From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

(See Moses ; Law; Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy.) A term meaning "five volumes" ( Teuchos in Alexandrian Greek "a book"); applied to the first five books of the Bible, in Tertullian and Origen. "The book of the law" in  Deuteronomy 48:61;  Deuteronomy 29:21;  Deuteronomy 30:10;  Deuteronomy 31:26; "the book of the law of Moses,"  Joshua 23:6;  Nehemiah 8:1; in  Ezra 7:6, "the law of Moses," "the book of Moses" ( Ezra 6:18). The Jews now call it Torah "the law," literally, the directory in  Luke 24:27 "Moses" stands for his book.

The division into five books is probably due to the Septuagint, for the names of the five books, Genesis, Exodus, etc., are Greek not Hebrew. The Jews name each book from its first word; the Pentateuch forms one roll, divided, not into books, but into larger and smaller sections Parshiyoth and Sedorim. They divide its precepts into 248 positive, and 365 negative, 248 being the number of parts the rabbis assign the body, 365 the days of the year. As a mnemonic they carry a square cloth with fringes ( Tsitsit = 600 in Hebrew) consisting of eight threads and five knots, 613 in all. The five of the Pentateuch answer to the five books of the psalter, and the five Megilloth of the Hagiographa (Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther).

'''Moses' Authorship''' . After the battle with Amalek ( Exodus 17:14) "Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in the Book," implying there was a regular account kept in a well known book. Also  Exodus 24:4, "Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah"; ( Exodus 34:27) "Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words" distinguished from  Exodus 34:28, "He (Jehovah) wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" ( Exodus 34:1).  Numbers 33:2 "Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of Jehovah." In  Deuteronomy 17:18-19, the king is required to "write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests, the Levites"; and  Deuteronomy 31:9-11, "Moses wrote this law and delivered it unto the priests, the son of Levi," who should "at the end of every seven years read this law before all Israel in their hearing"; and  Deuteronomy 31:24," Moses made an end of writing the words of this law in a book," namely, the whole Pentateuch ("the law,"  Matthew 22:40;  Galatians 4:21), "and commanded the Levites ... put it in the side of the ark that it may be a witness against thee," as it proved under Josiah.

The two tables of the Decalogue were IN the ark ( 1 Kings 8:9); the book of the law, the Pentateuch, was laid up in the holy of holies, close by the ark, probably in a chest ( 2 Kings 22:8;  2 Kings 22:18-19). The book of the law thus written by Moses and handed to the priests ends at  Deuteronomy 31:23; the rest of the book of Deuteronomy is an appendix added after Moses' death by another hand, excepting the song and blessing, Moses' own composition. Moses speaks of "this law" and "the book of this law" as some definite volume which he had written for his people ( Deuteronomy 28:61;  Deuteronomy 29:19-20;  Deuteronomy 29:29). He uses the third person of himself, as John does in the New Testament He probably dictated much of it to Joshua or some scribe, who subsequently added the account of Moses' death and a few explanatory insertions. The recension by Ezra (and the great synagogue, Buxtori "Tiberius," 1:10, Tertullian De Cultu Fem. 3, Jerome ad Helvid.) may have introduced the further explanations which appear post Mosaic.

Moses probably uses patriarchal documents, as e.g. genealogies for Genesis; these came down through Shem and Abraham to Joseph and Israel in Egypt. That writing existed ages before Moses is proved by the tomb of Chnumhotep at Benihassan, of the twelfth dynasty, representing a scribe presenting to the governor a roll of papyrus covered with inscriptions dated the sixth year of Osirtasin II long before the Exodus. The papyrus found by M. Prisse in the hieratic character is considered the oldest of existing manuscripts and is attributed to a prince of the fifth dynasty; weighed down with age, he invokes Osiris to enable him to give mankind the fruits of his long experience. It contains two treatises, the first, of 12 pages, the end of a work of which the former part is lost, the second by a prince, son of the king next before Assa, in whose reign the work was composed. The Greek alphabet borrows its names of letters and order from the Semitic; those names have a meaning in Semitic, none in Greek Tradition made Cadmus ("the Eastern") introduce them into Greece from Phoenicia (Herodot. 5:58).

Joshua took a Hittite city, Kirjath Sepher, "the city of the book" ( Joshua 15:15), and changed the name to Debir of kindred meaning. Pertaour, a scribe under Rameses the Great, in an Iliadlike poem engraved on the walls of Karnak mentions Chirapsar, of the Khota or Hittites, a writer of books. From the terms for "write," "book," "ink," being in all Semitic dialects, it follows they must have been known to the earliest Shemites before they branched off into various tribes and nations. Moses, Israel's wise leader, would therefore be sure to commit to writing their laws, their wonderful antecedents and ancestry, and the Divine promises from the beginning connected with them, and their fulfillment in Egypt, in the Exodus, and in the wilderness, in order to evoke their national spirit. Israel would certainly have a written history at a time when the Hittites among whom Israel settled were writers.

Moreover, from Joshua downward the Old Testament books abound in references to the laws, history, and words of Moses, as such, universally accepted. They are ordered to be read continually ( Joshua 1:7-8); "all the law which Moses My servant commanded ... this book of the law" ( Joshua 8:31;  Joshua 8:34;  Joshua 23:6). In  Joshua 1:3-8;  Joshua 1:13-18 the words of  Deuteronomy 11:24-25;  Deuteronomy 31:6-12, and  Deuteronomy 3:18-20  Numbers 32:20-28, are quoted. Israel's constitution in church and state accords with that established by Moses. The priesthood is in Aaron's family ( Joshua 14:1). "Eleazar," Aaron's son, succeeds to his father's exalted position and with Joshua divides the land ( Joshua 21:1), as  Numbers 34:17 ordained; the Levites discharge their duties, scattered among the tribes and having 48 cities, as Jehovah by Moses commanded ( Numbers 35:7). So the tabernacle made by Moses is set up at Shiloh ( Joshua 18:1). The sacrifices ( Joshua 8:31;  Joshua 22:23;  Joshua 22:27;  Joshua 22:29) are those enjoined (Leviticus 1; 2; 3).

The altar built ( Joshua 8:30-31;  Exodus 20:25) is "as Moses commanded ... in the book of the law of Moses." Compare also as to the ark,  Joshua 3:3;  Joshua 3:6;  Joshua 3:8;  Joshua 7:6; circumcision,  Joshua 5:2; Passover,  Joshua 5:10; with the Pentateuch. There is the same general assembly or congregation and princes ( Joshua 9:18-21;  Joshua 20:6;  Joshua 20:9;  Joshua 22:30;  Exodus 16:22); the same elders of Israel ( Joshua 7:6;  Deuteronomy 31:9); elders of the city ( Deuteronomy 25:8;  Joshua 20:4); judges and officers ( Joshua 8:33;  Deuteronomy 16:18); heads of thousands ( Joshua 22:21;  Numbers 1:16). Bodies taken down from hanging ( Joshua 8:29;  Joshua 10:27;  Deuteronomy 21:23). No league with Canaan (Joshua 9;  Exodus 23:32). Cities of refuge (Joshua 20;  Numbers 35:11-15;  Deuteronomy 4:41-43;  Deuteronomy 19:2-7). Inheritance to Zelophebad's daughters ( Joshua 17:3; Numbers 27; 36).

So in Judges Moses' laws are referred to ( Judges 2:1-3;  Judges 2:11-12;  Judges 2:20;  Judges 6:8-10;  Judges 20:2;  Judges 20:6;  Judges 20:13;  Deuteronomy 13:6;  Deuteronomy 13:12-14;  Deuteronomy 22:21). The same law and worship appear in Judges as in Pentateuch. Judah takes the lead ( Judges 1:2;  Judges 20:18;  Genesis 49:8;  Numbers 2:3;  Numbers 10:14). The judge's office is as Moses defined it ( Deuteronomy 17:9). Gideon recognizes the theocracy, as Moses ordained ( Judges 8:22-23;  Exodus 19:5-6;  Deuteronomy 17:14;  Deuteronomy 17:20;  Deuteronomy 33:5). The tabernacle is at Shiloh ( Judges 18:31); Israel goes up to the house of God and consults the high priest with Urim and Thummim ( Judges 20:23;  Judges 20:26-28;  Exodus 28:30;  Numbers 27:21;  Deuteronomy 12:5). The ephod is the priest's garment ( Judges 8:27;  Judges 17:5;  Judges 18:14-17).

The Levites scattered through Israel are the recognized ministers ( Judges 17:7-13;  Judges 19:1-2). Circumcision is Israel's distinguishing badge ( Judges 14:3;  Judges 15:18). Historical rereferences to the Pentateuch abound ( Judges 1:16;  Judges 1:20;  Judges 1:23;  Judges 2:1;  Judges 2:10;  Judges 6:13), especially  Judges 11:15-27 epitomizes Numbers 20; 21;  Deuteronomy 2:1-8;  Deuteronomy 2:26-34; compare the language  Judges 2:1-23 with  Exodus 34:13; Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28;  Deuteronomy 7:2;  Deuteronomy 7:8;  Deuteronomy 12:3;  Judges 5:4-5 with  Deuteronomy 33:2;  Deuteronomy 32:16-17. In the two books of Samuel the law and Pentateuch are the basis. Eli, high priest, is sprung from Aaron through Ithamar ( 1 Chronicles 24:3;  2 Samuel 8:17;  1 Kings 2:27). The transfer from Eli's descendants back to Eleazar's line fulfills  Numbers 25:10-13.

The tabernacle is still at Shiloh,  1 Samuel 2:14;  1 Samuel 4:8; the rabbis say it had now become "a low stone wall-structure with the tent drawn over the top," attached to it was a warder's house where Samuel slept. The lamp in it accords with  Exodus 27:20-21;  Leviticus 24:2-3; but ( 1 Samuel 3:3) let go out, either from laxity or because the law was not understood to enjoin perpetual burning day and night. The ark in the tabernacle still symbolizes God's presence ( 1 Samuel 4:3-4;  1 Samuel 4:18;  1 Samuel 4:21-22;  1 Samuel 5:3-7;  1 Samuel 6:19). Jehovah of hosts dwells between the Cherubim . The altar, incense, ephod are mentioned; also the "burnt offering" ( 'Owlah ), the "whole burnt offering" ( Kalil ), "peace offerings" ( Shelamim ):  1 Samuel 10:8;  1 Samuel 11:15;  1 Samuel 13:9;  Exodus 24:5. The "bloody sacrifice" ( Zebach ) and "unbloody offering" ( Minchah ):  1 Samuel 2:19;  1 Samuel 3:14;  1 Samuel 26:19. The victims, the bullock, lamb, heifer, and ram, are those ordained in Leviticus ( Leviticus 1:24-25;  Leviticus 7:9;  Leviticus 16:2;  Leviticus 15:22).

The priest's perquisites, etc., in  Leviticus 6:6-7;  Deuteronomy 18:1, etc.,  Numbers 18:8-19;  Numbers 18:25;  Numbers 18:32, are alluded to in  1 Samuel 2:12-13. The Levites alone should handle the sacred vessels and ark ( 1 Samuel 6:15;  1 Samuel 6:19). The historical facts of the Pentateuch are alluded to: Jacob's descent to Egypt, Israel's deliverance by Moses and Aaron ( 1 Samuel 12:8); the Egyptian plagues ( 1 Samuel 4:8;  1 Samuel 8:8); the Kenites' kindness ( 1 Samuel 15:6). Language of the Pentateuch is quoted ( 1 Samuel 2:22;  Exodus 38:8). The request for a king ( 1 Samuel 8:5-6) accords with Moses' words ( Deuteronomy 17:14); also  Deuteronomy 16:19 with  1 Samuel 8:3. The sacrificing in other places besides at the tabernacle was allowed because the ark was in captivity, and even when restored it was not yet in its permanent seat, Mount Zion, God's one chosen place ( 1 Samuel 7:17;  1 Samuel 10:8;  1 Samuel 16:2-5).

Though Samuel, a Levite not a priest ( 1 Chronicles 6:22-28), is said to sacrifice, it is in the sense that as prophet and judge-prince he blessed it ( 1 Samuel 9:13). Whoever might slay it, the priest alone sprinkled the blood on the altar. So Joshua ( Joshua 8:30-31), Saul ( 1 Samuel 13:9-10), David ( 2 Samuel 24:25), Solomon ( 1 Kings 3:4), and the people ( 1 Kings 3:2) sacrificed through the priest. Samuel as reformer brought all ordinances of church and state into conformity with the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch and Mosaic ordinances underlie Samuel's work; but, while generally observing them, he so far deviates as no forger would do. The conformity is unstudied and unobtrusive, as that of one looking back to ordinances existing and recorded long before.

David's psalms allude to and even quote the Pentateuch language ( Psalms 1:3, compare  Genesis 39:3;  Genesis 39:23;  Psalms 4:5;  Deuteronomy 33:19;  Psalms 4:6;  Numbers 6:26;  Psalms 8:6-8;  Genesis 1:26;  Genesis 1:28;  Psalms 9:12;  Genesis 9:5;  Genesis 15:5;  Exodus 22:25;  Exodus 23:8;  Leviticus 25:36;  Deuteronomy 16:19;  Psalms 16:4-5-6;  Exodus 23:13;  Deuteronomy 32:9;  Psalms 17:8;  Deuteronomy 32:10;  Psalms 24:1;  Deuteronomy 10:14;  Exodus 19:5;  Exodus 26:6;  Exodus 30:19-20; Psalm 30 title;  Deuteronomy 20:5;  Psalms 39:12;  Leviticus 25:23;  Psalms 68:1;  Psalms 68:4;  Psalms 68:7-8;  Psalms 68:17;  Numbers 10:35;  Deuteronomy 33:26;  Exodus 13:21;  Exodus 19:16;  Deuteronomy 33:2;  Psalms 86:8;  Psalms 86:14-15;  Exodus 15:11;  Exodus 34:6;  Numbers 10:10;  Psalms 103:17-18;  Exodus 20:6;  Deuteronomy 7:9;  Psalms 110:4;  Genesis 14:18;  Psalms 133:2;  Exodus 30:25;  Exodus 30:30.

