii) chapter 24 is introduced by Genesis 22:20-24, which has no independent character. With the twelve descendants of Nahor compare the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12; Genesis 17:20), and on the number 12 see Exodus 24:18 through 30:10, under Exodus, II, 2, 5; Leviticus 1-7 under Leviticus, II, 2, 2, i, and under Ezekiel, I, 2, 2. Chapter 24 itself contains the story of how a wife was secured for Isaac from among his relatives (the faith in the success of this plan is transmitted from Abraham to his servant);
  • (iv) Leviticus 25:1-11, the sons of the concubine of Abraham (J and R) cease to be a part of this history; transfer of the entire inheritance to the son of promise (Jahwist); burial in the ground bought for this purpose (P) (all of these concluding acts stand in close connection with Abraham's faith). In reference to the force of the names of God in connecting Genesis 11:27 through Genesis 25:11, see above under II, 2, 2 (d).

(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

(Genesis 11:27, Genesis 11:31 f; Genesis 12:4, Genesis 12:5; Genesis 13:6, Genesis 13:11, Genesis 13:12; Genesis 16:1, Genesis 16:3, Genesis 16:15 f; 17; Genesis 19:29; Genesis 21:1, Genesis 21:2-5; 23; Genesis 25:7-11 P; 14 from an unknown source; Genesis 15:6; Genesis 20:1-17; Genesis 21:8-32; Genesis 22:1-13, Genesis 22:19 E; Genesis 15:1-3; Genesis 21:6 JE; Genesis 20:18; Genesis 22:14-18; Genesis 25:6 R; all else belongs to J).

Through the passages ascribed to P breaks are caused in the text of J in Genesis 11:28 f; Genesis 12:4 (Lot); in chapter 16, where the conclusion is lacking; in Genesis 18:1 (the reference of the pronoun); in Genesis 24:67 (Sarah's death); in Genesis 25:1 (no mention of Abraham's death). On the other hand P presupposes the text of J in Genesis 11:31 f; Genesis 12:4; Genesis 16:1; Genesis 19:29. In the case of E we need mention only the abrupt break in Genesis 20:1; and, finally, the text of the Priestly Code (P), leaving out of consideration the larger sections (chapters 17 and 23), is entirely too meager to constitute an independent document.

We will here discuss also the so-called duplicates (see under II, 2, 1, a and c). The different stories concerning the danger in which the wives of Abraham and Isaac were involved in Genesis 12:9 J; Genesis 20:1 E; Genesis 26:1 J directly presuppose each other. Thus, in Genesis 20:13, the Elohist (E), Abraham regards it as a fact that such situations are often to be met with, and consequently the possibility of an occurrence of such an event could not have appeared so remarkable to an Oriental as it does to a modern critic; Genesis 26:1 suggests the story in Genesis 12:9. The words used here also show that the three stories in question did not originate independently of each other (compare Genesis 26:7; Genesis 20:5; Genesis 12:19 through Genesis 26:7; Genesis 20:11; Genesis 12:12 through Genesis 26:10; Genesis 20:9; Genesis 12:18 through Genesis 26:3; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 12:10 (gūr); see under II, 2, 1, c). The two Ishmael pericopes (chapters 16 J and P and 21 E) differ from each other throughout, and, accordingly, are surely not duplicates. The two stories of the conclusion of a covenant in chapters 15 J and 17 P are both justified, especially since in Genesis 17:7 the author speaks of an “establishment” of the covenant which already existed since chapter 15. Gen 17 P and Genesis 18:1 J are certainly intended to be pendants, so that it is impossible to ascribe them to different authors; compare the analogous beginning of theophanies of Yahweh in Genesis 17:1 and Genesis 18:1 (even the pronoun referring to Abraham in Genesis 18:1 J, unless taken in connection with chapter 17 the Priestly Code (P), is without any context), also the laughing of Abraham and of Sarah (Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:12 f; see under II, 2, 1 (c)), the prominence given to their age (Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:11 f), and the designation of the time in Genesis 17:11; Genesis 18:10, Genesis 18:14.

Nor can we quote in favor of a division into sources the passage Genesis 21:14 f E, on the ground that Ishmael is described here as being so small that he could be laid upon the shoulder of his mother and then be thrown by her under a shrub, while according to the Biblical text he must have been 15 years of age (Genesis 16:16; Genesis 21:5 P). For the original does not say that he was carried on her shoulders; and in Matthew 15:30 it is even said of adults that they were thrown down. On the other hand, also according to E, Ishmael could not have been so small a child, for in Genesis 21:18 he is led by the hand, and according to Genesis 21:9 he already mocks Isaac, evidently because the latter was the heir of the promise.

Sarah's age, too, according to Genesis 20 E, does not speak in favor of a division into sources. That she was still a beautiful woman is not claimed here. Evidently Abimelech was anxious only for a closer connection with the powerful Abraham (compare Genesis 21:23, Genesis 21:17). Then, too, all the sources ascribe an advanced age to Sarah (compare Genesis 21:6 J and E; Genesis 18:12 f J; Genesis 17:17 P).

(7) The tōledhōth of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12-18)

Twelve princes descended from Ishmael (see under 6 (d)).

(8) The tōledhōth of Isaac (Genesis 25:19 Through 35:29)

The correct conception of the fundamental thought can be gained at once in the beginning of this section (Genesis 25:22 f): Yahweh's oracle to Rebekah, that the older of the twins, with whom she was pregnant, should serve the younger; also in Romans 9:10 with reference to Malachi 1:2 f; and finally, the constant reference made to Esau in addition to Jacob until the former ceases to be a factor in this history in Gen 36. Accordingly in the end everything is made dependent on the one hand on Jacob's election, notwithstanding his wrongdoings, on the other hand, on Esau's rejection notwithstanding his being the firstborn, or in other words, upon the perfectly free grace of God; and all the different sources alike share in this fundamental thought. But in dividing between the different parts of this section, we must particularly draw attention to this, that in all of these parts both thoughts in some way or other find their expression.

