Editors David J A Clines Philip R Davies

JSOT Press Sheffield

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Rolf Rendtorff
Translated by John J. Scullion

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 89

Bible. 1977) © 1977 by Walter de Gruyter & Co. Title II. Pentateuch. O. Series III.. English 222. Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch. de Gruyter. Berlin This translation copyright © 1990 Sheffield Academic Press Published by JSOT Press JSOT Press is an imprint of Sheffield Academic Press Ltd The University of Sheffield 343 Fulwood Road Sheffield S10 3BP England Printed on acid-free paper in Great Britain by Billing & Sons Ltd Worcester British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Rendtorff. The problem of the process of transmission in the Pentateuch 1.106 ISSN 0309-0787 ISBN 1-85075-229-X .T. 17. Berlin: W. R.Originally published as Das iiberlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuch (BZAW.—Critical studies I.

and Isaac The story of Abraham 2.CONTENTS Foreword Translator's Note 7 9 Chapter 1 THE PROCESS OF TRANSMISSION AND THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS 11 1.3 The blessing 2.1 The new approach of Gerhard von Rad 12 1. Jacob.5 The absence of any definite reworking in Exodus-Numbers 43 43 48 49 52 55 57 61 64 66 68 74 84 .5 The combination of individual promise themes 2.4 The guidance 2.2 The modification of this approach by Martin Noth 16 1.1 The variety of layers in the process of transmission of the Abraham tradition 2.1 The promise of the land 2.1 The stories of Joseph.4 The function of the promise addresses in the composition of the patriarchal story The promises to the patriarchs 2.4 The question of the 'larger units' 31 Chapter 2 THE PATRIARCHAL STORIES AS EXAMPLES OF A 'LARGER UNIT' WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PENTATEUCH The promise of descendants 2.3 The documentary hypothesis maintained 24 1.2 The promises in the divine addresses in the Abraham story 2.

5 Synthesis Chapter 4 CONCLUSIONS AND CONSEQUENCES 4.4.3 The problem of a priestly narrative in the patriarchal story 3. final arrangement of the Pentateuch Index of Biblical References Index of Authors 90 94 101 102 108 108 119 126 133 136 138 140 146 154 156 157 163 167 169 170 177 178 181 181 184 189 207 213 .2 The Jacob story The problem of the synthesizing.4.2 The problem of the Yahwist 3.1 The patriarchal story 4.1 The stories of Joseph and Isaac 3.2 The larger units' in the Pentateuch 4.3. but a layer of priestly reworking 3.7 Traces of an over-arching reworking Chapter 3 CRITICISM OF PENTATEUCHAL CRITICISM 3.2.1 Literary analysis of the Yahwist 3.3.2 Characteristics of the work of the Yahwist The priestly layer in the patriarchal story 3.4 No priestly narrative.2 Theological'passages 3.1 Dissent from the documentary hypothesis 4.2.2 The other 'larger units' The larger units' in Exodus-Numbers 2.1 The present state of pentateuchal criticism 3.3 The Abraham story 3.4 Genesis 23 3.3 The function of the priestly layer 3.2.1 Chronological notes 3.4 Reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work 3.3 The theology of the Yahwist 3.

of many years of confrontation with the basic methodological questions of pentateuchal criticism. to devote my attention entirely to these questions and. as guest of the Hebrew University in the winter semester 197374. carried on in a variety of ways. and is still being. First. 5-11). . Then there are my colleagues and friends in Jerusalem. I finally questioned the existence of the main pillar of the documentary hypothesis. to clarify them further. Here. for the time being. the Tahwist' (T)er "Yahwist" als Theologe? Zum Dilemma der Pentateuchkritik'. they gave me the opportunity. pp. In the lecture 'Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte' in Uppsala in 1965 (EvTh 27 [1967] 138-153) I still supported the view that the current solution to the problems of the Pentateuch was still the most plausible despite all critical trimming. in intensive exchange with them. the documentary hypothesis could not be sustained. I have to thank many with whom I have been able to discuss these questions in the course of the years. 28 [1975] 158-66). there are my Heidelberg colleagues with whom the dialogue has been. after many earlier meetings and discussions. Discussions with colleagues of other countries provided many a stimulus to concentrate more intensively on these questions. In Edinburgh in 1974.FOREWORD This book marks the terminal. VT Supp. without whose constant consultation and co-operation the book would never have appeared. a new approach to pentateuchal study is to be outlined on a broader basis. Finally there are Konrad Rupprecht. And so it is no mere chance that a variety of earlier papers on this complex of questions reflect these discussions. In my contribution Traditio-Historical Method and the Documentary Hypothesis' in Jerusalem in 1969 (Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Jewish Studies. I tried to show that as a result of a consistent traditio-historical approach.

I thank the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) which enabled me to spend a first period of study in Jerusalem in 1966. SchriesheinVHeidelberg. July 1975 Rolf Rendtorff .8 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch and Erhard Blum who co-operated in the preparation of the manuscript and the proof-reading and prepared the index of biblical passages.

relief and a readiness to look for other ways than that of the documentary hypothesis to explain the formation of the Pentateuch. It is hoped that the English version of Rendtorff s contribution will help a wider range of English-speaking students to make up their own minds on the complex matter in Old Testament studies and perhaps go their own independent way. Clines of the Department of . and. Rolf Rendtorff is interested above all in the process by which the Pentateuch reached the form in which it now lies before us. A Methodological Study (JSOT Supp. 116). Series 53 [1987]. But the documentary hypothesis is a hypothesis and not an article of faith as many scholars. 1977). The English versions of most of the German works from which citations appear in the original were not available to me while I was preparing the translation in Heidelberg. He concludes that the classical documentary hypothesis has been tried in the fire and found wanting.A. as the distinguished Cambridge semitist J. and to Professor David J. His approach has met with strong disagreement. 110-16. VT 39 [1989]. especially in the German-speaking area. de Gruyter. and traces briefly in his preface the scholarly path that led him to this conclusion. in some quarters. I am grateful to Professor Rendtorff for his lively interest in the translation during my stay in Heidelberg (January-June 1989). Whybray's The Making of the Pentateuch.A. I have given my own translation of these. The references in the notes are to the standard English versions. Berlin: W. Emerton has written of R. showing a stubborn unwillingness to consider seriously another approach. seem to presume.TRANSLATOR'S NOTE In Das iiberlieferungsgeschichtliche Problem des Pentateuchs (BZAW 147. cautious agreement. It is sometimes said that Rendtorff has not disproved the documentary hypothesis.N. p.

Victoria 3052 Australia .J. United Faculty of Theology Melbourne John J. University of Sheffield. Scullion S.10 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch Biblical Studies. Newman College University of Melbourne Parkville. for his encouragement. and co-director of Sheffield Academic Press.

. cit. 1969. Koch. However. This does not necessarily mean that they come to opposite conclusions.Chapter 1 THE PROCESS OF TRANSMISSION AND THE DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS In the present state of pentateuchal research. 77. Those scholars who developed or make use of the form-critical and traditio-historical method adhere almost without exception to literary source division. The Form Critical Method. Koch. Koch describes literary criticism as a 'part of form-criticism'. The other is the method of form-criticism and the history of the process of transmission which. and traces the process of their development right up to their final written form. Consequently. individual units. in the classical form that it has taken since Wellhausen. op. two methods of approach stand juxtaposed. The main reason for this is obvious. distinguishes continuous literary 'sources' running through the Pentateuch. it is surprising that so far there have scarcely been any studies of the relationship to each other of these two basically different approaches. one could speak quite frankly of 'an extension of the methods by means of form criticism'1 without realizing clearly or even mentioning that it is in fact not a matter of an extension. takes its point of departure not from the final form of the written text of the Pentateuch. The Growth of the Biblical Tradition.. originally independent. p.2 The procedure is often that which Westermann 1 K. The one is the literary-critical method which. but of a fundamental alteration of the statement of the question. since Gunkel. 2 K. but from the smallest. The two methods therefore are opposed to each other in their starting point and in their statement of the question.

Eng. (1966-1974) Eng. 1. vague or clear. 'The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch'. rather it served merely as a 1 C.1 But the consequence of this procedure is that the form-critical approach. and the study of individual pieces of material on the other. Eng. Genesis 1-11. A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (1948. (German 1938). 1966). 3 M. and in critical dialogue with. von Rad. 1-78.12 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch criticized in Noth's method: 'both methods are merely added together mechanically in such a way that the text is treated now according to one. 1984. Von Rad's perception was that this process of disintegration pertained especially to the final form of the Hexateuch. And so I deliberately take up two works which. 1966). that the process was irreversible'. have had a lasting influence on pentateuchal studies. it intends to bring out more strongly than hitherto the criticism of the literary-critical source division which is inherent in the different methodological approach. 1972. A History of Pentateuchal Traditions. von Rad. The present work is an attempt to show the reasons for this and to advance a step further towards this goal. (Eng. p.2 and M. Noth. They are: G.1981.3 The problem of the process of transmission of pentateuchal traditions will be developed here on the basis of. 1981). . in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. now according to the other'. 2 G. 573. At the same time. Westermann. has not yet developed fully. in its attempt to progress by means of the traditio-historical approach. (German 1948) Eng. these two works. Noth.1 Gerhard von Rod's new approach Von Rad wanted to break a deadlock that had been reached in pentateuchal (hexateuchal) research. He saw that the reaso for the general 'scholarly lassitude' lay in this: the analysis of the Pentateuch into sources on the one hand. since Gunkel. and partly to carry them further. The Form-Critical Problem of the Hexateuch' (1938. 1972. I take up their approaches partly in a critical vein. which was deemed to be no longer worth any serious discussion in itself. pp. had introduced 'a process of disintegration on a large scale': and many scholars had been paralysed *by an awareness.

it has led beyond the treatment of individual pieces of material which featured so prominently in the works of Gunkel and Gressmann. pp. 1. Two principal features of von Rad's work have had further consequences for the Pentateuch itself: the one. 2 We will speak of the Pentateuch in what follows. . and the consequence of his stating the question of the cultic setting of the different basic themes in the process of pentateuchal traditions has been an entirely new branch of research into the history of cult. has not yet thrown clearer light on the final shape of the Pentateuch. the importance that he ascribes to the Tabwist' for the final shape of the Pentateuch.. and so to a new 1 Von Rad.2 and his initiative has had far-reaching effects beyond this area. 3 See below. the other. attempting to understand the whole Hexateuch as 'genre' (Gattung) 'from which it must be supposed that. cit. But it has diverted attention from the one-sided emphasis on literary analysis.3 However. which were originally independent. Von Rad therefore directed attention once more to this final form. Finally. 1-3. He did so by means of form-criticism. The term Hexateuch will be used only where it is actually required. were collected and passed on.. The Documentary Hypothesis 13 13 point of departure 'from which one got away as quickly as possible to deal with the real problems lying behind it'. as was von Rad's intention. has been of far-reaching significance for Old Testament theology. its 'setting in life' and its further extension right up to the very expanded form in which it now lies before us.. his interpretation of the large complexes of tradition in which the pentateuchal traditions. the subdivision of the pentateuchal traditions into several independent complexes of tradition. op. even when the authors quoted speak of the Hexateuch. the recognition that there was available a variety of complexes of tradition. to a concern for the larger units.1 Von Rad has given new and substantial stimulus to hexateuchal (pentateuchal) study with this fresh approach. are in some way recognizable'.3.1. and further. originally independent. His thesis of the 'small historical Credo' has provoked a variety of form-critical and traditio-historical works.

18-19. 1.3 regards Exodus 1-14 as a further complex of tradition. 1953 (2nd edn). ZAW 52 (1934) 161-75.. p. this latter is to be regarded 'rather as a later procedure. p. and so for him 'it is no longer just a literary question with J and E. Pedersen. With regard to the tradition of the occupation of the land. cit. perhaps even the end stage'. right up to the whole as it now lies before us. a genuine exodus tradition which is clearly distinct from the tradition of the occupation of the land'. cit. cit. i. with the Yahwist and the Elohist'.. p.5 Von Rad underscores here the internal connection with the pentateuchal traditions by means of the orientation towards the taking of the land. Tassahfest und Passahlegende'. I understand Uberlieferungsgeschichte as the whole process of the formation of the tradition which extends from origin of the smallest units. whose method of working Noth had discerned in his commentary on Joshua..e.. op. Das Buck Josua. op. 76. cit. across their broader development and insertion into smaller and larger collections. the question arises whether one can identify the 'collector' of the Gilgal stories. 52. This is the case above all with the Sinai tradition. 'in all its essential elements issued into a fixed form' before the tradition settled down to its literary shape in the liexateuchal sources JE. . 2 Von Rad. 1938. 3 J.. Here is found a self-contained complex of tradition which originally had no connection at all with the preceding tradition of the exodus from Egypt and the wandering in the desert.. separate him completely from them. And so von Rad insists that the process of formation of this complex has. pp. clearly recognizable as a selfcontained unit. 4 Von Rad. Noth. Exodus 19-24.14 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch branch of the study of the historical process of tradition. 'We have here.. as Noth had done. op. following Pedersen. With regard to the patriarchal story von Rad.6 However. 6 Von Rad. in the long run. but just as much a question of genre'. the question remains unresolved.2 Von Rad. following 1 With Noth.1 Von Rad recognizes several larger complexes of tradition in the Pentateuch which stand out clearly from each other. op..4 This tradition too was at the disposal of the Yahwist. with one of the pentateuchal sources or. 5 M.

von Rad believes that he can recognize him in the arrangement of the cult-stories of Bethel (28. though it is all but impossible. ci*.. op.1-3). and the quite different and independent devel1 Ibid. are of quite different kinds.64. recognized different groups of stories of very different kinds.59.p. and for this certain principles of organization clearly hold good. apart from intelligent guessing. 59.6 These studies of von Rad gave pentateuchal research a new theme. many texts are linked which. The most conspicious feature is the regular thematic matching within the individual complexes of tradition. p. and fitted it into his work'.. 58. For the Abraham stories. The Documentary Hypothesis 15 Gunkel.. 5 Op. 3 Von Rad sees the beginning of the Penuel story only in v.1.. v. the independence of these larger units..59. 4 Op. Since Gunkel.2 At best. the union of the Jacob-Esau cycle and the Jacob-Laban cycle. was already complete'.1 As for the Jacob stories.3 Finally he writes: 'It is generally accepted that the Yahwist found the Joseph story a novella already complete and self-contained in its essentials. p. he supposes that the union of the Abraham and Lot cycles was data available to the Yahwist 'though he often sees the hand of the Yahwist at work giving theological direction'. p.2S-33).p.p.4 The primeval story too forms an independent composition whose shape derives 'from a series of originally independent pieces of material'.. originally independent. to demonstrate the part that the Yahwist played'. 2 Ibid.. form critically. cif. On the one hand. 6 Op. cif. 65. attention to the smallest.24). but 'which is certainly the work of the Yahwist'. on the other hand. units had passed over the old source analysis which took its point of departure from the final form of the text.5 just as is the 'joining together of the primeval story and the story of salvation' (12. and they are fitted together with each other so as to produce new larger units. . 25 (Eng.10-22) and Penuel (32. Von Rad now opens up the question about a stage which is intermediate between the smallest units and the final shape of the whole coherent narrative complex.. cit.

'Literarkritik. emerges. Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien. Noth. 2 M. 'Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte'.1 It is appropriate to give precedence and attention to the first of Noth's two great works which bear this catchword in their titles. A survey of the deuteronomistic historical work shows striking features in common with those concrete elements which von Rad had worked out for the Pentateuch. has taken a strong hold on the attention of subsequent scholarship. In 1943 he published 'Studies in the History of the Process of Traditions'. since that moment. namely the deuteronomic and chronistic histories. Rendtorff. This distinction of larger complexes of tradition.16 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch opment of each of them. ThLZ 91 (1966) 641-50. The close association consists in this. EvTh 27 (1967) 138-53. 1957 (2nd edn). each coloured by its own theme. R. that Noth is likewise concerned here with the very same stage of the process of development from which the works lying before us.2 The modification of this approach by Martin Noth The basic contribution which Martin Noth made to the further progress of pentateuchal scholarship finds its clearest expression in that he brought into the discussion the concept of the 'history of the process of tradition' which. Uberlieferungsgeschichte'. far beyond the limits of pentateuchal research. cf. .2 In his introductory remarks Noth takes his stand explicitly in strict and historical continuity with von Rad's work on the Hexateuch. 1. According to Noth's explanation the Deuteronomist' (Dtr) too found a whole series 1 His understanding of Ubearlieferungsgeschichte (the process of the formation of tradition) is indebted at least to the suggestions made by Hermann Gunkel. 1943. It was described as the 'first part' of a planned series of studies which had as its object 'the historical works of the Old Testament which were the subjects of collections and reworkings'. reached their final shape out of various elements in the course of transmission of the traditions. The idea takes a somewhat different form in the Uppsala-school'. has become the determining leitmotif of all Old Testament scholarship. Die sammelnden und bearbeitenden Geschichtswerke im Alien Testament. H. Formgeschichte. Ringgren.

working with the presupposition that in each case the complexes have grown together or been assembled out of individual traditions. ThBl 6 (1927) 333-37 = Kleine Schriften 1. This is true especially for the beginnings of the monarchy of which Noth says: Tor the history of David and Saul the Dtr had at his disposal the broad complex of SaulDavid traditions which had already grown together long beforehand out of the stories of David's rise and the problem o the succession'. or not at all. individual traditions which were often described as the 'smallest literary units'. O.2). The work as a whole had acquired the shape in which it now lies before us out of a series of complexes of tradition. An Introduction to the Old Testament (1964. both the intent and statement of the question agree in substance with the task that von Rad undertook for the Pentateuch. 2. pp..1 There were other cases in which the Deuteronomist was able to or had to intervene to shape the material at his disposal because it was too little. Noth dealt with the final stage of the process of development. 1965. cit.2 And so. n. at least in several instances. Eissfeldt. 123-49. The last observation is of significance inasmuch as both scholars were aware that they were very profoundly under the influence of Gunkel's form-critical work. But neither approach took as the object of its study the path that led from the individual traditions to the larger complexes. cit. and he describes this Yahwist as the 'forerunner' of his Deuteronomist (op. 'Die kleinste literarische Einheit in den Erzahlungbiichern des AT'..3 They form the proper object of form-critical study. Both approaches reckon with larger complexes of tradition.1962. Gunkel had directed his special attention to the original. 3rd edn) Eng. smaller or larger. already formed. under the catch-phrase 'the history of the process of tradition' (Uberlieferungsgeschichte). p. Despite the different starting points. One can well invoke Gunkel himself in this context. 3 Already. 61-62.17 17 of cases at hand to him in which. Die . 2 Noth compares the work of the Deuteronomist expressly with that work which von Rad attributes to the Yahwist. In 1 Op. arranged in the way in which he could or wanted to use it for his total presentation. larger complexes of tradition had already been joined together.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

contrast, the union of several originally independent units represents a second stage in the process of formation. Gunkel paid attention to this stage and in some cases spoke of'cycles of stories'. However, he did not develop any methodological criteria for discerning collections of this kind, but rather expressed his observations in a very loose and casual way;1 he attached no particular importance to this question. The same holds true for Gressmann's important work, Mose und seine Zeit (1913). This is all the more striking as Gressmann's statement of the question in general points very clearly in the direction of the later work on the history of the process of tradition. Gressmann likewise does not go beyond very general formulations when giving criteria for 'cycles of stories'.2 There exists therefore an obvious gap between the study of the original smallest units and the question of the final shape, formed out of larger complexes of tradition, of the works as they now lie before us. The path from the smallest units to the larger complexes, known as larger literary units',3 has not yet been methodically trod and examined. This gap stands out as a basic defect when one takes as the point of departure the statement of the program of the process of the history of tradition as Noth has formulated it in A History of Pentateuchal Traditions. He outlines the 'growth and gradual formation of the larger blocks of tradition which lie before us today in the extensive and complicated literary shape which is the Pentaisraelitische Literatur, 1925. 1 H. Gunkel, Genesis (9th edn, 1977), cf. p. 4 n. 5. 2 H. Gressmann, Mose und seine Zeit. Ein Kommentar zu den MoseSagen, 1913, p. 386: 'The cycles of stories can comprise smaller and larger units. They are there wherever several individual stories have been strung together to form a loose composition. Stories which deal with the same material or with a related theme have no need at all to be brought together into a group. Rather, because of the fragility of the individual narrative, due to its original independence, some sort of continuous thread must be spun out which leads from one story to another'. 3 Gunkel speaks of larger units', as does Eissfeldt, See further, A. Bentzen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1,1952 (2nd edn) = 1959 (5th edn), 'From the Smallest Literary Units to the Great Literary Complexes', pp. 2523*.

1. The Documentary Hypothesi


teuch' as a long process, leading from the formation in oral tradition, across the written record, up to the purely literary redaction. He then continues: It is the task of the history of the process of tradition in the Pentateuch to trace this process from beginning to end'.1 Noth explains what his intention is. His main interest is not so much 'to attend to the later and more and more purely literary procedures... but rather to those beginnings that were decisive for the coming into being of the whole and to the first stages of growth'.2 However, he then went on to speak in great detail about the questions of the final literary shape,3 but not about the intermediate stages of the history of the process. And therein lies a notable unevenness in his work. The major part of his presentation deals with 'the pre-literary history of the formation and growth of the process to what is ultimately, in all essentials, a definitively shaped work';4 it is concerned therefore 'in essence with what is still the oral process of formation and shaping'.5 Then, after a few remarks about 'clamps, genealogies, and itineraries',6 he jumps to the end of the process of formation and occupies himself with the traditional 'pentateuchal sources'7 without having given any consideration to the various stages of the intermediate literary shaping and process of tradition.8 Noth's own methodological approach should have suggested that he study more precisely the final phase of the literary arrangement as he had in the deuteronomistic history; that is, like von Rad, he should have traced the path from the larger literary complexes of tradition to their assembly and arrangement in the 'pentateuchal sources'. On the other hand, given the exegetical tradition in which Noth
1 Noth, cf. op. cit., p. 1, n. 5.
2 Op. cit.

3 Op. cit., par. 15, 16.
4 Op. cit., p. 44. 5 Op. cit., p. 198.

6 See headings to par. 11,12,14. 7 Op. cit., par. 15. 8 The second part of A History of Pentateuchal Traditions carries a heading whose claim was not discharged: The Coalescence of Themes and Individual Traditions.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

stands, one would have expected a treatment of the smallest narrative units in which the material passed on had taken shape. Finally, Noth's own programme, to trace the history of the process of tradition 'from to end', should have suggested a treatment of the path from the smallest units to the larger complexes of tradition so as to arrive at a coherent picture of the whole process. Noth himself has given the reason why he did not take up and carry through the programme as outlined. Following vo Rad, he took as his starting point the task of unravelling the main basic themes of the Pentateuch as a whole before undertaking an analysis of the material passed on. In this, he accepted von Rad's thesis of the 'historical Credo' as the fundamental principle that shaped the Pentateuch (Hexateuch), at the same time re-interpreting it in decisive and successful wise. Whereas von Rad was concerned with definite complexes of tradition, and so with concrete literary arrangement which were brought together and disposed under the guiding view-points in the credal formulations, and given further shape by means of'inset' (Einbau), 'extension' (Ausbau), and 'remodeling' (Umbau),1 Noth speaks of'themes' which have determined the shape of the Pentateuch. He sees that 'the main task... is to unravel those basic themes out of which the great whole of the Pentateuch as handed on has grown, to lay bare their roots, to trace their complementation from individual pieces of material passed on, to pursue how they were joined with each other, and to make a judgment on their significance'.2 The elements of von Rad's Credo, being described as 'themes', underwent a decisive process of abstraction. From now on, they appear primarily as concepts and ideas which can be developed in a variety of ways and joined with each other and all sorts of other concepts and ideas. Scarcely any attention is paid to their concrete relationship to a particular setting in life or even to their concrete narrative or literary
1 Cf. the corresponding headings and sub-divisions of the chapter on the Yahwist in von Rad's The Form-Critical Problem', pp. 52, 54, 63. 2 Noth, A History, p. 3.

1. The Documentary Hypothesis


development. On the contrary, in the case of the basic theme, 'the leading out from Egypt', the question of the setting in life is rejected explicitly: 'inasmuch as this confession was of too general importance; it was such that it could, or had to be, recited on every cultic occasion that permitted a hymn'.1 With the other themes too this question, so far as it is even raised, has no real significance. One must speak of abstraction here in yet another sense. Noth distinguishes between the *basic themes',2 or 'the main themes of the tradition'3 as they are later called, on the one hand, and 'the complementation from individual pieces of material passed on'4 or 'the filling out of the standard thematic frame with individual pieces of material handed on',5 on the other. Accordingly, everything that does not belong to the main themes is regarded as 'filling out' and so its significance is substantially limited. But even in this limited framework, Noth's interest is directed not to the concrete shaping of the narrative but to the 'enriching of the basic main themes with further traditional material, while the detailed development by means of narrative art is to be regarded rather as an aside'.6 The reason why Noth's work cannot be linked immediately with that of Gunkel becomes clear here, because it is just this 'detailed development by means of narrative art' that was of decisive interest to Gunkel.7 It must be expressly emphasized here that there can be no question at all of calling into doubt the value and significance of Noth's work. On the contrary, it must be heavily underscored that Noth's studies have given rise to numerous insights into the history of the origin and growth of the Pentateuch and brought a variety of stimuluses to Old Testament 1 Op. cit., pp. 49-50.
2 3 4 5 6 1

Op. cit., p.B. Heading to par. 7. Op. cit., p. 3. Heading to par. 8. Op. cit., p.65. Cf. further Westermann, 'Arten der Erzahlung in der Genesis', Forschung am Alten Testament, 1964, pp. 9-91: 'The individual narrative... and what happens in it, recedes (in Noth's presentation) in a remarkable way' (p. 35).

Gunkel. it would be in order to proceed in such a way that the form-critical determination of an individual text as the smallest conceivable unit of tradition forms the point of departure. they have followed them further to the formation of larger complexes of tradition and ultimately to the final literary stage. Gressmann...22 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch research. the limits of Noth's methodological approach must be pointed out.. it is not possible with his approach to arrive at a history of the process of formation of the Pentateuch which takes as its point of departure the concrete shape of the texts. His work at the same time bypasses the concrete text. p. much of what is found in the important observations of Noth on the history of the process of tradition would have to be accepted on the understanding that it would be set in the context of the pre-literary history of the traditions now preserved in fixed concrete texts. have made these the objects of their study and exegesis. to the procedure of Noth's traditio-historical programme It is the fact that Noth.1 And so once more it is back to Gunkel's approach. We must now take up a further critical objection. Consequently. cit. However. Consequently. then. there was a small number of themes that were essential for the faith of the Israelite tribes' (op. having developed a comprehensive understanding of the task of the study of the process of the history of tradition.. without taking account of the 1 Noth explicitly denies that the growth of the Pentateuch took place in this way when he maintains that its 'form. . This would be in a way the first phase of the process of the history of tradition. already noted. von Rad and others proceeded by and large in this way without. but. 2). Noth actually deals with the pre-history of concrete narratives in such a way that a methodological link between the interpretation of the texts developed by Gunkel and the question of the pre-history of the traditions embodied in them is entirely possible. In many ways. is not the subsequent and final result of the simple grouping together and arranging in sequence of individual traditions and individual complexes o traditions. Gunkel. the further question of the pre-history of the text and the traditions embodied in it would be put. thence. Methodologically. and after him von Rad in particular as well as others.. however. at the very beginning of the formation of the traditions.

Also: R. III. The work begins as it were at the opposite end. The Pentateuch as a whole as it lies before us is no longer the point of departure. However. whatever different shapes it may take. R. . This does not mean that there is no place for questions of literary criticism. Ploger. The documentary hypothe sis.. 'Pentateuch'. cit. when all is said. taken as a whole. 'Pentateuch'. the traditional 1 Op. 211-17. and it is with this that we are now concerned. consists of several. The Documentary Hypothesis 23 literary growth of the tradition. as soon as access to the pentateuchal texts is set in the context of the form-critical method. O. Smend. nor must they be the primary concern of the interpreter. RGG (3rd edn) 1961. the statement of the question is basically altered. The different 'sources' of the Pentateuch was the answer to a particular question. III. in particular for the 'complementary hypothesis' and the 'fragmentary hypothesis'.1. and on the other. accounts of the whole pentateuchal material which have been brought together in a 'redaction'. 1413-19. one should consult the appropriate sections in the standard introductions to the OT. 2-5. EKL. The form-critical method and its application mean a basically new approach in the matter of access to the pentateuchal texts. 'Pentateuchkritik'. as it puts the question of unity to a concrete. BHHW. 109-14. seeking to explain the tensions and contradictions and inquiring about its coherence with the context. 1966. a fundamental distinction must be made between literary analysis on the one hand. the 'smallest literary unit'. 1959. 2 For other hypotheses about the formation of the Pentateuch.2 So then. presupposes the existence of 'pentateuchal sources' in the traditional literary-critical sense and includes them within his presentation of the traditio-historical process. cols. Rendtorff. originally independent. cols. inasmuch as it explains that the present text. namely: is the final form of the Pentateuch as it lies before us a unity or not? Source division as used hitherto makes sense only as an answer to this question. has meaning only as an answer to this question. but rather the concrete individual text. The contexts in which each individual text now stands.1 Some fundamental remarks are necessary here. individual text. are not yet a matter of attention in this approach.par. however large. cols.

belong to particular 'sources' in the sense of continuous 'documents'. And so the attempt must be made to show the reasons why tradition-history and source division are still for the most part applied side by side. It is a fundamental error when literary-critical work on the Pentateuch is equated with source division in the traditional sense.3. shows that this is scarcely ever the case. From the standpoint of the traditio-historical approach.24 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch division into sources. the source theory offers the most enlightening answer to the questions which arise from the final shape of the text. however. This could give rise to the impression that the two methods belonged together or in any case could be joined together with- . often it is only then that one can delimit the original smallest unit. But all this has nothing at all to do with the question of whether individual elements. 1. both adhered to source division. as is so often the case today. which literary criticism has shown to be separate from each other. Only at the end of the inquiry into the process of the history of the tradition can the question of the literary-critical judgment of the final shape be put. to pursue the whole process of the formation of the tradition right up to the present final literary stage. There will be many cases in which a correct form-critical determination of a text will be rendered possible only after particular literary-critical questions have been put and answered. But they must be related on each occasion to the stage of the formation of the tradition and limited thereby. and likewise his pupil Gressmann. one is only justified in accepting continuous 'sources' in the Pentateuch when. One consists in the fact that Gunkel. This requires that the literary-critical questions as well be put at all phases of the traditio-historical inquiry. Recent study of the Pentateuch. at the end of the traditiohistorical inquiry. The documentary hypothesis maintained It is the task of the traditio-historical method which builds on the form-critical statement of the question in the way in which Noth formulated the programme. I see two main reasons for this.

Gunkel emphasized that liere (i. they did not see themselves in a position to recognize the 'Personalities' of the authors of the written sources. and particularly Gressmann. but have arisen in the course of a history'. never forgetting that it is a hypothesis. with the Tahwist' and the 'Elohist') it is not a question of unities or even of collocations of unities.e. Nevertheless. there is only a gradual awareness of the consequences of a new methodological approach. Ibid. Ixxxv. He portrayed in a 1 2 3 4 5 So too Rendtorff. from the literarycritical point of view. In his view the distinction of J from E can only rarely be carried out with any sort of certainty'. The second.5 In the long run therefore it is merely a matter of giving terms to passages which. can say nothing about its methodological justification.2 And so he continues: "«F and 'E' therefore are not individual writers.3 Gressmann goes even a step further. Mose und seine Zeit. are separate from each other. applied the separation of sources in a far less stringent manner than is generally done today. Above all. but schools of narrators. Ibid. the symbols JE are indispensable. but of collections which are not from one mould and cannot have been completed at one stroke. p. one must try in the meantime to come to terms with the hypothesis of JE. p. that it is clear that Gunkel. p. Gunkel. 368. . The sources have not each its own profile. even though they can lay claim only to relative validity'. But for it to establish itself and to find justification for the abundance of variants. He attributed to him the central role in the definitive formation of the Hexateuch. The Documentary Hypothesis 25 out difficulty.1. The other reason for adhering to source division in the traditio-historical context is simply that von Rad conferred a new profile on the Yahwist. EvTh 27 (1967) 148ff.1 The first thing to be said to this is that frequently in the history of research. and never reveal themselves with certainty'. Genesis. Ixxxiv. considered from our present point of view. What individual hands contributed to the whole is thus a matter of relative indifference because they differ very little individually.4 and he adds: 'In many cases JE are nothing more than labels which can be exchanged at will. so that this fact in itself.

more basic question. p. 15-16.5 Why did von Rad attribute this role precisely to the Yahwist? It is surprising to note that von Rad did not put this question. 52). But the switch-points have already been set in another direction. cf. cit. without giving him any notable pre-eminence. p. cit. from the generally acknowledged image of source division in which the substantial section of the narrative material of the tradition is ascribed to the Yahwist. 7 Op. Op. often widely scattered.1 and he worked out with particular emphasis that. a theological achievement is to be seen here. notes 17. traditions are gathered together in a powerful work of composition under a dominant idea and become literature'.35. whether instead of reckoning with one 'great collector and moulder* it were better to reckon with 'a gradual. p. before all else... cit.27. a'*.7 That this role belongs to the Yahwist derives apparently. He touches only the other. Von Rad.. Op. because he obviously saw in it no problem at all. the Yahwist is the one who. Op. to the basic on-going tradition'. Von Rad discusses only the question. 67-68. pp. but that liere.. p. 48. Svhether we are to consider the work of the Yahwist as that of a collector or of a 1 2 3 4 5 6 'The Form-Critical Problem'. one plan is at work'. 51. Op. pp. up to this point. 52. 59. cit. on the same literary level as the other sources. . He underscored that in this case there could be no question of an anonymous growth.3 The result is a 'massive work'.6 He begins without more ado: The Yahwist marks for Israel the intervention that we see continually recurring in the spiritual history of many peoples: old. speaks of the Yahwist only in a casual way.. 'took up the material which had broken free from the cult and preserved it in the firm grip of his literary composition'. p..50. without it being said explicitly. anonymous process of growth' (op.4 and 'it is astounding how firmly it was possible to bind the bewildering abundance of the assembled traditions.. in a powerful theological work.53.2 In von Rad's view. p.26 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch most impressive way the great achievement of the Yahwist as composer and moulder... cit.29..

'the form of the Hexateuch is definitively his'. an entirely satisfying and explicable phenomenon! The question of the origin and destiny of these two works. of their growth and their readers is after all open and is likely to remain so. This shows that von Rad has here simply taken over something already available. Von Rad assigns them a subordinate place and maintains at the same time that their relationships to each other remain in the long run unexplained: 'Not that the way in which E and P are related to J is for us something transparent. though only of one of them. The stratification of E and P in relationship to J and their binding together is a purely literary matter and so.74. .. and 1 Op. and the 'stratification' of the two other sources in relationship to this work remains basically opaque. 2 Op. 50-51. The Documentary Hypothesis 27 writer'.2 The picture therefore has basically changed: there is not a number pentateuchal (hexateuchal) sources of more or less equal worth which have been joined together by a process of redaction. p. This new understanding of the Yahwist marks too a basic change in respect of Gunkel and Gressmann who denied any possibility of recognizing the individuality or personality of any of the authors of the pentateuchal sources. cit. and in essence can only be understood.. But it is all too clear how far von Rad has thereby distanced himself from the original conception of source division which understands sources as parallel and for the most part constituent parts of essentially equal value in the final shape of the present text. But this is to be understood. the Yahwist. rather the Yahwist has provided a basic arrangement.1. from the form-critical point of view. There is here so to speak a re-discovery of the personality of the authors of the sources. The form of the Hexateuch is definitively the Yahwist's'. as something theological. introduces nothing essentially new over and above what has been discussed. pp. But these problems are of a different sort from what we are discussing here.1 But the possibility that another than the Yahwist could have brought to completion this 'massive work of composition' is never considered. cit.

p. which is the primeval story. 228.. and the synthesizing over-view'... at the same time as him. pp.."the insetting of the Sinai tradition" and "the extension of the patriarchal tradition") derive from G (Grundlage) (namely. When literary criticism unraveled the common basic (G) of J and E. shows that Noth's portrait of the Yahwist does not agree in important points with that drawn by von Rad. For Noth contests the fundamental statements of von Rad about the way in which the Yahwist composed the work. 40-41. Noth too at the beginning of the section on the sources of the Pentateuch writes: Tentateuchal narrative has undergone a change with the pentateuchal sources synthesized into the literary whole in which they now lie before us. as von Rad would have us believe when he attributes such an epoch-making role to the Yahwist in the traditio-historical process. and out of the realm of the popular. cit. To be sure.236. the common basic source that Noth accepts for J and E) and so belong to the same material as that already taken over by J. But the Pentateuch did not come into being by looking backwards.28 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch primarily as a theologian who gives shape to large passages. and after him had a share in it.. Many others. which gives rise to the shaping of narratives out of the themes. the Yah wist has a special place: his theology contains 'the richest and most important theological accomplishment expressed anywhere in the pentateuchal narrative'. and enters into the realm of the theological. But the two others (i.3 The Yahwist then 'is not the sole author of the most important advances in the process of the development of the Pentateuch. .. 2 Op.2 Closer examination. then this was of significance not only for literary criticism. but also for the general traditio-historical process...e. It is a question rather of a growth that took place step by step'.. cit. the reflective. it has moved out of the realm of the cultic. inasmuch as it pointed con- 1 A History. but only one of many. so necessary for the forming of themes. p.1 Thus for Noth too. before him. however. 'the forecourt (Vorbau). 3 Op. is clearly the work of the Yahwist....

and it is this view that Noth contests. p. according to the state of things. cit. But if E is 'to remain.. 236. which were normative when the material being passed on was given literary formulation.4 It finds expression above all in the arrangement of the primeval story and its binding with the subsequent Pentateuch narrative'... he kept almost exclusively to the traditional stuff of the pentateuchal narrative without intervening to alter or expand its substance. And it must be underscored yet again that von Rad's judgment depends precisely on the work being a theological one. p. 'So the whole weight of the theology of J lies at the beginning of his narrative. is abolished. one must prescind from the entity G. in this.2 And so there can be no theological judgment on the basic composition that Noth.. By reducing the contribution of 1 Op. 41. Subsequently.5 This is clearly a quite different Yahwist from the one whom von Rad described and who certainly was not satisfied 'to have said at the beginning how he wanted the rest to be understood'. Op. cit. He was satisfied to have said at the beginning how he wanted the rest to be understood'. p. Von Rad's judgment of the Yahwist as a theologian depends on his view of him as a composer of a work.. everything depends. 2 3 4 5 Op. Ibid. because we can know nothing at all of its wording1. almost completely out of consideration'.. .1 Von Rad's basic view of the Yahwist can in fact scarcely be contested more concretely and clearly..236.3 then 'the theology of J is all the more clearly before us'. What is Noth's position here? When discussing the 'question of the basic ideas. cit. Thus the essential connection between the work of composition and the theology on which. 12. at any rate. Ibid. for von Rad. Noth is in broad agreement with von Rad in his explanation of the Yahwistic primeval story and his understanding of Gen. The Documentary Hypothesis 29 cretely and clearly to this fact'. ascribes to 'G'. On the contrary: it was just this work of thoroughly shaping the whole of the massive amount of traditional material that renders his hand so recognizable.1.1-3 as a link passage between the primeval story and the patriarchal story.

g. Generally. through the larger literary complexes. it must be underscored once more that. It is worthy of note then that the widespread error of a search for a literary proof of the existence of sources corresponds to the dominance of theological interest in the pentateuchal sources in recent research. cit. This is so particularly for the Tahwist'. it is a matter of the theology of one author. however imperfectly preserved. arrives at the existence of an elohistic source. But opinions are divided over the 'Elohist'. And so a particular branch of literature has developed which is concerned with the theology of the sources of the Pentateuch. yet he described the stage of the pentateuchal sources as the stage of 'the theological. by means of literary analysis. The general view is that it is easy to delimit the content of the 'priestly* writing. 18. What remains belongs to the 'Yahwist' inasmuch as there are no convincing reasons against it (e. p. its literary content is unraveled by way of negation.1 Many others have followed him here. . hence his existence is in need of literary demonstration. But scarcely any attempt has been made to demonstrate a literary cohesion between the passages ascribed to the Yahwist. one has recourse to the presentation of his theology or in any case to the overriding ideas and compositional standpoints. one is only justified in accepting continuous 'sources' when this is the result of a study of the history of the traditions of the smallest units. Noth regards only Gen. p. in spite of this. 238. and the synthesizing overview'.22ff. Here again the (unproven) opinion that these passages belong together as a literary unit must bear the burden of proof that. right up 1 Op.30 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the Yahwist to the shaping of the Pentateuch. 228. Apart from the primeval story. from the point of view of the traditio-historical approach. it becomes apparent that in many cases the theological ideas and the compositional standpoints are quite different in different parts of the Pentateuch. However. as a passage of Yahwistic theological work.2 On the other hand. Noth has pulled away the mat. cit.. While he held to the view of the Yahwist as a theologian. 2 Op. In general.. the reflective. And so the prevailing view is that which. signs of a deuteronomistic reworking).

It goes without saying that the traditio-historical study makes use of the varied insights and results of the literary-critical work so as to unravel the layers and growth of the texts. The Documenatary Hypothesis 31 to the final stage of the text. If the question that the traditiohistorical approach is taken seriously. 3 Cf.1 1.3 but they have scarcely ever been the object of independent studies. have to work with literary-critical tools and. see below. The question of the 'larger units' It has already been mentioned that a particular defect in pentateuchal study hitherto is the gaping cleft between the study of the smallest units and concern for the final literary stage. And so it will have to proceed no less 'critically' and also. to be sure. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism. on methodical grounds.2 There is many a reference in the literature to the existence of such larger units.1. section 3. 1 For more detail. without its being verified through the study of the formation of the tradition. the literary-critical statement of the question too must always remain open to results other than those of the traditional source division. 2 See above. It will itself. Introductions to the OT by Eissfeldt and Sellin-Fohrer. But it cannot from the very start equate the literary-critical method of working with the results carried over from the source theory. From a methodological point of view. There is a lack of studies of the larger units. as is done so widely today. literary-critically. . And this all the more so when it is to serve as an assistant to the traditio-historical method. of course. This procedure identifies a particular method o study almost exclusively with one of its conceivable results.4. But above all. 1.2. will have to give answers to the questions raised by literary criticism. the acceptance of 'sources' is excluded by reason of an analysis made at the final stage. then. formed from a synthesis of originally independent texts before these units were brought together at a later stage in the whole which is the Pentateuch. and there has scarcely ever been any consideration of their function in the process of the formation of the Pentateuch. for its part.

One can in many cases recognize more or less clearly the means by which the collectors or authors have shaped and brought together into a unity the originally independent and often quite disparate material. Hence.2. one example of the growth and reworking of such larger units must be studied so as to arrive thereby at criteria for our statement of the question. on the other hand. . the gradual collecting of the narratives about the individual patriarchs. the formation of individual 'cycles of stories'. The different stages of the process of the formation of the tradition can be clearly discerned in them: the independent individual narratives. and finally. The peculiar nature of these larger units has already been outlined in the presentation of von Rad's study. 1. The larger units that are thus formed distinguish themselves clearly over against others in which the traditions belonging to other cycles of themes have been brought together in like manner. of texts which form-critically and because of their origin are often to be judged very differently. and before all. and how this relates to the composition of coherent written 'sources' whose existence is generally accepted. the putting together of the stories about the patriarchs so as to form a larger unit. a survey of the material gathered together in the Pentateuch. forming a new unit. the intent of what follows is twofold: on the one hand. must be presented so as to acquire. It requires very thorough special studies for the individual complexes of tradition/larger units. This procedure must be studied in closer detail in order to close the gap in the study of the history of the origin and growth of the Pentateuch. the methodological pre-requisites must first be broadly established and developed. The patriarchal stories of Genesis will be chosen as the example. so far as they have been worked out hitherto.1 They are a synthesis. This makes clear the means used in the course of formation of the individual stories and the comprehensive 1 See above. and in brief. the larger units within the Pentateuch. under this point of view.32 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch there has been a lack of studies of the question of how these texts grew into or were arranged into larger units.