When dying, he [David] charges Solomon, "keep the charge, as it is written in the law of Moses" ( 1 Kings 2:3). The Pentateuch must have preceded the kingdom, for it supposes no such form of government. Solomon's Proverbs similarly rest on the Pentateuch (  Proverbs 3:9 ;  Proverbs 3:18 ;  Exodus 22:29 ;  Genesis 2:9 .  Proverbs 10:18 ;  Numbers 13:32 ;  Numbers 14:36 .  Proverbs 11:1 ;  Proverbs 20:10 ;  Proverbs 20:23 ;  Leviticus 19:35-36 ;  Deuteronomy 25:13 .  Proverbs 11:13 Margin;  Leviticus 19:16 ,"Not Go Up And Down As A Talebearer".) Solomon's temple is an exact doubling of the proportions of the tabernacle. No one would have built a house with the proportions of a tent, except to retain the relation of the temple to its predecessor the tabernacle ( 1 Kings 6:1, etc.). The Pentateuch must have preceded the division between Israel and Judah, because it was acknowledged in both. Jehoshaphat in Judah used "the book of the law of Jehovah," as the textbook for reaching the people ( 2 Chronicles 17:9).

In  2 Kings 11:12 "the testimony" is put in the hands of Joash at his coronation. Uzziah burning incense contrary to the law incurs leprosy ( 2 Chronicles 26:16-21;  Numbers 16:1 etc.). Hezekiah kept the commandments which Jehovah commanded Moses ( 2 Kings 18:4;  2 Kings 18:6). He destroyed the relic, the brazen serpent which remained from Moses' time, because of its superstitious abuse. Jeroboam in northern Israel set up golden calves on Aaron's model, with words from  Exodus 32:28, "behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt" ( 1 Kings 12:28). Bethel was chosen as where God appeared to Jacob. The feast in the eighth month was in imitation of that of tabernacles in the seventh month ( 1 Kings 12:32-38), to prevent the people going up to sacrifice at Jerusalem ( 1 Kings 12:27); the Levites remaining faithful to the temple, Jeroboam made priests of the lowest people.

In 1 and 2, Kings references to the Pentateuch occur ( 1 Kings 21:3;  Leviticus 25:23;  Numbers 36:8.  1 Kings 21:10;  Numbers 35:30;  Numbers 22:17;  Numbers 27:17.  2 Kings 3:20;  Exodus 29:38, etc.  2 Kings 4:1;  Leviticus 25:39.  2 Kings 6:18;  Genesis 19:11.  2 Kings 7:3;  Leviticus 13:46). In  Isaiah 5:24;  Isaiah 29:12;  Isaiah 30:9;  Hosea 4:6;  Hosea 2:15;  Hosea 6:7 margin;  Hosea 12:3-4;  Hosea 11:1;  Hosea 8:1;  Hosea 8:12;  Amos 2:4, references to the law as a historic record and book, and to its facts, occur ( Genesis 25:26;  Genesis 28:11;  Genesis 32:24.  Amos 2:10;  Genesis 15:16.  Amos 3:1;  Amos 3:14;  Exodus 27:2;  Exodus 30:10;  Leviticus 4:7.  Amos 2:11-12;  Numbers 6:1-21.  Amos 4:4-5;  Numbers 28:3-4;  Deuteronomy 14:28;  Leviticus 2:11;  Leviticus 7:12-13;  Leviticus 22:18-21;  Deuteronomy 12:6).

Plainly Amos' "law" was the same as ours.  Micah 7:14 alludes to  Genesis 3:14, and  Micah 7:20 to the promises to Abraham and Jacob;  Micah 6:4-5, to the Exodus under Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and to Balak's attempt through Balaam to curse Israel. Under Josiah the Passover is held "according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses" ( 2 Chronicles 35:1;  2 Chronicles 35:6;  2 Chronicles 35:2 Kings 23) on the 14th day of the first month. The sacrifices accord with the Pentateuch; priests, "the sons of Aaron," and Levites kill the Passover and sprinkle the blood. The Passover is traced back to Samuel's days, there being no such, Passover from that time to JOSIAH Eel (?). The strange fact that the finding of the book of the law by Hilkiah in the temple so moved Josiah's conscience, whereas the Pentateuch had all along been the statute book of the nation, is accounted for by the prevalent neglect of it during the ungodly and idolatrous preceding reigns, especially Manasseh's long and awfully wicked one. (See Hilkiah .)

Moses had ordered the book of the law (not merely Deuteronomy) to be put in the side of the ark for preservation ( Deuteronomy 31:26). The autograph from Moses was the "book" found, "the law of Jehovah by. the hand of Moses" ( 2 Chronicles 34:14). Seven hundred years had elapsed, not nearly as long as many manuscripts have been preserved to, us; we have papyri older than Moses, more than 3,000 years ago. The curses in the book read to the king are in Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 27; 28; compare  Deuteronomy 28:36 with  2 Kings 22:13, where the king is especially mentioned as about to be punished. When the ark was removed ( 2 Chronicles 35:3) during Manasseh's sacrilegious reign the temple copy or autograph of the law was hid somewhere, probably built into the wall, and discovered in repairing the temple. Josiah, as yet young, and having been kept in ignorance of the law by the idolatrous Amon his father, was still only a babe in knowledge of spiritual truth. The immediate recognition of its authority by Hilkiah the high-priest, the scribes, priests, Levites, elders, and Huldah the prophetess ( 2 Kings 22:8-14;  2 Kings 23:1-4), when found, marks that, however kings, priests, and people had forgotten and wandered from it, they recognized it as the long established statute book of the nation.

So entirely is Jeremiah, who began prophesying the 13th year of Josiah, imbued with the language of Deuteronomy that rationalists guess him to be its author. The part of  Jeremiah 2:1-8:17 is admitted to have been written before the finding of the law by Josiah. In  Jeremiah 2:8;  Jeremiah 8:8, he alludes to the law as the established statute book. For allusions compare  Jeremiah 2:6 with  Deuteronomy 8:15;  Numbers 14:7-8;  Numbers 35:33-34;  Leviticus 18:25-28; also  Jeremiah 2:28, "circumcise ... take away the foreskins of your heart," with  Deuteronomy 32:37-38;  Deuteronomy 4:4;  Deuteronomy 10:16;  Deuteronomy 30:6, a figure nowhere else found in Scripture;  Jeremiah 5:15 with  Deuteronomy 28:31;  Deuteronomy 28:49. In  Ezekiel 22:7-12 there are 29 quotations from the Hebrew words of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy. In  Ezekiel 22:26 four references:  Leviticus 10:10;  Leviticus 22:2, etc.;  Leviticus 20:25;  Exodus 31:13. So in Ezekiel 16; 18; 20, a recapitulation of God's loving and long suffering dealings with Israel as recorded in the Pentateuch.

Ezra on the return from Babylon read the book of the law of Moses at the feast of tabernacles (as enjoined  Deuteronomy 31:10-13) "before the men and women who could understand (Hebrew), and the ears of all were attentive to the book of the law" ( Nehemiah 8:3). Their accepting it even at the cost of putting away their wives (Ezra 10) is the strongest proof of its universal recognition for ages by the nation. For the younger people, who had almost lost Hebrew and spoke Aramaic, Syriac, or Chaldee, he and the Levites read or gave after the Hebrew law a Chaldee paraphrase which they understood ( Ezra 10:8). He arranged the older books of Old Testament, and probably with Malachi fixed the canon, and transcribed the Hebrew or Samaritan character into the modern Chaldee square letters. The ancient Jews and Christian fathers knew of the Samaritan Pentateuch. (See THE Samaritan Pentateuch )

It was first brought to light in modern times (A.D. 1616) by Pietro della Valle, who obtained a manuscript of it from the Samaritans of Damascus. The agreement of this with our Jewish Pentateuch is a sure proof that our Pentateuch is the same as Israel used, for no collusion could have taken place between such deadly rivals as Jews and Samaritans. (See Bible ; OLD TESTAMENT.) Manasseh brother of Jaddua the high priest, having married Sanballat's ("laughter" ( Nehemiah 13:28), was expelled and became the first high priest on Mount Gerizim in concert with others, priests and Levites, who would not put away their pagan wives (Josephus, Ant. 11:8, section 2, 4). (See Jaddua ; GERIZIM.)

Probably he and they brought to Samaria the Samaritan Pentateuch from Jerusalem. As it testifies against their pagan marriages and schismatical worship, the Samaritans would never have accepted it if they had not believed in its genuineness and divine authority. It certainly could not have been imposed on them at a later time than Ezra; so from at least that date it is an independent witness of the integrity of the five books of Moses. This testimony may be much older for probably the Samaritan Pentateuch was carried by the priest sent by Esarhaddon in Manasseh's reign (680 B.C.) to teach Jehovah's worship to the Cuthire colonists planted in Samaria ( 2 Kings 17:24;  2 Kings 17:28; Ezra 2-10). The Septuagint Greek translated shows that the Egyptian Jews accepted the Pentateuch. Antiochus Epiphanes directed his fury against the books of the law (1 Maccabees 1). The Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos in our Lord's time agrees with our Pentateuch.

New Testament attestation. Our Lord and His apostles in New Testament refer to the Pentateuch as of divine authority and Mosaic authorship ( Matthew 19:4-5;  Matthew 19:7-8;  Matthew 4:4;  Matthew 4:7;  Matthew 4:10;  Matthew 15:1-9;  Mark 10:5;  Mark 10:8;  Mark 12:26;  Luke 16:29;  Luke 16:31;  Luke 20:28;  Luke 20:37;  Luke 24:27;  Luke 24:44-45;  John 1:17;  John 5:45-46;  John 8:5;  Acts 3:22;  Acts 8:37;  Acts 26:22). The two dispensations, separated by 1,500 years, having each its attesting miracles and prophecies since fulfilled and shedding mutual light on one another, could not possibly be impostures. The very craving of the Jews after "a sign" indicates the notoriety and reality of the miracles formerly wrought among them ( John 6:13). The author of the Pentateuch must have been intimately acquainted with the learning, laws, manners, and religion of Egypt (Spencer, De Leg. Heb.; Hengstenberg, Egypt and Books of Moses).

The plagues were an intensification of the ordinary plagues of the country, coming and going miraculously at God's command by Moses (Bryant, Plag. Egypt.). The making of bricks (generally found to have chopped straw) by captives is represented on the Egyptian monuments ( Exodus 1:14;  Exodus 5:7-8;  Exodus 5:18; Brugsch, Hist. d'Egypt., 106). Moses' ark of papyrus suits Egypt alone ( Exodus 2:3); Isis was borne upon a boat of papyrus (Plutarch de Isaiah et Osiri; Herodotus ii. 37, 96). Bitumen was much used, it was a chief ingredient in embalming. The cherubim over the mercy-seat resemble Egyptian sculptures. The distinction clean and unclean was Egyptian, also the hereditary priesthood as the Aaronic. The Egyptian priesthood shaved their whole bodies and bathed continually (Herodotus ii. 37), and wore linen (The Sole Ancient Priesthood That Wore Only Linen Except The Levites:  Numbers 8:7 ;  Exodus 40:12-15 ;  Exodus 28:39-42 ) .

Aaron's anointing in his priestly robes resembles that of the king on Egyptian monuments with royal robes, cap, and crown. The scape-goat answers to the victim on the head of which the Egyptians heaped curses and sold it to foreigners or threw it into the river (Herodotus ii. 39). Answering to the Urim and Thummim on the high priest's breast-plate was the sapphire image of truth which the Egyptian chief priest wore as judge. The temples and tombs have hieroglyphics inscribed on their doorposts, in correspondence to  Deuteronomy 11:20. Pillars with inscriptions on the plaster were an Egyptian usage; so  Deuteronomy 27:2-3. So the bastinado on the criminal, made to lie down, is illustrated in the Benihassan sculptures ( Deuteronomy 25:2). The unmuzzled ox treading out the grain ( Deuteronomy 25:4). The offerings for the dead forbidden ( Deuteronomy 26:14) were such as were usual in Egypt, a table being placed in the tombs bearing cakes, etc.

Frequent memorials of Israel's wilderness wanderings remained after their settlement in Canaan. The tabernacle in all its parts was fitted for carrying. The phrases "tents of the Lord," applied to precincts of the temple; the cry of revolt, "to your tents O Israel"; "without the camp," for the city, long after the expression was literally applicable, are relics of their nomadic life in the desert. So  Psalms 80:1; "Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth! Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up Thy strength, and come," represents Israel's three warrior tribes on march surrounding the ark, with the pillar of fire shining high above it. The elders of the synagogue succeeded to the elders or chiefs of the tribes. The ark itself was of acacia (shittim) wood of the Sinaitic peninsula, not of cedar, the usual wood for sacred purposes ill Palestine. The coverings were of goats' hair, ramskin dyed red in Arab fashion, and sealskins from the adjoining Red Sea, and fine Egyptian linen. (See Badger .)

So the detailed permission to eat the various game of the wilderness, wild goat, roe, deer, ibex, antelope, and chamois, applies not to Canaan; it could only have been enacted in Israel's desert life previously. The laws and the lawgiver s language look forward to life in Canaan ( Exodus 12:25-27;  Exodus 13:1-5;  Exodus 23:20-23;  Exodus 34:11;  Leviticus 14:34;  Leviticus 18:3;  Leviticus 18:24;  Leviticus 19:23;  Leviticus 20:22;  Leviticus 23:10;  Leviticus 25:2;  Numbers 15:2;  Numbers 15:18;  Numbers 34:2;  Numbers 35:2-34;  Deuteronomy 4:1;  Deuteronomy 6:10;  Deuteronomy 7:1;  Deuteronomy 9:1, etc.). The objection from the author's knowledge of Canaan's geography against its Mosaic authorship is answered by Moses' knowledge of the patriarchs' wanderings in Canaan. Further, the Egyptians knew Palestine well from the reign of Thothmes I. Moses in his 40 years in Midian and the Sinai wilderness was sure to hear much about Palestine, and probably visited it and sent agents to learn the character of the country, cities, and people.

The prophecies, as  Deuteronomy 12:10, when ye go over Jordan ... and He giveth you rest ... round about," are just such as would not have been written after the event. For neither at the close of Joshua's career ( Joshua 23:1), nor under the judges and Samuel (to whom some rationalists assign the Pentateuch), nor in any reign before Solomon, was there a fulfillment which adequately came up to the language. No forger would put into Moses' month words promising seemingly "rest" immediately after entering Carman, whereas it was not realized for 500 years after. The language is archaic, suiting the time of Moses. Archaisms are found in the Pentateuch not elsewhere occurring. The third person pronoun has (unpointed) no variety of gender, the one form serves both for masculine and feminine. So Na'Ar is both boy and girl in Pentateuch, elsewhere only "boy," Na'Arah is "girl." 'Εel stands for the later 'Eelleh , "these." The infinitive of verbs ending in -H ends in -O instead of -Ot ( Genesis 31:28;  Genesis 48:11;  Exodus 18:18).

