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IN the present article some criticisms will be offered upon the division of these three chapters into two supposed sources, as the first example, and an important one, of the working of the 'Documentary Hypothesis.' Some account of this latter was given by Father Manning, S.J., in the I. E. RECORD, for August, 1916,1 when writing of Wellhausen and the Levitical Priesthood.' What should especially be noticed, what gives to the Documentary Hypothesis its peculiar character, is that the main sources which are proposed for the Pentateuch are also said to mark stages in the historical development of the Jews. The Jahvistic (Yahwistic) and Elohistic sources, known as J and E, are said to date from the eighth or ninth century, and these, speaking quite broadly, are taken to represent the trustworthy narratives of primitive fact. The Book of Deuteronomy, which we may take as roughly equivalent to the source D, is admitted by all students alike to have been found by the priest Helcias in the Temple in 621 B.C. (4 Kings xxii. 8). The critics, however, would further maintain that the book had been written but a little time before, and many of them, indeed, would regard the whole proceeding as fraudulent, and the finding as an elaborate fiction. In any case, they would say that D put into Moses' mouth regulations which were found desirable at the latter date. But in the case of the Priestly Code, P, comprising all Leviticus, and also fragments, large and small, of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, and Josue, not merely was this done, but a history of the Mosaic period was concocted in accordance with the later laws, as though they had been substantially in force from the beginning. This last source would date from the Babylonian exile, in the sixth century.

1 See I. E. RECORD, Fifth Series, vol. viii. pp. 89 et seq.

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One only has to realize the general character of what is assigned to the Priestly Code to see that this Documentary Hypothesis, if accepted, must profoundly affect our interpretation of the whole of the Old Testament. If the Priestly Code was of obligation, it must have deeply coloured the life and customs both of nation and individual from the very beginning; if it did not exist, the exile brought about a transformation almost rivalling that needed on the rationalistic hypothesis to develop Christianity from the work of Christ. For to the Priestly Code is relegated, not merely what belongs to systematic chronology, but what belongs to systematic religion. In P's picture of the Mosaic age,' says Dr. Driver, the minute description of the tabernacle, sacrifices, and other ceremonial institutions, the systematic marshalling of the nation by tribes and families, and the unity of purpose and action which in consequence regulates its movements (Numbers i-iv. x. 11-28, etc.), are the most conspicuous features.' And hence we may say that the Documentary Hypothesis, such as we know it in its main essentials to-day, sprang into being, not when Astruc, in the eighteenth century, first essayed to use the divine names as a basis for the partition of a Pentateuch still acknowledged Mosaic, but when Reuss, in the nineteenth, stated the view that the Priestly Code was not, as supposed till then, the most ancient, but the latest of the component documents. His theory was popularized by Graf and Wellhausen, and outside the Church it holds the field to-day. It marked the final passage into evolutionary rationalism; for the Priestly Code is no longer a historical document at all, but an audacious attempt to say no more-to read back the institutions of a later time into primitive history.

It is not any mere question of sources as such, then, that makes the Documentary Hypothesis impossible to accept, but the historical conclusions involved in the hypothesis, such as it is actually propounded. It may be admitted without difficulty that a Biblical work may draw upon sources themselves either Biblical or non-Biblical. The author of the second book of Machabees, for example, tells us that he is summarizing a work in five books, by Jason of Cyrene (2 Mach. ii. 24); and the regular appeal by the writer of the third and fourth books of Kings to the royal chronicles of Israel or Judah make it inevitable to 1 The Book of Genesis, ed. 9, p. 23.

suppose that he had these before him and drew upon them. Indeed, in the very case of the Pentateuch, the Biblical Commission, in its decree of June 27, 1906, expressly declares that Moses may have had recourse to sources, either written or oral. But the Documentary Hypothesis involves the denial of the historical character of at least a large part of the Pentateuch, and excludes Moses from any share, or any but the smallest share, in its authorship.

At the outset it is wel! to distinguish the literary and the historical aspect of the discussion. From the literary point of view we may notice as significant that, on the general question of the language of P, Driver is rather on the defensive than inclined to use it as an argument for himself,' and under present limitations of space we must be content to leave it at that.

The use of the divine names, too, is not made so much of nowadays, indeed the critics' are at some pains to show that they rely less on this argument than is often supposed. Still, it remains a very prominent feature in their system, especially in regard of the chapters before us, so that it appears to be worth while to deal with it at some length, and more systematically than Catholic writers are wont to do. None the less, it may be premised that in any case it would not by itself prove the separate existence of P, since in J and E we should have sources capable of appropriating either divine name as it came.