(1) The Biblical Text

Containing 10 parts (see under II, 1), namely

  • (a) Genesis 25:19-26, the birth of Esau and Jacob;
  • (b) Genesis 25:27-34, Esau despises and loses his birthright;
  • (c) Genesis 26:1-35, Isaac receives the blessing of Abraham, which afterward is transmitted to Jacob, while Esau, through his marriage with heathen women, prepares the way for his rejection (Genesis 26:34 f) ;
  • (d) Genesis 27:1-40, Jacob steals the blessing of the firstborn;
  • (e) Genesis 27:41-45, Jacob's flight out of fear of Esau's vengeance;
  • (f) Genesis 27:46 through Genesis 28:9, Jacob is sent abroad out of fear of his brother's bad example;
  • (g) Genesis 28:10 through Genesis 32:32, Jacob in a strange land and his fear of Esau, which is overcome in his contest of prayer in Peniel on his return: Genesis 28:10-22, the ladder reaching to heaven in Bethel when he went abroad; Genesis 29:1 through Genesis 30:43, twenty years with Laban (see Genesis 31:38); Genesis 31:1-54, Jacob's departure from Mesopotamia; 32:1-32, his return home;
  • (h) chapter 33, reconciliation with Esau, who returns to Seir (Genesis 33:16; compare Genesis 32:4), while Jacob becomes the owner of property in the Holy Land (Genesis 33:19 f);
  • (i) Genesis 34:1 through Genesis 35:22, Jacob remains in this land, notwithstanding the slaughter made by his sons Simeon and Levi (compare Genesis 34:30; Genesis 35:5); the new appearance of God in Bethel, with a repetition of the story of the changing of Jacob's name, with which the story of Jacob's youth is closed, and which presupposes the episode at Bethel (compare Genesis 35:1, Genesis 35:6, Genesis 35:9-15 with Genesis 28:10), and which is not in contradiction with the first change in the name of Jacob in chapter 32 (compare the twofold naming of Peter in John 1:43 and Matthew 16:18). Esau is yet mentioned in Genesis 35:1, Genesis 35:7, where there is a reference made to Jacob's flight before him;
  • (j) Genesis 35:23-29, Jacob's 12 sons as the bearers of the promise; while Esau is mentioned only as participating in Isaac's burial, but inwardly he has no longer any part in the history of the kingdom of God, as is seen from chapter 36, and in Genesis 32:4; Genesis 33:16 is already hinted at.

In this section, too, evidently there are groups, each of two parts belonging together, namely (a) and (b) describing the earliest youth; (c) and (d) in which Isaac plays a prominent part; (e) and (f) both of which do not exclude but supplement each other in assigning the motives for Jacob's flight; (g) and (h) Jacob's flight and reconciliation; (i) and (j) Jacob both according to family and dwelling-place as the recognized heir of the promise.

(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

As Genesis 25:29 f, Genesis 25:26; Genesis 26:34 f; Genesis 27:46 through Genesis 28:9; Genesis 29:24, Genesis 29:29; Genesis 31:18; Genesis 35:6, Genesis 35:9-12, Genesis 35:15; Genesis 35:22-29; Genesis 36:6-30, Genesis 36:40-43 are ascribed to the Priestly Code (P), it is clear that these are in part such ridiculously small extracts, that we should be justified in attributing them to a sensible author. The whole sojourn in Mesopotamia is ignored in the Priestly Code (P), according to the critics, except the brief notices in Genesis 29:24, Genesis 29:29; Genesis 33:18. Further, the parts of the rest of the text cannot in many cases be dispensed with; as, e.g. we do not know in Genesis 25:26 who was born; nor in Genesis 26:34 f who Esau was; nor in Genesis 27:46 who Jacob was; nor in Genesis 29:24 who Laban was; nor in Genesis 29:24, Genesis 29:29 in what connection and for what purposes Leah and Rachel are mentioned. P makes no mention of any promise given to Isaac, which is, however, presupposed in Genesis 35:12 and later in Exodus 2:24. In Genesis 28:1 P is most closely connected with J (compare Genesis 12:1-3, the blessing of Abraham, and chapter 24). It is, further, impossible to separate the sources E and J in chapter 28 (ladder reaching to heaven); compare Genesis 28:10-12, Genesis 28:17 f, Genesis 28:20-22 E; Genesis 28:13-16 J; Genesis 28:19, and the name of God in Genesis 28:21 R, and this proposed division actually becomes absurd in chapters 29 f in the story of the birth of Jacob's children, which are said to be divided between the sources J and E.

(9) The tōledhōth of Esau (Genesis 36:1 Through 37:1)

In 7 divisions (see under 1), namely

  • (a) Genesis 36:1-5 R, Esau's family; the different names for Esau's wives, as compared with Genesis 26:34 f; Genesis 28:7-9 the Priestly Code (P), are doubtless based on the fact that oriental women are apt to change their names when they marry; and the fact that these names are without further remark mentioned by the side of the others is rather an argument against the division into sources than for it;
  • (b) Genesis 36:6-8, Esau's change of abode to Seir, which, according to Genesis 32:4; Genesis 33:14, Genesis 33:16, already took place before Jacob's return. Only in case that Esau (Genesis 35:29) would have afterward remained for a longer period in Canaan, could we think of a new separation in this connection. It is more probable that at this place all those data which were of importance in connection with this separation are once more given without any reference to their difference in point of time;
  • (c) Genesis 36:9-14, Esau as the founder of the Edomites (in Genesis 36:9 the word [tōledhōth is repeated from Genesis 36:1, while the narrative of the descendants of Esau begins only at this later passage in so far as these were from Seir; compare Genesis 36:9 with Genesis 36:5, and above, under II, 1);
  • (d) Genesis 36:15-19, the leading line of the sons of Esau;
  • (e) Genesis 36:20-30, genealogy of the original inhabitants of the country, mentioned because of their connection with Esau (compare Genesis 36:25 with Genesis 36:2);
  • (f) Genesis 36:31-39, the elective kingdoms of Edom;
  • (g) Genesis 36:40-43, the Edomites' chief line of descent, arranged according to localities.

We have here accordingly geographical accounts, and not historical or genealogical, as in Genesis 36:15, Genesis 36:20 (30); compare also Genesis 36:40, Genesis 36:43, for which reason we find also names of women.

(10) The tōledhōth of Jacob (Genesis 37:2 Through Genesis 50:26)

(1) The Biblical Text

The key to the history of Joseph is found in its conclusion, namely, in Genesis 50:14-21, in the confession of Joseph, in the light of his past, namely, that God has ended all things well; and in Genesis 50:22, in his confidence in the fulfillment of the Divine promise in the lives of those God has chosen; compare also Psalm 105:16. According to the two viewpoints in Genesis 50:14-26, and without any reference to the sources, this whole pericope (37:2 through 50:15) is divided into two halves, each of five subdivisions, or a total of ten (see under II, 1). In the exact demonstration of this, not only the contents themselves, but also regard for the different names for God will often render good service, which names, with good effect, are found at the close and in harmony with the fundamental thought of the entire section, namely,