The third person plural ends in -Un instead of -U . Words unique to Pentateuch are 'Abiyb , "an ear of grain"; 'Amtachath , "a sack"; Bathar , "divide"; Bether , "piece"; Gozal , "young bird"; Zebed , "present"; Zabad , "to present"; Hermeesh , "a sickle"; Mene , "basket"; Hayiqum , "substance"; Keseb for Kebes , "lamb"; Masweh , "veil"; 'Ar for 'Ir , "city"; Se'Er , "blood relation." Moses mainly moulded his people's language for ages, so that the same Hebrew was intelligible in Malachi's time, 1,000 years subsequently; just as the Mecca people still speak the Koran language written 1,200 years ago. Joshua the warrior had not the qualifications, still less had Samuel the knowledge of Egypt and Sinai, to write the Pentateuch. The theory of a patchwork of pieces of an Elohist and several Jehovist authors constituting our homogeneous Pentateuch which has commanded the admiration of all ages, and which is marked by unity, is too monstrous to be seriously entertained.

In  Deuteronomy 17:18-19, "when he (the king) sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites, and he shall read therein all his life," i.e. he shall have a copy written for him, namely, of the whole Pentateuch. It was as necessary for him to know Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, being that law and history on which Deuteronomy is the recapitulatory comment and supplement, as it was to know Deuteronomy. At the feast of tabernacles every seven years a reading took place, not of the whole Pentateuch, but of lessons selected out of it and representing the whole law which Israel should obey ( Nehemiah 8:18). Latterly only certain parts of Deuteronomy have been read on the first day alone. In  Deuteronomy 27:3 Moses charges Israel "thou shalt write upon (great stones plastered) all the words of this law," namely, not the historical, didactic, ethnological, and non-legislative parts, but the legal enactments of the Pentateuch (the Jews reckoned 613, see above).

In Egypt the hieroglyphics are generally graven in stone, the "plaster" being added afterward to protect the inscription from the weather ( Joshua 8:32). The closing words of  Numbers 36:13, also of  Leviticus 27:34;  Leviticus 25:1;  Leviticus 26:46, and the solemn warning against adding to or taking from Moses' commands ( Deuteronomy 4:2;  Deuteronomy 12:32), are incompatible with a variety of authors, and imply that Moses alone is the writer of the Pentateuch as a whole. A future life not ignored, but suggested. Though Moses did not employ a future state as a sanction of his law, yet he believed it, as the history proves. The Pentateuch contains enough to suggest it to a serious mind. All other ancient legislators make a future state of reward and punishment the basis of the sanctions of their law; Moses rests his on rewards and punishments to follow visibly in this life, which proves the reality of the special divine providence which miraculously administered the law. Its one aim was obedience to Jehovah ( Deuteronomy 28:58).

Many particulars were impolitic in a mere human point of view: e.g. their peculiar food, ritual, and customs, excluding strangers and impeding commerce; the prohibition of cavalry ( Deuteronomy 17:16); the assembling of the males thrice a year to the sanctuary, leaving the frontier unguarded, the sole security being God's promise that "no man should desire their land" at those sacred seasons ( Exodus 34:24); the command to leave their lands untilled the seventh year, with the penalty that the land should enjoy its Sabbath during their captivity if they did not allow it rest while dwelling upon it, and with the promise that God would command His blessing in the sixth year, so that the land should bring forth fruit for three years ( Leviticus 25:21;  Leviticus 26:32-35). Nor could human sagacity foresee, as Moses did, that not the hostile nations around them, but one from far, from the ends of the earth, the Romans (led by Vespasian and Hadrian, who both came from commanding Roman legions in Britain) whose language they understood not, whereas they understood most of the dialects around Palestine, should be their final conquerors.

Their dispersion in all lands, yet unity and distinctness, and preservation in spite of bitter persecutions for almost 1,800 years, all fulfill  Deuteronomy 28:64-68; whereas in former captivities they were conveyed to one place, as in Goshen in Egypt, and in Babylon, so that their restoration as one nation was easy. "A few million, so often subjugated, stand the test of 3,000 revolving years, and the fiery ordeal of 15 centuries of persecution; we alone have been spared by the undiscriminating hand of time, like a column standing amidst the wreck of worlds." (Transactions of the Parisian Sanhedrim, p. 68.) But Moses does not ignore spiritual sanctions to his law, while giving chief prominence to the temporal. The epistle to the Hebrew (Hebrew 11) distinctly asserts the patriarchs "all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them, and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth ... they desire a better country, that is an heavenly, wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city" ( Hebrews 11:13-16).

Man's creation in God's image, God directly breathing into him a "living soul" ( Genesis 1:26-27;  Genesis 2:7-17); his being threatened with double death if he ate the forbidden fruit, and made capable of living forever by eating of the tree of life, and after the fall promised a Deliverer, the sacrifices pointing to One who by His death should recover man's forfeited life: all imply the hope of future immortality. So Abel's premature death, the result of his piety, requires his being rewarded in a future life; otherwise God's justice would be compromised ( Hebrews 11:4). So other facts: Enoch's translation, Abraham's offering Isaac, symbolizing Messiah to the patriarch who "desired to see His day, and saw it and was glad" ( John 8:56; Genesis 22); "Moses' choosing to suffer affliction with God's people, rather than enjoy sin's pleasures for a season, and his esteeming Christ's reproach greater riches than Egypt's treasures, because he had respect to the recompence of reward" ( Hebrews 11:24-27); God's declaration after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead, "I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" ( Exodus 3:6), requiring a future eternal recompence in body and soul to make good God's promise of special favor, so inadequately realized while they were in their mortal bodies ( Matthew 22:29); and Balaam's prayer ( Numbers 23:10).

Order . The development of God's grace to man is the golden thread running through the whole, and binding the parts in one organic unity. Chronological sequence regulates the parts in the main, as accords with its historical character; so Genesis rightly begins, Deuteronomy closes, the whole. Grace runs through Seth's line to Noah; thence to Abraham, whose family become heirs of the promise for the world. Israel's birth and deliverance as a nation occupy Exodus. Leviticus follows as the code for the religious life and worship of the elect people. Numbers takes up the history again, and with renewed legislation leaves Israel at the borders of the promised land. Deuteronomy recapitulates and applies the whole. Blunt (Undesigned Coincidences) notices the incompleteness of the Pentateuch as a history, and consequently the importance of observing the glimpses given by its passing hints.

Thus Joseph's "anguish of soul when he besought" the brothers, unnoticed in the direct story, but incidentally coming out in their confession of guilt ( Genesis 42:21); the overcoming of Jacob's reluctance to give up Benjamin, briefly told in the direct account as though taking no long time, but incidentally shown to have taken as long time as would have sufficed for a journey to Egypt and back ( Genesis 43:10); the hints in Jacob's deathbed prophecy of his strong feeling as to Reuben's misconduct, not noticed in the history ( Genesis 35:22, compare  Genesis 49:4); so as to Simeon and Levi ( Genesis 49:6). The allusion to Anah ( Genesis 36:24). The introduction of Joshua as one well known in Israel, though not mentioned before ( Exodus 17:9). The sending back of Zipporah by Moses ( Exodus 18:2), noticed at

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

Pentateuch Penta teuchos Torah bereshith we'elleh shehymoth wayyikra bemidbar elleh haddebarim  Numbers 1-4 26:1 Deuteronomy 17:18

The dividing lines between the individual books of the Pentateuch generally mark a change in the direction of the materials. At the end of Genesis ( Genesis 50:1 ), the stories of the Patriarchs end, and the story of the people of Israel begins in  Exodus 1:1 . The division between Exodus and Leviticus marks the change from the building of the tabernacle in  Exodus 35-40 to the inauguration of worship (  Leviticus 1-10 ). Numbers begins with preparation for leaving Sinai, and Deuteronomy stands out sharply from the end of Numbers in that  Deuteronomy 1:1 begins the great speech of Moses which covers thirty chapters (  Deuteronomy 1-30 ). We do not know when the Pentateuch was divided into five books. The division may have taken place only when the whole material now united within it had been incorporated into one unit and that this division was aimed at producing sections of approximately equal length, corresponding to the normal length of scrolls.

Contents The division of the Pentateuch into five books does not indicate adequately the richness of the contents nor the variety of the literary forms found in the whole. A division of the Pentateuch based on the contents may be outlined as:  Genesis 1-11 , Primeval history, from Creation to Abraham;  Genesis 12-36 , Patriarchal history;  Genesis 37-50 , Joseph stories;  Exodus 1-18 , The Exodus;  Exodus 19:1 —Numbers 19:1— 10:10 , Israel at Sinai;  Numbers 10:11-21:35 , Israel in the Wilderness;  Numbers 22:1 —Deuteronomy 22:1— 34:1 , Israel in the Plains of Moab. Within each of these larger narrative sections are a number of smaller sections dealing with various themes and subhythemes couched in many literary forms.

Themes The first theme in the Pentateuch is God is Creator ( Genesis 1-2 ). This is followed closely by a chapter on the beginning of sin ( Genesis 3:1 ).  Genesis 4-11 tell of the increase of world population and sin, and the judgment of God on the whole world. The themes of electon, covenant, promise, faith, and providence are introduced in the remainder of Genesis (12–50).

Divine deliverance is the major theme of  Exodus 1-18 . Covenant and law are themes of  Exodus 19-24 . Worship and social ethics are the concerns of  Exodus 25:1 —Numbers 25:1— 10:10 . Guidance of a rebellious people through the great and terrible wilderness marks  Numbers 10-21; and preparations for going over Jordan and conquering Canaan are the major topics of  Numbers 22:1 —Deuteronomy 22:1— 34:1 .

Literary forms and genres The Pentateuch includes many literary forms and genres: narratives, laws, lists, sayings, sermons, and songs. Narratives describe creation, judgment (flood), travel (wilderness wanderings), buildings (Ark, tabernacle), marriages (Isaac and Rebekah), and births (Moses).

Although the Pentateuch is often refered to as Torah or law, laws comprise only a small percentage of the text. The Ten Commandments ( Exodus 20:1 :  2-17;  Deuteronomy 5:6-21 ) are frequently called law, but they are not law in the technical sense because no penalties or sanctions are connected with them. Other groups of laws in the Pentateuch are: the Book of the Covenant ( Exodus 20:22-23:19 ); the laws of sacrifice ( Leviticus 1-7 ); the laws of purity ( Leviticus 11-15 ); the Holiness Code ( Leviticus 17-26 ); and the Deuteronomy Code ( Deuteronomy 12-26 ). No laws appear in Genesis. Four out of forty chapters in Exodus ( Deuteronomy 20-23 ), most of Leviticus and a small portion of Numbers contain laws. Fourteen out of thirty-four chapters of Deuteronomy consist of legal material. See  Deuteronomy 20-23;  Deuteronomy 20-23;  Deuteronomy 20-23;  Deuteronomy 20-23;  Deuteronomy 20-23 . The 65 laws in the Book of the Covenant (see  Exodus 24:7 ) include rules about images and kinds of altars ( Exodus 20:22-26 ); Hebrew slaves ( Exodus 21:1-11 ); offences penalized by death ( Exodus 21:12-17 ); bodily injury ( Exodus 21:18-24 ); offences against property ( Exodus 21:25-22:17 ); miscellaneous social and cultic laws ( Exodus 22:18-23:9 ); a cultic calendar ( Exodus 23:10-19 ); blessing and curse ( Exodus 23:20-33 ).

The Holiness Code ( Leviticus 17-26 ) is named from the expression, “Ye shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” ( Leviticus 19:2;  Leviticus 20:7 ,Leviticus 20:7, 20:26 ). The Holiness Code stresses moral and ceremonial laws rather than civil and criminal laws.  Leviticus 18-20;  Leviticus 23-26 are directed to the people;   Leviticus 17:1;  Leviticus 21-22 are directed to the priests and the house of Aaron. This Code deals with the slaughter of animals and sacrifice (  Leviticus 17:1-16 ); forbidden sexual relations ( Leviticus 18:1-30 ); relationships with neighbors ( Leviticus 19:1-37 ); penalties (stoning, burning); rules for personal life of the priests ( Leviticus 20:1-22:16 ); the quality of sacrifices ( Leviticus 22:17-33 ); a cultic calendar ( Leviticus 23:1-44 ); rules for lights in the sanctuary and the shewbread ( Leviticus 24:1-9 ); blasphemy ( Leviticus 24:10-23 ); the sabbatic year and jubilee ( Leviticus 25:1-55 ); blessings and curses ( Leviticus 26:1-46 ).

The Holiness Code says very little about agriculture. Much more is said in this Code than in the Book of the Covenant about forbidden sexual relations, including homosexuality (compare  Leviticus 18:1-23;  Leviticus 20:13 ). All forms of witchcraft, augury, and the occult are forbidden ( Leviticus 17:7;  Leviticus 19:26 ,Leviticus 19:26, 19:31;  Leviticus 20:2-6 ,Leviticus 20:2-6, 20:27 ). Two significant passages in this group of laws are: “For the life is in the blood” ( Leviticus 17:14 RSV), and, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (  Leviticus 19:18 ). The expression “I am the Lord your God” and similar expressions occur 46 times in  Leviticus 18-26 .

The Deuteronomic Code ( Deuteronomy 12-26 ) is part of Moses' address to the twelve tribes just before they crossed the Jordan to go into Canaan. These are “preached” laws, full of admonitions and exhortations to heed and obey so that the Lord may bless them and they may live in the land ( Deuteronomy 12:1 ,Deuteronomy 12:1, 12:13 ,Deuteronomy 12:13, 12:19 ,Deuteronomy 12:19, 12:28;  Deuteronomy 13:18;  Deuteronomy 14:1;  Deuteronomy 15:10 ,Deuteronomy 15:10, 15:18;  Deuteronomy 16:12;  Deuteronomy 17:20 ,Deuteronomy 17:20, 17:29 ). Many of these 80 laws are new because they are addressed to a new generation. See Deuteronomy. The restriction of worship or sacrifice to one legitimate altar is limited to the Deuteronomic Code as is the expression: “the place where I will make my name to dwell.” Permission for private slaughtering and eating animals is given only in Deuteronomy ( Deuteronomy 12:15 ). Laws for judges, prophets, priests, and kings occur only in Deuteronomy. The laws for Hebrew slaves and the calendars of worship are different in Exodus and Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy the Passover is to be observed only at the one legitimate place and the lamb is to be boiled ( Deuteronomy 16:7 ), but in Exodus, Passover is a family affair and the lambs are to be roasted ( Exodus 12:9 ). The laws for the tithes are different in  Deuteronomy 14:1 from those in   Numbers 18:21-32 . Laws of holy war are given only in Deuteronomy. Idolatry and the First Commandment are major concerns of all the codes.