2.H. there is broad agreement that the passages stand side by side with no intrinsic link between them.1-3 (von Rad)1 or after Gen. Festschrift. 7 Op. The primeval story forms the first larger unit.1-3 is regarded as 'a clamp between the primeval event and the patriarchal story'. 525-54. p.1.26 (Westermann). . And finally. pp. 12. Gunkel writes: The passages begin almost always quite abruptly. which once more lead back to the basic question that this work puts. von Rad.2 In both cases Gen.5 Westermann tries to arrange the texts into three narrative groups: 'narratives of creation.64. The Documentary Hypothesis 33 larger units and the theolological intentions at work in the process of assembling and reworking them. 'Genesis 12. and of revolts and their consequences'.4 Following Gunkel. some reflections are added on the relationship of the larger units so formed to other units. 1971. and the literature is broadly at one in accepting this self-delimitation. 566.p.7 All interpreters try likewise to work out the inner connection between these narratives within the framework of the 1 'The Form-critical Problem'. 2 Genesis 1-11. 65. The current stage of exegesis sees a clear link between the primeval story and the patriarchal story at the beginning of the Abraham story. 5 Op. One can put the division between the two after Gen.64. cit. It comprises Genesis 1-11. in Probleme biblischer Theologie. In the table on the same page. 6 Genesis 1-11. p. 11. Steck. 562 3 O.p. cit. 4 Genesis. G.3 As for the matter of the primeval story in detail. p. von Rad distinguishes a 'series of cycles of material originally independent'. For the most part they delimit themselves.. they are in rough sequence or are in complete contradiction'. the last group stands under the heading 'Crime and Punishment'. p.6 But he speaks also of the 'apparently unconnected block(s) in the primeval story which are heaped together*. 12.. of achievements.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. Something must be said first of all about the larger units within the Pentateuch.

rather must it be said 'that the style of the narratives in Genesis 1-11 is basically different from that in Genesis 12-50. 1. nevertheless. cit. Reference must be made to a further matter which Westermann in particular has stressed: to synthesize the narratives in the primeval story and in the patriarchal story under the general concept of 'Sage' does not do justice to the profound differences in the style of presentation. . Gunkel speaks of a 'thread as the last collector will have conceived it'. Interpreters try now to work out the intention of the composition and the means used to give it its shape. Ibid. 12-50) forms the next larger 1 2 3 4 Genesis. is immediately obvious so that very different answers are given..4 So then. joined with each other in a much more profound arrangement than appears at first sight. and to what extent a common. reworking can be discerned. an arrangement which derives from the primeval story as a whole and keeps this whole always in sight'. they seem to have been put together as if by one who wanted to impose a unified form. so that despite this disparity in the individual elements.1 von Rad sees in the composition 'the directing of the individual pieces of material towards a goal'. the two types belong to two fundamentally different styles and lines of tradition'.. The patriarchal story (Gen. when and at what stage of the formation of the tradition these very different complexes were joined together.2 and Westermann puts the question whether these apparently unconnected texts are 'somehow.p.64.. Neither. on the one hand there would be formcritical consequences to be drawn with regard to the determination of the different characteristics of the 'Sage'] while on the other hand the question arises. of course. the whole has the effect of a tightly closed unit.3 Two things become clear from this first of the larger units: the individual pieces and their narrative shape have preserved a great deal of independence with respect to each other.34 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch present composition. over-arching. Genesis 1-11. p. Op.

5. Op.2 But Gressmann did not himself divide this large narrative complex further. ZAW 52 (1934) 161-75. Gressmann tries to establish the largest unit when he writes: The largest cycle of stories which one can discern at first sight extends from the birth of Moses and the sojourn of Israel in Egypt to the death of Moses and the arrival of the people of Israel at the border of the promised land'. 387. The dominant intentions and the way in which they have been arranged are clearly evident. it will be dealt with in detail in the second chapter.388. Jacob. . and Joseph stories are the result of the juxtaposition and collection of single narratives. 386. it is only in the patriarchal story that they are found in this form. Apart from some smaller cycles of stories within this larger framework. cif. but after this the contours fade'. The stories from the birth of Moses to the arrival of Israel at Sinai3 form a coherent unit up to a point.1 Various suggestions have been made for the delineation of larger units in the following books of the Pentateuch.1. see below under 2. Let it be said here by way of summary simply that the same phenomena are evident in it: on the one hand a broad independence of a section of the individual narratives.p. The Documentary Haypothesis 35 unit.21 can be followed clearly... p. Gressmann writes: 'The cycle of stories of Exodus 1.5 Pedersen brought a completely new approach to Exodus 1—15 when he considered it as a coherent larger unit. Op. this group of stories in the Moses narrative 'splits into two loose halves'. p. The second half of the Moses story portrays as its general theme the departure of Israel from Sinai for the promised land. and on the other a clearly recognizable. 387-88.4 Let us turn then to the first part of the Moses story. Op.. pp. cit. cit. Isaac. Mose und seine Zeit. And more—the first three have been further joined together to form a larger unit.6 He understands the 1 2 3 4 5 6 For further detail. However. Each of the patriarchal stories in itself exhibits such a synthesizing reworking: each of the Abraham. synthetic shaping of the narrative materials into larger complexes.1-15.

See in particular S. The Form-critical Problem'. including in his approach the criticism by exegetes of Pedersen. Further. must be judged quite differently than from a purely narrative point of view. 167.. 1-15 together again under the heading The leading out from Egypt'. In particular.7 On the one side. but also from that of the history of cult and liturgy. p. cit.. he brings chs.2 His interest was less the liturgical element than the fact that these chapters 'present a well-rounded comple of tradition' in which we have before us 'a genuine exodus tradition'. 1-15). 66. he divides the material into a great 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Op. which have been at work in the process of assembling the individual pieces of material.3 Noth also accepts the validity of Pedersen's thesis. constructed according to a definite plan'.1 And so an entirely new statement of the question arises here. A History. 51-52. it considers the history of the growth of larger units within the Pentateuch not only from the point of view of narrative.6 Fohrer too has analysed the way in which Exodus 1-15 cohere.36 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch whole narrative complex as a cult legend of the feast of the Pasch which lies at the basis of the dramatic arrangement of the feast.5 But in the division of the book of Exodus in his commentary. p. pp. however 'in a somewhat more narrowly drawn framework. the intentions and the method of arrangement. confined to the narrative of the plagues of Egypt'. 19. Noth deals with the traditions of the birth and call of Moses. 'Die vermeintliche 'Passah- . Op. growth and formation of larger units presents itself in a radically altered form. cit. Exodus heading on p. 201ff. Von Rad took up Pedersen's 'directive towards the internal coherence of Exodus 1-14 (sic!) and its origin from the feast of the Pasch'. Mowinckel. the legend forms a well articulated whole from beginning to end (Exod. Despite all unevennesses and secondary additions. Op. pp.4 This means in particular that he no longer wants to count the narrative of the destruction of the Egyptians in the sea (Exodus 14) as part of this complex. It is clear that with such presuppositions the question of the origin. 51-52. in a quite different place.. 156ff. as they have taken form in Exodus 14. cit.. pp.

. he comes to the conclusion 'that the exodus tradition is not a selfcontained complex and that the exodus itself is not an isolated event to be evaluated separately and by itself. (the exodus is 'not an isolated event to be evaluated separately and by itself).e. 1 Uberlieferung und Geschichte des Exodus. this would require an entirely new approach. historical questions too come under consideration which once more are involved with the traditio-historical question of whether the exodus tradition existed and was passed on in isolation.6.1964. and continues: In reality. in particular of Exodus 19-24.3 Von Rad has laid special emphasis on the independence of the Sinai passage. Within the framework of our statement of the question. Eine Analyse von Ex 115. already mentioned. the firm alliance with Yahweh on Sinai. Following Mowinckel. STL 5 (1952) 66-88. p. That larger whole was the occupation of the land by Moses' host which comprised the tradition of how the exodus came about. the further wandering right up to the entrance into the territory of east Jordan. The Documentary Hypothesis 37 37 number of smaller narrative 'elements'. 2 Op. On the contrary. cit. i.. he brings into legende'. Besides the difference. between a predominantly narrative approach and a cultic approach. 121.?. but on the other. there has so far been scarcely any attempt to look for clues to the conscious shaping of larger units within Exodus 1—15—as is the case too in other parts of the book of Exodus.. 'Ex 1-15 in Bezug auf die Frage: Literarkritik und Traditionskritik'. . and originally too the settlement in east Jordan'.1 He rejects 'the fiction of a deep cleft that has made it possible to accept an isolated exodus tradition'.1. the exodus. Exodus 1-15 is directed to a continuation of and forms a part of a more comprehensive historical narrative.2 It is obvious that very different methods and statements of the question clash in this discussion of Exodus 1-15. and finally. 3 See below under 2. then the death of the charismatic leader Moses. he regards it as a 'cult legend'. 122. it is very obvious that interest in the large narrtive complexes is closely bound up with the concept of the existence of continuous narrative sources which embrace the whole of the pentateuchal material.

13. Num. 11. . A further problem in the Sinai synthesis is the fact that it is preceded and followed by narratives about Israel's sojourn in the desert (Exod. to be sure. separated out certain blocks of material. 206). Exodus 19 through to Numbers 10 contains an assortment of narrative.13. there have been scarcely any studies of the question of how the extremely different elements within the Sinai pericope came together. 81. According to him they 1 Cf. 16-18. and Num. Introduction to the Old Testament. chs.14-21 the transition to the theme 'leading into the land' (A History. 3 There are differences in the delimitation of the ending of this complex of tradition. pp. W. A. 1969. Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung der Wiistenuberlieferung des Jahwisten. this question has still not really been put. pp. Beyerlin. But as to how all this came together into a whole.2 It lies before us in a form that reflects a wild growth. 20.1 The criticism is concerned primarily with the question—do the different complexes of tradition just mentioned belong together or not. and was joined with them only at a relatively later stage. Fritz represents an opposite view: Israel in der Wiiste. This opinion has been frequently criticised. p. 2 Further pointers in this direction may be found in L. Weiser. 11-20).38 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch relief once more the cultic. 'further sojourn in the wilderness'. cultic. and whether there were any guiding principles of arrangement or discernable intent at work in the process.1-20. 'Preparation for and beginning of the "conquest"' (Numbers. V. in particular different codes of law. Hence. 20. Scholarship has. liturgical function of this collection. 1970. 148). Herkunft und Geschichte der altesten Sinaitraditionen.14-36. and legal material which has been thrown together. 156-238. Perlitt. This is in line with his thesis that the Sinai tradition was first passed on separately from the traditions of the exodus and the occupation of the land. The relatively self-contained independence of the Sinai pericope has scarcely been contested.3 Gressmann accepted as a basis for all these narratives a collection of stories connected with the sanctuary at Kadesh. But it is just this discussion that has stood in the way of further study of the formation and structure of the Sinai pericope. as it is so obvious. nor can it be. 20 and 21. esp. and so in his commentary on Numbers he makes the division: Num. Noth sees in Num. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament.

Noth.4 Finally. religio-historical. The Documentary Hypothesis 39 were only separated from each other by the inset Sinai passages in the course of the traditio-historical development. And so one spoke of the 'Hexateuch'. he discerned a 'collector' at work. p. op. in our statement of the question: was there one (or several) larger unit(s) with the theme 'Israel in the desert' whose growth from individual narratives or suchlike smaller units can be outlined. The reason for this was that the texts in Joshua were regarded as belonging to the pentateuchal 'sources'. Noth has contested this thesis very strongly. Mose und seine Zeit. 25. Beyerlin. pp. and traditio-historical questions. 12. That is. cit.3 But in all this. came to the conclusion 'the literary-critical theses. pp.. Cf. Das Buck Josua. 1953 (2nd edn). of particular interest is the discussion of the traditions about the Israelites' occupation of the land.1. who gathered together older traditions which had already been partly joined together and shaped them into a 'very old whole unit'. especially with the question of whether Kadesh was ever a cultic centre for some or for all the Israelite tribes. in his analysis of the book of Joshua. p. are not valid for the book of Joshua in the same enlightening way.. the question of how the narratives came together in their present arrangement has remained undiscussed. The reason for this is that it is not possible to arrive at internally coherent complexes for each of the accepted continuous narrative threads'. . op. 164-65. Fritz. 8. cit. 386-87.6 This means nothing else than that Noth here regarded the occupation of the land traditions in Joshua as an independent larger unit. demonstrated above all for Genesis.. 165ff. It is surely not due to chance that this occurred in 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gressmann.1 This question is in turn linked with historical.2 while others have accepted and elaborated it. A History. pp. p. At the beginning of this century Old Testament scholarship in general accepted that the traditions of the occupation of the land in the book of Joshua were an immediate continuation of the pentateuchal presentation. cit. Op.5 Instead of continuous 'sources' in the narrative parts of Joshua.

but not extant. he cannot. the redactor would then have 'tailored the narrative of the old sources to the literary framework of the P narrative and so have simply left out the end of that narrative extending beyond the death of Moses'. there is the fact that the book of Numbers begins with the account of the occupation of east Jordan which. Aaron. again without the consequences for the source theory as a whole being drawn. and has been accepted by various scholars. or will not. 'its description would have ended with the reports of the death of Miriam. One of the main reasons for this surmise is the 'repeated promises right throughout the patriarchal story that the descendants are ultimately to possess the land of Palestine'. And so he makes use of a redactor who has simply left out' the postulated. namely to submit the source theory itself to critical examination. It seemed certain to him that the old pentateuchal sources originally ended up with a narrative of the occupation of the land.1 Further. Noth then drew the consequences of this: he separated the book of Joshua once more from the Pentateuch and abandoned the thesis of 'sources' extending beyond the Pentateuch. hence. 1 A History. draw the consequence of this.2 One can only say that this is an extremely precarious way of arguing. . On the one hand Noth. and hence any talk of the *Hexateuch'.40 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch work on a commentary on a single book of the Old Testament which required that one come to grips more accurately with the problems of this larger unit without looking at them in the framework of the usual problems of pentateuchal (hexateuchal) study. cannot maintain the thesis of continuous sources which end up with the description of the occupation of the land. the reason being that the priestly writing is not interested in the theme of the occupation of the land. on the other. p. this raised a new difficulty for Noth. Noth's thesis has subsequently undergone lively discussion. requires a continuation in the account of the occupation of west Jordan. in Noth's opinion. Noth thinks that this original description of the occupation of the land in the older pentateuchal sources has Tbeen lost'. texts. on the basis of his analysis of the book of Joshua. However. 2 Ibid. 16. and Moses'.

a large unit consisting of traditions about the occupation of the land has been clearly discerned in the book of Joshua. plays no role. to what pentateuchal 'source' does it belong. The question whether it belongs to a broader context is to be put only at a later stage. Sinai. It is striking that scarcely a single thorough comparison has been carried out of the method of working of the supposed authors of the 'sources' in different larger units And so there has been no convincing demonstration so far that the recognizable reworking of the traditions in the different parts of the Pentateuch goes back in fact to the same redactor or author. The Documentary Hypothesis 41 41 It must be stated that. Research so far has acknowledged the independent character of most of these units. whether the narratives about the occupation of the land in east Jordan can be understood only as the beginning of a more comprehensive and total description of the occupation of land. Moses and exodus. As a consequence. there is no ground for regarding this larger unit as. and the qualities characteristic of the carefully planned arrangement are for the most part very quickly—or even a priori—traced back to the authors of the 'sources'. however. in essence. namely the pentateuchal 'sources'. or whether the occupation traditions in the book of Numbers can be considered as an indeendent larger unit which has had its own history of tradition. for our context. sojourn in the desert. each is assembled from various elements of tradition and presents itself now as a more or less self-contained unit. anything else than an independent complex of tradition within the Pentateuch. The survey of the Pentateuch according to recognizable larger units with a common theme has shown that virtually the whole pentateuchal material is divided into such larger units: the primeval story. the patriarchal story. together with other 'theological' reworkings. These works. try consistently to show that the present unity is a constituent part of a larger context. occupation of the land. Hence. From the traditio-historical point of view the question. Each of these units has its own characteristic profile. One is often content to designate a reworking as 'theological' so as to ascribe it. there . to someone called the *Yahwist'.1. But for the Pentateuch itself there would be the further question. and there are already many individual studies. the question of the independence is not dealt with.

It is only in a next step in the comparison that the question of the larger complexes can be put.42 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch must be a new approach: there must be a thorough study of the arrangement and the reworking of the individual larger units in which each must be considered in itself without any previous decision whether it belongs to a larger complex or to one or other 'sources'. .

he shows himself remarkably uncertain in his choice of form-critical terminology. he describes it as 'a well arranged whole'. we must call it a Novelle'..1 The stories of Joseph. 396. It is scarcely possible to separate the individual stories from each other. It is clear that here. the constituent parts of which are not appropriately designated as stories (Sagen). 2 Op. 37-50) stands out most clearly of all. he continues: 'However. and Isaac Within the patriarchal story several independent narrative complexes delineate themselves clearly. Nevertheless. Jacob. as in other places.Chapter 2 THE PATRIARCHAL STORIES AS EXAMPLES OF A 'LARGER UNIT' WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PENTATEUCH 2. The special place of the Joseph story (Gen. Gunkel has already described appositely its peculiar character. The notion 'Novelle' has prevailed by and large for the Joseph story.. hence. First of all he writes: The Joseph story is a cycle of stories (Sagenkranz)'. it marks itself off. one must go further and say: the Joseph story is not a cycle of stories.2 Consequently. but also for literary arrangements. p.. rather 'the boundaries between the passages are very fluid'. from the other cycles of stories by its very tight structure'. not only to describe a collection of originally independent stories. Its special character within the patriarchal story 1 Genesis. . cit. we can scarcely call this narrative a story (Sage). Gunkel uses the notion 'cycle of stories' in a very undefined sense.1 After describing the characteristics of the style and the manner of presentation in further detail. However.397. he says finally: 'After all this.p.

25.23-33 [22-32]) in particular play an important role in the overall arrangement. 1966 (German 1953). cit.44 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch has been generally acknowledged. 3 Op.6 Von Rad has taken Gunkel's observations further at this point by showing that the two cultic stories of Bethel (Gen. He specifies the arrangement that has thus arisen in the following way: This Jacob—Esau-Laban cycle is. in The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. 4 Op. Von Rad has added a further dimension with his thesis: 'the Joseph story is a didactic wisdom narrative which.17 onwards under the heading 'Jacob in Canaan'. 2 Gunkel.3 Besides these two larger complexes of narratives Gunkel names as a further independent element the 'stories about the places of cult which Jacob founded'4 (besides the 'accounts of the birth and the later fate of Jacob's children'5 which he maintains are not constituent parts of the old arrangements of the stories).. Both have been skilfully joined together: 'a 'frame' has been fashioned out of the Jacob—Esau stories into which the Jacob-Laban stories have been inserted'. and Shechem which *have been distributed along the trail of Jacob's travels'. deals with the passages from 33.. 6 Op.. p. 291. p. . p. 29—31). both in the ideal that it presents and in its basic theological thinking.. is dependent on many a stimulus of Egyptian origin'. 292-300. cit..19-34. 292. but an artistic arrangement: a sequence of cross references forwards and backwards. 28. 32-3G2) and the Jacob-Laban stories (Gen. 292.9.10-22) and Penuel (Gen. not a loose juxtaposition from the hand of a redactor. It is a question here of the cult stories of Bethel. accordingly. cit. 5 Ibid. 368.1 This classification among the traditions influenced by Egyptian wisdom sets it apart even further from the rest of the tradition in the patriarchal story. however. binds the whole together into a unit'. Penuel.1-28. 32. p. He has shown that it consists in essence of two large narrative complexes: the Jacob-Esau stories (Gen. 27. pp. They stand at the two turning points of Jacob's journey: 1 The Joseph Narrative and Ancient Wisdom'. Gunkel has also made the most important observations on the Jacob story. Mahanaim. and especially the conclusion which reverts to the beginning.

The Patriarchal Stories 45 the flight from Esau and the retreat from Laban. he speaks of a 'group of coherent narratives dominating the whole which can be called one large narrative'. pp..6 Gunkel too felt that the Isaac story had its own character over against the other patriarchal stories. however.2. by a later hand'.7 1 Genesis. it is in brackets with the additional note. p. The literature for the most part does not evaluate this chapter as an independent section. cit. 7 Op. 5 'The Form-critical Problem'. 4 Op. self-contained Abraham narratives and the Joseph narrative which forms a much larger and more complex unit'. 12-33) which have been incorporated into the broad arrangement of the Jacob stories'. 57. cit. 291.6-11. and so surmised that the chapter liad been taken from another related book of stories and inserted here'. also Noth. 26. p. 1972. Gunkel puts it under the heading 'Survey of the arrangement of the JE Jacob stories'.. 1964.3 There is an independent Isaac story in Genesis 26. The Jacob story then is supported by these two narratives 'as a bridge is supported by two pylons. A History.. esp. 2 'Arten der Erzahlung in der Genesis'.. These two narrative blocks are clearly markers indicating the guiding theological thinking*. p. 87. On the one hand it is fitted more firmly into the 'units of tradition'. cit. 6 Op. 98ff. p. pp..4 Von Rad writes: 'There are only two stories about Isaac (Gen.2 He says of this group that 'in the way in which they are arranged they stand somewhere between the type of short. he writes: These Isaac traditions have passed into the literture basically in their ancient form and without any adjustment to the later and broad arrangement of the patriarchal stories'. in Forschung am Alien Testament. 9-91. 39. on the other. p.. 3 Ibid. 'inserted. Looking at the entire block of the Jacob-EsauLaban cycle of stories. but looks at it within the frame of the Jacob story..1 Westermann too has arrived at essentially the same division and designation of the constituent parts of the Jacob narrative. . it is different.5 In his Genesis commentary. 270.

comes finally to the conclusion that 'Genesis 26 presents a narrative cluster that can be described as "the Isaac cluster"'. p.6 Both are linked as narrative by the cross reference in v.1 a passage which 'has not become a completely self-contained composition'. cit. 300. in my opinion. 7 However. older. 1 and 6. 1972. J) *has assembled here.4 We must pursue this question somewhat more closely. Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung der expliziten Querverbindungen innerhalb des vorpriestlichen Pentateuchs. on the basis of his study of the cross references within the chapter. Genesis 26 contains only two detailed narratives: 'the betrayal of the ancestress' (w.22-32). 5 A History. 360. p. 7-11) and the making of the treaty with Abimelech of Gerar (w. p.. The chapter is described as a 'mosaic'. 6 Op. p. Two divine addresses stand out which have no immediate connection with the narrative context (w. Die Querverweise im Pentateuch. the second by w. all that the narrative tradition known to him about Isaac was aware of. Heidelberg. He describes the chapter as a 'string of units of tradition that are in part only sketchy and in themselves not tightly knit'.2 'On the other hand one can recognize clearly the attempt to weld subsequently the small units of tradition into some sort of self-contained coherent whole'. . 24). 104. 1887.7 Verses 1 Franz Delitzsch. 29. the first divine address is linked to the context by w.108. one of the crucial problems for the understanding and evaluation of the Isaac stories is that they are to some extent not amplified as narratives in the usual way. 21.46 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch The independence of Genesis 26 with respect to the context is well underscored. 2-4.1-18. theol. 12. Kessler. Both have their parallels in the Abraham story (Gen. The remaining parts of the chapter are of a very different type.5 In fact.. 3 Von Rad. Diss.3 Kessler. Noth stated that the author (for him. proposed convincing reasons arguing that each of the Isaac variants are. pp. 4 R. from the traditio-historical standpoint. Noth has. Neuer Commentar fiber die Genesis. Genesis. 2 Gunkel. as it were in a compendium and with the help of a continuous narrative thread. 23 and 25. Genesis. 26-31). 103ff.10-20 and 20.

It is easy to discern here the concern to form a unified whole.3 Wellhausen was consistent in this: 'After all. 3 Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bttcher des Alten Testaments. They have the very obvious function of giving the prerequisites for the subsequent narratives about the disputes over the wells.22ff which. and it is a question only of passages that have not been elaborated in narrative fashion. 18 is a harmonizing insertion referring back to 21. not developed in narrative form.25). Hence. The remainder has to do entirely with wells. namely that in this version they wanted to use the wells themselves. p. 21. Wellhausen admits that new statements are being made here which are not taken from other narratives. 'Die Arten'.1 (Verse 28 refers back expressly to this. and that Isaac had dug them again and given them their old names. Rather in the place to which reference is made (Gen. 2 Genesis. Since Wellhausen it has been common to attribute these verses to a redactor (Gunkel. p. v. How are they to be evaluated? Verses 15 and 18 report that the Philistines had blocked up the wells that Abraham had dug earlier.2. which is described as a result of God's blessing. in other 1 Westermann. and there is a reference back to this in v. 302. Perhaps we can go further if we point to similar short communications. But why should these verses come from a 'later hand'? They give certain pieces of information and are quite comprehensible in themselves. and about the consequent envy of the Philistines. According to Gunkel.2 But no story about the Philistines blocking up the wells dug by Abraham exists. The Patriarchal Stories 47 12-14 provide some very general information about Isaac's wealth. . They lack only the usual narrative shaping. 27. wants to put Abraham's wells out of action by blocking them up so that Isaac can dig them again'. 21. the 'insertion betrays itself *by referring back to an earlier story'. Abimelech's men took the wells by force.) Verses 16-17 report quite undramatically Isaac's 'expulsion' from the Gerar territory. which actually amounts to something different. in a rather infantile manner. 1899 (3rd edn). RJ) or to a later hand (von Rad). It is amazing how woolly the arguments for this are.

1971. but which. 5).2 The story of Abraham The interpreter of the Abraham traditions is faced with a 1 Cf.48 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch places in the Old Testament. R. 2 Gunkel. Further. gives the impression of a relatively self-contained piece. . Festschrift G.2 What typifies these short communications is precisely that they have not been turned into story. for the Isaac story. with the naming of each well on each occasion. Genesis. but which had not been passed on in the form of developed narratives: traditions about the digging a second time and re-naming by Isaac of Abraham's old wells (w. In the story of David's rise (1 Sam. 'Beobachtungen zur altisraelitischen Geschichtsschreibung anhand der Geschichte vom Aufstieg Davids'. pp. 15 and 18 very differently. 2. in Probleme biblischer Theologie. the collector or author was aware of certain traditions about wells in the northern Negev which were linked with the figure of Isaac (and Abraham). and finally about the naming of the newly dug well at Beersheba in association with the treaty between Isaac and Abimelech (w. made use as well of information which had not been formed into narrative.302. 21).1 One must conceive of these as the work of a collector or author of a particular group of texts who. 16—2 Sam.22). They have been fitted into the framework of the other Isaac traditions in such a way that the synthesis. nevertheless. This would mean that. 428-39. side by side with developed narratives. he wanted to take into his work. it is form-critically misguided to say that 'an etymological story has been spun' out of the names of the wells. p. for example. 32-33). Rendtorff. esp. 432ff. 19-20) and Sitnah (v.25b. faced with these short communictions. there are a number of brief passages with self-contained pieces of information which have not been developed into narratives.18). 15. despite the variety of the material. and the undisputed use of the well Rehoboth (v. There is no reason for considering the tradition in w. and so by means of short communications he was able to pass on the relevant information. von Rad. pp. about the dispute over the newly dug wells at Esek (w.

there are many independent units of tradition in the Abraham stories which have no explicit relationship to their context. still recognizable as such today. There is scarcely any other area in the Pentateuch where the individual narratives stand out as such self-contained and independent literary units. of which Gunkel. writes: The narrative has little concrete about it and can scarcely be called a 'story' (Geschichte)'.1-8. is appropriate only for a part of the texts mentioned. summing it up.On the other hand. This notion is clearly not applicable to the passage Gen. He describes it in the form-critical context as a collection of originally independent.2. is the case in the Jacob-Esau and the Jacob-Laban stories. He developed this 'information' into a sort of story (Geschichte) which he has set 1 Genesis. 13. into a larger unit? 2. On the one hand. 12.1 The variety of layers in the process of transmission of the Abraham tradition A first step towards answering this question is that closer attention is being given to the connections between individual smaller units already featured in the literature.2.1-28. . 159. The Patriarchal Stories 49 unique situation. the reader gets the impression of an internal coherence which runs through the whole Abraham tradition and makes it appear to be a relatively self-contained unit. 12. for example. 19. Gunkel has already spoken of an Abraham-Lot cycle to which he reckons the following texts: Gen. individual stories (Sagen} which had been woven into a certain unity. p. 18. 2 As. in its present form it must be considered late.3038j1 but he has seen also that the expression 'cycle' is not entirely appropriate here. and what are the means used to arrange these originally independent smaller units. what are the characteristics of this larger unit. The traditio-historical question then may be formulated thus: Is it in fact a question here of a larger unit so conceived according to a definite plan? If so. as Gunkel himself has explained.1-8.1-16aa.2 The term story (Sage) however. The writer had before him only the 'information' that Abraham had come from Aram-Naharaim and that he founded the altars at Shechem and Bethel. 19.

1-28) only after these had been brought together to balance each other.. he gives chs. and consequently the one blessed'. pp. 19. But this broader context which Gunkel established covers only a small part of the Abraham tradition. 2 Genesis.1-16) and Sodom (19. a shoot grafted on to an older branch'.. 22-34) are joined together 1 Genesis.1-7. as are the means used to arrange and bind together the individual elements. What Gunkel has to say about these 'pieces of information' is very close to what we have just said about some passages in the Isaac tradition. Gunkel considers that we are dealing here with something belonging to the collection and the reworking. and especially by the geographical references in 18. cit. p. p. 8-21. 20. 167. 3 Kessler.2 Hence Genesis 13 would have been placed before the two narratives of Mamre (18. Gunkel himself limited the function of 12. These for their part have been joined together by means of the intermediary passage 18.50 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch as it were as a 'signature-tune' (Motto) at the beginning of the Abraham stories.3 the intention of which is quite clear. 21.27-28.. 13. Kessler has described them as the 'Negev group' because their common scene of action is in the Negev. so as to form a larger unit with Genesis 13 (and 19.1 Accordingly. 22.1-8 in the collection when he described it as the 'signature tune' (Motto) of the Abraham stories as a whole. 19 the title 'Narrative groups'. A further group of narratives that belong together is readily discernible in Genesis 20-22. This narrative is not constructed for itself but is rather a preparation for the two narratives about Abraham and Lot at Mamre and Sodom. . 69ff. This narrative differs qualitatively from old stories inasmuch as it is not constructed for itself but rather presupposes the Sodom story in such a way as to be quite incomprehensible without it.17-33. Of particular importance here is Kessler's demonstration that the four 'scenes' (Gen.30-38). the obedient one. and so one must consider it a later and new formation. Gunkel maintains that the same holds for Genesis 13. 176.16. op. Hence we are to regard Abraham as the believer. 18. not with an original story (Sage) or narrative.

however. 7 And so there are no grounds whatever for any claim that this 'resumption' belongs to the Yahwist: this is against Noth. 21. 15. cf. 2 Op. pp. This is the case with Genesis 14.1. 20.1. Ill. and Genesis. p. . 6. 12. 8.1. 6 Here. 59. op.10-20 is self-contained and has no explicit references to the rest of the Abraham traditions. 22.1 (Then Abraham set out from there') joining it with the preceding narrative(s). apart from the fact that the actors in them are the same. cit. 22-23) without a knowledge of Genesis 20'. the passage about the treaty between Abraham and Abimelech at Beersheba in 21. 23. the birth of Ishmael is presupposed. The Patriarchal Stories 51 by cross-references. 3-4 in a remarkably elaborate way by 'resuming7 geographical details. This is all the more striking as the large majority of Abraham narratives begin with introductory formulas which contain no explicit reference at all to the context. n. 92. pp. cit. been joined to the context in 12. cit. A History.6 23. likewise self-contained which. 22.10.2. 87.1.1. von Rad.1. 5 The mention of Sarah's barrenness in Gen. 16. Kessler.5 17. 11. ad loc. for a link with the context: 13. "The Form-critical Problem'. 4 Gen. presuppose the whole context of the Abra1 Kessler. however.22-34 'is unintelligible in its beginning (w.1. These two collections have themselves been obviously joined together at a particular stage of the reworking as is clear from the explicit link at the beginning of 20.2 And so we are dealing here with a collection of narratives which are joined together by their common scene of action as well as by cross references (with the exception of Genesis 223). 221f. p. On the other hand. 253. so that it cannot be taken in itself to be a typical sign of a particular layer of reworking.. 17. the narrative in 12. cf.4 Quite distinct from these collections or groups of narratives stand a number of other narratives which show no sign of any connection with the context. p. however.7 There are some further narratives.1 The note about Isaac's growing up in 21. 590. But this procedure is without parallel within the patriarchal story... 80-87. op. 14.1. 3 For the relationship of Gen. Further. nn. 611.9.1. 24..1. 13.1-2. compare too 18.8 refers back to the preceding passage which tells of Isaac's birth.30 cannot be alleged against this. 22 to the 'Negev-group'. 16. It has.1.

It belongs.1 It presupposes the whole life-story of Abraham. from the literary standpoint. On the other hand.2 In contrast to Genesis 24. again in contrast to the two chapters already mentioned. And so it is obvious that it has only been formulated at that stage of the process of formation of the tradition when its different elements had. Finally. reveals that the element of promise appears in a bewildering variety of forms.1-8 has been arranged with a view to the overall complex of the Abraham tradition in its present form. . it has already been noted that the passage 12. but over against which it exhibits clear tensions.52 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch ham traditions to such an extent that they can scarcely have existed without it. what is the overarching element which. then the answer must without doubt be: the divine promises to Abraham. Both parts of the chapter (w. It presents a unique. so 1 Cf. Closer examination. 92ff. the narrative about the winning of a bride for Isaac. L. see above under 1. the general theme of the Abraham tradition: the problem of no son and the promise of numerous descendants joined to the birth of a son (w. 1-6). 2 Cf. both in content and formulation. for the most part. Periltt. 1-6. therefore.2. despite this. cit. If one asks. 7-21). it cannot have been formulated with a view to the present context. a picture that is very uneven and many-layered. This is true in particular of Genesis 24. op. the chapter stands in the middle of a context with which it not only has no link. 2. come together. as well as the departure from the original homeland (Ur-Kasdim) and the promise of the possession of the land (w. and each in a different way. The situation is much more difficult in Genesis 15.2 The promises in the divine addresses in the Abraham story The Abraham traditions present.4. therefore. 7-21) presuppose as a whole. of which we have spoken above. pp. Kessler. independent exposition of the basic themes of the Abraham tradition. allows the impression of a self-contained unity to emerge.. however. to that stage of the reworking which was bringing the Abraham tradition together.

4 In 15.7-21. cit.1. p. 33. very difficult to penetrate. 5 Op.3 Genesis 18 is a very obvious example of a promise narrative. He has dealt with the theme of the promises to the fathers above all in his work The Types of Narrative in Genesis'.. and there is no way in which it can be detached. see above under 2. cit. . in 15. 11-34. 33. pp.2. the promise of the son is closely joined to the promise of numerous descendants. cit.5 Finally. p.6 According to Westermann's analysis. 19.. the promise of the possession of the land is an essential part of the narrative. cit. p. 29. It is similar in the case of Genesis 16 where the promise of the birth of Ishmael to Hagar likewise belongs to the essence of the narrative. cit. The promise motif belongs predominantly to that stage when the old narratives were brought together to form larger units'.1-6. 4 Op. pp.7 Investigation must 1 Cf. 7 Op.1 Nevertheless.2 His statement of the question must be taken up and developed here. we must undertake the task because it is possible that this may give access to the problems of the composition of the Abraham traditions. Westermann however surmises that the narrative does not lie before us in its original form. The promise of a son is the central narrative element here. in all other cases the element of the promise does not belong to the oldest constituent part of the narrative. p. 2 Op. Westermannn first of all raised the question of how the theme of the promise stands in relationship to the individual narratives in the patriarchal traditions. Westermann.. 6 Op. cit. Westermann has made an important step in this direction.. 3 Op. It is notable that both narratives contain as well elements of a place etiology. from the traditio-historical standpoint. 21ff.. He came to the conclusion that only very few of the individual narratives can be described as 'promise narratives'. The Patriarchal Stories 53 that at first glance it seems impossible to arrive at criteria for the collection and arrangement of the Abraham traditions. Rather. The structure of the whole passage is multi-layered and..

3. for the complicated situation. which Abraham carries out. 24. but which contains no explicit promise (v. The first result of this is negative: however significant the role of the divine address is in many places. There is a divine command at the beginning of Genesis 22.This means then that neither in the original formulation nor in the later reworking is the divine address used as a regular means of arranging the narrative. In these cases. 17. as in Genesis 18 and 19. In Genesis 18. as there is in 21. 3 On the element of guidance in the promise addresses.10-20.3 There is a command from YHWH to Abraham in Gen. On the other hand.30-38. 15. 2). cf. the divine address forms a constituent element.12. The promises occur almost exclusively in divine addresses or in citations from them. Gunkel. does not allow an immediate analysis of the text. And the formula.22-34. 14. constituent part of the narrative. 19. the event in Genesis 16 runs its course without 1 It is possible that the announcement of the birth of a son was already part of the pre-Israelite sanctuary legend.4. even though unrecognized at first. p.2 But the divine address can also be used as an integral part of the narrative in such a way as to initiate a particular event.54 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch carry on from here. remains opaque. there must first be a series of preliminary studies before this 'stage when the old narratives were brought together to form larger units' can be clearly set in focus.1 In the remaining cases YHWH only speaks without intervening in the action.22. Hence. below under 2. On the other hand. However. it is by no means present in all the Abraham narratives. Rather. the divine address is a direct. . there is a striking number of narratives in which there is no divine address at all: 12. Then YHWH appeared'. 23. further inquiry commends itself so as to broaden the investigation and to inquire about the function of the divine addresses in the Abraham stories. Genesis. This is the case particularly when the divinity itself is present. already referred to. cf. 2 Despite Gen. the promise element is in the foreground. 200. and speaks directly to people. 21.9 to do a particular thing. in a second group of narratives.

it becomes more and more exclusively a promise address. It is clear. the promise address carries its own weight in the context. therefore.15-18.1-6 too.14-17.3 The promises to the patriarchs And so we return once more to the promise addresses in the narrower sense. the divine address occurs as an independent and clearly denned piece in 13. Likewise in 12. only at a later stage is a promise addressed to Hagar. But it has no influence on Abraham's conduct. joined here with covenant obligation. We have mentioned already the difficulties to which this inquiry gives rise. These examples show that the divine address can be employed in different ways as a narrative device. There is therefore a basic difference between the development of the narrative on the one hand. The same is true for Genesis 20 where the address is directed to Abimelech only. which is an example of a very advanced stage of narrative art. 22. 23-27).1-3. This is a clear indication that the promise emerges into sharper relief particularly in the later stages of the history of tradition. 24 is an expressly 'pious' narrative!—and on the other. the development of the increasing use of the divine promise address as an element of reworking. . On the one hand. that the late narrative form in Gen. a great number of different promise themes occur in the promise addresses 1 It is of interest. where the direct divine address yields more and more in favour of an indirect divine action—Gen. Each is pure promise address. In 15. though does not at all have to be joined always to the promise element. The Patriarchal Stories 55 any divine address to Abraham. This is the case particularly in Genesis 17 where there is but the barest narrative frame (apart from the execution of the command in w. the divine address is predominantly promise. that when the divine address dominates the context or stands independently over against the context. the action recedes completely behind the promise address. There are some cases where the divine address is so dominant that one can hardly speak of a narrative. in each case added to or inserted into the context. nor does the Joseph story. 15. Finally.2. in contrast.13-16. 24 contains no direct divine address.1 2.

we are left with the cumulative combination of a great deal of promise material.1) and 32.. 31. On the other hand..4 He adds. he writes: 'At the end. In the Jacob story. Westermann has studied both the individual promise elements and the links between them and has gained important insights. .56 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch which can be formulated in a variety of ways and whose relationship to each other is difficult to determine.2 But the synthesis of his results leaves the question open. and 1 In the Isaac story. cf.3 This 'combination of a great deal of promise material' presents the most difficult problem in the analysis of the promise addresses and in their development in the process of tradition.1113. 4 Op. again when referring to the divine address in 31. further.23.13-15. 11-34. 32. cit. 24).2-5. pp. He writes: 'the combination or addition of a great deal of promise material can be considered with complete certainty as a late stage'. these individual promise addresses are inter-twined with each other in very different ways without there being at first glance any definite principle.3 (more of this later) and 31. p. in undoubtedly older narrative passages in 28.2-4 and in the account of a promise address in 48. And Westermann has not really succeeded in progressing beyond this situation. they occur nevertheless in the Isaac and Jacob stories in the same or similar form. also the synthesis on p.3-4. 2 'Arten'. in the independent promise addresses in 35. especially in P and the later expansions of the old narratives'. divine addresses occur only in two independent promise addresses without any immediate connection with the context (26.9-12 and 46. Though promise addresses are incomparably more frequent in the Abraham story. Hence. then in narrative context. Setting side by side the various possibilities in which the promise elements can appear. cit. 32. 33. it is very necessary to extend the study across the patriarchal stories as a whole. in passages like 28. p. the practice is somewhat more varied: the divine address occurs in the poetic passage which has been taken up in 25. to be sure: This late stage however is evident too in J. finally. it seems that each promise element can be joined to any other in any sequence whatever. 3 Op.13-15 (cross reference in 35.24.1 but they are completely absent from the Joseph story.27-30.

2. In so doing.2. 2 Ibid.17 28. . The Patriarchal Stories 57 in E. texts which are not in direct divine addresses are placed in round brackets. 3 In this and the following tables.4) 1 Ibid. The situation is obviously very complicated. the principle established by Westermann is of particular importance: 'One must go behind the late combinations which contain a number of promises.3 17. That means that where we find different promise elements joined together.3.2 It is this task that we now undertake. We will try to throw light on the history of the traditions of these formulations.13 13. 22'.1 The promise of the land We begin with the promise of the land which occurs in a variety of formulations. we will first deal with each of them separately and compare them with the other texts that contain the same promise material. one cannot avoid extending the analysis across a relatively wide area.8 28. Hence. in the addition in ch. we will begin with an analysis of the individual elements and so postpone for the time the question of their joining or combination. that is.12 26. And so we must try to make it more perspicuous by a careful analysis of the individual promise elements. to which the following table should help.3 15.7 13. without thereby making any pronouncement about its absolute age. a stage which in the process of tradition is to be subordinated to the appearance of individual promise elements. * It is obviously a question of a relatively late stage. In accordance with the methodological principle already mentioned. and inquire about their individual elements and the particular history of each in the course of tradition'.15 35.

will I give the land because to you and to your descendants will I give all these lands I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land of your sojournings may he give to you the blessing of Abraham.7 (24.18 26.) The table tries to trace a definite line of development in the formalized phrases within the promises of the land. the formulation in 15. in one case the verb has been repeated again in such a way that it is very clear that the phrase is composite (35. that you may possess the land of your sojournings.4 48. lit.18 26. . the words 'and to your descendants' are added to 'to you'.13.4) 15.7 is clearly outside the pattern).4 to give to you this land as a possession because to you will I give it to you will I give it and to your descendants to you will I give it and to your descendants for ever the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac.7. In some cases God's address to Abraham runs: 'to you will I give it (the land)' (13.15 35. in a number of other cases which occur in addresses to all three patriarchs.7 24.17 28. (2) the word 'descendants' renders the singular Hebrew word zera'.4 (Translator's note: (1) the personal pronouns and the personal possessive adjectives 'you' and 'your' are always in the singular in the Hebrew.7) 15. to you and to your descendants with you.13 13.12).7 13.8 (28. which God gave to Abraham) to your descendants will I give this land to your descendants will I give this land) to your descendants I give this land I will give to your descendants all these lands I will give to your descendants after you this land as an everlasting inheritance to possess) 12.7 15.12 26.3 17.15). That it is a question of an addition here will be readily discernible from the fact that in some cases 'and to your descendants' has been inserted only after the verb (28.4 (48. 13. 'seed'.58 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 12.

7. in the other it is in the Hitpa'el (22.18.4).7.18).3 in you will all the clans of the earth find blessing 'and in your descendants' is attached.2. in the second to 'all the nations of the world'. 12. 26. 28. (18. 17. is the patriarch himself (12. the descendants alone are the receiver. while in 28. Finally. 18.4 in your descendants will all the nations of the world find blessing The table shows clearly that the statements divide themselves into two groups: in the one.16.) What is important for our perspective is that in the first group the receiver of the promise. Finally. we must take up and anticipate briefly other promise themes which leave themselves open to similar observations. in which the verb is in the Hitpa'el.14). 18. 26. the personal element has receded entirely into the background so that the 'descendants' alone appear as the recipients of the promise (12. 28.4). which may be regarded as the latest stage in the process of formation.3. from whom the effectiveness of the blessing proceeds. 24.18 in your descendants will all the nations of the world find blessing 26. Before pursuing further the development of this formula. 15.18) 22.18 26.3 28. This holds particularly for the promise of the effectiveness of the blessing for others.8. the words 'to you and to your seed' have been brought together in immediate succession and the verb on each occasion is put either before or after the whole phrase (26.4). in the first group the effectiveness of the blessing is directed to 'all the clans of the earth'.14 18.14 in you will all the clans of the earth find blessing and in your descendants (18. 48. The Patriarchal Stories 59 In other cases.4 12. The development corresponds exactly to that in the .3. in the second group.4.18 in him will all the nations of the world find blessing) 22.18 takes an intermediate position. that this is a subsequent addition is as clear here as in the corresponding formulations of the promises of the land. the verb is in the Nip'al (12.