  • (a) Genesis 37:2 through Genesis 39:6a, Joseph enters Potiphar's house (4 pieces, see under 6, 1, namely Genesis 37:2-11, the hatred of the brethren, 37:12-36, selling Joseph, Genesis 38:1, the Yahweh-displeasing conduct in the house of Judah, compare Genesis 38:7, Genesis 38:10, Genesis 39:1-6, Yahweh's pleasure in Joseph, in contrast to;
  • (b) Genesis 39:6b-23, Joseph is cast into prison, but Yahweh was with him (Genesis 39:21, Genesis 39:23);
  • (c) Genesis 40:1 through Genesis 41:52, the exaltation of Joseph, which at the end especially is shown by the naming of Ephraim and Manasseh as caused by God, but which for the present passes by the history of his family (4 pieces, namely, Genesis 40:1, interpretation of the dreams of the royal officials, Genesis 41:1-36, interpretation of the two dreams of Pharaoh, Genesis 41:37-46, the exaltation of Joseph, [[Genesis 41:46-52, Joseph's activity for the good of the country);
  • (d) Genesis 41:55]] through Genesis 46:7, Joseph becomes a blessing to his family; compare the promise of God to Jacob in Beersheba to be with him in Egypt in Genesis 46:2 with Genesis 45:6-9 (in four pieces, namely, Genesis 41:53-57, the general famine, 42:1-38, the first journey of the brothers of Joseph, Genesis 43:14 through Genesis 43:34, the second journey (in four subdivisions,
        • (i) Genesis 43:1-14, the departure,
        • (ii) Genesis 43:14-34, the reception by Joseph,
        • (iii) Genesis 44:1-7, final trial of the brethren,
        • (iv) Genesis 44:18-34, the intercession of Judah); Genesis 45:1 through Genesis 46:7, Joseph makes himself known and persuades Jacob to come to Egypt);
  • (e) Genesis 46:8 through Genesis 47:26, Joseph continues to be a blessing to his family and to Egypt (in 4 subdivisions, of which the 4th is placed in contrast to the first 3 exactly as this is done in Genesis 10:1 through Genesis 11:9 and Genesis 11:27 through Genesis 25:11, namely, (Genesis 46:8-27, list of the descendants of Jacob, Genesis 46:28-34, meeting with Joseph, Genesis 47:1-12, Jacob in the presence of Pharaoh, Genesis 47:13-26, the Egyptians who have sold themselves and their possessions to Pharaoh laud Joseph as the preserver of their lives). From this point on the attention is now drawn to the future:
  • (f) Genesis 47:27-31, Jacob causes Joseph to take an oath that he will have him buried in Canaan (compare Genesis 47:30 J with chapter 23 P) ; in (e) and (f) There is also lacking a designation for God;
  • (g) chapter 48, Jacob adopts and blesses Ephraim and Manasseh (compare also the emphasis placed on the providential guidance of God in Genesis 48:8 f, Genesis 48:11, 1 48:15 f, especially Genesis 48:16 and Genesis 48:20);
  • (h) Genesis 49:1-27, Jacob blesses his 12 sons and prophesies their future fate (here, Genesis 49:18, appears the name of Yahweh, which had disappeared since chapter 40; see under II, 2, 2 (d), and other designations for God, Genesis 49:24 f);
  • (i) Genesis 49:28-33, Jacob's death after he had again expressed the wish, in the presence of all his sons, that he should be buried in Canaan;
  • (j) Genesis 50:1-13, the body of Jacob is taken to Canaan.

In these 10 pericopes again we can easily find groups of two each, namely,

  • (a) and (b), Joseph's humiliation (sold, prison);
  • (c) and (d), Joseph becomes a blessing to Egypt and to his family;
  • (g) and (h), blessing of the, grandchildren and the sons of Jacob;
  • (i) and (j), Jacob s death and burial; here too the name of God is lacking as in (e) and (f).

(2) Rejection of the Division into Sources

Here, too, the separation of P from the rest of the text as a distinct source is untenable, since in the section from Genesis 37:2 through Genesis 46:34, after Genesis 37:2, only the following fragments are attributed to this source, namely, Genesis 41:46; [[Genesis 46:6 f (according to some also to Genesis 46:27). In the same way P abruptly sets in at Genesis 47:5, Genesis 47:27; Genesis 49:28. Further, Genesis 48:3 knows nothing of Ephraim or Manasseh, of whom P reports nothing, so that Genesis 50:13 f are the only verses that could naturally connect with the preceding statements of P. In Genesis 47:5 P reports entirely in the manner of ordinary narratives, and there is no sign of any systematic arrangement. But the separation between J and E cannot be carried out either. In the first place, when these two sources are actually separated by the critics, innumerable omissions in the story arise, which we cannot at this place catalogue. The contradictions which are claimed to exist here are the products of the critics' imagination. It is claimed that according to J it is Judah who plays a prominent role, while according to E it is Reuben; but in Genesis 37:21 Reuben is mentioned by J, and the role played by Judah in chapter 38 J is anything but creditable. Why cannot both of these brethren have played a prominent role, as this was also the case with Simeon (Genesis 42:24, Genesis 42:36; Genesis 43:14) and Benjamin (Genesis 42:13, Genesis 42:10, Genesis 42:32, Genesis 42:36, 1 Genesis 42:38; Genesis 43:3; 44; Genesis 45:14)? Just as little are the Midianites in Genesis 37:28, Genesis 37:36 E and the Ishmaelites of Genesis 37:25, Genesis 37:27, Genesis 37:28; Genesis 39:1 J mutually exclusive or contradictory, since the Midianites in the Gideon story, too, in Judges 7 f; Judges 8:24 are called Ishmaelites (compare in the German the name Prager for traveling musicians, whether they are from Prague or not). In J it is further claimed that Joseph's master was a private gentleman (Genesis 39:1), while in E he was the captain of the bodyguard (Genesis 40:3 f). But in this instance the documentary theory can operate only when it calls in the assistance of R in Genesis 39:1. The fact that in Genesis 39:1 the name of the nationality is added to that of the office, is explained on the ground of the contrast to the Ishmaelites who sold Joseph. Finally, it is claimed to have been caused by the combination of the different sources in such a way that Benjamin in Genesis 43:8, Genesis 43:29; Genesis 44:30, Genesis 44:31, Genesis 44:33 J is described as a boy, but in Genesis 46:21, R or the Priestly Code (P), as the father of ten children. But evidently the author of chapter 46 has in view the number 70 (compare Genesis 46:27; see Exodus 1:5; Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:25; Luke 10:1; Exodus 15:27; Judges 12:13; and in Gen 10 above, under 4, 2); and for this reason, e.g. in Genesis 46:17, he mentions only one grand-daughter of Jacob; and for this he mentions all of the descendants of Jacob, even those who were born later in Egypt, but who already, as it were, had come to Egypt in the loins of their fathers, according to the view of the author. It certainly would be remarkable if no more grandchildren had been born to Jacob in Egypt, since Nu 26 does not mention a single son of any of the sons of Jacob later than those reported in Genesis 46. In Genesis 46:27 Joseph's sons, too, who were born in Egypt, are included in the list, entirely in harmony with Deuteronomy 10:22. For such an arrangement and adjustment of a genealogy compare the 3 X 14 generations in Matthew 1. From this point of view no conclusions, as far as the documentary theory is concerned, can be drawn from the ten sons of Benjamin.