Many attempts have been made to classify the laws in the Old Testament according to their types. Some recent scholars have used the terms “apodictic” and “casuistic” to refer to the two main types of laws. Apodictic refers to those authoritative, unconditional laws such as the Ten Commandments which begin, “Thou shalt not,” “You shall,” or laws calling for the death penalty. Casuistic laws are usually case laws which begin “When a man,” or, “If a man.” This classification is helpful in identifying the literary form, setting, and perhaps the origin of a law. Christians often speak of Old Testament laws as moral, civil, and ceremonial, but the Old Testament does not use those categories to classify its laws. In the Pentateuch, laws of every kind are jumbled together and interspersed with narrative and descriptive sections. Rather than attempting to isolate certain moral laws, it would be better to try to detect moral and ethical principles in all types of Old Testament laws. Some recent scholars have classified the laws in the various parts of the Old Testament as: criminal law, civil laws, family laws, cultic (worship) laws, and charitable (humanitarian) laws.

Old Testament laws were given in the context of the covenant. The people had experienced deliverance (salvation) at the Exodus. God took the initiative and by grace redeemed Israel from bondage in Egypt. God acted first, then called the people to respond. Old Testament laws were given to redeemed people to tell them how to live as people of God.

The Pentateuch contains many lists: genealogical ( Genesis 5:1;  Genesis 11:1;  Exodus 5:1 ), geographical and ethnographical ( Genesis 10:1;  Genesis 26:1 ), tribal ( Genesis 49:1;  Deuteronomy 33:1 ); offerings ( Exodus 35:1 ); census ( Numbers 1-4;  Numbers 26:1 ), and campsites in the wilderness ( Numbers 33:1 ).

The Old Testament contains many “sayings” of various kinds. Some are poetic. Some are proverbial. Some are prose. These sayings may have been remembered and passed from generation to generation. Some familiar examples are:

This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh ( Genesis 2:23 NIV).

For dust you are and to dust you will return ( Genesis 3:19 NIV).

Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord ( Genesis 10:9 NIV).

I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious ( Exodus 33:19 ).

Deuteronomy is the only place in the Old Testament where long sermons are found. Even the laws in Deuteronomy are “preached” laws. The fact that many admonitions and exhortations occur throughout the book may indicate that the book was used as a covenant renewing document.

One other major literary genre is found in the Pentateuch—that of song: Israel was a singing people. They sang in times of victory ( Exodus 15:1 ), at work ( Numbers 21:17-18 ), in times of battle ( Numbers 21:14-15 ,Numbers 21:14-15, 21:27-30 ), and in worship ( Numbers 6:22-26;  Deuteronomy 32:1-43 ).

Date and Authorship The problem of the date and authorship of the Pentateuch is one of the major critical problems of the Old Testament. Dr. John R. Sampey wrote,

Possibly the higher criticism of the Pentateuch is the most important critical problem confronting students of the Old Testament. Fundamental and difficult it calls for patience, industry and the ability to sift evidence and estimate its value. It requires logical discipline and a well-balanced mind [John R. Sampey, Syllabus For Old Testament Study (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1924), p. 52].

The existence of sources for its writing is not the major issue, but its inspiration and reliability in its present form.

One reason the question of date and authorship of the Pentateuch is difficult is that the books themselves are anonymous. Most English Bibles carry the titles of the first five books as “the books of Moses.” These titles are not in the Hebrew manuscripts. They came into England through Tyndale's version and were probably derived from Luther's translation which used only the numerical titles, “First Book of Moses,” and so on to the fifth.

Although the books of the Pentateuch as a whole are anonymous, a number of passages refer to Moses writing at least certain things (compare  Exodus 17:14;  Exodus 24:4;  Exodus 24:7;  Numbers 33:1-2;  Deuteronomy 31:9 ,Deuteronomy 31:9, 31:22 ). Late in the Old Testament period, the tradition arose which seemingly refers to the Pentateuch as the “Book of Moses” ( 2 Chronicles 35:12 ). This tradition was carried on by Jews and Christians until after A.D. 1600. Some Jews and Christians raised occasional questions about the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch during all that time, but the Renaissance and the Enlightenment led to the questioning of all things including the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. One passage in the Pentateuch which contributed to the serious questioning of Mosaic authorship is  Deuteronomy 34:5-8 , describing Moses' death and the following period of mourning. Other post-Mosaic references are to Dan ( Genesis 14:14; compare  Joshua 19:47;  Judges 18:28-29 ), and the conquest of Canaan ( Deuteronomy 2:12 ). The way the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch is written today is nothing like it might have appeared in Moses' day. For hundreds of years, the Hebrew text was copied by hand. In the process of copying, the shape of the letters was completely changed. Vowel points and accents were added. Words were separated word by word and divided into verses and chapters.

We do not know who wrote the completed Pentateuch. The Pentateuch makes no claim that Moses wrote all of it. Many theories and hypotheses have been advanced to explain its origin. The classical literary critical theory is associated with the name of Julius Wellhausen, a nineteenth century German scholar. He popularized and synthesized the views of many Old Testament scholars and said that the Pentateuch was a compilation of four basic literary documents identified as J, E, D, and P. J stood for Jehovah or Judah and supposedly was written in the Southern Kingdom about 850 B.C. E stood for Elohim, a favorite Hebrew name for God in this document. It was supposedly written about 750 B.C. D stands for Deuteronomy and was written according to this hypothesis about 621 B.C. P stands for the Priestly document and was written about 500 B.C. The Priestly writer might have compiled the whole Pentateuch according to this theory.

Many other theories and modifications of older theories have arisen in the twentieth century. Critical scholarship's earlier agreement on the four sources has disappeared in the 1980s. Some date P early. Some date J very late. Some see D as the dominant author. Many are more interested in the literary art of the Pentateuch than in literary sources. Scholars are thus no closer to a solution to the problem of the authorship of the Pentateuch than they were when they first asked questions about it.

Even the most conservative scholars who defend Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch admit that Moses did not write every word of the Pentateuch. All accept the possibility of later minor alterations and additions to the work of Moses in the Pentateuch. Many discuss some development of the material in the Pentateuch along independent lines, after Mosaic composition. This is especially true linguistically. There is no reason why conservatives cannot often use such symbols as P and H as a convenient shorthand to refer to certain blocks of material. Recent conservative scholars speak of sources Moses may have used.

Conclusions No agreement has been reached as to the final solution to this most difficult problem. However some things are clear: (1) We should avoid the two extreme views that Moses wrote all the Pentateuch or that he wrote none of it. We should take the claims of the Bible concerning itself seriously but keep our minds and hearts open to new and different possible interpretations. (2) We should recognize the legitimacy of certain critical methods. W. T. Conner, who taught Systematic Theology at Southwestern Seminary for almost 40 years (1910-49), said, “There are certain questions of date, authorship, historical reliability and so forth, that must be settled by historical and literary criticism. There is no other way to settle them” [W. T. Conner, Revelation and God (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1943), p. 99]. (3) It is not necessary that we know the date and authorship of a book in the Bible before we can read it with profit. At times we must sacrifice our need for security in certainty to God's nature as sovereign mystery. See Authority; Inspiration; Revelation.

Ralph L. Smith

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

This word, which is derived from the Greek Πεντατευχος , from πεντε , five, and τευχος , a volume, signifies the collection of the five books of Moses, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That the Jews have acknowledged the authenticity of the Pentateuch, from the present time back to the era of their return from the Babylonish captivity, a period of more than two thousand three hundred years, admits not a possibility of doubt. The five books of Moses have been during that period constantly placed at the head of the Jewish sacred volume, and divided into fixed portions, one of which was read and explained in their synagogues, not only every Sabbath with the other Scriptures, but in many places twice a week, and not unfrequently every evening, when they alone were read. They have been received as divinely inspired by every Jewish sect, even by the Sadducees, who questioned the divinity of the remaining works of the Old Testament. In truth, the veneration of the Jews for their Scriptures, and above all for the Pentateuch, seems to have risen almost to a superstitious reverence. Extracts from the Mosaic law were written on pieces of parchment, and placed on the borders of their garments, or round their wrists and foreheads: nay, they at a later period counted, with the minutest exactness, not only the chapters and paragraphs, but the words and letters, which each book of their Scriptures contains. Thus also the translation, first of the Pentateuch, and afterward of the remaining works of the Old Testament, into Greek, for the use of the Alexandrian Jews, disseminated this sacred volume over a great part of the civilized world, in the language most universally understood, and rendered it accessible to the learned and inquisitive in every country; so as to preclude all suspicion that it could be materially altered by either Jews or Christians, to support their respective opinions as to the person and character of the Messiah; the substance of the text being, by this translation, fixed and authenticated at least two hundred and seventy years before the appearance of our Lord.

But, long previous to the captivity, two particular examples, deserving peculiar attention, occur in the Jewish history, of the public and solemn homage paid to the sacredness of the Mosaic law as promulgated in the Pentateuch; and which, by consequence, afford the fullest testimony to the authenticity of the Pentateuch itself: the one in the reign of Hezekiah, while the separate kingdoms of Judah and Israel still subsisted; and the other in the reign of his great grandson Josiah, subsequent to the captivity of Israel. In the former we see the pious monarch of Judah assembling the priests and Levites and the rulers of the people; to deplore with him the trespasses of their fathers against the divine law, to acknowledge the justice of those chastisements which, according to the prophetic warnings of that law, had been inflicted upon them; to open the house of God which his father had impiously shut, and restore the true worship therein according to the Mosaic ritual, 2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 29; 2 Chronicles 30; with the minutest particulars of which he complied, in the sin-offerings and the peace- offerings which, in conjunction with his people, he offered for the kingdom and the sanctuary and the people, to make atonement to God for them and for all Israel; restoring the service of God as it had been performed in the purest times. "And Hezekiah," says the sacred narrative, "rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly,"  2 Chronicles 29:36; immediately on the king's accession to the throne, on the first declaration of his pious resolution. How clear a proof does this exhibit of the previous existence and clearly acknowledged authority of those laws which the Pentateuch contains!

But a yet more remarkable part of this transaction still remains. At this time Hoshea was king of Israel, and so far disposed to countenance the worship of the true God, that he appears to have made no opposition to the pious zeal of Hezekiah; who, with the concurrence of the whole congregation which he had assembled, sent out letters and made a proclamation, not only to his own people of Judah,  2 Chronicles 30:1 , "but to Ephraim and Manasseh and all Israel, from Beersheba even unto Dan, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel; saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he will return to the remnant of you who are escaped out of the hands of the kings of Assyria; and be not ye like your fathers and your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation as ye see.

Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary which he hath sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun,"  2 Chronicles 30:6 , &c.

Now, can we conceive that such an attempt as this could have been made, if the Pentateuch containing the Mosaic code had not been as certainly recognised through the ten tribes of Israel as in the kingdom of Judah? The success was exactly such as we might reasonably expect if it were so acknowledged; for, though many of the ten tribes laughed to scorn and mocked the messengers of Hezekiah, who invited them to the solemnity of the passover, from the impious contempt which through long disuse they had conceived for it. "Nevertheless," says the sacred narrative, "divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem; and there assembled at Jerusalem much people, to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation; and they killed the passover, and the priests and Levites stood in their places after their manner, according to the law of Moses, the man of God. So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, there was not the like at Jerusalem: and when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all,"

 2 Chronicles 30:11; 2 Chronicles 31. Can any clearer proof than this be desired of the constant and universal acknowledgment of the divine authority of the Pentateuch throughout the entire nation of the Jews, notwithstanding the idolatries and corruptions which so often prevented its receiving such obedience as that acknowledgment ought to have produced? The argument from this certain antiquity of the Pentateuch, a copy of which existed in the old Samaritan character as well as in the modern Hebrew, is most conclusive as to the numerous prophecies of Christ, and the future and present condition of the Jews which it contains. These are proved to have been delivered many ages before they were accomplished; they could be only the result of divine prescience, and the uttering of them by Moses proves therefore the inspiration and the authority of his writings. See Law , and See Moses .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [4]

From early Christian times, and possibly before, the first five books of the Old Testament have collectively been known as the Pentateuch. The name comes from two Greek words, penta meaning ‘five’, and teuchos meaning ‘a volume’. The Hebrews usually referred to the whole Pentateuch as ‘the law’ ( 2 Chronicles 17:9;  Nehemiah 8:14;  Nehemiah 8:18;  Matthew 5:17;  Matthew 11:13;  Matthew 12:5;  Luke 24:44). It was originally one continuous book, but was divided into five sections for convenience. The English titles of the five separate books are taken from the early Greek translation known as the Septuagint.


Age-old Hebrew and Christian tradition recognizes Moses as the author of the Pentateuch, though the Pentateuch itself nowhere names its author ( 2 Chronicles 35:12;  Nehemiah 13:1;  Mark 12:26;  John 5:46). The Bible speaks frequently of Moses’ literary activity. He wrote down the law that Israel received from God ( Exodus 24:4;  Exodus 34:27;  Deuteronomy 31:9;  Deuteronomy 31:24), he kept records of Israel’s history ( Exodus 17:14;  Numbers 33:2) and he wrote songs and poems ( Exodus 15:1;  Deuteronomy 31:22;  Deuteronomy 31:30).

Moses would certainly have been familiar with the family records, ancient songs and traditional stories that people had preserved and handed down from one generation to the next (cf.  Genesis 5:1;  Genesis 6:9;  Genesis 10:1;  Genesis 11:10;  Genesis 11:27). Like all writers he would have used material from a variety of sources, particularly if writing about times and places other than his own (cf.  Genesis 26:32-33;  Genesis 35:19-20;  Genesis 47:26;  Numbers 21:14). In addition he received direct revelations from God and spoke with God face to face ( Exodus 32:7-8;  Exodus 33:11;  Numbers 12:6-8).