13 is clear. the most important of which is the following: the formulations with 'to you'. and likewise with a juxtaposed 'and to your seed'. the other on the contrary does not. It is surprising that the expression 'seed' is never employed in these. one of which links the 'promise of increase' (so Westermann) with the key-word 'seed'. are more obviously related to the context than those formulas which we regard as later in the process of tradition. 2 On the deuteronomistic character of 15.7 out of consideration. On the other hand there are sentences in which the promise of numerous posterity is expressed by the concept of 'nation' .1). but on each occasion has a clear purpose. I will give it to you' 1 See below under 2. Let us return to the promise of the land! The question might arise whether the line of development accepted above (2. There are.15). On the one hand there are formulations in which a multiplication of the 'seed' is promised without the use of any image of comparison.. The key-word 'seed' (Heb zera'. 'descendants') also plays a notable role in the promises of numerous posterity.17). 0. clear indications in favour of this. walk through the land. is to be understood simply in this way. Kaiser..2 However. . cf.17 and 28.7.2. . In these cases the promise of the land is part of a divine address related immediately to the narrative context and itself too points to the context: 'the land that you see. And so we will have to leave the formulation in 15. Ploger. the situation in 13. J. formengeschichtliche und stilkritische Untersuchungen zum Deuteronomium.3.15. in my opinion. This is a further proof that the use or non-use of the word 'seed' is neither accidental nor arbitrary. 1967. in which the expression 'to you will I give the land' stands at the beginning. this is obviously part of a fixed deuteronomistic formula. Literarkritische. I will give it to you' (13. p. 65. because I will give it to you' (13.G.1 This means therefore that we are dealing with two different lines of tradition. 'up. Traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung von Genesis 15'. These are also expressions in which the image of dust or sand is used. which has not yet been inserted firmly into the formula. 'the land upon which you are lying. 'assembly* and others.60 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch promise of the land. ZAW 70 (1958) 107-26.3. these too regularly speak of 'seed'.

pp. pp. The phrase in 24.4. This is the case particu1 See above under 2.2. These occur particularly in short formalized sentences without any immediate relationship to a narrative context: In 12. Finally. At the other end of the scale there are formulations in which the receiver of the promise of the land is the 'seed' only. R.7 the formula is set within the 'note'1 about Abraham's foundation of an altar in Shechem. 28. KuD Beih. 39-59.12: here the promise of the land is set within an independent divine address.. the suffix referring to the land about which the narrative is actually speaking. More will be said later about the juxtaposed promise addresses where further arguments will be advanced in favour of an earlier allocation of the singular form of the promise of the land in the process of the formation of the tradition. 2 Cf.4 is part of a complex divine address with a number of promise elements. the promise of increase) occurs in a variety of forms. which can scarcely be described as narrative. 1975. 1970 [4th edn]) = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament.41ff. 'Arten'.2 In 15.2. but the land is described as 'the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac'. 1 (1961. and the words 'I will give it to you'. similarly Westermann. the formula in 26.2 The promise of descendants The promise of descendants (posterity. it should be said that the assurance of a son is never pronounced in formalized phrases but always within narratives and in a form determined by the narrative context. the author is rather using the basic elements of the cult etiology in a very formalized way. 'Die Offenbarungsvorstellungen im Alten Israel'. esp.13). with the same suffix form as in the passages already mentioned. The Patriarchal Stories 61 (28. First of all. in Offenbarung als Geschichte. p. On each occasion ('I will give it') is found in the Hebrew text.7 is a formalized cross reference to the promise of the land pronounced earlier in Abraham's address. RendtorfF. it is similar in Jacob's address in 48. refers to it. where it is set in conjunction with the preceding promise of increase.3. 2.1. and after the promise of increase.18 the formula is part of the note about the striking of the covenant which clearly stands apart from the narrative itself. It is similar again in 35. .

. 22. dust and sand. 21.14). a combination of both.16 28.13 13.24 16.12 because after Isaac will your seed be named 26. originally. the stars.4 count the stars! . 13.17 . the formulations with which the birth of a son is promised in 17.16 I will make your seed like the dust of the earth 28. In Genesis 16. then. there are first of all a group of expressions which speak simply of the increase of the 'seed' without using further images or metaphors. so will your seed be I will increase your seed like the stars of heaven.24 I will increase your seed 16.4 too the formulation of the assurance of the birth of a son is determined entirely by the context.14 your seed will be like the dust of the earth (32. In 15.12 26. was certainly independent (w.13 I will make your seed like the sand of the sea which cannot be counted for number) finally.16.14 32. 19 show no formalized elements such as are found in the remaining promises of increase. the announcement of the birth of a son to Hagar is made by taking up a poetic piece which. 10. In the promises of increase. 15. 11-12)..5 26. Finally.62 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch larly for the narrative in Genesis 18 in which the promise of a son is the central constituent part of the narrative itself (w.5 26.10 21. with the resumption of Abraham's hesitant utterances in v.4 15.10 I will increase your seed greatly so that it cannot be counted for number Then there are the images in which the great increase of the 'seed' is described.3.

6 I will make you very. The assurance of the great increase of descendants is.16 may they increase in number over the earth) For the rest. and I will make you into nations.5 because I will make you father of a number of nations 17.4 you will become father of a number of nations 17.11 28.20 35. and of 'assembly' and 21.17 I will increase your seed like the stars of heaven and the sand that is on the shore of the sea Over against these expressions.2.13 12.18 because I will make him into a great nation 46.16 she will become peoples. very greatly (48. entirely without comparative images.4 17. the talk is of a 'nation' and 'nations' of 'peoples' .13 I will make you into a nation 12. incidentally.3 18.4) 21.16 17. and kings will come forth from you 17.3 because I will make you into a great nation there 18. very fruitful. The Patriarchal Stories 63 22.5 17.2 I will increase you very.6 17.2 48.16) 17.18 17.18 he will indeed become a great and strong nation 17.3) 48. 17. there stands another group in which the word 'seed' does not appear.18 46. kings of nations will come from her .3 21.2 I will make you into a great nation 21.

. as already noted. on the other hand.3 The blessing The declarations of increase are frequently joined with the assurance of blessing. I will make you fruitful and increase you and I will make you an assembly of peoples) The idea of 'seed' is completely missing from this whole group. though it occurs also in the second.1 When blessing is assumed into the realm of promise where it did not belong originally.15-16.1-4). then some uncertainty or vagueness accompanies its use. 'Arten'. 25-26. and hence it is not the object of a promise which will only find fulfilment in the future. he blessed me 1 Westermann. and I will make him a great nation 35. and you will become an assembly of peoples) (48. At times the statement about the blessing precedes the divine address so that the address itself as a whole appears as blessing.64 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 17. This too makes clear that we are dealing with traditions that are independent of each other. Westermann has pointed out that blessing cannot really be the object of promise. And so one can recognize clearly that there are before us two different lines of tradition which differ in the use of the word 'seed' as well as in comparative images by means of which the numerous descendants are described.3 may he make you fruitful and increase you. very much. he will beget twelve princes. and kings will come forth from your loins (28. pp. On one occasion in the patriarchal story there is a report about the actual blessing-event and then the appropriate blessing formulas are pronounced (48.20 I will make him fruitful and increase him very.4 see.11 be fruitful and increase! A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. the verb 'to be/make fruitful' qal/hip'il) is found only in the second group in combination with the notions of 'nation' etc. There is no doubt that the idea behind this is that the blessing becomes effective at the instant that it is pronounced.3-4 Jacob says: *E1 sadday appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. In 48.3. cf. also 28. 2. There is a further terminological difference: the verb 'to increase' hip'il) is used predominantly in the first group.

cit. .2. 28. and in the very large majority of cases with the promise of numerous posterity.16. pp.3. and the promise of the land follows it. 20. 18. cit. with or without the mention of the 'seed'. It is striking too that the assurance of blessing for others ('clans' or 'nations') is always combined with promise of increase—but in reversed order: in all five places where the promise of blessing for others occurs.4 the possession of the land is described as the immediate consequence of 'the blessing of Abraham'. but occurs always in combination with other themes. independent development of both these sequences of pronouncements. as well as with the others in which it is missing (12.24).. 20.24.17-18. 2 These are the correct references. 25-26.2-3.3). The Patriarchal Stories 65 and said to me: See. In 28.14. In 26.2 the promise of increase stands immediately before the blessing ('I will make you a great nation and bless you'). the idea of blessing (or the act of blessing) appears within the divine address. 13. The obvious conclusion from all this is that the 'blessing' is not an independent promise theme. This combination therefore is on a different level in the process of the history of tradition from the individual. 22. In 12..2 It should be noted further that the pronouncements of blessing begin with both combinations of the groups of promises of increase mentioned above.3 1 Op. the whole divine address (consisting of two parts) in 35. Westermann. 17.17.. 12 nor in v.' Likewise.4.. 26. for the rest. op. 28. 26. p.3 it is linked with the assurance of guidance ('I will be with you and bless you')... it is preceded by an assurance of increase: 12. 22.9-12 is introduced as blessing: Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram and blessed him. which use the expression 'seed' (22. Here too there is no difference with respect to the formulations.16.18. the precedence that Westermann1 established of the promise of blessing before the promise of increase holds: 17.2. and God said to him: Your name is Jacob.' Further. 25. 28.17. 32. I will make you fruitful. 3 Cf. 26.12 does not belong here because the word occurs neither in v.

e. cf.15. '. also 50. For example in 12. For example in 46. there are addresses there which are very close in content to these.4 The guidance Finally. This promise often occurs as someone is about to set out on a journey for which guidance is assured. 'Return to the land of your fathers and your kinsmen' (31. Vetter. namely the assurance of guidance which includes YHWH's presence or Taeing-with' the patriarch.13). or in a kind of reverse process: T)o not go down into Egypt.21). ich will mit dir sein'.5. lapidary promises of guidance occur in the Jacob and Isaac stories.42).1: 'Go forth from your country and your kinsmen and your father's house to the country that I will show you'.1 One must include here as well: 'I will prosper you' 32.3) or 'I am with you' 26.24. it recalls the command to Isaac to remain 'in the land which I bid you' (26.' (28. 31..2). There is too a clear connection with the words in 22. It is striking that these stylized. 32. 31. there is yet another independent element in the promise material.D.3. 2. . and will bring you back to this land. A further element. 1971. ZAW 80 (1968) 139-73. Also.15). 32. but not in the Abraham story. finally.24.13. Jacob's words to Joseph and his sons: 'God will be with you' 48.2: 'Go forth to the land of Moriah and offer him (i. Talk of : in 26. even though the phrase 'I am with you' is missing. Jahwes Mit-Sein—ein Ausdruck des Segens. 35. cf.. cf.4: 'I will go down with you into Egypt and I will bring you back again'. D. 28. Preuss. but stay in this land which I bid you' (26. Isaac) there on one of the mountains that I will 1 On the formula: H.24). However. cf. which has links with the promises of guidance. presents a problem of its own in connection with the formula. 31.10). 28.3.3. This formulation is obviously very close to 31.5. This promise is formulated in very brief and lapidary wise: 'I will be with you' 26.3. it occurs too in the form of a report: 'the God of my fathers has been with me' 31.3.10. is the reference to 'the land that I will show you'.5 below. 42..20. similarly 31.2)..66 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 2. the brief formulations already mentioned are almost always there in a corresponding context: 'I will protect you everywhere you go.

and the reference to the 'mountain that I will show you' recalls both 12. go through the length and breadth of the land' (13. By way of conclusion to this resume.11 15. if the stylized expression 'I am with you' draws something from this idea which it passes on to the other patriarchs. show that Abraham set out and undertook a particular journey under divine instructions. The command to go uses the same language as in 12.7 17. lapidary form.3 15.1 [15. there are no explicit assurances of guidance in lapidary formulations in the Abraham story. therefore. but there are pronouncements which.1 and 26. The Patriarchal Stories 67 show you'.13 46.3 (31. then. the God of Abraham.1] 26. of Beth-El) I am YHWH.24 28. If this is so. thence it would have found its way into the other patriarchal stories in its stylized.1 . it contains a divine command which requires Abraham to make a particular journey in trust. Clearly. in the opinion of the narrators. who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees I am El Sadday I am your shield] This survey shows that formulas like these were by no .13) 15. the God of your father I am Ha-El. your father.13 46. then the basic element in the promise of guidance would have its original setting in the Abraham tradition.3 31. One can ask. 26. your father I am YHWH.24 28. They are brought together here. One must mention further in this context God's command to Abraham: 'Up.1 35.1 I am the God of Abraham. and the God of Isaac I am Ha-El.2.17).2. it should be further mentioned that a number of promise addresses are introduced by formulas in which the divinity presents itself.7 17.

'and I will make your seed like the dust of the earth'.68 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch means used mechanically and that there was considerable variation in the individual formulations of the divine selfpredications. 42. each of the other promise themes occurs also by itself within a divine address.7.21).2. 13. we will begin again with the promise of the land. In 13. 18. Consequently. above 2. 28.5 The combination of individual promise themes Among the individual themes of promise whose different formulations and variations we have examined and noted. We have seen already that there is an extension of the original formula in the promise of the land which was directed only to the first patriarch. 13 (cf. it is only the promise of blessing (above 2. 32.3.3. The theme of guidance—given the overall frequency of its occurrence—is found alone for the most part: 31. The promise of increase occurs more often without other promises: 15. is followed immediately by the promise of increase.7. 35. independent promise themes. the promise of the land. 2.1) and in 15. and only in that group which belong together in the process of the formation of the tradition (12.3) that occurs always with other promise themes.5. 24.18.12. There is in some cases a characteristic combination of the promises of land and increase. This situation is even more characteristic in 28. 31. for the most part it is joined to the theme of numerous posterity (promise of increase). 15. it is resumed immediately at the beginning of the promise of increase. The promise of increase follows immediately.5. 17. the word 'seed' now stands in an emphatic position at the end of the promise of the land. with the word 'seed' again in an 1 . 48.1 The keyword 'seed' occurs in both sentences. cf. In our investigation of the combinations of different. 16.3. The promise of the land is found relatively seldom by itself. 'I will give it to you and to your seed for ever*. 21.3.15-16. Here too the key-word 'seed' stands in an emphatic position at the end of the promise of the land: The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your seed'.

It follows without any explicit link in v. .3-4 too the promise of increase is at the beginning with the same terminology. Finally. We are dealing here with those formulations of the promise of increase in which the key. where explicit reference is made to the promise in 35. It must be mentioned further that in both cases the promise of increase is formulated with the image of 'dust of the earth'. The text by and large is somewhat more compact and shows in addition an interesting shift of emphasis. instead. The Patriarchal Stories 69 emphatic position at the beginning: 'And your seed will be like the dust of the earth'.word 'seed' binding the two. 12. It is immediately clear. and to your seed'. It seems therefore as a whole to be a more developed stage of the combination of the promise of increase and the promise of the land. And so one can speak here of a gradual expansion of the promise. instead of the two-fold 'to you . in 35.word 'seed' is not used.2. a sort of link by association. the promise of the land follows at the end with the key. the word 'seed' is at the very end without any reference to the promise of increase. the only two places where that image occurs. Firstly. however.1 The link appears even more clearly here as an explicit resumption of the key-word 'seed'. there are the notions of 'nation' and 'assembly' as well as the verbs 'to be fruitful' and 'to increase'. the parallelism therefore is clearly discernible. in 28. One might formulate the matter in this way: the expansion of the promise of the land by the attachment of the 'seed' has drawn with it the addition of a promise of increase related to this 'seed'.11-12. and certainly not 1 .3-4. and kings will go forth from your loins'. In this respect therefore there is no immediate connection between the formulations of the promise of increase and the promise of the land. there is only 'to your seed'. In these cases therefore we are dealing not with a gradual expansion of the promise. The combination is reversed when the promise of increase precedes the promise of the land. . that the presuppositions here are different in many ways.11 the promise of increase appears in a detailed formulation: 'Be fruitful and increase! A nation and an assembly of nations will come from you. The sequence and the theme correspond in 48.

35. Heidelberg. Macholz. in the other case.2 the key-word 'covenant' is taken up anew and developed by bringing it into explicit relationship with the 'seed' (v. cf. It is obvious that we are dealing here with a later stage 1 On Gen. though the real theme is the promise of increase. 42ff. So ends the long divine address with the combination of different promise themes. 1969. but rather with the fitting together of two completely self-contained and independent elements. where a change of name from Jacob to Israel occurs likewise in a divine address. One gets the impression that the promise of the land was felt to be necessary here for completion. Israel und das Land. G. Vorarbeiten zu einem Vergleich zwischen Priesterschrift und deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk.15 and 28. in contrast to the former. 7). 2 Cf. and finally. it stands at the very beginning of the (more detailed) formulation. then as the unfolding of the change of name (w. The reason is rather that these two promise themes were now regarded as belonging together.13. Ch. . also Gen.9-12. There are therefore two clearly separate ways of combining the promise of the land and the promise of increase: in the one case.1 the real theme of this extensive promise address is the promise of increase. the promise of the land is attached to it. 17. Genesis 17 belongs here too.70 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch with the resumption of a particular element by association. as object of the divine 'covenant' with Abraham (v. The theme is unfolded in several layers: first. it is a question of promise addresses which are independent of the context and in which the promise of increase is first of all the real theme. 5-6). Habilitationsschrift. then. the promise of the land is firmly embedded in the context and draws the promise of increase with it by means of the key-word 'seed' which is attached and so extends it. as one in which a second element of the promise has been attached to the first for the sake of completion without the formulations themselves having given any occasion for it. and linked also with a promise of increase. the 'seed' offers the key-word for attaching the promise of the land (v. without any immediate linguistic link. One might describe this situation. 2). in contrast to 13. 8) where. pp.

after the combination of the promise of the land and the promise of increase (w. 17). (2) that in the course of the reworking and with obvious reference to the context ('the land upon which you are lying*) the promise of the land was added (v. We must now go back again to the first group of texts. 17 presents the earliest stage of the promise of the land in the process .2. there is a further passage in the divine address (v. 13). Let us begin with ch. the promise address is not at an end with the combination of the promise of the land and the promise of increase with which we have been dealing so far. crossing is a much more immediate and concrete way of taking possession than seeing (v. in contrast to the gradual growth and development of the themes in the course of the process of their being passed on. 15). 17 to the context is even closer than that of the remaining verses: crossing the land is a pre-requisite for Abraham to arrive finally in Mamre (v. In the face of this assurance of guidance. The narrative of the revelation in a dream at Bethel is thus brought into immediate relationship with the composition of the Jacob story as a whole. the two elements of the promise of the land and the promise of increase have the effect of a later stage in the growth or reworking of the text. 15-16). 15 which is obviously joined to the context more immediately than those which precede it: it is the assurance of the divine guidance and presence to Jacob on the journey before him. and then drew with it the promise of increase. The situation is very similar in Genesis 13. 28. (3) that this was expanded. There is a sentence in v. The Patriarchal Stories 71 where promise themes have been simply added. taking up the key-word 'seed'. In this text too. namely that the promise of the land drew the promise of increase with it. Genesis 13 and 28. 18) which he must reach for the further continuation of the narrative. it is concerned yet again with the promise of the land. Now if the view expounded above is correct. then it is clear here as well that the relationship of v. Finally. In both cases. When we approach the text with the insights gained from Genesis 28. In addition. 15) was the earliest part of the present context. v. We must certainly ascribe the addition of these two promise themes to an overarching reworking of the patriarchal story. then we must assume: (1) that the assurance of guidance (v.

but this time it is a promise to *your seed' only. 2. 4b. Further. following our reflections. plural. In any case.13-15. only the 'seed' appears as the receiver of the promise. Finally. The version in v. the passage concludes with the promise of blessing for others.3 where the promise holds 'for you and your seed'. .3b) in the form in which 'you and your seed' are brought together in immediate succession and not separated by the verb. there. it is made to follow yet again. it is quite unusual for the promise of the land to be traced back to an 'oath' of God to Abraham. a formulation which elsewhere is all prevailing in deuteronomistic usage. The promise address begins with the assurance of guidance on which the promise of blessing follows immediately (w.72 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch of the history of the tradition. 4a).1 A promise of increase follows (v. yet another promise of the land is attached (v. inasmuch as the key-word 'seed' has not yet been added: 'I will give it to you'. then.3a). 4 in the promise of the land in the patriarchal story. Finally. 4 would also favour this. the plural occurs only here and in v. Then comes a promise of the land (v. the procedure is to be reck1 On the oath formula. the promise of increase was understood as a consequence of the promise of the land. nevertheless we can presume a similar process of growth for 13. a later reworking transposed the promise of the land after the promise of increase where it is often found at a later stage of the process of the formation of the tradition. representing an intermediate stage in the history of the process of the development of the tradition. The two-fold promise of the land is striking. The passage contains therefore a series of unusual elements. hence. see 2. It is striking that the promise is directed to 'all these lands'.7 below.25. namely 26. Even though the situation here is not quite as clearly discernible as in Genesis 28. 5). one further text must be mentioned which can be fitted only with difficulty into the reflections advanced so far on the combination of different promise themes. represents a later stage in the process of tradition than v. and this.14-17 as for 28. it may be explained as follows: First. 4ad) according to which the 'seed' is to be like 'the stars in the sky*. basing it in detail on Abraham's conduct (w. again with the plural reference to 'all these lands'.

In the accounts of the divine guidance or the divine presence with Jacob.2 the promise of increase again follows the assurance of guidance. in 46. Indeed. We will return to this again. The promise of blessing is not an independent promise element. some further observations on the combinations in which the promise of guidance occurs: this too is found together with a variety of other promise themes. If we include here the non-stylized statements of the Abraham story.2. the promise of blessing follows at once on the assurance of guidance. despite great variety. 42). Further. it has become quite clear now that the combination of promise elements often has something to do with the function of the promise addresses in a particular narrative context. There are then a number of possible combinations with the assurance of guidance. the blessing does not appear as a separate element in his table of possible promise types. 13b) to the assurance of guidance (v. In 28. 32.3. in 26. Synthesizing the results of our study of the combination of the different promise elements we see that. according to our earlier observations. In some cases it is clearly linked with the promise of increase.24 the divine address contains only these two promise elements. the addition of the promise of the land (v. especially in short. In 26. The Patriarchal Stories 73 oned as involving several stages.13-15 too. the unusual formulations point to a stage of reworking which is not identical with most of the other promise addresses.10-11. as Westermann has already shown. the 'blessing' in the form of wealth in herds is the consequence of the presence (31. 'Arten'. and the promise of the land is linked with these by an emphatic *because'. .1 The promise of the land can occur alone. Finally. and in 13. p. where there is talk of God's 'prospering* Jacob and the visible expression which this finds in the increase of his possessions.5. 1 Westermann.3 the promise of increase is worked into the assurance of guidance: Tor there I will make you into a great nation'.17 the promise of the land follows it. likewise in 31. definite contours stand out. 15) is the first step in the expansion of the promise address. then in 12.

4 The function of the promise addresses in the composition of the patriarchal story The question now arises whether. Likewise in 15.18. It is scarcely by chance that we are concerned here with these brief formulations. so as to round off the general theme of promise. the other. the promise of the land is not linked with other promise elements. that it grows out of the promise of the land. more can be said about the function of the promise addresses in the patriarchal story. the promise of increase is earlier in the process of the formation of the tradition than the promise of the land. on the one hand. the promise of the land is combined with the promise of increase in such a way that the latter. in such cases. in such cases.7: 'to your seed will I give this land'. the promise of the land is the older in the process of the formation of the tradition.7. which now speak of the 'seed' as the receiver of the promise. The promise of increase. nothing of importance is attached to it.74 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch stylized phrases as in 12. grows out of it. in combination with the promise of the land. In each of these cases the context is exclusively that of the promise of the land. The promise of increase occurs rather frequently without the addition of other promise elements. And so we come to the question of the structure and composition of the patriarchal story and the over-arching . Even when it is combined with the promise of blessing. admits of two possibilities: the one. cf. For the rest. it is the reverse—the promise of the land is attached to the promise of increase. it is in a context stamped by deuteronomistic language. associated with it by the key-word 'seed'.7. in the relationships of the promise themes and formulations to each other. 24. on the other hand. The promise of increase is also combined with the assurance of guidance in particular ways. in some cases. 2. formulated differently. Finally. 15. that it is itself the earlier element in the process of the formation of the tradition and that the promise of the land has been added to it. relatively late in the process of the formation of the tradition. the promise of the land combines in a characteristic way with the assurance of guidance.

2. 140. the promise of the land stands underscored as the centrepiece.3. they can well be elements of the theological reworking of the collection. the emphatic end-point of the theological interpretation of the Isaac story. 2 Cf. 3) breaks the narrative thread which i resumed again in w. op. It is only at the end of Jacob's address to his wives that the divine command to depart is mentioned and communicated directly (v. Both divine addresses begin with the phrase *YHWH appeared to him'.2-4. 2-5 present. Jacob receives the divine command to return to the land of his fathers.2-5).2 It is there with all its force in the first divine address to Jacob in 28. but serves the theological interpretation of the Jacob story in the context. as already noted in detail. hence.24) of the collection of Isaac traditions.4. one at the beginning (26. Jacob is the subject of a divine address before he sets out 1 in 26.. 7.3 could also be understood in a future sense.2. here it is the goal to which Jacob will return. It contains only two divine addresses.3 It is particularly striking here that the divine address (v.3 is not used of the whole land as in Gen. 12. 'I am with you'. let us consider the Isaac story. 3 It is to be noted that the term in Gen. It is clear. 4-5 with the words from v. Kessler. though it be from Abraham's . It appears a second time and is underscored at the next turning point: in 31. cit. a very complex and many layered picture. 13). i is the place whence Abraham set out. When we look at the content of the two addresses. 31. First. It is obvious here that the divine address with the theme 'guidance' is not part of the narrative. we find that w. Both contain the element of the assurance of guidance.1 and 24. however.1 even though the language in which it is expressed takes a somewhat different form. that besides the guidance. then. only the promise of increase is there with the guidance.15. 24. in the closing address in v. It marks the first decisive intervention in the life-story of Jacob—the flight to Haran. The element of guidance plays an important role in the Jacob story as well. The theme appears yet again at the very end of the Jacob story: in 46. In contrast. The Patriarchal Stories 75 reworking. p. They form. Neither has any immediate connection with the narrative context. the other at the end (26.

Nevertheless. 2 Compare. as we have already seen. it is only the promise of increase that has been interwoven into the assurance of guidance (46. More exactly. the Abraham story too begins with a narrative of guidance or. stands at the beginning and the end of the Abraham narrative.. the promise of the land stands at 1 In v. the turning point. however. more accurately. with a divine address in which the element of guidance occupies a central place: 'Go forth from your country. our analysis shows that the promise of the land is in the foreground in the first of the divine addresses (28. to which again 1 a promise of the land has been attached. 12. and the end of his 'journey'.1). are each marked out by a divine promise address. the second begins with the extensively elaborated promise of increase. Of the promise elements.3).19).2 here too there are obvious linguistic links with Genesis 17. The Jacob story. The Jacob story. Here. has double conclusion. the theme of 'guidance'. is framed by these three assurances of guidance.. rather it exhibits several stages or layers. therefore. (35. is not as fixed and formalized as with Isaac and Jacob. it is certainly no chance that there is also a guidance narrative at the end of the Abraham story with the injunction to make a particular journey under divine instruction (Gen. Yet another detailed divine address stands before the broadly developed Joseph story (35.13). . Let us turn finally to the Abraham story. framed as it is by divine addresses. With regard to the content. the beginning. to the land that I will show you' (12. There is a parallel to the Isaac story here.76 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch for Egypt. and the theological interpretation that goes with it. 22). At the conclusion. there are two divine addresses: the first contains Jacob's change of name and thus is clearly a parallel to Abraham's change of name in Genesis 17. Following our observations so far. obviously did not take place at one stroke.9-12). The framework of the Jacob story. for example. and was elaborated first out of the promise of guidance.12) with (17. The instruction. its main content is the assurance of guidance on the journey. which becomes divine guidance because of Abraham's obedience.

13.18. in the first divine address to each of the patriarchs (26. A further element in the closing address must be mentioned here: the promise of blessing for others (22. and then throughout the whole Abraham narrative.18). The function of the divine addresses as framework and interpreters are once more clearly recognizable in this promise element. The passage 22. it is applied to Ishmael. the promise of the land is found particularly in the early chapters of the narrative (12. with formulations which have been taken up again in the introductory passages of the Isaac story (26. It occurs once in each of the Isaac and Jacob stories.3) and in the Jacob story (28. and then no more. 15. that each of the three patriarchs is to be a blessing for the whole human race. brings the traditions about them together into one large unit. . though not in the fixed and formalized form. 13. it is repeated in the citation in 18.7. 15. 17 (passim).12.20.14).2). For the rest.15. when Abraham is to set out 'to the land that I will show you' (12. We spoke earlier of the different linguistic formulas of the promise of blessing for others. This 'addition'. is obviously one of those passages of the framework such as we have encountered already in the Isaac and Jacob stories.2). The nip'al form is found at the beginning of the Abraham story (12. the hitpa'el 1 Chapters 23 and 24 form a sort of appendix or post-script to the Abraham story which has been largely shaped into a unity. which clearly extends beyond the limits of the narrative of the offering of Isaac. 17.18. and notably at the beginning. This promise. it is developed further as an 'oath' of YHWH. The Patriarchal Stories 77 the very beginning. These verses underscore the close of the Abraham story. This procedure by which the stories of the patriarchs have been brought together allows still more precise distinctions in the process of the history of the traditions. 21.2-5). here too the promise of increase is emphasized at the conclusion.1 As in the other collections. 21.8). 28. It appears first with an introductory function in the Abraham story (12.10.4. 16. The promise of increase also occurs at the very beginning: 'I will make you into a great nation (12.15-18 is of special importance for our purpose. 17.14).1).18.17. and it is found yet again at the close of the Abraham story (22.16. further.

4. this statement is expanded in the deuteronomistic style. the following emerges: a first phase saw the Abraham and Jacob stories bound together by means of the promise of blessing for others.16-18 and 26. In contrast to the two other collections of narratives.3 and the promise described as the fulfilment ('maintenance') of the oath. . In both cases the promise address comprises the promise of increase—using largely the same terminology1—and the promise of blessing for others. and which is rare in the Old Testament and is found only in these two places in Genesis. Each of the patriarchal stories had its own antecedent history.3-5 is quite clear. and another reason was added which in both language and thought is close to that of Deuteronomy. In both cases the reason is given.14 speak of'all the clans of the earth'.16 is introduced by a solemn oath formula.78 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch form on the contrary at the conclusion of the Abraham story (22.5.4). the divine 1 Talk of possessing the gate of one's enemies' in 22. The assembling of the patriarchal stories therefore to form a larger unit took place in different stages.3.2 in 26. A second phase saw the same promise element of blessing used to bind the Isaac tradition as well to the Abraham tradition. the collections of the Abraham and Jacob stories that had a more markedly narrative form were joined together. First. The whole of the divine address to Abraham in 22.3 and 28. 12. And so the very tight link both in language and content between 22.4 of'all nations of the world'. there. following our observations. later formulations were used here in the process of the formation of the tradition.3 and 28.17 does not occur in 26. Later. this oath is taken up explicitly in 26. especially between the conclusion of the Abraham and the Isaac stories. But there is more in common. 'in that'. the formulations in 12. Considering this from the point of view of the process of formation of the tradition.18 and 26. 22. the gift of'all these lands' is assured. The reason is that Abraham listened to the voice of God. 2 See also the phrase 'because of Abraham my servant' in 26.24. older from the point of view of the history of traditions than those in 22. introduced by a phrase which one might render by 'that is why9.18) and in the Isaac story (26.18 and 26. Corresponding to this. the Isaac story was added to them as a collection in its own right.14 are.

because one can discern readily definite layers of tradition and reworking. there is talk only of the one son. the situation is somewhat different. but the primary purpose is to emphasize the legitimate line of the posterity through Isaac in contrast to Ishmael. the narrative of the promise of a son was not included in it. This phase. which plays an important role in the Jacob story. in which the Isaac story was brought in. in the narrative of the promise of the birth of a son to Abraham and Sarah. This means therefore that when the promise of posterity was developed further in the form of the promise of increase. As for the narrative account of the tradition of the birth of Ishmael. And so the talk of the increase of . promise addresses occur and serve only to construct the framework described. here too one can always discern typical links with the other patriarchal stories. However. there is no reference at all to a promise of increase in the sense of numerous posterity. the promise of increase only became part of it at a later stage in the reworking. coincides with the stage when the final framework of the Abraham story was constructed by means of the promise address at the conclusion of the group of Negev-narratives. The promise of the son occurs first in narrative form.2. acquired a prominent place. In the Isaac story. In the Abraham story. We begin with the promise of posterity. there is only the brief remark in 21. In the Jacob story too. The Patriarchal Stories 79 promise addresses were not yet inserted into the narrative context but stood by themselves as independent speeches. up to a point. and in the process the element of guidance. they have been brought somewhat more into the narrative context. we must take up an observation mentioned earlier. whereas there is no talk here of numerous posterity. There are promise addresses here of broader compass whose function is more than constructing a framework. even though. In Genesis 18. The key-word 'seed' is used here. This must be investigated in further detail. The different promise elements were taken up into these speeches.12: 'because your seed shall be named after Isaac'. First. With regard to Isaac. their use is to be understood basically in the same way. It is striking here that there are scarcely any connecting links between the promise of the son and the promise of increase in its more detailed form.

17). so that it is in this that one must look for the purpose of the text of 15.3. It is noteworthy that this formulation. Given the context of the Abraham story.18.80 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch descendants (seed) in 16. at the conclusion of the Jacob story.5. though it does in the Jacob story in 28. 2-4). from which the word 'seed' is missing.2 The groupings here are again clearly different. occurs again in 46.13. This formulation does not occur again in the rest of the Abraham story. as a single statement.2 and 18. a great nation. The situation is somewhat different in 15.1-6. Ishmael is to become a (great) nation.18 (where it is expanded). . This statement is heavily underscored in the framework of the alteration of 'Abram's' name to 'Abraham'.1-6 as it now lies before us. 2 See above under 2. there is the single statement about a great nation in 12. and repeated.3. It is also said. there is the rather frequent statement. or nations.3. But it then moves on to speak of the abundance of posterity. This text too begins with the promise of a son as an answer to Abraham's hesitant questions (w. therefore. The promise of the son therefore is developed further towards the promise of increase. in 21. in the framework of the extension of the promise of the land to the promise of increase. there is no doubt that Isaac is in mind. where the new name is explained in a word play as 'the father of a host Cab-hamon) of nations' (17.13. a text which is traditio-historically parallel.2. the promise of the son and the promise o increase are clearly separated.1 Finally. it is 1 See above under 2. By and large.4.15-18 (v.10 stands in a quite isolated divine address.14. There is another group of texts in which an increase to 'peoples' is promised. A further expression of the promise of increase appears in 13. that the posterity will become a nation.20. First. The image of the stars is found again in the Abraham story only in the closing passage.18).4-5). the same occurs in a very different sort of context in 17. for the rest. making use of the image of the stars.16 where. that Ishmael is to become a (great) nation (21. the multiplication of the 'seed' is to be like the dust of the earth. it occurs in the Isaac story in 26. 22.

2 So with the Sam and LXX.31 15. 48.7 11. where a corresponding assurance is given to Jacob. .1.1 The promise of increase has certainly not been developed at one stroke in the course of the reworking of the Abraham story. 3 See above under 2.3. We will have to reckon here with a gradual growth of the tradition.2. The Patriarchal Stories 81 conceivable that the plural form 'nations' had its origin in this word play. 2.13-15.3. cf. one must note carefully that this verse is formulated in quite obvious parallelism to 11. besides also D'D. fits nicely into this context. II).16. 1 Gen. It is similar in the case of the promise of the land.31. 6. in part. have had scarcely any connection with each other. there has been a series of stages which. 16).4. 17. The plural occurs twice more in Genesis 17 (w.7-21.3 There is a further series of texts in which the promise of the land is likewise the consequence of the promise of increase. namely 15. where Abraham is ordered to journey to the land which YHWH will show him.7 he (Terah) brought them from Ur of the Chaldees to go to the land of Canaan I who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land to possess The gift of the land is here linked closely with the journey to the land. rather. The orientation of the promise of the land is different in 13.31 15. First. Here it is a matter of the assurance of the possession of the land after the separation from Lot.912). 'nation and an assembly of nations' (v. Once again we must refer to the parallel texts in 28. BHS. while the possession of the land is assured to the 'seed' as well. 11. where there is an accumulation of ideas. and then in the passage that frames the Jacob story (35.14-17. it is the original announcement of the occupation of the land where Abraham is already living. outside the divine address in the form in 28. 12.5. We must again begin with a text in which the promise is an immediate constituent part of the context.

7.8. this is underscored by the brief to your seed will I give this land'. the promise of the land itself is not the real theme. This is the case in 17. The citation of a divine address in 24. Finally. the formulation is notably different from 15. and certainly not by chance.3.3) where there is talk of the blessing.4. cf. belongs here also.7 and belongs without doubt to a quite different stage in the process of formation. In the Abraham story it occurs. in the Jacob story. the promise of the land has been added.7 holds a similar emphatic position. and outside the Abraham story in 28. the place where it occurs is not without significance. at the beginning (12. We have discovered that it always occurs in combination with other promise elements.20).17).18.16) and Ishmael (17. and in precisely in the same places in the Isaac story (26. also 26. formalized sentences without any link with other promise elements. However. then again at the very end (48. with the same wording.9). 35. before and after the journey to Haran (28. in a series of passages where the real interest is the promise of increase. characteristic of these is that the promise is addressed only to the 'seed'. One could say then that the promise of the land in 12.2) and at the end (22. In conclusion. Let us summarize: we have seen that the promise addresses have on the one hand gone through a varied and many-lay- . 35.12. The same formula confirms the striking of the covenant in 15. it is noteworthy too that the promise of the land is the centre point for the author of Genesis 24 so that he sees it as the decisive assurance of YHWH to which he has Abraham's servant summoned. Likewise. Here. When Abraham takes possession of Shechem as a place of cult. Here too one can recognize clearly a deliberate intention in the placing of the promise elements. We can reckon therefore with a stage in the process of the history of tradition in which. it is found twice more in the Abraham story in conjunction with the promise of increase. 48.3.82 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch We have already referred to this combination of the promises of increase and land.4. one must always keep in mind that one is dealing here with a late stage in the process of formation of the tradition.3. let us add a few remarks on the promise of blessing. in parallel passages about Sarah (17. For the rest. the promise of the land occurs in brief. 24).

42.34). a clearly stamped guidance narrative stands at the beginning (12.2.14). Likewise.18) of the Abraham story.3. The Patriarchal Stories 83 ered process of development. there are still further passages to mention in which the divine guidance appears as a determining element (28. In the Isaac story.10-11). and at the beginning of each of the Isaac and Jacob stories (26. besides the divine addresses (28. The reworking did not take place at one stroke. there is a close link between the guidance and the blessing for others. however. of a variety of links with the other promise themes—land. These were obviously the two elements which had established themselves as stamping and covering comprehensively the patriarchal stories. Certain elements are particularly prominent. 32.20. 31.1. There can be no doubt therefore that the patriarchal stories present an independent larger unit which. in the course of the process of its formation.15. but shows signs of different stages and layers. It is also discernible that this reworking has had its effect in different ways in the individual parts of the collection: in the Abraham story it has had its most profound 1 The term 'narrative' is not at all appropriate for Gen. see above under 2.1 The blessing for others is a second promise element which joins together all three patriarchal stories.5.1-3) and the end (ch. the intention and careful planning which have directed the process are in many cases clearly discernible. and the divine promise addresses dominate both the reworking and the interpretation. posterity.3) and at the end (22. 46. 12. by means. 24).2. The Abraham story too is determined by it. It is of particular importance that the promise addresses have been used to frame the individual patriarchal stories and to join them to each other. here. the element of guidance is in an emphatic position at the beginning of the two divine addresses which frame it (26. In these last two.2-3. 28. 22).1-9. but on the other hand have been carefully and consciously made a part of the reworking and theological interpretation of the patriarchal stories. 31.4. and blessing. has been reworked in different stages and provided with theological interpretations. It pervades and stamps the Jacob story also. . It stands at the beginning (12.

but there is no reference at all1 to the constantly repeated promise of increase 1 In the very redundant Exod.3. 2. 28. 12. 1. holds for the whole of the patriarchal story. has undergone intensive reworking and theological interpretation.5 The absence of any definite reworking in Exodus-Numbers It has been shown that the patriarchal stories represent a selfcontained larger unit which. And this suggests that we direct the question first to the continuation of the patriarchal story in the book of Exodus.7). But before all else. belong to the content of the promise addresses. 26. not very specific. as a determining and characteristic element. Thus one can see that this promise. and that once again by means of the promise address.18 (Abraham). This finds its clearest expression in the promise addressed to all three patriarchs that they are to be a blessing for the whole human race: Gen. there are but two terms. in the Jacob story it shows itself as an element of the composition. which have already occurred in the promise of increase in the book of Genesis. in both its individual parts and as a whole.14 (Jacob). referring to the increase of the Israelites. in the patriarchal story. in particular. the contents of the promise addresses of Genesis scarcely occur and are not at all the centre point. This is clear at once in the passages where themes occur which. 22. determined by the same purposes and using the same means. The question now arises whether one can demonstrate a reworking. it is clear that the reworking has fitted these three collections together so as to form one composite whole.4 (Isaac). for the rest of the Pentateuch as well. . while in the Isaac story it appears only in the two divine addresses without any reference to the context.84 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch effect in the narratives. which stands as a signature tune (Motto) at the beginning of the Abraham story. The prolific increase in numbers of the Israelites is mentioned in the very first verses of Exodus (1.7. A first result is a negative conclusion: the promise addresses. are not found in the traditions of the book of Exodus. The direct divine address is used far less often than in the patriarchal story.

2 Cf. at a time determined by God. 50. there is not a word which mentions that the patriarchs have already lived a long time in this land and that God has promised it to them and their descendants as a permanent possession. as a land that is the home of foreign nations. pp. there is a theological-historical reflection on the theme that the Israelites must first pass through a period of slavery in a foreign land before. the land is introduced as something entirely new. . 27. broad land. In Gen. Isaac. it shows what sort of reflections on the relationship of the promise of the land to the patriarchs and the liberation from the slavery in Egypt can be employed. However.8). 1 Cf. the Amorites. the home of the Canaanites. The absence of this link is even clearer when these texts are set over against some passages in the patriarchal story in which the link between the promise of the land to the fathers and the leading out from Egypt is expressly made.2 Following the terminology of the promise of the land in Genesis. It is not. But they are not spoken to as such. The Patriarchal Stories 85 addressed to the fathers. the Perizzites. the Hittites. the Hivites. and more. And so the silence about these links in Exodus 3 is all the more striking.13-16. The situation is even more striking with the first mention of the land into which it has been proclaimed. 124f. and instead. nevertheless. Fohrer-Sellin. Introduction to the Old Testament.2. references to the patriarchal story are not the verbs and see above under 2.2.1 of which the author is obviously not aware. Westermann. those addressed here would be the 'seed' for whom the promise holds good. and the Jebusites' (3. In Gen. This text stands in splendid isolation within the patriarchal story. they are to return to the land promised them. The land is introduced here as an unknown land. the Israelites are to journey after they have been rescued from slavery in Egypt. One would expect that this promise would be taken up in Exodus 3.24. 15. and Jacob'. Joseph says to his brothers before his death: 'God will come to your aid and will take you out of this land (Egypt) to the land which he promised on oath to Abraham. The text reads: 'I will lead you into a good. 'Arten'. p.3. into a land that flows with milk and honey.

In Exod.3. in the latter. it is once more stated expressly that God will lead the Israelites into the land that he has solemnly promised to give to Abraham. and moreover.2-9. However. In Exod. 2. see above under 2. cf. with Isaac. Further. 141a. The land is described as the 'land of Canaan' and 'the land of sojourning(s)' (Exod. the theme 'covenant' is developed extensively. In Exod.8. This means then that this connection has been made only in a relatively late stage in the 1 On the as yet unsolved problem of the understanding of G. 6. and with Jacob' (v. but only in explicit relationship to the promise of the land. and with the addition of the assurance 'to be your God and the God of your descendants after you' (17.7. The text reads: Then God remembered the covenant with Abraham. belong to the latest in the process of the formation of the tradition. Isaac. 6.1 At the end of the divine address. This is a reference back to the patriarchal story. but not by way of resuming one of the promise elements. The formulation corresponds to that in Gen. Ch. the assurance of God's presence has been taken up from 17. 8). Macholz. 17. The reference back to the patriarchal story is obvious. nothing is said about the content of the covenant obligation. 17. it is a matter of a resumption of those formulations which.1). which has no immediate connection with the narrative context.23-25.4). rather like Gen. within the patriarchal stories. one might perhaps conclude that the author had in mind some sort of general statement. it is the land that is mentioned as the content of the divine self-obligation (15. there is a very extensive divine address. Only in Genesis 15 and 17 is there talk of this 'covenant'. The word 'covenant' is there again.5. with the whole range of promises sounding. . 24). 7). it stands outside the narrative context in an independent narrative address. 3. where there is likewise reference back to the promises to the patriarchs. In the former. and Jacob (v. 2.7 in a somewhat adapted formulation (v. . n.24. it is rather by mention of the 'covenant' that God made with the patriarchs. there is a transition piece between the story of Moses' youth and the following traditions about his call and the leading out of Egypt.86 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch entirely lacking.18). n. than a concrete promise.