IV. The Historical Character

1. History of the Patriarchs: (Genesis 12 Through 50)

(1) Unfounded Attacks upon the History

(a) From General Dogmatic Principles

In order to disprove the historical character of the patriarchs, the critics are accustomed to operate largely with general dogmatic principles, such as this, that no nation knows who its original founder was. In answer to this it can be said that the history of Israel is and was from the beginning to the end unique, and cannot be judged by the average principles of historiography. But it is then claimed that Abraham's entire life appears to be only one continuous trial of faith, which was centered on the one promise of the true heir, but that this is in reality a psychological impossibility. Over against this claim we can in reply cite contrary facts from the history of several thousands of years; and that, too, in the experience of those very men who were most prominent in religious development, such as Paul and Luther.

(b) From Distance of Time

Secondly, critics emphasize the long period of time that elapsed between these events themselves and their first records, especially if these records can be accredited to so late a period as the 9th or the 8th century bc. In consequence of this, it is claimed that much of the contents of Genesis is myth or fable; and Gunkel even resolves the whole book into a set of unconnected little myths and fables. Over against this claim we can again appeal to the universal feeling in this matter. I do not think that it can be made plausible, that in any race fables and myths came in the course of time more and more to be accepted as actual facts, so that perchance we should now be willing to accept as historical truths the stories of the Nibelungenlied or Red Riding Hood. But this, according to the critics, must have been the case in Israel. Prophets accepted the story of the destruction of the two cities in the Jordan valley, as recorded in Gen 19, as correct (compare Amos 4:11; Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 3:9; Hosea 11:8); also Abraham as a historical person (Isaiah 29:22; Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 51:1; Micah 7:20; Jeremiah 33:26; Ezekiel 33:24; and possibly Malachi 2:15); then Isaac (Amos 7:9, Amos 7:16; Jeremiah 33:26); also Jacob ([[Hosea 12:3; Amos 9:8; Jeremiah 33:26); also Joseph (Amos 5:6, Amos 5:15); and these prophets evidently thought that these events and persons were regarded as historical by the people in general. In the New Testament we can cite, for Abraham, Matthew 3:9; Gal 3; Galatians 4:21; Romans 4:9; Romans 9:7; Hebrews 7:1; Hebrews 11:8; James 2:21, and especially the words of Jesus in Matthew 8:11; Luke 16:22; John 8:52; finally in Matthew 22:31 f, the whole argument for the resurrection of the dead is without a foundation if the patriarchs are not historical personages. Over against this, there was no period in the history of Israel in which it can be shown that these stories of Genesis were regarded only as myths. If these events were actual occurrences, then those things which the patriarchs experienced were so unique that these experiences were not forgotten for a long time. Then, too, we can also refer to the strength of the memory of those nations that were not accustomed to have written records of their history.

(c) From Biblical Data

Finally, the attempt has been made to discover in the Bible itself a pre-Mosaic stage in its ideas of man concerning God, which is claimed to contradict the higher development of Divine ideas in the patriarchs, for which purpose the critics appeal to Ezekiel 23:3, Ezekiel 23:1; Ezekiel 20:7; Joshua 24:14. But at these places it is evident that the idolatry of the people is pictured as apostasy. And when in Exodus 6:2 the name of Yahweh is as a matter of fact represented as something new, it is nevertheless a fact that in these very passages the revelation given is connected with the history of the patriarchs. The same is true of Exodus 3:1. The whole hypothesis that the religion before the days of Moses was polytheistic has not been derived from the Bible, but is interpreted into it, and ends in doing violence to the facts there recorded (compare my book, Die Entwicklung der alttestamentlichen Gottesidee in vorexilischer Zeit).

(d) From Comparison with Religion of Arabia

The critics further compare the pre-Mosaic religion of Israel with the low grade of religion in Arabia in the 5th century after Christ; but in order to do this, they must isolate Israel entirely, since all the surrounding nations at the time of the Tell el-Amarna Letters had attained to an altogether different and higher stage of religious development and civilization.

(2) Unsatisfactory Attempts at Explaining the Patriarchal Age

(a) Explanation Based on “High Places”

In denying the historical character of the account of the patriarchs in Genesis, the critics are forced to contrive some scheme in explanation of the existence of these stories, but in doing this they make some bad breaks. Thus, e.g., they say that the Israelites when they entered Canaan found there the high places of the heathen peoples; and since if they wanted to make use of these in the service of Yahweh they must first declare them legitimate places of worship, this was done by inventing the history of the patriarchs, who long before this are said to have already consecrated all these places to the Yahweh worship. But how is it possible on this supposition to explain the story of Joseph, which transpired in Egypt? Then, too, the reasons for the origin of the other stories of the patriarchs would be enshrouded in a remarkable mystery and would be of very inferior character. Again, it is nowhere declared in the passages of Genesis that here come into consideration that they are reporting the beginnings of a permanent cult when they give an account of how God appeared to the patriarchs or when they erected altars in His honor. And, finally, while it is indeed true that the cult localities of the patriarchs are in part identical with those of later times (compare Bethel, Beersheba) - and this is from the outset probable, because certain places, such as hills, trees, water, etc., as it were, of themselves were suitable for purposes of the cult - yet such an identification of earlier and later localities does not cover all cases. And can we imagine that a prophetical method of writing history would have had any occasion in this manner to declare the worship of calves in Bethel a legitimate service?

(b) The Dating Back of Later Events to Earlier Times

But we are further told that the pre-prophetic condition of affairs in Israel was in general dated back into the primitive period, and this was done in such a way that the character of Abraham was regarded as reproducing ideal Israel, and the character of Jacob the empirical Israel in the past; something that certainly is from the outset an odd speculation of too much learning! If this explanation is correct, what shall we then do with Isaac and Joseph? And why is the whole story of the condition of civilization pictured in Genesis so entirely different from that of later times? And is Abraham really a perfect ideal? Is he not rather, notwithstanding his mighty faith, a human being of flesh and blood, who can even doubt (Genesis 15:2 f; Genesis 17:17); who can make use of sinful means to realize the promise (Genesis 16, Hagar); who tells a falsehood, although for the best of purposes, namely, to protect his wife (Genesis 12:9), and for this reason must accept the rebuke of the heathen Abimelech (Genesis 20:9 f)? In addition, Abraham is married to his half-sister (Genesis 20:12), which, according to Deuteronomy 27:22; Leviticus 18:9, Leviticus 18:11; Leviticus 20:17, is forbidden with the penalty of death for the transgressor. In the same way Jacob, according to Gen 29 f, has two sisters as wives, which is also declared by Leviticus 18:18 to be a crime.