The strongest argument for P as a separate source, based, that is, on the divine names, comes from Exodus vi. 3. God declares that He appeared unto Abraham and Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai (translated rather dubiously as 'God Almighty '), 'but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.' This, then, is regarded as a proof that Genesis xv. 7, xxviii. 13, as also the numerous passages in Genesis in which the patriarchs make use of this name, cannot have been written by the same author.' This is certainly a formidable argument; yet, is it sufficient of itself to settle the whole question? It is only a consideration of the evidence as a whole-and that, indeed, more detailed than we can attempt here-that can embolden us to answer in the negative; but even so, if the question is to be kept open at all, an alternative interpretation of the verse must be set forth at once. May we not say, then,

1 Lit. O.T., pp. 155-7.

2 Driver, The Book of Genesis, p. 8.

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that the name Yahweh now acquired a significance which it had not hitherto possessed? 'Henceforth,' says the French Crampon Bible, ad loc., the name Yahweh will be the proper name, the official title of the God of Israel, and this new relation will inaugurate a new phase in the history of human salvation.' How many Fathers and medieval writers have used eloquent and devout words in reference to Our Lord's Heart, and how dear to many was the devotion to the Five Wounds; and yet might we not say that the Sacred Heart was not revealed to anyone before Blessed Margaret Mary? And this sense seems to be indicated by Holy Writ itself, in the passage under consideration, for, in Exodus vi. 7, it is written, ye shall know that I am Yahweh your God,' that is, they shall understand the full significance of the name; up to that time they will not have 'known' known' it any better than Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew it.


Curiously enough, as Wiener has pointed out,1 this argument for the building up of P can be used for the demolition of J. According to Genesis iv. 26, it was after the birth of Enosh that men began to call upon the name of Yahweh,' literally, as Driver rightly explains, 'to call with, ic., to use the name in invocations, in the manner of ancient cults, especially at times of sacrifice.'

Yet [to return to Wiener] not only does the Tetragrammaton occur very freely in the narrative of the preceding chapters, but it is actually put into the mouth of Eve, the grandmother of Enosh, long before Seth, his father, had been born. She is made to say, 'I have gotten a man with the Lord' (Genesis iv. 1). How is it possible, on the critical theory? Why is it conceivable that the author of J could do that which, ex hypothesi, the author of the Pentateuch could not ? 2

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How, indeed, can it be supposed that Eve, who avows in a so-called J section, that it is with Jahweh's help' that she has borne a son, had never invoked Almighty God as Yahweh? As a matter of fact, on page 17, Wiener -inadvertently, one would think-gives away his own argument by changing the divine name in Genesis iv. 1, from 6 Yahweh' (i.e. Lord) to God.' But the critics appear to be right in charging him with setting too high

1 Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism, p. 8.

2 Genesis iv. 1.

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3 The Jews avoided the use of the divine name 'Yahweh' (or 'Jehovah,' as it has come through a misunderstanding to be presented in English), and usually read the word for Lord' in place of it. Hence it appears as 'Lord' in the Septuagint, Vulgate, and most later versions.

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a value upon the Greek Septuagint, important as that version is, and this emendation seems to be due to this exaggerated predilection. If, then, as Driver would have it, we must explain Genesis iv. 26 of a more formal recognition of the name, why not suppose that Exodus vi. 3 represents yet another stage in the same direction? It may be noted in passing, though the issue involved cannot possibly be discussed here, that the data 'seem sufficient to show that there was a West-Semitic deity, Ya-u, known as early as c. 2100 B.C.' This name may be identical with Yahweh, of which the etymology, or rather explanation, may be merely popular, like the explanation of Babel (Babylon) from the verb balal.


To pass now from Exodus vi. 3 to the consideration of the divine names in general. Not infrequently their distribution is inconsistent with the division into sources as expounded by the critics. In the case of the Book of Genesis, Wiener finds 'Yahweh' is out of place in two passages of P (Genesis xvii. 1, xxi. 1b: in both cases a redactor or copyist has to be invoked to get rid of it '), and in four passages of E (Genesis xv. 1-2, xxii. 11, xxvii. 7b: 'in all cases recourse is had as usual to a redactor '); but the fourth passage seems to be more generally assigned to J, while he counts Elohim ('God') in J as often as nineteen times (but it seems safer to reduce the number to fifteen). However, as Wiener truly says, 'an even more serious objection is to be found in the divisions which the critics are compelled to effect in order to carry through their theory.' These, it must be remembered, are only the misfits that obstinately remain, after every artifice has been exhausted to make the names suit the sections, and the sections the names. Perhaps we cannot do better than to quote the rest of the same rather breezy paragraph from Wiener, only explaining that the particular work he has in view throughout is The Hexateuch according to the Revised Version, arranged in its constituent documents by members of the Society of Historical Theology, Oxford, edited by J. Estlin Carpenter and G. Harford-Battersby :

It is one thing to suggest that a continuous passage like Genesis i. 1ii. 3, or xi. 1-9, or xiv. may be ultimately derived from a separate source; it is quite another to postulate such proceedings as are attributed to the redactors of the critical case. The following instances are limited to

1 Driver, Genesis, Addenda ii, p. 47.

2 Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism, pp. 7, 8.

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