God's oath is joined with the promise of the land. 50.2. 24. 3. see below under 2.7.13). The prescriptions in both cases refer to the period after YHWH will have led the Israelites into the land. where there are references to the promises to the patriarchs.7. though quite sporadic.7. 24. In the prayer of Moses.24. 22. The address corresponds almost word for word to that of Joseph in Gen. there is extensive reference to the promises to the patriarchs: 'Remember Abraham.1 reads: TJp. that it is that which YHWH swore to the patriarchs to give to the Israelites (w. There is talk here of the oath which is found in the patriarchal stories in Gen. and they will take possession of it for ever' (32. to the land of which I swore to Abraham.24). whereas it occurs in connection with the promise of the land only twice outside the divine address (Gen.* In these places. There are some further places. One can recognize again 1 For the connection with the tradition in Exod. you and your people whom you have lead out of the land of Egypt. however. Exodus 13 contains cultic prescriptions about the eating of the unleavened bread and the offering of the firstborn. 33.16 and 26. it refers not to the promise of the land but to the promise of increase. The address of YHWH to Moses in Exod.16-17 with the oath that YHWH swore by himself and the promise of increase under the image of the stars.8. 50. 5. especially to the promise of the land. In each case it is said of the land. after the people had sinned by making the golden calf. 2 Further detail see below under 2.7. go on your way from here. and the whole of this land of which I have spoken to you I will give to your seed. Isaac. is added here. Isaac. The Patriarchal Stories 87 process.2 The reference therefore is to a layer of tradition in the patriarchal story which is relatively late and by no means central.11). missing in Genesis 22.3. And so it is a matter of the two passages in which. . There is a clear echo of Gen. the promise of the land. with certain differences in the formulation. 22. and Jacob: to your seed I will give it'. the citation of the divine address to that in Gen. and Israel. your servants to whom you swore by yourself and to whom you spoke: I will increase your seed like the stars of heaven. in the patriarchal story.

he is to do so 'in order that they may believe that YHWH. and Jacob' (v. Then.5). Isaac. Both are here brought into relationship with each other in a new way and with a new posing of the question. The patriarchs are not now spoken of as receivers of the promise. There was clearly a layer of reworking which joined the two complexes of tradition together. 16). And finally. and he is to bear the good news of YHWH to the Israelites with the opening words: *YHWH. the God of Abraham. The point at issue is this: the legitimation of Moses and the demonstration that the God who appeared to him and sent him to the Israelites to lead them out of Egypt is YHWH. as one would expect from the patriarchal stories. rather it has the mark of a relatively late layer in the process of formation. The consequence of this is an entirely new relationship between the Moses tradition and the tradition of the patriarchs. The very first of YHWH's addresses to Moses reads: 'I am the God of your father. Isaac. the God of Abraham. Instead.88 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch and again from the different passages throughout the book of Exodus isolated references back to the patriarchal story. and the God of Jacob. has appeared to you' (4. the question of the identity of the God who appeared to Moses with the God of the patriarchs. the God of the patriarchs takes the central position. the God of your fathers. They are stacked together in Exodus 3 and following. more precisely. when Moses has to justify himself by signs. But the reworking did not find its way into the narrative substance. and none other than the God of the patriarchs Abraham. the God of their fathers. the God of Abraham. he refers to 'the God of your fathers [who] has sent me to you' (v. has appeared to me. The identity of YHWH with the God of the fathers is the central question here. There is alongside this another group of explicit references back to the patriarchal story in which the 'God of the fathers' is mentioned. when Moses has to justify himself before the Israelites. and Jacob.6). 15). This latter question plays no explicit role in the patriarchal stories. But it is not a continuity of the contents of the promises. and the God of Jacob' (3. the God of Isaac. it is a continuity of God's revelation. It is a question of continuity. the God of Isaac. and the contents of the promises are not mentioned. God's presentation of himself as the God of the father .

within which the author or redactor wants the questions to be understood.5 (beginning). In 46. 2 Cf.13)1 and twice in connection with the formula 'Fear not' together with an assurance of guidance (26. This goes together with the observation that with the information about the prolific increase of the people (Exod. 9).24 to Isaac. Exodus 3-4 is concerned with a central and theologically important text at the beginning of the Moses tradition in which one is to expect basic pointers to the understanding of that whole.. further Exod.4.2. in the Jacob story there is. In Exodus 3-4. the inevitable conclusion: the Moses tradition has been reworked and interpreted from entirely different points of view than the patriarchal stories.8). . when taking up this episode in 32. and Jacob. these two traditions obviously did not belong together. Accordingly. 15. In the basic stage of their formation and reworking. and does not take up a topic already at hand there. 46.10 (Eng.3 to Jacob). 42. The Patriarchal Stories 89 or fathers occurs once in connection with the promise of the land to Jacob (Gen. rather it looks back to the patriarchal stories with a different formulation of the question. 3 See above under 2. 18. 28. talk of the God of the fathers.7) and with the first mention of the land into which YHWH will lead the Israelites (3. this reference back to the patriarchal stories is not something that arose out of the stories themselves. talk of the God of the fathers has acquired a new function which it did not have in the patriarchal stories. there is no reference at all to the corresponding promise themes in the patriarchal stories. besides the divine address.2 It is of particular importance to have established that there are here other questions than those in the patriarchal stories which are determinative.10).2.3. says. 29. the God of the patriarch (Jacob) presents himself as "?«n.3 Hence.5. and that likewise almost entirely in connection with statements about the guidance of Jacob by YHWH (31.. 1. Further. These references show that this designation for God occurs only in a relatively narrow section of the patriarchal traditions and that it nowhere serves to give expression to the continuity of revelation. 32. 1 It is only here that the divine name YHWH occurs when God is addressing himself to one of the patriarchs.

cit..3 In contrast. the statement of the "belief of the Israelites is taken up by way of conclusion in 14. Von Rad has indicated briefly1 that one can scarcely speak of stories (Sagen) in the proper sense in the Moses-tradition. This trait occurs again later when the proclamation is made to the Israelites of their definitive rescue by the slaying of the firstborn and of their own preservation (12.5 Just a few remarks may now be made on the composition of the Moses narratives.1.. also S. (p.2325 mark the decisive turning point: God hears the cry of the oppressed Israelites and takes heed of it. as we have seen.90 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 2.2 This is in accord with the absence. 'the tight inner coherence of the narrative in Ex 1-14'4 is striking. Hermann. p. cit. 582. pp. The conclusion in 4. Finally. of 'developed narrative units'. It is clear that Exodus 1—4 has been composed as a relatively self-contained unit.27b). the presuppositions are essentially other. First. cit. pp. 193 = p. And more.31. 5. 'Mose'. the methodological criteria would have to be worked out.31 has clearly several functions: first. The verses 2. the basic element of the divine addresses does not appear in the Moses tradition. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2. 582-83. by and large.583. Iff. 4 Op. they bow down in worship. 18998. who speaks of a 'tighter arrangement of events' with regard to Exod. EvTh 28 (1968) 301-28. Their belief is no longer based merely on the proclamation of rescue by Moses. Now they experience this themselves. . and they would have to be quite different because. p.25) the Israelites and their distress. as we have tried to do for the patriarchal stories. 2 Op. 192 = p. 8. 3 Op. 326). 192-93 = pp. 5 Cf.. then it takes up the statement that God 'saw' (2. it brings to a close the question whether the Israelites will "believe' Moses 4. 9): 'the people believed'.6 The 'larger units' in Exodus-Numbers It would be beyond the bounds of this study were we to advance as well proof of the interpretation and reworking that runs through the Moses tradition. rather we have to do at most with 'motifs' (Sagenmotiven). 1973. but on the Israelites 1 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerzahlung Exodus 1-14'.

12 that this reference back to the leading out from Egypt is used as an argument: 'Why let the Egyptians say: He had evil intent when he led them out. the situation in Exod. 1. 3 of the image of the golden calf they say: 'these are your gods. ZAW 86 (1974) 425-53. Gross. the people you brought out from the land of Egypt' (v. YHWH commands Moses to set out with the words: 'Up.5. cit. 7). On the problem of the difference between these two verbs in the 'formula of leading out'. p. 5 Cf. The references in Exodus 32 are more concrete. W. 12 the verb (Hip'il) is used instead of (hip'il). Exod. 'Die Herausfuhrungsformel—Zum Verhaltnis von Formel und Syntax'. YHWH says to Moses: 'your people. 2 Account is not taken here of references which occur within the legal material and the uncontestably priestly layer of the Sinai passage. The Israelites say: 'As for this fellow Moses. it is a matter throughout of fixed and formalized formulas which on each occasion have been joined by as relative sentences for further precision. op. 8).1 But these questions must be pursued further. Israel. 33. 23). 588. 3 Here and in v. Moses uses the same formulation about YHWH (v. go on from here. It is only in v.1-3 is interesting. Here. 19. 32. .5 The link with the promises to the patriarchs 1 Cf.4 Finally. There is only a very general reference here to the event of the Exodus. you and your people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt'. The Patriarchal Stories 91 having 'seen' what YHWH has done. cf. 13). to kill them on the mountains and to wipe them from the face of the earth?' Then.2.7. attached to this. II). that brought you out from Egypt' (w. 4 See above under 2. who brought us out of the land of Egypt' (w.. Express cross references to the preceding complexes of tradition occur only in isolation. comes the broad reference to the promises to the patriarchs (v. von Rad. One can discern then a clear connection between the composition of Exodus 1-4 and the overall composition of Exodus 1—14.4). 198 = p. No particular demonstration is needed to show that the Sinai passage is an independent larger unit. 4.2 The introductory divine address runs: *You have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you here to me' (Exod.

only the sequence 'Amorites. there is more about the land into which Moses is to lead the Israelites.8. It must be said that in general. Num. One rather gets the impression that the tradition of the 'murmuring' of the Israelites contained this element right from the beginning." . and with that striking absence of any connection with the patriarchal story. Isaac. 14. the content of these texts shows no further connections with the traditions about the leading out from Egypt. 3. So one can say no more than that knowledge of the fact of the leading out from the fertile land of Egypt was a presupposition for the origin and development of the theme of the 'murmuring1 of 1 See above under 2. 18. 32].3. to set in relief the contrast between the present.8. 11. the leading out from Egypt is mentioned often in connection with the 'murmuring' of the people. Its function is.1 Then. this holds too for the references to the patriarchal story.6. 17. Hittites' is the reverse of Exod. reference to the exodus tradition occurs only in isolation in the Sinai pericope and that it plays no role in the central passages of this larger unit. 16. and Jacob: to your seed will I give it'. primarily.92 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch follows immediately on this reference back to the leading out from Egypt: 'to the land of which I swore to Abraham. enumerating them in almost the same terms as in Exod. 3. w.5. 3). 3 On the question whether ch.13. 20. 21 belongs to the desert or occupation of the land tradition. Apart from the mere reference back to the better situation in Egypt. The land is described as 'the land that flows with milk and honey' (v. 21. In the narratives about Israel's stay in the desert.4. see above under 1. It is clearly something more than mere passing references or after-thoughts. and so bring to the fore the accusations against Moses (and Aaron) (Exod. and YHWH announces the expulsion of the nations living there.53).5.2 The passage is characterized by a striking mingling of traditions.3 [cf. 2 Verse 2. 16. This does not in any way mean that the two complexes of tradition must have been related to each other originally.4-5. 20. it is spoken of in the same way as we have known it from the beginning of the Moses narrative. dangerous situation in the desert and the comparatively much better position in Egypt.2-4.

Exod.8.15. The first occurs without any links within an address of Moses to YHWH. The second combines the traditions: immediately before. the leading out from Egypt is mentioned 1 On the other hand. 16.2. The Patriarchal Stories 93 the Israelites. 14. Num. there is some dependence in the process of the formation of the tradition. 14. as a whole. The narratives of Israel's stay in the desert have not. in an address of YHWH. The reference to the leading out from Egypt serves only as a contrast to the present situation. so resuming a formulation already used in Exod.6. the 'signs' which he had done in Egypt and in the desert (!) are referred to (Num.1 There are only two places in this complex of tradition where there are references to the patriarchal stories. In both cases the reference is to the 'oath' that YHWH swore to the patriarchs that he would give them the land (Num. Then we cried out to YHWH.12.13. It is scarcely possible to glean from the texts that the leading out was a saving action of YHWH for Israel. 2 Moses' message opens in v. as well as Exod. and hence. 18.2 Here. 18. In the narratives of the occupation of the land in the book of Numbers. at the same time been a notable shift of emphasis.23). it recalls the 'credo' formulations which we find in other places: 'Our fathers went down into Egypt and we lived there for a long time. been brought into an inner harmony with the traditions preceding them. 22. And it is striking that the complex of narratives of Israel's stay in the desert manifests no over-arching reworking which joins it in a positive way with the narratives of the leading out.22). The Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. There has. that in a limited sense. however. and he heard our voice and sent an angel and led us out from Egypt' (Num. 14. whereas its real significance as a historical and saving action of YHWH for Israel is scarcely mentioned. 11. cf. 20. . 14 with reference to the 'ill-treatment' that 'befell' the Israelites. Moses sends a message to the king of Moab at the very beginning in which a brief survey of the history of Israel is given. 19. 16a). But it is just this rare mention of the patriarchs that makes us aware yet again that there has been no far-reaching connection between the different complexes of tradition.

4 the lists of the tribes and clans is introduced: 'These are the Israelites who came out from Egypt'. This passage joins together the traditions of the promise of the land to the patriarchs and of the leading out from Egypt.1 the list of stopping places during the wandering in the desert begins: 'These are the camping places of the Israelites who came out from the land of Egypt (ordered) according to their tribal hosts'. do not as a rule belong to the real narrative substance of the individual units. 14 the generation of the desert is described as 'fathers' in distinction from the generation that is to occupy the land and is addressed there. though there is nothing more precise as to who is meant by the 'fathers' who went down into Egypt. In both cases it is a question of a formalized ordering which is aware of the tradition of the leading out of Egypt as a general background without. 2. introductions to lists. making any concrete narrative connection. Jacob.11). which appear everywhere.. one cannot speak of any real connection with the larger units of tradition that have preceded. however. Finally. The cross references.8. 32. 33. But here too. the passage speaks of an angel and not of Moses. These are mentioned explicitly within the same context and by name: 'None of the men who came up out of Egypt.94 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch together with the history that preceded it. are to see the land which I swore to Abraham. and in Num. In Num. And so only isolated references to the exodus tradition and to the patriarchal stories occur in this context. it evokes no association at all with the patriarchs of whom Genesis speaks. and Isaac' (32. The notion of 'fathers' has shifted.. But no comprehensive reworking which shapes the whole into a unit is immediately . there are two further places.7 Traces of an over-arching reworking Our review of the larger units of tradition within the Pentateuch has shown that each is very independent and self-contained in respect to the others. in the context of the leading out from Egypt. The relationship to the different traditions is clearly quite disjointed in this chapter. And further. where the leading out from Egypt is mentioned: in Num. 26.

3.31. 15. which encompasses the different larger units. see also Exod. p. The reworking and arrangement of the remaining units requires still more careful study.16. through the mal'ak 1 For .2.e. and Jacob'.16 does not appear in a fixed formula as in the majority of other cases. Die Landverheissung als Eid. Lohfink. Among the cross-references mentioned. show a very thorough reworking in which a theological intent arranging them was clearly at work.24 anticipates the exodus story. also N.3. they are all concerned with one thing—that YHWH swore to the patriarchs that he would give the land to them. YHWH's address (i. In other words: the theological arrangement of the patriarchal stories is not to be equated with the theological arrangement of the Pentateuch. It appears. This is all the more striking because the patriarchal stories which we have examined closely as examples. there emerges one particular group of texts to which we must give somewhat more careful attention. 26. but it has already become quite obvious that it will have to be of a different kind from that of the patriarchal stories. Joseph says to his brothers: 'God will come to you1 and will lead you out of this land into the land that he swore to give to Abraham. The Patriarchal Stories 95 evident. This does not mean.2 here.16. It is noteworthy that the mention of YHWH's oath in 22. in two texts which are important for the composition of the patriarchal story as a whole. 1967. Gen. . Rather. however. Isaac. Further studies in the direction indicated will be hard put to it to alter the judgment that the theological arrangement of the individual larger units within the Pentateuch cannot be equated with the arrangement of the Pentateuch as a whole. Talk of YHWH's oath is not very deeply anchored in the patriarchal stories. would be in no wise discernible. 2 See below. 4. Gen. however. cf. the patriarchal stories have undergone a theological interpretation and reworking which has turned them into a self-contained piece of well moulded tradition which stands out clearly in all its own independence within the Pentateuch. But this theological intent is not discernible in the same way for the Pentateuch as a whole. 22. 50. that an over-arching reworking of the Pentateuch.

22. Gen. and which has obviously been added subsequently to the body of the Abraham stories. 50.).1 The reason for this is then given.24. 50. 24. Jer.28. It belongs to another context in the tradition in which the oath by which YHWH confirmed the promise of the land to the fathers finds its natural place. namely Abraham's comportment in the preceding story of the offering of Isaac. The formulation is close to that in Gen.96 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch YHWH) is introduced by the phrase: *By my own self I swear*. but without any connection with the promise of the land. It joins the patriarchal story to the following traditions. the God of heaven .2 The words 'I will fulfil the oath that I swore to your father Abraham'.7. 22. 22. linked with (as in Isa.17. where there is a clear connection between YHWH's oath and the promise of the land: *YHWH. the content of the oath is the promise of blessing and the increase of descendants and finally the assurance: 'your seed will possess the gate of their enemies'. Gen..16.24 therefore has not developed immediately out of the Abraham story as it lies before us. But what is most important is that it has the function of a transition piece in the place in which it stands. can refer only to 22. It occurs in the context of a narrative which is relatively late. One can see here a step in the direction of the formulation in Gen. The situation is not entirely clear in 26.18. 14. and 11 x in Ezek.5. it is followed immediately by the promise of increase and the image of the stars in the sky which appears only here and in 22.16 in the process of formation of the tradition. 50. We can only conclude that in this passage. and Lev.16 is the only attestation of in the book of Genesis. The formulation of Gen. it is completely absent from Exod. and appears again only in Num.. One can scarcely see here a connection with the promise of the land where the formulations are quite different. a fourth passage needs to be mentioned. The passage about the oath is framed by the double promise of the land (w.. there is talk of YHWH's oath. 1 . 2 See above under 2. The passage of course is linked with 22. Finally.24. 49.24. elsewhere only in Jer. who spoke to me and swore to me: to your seed will I give this land'. so important for the composition of the Abraham story as a whole.4.3. 3b and 4a ).

it is scarcely a surprise that the next important turning point where there is mention of the promise of the land which YHWH swore to the patriarchs is the departure of the Israelites from Sinai. first occurrence).5. 50. The formulation therefore presupposes both traditions. there is much talk in w. to the land which I swore to Abraham. As for their function. It provides a link. It could then very well be that one can detect in the express mention of the promise of the land in this place. the oath of YHWH to the patriarchs is mentioned twice (w. is not present in the two units of tradition themselves. 'which he swore to your fathers to give you'. In Exodus 13.1-3a: Then YHWH spoke to Moses: Up. and had to be made.2. p. What follows in ch. namely that what was announced in Gen.1 This then is the obvious place where the link with the last words of Joseph could.51). Isaac. nevertheless.25. . the formalized description of the land. And I will 1 On see above. which.24 is beginning to be fulfilled. at first sight. so that what is said reaches far beyond the ambit of ritual prescriptions. 3-10 about the leading out from Egypt and of the imminent leading into the land promised by YHWH. as we have seen. 5. and with the description of it as a land flowing with milk and honey'. an intent directing the composition. This surmise is confirmed further by the fact that a little later in the same chapter there is talk of Moses carrying the bones of Joseph with him (13. 50.19) with express reference back to Gen. to give any grounds for thinking that it has a corresponding function in the over-arching composition. therefore.8. depart from here. one must remember that the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt has been mentioned immediately beforehand (12. and Jacob: to your seed I will give it. The Patriarchal Stories 97 in particular to the narrative of the leading out from Egypt. 95 n. is joined with the enumeration of the foreign nations who now occupy it (Exod. 1. 13 is concerned in content with the prescriptions about the unleavened bread. 13) in the prescriptions about the unleavened bread. The next example does not appear. 3. The command to Moses to set out is given in Exod. 33. each time with explicit reference to the promise of the land. you and the people you have led out from the land of Egypt. In v. Seen from this point of view.

22. After Moses' intervention in Exod. and the Jebusites—to a land flowing with milk and honey'.16-17 are once again clear. So then. where Abraham requests that YHWH. he thinks that he cannot carry out the charge that YHWH has laid upon him to bring the people into the promised land (especially w.13 is also to be seen in this context.10 to annihilate the people. the Hittites.1 and I will drive out the Canaanites.98 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch send an angel before you. 32. as the God who made the promise of the land. would send his angel before Eliezer. 32. In the prayer in Num. as in Gen. the Hivites. 24. 'the stars of heaven' are mentioned. These two passages then complement each other. at the same time it is said that this journey to the land constitutes the realization of this promise.15.1-3). among many other things. 22. YHWH's oath is mentioned here.22-24). We find the same traditions joined together here as in Exod.7. 32.11-14. Moses gives expression to his doubts. with the exception of Caleb (14. YHWH himself resumes the promise of the land to the patriarchs in his command to journey on (33. whom he describes. 11. There are some further passages where there is mention of the promise of the land to the patriarchs confirmed by YHWH's oath in situations in which its fulfilment seems to be in danger. after a break in the journey by a stop at Sinai. In the episode of the scouts in Numbers 13-14 also. the Perizzites. the realization of the promise is put in question: YHWH declares that not one of the desert generation is to see the promised land. the fulfilment of the promises to the patriarchs would have become impossible. besides. 22. (It should be expressly noted here that the rest of the story of the scouts has no connection at all with the tradition of 1 Cf. the promise of the land is again mentioned and confirmed when the journey is resumed. Gen.11-15. with YHWH's express decision in Exod. 13. . so Moses intercedes and counters YHWH with his very own promises.16). in however concise a form ('the land which you swore to their fathers'). in the context of the promise of increase. The reference to the promise of the land in the prayer of Moses in Exod. 2 On (Gen. the Amorites. The links with the oath in Gen.2 The function of this cross reference at this place could be that. and once again YHWH's oath is recalled in the same concise form (v. 23). 14-15).

strange. cit.23!]). op. cit. but have merely made clear at certain decisive places the guiding point of view under which the whole is to be understood. Hos. Rupprecht also supports this function for Gen.. 50. 50. Ploger.2): "Sich des Landes bemachtigen"?.11 (with variations in the wording) when Moses sees the final realization of the promise of the land endangered by the desire of the tribes of Reuben and Gad to settle east of the Jordan When one surveys the attestations advanced in the context. it must be first explored. 445. It has been shown that this reworking has left the texts at hand essentially unchanged and has inserted interpretative additions at definite places. 2 N. 1. It 1 K. and the command of YHWH to Moses in Exod. 2. 14.. 33. 3 J.10. p.24 that YHWH will bring the Israelites back into the land promised to the patriarchs. 17-18 with n. They appear throughout in their present context as 'post-scripts'. 67. Lohfink. these words of YHWH are cited again in Num. it is a matter of a reworking which in its ideas and language is closely related to Deuteronomy. The Patriarchal Stories 99 the promise of the land to thw patriarchs. one can scarcely avoid the impression of a very deliberate intent in the composition and interpretation of the Pentateuch as a whole.1 and at the same time clamp together all Pentateuch traditions under one allembracing theme: YHWH has given the land to the Israelites.24: (Exod.3 In any case. there is not a word [except in Num. that the patriarchs had already lived there for a long time and that YHWH had promised them possession of it—of all this. pp. op. . 30. they belong to a layer of reworking which has not penetrated into the substance of the narratives themselves.1-3a at which the real journey into the promised land begins. 32.2. Finally. that is. Two passages are of particular importance for the composition as a whole: the announcement by Joseph in Gen. and dangerous. esp. The land is described as quite unknown. One usually calls the layer of reworking of which we are speaking here 'deuteronomistic' or more recently 'early deuteronomic'2 or 'protodeuteronomic'. Both passages join the patriarchal stories with the traditions which tell of the journey of the Israelites from Egypt back into the promised land. ZAW 82 (1970) 442-46.

.100 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch presupposes therefore the present text more or less in the form in which it lies before us.

across the larger literary complexes.1 Hence. such 'sources' would have to find their justification in the course of the study of the process of the development of the text from the smallest units. The overwhelming majority of scholars in almost all countries where scholarly study of the Old Testament is pursued.Chapter 3 CRITICISM OF PENTATEUCHAL CRITICISM The question now arises whether. At the same time. Do the pentateuchal 'sources' stand as complete representations of the pentateuchal material between the arrangement of the individual larger units and the synthesizing reworking in the deuteronomic style? Following the methodological criteria established earlier. and their interest in the most precise understanding of the nature and theological purposes of the individual written sources seems undisturbed. And so it commends itself to take a closer look at the present state of pentateuchal study so as to establish the actual extent of the agreement and to examine the persuasive force of the arguments. take the documentary hypothesis as the virtually uncontested point of departure for their work. the individual. larger units of the tradition had already been brought together as a whole in an earlier stage in the process of the formation of the tradition. right up to its present and final stage. Current international study of the Pentateuch presents at first glance a picture of complete unanimity. 1 See above under 1. recent pentateuchal research puts the question of the 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. .3. apart from this reworking with its deuteronomic stamp. this is the place to ask if this assumption is justified.

discussed earlier.2 The reader must pause here: Is the question.. circulating in German and contemporaneous with Kaiser's book an 'Introduction' by Georg Fohrer. There is also the standard. p. the Yahwist. The sentence. i.e.'1 This sounds like the final result of a long development. p. English. 1970) trans. 3 E. actually exist or must two sources in fact be accepted in its place. of a first and second Yahwist. see below p. the number of scholars who reckon with only 'one' Yahwist seems to be considerably greater than those who support a 1 Einleitung in das Alte Testament. of the theological significance of the Yahwist depend on it? There is. on the whole definitively separated. and the author obviously wants it to be understood as such. 1970 edn (and incorporating further revisions by the author to 1973 (Oxford: Blackwell. accepted by Kaiser and many others. the 3rd edition of which is not much older than the two mentioned.1 The present state of pentateuchal criticism One reads in the latest German 'Introduction to the Old Testament' by Otto Kaiser: 'The sources are. does the chief source of the Pentateuch. 1970 (2nd edn). 44. Introduction to the Old Testament (London: SPCK. but calls the second source the 'lay course'. 5. 4 Einleitung in das Alte Testament. so unimportant that one can 'prescind' from it without calling into question the judgment that the sources have been 'definitively' separated? Must not rather the whole question. not yet finally explained. 1984. Sellin-G. David Green. prescinding from the problem.4 he likewise divides the Tahwist'. 2 Emphasis added.. 1975). completely revised and rewritten. 1969. The sources are. 1964 (3rd edn) English. . Einleitung in das Alte Testament. contains a parenthesis. after all. Fohrer. English version of Introduction to the Old Testament. comprehensive 'Introduction' by Otto Eissfeldt. 107 n.3 Fohrer represents the view noted in the parenthesis. 48. One can certainly object that the impression aroused by this chance situation on the German book market does not correspond with the actual state of Old Testament scholarship. 5th edn. however.102 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. and calls the second of them the 'nomad source'. namely that the texts which Kaiser and others claim for the Yahwist are to be divided into two sources. 1969 (llth edn). on the whole definitively separated'.

Schmidt cites C. 152. Introduction. 91ff. there have been distinguished scholars who have constantly supported the division of this oldest pentateuchal source. as Eissfeldt puts it: the latest documentary hypothesis'. 1974.5 When considering the first part of the book. with the appropriate adaptations. Wolff.2 One must say then that in one decisive and basic question. but is preserved only in fragments (so that it is better to speak of 'elohistic fragments'). 580. As an example. 5 Exodus. cit.W. pp.4 Here too the methodology used is inadequate to arrive at a final explanation. pp. while others on the contrary maintain that it once existed as an independent work. for the 'Elohist'. though he prefers to speak of 'source-layers' rather than of 'sources'. great uncertainty dominates the separation of these two or three sources. 223-24.H. German edn.3. 3 still others think that one should consider the 'Elohist' 'as an originally independent and for the most part preserved source layer'. the first fascicule of which appeared in 1974. pp. The situation is still more complex here inasmuch as not a few scholars contest the existence of an independent 'elohistic' source. The reason for this is obviously that the methods acknowledged by and large by all scholars are simply not suited to answer conclusively the questions thrown up by the texts of the Pentateuch. 190 = p. Von Rad also speaks of 'elohistic fragments' and states: 'what presents itself as elohistic material cannot be described as a work which really runs parallel to the Yahwist'. 23. p. source criticism has not led to a definitive conclusion. Schmidt. Introduction. par. But one cannot thereby get rid of the fact that.9. The same holds. 124-25. one may cite the most recent commentary on the book of Exodus by W. 2 German edn. Kaiser. from the time that Wellhausen formulated the now widely accepted documentary hypothesis. . 3 So H. 4 Fohrsr. See op. This situation carries all the more weight as the representatives of this view have throughout been constant and convinced advocates of the principles of some division in the sense of the 'later documentary hypothesis'1 or.. As a consequence. 'The Elohistic Fragments in the Pentateuch' in Interpretation 26 (1972) 158-73. Criticism of Pentaieuchal Criticism 103 division. p. Steuer1 Fohrer is one of these.

so that what is said 'claims only a limited degree of probability' or that 'one has to renounce completely any separation of J and E as too uncertain!' Can one really say that the sources 'are definitively separated?' In face of the actual situation. 1970.3 But further. 59. can be described as 'priestly'. The survey that follows therefore claims only a limited degree of probability. p.T. 5 Fohrer.. 3 I..4 But there are basic differences of opinion when it comes to determining further the nature of this layer and establishing its intent. 2 Op. p. pp. cit. 183 .6 Noth represents an opinion which is the complete opposite of 1 Lehrbuch der Einleitung in das Alte Testament.. cit. one can only describe such a statement as wishful thinking.2 Nothing essential then has changed in this uncertainty for half a century.. op. 53). J. 4 Op. 146. It is certainly true that there is broad agreement in working out a layer of tradition within the Pentateuch which.5 He writes: 'A characteristic of the content of P is the tight link between historical narrative and law. Even so passionate an opponent of classical source criticism as Engnell acknowledges this.1 Schmidt observes that this characterizes 'the state of research into the book of Exodus which remains basically unaltered up to the present da/. there is often great uncertainty in separating J from E. 1912. the statement of Steuernagel cited by Schmidt about the 'complete certainty' that has been reached in separating out the 'priestly writing' holds only with considerable limitations. amounts to a complete dissolution of the entire system by the very scholars who defend it' (Critical Essays on the Old Testament..104 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch nagel who wrote: 'Complete certainty has been reached in separating out P. The two are bound together inseparably'.. p. cit. On the contrary. Fohrer gathers together almost all the material in the Pentateuch described as priestly and understands it as one coherent source layer which he describes as a literary composition'. p. p. in style and content. 8. Willis from Swedish. trans. 183 6 Op. the development of the literary-critical approach in the period following Wellhausen's classical formulation . Engnell has expressed in withering words how this situation is to be judged: 'In reality. cit. and many a time one has to renounce completely any separation of J and E as too uncertain'.

what is to be understood under T8>. though with some further precision. However.4 For the rest. 10 3 Op. . The most popular view distinguishes a *basic narrative' or the like (Pg) from parts added later (P8. He even goes so far as to reject utterly the designation *F for the legal parts. This means at the same time that there are fundamentally different opinions in the question of the relationship to each other of the historical narrative and the legal sections of P. p.1 This can only mean that Noth contests that a notable amount of material which. Faced with this.3 while Kaiser wants to use it for the legislative material' which has been attached secondarily to the basic narrative. p. in Fohrer's opinion. because in his opinion it 'signifies at the least a misrepresentation leading to error when one includes them in the concept of P and labels them with something like P8. A survey of the present state of pentateuchal study leads to the conclusion that adherents to the documentary hypothesis generally acknowledge only two things. of course. p. n. cit. 4 Op.. 1 A History. One must prescind entirely from these passages when dealing with the P narrative'. Between these two extreme positions there is an abundance of attempts to make distinctions within the P material. cit.2 belongs to this source or layer. Noth will have the symbol used only for additions to the P-narrative. very different answers are given to the question. Hence. 15. s = secondary). 10.3. each provided with yet another letter qualifying P. They should be given some sort of neutral sign. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 105 this. which legal texts are to be regarded as original constituent parts of the 'priestly writing* and.. there can be no talk at all of unanimity here. one can scarcely maintain that the symbol T' really means the same in both cases. p. 103. cit.. by necessity also a variety of views on the nature and intent of this source or layer. can be assigned to P 'with broad unanimity'. There is a variety of views on the question. He wants to separate the legal components completely from the narrative. 2 Op. 10. the literature offers a veritable host of designations for these legal parts.

e. besides. however. 1966. There has been no essential change in the arguments and counter-arguments for the delimitation of the sources not O0nly since 1912. the 'documentary hypothesis' has been supported almost exclusively. col. there still remains a variety of different opinions. fragments. There have certainly been new positions in addition. one or several more sources or layers. in fact. Tentateuque'. quoted by H. .106 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 1. it is accepted that the Pentateuch is assembled from several continuous 'documents' or 'sources'. and a glance over its history shows that it was ever so. their delimitation. Pentateuchal research. What is often presented as the 'triumph' of the documentary hypothesis since Wellhausen is basically but two things: (1) since then.H. however. and certain scholars or groups of scholars have shifted the emphasis in their statement of the question. Gazelles. but only with individual. there is. the 1 Einleitung in das Hexateuch. as W. the other hypotheses proposed in the course of the 19th century have receded into the background: the 'fragmentary hypothesis'. 791. is far less unanimous than is often maintained. the 'priestly document' has normally been regarded as the latest of the pentateuchal sources. and their relationship to each other. In face of this. i.e. but since the end of the previous century. no agreement as to its more precise purpose nor as to which texts are to be assigned to its basic content. more or less extensive. i. according to which there was one basic document which was complemented by all sorts of other material. but nogreement as to their number. but looking across the broad spectrum of current OT scholarship. 2. One must add. Holzinger1 in 1893 are still represented today by individual exegetes. therefore. long before Wellhausen. Schmidt has noted. see also the statement of von Hiigfi from the year 1897 on 'the unanimity in general and in deta T in the separation of sources. DBS. there is a priestly layer in the Pentateuch. (2) Since Wellhausen. and the 'complementary hypothesis'. that these two hypotheses have had virtually no support since the middle of the 19th century. VII. which reckons not with sources extending from the beginning to the end of the Pentateuch. 1893. there is. Most of the positions assembled by H.

Others go farther. sections III. in Wissenschaftlicht Theologie im Uberblick.. 5 'Die alttestamentliche Wissensehaft'. trans. Y. Cassuto. since then. namely concerning the Yahwist. dt.. 106 a. Moth has in fact renounced to a very large extent complete reconstruction of the original sources which as a whole exist only in the theory of his system. and abr. Gazelles^ who wrote not so long ago: 'The present state would justify the title under which N. pp. LohfET.t pp. 1960. 9.4 O. 1981. pp. .g. 1. Kaiser maintains that pentateuchal research is really on the move again. M. Wagner presented his views: "Pentateuchal Criticism: No Clear Future"'. esp. There is an increasing number of voices today which question the apparent consensus or doubt whether it exists at all. The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch.. 3 Caselles then speaks of the 'present malaise in pentateuehal criticism.5 As an example of the younger German 1 E. 153ff.. p. Kaufmann. The Religion of Israel from the Beginnings to the Babylonian Exile. ed. Engnell. 1974.SOff... 3 BibThB 2 (1972) 3-24. W. 4 Ibid. but assumes that the redactor has used the priestly document as a frame. it has only been contested by outsider—though still with the limitations already mentioned with regard to the extent and purpose of the priestly document. has taken the narrative material in essence from the Yahwist.. thus. esp. Many critics have expressed the view that Moth's conception amounts to a new complementary hypothesis: he does not reckon with a redactor who accepts more or less on an equal footing the original independent sources. I. Haha. which necessarily has repercussions on the theological analysis'. IV. and has added the Elohist by way of complement only to a limited extent. Creenberg from Hebrew. is still open: The works produced in the last ten years cm (the sources of the Pentateuch) have at the very least shown clearly that the problem of the unity and specific nature of the Yahwist cannot be regarded as solved'. Let us cite only such a brilliant interpreter of pentateuchal research as H. 2 See above p. op. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism s 107 Eeuss-Graf-Kuenen~Wellhausen-hypothesis' has prevailed to such an extent that.3.E. 13-19(15). This is because lie sees that the very question which he himself felt to be central. and Conclusion. U.

To what extent does it see itself in the position to delimit clearly the texts to be ascribed to the Yahwist.e. After assessing the difficulties under which the hypothesis of a *Yahwist' labour today. he writes: With a conception such as this one must. 1974. Certain demands must at least be put to the Yahwist which. it is in no wise a rounded picture'. 36.1 Literary analysis of the Yahwist Has the current Pentateuch research a clear picture of the Yahwist? First. (2) More recently. hold in fact for all sources: namely. judgment about the Yahwist constitutes as it were the key to the whole problem of the documentary hypothesis. to be sure. 2 See above under 1. and that for two reasons: (1) the Yahwist is the only older source accepted by all supporters of the documentary hypothesis. If this source is no longer clearly discernible. from the creation right down 1 Das Alte Testament. reckon with a Yahwist whose character is as complex as can be imagined. that it can be demonstrated that it is complete from beginning to end. In any case. Stolz whose writings reflect a widespread view. the theological meaning of the Pentateuch has to a large extent been built on the interpretation of the Yahwist. then the current.. the other sources are dealt with and characterized in comparison with him.2 The problem of the Yahwist It is certainly no chance that in the citations given so far the talk concerns mainly the Yahwist and that the lack of clarity in regard to this source has been felt to be particularly disturbing. p. then the hypothesis as a whole can scarcely be maintained.1 above).2 3. widespread method of explaining the Pentateuch theologically is in danger.1 3. essential parts of the narrative material derive from it.2. . i. let us put the question of the literary analysis. In fact.108 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch OT scholars. also the citation above from Gazelles (3.3 (von Rad's view of the Yahwist). one may cite F.. according to the basic principles of the documentary hypothesis. If one does not succeed in demonstrating this chief source convincingly.

namely the 'sources'. Eng. 20 (1970). 37—50). also D. in that it has worked out the earlier constituent parts. n. But it is not enough to demonstrate the lack of unity in the text. Rather. Cf. 92. in the opinion of its subsequent supporters. O. 2nd edn 1972) p. Die Landnahme der israelitischen Stamme in der neuren wissenschaftlichen Diskussion. added an appendix in which he took account of these doubts. J and P). voices have increased which doubt if the source theory is applicable to the Joseph story (Gen. the Elohist has no part in the primeval story according to the prevailing view. in an extensive block of 1 See above under 1. or four sources.2 This at least puts a large question mark over the documentary hypothesis as the method which is to explain the whole Pentateuch if. and it only makes sense as an answer to this question. 1967.B. the correct) explanation of the origin of the present form of the text. the documentary hypothesis claims to be the best and most convincing (and so. Redford. in the last edition of his Genesis commentary. i. Steck. The majority of exegetes reckon with only two sources for the primeval story. inasmuch as there could be the most diverse explanations of this. Let us call to mind once more a basic methodological principle mentioned earlier: the documentary hypothesis arose as an answer to the question about the literary unity of the text of the Pentateuch as it now stands.e. 3. among two. Ein kritischer Bericht. At first glance no particular problems appear to arise in the analysis. VTSupp. p. J and P (or three: L/N. namely the 'redaction' What then is the case with the Yahwist as a source running through the whole Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) in the sense of the documentary hypothesis? Let us begin with the book of Genesis.3. 440.2. three. Von Rad. according to the respective views. and that the texts attributed to it constitute a clearly recognizable coherent whole. Recently. The rest of Genesis is shared out. A Study of the Biblical Story of Joseph (Genesis 3750). . 2 Genesis (German 9th edn 1972. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 109 to the occupation of the land.1 Some exegetes doubt only that several of the narrative sources can be found in this complex and advance arguments that only the Tahwist' is at work here. and has also traced the path from them to the present final form. Only then can the Yahwist stand as a 'source' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis.

'The Joseph. 5 Exodus. our earlier results force us to this and would be shattered were it not demonstrable3 (Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Biicher des Alien. 1974. Noth. 4 See above under 3. It is relatively easy to perform the task of sorting out roughly the passages whose r or.Story and Pentateuchal Criticism'. here as elsewhere.H. There is often a twofold problem: (1) the assigning of these pieces to each other. but in explaining these unevennesses.N. inserting them into their original context. 2 Redford and ¥/eippert. p.1 Other exegetes want to go further and contest the presence in the Joseph story of any sources at all in the sense of the documentary hypothesis.3 The difficulties of delimiting the sources in the first half of the m:ck of Exodus have already been mentioned. 3 Wellhausen had already noted perceptively what the detachment of the Joseph story would mean for the source theory as a whole: The main source for the last section of Genesis is also JE. 52).e.her from the commentary of W.5 This citation shows that one can establish that a text is not a unity. Schmidt in this matter: There is often agreement in registering the tensions.? co live contents cohere. .110 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the tradition.1. p./' but that a generation of work has not succeeded in determining which individual passages belong to the different sources. Also.2 This means yet a deeper breach in the validity of the documentary hypothesis. is assembled out of J and E. 20. 1899 [3rd edn]. the tensions and unevennesses which are present in the text have to be explained in another way. the assignment of texts remains an extremely doubtful matter. Whybray. Where does a source really begin. Testaments.4 Let us cite furl. because this large passage of text drops completely out of the conventional framework of explanation. where does it end? Are the transition verses which clamp different units to each other to be assigned to a written source or to the redaction? And so it is often difficult to corne to terms with secondary additions with any certainty. After weighing thoroughly all 1 Sfcesk. breaks. Accordingly. 6 Cf. cit. R. op. and (2) the precise delimitation of the units. i. A History. pp. 82-83. One surmises that this work. VT 18 (1988) 522-28. and gaps in the text. axcgetes are more or less divided.

the preference is for the Yahwist because of general considerations. for example. and by means of an in-built system . So for Fohrer. even though he has no criteria for doing so. Nevertheless. and N'.11-22 'presents a narrative which has been moulded almost to a perfect unity from elements of the source layers J. assigning it to J remains questionable. Exod. one has abandoned the point of departure of classical pentateuchal criticism. Decisive in this is that there are no solid criteria capable of indicating which passages are to be assigned to which sources. 2.. 64. p. and indeed to several sources at the same time! It is clear that in this way it is very much easier to point out the continuity of the presentation in the different sources. J. Wellhausen was rightly reserved in the judgment that he pronounced on Exodus 2: "the separation cannot be carried through"'. 3 It is at the same time clear that. E. The available clues 'speak in favour" of one source. Criticism of Pentafouchai Criticism. there has been no success in providing precise data for the continuous course of the Yahwistic narrative thread. Recently. unified passages of texts also. though there 'is a preference for the other'. Despite intensive efforts. 2 Uberlieferung und Geschichte des Exodus. 26. nevertheless they speak more in favour of the Elohist.3. can be assigned to several sources. in such a procedure. which in themselves offer no cause for literary-critical operations. Schmidt assigns Exod. Fohrer solves the problems differently. sees himself compelled to assign the texts to one of the accepted sources.. 111 arguments. He is of the opinion that he has at his disposal criteria by which he can assign texts or parts of texts to the individual sources. to whom one earlier and without exception assigned the main part. even if the redaction has almost completely altered the original text. p. 2.1 There is therefore great uncertainty of method in delimiting the sources.1964. Such statements show clearly that the exegete..1-10 as follows: Though. namely the question of an explanation of the breaks and repetitions ascertainable in the present text.2 Therefore. there are few concrete clues for assigning the text to any literary source. by means of them he can often discern elements of the sources.3 1 Exodus. on the basis of the available source hypothesis. Eine Analyse von Ex 1~ 15.

Noth finds problems in Exodus 3—4. 3 Op. L. which deals with the ceremony of the *blood of the covenant'.5 And the passage Exod. 31.3 One could also describe this situation in another way. namely by concluding that the criteria for source criticism have proved unsuitable to explain the literary problems of the Sinai pericope! Going into detail. 31. cit. cf. p. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament. 114. p. but also from the literary standpoint'. 5 Op. It seems here to be a matter of a conglomeration of seconda/y growths'. 3. eft. 31. 1 A History. 6 Op. 115.. n.1-4. n. . n. Noth carries out some negative delimitations: the story of the golden calf is 'a secondary element within J. 30. p.6 And so there is less and less left over for the Yahwist—and more and more texts disappear from the record by the methods of source divisions! As one proceeds. because it seems to Noth Very doubtful whether this piece belongs to any source at all and is not rather some sort of secondary appendix to the book of the covenant'.17) as a 'secondary element'. which seems 'to have been interpolated only secondarily into the work of the Yahwist'. 24. 32-34). Perlitt.3-8.p. 156ff. has.2Q3.. 19-24. eft. n.2 And so the Yahwist would have reported nothing of all this! In the further course of the narrative there are even more and greater difficulties. 115.1 in so far as he does not hold it to be elohistic.4 'One must renounce any literary critical analysis of Exodus 33. already within the old pentateuchal material (Exod. 4 Noth.. been given such a complicated literary arrangement that a plausible analysis is now no longer possible'. He considers that the whole passage which deals with Moses' meeting with God and the commission given him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exod.549. ibid. 2 Op.. the problems do not become easier. not only in the process of the formation of the tradition. pp.112 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch If Schmidt and other exegetes find it difficult to point to a Yahwistic narrative in the first two chapters of the book of Exodus. p. has not been included in the list. cit. Noth maintains that the narrative of the Sinai event. but only verified the hypothetical solution given earlier. 1969. by expansions and interpolations. 103. n.