(c) The Patriarchs as heroes eponymi

In the third place, it is said that the people have in the persons of the patriarchs made for themselves eponymous heroes. But why did they make so many at one time? In addition, Abraham cannot possibly be regarded as such a hero as Jacob or Israel is, and in exceptional cases also Isaac and Joseph (Amos 7:9, Amos 7:16; Amos 5:6, Amos 5:15). It is not correct to place genealogies like those in Genesis 10:1; Genesis 25:1,Genesis 25:13 on a level with the stories concerning the patriarchs. In the latter case we are dealing with individualities of pronounced character, who in the experiences of their lives represent great fundamental principles and laws in the kingdom of God - Abraham, the principle of the grace of God, to which faith on the part of man is the counterpart; Jacob, the principle of Divine election; Joseph, that of the providential guidance of life; while Isaac, it is true, when he becomes prominent in the history, evinces no independent character, but merely follows in the footsteps of Abraham (compare [[Genesis 26:1, Genesis 26:3, Genesis 26:15, Genesis 26:18, Genesis 26:24), but is in this very imitative life pictured in an excellent way.

(d) Different Explanations Combined

If we combine two or more of these different and unsatisfactory attempts at an explanation of the history of the patriarchs, we must become all the more distrustful, because the outcome of this combination is such an inharmonious scheme.

(3) Positive Reasons for the Historical Character of Genesis

The individuality of the patriarchs as well as their significance in the entire development of the history of the kingdom of God, and their different missions individually; further, the truthful portraiture of their method of living, which had not yet reached the stage of permanent settlement; and, finally, the fact that the prophets, the New Testament and above all Jesus Himself regard their historical character as something self-evident (see (1b) above), make the conviction a certainty, that we must insist upon their being historical personages; especially, too, because the attacks on this view (see (1) above), as also the efforts to explain these narratives on other grounds (see (2) above), must be pronounced to be failures. To this we must add the following: If Moses were the founder of the religion of Israel, it would scarcely have been possible that a theory would have been invented and have found acceptance that robs Moses of this honor by the invention of the story of the patriarchs. Rather the opposite would be the case. Besides, this older revelation of God is absolutely necessary in order to make Moses' work and success intelligible and possible. For he himself expressly declares that his work is based on the promises of God given to the fathers. Through this connection with the older revelation it was possible for Moses to win the attention and the confidence of the people (compare Exodus 2:24; Exodus 3:6, Exodus 3:13; Exodus 4:5; Exodus 6:3, Exodus 6:8; Exodus 15:2; Exodus 32:13 f; Exodus 33:1; compare also my book, Die Entwicklung der alttestamentlichen Gottesidee in vorexilischer Zeit, 117ff; and Strack, Genesis, 93ff).

Individuality of Patriarchs: In so far as the history of the patriarchs contains miracles, they are in perfect harmony with the entire character of sacred history (compare Exodus, III, 2); and as far as the number of miracles is concerned, there are in fact fewer reported in the days of the patriarchs than in the times of Moses.. On the view that the history of the patriarchs, which is earlier than the period of Moses, was an invention and not history, the opposite condition of affairs could be expected. Leaving out of consideration the unsatisfactory instances cited under V, 2, below, there is to be found also in the Book of Genesis absolutely no reference to indicate events of a later period, which would throw a doubt on the historical character of what is here reported. In every direction (e.g. in connection with theophanies and the cult worship), there is a noticeable progress to be seen in going from Genesis to Exodus, a fact which again is an important argument for the historical reliability of the contents of both books. Finally, we add the following. Chapter 14 (the Chedorlaomer and the Melchizedek episodes) has through recent archaeological researches been brilliantly confirmed as far as the names are concerned, as also in reference to the political conditions of the times, the general historical situation and the chronology. In the same way the religious conditions of Egypt, as described in Genesis 12, and in the entire history of Joseph, are so faithfully pictured that it is absolutely impossible to regard these accounts as the work of imagination. These accounts must be the outcome, on the part of the author, of a personal knowledge of these things and conditions, as they are absolutely correct, even to the details of the coloring.

2. The Primitive History of Genesis 1 Through 11

(1) Prominence of the Religious Element

In the primitive history as recorded in the opening chapters of Genesis we must yet emphasize, more than is done elsewhere, that the chief interest for the Christian is found in the religious and moral teachings of this account; and that these teachings remain unshaken, even when chronological, historical, archaeological, physical, geographical or philological sciences would tempt us to reach negative conclusions. It is a wise thing, from the outset, not to be too timid in this direction, and to concede considerable liberty in this matter, when we remember that it is not the purpose of the Bible to give us scientific knowledge in scientific forms, but to furnish us with religious and ethical thoughts in a language which a childlike mind, that is open to Divine things, can understand.

(2) Carefulness as Regards Divergent Results of Scientific Research

On the other hand, it is right over against the so-called “results” of these different sciences to be very critical and skeptical, since in very many cases science retracts today what with a flourish of trumpets it declared yesterday to be a “sure” result of investigations; e.g. as far as the chronology is concerned, the natural and the historical sciences often base their computations on purely arbitrary figures, or on those which are constructed entirely upon conclusions of analogy, and are far from conclusive, if perchance the history of the earth or of mankind has not at all times developed at the same pace, i.e. has moved upward and downward, as e.g. a child in its earlier years will always learn more rapidly than at any later period of its life.

(3) Frequent Confirmation of the Bible by Science

But finally the Holy Scriptures, the statements of which at this period are often regarded slightingly by theologians, are regarded much more highly by men of science. This is done, e.g., by such scientists as Reinke and K.E. von Baer, who declare that Moses, because of his story of the creation, was a man of unsurpassed and unsurpassable scientific thought; or when many geological facts point to such an event as the Deluge in the history of the earth. The history of languages, as a whole and in its details, also furnishes many proofs for the correctness of Genesis 10, and that chapter has further been confirmed in a most surprising manner by many other discoveries (compare the existence of Babel at a period earlier than Nineveh, and the colonizing of Assur by Babel). Then facts like the following can be explained only on the presupposition that the reports in Genesis are correct, as when a Dutchman in the 17th century built an ark after the measurements given in Genesis and found the vessel in every particular adapted to its purposes; and when today we again hear specialists who declare that the modern ocean sailing vessel is being more and more constructed according to the relative proportions of the ark.