In different eras, critics who reject Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch have suggested various theories for a much later composition. Most of these theories are based on the different names used for God, the similar or contrasting features in narrative accounts, the varying features of Israel’s religious system, and the usage of certain words and phrases. Broadly speaking, these critics have suggested four independent documents that date no earlier than the period of Israel’s monarchy, and that a later editor (or editors) combined into one. The four documents are referred to respectively as J (because it speaks of God as Jehovah, or Yahweh), E (because it speaks of God as Elohim), D (because it bases its content on Deuteronomy) and P (because it deals mainly with matters of priestly interest).

These theories have been argued, answered, revised and contradicted many times over. Debating the mechanics of composition, however, may not always be profitable. The important consideration is not how the Pentateuch was written, but what it means. It stands in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles as a book whose unity is clear and whose message is the living Word of God ( John 5:39;  John 5:45-47;  John 7:19;  Luke 16:31;  Acts 15:21).


Genesis introduces the basic issues concerning God the Creator and the people and things he created. It shows that he created human beings good and wanted them to live in harmony with him. Instead of doing so, they rebelled and God punished them. In his grace, however, he did not destroy the human race, but gave it the opportunity for a fresh start. People went the same way as before, but God still extended his favour, promising to work through one of the few remaining believers (Abraham) to bring blessing to the whole world.

God promised that Abraham would produce a notable line of descendants, that those descendants would enjoy a special relationship with himself, and that he would give them a national homeland. In due course Abraham started the family and his descendants began to multiply, but through a variety of circumstances they eventually found themselves slaves in Egypt. The book of Exodus shows that God, faithful to his promise, gave them a leader (Moses) through whom he brought them out of Egypt, gave them his law, and established them in a special covenant relationship with himself. He was their God and they were his people.

Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers give details of how the people were to maintain and enjoy their covenant relationship with God. The remainder of Numbers shows how the people moved on towards the promised land, and Deuteronomy shows the life God required of them once they settled in that land.

The grace of God and the sovereign choice of God are prominent themes in the Pentateuch. The deliverance from Egypt was the turning point in the people’s history, the covenant was the basis of their existence, and the law was the framework for their behaviour. The purposes of God were on their way to fulfilment (cf.  Genesis 12:1-3;  Galatians 3:16; cf.  Deuteronomy 18:18-19;  Acts 3:18-23).

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [5]

From five, and an instrument or volume, signifies the collection of the five instruments or books of Moses, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Some modern writers, it seems, have asserted that Moses did not compose the Pentateuch, because the author always speaks in the third person; abridges his narration like a writer who collected from ancient memoirs; sometimes interrupts the thread of his discourse, for example,  Genesis 4:23; and because of the account of the death of Moses at the end, &c. It is observed, also, in the text of the Pentateuch, that there are some places that are defective: for example, in  Exodus 12:8 . we see Moses speaking to Pharaoh, where the author omits the beginning of his discourse. The Samaritan inserts in the same place what is wanting in the Hebrew. In other places the same Samaritan copy adds what is deficient in the Hebrew; and what is contained more than the Hebrew seems so well connected with the rest of the discourse, that it would be difficult to separate them. Lastly, they think they observe certain strokes in the Pentateuch which can hardly agree with Moses, who was born and bred in Egypt; as what he says of the earthly paradise, of the rivers that watered it and ran through it; of the cities of Babylon, Erech, Resen, and Calmeh; of the gold of Pison; of the bdellium, of the stone of Sohem, or onyx stone, which was to be found in that country.

These particulars, observed with such curiosity, seem to prove that the author of the Pentateuch lived beyond the Euphrates. Add what he says concerning the ark of Noah, of its construction, of the place where it rested, of the wood wherewith it was built, of the bitumen of Babylon, &c. But in answer to all these objections it is justly observed, that these books are by the most ancient writers ascribed to Moses, and it is confirmed by the authority of heathen writers themselves, that they are his writings; besides this, we have the unanimous testimony of the whole Jewish nation ever since Moses's time. Divers texts of the Pentateuch imply that it was written by him; and the book of Joshua and other parts of Scripture import as much; and though some passages have been thought to imply the contrary, yet this is but a late opinion, and has been sufficiently confuted by several learned men. It is probable, however, that Ezra published a new edition of the books of Moses, in which he might add those passages that many suppose Moses did not write. The Abbe Torne, in a sermon preached before the French king in Lent, 1764, makes the following remarks: "The legislator of the Jews was the author of the Pentateuch; an immortal work, wherein he paints the marvels of his reign with the majestic picture of the government and religion which he established! Who before our modern infidels ever ventured to obscure this incontestable fact? Who ever sprang a doubt about this among the Hebrews?

What greater reasons have there ever been to attribute to Mahomet his Alcoran, to Plato his Republic, or to Homer his sublime poems? Rather let us say, What work in any age ever appeared more truly to bear the name of its real author? It is not an ordinary book, which, like many others, may be easily hazarded under a fictitious name. It is a sacred book, which the Jews have always read with a veneration, that remains after seventeen hundred years exile, calamities, and reproach. In this book the Hebrews included all their science; it was their civil, political, and sacred code, their only treasure, their calendar, their annals, the only title of their sovereigns and pontiffs, the alone rule of polity and worship: by consequence it must be formed with their monarchy, and necessarily have the same epoch as their government and religion, &c.

Moses speaks only truth, though infidels charge him with imposture. But, great God! what an impostor must he be, who first spoke of the divinity in a manner so sublime, that no one since, during almost four thousand years, has been able to surpass him! What an impostor must he be whose writings breathe only virtue; whose style equally simple, affecting, and sublime, in spite of the rudeness of those first ages, openly displays an inspiration altogether divine!"

See Ainsworth and Kidder on the Pentateuch; Prideaux's Con. vol. 1: p. 342, 345, 573, 575; Marsh's Authenticity of the Five Books of Moses considered; Warburton's Divine Legation; Dr. Graves's lectures on the last four books in the Old Test. Jenkins's Reasonableness of Christianity; Watson's Apology, let. 2 and 3; Tabor's Horae Mosaicae, or a View of the Mosaical Records.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

  • From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses" was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of Joshua ( Joshua 5:10 , cf 4:19), Hezekiah ( 2 Chronicles 30 ), Josiah ( 2 Kings 23;  2 Chronicles 35 ), and Zerubbabel ( Ezra 6:19-22 ), and is referred to in such passages as  2 Kings 23:22;  2 Chronicles 35:18;  1 Kings 9:25 ("three times in a year");   2 Chronicles 8:13 . Similarly we might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in such a case. An examination of the following texts,  1 Kings 2:9;  2 Kings 14:6;  2 Chronicles 23:18;  25:4;  34:14;  Ezra 3:2;  7:6;  Daniel 9:11,13 , will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was known during all these centuries.

    Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral traditions or written records and documents which he was divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called "anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See Deuteronomy .)

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Pentateuch'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

    The Greek name given to the first five books of the O.T., which are also called 'the five books of Moses.' The many references to and quotations from them in other parts of the scripture, and allusions to them by Christ under the name of Moses, show plainly that Moses was the inspired writer of them, except of course the small portion that records his death and burial. See MOSES.

    American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

    The five books the books of Moses; that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. See articles on those books, and also MOSES.

    Webster's Dictionary [9]

    (n.) The first five books of the Old Testament, collectively; - called also the Law of Moses, Book of the Law of Moses, etc.

    Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

    PENTATEUCH. See Hexateuch.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

    pen´ta - tūk  :

    I. Title , Division , Contents

    II. Authorship , Composition , Date

    1. The Current Critical Scheme

    2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme

    (1) Astruc's Clue

    (2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date

    (3) Narrative Discrepancies

    (4) Doublets

    (5) The Laws

    (6) The Argument from Style

    (7) Props of the Development Hypothesis

    3. The Answer to the Critical Analysis

    (1) The Veto of Textual Criticism

    (2) Astruc's Clue Tested

    (3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined

    (4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined

    (5) The Critical Argument from the Laws

    (6) The Argument from Style

    (7) Perplexities of the Theory

    (8) Signs of Unity

    (9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis

    4. The Evidence of Date

    (1) The Narrative of Genesis

    (2) Archaeology and Genesis

    (3) The Legal Evidence of Genesis

    (4) The Professedly Mosaic Character of the Legislation

    (5) The Historical Situation Required by Pentateuch

    (6) The Hierarchical Organization in Pentateuch

    (7) The Legal Evidence of Pentateuch

    (8) The Evidence of D

    (9) Later Allusions

    (10) Other Evidence

    5. The Fundamental Improbabilities of the Critical Case

    (1) The Moral and Psychological Issues

    (2) The Historical Improbability

    (3) The Divergence between the Laws and Post-exilic Practice

    (4) The Testimony of Tradition

    6. The Origin and Transmission of the Pentateuch

    III. Some Literary Points

    1. Style of Legislation

    2. The Narrative

    3. The Covenant

    4. Order and Rhythm

    IV. The Pentateuch As History

    1. Textual Criticism and History

    2. Hebrew Methods of Expression

    3. Personification and Genealogies

    4. Literary Form

    5. The Sacred Numbers

    6. Habits of Thought

    7. National Coloring

    8. How Far the Pentateuch Is Trustworthy

    (1) Contemporaneous Information

    (2) Character of Our Informants

    (3) Historical Genius of the People

    (4) Good Faith of Deuteronomy

    (5) Nature of the Events Recorded

    (6) External Corroborations

    9. The Pentateuch as Reasoned History

    V. The Character Of The Pentateuch

    1. Hindu Law Books

    2. Differences

    3. Holiness

    4. The Universal Aspect

    5. The National Aspect


    I. Title, Division, Contents

    ( תּורה , tōrāh , "law" or "teaching"). - I t has recently been argued that the Hebrew word is really the Babylonian tertu , "divinely revealed law" (e.g. Sayce, Churchman , 1909,728 ff), but such passages as   Leviticus 14:54-57;  Deuteronomy 17:11 show that the legislator connected it with הורה , hōrāh (from yārāh ), "to teach." Also called by the Jews תּורה חוּמשׁי חמשּׁה , ḥămishshāh ḥūmeshı̄ tōrāh , "the five-fifths of the law": ὁ νόμος , ho nómos , "the Law." The word "Pentateuch" comes from πεντάτενχος , pentáteuchos , literally "5-volumed (book)." The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible, and forms the first division of the Jewish Canon, and the whole of the Samaritan Canon. The 5-fold division is certainly old, since it is earlier than the Septuagint or the Sam Pentateuch. How much older it may be is unknown. It has been thought that the 5-fold division of the Psalter is based on it.

    The five books into which the Pentateuch is divided are respectively Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and the separate articles should be consulted for information as to their nomenclature.

    The work opens with an account of the Creation, and passes to the story of the first human couple. The narrative is carried on partly by genealogies and partly by fuller accounts to Abraham. Then comes a history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the collateral lines of descendants being rapidly dismissed. The story of Joseph is told in detail, and Genesis closes with his death. The rest of the Pentateuch covers the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, their exodus and wanderings, the conquest of the trans-Jordanic lands and the fortunes of the people to the death of Moses. The four concluding books contain masses of legislation mingled with the narrative (for special contents, see articles on the several books).

    II. Authorship, Composition, Date.

    1. The Current Critical Scheme:

    The view that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, with the exception of the concluding verses of Deuteronomy, was once held universally. It is still believed by the great mass of Jews and Christians, but in most universities of Northern Europe and North America other theories prevail. An application of what is called "higher" or "documentary criticism" (to distinguish it from lower or textual criticism) has led to the formation of a number of hypotheses. Some of these are very widely held, but unanimity has not been attained, and recent investigations have challenged even the conclusions that are most generally accepted. In the English-speaking countries the vast majority of the critics would regard Driver's, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament and Carpenter and Harford-Battersby's Hexateuch as fairly representative of their position, but on the Continent of Europe the numerous school that holds some such position is dwindling alike in numbers and influence, while even in Great Britain and America some of the ablest critics are beginning to show signs of being shaken in their allegiance to cardinal points of the higher-critical case. However, at the time of writing, these latter critics have not put forward any fresh formulation of their views, and accordingly the general positions of the works named may be taken as representing with certain qualifications the general critical theory. Some of the chief stadia in the development of this may be mentioned.

    After attention had been drawn by earlier writers to various signs of post-Mosaic date and extraordinary perplexities in the Pentateuch, the first real step toward what its advocates have, till within the last few years, called "the modern position" was taken by J. Astruc (1753). He propounded what Carpenter terms "the clue to the documents," i.e. the difference of the divine appellations in Genesis as a test of authorship. On this view the word 'Ělōhı̄m ("God") is characteristic of one principal source and the Tetragrammaton, i.e. the divine name Yhwh represented by the "LORD" or "GOD" of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), shows the presence of another. Despite occasional warnings, this clue was followed in the main for 150 years. It forms the starting-point of the whole current critical development, but the most recent investigations have successfully proved that it is unreliable (see below, 3, (2)) Astruc was followed by Eichhorn (1780), who made a more thorough examination of Genesis, indicating numerous differences of style, representation, etc.

    Geddes (1792) and Vater (1802-1805) extended the method applied to Genesis to the other books of the Pentateuch.

    In 1798 Ilgen distinguished two Elohists in Genesis, but this view did not find followers for some time. The next step of fundamental importance was the assignment of the bulk of Deuteronomy to the 7th century BC. This was due to De Wette (1806). Hupfeld (1853) again distinguished a second Elohist, and this has been accepted by most critics. Thus, there are four main documents at least: D (the bulk of Deuteronomy), two Elohists (P and E) and one document (Jahwist) that uses the Tetragrammaton in Genesis. From 1822 (Bleek) a series of writers maintained that the Book of Joshua was compounded from the same documents as the Pentateuch (see Hexateuch ).