Ibid. n. . Introduction. n. cit. pp. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 113 more difficult. according to the prevailing view. cit. age.1 And a little later: In the second half of the book of Numbers. In the last available pieces in Numbers 32. p.32. Ibid.2 In Noth's view then it appears that no information about the death of Moses has been preserved from the old sources!3 Kaiser's judgment is similar. 126. the situation in the 4th book of Moses does not of itself lead at once to these conclusions'. Op. then one would not easily come to the idea of 'continuous sources'. 12 of Numbers is one of the most despairing cases in pentateuchal analysis.. In his rehearsing of the Yahwistic work he writes: *We feel our way through the fragments of the Yahwistic narrative.6 As for the 'results of pentateuchal analysis gained elsewhere'.p. but rather to that of an unsystematic arrangement of numerous pieces of tradition of very different content. 4.. the far reaching consequence of all this has produced a final text so complicated that it is only with the greatest difficulty that one can make out anything certain about the original form of the pentateuchal material in this area'..4 And Noth himself later sharpened his judgment still further on the possibilities of source division in the book of Numbers: 'If one takes the 4th book of Moses in itself. Moses appears no more'. and character ('fragment hypothesis')'. Immediately after dealing with the Sinai pericope where. I simply give up any attempt to dismember it'.5. the old pentateuchal sources begin again. one should call to mind 1 2 3 4 5 6 Op.3. 89. p. and considers it 'justified to approach the 4th book of Moses with the results of pentateuchal analysis gained elsewhere and to expect continuous pentateuchal 'sources' in this book as well even if. all sorts of supplements have been inserted towards the end of the Moses tradition in the different literary stages. 32f. Noth writes: The very fragile ch. 120.5 Nevertheless.. Numbers. there has also been a literary working together of the Pentateuch and the deuteronomistic history. as already said. p. Noth is of the opinion that one should not isolate the book of Numbers.

from Steuernagel to Schmidt. even though one cannot discern them there. 'great uncertainty' reigns in the source division in the first part of the book of Exodus. and the results have 'often only a limited degree of probability*.114 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch once more that already. n. Hence. One must not pass over the fact that there are also exegetes who place more confidence in the trustworthiness of source analysis. But the citations given here indicate that there is in any case widespread uncertainty. and in addition. but thinks that the conclusion *has been lost' in the course of the redaction.1 It must remain doubtful if this is a basis from which one can expect 'sources' in the book of Numbers. . Noth is in basic agreement. 5 Op.3 'Hence there should be no cause for surprise when at the end of the Yahwistic work the theme of the occupation of the land does not appear with its special significance and to the extent expected'. even if one does not 'renounce completely as too uncertain5 the assignment of texts to particular sources.. 4 Ibid. 2 See above under 1. with the Yahwist. 22-24). Interpretation 20 (1966) 131-58. cit. it cannot in any way be said that there is a broad and well founded consensus today among supporters of the documentary hypothesis about the precise course of the Yahwistic work.4 Wolff then is satisfied to conclude the Yahwistic work with the Balaam narrative (Num.2 Wolff on the other hand does not have these difficulties because for him the once so important theme of the promise of the land has.4. The problem area for the understanding of the whole work that arises out of all this may be clarified under two points: (1) the question of the conclusion of the Yahwistic work: von Rad reckons with a Hexateuch because he understands the whole as directed to the occupation of the land. been 'contracted to a secondary narrative trait'. the analyses of Noth must be counted as truly representative of the present day.5 There is no more talk of the death of Moses. Other exegetes manage by passing over the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua and taking the traditions of the occupation of the land in the first 1 See above under 3. 3 'The Kerygma of the Yahwist'.1. 37.

rather: 'How can it be otherwise. 34. but here too. 33. p. given as starting point the kerygma (of the Yahwist}? The nations which 1 E. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 115 chapter of the book of Judges as the conclusion of the Yahwistic work.1b-6 to the Yahwist as 'tenant' (DBS VII. but do not draw the consequences from it.1 But for these also the difficulty remains that in the Yahwistic work there is no information about the death of Moses. 1967. n. . Can one then really say anything reliable about the purpose and goal of this work? (2) A further controversial point which ought be mentioned fis yet another exuniDle is the part "olayed bv the Yahwist in the Sinai periecpe ar-d the question. and the 'law'-giving has obviously given occasion for all sorts of subsequent expansions and statements'. 13. what is the significance of the Sinai periocope for him. 78ff. Smend. also S.2 But all in all the question of the end of the Yahwistic work remains undecided and many exegetes leave it aa open question both in itself and for themselves. Noth has already spoken against this view (A History. They acknowledge thereby Noth's separation of the book of Joshua from the Pentateuch. 1966. 6 Exodus.4 He explains the situation thus: the insertion of different codes of law' have 'disturbed the tight structure of the three narrative sources not inconsiderably' and 'so central an event as the divine manifestation. 4 Ibid. Wolff thinks otherwise: He maintains that the Yahwist is 'taciturn' on the Sinai theme.Literatur des alien Israel. Kaiser.5 Noth is clearly of the opinion that the Yahwist too originally had a considerable and discernible share in this central passage. Many would like to find it in Deuteronomy 34. 2 Gazelles finds the opinion which ascribes Deut. 127). p. pp. Noth has maintained that the account cf the events at Sinai 'have been given such a complicated literary arrangement that a plausible analysis is no longer passible5.. 3 A History. But this is not due to redactional alteration of the text.3. 791). they want to retain a small bit of 'Hexateuch'. 31. p.. the making of the covenant. 115. Biblische Zeug"Jsse. great uncertainty reigns. n. 86-87.3 He is of the opinion that this is 'thoroughly comprehensible in view of what is narrated here'. rather.g. col. Introduction. pp.

and whom he saw both in the Joseph story and then in the exodus tradition in the form of the shackling might of Egypt. 6 The Yahwist. 1969. 19.2 The tradition of the occupation of the land attests Yahweh's merciful will. pp. Coppens. both themes are at the very centre of the theological conception of the Yahwist. 1969.. having grown up together with the other themes'. pp. because it was already there before him. It was 'a free and daring act of the Yahwist' and signifies theologically 'a considerable enrichment'. 5 Jahwist und Priesterschrift. in the centre of the Sinai tradition stands Yahweh's will that demands justice. 53-54. He could not of course by-pass it. have no place at all in the Sinai theme. Zwei Glaubenszeugnisse des Alien Testaments. Gazelles says of the Sinai theme: the Yahwist 'knows the Sinai [theme] and is more interested in it than one thinks'. The Bible's First Theologian. 1969.3 For von Rad. 34-57 (50).6 These examples are cited merely to show how broad are the differences of opinion as to which themes in the tradition are 1 2 3 4 'The Kerygma of the Yahwist'. 53-54. the simple and basic soteriological idea of the tradition of the occupation of the land acquired a powerful and beneficial substructure'. Ellis writes: The Sinai covenant may rightly be termed the climax of the Yahwist's saga'. 1. Over against this there should be set other opinions. By taking to itself the Sinai tradition.1 And so Wolffs conception of the Yahwistic work allows no significance worth mentioning to the Sinai theme. on whose account the patriarchal theme was so fruitful for him.116 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch preoccupied him in the primeval story. the selection of which can only be more or less random.F.5 P. themes which for Wolff have no further independent significance. Op. Von Rad has emphasized that the 'inset of the Sinai tradition' was one of the decisive theological accomplishments of the Yahwist. According to Marie—Louise Henry 'the Yahwist makes the event at Sinai the climax of his presentation'. Festschrift J. pp. 'Positions actuelles dans l'ex£gese du Pentateuque'. 181. . cit. p. in De Mart a Qumr&n. p.4 There are still further opinions in the different monographs on the theology of the Yahwist. The Form-critical Problem'.

then some more on grammar and style. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 117 to be regarded as specifically and characteristically Yahwistic. by another to E.45. Introduction to the Old Testament. It is generally emphasized that the language of the priestly document is clearly recognizable. 1922 = 1962 (2nd edn).2 again with further details on grammar and style. There is a corresponding 'Lexikon' of E (9 pages). 283-90. argument by means of differences in linguistic usage has receded completely into the background. pp.1 1 There follow no less than fourteen pages of Yahwistic vocabulary. Hexateuch. pp. The same narrative is not infrequently assigned by one author to J. 29. Op.5 But in his Introduction he again advanced the argument from linguistic usage.. 93 (emphasis in original). confusion begins. 5. A classical example of this are the tables of 'linguistic characteristics' of the sources in Holzinger's Introduction. 'in the current abandonment of other arguments to make use of this one alone to solve the problems of the Hexateuch'. 181-89. But as soon as one comes to refinements. Eissfeldt writes: *Even for J and E a whole list of statements have been made which are of permanent value. narrative motifs. The uncertainty becomes still greater when it is a question of the marks that characterize the Yahwist's way of presentation and style.339-48. 5. One reads: 'One can speak of a characteristic Lexikon oftT. p. p. Synopse. 6 Introduction. and notes. apart from the distinction 'Canaanites/Amorites' and 'Sinai/Horeb'. and tries. 11. 5 Op. all that is left is that the slave woman is called in the J-layer and in the Elayer. pp. each time on the basis of language'.3. 1893.. but the probative value of this is reduced when the slave woman serving the man' (and only she is in question in the alleged proofs!) is described as well in the J-layer as 'concubine' . but little has remained from Holzinger's comprehensive lists. Older generations applied much ingenuity to working out the linguistic peculiarities of the penta-(hexa-) teuchal sources. p. cit. 183. p. Bentzen.3 Since then. likewise for (T)' and) P.6 Here the argument from different linguistic 1 2 3 4 Einleitung in den Hexateuch. also A.4 He therefore gives place to the argument of the frequent occurrence of narratives. cit.. cit. . 1959 (5th edn). Op.

it is not used in any polemical sense. but in detail cannot be more sharply defined.1 However.6 it can only be due to the principle of inertia that this argument is still used at all. objects etc. 1) pp. 1913) and Steuernagel (1912)... can be described as 'detailed' (so Fohrer). 'Amah .4 One thing becomes very clear from this example: in the present state of pentateuchal study. 104 n. persons. something like Eissfeldt. p. 1974. 233-34.3 Noth. 214-15. these arguments scarcely carry conviction and the individual exegete has scarcely been able to substantiate them with concrete content. 115. 203.5 consensus about the acknowledgment of the documentary hypothesis. p. he does not produce any examples but refers merely to the tables in Driver (1891. 31. 93. 7 And this all the more so in view of A. however illdefined. and these words and phrases occur too seldom to be of any real service in classifying the material as a whole'. Das alte Testament. arguments are often taken over and repeated on the basis of a general.2 Kaiser refers to Holzinger (1912) and mentions a few examples. closer attention shov/s only faint traces of synonyms and synonymous phrases whose variable use can with any probability be traced back to a difference in writers who have given the material its formulation as handed down. Stolz. 3 Introduction. p. 4 A History. doubts whether these arguments carry any weight at all: The study of language and style in itself is of scarcely any decisive help in the analysis of the Pentateuch material. however.118 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch usage is reduced to a tiny crumb. When the claim that the sources J and E differ from each other in their use of language. is not due to chance but coheres with other distinguishing marks'. 21. Further examination shows that the change in the designation of places.7 Reference to tables in older literature without con1 Introduction. 2 Whether the summary details given by Steuernagel in his Lehrbuch—4see above under p. 6 Cf. must be questionable. Fohrer speaks confidently: The linguistic usage is different in the individual source layers. also F. is reduced after all to the statement that there are two (or three!) different designations for the slave woman. but only to state that the consensus consists only in a basic conviction. p. Jepsen's discussion. 5 The German word used is 'diffus'.

Their committment to and Schiphchah'. Op.p. Introduction. There are various aspects to this question. First. one finds a very divided answer.2. cif.!29. p. Noth in particular has found a large following with his thesis that before the Yahwist and the Elohist there already existed a 'common basis' (G = Grundlage}. 297. VT 8 (1958) 293-97: 'It would be far better to exclude the two words and from the arguments for source division'.3. so that one must reckon with two basic narratives. what part did the Yahwist and the other older authors of the sources play in the shaping of the texts ascribed to them. It has been accepted since Gunkel that the individual narratives often existed independently at first before they became parts of larger compositions—and then at some time or other of the Yahwistic work as well..4 The matter was rather clear for Gunkel: the origin of the written sources marks at the same time the transition from oral to written tradition. One generally insists today that the Yahwist's work had a long pre-history.2 Characteristics of the work of the Yahwist But the real problem goes much deeper: in what way is it possible at all to ask about the distinguishing marks of the Tahwistic style' or the Yahwistic language'? This question is closely linked with the other: in what way is the Yahwist to be regarded as 'narrator* or 'writer'? If one looks for information on this question in recent literature. 'G has been worked over in different ways 2 . 1 2 3 4 .. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 119 crete details about what is considered still valid in them. serves scarcely more than to function as an alibi. Since then further intermediary steps have been introduced into the discussion.3 But this only makes the question more urgent. p. first an older (G1) and then a later (G2)'.1 Fohrer extended the thesis.IS. 39. The collection of stories had already begun in the oral tradition'. it has something to do with the question of oral and written tradition. It is not a matter of alternatives as opponents of the documentary hypothesis have developed it under the catch cry 'oral tradition'. p.. A History. 3.

5 He surmises that 'the popular narratives. pp. p. cit. The written sources/layers therefore are in essence unanimously considered to be written works. Ixxx. as we have seen.4 insists that the question of the transition from the oral to the written stage 'must be put anew for each type of literature..8 There is then only an apparent contradiction to the opinions of Gunkel and Fohrer already cited. p. cit.2 Fohrer's judgment is similar: 'In accordance with the literary promises available to Israel. in his discussion of this whole group of questions. Ibid. In another place he describes the Yahwist repeatedly as a 'writer' (likewise the Elohist)7 and speaks for example of literary clamps' of which the Yahwist makes use. and with their committment to writing the living oral transmission by no means came to an end'. were written down only relatively late.. p. to the older of which we owe "the collections of the Yahwist (J) and the Elohist (E)"'. 85. What preceded them? For Gunkel. . and answered differently.. 131. 85. But what about the entity 'G'? Noth leaves the question open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Genesis. as they are found from Genesis to Samuel. p. took place in a long process in which one can distinguish "two periods".1 This was at the same time the end of the oral tradition ^because the fixation in writing will then for its part have contributed to the death of the remains of the oral tradition still existing'. cit. Op.3 Koch. 128-32. cit..6 Unfortunately he does not say what he means by 'relatively late' and what consequences are to be drawn from this for the sources of the Pentateuch. See above under 1. and indeed for each literary unit'.120 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch writing 'will have followed at a time which lent itself rather to writers'. Op. cit. Op.. the oral tradition was concerned for the most part with individual pieces whereas the written sources of the Pentateuch were without doubt recorded in writing'. Op.. The written collection of stories. Op. the formation of the written sources meant the transition from oral to written tradition.

7 meaning here by 'collectors' expressly J and E. Noth writes: 'the ancient sources clearly kept substantially to the narrative tradition given to them both as a whole and in detail'. It is frequently noted6 that one should not imagine that an ancient writer like the Yahwist was in any way near as free as a modern writer. 229. the authors of the ancient source layers kept in general and in detail to the tradition that they 1 A History.1. Gunkel had already insisted that the stories were taken over by the collectors essentially as they found them. H. p. see above under 1. Die Entstehung der Geschichtsschreibung im Alien Israel.3. 6 For von Rad's view.. there is a recognizable tendency to give an affirmative answer. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 121 and maintains that it cannot be decided. from which 'the Yah wist took over. 5 Differently.1 Kaiser speaks similarly of a 'moulded tradition (G). was probably available in a written version'.. Ixxx. be it oral or written'. 74. 84f. Noth rejects G's opinion of the sources as 'schools of narrators'. be it oral or written. whereas G2. Schulte. the basic outline for his narrative'. Despite this agreement with Gunkel. Introduction. pp.5 For the rest. had a distinct form. 39. 229. Ixxxiii. p. pp.3 Kaiser refers to the suggestions of Kilian and Fritz that the Yahwist may well have had available to him and used a written model for particular complexes of tradition.8L 3 Introduction. it is emphasized that the material available. 1972. He insists 'that this common basis for J and E must already have had a fixed form'. at the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon. p. 8 A History. pp. but continues: *Whether it be that it was fixed in writing or whether it was that in its oral transmission it had acquired a distinct form both in structure and content'. 2 Introduction.2 Fohrer is of a different opinion here: 'It is to be presumed that G1 circulated only in oral tradition. 7 Genesis. .8 And Fohrer very similarly: 'Apart from their individual characteristic.4 There is no unanimity therefore on the question whether the Yahwist used written sources which were available to him. p. however. he was much more strongly bound to what lay before him.lSOt 4 Kaiser.

p..3 The shape that the material had taken had already reached such a point 'that the definitive literary version was for the most part subject only to linguistic and stylistic reworking5. .. their uniform use of language is a clear sign that the stuff of the stories has passed through the mould'. for one cannot seriously bring together under the common term 'Yahwistic style' texts in the "brief narrative style of Gen. there are collectors who are far removed from passing on material transmitted without any alteration. cit. each in the style transmitted. units'. which gives one readily to reflect that all sorts of modes of expression and stylistic characteristics had already been given with the old tradition. without any attempt to balance the individual narratives.4 Noth's judgment is more reserved: 'The work of J and E consisted largely in simply giving formulation to the narratives transmitted. 603. 12. rather the very difference in style would be judged as evidence against common authorship. in the final written form'. p.5 Noth makes the explicit point that 'the brief/detailed narrative style. 144 5 A History. n.6 Thus he has basically denied the existence of a peculiar Yahwistic style. tightly selfcontained. 6 Ibid. Ought other standards hold for the Pentateuch? Or can other common and convincing stylistic marks be found which. 2 Genesis.122 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch used'.1 Is there anything then such as a Tahwistic style' or a Tahwistic language'? Gunkel replies affirmatively: 'On the other hand. Ixxxv. so that the ancient sources could not have yet become formal. p. the source layers rest on the activity of individual writers who show differences in both language and style'. 4 Op.10-20 and texts in the 'detailed' style of Genesis 24—not to speak of the 'novellistic style' of the Joseph story! In any other area of the OT one would regard it as a serious methodological error were an exegete to ascribe such fundamentally different texts to a common author. They have allowed the stories to penetrate their being. 229. 143. 1 Introduction. has been preserved. p.p. 3 Introduction.2 Likewise Fohrer: 'In any case.

3. there is no unanimity: did the Yahwist not even so much as formulate or remodel the texts passed on.. or did he rework their language and style so that they now bear his own characteristic stamp? If yes. 37.p. how can we know which texts come from the Yahwist or are to be ascribed to him? It is clear that this question only becomes a problem if one does not take as the point of departure the assumption. Schmidt. that the documentary hypothesis holds and that consequently everything that is not ascribed to the priestly writing or. p. 1967. p.5 We have already spoken of a sort of method of subtraction which is used today whereby everything. Exodus. then in what does this stamp consist.. considered as certain. (He) has for the most part been content to pass on what was available to him'. given the fundamental differences in form and style between the individual narratives? If no.2 Smend writes on the question: We must think of the Yahwist as first and foremost a loyal collector of popular tradition. Literatur des alien Israel. which is not on firm grounds reckoned to another source or layer of reworking.6 If one 1 2 3 4 5 Genesis (9th edn German. Eng 2nd edn) p. suggest that one accept a common author? Von Rad has given another answer to this question: 'In the shaping of the individual narratives the Yahwist has perhaps not been beyond a certain hewing of the archaic profile and the chipping of quite distinct and subtle traits'. or did he 'mould' them into another form. is ascribed to the Yahwist. Biblische Zeugnisse.3 And after a short survey of the course of presentation in the Yahwistic narrative he continues: The Yahwist presents all this while allowing his sources to speak in as trustworthy a manner as possible'.. cit.27. 64.3. must be considered Yahwistic. 26. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 123 despite these fundamental differences. . if need be. I prescind here from the question of the separation of the Yahwist into two sources and from the question of the part of the 'redactors'. 6 See above under 1.4 And so in this question as well. The Kerygma'. to the Elohist. p. also W.1 Wolff too insists that the Yahwist is by and large a trustworthy collector who has himself done little by way of redaction to the material transmitted'. Op. 136.

But we have already seen. sometimes sparsely. 1969. then one can quite well argue. DBS. 792-93. cols. 136. 1 Tentateuque'. on the basis of the variety of forms in the traditions used by him.3 It is quite clear here. However. VII. sometimes extensively. pp. with Noth's qualifications. as representations of the variety of styles in the Yahwist. 3 The Kerygma'. . 2 The Yahwist. there does seem to be basic agreement that a quite decisive characteristic of the Yahwist is the way in which he has arranged the material that came to him and that he took over. And what is offered to him. The Bible's First Theologian. one can understand why the statements on this point in the literature are mostly very vague. as with the Sinai tradition. is left without a concrete answer. However. This was the fundamental idea in von Rad's plan. is really nothing else than a description of the 'art form of the stories (Sagen)' as Gunkel had already provided for Genesis. there is no reliable evidence here. that the actual work of the Yahwist as a composer has been reduced quite notably.124 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch accepts this assumption as certain. in his outline. what does all this mean for the stylistic forms found in the Yahwist—whose literary stock has been fixed beforehand and independently of them? But whoever wants to put the first question. because we cannot see clearly what was sacrificed when the material was worked together with the Elohist and later with the priestly writing. 1966. now here now there. p. The presentations by Gazelles1 and Ellis2 can serve as recent examples of this. One asks then not. and so above all are the contents of the great forecourt known as the primeval story which is generally regarded as his literary accomplishment'. how does one recognize the work of the Yahwist?—but. in which he allows the large blocks of tradition belonging to the preliterary stage to give expression to themselves. inasmuch as he holds the assumptions described above to be not all that certain. Hence. that the Yahwist likewise disposed of a variety of stylistic forms. in my opinion. And so Wolff writes: *What the Yahwist himself has to say becomes clearer in his arranging of the material handed on. how an argument is maintained. as with the patriarchal tradition. 113ff. But the outline is as a whole independent of this.

ci*.4 It is not said how this is done and to what extent the action of Yahweh was originally expressed less 1 2 3 4 Introduction. from Genesis! It is not mentioned if the 'special emphasis' of J is demonstrable in other places as well. often almost exclusively. and how 'history' (Geschichte) is shaped out of individual stories (Geschichten). In his view 'it is to be noted to what extent the single event is brought into large complexes and set under over-arching view points. Another characteristic mark of the present discussion is in evidence here: the arguments for identifying the Yahwist (for his theology.3.3 (The other nations can and so ought to share in its blessing?3). p. namely 'the contents of the great forecourt known as the primeval story*.21 and (without explicit citation) Gen. 8. see below under 3. . the 'self-expression' of the Yahwist becomes very clear. Introduction. According to Kaiser the Yahwist has 'in the traditions available to him undoubtedly moved the action of Yahweh firmly into the foreground'. p. The picture is similar with Fohrer. Ibid.3) are taken predominantly. Wolff holds to this idea and underscores it heavily. Op. while in this 'arranging the material passed on'.2.1 He continues further: 'Striking here is the mingling of national (already noted) and universal concepts'.p. and that of the arrangement of the great blocks of tradition there remains peculiar to him what 'is generally regarded as his (the Yahwist's) literary accomplishment'. the arrangement of the larger blocks was the decisive accomplishment of the Yahwist.!50. 12. 84.. But Wolff has to qualify this immediately and say in the very next sentence that there is 'no reliable evidence here'. This is shown both by the structure of the whole which is expanded around the primeval story and by the special emphasis given by J'.2 As proofs are alleged Gen. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 125 although it has lost its essential basis and thereby its power of conviction: for von Had. According to Wolffs opinion therefore and in face of the present text—and we have no other!—one can not give concrete details of what this compositorial accomplishment comprises. 150 (with reference to Weiser).

.3-2.3 The theology of the Yahwist But we have not yet mentioned a crucial matter of discussion 1 Ibid.3 The peculiar accomplishment of the Yahwist consists not in the linguistic and stylistic shaping of the traditions handed on (although there was possibly something like this.2.2. Critical reflection shows that the structure is really held together only by the common conviction of those for whom the documentary hypothesis is a fixed piece of data in the tradition of scholarship in which they stand. cit. it does not occur to them to doubt it. 'Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte'. exclusively from the book of Genesis. larger complexes of traditions were already available (to the Yahwist)'. even though so many individual supporting arguments have been shown to be no longer tenable. Rendtorff. T3y giving shape to the promise motifs handed on and by linking together the ancient traditions he achieved furthermore a theologizing*. in my opinion.4).5 3.23b-33.126 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch clearly in the versions taken over by the Yahwist. 6. but in the arrangement of the traditions (although the complexes of tradition were to a large extent available to him) and in putting certain emphases (which one can recognize clearly only in a very few places)4 Here. 8. there can be no talk of a promise motif or motifs being passed on to the Yahwist.21-22. What then could he still link together? There is present here once more that general yet ill-defined consensus which we noted earlier. 5 See further R. 3 See above under 3.17-18. pp. 4 Wolff (op. . 2 As shown above (2.1-4a. EvTh 27 (1967) 138-53. 18.1 Here too there is the undemonstrated claim about the 'linking together of the ancient traditions' and the intention inherent in it.2 And more—two sentences before we read 'that besides the basic plan linking together the different cycles of themes. one can discern clearly yet again how the overall conception has been maintained. although more and more some of the individual parts of which the structure once consisted have become questionable or have had to be abandoned entirely.1 (towards the end). even though one cannot exactly prove it).) talks of five much discussed bridge passages.5-8. 12.!36ff.

.1-3 and 18. p. 2 The Kerygma'. 18.e. has put it at the centre of the theology of the Yahwist. inasmuch as his share in the composition is given a considerably lower rating and his theological contribution finds expression mainly in a few programmatic sentences.5 and 8. Gen. with the heaviest emphasis. they are in their whole pattern of thought incomparably closer to him 1 The Form Critical Problem'. in the arrangement of the hitherto independent large complexes of tr&dition of the Pentateuch/Hexateuch.!37ff. i.1 This text has been explained often and in detail.3. on the contrary plays no role at all in von Rad's presentation of the Yahwist's theology. Criticism of Peniateuchal Criticism 127 which dominates to a large extent the current literature: the theology of the Yahwist.22b-33.22b-33. Wolff. We have already referred to the basic shift of emphasis which judgment about the Yahwist as a theologian has undergone through Noth.'. Von Rad had already elaborated in detail the significance of the first: it is a link which binds the story of the human race described in the primeval story with the story of Israel which begins with Abraham. 66. In their presentation of the Yahwist.21-22). He did not mention in it his The Formcritical Problem. 12. Moth's opinion has prevailed by and large. A great number of authors have repeated mechanically that one can best recognize the Yahwist where he himself formulates and this he does in those same programmatic sentences. Besides a few sentences in the primeval story (especially 6. It has already been noted that von Rad saw the theological achievement of the Yahwist above all in the theological composition. it is 'the clamp between the primeval story and the story of salvation' and 'the etiology of all etiologies of Israel'.2 The second text. pp. most of the contributions just cited pass quickly from a few general and often quite summary statements about the composition to a treatment of the theology of the Yahwist. The selection of texts has generally remained the same.. there are mainly two places: Gen.. It is striking that this text is missing from the presentation of the Yahwist's theology in the Introduction of Fohrer and Kaiser. in his commentary on Genesis he writes of both passages: If they do not stem precisely from his (the Yahwist's) pen.

pp. 1972. apparently.5 Smend writes: 'Only once. speaks in favour of one of the other sources.1. in any case one would like very much to ascribe so lapidary a piece of theology to this great theologian. As this is beyond dispute.. 627. 5 Introduction.19 is deuteronomistic. Noth. It is obviously a matter here not of a piece of ancient story tradition. cit. 395.7 What is the reason for saying that we must be dealing here with a particularly characteristic and important piece of the theology? A first reason is easy to see. 1972. 239.20-33): The passage stands quite isolated and it is scarcely possible for us to classify it in the historical-theological process'. and so only the Yahwist remains. it immediately suggests itself to many exegetes that the piece is to be ascribed to the Yahwist. p. it seems. 151 8 Cf. pp.. Eng. op. cit. for von Rad.4 According to Kaiser 'we ought to regard (this piece) as something peculiarly his own' so that 'it is in this passage perhaps that we come to recognize the Yahwist most clearly as a theologian'. but of a theological reflection which. 84-85. For him this piece is 'an independent contribution of J'3 and 'in the analysis of the theology of J deserves especially careful attention'. can we latch on to a lengthy piece in all these passages which he himself has written: Abraham's dialogue with Yahweh before the destruction of Sodom'.2 Hence.8 such refined theological reflection ought not be confided to a 'redactor*.p.239. 9th edn.2. 214-15. p. I. 2nd edn). 2 Theology of the Old Testament.128 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch than the really ancient narratives'. only the 'addition' in 18. is to be reckoned only to a stage in the process of tradition when reworking and reflection were at work. 7 Introduction. it has never had a constitutive function for the understanding of the Yahwist. without any doubt. 3 A History. p.1 However. . p. but stands in solitary isolation. 6 See above under 3. in his Theology of the Old Testament he has this to say about the second piece (18. 1 Genesis (German.6 And this is the only passage outside the primeval story that Fohrer expressly cites in his presentation of the theology of the Yahwist. n. Noth sees it differently. 4 Op. 238. Nothing.

2. 23 n.. Noth. Noth..32. towards a world where righteousness is missing or hopelessness seems to lie at its base'. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 129 But in what does the characteristically Yahwistic quality of this piece consist? Kaiser cites with approval a sentence from Noth which he would like to extend 'across the whole of the Yahwist's narrative story': '. rather for him the very few 'just' carry such weight that because of them the great crowd of the 'godless' would go unpunished instead of the opposite.. described as unambiguously and consistently as anywhere else in the Old Testament'. Op. and he is of the opinion that thus 'the human being of the Yahwistic primeval story stands before us. it becomes clear that people in this world can only be rescued through the free action of God himself. there were not even the 'ten just' of v. And further. op.. cit. that the 'righteous action' of the 'judge of the whole earth' (v.p. The statement of Noth (and Kaiser) that the human person 1 2 3 4 5 Cf.3 But does this do justice to the text? Is the text really dealing with the general problem described? And is it really justified to set Sodom and all the 'people of the world' in parallelism?4 Noth has already described the problem quite differently: it is 'to be noted in this discussion.239. 239. probably there would not even be one'. p. 25) would. op. ci*. . Ibid. that he would not as it were number off the 'just' over against the 'godless'. 239..1 Noth points out that in Sodom.... the "judge of all the world". not through some sort of righteousness of their own by which they might be able to protect themselves and others before the divine judgment'.2 Similarly Smend: The problem of the primeval story is also the problem of the other parts of the Yahwistic work: it is the action of Yahweh.5 But this is not at all the problem of the primeval story! The idea that the righteousness of Noah could have any influence on YHWH's decision to destroy appears nowhere there. Introduction. p. cit.3. p. namely that the individual 'just' would be taken up into the judgment that befalls the 'godless". Cf. consist in this. according to Abraham's view implicitly confirmed by Yahweh. such reflections do not appear 'in other parts of the Yahwistic work' (Smend). Kaiser..

18. And so it is difficult to find in Gen. One may leave it an open question whether the view in the text is 'still far from the later.4-6 where it is said expressly 'not because of your own righteousness'. 9. op. 4 Fohrer.29). 12. 20.6. laid down a new way of thinking which took its point of departure from the protective and representative function of the He sees it 'in the perspective of many future generations' in line with the statements about 'the suffering servant who brings salvation "for the many" (Isa.4 For von Rad it is 'a unique breakthrough which. 395. on the contrary..22b-33 evidence of a theology that is characteristic of the work of the Yahwist.3. that Pharaoh acknowledge that YHWH alone is God and has the power (Exod. and finally. but rather Ezek. 53. Wolff wants to see in this passage an initial development of the Yahwistic theme of Gen. 147f. 8.14. 3 Noth. . it is clear that the passage must be seen in the context of the discussions about the relationship between collective (or corporate) to individual righteousness as found particularly in Ezekiel. p. p. 17!2 The intercession of the Tahwistic' Moses for the Egyptians is. there is no intercession. cit. individualistic solution* of the question. On the contrary. The answer is: in the tireless intervention of Abraham-Israel on behalf of those who are destined to death'.18.7).10)'. 9. p. in place of the old notion of collectivity.5 But is this passage really so 'unique*? It seems to me that the important point of reference is less the discussion about individual responsibility as such in Ezekiel 18. when the firstborn of Egypt are destined to death.3 or is already 'on the way from corporate to individual responsibility and liability as formulated in Ezekiel'. I.7 belongs to the 'Elohist'. see Wolff.130 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch cannot be rescued 'through any personal righteousness' would find its parallel in the Pentateuch at best in Deut.3.. op. in many ways doctrinaire. 1 'The Kerygma'. 11. pp. cit. 9. how blessing can come to those threatened with death in Abraham-Israel.1 But the closest parallel to Abraham as intercessor would be the 'elohistic' passage in Gen. 238. the plagues also serve the same goal (8. 2 For the claim that 20. 151 5 Theology of the Old Testament.7. Introduction.

It is evident here that for many authors—often enough when writing for a rather broad circle of readers—the idea of the Yahwist as the great theologian who has given the Pentateuch its decisive stamp. Theology. 14.22b-33 to be an 'insertion'. 14. let it be said expressly here that this is in no way to contest the possibility of making synthetic theological statements about the Pentateuch as a whole.12-20 belong to a common context in the process of the history of tradition. of the Yahwist as a 'source' or 'source layer' as understood by the documentary hypothesis. Wellhausen. But Ezekiel denies this: men so exemplary and just as Noah. 18.3. 53. in the methodologically strictest sense.3. whether a few just can save a whole community. they alone would be saved (Ezek.2 What remains of the 'theology of the Yahwist'? First. 10. von Rad passes over too quickly. 1899 (3rd edn). p. Rather. p. 20). in my opinion. if need be.12-20 which. 25. Daniel. a further remark must be inserted here: one often finds paraphrase-like descriptions of the overall theological conception of the Pentateuch/Hexateuch which are given out as the theology of the Yahwist. cf. Von Rad. What. the talk here is first. or is simply of the opinion that the time is now come when the intercession of such exemplary and just people can no longer ward off judgment. and Job could not effect that. One could say somewhat subtly: Ezekiel's contemporaries also know the problem dealt with in Genesis 18.1 in any case it is clear that the theological reflections in Gen. 18. Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 131 14. 18. However. 395.14. Die Composition. . has broken away from the literary critical problems of the documentary hypothesis and become independent. The question in the background there is clearly: can a few just effectively protect the whole community from the judgment of God? The negative answer given in Ezekiel 14 is only comprehensible if those listening to the prophet reckon with this possibility. underscores the closeness to Isa. It must remain open here whether Ezekiel holds this thesis to be utterly false theologically. in the question of the 'theology*. 16. might take its 1 Verses 22-23! 2 On this. I. He holds Gen. and the 'motive' for it was a 'mood' that '(dominated) the Jewish people at the time when Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied and the book of Job took form'.22b-33 and Ezek.

L. is 'contracted to a secondary narrative feature' and 'is not in the area of his particular interest'. A History. 3 Op. 1965. 233. cit. but not with von Rad. 12. 167-72. And the individual programmatic statements can be claimed for him only to a very limited extent—and that only at the very beginning of his work. 2 Thus Zimmerli. But they are not of the kind out of which one can develop a theology of the Yahwist. . in its present narrative con1 Wolff. ZThK 53 (1956) 1-10 = Das kleine Credo und andere Studien zum Alien Testament. which so clearly runs through the whole patriarchal tradition. Individual passages had for the most part already been formed. 52554. O. in which. When he describes 12.H. The Kerygma'. Rost. Here again. The Form Critical'.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. 60.2 It is clearly not possible to present a theological conception which embraces the whole Pentateuch and can be shown convincingly to belong to the Yahwist. attention must be drawn to a peculiar situation: although attempts to present a theology of the Yahwist proceed almost entirely from Genesis. p.7 as 'tradition' (ibid. p. 1971.. 140. he is in agreement with Noth. Old Testament Theology in Outline.* or limited almost entirely to the primeval story. Festschrift G. in Probleme biblischer Theologie. And so even Wolff in his approach to Gen. pp. 'Zum geschichtlichen Ort der Pentateuchquellen'. is a later question. 12.1-3 has to explain that the promise of the land. What remains then of the 'theology of the Yahwist*? The great achievement of arrangement in which von Rad thought he could discern his theological intentions.132 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch place. On the contrary: they present almost an embarrassment. Gen. 25-35. von Rad. p. the element of the divine promise addressed to the patriarchs plays an astonishingly small role. Steck.3 And as for the Abraham-Lot narrative in Genesis 13. pp.). It is entirely in accord with the present state of scholarship when the theology of the Yahwist is developed out of one programmatic passage. pp. Language and style he took for the most part from what was available to him. 'Genesis 12. can no longer be claimed for him.1-3. Yet it is clearly evident that there is in them a very concentrated form of theological reflection and speech.

the promise of the land.3.3 3. this theology often has to be tapped from very indirect hints. that the uncertainties coming to light show a very obvious weakness in the whole theory which.1-3 the *Yahwistic' theme of blessing. whereas. the assurance of the land to Abraham plays a central role. 1 Op. But other authors as well scarcely mention the promises in this context. cit. p. as he sees it.. in many cases.16-17: This is a guide to understanding passages. can one discern indications of a pre-deuteronomic reworking or shaping of the Pentateuch as a whole? In the present state of pentateuchal research this function is generally ascribed to the Pentateuch 'sources'. In his case. We had put the question. Wolff. or can scarcely.p. in which the theme (namely. 133 on Gen. . 22. ci*. taking out of 12.2 There is obviously in Genesis a large area of quite expressly theological statements which cannot. this question is *but touched on in passing'. 3 Cf. so the question must now be put. be taken into consideration when one inquires about the 'theology' of the 'sources'. so as to be able to interpret the text within the frame of the Yahwistic theology. the weight of tradition has not yet allowed to penetrate consciousness. as is the case with Westermann. we came to the conclusion that the agreement in essential basic questions was very much less than is generally maintained.2.4 Reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work We return then to the place where the reflections of this chapter began. the 'sources' on the contrary play no role. how do our reflections so far stand in relationship to the 'documentary hypothesis'? We gave precedence over this to the general question about the present state of pentateuchal research in the matter of sources. for that not contained in it. in reverse.1. And when these themselves are the subject of a theme. in the intent of the Yahwist'. This is true in a special way for the Yahwist. op.1 And so he exchanges the theme expressly mentioned in the text. blessing) is not directly sounded.. Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 133 tent. Wolff writes: The one blessed becomes a source of blessing inasmuch as he freely leaves to the other fertile land'.l4a 2 See above under 2.

which make it clear that the fundamental unanimity claimed does not in fact exist to any extent.18. belongs to a stage in the process of tradition which links the stories of the three individual patriarchs with each other: Abraham (12.14) are to be a blessing for all the clans of the earth. as Westermann has shown. incompatible contradictions arise. but that they show different stages and layers. as we have seen. Verse 3. But this is not the final stage of the process of formation of the tradition.3. 26. namely that one can discern in them a very intensive theological reworking and interpretation which did not take place at one stroke. are acknowledged as valid. Gen. represents one stage within the history of the theological reworking and interpretation of the patriarchal story. for.3) and Jacob (28. the element of blessing is not an independent promise theme. 12. . when the Abraham and Isaac stories are joined together. which is generally held to be the central statement of the Yahwist. And so it is precisely here that the crucial point must lie on which rests our statement of the question to the theses of pentateuchal research up to the present. without exception. Now we have already seen that in the different attempts to set out the theology of the Yahwist. but his 'seed' that is to be the mediator of the blessing to the 'nations' (Gen.134 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch there are certain general basic presuppositions which. And attempts to work out the 'theology of the Yahwist' are not in the end touched by this. how does any sort of Yahwistic theological work relate to this? It is remarkable that none of the independent themes of the promise addresses to the patriarchs is found in the passage Gen. but in the concrete application of the general framework.4). The question is of particular importance for our theme inasmuch as the question of the 'theology* of the Yahwist is as a general rule understood as the question of his overall conception. this promise appears in a further developed form in which it is not the patriarch himself. 12. If our reflections are correct.1-3. 22. of the guiding theological ideas that compass the Pentateuch as a whole. the promise addresses of the patriarchal stories play a remarkably minor role. but not the last. then the question must be put. therefore.

Eissfeldt. 15. 28.4. pp. 12. and Noth.13-15..14-17 to the Yahwist. what contribution to the understanding of the comprehensive reworking and interpretation of the Pentateuch as a whole can the assumption of a Yahwistic theology provide? We have drawn attention earlier to the remarkable fact that there are no discernible links between the patriarchal stories and the complexes of tradition that follow in the Pentateuch. Noth to J. that it is only with a layer of reworking that bears the deuteronomic stamp that explicit cross references have been inset.14-17 and 28. Fohrer.15 to J. 31. 2 Eissfeldt and Fohrer assign Gen. Noth.14-17 to L/N and Gen. Gen. attributes Gen.2-4. Fohrer to E. 46.7. 161.2-4 to E/J. Eissfeldt and Fohrer assign 31. 5 Op.13-15 to J. .2 This is true also in other places: for example. into which YHWH will bring the Israelites after leading them out of Egypt. 4 See the respective passages in Eissfeldt.3.p. The incompatibility becomes all the more clear when we take up once more the question. Fohrer. A History.52-53. 3 See above under 2.8 the land. Particularly remarkable is the fact that in Exod. 3. 31. and there is no mention at all that the patriarchs had already lived there for a 1 See above under 2. Hexateuch-Synopse. pp. 28. a verse which is judged entirely differently in the allocation to sources. cit. Noth to J. Eissfeldt assigns 46. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 135 Other texts which are ascribed to the Yahwist belong to other stages in the process. the assurances of guidance to Jacob in Gen.45 These examples are only meant to show that our reflections on the theological reworking of the patriarchal stories can scarcely be brought into harmony with the acceptance of a 'theology of the Yahwist' as it is often represented today.30. 1922 = 1962 (2nd edn). is described as an unknown land.13 also belong here. for example.3. which have so much in common.15. but in brackets. also. displays the later form of the promise of the land in which the 'seed' is the bearer of the promise.18. so that it is not very plausible when these texts. 21. p.3 to L/N.147. which obviously belong together. Other promise addresses have several layers. for example. inhabited by foreign nations. 13. where all three assign 28. the same wording of the formulation is found in Gen. Gen.3. n. 13. 13.1 are assigned to different sources.5. 28. 103. Introduction.3 are assigned to different sources.11.

the 'priestly document'. all the theological concerns that preoccupied him with the divine promises to the patriarchs in their various forms. and in my opinion compelling. we want to turn our attention first to the question of the status of the other chief source of the Pentateuch. but it is clear also that there are weighty.3 The problem of a priestly narrative in the patriarchal story Before we draw the final conclusions from the reflections on the Tahwist'. It is utterly inconceivable that the Yahwist has now suddenly forgotten. This conclusion best supplements the uncertainties and incompatibilities in the current discussions described in detail above. These facts. have but one explanation: a *Yahwist'. who shaped and handed on the patriarchal stories and the complexes of tradition that follow them.e. i. It is clear that today it is not only difficult or almost impossible to agree about which details are to be assigned to the Yahwist. of a coherent narrative work covering the whole Pentateuch. in my opinion. the fact nevertheless remains: in the rest of the Pentateuch there is not a single text that mentions the patriarchs and the promises made to them which is assigned to the Yahwist (or to any one of the 'old' sources!) by the ruling pentateuchal criticism. or has consciously chosen to remain silent about. He requires that one 'prescind completely' from all non-narrative passages with a . 3.136 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch long time and that continually repeated promises had assured them and their descendants that they would possess it. reasons against the acceptance of a Yahwistic work in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. as does Noth. Noth represents the most extreme position inasmuch as he will include under the symbol P only the narrative sections. how one delimits his work and determines his method and intention. does not exist. about whose delimitation there is apparent agreement. Even when one makes way for sources to which one may assign passages in this synthesis of texts. We have already mentioned that there are diametrically opposed views among the exegetes whether and to what extent the sections dealing with cultic laws are to be combined with the narrative sections.

however that may be.3.l2. is there to be expected the complete preservation of the original content and so a coherent (story) without gaps when the [other] elements are excluded'. cit.l7. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 137 cultic-ritual interest 'when dealing with the P narrative'.p. 1 2 3 4 A History..1 He continues: This last-mentioned thus stands out more clearly and clear-cut as a narrative than it would with the conventional application of the symbol P. .4 And he sees himself compelled at once to call in question his own basic principles. This is all the more important inasmuch as it follows therefrom 'that only in this (i.e. the rest 'stands out more clearly and clear-cut as narrative.2 An astounding closed circle! When one excludes all the non-narrative material. only the question of its ending is in dispute: whether the work ends with the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34. that Noth carries through his opinion consistently by excluding all the material that is opposed to it.. Noth himself must be content with a 'very meagre P-content'. What 'stands out' here? Only this. the opinion that the priestly document is a narrative work is today almost universally shared. coherent account of events from the creation on. 10.3 What. about this 'coherent (story) without gaps' in the P-narrative? Let us examine the question in the patriarchal stories! Here.p.. This includes the opinion that P provides an originally independent. cit. then. But.. Ibid. Op. the P-narrative). Noth accepts that the redactor who put the pentateuchal sources together used P as a basis and framework and inserted the narrative material of the older sources into this framework. There is another of Noth's theses that has found wide agreement. For our statement of the question it is important that the document being discussed is a coherent P narrative with but few gaps. p. Op. or whether parts of the traditions of the occupation of the land in the book of Joshua belong to it.