(4) Superiority of the Bible over Heathen Mythologies

Finally, the similarity of the Biblical and the Babylonian accounts of the creation and the Deluge, as these have been discovered by learned research (and we confine ourselves to these two most important reports) - although this similarity has been misinterpreted and declared to be hostile to the historical reliability and the originality of Gen 1 and Gen 6 through 9 - does not prove what critics claim that it does. Even if we acknowledge that the contents of these stories were extant in Babylon long before the days of Moses, and that these facts have been drawn from this source by Israel, there yet can be no question that the value of these accounts, the fact that they are saturated with a monotheistic and ethical spirit, is found only in Israel and has been breathed into them only by Israel. For the inner value of a story does not depend upon its antiquity, but upon its spirit. But even this conception of the matter, which is shared by most theologians, cannot satisfy us. When we remember how Babylonian mythology is honeycombed by the grossest superstition and heathenism, and that our ethical feelings are often offended by it in the most terrible manner, it is really not possible to see how such a system could have had any attraction for Israel after the Spirit, and how a man who thought as a prophet could have taken over such stories. If Israel has been a pathfinder in the sphere of religion, as is acknowledged on all hands, why do the critics always talk of their borrowing from others? And then, since similar stories are found also among other nations, and as the natural sciences are anything but a unit in hostility to the Biblical narratives, all these factors can find a satisfactory explanation only on the supposition that there existed an original or primitive revelation, and that in Israel this revelation was transmitted in its greater purity, while among the other nations it was emptied of its contents or was perverted. In this way the universality of these stories can be explained, as also the inferiority in character of similar stories among the other nations.

Babylonian and Biblical Stories

The particularly close connection that exists between the Babylonian and the Biblical versions of these stories is in perfect harmony with the fact that it was from Babylon that the dispersion of mankind set in. The purity of the Biblical tradition is further attested by the fact that it reports the actual history of all mankind (see under I, 2), while the mythologies of other nations are restricted nationally and locally, i.e. the beginnings of the history of the individual nations and the beginnings of the history of mankind are identical, and the earliest history is always reported as taking place in the native land of the people reporting it. The fact that in earlier times there prevailed in Babylon too a purer knowledge of God, which, however, steadily degenerated, is proved by many data, and especially by the recently discovered fragment of a Deluge story, according to which the God who destroyed the world by the Flood and the God who delivered the one family is the same God, which is in perfect agreement with the Bible, but is in contradiction to the later Babylonian story. That in earlier times a purer conception of God prevailed, seems to be confirmed also by the experiences of the missionaries. Evolutionism, i.e. the development of a higher conception of God out of a lower, is nothing but an unproved theory, which at every step is contrary to actual facts. Compare also my book, Die Entwicklung der Gottesidee in vorexilischer Zeit, 129ff, and Schmidt, Die babylonische Religion: Gedanken über ihre Entwicklung, a dissertation in which the fact that religion naturally degenerates is proved also as far as the Greeks, the Egyptians, the East Indians and the Chinese are concerned.

V. Origin and Authorship of Genesis

1. Connection with Mosaic Times

That the Book of Genesis stands in some kind of literary connection with the succeeding books of the Pentateuch is generally acknowledged. But if this is the case, then the question as to the origin and the time of the composition of this whole body of books can be decided only if we take them all into consideration. In this article we have only to consider those facts which are found in Genesis for the solution of this problem. It is self-evident that the conclusion we have reached with reference to the literary unity of the book is of great importance for this question (see under II and III above). The historical character of the book, as demonstrated under IV above, also speaks emphatically for this claim that the literary composition of the book must have taken place when the memory of these events was still trustworthy, and the impression and experiences were still fresh and had not yet faded. Such individualistic and vivid pictures of historical personages as are reported by Genesis, such a faithful adherence to the accounts of the civilization in the different countries and districts and at different times, such detailed accounts of foreign customs, conditions and historical events, could scarcely. have been possible, if the Mosaic age with its powerful new impressions, the period of the Judges, with its characteristic apostasy, or even the division of Israel into two kingdoms, with its dire effects on the external union of the people, had all passed by before these accounts were actually written down. On the other hand, the highly developed prophetic conception of these events, and the skillful plan of the book demand that the author must have been a religious and ethical personality of the first rank. And as, finally, it is scarcely credible that Moses would have failed to provide for a systematic report of the great past of the people, for which account, before this and as long as only family histories were involved, there was no need felt, and as the subsequent books of the Pentateuch, which are acknowledged in a literary way to be connected with Genesis, in many of their parts expressly declare that Moses was their author (compare Exodus, IV), the Mosaic authorship of this book is as good as proved. This is not to deny that older sources and documents were used in the composition of the book, such as perhaps the genealogical tables or the events recorded in Gen 14, possibly, too, some referring to the history of the times before the Deluge and before Abraham. This is probable; but as all the parts of the book have been worked together into a literary unity (see under II and III above), and as such sources are not expressly mentioned, it is a hopeless task to try to describe these different sources in detail or even to separate them as independent documents, after the manner refuted under II and III above, as a theory and in its particulars. And for the age of Genesis, we can refer to the fact that the personal pronoun here is still used for both genders, masculine and feminine, which is true also of the word na‛ar (“youth”), a peculiarity which is shared also by the other books of the Pentateuch almost throughout.

2. Examination of Counter-Arguments

(1) Possibility of Later Additions

In itself it would be possible that from time to time some explanatory and interpreting additions could have been made to the original text, in case we find indications of a later period in some statements of the book. But that in this case these additions could not have been made by any unauthorized persons, but only officially, should, in the case of a book like Genesis, be regarded as self-evident. But in our times this fact must be emphasized all the more, as in our days the most radical ideas obtain in reference to the way in which sacred books were used in former times. And then it must be said that we cannot prove as an absolute certainty that there is a single passage in Genesis that originated in the post-Mosaic period.

(2) “Prophecy After the Event” Idea

It is self-evident also that the fulfillment of a prophecy is not an evidence of a “prophecy after the event” (vaticinium post eventum), altogether independently of the fact that in this case Genesis 12:1-3, which is still in process of fulfillment, could not have been written down even today (compare on this matter, perhaps, Noah's prophecy (Genesis 9:25); or the prediction of the career of Esau (Genesis 25:23; Genesis 27:40); or of Ishmael (Genesis 16:10; Genesis 21:18); or Jacob's blessing (Gen 49)). The last-mentioned case cannot in any way be interpreted as the product of a later time; compare the curse of Levi in Genesis 49:5-8 as compared with the honor bestowed on this tribe already in the Mosaic period (Exodus 32:26-29; Deuteronomy 33:8-11), and in the time of the Judges (Judges 17:7-13; 1 Samuel 2:27 f). Zebulun, too, according to Genesis 49:13 is regarded as being settled on the coast, which is not in agreement with historical reality (compare Joshua 19:10-16, Joshua 19:27). In the same way the curse on Simeon in Genesis 49:5-7, which declared that his tribe should be distributed among Israel, was not fulfilled in the time when the people entered Canaan (compare Joshua 19:1 and 2 Chronicles 34:6). In Genesis 49:10 “Shiloh” cannot refer to the coming of the tabernacle to Shiloh (compare Joshua 18:1); for Shiloh is, on the other hand, to be interpreted personally and Messianically. As long as Shiloh was of any importance (compare 1 Sam 1ff), Judah was not in the possession of the scepter; but when this scepter did come into the control of Judah, Shiloh had long since ceased to be of any significance (compare my book, Die messianische Erwartung der vorexilischen Propheten, 360 f).