    Two other developments call for notice: (1) there has been a tendency to subdivide these documents further, regarding them as the work of schools rather than of individuals, and resolving them into different strata (P1, Secondary Priestly Writers, P3, etc., J1, Later additions to J, etc., or in the notation of other writers Jj Je, etc.); (2) a particular scheme of dating has found wide acceptance. In the first period of the critical development it was assumed that the principal Elohist (P) was the earliest document. A succession of writers of whom Reuss, Graf, Kuenen and Wellhausen are the most prominent have, however, maintained that this is not the first but the last in point of time and should be referred to the exile or later. On this view theory is in outline as follows: J and E (so called from their respective divine appellations) - on the relative dates of which opinions differ - were composed probably during the early monarchy and subsequently combined by a redactor (Rje) into a single document JE. In the 7th century D, the bulk of Deuteronomy, was composed. It was published in the 18th year of Josiah's reign. Later it was combined with Je into Jed by a redactor (Rjed). P or Priestly Code the last of all (originally the first Elohist, now the Priestly Code) incorporated an earlier code of uncertain date which consists in the main of most of  Leviticus 17-26 and is known as the Law of Holiness (H or Ph). P itself is largely postexilic. Ultimately it was joined with Jed by a priestly redactor (Rp) into substantially our present Pentateuch. As already stated, theory is subject to many minor variations. Moreover, it is admitted that not all its portions are equally well supported. The division of Je into J and E is regarded as less certain than the separation of Pentateuch. Again, there are variations in the analysis, differences of opinion as to the exact dating of the documents, and so forth. Yet the view just sketched has been held by a very numerous and influential school during recent years, nor is it altogether fair to lay stress on minor divergences of opinion. It is in the abstract conceivable that the main positions might be true, and that yet the data were inadequate to enable all the minor details to be determined with certainty. See Criticism Of The Bible .

    This theory will hereafter be discussed at length for two reasons: (1) while it is now constantly losing ground, it is still more widely held than any other; and (2) so much of the modern literature on the Old Testament has been written from this standpoint that no intelligent use can be made of the most ordinary books of reference without some acquaintance with it.

    Before 1908 the conservative opposition to the dominant theory had exhibited two separate tendencies. One school of conservatives rejected the scheme in toto  ; the other accepted the analysis with certain modifications, but sought to throw back the dating of the documents. In both these respects it had points of contact with dissentient critics (e.g. Delitzsch, Dillmann, Baudissin, Kittel, Strack, Van Hoonacker), who sought to save for conservatism any spars they could from the general wreckage. The former school of thought was most prominently represented by the late W.H. Green, and J. Raven's Old Testament Introduction may be regarded as a typical modern presentation of their view; the latter especially by Robertson and Orr. The scheme put forward by the last named has found many adherents. He refuses to regard J and E as two separate documents, holding that we should rather think (as in the case of the parallel Psalms) of two recensions of one document marked by the use of different divine appellations. The critical P he treats as the work of a supplemented, and thinks it never had an independent existence, while he considers the whole Pentateuch as early. He holds that the work was done by "original composers, working with a common aim, and toward a common end, in contrast with the idea of late irresponsible redactors, combining, altering, manipulating, enlarging at pleasure" ( Pot , 375).

    While these were the views held among Old Testament critics, a separate opposition had been growing up among archaeologists. This was of course utilized to the utmost by the conservatives of both wings. In some ways archaeology undoubtedly has confirmed the traditional view as against the critical (see Archaeology And Criticism ); but a candid survey leads to the belief that it has not yet dealt a mortal blow, and here again it must be remembered that the critics may justly plead that they must not be judged on mistakes that they made in their earlier investigations or on refutations of the more uncertain portions of their theory, but rather on the main completed result. It may indeed be said with confidence that there are certain topics to which archaeology can never supply any conclusive answer. If it be the case that the Pentateuch contains hopelessly contradictory laws, no archaeological discovery can make them anything else; if the numbers of the Israelites are original and impossible, archaeology cannot make them possible. It is fair and right to lay stress on the instances in which archaeology has confirmed the Bible as against the critics; it is neither fair nor right to speak as if archaeology had done what it never purported to do and never could effect.

    The year 1908 saw the beginning of a new critical development which makes it very difficult to speak positively of modern critical views. Kuenen has been mentioned as one of the ablest and most eminent of those who brought the Graf-Wellhausen theory into prominence. In that year B.D. Eerdmans, his pupil and successor at Leyden, began the publication of a series of Old Testament studies in which he renounces his allegiance to the line of critics that had extended from Astruc to the publications of our own day, and entered on a series of investigations that were intended to set forth a new critical view. As his labors are not yet complete, it is impossible to present any account of his scheme; but the volumes already published justify certain remarks. Eerdmans has perhaps not converted any member of the Wellhausen school, but he has made many realize that their own scheme is not the only one possible. Thus while a few years ago we were constantly assured that the "main results" of Old Testament criticism were unalterably settled, recent writers adopt a very different tone: e.g. Sellin (1910) says, "We stand in a time of fermentation and transition, and in what follows we present our own opinion merely as the hypothesis which appears to us to be the best founded" ( Einleitung , 18). By general consent Eerdmans' work contains a number of isolated shrewd remarks to which criticism will have to attend in the future; but it also contains many observations that are demonstrably unsound (for examples see BS, 1909,744-48; 1910,549-51). His own reconstruction is in many respects so faulty and blurred that it does not seem likely that it will ever secure a large following in its present form. On the other hand he appears to have succeeded in inducing a large number of students in various parts of the world to think along new lines and in this way may exercise a very potent influence on the future course of Old Testament study. His arguments show increasingly numerous signs of his having been influenced by the publications of conservative writers, and it seems certain that criticism will ultimately be driven to recognize the essential soundness of the conservative position. In 1912 Dahse ( Tmh , I) began the publication of a series of volumes attacking the Wellhausen school on textual grounds and propounding a new pericope hypothesis. In his view many phenomena are due to the influence of the pericopes of the synagogue service or the form of the text and not to the causes generally assigned.

    2. The Evidence for the Current Critical Scheme:

    The examination of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must now be undertaken, and attention must first be directed to the evidence which is adduced in its support. Why should it be held that the Pentateuch is composed mainly of excerpts from certain documents designated as J and E and P and D? Why is it believed that these documents are of very late date, in one case subsequent to the exile?

    (1) Astruc's Clue.

    It has been said above that Astruc propounded the use of the divine appellations in Genesis as a clue to the dissection of that book. This is based on  Exodus 6:3 , ‛A nd I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as 'Ěl Shadday (God Almighty); but by my name YHWH I was not known to them.' In numerous passages of Genesis this name is represented as known, e.g.  Genesis 4:26 , where we read of men beginning to call on it in the days of Enosh. The discrepancy here is very obvious, and in the view of the Astruc school can be satisfactorily removed by postulating different sources. This clue, of course, fails after  Exodus 6:3 , but other difficulties are found, and moreover the sources already distinguished in Genesis are, it is claimed, marked by separate styles and other characteristics which enable them to be identified when they occur in the narrative of the later books. See Criticism Of The Bible .

    (2) Signs of Post-Mosaic Date.

    Close inspection of the Pentateuch shows that it contains a number of passages which, it is alleged, could not have proceeded from the pen of Moses in their present form. Probably the most familiar instance is the account of the death of Moses ( Deuteronomy 34:1-12 ). Other examples are to be found in seeming allusions to post-Mosaic events, e.g. in Gen 22 we hear of the Mount of the Lord in the land of Moriah; this apparently refers to the Temple Hill, which, however, would not have been so designated before Solomon. So too the list of kings who reigned over Edom "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel" ( Genesis 36:31 ) presumes the existence of the monarchy. The Canaanites who are referred to as being "then in the land" ( Genesis 12:6;  Genesis 13:7 ) did not disappear till the time of Solomon, and, accordingly, if this expression means "then still" it cannot antedate his reign.  Deuteronomy 3:11 (Og's bedstead) comes unnaturally from one who had vanquished Og but a few weeks previously, while   Numbers 21:14 (the King James Version) contains a reference to "the book of the Wars of the Lord" which would hardly have been quoted in this way by a contemporary.   Exodus 16:35 refers to the cessation of the manna after the death of Moses. These passages, and more like them, are cited to disprove Mosaic authorship; but the main weight of the critical argument does not rest on them.

    (3) Narrative Discrepancies.

    While the divine appellations form the starting-point, they do not even in Genesis constitute the sole test of different documents. On the contrary, there are other narrative discrepancies, antinomies, differences of style, duplicate narratives, etc., adduced to support the critical theory. We must now glance at some of these.

    In  Genesis 21:14 f Ishmael is a boy who can be carried on his mother's shoulder, but from a comparison of   Genesis 16:3 ,  Genesis 16:16; 17, it appears that he must have been 14 when Isaac was born, and, since weaning sometimes occurs at the age of 3 in the East, may have been even as old as 17 when this incident happened. Again, "We all remember the scene (Gen 27) in which Isaac in extreme old age blesses his sons; we picture him as lying on his deathbed. Do we, however, all realize that according to the chronology of the Book of Genesis he must have been thus lying on his deathbed for eighty years (compare  Genesis 25:26;  Genesis 26:34;  Genesis 35:28 )? Yet we can only diminish this period by extending proportionately the interval between Esau marrying his Hittite wives ( Genesis 26:34 ) and Rebekah's suggestion to Isaac to send Jacob away, lest he should follow his brother's example ( Genesis 27:46 ); which, from the nature of the case, will not admit of any but slight extension. Keil, however, does so extend it, reducing the period of Isaac's final illness by 43 years, and is conscious of no incongruity in supposing that Rebekah, 30 years after Esau had taken his Hittite wives, should express her fear that Jacob, then aged 77, will do the same" (Driver, Contemporary Review , Lvii , 221).

    An important instance occurs in Numbers. According to  Numbers 33:38 , Aaron died on the 1st day of the 5th month. From  Deuteronomy 1:3 it appears that 6 months later Moses delivered his speech in the plains of Moab. Into those 6 months are compressed one month's mourning for Aaron, the Arad campaign, the wandering round by the Red Sea, the campaigns against Sihon and Og, the missions to Balaam and the whole episode of his prophecies, the painful occurrences of Nu 25, the second census, the appointment of Joshua, the expedition against Midian, besides other events. It is clearly impossible to fit all these into the time.

    Other discrepancies are of the most formidable character. Aaron dies now at Mt. Hor ( Numbers 20:28;  Numbers 33:38 ), now at Moserah ( Deuteronomy 10:6 ). According to Dt 1;  Deuteronomy 2:1 ,  Deuteronomy 2:14 , the children of Israel left Kadesh-barnea in the 3rd year and never subsequently returned to it, while in Nu they apparently remain there till the journey to Mt. Hor, where Aaron dies in the 40th year. The Tent of Meeting perhaps _ provides some of the most perplexing of the discrepancies, for while according to the well-known scheme of Ex 25 ff and many other passages, it was a large and heavy erection standing in the midst of the camp,  Exodus 33:7-11 provides us with another Tent of Meeting that stood outside the camp at a distance and could be carried by Moses alone. The verbs used are frequentative, denoting a regular practice, and it is impossible to suppose that after receiving the commands for the Tent of Meeting Moses could have instituted a quite different tent of the same name . Joseph again is sold, now by Ishmaelites ( Genesis 37:27 ,  Genesis 37:28;  Genesis 39:1 ), anon by Midianites (31:28a, 36). Sometimes he is imprisoned in one place, sometimes apparently in another. The story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram in Nu 16 is equally full of difficulty. The enormous numbers of the Israelites given in Nu 1 through 4, etc., are in conflict with passages that regard them as very few.

    (4) Doublets.

    Another portion of the critical argument is provided by doublets or duplicate narratives of the same event, e.g.  Genesis 16,21 . These are particularly numerous in Genesis, but are not confined to that book. "Twice do quails appear in connection with the daily manna ( Numbers 11:4-6 ,  Numbers 11:31 ff;   Exodus 16:13 ). Twice does Moses draw water from the rock, when the strife of Israel begets the name Meribah ('strife') ( Exodus 17:1-7;  Numbers 20:1-13 )" (Carpenter, Hexateuch , I, 30).

    (5) The Laws.

    Most stress is laid on the argument from the laws and their supposed historical setting. By far the most important portions of this are examined in Sanctuary and Priests (which see). These subjects form the two main pillars of the Graf-Wellhausen theory, and accordingly the articles in question must be read as supplementing the present article. An illustration may be taken from the slavery laws. It is claimed that  Exodus 21:1-6;  Deuteronomy 15:12 ff permit a Hebrew to contract for life slavery after 6 years' service, but that   Leviticus 25:39-42 takes no notice of this law and enacts the totally different provision that Hebrews may remain in slavery only till the Year of Jubilee. While these different enactments might proceed from the same hand if properly coordinated, it is contended that this is not the case and that the legislator in Lev ignores the legislator in Exodus and is in turn ignored by the legislator in Deuteronomy, who only knows the law of Exodus.

    (6) The Argument from Style.

    The argument from style is less easy to exemplify shortly, since it depends so largely on an immense mass of details. It is said that each of the sources has certain characteristic phrases which either occur nowhere else or only with very much less frequency. For instance in  Genesis 1 , where 'Ělōhı̄m is used throughout, we find the word "create," but this is not employed in   Genesis 2:4 ff, where the Tetragrammaton occurs. Hence, it is argued that this word is peculiarly characteristic of P as contrasted with the other documents, and may be used to prove his presence in e.g.   Genesis 5:1 f.

    (7) Props of the Development Hypothesis.

    While the main supports of the Graf-Wellhausen theory must be sought in the articles to which reference has been made, it is necessary to mention briefly some other phenomena to which some weight is attached. Jeremiah displays many close resemblances to Deuteronomy, and the framework of Kings is written in a style that has marked similarities to the same book. Ezekiel again has notable points of contact with P and especially with H; either he was acquainted with these portions of the Pentateuch or else he must have exercised considerable influence on those who composed them. Lastly the Chronicler is obviously acquainted with the completed Pentateuch. Accordingly, it is claimed that the literature provides a sort of external standard that confirms the historical stages which the different Pentateuchal sources are said to mark. Deuteronomy influences Jeremiah and the subsequent literature. It is argued that it would equally have influenced the earlier books, had it then existed. So too the completed Pentateuch should have influenced Kings as it did Chronicles, if it had been in existence when the earlier history was composed.

    3. Answer to the Critical Analysis:

    (1) The Veto of Textual Criticism.