Cf.. 5 Op. 1966.138 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. 195. 1966. H. 37. p. 121-22 = pp. 41. 'Pentateuque'.3. cit. is sold into Egypt. are reduced to an introduction to the revelation on Sinai' (Introduction. and is elevated by Pharaoh'.46a of the summary synthesis of the presupposed P-narrative of the Joseph story'. p.46a is not included in Fohrer's synthesis of the P source layer. cit. Introduction. Obviously it has not been preserved 'without gaps'. Speiser. According to Fohrer. p.. even though in his view 'it was not all that extensive'. p.lflOl 2 'Sinn und Ursprung der priestlichen Geschichtserzahlung'. 181). p. n. 195). 177). 14. op. ZThK 49 (1952) 121-43 (esp. He discovered the gap.6 We are faced therefore with the situation that there are only a very few remarks on the 'Joseph' theme which the exegetes are able to assign to P. p.2 When one looks for proof of the 'sold into Egypt' in the table provided by Elliger himself.3 one finds only a gap! P.4 So he provides his own proposed reconstruction of 'the text struck out by Rp' and concludes contentedly that his own constructed text fits into the gap 'without interruption'.1 The stories of Joseph and Jacob Let us begin with the Joseph story. but that nevertheless they postulate the existence of an originally independent coherent narrative. There must be such— because P has presented a coherent account without gaps.. The possibility that perhaps there might not be such a coherent 1 Noth. E. col.A. This once more is a clear case of a circular argument. 41. p. only the brief note in Gen. 6 Op. pp. ZAW86 (1974) 174-203 (p. According to him 'it is (here) no more than the notification of what is absolutely necessary. 174-75. We have rather. cit. 2. 174-98 (p. DBS VII. 124) = Kleine Schriften zum Alien Testament.. pp. in P 'the primeval and patriarchal stories.. 831. Gazelles..1 K Elliger has largely disregarded the fragmentary character of this tradition. 292. *besides the introduction in Gen. Joseph makes himself the object of his brothers' hatred. Genesis. 86. Weimar has dealt with this text recently. 3 Op. 4 'Aufbau und Struktur der priesterschriftlichen Jakobsgeschichte'. it only wants to explain why Jacob went down into Egypt'. 1964.1. however sparse it may be. 195. . cit.5 Weimar in any case is of the opinion that one cannot speak of an independent P-Joseph story: The information about Joseph carries no weight of its own.

p. is a unity and a possibility for P. Genesis. 1898. Gunkel.3. . Joseph himself has given cause for it. such does not exist. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Genesis erkl&rt.224. nevertheless they serve as generally accepted signs of P-passages. 3.46a an 'unnecessary and pedantic addition' that is 'characteristic' of P. According to w. Bib 49 (1968) 321-44 (spec. in the motivation of the enmity of the brothers towards Joseph there is a difference from or a contradiction to the narrative beginning in v. a whole narrative. Holzinger. according to v. without any criteria for them ever being given.3.4 He discovers. 2. 41. cit.2 belongs entirely to P. followed by Gunkel. See W. and the whole of v.2. whose beginning is allegedly here. things seem clear: There is no separate Isaac story in the priestly history'. after discovering the tension.3.6 But this is very surprising.. comes to the conclusion: 'then only P is left to take 26'. p. Holzinger. 2. devaluations—of the writer P are common. after the exclusion of secondary elements. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 139 narrative is not considered. and this is entirely the work of imagination. Gross. But there are still further reasons. this narrative no longer exists. Op. and the prevailing opinion is that details of this kind are characteristic of P. is difficult to prove.46a to P? First the details about his age: on each occasion the age of Joseph at the time is given.2 It is maintained that in 37..5 Unfortunately. p. 321-22). though it would explain the situation without trouble. Genesis. 37. Zur Traditionsgeschichte und Theologie der priesterschriftlichen Jakobsuberlieferungen'. For the Isaac story. Ibid. 492. 219. 'Jakob der Mann des Segens. the reason for the enmity is Jacob's preference for Joseph.p. 492. sees in the attachment of the words 'king of Egypt' to 'Pharaoh' in Gen. 3ff.1 Such valuations—or better.3 Gunkel has less scruple: '37. But that the verse for that reason belongs to P. pp. One must then in all sobriety conclude that for the exegete who is not convinced beforehand that there must be a P-Joseph story. See below under 3. What are the reasons for ascribing Gen. he knows too the reasons why P introduced changes in face of the older source.2 and 41.

How could P have simply waived an Isaac story? Gunkel sensed this problem: 'It is strange that P under the heading 'genealogy of Isaac' narrates in essence the stories of Jacob and then under the heading 'genealogy of Jacob' those (Sagen) of Joseph. .1. 25. p.1 It is curious enough that P who. And what next? Earlier. 2 I cannot understand how Weimar (op. according to the prevailing opinion.3. 185) can speak of the Toledot-formula in Gen. one attributed many fragments of 1 Genesis. 25. knew the older sources.3. 4 Genesis. the sentence only raises again the dilemma described by Gunkel.19 as 'having been prefaced by Pg to the whole Isaac story as heading and structure-signal (?). rather condescendingly. 385. In other words: there is no discernible beginning to the P-Jacob narrative. 25. then one gets into insoluble difficulties. cit.12-17'.3 A sentence difficult to understand! How can a heading which names Ishmael be the introduction to the Jacob story? Apart from the fact that Weimar himself a little later describes the passage Gen. for at least 'feeling himself obliged to preserve due order'. although he had already on p. 'had nothing appropriate to say about Isaac'! He is given credit. 175 established the absence of the Isaac story in P. obliged to talk.12-17 explicitly as the 'Ishmael story' without solving the contradiction.140 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch One must assume as certain that the patriarchal genealogy Abraham—Isaac-Jacob was long established at the time when P was supposedly written. this accords with the image of P as a second rate writer.2 The Jacob Story What is the situation with the Jacob story? Weimar writes: 'The Jacob story begins with the Toledot of Ishmael Gen. 3 See above under 3. and so to put in a column for Isaac and fill it out'. which has made its home in much exegesis.2 3.4 When one wants to understand the Toledot' headings attributed to P as structural signs in a coherent and continuous P-narrative. But nevertheless. p. This surprising shift has come about because P had nothing appropriate to say about Isaac. but felt himself obliged to preserve due order.. 385. there is no Isaac story. p.

p..46—28.1. . if one 1 See the divisions of P in Eissfeldt.3.18ap.4 One recalls that for Noth only for the P-narrative 'is there to be expected the complete preservation of the original content'. 183.3 He thus hushes up the fact that nothing at all is reported of the execution of the commission.18ap. in an unusually detailed speech and with the most pressing of reasons. the land of his mother's family to find one.1 but now.. and would have sent him on his way with a blessing extending far afield (Gen.3. 7 Cf.7 However. Eissfeldt.3.3. one invokes Elliger among others: 'Omitting Jacob's stay in Paddan-aram. 5 See above under 3. p. 183.1. Hexateuch-Synopse. 43ff. 182 2 Weimar. he would have been satisfied with a note about his departure from there. see above under 3.b). not to mention a report on the successful outcome of the commission to marry. 27. Pg only takes up again with Jacob's departure from there (31.3.5). Introduction. pp.1. n. Elliger plays down this dilemma when he writes: 'Jacob obeys by looking around for a wife among his mother's relations'. Fohrer's table.b which must now bear the whole burden of the thesis of a continuous Jacob story from P? The exegete is obviously not at ease with it. First. But P would not have considered it necessary so much as to register Jacob's arrival in Paddan-aram. Introduction. would have required Jacob not to take a wife from 'the daughters of Canaan'. 4 Op. According to Noth we have here 'the rare appearance of a Pfragment which must have been preceded by the now missing P-information about Jacob's marriages. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 141 texts in the story of Jacob and Esau to P. But what of the quite isolated verse Gen.5 All the more inconvenient then is the appearance of such a 'fragment'! Weimar too must concede after all that 'the beginning of the unit has been broken off by Rp'.6 But why is the piece ascribed to P? Here the arguments are taken almost exclusively from language. 14. 3 See above under 3. 6 See above under 3. According to P Isaac.2 Now this is a remarkable and unreasonable demand on the reader. 31. p. p. cit. the word is generally regarded as characteristic of P. 4. but to find one to go to Paddan-aram.

the closed circle of argumentation appears once more. Paddan-aram is found in a list of the sons of Jacob and their descendants which today is not predominantly ascribed to P or is.11). 11.16 [2x].142 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch opens the concordance.14. 501. as far as I know.5.3. 15. which is closer to the priestly pentateuchal layer.7. 21). 2 Genesis.7) is not generally reckoned to P. The word 2 serves as the next 'proof (Gunkel) for P. In the attestations that remain. is. which among recent exegetes.15. at any rate. 35. Finally.22b-36. although immediately beforehand there is a text so reckoned. The places in question in the book of Genesis are 12. It is found later in the Pentateuch within the "Holiness Code' (Lev. It too is held to be characteristic of P.1 There is a further attestation in Gen. and that with reservation. It occurs three times in the book of Genesis. The verb need not be dealt with here as it occurs in more or less immediate context with the noun. p. where one would expect it. is attributed to P only by Procksch. ascribed to P. in which Paddan-aram occurs. one finds surprisingly that in the book of Genesis more than a half of occurrences are in texts which are not ascribed to P: the word occurs five times in Genesis 14 (w. which likewise is not ascribed to P. 46. 16. 48. but only 'makes up for it.. Weimar tries to explain why P does not report the birth of the sons there.32b (a piece almost universally not ascribed to P!) and 35.6. Taddan-aram'.. 13-16). 36. . once in a text (34. The list of Jacob's sons in Gen. 12. 1924. And so one can scarcely say that this word can make a contribution to source criticism. within the reflection on the theology of history (w. 22. in the form of a 1 Die Genesis Ubersetzt und erkldrt. 13. on the contrary. however its usage is quite different.6.23) which no one ascribes to P. p. regarded as an addition to P. there is the designation of the land from which Jacob departs. In 46. add Num. First it must be stated that the only attestation which uses simply the designation Taddan' (Gen. even though this involves difficulties. 388. they are attributed once again to P because of this linguistic usage! And almost all of them are in a context which is ascribed to one of the other sources and from which they are taken out because of their linguistic usage.

There is often talk merely of the city of Haran—generally too in texts that are usually ascribed to P. p.1 Others have experienced greater difficulties here. 25. 'to the city of Shechem'.31. cit. pp. Procksch. 7). op. Gen. cit. cf. 553. e. cit. Eissfeldt. But not by Wellhausen. 33.g. p.. 5. the expression Paddan-aram is found in the chronological note on the marriage of Isaac in Gen.. in the introductory piece to the divine address to Jacob in Gen. But the P-context must be established! Finally. p.1.4 The classical solution is to take out v. p. 69. 388. 384..3. Introduction. although they are in no way a bother or offensive.6. 45. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 143 list'.lTft .9. So too the text fragment Gen. when he came from Paddan-aram' are ascribed to P.2 or ends up after the Toledot of Jacob in Genesis 37. Gunkel is not entirely consistent when he claims for P on one occasion the words cited. and on another the preceding words as well.5! The last mentioned 1 2 3 4 5 See above under 3.3 And so. nevertheless acquiring thereby and at the same time criteria for determining other texts. Composition. 12. with the expression Paddanaram.2. 368. the list is either given preference so as to substitute for the missing account of the birth of the sons of Jacob. Gunkel. op.20. Hence. Hexateuch-Synopse.3.5 This solution is classical in that it proceeds exclusively from the argument of linguistic usage and cuts several words out of their context as it were with a scissors. It should be further noted that. and four times in the narrative of Isaac's sending of Jacob (28. 35. no accompanying description is given of the land which one could set over against it as in some way characteristic of the linguistic usage of the other sources. this thesis is maintained. 18a so that Jacob's arrival in Shechem is assigned to one of the older sources and only the words 'in the land of Canaan.18a is assigned to P because of the expression Paddan-aram. even though all assertions about the completeness and integrity of the P-narrative are clearly contradictory. 11. Fohrer. inasmuch as the argument from linguistic usage enables the texts ascribed to P to give each other mutual support. p. it has been common since Gunkel to re-arrange the P-text fragments in the Joseph story arbitrarily so as to create a tolerably coherent text. op.

though not Paddan-aram. 36.7.3 We have already noted earlier these typical judgments about P. Within the story this designation is used in all 'sources' and layers.3). the concordance shows that there is no other so to speak 'geographical' designation of the land in the patriarchal stories. 42. and in Genesis 50 in passages quite close to each other by J (v. The next piece ascribed to P is again a fragmentary sentence. 4 Cf. namely Gen. This is without doubt a pointer to a particular layer in the tradition. which now bears the name of Bethel. according to Eissfeldt. 2 Holzinger. 13). nevertheless. like so many other examples.4 Noth. The opinion that the land of Canaan' is a characteristic of P would therefore include the thesis that the other sources renounce an exact designation of the land. this is ascribed to P together with the other attestations with reference to 'characteristic' linguistic usage. but scarcely has anything to do with 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. e. 184. in Gen.5. or the like. 3 Op. The expression Paddan-aram then occurs only in the context of Jacob (with the exception of the note in Gen.g. E. 6a where is a certain sign of P'. and nobody ascribes them to P. 35. cit. this is now lodged in v. 13 which exegetes divide variously between J and E. p. 19. 5) and P (v. op.20 relating to Isaac). 7. Genesis erklart. cit.387.12). But what is meant by this 'certain sign of P'? The concordance provides the following information: about half of the attestations of in the book of Genesis are in the Joseph story.p.5 46.. .144 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch has also the word . p. pp. by secondary pieces (48.. 5 A History. 99-100 n. the only other descriptions used of it are 'the land of sojournings' (generally to *P'!). 'the land of the fathers'. by P again (48. but Haran. Holzinger's reason is: T naturally narrated as well the arrival in Bethel. 25.1 One accepts that the second half of the sentence. Ga. or rather in Luz.2 Gunkel says more exactly why this is a sign of P: 'the superfluous and precise determination of the place'. A 'certain sign of P? Further. 'he and all the people with him' stands unrelated. But the opinion is 1 Once again it is to be noted that Wellhausen does not ascribe this fragment to P.

Further. There can be no question at all here of a standardized linguistic usage characteristic of a single source. But that is obviously using a double standard.27.19. It is curious that 35. though this is presupposed in 49.2 (but without mention of Mamre). 13.. 1893. There has already been talk of the problem of the list of Jacob's sons in Gen. occurs in 23. 35.9.13) (translated each time by 'east of Mamre' in NEB. In Gen.2 This is a bold statement as the two names occur together only here! The association of Kiriath-arba and Hebron.18. 35. 35.p. namely in 28. while Mamre for its part is associated with Hebron in 23. 2 Op.18 it is said of Abraham that Tie settled by the terebinths of Mamre which are in (near) Hebron'.3 But in any case. 49. 3 Ibid.9) and Jacob (50.27-29 does not say that Isaac was buried in the cave.30. 23.3.389. that it lay > (Gen. cit.1 After the divine address in Gen.27-29 is reckoned as P's.13). The account of Jacob's return home to Isaac and of the latter^ death in 35. trans.19. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 145 clearly laid to rest by the concordance material without more ado. .).9-13. 25. among other things. 35. which is found in Gen.22b-26. p. this is scarcely evidence of the studied and 'pedantic' style alleged against the source P. When we survey the texts in the Jacob story which are supposed to belong to P. characteristic of P. we find very fragmentary and incoherent 1 Holzinger in Einleitung in den Hexateuch. 'the names Mamre and Kiriath-arba' are. had taken into account the findings in the concordance.14 is ascribed to E although/because it reports again the erection and anointing of the massebah which E has described already in 28. the change of name from Luz to Bethel had already taken place earlier in the other sources. is not clear'. 'why not.17) or (23.19. He maintains there that the 'occurrence of (is) an almost certain mark of P'. 340. 15 is also to be accounted to P.30-31 and though it is said of Abraham (25. 50. The repetition is apparently a sign of the same source and not of another. it is said several times of the field in which the cave was situated that Abraham bought. but with the limitation that it 'however occurs also in JE'. For Gunkel. v. It is remarkable that Gen.

such as Gen. are not as free compositions as seems to be the case here. 3. see under 3.4.1-17.1—2.4a or Gen. many exegetes have felt themselves compelled to rearrange the texts freely at their discretion so as to construct some sort of reasonably continuous text. starting from their own assumptions. and more. Questions begin again with the latter text. 2 S. It is the freest composition' within the whole P-narrative. 145. Genesis 17 stands out as an entity that is sui generis. are for the most part small or very small textual units. and as a whole bearing the marks of the priestly layer of the Pentateuch. 1971.4-5). The few examples.10-17). 23 which is to be dealt with later. the special nature of the passage must be considered carefully. . then the migration of Abraham from Haran to the land of Canaan (12. The Narrative Style of the Priestly Writer. there are the pieces of information about itineraries: the migration of Terah with his family from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran with the chronological note about his age at his death (11.2. McEvenue. First.31-32). These reflections are important because they are an advance warning against considering Genesis 17 without more ado as a constituent part of a coherent narrative. it must be said that there is no coherent Jacob story from P. so self-contained.3 The Abraham story Let us now turn to the Abraham story \ It seems to offer the clearest and most convincing narrative complex. p. The passages ascribed to P in the Abraham story. apart from ch.1 3. 1. following on the genealogy of Shem (Gen.146 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch pieces which can be attributed to this source for the most part only on very dubious grounds. Such comprehensive and self-contained passages of a priestly character occur only rarely in the rest of the Pentateuch. First.2 Nowhere in the patriarchal stories is there a passage so extensively laid out.E. This is all in such utter contradiction to the picture that the advocates of the documentary hypothesis are accustomed to paint of the P-narrative that. Noth has concluded 1 This makes no difference to Weimar's construction. In addition. 11.

1. and elsewhere. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 147 that 'a corresponding passage with the same content from the old sources has had to give way to the P-passage. In v. 61.4b-5. The consequence of this is that the refutation of such an argument unleashes a sort of chain reaction and brings a whole series of texts into question. We have already experienced the whole area of problems that this last argument raises.3.2. because in this way different P-passages give each other mutual support. 5 we meet again an argument already well known: linguistic usage 'proves' that it belongs to P (Holzinger. 11.23. 24. But such assertions are not untypical of the method.3. 14. however. 12. The balance of tfsu meaning 'persons' and i referring to the rest of one's possessions occurs again in Gen. As for Gen. But whereas in the Jacob and Joseph stories P-passages are supposed to have been suppressed by the older sources. 12.3. it is the most natural and obvious way to state that somebody is departing and that he is taking others with him.23 (Eng.3.4b. 5. Gunkel): and i and according to Holzinger. 32. The passage Gen. hence outside of the passages ascribed to P.21. while there is no occasion at all to take it out of its context. it is the chronological note about Abraham's age at the time of his migration in v. not to mention the assumption that because the piece allegedly belongs to P 'a corresponding passage with the same content from the old sources has had to give way'.2 There is no need to 3 repeat here the observations on and the view that these are marks of P does not gain in probative strength by repetition. would be a mark of P. Ixxxv. i as well. Why? First. Gen. this. 22. It is meaningless to claim as a mark of P. 22). here'. 4b. 31.31. here the opposite is assumed. 3 See above tinder 3. p.1 further. Noth himself mentions them expressly a few sentences later. the verb-form as in Gen. 4b is to be seen in conjunction with other like notes. . which is ascribed to P. This is 'in the interest of retaining as fully as possible' the content of P.10. cf. it need only be said that the chronological note in v. 1 Genesis. is not in the problem area inasmuch as it would hardly have suppressed a corresponding statement in another source. 2 See above under 3.

The absence of an explicit basis for the conflict between the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot disturbs him. cit. Genesis. p.2. 12). good narrative does not say everything explicitly'. This becomes even clearer in v. one can hardly find reasons for attributing anything in Genesis 13 to the P-narrative. p. p.3 But in another place he says: 'A part of 6 is indispensable for the context'. 6 is superfluous in the context of the story. further. less clearly. and 12a come from F. Rather it is based on the presupposition that there are several sources and attributes what is 'dispensable' in the main narrative to the other source. 6). 9. 124. Genesis erkl&rt.1. each of the expressions has a different function. Op. But Holzinger sees things differently. 12. Gab to P. Genesis. which assumes the presence of several sources already. 6b to 'the other source'.6. It is incomprehensible how there could be any competition or contradiction here. p.1 In what follows.1-9 shows every sign of being very composite indeed. (v. This is a remarkable statement.p. which can be dispensed with more easily in J than in P. that a lack of space is the cause of the quarrel is to be read out of 2. 10-11) and the 'cities of the valley*. 5. 140. while reckoning v. Gunkel writes: '12a also. 174. and then looks for proofs for them. lib.. while the 'cities of the valley' are mentioned as the place where Lot is to establish his future home. 12ab should belong to P. Gunkel writes: 'v. the 'Jordan valley' describes the fertile area that Lot chooses. 140. Gen. a conflict is seen between the expressions the 'Jordan valley* (w. . 7 and becomes entirely clear from 8. it will have done little to put the writers on the track of striking out something 'superfluous' so as to get a 'good narrative'. 13. It is of further interest to see how the resulting P-narrative 1 2 3 4 5 See above under 2.4 This type of argument is characteristic. The arguments are again: (v. it makes clear that the necessity of source division is not based on contradictions or tensions in the text.148 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 12.2 Criticisms are made here about the quality of the writing. so he disects a little more and assigns only v. But there are a number of other arguments in addition.5 When one does not want to engage in this sort of argument. 263.

16. 12bp is attributed to another source! [author]).6 A glance at 1 Ibid.3 Does this mean the other narrators who report vividly. Die Composition. Characteristic also is the general nature of the statement that Lot settles in the area round about. and of the mood of malicious joy ringing in the story. a mark of P is to be found in v.4 3. as Abraham's nephew and erstwhile companion in the caravan. What are the arguments? According to Holzinger and Gunkel. Wellhausen. 6 Genesis. 16. there must be tensions and contradictions in the text and/or clear indications in the language or content which lead to the exclusion of P-parts.2 Elliger exalts still further the literary intentions of P: The main facts are communicated soberly. Gunkel has on the whole a poor opinion of P.. 124. does not include 16. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 149 is judged and evaluated. 15-16 are assigned to the P-narrative. 3 See above under 3.B. is missing. Gen. there is not a sign'.la. especially the dispute between the herdsmen and Lot's self-interest. 3.3. p.1 under Q (= P). 4 See n. 13. 124. as well as Abraham's readiness for a peaceful settlement. . p. 121 (= p. 12. 16'. but without precise dating. 15.: because v.1. He writes: *Here too P has taken merely the bare facts from the story. thus it would appear that Lot. 2 Op. it is a matter here of real and reliable history'.1 Holzinger's judgment is milder: 'What is remarkable for P is the easiness with which the separation of Abraham and Lot takes place without conflict. p. 174). is a half saint who must remain free from any suspicion that he went to live among the people of Sodom out of sympathy'. Noth has to establish that 'the old Hagar story has been pruned at the beginning and the end in favour of the P-details in Gen. p. 5 A History. Genesis. cit. According to the basic principles of source division. 264. are less concerned with 'real and reliable history'? Or ought one not ask this question? Further.3.5 This means therefore that what remains of the 'old Hagar story' is incomplete without these pieces. the 'pedantic addition' of 'Abraham's wife'. Gunkel.1(a). 14. everything concrete. p.p. always with precise dating. la. nothing is said of his living in Sodom (N.

if there is anything missing. a classical 'J-'piece. One could use this material better as a certain proof that this part of the verse does not belong to P. p. a piece regularly attributed to *E'. p. is a chronological note which must be seen in the context of other chronological notes. The same holds for v. 28. pp.8ff. but 'with attention to Gen.150 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the concordance shows that this pedantic addition appears as well in Gen.e. 86. 'the utterly pedantic 1 A History. Perhaps there was originally nothing more than the tribal saying about Ishmael and the place etiology in v. 9 require Hagar's return to Abraham. are more complex. Verse 3. And as it is indispensable in the context of the narrative. Could a redactor be so purblind as to have pruned the indispensable conclusion of the narrative simply so as to substitute for it an inadequate sentence from P? The problems of this chapter.3 where it is presupposed that Ishmael is present as a member of Abraham's family. But it remains an open question for Noth how the original conclusion of the 'old Hagar story' may have looked. 3 A History. 13. 14? Verse 15 could also be a 'redactional addition with attention to Gen.18. as Wellhausen has already shown in detail. Only v. it is not in competition with the expected statements of other 'sources'.' What shows that it is part of a P-narrative? According to Holzinger. 2 Die Composition. again. But there is nothing about this in v.2 The words of the mal'ak YHWH in v. 9 is a 'redactional addition'.'.8ff. i. Many exegetes have followed this view. .1 But this is a very unsatisfactory piece of information. 15. 12. but this verse certainly does not belong to the same layer of tradition or reworking as the two other addresses of the mal'ak in w. The second address in particular presupposes that Ishmael grew up in the desert.17. it is a note that Hagar went back to Abraham. 10 11-12. the 'old Hagar story' has been 'pruned at the end' in favour of P. the very basic principles of source division forbid that it be assigned to P. For Noth also v. that Hagar did not go back to Abraham. 21. 21. 19-20. and in 20. 15 remains! According to Noth. 16. prescinding from the sweeping judgment. n. as is well known. which is ascribed to P.

25. 263. 9. According to Dillmann. 15 belongs to a continuous P-narrative. Holzinger himself confirms this for Gen. Holzinger. and how un-unified are the texts in this regard. A History. 6. 30. One usually reckons Gen. 12ab .11. 13.26: This is one of the exceptional cases in which in J it is not the mother who names the new born child: cf. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 151 awkwardness of the verse'. what argues for P? The arguments which are advanced by the commentators. and others. 13. But this holds as well for v.2 or in Gen. p.6.28'. 57. Gunkel.119. Genesis. Ex 2. 'destroy'. not to speak of the conjectures of the exegetes! That it is only in P that the father gives the name is untenable. 4. p. it is 'the giving of the name by the father*. p. who usually named the new born child in ancient Israel. But.25-26. it is clear also that v. are exclusively from linguistic usage.25f. p.4 The verse is undoubtedly a *brief summary note about the rescue of Lot'.29 to the P-narrative. 15. following Dillmann.. 18. but in the final redaction it could 'only be accommodated to the continuation of the narrative Gen. Gunkel. 6 Holzinger.3. But this is a sign of embarrassment. ibid.29). p. 4 Noth.1 Now everyone who has ever been concerned with the matter knows how difficult it is to answer the question. 9 which nobody attributes to P. And there is no tenable argument that v. Gunkel. One has the impression that none of these 1 Genesis. 264: T records the whole act like a registry clerk'. because this verse should have followed immediately on Gen. 124. 2 Verses 3. lib. (5..3 The list of exceptions is far too long for one to draw a definite criterion from it for source division. is a mark of P.5 the function of which is not immediately discernible.22'. 5 and 29. 19. the use of the verb in the pi'el. p.17. 4. 15 is in tension with the obvious intention of the older layer of the narrative according to which Ishmael grows up in the desert and hence was also born there. It is beyond dispute that the conclusion of Genesis 16 is not a unity and leaves questions open. One need only look at the tensions and lack of clarity in the single chapter. 3 Genesis. according to the prevailing opinion. Genesis. . 132. 5 Holzinger.6 Reference is made to Gen. 25. Genesis 38.

This sort of argument becomes all the more contradictory when the *Yahwistic' verse.1. A further argument is the use of the divine name elohim. The verb is used immediately beforehand in Gen. on the other hand. he remembers Abraham and rescues Lot because of him. 19. is not all that is to be said on the question. there1 Op. and the expression 'cities of the plain' in the allegedly priestly verse.12. 132. which is attributed to P. First.1 It must belong. 21. God 'remembers' immediately the one he will rescue.10. Isaac. 19.27. in Gen. 8. It would be more appropriate to make a comparison with the sentence in the prayer of Moses in Exod.. but it is necessary to study somewhat more closely the stereotyped use of such expressions instead of short-circuiting the matter by looking for arguments for source divisions! Finally.152 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch commentators has taken the trouble to consult the concordance. is ignored. . 13. which bears the deuteronomistic stamp: 'Remember Abraham.13. 19. 13. cf. 32. 13.1. One text only will be referred to: in Amos 4.1-5 has provided the exegetes with a headache because the sources do not readily allow separation. The account of the birth of Isaac in Gen. Gen.10 in anticipation of the destruction of Sodom! One is continually surprised at the thoughtless way in which such inept assertions are passed on without control from generation to generation. your servants'. 19. 9. For the rest. mention is made of clearly a stereotyped phrase. and Israel. however.2 must belong to F. Gen. must be brought in to support the priestly character of Gen.1. in the middle of an address by YHWH about the destruction of Sodom in which the divine name YHWH is used four times.29.29 is to be compared with the apparently corresponding expression in Gen. This. a further note: the phrase 'then God thought of Abraham' ("ori) in Gen. Holzinger gives voice to the dilemma: 'Something in 21. But there are problems here. also Deut. according to Gen.13 in the J-narrative as well as in the 'J'-text of Gen. the expression is used with reference to Rachel whose prayer for fertility God hears. cit. One can hardly draw an argument out of all this for assigning a passage to a particular 'source'. 8.29. p.11.

even when the consequence is that one of the most certain signs of P. the 'pedantic detail' (Holzinger). continuous P-narrative has occasioned exegetes to assign elements to P even when there are serious reasons against. 'and especially the rambling nature of the whole piece' (Gunkel). the search for elements of an assumed.1b-5 by leaving out the corresponding statement of the old sources'. 'do. It is the common and prevailing opinion that the Abraham story concludes with the account of Abraham's death and burial in Gen. 13. 3 Op.7-10. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism. 17. And in w..B. so important for the context.1-5 is one of those cases where R has not simply juxtaposed the elements from his sources. We will come back to this later.3 Noth's judgment is different: in his opinion 'the mention of the birth of Isaac. but R.v. the reader does not learn.3. 2 KBL. Again. reference is made to Gen. under the influence of in v. cit. a special mark of P?). the chronological data. It is clear once again that. 18. 25. 2b and 4 elohim is of course once more a mark of P.2 because it is 'colourless'. it becomes a mark of P. p. 133. 153 fore arguments must be found for it! For example: 'the colourless in v. are to the fore (N. 2b is a sign of P. has inserted this divine name into P.p. make' occurs 2600 times in the Old Testament. la. by and large. cit. the use of the divine name elohim. but has mixed them. 21. and this is seldom enough the case. the astonished reader learns that in v. s. thus. . 133.14 in VF? Holzinger's overall judgment is: '21. 4 A History. comes about exclusively through Gen. 1 Op.: but was not brevity.4 What reasons he has for disregarding the reflections of Holzinger and others. P has not had a chance to speak fully and his wording has even been altered'. Further.. even paucity of presentation.p. la looks like P.1 The word .21—but is it to be insinuated that the reader has passed over or already forgotten the same expression in Gen. no longer holds! But it is almost too easy to criticise manipulations of this sort by which many exegetes discredit their own methodology.

3 Die Genesis. The first argument is the chronological data in v. 5 Die Genesis.7 McEvenue does not follow this entirely. it has 'the appearance as if P. 1875 (3rd edn). Procksch writes: This narrative.3.p. p. 1 Genesis.3 he makes it difficult for the reader to harmonize this with the image of P which the representatives of the documentary hypothesis otherwise draw.6 Speiser sees in it a passage from J going back to an older tradition in which only the introductory note belongs to P. . p. not for the body proper of the narrative.5. p. 273. verses of this kind are freed from any control by their context precisely because of their assumed P-character. colloquial. 6 Introduction. Gunkel mentions further 'the many repetitions in the narrative'. When Dillmann speaks further of the 'artistic detail of the presentation'.. 17-18)'. is relatively quite fresh. on the contrary—and only here—a chronological note of introduction is used at the same time to assign the whole narrative to a particular source. The arguments have been passed on..4 Even today the special character of Genesis 23 within the Pnarrative is underscored.22.8 but notes: 'the chatty. p. In many other cases.5 According to Fohrer the narrative 'is of material of Palestinian origin'. 4 G. c#.3.2). Ch. style of Genesis 23 seems untypical of F..4 Genesis 23 One of the strangest phenomena in this area is that exegetes almost unanimously attribute Genesis 23 to P. 23: 'the alleged "P-characteristics" have their basis in the subject-matter of the text rather than in its "author"'. unaltered in essence. since Dillmann who based himself on Knobel (1852/1860!).. 1. here. w.1 but this holds only from v. A further argument is 'the juridical exactness' (cf.154 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 3. 17 onwards. 9 Op.2 For the same reason he should also reckon the extensive narrative of Genesis 24 to P. though rather ancient in origin. and concludes from this that one must assume older material available. Macholz has written appositely of the style of Gen. esp. 8 See above under 3. 526 (see above under 3. 309. a new example that P has used older material available'. See above under 2. 173. 2 Ibid.3. 7 Genesis.9 According to von Rad.3. 1964..

3 can hardly be maintained today in this form. has built in an older narrative almost unaltered.1 The narrative 'is thus rather a puzzle for us from the traditio-historical standpoint'. p. For the whole of ch. The question for von Rad is: *What theological interest— and it is this alone that is of concern—has given it (i. one must bear clearly in mind the methodological procedure: the general opinion is that one recognizes P first and foremost by the style.8.1.). all this 'could not remain unformulated by such a precise and conceptual theologian as P. 37. cf. to reckon this chapter to P? Once again. it is due to the pressure of traditional opinion. p. So why then is it reckoned to P? Without doubt. 23. replies our narrative: in death they were already "heirs" and 1 2 3 4 5 Genesis. Genesis 1972 (2nd edn Eng. What then has given occasion. He says several times: the patriarchs live "in the land of their sojournings" chs.2 In any case it has become clear that Holzinger's decision: 'there is no possible doubt that this passage belongs to P*. Genesis. 36. p. he does not say. who had left everything behind them for the sake of the promise. there is not a trace of this in Genesis 23. cit. But a question arises here: did the patriarchs. 1972 (2nd edn Eng. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 155 against customary practice. 133. Op. A second characteristic mark of the P-passages is the strong. 182.e.5 but what this in fact means for Genesis 23.4. 246. the land'.). the narrative) such a prominent place in the priestly document?' His answer: 'the typical broken relationship to the material of the promise of course. often very heavy.. 28. 17. From this standpoint Genesis 23 cannot belong to P.3.9). but that this promise was not yet fulfilled. because the freshness and liveliness of thrust and counter-thrust is unique within this source'. Macholz. it is because of the chronological note in the introduction. 249. and 'precise chronology* is the real mark of P.7.4 Fohrer says: *But everything is entirely ordered to and subordinated to the personal leanings of P. 47. Introduction. p. theological statement. . nevertheless. remain without any share at all? No. that the possession of the land was promised to the patriarchs. as von Rad alleges.

It is obvious that no 1 Op. inconceivable that the author of texts like Genesis 17 and Exod. complementary. I see no valid reasons for accepting that Genesis 23 is a part of a P-narrative.'1 This very impressive interpretation has.156 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch no longer "sojourners". And there is a further. effectively contradicted. which are claimed to establish an even tenuous.28 should have departed so far from his own style as to have taken over this purely 'profane' story.4 The priestly layer in the patriarchal story It is clear that a coherent P-narrative in the patriarchal story cannot be demonstrated. in my opinion but one basic error: from what we know elsewhere of this 'precise theologian'. point of view: all the more detailed texts that are elsewhere ascribed to P consist. We will add just a few remarks about the fragmentary nature of the narrative and about the arguments with which one usually disregards them. cannot withstand critical examination. In particular. not even a hint.250. of P being the real author). cit. coherent narrative. continuous. unaltered (there can be no question at all. in my opinion. And so the opinion that there is a P-narrative running through the Pentateuch is.p. 6. But God is not even mentioned in the whole of Genesis 23! It is. there is a series of cases in which the material in the concordance contradicts the alleged linguistic criteria. of accounts of an action or an address of God. . and further. in my opinion. in my opinion. about these theological connections.. that he should leave it entirely to the reader to discern that the theological concept of the land of sojournings' used by P had been overcome and annulled at one decisive point. but numerous reasons against. 3. without throwing even the slightest theological light on it. There is not a word. he would certainly have expressed this in such a way that the reader could not but understand it. It would be beyond the limits of this book to advance in like detail the corresponding proofs for the remainder of the Pentateuch. When all is said and done. more or less entirely. A large part of the texts or text fragments.

coherent narrative. as in 6. at the same time. p. 2 See above under 3. rather. they serve to show how widespread is the assumption that there must be a coherent P-narrative. They are not meant as a polemic against particular authors. 62 (for Wellhausen. the absence of an indispensable piece of narrative is exalted to a particularly profound theological interpretation. as has become clear. 6. And so once more. A simple chronological note is encumbered with a narrative function.2. A further example: an account of the departure from Egypt is obviously missing in the assumed Pnarrative. But this is typical of wide areas of current pentateuchal research. They do not form a continuous. Wellhausen writes on this: To expect that Moses be first introduced before he appears as a well known person. Q = P).3. so trouble-free and with such nightly stealth and security does it take place!'2 And so here.1 Chronological notes First.41. First. the well known pre-emptive judgment about P serves to hush up the fact that the story lacks continuity. Some further reflections may be added to these. there is a group of chronological texts which stands out 1 Die Composition. one ought not expect such banalities as that a leading person be first introduced. 3.2-8). Elliger writes: *NB: the departure itself is simply recorded with a single sentence Ex 12. and how from this assumption obvious facts which speak against it are ignored or overlooked. . is not justified in Q'.4. Let us turn now to those passages in the patriarchal story which one can maintain with better reasons belong to the priestly layer of the Pentateuch.1 But this only means: in the case of so poor a writer as P. A new critical scrutiny of the arguments will only be possible when this assumption is brought into the discussion.3. there is no introduction of Moses: he is suddenly there and receives assurance that the Israelites will be led out of Egypt (Exod.1. they are obviously linked with each other. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 157 coherent narrative can be constructed out of the pieces usually attributed to P in the first chapters of the book of Exodus.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

clearly and which is generally held to be characteristic of P. However, on closer study they are less unified than assumed by most. There is a remarkable lack of unity in the linguistic form in which the numbers are put together. In the numbers of the years which comprise two groups of digits, the word nxJ, 'year', occurs two/three times and usually in this form: the single digit is in the plural, and the tens and hundreds are in the singular.1 But there are deviations from this where the word 'year' is not repeated: Gen. 17.24;2 47.9, 28 (repeated once only)i 50.11, 26.3 Further, the order is different: sometimes the single digit stands in front (Gen. 11.32; 12.4; 47.28), in the remaining cases, however, at the end. In numbers over a hundred, the hundred group is generally at the front, though not always (47.9, 28). The word for the number 100 is for the most part used in the construct state, though there are variations (Gen. 23.1; 50.22, 26). Apart from this lack of unity in form, different groups of chronological details stand out clearly. A first group gives the age of a person at the time of a particular event. The structure is quite well balanced: at the beginning is the name of the person concerned preceded by the particle wow, i; then follows the age preceded by' i (son of); then come the details of the event, always in the infinitive prefixed by 3 and, where required, with a suffix.
12.4 16.16 17.24 17.25 21.5 25.26 41.46
12.4 16.16 17.24 Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran Abram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram Abraham was 99 years old when he had himself cir-

1 W. Gesenius—E. Kautzsch (trans. A.E. Cowley), Hebrew Grammar, #134 e-h. 2 In 17.25 is to be understood as one number; hence, after 1 is to be expected. 3 50.22, 26 are not generally ascribed to P.

3. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism
17.25 21.5 25.15 41.46 cumcised Ishmael, his son, was 13 years old when he was circumcised Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him Isaac was 60 years old when they (Esau and Jacob) were born Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.


A variation of this scheme occurs in Gen. 25.20 with the initial

When Isaac was 40 years old he married Rebekah.

A more notable variation of the scheme is 26.34; there is the initial .. ., and the event is given in the imperfect consecutive.
When Esau was 40 years old, he took as his wife... The same variation of the scheme is found in 17.1.
When Abram was 99 years old, YHWH appeared to Abram

It is noteworthy that here the name of Abraham is repeated in the subordinate sentence. This is of significance primarily because in all other cases in the patriarchal stories when a divine appearance is introduced by this verb stands at the beginning of the sentence (Gen. 12.7; 18.1; 26.2, 24; 35.9); only here does it appear in the subordinate sentence. This suggests that the detail of the age in Gen. has been added subsequently; in favour of this is that the same information about the age appears again in v. 24. The information about the age in Gen. 37.2 deviates from the scheme in many respects: it begins with the name, without however the preceding waw, 1. Then follows a circumstantial sentence with and a participle, and there is no parallel to this in the remaining chronological notes; finally, it is noteworthy that yet another circumstantial sentence follows immediately with and a following noun. The sentence,


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

without the information about the age, i.e. without the words would present no syntactical difficulties at all, whereas in the present form, there are syntactical problems, as well as its being singular, in comparison with the remaining chronological information in the patriarchal stories. This suggests that here also one may assume the later insertion of the note about the age. It should be noted further that the ages are given for the most part in round numbers: Abraham 75 (Gen. 12.4) and 100 (21.5), Isaac 40 (25.20) and 60 (25.26), Esau 40 (26.34), Joseph 30 (41.46).1 The 99 years of Abraham at his circumcision 17.24 are as it were a prelude to the birth of Isaac. Only the chronology of Ishmael is not given in round numbers; but it is clearly set in relationship to the circumcision and so to the birth of Isaac. It is likely that circumcision at the age of 13 has a special signification. It is without doubt a question of a definite chronological system here. Now that it has become clear that the chronologica notes are not linked by connecting passages to a coherent narrative, one will have to reckon this system, not to a particular narrative 'source', but rather to a layer of reworking or redaction. Something similar holds also for the other chronological data. First there are some texts to be mentioned which do not allow themselves to be classified readily under the patterns so far established. Gen. 16.3, in a circumstantial sentence which seems to interrupt the narrative context, gives the information that Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham so as to have descendants through her. The note about the date is in the middle of the sentence and runs in translation more or less: 'after Abraham had been living 10 years in the land of Canaan'. This agrees exactly with the rest of the chronology. Abraham is 86 at Ishmael's birth (16.16), i.e. 11 years older than at the time of his departure from Haran (12.4). But it is remarkable that this information is not given in the usual form, but within a separate sentence. Obviously the author's concern was not
1 Cf. also Exod. 7.7 where, following the same principle, Moses is reckoned as being 80 at the time of his dealings with Pharaoh; Aaron's 83 derives from this.

3. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism


this chronological information, but the main matter of the sentence: Sarah's giving over of Hagar. The formalized sounding phrase occurs often in corresponding phrases, e.g. Gen. 24.67; 25.20; 28.9; 34.8; 38.14; further 12.19; 20.12. Gen. 34.8, together with w.2 and 4, shows that it is the legal aspect that is meant. In the Jacob story also, the giving over of the servant maids to Jacob by his two wives (Gen. 30.3-4, 9) is reported almost word for word as in Gen. 16.3; it is not at all a question of something peculiar to T'. Two chronological details from the life-story of Jacob must be mentioned here. In Gen. 47.9 Jacob replies to Pharaoh's question about his age: The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years'. The formulation with is closer to the age given at death (to be dealt with shortly) than to those already considered. In the chronological system, this information coheres with that in Gen. 47.28a, according to which Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt, so that his total age is given as 147 years (47.28b; below). For the rest, it is striking that the at the beginning of the sentence corresponds to the stereotyped details in the primeval story,12 whereas it occurs only here and in Gen. 50.22 in the patriarchal story. The next rather large group mentions the total age together with the death of the one in question. Here too a definite scheme is evident which, however, allows several variations. The simplest form is found in Gen. 11.32: first, the age introduced by then the death expressed by repeating the name and mention of the place. The information about Sarah's death in Gen. 23.1 is structured according to a similar pattern; only here, is in place of 1 One might consider if this latter phrase has the function of bringing to a conclusion the self-contained information of Sarah's life-span; would the original narrative then have begun with the words ?3 The information about the death of Isaac in Gen. 35.28 also
1 Gunkel (Genesis, p. 272), assumes that the age for circumcision 'was common among the Ishmaelite nations'. 2 Cf. Gen. 5.3-30 (passim) and 9.28; 11.11-26 (passim). 3 Cf. Gen. 11.28; Exod. 1.6; 1 Sam. 25.1.

somewhat shorter in the case of Isaac (35. although Gen.12-14 also belongs to this layer of reworking. but these two pieces. With Jacob. following the parallels.7 expanded with . old and fulfilled in life.162 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch begins with the words followed by the age. 26. the subordinate sentence is formulated in greater detail: 'then Isaac expired and died and was gathered to his kin. This suggests that one consider a subsequent expansion. This is true too of Gen. belong together.22. Isaac.29-32 presents a further stage in the formation of the tradition. Gen.7 (Abraham's death) and 25. 50.e. 25.28). 26 diverges from the other texts in that 1 Here only with instead of 2 In 25.1 but concludes only in 49. and Jacob come from the same layer of reworking. 22) which we have already met in Gen. The formula is expanded in Abraham's case by mention of the burial place in the 'cave at Machpelah' which is awkwardly formulated. after the insertion of Genesis 23 in the Abraham story. The execution of Jacob's instructions in Gen. 49. The same detailed formulation occurs several times. the reworking has separated them from each other so as to insert between them the last words and instructions of Jacob. otherwise it would remain incomprehensible why the reference is missing in the case of Isaac.28b. not only is the burial of Isaac in the cave reported by way of supplement. it begins in the same way in Gen. occurs again here. whereas it did not in the Isaac story. The introductory (v.33b. and his sons Jacob and Esau buried him'. i.28a and which occurs often in the primeval story. here. like the closing verse of Genesis 23. This is more easily explained if. who are nowhere else mentioned. 47. 49.17 (Ishmael's death) differ from the two texts just mentioned in that they begin with the words I2 the subordinate sentence is somewhat more detailed in the case of Abraham. a corresponding assimilation took place. Two further texts belong immediately in this context: Gen. 47. The remaining texts show other marks. Ishmael. It is clear then that the information about the deaths of Abraham. but also the burial of Rebekah and Leah. 50. The subordinate sentence too in v. presupposes that he was buried there.30f.