(3) Special Passages Alleged to Indicate Later Date (Genesis 12:6; Genesis 13:7; Genesis 22:2; Genesis 36:31 Ff; Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:2; Genesis 14:14)

In Genesis 12:6; Genesis 13:7, it is claimed that it is presupposed that at the time of the author there were no longer any Canaanites in the country, so that these verses belong to a much later period than that of Moses. But on this supposition these verses would be altogether superfluous and therefore unintelligible additions. For that in the time of Abraham the Canaanites had not yet been expelled by Israel, was a self-evident matter for every Israelite. As a matter of fact, the statements in both verses can easily be interpreted. Abraham leaves his native country to go into a strange land. When he comes to Canaan, he finds it inhabited by the Canaanites (compare Genesis 10:6, Genesis 10:15; Genesis 9:25). This could have made his faith to fail him. God, accordingly, repeats His promise at this very moment and does so with greater exactness (compare Genesis 13:7 with Genesis 13:1), and Abraham shows that God can trust his faith (Genesis 13:7 f). The question whether the Canaanites no longer existed at the time the book was written, has nothing at all to do with the meaning of these verses. The same is true of Genesis 13:7, on account of the presence of the Canaanites and of the Perizzites, which latter tribe had probably come in the meanwhile and is not yet mentioned in Gen 10, but is mentioned in Genesis 15:20, and which makes the separation of Abraham and Lot only all the more necessary.

That in Genesis 22:2 the land of Moriah is mentioned is claimed by the critics to be a proof that this passage was written after the times of David and even of Solomon, because according to 2 Chronicles 3:1 the temple stood on Mt. Moriah. But as in this latter passage one particular mountain is called Moriah, but in Abraham's time a whole country was so called, it is scarcely possible that Genesis 22:2 could have been written at so late a period.

Usually, too, the list of 8 Edomite kings, who ruled before there was a king of Israel, according to Genesis 36:31, is cited as a proof that this part was written only after the establishment of the kingdom in Israel, although the time down to the age of Saul would be entirely too long for only eight kings, as already in the Mosaic period there were kings in Edom (Numbers 20:14). Then, too, we find in the days of Solomon a hereditary kingdom in Edom (1 Kings 11:14), while in Genesis 36:31 we have to deal with an elective kingdom. Also it would be impossible to understand why this list of kings is carried down only so far and no farther, namely down to the time when there were kings in Israel. This statement can properly be interpreted only in the light of Genesis 17:6, Genesis 17:16, where the promise is given to Abraham that kings should be found among his descendants (compare also Genesis 17:20 with Genesis 25:16); and in the light of chapter 14, where Abraham is explicitly brought into connection with kings in a number of ways (with the four kings of the East, whom he conquers; with the five kings of the Jordan valley, whom he assists; with the King's Vale (Genesis 14:17), which prepared the way for the Melchizedek episode; and with this Priest-King himself, who blesses him and to whom he gives tithes (Genesis 14:18); with the king of Sodom, whom he rebukes (Genesis 14:21)). Accordingly, the statement in Genesis 36:31 is not merely a dry historical notice, but is a reference to the blessing of God, which is realized in Israel at a much later time than in the kindred tribe of Esau, and which puts the faith of Israel to a new test. As the death of the last Edomite king is not mentioned (compare Genesis 36:39 in contrast to the preceding passage and to 1 Chronicles 1:50 f), but as detailed family data are given, we are doubtless dealing here with living contemporaries of Moses, in whose time already the Edomites possessed a kingdom (Numbers 20:14; Judges 11:17), just as this was the case with Amalek (Numbers 24:7), with Moab (Numbers 21:26; Numbers 22:4) and Midian (Numbers 31:8). And why would a later writer have mentioned neither Selah (Petra), so important in later times (compare Isaiah 16:1; Judges 1:36; 2 Kings 14:7), nor Ezion-Geber (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17 f), among the places given in Genesis 36:40? In Moses' time, however, the last-mentioned place was only prairie (Numbers 33:35 f).

Just as little is it an argument against the Mosaic times that Hebron is mentioned in Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:2, which city, according to Joshua 14:15; Joshua 15:13, is called Kiriath-Arba, a name which Genesis also is acquainted with (compare Genesis 23:2), and which in its signification of “city of Arba” points to an originally proper name. Hebron is the older name, which was resumed at a later period, after it had in the meanwhile been supplanted by the Canaanitic name, just as the name of Salem, which occurs already in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, for a period of time gave way to the name of Jebus, but was afterward resumed. That Hebron was an old city and that it existed at a period earlier than the Arba mentioned in Joshua 14:15; Joshua 15:13, and from whom its later name was derived, can be concluded from Numbers 13:22.

Further, the mention of Dan in Numbers 14:14 does not necessarily favor the view that this chapter did not originate until after Joshua 19:47. Judges 18:29, where Leshem or Laish is changed into Dan (2 Samuel 24:6; compare 2 Samuel 24:2 and 2 Samuel 24:15), does make the existence of another Dan probable. Since in Genesis 14:2, Genesis 14:3, Genesis 14:7, Genesis 14:17 so many ancient names are mentioned, and as the author is most fully informed as to the conditions of the political complexion of the old nations of that time (Genesis 14:5-7), it would be incomprehensible if he should not have made use of the ancient names Laish and Leshem. However, if this Dan was really meant, we should at most have to deal with a revision, such as that pointed out above. Some other less important arguments against the origin of Genesis from the Mosaic times we can here ignore. The most important argument for the Mosaic origin of the book, in addition to those mentioned under 1, will now be discussed.