    The first great objection that may be made to the higher criticism is that it starts from the Massoretic text (MT) without investigation. This is not the only text that has come down to us, and in some instances it can be shown that alternative readings that have been preserved are superior to those of the Massoretic Text. A convincing example occurs in  Exodus 18 . According to the Hebrew, Jethro comes to Moses and says "I, thy father-in-law ... am come," and subsequently Moses goes out to meet his father-in-law. The critics here postulate different sources, but some of the best authorities have preserved a reading which (allowing for ancient differences of orthography) supposes an alteration of a single letter. According to this reading the text told how one (or they) came to Moses and said "Behold thy father-in-law ... is come." As the result of this Moses went out and met Jethro. The vast improvement in the sense is self-evident. But in weighing the change other considerations must be borne in mind. Since this is the reading of some of the most ancient authorities, only two views are possible. Either the Massoretic Text has undergone a corruption of a single letter, or else a redactor made a most improbable cento of two documents which gave a narrative of the most doubtful sense. Fortunately this was followed by textual corruption of so happy a character as to remove the difficulty by the change of a single letter; and this corruption was so widespread that it was accepted as the genuine text by some of our best authorities. There can be little doubt which of these two cases is the more credible, and with the recognition of the textual solution the particular bit of the analysis that depends on this corruption falls to the ground. This instance illustrates one branch of textual criticism; there are others. Sometimes the narrative shows with certainty that in the transmission of the text transpositions have taken place; e.g. the identification of Kadesh shows that it was South of Hormah. Consequently, a march to compass Edom by way of the Red Sea would not bring the Israelites to Hormah. Here there is no reason to doubt that the events narrated are historically true, but there is grave reason to doubt that they happened in the present order of the narrative. Further, Deuteronomy gives an account that is parallel to certain passages of Numbers; and it confirms those passages, but places the events in a different order. Such difficulties may often be solved by simple transpositions, and when transpositions in the text of Nu are made under the guidance of Deuteronomy they have a very different probability from guesses that enjoy no such sanction. Another department of textual criticism deals with the removal of glosses, i.e. notes that have crept into the text. Here the ancient versions often help us, one or other omitting some words which may be proved from other sources to be a later addition. Thus in   Exodus 17:7 the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) did not know the expression, "and Meribah" (one word in Hebrew), and calls the place "Massah" simply. This is confirmed by the fact that Deuteronomy habitually calls the place Massah (  Deuteronomy 6:16;  Deuteronomy 9:22;  Deuteronomy 33:8 ). The true Meribah was Kadesh (Nu 20) and a glossator has here added this by mistake (see further (4) below). Thus we can say that a scientific textual criticism often opposes a real veto to the higher critical analysis by showing that the arguments rest on late corruptions and by explaining the true origin of the difficulties on which the critics rely.

    (2) Astruc's Clue Tested.

    Astruc's clue must next be examined. The critical case breaks down with extraordinary frequency. No clean division can be effected, i.e. there are cases where the Massoretic Text of Genesis makes P or E use the Tetragrammaton ( Yhwh ) or Yahweh (Yahweh). In some of these cases the critics can suggest no reason; in others they are compelled to assume that the Massoretic Text is corrupt for no better reason than that it is in conflict with their theory. Again the exigencies of the theory frequently force the analyst to sunder verses or phrases that cannot be understood apart from their present contexts, e.g. in   Genesis 28:21 Carpenter assigns the words "and Yahweh will be my God" to J while giving the beginning and end of the verse to E; in Genesis 31,   Genesis 31:3 goes to a redactor, though E actually refers to the statement of   Genesis 31:3 in   Genesis 31:5; in Genesis 32,  Genesis 32:30 is torn from a J-context and given to E, thus leaving   Genesis 32:31 (Jahwist) unintelligible. When textual criticism is applied, startling facts that entirely shatter the higher critical argument are suddenly revealed. The variants to the divine appellations in Genesis are very numerous, and in some instances the new readings are clearly superior to the Massoretic Text, even when they substitute 'Ěl̄ohı̄m for the Tetragrammaton. Thus, in  Genesis 16:11 , the explanation of the name Ishmael requires the word 'Ělōhı̄m , as the name would otherwise have been Ishmayah, and one Hebrew MS, a recension of the Septuagint and the Old Latin do in fact preserve the reading 'Ělōhı̄m . The full facts and arguments cannot be given here, but Professor Schlogl has made an exhaustive examination of the various texts from  Genesis 1:1 to   Exodus 3:12 . Out of a total of 347 occurrences of one or both words in the Massoretic Text of that passage, there are variants in 196 instances. A very important and detailed discussion, too long to be summarized here will now be found in TMH , I. Wellhausen himself has admitted that the textual evidence constitutes a sore point of the documentary theory ( Expository Times , XX, 563). Again in  Exodus 6:3 , many of the best authorities read "I was not made known" instead of "I was not known" a difference of a single letter in Hebrew. But if this be right, there is comparative evidence to suggest that to the early mind a revelation of his name by a deity meant a great deal more than a mere knowledge of the name, and involved rather a pledge of his power. Lastly the analysis may be tested in yet another way by inquiring whether it fits in with the other data, and when it is discovered (see below 4, (1)) that it involves ascribing, e.g. a passage that cannot be later than the time of Abraham to the period of the kingdom, it becomes certain that the clue and the method are alike misleading (see further EPC , chapter i; Expository Times , XX, 378 f, 473-75, 563; TMH , I; PS, 49-142; BS, 1913, 145-74; A. Troelstra, The Name of God , NKZ , Xxiv (1913), 119-48; The Expositor , 1913).

    (3) The Narrative Discrepancies and Signs of Post-Mosaic Date Examined.

    Septuagintal manuscripts are providing very illuminating material for dealing with the chronological difficulties. It is well known that the Septuagint became corrupt and passed through various recensions (see Septuagint ). The original text has not yet been reconstructed, but as the result of the great variety of recensions it happens that our various manuscripts present a wealth of alternative readings. Some of these show an intrinsic superiority to the corresponding readings of the Massoretic Text. Take the case of Ishmael's age. We have seen (above, 2, (3)) that although in  Genesis 21:14 f he is a boy who can be carried by his mother even after the weaning of Isaac, his father, according to   Genesis 16:3 ,  Genesis 16:16 , was 86 years old at the time of his birth, and, according to Genesis 17, 100 years old when Isaac was born. In  Genesis 17:25 we find that Ishmael is already 13 a year before Isaac's birth. Now we are familiar with marginal notes that set forth a system of chronology in many printed English Bibles. In this case the Septuagintal variants suggest that something similar is responsible for the difficulty of our Hebrew. Two manuscripts, apparently representing a recension, omit the words, "after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan" in   Genesis 16:3 , and again,  Genesis 16:16 , while in  Genesis 17:25 there is a variant making Ishmael only 3 years old. If these readings are correct it is easy to see how the difficulty arose. The narrative originally contained mere round numbers, like 100 years old, and these were not intended to be taken literally. A commentator constructed a scheme of chronology which was embodied in marginal notes. Then these crept into the text and such numbers as were in conflict with them were thought to be corrupt and underwent alteration. Thus the 3-year-old Ishmael became 13.

    The same manuscripts that present us with the variants in  Genesis 16 have also preserved a suggestive reading in   Genesis 35:28 , one of the passages that are responsible for the inference that according to the text of Genesis Isaac lay on his deathbed for 80 years (see above, 2, (3)). According to this Isaac was not 180, but 150 years old when he died. It is easy to see that this is a round number, not to be taken literally, but this is not the only source of the difficulty. In  Genesis 27:41 , Esau, according to English Versions of the Bible, states "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob." This is a perfectly possible rendering of the Hebrew, but the Septuagint translated the text differently, and its rendering, while grammatically correct, has the double advantage of avoiding Isaac's long lingering on a deathbed and of presenting Esau's hatred and ferocity far more vividly. It renders, "May the days of mourning for my father approach that I may slay my brother Jacob." Subsequent translators preferred the milder version, but doubtless the Septuagint has truly apprehended the real sense of the narrative. If we read the chapter with this modification, we see Isaac as an old man, not knowing when he may die, performing the equivalent of making his will. It puts no strain on our credulity to suppose that he may have lived 20 or 30 years longer. Such episodes occur constantly in everyday experience. As to the calculations based on  Genesis 25:26 and   Genesis 26:34 , the numbers used are 60 and 40, which, as is well known, were frequently employed by the ancient Hebrews, not as mathematical expressions, but simply to denote unknown or unspecified periods. See Number .

    The other chronological difficulty cited above (namely, that there is not room between the date of Aaron's death and the address by Moses in the plains of Moab for all the events assigned to this period by Numbers) is met partly by a reading preserved by the Peshitta and partly by a series of transpositions. In  Numbers 33:38 Peshitta reads "first" for "fifth" as the month of Aaron's death, thus recognizing a longer period for the subsequent events. The transpositions, however, which are largely due to the evidence of Deuteronomy, solve the most formidable and varied difficulties; e.g. a southerly march from Kadesh no longer conducts the Israelites to Arad in the north, the name Hormah is no longer used (  Numbers 14:45 ) before it is explained ( Numbers 21:3 ), there is no longer an account directly contradicting Dt and making the Israelites spend 38 years at Kadesh immediately after receiving a divine command to turn "tomorrow" ( Numbers 14:25 ). A full discussion is impossible here and will be found in EPC , 114-38. The order of the narrative that emerges as probably original is as follows: Nu 12;  Numbers 20:1 ,  Numbers 20:14-21;  Numbers 21:1-3; 13; 14; 16 through 18;  Numbers 20:2-13 ,  Numbers 20:12;  Numbers 21:4-9 , then some missing vs, bringing the Israelites to the head of the Gulf of Akabah and narrating the turn northward from Elath and Ezion-geber, then  Numbers 20:22-29;  Numbers 21:4 , and some lost words telling of the arrival at the station before Oboth. In  Numbers 33:40 is a gloss that is missing in Lagarde's Septuagint, and   Numbers 33:36-37 should probably come earlier in the chapter than they do at present.

    Another example of transposition is afforded by  Exodus 33:7-11 , the passage relating to the Tent of Meeting which is at present out of place (see above 2, (3)). It is supposed that this is E's idea of the Tabernacle, but that, unlike the Priestly Code (P), he places it outside the camp and makes Joshua its priest. This latter view is discussed and refuted in Priests , 3., where it is shown that  Exodus 33:7 should be rendered "And Moses used to take a (or, the) tent and pitch it for himself ," etc. As to theory that this is E's account of the Tabernacle, Ex 18 has been overlooked. This chapter belongs to the same E but refers to the end of the period spent at Horeb, i.e. it is later than  Exodus 33:7-11 . In  Exodus 18:13-16 we find Moses sitting with all the people standing about him because they came to require of God; i.e. the business which according to Ex 33 was transacted in solitude outside the camp was performed within the camp in the midst of the people at a later period. This agrees with the Priestly Code (P), e.g. Nu 27. If now we look at the other available clues, it appears that   Exodus 33:11 seems to introduce Joshua for the first time. The passage should therefore precede   Exodus 17:8;  Exodus 24:13;  Exodus 32:17 , where he is already known. Again, if Ex 18 refers to the closing scenes at Horeb (as it clearly does),  Exodus 24:14 providing for the temporary transaction of judicial business reads very strangely. It ought to be preceded by some statement of the ordinary course in normal times when Moses was not absent from the camp.   Exodus 33:7 ff provides such a statement. The only earlier place to which it can be assigned is after   Exodus 13:22 , but there it fits the context marvelously, for the statements as to the pillar of cloud in  Exodus 33:9 f attach naturally to those in   Exodus 13:21 f. With this change all the difficulties disappear. Immediately after leaving Egypt Moses began the practice of carrying a tent outside the camp and trying cases there. This lasted till the construction of the Tabernacle. "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee" (  Exodus 25:22 ). After its erection the earlier tent was disused, and the court sat at the door of the Tabernacle in the center of the camp (see, further, EPC , 93-102, 106 f) .

    Some other points must be indicated more briefly. In  Numbers 16 important Septuagintal variants remove the main difficulties by substituting "company of Korah" for "dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram" in two verses (see Epc , 143-46). Similarly in the Joseph-story the perplexities have arisen through corruptions of verses which may still be corrected by the versional evidence (PS, 29-48). There is evidence to show that the numbers of the Israelites are probably due to textual corruption ( Epc , 155-69). Further, there are numerous passages where careful examination has led critics themselves to hold that particular verses are later notes. In this way they dispose of  Deuteronomy 10:6 f (Aaron's death, etc.), the references to the Israelirish kingdom (  Genesis 36:31 ) and the Canaanites as being "then" in the land ( Genesis 12:6;  Genesis 13:7 ), the bedstead of Og ( Deuteronomy 3:11 ) and other passages. In Gen 22, "the land of Moriah" is unknown to the versions which present the most diverse readings, of which "the land of the Amorite" is perhaps the most probable; while in  Genesis 22:14 the Septuagint, reading the same Hebrew consonants as Massoretic Text, translates "In the Mount the Lord was seen." This probably refers to a view that God manifested Himself especially in the mountains (compare   1 Kings 20:23 ,  1 Kings 20:28 ) and has no reference whatever to the Temple Hill. The Massoretic pointing is presumably due to a desire to avoid what seemed to be an anthropomorphism (see further PS, 19-21) . Again, in  Numbers 21:14 , the Septuagint knows nothing of "a book of the Wars of Yahweh" (see Field, Hexapla , at the place). It is difficult to tell what the original reading was, especially as the succeeding words are corrupt in the Hebrew, but it appears that no genitive followed wars" and it is doubtful if there was any reference to a "book of wars."

    (4) The Argument from the Doublets Examined.

    The foregoing sections show that the documentary theory often depends on phenomena that were absent from the original Pentateuch. We are now to examine arguments that rest on other foundations. The doublets have been cited, but when we examine the instances more carefully, some curious facts emerge.  Genesis 16,21 are, to all appearance, narratives of different events; so are   Exodus 17:1-7 and   Numbers 20:1-13 (the drawing of water from rocks). In the latter case the critics after rejecting this divide the passages into 5 different stories, two going to J, two to E and one to Pentateuch. If the latter also had a Rephidimnarrative (compare   Numbers 33:14 P), there were 6 tales. In any case both J and E tell two stories each. It is impossible to assign any cogency to the argument that the author of the Pentateuch could not have told two such narratives, if not merely the redactor of the Pentateuch but also J and E could do so. The facts as to the manna stories are similar. As to the flights of quails, it is known that these do in fact occur every year, and the Pentateuch places them at almost exactly a year's interval (see EPC , 104 f, 109 f).

    (5) The Critical Argument from the Laws.