Let me pick out a sentence at random: 'And thus the list of Ishmaelites formed. trans.4.3. e. it is surprising that this verse is without exception reckoned to E. 179). Weimar (see above under 3. 2 The problem of the toledot-formulas still remains opaque. . or divided between J and E (Procksch.2 3. but there is something about Esau. 25. on the other hand. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 163 it repeats again the age with the information about the death.2. But perhaps these notions are not to be understood as form-critical precisions? But how else could they be understood? Weimar's constructions. 182. the chronological data in the patriarchal story shows a variety of marks.17 and 26. for example. His understanding of 'narrative' is displayed.. there is no mention of Esau's death. (2) information about the entire lifespan in the context of the report of the death. in the table on p. trans.34 are classified respectively as 'heading' and 'narrative'. A little later he writes that the list of Ishmaelites 'presents only a phase in the life of Ishmael'. Weimar often puts 'narrative' for 'history*. How can a list be a main part of a 'history' (Geschichte. where the two chronological notes. though they contain some correct observations. and with the prefixed . story. All in all. seem to me to point much more to a particular system of reworking an available narrative than to an independent 'history' (Geschichte). 'report'.2 Theological' passages A second group of coherent texts in the patriarchal story which are generally attributed to P are the 'theological' pas1 Despite these deviations.2) has erected an imposing structure on these formulas. Fohrer). which I cannot comprehend.).3. 'narrative'. Gen. It is remarkable that there is nothing about Jacob in the first group.). But this is form-critically quite incomprehensible. 183. the first main part of the history of Ishmael' (p. Most of it can be divided clearly into two groups: (1) information about the age of a person at the time of a particular event. it is clear that there has been no uniform and consistent reworking. There are no discernible links between the two groups. n.g. Here again another layer of reworking is discernible.. This then would be the only place where the older sources would have given such information about the life-span. etc. I do not understand how a list can be a 'phase in the life'. story.. No reasons at all are given why this is considered to be the case here.1 Looked at as a whole. The main difficulty which I see in his work is the fact that he works with notions of 'history' (Geschichte. in the synthesis on p.

20) is described expressly as blessing. 4). .3. in 17. the promise of fertility and increase for Sarah (v.1-4 refers back to ch. 4 a reference back to the 'blessing of Abraham'. the content of the blessing however follows only in the second address. and is again fertility and increase (v. *E1 sadday*. the content is again fertility and increase as well as possession of the land (v.6-9 belong here as well. The texts stand in pairs: 28. with reference back to the latter.5-6 to P.3 there is the actual blessing formula and in v.3. This is very remarkable in view of the fact that the content of the promise in 17. 11) and possession of the land (v. and further. the possession of the land in v.6-7 (cf. First. The objects of the blessing are fertility and increase in v. 12). In 48.9-13.3-4 (5-6). it is said that El sadday appeared to Jacob and blessed him.6-9! 2 There is scarcely any argument in the literature for assigning 48.1 is introduced as Isaac's blessing of Jacob.3. in v.3 28.4 and 17. 2) corresponds exactly to what is described as blessing in the texts just mentioned. A further link is that the talk in these texts is of blessing.34-35 and 28. 3 See above under 2. which occurs in these two places only in conection with the promise of the land. It is noticeable that the cross reference does not cite literally. though with numerous variations in the choice of words.11-12. 17. there is further a link between 48. in 28. 27.5.46-28.1 and 35. which correspond to the other texts.9 the two-fold divine address is again introduced as blessing.4. 48. understood as blessing without 1 26. also v.3-4 to 35. one should note the repetition in 28. but that the passages run in parallel lines.3. 17.3 and 48. one notes that they all use the divine name.164 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch sages. with reference back to it. In 35.2 One can discern readily that these texts are related to each other. In Genesis 17 the promise address is not introduced as blessing. 48. it would be conceivable that the author of Genesis 17 wanted to have the promises that he mentioned. They are Gen.1 35. 11-12. 16) and for Ishmael (v. w.11 it occurs in the form of the formula of self-presentation 'I am El sadday' as introduction to a divine address.8 in the phrase (an eternal possession). A number of different explanations present themselves: first.3-4.

4.12. and your seed' is found in three texts promising the land. and one could also argue that in Gen. 16.. despite the notable differences. table of beginning). 21!). once.3.8. 7. which obviously forms the point of departure for the whole group of texts. 48.1. 19b. the latter is not formulated as a divine address and shows some peculiarities). one could argue that the assurance 'I will make you very. 35.5 and 2. 17. Some further observations may be made on the position of this group of texts with the remaining promise addresses in the patriarchal story. .3.4. The formulation 'to you. A further point common to this group of texts is that in all of them the promise of the land comes after the promise of increase. and would only have been supplied later (in 17. It was shown earlier that therein lies the peculiarity of these texts against others in which the sequence is reversed. 6 is nothing other than a pronouncement of blessing. as well as already mentioned (17.1 the land promise in second place testifies to a later stage of the tradition. the connections between these four texts are clear. as well as in the cross references). 17.. In three cases 'after you' 17. 20) and the covenant with Abraham and Isaac (w.9 the word ^bless' has been put in front of the whole complex of divine addresses. 1 See above under 2.2.3. both expressions follow immediately on each other twice (Gen.. there is only 'to your seed' (48.' in v. Criticism of Pentate uchal Criticism 165 saying so explicitly.8. 20. 11-12... once the verb stands between them.16. 4.. And so these text do not stand out from the other promises of the land as a self-contained group (see above under 2.8. this is a peculiarity of this text group.. and once it is repeated after them (35. very fruitful.4). 35. Whatever the case may be. but that this idea has been eclipsed and suppressed (w. Finally. 28. but that it is missing in the actual promise address in w.12).4) is added to 'seed'. But then one might also suppose the idea of 'blessing' belongs only to a later layer of reworking and for that reason was first missing from Genesis 17.) by the idea of 'covenant' in any case a clear distinction is made between the blessing for Sarah and Ishmael (vv. there could be a third possibility: that originally there was talk of blessing at the beginning of ch.

are synthesized in a characteristic way. 12 There is no account of any other circumcisions in the patriarchal story. 2 See above under 2.5 for more on Gen.4. As for the promise of increase. therefore. of El sadday) accompanies him on his way.5) and Jacob (35.5). It is notable that the plural form 'nations' and 'peoples' occur only in this group. in particular to v. Abraham (17. Their intention is obviously to point in a definite theological direction. 17. 17. and circumcision as the visible expression of the covenant relationship.46-28.3. the only other note about circumcision concerns Isaac in Gen. Ishmael. On the one side. There can scarcely be any doubt. 27. And this parallel is clearly intended. that these four texts are related to each other. They show how the blessing of God (more accurately. and the males who belonged to the *house' of Abraham in Gen.9-13). There are the same main stages which in another layer of theological reworking are characterized by the theme 'guidance'. The purpose of the author of Genesis 17—perhaps more accurately of these parts of Genesis 17—was obviously not to report a continuous passage of the patriarchal story.3.23-26. tables). 21.166 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 48. Finally. The special place of the texts then is apparent. where there is reference back to Gen.2 his departure for Haran (Gen. however.4). but the group is not to be detached entirely from the historical process of tradition of the promise addresses. It is remarkable. and the 1 See above under 2. the different promise elements.10). after the account of the actual circumcision of Abraham.4.1 while on the other new elements have taken their place.2. which are found in various forms in the patriarchal story. that circumcision as sign has not been carried further. his return from there (35. yet another link is that the two divine addresses in Genesis 17 and 35. The remaining passages are all concerned with Jacob. these texts belong to the group which does not use 'seed' in this context (see above under 2. . but rather to anchor the prescription about circumcision in God's covenant with Abraham. in particular the notion of God's 'covenant' with Abraham.9-12 involve a change of name of the patriarch concerned. 17.

But these questions require farther study. like the divine addresses to Abraham (Gen. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 167 end of the journey in Egypt (48. 3. But it is notable even so that. generally. The departure for Haran is already under the blessing. the second blessing is given only after the return to the ground of the promised land. which runs through all three patriarchal stories.2 nor the assurance of mediatorship of the 1 See above under 3.4. But this exhausts their contribution to the shaping and interpretation of the patriarchal story as a whole. One question further may be raised: is there a connection between this 'priestly' layer of redaction and the divine addresses in the Isaac story? The latter. new interpretation which takes its place by the earlier one. It has already been shown that these texts cannot be part of a continuous priestly Jacob story. But this does not touch the many promise addresses to Abraham which belong to other layers of tradition and reworking.1) and Jacob (35. In particular it is striking that this group of texts has no part in the framing and shaping of the patriarchal story as a self-contained larger unit.3 The function of the priestly layer This last conclusion touches the question of the function which this group of texts has within the patriarchal story as a whole. An important direction is given in the Abraham story in Genesis 17. and the last mention of blessing looks back.3-4). The impression that arises from this is that of a complement and a new emphasis of an already existing narrative.2.9). 17. These texts give the Jacob story a separate.2-5 which point at least to an advanced stage in the process of the formation of the tradition which is close to the priestly texts. . 2 See above under 2. presupposing the journey down to Egypt. 26. Neither the assurance of guidance. there are many details in Gen. they are introduced with . The emphases in detail lie in a different direction from those in the 'guidance' layer.3. are not reckoned to P.3.1 At the same time it is evident this layer of reworking has a quite characteristic interest in the figure and journey of Jacob. And further.4.

Isaac. See above under 2. Gesammelte Aufs&tze. Cf. 17. 17.7. Also. in the divine address in Exod. 24) We had earlier expressed the conjecture that one might see here a link with Gen. See above under 2. but that on the other hand there are isolated references back to the patriarchal story in the exodus tradition. in a link piece. 2.4 one can recognize clear echoes of Gen. which in the present context indicates the change of fortune pointing toward the imminent rescue of the Israelites.1 which has proved itself in a special way to be an element binding the arrangement together. Zimmerli. At the same time one can discern a definite line of interpretation in this group as a whole.5 and 2. 1954 = Gottes Offenbarung. With these two texts then a deliberate tie of the patriarchal and exodus traditions is achieved.5.5 For the rest.5. A few further remarks may be added here about the combination of the patriarchal story with the traditions that follow. and Jacob (v.7-8. Erkenntnis Gottes nach dem Buche Ezechiel. it strikes one immediately that in the further course of the narrative there is no cross-reference of this sort to be found. But it is by no means the dominant interpretation within the patriarchal story. because it embraces only a partial aspect (primarily the Jacob stories).168 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch blessing for others. 1963. are found in these texts. 41-119. there are again those which are generally reckoned to the priestly document: In Exod.3 there is reference back to God's 'covenant' with Abraham. a quite unique type of theme is evident.7.4. 7. with the broad expansion of the formula 'I am YHWH' and with the 'recognition statement'6 in v. We had concluded earlier that on the one hand the lack of connection between the individual complexes of tradition is striking.2-9. However. 6. .2 Beside the texts formulated in the deuteronomic style. and in addition it does not share in the overall arrangement of the story.23-25. The 'priestly' texts then stand out in relief within the patriarchal story as an independent group with a number of peculiarities. See above under 2. pp. W. Ibid. however. The exodus event 1 2 3 4 5 6 See above under 2.

Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 169 itself. 1. 48.4. Study of these texts demonstrates that the arguments for assigning them to P (arguments which are almost entirely absent in more recent literature) cannot. beside the episodic.46-28. withstand critical examination. though they do not use the idea 'covenant'. only that in Genesis 17 the age of Abraham (w. but only. Further. in the majority of cases. give no indication that it is the land. a single tie of the patriarchal and exodus traditions under the aspect of YHWH's covenant with the fathers.5. there are several groups of chronological notes. they are linked with Genesis 17 in a particular way. coherent narrative. indeed. and the occupation of the land. so that the result is a continuous. The thesis of a coherent P-narrative in the current research depends for the most part on the assumption that certain small pieces of text are to be reckoned to P which establish the connection between the texts just mentioned. 3. 35.9-13. partly the total life-span with the information about the death of the person concerned.3. either stylistic or in content or in their particular setting in the present text. We find in these priestly texts therefore no reworking covering the whole of the Pentateuch.3-4). that YHWH had assured to the patriarchs. Nor are there connections between the chronological notes and the theological texts. There are no discernible connections between these groups. there is a considerable number of assertions which a simple glance at the . The texts generally claimed for this narrative thread are to be judged very differently. the goal of the journey.4 No priestly narrative but a layer of priestly reworking Let us draw together our reflections on the 'priestly document' in the patriarchal story: a continuous P-narrative cannot be demonstrated. 27. new interpretation of the patriarchal story. They mention partly the age of a person at the time of a particular event. 24) and Ishmael (v. a small group of'theological' texts stand out. while the others all have to do with Jacob (Gen. First. the wandering in the desert. one of which synthesizes the divine promises to Abraham in a new way and puts them under the key word 'covenant' (Gen. 25) at the time of their circumcision is mentioned. 17).

17 and in the 'E-passage' 20.1 which is held to belong to P. but which occurs also in the 'J-passage' 12. This pulls the mat from under any assumption of a coherent P-narrative.2b. and further. 16. critical examination shows cogently that these connecting pieces are not to be claimed for P. But no proof is forthcoming that they are constituent parts of a 'source' within the meaning of the documentary hypothesis. on the one hand. i. In my opinion. to a large extent support each other. 19. how do the reflections made here stand in relationship to the prevailing assumption of continuous 'sources' or layers of 'sources' in the Pentateuch? The traditio-historical approach requires that 'sources' of . there is the fact that traces of a comprehensive reworking of the Pentateuch as a whole appear only in a relatively late stage of the process of the formation of the tradition. one could attribute them all to the same layer of reworking which has complemented and interpreted in a particular way a text already available. and of the Moses and exodus traditions on the other. because the texts.29 which is used in the immediately preceding J-narrative in 19.10.13 as well as in the J-text in 13. the claim for P of the expression 'at the particular time' in Gen. 3. the alleged P use of the verb in the pi'el. which are claimed for P. The refutation of arguments such as these sets up a sort of chain reaction. they still do not produce a coherent narrative.170 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch concordance proves to be false. of a continuous narrative which once existed independently on its own.14. we are faced with the question.5 Synthesis It has been demonstrated that. I underscore once again as typical examples: the appendage 'Abraham's wife' in Gen. 'destroy* in Gen.18. despite the lack of any discernible relationship to each other. and that on the grounds of 'proofs' from linguistic usage. there have been different reworkings of the patriarchal story which are consistent and of theological significance. Examples could be multiplied at will. 21. Even when one assumes that the remaining groups of texts mentioned are all to be reckoned to one 'source'. which is found also in the immediately related 'J' piece in 18.e. At most. hence.

closer attention reveals very soon that there is no such basic agreement among the majority of exegetes in any single essential question. The deci sive causes of this uncertainty are the fact that certain basic theses are maintained. different religious and moral concepts. it seemed convincing that. and the persuasive power of its arguments. It proved almost impossible to acquire from current study any sort of clear picture of that source. In particular. side by side with a later priestly source. even though their presuppositions are no longer correct. and of a redaction that fitted them together. seemed to answer plausibly the greater part of the literary questions. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 171 this sort appear as the next logical stage in the formation of the tradition. its *built-in system'. revealed . The assumption of several parallel and originally independent sources. there were several older sources. i. differences in the use of the divine name and other linguistic usage. one could divide among these different sources individual narratives which occurred several times. the determination of his character and his intention. generally regarded as the most important. It is because our studies hitherto have not led to such outlines that we have undertaken the 'crosscheck'.3. and the arguments by which they were supported in the first place have lost their tenability. themselves collections of very different kinds of material. and so on. it is on this that the larger units'. Let us focus once more on this problem area: the documentary hypothesis first appeared as a convincing answer to the question of the literary unity of the Pentateuch.e. The examination of the reasons for these divergences and differences of opinions shows that they arise out of a profound methodological uncertainty. The endeavour to establish these sources as accurately as possible and to work out what was peculiar to each. we have subjected current pentateuchal study to critical questioning directed to the tenability of its arguments. hence. namely the Tahwist'. Though the thesis is almost universally maintained that there is basically general agreement about the delimitation of his work. its unity. build and are brought together into larger outlines which cover the whole theme of the Pentateuch. The attempt to carry through this 'crosscheck' ran into a serious difficulty very soon. different historical presuppositions.

see above under 3. but never to be able to distribute the entire material of the Pentateuch among them. nevertheless the 'elohistic fragments' are expressly understood as parts of an 'originally independent written source with its own composition technique and independent line of proclamation'. or to explain them as not belonging to sources and so as 'additions'. then they must also belong to a 'source'. cit. or to reduce by virtue of necessity the demands of the criteria for source division. 'growths' or whatever.1 That the doublets or complements at various places in the Pentateuch could be independent of each other is thus not given serious consideration. And even when today one has largely renounced any wish to reconstruct the Elohist completely.W.1. The changing fate of the TDlohist' is a clear example of the problem. The question whether the individual sources have been fully preserved has played a special role in these discussions. 'glosses'.2 The problems of source division have intensified notably with the rise of form-criticism and the discipline arising out of it. p.. This has led time and again to the questions whether one should postulate new sources or sub-sources. or ascribe relatively large sections of texts to redactors. 136. The discussion about the delimitation of the sources very soon became a highly esoteric game in which the theory as such was never called into question—and so the situation has remained up to the present. . because since Wellhausen the 'fragmentary* hypothesis has been superceded. op. 2 Those who contest the Elohist are the exceptions here. Wolff. namely the study of the process of formation of the tradition. When it is recognized that individual texts belong together. A survey of the history of modern pentateuchal study shows that it has always been faced with the dilemma: to lay down the strictest criteria for the unity of the individual sources. It is evident at the same time how decisions already made have largely prevented an evaluation of considerations about the text in any other way than that which the documentary hypothesis has prescribed. Even though many exegetes have clearly not 1 H.172 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch very quickly the difficulties and the problem area of this undertaking.

The first basic alteration is that the Pentateuch is no longer regarded primarily as a literary product. pentateuchal study and documentary hypothesis have become so inseparable. further problems come into the perspective. Introduction. p.lll. nevertheless. One usually reckons with a stage of oral tradition in which the texts to a large degree more or less acquired their form. 'None of the views mentioned [i. but not a question addressed to it.1 But when the question is put in the context of the process of the formation of the tradition. quite new questions arise of which classical pentateuchal criticism was not aware in this form: what part did the authors of the sources play in the shaping of these texts? did they simply take them over? work them over? reshape them? formulate them anew in their own language? are they really writers at all? or only collectors? It is evident that the understanding of the authors of the sources has run into a severe crisis. there has. been many an alteration in the presuppositions. that alterations in the statement of the question are felt to be merely problems within this theory. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 173 become conscious of this. a much greater self-sufficiency is attached to the individual narrative or tradition. First. Thus.e. Many exegetes are not aware of this and it has not left any discernible trace in the literature. the only explanation is that. The question of the literary unity of the text which now lies before us has long since ceased to be the point of departure from which one approaches the Pentateuch. . this means that the authors of the individual written sources made use by and large of material already given shape. After von Rad had demonstrated the independence of the individual complexes of tradition within the Pentateuch and their general independence of each other. Von Rad 1 So Fohrer. But because one can speak of 'sources' only from the earliest time when the text was fixed in writing. the recent attempts to contest or modify the documentary hypothe sis] are really any more than a warning to make sure once more of the strength and reliability of the foundations which the more recent documentary hypothesis has laid for the separation of the pentateuchal sources'. the question arose.3. at least for Old Testament scholarship in the German-speaking area. what part did the authors of the sources play in the composition of the present whole.

. and consequently the 'fulfillment and penetration of that ancient story material by the Yahweh faith. In the face of this situation then it is no wonder that statements in this area remain as imprecise and vague as they are today.' still discernible.. in one most vivid sentence about place and time. 2 See above under 1.. There is evident here. 53ff.1 and many exegetes have more or less followed him expressly.2 But that would mean that the question of the characteristic marks of the Yahwist would have to be directed in essence to the final form of the Pentateuch as a whole. he speaks of'connecting pieces.1: Thus. . even with von Rad..1. And so once again other criteria must be sought for discerning and characterizing the Yahwist. 18ff. pp. a remarkable imbalance in evaluating the Yahwist.. 28) and Penuel (Gen. as for the literary arrangement. On the contrary. in the exegesis of 18. 67f. clearly standing out from the narrative context. yet in the summarizing 'epilogue' to the preceding cult story of Mamre. Gen. This process of the transition of the material at one time stamped by the cult into new literary' arrangements is then described in detail.. 18. he is occasionally claimed for narrative details: e... But Noth. the Yahwist is not mentioned. and there is very often talk there of the Yahwist without his part in the development becoming readily discernible. which were available to him. Kaiser and others had already assigned these not to the Yahwist. which the Yahwist has inserted between the old narrative passages'. essentially self-contained. only as the work of the Yahwist'. but to 'G'.. Fohrer.174 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch himself assumed that all complexes of tradition had been fixed in essence before they were taken over by the Yahwist. of other cult stories it is said expressly that 'we can regard the blending of [the] sacral traditions with the Yahweh faith'. 32) that 'the part of the Yahwist in [their] composition. On the other hand he writes: The Yahwist took up the material which had broken free from the cult and preserved it in the firm grip of his literary composition'.g. is very probably. On the one hand he ascribed to the Yahwist the final arrangement of the complexes of tradition. "The Form Critical Problem'. the Yahwist has 1 Von Rad. for example.2233. He writes of the two cultic stories of Bethel (Gen.

across the larger units or the complexes of tradition.Jl It becomes quite clear from all this. from such a statement of the question. Genesis 1-11. examining seriously and reflecting methodically on their compatibility with the assumptions and statements of the question of the 'classical' documentary hypothesis. I think. I cannot at present discern what contribution the documentary hypothesis makes to the question of the formation of the Pentateuch from the smallest units (and their pre-history).2 The interpreter who tries to approach the texts of the Pentateuch with a consistent statement of the question from the point of view of traditiohistorical criticism finds now that the documentary hypothe sis opens up many more questions than it is able to answer. speak against the currently reigning view of pentateuchal sources within the meaning of the documentary hypothesis.. 569ff. I see numerous important reasons which. that modern pentateuchal study has accepted more and more the statements of the question and insights of form-criticism and the traditio-historical method without. Criticism of Pentateuchal Criticism 175 brought us right into the picture.2. .1 and 3. pp. . On the contrary. to the present synthetic whole.3. 2 See also Westermann's critical survey. 1 See above under 1. however.

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1 We might take then some observations of von Rad as our point of departure.Chapter 4 CONCLUSIONS AND CONSEQUENCES The purpose of the present study is to clarify a little more the problem of the process of transmission in the Pentateuch by directing attention to the hitherto neglected stage of the formation of the tradition between the 'smallest units' on the one hand and the overall picture of the Pentateuch on the other. A result of our study is that the mutual independence of these complexes is considerably greater than has been generally accepted to date. but that this is not continued in the following larger units which deal with the stay in Egypt. For as long as one does not study this intermediary stage thoroughly and does not take appropriate account of it in the question of the formation of the Pentateuch. Hence. He has shown that the Pentateuch consists of a number of complexes of tradition which are clearly separate from each other. It is precisely this that is the express goal of the traditio-historical method since it appeared.2. 1 See above under 1. These 'sources' are for the most part regarded as theological works. Above all. . there is a notable absence of cross-references between these larger units'. each of which has obviously had its own pre-history. then one cannot acquire a coherent view of the history of its growth. to which the essential arrangement of the Pentateuch is ascribed. This is particularly remarkable at the level of the generally accepted 'older sources' of current pentateuchal study. it must appear very remarkable that a very intensive and varied theological reworking can be discerned in the patriarchal stories which we have chosen as examples of such a larger unit.

concrete detail. On the contrary. a highly problematic. how do the literary-critical method in the form of the documentary hypothesis as it reigns . Sinai. There is today scarcely anything more than a general. must be regarded as. however. according to which the Pentateuch is assembled out of several parallel. especially in wha concerns its chief source. In particular. 4. a quite anachronistic. a first answer is given to the question raised in the introduction to this study. there have been alterations in the state of the question which have quietly taken place since the advent of the form-critical and traditio-historical methods. That the continuity of the 'priestly document' is greatly overestimated and often supported by arguments which cannot withstand critical scrutiny. continuous. and especially of over-arching interpretative evidence. there is a characteristic lack of continuity. methodologically. and in many respects. These remarks must of necessity be understood as critical questions addressed to the currently reigning 'documentary hypothesis'.1 Dissent from the documentary hypothesis Hence. and especially the picture which it presently presents of the *Yahwist'. On the contrary. the result is that for the critical observer. to which there is no agreement among the exegetes in any single. namely. and the wandering in the desert. important. and which have scarcely been reflected at all. the *Yahwist'. each with its own profile and own thought pattern. a consensus. because it is scarcely possible in the present state of pentateuchal study to find any sort of agreement about the 'sources' that would enable us to answer our question. we might perhaps gain better insights into the connections between the individual larger units within the Pentateuch. Our observations are scarcely in harmony with this. the documentary hypothesis. directing the question in this way. undertaking. ill-defined consensus about him. 'sources'.178 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch the exodus. We tried to establish by means of a 'crosscheck' of the documentary hypothesis whether. is another aspect of the same problem. the documentary hypothesis proves itself to be extremely contradictory. But this check was rendered extraordinarily difficult.

1 In any case. Schmidt. one does not encounter the 'sources' in the sense of the documentary hypothesis. Exodus. .2.1. Literary criticism of different passages of the Pentateuch has separated out individual units of text. What is to be questioned rather is a particular conclusion of the literary-critical work on the Pentateuch. W. The assumption of 'sources' within the meaning of the documentary hypothesis can no longer make any contribution today to the understanding of the formation of the Pentateuch. that it is not at all a question of contesting in any way the legitimacy of literary-critical statements of the question.4. this hypothesis has almost been identified with the literary-critical method as such. On the contrary. so that the difference between the two must again be expressly brought to mind. a particular hypothesis. dissent from the documentary hypothesis. stand in relationship to each other? When one tries to follow the gradual formation of the Pentateuch starting from the 'smallest units' right up to its present final stage. and it must be repeated again here.H. However. namely what is known as the 'documentary hypothesis'. It is by no means obvious that these units are now to be joined together and considered as constituent parts of 'sources' which run through the whole Pentateuch. and quite obviously even when there are no clear criteria favouring one source or the other. It has already been underscored. and the traditio-historical method. pp. and when one tries to allege the currently reigning notion of 'sources' to answer the questions raised by traditio-historical study. in recent pentateuchal study. means an alteration in the methodological approach. then there is no answer. cf. while maintaining the literary-critical position. 63-64. as an (unintentional) example. Many of the observations made about the texts since the rise of the literary-critical method retain their validity and still require an answer. one must say that in numerous cases plausible literary-critical observations become problematic only when one tries to ascribe the elements of the text to particular 'sources'. Fohrer expresses 1 The terminology of the discipline is significant: one assigns the text to a source. Conclusions and Consequences 179 today. This conclusion must be protected from possible misunderstanding. see above under 3.

it is long since clear. But. 2 See above under 1. It too. that the Hexateuch contains more material that does not belong to a source and that the narrative threads contain more disconnected narrative . that from the traditio-historical point of view. p. and especially the 'crosscheck' of the documentary hypothesis.1 But it is legitimate to contest even this basic principle. is no longer to be gained. 189-98: 'So as things stand today. one must in many cases concentrate on individual narratives and other such 'smallest units'. it does not in any way appear as if we are going to arrive at an analysis of the individual sources in which we might divide the whole of the material in some satisfactory way among the written sources' (580 = 190). has shown that this is not the case. at the end of the path of the traditio-historical inquiry.. 1973. namely. Similarly Fohrer: 'Indeed. as the documentary hypothesis demands. the assumption of continuous 'sources' in the Pentateuch is only justified when. and put the question of belonging to one of the 'sources' only at a later stage of the exegesis.2 But our inquiry. has in fact long since lost its force because 'to start with'. 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerz&hlung Ex 1-14'. the literary-critical separation of the different strands. This first part of the conclusion to our inquiry could contribute to freeing pentateuchal study from a realm of hypothesis which has turned out to be an increasingly heavy burden. be it that the basic principle cited agrees with exegetical practice or not.180 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch aptly the current situation: It is a non-negotiable basic principle of the anlaysis of the Hexateuch that. A great amount of exegetical ingenuity is still being spent on the problem of source division. pp. And so a variety of literary observations is made and divisions of the text undertaken without the exegete being sure to which 'source' the individual elements might belong.3 And even if one might hope to come to convincing 1 Uberlieferung und Geschichte des Exodus.. 4. must stand'. from a form-critical or a traditio-historical point of view. although it has long since become clear that a self-contained picture of the 'sources'. it presents itself as the most plausible answer to the questions which the final form of the text raises. to start with. The basic principle already mentioned earlier must be set against it. in my opinion. it is to be flatly denied.3. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2. 3 Von Rad has seen this clearly. 1964.

is not to refute the documentary hypothesis.. 4.' (see p. Tentateuchal Criticism: No Clear Future'.2.5. DBAT 8 (1975) 11-17. DBAT Beiheft 1. The conclusions remain to be sketched briefly and the consequences to be pondered.. this is no longer possible from the Sinai pericope on at the very latest. Rendtorff zum 10. Schmid has also argued for a late dating of the Yahwist (May 1975: Fachgruppe Altes Testament in der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft fur Theologie). however. 23-34.1975.E. 'Argumenta e Silentio. especially of the 'Yahwist'. and that very obviously. Schult. N. First. proves to be a complex and at the same time a rounded unit. 'Die Ehen der Erzvater'. in Festschrift fur R. 2). This concern about source division presents exegetes from devoting proper attention to other questions of the exegesis of the text and of the understanding of its history. Isaac.1 The patriarchal story The patriarchal story which. and Jacob stories each has its own history of formation and its own independent profile. it is evident yet again that the Abraham. Diebner/H. 1 J. Van Seters. CanJT 13 (1967) 225-32. Rather its aim is to achieve a methodological access to the understanding of the formation of the Pentateuch in the stage between the 'smallest units' and the overall presentation. 'Confessional Reformulation in the Exilic Period'. Conclusions and Consequences 181 conclusions in Genesis or in the first half of the book of Exodus.H.Wagner. VT 22 (1972) 448-59. Das grosse Schweigen als Folge der "alten Pentateuchquellen"'. 'Edom in alttestamentlichen Texten der Makkabaerzeit'.1 only shifts these concerns on to another plane. B. . but in my opinion it is chasing after a phantom.4. DBAT 8 (1975) 2-10. H. 4. The work of arrangement and interpretation which makes use of the divine promise addresses in particular has allowed this relative independence to remain stuff than the documentary hypothesis in its strictest form was willing to concede. 6 n.2 The 'larger units' in the Pentateuch The main purpose of this study. And the newly enkindled discussion about the dating of the sources of the Pentateuch. as an example of a 'larger unit' within the Pentateuch we have subjected to detailed analysis.

It is given to Abraham (12. But now that the independence and complexity of the patriarchal story has become so evident. It must be more carefully taken into account that the stories (Sagen) in the patriarchal story are of an entirely different kind and have a different pre-history from the texts of the primeval story on 1 2 3 4 See above under 2.4 This belongs as well to the passages which bind the three patriarchal stories with one another and fit them together into a whole.14) and.241 and in the arrangement of the Jacob story as a 'guidance' narrative. See above tinder 3. First. especially in the closing promise address in Gen. for example.2 In both cases the promise of the land is emphasized at the beginning. The promise of the blessing for others dominates here.18). . the different formulations show that the Abraham and Jacob stories were first joined together (12. 22. and the assurance of abundant descendants at the end.15-18. only at a later stage of the reworking and arrangement. the Abraham and Isaac stories (22.4. the assurance of blessing which accompanies him on his way has been added in another layer of tradition.3 In the Abraham story the divine promise addresses play a comparatively larger role than in the two other stories and have penetrated more deeply into the narrative context.4. But here too the function of a framework is clearly recognizable. See above tinder 2.4).182 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch intact. to Isaac (26. See above under 2.3. 22. 26. Only a few problems will be indicated here which present themselves anew. 28. This is evident. The traditio-historical problems of the patriarchal story are not thereby finally solved.18.4) and to Jacob (28. In the Jacob story. 26.14). and 26. rather a way has been opened to deal with them more intensively.2. study can apply itself to the numerous individual questions without having to reflect constantly on the supposed connections with the other complexes of tradition in the Pentateuch. in the framework of the Isaac story with the two divine promise addresses in Gen. the genre 'Sage' undoubtedly needs a renewed and more nuanced study.

like Genesis 14 and 23. but in such a way that he was forced to span certain texts. Genesis 1-11. pp.1020 and Genesis 24 without being forced to look for proofs which would assign them to sources. 18fF. 170f). 15. In the case of the *Yahwistic' Abraham story. to take up an example already mentioned. In doing so. 12. the collection and arrangement of the patriarchal stories. and likewise again chs. 4 And thus. 14.4 thereby leaving the way open for as unprejudiced analysis as possible.2. but I am very conscious that my own insights are only a beginning.1 Thus study can free itself from the necessity of having to assign the individual narratives and stories (Sageri) each to a particular 'source'-author. In particular. 3 Von Rad has included Gen. he had to carry on as if chs. A new beginning may be made here. pp. Conclusions and Consequences 183 the one hand and the complex of traditions with which the book of Exodus begins on the other. and so did not merit any thorough consideration. there was the very awkward situation in the Abraham story whereby the exegete had to look for criteria under which the individual narratives had been collected and arranged. one must investigate in more precise detail than has been possible within the limits of this study.2 set into relief the profound differences between texts like Gen. 1. And further. and it can.2. The reflections presented above still leave many questions open in this regard. the work of R. 17 were not there.4.3 They were added anyway by a redactor. . can be simply studied and evaluated in their own right. Finally. In this area. one would pursue more precisely the connections between the divine promise addresses and their context. 2 See above under 3. And texts which are difficult to classify. 20-22. study can turn itself to the questions of the structure of the patriarchal story under different presuppositions. 22 among the narratives designated by him as 'Yahwistic' (Theology of the Old Testament. Westermann. particular groups of texts were not assigned to the priestly layer. I have deliberately tried to avoid preliminary decisions about whether individual texts belong to particular 'sources'. 2. in dealing with the promise addresses in ch. Kessler on the 'cross references' offers further pointers 1 Cf.

from the smallest units to this larger unit. throw light on the path. whereas the event at Pnuel (Gen. are concerned with specific problems in the patriarchal story. but have not been tied to the context in any comparable way? And how does one evaluate this: the cult etiology of Bethel (Gen. put this side by side with other narratives in which.10-20 ('the ancestress in danger*) has no divine address and so no mention of the divine promises to Abraham. Hence.1 a question of course which is linked with those already mentioned.10-22) has undergone a very varied and multi-faceted interpretation by means of the divine promises.1.184 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch and suggestions.1. to which others could be added. which do not arise in the same way for other larger units within the Pentateuch. This is especially the case with 1 See above under 2. yet they are mentioned in an insertion into its context (13. step by step. so plausible at first sight. and so allow one to discern the guiding principles and methods of reworking.3-4) with an emphasis to which there is no parallel in the patriarchal story? Can one. 2 See above under 2. in their present form. To give but two examples: how is one to understand the following: the narrative in Gen.2 The other 'larger units' Something corresponding holds for the other larger units within the Pentateuch. 28. 4. 12. about the function of these two cultic stories in the structure of the Jacob story?2 How do the composition of the patriarchal story and its interpretation by means of the divine promise addresses stand in relationship to each other? It is clear that the questions touched on here. without more ado.1.23-33 [Eng. the divine promise addresses carry such weight. 32. A survey of recent literature shows that for a long time now there have been numerous publications which have been concerned with the particular problems of these larger units. 22-32]) has remained quite untouched? Can one simply maintain the interpretation of von Rad.2. . answers to them would first promote a better understanding of the patriarchal story as an entity.

pp. 1972. 2-11 is.3b'.3b and is in fact not a continuation of the promise given there. 3'5 is often alleged as a reference back to the patriarchal story to the primeval story. pp.1-3 und die Urgeschichte des Jahwisten'. underscore its internal coherence. 24. about which Wolff insists 'the real message of the Yahwist is to be seen only in 12. 1971. yet another aspect becomes clear: many studies on the primeval story limit themselves entirely to it.6 This could be a clue to the simultaneous growth of 1 Cf. At the same time.. rather the opposite. The express connection is made merely by a few remarks about Gen. p. 549-50. Genesis 1-11. but which has no counterpart in the larger units that follow. but further reflection is required about its connection with the other units.W. 12.g. on the basis of Gen. p. 3 E. Ertrage der Forschung.'. Westermann. 12. 6 I think that H.3 or not at all. op. p.. then it means that. because Gen. but only with it. can certainly be related to Gen.3a (despite the notable change of the verbs) but not so to the words of 12. And a further remark: 'the universal perspective of the primeval story which the Abraham story achieves in (Gen. and interpret it accordingly as a unit in itself. If this is correct. the only occurrence of the key-word 'blessing' in the whole of the book of Exodus in Exod. Festschrift von Rad. however. with all the possibilities and depreciation of human existence.4. according to our reflections. 550. Wolff has unintentionally shown this in 'The Kerygma of the Yahwist'. 525-54 (esp. Probleme biblischer Theologie. 12.4 The independence of the primeval story as a larger unit has long since been recognized and stressed. Num. 4 So Westermann. 7.2 nevertheless. 2 E. 12) v. 549). cit. Genesis 1-11. 12. the primeval story has indeed been tied to the patriarchal story. O. Genesis 1-11.1-3. And the single occurrence in the book of Numbers within the Balaam oracles. 1-11 alone. they take it for granted that the layers of tradition discernible there must be regarded as constituent parts of the pentateuchal sources. .64ff. Conclusions and Consequences 185 the primeval story. Steck: 'Gen. in 'Genesis 12.3b.9. Steck.g. also Westermann. in the intent of the Yahwist. a whole.1 it has always been the object of studies which have focussed entirely on the problems in these chapters. 5 Steck. cf. which is meant to encompass all that is typical of the human condition..K.3 is one of those passages which bring the patriarchal stories together as a whole. 12.32 shows no connection with Gen. pp.

.1 Since Pedersen.4. 326). In 4.31). But this question needs further careful attention. 3 See above under 3.27b) and they finally see this rescue with their own eyes (14. 4 It is remarkable that the verb used in these passages. is then studied again. 189-98. Herrmann. 2. cramped together into a few chapters. Even if the supposition that the unit is in essence a liturgical text has receded into the background. 'Beobachtungen an der Moseerzghlung Exodus 1—14'. occurs only seldom elsewhere in the Pentateuch. 1973. when the definitive rescue is announced to them (12.31 the Israelites 'believe' the message that Moses has received and bow before it—just as later. arrangement of the unit. theologically interpretative. 2 Cf. planning. the question of the special character of Exodus 1-14(15) has been there. borrowed from the liturgical realm. This notion. von Rad. S.4 And so it is evident once more that the reflections made here have no counterpart in other larger units. and thereby further cut 1 See above under 1.186 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch these two larger units independently of their connection with the following units. EvTh 28 (1968) 301-28 (esp. The analysis of the Sinai periocope usually begins with the speedy. and unanimous. G. expresses very clearly—even if in part—that the section is an entity to be considered in itself and that it has in some way to do with divine worship. exclusion of the parts belonging to the 'priestly document'. pp.2 Once again we may take up the reflections on a deliberate.2. With regard to the other larger units. There is obviously a mind at work here.1. "Mose'. Pentateuchal study takes for granted that the Sinai pericope is an entity in itself. (hip'il). The remaining 'nucleus'. arranging. though from the most divergent points of view. mainly in respect of assigning passages to their sources.3 Exod. God takes heed of the Israelites. EvTh 31 (1971) 579-88 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament 2. we can for the most part latch on to what has already been said.23-25 marks the turning point in the first section of the call of Moses. interpreting. which has given this passage its own stamp. nevertheless its peculiar literary character and relative internal coherence is continually underscored.

and to put the question. the attempt to work out an isolated 'Yahwistic' desert tradition must of necessity cover over more problems than it can solve. and that many exegetes would not find it all that difficult to renounce it in this area. This holds particularly for the still quite open question. This brings up a partial aspect of the question. how the larger units have been brought together and finally assembled into the whole which is the present Pentateuch. what were the intentions and ideas at work. 3 E. over against recent attempts.2 Here too there are indications that this group of texts is to be understood as an independent larger unit. The discussion of the 'covenant theology* is certainly a step forward because it attempts to throw light on the traditiohistorical problems of the Sinai pericope under the aegis of a theme. 157-58. pp. and then when the different parts of the Pentateuch were assembled. The advantage of this could well be that source division (prescinding from T') has thus exhausted itself. 1969. Perlitt. The problems of the narratives of Israel's stay in the desert have already been outlined. Conclusions and Consequences 187 up. been torn apart again. and what systems of arrangement are discernible. that it is necessary to free oneself from the hypothetical realm and the bonds of source division. Bundestheologie im Alien Testament. a further problem must be considered: the decision about where the texts which precede and follow the Sinai pericope belong cannot be separated from the question of the Sinai pericope in its present place.4 and 2. how does one explain the process by which these texts came together. 2 See above tinder 1.4. . It is not at all being said that all texts which deal with the events of Israel's stay in the desert must have at one time been joined together.3 It must be emphasized. whether and how far these texts belong together in one larger unit. These 1 Cf.4. Here. The task that now lies before us is to put the question more concretely of the texts in the Sinai pericope.1 But this procedure is particularly unsatisfactory here because the results are always rather uncertain and at the same time scarcely give the interpreter access to fresh points of view. Fritz. But the notion of larger units' must not be overdrawn. see above under 1. V.6.g. L.

requiring further discussion. The study of the patriarchal story has shown that it is not only a collection of texts that belong together thematically. however. They are much more readily recognizable as an independent larger unit with its own particular profile.4. and that this work did not take place at one stroke. have only been taken up at one of the stages of a synthesizing redaction. It is clear. One must examine the corresponding texts in the book of Numbers independently of these to see if they belong together. if at all. whether they were conceived as part of a comprehensive presentation of the occupation of the land and where. But let it be said once again: it must not be the case that all texts of the Pentateuch have been constituent parts of a larger unit before the final arrangement of the whole. .1 The traditions of the occupation of the land in the book of Joshua do not in any case suggest that they must be understood as some sort of continuation of preceding texts. One must always be ready to grant that single pieces of material. Reflections which suggest this for large parts of the Pentateuch should not be a temptation to look for such larger units at any price where nothing points in this direction. on the other hand there is the problem. but shows several stages and layers. which have not belonged to such larger contexts. The narratives about the occupation of the land in east Jordan also contain a double problem. But it is always very awkward when one has to reckon with pieces that have 'fallen out' or have been left out' by redactors so as to give a basis for a particular theory. that most of the texts of the Pentateuch were united into 'larger units' before these were brought together to form the present whole.188 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch questions then must be examined very carefully and without previous commitment. or at the final redaction of the Pentateuch. On the one hand there is the question whether they were at one time bound together as an independent larger unit. but that this collection has undergone work of arrangement and interpretation. It is similar with other larger units: the 1 See above under 1. the continuation is to be sought.

find its appropriate expression in the description of a 'theology* of the individual larger units. it needs no further demonstration for the primeval story and the Sinai pericope. the Sinai pericope. the Moses and exodus narratives of Exodus 1-15. methodologically justified and necessary. sufficiently apparent for Exodus 1-15. a 'theology of the Sinai pericope'. This concerns first the concept of 'redaction' or 'redactor'. so that one can maintain the same for this larger unit as well. and. one must look again at the question of the synthesizing. 4. final arrangement of the Pentateuch Finally. must.4. Conclusions and Consequences 189 primeval story. is set out. The present study has expounded this in the case of the patriarchal story. Rather the concern. entirely self-contained. And so what is remarkable and characteristic is this. each with its own complexity. a 'theology of the Moses and exodus narratives'—each of them with several layers. to discover the theological plans which precede and underlie the present Pentateuch. Work on the Pentateuch has long since taken this path. I think. final arrangement of the Pentateuch. namely that each of these theological outlines. even though not with the same clarity. It goes without saying that the attempt to present a 'theology' of the individual 'sources' of the Pentateuch is incompatible with this. and. it is. One can then trace a 'theology of the primeval story'. in my opinion. a 'theology of the patriarchal story'. In this regard too. in my opinion.3 The problem of the synthesizing. and it would be consistent with this approach if it were to be freed from the hypothetical realm of the documentary hypothesis. But this means that the theological intentions of the preliminary stages of the Pentateuch as a whole are most clearly grasped in these larger units. The documentary hypothesis . our reflections and considerations mean a basic shift from the view hitherto taken. and at first with no connection with one or several of the others. What stands out above all in this is that clearly defined theological intentions were at work in the arrangement and interpretation of these larger units.

there persists. 191. These reflections must look in part for their answers within the history of the formation of the individual larger units. E(Elohist). Fohrer supports in essence this view of the growth of the Pentateuch to its final form but without any further precisions: 'In the interim. P(Priestly document). Here too. Rather.1 Hence. But this does not at all mean that all the literary-critical observations made so far. Eissfeldt carried through his view of the situation consistently and in detail to the end. p. B([Bundesbuch] Book of the Covenant).190 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch assumes that the individual written sources were joined together by redactors. 239ff. JCYahwist). Not even the question of the sequence in which the source layers were joined together can be answered with certainty'. He assumed further that one must 'conceive the growth of the Pentateuch as a regular grafting of each of the later sources on to the older content'. H(Holiness Code). A new area of study is opened here 1 Introduction. that to contest the documentary hypothesis is not to question the right and necessity of the work of literary criticism. however. 2 Introduction. it is not possible to describe in detail the redaction history of the Pentateuch. when one designates each of the Redactors with an index letter indicating the source that was added.2 Even when one can discern here a loss of confidence in the possibility of explaining the history of the redaction of the Pentateuch. There will have to be further reflection however on the extent of this work and on the legitimacy of literary-critical judgments in detail. He saw the chronological sequence of the constituent parts of the Pentateuch as follows: L(lay source). The presuppositions of this assumption have collapsed with the renunciation of the documentary hypothesis. D(Deuteronomy). and which have led to the assumption of redactors at work. . the earlier statement must be repeated here yet again. The consequence of the change in viewpoint of the formation of the Pentateuch is that literary-critical reflections must be adapted to other contexts. one has the sequence RJ RE RB RD RH Rp. the basic notion that the individual written sources were joined together by redactors. pp. have thereby become untenable.

and. it is better not to retain the expression 'priestly document' because it is 1 However. and Jacob. and on the other hand for the process of gathering them into one larger unit. is a cohesive group of 'priestly' texts. . which he wanted to withdraw expressly from the prevailing realm of the documentary hypothesis. New criteria must also be reclaimed for the process of putting together the larger units to form the Pentateuch as a whole. so far as is possible. Isaac. but should point primarily to the necessity of arriving at a further clarification. and so more refined distinctions commend themselves. And to this end various reflections from earlier chapters of this work may be taken up. However. but of outlining more exactly the process by which the single narratives came to form the larger units. one must make further distinctions here.4.4.1 But the narratives of the occupation of the land in Joshua 1-12 are to be judged in a way very similar to the larger units within the Pentateuch. refinement. For this reason Noth introduced other notions into the study of the book of Joshua. First.2 Hence the suggestion that similar terminology be used with them. This should not result in imposing a fixed terminology. standardization of ideas. it must be emphasized that the only layer that can be discovered within the Pentateuch that is comparable to the 'sources'. there must be renewed discussion of the sign of this work of collecting and reworking and of those who were responsible for it. Noth uses these terms in the sub-title of A History of Pentateuchal Traditions: 'The historical work of collection and reworking in the Old Testament'. However. Conclusions and Consequences 191 because it is no longer a matter of assigning individual texts to different sources. Hence. The notions of 'redaction' and 'redactor* are too closely bound with the putting together of 'sources' in pentateuchal study. Thus. it has become evident that the assumption of a continuous 'priestly' narrative cannot stand critical examination. by speaking of the 'collector' of Joshua 1— 12 and of the 'reworker' of Joshua 13-21 in the predeuteronomistic pre-history of the book. 2 See above under 1. on the one hand for the independent process of growth of each of the stories of Abraham.

there must be renewed examination of the question. 3 The refinements necessary here within the priestly layer cannot be carried out in this study. the patriarchal story. We had discovered that with Exod.192 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch too heavily impressed with the stamp of a continuous narrative. 2.23-25 and 6. disputed in current pentateuchal study. Likewise the retrospective linking of these texts with the primeval story is obvious: the divine address in 9. R. and Exodus 6.12 as well as to the terminology where there is talk of fertility and increase as consequences of the blessing.4. 6-7.4 It should immediately be called to mind that these 'theological' priestly texts do not occur throughout the whole of the Pentateuch.2-9. These references are sufficient for our purposes to show that in this layer there is a connection between the primeval story and the patriarchal story.8-17 has as its central point the 'covenant' of God with Noah and shows many a connection in content and language with Genesis 17 which speaks of the 'covenant' with Abraham. 1967. In addition.4.5 From this point on there is not a text in the Pentateuch which develops theological statements in a way like that in the primeval story. which are generally reckoned to 1 Cf. We have seen that the 'theological' priestly texts in patriarchal story find their clear continuation in Exod.2-9 the priestly cross-references to the patriarchs cease. 5 See above under 3. 9. These texts reach beyond the limits of the larger units. 6.1-7 is introduced as blessing and thus corresponds to the other theological priestly texts in the patriarchal story. Studien zur Geschichte des Opfers im Alien Israel. but do not cover the whole Pentateuch. 2 See above under 3.3 There are also obvious connections with the creation account in Genesis 1. The first part of the divine address in Gen. It is evident that the priestly texts are not restricted to one of the larger units of the Pentateuch. The chronological details.4.2. 4 A corresponding connection with the flood story is less clearly demonstrable. whether different types of priestly texts belong together. pp. It commends itself to speak of *priestly texts'. Rendtorff. .