VI. Significance

1. Lays Foundation for the Whole of Revelation

In the history of the creation the most important feature for us is the fact that the world was created out of nothing (compare Genesis 1:1 and the word bārā'), which guarantees the absoluteness of God and His perfect control of the entire material world; further, the creation of man, as the crown of all creation, for which all things previously created prepare, and who is to rule over them, but who - most important of all - is created after the image of God in Gen (Genesis 1:26 f), and whose body has been created by the hand of God and his soul breathed into him by God (Revelation 2:7). On this fact, too, in the end, is founded the possibility of man's redemption even after the Fall (Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:3; compare Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:24), as also the possibility of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, who also is the image of God (Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Then, too, another all-important factor for us is the unity of the human race, for thereby is made possible and can be understood the fact that all men have become subject to sin and all can be the recipients of grace (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22 f, 1 Corinthians 15:45 f). Also the need of redemption is brought out strongly in the Book of Genesis. Compare in connection with the Fall, the pains that shall attend the birth of a child, the cursing of the land, death (Genesis 3:15), which finds its first victim in Abel, and the monotonous and emphatic repetition of the formula, “and he died,” in Gen 5, as characterizing the dismal fate of mankind, and which finds its expression in the rapid decrease of the length of life in the genealogies and in the ages of the patriarchs (Genesis 5:1; Genesis 11:10; Genesis 25:7; Genesis 35:28; Genesis 47:28; Genesis 50:26; Psalm 90:10), and in the irresistible and increasing power of death. By the side of this, sin at once assumes its most horrible form (Genesis 3, doubt, pride, fear, boldness of Eve and Adam), and is propagated and increases; compare the murder and the despair of Cain (Genesis 4:1), which is still surpassed by the defiant blasphemy of Lamech (Genesis 4:23 f); and in the same way, death, which is coming more and more rapidly (see above), is a proof for this, that sin is being more and more intimately interwoven with the human race. Compare further, the corruption of the whole earth, which brings with it as a consequence the judgment of the Deluge (Genesis 6:5), after the period of grace extending over 120 years had fruitlessly passed by; the lack of reverence on the part of Ham (Genesis 9:22); the arrogance in connection with the building of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1); the Sodomitic sin in Genesis 18:16 through Genesis 19:15; the daughters of Lot (Genesis 19:30). Still worse is it, that the elect also are not without blame. On Abraham, see IV, 1, 2b; then concerning Noah (Genesis 9:21) and Lot's fearful drunkenness (Genesis 19:32); Isaac's and Rebekah's preference for Esau or Jacob (Genesis 25:28); Jacob's deceptions of various kinds, his preference for Joseph (Genesis 37:3); the horrible deeds of Simeon and Levi (Genesis 34:25; Genesis 49:5); Reuben's incest (Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:3 f); the cruelty of the brethren of Joseph toward him and his father (chapter 37); finally, Joseph's pride and his reporting his brethren (Genesis 37:2, Genesis 37:5). In short, wherever we look, we see in Genesis already a proof for the truth of Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

2. Preparation for Redemption

By the side of this need of salvation there is to be found also the longing for salvation; compare the name of Noah (Genesis 5:29), and the word of blessing from the lips of Jacob (Genesis 49:18); and, further, the fact that Abraham reaches out after the promised heir in Genesis 15 through 18, and his desire for the possession of the land (12 through 14; 23; Genesis 28:20; Genesis 33:19 f); and especially from Genesis 47:27 on. And in harmony with this need and this longing for redemption we find above all other things the saving and the promising grace of God. He does not cause the bodily death to follow immediately upon the Fall in Gen 3 (although the beginning of the spiritual death sets in at once with the separation from God); He provides for mankind by Himself making garments for them out of skins (Genesis 3:21); even the expulsion from Paradise is not merely a punishment; God fears that man might live forever if he should eat from the tree of life (Genesis 3:22). He sets enmity between the human race and the seed of the serpent, so that at least the possibility of a moral contest yet exists; He strengthens the good in Cain (Genesis 4:7); He removes the pious Enoch (Genesis 5:24); He saves Noah and his family and makes a covenant with him (Genesis 8:21); He gives His promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and makes a covenant with him (chapters 15; 17); He delivers Lot (Genesis 19:13); He is willing even to preserve Sodom at Abraham's prayer, if there are as many as 10 just men in the city (Genesis 18:32); He bestows a blessing on Ishmael also (Genesis 16:10; Genesis 17:20; Genesis 21:13), and permits Isaac to bless Esau (Genesis 27:39); but above all He is with Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. It is indeed true that the thought runs through Genesis that not all men are capable of receiving His grace, and that not all are drawn to the Father. Cain's sacrifice is not acceptable before God, as was Abel's; the Cainites with their advance in civilization (Genesis 4:17), to whom Lamech also belonged, are different from Seth (Genesis 4:26; Genesis 5:1), who continues the line of the elect. Finally, the godly, too, permit themselves to be deceived (Genesis 6:1), and Noah stands alone in his piety. After that Ham is cursed in his youngest son, Canaan (Genesis 9:22; compare Genesis 10:6); but Shem is blessed to such a degree that his blessing is to extend to Japheth also; cf, further, the elimination from sacred history of Lot (Genesis 19:29); of Ishmael (Genesis 25:12), and of Esau (Genesis 36:1); of Sodom and Gomorrah (chapter 19); then the choice of Jacob in preference to Esau (25:19 through 37:1); the preference of Ephraim over Manasseh (Genesis 48:17); the transmission of the Messianic promises to Judah (Genesis 49:10; compare my book, Messianische Erwartung, 360 f), so that at the close of Genesis we find already the hope of a personal Messiah expressed, in whom also the word (Genesis 3:15) that was originally spoken to all mankind is to be entirely fulfilled, and in whom also the blessing given to Abraham shall find its significance and realization for the benefit of all mankind (Genesis 12:3, and see above, 1, 2 and 3). But in the history of Abraham this fact also becomes clear, that in the end this was all grace on the part of God, and faith on the part of man; and because both grace and faith are in Genesis placed and emphasized at the very beginning of the history of mankind, and before the giving of the law (Exodus 19ff); then this grace and faith cannot be abrogated through the latter or made ineffective. Not by works but by faith is man saved (compare Galatians 3:2; Romans 4; Hebrews 11:8; James 2:21). But the guidance of individuals and of His people by God, the ways which He took with His elect, become clear and intelligible ultimately in the history of Joseph; and all and everything must in the end serve the good of those who are His.

Literature

Against the separation into documents we mention, of older works: Hävernick, Specielle Einleitung in den Pent; Hengstenberg, Beiträge zur Einleitung, II, III; Keil, Einleitung in das Altes Testament, and his Commentary on Gen; Ewald, Die Komposition der Genesis. Of later works: Orr, Problem of the Old Testament; Eerdmans, Die Komposition der Genesis; Möller, Wider den Bann der Quellenscheidung. Against the evolutionary theory: Orr, Problem of the Old Testament; Wiener, Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism and Wiener, Origin of the Pentateuch; Green, Unity of Book of Genesis; Möller, Die Entwicklung der alttestamentlichen Gottesidee in vorexilischer Zeit (here also further lit.). On modern archaeological researches: Orr, Problem of the Old Testament; Jeremias, Das Altes Testament im Lichte des alten Orients; Urquhart, Die neueren Entdeckungen und die Bibel (to be used with caution; the work is reliable in the facts but not careful in its conclusions and in its account of Old Testament criticism). Further, compare the histories of Israel by Köhler, König, Kittel, Oettli, Klostermann, Stade, Wellhausen: the Commentaries on Genesis by Keil, Delitzsch, Dillmann, Lange, Strack, Gunkel, Holzinger; the Introductions to the Old Testament by Kuenen, Strack, Baudissin, König, Cornill, Driver; the Biblical Theologies by Marti, Smend, Budde, Schulz, Oehler. Finally compare Sievers, Metrische Studien, II: “Die hebraische Genesis.”

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