    The legal arguments are due to a variety of misconceptions, the washing out of the historical background and the state of the text. Reference must be made to the separate articles (especially Sanctuary; Priests ). As the slave laws were cited, it may be explained that in ancient Israel as in other communities slavery could arise or slaves be acquired in many ways: e.g. birth, purchase ( Genesis 14:14;  Genesis 17:12 , etc.), gift ( Genesis 20:14 ), capture in war ( Genesis 14:21;  Genesis 34:29 ), kidnapping (Joseph). The law of Exodus and Deuteronomy applies only to Hebrew slaves acquired by purchase, not to slaves acquired in any other way, and least of all to those who in the eye of the law were not true slaves. Lev 25 has nothing to do with Hebrew slaves. It is concerned merely with free Israelites who become insolvent. "If thy brother be waxed poor with thee, and sell himself" it begins (  Leviticus 25:39 ). Nobody who was already a slave could wax poor and sell himself. The law then provides that these insolvent freemen were not to be treated as slaves. In fact, they were a class of free bondsmen, i.e. they were full citizens who were compelled to perform certain duties. A similar class of free bondsmen existed in ancient Rome and were called nexi . The Egyptians who sold themselves to Pharaoh and became serfs afford another though less apt parallel In all ancient societies insolvency led to some limitations of freedom, but while in some full slavery ensued, in others a sharp distinction was drawn between the slave and the insolvent freeman (see further SBL , 5-11 ).

    (6) The Argument from Style.

    Just as this argument is too detailed to be set out in a work like the present, so the answer cannot be given with any degree of fullness. It may be said generally that the argument too frequently neglects differences of subject-matter and other sufficient reasons (such as considerations of euphony and slight variations of meaning) which often provide far more natural reasons for the phenomena observed. Again, the versions suggest that the Biblical text has been heavily glossed. Thus in many passages where the frequent recurrence of certain words and phrases is supposed to attest the presence of the Priestly Code (P), versional evidence seems to show that the expressions in question have been introduced by glossators, and when they are removed the narrative remains unaffected in meaning, but terser and more vigorous and greatly improved as a vehicle of expression. To take a simple instance in  Genesis 23:1 , "And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years:... the years of the fife of Sarah ," the italicized words were missing in the Septuagint. When they are removed the meaning is unaltered, but the form of expression is far superior. They are obviously mere marginal note. Again the critical method is perpetually breaking down. It constantly occurs that redactors have to be called in to remove from a passage attributed to some source expressions that are supposed to be characteristic of another source, and this is habitually done on no other ground than that theory requires it. One instance muse be given. It is claimed that the word "create" is a P-word. It occurs several times in Gen 1:1 through 2:4a and  Genesis 2:3 times in   Genesis 5:1 ,  Genesis 5:2 , but in  Genesis 6:7 it is found in a J-passage, and some critics therefore assign it to a redactor. Yet J undoubtedly uses the word in   Numbers 16:30 and D in Dt 4:82. On the other hand, P does not use the word exclusively , even in Gen 1 through 2:4, the word "make" being employed in  Genesis 1:7 ,  Genesis 1:25 ,  Genesis 1:26 ,  Genesis 1:31;  Genesis 2:2 , while in  Genesis 2:3 both words are combined. Yet all these passages are given unhesitatingly to P.

    (7) Perplexities of the Theory.

    The perplexities of the critical hypothesis are very striking, but a detailed discussion is impossible here. Much material will, however, be found in Pot and Eerd . A few general statements may be made. The critical analysis repeatedly divides a straightforward narrative into two sets of fragments, neither of which will make sense without the other. A man will go to sleep in one document and wake in another, or a subject will belong to one source and the predicate to another. No intelligible account can be given of the proceedings of the redactors who one moment slavishly preserve their sources and at another cut them about without any necessity, who now rewrite their material and now leave it untouched. Even in the ranks of the Wellhausen critics chapters will be assigned by one writer to the post-exilic period and by another to the earliest sources (e.g.   Genesis 14 , pre-Mosaic in the main according to Sellin (1910), post-exilic according to others), and the advent of Eerdmans and Dahse has greatly increased the perplexity. Clue after clue, both stylistic and material, is put forward, to be abandoned silently at some later stage. Circular arguments are extremely common: it is first alleged that some phenomenon is characteristic of a particular source; then passages are referred to that source for no other reason than the presence of that phenomenon; lastly these passages are cited to prove that the phenomenon in question distinguishes the source. Again theory is compelled to feed on itself; for J, E, the Priestly Code (P), etc., we have schools of J's, E's, etc., subsisting side by side for centuries, using the same material, employing the same ideas, yet remaining separate in minute stylistic points. This becomes impossible when viewed in the light of the evidences of pre-Mosaic date in parts of Genesis (see below 4, (1) to (3)).

    (8) Signs of Unity.

    It is often possible to produce very convincing internal evidence of the unity of what the critics sunder. A strong instance of this is to be found when one considers the characters portrayed. The character of Abraham or Laban, Jacob or Moses is essentially unitary. There is but one Abraham, and this would not be so if we really had a cento of different documents representing the results of the labor of various schools during different centuries. Again, there are sometimes literary marks of unity, e.g. in  Numbers 16 , the effect of rising anger is given to the dialogue by the repetition of "Ye take too much upon you" ( Numbers 16:3 ,  Numbers 16:7 ), followed by the repetition of "Is it a small thing that" ( Numbers 16:9 ,  Numbers 16:13 ). This must be the work of a single literary artist (see further SBL , 37 f).

    (9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis.

    When we turn to the supposed props of the development hypothesis we see that there is nothing conclusive in the critical argument. Jeremiah and the subsequent literature certainly exhibit the influence of Deuteronomy, but a Book of the Law was admittedly found in Josiah's reign and had lain unread for at any rate some considerable time. Some of its requirements had been in actual operation, e.g. in Naboth's case, while others had become a dead letter. The circumstances of its discovery, the belief in its undoubted Mosaic authenticity and the subsequent course of history led to its greatly influencing contemporary and later writers, but that really proves nothing. Ezekiel again was steeped in priestly ideas, but it is shown in Priests , 5b, how this may be explained. Lastly, Chronicles certainly knows the whole Pentateuch, but as certainly misinterprets it (see Priests ). On the other hand the Pentateuch itself always represents portions of the legislation as being intended to reach the people only through the priestly teaching, and this fully accounts for P's lack of influence on the earlier literature. As to the differences of style within the Pentateuch itself, something is said in III, below. Hence, this branch of the critical argument really proves nothing, for the phenomena are susceptible of more than one explanation.

    4. The Evidence of Date:

    (1) The Narrative of Genesis.

    Entirely different lines of argument are provided by the abundant internal evidences of date. In  Genesis 10:19 , we read the phrase "as thou goest toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboiim" in a definition of boundary. Such language could only have originated when the places named actually existed. One does not define boundaries by reference to towns that are purely mythical or have been overthrown many centuries previously. The consistent tradition is that these towns were destroyed in the lifetime of Abraham, and the passage therefore cannot be later than his age. But the critics assign it to a late stratum of J, i.e. to a period at least 1,000 years too late. This suggests

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

    Pen´tateuch is the title given to the five books of Moses. The Jews usually call the Pentateuch the law.

    In considering the Pentateuch, the first question which arises is—Who was its author? It is of great importance to hear, first, what the book itself says on this subject. The Pentateuch does not present itself as an anonymous production. It is manifestly intended and destined to be a public monument for the whole people, and it does not veil its origin in a mysterious obscurity; on the contrary, the book speaks most clearly on this subject.

    According to , Moses was commanded by God to write the victory over the Amalekites in the book. This passage shows that the account to be inserted was intended to form a portion of a more extensive work, with which the reader is supposed to be acquainted. It also proves that Moses, at an early period of his public career, was filled with the idea of leaving to his people a written memorial of the Divine guidance, and that he fully understood the close and necessary connection of an authoritative law with a written code. It is, therefore, by no means surprising that the observation repeatedly occurs, that Moses wrote down the account of certain events . Especially important are the statements in; . In; the whole work is expressly ascribed to Moses as the author, including the poem in Deuteronomy 32. It may be made a question whether the hand of a later writer, who finished the Pentateuch, is perceptible from (comp.; ), or whether the words in are still the words of Moses. In the former case we have two witnesses, viz. Moses himself, and the continuator of the Pentateuch; in the latter case, which seems to us the more likely, we have the testimony of Moses alone.

    Modern criticism has raised many objections against these statements of the Pentateuch relative to its own origin. Many critics suppose that they can discover in the Pentateuch indications that the author intended to make himself known as a person different from Moses. The most important objection is the following: that the Pentateuch, speaking of Moses, always uses the third person, bestows praise upon him, and uses concerning him expressions of respect. The Pentateuch even exhibits Moses quite objectively in the blessing recorded in .

    To this objection we reply, that the use of the third person proves nothing. The later Hebrew writers also speak of themselves in the third person. We might adduce similar instances from the classical authors, as Caesar, Xenophon, and others. The use of the third person, instead of the first, prevails also among Oriental authors. In addition to this we should observe, that the nature of the book itself demands the use of the third person, in reference to Moses, throughout the Pentateuch. This usage entirely corresponds with the character both of the history and of the law contained in the Pentateuch. If we consider that the Pentateuch was destined to be a book of divine revelation, in which God exhibited to his people the exemplification of his providential guidance, we cannot expect that Moses, by whom the Lord had communicated his latest revelations, should be spoken of otherwise than in the third person. In the poetry contained in , Moses speaks in the name of the people, which he personifies and introduces as speaking. The expressions in ,; , belong entirely to the context of history, and to its faithful and complete relation; consequently it is by no means vain boasting that is there expressed, but admiration of the divine mercy glorified in the people of God. In considering these passages we must also bear in mind the far greater number of other passages which speak of the feebleness and the sins of Moses.

    It is certain that the author of the Pentateuch asserts himself to be Moses. The question then arises, whether it is possible to consider this assertion to be true—whether Moses can be admitted to be the author? In this question is contained another, viz. whether the Pentateuch forms such a continuous whole that it is possible to ascribe it to one author? This question has been principally discussed in modern criticism. In various manners it has been tried to destroy the unity of the Pentateuch, and to resolve its constituent parts into a number of documents and fragments. Eichhorn and his followers assert that Genesis only is composed of several ancient documents. This assertion is still reconcilable with the Mosaical origin of the Pentateuch. But Vater and others allege that the whole Pentateuch is composed of fragments; from which it necessarily follows that Moses was not the author of the whole. Modern critics are, however, by no means unanimous in their opinions. The latest writer on this subject, Ewald, in his history of the people of Israel, asserts that there were seven different authors concerned in the Pentateuch. On the other hand, the internal unity of the Pentateuch has been demonstrated in many able essays. The attempts at division are especially supported by an appeal to the prevailing use of the different names of God in various portions of the work; but the arguments derived from this circumstance have been found insufficient to prove that the Pentateuch was written by different authors.

    The inquiry concerning the unity of the Pentateuch is intimately connected with its historical character. If there are in the Pentateuch decided contradictions, or different contradictory statements of one and the same fact, not only its unity but also its historical truth would be negatived. On the other hand, if the work is to be considered as written by Moses, the whole style and internal veracity of the Pentateuch must correspond with the character of Moses. Considerate critics, who are not under the sway of dogmatic prejudices, find that the passages which are produced in order to prove that the Pentateuch was written after the time of Moses, by no means support such a conclusion, and that a more accurate examination of the contents of the separate portions discovers many vestiges demonstrating that the work originated in the age of Moses.

    In the remote times of Jewish and Christian antiquity, we find no vestiges of doubt as to the genuineness of the Mosaical books. The Gnostics, indeed, opposed the Pentateuch, but attacked it merely on account of their dogmatical opinions concerning the Law and Judaism in general; consequently they did not impugn the authenticity, but merely the divine authority of the Law. Heathen authors alone, as Celsus and Julian, represented the contents of the Pentateuch as being mythological, and paralleled them with Pagan mythology.

    In the Middle Ages, but not earlier, we find some very concealed critical doubts in the works of some Jews—as Isaac Ben Jasos, who lived in the eleventh century, and Aben Ezra. After the Reformation, it was sometimes attempted to demonstrate the later origin of the Pentateuch. Such attempts were made by Spinoza, Richard Simon, Le Clerc, and Van Dale; but these critics were not unanimous in their results.

    In the period of English, French, and German deism, the Pentateuch was attacked rather by jests than by arguments. Attacks of a more scientific nature were made about the end of the eighteenth century. But these were met by such critics as John David Michaelis and Eichhorn, who energetically and effectually defended the genuineness of the Pentateuch. These critics, however, on account of their own false position, did as much harm as good to the cause.

    A new epoch of criticism commences about the year 1805. This was produced by Vater's Commentary and de Wette's Beiträge zur Einleitung in das alte Testament. Vater embodied all the arguments which had been adduced against the authenticity of the Pentateuch, and applied to the criticism of the sacred books the principles which Wolf had employed with reference to the Homeric poems. He divided the Pentateuch into fragments, to each of which he assigned its own period, but referred the whole generally to the age of the Assyrian or Babylonian exile. Since the days of Vater a series of the most different hypotheses has been produced by German critics about the age of the Pentateuch, and that of its constituent sections. No one critic seems fully to agree with any other; and frequently it is quite evident that the opinions advanced are quite arbitrary, and destitute of any sure foundation.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

    (d) In addition to all this, and very much more might be said for a whole harvest has been gleaned on this field by Schultz in the Introduction to his work on Deuteronomy in addition to all these peculiarities which are arguments for the Mosaic authorship of the book, we have here, too, the evidence strong and clear from post-Mosaic times and writings. The attempt, by a wrong interpretation of 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34, to bring down Deuteronomy as low as the time of Manasseh fails utterly. A century earlier the Jewish prophets borrow their words and their thoughts from Deuteronomy. Amos shows how intimate his acquaintance was with Deuteronomy by such passages as  Deuteronomy 2:9;  Deuteronomy 4:11;  Deuteronomy 9:7, whose matter and form are both colored by those of that book. Hosea, who is richer than Amos in these references to the past, while full of allusions to the whole law ( Hosea 6:7;  Hosea 12:4, etc.;  Hosea 13:9-10), in one passage ( Hosea 8:12) using the remarkable expression, "I have written to him the ten thousand things of my law," manifestly includes Deuteronomy (comp. 11:8 with   Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. Bibliography InformationMcClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Pentateuch'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

    The name given by Origen to the first five books of the Bible, which the Jews call the Law or Five-fifths of the Law, the composition of which has of late years been subjected to keen critical investigation, and the whole ascribed to documents of different dates and diverse authorship, to the rejection of the old traditional hypothesis that it was the work of Moses, first called in question by Spinoza, and shown to be untenable by Jean Astruc ( q. v .).