11. it is in Exod. 3 The information about the death of Moses in Deut. 4 One could see a connection in that the specific time is on each occasion given in relation to another event. it has already been pointed out that the note about the death of Terah in Gen.8.7 in the note on the age of Moses and Aaron 'when they spoke to Pharaoh'. 27.4.4. namely the beginning of residence in the land of Canaan. Some. ll. however are close to it: the note on the age of Shem when he begot Arphacsad (Gen. 10. 20. .32 corresponds to the basic pattern in the patriarchal story. Num.1 in some sort of relationship to Gen. 34. 7. 12. There is no text at all in the primeval story which corresponds exactly to the pattern of the group mentioned above. 14. these texts are formulated according to a fixed pattern. 31) and the notification of the death of Noah in 9. And so. to which there is no parallel in the rest of the Pentateuch.32). one might put Exod. Ham. and that this other event is on each occasion in the infinitive with a preceding lamed.29. 20. 11. and Japhet (5.7 is formulated in a unique way.11. there are clear connections between the patriarchal story and the preceding 1 Ibid. or departure from the land of Egypt. on the age of Noah when he begot Shem.3 Of the other chronological notes. 2 See above under 3. a text which is quite outside the pattern. which give details of the entire life-span in connection with the notification about the death. 16.1 and 19. 2.12 There is only one sentence that corresponds to this pattern in the larger units that follow the patriarchal story. Conclusions and Consequences 193 the *F texts. This holds too for the corresponding data in Genesis 5 (w. With the texts of the second main group. except in the case of Terah.6).10). and at the beginning of the flood (7.3. 11. data about the death is missing. whereas in Gen. There is a group of texts in the patriarchal story which stand out from the chronological notes by giving the age of a person at the time of a particular event.lOff.1 show no linguistic relationship to the chronological texts of the patriarchal story. manifest likewise some connections between the different larger units.17. 16.4 The remaining chronological remarks in Exod. in respect of the chronological notes.40.

they consist partly in rather short promise addresses.3. has not held and so must be abandoned. In the patriarchal story the main emphasis is on the divine covenant struck with Abraham. but does not cover the whole Pentateuch.11. 20. This is expressed in the primeval story by certain very weighty texts which describe a unique conception of creation and a covenant struck with Noah. though there is no complete agreement. 'be fruitful and multiply* echoes clearly in Gen. The Moses story shows a further tie with the patriarchal story. 3 A new and careful examination is necessary to see if reasons other than those given here speak in favour of reckoning other texts to this priestly layer.3 This means that we are dealing here with a layer of reworking which extends beyond the limits of the individual larger units. to which we have already drawn attention. The connections with the primeval story are also rather marked. which is not present in the same way with Abraham. These observations make it clear that with the priestly texts it is a matter of a layer of reworking which put the emphasis on definite central points. After this. The earlier surmise expressed from time to time that *P might be identical with the end redaction of the Pentateuch. . The same picture is evident in the following units as in the theological' texts. 17. the link with the patriarchal story is once again underscored emphatically and the name of YHWH is introduced.194 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch and following larger units. there is no further sign of the priestly layer in the Pentateuch. 48. 35. and the beginning of the occupation of the land which refer 1 See above tinder 4. but only in the promise about Ishmael in v.7. see above under 1. The pronouncements about Jacob form a further central point. Sinai. at the beginning of the Moses story. 28. 5 See above under 2. but after it.1.4 It is different however with the layer of reworking which bears the deuteronomic stamp.12 Finally.5 It is evident that there is a whole series of texts dealing with the events of the exodus from Egypt. both verbs appear next to each other in Gen.3. no more.3.4. they show a clear connection with the pronouncements of the creation account. 4 Rendtorff. 2 The characteristic formula.

. 33.7. from Sinai. there is reference back to the promise of the land to the patriarchs.1-3a). reminding him of his oath (v. his decision to annihilate the people (14.. Kessler. 15. and Jacob'. 2 In Exod. and are stamped with deuteronomic language.4. It is the same immediately before the next departure. op. Isaac. In Numbers 11 there is yet another critical situation in which Israel's journey into the promised land appears in danger.13). 340. 12). 12.11). the desert.24 and Exod. 11. It is similar in Numbers 1314 where YHWH himself recalls his oath as he withdraws. 32. In Exod.23). It is clear that this series of texts extends over the whole Pentateuch and that they occur in every larger unit or complex of traditions from the patriarchal story on: in the patriarchal story. 50.1. an anticipation of the leading out from Egypt has been inserted which gives the verse the character of a leading back to the land of the patriarchs—an idea which is expressed neither in the patriarchal1 nor in the exodus story. there is Gen.5. 33. 13.13-16. p. the exodus. 50.24 where. Gen. cf. 32. This pronouncement of YHWH is taken up again when the occupation of the land appears in danger for the last time because the tribes of Reuben and Gad have expressed the wish to settle in east Jordan (Num. Moses prays to YHWH. and especially to the promise of the land to the patriarchs.12 both are set side by side in almost identical formulations. at the 1 Except in the isolated passage. and YHWH orders the departure for the land which he swore to the patriarchs that he would give to their descendants (Exod. when the fulfillment of the promise to the patriarchs appears in danger: Moses begs YHWH to 'remember' the patriarchs to whom he has sworn that he would make their posterity numerous and give it the land (Exod. to the formula 'the land which I swore to Abraham. The formulation is very close to that used in Gen.18. cit. the occupation of the land in east Jordan. partially. is added: 'to your descendants (seed) will I give it'. 15. 33. Conclusions and Consequences 195 hack to the patriarchal story. at the end of the patriarchal story. immediately before the departure from Egypt. The connection between the promise of the land to the patriarchs and the leading out of Egypt is particularly underscored: in Gen. 24. First. Sinai. Thus.7.

and the ^priestly document' has shown that it likewise can not establish itself as a coherent whole. First. And so this deuteronomically stamped layer of reworking is the first and. according to our examination so far. or is it a matter of a predominantly interpretative reworking. It is not the purpose of this study to inquire in detail into the final stage of the history of its formation. But there should be a brief sketch of the consequences and the questions thus raised. or which can definitively be made responsible for it. This is significant because our inquiries hitherto have found no text or no layer of reworking about which this can be said. But nothing is thereby said of the part that this layer had in the final arrangement of the whole Pentateuch. and this is pronounced at the departure from Sinai (Exod.196 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch same time. There can be no doubt therefore that these formulations are deliberately meant to span the whole Pentateuch complex (with the exception of the primeval story).1). I have described these texts as 'deuteronomically stamped' so as to avoid a premature conclusion as to what . The advocates of the 'source' theory can no longer demonstrate this for the ancient pentateuchal 'sources'. the only one which unambiguously views the Pentateuch as a whole and will have it understood as one great coherent complex. a qualifying statement: the texts advanced show clearly that the layer of reworking to which they belong views the Pentateuch as one great complex. The question remains open: is it a matter here of a layer of reworking which itself cooperated in putting the Pentateuch together out of the individual larger units and other parts. 33. There is another question which is relative to the more precise designation of this layer and its pertinence to texts in other areas. the whole coherent pentateuchal narrative is presented: the promise of the land to the patriarchs—the leading out of Egypt—the leading (back) into the promised land. But this certainly does not solve the problem of the final redaction of the Pentateuch. which found the Pentateuch already as a whole and provided it with particular interpretative emphases? It is for further study to explain if there is a discernible work of redaction which is demonstrably coherent with these texts.

In Gen. of Gen.1. have not yet been adequately worked out. or how 'deuteronomic' is to be discerned in this area. For example. 3 See above under 2. to combine this group of texts with other 'deuteronomistic' texts in the first four books of the Pentateuch and attribute them to a 'deuteronomistic' redaction.1. a quite different sort of theme occurs.3. e. Conclusions and Consequences 197 their place might be within the concept 'deuteronomic'. a 'land flowing with milk and honey'.5-9. in Exod. therefore. 24.24 and Exod.g. 2 In Deut.4. w. 1 See above under 2. It would be cause for concern if premature. 33. is by no means excluded. There exists here a fundamental difference between the 'Credo' formulations of Deut. Rather. 26. 26. 2. 6. but this does not necessarily mean that this text belongs.19. In Deut. is used. of course. This. without examining more closely and basing more firmly their connection. there is no mention of the promise of the land to the patriarchs.8. . 6.11-14 (cf.7 (end). to one layer of reworking and redaction. I have already referred to the discussion whether one ought speak rather of 'early deuteronomic' or 'proto-deuteronomic'. inadequately based. 50. the characteristic link in the two central texts of this layer between the statements about the leading out from Egypt and the oath promising the land to the patriarchs is entirely unusual.23 the verb is used instead of. Neither is the promise of the land to the patriarchs mentioned in Josh. with the group of texts already mentioned. to mention just one other example. 18. 3. the heavily 'deuteronomistically stamped' Genesis 153 contains nothing about YHWH's oath which is so frequent in Deuteronomy. but the formula found elsewhere. it belongs to the broad realm of deuteronomic-deuteronomistic language and theology. It would be methodologically inadmissible.2 and in the deuteronomistic history only in Judg. all-embracing. The texts do not contain just current deuteronomic or deuteronomistic statements.23).1 But here too there would be a definite conclusion which it would be better to avoid at first. but requires careful scrutiny. It occurs in Deuteronomy only in the 'Credo' text (6. 17-18). This is necessary because criteria for what is 'deuteronomic'.20-24 and Deut. new theories were to replace hypotheses now outgrown.1.

that these two texts *belong to the same literary pattern'... 4 Op. 2 Op.. in my opinion. And so again we encounter the deuteronomic-deuteronomistic circle. and all that generation.6..339.. a few further observations and reflections may be added.198 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch With this reservation. Vriezen has drawn attention to the striking parallelism between the beginning of the exodus story and the beginning of the story of the judges. 8 and Judg. convincingly I think. 1. 10 show much in common both in structure and in formulation: 'Then Joseph/Joshua died. crt.2 He sees in them 'two clear examples ... VT 17 (1967) 334-53.. however convinced he may have been of the continuity of the two periods and have arrived at his formulation in this conviction'.. of the same phraseology. idiom' in Judg. 3 Ibid.3 Vriezen reflects further and interestingly 'that the author (of Exod.p... 2. under the influence of the source theory. who used this pattern in Exodus 1 and Judges 2. rather we must assume that the reworkers.p.1 The texts of Exod.. It is of primary importance in our context that the same literary pattern is used within the Pentateuch in leading up to and linking two originally independent narrative complexes as within the 'deuteronomistic history*. and there rose up a new king/another generation. . 1 'Exodusstudien Exodus 1'.4 This fits very well into our picture of the history of the formation of the Pentateuch. 8) was aware of something of a gap between the periods in the history of his people' and that he '(was) conscious that after the close of the Joseph story an entirely new direction in the history of his people was opened. belonged to the same circles....343. 1. Vriezen.. 2. cit.6. Vriezen also reckons with a farreaching independence and detachment of the patriarchal complexes of tradition on the one hand and of the Israelites in Egypt on the other.. and refers to 'the dtn. is of the opinion that here there 'was an older and a later' example available for this pattern. which is used in the historical literature at the transition from one epoch to another*.8. It is hardly likely. who I which did not know Joseph/YHWH..' Vriezen has shown. that it is a matter of a literary form that would Ijave had its own life independently of the author or a particular circle of authors.

because of his presuppositions. But it can hardly be explained by the conjecture of a 'special esteem' for a fictitious earlier 1 The Chronicler's History. cit. 143. be separated from the books that follow. p.2 Noth. The delimitation and canonization of the Pentateuch certainly presents a problem for our present view of the literary history of its formation. But this argument is rendered irrelevant when one does not reckon with such a tightly outlined 'P'-narrative. The book of Deuteronomy in its turn cannot. it is also clear that the last sections of the book of Numbers are not comprehensible when detached from this overall complex. Conclusions and Consequences 199 This gives new weight to the fact that towards the end of the book of Numbers. that this link was made in the context of the great work of the redaction of the Pentateuch'. the fact that it is not *P* but 'Dtr' who dominates in the account of Moses' death in Deuteronomy 34. came to reject this conjecture.. 25. 145.4. favours the opinion that it must be a matter of later redaction here. His arguments rely in essence on the assumption that there existed a tightly outlined *F-narrative and that this work had been made the ground plan of the pentateuchal redaction. p. especially in chs... Finally. the deuteronomistic element appears clearly. .3 This manner of argument would in any case carry little conviction because of the assumption of an independent Pnarrative. p. it is clear that the book of Deuteronomy cannot be sharply separated from the remaining Tetrateuch'. 32-35. This holds likewise for the other argument of Noth that the later existence of the Pentateuch 'as the basic sacred writing of the post-exilic community. The announcement of the death of Moses in Num. because they show too many common features. Noth dealt with this problem in detail1 and expressed the view that 'one. in its present form. 3 Op. (could) consider here. In any case.. only becomes really comprehensible if it already existed within the limits set by the P-narrative and enjoyed special esteem'.12-23 and the account of it in Deuteronomy 34 show that the link between the two is intended. 27.. 2 Op. cit.. And so in Noth's view.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

written form; it is the understanding of the Pentateuch as Torah' that must come under consideration. This shows quite clearly how one-sided it must be to consider the whole Pentateuch as narrative. The legal sections are often treated merely as an interruption of the narrative or as insertions or the like. It is obvious that this does not do justice to the present picture of the Pentateuch. Methodological criteria must be developed whereby the connections between the narrative and the legal sections can be better understood. The whole question of 'redaction' would, in my opinion, have to be thought through anew under this aspect. It is not at all so certain that the Pentateuch' existed first as an independent entity without Deuteronomy before, in a later act of redaction, it was joined with Deuteronomy and possibly with the 'deuteronomistic history'. The problems that arise from the interrelations between the last chapters of the book of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and the 'deuteronomistic' tradition of the occupation of the land, show that the 'deuteronomistic' element clearly played an important role in this area when the different parts of the tradition were brought together. When we take these reflections together with the earlier considerations on the significance of a deuteronomically stamped layer of reworking for the overall conception of the Pentateuch, we see that, all things considered, the share of the deuteronomic-deuteronomistic circles in the arrangement of the Pentateuch as a whole appears to have been considerable. This conclusion gains strength from the fact that so far no other layer of reworking is discernible which could have had a comparable significance. At the same time, however, the methodological demand must be repeated, that careful distinctions must be made within these circles so as to gain a clear view of the layers of tradition in this area, and thereby also into the procedures of pentateuchal redaction. Finally, there is a further question to put: is it at all justified to use such completely different methods when dealing with the Pentateuch on the one hand and the 'deuteronomic history* on the other, as is generally done today? Now that earlier attempts to trace the 'sources' of the Pentateuch into the books of Kings have not prevalied, a quite different way of looking at the historical books from Joshua to Kings has taken the fore-

4. Conclusions and Consequences


ground. Attention has turned to the larger complexes which were already available to the authors or redactors who established the final form of the text. It is a matter then of larger units which form the intermediary stage between the individual narratives and the final form of the text, such as we find in the Pentateuch. We drew attention earlier to Noth's study of the book of Joshua in which he encountered traditions of the occupation of the land as an independent larger unit.1 Something corresponding holds for the Samuel—Saul complex, the story of the rise of David, of the succession, and so on. The obvious availability of such larger units in the Pentateuch should, in my opinion, have given cause for similar methodological treatment there. I hold that it is very likely that, by turning away from the traditional manner of treating the Pentateuch, important insights for a fresh methodological approach can be gained from what has been learnt when dealing with the historical books. If no pre-'deuteronomistic' Pentateuch redaction is discernible, and if the existence of 'older pentateuchal sources' is not demonstrable, then the questions of the dating of the Pentateuch and its individual constituent parts necessarily place themselves anew. There can be no question of dating the 'sources' at a later period, as is often attempted today.2 However, within the framework of such attempts, and however independent of them, important observations have been made which require these questions to be thoroughly examined. In particular, attention has been drawn repeatedly to the fact that essential themes and names in the Pentateuch tradition are scarcely, or not at all, mentioned in the predeuteronomistic or pre-exilic period. This observation must undoubtedly be taken more seriously than it has been hitherto. In fact, this 'silence' in the pre-exilic literature is a certain sign that the contents of the pentateuchal tradition cannot have played the central role at this time that is often attributed to them today. What methodological consequences does one draw from this? First, it must be conceded that we really do not possess
1 See above under 1.4; cf. 4.3. 2 See above under 4.1.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

reliable criteria for dating the pentateuchal literature. Each dating of the pentateuchal 'sources' relies on purely hypothetical assumptions which in the long run have their continued existence because of the consensus of scholars.1 Hence, a study of the Pentateuch which is both critical and aware of method must be prepared to discuss thoroughly once more the accepted datings. Further, it must be granted that our traditio-historical reflections rely for a large part on hypotheses which on each occasion must undergo critical scrutiny. B. Diebner has formulated the 'discomfort' briefly and pointedly, namely 'to pursue tradition-history as the history of the aftereffects of old traditions whose origins one thinks one knows, thanks to the longstanding conclusions of scholarship. As a matter of fact, tradition-criticism seems to me to be 'reception-criticism'; it starts from the latest comprehensible form of a particular tradition, established with probability within the history of Old Testament literature, and traces it back carefully to the origins of what, on each occasion, has been received'.2 One must approve of this basic principle of methodology; tradition-history has often been carried out in this way. Under such criticism of opinions held to date, care must be taken that the pendulum does not swing too far to the other side. This holds especially when replacing current dating with new. There is a tendency among some scholars today to maintain an exilic or post-exilic date for the great mass of pentateuchal material. The methodological criteria for such dating, however, must still be carefully weighed. It is not enough to replace a common enough early dating by a late dating. In place of an all-embracing theory which ascribes the great mass of pentateuchal narrative material to the 'older sources', and so to a relatively earlier period in the history of
1 A particularly obvious example of this is the dating of the 'Yahwist' in the period of the kingdom under David and Solomon; there is not a single proof for this; yet it is accepted by a great number of Old Testament scholars. 2 ' "Isaak" und "Abraham" in der alttestamentlichen Literatur ausserhalb Gen. 12—50. Eine Sammlung literaturgeschichtlicher Beobachtungen nebst uberlieferungsgeschichtlichen Spekulatationen', DBAT 7 (1974) 38-50 (p. 48).

4. Conclusions and Consequences


Israel, it is more a question, I think, of an approach which makes distinctions; it reckons with a rather long period of formation of the Pentateuch, and above all with the joining together of the individual larger units so as to form a single whole; this would be the final stage, which is to be put relatively late. To describe this in concrete terms: an overall view of the Pentateuch reveals clearly the deuteronomically stamped layer of reworking; a rather long process of development involving a number of layers must have preceded this; and in this process the smallest units grew into rather small collections, these collections into the larger units, and finally came the end stage as the text now lies before us. It must be noted again that in the matter of dating, those texts from which one normally takes one's orientation, provide only relative and by no means certain clues to a fixed dating. This is true in many respects for the deuteronomicdeuteronomistic area. The formation of Deuteronomy itself cannot be dated with certainty. There are very sound reasons for setting the basic material of Deuteronomy in the eighth century BCE.1 One must certainly reckon with the fact that the authors of such a work were not in their time isolated individuals, but rather representatives of particular circles.2 This would mean that texts in the 'deuteronomic' style could occur already from this time on or even earlier, if one takes account of 'early deuteronomic' texts which are not dependent on Deuteronomy,3 but precede it and witness to 'early stages of deuteronomic thought and language'.4 This would shift the dating of the whole by more than two hundred years. What the notion 'deuteronomistic' means in regard to chronology, is in turn not clear. Further, to assume dependence on Deuteronomy is to say nothing about the temporal interval. Finally, it must also be said that the common dating of the 'priestly' sections, be they narrative or legal, to the exilic or the post-exilic period, likewise rests on conjecture and the consensus of scholars, but not on unambiguous criteria.
1 Cf. Fohrer, Introduction, pp. 167ff. 2 Cf. H.W. Wolff, 'Hoseas geistige Heimat', ThLZ 81 (1956) 83-94 = Gesammelte Studien zum Alien Testament, 1964, pp. 232-50. 3 Thus N. Lohfink, Die Landverheissung als Eid, pp. 17-18. 4 Kaiser, Introduction, pp. 124-29.


The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch

The question of an absolute chronology for the individual stages of the formation of the Pentateuch must remain open. It is not my intention to burden the present work with it because what concerns me primarily are the processes at work in the history of the formation of the Pentateuch, and so some sort of relative chronology. Thus, the period over which each of the individual processes extended must remain an open question. I am nevertheless aware that the question requires an answer. It will be necessary to make a renewed effort to determine the intentions and interests of the circles behind the individual phases of the formation of the tradition, the reworking and the interpretation, the collection and the arrangement, so far as is possible with our fragmentary knowledge of Israel's social, cultural, and intellectual-spiritual history. Finally, the problem must be taken up again of the 'silence' of a large area of pre-exilic literature on the themes and names in the pentateuchal traditions. The fact as such is indisputable. But the question arises, what is to be concluded from it? First, that the themes of the Pentateuch were not at the centre of Israelite belief and thought in the pre-exilic period; this certainly would have found expression in the literature of this period, especially in the prophets. Van Seters has rightly pointed out that in Jeremiah and Ezekiel (and in the older layers of Deuteronomy as well), YHWH's saving action toward the 'fathers' refers to the exodus generation and not to the 'patriarchs' of Genesis;1 the different traditions therefore were not yet joined together with each other at this time. However, it is worthy of attention that in another passage in Ezekiel, Abraham is mentioned as the one who 'took possession of the land' (Ezek. S3.24).2 It is very important that this appears as an argument on the lips of those who have remained back in the land. This shows clearly, I think, that this was a well-known, popular tradition at that time. This last observation makes it clear how reserved one must
1 'Confessional Reformulation in the Exilic Period', VT 22 (1972) 44859. 2 When Van Seters remarks on this text that the idea of promise is missing (p. 449), then this is no very effective argument.

4. Conclusions and Consequences


be in drawing conclusions from 'silence'. The 'silence' of the pre-exilic literature on the themes of the Pentateuch shows, as we have said, that they were not, at this time, really central themes in Israel. However, it seems very questionable whether one can conclude without more ado that they were unknown. There must be a more accurate inquiry which asks, in what areas could these traditions have had their 'setting in life'. But this question can only be answered if it were expected that they should occur, for instance, in the prophets, had they been available at the time. We should not imagine that life in the pre-exilic Israel was uniform and selfcontained. Rather, we must reckon with the reverse, that in Old Testament literature much has been bound together in literary form which never existed together in the life of ancient Israel. So it is certainly possible that individual traditions were handed down in certain circles and over a long period of time, but remained unknown in other circles. One should not only think of the differences between north and south, which were undoubtedly considerable, but also of the differences between city (in particular, Jerusalem) and country, of local and regional, cultic and court traditions and of the peculiarities of what was passed on in priestly, levitical, and prophetic circles. Whoever wants to work with the 'argument from silence' must, I think, first demonstrate that what is found missing in a particular place ought to appear there if it were known at the time when the text was formed. This does not at all mean that observations on the widespread absence of pentateuchal themes in the pre-exilic literature should be pushed aside. Rather, they link up with our own observations in so far as they make clear that the pre-exilic literature nowhere indicates that at this time there existed in any form the Tentateuch' as a central witness to Israel's faith. In which form and in which circles the individual traditions were handed on, how they grew together into larger units, were reworked and interpreted, all this must be the object of further thorough and detailed studies. A first contribution to this may have been achieved here. It would be following a false trail methodologically, I think, if 'new* or 'late' sources were now to replace the 'old' pentateuchal sources, or if one wanted to try to repeat the global

2nd edn). The problem of the process of tradition in the Pentateuch lies deeper. as von Rad demanded in one of his last statements: 'we urgently need a comprehensive new analysis of the narrative material of the Pentateuch'.206 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch interpretation of the Tahwist' or other 'sources' with another dating and on the background of other time-conditioned circumstances. Eng. 440. p. One must tackle it. That would be to pour new wine into old skins. .1 1 Genesis (German 9th edn.

33. 135.4 158. 60. 159 195n2 12.5 6.15 9. 78.26 11. 58.6b 148 13. 122.3-4 51.10 152.29 11.2-3 65 12. 55. 81.12 12.1 8.9 51. 63. 132n3. 52 12.8 148 148 13. 83. 193 34 12-50 83nl 12. 148 51n4 13.30 11.15 12. 34 11. 135. 61. 68.15-16 68.14-17 55.l1b 148. 72. 148 13. 73 12. 59.1 13. 160 12.31-32 11.15 57.19 13 150 51n4 49 150 150 170 161 50.11-26 11.31 32. 150.3a 185n6 185n6 12. 77 .17 7.1-8 12.4b-5 147 142.4a 1 4.17 11.1-7 9.INDEXES INDEX OF BIBLICAL REFERENCES Genesis 1-11 1. 76. 170 13. 151 13.21-22 8.2 65.5 12. 77 12.21 9. 51. 161. 71. 185 12. 75n3. 135n2 13.16 12.17 57. 77. 184 12. 84. 134.10.3. 150 12.10-20 46. 150.2 5.2 148 13.16 13. 148. 70.5 148 13. 60.4-5 146 12.12. 70.12a 148 13.3b 12.10-11 148 13. 184 13.32 146 192 151 193 161n2 193 193 193 193 193 193 151 193 193 127 151 193 152 127 125 146 192 151 161n2 193 146 193 161n2 33 51n4 146 147 158. 77 62.8 5. 152 13.6 142.12 148.1-3 15.11 5. 74.1-9 49.10 11.20 5.10. 151 13. 82.29 5.7 58. 183.14 5.11 9.10 12.1 66. 143 12.3 59. 130.30 5. 67. 77 13. 50.26 5.6 8.27 5.12b 149 13. 54. 182.17 12.13 12. 73.31 5. 71.17 5. 71 13. 185 12. 125.1-2 51.32 6. 77. 132.1-17 9. 184 13.7 58.9 13.

151 54n4. 81nl. 174 18. 165 17. 81 57. 142. 55. 170 21. 75n5 17.7-21 15.9 16. 80. 70nl. 54.1 15. 60. 77. 153 21. 167. 131n2.2b 153.2 63. 50 51n4.5-6 70 17.13-16 15. 183 20 50. 77.14 62. 17. 81. 166 17. 181 15.21 15 15.9 15. 16467.1-19. 77. 165 17.29 151. 197 52. 82.23-27 55 17.17-33 50 18. 156.7-8 168 17.4 15. 50. 68.32 129 19 54 19. 193 151 62.16 14.8 70. 18. 135. 67.23-26 166 158-60.13 152. 86. 77. 80 62 149 151 158. 55 20.1-7 50 152 21. 158n2. 80 51n4. 165 17. 183. 509 19. 170 18.19 62.1-28 49. 183. 82.1-5 21.4-5 80 17.18 59.1-6 158. 68. 77 52.18 14 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 71. 165. 62.18 150. 81.208 13. 86.20-23 128 18. 61.2-4 15. 55. 164. 17.1 16. 195n2 51. 68. 53. 53.1-18 46 20.25 129 18.25 18 14.22b33 127. 130n 2 20. 80 18. 65. 53. 78.17 130 20. 76. 164.12 161 20. 82 54 55.27-28 50 19. 63. 54. 160 51.10 62 18. 169.116aa 49.7 130. 67 80 62 62 62. 165. 131. 169 53.6 63. 67.22 50 18.1 14.1 16. 160. 62.3 15. 74.6-7 164 17.20 63. 65. 86. 59. 59. 152. 145 51.14 15. 81.16 50 18. 54 20-22 50.11 14.22 54n3 17. 164. 85. 63.12 14. 77. 149n2 17. 164. 86. 70.18 16 16. 170 149 149.19b 165 17. 170 19. 159. 51. 170 19.15-16 16. 28 151 18. 54.24 169 17 17. 70.10 16. 155. 77. 165 17.21 165 17. 74. 82.5 63. 51n4 20. 165 17. 68. 65. 197 18.1 86. 195nl 142 58.7 70.19 128. 170 . 17.16 62.7 15.1a 159 17. 147 52. 164.5 15. 146.12 166 17. 192 51n4.30-38 49. 169 17.16 18.1 159.4 63. 82.15 16. 58. 174 18. 168 57. 183 51n4 142 142 142 142.3 16.11-12 16. 130. 77.

22-34 21.15-18 22. 54. 169 71. 164.2-3 26. 77. 182 78 87. 77. 80 63.4 26. 77.24 26. 166. 134.1 23. 68.5 28 28. 87 51n4 54. 82. 52. 74. 51n4 54. 182 48 46 47 46 48 164nl 159. 82. 78. 167.2-4 26. 65.16 22. 161 145 154 145.3-5 26.21 26.6-11 26. 160. 6567. 195n2 147 147 161 153 162.67 25. 82.7 25.Index of Biblical References 21. 78nl. 96 72 58. 47 50. 98.23 25. 75. 182 51.4 21.3b 26.1-4 141.3 22.5 26. 80. 158. 146.4 24. 183 51n4 75n3 58.13 21.3b 22.34 27.2 26.26 26 26. 154. 21.16-17 26. 61. 87. 174 64. 77nl. 62. 46.12 26. 96 59. 21. 68. 72.8ff. 77.2-3a 26.19-20 26. 55nl. 26.19 24 24. 159 45.17 23.20 25. 48 47 47. 59.5 21.18 23 153.8 21.3 51n4.28 26. 61.17 22. 62.56n l. 159. 63. 134. 164 . 59. 65. 48 48 48 48 46.12-33 26. 51 51n4 47 51n3. 72. 78. 72. 54.7-10 25. 78n2.18 26. 66. 82.17-18 22.5f.12 21. 183 23.1 24. 159 78 57.4ad 26. 59. 95. 77. 77nl. 76.22 26.4a 26.25 22 209 78.12-14 26.9 27. 163n2 44 140n 2 143. 78. 54nl. 83. 72. 77. 159.4b-5 26. 15456. 68.16-18 22.22 21. 68.4a 22. 162. 98n2 65 62.32-33 26.29 26.128.10 24. 160 56nl.2-5 26.4628. 83.12-17 25. 54.61 24. 95. 133n3 59.2 23.22-32 21. 96.34-35 26. 54 46.19-34 25.2 22. 66 147 96 96 55.22-23 21. 87. 75. 182 72 72 72 78 45 46 45 46 75n4 47.18 21. 154 145 52. 96nl. 73. 163n2 44 22. 144.1 22.19 25. 80.25-26 25. 162n2 145 140 162. 84. 89. 65.7-11 26. 79 63.15 26. 77.8-21 21. 83.16-17 22. 182 46 83 72 66.7 24. 84.26-31 26. 166 158 160 150 50 51.9 25. 122.17 25.25b 26. 80. 57.17-18 23. 80 51. 78nl. 75nl. 160. 161 56nl 151 158.

6a 35. 65. 164. 155. 80.1 35. 82. 73.18 145 28.2 34. 70. 67. 138nl. 165 143 28.27-30 33. 28b 48. 83.4 34. 135n4 28.3-4 161 30. 167 35. 68.3-4 28.14 41. 161 162 158 161.1 28. 37.12 46. 68.26 47.9 47. 77.10-11 32.15 47. 73.19 145 28. 78. 59. 65. 80. 194n2 164n2 .13-14 68 28.6-9 28. 76. 76. 165 42. 60. 71.27 35.13 31. 75n3. 70n2. 82. 66 44 164 69 143 63. 167. 69.15 35. 82.11 63.14 35.10-22 15.9 161 28. 58. 166 35. 56nl. 68.3 35.9 82.3 46. 145 145 145 161. 89 28.24 31. 67. 164.7 37-50 37 37. 135 35.11-12 69.8 34.7 143 28. 81n1.210 28. 81. 83.23 35.12 57. 134 28.12 32. 75 141 147 56nl 89 66. 164.5 31.42 32-36 32 32.14 59. 68 144 145. 73. 83. 164.23-33 (22-32) 32. 76. 73. 75n5.5-6 142. 82.13b 73 28. 63. 65. 165.4 57.3 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 31. 61. 89 65 n 2 62. 68.13 46.160 138.6 143 28.28 47. 165. 75. 166.46a 145 145 147 56nl 143 161 161 161 142 56nl 66. 169 144.3 48.5 42. 164. 162 56nl.5 164nl 28. 75.10-11 31. 194n2 35. 135. 64.23 (22) 32.2-4 46.3-4 48.1 37.10 166 35. 164. 61. 81. 3ff.29 31. 194n2 28. 73.4 46.18a 34.20 66. 65.46 41.2 37. 62. 58. 61. 89 66 142 144 142 158. 84. 135n2 28. 81nl.3 38 38. 164 58.3 68.13 57. 82.6 46.28a 47. 162 161. 69. 162 155 43 143 38 155 139.7 42. 71. 139 144 144 144 56nl. 66.13-15 56. 83. 59.2 75 56nl. 89 44 174 83 66. 135 63. 31. 159 139 139 151 161 158. 83 30. 164.9-12 56nl.9-13 66.18abp 31. 184 28. 81.10 32. 44. 67. 135. 22b36 35.9 161 31.13 32.1-21 37. 72. 165 35. 83.11-13 31.27-29 35.23 31. 89 73 56nl 66-68. 59.4 48. 169 35.2 28. 164.28 36. 75.15 66.

195. 144 64 63 66.7 130 12.23 33 33.12 32. 135. 168.8 32.27b 90. 145 158n3.6 16.23-25 2.1 37 46. 197n2 3.21 49. 36n7. 68 162 162 145 145 162 144 158 162 144. 197n2 111 89 50.11-14 32. 192 86.8 1.1 90 4.115. 913n5 91 89nl. 87nl.13 32. 30f.11 50.20 50.5 50. 168 90 88 89. 162 35.10(9) 32.14 130 9.8 86 7. 84nl. 152.15-16 48. 186 36. 99nl.2-8 6.8-17 9.6 3.8 19-Num 10 19-24 19. 186.11-22 2.3 32. 87.4 32. 195 91 112 91. 33b 50.51 97 87.3 18 184 18.6 1.3-10 97 87.Index of Biblical References 48. 97 13 13. 195 97 98 97 36 80.2 16-18 16. 193 8.7 86 6.21 1-14 1-4 Iff.5 195 13. 90. 90.4 24.13 50.40 193 12.15 13.16 48. 197n2 97 158.25 3ff.3-8 32-34 32 32.11 13. 189 35 36.3 16.1-3a 33. 98 98 91 91 87. 92.30 49.7 32.6 130 130 8. 85nl. 91. 85. 186 89n3 38 193 92 92.2 157 6.2-9 86.25 50. 111 91 112 112 91 91 92 91 91. 99. 99. 37nl.12-14 50.31 15.7 48.8 86. 168.41 157 12.11 32. 158n3.32 17.9 90 4. 93nl 93 92 93nl 89n3 93n2 38 37.4 86 6.13 13. 1 1. 161.7 160nl. 186 192 6 6.24 2.49-32 49.1 16. 49. 95nl 3. 112 Exodus 1-15 1.31 90.14. 90 4.24 211 87.3 .1-3 33.21 198 99nl 111 111 111 151 112 85 88 85.16 4.1 32.10 2 2.19 14 14. 91 90n5 198 161n3. 90. 3–4 3. 162 66. 97. 37. 89.17 3 3. 157 6. 198 84.18 192 9.1-10 2. 98.5 88. 195n2.15 88 88.26 142. 195. 186 12. 9597. 196.30-31 49. 98 97. 91. 36.32 185n6 12. 13. 97.29 130 11. 89 2. 195 87.7 1. 192 156.8 90 4.

9 26.18 53.15 20.8 32.10 Jeremiah 22.5 53.11 130 131 131 131 131 131 130 204 99nl 2.2 Amos 4.24 96nl 96nl Leviticus 22.4-6 130 9.5 48 25.27 152 197n2 25.12-20 14.1 35.212 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch 24. 131n2 Deuteronomy 6.28 92 16.23 913 38 n 3 38 92 98 195 92 92 98.11 11.14 14.3 185n6 94 199 199 113 94 94. 99.5 22. 199 34.7 193n3 Joshua 1-12 13-21 24.120.3 53.16 14.20-24 197n2 197.13 11-20 11.5-9 34 115.11-14 24.12 11.11-15 11.22-24 14.20 18 33.12-23 32-35 32 32.5 11.14-21 38n3 20.1 161n3 Isaiah 49.14 33. 6.11 32. 195 94 94 142 1 Samuel 1.1 198. 198n3 197 152 .11 142 Numbers 10.4-5 20.13 16.4 27.5 114 22-24 86nl 131n2 130 130.13 14.23 197n2 9.22 14.19 14. 99. 137.32b 142 20.2-4 14. 195 96nl 14.18 14.162.1 193 92 20.13 38n3 93 20.1436.17-18 Judges 2 191 191 197n2 197n2 Ezekiel 14 14. 195 92 93nl 93nl 98 93nl 98.18 11.16a 93 92 21.24 Hosea 2.20 13-14 14.

L. 15n3. 161nl Henry. 22nl. 52n2. 36. H.J. 143n5. 151. 47. 21. W.7. 117. 145nl. W. 38n2. 37 Noth. 35. 143n5. 52nl. 99 Plöger. I. 120-22. B. 135nn2. 118 Eissfeldt.R. 142. 46n2. 143n5. 139nl. 22. 203nl Fritz. 149. 143n3. 121. 13. A. 116. 38. 46n4. 155 Jepsen.INDEX OF AUTHORS Bentzen. 118n2. 36. 36n7. 135nn2. 44n2. 16n2. R.3. 18. 35. 121 Gesenius. 102. 12n2. 151nl. 111. 181nl. 154. 191. 18nn2. 103. 49. 51nnl. 14.112. 154. 138nl. 128. 117n6 Beyerlin. 39n3 Cassuto. 145. 147-49. 12n3. 174. 102. 179. Kautzsch 158nl Gressmann. 104. H.4. 129. 128. 129. 107. 105. 17n3.l81n2 Dillmann. 105. 110n6. 137. 174. 27. 24. 140. 113-15. U. 95n2. 107. 22. 138n6 Coppens. 203n3 Macholz.2. O. 201 Pedersen. 30nl. M. 15. 195nl Kilian. llnnl. 147-53. 151n4. 132n3. 105. 104n3. 128n8. 20n3. 138nl. 154 Driver. 190. 60n2. 144.D. 17n3. 124. 16. 107. 187nl Ploger. 46. 18n3. F. J. O. 43. O. 151. 24. 163nl. 48n2. 121n8. 154. 86nl. Schult. 14nn2. 24. 20.C.-L. 119-21. 44. 147. S. A. 116n4 Delitzsch. 66nl Procksch. 144. V. 19. 13. 115nl. 17n2. 120 Lohfink. 70nl. 33. G. 116 Hermann. 139. 103n4. 127. 121n4. 122. 14n5. 186n2 Holzinger. 31n3. 112n4. 46. 121 Knobel. H.3. 106. 91n3. 18n3. 18. 75n2. 122.-E. 11. 19. 45n3. 46nl Diebner. 173nl.107nl Fohrer. 139n6 Gunkel. 112. 11. 28-30. 186 Perlitt. 23n2 Preuss. 155. 121n8. 119-21. 39. K. F. N. . 107nl Gazelles. 15.6. 45. H.4. 141. 60. 124. 124 Engnell. P. A. 112n3. 125. 22. 203n4 Kaufmann. 40. S. 153. 13nl. 39n4. 14n3. von 12. 19nl. K 138. 90n5. 50n3. 20. B.F. 118. 17. 154 Koch. 144. 25n2. 174. 141nl. 103n4.4.50nnl. 125. 118n7 Kaiser. R. 50. 107nl Kessler. G. 128. 150. 14. 18nnl.G.4. 163nl Rad. 99n2. 115n2. 113. 143. 115nl. 136. G. 16. 139. Y. 155n2 Mowinckel. 154n5. 51n7. M. 21. J.2. O. 202 Diebner. 190 Elliger. A. 38n3. 38n3. 117. 39nl Gross. 135nn2. H. 50. 153. 144. S. 13. 118. 141nnl. W. 27. 17. 157 Ellis.W. 14.-H. 142. 199.

99nl Schmid. 123. 103. 103n3. 103. 66nl Vriezen.184 184n2. 133n3. 118. 194n5 Ringgren. 73nl. J. 102n3 Seters. 125. 185n2 . 110n2 Rendtorff. 47. 173. 131n2. A.W. 132n3. 36. 143n4. 183n3. 26n7. 61n2. 118n6 Vetter. 27-29. 172nl. 186n2. 109n2. 140. C.N. E-G. 146nl. 133. 47nl. D. 33n3. W. C.2 Whybray. 91nl. 128.130n2. 11. 185nl. 23n2.A. 47. 25nl. W. 149n4. 111. 118n2 Stolz. 174. P. 168n6 22. R. K. 132n2 Rupprecht. 203n2 Zimmerli. 114. 103. 56. 133. 154. 181n2 Schmidt. 142. 48nl. 107 Weimar.126n4. 25. 108. 45. 65. 172 Westermann. 131. 154 Steck. 90. 206 Redfern. 116. 121n6. 132. 64. 65n3. 106. 53nl.E. 111. 126n5. 110n2 Wolff. 110. 16nl Rost. L. H. 114-116. van 181n2. 131n2. 46n3. J.130. 144nl. 123n6. 150. 57. 130.132. 60. 157. 138. 61n2. 198n3 Wagner.H. 204n2 Smend. E.127.H. 182nl. 155. 106. 64nl. 114. Fohrer 31n3. 34. 109. 51n7. 11. 37. 26. 123. H. 21n7. O.. 45.B. 132n2. 179nl SeUin. 163 Weiser. 127. 181nl. N. D.214 The Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch Steuernagel. 16nl. 142n2. 85nl.H. 32-34. 138n6. 132n2.1 77. 12nl. R. 23n2 Speiser. 109n2. H.C. 103n3. 123125. R. 114. 53. 134. F. 112. 185n6. 198. 183nl. 33. 38nl Wellhausen. 175n2. T. 85n2. 44.

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